Genre: Historical Fiction

An Audiobook review feat. during #AudiobookMonth | “The Widow’s Redeemer” by Philippa Jane Keyworth I am dearly in awe of the narrator Alex Lee who completely changed my mind about this author!

Posted Thursday, 7 June, 2018 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Audiobook By: I started to listen to audiobooks in [2016] as a way to offset my readings of print books whilst noting there was a rumour about how audiobooks could help curb chronic migraines as you are switching up how your reading rather than allowing only one format to be your bookish choice. As I found colouring and knitting agreeable companions to listening to audiobooks, I have embarked on a new chapter of my reading life where I spend time outside of print editions of the stories I love reading and exchange them for audio versions. Through hosting for the Audiobookworm I’ve expanded my knowledge of authors who are producing audio versions of their stories whilst finding podcasters who are sharing their bookish lives through pods (ie. AudioShelf and Talking Audiobooks; see my sidebar). Meanwhile, I am also curating my own wanderings in audio via my local library who uses Overdrive for their digital audiobook catalogue whilst making purchase requests for audio CDs. It is a wonderful new journey and one I enjoy sharing – I am hoping to expand the percentage of how many audios I listen to per year starting in 2018.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “The Widow’s Redeemer” via Audiobookworm Promotion in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I wanted to take a second chance on a novel by Ms Keyworth:

Last year, I was first introduced to the writings of Ms Keyworth on the Historical Fiction blog tour showcasing Fool Me Twice, for which I had this to impart upon that reading:

Keyworth has a different approach at writing her Historicals, as she’s very matter-of-fact and doesn’t spoilt you on long descriptive passages of what is happening ‘in scene’ but rather gets to the heart of the truth whilst disclosing the details which are necessary to understand her lead protagonists’ motives. It took me a bit to adjust to her style, as all writers have their own written voice and style of narrative. I have the tendency to read more writers who opt for descriptive narrative over the blunter style of only giving out parse details, but both have their place in Historicals, as sometimes the focus is not on the settings nor the period of the story itself but rather the angst of the situation we meet the characters.

Despite finding myself appreciating a few things within the story itself, overall, I couldn’t find myself attached to the novel. I was taken out of it’s depths more than once, finding it was ill-matched for my preferences of the genre but I never quite ‘let go’ of reading one of her other stories. In fact, even after I attempted to read this first novel of hers, I mused to myself, one of her older titles might be more to my liking – in effect, I had made an error in where to insert myself into her stories!

Thus, when I saw this title was going on an audiobook blog tour, I immediately listened to the sampler – finding myself smitten by Ms Lee’s approach especially for her clarity of ‘place’ and of ‘person’. You immediately feel drawn into her narrative styling due to how she fuses her heart into what she is narrating – she is as immersively captivating as the narrator for the Kay Hunter series (Alison Campbell) due to her passionate approach in voicing the characters themselves!

I was thankful I had a chance to re-approach her writings so soon after discovering them initially. I had a good feeling about going into listening to this audiobook, as sometimes, you can rather quite a lot about a narrator through the samplers – in this instance, I felt like I might have blessed myself tenfold: a new narrator to champion and a writer who redeemed my opinion of her writerly style. Technically, this happened earlier this year, when I borrowed a copy of an audiobook version of Cotillion by Georgette Heyer; a novel I previously could not attach myself inside. Narrators have an uncanny way of presenting stories in such a way as to heighten the words left behind by the authors which cannot always translate through a print edition!

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An Audiobook review feat. during #AudiobookMonth | “The Widow’s Redeemer” by Philippa Jane Keyworth I am dearly in awe of the narrator Alex Lee who completely changed my mind about this author!The Widow's Redeemer
by Philippa Jane Keyworth
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Alex Lee

A penniless young widow with an indomitable spirit. A wealthy viscount with an unsavory reputation. London, 1815: After her husband's untimely death, Letty Burton comes up from the country with her domineering mother-in-law. Hiding a past she wishes to forget and facing an uncertain future, all she wants is to navigate London Society as a silent companion.

A chance meeting with London's most eligible bachelor sets in motion a series of events that will bring her quiet life under the unfriendly scrutiny of the ton. With the net of scandal, debts, and rivals closing in, will she let her dark past dictate her life forever? Will she learn to trust again? And most importantly, will she allow herself to love?

The Widow's Redeemer was a finalist in the 2012 RONE Awards (Reward of Novel Excellence) hosted by InD'Tale Magazine.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B07CH4F4WL

Also by this author: Fool Me Twice

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance


Published by Madison Street Publishing

on 19th April, 2018

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 9 hours and 35 minutes (unabridged)

Published By:  Madison Street Publishing (@MStPublishing)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Ebook and Audioook

Stories by Philippa Jane Keyworth:

Fool Me Twice by Philippa Jane KeyworthThe Widow's Redeemer by Philippa Jane Keyworth

The Unexpected Earl | Synopsis

The Widow’s Redeemer

Fool Me Twice (see also Review)

Converse via: #HistFic + #HistRom

About Philippa Jane Keyworth

Philippa Jane Keyworth

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

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

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

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Thursday, 7 June, 2018 by jorielov in 19th Century, Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Britian, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Inheritance & Identity, Inspired By Author OR Book, Life Shift, Postal Mail | Letters & Correspondence, Pride & Prejudice Re-telling, Romance Fiction

Blog Book Tour | “A Cowboy of Convenience” (Book Two: Sheridan Sweethearts series) by Stacy Henrie A #HistRom from #LoveINSPIRED #Historical

Posted Wednesday, 6 June, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 1 Comment

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

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 “A Cowboy of Convenience” direct from the author Stacy Henrie in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I love reading INSPY Fiction from Heartsong Presents & Love Inspired:

I am a hybrid reader of both mainstream and INSPY Fiction – however, I’ve been properly charmed by the heart-warming stories of both Love INSPIRED and Heartsong Presents – as these are tender-hearted stories of faith in portable paperback editions which never fail to give you a burst of joy to be reading! The Historical line of Love Inspired and the Amish stories of Heartsong Presents (as well as their own line of Historicals) were always my favourites – something about how they could tuck you back into the past, a setting or time-line easily recognisable for the reader who loved those particular kinds of stories – wherein you met with strong characters on the road to both healing and redemption in their lives!

These are the stories which are a delight to be reading due to their dramatic natures of insight into the human condition but also, how faith and hope are threading through the drama itself – of giving you a lot of hope for your own life’s adversities which alight out of the blue and the joyfulness of a gently told romance where the relationship is built out of both faith and trust. The gentleness of these stories is what truly captured my bookish heart – as there is never anything to worry about finding in the context of how their told. In many regards, that is why I love reading INSPY Fiction to begin with as I recently broached on my 5th Blogoversary by talking about what I love about reading the stories by Kellie Coates Gilbert.

I am wicked delighted knowing Prism Book Tours is getting the chance to showcase and tour with INSPY authors – not just from this particular line but from other publishers as well. Coming up this Friday, is my long awaited ruminative thoughts on behalf of Ms Becky Wade’s Falling for You which I had the honour of spotlighting in May!

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Blog Book Tour | “A Cowboy of Convenience” (Book Two: Sheridan Sweethearts series) by Stacy Henrie A #HistRom from #LoveINSPIRED #HistoricalA Cowboy of Convenience
by Stacy Henrie
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

Groom by Agreement

A real home--it's what Vienna Howe dearly wants for her young daughter. Yet the ramshackle property she just inherited hardly qualifies. She can't afford the repairs--until foreman West McCall suggests they start a dude ranch together. For propriety's sake, they'll need a marriage in name only...a practical solution for two wary hearts.

Years ago, West convinced Vienna to marry a man of means, never realizing how cruel her husband could be. Guilt-ridden, he intends to secure the lovely widow's future. But despite his reluctance to get close to anyone, this union might do more than fix Vienna's ranch. It could open the door to a warm, loving future...

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1335369710

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Ranches & Cowboys, Western Fiction, Western Romance


Published by Harlequin Books, Love INSPIRED

on 1st June, 2018

Format: Mass Market Paperback

Pages: 288

Published by: Love INSPIRED (@LoveInspiredBks)

an imprint of Harlequin Books (@HarlequinBooks)

Formats Available: Ebook and Paperback

Stories within the series Sheridan Sweethearts:

The Rancher's Temporary Engagement by Stacy HenrieA Cowboy of Convenience by Stacy Henrie

Book One: The Rancher’s Temporary Engagement | Pub’d 1st February, 2018

Undercover Fiancée

The Pinkerton agent that Edward Kent hired is intelligent, capable—and unexpectedly female! Though shocked to learn that Maggy Worthing will be investigating the threats to his Wyoming horse ranch, Edward needs to find the culprit. And if that means a temporary engagement to give Maggy a cover story, he’ll play along with the feisty detective.

Maggy always gets her man—at least when it comes to solving crimes. The young widow refuses to marry again and land under another husband’s thumb. Unmasking Edward’s enemies will earn her a longed-for promotion…but the heart has its own mysteries. Could working together with the handsome English aristocrat spark a real and loving partnership?

Book Two: A Cowboy of Convenience

Converse via: #LoveINSPIRED, #INSPYbooks, #INSPYHistFic, #INSPY or #HistRom & #Harlequin

About Stacy Henrie

Stacy Henrie

USA Today bestselling author Stacy Henrie is the author of western romances and the Of Love and War series, which includes Hope at Dawn, a 2015 RITA Award finalist for excellence in romance. She was born and raised in the West, where she currently resides with her family. She enjoys reading, road trips, interior decorating, chocolate, and most of all, laughing with her husband and kids.

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Posted Wednesday, 6 June, 2018 by jorielov in 20th Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Clever Turns of Phrase, Farm and Ranching on the Frontier, Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Life Shift, Marriage of Convenience, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Sisterhood friendships, Western Fiction, Widows & Widowers, Writing Style & Voice, Wyoming

#AudiobookMonth | #iLOVEaudiobooks – June is the perfect time for me to resume my #AudioReads and dig into more #audiobooks!

Posted Saturday, 2 June, 2018 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

June is Audiobook Month banner created by Jorie in Canva.

You know I’m going to be stalking #audiobookmonth’s tag ALL of JUNE!

Along with the following: #iLOVEaudiobooks + #loveaudiobooks

+ #JUNEisAudiobookMonth | which tags are your favourites!?

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I attempted to participate in #AudiobookMonth last year, though due to the detriment of the weather and a nauseatingly brutal allergy season (ie. Spring!) – I don’t remember progressing very far along with my efforts! This year, I’m doubling down – mostly as I have more reliable connectivity this year to keep blogging and listening to digital audiobooks even whilst mother nature chooses to wreck havoc in our lives!! I’ll thankfully not find it nearly as jarring to be *bounced!* off as long as I would have been had we not resolved this one particular issue *ahead!* of Summer! (a girl has to love her Mum!) (ie. Mums are seriously resourceful!)

Whilst most of my focus is going to be the audiobooks I’ve either accepted for review consideration by publishers and/or authors OR adopted audiobooks I’ve accepted for review – I am also going to be focusing on the audiobooks I’ve personally purchased, audiobooks I’ve borrowed through my local library or audiobooks I’ve had the pleasure of winning in a bookaway! This has definitely become my year of re-queuing the audiobooks I’ve been wanting to listen and discover whilst celebrating how much audiobooks have meant to be as a migraineur! (you might have noticed this term on my Twitter profile)

I have a few audiobooks on CD – most of the audiobooks I’ve been listening to since [2016] have been digitally available – either for review purposes or borrowing through my libray’s OverDrive network. I appreciate both options, as despite having a penchant for collecting audiobooks on CD – I realise the digital side of the ledger is what is helping most readers discover the joy of listening to the stories as they become insanely portable! The irony there is – I actually listen to audiobooks the old fashioned way, but then, you must know by now, I am rather an old fashioned kind of gal!

My main goal for JUNE is to simply enjoy my arrivals and departures within these audiobooks – taking long gaps of absence from reading #printbooks and remembering not to overly stress about the distances between receiving a few of these selections for review and today. Sometimes we all strive to do the best we can and if we fall short, we’re eventually given a second chance at redemption.

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The audiobooks I am focusing on first & foremost are the audiobooks I’ve received for review consideration. Including three I had trouble getting into last year – two of them are by one of my favourite audiobook publishers:

Post Hypnotic Press | @Post_Hypnotic | Site

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Greenwillow by B.J. Chute, narrated by Ann M. Richardson

→ with a length of 6 hours & 44 minutes

I have an affinity for poetic story-lines and small towne fiction stories – this title was recommended to me by the publisher, as I had quite literally finished my listenings of their adaptation of a beloved series of mine: Anne of Green Gables! (see also Review)

This was right ahead of Autumn [2017] which would become a rather adverse and arduous season for my family to shift out of and come through the other side. In fact, the year ended on a hard note whilst the New Year began on rocky footing. It wasn’t until the end of February where the adversities first sprung in Autumn would start to recede – if my health hadn’t taken a turn in early Spring [2018] the first thing I had wanted to focus on were these audiobooks – as I missed my time spent with their narrators and of feeling rather enlightened for the journey they encourage me to take whilst enfolded in their narrations!

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The Curve of Time by M. Wylie Blanchet, narrated by Heather Henderson

→ with a length of 7 hours & 24 minutes

I happen to love introspective, literary and philosophical stimulating stories which is why I think I was recommended to listen to this particular audiobook. I had previously had the joy of discovering the incredible versatile talent of Ms Henderson whilst listening to her adaptations of the quirky and lovable memoirs of Betty MacDonald (see also Review).

You could say, I had a rather banner year in [2017] listening to the collective works by this publisher – which is why it saddened me I couldn’t close the year listening to their stories – however, sometimes you have to be honest with where you are and the burdens your facing. For me personally, I was in the wrong frame of mind to even contemplate the themes within ‘The Curve of Time’ & ‘Greenwillow’ respectively – ergo, I pushed my listenings forward, hoping the Autumn & Winter would lead me to a better Spring. Ironically or not, it was Summer I had to wait for to feel as if I could take a full breathe of relief from the woes of my heart and mind, to where listening to thought-provoking stories such as these could be a wonderful respite of joy intermixed into my regular wanderings!

To be able to listen, tweet and celebrate Post Hypnotic Press during #AudiobookMonth is a true joy for me, as I am always hopeful other audiobook listeners will start to discovery the wicked awesome quality they are producing & the dedication they have to both the stories and the production behind bringing them to life!

They truly are an inspiring publisher for those of us who are properly addicted to ‘listening’ to the stories which excite us to be heard!

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Secondly, I can finally soak my ears inside the first chapter of Bonnie & Clyde as told through the literary lens of Ms Jenni L. Walsh! I have been sitting on my audiobook copy of ‘Becoming Bonnie’ for as long as I have the lovely audiobooks from Post Hypnotic Press! Time to bring all three out for a listening feast of bookish joy!

Becoming Bonnie by Jenni L. Walsh, narrated by Susan Bennett

→ coming in at exactly 12 hours!

This is the first half of a duology, as ‘Side by Side’ unfortunately released before I could listen to the first half – the sequel has the same narrator (*claps hands*) and comes in at 11 hours and 39 minutes! This releases on the 5th of June, 2018!

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I had the joyful pleasure of featuring the author on Jorie Loves A Story blog ahead of receiving the audiobook – not just once, but twice! You can read both posts: Pub Day Q&A and extracts from the text of ‘Becoming Bonnie’ in case you want to gleam more about why Ms Walsh approached this particular woman of history and why it became a passion project of hers to tell an authentic story on behalf of ‘Bonn’.

I grew up realising the bare bone facts about ‘Bonnie & Clyde’ – how could any GenX girl not? Including the fact, my Mum had seen the rather horrific biopic of theirs which led to more than one interesting discussion in our home over the years! Through my conversations with Ms Walsh whilst putting together the showcases on my blog, I learnt more about the ‘real history’ between Bonnie & Clyde – not all the pertinent bits, mind, as the author wanted me to have enough ‘flavour of curiosity’ ahead of listening to the story itself – but to the extent, I re-broached the convo with my Mum and we found that sometimes, even the people in History you feel you know enough about still have a few surprises to share!

This is one reason I am thankful our paths crossed – as Ms Walsh found me, not the other way round – she is one of the #HistFic authors I am happy to know who is giving me stimulating entreaties into the historic past through the eyes & lives of strong women who have extraordinary tales still left for us to read and feel as if we’ve drawn closer to their ‘living truth’ than we ever could have whilst they were alive!

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Rounding out the lovely audios for review consideration, is a selection narrated by Jake Urry – this time in the genre of Paranormal Ghost Story with a Science Fiction Adventure on the side!

The Tesla Gate (Book No.1 of the Tesla Gate series) by John D. Mimms

→ coming in at 8 hours and 15 minutes

The only sad bit to relay here is the author went in a different direction with the rest of the series in audio – therefore, as much as I might eventually come to love this selection, I won’t be able to continue listening to a) the series and b) the lovely Mr Urry narrating it! The reason I’ll treat this as a ‘one-off’ rather than series is I’ve sampled the next narrator and I’ve determined it was a mistake to switch-out Mr Urry – not because he’s a top favourite, (although one could argue bias, yes!) but because I firmly believe there are some narrators who are well-fitted to a role and there are others, I fear are ill-suited.

Everyone hears stories differently – similar to how we read them – what appeals to me, might not appeal to someone else and vice versa. Such is the way – the reason I was most keen on listening to this particular story is because I was craving some Sci-Fi & who doesn’t want to see a threading of Ghosts & the Paranormal?! I mean, is that even a choice you have to ruminate over before *accepting*!?Okay, maybe a slight bit in case it becomes too intensive to get through – but everything I read about this particular title tracked well, from listeners to the sampler – I was happily diving straight-in dear hearts!

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Don’t be surprised to see me listening to more Mysteries of Suspense whilst I also read the same thematic in the stories I have in print! I have a lot of lovelies this JUNE to appreciate which will give me a wicked thrill to be locked inside!

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #AudiobookMonth
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Posted Saturday, 2 June, 2018 by jorielov in #AudiobookMonth, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, JLAS Update Post, Jorie Loves A Story, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event

Blog Book Tour | ” Ecstasy” by Mary Sharratt A Biological Historical Fiction account of the life of Alma Mahler and how her intense love affair with Gustav Mahler changed her life.

Posted Friday, 18 May, 2018 by jorielov , , 1 Comment

 

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

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

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Why I wanted to read this novel about Alma Mahler:

This particular author has a special connection to Jorie Loves A Story – especially in regards to milestones and memories! Whilst I was a 1st Year Book Blogger, I had the pleasure of joy reading Illuminations: {A novel of Hildegard von Bingen} as my debut review for Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in November, 2013! The novel introduced me to an enriched version of reading biographies – an introduction that would carry me forward into the wonderful world of what I refer to as ‘Biographical Historical Fiction’; a mainstay of my reading queues! As routed through this category of interest!

From that foundation, I started to seek out traditional biographies and memoirs, under the new vein of interest called ‘Creative Non-Fiction’ where the stories are threaded through an emotional contextual core of narrative. For you see, if I hadn’t first read Illuminations all the lovelies I’ve been discovering since might not have alighted in my hands to read. Mary Sharratt truly opened my mind and eyes to how a story could be told whilst peering back into the historical past through a living history of a person who once lived. Her style of the craft is quite acutely realistic for the time periods she’s exploring; she has a conviction of setting with a lifeblood of drawing characters out of the wells of history to give us a resounding portrait of ‘who once lived’ can live once again in our own imaginations.

Whilst during my 3rd Year as a Book Blogger, I had the joy of discovering her prose within The Dark Lady’s Mask (see also Review) and now, as a newly minted 5th Year Book Blogger – I am embarking into my third reading of her collective works with Ecstasy! There is something quite special about the way in which Ms Sharratt approaches her subjects and characters – as I had this to say whilst encountering my last stay inside one of her stories:

I knew I would find the narrative an eloquent historical tome of insight on behalf of what I know of Sharratt’s writings; she fuses so much in such a short expanse of the story, you fully live within their pages. Her narrative has a way of not just transporting you back into the 16th Century but allowing you a bit of grace to flex your mind around what living in the 16th Century would be like from a sensory perception of insight. She taunts what you presume to be true with what is known about the century, giving you much more of a grounded respite than a flowery historical. This felt authentic to the era but also, to how the world would have been viewed during the different stages of Aemilia’s life.

I was caught up in the current of how fluid Ms Sharratt composed this novel and how she worked the story-line through the mind of a poetess. She truly championed the will of a poet and of a creative seeking to find their own way to express their creativity whilst proving that finding one’s way in life isn’t as easily to understand. Ms Sharratt will remain a favourite of mine to read, if only to see how her own mind fashions itself around thought, theory, inspiration and the fragility of where history and time become entwined as one. I will definitely savour the time I spend within The Dark Lady’s Mask the second time I read it, as it is not one you wish to put down in haste!

Only within the chapters of Illuminations did I find myself most akin to reading a different lifestyle than one I could personally relate too. As the elements of The Dark Lady’s Mask had such wonderful overtures of recognition from my favourite Bard, I felt there were portions of the narrative I had a pre-cursory understanding of – as I stepped inside Ecstasy, it was an easier transition by half, as any creative economist who picks up this novel will self-identity with Alma’s strong desire and need to fulfill not only her creative muses but to strike out on her own to develop her creative identity.

As such, this is one text where I found myself attempting to find the right words to articulate my reactions as I found the context of the story to be illuminatingly stimulating in it’s own right to parlay a multitude of thoughts about it’s inner theme, the heart of it’s message and the purpose we all seek as self-directed artists seeking our true selves and the rightful path we must walk in order to embrace the artistry within us which has not yet been revealled. These are the kinds of ruminative thoughts I am appreciative of being challenged to convey – as the writers who write these kinds of stories are digging into something dimensionally deeper than what might first be seen on the surface of their characters’ lives.

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Blog Book Tour | ” Ecstasy” by Mary Sharratt A Biological Historical Fiction account of the life of Alma Mahler and how her intense love affair with Gustav Mahler changed her life.Esctasy
by Mary Sharratt
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

In the glittering hotbed of turn-of-the-twentieth century Vienna, one woman’s life would define and defy an era.

Gustav Klimt gave Alma her first kiss. Gustav Mahler fell in love with her at first sight and proposed only a few weeks later. Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius abandoned all reason to pursue her. Poet and novelist Franz Werfel described her as “one of the very few magical women that exist.” But who was this woman who brought these most eminent of men to their knees? In Ecstasy, Mary Sharratt finally gives one of the most controversial and complex women of her time center stage.

Coming of age in the midst of a creative and cultural whirlwind, young, beautiful Alma Schindler yearns to make her mark as a composer. A brand new era of possibility for women is dawning and she is determined to make the most of it. But Alma loses her heart to the great composer Gustav Mahler, nearly twenty years her senior. He demands that she give up her music as a condition for their marriage. Torn by her love and in awe of his genius, how will she remain true to herself and her artistic passion?

Part cautionary tale, part triumph of the feminist spirit, Ecstasy reveals the true Alma Mahler: composer, daughter, sister, mother, wife, lover, and muse.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780544800892

Also by this author: Illuminations: {A novel of Hildegard von Bingen}, The Dark Lady's Mask

Genres: Biographical Fiction, Historical Fiction


Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

on 10th April, 2018

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 387

Published ByHoughton Mifflin Harcourt (@HMHCo)

Converse via: #EcstasyBlogTour, #AlmaMahler + #HistFic
Available Formats: Hardcover & Ebook

About Mary Sharratt

Mary Sharratt

MARY SHARRATT is an American writer who has lived in the Pendle region of Lancashire, England, for the past seven years. The author of the critically acclaimed novels Summit Avenue, The Real Minerva, and The Vanishing Point, Sharratt is also the co-editor of the subversive fiction anthology Bitch Lit, a celebration of female antiheroes: strong women who break all the rules.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Friday, 18 May, 2018 by jorielov in 18th Century, 19th Century, Alma Mahler, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, British Literature, Classical Music | Composers, Composer, Creative Arts, Gustav Klimt, Gustav Mahler, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Romance, Inspired by Stories, Musical Fiction | Non-Fiction