Genre: Historical Fiction

Blog Book Tour | “The Romanov Heiress” (A re-imagining of the legacy of the Romanovs) by Jennifer Laam

Posted Saturday, 18 March, 2023 by jorielov , , 1 Comment

Stories in the Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

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! HFVBTs is one of the very first touring companies I started working with as a 1st Year Book Blogger – uniting my love and passion with Historical Fiction and the lovely sub-genres inside which I love devouring. Whether I am reading selections from Indie Authors & publishers to Major Trade and either from mainstream or INSPY markets – I am finding myself happily residing in the Historical past each year I am a blogger.

What I have been thankful for all these years since 2013 is the beautiful blessing of discovering new areas of Historical History to explore through realistically compelling Historical narratives which put me on the front-lines of where History and human interest stories interconnect. It has also allowed me to dive deeper into the historic past and root out new decades, centuries and millenniums to explore. For this and the stories themselves which are part of the memories I cherish most as a book blogger I am grateful to be a part of the #HFVBTBlogTours blogger team.

I received a complimentary ARC copy of “The Romanov Heiress” by the author Jennifer Laam in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. However, this was separate from my participation in this promotional tour for the novel of the same title — as I took it upon myself to feature a preview of a forthcoming review during the blitz instead of a standard highlight of the novel which is run during a traditional spotlighted post of this nature.

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On my connection to Ms Laam:

I previously crossed paths with Ms Laam whilst hosting her blog tour for the novel “The Lost Season of Love and Snow” – which was also a tour hosted by HFVBTs. I also hosted a guest feature by Ms Laam as well for that particular tour and had intended to do so again but realised that that wasn’t in the cards this time around. I haven’t yet had the joy of reading the other novels by this author which I aim to gather at some point post-relocation, as most of my readers and visitors alike know by now that I am relocating at the end of March. Her novels: “Secret Daughter of the Tsar” and “The Tsarina’s Legacy” are the ones I’ll be gathering next to read.

Whilst reconnecting with the author ahead of her promotional tours – one through Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and one through Xpresso Book Tours, I asked the author if this latest release (ie. “The Romanov Heiress”) was going to be releasing into print or audio, as I had only seen it noted as being a Digital First release instead. This happens quite often enough nowadays and I understand the reasons behind it in the marketplace of publishing. However, as I’m a traditional reader of books in print and/or a listener of audiobooks – it was something I wanted to ask the author directly about ahead of promoting the book to my readers and visitors in case the same might be true for them as well.

During that conversation, I learnt there will be a print edition of the book but I didn’t have a confirmed timeline of when it would release. Whilst conversing with the author, she offered to send me an ARC copy of the novel in print and I gladly accepted that as I was quite eager to see how she treated the legacy of the Romanovs as well as funnelling her own vision of their story into her novel. She is one of the Historical Fiction authors I’ve read in the past of whom I regularly keep an eye on for a new release and welcomed the chance to read this story of hers this Spring (despite the timing of my relocation).

Thereby, I am sharing this as the ways in which I received the book was separate from the promotional tours and thereby were not directly connected to either Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours non Xpresso Book Tours as well.
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On why this review is a more condensed version of a regular one I usually feature:

For those who follow my blog you will have denoted that the last time I posted an update about my life behind the blog was in mid-Feburary, when I shared my post about exiting stage left. In the weeks which followed, I lost interest to journal what was happening in regards to my relocation because of how hard it was to resolve and how exhausted I was trying to maintain my work schedules in and round sorting out where to relocate too. That was also complicated by wanting to visit with my father whose now residing in long-term care (which is also journalled extensively through my Sunday Posts of the last few months) and that was tricky in of itself as I had to balance those visits with both of my jobs. And, of course, with working comes added stress and with packing a flat comes extreme exhaustion. Ergo, this is the first time I’ve been able to sit down with a story after my readings of Caleb Wygal’s Cosy Mysteries! The latter of which I am going to be continuing with my reading of Death Washes Ashore.

If your curious – a new life update will be forthcoming this week during my next Sunday Post – however, for now, I wanted to address the shorter review attached to this promotional tour. I was hopeful I could get a bit further along into this novel ahead of my tour date, however, as it only arrived at the head of this week by post and as my life/work balance alongside my packing hours haven’t exactly been yielding a lot of ‘extra’ time for personal pursuits such as reading — you could say, I was just grateful I could read the first twenty-five pages and share those remarks with you instead for this lovely tour.

This abridged review is part of my #25PagePreview posts and at a future date I am hopeful I can share a more expanded rumination of my time spent within the author’s vision of the story.

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Blog Book Tour | “The Romanov Heiress” (A re-imagining of the legacy of the Romanovs) by Jennifer LaamThe Romanov Heiress
by Ms Jennifer Laam
Source: Direct from Author

Four sisters in hiding. A grand duchess in disguise. Dark family secrets revealed…an alternate future for the Romanov sisters from Jennifer Laam, author of The Secret Daughter of the Tsar and The Lost Season of Love and Snow.

With her parents and brother missing and presumed dead, Grand Duchess Olga Romanova must keep her younger sisters safe. The Bolsheviks are determined to eliminate any remaining holdovers from the tsarist regime, hunting down the last Romanovs and putting them to death. Now living in England, the Romanov sisters remain hidden to protect their identities, even as isolation strains their relationships.

But they can’t distance themselves from the world forever.

Olga learns that a peer of the realm has accused the late Empress Alexandra of betraying Russia and her allies during the Great War. Under the spell of the scheming Grigori Rasputin, Alexandra disclosed military secrets to the enemy and pursued a separate peace with Germany. If this rumor becomes history, it will destroy her legacy and her family’s future.

Genres: Biographical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Feminist Historical Fiction, Inspired by Stories (Author/Book)

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing


Published by Self Published

on 20th March, 2023

Format: Paperback ARC

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Converse via: #HistFic or #HistNov and #HistoricalFiction
+ #TheRomanovHeiress as well as #HFVBT

Available Formats: Digital First Release + Paperback Edition to follow

About Ms Jennifer Laam

Jennifer Laam

An avid history nerd long fascinated with the Romanov sisters, Jennifer Laam’s next books, including THE ROMANOV HEIRESS (March 2023), will explore their stories with several “what-ifs.”

A proud native of Stockton, CA, Jennifer currently lives in Sacramento with a spoiled tabby cat named Jonesy. When not reading or writing, she enjoys planning cosplay for the next San Diego Comic-Con, experimenting with vegetarian recipes (to mixed results), and obsessing over House Targaryen or Baby Yoda.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2023 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

Posted Saturday, 18 March, 2023 by jorielov in #25PagePreview, Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Inspired by Stories, Jorie Loves A Story Features, Re-Told Tales

Blog Book Tour | feat. The Blackstone Legacy series by Elizabeth Camden

Posted Saturday, 4 February, 2023 by jorielov , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Stories in the Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

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! HFVBTs is one of the very first touring companies I started working with as a 1st Year Book Blogger – uniting my love and passion with Historical Fiction and the lovely sub-genres inside which I love devouring. It has been a wicked fantastical journey into the heart of the historic past, wherein I’ve been blessed truly by discovering new timescapes, new living realities of the persons who once lived (ie. Biographical Historical Fiction) inasmuch as itched my healthy appetite for Cosy Historical Mysteries! If there is a #HistRom out there it is generally a beloved favourite and I love soaking into a wicked wonderful work of Historical Fiction where you feel the beauty of the historic world, the depth of the characters and the joyfulness in which the historical novelists brought everything to light in such a lovingly diverse palette of portraiture of the eras we become time travellers through their stories.

I received a complimentary copy of “Hearts of Steel” direct from the publisher Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. The Digital Audiobook copy of Carved in Stone” and “Written on the Wind” were available via my library’s CloudLibrary. My ruminations on behalf of the audiobooks (books one and two) are being shared for my own edification and to help introduce my readers to the series overall whilst sharing my own journey in its discovery. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I wanted to read this series:

When I first started blogging, I was going to set out to read new authors of INSPY Lit I hadn’t had the pleasure of reading previously. It was through my visitations with Casey Herringshaw’s blog which inspired the list I had developed of seeking out new and established INSPY authors who were drawing the eye of book bloggers like Ms Herringshaw and readers alike. It was through reading her blog rather extensively I found the list which was then developed in the final #70AuthorsChallenge. Uniquely, Elizabeth Camden happens to be the 67th author out of my original #70AuthorsChallenge List – as I disclosed ahead of reading her Empire State series.

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What I hadn’t realised is that I had uncovered another intriguing saga to read whilst I start to shift back into the O’ Connors saga by Julie Lessman. I have had a firm penchant for INSPY dramatic Historical Fiction (ie. sagas, series, and multi-generational quartets or trilogies) and it always a wicked wonderful day when I realise I can settle into a trilogy and/or saga which is beautifully layered and dearly engrossing! As soon as I put on my headphones and began to listen to ‘Carved in Stone’ the first novel of the Blackstone Legacy series, I found myself smitten with the narrator and completely entranced with the developing story Camden had written.

She has a wonderful way of developing the momentum of a series early-on whilst grounding us through an engaging narrative that propels us forward and leaves us itching for more details. Those wordsmirths like Camden give me a wicked good read and I am grateful that my library had the first two novels in audiobook – allowing me to gain a foothold into the series before I moved into the last installment which is being highlighted on this lovely blog tour: “Hearts of Steel”.

Originally, I had planned to listen to both the first and second novel in full ahead of reading the third novel in print; however, the hours kept erasing themselves off the clock this past week as I had to double-down on my work hours (ie. double shifts) whilst dealing with an issue with our car and recovering from a charley horse yesterday as well as a small bout of illness that was most unwelcome and ill-timed! I decided to re-shape the context of my post for the blog tour and discuss what I enjoyed within the first moments of all three novels whilst leaving the door open for when I can resume my listening of the series and complete my joys of feeling anchoured in the Blackstone Legacy series overall.

I hope my shortened ruminations might tempt you to check out the series for yourself – or encourage you to take a look at some of Camden’s other stories and series as well. This is the second time I’ve had the chance to read one of her series on a blog tour and I am most grateful for being included on the tour – despite failing to post within the original time-line of the tour itself. I missed it by a day and I regret that but am full of appreciation to the publisher for sending me ‘Hearts of Steel’ as much as I am for being included on the tour list by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours.

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Blog Book Tour | feat. The Blackstone Legacy series by Elizabeth CamdenHearts of Steel
by Elizabeth Camden
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Eloise Drake's prim demeanor hides the turbulent past she believes is finally behind her. A mathematical genius, she's now a successful accountant for the largest engineering project in 1908 New York. But to her dismay, her new position puts her back in the path of the man responsible for her deepest heartbreak.

Alex Duval is the mayor of a town about to be wiped off the map. The state plans to flood the entire valley where his town sits in order to build a new reservoir, and Alex is stunned to discover the woman he once loved on the team charged with the demolition. With his world crumbling around him, Alex devises a risky plan to save his town--but he needs Eloise's help to succeed.

Alex is determined to win back the woman he thought he'd lost forever, but even their combined ingenuity may not be enough to overcome the odds against them.

Genres: Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Historical Romance

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: ‎978-0764238451

Also by this author: A Dangerous Legacy

Published by Bethany House Publishers

on 17th January, 2023

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 336

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The Blackstone Legacy series:

Carved in Stone (book one)

Written on the Wind (book two)

Hearts of Steel (book three)

Published by: Bethany House Publishers (@bethany_house)

an imprint of Baker Publishing Group

Formats Available: Hardback, Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #HistoricalFiction or #HistFic and #HistRom

#INSPYRomance + #INSPY or #INSPYBooks

About Elizabeth Camden

Elizabeth Camden

Elizabeth Camden is the author of twelve historical novels and two historical novellas and has been honored with both the RITA Award and the Christy Award. With a master's in history and a master's in library science, she is a research librarian by day and scribbles away on her next novel by night. She lives with her husband in Florida.

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Posted Saturday, 4 February, 2023 by jorielov in #25PagePreview, 19th Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Brothers and Sisters, Family Drama, Family Life, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, New York City, Romance Fiction, the Gilded Age

#WaitingOnWednesday No. XIII | A Special Historical Fiction Kickstarter campaign kicks off today!

Posted Wednesday, 1 February, 2023 by jorielov , , 4 Comments

a word about ‘waiting on Wednesday’:

#WaitingOnWednesday badge created in Canva by Jorie using photography (Creative Commons Zero).

I have decided to start participating in this book blogsphere meme with a few small changes of how it’s regularly blogged about by my fellow book bloggers. I will either be introducing my current reads of upcoming releases as I am in the process of reading them and/or I might be releasing a book review about a forthcoming title by which I had been blessed to read ahead of publication. The main purpose behind the meme is to encourage readers and your fellow book bloggers to become aware of new books being released which caught your eye and which held your interest to read. Sometimes if your still in the process of reading the books, its the titles which encouraged your bookish heart. I look forward to spending the next seasons of the year, talking about the books I have on hand to read, the books I’ve been reading and the books I might not even have a copy to read but which are of wicked sweet interest to become a #nextread of mine.

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I haven’t put together a wicked lovely #WaitingOnWednesday in quite a long while – as the Sweetmakers last year were meant to be the last one I was to share with you all! Apparently, betwixt time, tides and life – that particular novel was swept away from my attention and it is earmarked to be read and reviewed this year – especially in conjunction with a chase-up to our 6th #WyrdAndWonder this coming May! However, between then and now, I’d love to start regenerating a focus on upcoming releases and/or new to be voices in Fiction I’m just discovering once again through this lovely book blogosphere weekly event.

When I saw a quick announcement about this particular release, I thought it sounded wicked brilliant because I was that kind of ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ fan who quite literally saw the first film 4x times the year of release (once per month) until All Saint’s Day. It was a method of shifting through my grief and sorrow – as I had lost my beloved (maternal) grandmother that July and through the adventures of Jack Sparrow and his friends and foes – I somehow found a way to smile, laugh and cheer on the hilarity of their exploits and explorations.

Ergo, just listen to how this series is fondly spoken about to know why it perked an interest in me as a Historical Fiction reader:

If Bridgerton and Pirates of the Caribbean had a love child.

Are you a fan of sweeping romantic adventures?
Do you fall for tall, brooding Naval Officers?
Love a feisty female lead who makes you yell aloud?

Then hop aboard Emma Lombard’s hardback Collector’s Edition
of The White Sails Series, and batten down the hatches!

I personally LOVE reading series in order but a small secreted joy of mine is reading an omnibus edition of a series as you have EVERYTHING you need all in one volume of entrance! I don’t oft get to purchase omis of series but on the occasion I do, they’ve become beloved sets of bookish joy because I can quite literally shift through a whole series start to finish and not worry about chasing after another installment after having finished the one prior to a new release.

And, as you know from a previous showcasing (see also Post) – I love to show a signal of support to writers & authors alike who are using platforms like Kickstarter to help promote and publish their stories.

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Posted Wednesday, 1 February, 2023 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Waiting on Wednesday

#SpooktasticReads | Year V : A 13-day celebration of the spookier side of Fantasy!

Posted Wednesday, 19 October, 2022 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

#SpooktasticReads 2022 banner created by Jorie in Canva.

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Welcome, Welcome to #SpooktasticReads Year V

Happily visit my lovely co-hosts:

Lisa @ Dear Geek Place

+ Imyril @ There’s Always Room for One More

+ Annemieke @ A Dance With Books

+ Ariana @ The Book Nook

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A bit of back-history on SPOOKTASTIC READS:

In Autumn [2017], I conceived of this idea to re-start my readings into the spooktacular worlds of chilling Thrillers, Suspense, Mysteries and the Paranormal (with just a dash of love for Cosy Horror!) – wherein I conceived of spending a fortnight reading such lovelies and enjoying a personal readathon leading into Halloween! I fell a bit short of my goals in [2017], even though I took it as a success – as not only did I read some rather spookified tales but I found myself wholly intrigued by the stories I was selecting to read!

By [2018] whilst helping develop and co-host @WyrdAndWonder, I put forth the idea to name our first mini-event for #WyrdAndWonder – wherein I was hoping to let this small idea I had in [2017] take flight, reach a bigger audience and find readers who might find their own definition of #SpooktasticReads befitting their own readerly life! Which of course meant – re-defining it to include what it celebrates now as a mainstay: Cosy Horror, Paranormal Fantasy, Witchy Reads, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Dark Fantasy and even Gothic Romance or other such tales. I still have the tendency to read Cosy Crime, Suspense and Thrillers throughout Autumn and into Winter as well.

Some of the stories of course play the theme up quite a bit for the spookier side of the genres, some of which may or may not directly (or indirectly) relate to Fantasy per se but this is one of those readathons which is open to both interpretation and the joy of having free reign to enjoy the readathon in a way each reader wants to approach it. The truer beauty of Wyrd And Wonder and SpooktasticReads is the ability for each participant to find their own readerly path and find what gives them JOY to celebrate the events we’re hosting through social and the book blogosphere.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #SpooktasticReads 2022

Posted Wednesday, 19 October, 2022 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