Format: Paperback ARC

A #HistoricalMondays blog tour | feat. “The Artist Colony” by Joanna FitzPatrick

Posted Monday, 20 September, 2021 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#HistoricalMondays blog banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! HFVBTs is one of the very first touring companies I started working with as a 1st Year Book Blogger – uniting my love and passion with Historical Fiction and the lovely sub-genres inside which I love devouring. Whether I am reading selections from Indie Authors & publishers to Major Trade and either from mainstream or INSPY markets – I am finding myself happily residing in the Historical past each year I am a blogger.

What I have been thankful for all these years since 2013 is the beautiful blessing of discovering new areas of Historical History to explore through realistically compelling Historical narratives which put me on the front-lines of where History and human interest stories interconnect. It has also allowed me to dive deeper into the historic past and root out new decades, centuries and millenniums to explore. For this and the stories themselves which are part of the memories I cherish most as a book blogger I am grateful to be a part of the #HFVBTBlogTours blogger team.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Artist Colony” from the publisher She Writes Press in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

NOTE: Once upon a time, I was a reviewer with SparkPress and their imprints as well as a participant in their Summer reading challenges. However, quite a few of those selections I had made in the past ended up on my backlogue of reviews; due to different adversities afflicting during those years – from my chronic migraines and other health ailments as well as my father’s recovery years from his moderate bilateral stroke in late 2016. Each year I grow closer to reading my backlogue – yet, despite falling behind on those reads, I’ve never lost my affinity of appreciation for SparkPress as a publisher or for She Writes Press. A few times since those years, I’ve had the pleasure of hosting their authors again and it isn’t something I take for granted. It is an honour and I love how they focus on stories which are inventively invigorating to be read as much as they stimulate conversation and carry forward a light for inspiring deeper readings and keenly intuitive thinkers.

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On what drew my curious eye towards this novel:

Admittedly, this hasn’t been the best readerly year for me as a Historical Fiction reader. Each year, I try to chronicle my readings into the Historical past through the historical reading challenge hosted every year by Amy @ Passages to the Past (also the wicked awesome owner of HFVBTs!) – yet, this particular year, I’ve written more preview stylised posts (ie. #My25PagePreview) than I have longer reviews. Partially, it was a timing issue for me and yet, some of it seemed like 2021 was just a harder won year than 2020 which in all actuality seems a bit impressive to say considering what the former year was like to live through. Laughter aside, as soon as I learnt about the back-history about the artist cottage and how the cottage in Carmel was linked to the author – it felt like such an introspective kind of read.

I used to study art when I was younger and art has languished in my life for a few decades off/on now. I’d love to find a keenly approachable teacher to help me find my muse again when it comes to drawing as I’d love to pursue watercolours eventually – however, my main pursuit and passion of the past several years (err, a bit longer than that) has been knitting. With a new yarn destination closer than previous years, there is a strong chance I’ll be back at the needles before Autumn grips my weather patterns! And, wouldn’t that be a treasured blessing!? However, until then, I still think about traditional art mediums and how wonderful it would be to have a place to focus on art for the sake of discovering not just want moves me as an artist but what inspires me, too. It is a bit why I have always loved pursuing photography – you just have to step out your door and you’ll find inspiration. Photography was something I could maintain throughout my life and I’m blessed for it. Whereas art, in the more traditional sense backslid a bit and became out of focus.

I’m also one part of my family’s ancestral sleuths team – wherein, I inherited a love of Biographical Fiction stories from my Mum. She has a fierce passion for Non-Fiction in regards to Biographical & Autobiographical stories, but for me, I struggled to lock my mind round those selections. Until I tapped into a niche corner of Historical Fiction and found stories which are either directly derived from a person’s actual lived life OR they are an impression of that life wherein liberties were taken to fill in the missing gaps of their known histories. Both are appreciated by curious mind and I love seeing how authors tackle their subjects and how they extend the lives of the persons once lived.

On that note, I liked how The Artist Colony was first inspired by Fitzpatrick’s Great-Aunt Ada Belle and from that forethought on inspiration – came the story we’re all reading today. It is also a curious antidote of how to pierce together familiar history and enfold a relative of ours into a bit of an expansive story which can chart its own course; either following the line of history for that person or taking a new kind of trajectory which is befitting of the story as it became untangled into the pages it now lives upon. It gives me food for thought every time I see an author utilising this technique and perhaps one day, it might lay down a foundation of a story drawn out of my own living tree of ancestral roots. Until then, I chase after the historical past every which way to Sunday as it is such an intriguing place to revisit time after time, as each story is its own unique portal towards seeing History through a new pair of lens.

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A #HistoricalMondays blog tour | feat. “The Artist Colony” by Joanna FitzPatrickThe Artist Colony
by Joanna FitzPatrick
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Paris, July, 1924…

Sarah, a young Modernist painter, receives a cable from California. Her estranged older sister, Ada Belle, has died under suspicious circumstances. When she arrives two weeks later at San Francisco’s Union Station, Sarah is confronted by a newspaper headline: “Inquest Verdict: Artist Commits Suicide.”

Sarah remembers the last haunting words Ada Belle said to her: “Ars longa, vita brevis: Art is long, life is short.” But Ada Belle’s work is selling, and her upcoming exhibition of portraitures would bring her even wider recognition. Why would she kill herself? Sarah’s quest to find the truth of what happened to Ada Belle leads her to join the bucolic artist colony to look for clues. As she delves into her sister’s underworld, tensions surface. The darker things get, the closer she comes to terrible danger. How far will a killer go before he kills again?

Genres: Crime Fiction, Cosy Historical Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Historical Fiction



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1647421694

Published by She Writes Press

on 7th September, 2021

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 328

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Published By: She Writes Press (@shewritespress)
in conjunction with SparkPress (@SparkPress)
an imprint of Spark Points Studio LLC GoSparkPoint (@GoSparkPoint)
& BookSparks
(@BookSparks)

Converse via: #HistFic or #HistNov or #HistoricalFiction
+ #TheArtistColony and #HFVBT

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

About Joanna FitzPatrick

Joanna FitzPatrick

Joanna FitzPatrick was born and raised in Hollywood. She started her writing habit by applying her orange fountain pen and a wild imagination to screenplays, which led her early on to produce the film White Lilacs and Pink Champagne. At Sarah Lawrence College, she wrote her MFA thesis Sha La La: Live for Today about her life as a rock ’n’ roll star’s wife. Her more recent work includes two novels, Katherine Mansfield and The Drummer’s Widow. The Artist Colony is her third book. Presently, FitzPatrick divides her time between a mountaintop cottage in Northern California and a small hameau in Southern France where she begins all her book projects.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Monday, 20 September, 2021 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

A #HistFic Book Spotlight | “The Steel Beneath the Silk” (Book Three, Emma of Normandy series) by Patricia Bracewell

Posted Tuesday, 30 March, 2021 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Stories in the Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! HFVBTs is one of the very first touring companies I started working with as a 1st Year Book Blogger – uniting my love and passion with Historical Fiction and the lovely sub-genres inside which I love devouring. Whether I am reading selections from Indie Authors & publishers to Major Trade and either from mainstream or INSPY markets – I am finding myself happily residing in the Historical past each year I am a blogger.

What I have been thankful for all these years since 2013 is the beautiful blessing of discovering new areas of Historical History to explore through realistically compelling Historical narratives which put me on the front-lines of where History and human interest stories interconnect. It has also allowed me to dive deeper into the historic past and root out new decades, centuries and millenniums to explore. For this and the stories themselves which are part of the memories I cherish most as a book blogger I am grateful to be a part of the #HFVBTBlogTours blogger team.

I received a complimentary ARC copy of “The Steel Beneath the Silk” direct from the author Patricia Bracewell 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

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I had the best of intentions – I was able to borrow the first two novels in the Emma of Normandy series via my local library a few months ahead of this blog tour. However, due to circumstances and a major life shift (wherein I am now working full-time) – I honestly lost the hours I needed to full dissolve myself into this series Ms Bracewell has crafted for us to read. From the moment I picked up “The Steel Beneath the Silk” – as it first arrived by postal mail, I knew this was a series which required patience and time – as she writes immersive Historical Fiction with the kind of accuracy you crave when you want to tuck back into a setting and timescape you haven’t previously read to the level of clarify only Bracewell can provide!

Realising I was running out of time to move through this trilogy with the attention it required, I decided to run a spotlight of the novel instead. Knowing I’d be entering into this trilogy on its magnus opus – the end of a cumulative journey I wish I could have taken this Winter. I am hoping to re-borrow the books and re-begin this final chapter after I’ve read them sometime before Summer as I truly wanted to embrace this world through the vision Bracewell had for it herself.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

A #HistFic Book Spotlight | “The Steel Beneath the Silk” (Book Three, Emma of Normandy series) by Patricia BracewellThe Steel Beneath the Silk
by Patricia Bracewell
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

A breathtaking conclusion to Bracewell’s Emma of Normandy Trilogy, brimming with treachery, heartache, tenderness and passion as the English queen confronts ambitious and traitorous councilors, invading armies and the Danish king’s power-hungry concubine.

In the year 1012 England’s Norman-born Queen Emma has been ten years wed to an aging, ruthless, haunted King Æthelred. The marriage is a bitterly unhappy one, between a queen who seeks to create her own sphere of influence within the court and a suspicious king who eyes her efforts with hostility and resentment. But royal discord shifts to grudging alliance when Cnut of Denmark, with the secret collusion of his English concubine Elgiva, invades England at the head of a massive viking army. Amid the chaos of war, Emma must outwit a fierce enemy whose goal is conquest and outmaneuver the cunning Elgiva, who threatens all those whom Emma loves.

Genres: Historical Fiction



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1942209812

on 2nd March, 2021

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 450

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Converse via: #HistoricalFiction, #HistFic or #HistNov
+ #TheSteelBeneathTheSilk and #HFVBTBlogTours

Available Formats: Trade paperback and Ebook

About Patricia Bracewell

Patricia Bracewell

Patricia Bracewell grew up in Los Angeles where her love of stories led to college degrees in Literature, a career as a high school English teacher, and a yearning to write. Her first novel, Shadow on the Crown, about the 11th-century queen of England, Emma of Normandy, was published in 2013. Its sequel, The Price of Blood, appeared in 2015. The final book of her Emma of Normandy Trilogy, The Steel Beneath the Silk will be published March 2, 2021.

Patricia lives with her husband in Oakland, California.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Tuesday, 30 March, 2021 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Indie Author

A #HistoricalMondays #25PagePreview | feat. “The Girl in the Painting” by Tea Cooper

Posted Monday, 29 March, 2021 by jorielov , , , , 1 Comment

#HistoricalMondays blog banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! HFVBTs is one of the very first touring companies I started working with as a 1st Year Book Blogger – uniting my love and passion with Historical Fiction and the lovely sub-genres inside which I love devouring. Whether I am reading selections from Indie Authors & publishers to Major Trade and either from mainstream or INSPY markets – I am finding myself happily residing in the Historical past each year I am a blogger.

What I have been thankful for all these years since 2013 is the beautiful blessing of discovering new areas of Historical History to explore through realistically compelling Historical narratives which put me on the front-lines of where History and human interest stories interconnect. It has also allowed me to dive deeper into the historic past and root out new decades, centuries and millenniums to explore. For this and the stories themselves which are part of the memories I cherish most as a book blogger I am grateful to be a part of the #HFVBTBlogTours blogger team.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Girl in the Painting” direct from the publisher Thomas Nelson (an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers) 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

On why I elected to write a smaller review for this novel:

As my regular readers and visitors alike realise, my life shifted in February and March to where I am now working full-time rather than being my Dad’s full-time carer as I have for the past five years. I still care for my Dad but on an adjusted schedule as both Mum and I are working full-time as opposed to having only one of us working full-time. Combined with the fact the pollen season this year has come into our lives with a thunderous presence of chaos – I’ve been finding my hours to read and absorb stories has been on the more limited end of my days. I’ve struggled to connect to stories these past few months as I’ve shifted into a new routine whilst my Spring allergies have rendered me exhausted as much as the fatigue I’ve had from the new workload.

Sadly, I experienced my first migraine of the season as well this past weekend – whilst I am still finding my balance with work and blogging and reading – I’ve decided to cut back my reviews those weeks where I physically feel past what I can give a proper review as expected on Jorie Loves A Story. I am hoping by the middle of April I’ll have more stamina and energy as I’ll be in my third month of working whilst finding more joy in a better work schedule in both hours and days off. I am sure others can relate to these circumstances and I appreciate everyone’s patience as I work through all of this myself.

Wherever you are I hope the pollen isn’t as extremely high as it is here and that your Spring can be a delight of joy seeing the flowers and birds return to your environment. I ache after Autumn and Winter as those are the only seasons I find joyful during the year given how much Spring and Summer become an angst of allergies and migraines.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

A #HistoricalMondays #25PagePreview | feat. “The Girl in the Painting” by Tea CooperThe Girl in the Painting
by Tea Cooper
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

A young prodigy in need of family.

A painting that shatters a woman’s peace.

And a decades-old mystery demanding to be solved.

Australia, 1906

Orphan Jane Piper is nine years old when philanthropist siblings Michael and Elizabeth Quinn take her into their home to further her schooling. The Quinns are no strangers to hardship— having arrived in Australia as penniless immigrants, they now care for others as lost as they once were.

Despite Jane’s mysterious past, her remarkable aptitude for mathematics takes her far over the next seven years, and her relationship with Elizabeth and Michael flourishes as she plays an increasingly prominent part in their business.

But when Elizabeth reacts in terror to an exhibition at the local gallery, Jane realizes no one knows Elizabeth after all—not even Elizabeth herself. As the past and the present converge and Elizabeth’s grasp on reality loosens, Jane sets out to unravel Elizabeth’s story before it is too late.

From the gritty reality of the Australian goldfields to the grand institutions of Sydney, this compelling novel takes us on a mystery across continents and decades as both women finally discover a place to call home.

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



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-0785240334

Published by Thomas Nelson

on 9th March, 2021

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 384

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Published by: Thomas Nelson (@ThomasNelson)
an imprint of HarperCollins Christian Publishing (@HCChristianPub)

Converse via: #HistFic or #HistNov as well as #INSPY #HistoricalFiction
+ #TheGirlInThePainting as well as #TNZFiction and #HFVBTBlogTours

Available Formats: Trade paperback and Ebook

About Tea Cooper

Tea Cooper

Téa Cooper is an award-winning, bestselling author of Australian historical fiction. In a past life she was a teacher, a journalist and a farmer. These days she haunts museums and indulges her passion for storytelling.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Monday, 29 March, 2021 by jorielov in #25PagePreview, #HistoricalMondays, ARC | Galley Copy, Blog Tour Host, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Time Shift

An INSPY #HistRom for #INSPYSundays | “A Captain for Caroline Gray” (part of the Proper Romance, imprint series by the publisher Shadow Mountain) by Julie Wright

Posted Sunday, 21 March, 2021 by jorielov , , , 1 Comment

#INSPYSundays banner made my Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I started hosting for Austenprose in late 2020 – it is a joy to continue to find authors of both Historical Fiction & Historical Romance who are writing the kinds of stories I enjoy as a reader. These are two of my favourite genres of interest and it is lovely to start hosting for a book blogger whose organising blog tours of whom I have long admired in the book blogosphere. I am eager to see which publishing companies and which authors will round out my first full year of hosting for Austenprose and their authors on their blog tours.

I received a complimentary ARC copy of “A Captain for Caroline Gray” direct from the publisher Shadow Mountain Publishing 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

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

This is my fourth blog tour hosting with Austenprose and this tour marks my continuing journey into beginning to read & listen to stories from Shadow Mountain Publishing. As I first started to notice their stories when I was joining my favourite readathon over Summer – which was the Christian Fiction Reading Safari hosted by Singing Librarian Books!  Perhaps you’ve heard of it yourself and have joined in on the lovely self-directed readthon wherein as you read you have the chance to win free books by the conclusion of the event!?

I have been fascinated by romantic stories on the high seas for years – even before I was a book blogger and started to read such lovelies like Zana Bell’s Close to the Wind and The Secret Kimono by Christina Courtenay which I happily devoured! As Courtenay’s novel only partially took place over the high seas, I am aptly delighted I might be able to dive into her Kinross trilogy ahead of her Runes series which still is left officially unnamed though I did offer #RunesOfTime as an idea for it. (see also Tweet) And, of course, I have it in mind to read and/or listen to the full series of ‘Master & Commander’ now that I have fallen for the film which I blessedly saw with my Dad when it released into theaters.

Last month, you saw me read a story writ in a similar theme of interest by this publisher and the author Arlem Hawks!

I simply never fail in my admiration for these kinds of stories and that is what motivated me to enquiry if there were a date available for this lovely blog tour & an opening for a review as this is my first time reading a story by Ms Julie Wright!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

An INSPY #HistRom for #INSPYSundays | “A Captain for Caroline Gray” (part of the Proper Romance, imprint series by the publisher Shadow Mountain) by Julie WrightA Captain for Caroline Gray
Subtitle: Proper Romance
by Julie Wright
Source: Publisher via Austenprose

Regency London

Caroline Gray's third season in London society ends as badly as her first two—no marriage proposal, no suitor, not even a glimmer of an interested prospect. She suspects it's because she is far too quick to speak her mind to men who are put off by her forthright opinions, her eager intellect backed by a formal education, and her unconventional ideas about the future. She is far more daring than demure to suit the taste of her class. Besides, Caroline thinks there will always be next season to find a husband.

However, her family's dwindling income leaves Caroline with only one choice to secure her future: a one-way ticket to sail with the Fishing Fleet to India, where the son of a family friend waits. If the match doesn't work, Caroline cannot return home.

Captain Thomas Scott loves the thrill of the open sea, and as commander of one of the ships of the Fishing Fleet, he ferries scores of young English girls to the shores of India to find husbands. The voyages pay well, but he struggles to understand why families would allow young women to be matched with total strangers so far away.

The trips have always been routine and uneventful—until this trip's first night's dinner with one Miss Caroline Gray. She engages in a lively political conversation, presenting opposing viewpoints to the conventionally opinionated gentlemen at her table. Captain Scott is secretly amused and delighted at her boldness, not to mention quite drawn to her beauty.

The rest of the passengers are shocked by her behavior and Caroline finds herself an outcast, suffering harsh judgments from the other passengers. However, she finds an unlikely ally in Captain Scott which quickly draws them closer.

Both know an arranged marriage awaits Caroline at the end of their voyage, yet the attraction between them is undeniable. Caroline will have to decide if she will honor her mother's wishes and marry a man in India whom she has never met, thus securing a future for her and her mother, or be brave enough to throw convention to the wind and commit to love a sea captain. He may be enchanted by her bold and unconventional ways, but will his love and admiration last?

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1629728469

Also in this series: The Gentleman and the Thief, Georgana's Secret


Published by Shadow Mountain Publishing

on 2nd March, 2021

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 336

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Published by: Shadow Mountain Publishing (@ShadowMountn)

Converse via: #HistoricalRomance or #HistRom
+ #ACaptainForCarolineGray, #ProperRomance and #Austenprose

Available Formats: Trade paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

About Julie Wright

Julie Wright

Julie Wright wrote her first book when she was fifteen and has written over twenty novels since then. She is a Whitney Awards winner for best romance with her books Cross My Heart and Lies Jane Austen Told Me, and she is a Crown Heart recipient for the novel The Fortune Café.

She has one husband, three kids, one dog, and a varying amount of fish, frogs, and salamanders (depending on attrition). She loves writing, reading, hiking, playing with her kids, and watching her husband make dinner.

She hates mayonnaise.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Sunday, 21 March, 2021 by jorielov in Austenprose, Blog Tour Host, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Romance Fiction