Genre: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945)

#SatBookChat Spotlight | featured guest Viv Royce discusses her Little Shops on Heart Street series during #SatBookChat!

Posted Saturday, 18 January, 2020 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

You might have missed my #blogmas book review for the first novel in this series “A Family by Christmas” – wherein, two of my #ChristmasReads and library purchase requests were thankfully able to arrive in time for me to read ahead of Christmas week! Both this novel by Ms Royce and “Christmas Once Again” were the top favourites of my #blogmas reviews as I was able to settle into a few Christmassy stories despite being taken ill by a Winter cold!

You might recognise our featured guest today as she is the host of her lovely chat #HistFicChat wherein all of us who love to chatter about Historical Fiction come together to share and discuss the stories which are intriguing to us all within the scope of the historical past! You can see why I took to that chat like a duck to water – I practically time jump round History every month of every year – so it is true delight to get to engage with those authors & remain in the know about which new books are currently getting published which might tempt me to add to my #nextreads list!

She was also one of our featured guests last year – you can read the transcript of our previous #SatBookChat (Part One & Part Two) wherein we happily were focusing on her Cosy Historical Mystery series: Merriweather and Royston wherein I read the first novel whilst we touched a bit on all her other series in-progress and of which were coming up to be published next. It was quite a well-rounded #SatBookChat!

If you’ve missed my previous ruminations about this series let me share this ahead of #SatBookChat this Saturday morning:

The Contemporary style is similar to what you’d find inside In Peppermint Peril as Royce loves using small towne life as an anchour to her character’s life – which of course, makes me especially happy as I love the ambiance of small towne culture and the aspects of how the community itself plays an important role in the life of a character. In this instance, she’s given us three newer residents (Casey and her father Grant as well as Emma herself) who are attempting to find their way in both the towne and in their lives.

Royce allows you to see the emotional anguish in Grant – of how the toll of losing his wife is affecting him not just on a personal level of dealing with the grief of her loss but how he’s having issues parenting Casey. Even the small joys of story-telling at night is a tricky operation for him and during the daytime he finds himself less anxious and less liable to give into his war of memories which is slowly eating him from the inside out. You can understand his struggles – the difficulty of resolving the loss and the transitions into being as single father without his wife by his side. Royce gives you this time in his life full justice without sugar coating it and honestly depicting the harder moments of a father struggling to resolve his heart as he recognises that he’s changed since his wife died.

Royce has a knack for writing Contemporary Romantic drama – for giving her characters the space and time they need to work through their own internal battles and to give a reader a chance to see peek into a community they would be grateful to call their own. This is definitely one story I am glad I heard about on Twitter and am dearly wicked thankful I could read as it is another reason why I am enjoying my discovery of Entangled Publishing as a new place to find the Romance novels I must enjoy reading!!

-a quote from my review of A Family by Christmas

I had mentioned on my review I would be seeking out this series continiously through my local library and I have wonderful news to share today! They accepted my purchase request for the sequel “A Valentine Proposal” and I am hoping it shall come into the library’s system in time for me to borrow it ahead of St. Valentine’s Day! Wouldn’t that be grand?!

Technically speaking – I’ve had a very good New Year’s via the library – they accepted 5 of 5 requests and I couldn’t be happier – not just for myself but for the other patrons who will be able to ‘meet’ these books after I’ve met them myself. I love encouraging new purchases for this reason – they do not just help us with ouer readerly pursuits, they help introduce others to stories & authors they might not have found without our requests to bring them into the library.

You’ll note throughout my Story Vault are mentions of Sweet Romances which are either mainstream releases like this one or INSPY releases – I happen to love the gentler side of Romance as much as I love curling into an INSPY Romantic Suspense novel – sometimes it is just lovely to tuck into a sweeter side of the genre where you feel like you’ve stepped through a Hallmark Channel Romance movie!

As a hybrid reader of mainstream & INSPY Fiction – I happily take a walkabout through both literary destinations frequently and happily love sharing the joy of the authors who are writing the stories I am enjoying to read. They give you a happy burst of happiness to find and their stories are blessedly heartwarming to read.

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I hope you’ve brewed a cuppa to enjoy the information on this spotlighted post in conjunction with @SatBookChat whilst taking time to visit our past chats archived via the Moments on the chat’s feeds via Twitter. This chat will be archived after it concludes and a bit lateron from there to allow everyone the chance to interact, share and respond.

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Without further adieu,
I give you the latest #SatBookChat spotlight
wherein you can learn a bit more about the author & her story.

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A Valentine Proposal by Viv Royce

The 2nd novel released 13th January, 2020!

The Synopsis for A Valentine Proposal:

Just as free-spirited bookstore employee Cleo Davis faces closure of her beloved shop, the owner informs her it will continue as part of the successful Stephens chain. When the chain’s risk assessor, the very reserved, very attractive Mark Stephens, enters the store to look over her business plan, Cleo clashes with him right away. Oil and water have nothing on them.

Mark has always followed the rules. But the minute he steps into vibrant and spunky Cleo’s store, he knows he’s in trouble. One moment he’s in her “craft corner” painting bookends with kids, the next in a bidding war with Cleo at a charity auction. He can’t deny that opposites attract, and Cleo’s vivacious personality has him rethinking his life in more ways than one.

But when Cleo’s store officially becomes part of the bookstore chain, Mark will become her boss…and completely off limits.

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Posted Saturday, 18 January, 2020 by jorielov in #SatBookChat, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event

A #blogmas #HarlequinHeartwarming Blog Book Tour | “The Christmas Kiss” (Back to Bluestone River series, Book Two) by Virginia McCullough

Posted Friday, 13 December, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#blogmas 2019 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 enquiried about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. I am unsure how many books I’ll review for them as most are offered digitally rather than in print but this happily marks one of the blog tours where I could receive a print book for review purposes. 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.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Christmas Kiss” direct from the author Virginia McCullough in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I enjoy reading a Virginia McCullough
Harlequin Heartwarming novel:

Ruby is the kind of woman who likes to see the potential in life rather than the sour lemons that can upset your plans. She wouldn’t be the first to admit that losing a job she believed in struck her in the heart and was effectively difficult to re-group after due to how much of herself she put into the belief her job was one that had mattered. Instead, she put on the kind of brave face you hope will soak through you the longer you wear it and decides to re-settle into her hometowne of Bluestone River! This coming off the suggestions of her bestie Emma kept nudging her with photos of the open prairie grasses, the calming scenes of wildlife and the potential of what Ruby might find once she arrived. I think the key word there is how Ruby might find something she hadn’t planned to find and thereby, finding a new way forward when life felt like it was falling apart. That’s a sentiment I think most can relate too when things go south and you have to rebuild your life.

Counter to Ruby’s woes are Emma’s concerns for her own health – as she has a serious condition that requires not just surgery but loads of patience as the recovery isn’t an easy one. These are two woman at cornerstones of their lives seeking comfort and shelter together if only to weather the storms and find a way to come through them a bit less affected than if they were to ride them out alone. Although the same could be said for Mike and his young son Jason; as they were two warriors riding into their own storm as well. Mike was the kind of father who was not just committed to his son but he was an encourager of random joy. He liked to keep the legacy of how he was raised in the growing years of his son Jason, even if his own childhood and his son’s held a few stark differences between them. For instance, when Mike was growing up he wasn’t struggling with PTSD like his son but there was solace in being back in Bluestone River. The area held a calmness over it – where the natural world in of itself had the best calming effect on the residents and perhaps, a healing effect as well.

I liked how McCullough took her time in allowing Jason to come round to others; how he interacted with his father, his teacher and even new persons he was just starting to meet like Ruby and Peach (the dog). His behaviour matched what you would expect from a young child who was struggling with the issues he had and yet, each time he was in-scene, it felt organic, honest and real. Nothing felt forced and I appreciated the realism and the extra touches of honesty threading into how Jason was portrayed.

McCullough tackles childhood PTSD and what causes a child to be mute rather than to speak through their emotions and their crises; giving new empathy for how PTSD affects children but also, how sometimes children find the hardest part of their recovery and healing process is resuming the art of speaking. Words have a lot of hidden meanings but they also hold a lot of truths that can be hard to speak; which I felt is partially why Jason might have stopped speaking as his reality had become shattered in such a tragic and traumatic way, it was easy to see why his voice might have become silent for awhile.

There is an ease of awareness and of setting here – you can tell McCullough has taken her time to develop this series, of giving us a well-rounded and well-thought out plotting to where the foundation of the series can build out of this first installment. It is a place that isn’t entirely without its prickles of angst but it has a heart-centred feel to it which gives you the hope of what could happen if people allow themselves to forgive the past and to seek a future without allowing the past to dictate how your life is meant to be lived.

-quoted from my review of A Family for Jason

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A #blogmas #HarlequinHeartwarming Blog Book Tour | “The Christmas Kiss” (Back to Bluestone River series, Book Two) by Virginia McCulloughThe Christmas Kiss
Subtitle: Back to Bluestone River
by Virginia McCullough
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

Will working together

…lead to together forever?

Recently divorced, Parker Davis needs to focus on his new job so he can provide a stable home for his daughter in time for the Christmas holidays. The problem is, he’s frequently at odds with his boss. He and Emma O’Connell approach everything differently. Yet he finds her intriguing, and Bluestone River festivities keep pushing them together—often enough that two people at odds could find themselves evenly matched in love!

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781335510969

Also by this author: A Family for Jason

Also in this series: A Family for Jason


Genres: Christmas Story &/or Christmas Romance, Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Romance Fiction


Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 3rd December, 2019

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 375

Published by: Harlequin Heartwarming

Converse via: #Contemporary + #Romance and #HarlequinHeartwarming

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Back to Bluestone River series:

A Family for Jason (book one) : Ruby & Mike’s story (see also Review)

The Christmas Kiss (book two) : Emma & Parker’s story

I love how the sequel involves Emma! She’s Ruby’s best friend & she helped Ruby become re-established back into Bluestone River. I thought it was fitting she’d get her own story after finding out how tied-in she is to the community & Ruby’s life!

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About Virginia McCullough

Virginia McCullough

Born and raised in Chicago, Virginia McCullough has been lucky enough to develop her writing career in many locations, including the coast of Maine, the mountains of North Carolina, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and currently, Northeast Wisconsin. She started her career in nonfiction, first writing articles and then books as a ghostwriter and coauthor. She’s written more than 100 books for physicians, business owners, professional speakers and many others with information to share or a story to tell.

Virginia’s books feature characters who could be your neighbors and friends. They come in all ages and struggle with everyday life issues in small-town environments that almost always include water—oceans, lakes, or rivers. The mother of two grown children, you’ll find Virginia with her nose a book, walking on trails or her neighborhood street, or she may be packing her bag to take off for her next adventure. And she’s always working on another story about hope, healing, and second chances.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Friday, 13 December, 2019 by jorielov in 21st Century, A Father's Heart, Blog Tour Host, Bookmark slipped inside a Review Book, Contemporary Romance, Content Note, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Fly in the Ointment, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Indie Author, Life Shift, Modern Day, Mute | Medical Loss of Voice, Prism Book Tours, PTSD, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Single Fathers, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, Special Needs Children

A #ChristmasReads selection of Jorie’s during #blogmas | “A Family by Christmas” (Book One: Little Shops on Heart Street series) by Viv Royce

Posted Thursday, 12 December, 2019 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

#blogmas 2019 badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Borrowed Book By: I came to find out about this Christmas Romance release as I follow the social feeds on Twitter for Vivian Conroy – of whom is the writer behind this novel. She writes for different publishers and uses a few different pen names to denote which type of story and/or series she is writing. When I learnt about this upcoming Christmas release I asked my local library to purchase a copy as I was hoping they might consider it for one of their new Christmas selections for the year. I happily received the news they did select it and was thankful I had the chance to read it during #blogmas.

Therefore borrowed a print copy of “A Family by Christmas” from my local library and I was not obligated to post a review and are sharing my ruminations with my readers for my own edification as well as happily sharing my bookish life with my readers and visitors alike. The Press Materials however were provided by the author and are used with permission.

On how I came to find this author:

I first became introduced to this author’s writing style through her Cosy Historical and Cosy Contemporary Mysteries – as I previously read “In Peppermint Peril” for last year’s #cloakanddaggerchristmas readathon and I had the joyful pleasure of being involved in the Twitter chat #Conroy10 which celebrated the release of “The Butterfly Conspiracy” before I had the chance to read the book myself!

However, more to the point, I truly came to know her as a writer and as a conversationalist through her Historical Fiction Twitter chat #HistFicChat – of which we both share a mutually beloved passion for the historic past as explored through today’s Historical narratives which criss-cross through History and give us a wicked good impression of the past!

This marks the first release of her Contemporary Romances by Entangled Publishing – a new Indie publisher I was thankful to have crossed paths with as they offer romances within a lot of the sub-genres of interest I have as a Romance reader.

When I learnt of the release for “A Family by Christmas” I knew I wanted to see if my local library could purchase it in time to read by Christmas. What I hadn’t expected was reading it in the golden hour of having it a bit too long due to my father’s medical crisis & my Winter cold which not just took me offline for a week but also had me have a bit of amnesia when it came to my library account! I completely lost track of ‘where’ I was with my borrows both for print and audio – so I quickly made amends to get this novel & Ms Bacarr’s novel back to the library for the next borrowers in queue to read them before Christmas!

I also had the pleasure of hosting Vivian Conroy during one of my 2019 @SatBookChat‘s! The archived conversations are available to be seen in @SatBookChat’s Moments.

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A #ChristmasReads selection of Jorie’s during #blogmas | “A Family by Christmas” (Book One: Little Shops on Heart Street series) by Viv RoyceA Family by Christmas
Subtitle: Sometimes Wishes Do Come True | Little Shops on Heart Street
by Viv Royce
Source: Borrowed from local library, Purchase REQ | local library

Chocolatier Emma Miller has a new business selling bonbons to the residents of the quaint town of Wood Creek. When a tiny visitor stops by her shop with an interesting request. Emma is intrigued. The young girl needs chocolates that will help her widowed dad fall in love, preferably with her teacher. What Emma didn’t count on was Casey’s ever so charming and handsome dad, Grant, stepping into her life. She has to remind herself to be cautious because the one thing she learned in foster care is that people always leave.

Pilot Grant Galloway is touched by his daughter’s gift and is curious about the person who made the world-class chocolates. But when he steps into Emma’s shop full of delicious smells and tasty morsels, he forgets to breathe. And it has nothing to do with the his favourite desert. She’s pretty and kind, and when she has to deal with a difficult client, his protective instincts kick into high gear. But he risked his heart once. When his wife died, it left him broken. He’s just now beginning to pick up the pieces, and he and his daughter will be leaving town once the holidays are over.

Thanks to some Christmas wishes, though, these two might discover that their carefully laid plans are about to change.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1694079374

Genres: Christmas Story &/or Christmas Romance, Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Cookery, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Sweet Romance


Published by Entangled Publishing

on 18th September, 2019

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 160

Published by: Entangled Publishing (@entangledpub)

Available Formats: Trade paperback and Ebook

Christmas Romance Book Icon made by Jorie in Canva.

Converse via: #ChristmasRomance and #SweetRomance

About Viv Royce

A Family by Christmas promo banner provided by the author Viv Royce and is used with permission.

With the same trademark atmospheric settings, relatable characters and cute canines that made several of her cozy mysteries #1 Amazon US and Canada bestsellers in multiple categories, Vivian Conroy pens romance as Viv Royce, creating heartthrob heroes ranging from rugged pilots to royals reluctant to believe in true love who meet their match in that girl next door or the co-worker with the business ideas exactly opposing their own – happy endings guaranteed! When not frequenting fictional worlds, Viv loves to hike (especially in the mountains), craft with paper, felt and clay, and hunt for the perfect cheesecake. Quite active on Twitter, she's the founder of #HistFicChat, a live Twitter chat about historical fiction, featuring authors like Kate Quinn, Anna Lee Huber and Susan Spann, and would love for readers to follow her and connect via @VivWrites.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Thursday, 12 December, 2019 by jorielov in #blogmas, #JorieLovesIndies, A Father's Heart, Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), Christmas Romance &/or Holiday Story, Contemporary Romance, Family Drama, Family Life, Fathers and Daughters, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Foster Care, Indie Author, Life Shift, Motherhood | Parenthood, New England, Northeast USA, Orphans & Guardians, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Single Fathers, Singletons & Commitment, Small Towne Fiction, Sudden Absence of Parent, Sweet Romance, Widows & Widowers