Genre: Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction

Blog Book Tour featuring an #INSPY author I used to interact with via Southern Belle View Daily! | “The Fifth Avenue Story Society” by Rachel Hauck

Posted Monday, 10 February, 2020 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Book Review banner created by Jorie in Canva.

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. This is how I came to love discovering the Harlequin Heartwarming authors & series as much as it has been an honour to regularly request INSPY stories and authors. Whenever I host for Prism, I know I am in for an uplifting read and a journey into the stories which give me a lot of joy to find in my readerly queue of #nextreads. It is an honour to be a part of their team of book bloggers.

I received a complimentary ARC copy of “The Fifth Avenue Story Society” direct from the publisher Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why this blog tour reminds me of being engaged
with the Southern Belle View Daily community of INSPY authors:

It wasn’t too long ago I was an active commenter on author’s blogs (ie. 2012) wherein I had my first taste of what the book blogosphere involved and how readers were finding ways to interact directly with authors they had either read or were dearly hoping to read ‘next’. This predates when my vocabulary involved the term “TBR” and long before my own blog was as whispered dream which readily became a reality on the 31st of March (in 2013).

Just ahead of developing Jorie Loves A Story, I discovered Southern Belle View Daily (earlier in 2013) and it was happily bookmarked through my browser’s RSS feeds reader (remember that option?). I loved visiting with the authors who were at the helm of the blog: Lisa Wingate, Rachel Hauck, Julie Cantrell, Shellie Rushing Tomlinson and Beth Webb Hart were the original ladies I interacted with whilst Eva Marie Everson, Kellie Coates Gilbert, Amy Hill Hearth, Denise Hildreth Jones, Jolina Petersheim and Nicole Seitz joined them off/on over the years.

They would host interactive forum discussions on their blog and even the occasional bookaway – I won Beth Webb Hart’s  Moon Over Edisto whilst during my first month of being a book blogger in 2013 I had the opportunity to review Lisa Wingate’s The Prayer Box which also became my first blog tour! Whilst getting Jorie Loves A Story off the ground and dealing with life as it was being lived whilst juggling my chronic migraines – I found I wasn’t able to maintain the connections I had established prior to being a book blogger on the author blogs I had frequented before launching my own blog. Therefore by the time I had the chance to return to Southern Belle View I learnt it was switching over to Facebook and that in effect knocked me out of joining them as I elected to become active on Twitter instead.

Through the years, I’ve grown attached to the series The Prayer Box began whilst I’ve had my eye on reading through all their stories and finding my favourites. Towards that end, I started by reading Kellie Coates Gilbert’s Texas Star series with A Reason to Stay. I still remember being involved with the now defunct Blogging for Books programme and finding one of Ms Tomlinson’s releases was available to request – however, I waited to long to decide to request it and it went to other readers! I learnt not to contemplate those choices too long afterwards, laughs.

As I never quite ‘let go’ of following their literary careers, I found out about The Fifth Avenue Story Society prior to the announcement of the blog tour via Prism Book Tours. I was going to fetch a copy of it from my local library when the invite came into my Inbox. Talk about a serendipitous day!I was overjoyed I could host one of the authors I knew previously but also, this would mark my first story by Ms Hauck I could finally read and I couldn’t wait! I also always see a hawk when I pronounce her name (big smiles) as it was the only way I could remember how to say it aloud! The fact as a wildlife photographer I’ve been blessed to capture hawks IRL through my lens is an added bit of serendipity.

You could say I feel like as I move closer to entering my seventh year as a book blogger this New Year 2020 – I am coming full circle! To my roots as a reader, to the foundation I set down as a blog commenter and as a writer reclaiming her pen and her inspiration to write her own stories. It is an exciting year and one I already feel has become memorable! How lovely I get to kick-off February’s Romance & Women’s Fiction reads with Ms Hauck’s new book!

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On my connection to Rachel Hauck:

I discovered Southern Belle View Daily in early 2013 during the times I engaged with the lovely ladies who were ‘behind’ SBV I came to appreciate conversing with all the Belles, including Rachel Hauck. I was a regular visitor and commenter – up til a certain point as once my blog Jorie Loves A Story launched live in August, 2013 I was not able to visit as regularly as I had previously. In the years since 2013 I have been more at a distance from directly engaging with Ms Hauck (though a few times via Twitter as I recall?) and have followed her releases from afar always hoping to start reading them. One thing which prevented me from starting to read the Belles works of Fiction is that they were not always readily available via my local libraries.

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with her through Southern Belle View Daily and/or Twitter; as 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.

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Blog Book Tour featuring an #INSPY author I used to interact with via Southern Belle View Daily! | “The Fifth Avenue Story Society” by Rachel HauckThe Fifth Avenue Story Society
by Rachel Hauck
Source: Publisher via Prism Book Tours

An invitation to join The Fifth Avenue Story Society gives five New York strangers a chance to rewrite their own stories.

Executive assistant Lexa is eager for a much-deserved promotion, but her boss is determined to keep her underemployed.

Literature professor Jett is dealing with a broken heart, as well as a nagging suspicion his literary idol, Gordon Phipps Roth, might be a fraud.

Uber driver Chuck just wants a second chance with his kids.

Aging widower Ed is eager to write the true story of his incredible marriage.

Coral, queen of the cosmetics industry, has broken her engagement and is on the verge of losing her great grandmother’s multimillion-dollar empire.

When all five New Yorkers receive an anonymous, mysterious invitation to the Fifth Avenue Story Society, they suspect they’re victims of a practical joke. No one knows who sent the invitations or why. No one has heard of the literary society. And no one is prepared to reveal their deepest secrets to a roomful of strangers.

Yet curiosity and loneliness bring them back week after week to the old library. And it’s there they discover the stories of their hearts, and the kind of friendship and love that heals their souls.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780310350927

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction, Literary Fiction


Published by Thomas Nelson

on 4th February, 2020

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 400

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Published by: Thomas Nelson (@ThomasNelson)
an imprint of HarperCollins Christian Publishing (@HCChristianPub)

Converse via: #FifthAvenueStorySociety,  #RachelHauck & #TNZFiction
as well as #INSPYFiction and #WomensFiction

About Rachel Hauck

Rachel Hauck

Rachel Hauck is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA TODAY bestselling author of The Wedding Dress, which was also named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times and was a RITA finalist. Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pet and writes from her ivory tower.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Monday, 10 February, 2020 by jorielov in 21st Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Introspective Literary Fiction, Literary Fiction, Modern Day, Multiple POV, New York City, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Prism Book Tours, Realistic Fiction, Southern Belle View Daily

Blog Book Tour | “A Girl’s Guide to the Outback” by Jessica Kate

Posted Tuesday, 4 February, 2020 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Book Review banner created by Jorie in Canva.

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. This is how I came to love discovering the Harlequin Heartwarming authors & series as much as it has been an honour to regularly request INSPY stories and authors. Whenever I host for Prism, I know I am in for an uplifting read and a journey into the stories which give me a lot of joy to find in my readerly queue of #nextreads. It is an honour to be a part of their team of book bloggers.

I received a complimentary ARC copy of “A Girl’s Guide to the Outback” direct from the publisher Thomas Nelson 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:

For the past two Summers I’ve participated in an INSPY readathon during July whilst I’ve been hosting for PRISM for nearly three full years now. I’ve seen my fellow book bloggers lamenting about the stories they’ve read about Jessica Kate (including Rissi) whilst I haven’t had the chance to sample her Contemporary Romance styling for myself. When I read the premise behind this novel I felt it was a good fit for me as a reader because I *love!* stories set in the Australian Outback!

This is partially why I was overjoyed sharing my #mustreads for 2020 during last week’s #TopTenTuesday as Janet Gover is releasing her new book “The Lawson Sisters” and she’s the Australian author who introduced me to Contemporary Australian Romances with her “Flight to Coorah Creek!” (and thus, launched the #CoorahCreek series!) I’ve been meaning to expand my search for stories set in Australia however, its been a bit slow going as my local libraries aren’t always able to request stories published elsewhere from the states until last year when my requests for UK publishers started to gain some traction. This year, I’m determined to find Canadian & Australian authors/publishers to request and see if I can read more of the fiction originating out of those countries.

I already have shared how devastating the news about the Australian bushfires have been on my own heart & soul. The news is never easy to handle on a good day, but finding out about the wildlife & the natural environs which are charred reminders of the wreck a bushfire can create in such quick-swift course is beyond heartbreaking; it is also why I started off January without the focus for reading and a mood set against blogging because my heart was elsewhere. I barely read throughout January and it is within February I am aiming to get my feet back into reading. This marks one of the first stories I’ve been able to read this New Year 2020 and I am hoping to find many throughout February which will re-jump me back into the joy I have sharing my readerly life with my dear hearted readers & visitors alike.

There is a heavy somberness reading about Australia but as its a country I’ve had mates & fond memories of friendship from the past inasmuch as my attachment to the Australian Zoo and the conservation efforts of the Irwin family; I also love Australian Literature. This is why I was eagerly excited about finding one of Jessica Kate’s novels appealling to me this New Year and I was hopeful it would be a good jumpstart towards reading more authors from this country I’ve been smitten with ever since I first saw The Man from Snowy River as a young girl who loved riding horses!

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Blog Book Tour | “A Girl’s Guide to the Outback” by Jessica KateA Girl's Guide to the Outback
by Jessica Kate
Source: Publisher via Prism Book Tours

How far will a girl go to win back a guy she can’t stand? This funny, sweet, and romantic story proves that opposites do attract—and that God has a sense of humor.

Samuel Payton is a passionate youth pastor in Virginia, but below the surface, he’s still recovering from the blow of a failed business and insecurities he can’t shake. His coworker, start-up expert Kimberly Foster, is brilliant, fearless, and capable, but years of personal rejection have left her defensive and longing for a family. Two people have never been more at odds—or more attracted to one another. And every day at work, the sparks sure do fly.

When Kimberly’s ambitious plans for Sam’s ministry butt up against his risk-averse nature, Sam decides that obligations to family trump his work for the church. He quits the ministry and heads home to Australia to help his sister, Jules, save her struggling farm. As Kimberly’s grand plans flounder, she is forced to face the truth: that no one can replace Sam. Together they strike up a deal: If Kimberly comes to work on Jules’s dairy farm and lends her business brains to their endeavor, then maybe—just maybe—Sam will reconsider his future with the church.

As Kimberly tries her hand at Australian farm life, she learns more about herself than she could’ve ever expected. Meanwhile Sam is forced to re-evaluate this spunky woman he thought he already knew. As foes slowly morph into friends, they wonder if they might be something even more. But when disaster strikes the farm, will Sam find it within himself to take a risk that could lead to love? And will Kimberly trust God with her future?

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780785229612

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Romance Fiction


Published by Thomas Nelson

on 28th January, 2020

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 358

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Published by: Thomas Nelson (@ThomasNelson)
an imprint of HarperCollins Christian Publishing (@HCChristianPub)

Converse via: #GirlsGuideToTheOutback,  #JessicaKate & #TNZFiction
as well as #ContemporaryRomance & #INSPYRomance

About Jessica Kate

Jessica Kate

Australian author Jessica Kate writes inspirational romances with wit, sass, and grit. Jessica is a screenwriting groupie, cohost of the StoryNerds vlog and podcasts, and her favorite place to be—apart from Mum and Dad’s back deck—is a theme park. She has traveled North America and Australia, and samples her favorite pasta wherever she goes—but the best (so far) is still the place around the corner from her corporate day job as a training developer. She loves watching sitcoms with her housemates and being a leader in a new church plant.

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Posted Tuesday, 4 February, 2020 by jorielov in 21st Century, Australia, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Contemporary Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Modern Day, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction

Book Spotlight | Featuring an Extract with Notes by Jorie on behalf of “The Matchmaker’s Rogue” (Book One: Grace-by-the-Sea) by Regina Scott

Posted Monday, 20 January, 2020 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

Stories in the Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

In [2017] I hosted a similar spotlight & feature for this author – ever since I was first clued into her Love Inspired Historical writings, I’ve been keeping a ready eye out for her novels. I have also started to gather the stories I can find published through LI: Historical ever since the imprint was discontinued. They are starting to repack the stories into dual author or triple author releases now and sadly, I haven’t had the chance to gather those as I thought it was nice to see those coming out for those of us who enjoyed the imprint & were sad to see it go by the wayside.

Fast forward to [2020] and I am proud to host my second spotlighted post for this lovely author & share an extract from the story which is being featured on a January blog tour for PRISM. I personally *adore!* the Regency – an era I have become to know rather well and an era of time where I feel cosy comfortable to keep disappearing inside! I truly get caught up in all the drama of the ton and all the craziness set round matchmakers & those who are hoping for a true match rather than one attached to gaining property, wealth and status (or all three!). It was an era of balls, catty rivarly and beautiful fashion whilst at the same time it had a very conservative spin on society & the expectations of family, friends & peers. And, yet, despite that conservative edge to the Regency – I still find myself able to carve out certain niches of romantic joy i the writers who keep writing the Regency in ways I love to read about it!

When I first read the premise of “The Matchmaker’s Rogue” and saw the cover art which accompanied it – boy! did I feel like swooning into a wicked good read! I had wished this might have been available to review for the tour as it looks dearly #unputdownable! I’ve queued the book to be requested at my local library as they’ve been blessedly receptive this past year to my purchase requests and I am hoping this one might become added to their card catalogue in February! I’ll have to keep everyone posted in case it becomes one of my next #libraryreads!

For now – brew yourself a cuppa of your favourite tea & enjoy getting to know a bit more about this story & the latest release by Ms Scott! I am truly hoping by year’s end, I can finally say I’ve read a handful of her Love Inspired Historicals & The Matchmaker’s Rogue! As this New Year’s 2020 for me is about seeking out the authors I’ve previously featured and finally getting the chance to have their stories alight in my hands to be read!

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The Matchmaker's Rogue by Regina Scott

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Converse via: #MatchRogue, #GraceByTheSeaSeries and #Regency
as well as #HistRom or #HistoricalRomance

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add to LibraryThing

Published: 8th January, 2020 | ISBN: 978-1657611467

Grace-by-the-Sea: Where romance and adventure come home.

Polished Jesslyn Chance has one of the most enviable positions in the little Regency coastal village of Grace-by-the-Sea. She is the hostess of the spa, arranging introductions and entertainments and playing matchmaker to the ladies and gentlemen who come to take the waters, promenade through the shops, and dance at the assembly. But when a rogue returns from her past, Jess finds herself suddenly at sea.

Always an adventurer, Larkin Denby left Grace-by-the-Sea to right the wrongful death of his father. Now he’s back on a mission: to identify the mysterious Lord of the Smugglers who allegedly sails from Grace Cove and takes England’s secrets to France. But Grace-by-the-Sea is the perfect little spa town, run by the still oh-so-perfect Jesslyn Chance. When the village’s future is threatened, Jess must work with Lark to solve the mystery and protect the town’s own. In doing so, the matchmaker of Grace-by-the-Sea may just find that the best match for her is the rogue who stole her heart years ago.

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Posted Monday, 20 January, 2020 by jorielov in #blogmas, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Excerpt, Book Spotlight, Contemporary Romance, Indie Author, Prism Book Tours, Sweet Romance, YA Fantasy

#SatBookChat Spotlight | featured guest Viv Royce discusses her Little Shops on Heart Street series during #SatBookChat!

Posted Saturday, 18 January, 2020 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

#SatBookChat 18 January 2020 banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

You might have missed my #blogmas book review for the first novel in this series “A Family by Christmas” – wherein, two of my #ChristmasReads and library purchase requests were thankfully able to arrive in time for me to read ahead of Christmas week! Both this novel by Ms Royce and “Christmas Once Again” were the top favourites of my #blogmas reviews as I was able to settle into a few Christmassy stories despite being taken ill by a Winter cold!

You might recognise our featured guest today as she is the host of her lovely chat #HistFicChat wherein all of us who love to chatter about Historical Fiction come together to share and discuss the stories which are intriguing to us all within the scope of the historical past! You can see why I took to that chat like a duck to water – I practically time jump round History every month of every year – so it is true delight to get to engage with those authors & remain in the know about which new books are currently getting published which might tempt me to add to my #nextreads list!

On my connection to Vivian Conroy:

I am quite active on the socially bookish side of the twitterverse (ie. #bookishTwitter); a lot of the writers and readers I enjoy conversing with on a yearly basis were first ‘met’ somewhere in a chat or a serendipitously lovely convo – either organised through a Twitter chat or a randomly engaged convo between them and I. I do not recollect how I first came to find Vivian Conroy or if in fact, she originally found me – I do know I immediately took to liking her Historical Fiction focused Twitter chat: #HistFicChat. Similar to my passion for #HistoricalFix (hosted and founded by Erin Lindsay McCabe – of which, due to her return to writing has been on sabbatical for three years) – this is a chat where Historical readers and writers can happily find each other, interact and chatter their bookish hearts out about the historic past whilst discovering new #mustreads!

I had the chance to review two of her novels: “In Peppermint Peril” and “The Butterfly Conspiracy” whilst I also had the opportunity to have her as guest author via my chat @SatBookChat. Ahead of the New Year, I also received good news my purchase request for her first Romance novel was accepted by my local library (“A Family by Christmas”) which I enjoyed reading and asked them to purchase the sequel “A Valentine’s Proposal” which I spotlighted ahead of her second guest appearance on @SatBookChat!

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with her through Twitter and have reviewed her novels; as 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. And this extends into sharing my honest impressions, thoughts and views whenever I am hosting a guest feature or a promotional post on their behalf.

She was also one of our featured guests last year – you can read the transcript of our previous #SatBookChat (Part One & Part Two) wherein we happily were focusing on her Cosy Historical Mystery series: Merriweather and Royston wherein I read the first novel whilst we touched a bit on all her other series in-progress and of which were coming up to be published next. It was quite a well-rounded #SatBookChat!

If you’ve missed my previous ruminations about this series let me share this ahead of #SatBookChat this Saturday morning:

The Contemporary style is similar to what you’d find inside In Peppermint Peril as Royce loves using small towne life as an anchour to her character’s life – which of course, makes me especially happy as I love the ambiance of small towne culture and the aspects of how the community itself plays an important role in the life of a character. In this instance, she’s given us three newer residents (Casey and her father Grant as well as Emma herself) who are attempting to find their way in both the towne and in their lives.

Royce allows you to see the emotional anguish in Grant – of how the toll of losing his wife is affecting him not just on a personal level of dealing with the grief of her loss but how he’s having issues parenting Casey. Even the small joys of story-telling at night is a tricky operation for him and during the daytime he finds himself less anxious and less liable to give into his war of memories which is slowly eating him from the inside out. You can understand his struggles – the difficulty of resolving the loss and the transitions into being as single father without his wife by his side. Royce gives you this time in his life full justice without sugar coating it and honestly depicting the harder moments of a father struggling to resolve his heart as he recognises that he’s changed since his wife died.

Royce has a knack for writing Contemporary Romantic drama – for giving her characters the space and time they need to work through their own internal battles and to give a reader a chance to see peek into a community they would be grateful to call their own. This is definitely one story I am glad I heard about on Twitter and am dearly wicked thankful I could read as it is another reason why I am enjoying my discovery of Entangled Publishing as a new place to find the Romance novels I must enjoy reading!!

-a quote from my review of A Family by Christmas

I had mentioned on my review I would be seeking out this series continiously through my local library and I have wonderful news to share today! They accepted my purchase request for the sequel “A Valentine Proposal” and I am hoping it shall come into the library’s system in time for me to borrow it ahead of St. Valentine’s Day! Wouldn’t that be grand?!

Technically speaking – I’ve had a very good New Year’s via the library – they accepted 5 of 5 requests and I couldn’t be happier – not just for myself but for the other patrons who will be able to ‘meet’ these books after I’ve met them myself. I love encouraging new purchases for this reason – they do not just help us with ouer readerly pursuits, they help introduce others to stories & authors they might not have found without our requests to bring them into the library.

You’ll note throughout my Story Vault are mentions of Sweet Romances which are either mainstream releases like this one or INSPY releases – I happen to love the gentler side of Romance as much as I love curling into an INSPY Romantic Suspense novel – sometimes it is just lovely to tuck into a sweeter side of the genre where you feel like you’ve stepped through a Hallmark Channel Romance movie!

As a hybrid reader of mainstream & INSPY Fiction – I happily take a walkabout through both literary destinations frequently and happily love sharing the joy of the authors who are writing the stories I am enjoying to read. They give you a happy burst of happiness to find and their stories are blessedly heartwarming to read.

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I hope you’ve brewed a cuppa to enjoy the information on this spotlighted post in conjunction with @SatBookChat whilst taking time to visit our past chats archived via the Moments on the chat’s feeds via Twitter. This chat will be archived after it concludes and a bit lateron from there to allow everyone the chance to interact, share and respond.

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Without further adieu,
I give you the latest #SatBookChat spotlight
wherein you can learn a bit more about the author & her story.

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A Valentine Proposal by Viv Royce

The 2nd novel released 13th January, 2020!

The Synopsis for A Valentine Proposal:

Just as free-spirited bookstore employee Cleo Davis faces closure of her beloved shop, the owner informs her it will continue as part of the successful Stephens chain. When the chain’s risk assessor, the very reserved, very attractive Mark Stephens, enters the store to look over her business plan, Cleo clashes with him right away. Oil and water have nothing on them.

Mark has always followed the rules. But the minute he steps into vibrant and spunky Cleo’s store, he knows he’s in trouble. One moment he’s in her “craft corner” painting bookends with kids, the next in a bidding war with Cleo at a charity auction. He can’t deny that opposites attract, and Cleo’s vivacious personality has him rethinking his life in more ways than one.

But when Cleo’s store officially becomes part of the bookstore chain, Mark will become her boss…and completely off limits.

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Posted Saturday, 18 January, 2020 by jorielov in #SatBookChat, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event

Blog Book Tour | the sequel to “The Secret Heir’ takes us further into the back-story of King David in the pages of “The Runaway Heir” (Book Two: of the Saga of David and Secret Heir series) by Janice Broyles

Posted Tuesday, 14 January, 2020 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Book Review 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 of “The Runsaway Heir” direct from the author Janice Broyles in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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What I enjoyed from the first installment of this trilogy:

I found the first meeting between David and Michal to be a humbling one – David hadn’t been granted instruction on what his role to the King (ie. King Saul) was meant to look like nor was he given any encouraging words of advice except to play his music. It is here where Broyles shared a passage from Psalms (and I admit, I love Psalms!) which related to the musical interlude. To his credit, David has a lot of strength and courage in his young heart – he is used to being shrugged off and mistreated by his family, to find his bravery at court amongst the King felt like he was truly embracing the gift he had received from on High; as he wasn’t rationally reasoning his visit here – he was choosing to go with the flow and to embrace whatever came his way.

Curiously there appeared to be a disconnect between David and his father – of how the son was trying to grow into a measure of worth befitting a man who was anointed with an important position in the future whereas the father used that secreted honour as a rite of fuell to dismantle his son’s spirit if he could break him with his fist. Why his father was so aggrieved against David from the beginning is unknown (at least at this junction) and what was hard to accept in the context of his story is how without his fellow shepherds he would have been cast out completely alone.

One of the areas of the novel I enjoyed the most were the nuanced moments between the events – where Broyles gives us a glimpse into the ordinary hours each of her characters might have lived and thereby extending the situations we might have read about through the Scriptures (of the Bible). These little tucked in moments give more breadth to whom we’re reading about – seeing Michal trying to round out her knowledge of the lyre (the instrument David plays), the vexations of her sister Merab not willing to ‘let go’ of the idea of love and the cunningly discouraging way their mother tried to continue to scheme and plan behind the sisters’ back; all showed how their lives were not as you’d have hoped and their trials were wide and deep.

You can understand how Michal and David fell in love with each other – they were both facing circumstances outside their control with parents who cared little about their individual needs and more about what they could leverage out of them. This sparked a connection between them where they each forged a bond with someone who was walking the same life and felt equally as miserable for the experience. It was here where Broyles knits the story closer to your heart because you can feel the emotional tidalwaves within each of them – they are torn between duty, honour and loyalty against what in their world is considered the weaker option of voicing their own mind. They were taught to obey and never to question their orders and yet, here they were given the chance to break through those structured barriers most of their age were living behind and had the opportunity to see each other on equal ground. Fittingly because Michal drew a connection with David, you saw for the first time she was starting to understand her sister Merab and the choices she was making in her own life.

Sadly for David – there were people conspiring against him and with the King’s own suspicious mind already in play, he barely had a chance to carve out his own life to live before everything fell at his feet in regards to the trust and loyalty he had previously secured. David in this installment of the trilogy is learning the harder lessons about supposition and rumour; how someone can turn against a person as quickly as they can be ordered to be killed. David’s truer strength is his faith in God and how he felt he was being led into the battles of his life. He drew strength out of prayer and song; giving himself to the hope of what his faith would yield in moments of intensive adversity where mercy was warranted. And, yet – there are those other moments where your heart nearly breaks for how futile his actions were to prove his worth and he was against a King who had already gone insane.

Throughout this first novel, we get to sneak into David, Merab and Michal’s lives – we get to get a more intimate portrait of what was going on at the time of the events History has been recorded to peer closer to the choices they were each facing given out by people who had control over them. It wasn’t a life of free choice and personal freedoms but it was a life they each fought to live – on their own terms but within a system which was organised against their will. Where the drama bridges the gap between what you previously knew about these people and what can become better inferred through this novel is where Broyles excelled at giving us a living portrait of life during the century where fate, love and enduring hope collided with destined prophecy.

-quoted from my review of The Secret Heir

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Blog Book Tour | the sequel to “The Secret Heir’ takes us further into the back-story of King David in the pages of “The Runaway Heir” (Book Two: of the Saga of David and Secret Heir series) by Janice BroylesThe Runaway Heir
Subtitle: Sequel to The Secret Heir
by Janice Broyles
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

In Ancient Palestine, Michal, a young Israeli princess, marries the man she loves, but it comes with a high price. She must spy on him and report back to her father, the notorious King Saul. Michal hopes her father will forget his animosity toward the giant-killing David, and that she and David can finally live a life of peace together.

Unfortunately, her father comes to collect on Michal’s promise, and she is forced to choose between betraying her father or her husband. Her decision launches her life on a path she never expected. Michal and David are ripped apart for eight years. One is forced into a loveless second marriage, the other is forced to run for his life. If they can survive the vengeful King Saul, they may have a chance at restoring their love. But a lot can change in eight years, and Michal and David are not the same as they once were.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1734100808

Also by this author: Guest Post | Janice Broyles, The Secret Heir

Also in this series: The Secret Heir


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


Published by Late November Literary

on 1st October, 2019

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 333

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

The Saga of David and Secret Heir series series:

The Secret Heir by Janice BroylesThe Runaway Heir by Janice Broyles

The Secret Heir (book one) | see also Review

The Runaway Heir (book two)

→ The Anointed Heir (book three) *forthcoming release!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Published by: Late November Literary

Converse via: #HistFic or #HistNov; #KingDavid
+ #Biblical #HistoricalFictionand  #HFVBTBlogTours

Available Formats: Trade paperback and Ebook

About Janice Broyles

Janice Broyles

Janice Broyles is an award-winning author. She resides in Winston Salem, North Carolina, where she teaches at a local college. She spends the majority of her free time researching history and retelling fantastical stories. Luckily her husband and two sons understand her passion for history and making stories come alive.

When not researching or writing, Janice Broyles enjoys spending time with her family and hanging out with her close circle of friends. The Runaway Heir is the second book to her David saga. The Secret Heir, released in 2018, is the first novel of the series.The Anointed Heir, the third book in the series, is set to be released by the end of 2020. Janice enjoys spending time with her husband of 23 years and their two sons and one dog.

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Posted Tuesday, 14 January, 2020 by jorielov in 1020s BC, 11th Century BC, 2nd Millennium BC, Ancient Civilisation, Ancient Israel, Biblical Fiction, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host, Father-Daughter Relationships, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, History, Important Figures of Ancient Times, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, King Saul, Military Fiction