Genre: Historical Fiction

Cover Reveal w/ Notes | A new war drama caught my eye recently “Shelter” by Sarah Franklin

Posted Monday, 2 April, 2018 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I came across a new publisher in recent months who has been releasing stories which are catching my eye and are becoming part of a growing list of #mustreads! This one in particular catch my attention because it takes a war drama to a new layer of heightened awareness of another facet of the war era we might not have become aware of until a novel like this one highlights the hidden history. This isn’t the first time I’ve found myself properly intrigued by a war drama such as this one which separates itself from the others due to the original thread of entrance into a portion the war’s history we never would have heard about otherwise. It reminds me of when I first learnt of the Land Girls – who worked the fields and brought in the veg to keep the country (England) well fed during the war era.

In this instance, it’s the captivating drama behind finding yourself in the midst of a forest and doing work within it you might not have felt you could have previously if it hadn’t been for the war itself. It is also about a meeting of the minds – of how two people can find themselves during war and find a measure of peace through their connection – even if the rest of the world and their future isn’t quite as clear as their ‘everyday’ here and now. It sounds like the kind of dramatic story I would love to read and this is why I am joining in the celebration for the paperback release!

I love finding stories which stand out – curate a vein of entry into a portal of history which at times can feel overrun with stories (as I’ve become quite particular about which war dramas I read) – you still find the hidden gems which speak out from the crowd, draw your heart towards their words and find an uplift of joy to have stumbled across a part of History you haven’t yet had the chance to traverse inside. At least, this is how I felt when I first read the premise behind SHELTER and why I happily wanted to cheer about it today, on the 2nd of April.

I am sharing this announcement both on my blog and on Twitter – wherein the most intriguing part of the story itself – aside from the characters and the ports of entry therein – is how inspiring the back-story is about how the novel was conceived by the author! I’ve included a preview of insight from the author on this post – you’ll find out about where this story is set and what led the author to tell the story she did. If you have a penchant for war dramas like I do, I hope this might be one of your #mustreads as much as it has become mine!

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Cover Reveal w/ Notes | A new war drama caught my eye recently “Shelter” by Sarah FranklinShelter
by Sarah Franklin

Spring 1944. Connie Granger arrives, alone, in the Forest of Dean. Fleeing her blitzed home and the war that’s fiercely raging on, she will train with the Women’s Timber Corps as a lumberjill. Deep in the heart of the forest, Connie’s duties will include felling, snedding, loading and crosscutting.

As she is drawn to the healing rhythms of the ancient forest and its remote local community – the forester and his wife, the shepherd, – Connie battles with the knowledge that she must soon make a life-changing decision.

Also arriving in the forest is Seppe, an Italian Prisoner of War, who is haunted by the past. Amongst the trees of the forest, he finds a strange kind of freedom and when Connie and Seppe cross paths in the forest, their meeting signals new beginnings. With the support of one another they will find the means to imagine their own lives anew and to face the fears that haunt them.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1785762826

Genres: Historical Fiction, War Drama


on 1st June, 2018

Published By: Zaffre Books (@BonnierZaffre)

an imprint of Bonnier Publishing (@bonnier_publish)

Formats Available: Hardcover, Ebook, Audiobook & the upcoming Trade Paperback Edition!

About Sarah Franklin

Sarah Franklin

Sarah Franklin grew up in rural Gloucestershire. She lectures in publishing at Oxford Brookes, is the founder and host of Short Stories Aloud and a judge for the Costa Short Story Award. She has written for The Guardian, Psychologies, The Pool, Sunday Express. In 2014, Sarah was awarded a Jerwood/Arvon Mentorship on the strength of her opening pages of SHELTER, and worked on the novel for a year with Jenn Ashworth, amongst others.

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Posted Monday, 2 April, 2018 by jorielov in 20th Century, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover Reveal, Book Spotlight & Announcement, Historical Fiction, The World Wars, War Drama, Women's Land Army (Land Girls) Britain

Blog Book Tour | “In Spite of Lions” by Scarlette Pike

Posted Friday, 23 March, 2018 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I have been a blog tour hostess with Cedar Fort for the past three years, wherein I took a brief hiatus from hosting before resuming August 2016. I appreciate the diversity of the stories the Indie publisher is publishing per year, not only for fiction and non-fiction but for healthy eats within their Front Table Books (cookbooks). I appreciate their dedication to writing general market, INSPY reads and LDS focused stories across the genres they publish.

I received a complimentary copy of “In Spite of Lions” direct from the publisher Sweetwater Books (an imprint of Cedar Fort Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. I also read the copy my library purchased (due to my request) whilst finishing the story as I happily was the first person who borrowed the novel. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I wanted to read this story:

I have been looking forward to reading this story for quite a long while – as I still remember finding out about the story *ahead* of Ms Pike contacting me about the blog tour! I was trying to sort out if this was going on a blog tour or if it was a book I ought to ask my library to purchase. In the end, I was able to join the tour *and!* find out the happy news my library accepted the purchase request! In the end, however, I nearly wasn’t sure if the book would arrive – from the publisher or the library, as was the last person to receive her copy to review. I ended up reading my review copy *and!* the library copy in tandem as I left one at home whilst the other was a bit more portable as I continued to read the story itself.

I was striving to make the last day of the tour – except due to my health issues these past few weeks and the tech difficulties I couldn’t circumvent (making blogging a nightmare!) – it turnt out I ran out of the hours I needed to finish the story prior to St. Patrick’s Day weekend. If my weekend had been without a small smidge of strife, I might have had a bit more time to read as well. However, the good news is I am able to run this review on Friday to catch everyone seeking out their #weekendreads! I am blessed to finish my readings and happily share my ruminative thoughts on behalf of this lovely debut novel: In Spite of Lions whilst moving through the tour route to see what everyone else had to say on its behalf.

The closer I was coming to receiving the novel in the Post, I spied Ms Bruno (of Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours) reading a copy of the story and saw The Lit Bitch was keen on reading it as well! Imagine!? And, here I was thinking I’d be talking to them about it – rather than finding out they already knew! I love how those of us who *love!* reading Historical Fiction have the tendency to find the same books at the *exact!* same time! lol

Truly what initially convinced me to read this story is what I had mentioned on Twitter – who wouldn’t contemplate what the rest of the world was getting up to whilst Mr Darcy was trying to get acquainted with Lizzie!? As this was lead-in towards understanding the timescape via the author’s website. From that one small revelation – combined with the briefest synopsis I’ve seen in a long time – I felt an intense curiosity to seek out what was inside this novel!

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Notation on Cover Art: As soon as I saw the cover for this novel, I was transfixed on the image of Anna and the lion who is super-imposed through her portrait. The effect of which is quite incredible when your holding the book in your hands and it is becoming a fast favourite of all covers & the dimensional effects you can have whilst giving a glimpse into your story & characters.

Blog Book Tour | “In Spite of Lions” by Scarlette PikeIn Spite of Lions
Subtitle: They warned her that Africa was dangerous... they couldn't know it would be her santuary.
by Scarlette Pike
Source: Borrowed from local library, Direct from Publisher, Purchase REQ | local library

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1462120642

Genres: Biographical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Women's Fiction


Published by Sweetwater Books

on 13th February, 2018

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 184

 Published By: Sweetwater Books (@SweetwaterBooks),
an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFort)

Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse via: #HistFic or #HistoricalFiction + #InSpiteOfLions

About Scarlette Pike

Scarlette Pike

Scarlette Pike became a writer by being an avid reader of Georgette Heyer and many other regency authors. She is a senior in UVU’s English program with an emphasis in Literature Studies. In Spite of Lions is her first finished novel inspired by her love for the regency era. The story has been carefully researched in order to preserve and promote historical accuracy.

Photo Credit: Alyssia Baird Photography

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Friday, 23 March, 2018 by jorielov in Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Brothers and Sisters, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Christianity, Coming-Of Age, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Dr Livingstone and Mary Livingstone, Family Drama, Family Life, Fathers and Daughters, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Immigrant Stories, Indie Author, Life Shift, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Psychological Abuse, PTSD, Realistic Fiction, Siblings, Sisterhood friendships, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Twin Siblings, Women's Fiction, Women's Health

Audiobook Spotlight | “Dante’s Gift” by Aubrey Wynne, narrated by Tom Jordan

Posted Sunday, 4 March, 2018 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Audiobook Spotlight banner created 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 “Dante’s Gift” via Audiobookworm Promotion in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I wanted to listen to this story:

When I first read the premise of this audiobook – what drew my attention to it is the fact it was a time slip / time shift between the Contemporary setting and the Historical. I have a passion for dual time-lines in stories and I was hoping this would be a good fit for me in regards to an audiobook. There are several stories I’ve read in the past which have handled this vein of interest which have not only pulled me into their narratives but it’s how deftly in-tune the writers were to bridge the gap between both eras in time they focused on which left me wanting ‘more’ of their stories!

Sadly, though, as I will talk about below – what I was hoping to find inside this story was hindered by the performance of the narrator – whose narration truly affected how I was interpreting the story and finding it an uncomfortable experience due to how he had approached it.

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Audiobook Spotlight | “Dante’s Gift” by Aubrey Wynne, narrated by Tom JordanDante's Gift
Subtitle: A Chicago Christmas (book one)
by Aubrey Wynne
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Tom Jordan

Kathleen James has put her practical side away for once and looks forward to the perfect romantic evening: an intimate dinner with the man of her dreams and an engagement ring. She is not prepared to hear that he wants to bring his grandmother back from Italy to live with him.

Dominic Lawrence has planned this marriage proposal for six months. Nothing can go wrong-until his Nonna calls. Now he must interrupt the tenderest night of Katie's life with the news that another woman will be under their roof.

When Antonia's sister dies, she finds herself longing to be back in the States. An Italian wartime bride from the 1940s, she knows how precious love can be. Can her own story of an American soldier and a very special collie once again bring two hearts together at Christmas?

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

ASIN: B07847MDS3

Genres: Christmas Story &/or Christmas Romance, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, War Drama


Published by Plato Publishing

on 27th November, 2017

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 3 hours and 5 minutes (unabridged)

Published by: Plato Publishing

A Chicago Christmas series:

Dante’s Gift | Book One

Paper Love | Book Two | Synopsis

Merry Christmas, Henry | Book Three | Synopsis

Formats Available: Paperback, Ebook and Audiobook

About Aubrey Wynne

Aubrey Wynne

Bestselling and award-winning author Aubrey Wynne resides in the Midwest with her husband, dogs, horses, mule and barn cats. She is an elementary teacher by trade, champion of children and animals by conscience, and author by night. Obsessions include history, travel, trailriding and all things Christmas.

Her short stories, Merry Christmas, Henry and Pete's Mighty Purty Privies have won Readers Choice Awards and Dante's Gift received the 2016 Golden Quill, Heart of Excellence, and Aspen Gold award, as well as being a Maggie finalist.

Aubrey’s medieval fantasy series launches in 2017 with Rolf's Quest. Besides the Chicago Christmas novellas, Aubrey will also release "A Vintage Romance" series inspired by tales of her stepfather, who served for the British Air Force in WWII. The stories will be set in the 40s & 50s.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Sunday, 4 March, 2018 by jorielov in Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Historical Fiction, Indie Author

Author Guest Post | Lara Temple visits Jorie whilst sharing a bit of insight into “Lord Ravenscar’s Inconvenient Betrothal”

Posted Tuesday, 27 February, 2018 by jorielov , 0 Comments

Author Guest Post Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

As you might have noticed, I have become a bit smitten with Mills & Boon Historicals lately – in fact, my first introduction to to the infamous line of Romance novels was through my readings of The Captain’s Disgraced Lady wherein I found myself quite keenly thrilled for the chance to finally read my first Mills & Boon Historical Rom! I’m quite familiar with Harlequin as both of these publishers (as they are one of the same) are equally well-known irregardless of which side of the ‘Pond’ you live on – what caught my eye this particular year are the story-lines and the writers who are writing them.

I am thankful I started hosting with Rachel in order to bring spotlights about these stories but also, having the chance to read a few of them as well. For this particular tour, I had the pleasure of crafting together a topic I felt would inspire my regular readers & blog tour visitors alike to feel better acquainted with Ms Temple and the series she has started to create wherein this novel is the second entry! As you know, I recently have floundered a bit with my Harlequin & Mills and Boon stories – in relation to ‘order of sequence’ for the series themselves – despite that small hurdle, what will be a happy affair is chasing down copies of the stories! As I learnt via Mills & Boon DM on Twitter – the stories themselves are only offered for a limited print run before they are ‘retired’; ergo, it shall be a treasure map of joy once I sort out where they all went in used book channels!

This particular series is a bit of a step outside my usual wanderings – as sometimes I like to do that – pick something rather random which has elements of what is familiar to me and read about a character who may or may not be considered a charming gentleman but perhaps he has a few coveted secrets of his own he’s trying to hide? In other words, I am not generally the girl who regularly seeks out the ‘bad boys’ of Romance – yet every so often, I find myself attracted to a story like this one which has ‘something’ inside it which intrigues me. I think it’s healthy to read in and out of our comfort zones – seeking stories we might overlook otherwise & taking the risk to see if something new might warrant a refreshingly new interest into the writers we might not have known otherwise.

Similar of course, to the theory of thought behind Ms Temple’s response – of how even she, as a writer likes taking her characters outside their own elements of comfort – seeing how they will react & if they will take a leap of faith to find where they will fall afterwards. After all, life without a bit of risk is a bit too boring and I, for one, agree with Ms Temple – spicing up our lives a bit by daring to read or experience something which intrigues us is what gives us a hearty jolt of joy.

I personally love the depth and breadth of these characters she’s created – I can tell I shall be wholly engaged with their journey and most likely, on pins to see how it concludes! What do you say dear hearts!? Do you like to push the envelope a bit on your readerly endeavours? Seeking stories you might have overlooked if only to see if you can find a writer who writes not only with conviction but gives such a firm rounding of scope for their characters your thankful you took the risk to wander outside your normal literary realms of interest?!

I look forward to seeing your comments & thoughts on behalf of this novel or any of the lovely Mills & Boon stories you’ve found to your likely. I look forward to seeing what you’ll be sharing – and may you leave some notes for Ms Temple, too! She left behind a wicked brilliant introduction to this novel! Til next time – enjoy a hearty cuppa of your favourite brew & may your reading adventures fill you with blissitudes!

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Author Guest Post | Lara Temple visits Jorie whilst sharing a bit of insight into “Lord Ravenscar’s Inconvenient Betrothal”Lord Ravenscar's Inconvenient Betrothal
by Lara Temple

“Women either ran from Lord Ravenscar or ran to him.”

A Wild Lords and Innocent Ladies story

Alan Rothwell, Marquess of Ravenscar, is furious when unconventional heiress Lily Wallace refuses him purchase of her property. He can’t even win her over with his infamous charm. But when fever seizes him and they’re trapped together, horrified, Alan realizes Lily’s attentions will compromise them both! His solution: take Lily as his betrothed before desire consumes them completely…

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780263932737

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance


on 1st March, 2018

Published By: Mills & Boon (@MillsandBoon)
an imprint of HarperCollins UK + Harlequin Enterprises Ltd.

Wild Lords & Innocent Ladies Series:

Lord Hunter’s Cinderella Heiress | Synopsis

Lord Ravenscar’s Inconvenient Betrothal

Formats Available: Mills & Boon Historical paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #HistFict + #HistRom or #MillsAndBoon #Historical

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Topic I selected to ask the Author:

“I personally love the lead-in to the plot behind “Lord Ravenscar’s Inconvenient Betrothal” because there is a measure of realism in how it builds round the ‘unexpected jolt of being placed together’ which leads into a romance no one was expecting to happen. What inspired you most by telling the story in this manner and by taking both your lead characters off-guard in such a dramatic way?”

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Posted Tuesday, 27 February, 2018 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Rachel's Random Resources, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author