Genre: Contemporary Romance

+Author Guest Post+ Enquiring about time slips and their unique style of story-telling on behalf of ChocLit author Christina Courtenay!

Posted Saturday, 10 May, 2014 by jorielov , , , , 2 Comments

Guest Post by Parajunkee

Christina Courtenay

Proposed Topic: Having visited with you on The Word Wenches in February, I am aware of the fact that time slips are your favourite stories to become wrapped up inside. How do you approach writing a time slip and allowing the reader to alight inside a story which is half hinged in two separate time settings? What do you feel is the greatest challenge in presenting both eras with a visceral presence for the reader?

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The Silent Touch of Shadows by Christina Courtenay

 Book Synopsis: 

What will it take to put the past to rest? Professional genealogist Melissa Grantham receives an invitation to visit her family’s ancestral home, Ashleigh Manor. From the moment she arrives, life-like dreams and visions haunt her. The spiritual connection to a medieval young woman and her forbidden lover have her questioning her sanity, but Melissa is determined to solve the mystery.

Jake Precy, owner of a nearby cottage, has disturbing dreams too, but it’s not until he meets Melissa that they begin to make sense. He hires her to research his family’s history, unaware their lives are already entwined. Is the mutual attraction real or the result of ghostly interference?

A haunting love story set partly in the present and partly in fifteenth century Kent.

The Secret Kiss of Darkness by Christina Courtenay

Book Synopsis: 

Must forbidden love end in heartbreak?

Kayla Sinclair knows she’s in big trouble when she almost bankrupts herself to buy a life-size portrait of a mysterious eighteenth century man at an auction.

Jago Kerswell, innkeeper and smuggler, knows there is danger in those stolen moments with Lady Eliza Marcombe, but he’ll take any risk to be with her.

Over two centuries separate Kayla and Jago, but, when Kayla’s jealous fiancé presents her with an ultimatum, and Jago and Eliza’s affair is tragically discovered, their lives become inextricably linked thanks to a gypsy’s spell.

Kayla finds herself on a quest that could heal the past, but what she cannot foresee is the danger in her own future.

Will Kayla find heartache or happiness?

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Q. How do you approach writing a time slip and allowing the reader to alight inside a story which is half hinged in two separate time settings?

A. First of all you have to have something that connects the two time periods, and authors use a lot of different devices to achieve that. It can be that the heroine in the present finds the diary of an ancestor, for example, or stumbles across an ancient family secret – perhaps told to her by an older relative. Or the heroine in the present can see (and hear) a ghost or somehow become connected to an ancestor or someone in the past via dreams, past life regression (usually done with hypnotherapy) or some other paranormal manner. I’ve read stories where the connection was through an object, like a mirror or a piece of jewellery. And in my novel The Silent Touch of Shadows I used the fact that the heroine was a genealogist in order for her to piece together the life on an ancestor through the old documents she finds. There is also a ghost, but he doesn’t actually tell her anything about the past, he is just the catalyst that sets her off on her quest to find out what happened to him.

As he’s been a ghost for over 600 years, the heroine wonders (as would I!) why his soul would stay in the same place for so long and she figures it’s because he has unfinished business, which can be the case in these stories as well. Often, it is something evil (or an evil person’s soul) which has lived on because it is still seeking revenge or wanting to continue to do horrible things, and that can work very well as a plot device too. In the case of my book, it’s not the spirit who is evil, but what was done to him that prevents him from finding eternal rest.

Once you have the connection with the past, you can start to write the two stories and try to weave them together. I don’t usually find this all that difficult really because I have both plot strands in my mind at the same time and I know how I want them to intertwine. The only problem lies in making the transition between the two as smooth as possible each time so that the reader can follow them easily and not be jolted out of the story.

Q. What do you feel is the greatest challenge in presenting both eras with a visceral presence for the reader?

A. It is a challenge to keep the reader engaged in both stories without losing interest or forgetting what was happening. I try to alternate the sections so that they are not too long, and thereby hopefully the plot strands will be fresh in the readers’ mind. As the author, you have to remember which section you’re working on and make sure that you get the language absolutely right – you can’t use writing with a more historical ‘feel’ in the scenes set in the present and vice versa. For the historical parts you have to remember not to use words that hadn’t been invented at that time, whereas for the scenes in the present you have to be careful not to sound too old-fashioned. One way of doing that would be to write each story separately and combine them afterwards, but that doesn’t work for me so I just have to try and switch mindset for each section.

I do love the time slip format because I’m fascinated by the idea that our souls might live on somehow after we pass away, and although I’m terrified of ghosts, at the same time it is a comforting thought that life could go on in some form. Part of the fun of this genre is that anything goes – the author can invent ways of showing the reader (and the hero/heroine too) that there is life after death. I always like stories where good triumphs over evil, so I’m sure that’s part of every novel I write.

I also like time slips because you get the best of two (or even three!) genres – historical and contemporary, sometimes with the paranormal added. That makes them less likely to feel identical to something else you’ve read recently and most time slip authors have their own take on the genre so they vary a lot.

Some authors, like Susanna Kearsley, weave in lots of history in a truly effortless way so that you are learning along with the heroine in the present. That, for me, is wonderful! And others, like Barbara Erskine, add seriously chilling aspects, making them more akin to ghost stories or even horror, so yet again this is different. Although she has also taught me a lot about history, especially the Romans and the Celts in Britain.

In my latest time slip novel, The Secret Kiss of Darkness, I took a more light-hearted approach and created a hero whose soul is trapped in a painting by means of a gypsy’s curse. I would love to know if readers find it as easy to suspend disbelief with a story line like that rather than a more traditional ghost story? Personally, I don’t mind and am happy to go along with whatever an author comes up with – I just love the time slip genre whichever way it’s done!

Many thanks for having me as your guest!

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Author Connections:

Personal Site | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Converse via: #TheSilentTouchOfShadows & #TheSecretKissOfDarkness

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As you were relaying the keystone characteristics of ‘time slips’ used in fictional stories as a method of telling one particular story with elements of the paranormal as much as parapsychology, I found myself rather bemused by the fact that despite knowing the ‘tricks of the trade’ to insert the dialogue and story into a reader’s mind — I am never found in want or need to be tricked nor entertained. The writers I have been blessed to read and/or watch if on the level I am watching a motion picture with the same story threads as the novels; convey their stories in such a way as to distort reality with a gentle hand. They have a way of allowing us to believe the intangible and improbable as to give us a footing on solid ground when there should be nothing but air! I love how we can take that leap of faith with the writer and peer into their world in which their characters are set to explore! It is quite a heap of fun truly, to go between two distinct time periods and see how true the writer kept to each whilst never deterring from the heart of the story they are telling at the same time.

You mentioned one bit that was most curious and I tend to agree with you: most hauntings are not about ghosts bent towards evil but rather there are circumstances in their lives which took an evil tilt. I oft wonder if a lot of the lost souls who are still wandering and seeking are truly lost or if they are hoping to find someone who can unravell the missing bits of truth needed to find peace? I loved in your Acknowledgements for In The Silent Touch of Shadows,you had relayed visiting a haunted house but were ever so blessed the ghost gave you a wide birth! I tend to agree with you again in this regard, as although I am open to the fact there is much we have little understanding of between the veils of the worlds, I too, believe I might be pushed a bit past my envelope of what I could accept if a ghost simply walked up to me, sat down, and asked to chat over tea! Oy.

So much of our lives are lived on faith and the hope of what has yet to become revealed to us, and in that, we are left with not only unanswered questions and curiosities, but a lot of theories about what will come next and where we shall find ourselves. I think part of the joy in being a writer is not only exploring what keeps our curiosity healthy whilst we are alive, but to impart a bit of what implores us to remain open to ideas and situations that take us outside our zones of familiarity and comfort. Reading opens the horizons to uncharted realms of plausibility but writing endeavours us to encompass everything we understand and everything we have yet to conceive possible. I love the ability to create everything from nothing and to explore how far nothingness can take us if we are willing to make the connection from our heart to our imagination. Imagination is truly the key which unlocks the mysteries of where our pen wants to lead us.

I commend you for being able to write in both a modern vernacular and in a historical one, as I tend to be a hybrid of both on a regular basis out of my pure zest for Old English expressions and words in which are not always as relevant today as they were in yesteryear. Susanna Kearsley is on my TBR List, as I spotlighted one of her novels in my Autumn Top Ten Tuesday Lists of books which whet an interest to delve into whereas with Barbara Erskine I am in need of researching her books! I love the recommendation, as I can never run out of possible next reads!

I shall be able to answer your last question in regards to The Secret Kiss of Darkness, after I have had the pleasure of soaking into its covers! I have elected to read it last from my latest ChocLit offerings to savour the fact I enjoyed winning it from my visit with the Wenches! It was quite a delightful keepsake from such a lovely afternoon of conversation and sharing about a mutual love of time slips! I tend to be a bird of the same feather as you though, as no matter how a writer chooses to tell their tale, if I can make a connection to the characters and story, I am seriously in love with the experience they give me through their choices!

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I’d like to thank Ms. Courtenay for providing such a wonderful explanation of how she approaches time slip fiction and what motivates her to continue to explore the thematic as she pens her stories! What a wonderful discovery to find an author who is as in tune with this curious branch of literature as much as I am attempting to become myself! The full scope of this Guest Post was in part due to my visit with The Word Wenches whereupon I learnt a bit more about their individual attachments to the time slip phenom as much as how Ms. Courtenay appreciated it herself. I wanted to expand a bit on that lovely experience and give a bit more insight to my readers who might be curious about time slips and find themselves wanting to explore authors & stories set inside this unique setting!

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This Author Guest Post is courtesy of ChocLitUK,

ChocLitUK Reviewercheck out my upcoming bookish event and mark your calendars!

Previously I have had the honour of

reviewing & showcasing guest posts by ChocLit Authors!

My book review of “The Silent Touch of Shadows” & “Flight to Coorah Creek” post before Saturday, 17th! And, “The Secret Kiss of Darkness” shall round out this batch of ChocLit novels which have alighted in my reading life on 7th of June! I do apologise for the absence I have given on behalf of my book reviews & archives of #ChocLitSaturdays chats as I was dealing with personal stress which took me away from my blog life for a short bit of time.

#ChocLitSaturdays | a feature exclusive to Jorie Loves A Story

Don’t forget : #ChocLitSaturdays has expanded to include a weekly chat via http://twubs.com/choclitsaturdays! Stay around at 11am EST | 8am PST | 4pm UK | 1am Australia for a lovely spontaneous conversation about ‘time slips’ & “The Silent Touch of Shadows”! All romance booklovers are welcome to join in on the joy of our conversations! Remember to login via Twubs with your regular Twitter account! Do not look like a ‘penguin’ as tweets will not go to Twitter! I look forward to seeing you in convo on Twubs OR in these comment threads!

{NOTE: Similar to blog tours, when I feature a showcase for an author via a Guest Post, Q&A, Interview, etc., I do not receive compensation for featuring supplemental content on my blog.}

{SOURCES: Author photograph, Author Biography, Book Synopsises, Book Covers, and ChocLit Reviewer badge were provided by ChocLitUK and were used by permission. Jorie requested an Author Guest Post from Christina Courtenay through ChocLitUK of which she received a reply. She wanted to expand her knowledge of how one writer approaches the art of writing stories with time slips. Guest Post badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Jorie Loves A Story badge created by Ravven with edits by Jorie in FotoFlexer. #ChocLitSaturdays collage was created by Jorie in PicMonkey. Post dividers & My Thoughts badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

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Posted Saturday, 10 May, 2014 by jorielov in 15th Century, 21st Century, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Ghost Story, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Gothic Literature, Haunting & Ethereal, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Magical Realism, Paranormal Romance, Parapsychological Suspense, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author, Romance Fiction, Time Slip, Time Travel Romance

Jorie’s Box of Joy No.2 : Endeavouring to expand my literary wings with stories of enchanting themes!

Posted Monday, 28 April, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , 4 Comments

Jorie's Box of Joy | A Feature of Jorie Loves A Story

One of the happiest moments for a book blogger is eagerly going to their postbox & seeing what delightfully wicked print books have arrived for their reading pleasure! I have always held a keen interest in postal mail, being a long-term postal letter correspondent which has given me such a heart of joy seeing envelopes & bundles of love arrive from dear friends around the world. Imagine my new excitement in seeing the books I am reviewing arriving by publisher, author, publicist, or literary agent! Such an exciting new chapter in postal splendor!

I have been wanting to blog about my excitement about being placed on certain blog tours and/or in receiving books for review direct from authors, publishers, or publicists. I originally came across a weekly meme on Mondays entitled Mailbox Monday and you could say, that my new feature on Jorie Loves A Story is an extended idea from the original! Except to say, with one minor switch-up! Although I attempt to write down when books arrive by Post, I am never quite as certain when the books arrive as I am always reading the next book in hand! Therefore, please join me as I get excited about the books on my shelf which are next in line to read!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comSeeing Green by Annabel HertzI am always attempting to keep myself open to reading books which push me outside the comforts of what I regularly read in order to keep my reading life an evolving journey towards exploring every facet of literature that I can as I shift from one author to another. When I first saw this particular book being offered on tour with JKS Communications, part of me was excited in seeing a book step forward that was not the traditional story to empathsis our need to be more environmentally conscience in our livelihoods as much as in how we approach living day to day. This book I felt would not only challenge me as a reader but it would challenge a few precepts of where I thought we had broached to head next on an environmental level and where we still have a heap of work to undergo towards reaching a pinnacle of progress as a society with a green-mindset in place to help future generations make better choices than the ones who came before them. I find the topic of environmental conservation and preservation as stimulating as discussing green-minded practices in business, commerce, and trade. To uncover green sources of energy, materials, and supplies which take the burden off the Earth and allow us to live a healthier life overall is quite enticing.

My review will post Thursday, 1st May.

Flight to Coorah Creek by Janet Gover

Happily in the wake of my first #ChocLitSaturdays Chat on Twitter {Backstory of the Chat & Info prior to Launch} I am going to be reading a new-to-me ChocLitUK author: Janet Gover! Her book stood out to me for several reasons, but one is my love & appreciation for small townes combined with the Australian Outback! I wanted to take a step outside my natural tendency to read historical fiction and enter into the realm of a Contemporary Romance set in a remote location where true to a small towne flair of sensibility everyone knows the affairs of your life and truly looks out for you at the same time. I wanted to try out stories from ChocLit which could introduce me to not only more new authors but new styles of writing as well. I do not often read Contemporary Romances, although I simply adore Sherryl Wood’s Serenity series (wait, I think that is my endearing name for it! oh, yes, “The Sweet Magnolias”!) as much as books by Debbie Macomber! I have settled inside the Victorian & Regency eras so readily the past several years, that I have forgotten that I do indeed appreciate a lovely story set in the modern world with contemporary characters! I also felt this one might have a heap of intriguing scenery to boot, as the name simply implied to me a part of the country that would be an interesting place to set the story!

My review will post 3rd May, 16th of August 2014 ahead of #ChocLitSaturdays Chat which begins at 11am EST | 8am PST | 4pm UK | 1am Australia! I am thankful that my #ChocLitSaturdays blog feature not only encompasses book reviews, Guest Posts, & Author Interviews but the ability for Romance readers to converse about romantic themes inside the novels we gravitate towards as much as a healthy appreciation of tea and chocolate! I previously mentioned this title in Jorie’s Box of Joy No.1.

Cats Are Part of HIs Kingdom Too by Cindy Vincent

My second tour to host for Ms. Amber Stokes (Editing Through the Seasons) will be for a lovely devotional which is quite devoted to an animal close to my heart: the cat! I have oft felt blessed to have the cats in my life that I have over the years, as each one would bring a certain level of serenity and calm into my life. As much as give me the gifted blessing of learning things such as cheeky humour in the midst of chaos that are simply too incredible not to acknowledge! Cats are truly my favourite companions next to dogs and hamsters, as they know how to impart unconditional love and pure grace in spirit.

When we expanded to have more than one cat, I started to have the honour of seeing how the inter-dynamics of a family can change simply by not having one cat but a handful. Different litters always have the presumption of not behaving well with each other, but I can attest that even a motley cat family from different litters can not only learn to adapt but they adjust to a comfortable level of ease around each other. I am always amazed and blessed to observe my cats, as they give so much love back to me as I give to them. I cannot wait to dig into this devotional to see where the lessons of living with cats endeared Ms. Vincent to write a devotional about how the lessons of life can alight in our lives at the most unexpected moments on the wings and shoulders of messengers we might not have realised to believe could give us so much truth.

My review will post Sunday, 4th May.

The Boleyn Bride by Brandy Purdy

Whilst following the blog tour for The Boleyn Bride my path crossed with the author Ms. Purdy, which led to an opportunity for me to receive this book to review. What was so incredible about the timing of it, is that it was one book that I felt I could draw myself inside and visit with the characters for quite a spell afterwards! Some stories you read about give you this itch to read the book as soon as your able too, and for me, this is one of those books! The clever bit is that I do not recall knowing too much about the Boleyn’s much less the Tudor era of England, as I have predominately always alighted between the text of Shakespeare straight into the Victorian, Regency, or Edwardian (of late) eras of visitation! The Tudors for some reason escaped my radar until recently. My interest started to pique when I found a bookish blog devoted to the Tudors and the literature which flows out of the pens of historical fiction writers: The Tudor Book Blog. I am hopeful that this will mark my start of selecting Tudor era novels and writers to help me not only learn more about this section of British History, but to help me settle into an era that I know so very little about and am thirsty to learn more!

My review will post Sunday, 14th May.

City of Promises by D. Grant Fitter

When City of Promises came available to tour with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, I must confess, I was teetering on the edge of saying ‘yes’ to accept this book for review. My only hesitation was due to the fact that I have been to Mexico City and therefore, was uncertain if I could return to a fictional account of the city and maintain my memories of her in the ensuing decades since this particular sliver of the city’s history takes place. In the end, I decided that if I can handle reading about the Jazz Age in America as much as Prohibition and the upturnt tides of Chicago & New York City’s histories, can I can surely handle reading what happened in Mexico City! After all, when I was there the city was undergoing a bit of a Renaissance, in an attempt to re-strengthen the city’s identity as much as to re-define the city itself. It was the heart of the story given inside the premise that pulled at me, and for which I am most anxious to see where the corridors of this particular historical fiction will take me! I am always eager to traverse into the passageways of history that might not always lend a happy ending but will lend itself a portal glimpse into a part of history that needs to be told.

My Review will post on Tuesday, 9th of May.

Getting Waisted by Monica ParkerWhilst attending the #LitChat of comedienne Monica Parker, I had the unexpected joy and pleasure of being able to receive her debut book Getting Waisted after an exchange of conversation between Ms. Parker, her literary publicist Ms. Chan, and myself! I had reached out to Ms. Parker after the literary chat and felt quite honoured I was given this opportunity as health & wellness holds fast to my heart! As I have been on a path towards wellness for years, seeking out the best way to maintain wellness and knowing which foods agree with my system over others. Personally, I am the most happiest in my spirit whilst eating a vegetarian and vegan diet enriched by whole foods, natural & ancient grains, as well as local farm fresh vegetables and fruits.

I can relate directly to finding inner harmony, balance, and confidence to be who you are and accept yourself at where you are on your lifepath because everyone can struggle with self-image and self-confidence no matter what age they are or where they are on their journey! I was ever so thrilled to bits seeing her book had arrived by Post, as I cannot wait to settle inside the pages as I know not only will I have the pleasure of reviewing this book but in hosting an interview with Ms. Parker at the conclusion of my reading! I had even further excited by having found a video interview of Ms. Parker’s which I will share with you now as a preview of what is yet to come:

Shannon Skinner Interviews Monica Parker on Extraordinary Women

via Extraordinary Women TV

My forthcoming review of Getting Waisted and my Author Interview with Ms. Parker will occur during the #ArmChairBEA week in which I am participating as a #bookcheerleader (the tag I created to help celebrate the fact I love cheering for books & authors!)! I am getting underway to begin reading the memoir now as I will have a lot to talk about with Ms. Parker once I reach the last page! She has already inspired me to create the sinful chocolate cake in a mug which was a curious surprise in the opening bits of the memoir!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comI am curious then, if any of the newly arrived books for review which are upcoming on Jorie Loves A Story, would entice a visiting reader to pick them up for themselves!? OR, if they perchance had the opportunity already to read them, what were their impressions?! What drew you to the author or the narrative within!? And, if you are a fellow book blogger how do you feel your literary wanderings have increased since you started blogging about your reading life? Do you find the twitterverse an exciting portal towards extending friendship and conversation? And, what do you feel is the best gift you’ve received since you started your book blog!?

Cross-posted with Mailbox Monday (a weekly meme) on Monday, 28th of April where book bloggers & readers alike share their inbound books for review, newly purchased books, or otherwise added to their shelves to read. Conversing via: #MailboxMonday My feature was inspired by Mailbox Monday, however as I am always in throes of reading books for review and/or borrowing books from my library, I am never quite as certain which week the books have arrived!

{SOURCES: Jorie Loves A Story badge created by Ravven with edits in Fotoflexer by Jorie. Book cover for “Seeing Green” was provided by JKS Communications for both review and promotion; used with permission.  The Book Cover for “Flight to Coorah Creek” was provided by ChocLitUK for both review and promotion; used with permission. Book Cover for Cats Are Part of His Kingdom Too provided by Editing Through the Seasons for both review and promotion; used with permission. Book Cover for The Boleyn Bride provided by Brandy Purdy for both review and promotion; used with permission. Book Cover for City of Promises provided by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for both review and promotion; used with permission. Book cover for “Getting Waisted” provided by Darlene Chan (Publicist) for both review and promotion; used with permission. The interview for Monica Parker by Extraordinary Women TV had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share more about this novel and the author who penned it.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

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Posted Monday, 28 April, 2014 by jorielov in Author Interview, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Books for Review Arrived by Post, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Debut Novel, Editing Through The Seasons, Elizabeth Howard Boleyn, Environmental Conscience, Environmental Science, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Indie Author, Jorie's Box of Joy, Memoir, Non-Fiction, Romance Fiction, Small Towne Fiction, Tudor Era