Genre: Ghost Story

#SpooktasticReads | Book Review “The Secret Kiss of Darkness” (Book No. 2 of the Shadows of the Past series) by Christina Courtenay #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 25 November, 2017 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

ChocLitSaturdays Banner Created by Jorie in Canva.

Why I feature #ChocLitSaturdays (book reviews & guest author features)
and created #ChocLitSaturday (the chat via @ChocLitSaturday):

I wanted to create a bit of a niche on Jorie Loves A Story to showcase romance fiction steeped in relationships, courtships, and the breadth of marriage enveloped by characters written honestly whose lives not only endear you to them but they nestle into your heart as their story is being read!

I am always seeking relationship-based romance which strikes a chord within my mind’s eye as well as my heart! I’m a romantic optimist, and I love curling into a romance where I can be swept inside the past, as history becomes lit alive in the fullness of the narrative and I can wander amongst the supporting cast observing the principal characters fall in love and sort out if they are a proper match for each other!

I love how an Indie Publisher like ChocLitUK is such a positive alternative for those of us who do not identify ourselves as girls and women who read ‘chick-lit’. I appreciate the stories which alight in my hands from ChocLit as much as I appreciate the inspirational romances I gravitate towards because there is a certain level of depth to both outlets in romance which encourage my spirits and gives me a beautiful story to absorb! Whilst sorting out how promote my book reviews on behalf of ChocLit, I coined the phrase “ChocLitSaturdays”, which is a nod to the fact my ChocLit reviews & features debut on ‘a Saturday’ but further to the point that on the ‘weekend’ we want to dip into a world wholly ideal and romantic during our hours off from the work week!

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular reviewer for ChocLitUK, where I hand select which books in either their backlist and/or current releases I would like to read next for my #ChocLitSaturdays blog feature. As of June 2016, I became a member of the ChocLit Stars Team in tandem with being on the Cover Reveal Team which I joined in May 2016. I reference the Stars as this is a lovely new reader contribution team of sending feedback to the publisher ahead of new book releases. As always, even if I’m involved with a publisher in this sort of fashion, each review is never influenced by that participation and will always be my honest impression as I read the story. Whether the author is one I have previously read or never had the pleasure to read until the book greets my shelf.

However, a few years ago, I won a bookaway for one of Ms Courtenay’s novels – happily surprised to have found a few extra titles tucked into the parcel, this was one of the stories I received. I believe this is the title I ‘won’, although I am forgetting which title I received was the bookaway book! I received a complimentary copy of “The Secret Kiss of Darkness” from the author Christina Courtenay without obligation to post a review. I have loved reading her stories in the past and this review is being shared for my own edification as much as I wanted to share my joys of reading it with my readers. Therefore, it’s an ‘addition’ to my regular reviews during #ChocLitSaturdays. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Why I am enjoying reading this series:

I can assure you dear hearts, you get so attached to the 15th Century, between walking the vast estate and being caught up in the particulars of that century’s sociopolitical drama that by the time you ‘pull yourself’ forward back into the Manor to see how the research Melissa is doing into the ancestral records for her family & Jake’s family lineage, you nearly do not know which era you’d prefer to stay in a bit longer! I especially loved one scene where Melissa is being given the access to an ancient copy of the original will penned on behalf of Sibell; as she starts to read the words in Latin, her mind takes her physically back to Sibell’s time. She can sense and feel everything happening to Sibell at the time the will is being written. The visceral imagery and sensory connectedness was conveyed in such a convincing way that you could ascertain exactly what was happening in that ‘one single second’ of Sibell’s young life.

The heart of the story is etched inside the beguiling truths which separated lost loves through such a violent ending of their lives. In some ways, parts of Sibell & Roger’s story reminded me of Romeo & Juliet, fated in such a way as to not find happiness within their own lifetime; at least not one that would be forever lasting. An element of the backdrop is quite close to my own heart, is the pursuit of genealogical research! I loved watching Melissa find the tethering ties out of the records of the archivists and how the pursuit of research truly started to reveal much more than she could ever have hoped to find! The manner in which Sibell and Roger insert themselves into her reality is a bittersweet haunting any reader of psychological suspense will enjoy! Especially considering the way in which things end and resolve!

-quoted from my review of The Silent Touch of Shadows

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

On my Connection to Ms. Courtenay:

Three years ago, on the 26th of April, 2014, I created #ChocLitSaturday a weekly Rom chat to celebrate the novelists of ChocLitUK but also, to expand to include book bloggers, readers and writers of Romance who have a penchant for the genre as a whole. Ms. Courtenay started to become a regular fixture, and her encouraging conversations & ability to inspire others to converse freely throughout the chats put me at ease in my new role as a ‘Hostess’. She always seemed to know how to either start a topic or how to best suggest something to break the ice! I was always so very grateful to her and I am thinking I might have forgotten to tell her directly how much gratitude I had for her in those earlier chats! Over the weeks that have followed, I have found myself attached to each of my ‘regular’ chatters during the hour, and I consider Ms. Courtenay a bookish like-minded soul, as we tend to appreciate the same types of stories!

During [2017] #ChocLitSaturday started to meet bi-monthly (if possible) rather than the usual weekly meet-ups which the chat had engaged in originally. During the course of the year, Ms Courtenay was not oft able to attend and her presence was dearly missed.

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with Courtenay through our respective love & passion of reading inside the twitterverse whilst I host #ChocLitSaturday the chat and having previously read her time slip novels and series set in Japan (Kumashiro). I treat each book as a ‘new experience’, whether I personally know the author OR whether I am reading a book by them for the first time or continuing to read their releases as they are available.

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

 #SpooktasticReads | Book Review “The Secret Kiss of Darkness” (Book No. 2 of the Shadows of the Past series) by Christina Courtenay #ChocLitSaturdaysThe Secret Kiss of Darkness
by Christina Courtenay
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Berni Stevens
Source: Direct from Publisher

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?

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

Book Page on ChocLitUK

ISBN: 9781781890677

Also by this author: Guest Post about Time Slips, The Silent Touch of Shadows, The Scarlet Kimono, The Velvet Cloak of Moonlight Cover Reveal, The Velvet Cloak of Moonlight Cover Reveal, Marry for Love, The Gilded Fan, The Jade Lioness

Also in this series: The Silent Touch of Shadows


Genres: Genre-bender, Ghost Story, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, Reincarnation Fiction, Romance Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Time Slip and/or Time Shift


Published by ChocLitUK

on 15th March, 2014

Format: UK Edition Paperback

Pages: 299

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLituk)

Available Formats: Paperback, Audiobook, Large Print & E-Book

Celebrating the Paranormal Romances of Christina Courtenay
& her “Shadows of the Past” series

Read the author’s thoughts on writing Time Slips via her Guest Post
(which focuses on this series)

The Silent Touch of Shadows began the series

The Soft Whisper of Dreams is the sequel to The Secret Kiss of Darkness

& The Velvet Cloak of Moonlight is the fourth in the series to release!

Converse via: #HistRom + #TimeSlip + #GhostStory + #PNR + #ChocLit

About Christina Courtenay

Christina Courtenay

Christina lives near Hereford and is married with two children. Although born in England she has a Swedish mother and was brought up in Sweden. In her teens, the family moved to Japan where she had the opportunity to travel extensively in the Far East.

Christina’s debut Trade Winds was short listed for the 2011 Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Pure Passion Award for Best Historical Fiction. The Scarlet Kimono won the 2011 Big Red Reads Best Historical Fiction Award. Highland Storms (in 2012) and The Gilded Fan (in 2014) won the Historical Romantic Novel of the Year Award and The Silent Touch of Shadows won the 2012 Best Historical Read Award from the Festival of Romance. Christina is Chairman of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

Novels: Trade Winds, Highland Storms, Monsoon Mists, The Scarlet Kimono, The Gilded Fan, The Silent Touch of Shadows, The Secret Kiss of Darkness, The Soft Whisper of Dreams, The Jade Lioness, Marry in Haste, Once Bitten Twice Shy, Desperate Remedies and Never Too Late.

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo. Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Saturday, 25 November, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 18th Century, 21st Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bootleggers & Smugglers, Britian, British Literature, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, England, Green-Minded Publishers, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Life Shift, Modern British Author, Modern British Literature, Modern Day, Paranormal Romance, Rebels and Rogues, Romance Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Siblings, Suspense, Taboo Relationships & Romance, Vulgarity in Literature

#SpooktasticReads Book Review | “#Paranormal Texas: Your travel guide to Haunted Places near Dallas & Forth Worth” by Tui Snider

Posted Thursday, 19 October, 2017 by jorielov , , 3 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I used to attend two weekly chats quite regularly when I first joined Twitter in late Autumn 2013, extending into 2014 and 2015; by 2016 I started to withdraw from the chat community on Twitter due to the increases in my chronic migraines. Whilst I was attending #K8Chat (hosted by Kate Tilton) in 2014, I won one of the weekly bookaways whilst being asked by the author if I would like a second book by her to consider for review purposes. Therefore, I received two books in the Post: “Paranormal Texas” and “Unexpected Texas”; this marks the first of two reviews I am showcasing this year during my fortnight of Spooktastic Reads! Thereby, I received a complimentary copy of “Paranormal Texas” direct from the author Tui Snider without obligation to post a review; I decided to post one for my own edification and to share with my readers what I found within this lovely Guide! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Being a former chatter during #StoryDam & why these books interested me:

I cannot remember exactly if I first crossed paths with Tui Snider during #StoryDam and/or #K8Chat; the latter was disbanded a few weeks ‘before’ I was going to return to the chat after taking a sabbatical (due to my migraines). I was crestfallen by the news but fully understood why Ms Tilton decided to ‘move on’. There are seasons in everything in life, including the chats which are happily taking their entrances and exits on Twitter!

I believe I lamented on my #SpooktasticReads post we first met during #StoryDam – either way you slice it, the reason I was most keen on her Non-Fiction works is because we share an interest in the following things:

*paranormal shows (fiction & non-fiction)

*paranormal fiction

*haunted houses

*the unexplained

Finding Ms Snider was a blessing in my life – as I previously mentioned, she has the kind of spirit your hoping to find online – one which is accepting and encouraging whilst having a bubbly personality who makes you feel welcome as soon as you start to chat with her! The best part of course of crossing her path was becoming attuned to the Non-Fiction works she was developing which speak to the heart of another love we share: stories of the Historical Past which are still being discovered today!

Despite the time delay in reading her books and posting my ruminative thoughts, one thing which staid with me is the manner in which she wrote them! She makes them a lively romp through unexpected historical notations on both the living persons who lived interesting lives and the ‘afterlife’ adventures of those spirits who have not yet crossed into the Light! These are the spirits who I am sure “The Ghost Whisperer” would love to chat with and find out their ‘true story’ of why they feel they need to stay ‘inbetween’. If you loved the series as much as I did, you are surely going to love Ms Snider’s companionable way of entertaining your curiosity with newfound lore, legend and the mysteriously interesting incidents which make North Texas a keen place to visit!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

#SpooktasticReads Book Review | “#Paranormal Texas: Your travel guide to Haunted Places near Dallas & Forth Worth” by Tui SniderParanormal Texas
Subtitle: Your travel guide to Haunted Places near Dallas & Forth Worth
by Tui Snider
Source: Direct from Author, Won a Bookaway

Why creep around at night when so many haunted places in north Texas are open to the public & active during the day?

Not only does Tui Snider explain the intriguing stories behind the paranormal activity in the Dallas - Ft. Worth area, but she gives directions to places you can visit in person, such as the:

* Serial Killer’s Grave where EVP’s & Anomalous Photos are common
* Amusement Park where a Little Girl Haunts the Candy Store
* Country Graveyard with a Mysteriously Glowing Tombstone
* Hotel so Haunted that a University teaches Parapsychology there
* Historic Cemetery where people get EVP’s and Orbs in Broad Daylight
* Ghost Town with an Operatic Apparition & a Haunted Restaurant
* B&B with a Gentlemanly Ghost who seems Protective of Women
* Theatre that kept it’s Resident Ghost in mind when remodeling
* Historic Town Squares where nearly Every Shop has a Ghost!

… & much more!

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1500766085

Genres: Current Events, Ghost Story, Gothic Literature, Non-Fiction, Spirituality & Metaphysics


Published by Self Published Author

on 19th August, 2014

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 183

Self-Published Non-Fiction

The two books I am reading by Ms Snider this October:

Paranormal Texas by Tui SniderUnexpected Texas by Tui Snider

1. Tui’s first book, Unexpected Texas,  is a travel guide to quirky, offbeat and overlooked places within easy reach of the Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex. It was released on March 2, 2014 and remains a bestseller in Dallas – Fort Worth Travel on Amazon. In 2015, this book won first place in the North Texas Book Festival.

2. Tui’s second book, Paranormal Texas is a travel guide to haunted places in north Texas. It was released in October 2014 and also remains an Amazon bestseller.

3. Tui’s third book, The Lynching of the Santa Bank Robber, is a strange-but-true tale of West Texas history. This book was released in March of 2016, and came in 2nd place in the North Texas Book Festival that year.

4. Tui’s fourth book, Come to My Senses, is a companion book of lyrics and photos for the dream pop CD she released in conjunction with her first photography exhibit and writing residency for Tarleton State University’s Langdon Review in 2016.

5. Tui’s fifth book, Understanding Cemetery Symbols: A Workbook for Exploring Historic Graveyards, is being cross-released as both a paperback and an ebook.The book officially released on August 19, 2017.

Converse via: #TexasHistory, #Paranormal, #Ghosts & #NonFiction

About Tui Snider

Tui Snider

Tui Snider is an award-winning author, speaker, photographer, and musician who specializes in quirky, offbeat and overlooked places, historic graveyards, and haunted lore. As she puts it, “I used to write fiction – but then, I moved to Texas!”

After living in Belgium, Italy, and a tiny island with a population of 7, Tui now calls the state of Texas her home. Even so, she has experienced as much culture shock in the Lone Star State as she ever did overseas!

For Tui, travel is a mindset. Her motto is “Even home is a travel destination,” and she believes “The world is only boring if you take everyone else’s word for it.”

Snider’s best-selling books include Paranormal Texas, The Lynching of the Santa Claus Bank Robber, and Unexpected Texas.

In August 2017, Tui Snider released her 5th book called Understanding Cemetery Symbols, this book is a guide to the forgotten meaning of symbols and acronyms our ancestors left on their headstones. Preorder sales went so well Understanding Cemetery Symbols became an Amazon best seller!

Tui lectures frequently at universities, libraries, conferences and bookstores. In 2016, she was the writer-in-residence for Tarleton State University’s Langdon Review. In 2017, she taught a series of courses at Texas Christian University based on her books.

Snider’s writing and photography have been featured in a variety of publications, including Coast to Coast AM, FOX Travel News, LifeHack, Langdon Review, the City of Plano, Wild Woman Waking, Shades of Angels and many more.

In addition, Tui is a singer/songwriter who plays several instruments. Listeners frequently describe her dream pop album, Come to My Senses, as “mystical” and “magical.”

Tui has worn a lot of hats in her life – literally – and is especially fond of berets. In addition to writing and music, she is an avid photographer.

Snider has several more books in progress, and is working on her next album. She enjoys connecting with writers and readers all over the globe through social media, her newsletter and her website.

Read More

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Posted Thursday, 19 October, 2017 by jorielov in 21st Century, Based on an Actual Event &/or Court Case, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Cemeteries & Graveyards, Ghost Story, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Gothic Literature, History, Modern Day, Non-Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Small Towne USA, Travel, Travel Writing, Travelogue

#JorieReads | Spooktastic Fortnight of Psychological #Suspense & #Gothic Tales Personal Reading Challenge!

Posted Wednesday, 18 October, 2017 by jorielov 0 Comments

Spooktastic Fortnight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Spooktastic Fortnight of Psychological Suspense & Gothic Tales!

Autumn for me is a time in the year where I simply like to read a curated collection of stories which fall under different categories of mutual interest: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Gothic or Paranormally inclined and Cosy Horror. This year, as I was looking over the lists for *reading challenges* I noticed 2017 fell a bit short in offering a chance to interact with other readers who appreciate the same type of stories! Therefore, as I had already put my plan into action to read the selected stories during the final fortnight of October, I decided to host my ‘own’ self-direct reading challenge this year!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

If other book bloggers or readers want to join me, please link to your blog, Twitter, Riffle List, LibraryThing List or other ‘space’ online where you are updating about what your reading – such as Instagram or Vlog (YouTube) in the Comments section below!

Use the tag: #SpooktasticReads & link back to this post

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Spooktastic Fortnight of Psychological Suspense & Gothic Tales 2017
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Posted Wednesday, 18 October, 2017 by jorielov in Bookish Discussions, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Gothic Literature, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, Parapsychological Gifts, Supernatural Fiction, Suspense

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