Format: Trade Paperback

Book Review | “Design for Dying” (Book No.1 of the Lillian Frost & Edith Head novels) by Renee Patrick A wicked new Cosy Historical Mystery series set during Hollywood’s Golden Years!

Posted Wednesday, 19 April, 2017 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I received an enquiry from a publicist at Tor/Forge in regards to this lovely new Historical Mysteries series I had not had the pleasure of finding out about previously! I was quite excited about what the scope of the series might entertain as I have a fond appreciation for Old Hollywood and the treasure trove of movies one can experience through the channel Turner Classic Movies (or TCM for short). Being one of the lead characters was Edith Head (a woman of interest of my own from Hollywood’s past) it felt like a wicked good fit for me to accept this series for review. Especially as I love watching old films as a stepping stone towards ‘discovering’ new actors and actresses I have not yet had the pleasure of seeing before and in effect become my ‘new favourites’ even decades after their careers ended. There is a pulse inside those films and I love watching the fashions change as much as the settings and story-lines!

I received a complimentary copy of “Design for Dying” direct from the publisher Forge (an imprint of Tom Doherty Associates) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Why I was keenly interested in this new Mystery series:

First of all, I have a deep appreciation for Old Hollywood and Classic Movies of yesteryear – I grew up with this passion for black and white movies – going back to a quintessential holiday favourite of mine: ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ followed by ‘White Christmas’. I grew up on James Stewart films especially, as he was such a wicked good actor who could move between family films, drama and suspense (ie. Hitchcock!). By the time I discovered TCM (Turner Classic Movies) in my late teens / early twenties, it was a bit of a foregone conclusion Classic Movies would become a fixture of my viewing pleasure; yet it wasn’t until my mid to late twenties and early thirties that I started to *devour!* the offerings of TCM!

I even stumbled across the collective works of Cari Beauchamp (a wicked sweet Hollywood biographer!) prior to being a book blogger whilst fully engaged in the context of her book: Adventures of a Hollywood Secretary: Her Private Letters from Inside the Studios of the 1920s. Ever since I came across her writings, I’ve longed to attend the TCM: Classic Film Festival and mingle with others who love Classic Hollywood! I still itch to read through her collective works and seek out other titles by writers who are encompassing the same zest of love for this wicked time in film history!

One of my pet projects prior to being a book blogger was compiling a list of titles about Old Hollywood – most of the books were hard to fetch via ILL (inter-library loan) due to the heaviness of their volumes, which is why my ILL List soon became a Wish List of Purchases! lol On that list are biographies about Edith Head, as I had come to find her styles being represented through the films I was watching on TCM. The beauty of TCM is being able to find #newtomeactors of a begone age where women had the luxury of having a healthy body image & a definitive style where the fashions of Hollywood not only pushed new boundaries of fabric & craft but gave an eloquence to film-making at the same time! I love drinking in the styles of the 1920s – 1940s especially as they are such a cardinal imprint of class, sophistication and individuality.

When the publicist at Tor/Forge reached out to me about the mysteries involving Edith Head, I didn’t even have to think hard about accepting them! I did request receiving ‘Design for Dying’ alongside ‘Dangerous to Know’ as I felt the best way to entreat into an established series is to read the very first entry, wherein I could get a solid footing for the background of the characters and feel the continuity between installments!

As I will be blogging my ruminations back to back – if you return on Friday, you’ll get a special delight in reading my conversation with the authors behind this delishly vintage series, too! I loved how I even have a small tidbit about the ‘length and scope of time’ we all have coming towards us as the series expands and continues to grow! I am ever so excited for these two showcases as one thing I love about Old Hollywood is how quirky and comedic the ‘back-stories’ can be surrounding what is readily known but also, how delightfully quirky their lives were because they were defining the rules as they lived! There wasn’t a structure to everything back then – you could carve out a life between the lines and craft together a living on sheer determined will, pure wit and the daring conviction to pull it all off! And, that is what I loved about this series – as it embodies the fierce grit of daring possibilities to carve out your own path and live it with confidence!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Notation on Cover Art Design: For a girl who once considered studying Costume Design at Ole Miss, I must confess I love the whole vintage texture and vibe of this cover art! I even love how there is this allure of ‘who could that be entering through the theshold’ whilst focusing on the dress of the woman in front of the mirror! Part of my allure of following the legacy of Edith Head is my passion for vintage fashion and costume design. A bit of this was revealled recently on my review of ‘How to be a Hepburn in a Kardashian World’ – but more to the point, I love how the typography, the setting and the art direction of this cover pull you forward into a plausible entry point to re-trace the footsteps of Edith Head.

Book Review | “Design for Dying” (Book No.1 of the Lillian Frost & Edith Head novels) by Renee Patrick A wicked new Cosy Historical Mystery series set during Hollywood’s Golden Years!Design for Dying
Subtitle: A Lillian Frost and Edith Head Novel
by Renee Patrick
Source: Direct from Publisher

The salon and the case files are open...

Meet Lillian Frost. A transplanted New Yorker with a boundless love of the movies and a single lousy screen test to her credit.

Meet Edith Head. The costume designer who, over the course of a career spanning seven decades, would be nominated for more Academy Awards than any other woman. Who dressed the most glamorous stars in history. Who worked closely with directors like Alfred Hitchcock and Billy Wilder.

Meet the sleuthing duo about to become Hollywood’s greatest detectives.

Los Angeles, 1937. Lillian Frost has traded dreams of stardom for security as a department store salesgirl ... until she discovers she’s a suspect in the murder of her former roommate Ruby Carroll. Party girl Ruby died wearing a gown she stole from the wardrobe department at Paramount Pictures, domain of Edith Head.

Edith has yet to win the first of her eight Academy Awards; right now she’s barely hanging on to her job, and a scandal is the last thing she needs. To clear Lillian’s name and save Edith’s career, the two women join forces. Unraveling the mystery pits them against a Hungarian princess on the lam, a hotshot director on the make, and a private investigator who’s not on the level.

All they have going for them are dogged determination, assists from the likes of Bob Hope and Barbara Stanwyck, and a killer sense of style. In show business, that just may be enough…

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780765381859

Also by this author: Dangerous to Know

Also in this series: Dangerous to Know


Genres: Amateur Detective, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Fashion Industry, Film History | Classic Hollywood, Noir Crime Drama


Published by Forge

on 7th March, 2017

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 320

Published By: Forge (@torbooks) | Read their incredible BLOG

Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Hardcover + Ebook

About Renee Patrick

Married writing team of Rosemarie & Vince Keenan, known as Renee Patrick. Photo Credit: David Hiller, 2015

Renee Patrick is the pseudonym for married authors Rosemarie and Vince Keenan. Rosemarie is a research administrator and a poet. Vince is a screenwriter and a journalist. Both native New Yorkers, they currently live in Seattle, Washington.

Photo Credit: David Hiller, 2015

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Wednesday, 19 April, 2017 by jorielov in 20th Century, Amateur Detective, Barbara Stanwyck, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Book Review (non-blog tour), California, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Detective Fiction, Edith Head, Fly in the Ointment, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Inspired by Stories, Lady Detective Fiction, Noir Crime Drama, Old Hollywood, the Nineteen Hundreds, the Thirties, Vintage Clothes & Boutiques, Vulgarity in Literature

Blog Book Tour | “Fool Me Twice” by Philippa Jane Keyworth

Posted Thursday, 6 April, 2017 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! I received a complimentary copy of “Fool Me Twice” direct from the publisher Madison Street Publishing in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

On wanting to read the releases by this author and her publisher:

I’ve had my eye on Madison Street Publishing for quite a long while now, especially keen on the works by this author as I’ve caught sight of her books previously. When this one went up for a blog tour, I was quite wicked happy to participate as I have wondered about her personal style after finding out about how she became inspired to write these kinds of stories herself. I think for all of us who read Historical Fiction and Historical Romance with a strong influence from #BritRom, we become enthralled to know more stories and soak inside more lives of the characters we cannot help but feel motivated to become acquainted. It is entirely plausible to understand how a reader could develop their own craft of stories based on the passion they embraced themselves by the works of authors they loved reading!

Likewise, I have been able to host a few of her colleagues’ works in the past, too! I hosted an interview with Scott D. Southard and I loved reading The Duke’s Last Hunt by Roseanne E. Lortz! Therefore, it was a sweet and unexpected surprise to be able to sample the writings Ms Keyworth! This particular publisher tends to focus on what I love about Historical Romance and Historical Suspense; they seek out writers who love the same worlds I love being lit up inside through the pages of a novel whilst being grounded in realistic characters who have such a lot to express about their lives! It’s a special treat to find their authors and to note how well in-tune they are with their historical eras of choice and of the #HistRom stories we all seek to find next to read!

Be sure to check out the ‘Genre’ section of links below this review to see which other Historical Romances catch my eye!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | “Fool Me Twice” by Philippa Jane KeyworthFool Me Twice
by Philippa Jane Keyworth
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

In the gaming hells of eighteenth century London, orphan Caro Worth is leading a double life. By day she plays a proper gentlewoman on the lookout for a wealthy husband. By night she plays the infamous Angelica, her fictional half-sister with a talent for cards and an ability to finance the life her respectable self has built. An introduction to a rich Marquis brings marriage and security within Caro’s grasp…until the arrival of the unpredictable and totally ineligible Mr. Tobias Felton.

Dismayed by Felton’s persistent appearances, shocking frankness, and enigmatic green eyes, Caro watches helplessly as he comes closer than anyone to guessing her secret, but when complete and utter ruin threatens, she finds that Felton’s suspicions just might become her salvation. As the walls she has built to protect herself crumble down around her, Caro learns that no matter how careful your plans, life and love have a habit of falling quite spectacularly out of control!

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780996264846

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance


Published by Madison Street Publishing

on 1st December, 2016

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 263

Published By:  Madison Street Publishing (@MStPublishing)
Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Ebook

Previous stories by Keyworth:

The Unexpected Earl | Synopsis

The Widow’s Redeemer | Synopsis

Converse via: #HistFic + #HistRom

About Philippa Jane Keyworth

Philippa Jane Keyworth

Philippa Jane Keyworth, known to her friends as Pip, has been writing since she was twelve in every notebook she could find. Originally trained as a horse-riding instructor, Philippa went on to become a copywriter before beginning a degree in History. A born again Christian, Philippa lives in the south of England with her handsome husband.

Philippa has always written stories and believes that, since it is one of her loves and passions, she always will. In her early writing career, she dabbled in a variety of genres, but it was the encouragement of a friend to watch a film adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice that began her love affair with the British Regency. Since then, she has watched every Regency film and TV series she could get her hands on and become well acquainted with Georgette Heyer’s novels which gave her the inspiration to write her own.

Both as a reader and a writer, Philippa believes it is important to escape into a world you yourself would want to live in. This is why she writes stories that will draw you into the characters’ joys and heartaches in a world apart from our own. Her debut novel, The Widow’s Redeemer (Madison Street Publishing, 2012), is a traditional Regency romance bringing to life the romance between a young widow with an indomitable spirit and a wealthy viscount with an unsavory reputation. The novel has been received well by readers and reviewers who have praised the heartfelt story and admirable characters. Her second novel, The Unexpected Earl (Madison Street Publishing, 2014), explores another romance in the Regency era when an impetuous young woman has her life turned upside down by the reappearance of the earl who jilted her six years ago. Her third novel a Georgian romance will come out at the end of 2016.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Thursday, 6 April, 2017 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Romance, Indie Author

Blog Book Tour | “Beyond Derrynane” by Kevin O’ Connell

Posted Monday, 23 January, 2017 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! I received a complimentary copy of “Beyond Derrynane” direct from the author Kevin O’ Connell 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

Blog Book Tour | “Beyond Derrynane” by Kevin O’ ConnellBeyond Derrynane
Subtitle: A novel of Eighteenth Century Europe
by Kevin O' Connell
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Wed in an arranged marriage to a man nearly fifty years her senior, sixteen-year-old Eileen O’Connell goes from being one of five unmarried sisters to become the mistress of Ballyhar, the great estate of John O’Connor, one of the wealthiest and most influential men in Ireland.

When O’Connor dies suddenly seven months into their marriage, Eileen must decide whether she will fulfill her brother’s strategic goals for her family by marrying her late husband’s son.

Headstrong and outspoken, Eileen frustrates her brother’s wishes, as, through the auspices of her uncle, General Moritz O’Connell of the Imperial Austrian Army, she, along with her ebullient elder sister, Abigail, spend the ensuing richly-dramatic and eventful years at the court of the Empress Maria Theresa in Vienna.The sisters learn to navigate the complex and frequently contradictory ways of the court–making a place for themselves in a world far different from remote Derrynane. Together with the general, they experience a complex life at the pinnacle of the Hapsburg Empire.

Beyond Derrynane – and the three books to follow in The Derrynane Saga – will present a sweeping chronicle, set against the larger drama of Europe in the early stages of significant change, dramatising the roles, which have never before been treated in fiction, played by a small number of expatriate Irish Catholics of the fallen “Gaelic Aristocracy” (of which the O’Connells were counted as being amongst its few basically still-intact families) at the courts of Catholic Europe, as well as relating their complex, at times dangerous, lives at home in Protestant Ascendancy-ruled Ireland.

In addition to Eileen’s, the books trace the largely-fictional lives of several other O’Connells of Derrynane, it is the tantalisingly few facts that are historically documented about them which provide the basic threads around which the tale itself is woven, into which strategic additions of numerous historical and fictional personalities and events intertwine seamlessly.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-0997407600

Genres: Historical Fiction


Published by Gortcullinane Press

on 7th July, 2016

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 348

Published By: Gortcullinane Press
Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Ebook

Converse via: #HistFic + #HistoricalFiction

About Kevin O' Connell

Kevin O'Connell

Kevin O’Connell is a native of New York City and a descendant of a young officer of what had—from 1690 to 1792—been the Irish Brigade of the French army, believed to have arrived in French Canada following the execution of Queen Marie Antoinette in October of 1793. At least one grandson subsequently returned to Ireland and Mr. O’Connell’s own grandparents came to New York in the early twentieth century. He holds both Irish and American citizenship.

He is a graduate of Providence College and Georgetown University Law Centre.

For more than four decades, O’Connell has practiced international business transactional law, primarily involving direct-investment matters, throughout Asia (principally China), Europe, and the Middle East.

Mr. O’Connell has been a serious student of selected (especially the Eighteenth Century) periods of the history of Ireland for virtually all of his life; one significant aspect of this has been a continuing scholarly as well as personal interest in the extended O’Connell family at Derrynane, many even distant and long-ago members of which, especially the characters about whom he writes, he has “known” intimately since childhood.

The father of five children and grandfather of ten, he and his wife, Laurette, live with their golden retriever, Katie, near Annapolis, Maryland.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Monday, 23 January, 2017 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Domestic Violence, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Indie Author, Psychological Abuse, Realistic Fiction, Vulgarity in Literature

Colouring Book Review | Hachette’s imprint FaithWords truly inspired me this #Christmas with two new releases: A Very Blessed Christmas & Christmas Quiet!

Posted Tuesday, 17 January, 2017 by jorielov , , , , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I am a new reviewer for Hachette Books and their imprints, starting with FaithWords which is their INSPY (Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction) imprint of releases focusing on uplifting and spiritual stories which are a delight to read whilst engaging your mind in life affirming and heart-centered stories. I found Hachette via Edelweiss at the conclusion of [2015] and have been wicked happy I can review for their imprints Grand Central Publishing, FaithWords & Center Street.

I received a complimentary copy of “A Very Blessed Christmas” and “Christmas Quiet” direct from the publisher FaithWords (an imprint of Hachette Book Group Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I wanted to start selecting colouring books to review:

I’ve known about adult colouring books for quite a long while now – I simply never had the proper chance to engage in the artwork or break out my watercolour pencils or crayons; my chaulk pencils and my coloured pencils to explore which of these suited me best for colouring in artbooks. What attracted me to start colouring this past Winter, is the joy of finding INSPY colouring books on the market which seek to uplift the person who wants to dip back into a well of creativity but is also seeking a mindfulness approach to where creatively inspiring words, soothing images and the lost art of being creative can become re-embraced.

When I first heard about A Very Blessed Christmas and Christmas Quiet – I was truly overjoyed! I never thought I’d find adult colouring books being released such as these – as one is a devotional and intentional thoughtful journalling experience and the second, is partially to get you into the festive spirit of the holiday season but also, can be coloured during off-holiday seasons as well; as the imagery is truly varied – from both in-season layouts to prepping for the changing of the seasons themselves.

These two discoveries led me to seek out more inspirational colouring books – one is an upcoming review featuring the women of the Bible. Outside of the releases by Hachette, I am finding there are hymns, psalms and other light-hearted and spiritually centred colouring books out there. For dashes of fun, I am finding myself drawn into themes such as Jane Austen, Trolls, Harry Potter and especially wildlife, forest or fantasy art colouring books. All of which I hope to explore throughout 2017. For now, I am simply grateful I could experience the INSPY side of adult colouring as you will quickly see these colouring books proved to be quite inspiring indeed!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Colouring Book Review | Hachette’s imprint FaithWords truly inspired me this #Christmas with two new releases: A Very Blessed Christmas & Christmas Quiet!A Very Blessed Christmas
Subtitle: Coloring book with Holiday Crafts
by Robin Mead
Source: Direct from Publisher

Color your way to a meaningful holiday season with A VERY BLESSED CHRISTMAS COLORING BOOK.

There is no better way to get into the full spirit of the holiday season than by coloring more than 85 uplifting illustrations in this special volume: frosty winter scenes, carolers in the snow, trees trimmed in nostalgic trappings, ornate churches, angels, nativities--all reminiscent of cozy moments with family and friends and the sweetest, simplest blessings of the holidays. Each artist can rejoice with a grateful heart and be reminded of the ultimate gift God gave the world. Also included are illustrated Scripture verses and fun, holiday craft cutouts that everyone can use to create their own ornaments, Christmas cards, gift tags, and more!

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 978-1455539352

Genres: Art & Art History, Art Therapy & Colouring Books, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction


Published by FaithWords

on 4th October, 2016

Format: Trade Paperback

Published by: FaithWords (@FaithWords)
an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc. (@HachetteBooks) via Hachette Nashville

Formats Available: Trade Paperback

Converse via: #ColouringBooks, #INSPYbooks and #ArtTherapy

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Posted Tuesday, 17 January, 2017 by jorielov in Art, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Colouring Books & Art Therapy, FaithWords, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction