Book Review | “The Wedding Diary” (Charton Minster No.5) by Margaret James #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 1 July, 2017 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

ChocLitSaturdays Banner Created by Jorie in Canva.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I received a complimentary copy of “The Wedding Diary” 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.

Why Jorie Loves reading the Charton Minster series:

You never have to worry about the continuity of this series – as Ms James has write such a charmingly realistic series as you move from one installment to the next, you re-alight right in step with where you were previously! It’s a credit to all writers who I am finding have a wicked way of knowing exactly what to do in a sequel or the next thread of story in a series where the layers are so very intricate and complex. Being this is a war drama series, the beauty for me, has been her focus on the people ‘behind the war’, where life moves forward at quite a clip whilst the war is still raging onwards. She hones in on the home front and of the life on the front lines (depending on where you are in the series) – giving you a hearty juxtaposition which grounds you so fully on the life experiences of her characters.

Given this is a series which takes place in the early 20th Century, you never once think your reading about a contemporary time-line either, this is a credit to her inclusions of language and turns of phrase which were the height of popularity back then rather than now. Sometimes I think we could opt to use these phrases more often, as they are slightly cheeky and give you a smile of laugh to hear out loud! I also like how she’s remained true to her character’s motivations; as you watch her characters grow and age, so too, do they evolve in both maturity and life experiences. They each find out things about themselves which might surprise them or give them a moment of pause, but overall, this is a living tome of ordinary lives intersecting with History.

Ms James brings back the issue of Charton Minster (the house) itself too, whilst giving us a good nod towards knowing what’s become of the other characters we’ve cared for throughout the series (thus far along). Daisy makes an appearance and in so doing, gives us a happy moment of reprieve knowing her life has turnt out quite well. She’s not just happy (in career and marriage) but she’s resolved her past and her origins; she even has a healthy outlook on the circle of her life. One of the things you love appreciating about how the series unfolds is how each character is still keenly important even if the core of the current story has shifted forward and away from them. Their still viable and their able to give insight into where they currently are now on their own life’s path.

The tug on your heart is waiting to find out what becomes of the young adventure seekers: Cassie and Frances whilst finding the twins (Robert and Stephen) keep you on your toes as to how their lives will become altered through service and war. Robert might not be the easiest bloke to warm too, but there is something about him that pulls at your heart as you watch him make the choices he needs too and the sacrifices which come from duty. Stephen is a bit head-strong even though you don’t think it at first; he’s the twin who feels he has the most to prove and yet never quite sees himself in a positive light.

What truly hits you throughout this third story is  how difficult it is to accept the circumstances as they evolve; to embrace the future of tomorrow without understanding how the present will heal and feel less adverse. Each of the characters you’ve come to know how learning curves and situations to overcome, but at the heart of the series is always finding one’s path when the uncertainties are stacked against you. When being brave and finding courage are not easy attributes to always embrace but a strong will to survive can carry you through. What I loved most is how in each turning of the series, the women and men featured in Charton Minster have the capacity to endeavour to beat the odds and find true love in unexpected hours of grace.

-quoted from my review of The Penny Bangle

You can well understand why I am quite delighted I can continue to read each installment of this series, and become caught up in the drama and lives of each of the characters as they make their entrance and take their cue to exit. It’s one of those timeless classics you hope you can stumble across & dearly love!

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

Notation on Cover Art: I am in LOVE with this cover art – the glittered butterflies and moon are so lovely! Even the ChocLit logo on the spine has GLITTER. I’m not even what you’d consider a glitter-mad girl either – but sometimes, there are times where glitter is a good accessory to have on hand and for this book’s cover, it’s rockin’ brill! I even like how it’s raised and the texture of it, too! Great call on adding those elements to the cover as it made it funkified jazzy with a dash of spritely joy!

 Book Review | “The Wedding Diary” (Charton Minster No.5) by Margaret James #ChocLitSaturdaysThe Wedding Diary
Subtitle: Where's a Fairy Godmother when you need one?
by Margaret James
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Berni Stevens
Source: Direct from Publisher

Where’s a Fairy Godmother when you need one?

If you won a fairy-tale wedding in a luxury hotel, you’d be delighted – right? But what if you didn’t have anyone to marry? Cat Aston did have a fiancé, but now it looks like her Prince Charming has done a runner.

Adam Lawley was left devastated when his girlfriend turned down his heartfelt proposal. He’s made a vow never to fall in love again.

So – when Cat and Adam meet, they shouldn’t even consider falling in love. After all, they’re both broken hearted. But for some reason they can’t stop thinking about each other. Is this their second chance for happiness, or are some things just too good to be true?

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

Book Page on ChocLitUK

ISBN: 9781781890165

Also by this author: The Silver Locket, The Golden Chain, The Penny Bangle, Cover Reveal w/ Notes (Girl in Red Velvet), Magic Sometimes Happens

Also in this series: The Silver Locket, The Golden Chain, The Penny Bangle, Cover Reveal w/ Notes (Girl in Red Velvet), Magic Sometimes Happens


Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance


Published by ChocLitUK

on 1st July, 2013

Format: UK Edition Paperback

Pages: 289

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLituk)

Available Formats: Paperback, Audiobook & E-Book

Order of Sequence of Charton Minster series:

The Silver Locket Book One (review)

The Golden Chain Book Two (review) | The Penny Bangle Book Three (review)

A writer to reader explanation of how to read the last three novels: I wrote to Ms James to understand my slight confusion on how ‘The Wedding Diary’ fits into the canon of Charton Minster wherein I learnt a few things quite extraordinary! In regards to time-line, the sequence ought to be this way round: ‘Girl in Red Velvet’ (hugs closer to ending of 1st trilogy being set in the 1960s) then ‘The Wedding Diary’ and ending off with ‘Magic Sometimes Happens’.

This is due to the fact ‘The Wedding Diary’ is set in modern day (ie. the 21st Century present day) and is only a handful (say two) years ahead of ‘Magic Sometimes Happens’. Ergo, I was at a deficient reading what I perceived as books 4 & 5: the truth is 6 becomes 4 and 5 becomes 6, thereby making the 4th book the 5th in sequence. I have re-aligned the proper sequence below as well as updated my slideshow of covers. This also makes the cover art illustrations more relatable as well – four books hug the war eras & emerge into the 60s; the latter two in sequence change style of cover art to reflect the new century they reside inside. Mystery solved!

PS: You know ‘The Wedding Diary’ is set in the 21st Century as ‘Harry Potter’ is referenced; mind you, the way in which he’s referenced it felt 2000+ not ending chapters of 1990s. It’s close though – it could be interpreted either way – I am only sharing where I feel it fits.

Girl in Red Velvet Book Four (see also Cover Reveal Notes)

The Wedding Diary Book Five | Magic Sometimes Happens Book Six

NOTE: When ‘Girl in Red Velvet’ releases into print, I will be re-reading this series in order to anchour the sequence into the proper order and to see what I might have missed by reading the series out of it’s proper continuous time-line. This isn’t the first series I have read which was published out of sequence of the order of the story. I am truly blessed Ms James was available to help me work out the details and thereby giving me the chance to help you read this in the time-line she intended. My instincts of suspecting there was a switch-up was on the nose but it wasn’t until I spoke to Ms James all the pieces of the puzzle were fully understood. The truth in the pudding truly was the cover art illustrations!

Converse via: #ChartonMinster, #HistFic, #HistRom + #ChocLit

About Margaret James

Margaret James

Margaret James was born and brought up in Hereford and now lives in Devon. She studied English at London University, and has written many short stories, articles and serials for magazines. She is the author of sixteen published novels.

Her debut novel for Choc Lit, The Silver Locket, received a glowing review from the Daily Mail and reached the Top 20 Small Publishers Fiction List in November 2010 and in the same year a Reviewers’ Choice Award from Single Titles. The Golden Chain also hit the Top 20 Small Publishers Fiction List in May 2011. The Wedding Diary was shortlisted for the 2014 Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

Novels: The Silver Locket, The Golden Chain, The Penny Bangle, The Wedding Diary and Magic Sometimes Happens which are part of the Charton Minster series.

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

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Posted Saturday, 1 July, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, British Literature, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Contemporary Romance, England, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Green-Minded Publishers, Indie Author, Life Shift, Modern British Author, Modern British Literature, Modern Day, Multi-Generational Saga, Romance Fiction, Story in Diary-Style Format, Vulgarity in Literature

#20BooksOfSummer | #JorieReads twenty books which dance through genres and timescapes

Posted Thursday, 29 June, 2017 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 10 Comments

#20BooksOfSummer reading challenge badge created by Jorie in Canva.

#20BooksOfSummer is hosted by 746 Books | @cathy746books

Read the Rules | Link your Book List | Follow the tag on Twitter

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In the interest of the challenge, I should mention this is one reading challenge I have wanted to join in on the bookish fun since I first started blogging in [2013] similar to how I was most anxious to join #AustenInAugust when coincidentally, this blog went LIVE in August 2013. This year, I had projected to participate in a variety of reading challenges (see Challenge List 2017) however, I ought to have known it was going to be a ‘unique year’ once my Spring allergies took such a lockhold of me to where I was unable to read nor blog; much less tweet to my bookish heart’s desire.

I was wicked enthused finding out about the challenge (see this tweet) even if I wasn’t fully able to devout any attention to creating my own #20BooksOfSummer List until two days before the month of June concluded! Ironically or not, I might be late to the party, but I am wicked excited about my selections – which is why I am posting this List on my blog and Riffle.

DUE NOTE: all the books featured on my #20BooksOfSummer were books sent to me for review consideration at some point or another over the past few years. The exception being ‘Memory Box Secrets’ of which was a purchase of my own and ‘Allie and Bea’ which I received as a bookaway. Ergo for one reason or another all of these lovelies were TBR in the most humblest of ways: books ‘to be read’ and quite wickedly itching with curiosity by the reader whose about to broach into their folds!

I have been working earnestly towards erasing my backlogue (of reviews) for almost a full year and this challenge is helping me to become re-inspired to read after two seasons of personal angst. Let’s face it – JUNE was a wash-out. It barely blinked into view before it extinguished out of sight – and I barely posted anything during it’s duration. The one thing I did accomplish is finding a way to bring ART back into my life and to resume KNITTING giving myself a way to put some Zen into my downtime. Especially imperative as I was ill more than well this Spring. As the monsoon Summer rains start to begin now as we enter into JULY, I am most hopeful my seasonal allergies will start to relent and give me back the clarity of calm I’ve missed all SPRING.

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Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The exact order of how I will be reading these stories is UNKNOWN except for the first three selections which will be the following: WORTHY | As Death Draws Near | Allie and Bea.

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Interestingly enough, for those of you curious how we order things without thinking specifically about how we want to sort the books we’re reading, here is the organic nature of how the books were stacked as I sorted out which books would make into this challenge list:

  1. As Death Draws Near by Anna Lee Huber | Synopsis
  2. Inconceivable by Tegan Wren | Synopsis
  3. Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica | Synopsis
  4. Pretending to Dance by Diane Chamberlain | Synopsis
  5. Deadly Proof by Rachel Dylan | Synopsis
  6. Fatal Mistake by Susan Sleeman | Synopsis
  7. Memory Box Secrets by Brenda S. Anderson | Synopsis
  8. Ignoring Gravity by Sandra Danby | Synopsis
  9. Dear Carolina by Kristy Woodson Harvey | Synopsis
  10. The Promise of Dawn by Lauraine Snelling | Synopsis
  11. A Lesson in Hope by Philip Gulley | Synopsis
  12. True Believer by Nicholas Sparks | Synopsis
  13. A Saint in Graceland by Deborah Hining | Synopsis
  14. Just the Facts by Ellen Sherman | Synopsis
  15. Worthy by Catherine Ryan Hyde | Synopsis
  16. Allie and Bea by Catherine Ryan Hyde | Synopsis
  17. Satisfaction by Andee Reilly | Synopsis
  18. Rooville by Julie Long | Synopsis
  19. The Last Letter by Kathleen Shoop | Synopsis
  20. Twain’s End by Lynn Cullen | Synopsis

| by the numbers |

2 rescheduled blog tour books | 2 LibraryThing books | 1 bookaway | 7 BookSparks Reading Challenge Books

7 postponed reads = 17 books erased from my Book Blogger’s Backlogue

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #20BooksOfSummer 2017
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Posted Thursday, 29 June, 2017 by jorielov in #20BooksOfSummer, #20BooksOfSummer, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, JLAS Update Post, Reading Challenges, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event

Narrator (Audiobook) Interview | A seasoned journalist finds a new passion in narrating audiobooks: my convo with Greg Hernandez

Posted Tuesday, 27 June, 2017 by jorielov 0 Comments

Audiobook Narrator Blog Banner made by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts! You might have noticed I’ve slowed down the frequency of posts arriving on Jorie Loves A Story this Spring? The reason is quite a simple one: my allergies have been beastly this year and it’s taken a lot out of me as our unusual dry season has rendered me quite ill moreso than well. If we get a monsoon rain season (as per usual) with consistency, I’ll be a happy camper as this will be the formidable end of my seasonal allergies! Until then, I appreciate your patience as I work through some of the worst attacks I’ve experienced with my allergies overall.

As I start to re-emerge sharing my thoughts on the books which are keenly fascinating right now on my shelf to read – I am going to start things off this week by sharing a lovely convo I had with a journalist turnt audiobook narrator – a man who has had quite the blessed career in journalism has found a second passion in life to bring voice and characterisation to the stories once originating in print. One of the novels he has voiced has been on tour with Audiobookworm Promotions – the blog touring company specialising in audiobooks and of whom, I’ve had the joy of hosting for since the ending chapters of 2016.

Realising he has interviewed a number of well-known people – I decided to let him decide which person he wanted to highlight when I asked him a particular question – his response touched my heart as I was thankful to know a bit of insight into the person he picked as I, too, grew up knowing this man – except not in person like Mr Hernandez, but from afar; from his broadcasts and his empathy for revealling the news in a way which showed his humble heart for the topics in which he spoke about so well throughout his career.

I hope as you read over this conversation, you’ll end up smiling as much as I did. Let’s celebrate Mr Hernandez’s new career and get to know ‘the narrator’ and ‘voice’ behind some of the fiction which might whet a thirst of interest for you to be #amlistening, to next! Curiously – if you want to reach out to other listeners, I recently discovered the #nextlisten tag on Twitter!

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Deadly Shore audiobook by Andrew Cunningham, narrated by Greg HernandezIt’s July 5th, and the Cape Cod roadways are clogged with tourists heading home from the holiday weekend and trying to outrun an approaching potentially catastrophic hurricane. But in the blink of an eye, their lives are thrown into chaos when terrorists bring down the bridges to the Cape. Instantly, a half million terrified people have no way to escape. And when the terrorists threaten to release anthrax on the captive population if their demands aren’t met, fear turns to all-out panic.

With time running out, Marcus Baldwin, a private investigator and former CIA operative, and Sara Cross, a disgraced ex-homicide detective, are brought together by a sole clue to the identity of the terrorists. They quickly realize that they may be the only ones with even a chance at stopping the plot before it’s too late.

With Hurricane Chad barreling up the coast on a path for a direct hit on Cape Cod, it becomes frighteningly clear to everyone trapped on what has now become an island – one way or another they are probably all going to die.

 

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How did you develop your style of narration by switching from NOAA  podcasts to genre fiction? Is there a different approach you gave to how your voice conveyed the information or did you build on the foundation you had established as a voice-over presence?

Hernandez responds: The first order of business when narrating audiobooks is to leave the news reporter behind. Imparting news and narrating an audiobook are diametrically opposed. The inflection used during a news broadcast is based on key words of a story. The delivery is basically the same throughout. When narrating an audiobook, you have to act for the ear. It’s very close to old time radio plays. You take the role of the each character. You breathe life into each one through inflection, tonal quality and stepping into their shoes and viewpoint. Read More

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Posted Tuesday, 27 June, 2017 by jorielov in Audiobook Narrator Interview, Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer

Blog Book Tour | “The Heartbeat of the Bitteroot” by Janice Mineer

Posted Friday, 16 June, 2017 by jorielov , , , 1 Comment

Book Review Banner using Unsplash.com (Creative Commons Zero) Photography by Frank McKenna

Acquired Book By: I have been a blog tour hostess with Cedar Fort for the past two years, wherein I took a brief hiatus from hosting before resuming this August 2016. I appreciate the diversity of the stories the Indie publisher is publishing per year, not only for fiction and non-fiction but for healthy eats within their Front Table Books (cookbooks). I appreciate their dedication to writing general market, INSPY reads and LDS focused stories across the genres they publish.

I was selected to be a part of the “The Heartbeat of the Bitterroot” blog tour wherein I received a complimentary copy of “The Heartbeat of the Bitterroot” direct from the publisher Sweetwater Books (an imprint of Cedar Fort Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why this particular setting interested me to explore:

Throughout Spring 2017, my family and I have been dearly attached to binge watching Heartland which is family television drama from Canada (CBC). We’re blessed to be able to see this via NetFlix – I cannot even begin to tell you how difficult it was to reach Season 8 realising this was the final season we could see for quite a long time – as S9 + S10 have not yet been released to NetFlix whilst S11 is currently filming! I sometimes check the feeds on Twitter – spying photographs of the current production and hopefully not running into a spoiler which will give me advanced information as I have tried to remain in the dark about this series since we first started to watch it! I truly can shout #iloveheartland!

Although this series takes place just north of Montana – in High River, Alberta Canada – the location of the series and the strong presence of cowboy culture and natural horsemanship being the key principle interests in the background lifestyles of the lead characters, I have seen the Rockies in a different ray of light inasmuch as I have a firmer understanding about how interconnected Montana (and the rest of the Upper tier states) and Alberta are to each other. Especially in regards to the circuit for rodeos and/or Equestrian events or horse training. You cannot watch Heartland and not feel a deep attachment for Montana – even if previously I felt connected to Montana via The Horse Whisperer despite the fact the ending in the novel crushed my soul. (I prefer the ending in the film!)

The first time I learnt of the Rockies, I was a young child – listening with earnest to my Mum’s stories of her travels out West. I have mentioned it a few times on my blog in the past, how awe-inspiring my Mum’s travelogue stories have charmed my heart and have inspired me to go West as soon as I’m able too – if only to see remnants of what she once saw herself. I first fell in love with Wyoming, Colorado and Montana through the Westerns I would read a young reader – vying an affection for Westerns and Cowboy Fiction at a young age whilst learning how to ride myself. It was quite fitting to read a Western novel whilst at keepaway camp for horse riding girls! Laughs.

I personally researched the Bitterroot Valley ahead of reading this novel – as similar to the rest of Montana, I hadn’t heard too much about this particular area previously. I was quite chuffed by what I found – it’s a hidden gem of an oasis! The natural beauty and the over abundance of natural joy bursting through the valley of the Bitterroot is quite impressive to say the least! If you hop on YT you’ll find videos which will make you wish you were on holiday there! It was my intention to run an interview in connection with this review – however, this pre-dates my Spring allergies and my bouts of unwellness through the Spring months as a result of how wrecking my allergies became this year. I am hoping I can still get in touch with the author post-review and see if I can still bring her joy of the valley to my readers through a setting focused interview of her lovely valley. I would love to still introduce you to the beauty and charm of what is so very compelling about this part of Western Montana!

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Blog Book Tour | “The Heartbeat of the Bitteroot” by Janice MineerThe Heartbeat of the Bitterroot
by Janice Mineer
Source: Direct from Publisher

And so, it followed me, this dream. It launched me on a journey. But I never imagined that the journey would nearly cost me my life.

Jenna Clark tries to keep her bleak childhood memories buried in Montana's Bitterroot Valley, but a newfound secret about her father's identity forces her to dig into her past. With the help of Michael Callahan - the charming man she meets at her uncle's ranch - she delves deeper into a history that would rather stay hidden. When harmless pranks quickly turn into aggressive threats, Jenna must decide whether to run away one more time or face her past with courage and finally let love into her heart.

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781462120291

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Sweet Romance, Western Fiction


Published by Sweetwater Books

on 13th June, 2017

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 311

Published By: Sweetwater Books (@SweetwaterBooks),
an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFortBooks)

This title was previously released as Secret Heart of the Bitterroot (2015) – Self Published

Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse via: #Romance or #SweetRomance

About Janice Mineer

Janice Mineer

Janice Mineer was born in the state of Washington. She graduated from Brigham Young University and later taught English, allowing her to spend quality time with something she loves - the written word. A hopeless Romantic, Janice has played harp for weddings, even for one that took place on the edge of a cliff over a river. Because of her first husband's long illness, Janice and her family spent extended time away from home to be near the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. When her husband passed away Janice dedicated herself to work with the Ronald McDonald House to provide a home away from home for families who need medical care for their children. Janice is the author of a children's book Gingerbread from the Heart. Heartbeat of the Bitterroot is her first novel.

Janice lives in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana with her husband Randy. Between them, they have five children and eleven beautiful grandchildren.

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Posted Friday, 16 June, 2017 by jorielov in 21st Century, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Coming-Of Age, Contemporary Romance, Indie Author, Life Shift, Modern Day, Romance Fiction, Small Towne Fiction, Sweet Romance, Western Romance

Blog Book Tour | A listener’s spin on #podcast review of Xela Culletto’s “Understanding the Stars” (#SFF)

Posted Saturday, 10 June, 2017 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

Notes of a Listener banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

A unique kettle of fish erupted into my audiobook listening adventures – wherein, I could not listen to ‘Understanding the Stars’ – mind you, I tried every which way to Sunday to get the book to play except to say, I was left with a lot of dead air. The lovely narrator I had heard via the sampler was remiss and I was left wondering what the book would reveal to me, as this was one book I was looking forward to listening to see how the author would shape the story around the aliens.

I was short on time to resolve this – as I’ve tweeted recently, this Spring has been ‘a beast!’ for allergies this Season. I haven’t been able to shake the reactions since wayy back in March or end of February; honestly, I don’t even remember when it all began; each week blends into a new one and I still have extreme allergies assaulting me! I dream of RAIN. I pray for a DOWNPOUR. Summer could not start soon enough for me this year in other words! I sort of lost track of where I was with my blog’s schedule as when your feeling more blue than sunshiny, who keeps up with their calendar? Ergo, I caught sight of one blunder a bit too late to make amends – my copy of ‘Understanding the Stars’ is unplayable – and before you say “ask for Help”, been there & done that. Apparently it’s a quirk or a tech issue that has no textbook solution. Aye.

Oy vie. Never one to give up without a bit of ingenuity – my rabbit out of the hat idea was to merge my love of listening to @AudioShelfMe with my second stop on the ‘Understanding the Stars’ tour seemed to be the best route to go! I had discovered this lovely podcast duo (Brad & Britney) courtesy of Jess @ the Audiobookworm who was tagging a heap of us to introduce us to the Audiobook Month (JUNE) Listening Challenge – where we can all play #AudioBingo, meet new bookish friends who love audiobooks as much as we do and get a bit of fun out of our listening endeavours whilst we try to score ‘points’ for securing titles on the board!

I will be revealling which audiobooks I am thinking of listening to for the challenges when I start to reveal the #20BooksOfSummer I have chosen to focus on for another Summer Reading Challenge! Those two posts will run next week – as I am getting a bit of a late start but look forward to seeing where my mad dash of listening and reading shall take me!

Now then, without further adieu, here are my notes whilst listening to Brad and Britney hash out their recap of ‘Understanding the Stars’.

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Understanding the Stars by Xela Culletto

Alexandra Blackwood is minding her own troubled life when she unknowingly gets caught up in an extraterrestrial conflict. Ronan, a human with his own alien-entangled past, has been keeping an eye on her and sets out to help her escape looming abduction, and maybe win her heart.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The podcast started off with Brad impersonating alien-speech with a few seconds of alien music before the overlay of their theme and the introduction of how they hosted their first book tour. I agreed about the synopsis being a smidge short but enough to serve as a taste of what might be included in the story’s arc. Read More

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Posted Saturday, 10 June, 2017 by jorielov in Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Indie Author, Notes of a (Podcast) Listener, Science Fiction, Soft Science Fiction, Space Opera, Speculative Fiction