Format: Trade Paperback

A #25PagePreview feat. | “Coming Home to Mercy” (Coming Home series, Book One) by Michelle de Bruin

Posted Friday, 20 August, 2021 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Stories in the Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I started hosting with Prism Book Tours at the end of [2017], having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) whilst I was visiting as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. I had to put the memes on hold for several months (until I started to resume them (with Top Ten Tuesday) in January 2018). When I enquiried about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. This is how I came to love discovering the Harlequin Heartwarming authors & series as much as it has been an honour to regularly request INSPY stories and authors. Whenever I host for Prism, I know I am in for an uplifting read and a journey into the stories which give me a lot of joy to find in my readerly queue of #nextreads. It is an honour to be a part of their team of book bloggers.

I received a complimentary copy of “Coming Home to Mercy” direct from the author Michelle de Bruin exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comWhy I am sharing a shorter review about “Coming Home to Mercy”:

I’ve been plagued recently with a lot of fierce lightning storms (hence why content on Jorie Loves A Story has been a bit remiss and absent. Whilst at the same time, the climatic patterns have been keeping our temperatures hovering round 100-110F everyday which is giving me a load of grief as I’m succumbing to heat exhaustion several times a week as our humidity is extremely equal and as dangerously high as our actual temperatures! Therefore, despite my best intentions, I was offline for most of the past week (ie. storms and technology are not a good mix on a good day, throw in batches of lightning storms and its toxic!) and by the time I could re-emerge, I was either a) dearly exhausted by the heat or b) without enough time before/after work to finish reading this story in full.

I decided to write a shorter glimpse into the book itself and talk about how it was to settle into the rhythm of the story for the blog tour. This is only my second story I’ve read by this author and what drew my eye towards it was the prospect of reading about Aviation and Flight History as I’ve always had a keen eye of curiosity on the history of flight and especially how we’ve gone from those early origins in aeroplanes and short flights to the incredible ways in which we can circumnavigate the world on long hauls and flights which connect all of us together.

Plus, I happen to love diving into #HistRom as their always a delightful respite and a lovely comfort read to have whenever life is full of chaos; a bit of calm in the storms!

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A #25PagePreview feat. | “Coming Home to Mercy” (Coming Home series, Book One) by Michelle de BruinComing Home to Mercy
Subtitle: Coming Home series : Book One
by Ms Michelle De Bruin
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

A society woman leaves her comfortable lifestyle so that she can help her daughter adjust to the arrival of twin sons in a small town where the courageous doctor teaches her about taking risks.
 
Wealthy and sociable Margaret Millerson has always thought of her brother’s Chicago mansion as her home. But when she receives the telephone call that her daughter has given birth to twins three weeks ahead of the expected due date, Margaret must leave her comfortable home, her family, and her friends to travel out of state. While she is helping her daughter care for the infants, Margaret becomes reacquainted with the town’s doctor, Matthew Kaldenberg.
 
Dr. Matthew Kaldenberg stays busy caring for the health of the citizens of his small town. His profession offers him daily practice in defeating death, his greatest enemy. During the twenty years since losing his own wife and baby in childbirth, Matthew has saved his money for the purchase of a flying machine. But when Matthew takes Margaret for flights on his biplane, he learns that his dreams of rising above the griefs and losses of his past come with a cost. He doesn’t want to lose the trust of the people he cares about most, or the chance at a relationship with Margaret.
 
Both Matthew and Margaret must make difficult decisions to hold on to the love they have discovered. Will Matthew’s heart recover from sorrow? Will Margaret find her true home?

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1649171436

Published by Scrivenings Press

on 14th August, 2021

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 304

The Coming Home series:

Coming Home to Mercy (book one)

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Published by: Scrivenings Press (@ScriveningsLLC)
co-owned by Shannon Vannatter (@stvauthor)

I was happily surprised to discover this Indie Publisher is co-owned by Ms Vannatter as when I first came across the book blogosphere in (2012) the year before I created and developed Jorie Loves A Story – this author’s blog was one of my mainstays wherein I would read, comment and visit. She is one of the authors’ who has a blog which connects readers to writers and hosts bookaways, too. In the world of INSPY she was one of the authors I enjoyed visiting with due to how she kept her blog and the conversations with authors both approachable but also entertaining to where you learnt something about their stories and their craft for writing. She usually breaks up her blog features into two parts, too which gives you an extra moment to visit with her featured authors.

Formats Available: Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #HistFic or #HistoricalFiction
as well as #HistRom or #HistoricalRomance,
#IndieAuthor, #IndieChristian, #INSPYRomance

About Ms Michelle De Bruin

Michelle De Bruin

Michelle De Bruin grew up in Southern Iowa and graduated from Eddyville High School. These beautiful memories of childhood spent on her family’s farm are the inspiration to the setting in the books of the Tomorrow series.

After high school, Michelle received an Associate’s Degree in Office Management from Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa. She returned to the family farm and later married Tom De Bruin.

Tom and Michelle and their two teenage sons, Mark and John, live in Pella where Michelle works as the Spiritual Services Facilitator for Christian Opportunity Center. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music and in Religion with a Christian Ministries emphasis from Central College in Pella, Iowa.

In 2015, Michelle began writing and joined the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) where she discovered that the stories she wrote for fun might actually amount to something. She finished her manuscript for Hope for Tomorrow and eventually found a home for it with a small publisher of Christian fiction.

Characters that bring to life the delights of farm and small town living, whispers of Dutch heritage, and Christian faith make Michelle’s stories distinct.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Friday, 20 August, 2021 by jorielov in 20th Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Blog Tour Host, Content Note, Fly in the Ointment, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, the Nineteen Hundreds

#EnterTheFantastic with #MyYASummer epic first read | “The Twin Stars” (Book One: The Coseema Saga) by Bridgette D. Portman

Posted Sunday, 8 August, 2021 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

#EnterTheFantastic Book Review banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I had to take a leave of absence hosting for this touring company in [2015] whilst I worked towards finding better balance in my blogging and personal life. I returnt to hosting for Lola’s Book Tours in [2018] before having to take a small hiatus from requesting future blog tours for a second time. By [2020] as my health afflictions from 2018/19 started to recede I realised I could start to host for her authors with better confidence in being able to participate on the tours themselves. I am thankful I can continue to host and feature tours by this touring company from 2020-forward.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Twin Stars” direct from the author Bridgette Dutta Portman in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why this story inspired me to read it:

Portal Fantasy is something I stumbled into in recent years – as I hadn’t come through that vortex of the genre previously. I wasn’t the right fit for Narnia (even though I enjoyed the first and third film adaptations) and I definitely was the kid who couldn’t stop watching “The Neverending Story”. What was interesting for me in your synopsis was the parallels to Neverending Story – how Bastian had to read and then live through the story which felt similar in context to your own character’s journey. I love stories which evoke such a strong reaction and connection between the world, the characters and the reader.

This is why this story appealled to me – as well as the self evolution and growth of Olive. I love coming-of age stories personally and I felt this was an interesting cross-section of why I love reading both MG and YA stories.

From the first moment I learnt of this story, I felt a pull of connection and knew I needed to feature it. I wasn’t sure at the time I signed on for the blog tour if I would be interviewing the author, hosting an extract or able to request the story for review consideration – but I felt as strong of a pull to have this story in my life this year as I have with other selections I’ve featured previously during our 4th Year of Wyrd And Wonder! There was something uniquely different about this story and I had a sense about this world as being one I would find delishly devouring about how the writer wrote the story and allowed us into her character’s journey.

During #SelfPubFantasyMonth in September, I am curating a ‘final week’ of #WyrdAndWonder posts whilst endeavouring to carry forward further readings of Self Pub Fantasy novelists. Tied into those plans will be a forthcoming interview with Ms Portman as I wasn’t able to pull that together for this blog tour due to chaotically brutal lightning storms & a myriad of tech issues I had to work through just to finish this review.

I love finding writers who are writing coming-of age stories in Speculative Young Adult – the kind of stories you almost wish had been available to read during your own childhood but feel equally as blessed to find as an adult as YA doesn’t have an exit clause for readers! Everyone can appreciate YA at any age which is why I wanted to celebrate #MyYASummer all along.

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#EnterTheFantastic with #MyYASummer epic first read | “The Twin Stars” (Book One: The Coseema Saga) by Bridgette D. PortmanThe Twin Stars
by Bridgette Dutta Portman
Source: Author via Lola's Blog Tours

A magical journal. A world savaged by its own suns. An evil prince. A princess in hiding.
And a teenage girl who learns to be the hero of her own story.

Sixteen-year-old Olive Joshi has obsessive-compulsive disorder, and can't stop worrying about hurting the people she loves. She finds refuge in writing about Coseema, a magical princess on a distant planet. Coseema is fearless, confident, and perfect - everything Olive thinks she’ll never be. When she falls through a portal into her own unfinished story, Olive finds herself in a world in peril: double suns scorch the land, the brutal Prince Burnash seeks supreme power, and Coseema is nowhere to be found. Together with her friends - a bold poet, a cursed musician, a renegade soldier, and an adventurous girl from the desert - Olive will have to face her deepest fears to find the hero in herself.

The Twin Stars is an engrossing new portal fantasy in the spirit of the Wizard of Oz, the Neverending Story,and the Chronicles of Narnia.

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Dark Fantasy, Portal Fantasy, Sci-Fantasy, Science Fiction, Space Opera, Upper YA Fantasy, Upper YA Fiction



Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-0995920422

Published by Titan1Studios

on 2nd July, 2021

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 326

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Ahead of reading my reactions to “The Twin Stars”
ENJOY this short extract of the novel which parlays into the ‘portal’:

She was underwater.

Olive realized it just in time to stop herself from gasping. Panic seared through her body as she thrashed about, kicking downward, tearing at the water uselessly.

There was nothing solid around her.

Murky darkness flooded her eyes; a churning roar filled her ears. Just as her starved lungs neared their limit, her left knee collided with something sharp and firm. She kicked and her foot met rock. She brought her other foot to the same position and pushed off the surface as hard as she could, propelling her body through the water.

The diminishing pain in her ears told her she was traveling upward, moving amidst an effervescence of tiny bubbles. She felt them swirling, fizzing, tickling her flesh, bearing her up toward the light as she begged her tortured lungs to hold out for another few seconds until, at last, she broke the surface.

Air.

At first, she could do nothing but devour it. When the haze of panic dissipated and her senses returned, her next coherent thought was that the plane had crashed. But this was not the icy water of the Arctic Ocean. This water felt like a warm bath. It bubbled like soda, and great plumes of vapor waltzed over its surface, spiraling upward until they melted into a golden haze. It reminded Olive of steam rising from mug. It might have been pleasant had she not nearly drowned in it.

The strange pool had a vague familiarity to it, but her head felt too muddled to sort it out.

Where was she? Where was the plane?

It crossed Olive’s mind that she was dead, and the thought sent a chill through her, but her sore knee and aching lungs reassured her. People weren’t supposed to feel pain after death, and they definitely shouldn’t need to breathe.

She treaded water, scanning her surroundings. She thought she saw movement through the curls of steam and paddled toward it, her knee smarting with each kick. Gradually the silhouette of something—no, someone—took shape as she moved through the plumes. At last, her feet touched the jagged, pebbly ground, and with a final rush of adrenaline, she pushed herself forward into the shallows. There she crouched in the warm water and stared up at the figure on the bank.

For a heartbeat, she thought it was Dadiji.

The woman had the same slight stoop, the same gently lined face, the same warm brown skin and long black hair frosted with silver. She was dressed differently, though; this woman wore deep crimson robes, with a fluted, draping cut that reminded Olive of an illustration she had once seen of an ancient Greek poet. A patch covered her right eye. Her left eye was a startlingly vivid purple, and it stared back at the young stranger who had just emerged from the steamy pool.

This was not Dadiji, and yet there was something jarringly familiar about the woman. Not until she spoke did Olive realize what it was.

“Coseema…” breathed the woman.

So, this was a dream. Olive felt a surge of relief. It did not seem like one—her knee throbbed with a very real pain—but this had to be a dream, because she was staring at a person she had made up herself.

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The Coseema Saga:

The Twin Stars (book one)

The Silver Sail (book two) *forthcoming release!

(there is a sneak preview of what is coming next @ the end of “The Twin Stars”)

I marked this as Upper YA due to the topics & subjects explored in the context of the story as well as how dark this fantasy turned in the final quarter of the novel. I felt it was better suited for Upper YA readers rather than for readers seeking traditional YA.

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Published by: Titan1Studios (@RelativityU)

Read About this debut release from Titan1Studios via their website

Converse on Twitter via: #YALit or #ILoveYA; #PortalFantasy + #SpaceOpera
as well as #TheTwinStars and #YAFantasy and #SciFantasy and #DarkFantasy

About Bridgette Dutta Portman

Bridgette Dutta Portman

Bridgette Dutta Portman is an author, playwright, and teaching artist. Dozens of her plays have been produced across the United States and overseas. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Spalding University, as well as a PhD in political science from the University of California, Irvine.

She is past president of the Playwrights’ Center of San Francisco and is currently a member of Same Boat Theater Collective, the Pear Playwrights’ Guild, and the Dramatists’ Guild. She recently joined the board of the Pear Theatre in Mountain View, CA. The Twin Stars is her debut novel, and the first of a planned trilogy. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband Deepanshu and their two young children.

Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #EnterTheFantastic
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Posted Sunday, 8 August, 2021 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Coming-Of Age, Dark Fantasy, Equality In Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Lola's Blog Tours, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Portal Fantasy, Speculative Fiction, Upper YA Fantasy, Upper YA Fiction, Young Adult Fiction

A #RomanceTuesdays #25PagePreview | feat. #LoveInspired author Tina Radcliffe’s Hearts of Oklahoma series: “The Cowgirl’s Sacrifice” (Book Four)

Posted Tuesday, 20 July, 2021 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

#RomanceTuesdays badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I started hosting with Prism Book Tours at the end of [2017], having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) whilst I was visiting as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. I had to put the memes on hold for several months (until I started to resume them (with Top Ten Tuesday) in January 2018). When I enquired about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. This is how I came to love discovering the Harlequin Heartwarming authors & series as much as it has been an honour to regularly request INSPY stories and authors. Whenever I host for Prism, I know I am in for an uplifting read and a journey into the stories which give me a lot of joy to find in my readerly queue of #nextreads. It is an honour to be a part of their team of book bloggers.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Cowgirl’s Sacrifice” direct from the author Tina Radcliffe 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

How I originally crossed paths with Ms Radcliffe:

Before I became a book blogger seven years ago in [2013] – I was an avid reader of bookish blogs specifically group author blogs like Heroes, Heroines & History and Seekerville; the latter was focused more on the process of writing and getting published as each of the authors featured on Seekerville originally were in their season of finding publication whereas HHH’s blog was devouted to authors who were either publishing for the first time or were established in their respective genres of INSPY Fiction.

This goes back to at least a full year before the end of March, 2013 when I developed Jorie Loves A Story as I would regularly converse with authors who are today’s well-known Christian Fiction authors across publishers and outlets of the pub world. Quite a few of those authors I was engaged with during my blog hops and commentary are authors who are still on my TBR List!! I even have a list of #nextreads featuring INSPY Authors on my 70 Author’s Challenge whilst each New Year, I hope to draw closer to reading each of the authors I originally sought out to read as a blog commenter ahead of becoming a book blogger myself!

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And, why I am in love with reading her stories:

I definitely love unexpected inheritance stories! And, Ms Radcliffe hasn’t disappointed me either – she’s set the stage for such a wicked wonderful inheritance story I was thrilled just to hear the details of the will being read as both Claire and Reece were trying to process the news themselves as this was a twist of fate for them to hear as her father never shared any information about what would happen after he passed. The fact he’s left her and Reece in a pickle whilst he’s gone felt a bit fitting because he doesn’t have to explain his actions and he can leave them to ask the questions he never answered. The interesting bit of course is how the inheritance was divided and that leads you as a reader to ask questions of your own about why a father would want to give part of his assets to the neighbour next door.

Oh! I definitely need to find a copy of the first novel in this series now – apparently, Mitch and Daisy’s story involves adoption (as Daisy relates how she adopted her nieces and nephews to Claire) as I am constantly seeking stories which touch on adoption and/or foster care families as I’ll be adopting in the future from foster care myself. It is nice to find stories which present adoptive and foster families in a positive light – even those families where it is a kinship placement like it would have been for Daisy, as it any story which can talk to the positives of adopting children is a winner in my book! I was dearly thankful Radcliffe mentioned Daisy and her husband so very early-on in the timeline for Ready to Trust. It helped fill in a few of the questions I had about what came before this novel but also, it gave me a purposeful reason to collect the first novel rather than to focus on the third which comes out later this year.

Radcliffe has written a romance which in of itself isn’t a romance as it is more of a healing of hearts and a second chance at a new beginning for two characters weather worn from life. She takes you through the motions of how one of them is more willing to let go of the past than the other whilst at the same time, there is this little girl in the middle of it all, too. Young Zoe has the innocence of a five year old and the charm of a father’s girl about her as she sweetens the story by her presence. The story also evokes a reckoning of thought about independent farming and ranching – how those operations have to think outside the box to survive and be sufficient in the worst of times as well as in the best of times. Overall, what I loved most about the story and the characters is how grounded Reece is now in his life and how important family is to him and his brothers. This is a story about how brothers and siblings can redefine their own lives after something goes horridly wrong and seeks to define their futures.

Ms Radcliffe places you into her characters’ shoes quite immediately after you open her novel – the joy therein is getting to have such a clear path towards understanding the emotional angst of her characters’ lives! In this case, Claire seems to be shouldering more than she is willing to share and Reece is a man with purpose who counts his hours as carefully as he completes his duties on his ranch. To see how their personalities both clash when they are together was a bit telling in of itself – as Claire was definitely confused by Reece’s presence as much as he was to be in her company. This is a lovely set-up as these are two people who haven’t seen each other in several years and because of Claire’s father’s will they are now back front and centre into each other’s life! I mean, what could you hope for more than a situation of convenience and unexpected inheritance to reunite two people who lost touch with one another!?

Radcliffe has writ a realistic storyline which brokers itself to discuss single parenthood and the secrets people keep from others when they are attempting to safeguard themselves. Those secrets of course have a way of spilling forward in the future at some point and that is at the heart of the story Radcliffe has written. With a realistic nod towards a scenario you can see happening IRL – Radcliffe guides her readers towards understanding both sides of the coin – in this case, the motivations and reasonings behind Claire’s omission and secret from Reece and the periods of growth Reece undertook since Claire last saw him.

Ms Radcliffe has an easy manner about her storytelling – she lets you dip into her world and see the flaws of her characters and challenges you a bit to understand their personal motives for what they are doing in their lives. For me, the true hero of the story is Reece because of how far he had come in his life and how he was rooted to his family. His siblings and him forged a life and lifestyle many might not have taken advantage of curating but because of their willingness to succeed and to remain in close touch with each other, I felt they had the best kind of life anyone could lead.

-quoted from my review of Ready to Trust

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A #RomanceTuesdays #25PagePreview | feat. #LoveInspired author Tina Radcliffe’s Hearts of Oklahoma series: “The Cowgirl’s Sacrifice” (Book Four)The Cowgirl's Sacrifice
Subtitle: Making new dreams is never easy...
by Tina Radcliffe
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

This cowgirl has wandered back home…

Will she choose her past or her future?

Needing time to heal after a rodeo injury, Kate Rainbolt heads to her family ranch to accept the foreman job her brothers offered her months ago. But the position’s already been filled by her ex-boyfriend, Jess McNally, and the only open job reports to him. With Jess as her temporary boss—and turning into something more—might he finally convince Kate to put down roots?

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Romance Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Western Fiction, Ranches & Cowboys, Western Romance



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781335758699

Also by this author: Ready to Trust

Published by Love INSPIRED

on 27th July, 2021

Format: Trade Paperback

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The Hearts of Oklahoma series:

Finding the Road Home by Tina RadcliffeReady to Trust by Tina RadcliffeHis Holiday Prayer by Tina RadcliffeThe Cowgirl's Sacrifice by Tina Radcliffe

Finding the Road Home (book one) : Daisy & Mitch’s story

Ready to Trust (book two) : Claire & Reece’s story (see also Review)

His Holiday Prayer (book three) : Jena & Tucker’s story

The Cowgirl’s Sacrifice (book four) : Kate & Jess’s story

Published by: Love Inspired (@LoveInspiredBks)
an imprint of Harlequin Books (@HarlequinBooks)
which is now an imprint of HarperCollins Publishing (@HarperCollins)

Note on Formats: Happily Love Inspired novels have the same kind of flexibility as Harlequin Heartwarming wherein you can receive these print copies in Regular Print, Larger Print or True Large Print for those who are vision impaired and/or have low vision. I personally love the Larger Print editions for Harlequin Heartwarming, Love Inspired Contemporary Romance & Love Inspired Suspense as it is much kinder on eyes of a migraineur! Generally I receive Larger Print copies of Love Inspired and/or Harlequin Heartwarming novels – however, I do on occasion receive Regular Print which I can’t read whilst in the throes of a migraine or shortly after one but when I’m migraine-free I can soak back inside them; hence why having different sized fonts available is a lovely gesture by the publisher for readers like me.

Converse via: #INSPYbooks and/or #INSPY, #SweetRomance and #LoveInspired

as well as #ChristFic, #ChristianFiction, #ContemporaryRomance or #INSPYRomance

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About Tina Radcliffe

Tina Radcliffe

Tina Radcliffe is the American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award-winning author of inspirational romance. She is an ACFW and Romance Writers of America Honor Roll member, and a four time ACFW Carol Award finalist. Tina is the author of fifteen inspirational romances for Harlequin HarperCollins.

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Posted Tuesday, 20 July, 2021 by jorielov in #RomanceTuesdays, 21st Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Blog Tour Host, Child out of Wedlock, Contemporary Romance, Contemporary Western Fiction, Cowboys & Ranches, Family Drama, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Life Shift, Modern Day, Nurses & Hospital Life, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Single Mothers, Singletons & Commitment, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, Western Fiction

A #HistoricalMondays Book Review | Feminist forward #HistRom set in the Victorian 19thC feat. STEM minded women who are fiercely independent within the pages of “Inventing Vivian” (Book Two: The Blue Orchard Society series) by Jennifer Moore

Posted Monday, 12 July, 2021 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

#HistoricalMondays blog banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I’ve been hosting for Prism Book Tours since September of 2017 – having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. As I enquired about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. Oft-times you’ll find Prism Book Tours alighting on my blog through the series of guest features and spotlights with notes I’ll be hosting on behalf of their authors when I’m not showcasing book reviews on behalf of Harlequin Heartwarming which has become my second favourite imprint of Harlequin next to my beloved #LoveINSPIRED Suspense. I am also keenly happy PRISM hosts a variety of Indie Authors and INSPY Fiction novelists.

I received a complimentary copy of “Inventing Vivian” direct from the publisher Covenant Communications, Inc. in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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On what drew my eye towards this novel & author:

I, admit, the past several months I’ve had a lot on my mind and my attention on my blog hasn’t quite been what it used to be prior to my return to work. There was a short expanse of time in Spring where I had better focus, but honestly, #WyrdAndWonder gave me the blessing of being able to stay super focused on genre (ie. Fantasy) and allowed me the grace of dissolving into beloved reads and treasured characters’ journeys. I met new authors in their stories and I found new worlds and series I cannot wait to read further as new installments emerge; yet, two of those final reads have been left stagnant awaiting me on my desk, as ever since June first began (including the first week AFTER our lovely event this May) — we’ve had nothing but seriously difficult weather patterns!

The lightning has been unreal this year – although, its a yearly angst, I had 29 out of 30 days of June dealing with it, including 10x of grief without connectivity. Whilst 9 out of the past 10 days of July have been a repeat of June’s weather. I’ve also worked a solid 3x weeks with only 1x day off which hasn’t left me a lot of personal time to read or think about revising the drafts I have leftover from #WyrdAndWonder, or the goals I had set forth for my Summer reading plans. Including announcement formally my new even co-hosted with Peyton, #MyYASummer! (grr!)

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Somewhere in that recent bit of chaotic hours, I’ve overlooked the fact this novel Inventing Vivian is a sequel and the second in a series. I learnt there is a novella (blessedly on audio!) prequel as well — however, I learnt this as I was picking up this particular novel to read and thereby, despite my efforts checking all my local & regional libraries – no one has these titles in print or audio sadly to borrow this weekend. I decided to read this novel after gleaming a bit from the chapter samplers online and meet the series in the second installment. It breaks a pattern I prefer in how I read series but I’ve done this a few times with success with Harlequin Heartwarming novelists and a few others as well, to where I can align myself into a series without having the grace of knowing the characters in the first novel.

I intend to seek out the other stories but for now, what intrigued me the most about wanting to read this story is both the setting (have a great fond affection for the Victorians!) and the fact, this is an INSPY release by a publisher I haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading previously! I am a HUGE fan of INSPY Lit – both Historical and Contemporary, so whenever I see a chance to read an author by a publisher of INSPY I haven’t yet locked eyes on in a story, I am truly grateful for a blog tour to allow the meeting to happen! Plus, of course, I am dearly addicted to Historical Mysteries and Feminist Fiction.

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A #HistoricalMondays Book Review | Feminist forward #HistRom set in the Victorian 19thC feat. STEM minded women who are fiercely independent within the pages of “Inventing Vivian” (Book Two: The Blue Orchard Society series) by Jennifer MooreInventing Vivian
Subtitle: A Blue Orchid Society novel | A Victorian Romance
by Jennifer Moore
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

Ladies of London’s High Society are known for their social graces and poise. Vivian Kirby boasts neither of these enviable qualities, though she does offer impressive conversation on chemical compositions. Unfortunately, it appears that not many men want a brilliant wife. So it is that Vivian finds kinship with a group of young women who embrace each other’s differences: The Blue Orchid Society. 

After an extended stay in China, Lord Benedict has returned transformed to his family’s estate, where an encounter with Vivian, whose scientific knowledge he once undermined, leaves him determined to make amends. He arranges to help forward her research—anonymously, of course. Through letters, Vivian establishes a warm friendship with her secret benefactor, even as she’s unexpectedly drawn into a murder investigation that forces her to work alongside Benedict to unearth the truth. Soon, Vivian fears she may be falling in love with two men, never suspecting that they are one and the same.

Genres: Historical Fiction, Feminist Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Amateur Detective, Cosy Historical Mystery, Science & Technology



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781524418946

Published by Covenant Communications Inc

on 7th June, 2021

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 212

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The Blue Orchid Society series:

(more info on author’s blog) wherein I was right, there are truly six women!
(can we just pause a moment & take stock of their outfits? LOVE Vivian’s ensemble!)

Solving Sophronia by Jennifer MooreInventing Vivian by Jennifer Moore

Emmeline (prequel novella or 0.5)

Having read the synopsis – I knew quite immediately, I’d be keenly curious to read this story or rather, as I cannot read digitally, listen to this novella on audiobook! There is something curious about how two people who have such friction with each other who are constantly placed in each others’ path to give you a happy dose of curiosity to see how and when they’ll start to see each other differently! Plus, I spent a full year (approx. five years ago) reading Historical Feminist Fiction – wherein, I learnt a lot about the suffragette movement and have continued to seek out stories of that nature whenever I get the chance to read them. It is essential reading for all women – to both understand our present rights and the hard-won fight we had to endure to secure them in the past. Whilst mindful of how fragile those rights are still as their constantly being debated and attempted to be removed even in today’s world.

Emmeline sounds exactly like the kind of heroine I would enjoy rallying behind – here is what I gleamed out of the chapter sampler online: Arthur for all his bluster was at a complete loss to keep company in conversation with Emmeline because she, for whichever reason caught him off-guard and without a way to defend his positions. He clearly was not a bourne believer in Feminist rights nor in the ability to see gender equality but he for his own sake held his own until he abandoned the fight altogether – in that short expanse of seeing him quite befuddled and put to rights by Emmeline, I knew this was a novella I would quite devour! And, rightly so! It is hard to find a well-writ Historical drama set during the Suffragette movement where both men and women are on their game and give you such a delish bout of dialogue to soak inside!

Emmaline is definitely the kind of heroine I want to read about further and I am thankful for the sampler to introduce me both to this series and to a character who is equally as well-developed and fully alive as Arthur is himself. A credit to Ms Moore and her tenacious eye on this setting in History. I can tell it will be a pure delight to listen to this once I’ve secured a copy on audiobook.

Solving Sophronia (book one)

Alas! The Blue Orchid Society was launched (per this novel’s synopsis) due to the goals of five women – each of them, I would presume want to break convention and go their own way in life at a time where women were fighting for gender equality & the rights all of us today are thankful for their fight so many years ago. I had a feeling the Society had something to do with women coming together – either for mutual benefit or as mentioned, for sisterhood fellowship. It is fitting there are five women – which means, this must be a quartet, with Emmeline’s story (the fifth) being the extra one or its a full quintet and hers was a bonus story and she’s the six member rather than the fifth? Either way, I’m equally more curious to read this lovely than I was after reading about Emmeline! It isn’t oft I find a series that situates itself in a timescape that I delight in reading about about topics that interest me as much as this one is now.

It was through her acknowledgements in this novel where you really gather the feel for how she textured her series and how she plotted out the five novels and Emmeline’s novella. Interestingly, I hadn’t expected to find out she was fully new to all of this – the setting, the suffragette movement and even the forensic knowledge of the era! Most of the authors she credited with a boost of informational nudges are ones I’ve read myself (ie. Carla Kelly being a stand-out in my own readerly life as well) — whilst I am so thankful Ms Moore found “Murdoch Mysteries” as for me, it is a family favourite as well. Until of course, we reached one of the last years (Season 10 I believe?) and we couldn’t take it anymore – it was after they killed off a beloved constable – so if that sounds familiar, you know whom was lost and why it was too hard to return. Murdoch as a series is landmark though for showing historical forensics (even if they play liberties at times) and for showcasing non-conventional women succeeding in fields wherein you might not expect them to find success. Its a beautiful series!

I decided to hold off reading further into this sampler as I intuited enough through the acknowledgements and synopsis to realise its a winner for me!! I’d much prefer to read the novel just as it is and enjoy it after I listen to Emmeline’s novella. Which of course, means, I’ll have to re-read Vivian’s novel as everything will have new dimension for me, too!

Inventing Vivian (book two)

Hazel | Elizabeth | Dahlia ← forthcoming installments!

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Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #HistoricalRomance, #HistRom and #HistoricalMysteries

About Jennifer Moore

Jennifer Moore

Jennifer Moore is a passionate reader and writer of all things romance due to the need to balance the rest of her world that includes a perpetually traveling husband and four active sons, who create heaps of laundry that are anything but romantic. She suffers from an acute addiction to 18th and 19th century military history and literature. Jennifer has a B.A. in Linguistics from the University of Utah and is a Guitar Hero champion. She lives in northern Utah with her family, but most of the time wishes she was on board a frigate during the Age of Sail.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2021 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Monday, 12 July, 2021 by jorielov in 19th Century, Blog Tour Host, Historical Romance, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Sisterhood friendships, the Victorian era