Format: Hardcover

Author Guest Post | Can Reading Mysteries Help Children Build Grit? by Robin Newman author of the #earlyreader mystery series Wilcox & Griswold: policemice detectives!

Posted Thursday, 25 June, 2015 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Author Guest Post Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

In conjunction with my review of The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake I wanted to give the author Robin Newman a chance to write a Guest Post on a topic of her choosing to help compliment my own thoughts on behalf of her series debut! This is a series for Early Readers in particular, but as I highlighted on my review, I think it would be an excellent addition to the selections adult readers in literacy programmes are given as a clever way to engage them in a story that keeps your eyes on the humour and the beautiful illustrations which compliment the story-line!
Ms Newman happily picked a topic that won me over as soon as I saw the question it proposed because I grew up reading cosy mysteries (a la Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys right alongside Dame Agatha Christie: see my review of the new Poirot for more insight) and can attest that mysteries went a long mile towards helping me expand my perception and view of the world. They are stimulating as they are cheekily humoured and the reason my preference is for cosy over hard-boils (except for when I read a hard-boiled *this!* side of cosy; yes, my own definitive difference!) is due to the nature of the tone, violence, and the inclusions therein.
I didn’t just read Cosies, I watched them on tv and inside motion pictures too! My favourites these days are police procedurals with a family knitted into the heart of the characters (i.e. Rizzoli & Isles, the Mentalist, NCIS (pick one, I love all 3!), Murdoch Mysteries, Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries, and Castle; to name a few!) or most of the mysteries put out by the BBC!
Finding stories writ for younger readers or readers just starting to get their feet wet into this wonderful world of imagination and story-craft with a clear bent of joy stitched inside them is a joy for me! I love showcasing authors and publishers who are getting it right and doing a lot of good with their published works. It is my pleasure to bring Ms Newman to my blog and to share with you her thoughts on the benefits of reading mysteries!

The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake by Robin NewmanCaptain Griswold and Detective Wilcox are two hardboiled police mice and MFIs—Missing Food Investigators. When Miss Rabbit’s carrot cake goes missing the day before her big party, Griswold and Wilcox must investigate a farm full of fun, colorful suspects—and it will take smarts (and a delicious dose of humor) to crack the case.

An easy-to-read mystery with plenty of clues to point readers in the right direction, the book includes the recipe for Miss Rabbit’s tasty carrot cake from bestselling cookbook author, Mollie Katzen, and comes with a downloadable curriculum guide available for classroom use which teaches problem solving, logic skills, and storytelling.

Children will love this funny, friendly twist on classic mystery and detective stories as they follow the clues through pages filled with engaging illustrations and an entertaining, interactive story.

Genre(s): Early Reader | Cosy Mystery | Foodie Fiction

Illustrated Stories | Imagination Friendly

Wilcox & Griswold No. 2 due out Autumn 2016: The Case of the Poached Egg

Published By: Creston Books, LLC (@CrestonBooks)

Converse via Twitter: #WilcoxAndGriswoldMysteries, #earlyreader, #KidsLit and #JKSLitPublicity

About Robin Newman

Robin Newman

Raised in New York and Paris, Robin Newman has been a practicing attorney and legal editor, but she prefers to write about witches, mice, pigs, and peacocks. She lives in New York with her husband, son, goldfish, and English Cocker Spaniel, who happens to have been born on the Fourth of July.

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Posted Thursday, 25 June, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Art, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Trailer, Bookish Discussions, Bookish Films, Children's Literature, Cosy Mystery, Early Reader | Chapter Books, Illustrations for Stories, Indie Author, JKS Communications: Literary Publicity Firm, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author

Blog Book Tour | “Crave. Eat. Heal. Plant-based whole food recipes to satisfy every appetite” by Annie Oliverio

Posted Thursday, 28 May, 2015 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Cookery Delights | Savoury & Ambrosial | Cookbook reviews by the Bookish Foodie Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Monstruo Estudio.

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 “Crave. Eat. Heal.” direct from the publisher Front Table Books (imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I had a heap of happy expectation about this cookbook:

After having the chance to talk with the author of Crave. Eat. Heal. I must confess, I was even more excited than I was originally when I caught sight of the book coming up on tour! When your seeking a healthier route to pursue in cookery and bakery explorations, you start to gather a proper sense about finding something that has the potential of being a wicked good read! For me, when I read the premise of how this cookbook was created and what drew the inspiration behind it’s creation of the writer to give it flight to home cooks and gourmet chefs alike, wells, I couldn’t wait to dig inside it’s pages!

I think we can all relate to the key topic points of craving food, thriving on what we eat, and seek a wellness of healing through foods which strengthen us rather than deplete our energy. We each take our own journey towards health and wellness, as these are just my own ruminative thoughts on a personal quest to unearthing recipes, cookbooks, and the cookery joy in finding like-minded cooks who find connection of insight within the folds of where food can lead us to venture.

Before you read my thoughts below, I encourage you to retreat inside our conversation and see what came of our joyful exchanges of foodie discussions!

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Blog Book Tour | “Crave. Eat. Heal. Plant-based whole food recipes to satisfy every appetite” by Annie OliverioCrave. Eat. Heal.
by Annie Oliverio
Source: Direct from Publisher

After struggling for many years with a raging sweet tooth and emotionally-driven cravings, author Annie Oliverio began the journey back to a healthy, balanced palate. This is a cookbook focused on plant-based foods that protect, nourish, and heal – yet satisfy “cravings” that can easily trip one up when striving to eat healthier foods or when feeling lonely, stressed or in the need of comfort.

Places to find the book:

Also by this author: Crave. Eat. Heal.

Genres: Cookery


Published by Front Table Books

Format: Hardcover

Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Published by: Front Table Books (@FrontTableBooks)

an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFort)

Add to RiffleAvailable Formats: Paperback & Ebook

Converse via: #CraveEatHeal and #anunrefinedvegan

About Annie Oliverio

Annie Oliverio

If there is an unnamed, undiagnosed condition where one suffers from planning, thinking about, and anticipating future breakfasts, lunches, and dinners while eating breakfast, lunch, or dinner, then I have it. And I don’t want to be cured. But I wouldn’t be opposed to having this ailment named after me.

I was fortunate to be raised in a home with two excellent cooks: my mom and dad. Mom covered the basics of breakfasts, lunches in brown paper bags, and a square meal at night. She also covered Thanksgiving and Easter dinners. Dad took over on Christmas Eve or whenever an ingredient—be it a stinky cheese or olives or eggplant or artichokes or polenta—caught his fancy. Sauce splatters and piles of pots and pans in the sink were guaranteed. Between mom and dad, my three siblings and I ate eclectically and well.

My own culinary journey got off to a rocky start when I began living on my own post-college. I went for convenience and speed (and sugary, fatty, salty) rather than quality. Slowly, however, I began buying more fresh and whole foods to make my own meals. At the same time, I was learning about what foods are best for our bodies. Long story short, my plodding and indirect journey led me to plant-based eating. I no longer rely on packaged, frozen, or prepared meals, and instead make everything we need right here in our own kitchen.

What about the non-food part of my life? Before escaping the mean city streets for the wild, windy plains of Oklahoma, I was an administrative assistant and office manager at a subscription fulfillment company in Boulder, at a think-tank in Santa Monica, at a university in Cambridge, MA, in the Green Zone in Baghdad, and at a non-profit in Washington, D.C.

I now spend a good deal of time walking the pastures trying to identify different types of grasses and insects, feeding hummingbirds, writing and reading, struggling to solve crossword puzzles (with a pen and a lot of Wite-Out), and blogging at An Unrefined Vegan and Virtual Vegan Potluck. I live in blissful satellite- and cable-free isolation with my husband, Kel, and our only son, Ike (part dachshund, part Labrador).

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Posted Thursday, 28 May, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Cookbook, Cookery, Debut Author, Healthy Baking, Indie Author, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Jorie Loves A Story Features, Locavore, The Bookish Foodie

Blog Book Tour | “The Hurricane Sisters” by Dorothea Benton Frank

Posted Wednesday, 22 April, 2015 by jorielov , , , 3 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a tour stop on “The Hurricane Sisters” virtual book tour through TLC Book Tours. I received a complimentary hardback copy of the book direct from the publisher William Morrow (an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers), in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. 

Books to take a chance on:

I do admit, I like a well-writ family drama every so often, as I like to see how different family dynamics are written into fiction. Everyone has a different life from everyone else, but it is still inherently true to find similarities between us as well. The manners in which families are strongly attached to each other despite their flaws and otherwise bad attributes of personality; find a bridge of connection through as the bonds between the members are rooted and anchoured by love. Or at least you hope their connected through love, because there are all kinds of families out there, and it’s how they become a family that is less important than the fact that they are one.

Even close friends can feel more like family than your actual immediate family because especially in the case of women, sisterhood bonds of connection are as strong as an oak! Each writer has a different way of giving out a portrait of a family and a different way of attaching different threads of adversity to the family as a whole. I personally like to dig inside Southern Literature as often as I can, and although I have heard of Dorothea Benton Frank in passing, I haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading one of her novels.

The Hurricane Sisters first appealed to me to read whilst I caught sight of it by title alone: any girl or bloke who grew up with severe storm systems grievously wrecking havoc on their home state will be alerted to the word ‘hurricane’ whichever way to Sunday the word is implied or used. To me, it nearly felt as if the storms themselves was a method of inclusion and of connection — to where, despite the odds against it, this little vacuum of space might yield an incredible bond. I wasn’t quite sure what I would find inside the novel itself, even after reading the impressive synopsis, but I knew this much: the Low Country of South Carolina has called me before into it’s fictional folds and this time, I knew I’d feel as if I were re-visiting a favourite setting.

My favourite authors who set their stories inside South Carolina include Sherryl Woods of the Sweet Magnolia series and Rosina Lippi of The Pajama Girls of Lambert Square – two authors I can quite happily say I found at my local library who sparked a wildfire of hours encased inside their worlds!

Blog Book Tour | “The Hurricane Sisters” by Dorothea Benton FrankThe Hurricane Sisters
by Dorothea Benton Frank
Source: Publisher via TLC Book Tours

Hurricane season begins early and rumbles all summer long, well into September. Often people's lives reflect the weather and The Hurricane Sisters is just such a story.

Once again Dorothea Benton Frank takes us deep into the heart of her magical South Carolina Lowcountry on a tumultuous journey filled with longings, disappointments, and, finally, a road toward happiness that is hard earned. There we meet three generations of women buried in secrets. The determined matriarch, Maisie Pringle, at eighty, is a force to be reckoned with because she will have the final word on everything, especially when she's dead wrong. Her daughter, Liz, is caught up in the classic maelstrom of being middle-age and in an emotionally demanding career that will eventually open all their eyes to a terrible truth. And Liz's beautiful twenty-something daughter, Ashley, whose dreamy ambitions of her unlikely future keeps them all at odds.

Luckily for Ashley, her wonderful older brother, Ivy, is her fierce champion but he can only do so much from San Francisco where he resides with his partner. And Mary Beth, her dearest friend, tries to have her back but even she can't talk headstrong Ashley out of a relationship with an ambitious politician who seems slightly too old for her.

Actually, Ashley and Mary Beth have yet to launch themselves into solvency. Their prospects seem bleak. So while they wait for the world to discover them and deliver them from a ramen-based existence, they placate themselves with a hare-brained scheme to make money but one that threatens to land them in huge trouble with the authorities.

So where is Clayton, Liz's husband? He seems more distracted than usual. Ashley desperately needs her father's love and attention but what kind of a parent can he be to Ashley with one foot in Manhattan and the other one planted in indiscretion? And Liz, who's an expert in the field of troubled domestic life, refuses to acknowledge Ashley's precarious situation. Who's in charge of this family? The wake-up call is about to arrive.

The Lowcountry has endured its share of war and bloodshed like the rest of the South, but this storm season we watch Maisie, Liz, Ashley, and Mary Beth deal with challenges that demand they face the truth about themselves. After a terrible confrontation they are forced to rise to forgiveness, but can they establish a new order for the future of them all?

Frank, with her hallmark scintillating wit and crisp insight, captures how a complex family of disparate characters and their close friends can overcome anything through the power of love and reconciliation. This is the often hilarious, sometimes sobering, but always entertaining story of how these unforgettable women became The Hurricane Sisters.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Genres: Literary Fiction


Published by William Morrow

on 4th June, 2014

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 352

Published By: William Morrow (@WmMorrowBks),
7 April 2015 (P.S. Edition – paperback edition)
an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers (@HarperCollins)
Available Formats: HardbackTrade Paperback, Ebook

Converse via: #TheHurricaneSisters

About Dorothea Benton Frank

New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank was born and raised on Sullivans Island, South Carolina. She is the author of many New York Times bestselling novels, including Lowcountry Summer and Return to Sullivans Island. She resides in the New York area with her husband.

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Posted Wednesday, 22 April, 2015 by jorielov in 21st Century, Adulterous Affair, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Art, Based on an Actual Event &/or Court Case, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Contemporary Romance, Domestic Violence, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Fathers and Daughters, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Fly in the Ointment, Humour & Satire in Fiction / Non Fiction, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Library Find, Literary Fiction, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Low Country South Carolina, Mental Health, Modern Day, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Realistic Fiction, Singletons & Commitment, Small Towne Fiction, Sociological Behavior, TLC Book Tours, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Fiction

Blog Book Tour | “Scent of Triumph” by Jan Moran A Historical Biographical Fiction novel rooted in fashion, parfum, France, and a legacy through time through the threads of love and passion!

Posted Wednesday, 22 April, 2015 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , 2 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: Winning a contest adverted through “Shelf Awareness for Readers” bi-weekly newsletter, April 2015. I received the hardcover book direct from the publisher St. Martin’s Griffin via St. Martin’s Press without obligation to post a review. The timing of the book’s arrival happily coincided with the Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours route for this novel in the book blogosphere, as I originally had wanted to participate in one of the two blog tours I knew about for this particular release, however, from my understanding only ebooks were available for review. Therefore, upon receipt of the book itself from the publisher, I contacted HFVBTs and requested to be placed on the last stop for the blog tour itself: Friday, the 17th of April. 

Unfortunately, the timing ended up being a difficult one for me, as I was blogging about the stress and illness I was under last week on my reviews (both for ‘Inspector of the Dead‘ and ‘The Masque of a Murderer‘; the latter of which ended up posting on Friday in lieu of this one as I fell behind). I technically only had the novel a few short days ahead of Friday, but at that time I felt I could make the quick deadline. Instead, my reflections are posting the Monday after the tour ended.  I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts herein.

Intrigued to Read:

Much to my chagrin, the reason I am curiously receptive to historical novels surrounding parfum is due to my encounter with the writings of M.J. Rose; specifically the book showcases I wrote on behalf of The Collector of Dying Breaths and The Witch of Painted SorrowsI fully immersed myself into the Reincarnationist series prior to settling inside Dying Breaths, as I wanted to understand the world and the back-story of the lead protagonist. Following through to Painted Sorrows, I found myself with a beautiful arc of continuity where fragrance played an under-note of connection to this new release on behalf of Rose. Shortly thereafter, I had the pleasure of reading a Historical Biographical Fiction novel on behalf of Coco Chanel by Gortner; of whom I had the pleasure of reading previously through The Tudor Vendetta. It was during my ruminations on behalf of Coco Chanel I revealed my connection to The Shell Seekers which had given me my first connection to parfum and the intoxicating connections of scent in fiction.

Throughout my readings, one singular thread of context remains and that is the allure of scent and fragrance has sensory triggers that alight through the heart first and the mind second. It is through our memories and the ‘scents therein’ we attach to memory in it’s rawest of forms that allows us to transcend through time and go backwards to a singular moment which stands out to us. It is this pursuit of reading how writers can inflict and inflect resonance with their audience with a particular scent or the allure of a passionate attachment to a particular smell that draws me into their story-lines.

The fact Moran used the basis of her novel on memories of her mother added to my curiosity to pick up her novel, inasmuch as having read her author newsletters for a good portion of the past year. She happily keeps her readers informed of her stories whilst revealing just enough to whet a thirst of interest if you haven’t yet read a novel she’s published. For me, the short notes and the synopsis of Scent of Triumph implored me forward to finding a way into her re-released debut novel. As this was originally published by Crescent House Publishing | Briarcliffe Press in 2012. Read a bit about her Indie Press to Major Trade journey on her blog.

Coincidently, to my own recollection Ms Moran is one of the ‘writers who found me’ via Twitter, thus I started to follow in-kind and signed up for her author’s newsletter. This is one reason I curate a list on Twitter for writers who find me as I keep a list of the authors and stories which alight quite serendipitously across my ‘twitterverse journey’ for the day in which I can properly become introduced to their stories. This is another example of how finding each other on Twitter can be a wicked sweet discovery for both writers and readers alike and I encourage you, if your following me on Twitter, tweet me and/or convo me on my blog — you never know when I might be inspired to read your novel!

As an aside, as I have the hours to do this, I am uploading a list of books to a special list on Riffle solely dictated by the writers who found me and the stories they’ve written which ignite a reason of interest for me to read them. I am not sure why some writers find me and then disappear or if I add them to my Twitter list why they stop following me, but once an interest is sparked, trust me, I stay curious. I presume it’s because I do not ‘auto-follow’ back as I like to get to know the writer (or book blogger, reader, etc) following me before I follow them myself. I like to understand their writing style and the stories they publish, as much as I read their feeds to ascertain a bit about them as a person. Word to wise: if you find a book blogger, tweet them a ‘hallo’ and start a random convo interdependent from your novel. Conversations are golden!

After all, if Ms Moran hadn’t found me, how would I have known about Scent of Triumph?

Yes, I would have found it via Shelf Awareness, but would I already be committed to reading it?

More incredible is I truly believe I was meant to read all of these novels in succession of each other: The Shell Seekers, A Fall of Marigolds, the Reincarnationist series, The Witch of Painted Sorrows, and Coco Chanel in order to fully appreciate what I would find inside Scent of Triumph. There is something to be said for reading intuitively and reading the stories we recognise are meant to enter our lives at the time in which they are meant to come alive in our imaginations.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “Scent of Triumph” by Jan Moran A Historical Biographical Fiction novel rooted in fashion, parfum, France, and a legacy through time through the threads of love and passion!Scent of Triumph
by Jan Moran
Source: Direct from Publisher via Shelf Awareness for Readers

Book Synopsis of Scent of Triumph:

When French perfumer Danielle Bretancourt steps aboard a luxury ocean liner, leaving her son behind in Poland with his grandmother, she has no idea that her life is about to change forever. The year is 1939, and the declaration of war on the European continent soon threatens her beloved family, scattered across many countries. Traveling through London and Paris into occupied Poland, Danielle searches desperately for her the remains of her family, relying on the strength and support of Jonathan Newell-Grey, a young captain. Finally, she is forced to gather the fragments of her impoverished family and flee to America. There she vows to begin life anew, in 1940s Los Angeles.

Through determination and talent, she rises high from meager jobs in her quest for success as a perfumer and fashion designer to Hollywood elite. Set between privileged lifestyles and gritty realities, Scent of Triumph is one woman’s story of courage, spirit, and resilience.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Genres: Historical Fiction


Published by St. Martin's Griffin

on 31st March, 2015

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 384

Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2015 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Wednesday, 22 April, 2015 by jorielov in 20th Century, Author Found me On Twitter, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Trailer, Bookish Discussions, Bookish Films, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Fashion Fiction, Fashion Industry, French Literature, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Perspectives, Historical Romance, History, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Life Shift, Parfum Industry, Passionate Researcher, Romance Fiction, Shelf Awareness, The World Wars, War-time Romance, Writing Style & Voice