Genre: Non-Fiction

#HistoricalMondays Book Review | “Mount Vernon Love Story: A Novel of George and Martha Washington” by Mary Higgins Clark As a new reader of MHC’s stories, I was wicked excited when I learnt this lovely #HistRom about the Washington’s was her *debut novel!*

Posted Monday, 19 August, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#HistoricalMondays blog banner created by Jorie in Canva.

I’ve launched a new weekly featured concentration of book reviews on Jorie Loves A Story which celebrates my love and passion for the historical past! For those of whom are regular readers and visitors to my blog, you’ll denote a dedicated passion for reading Historical Fiction (and all the lovely segues of thematic therein) – I am a time traveller of the historical past every chance I get to disappear into a new era and/or century of exploration. There isn’t a time period I haven’t enjoyed ruminating over since [2013] and there are a heap of lovely timescapes I’ve yet to encounter.

This feature was inspired by the stories I’ve read, the stories I’ve yet to experience and the beauty of feeling interconnected to History through the representation of the past through the narratives being writ by today’s Historical Fiction authors. It is to those authors I owe a debt of gratitude for enlightening my bookish mind and my readerly heart with realistic characters, illuminating portals of living history and a purposeful intent on giving each of us a strong representation of ‘life’ which should never become dismissed, forgotten or erased.

I am began this feature with the sequel to a beloved historical novel I first read in [2013] – it was one of the first ARCs I received and it was the first year I was a book blogger though it was through a connection outside my life as a blogger. I celebrated K.B. Laugheed’s literature to kick-off this feature and hopefully will inspire my followers to take this new weekly journey with me into the stories which are beckoning to read their narrative depths and find the words in which to express the thoughts I experienced as I read.

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Borrowed Book By: I am a reviewer for Simon & Schuster – however, this book review is not affiliated with the reviews I am considering on behalf of the publisher. This is a novel a family friend lent my Mum and after she finished reading it, knowing how much I share her passion for the Revolutionary War era and early Colonial Americana History – she felt this might be a good fit for me to read after she did as a way to discuss the story together. This is something new we’ve been doing for the past few years now – ever since Mum first started getting back into reading with the Love Inspired Suspense novels. As we both share a healthy interest in Historical Fiction, this felt like a fitting ‘step outside’ the stories of Suspense we could both pursue together.

As the copy of “Mount Vernon Love Story” I borrowed via a family friend was read for my own edification and for future discussion with my Mum, I was not obligated to post a review; even though I elected to do so as a reader who loves to share her readerly life. I was not compensated for my thoughts shared herein.

NOTE: The Press Materials featured on this review were provided by the publisher and are used with permission after I made an enquiry with publicists I work with on blog tours. The Press Materials were found via this page and the attribution for the author’s photo has been maintained.

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On why I thought I’d enjoy reading about Martha & George Washington:

It is hard to recollect when my fascination with the Washington’s began – though if you were to hear me say their names aloud, it would sound closer to Wershington per a telling sign of my parentage and grandparents roots being hinged in the North. I do know my fourth grade year was a keen one for Presidential History exploration – which I’ll recant a bit lateron on this post – however, I also remember being given two figurines – one of George, one of Martha. I am unsure why I don’t have a similar set for John and Abigail Adams, but I believe it might be because I was more keenly invested in Washington as a young girl rather than having the admiration I now have for the Adam’s which came lateron in my twenties and thirties.

He was quite the man of mystery for most of my life – though like most inquisitive souls, I did chase down some facts about him and some stories as well. I have aspired to visit Mount Vernon as I am quite interested in visiting the places which were of importance to the Presidents; I’ve had the pleasure of visiting a few of their hometowns and other places of interest in the past though I do long to visit a few more estates as much as I’d love to begin visiting their Presidential Libraries.

In regards to Washington directly, before I started seeking out Historical Fiction narratives featuring either him directly and/or the Revolutionary War or early Colonial Americana stories – there was the film The Crossing (1999) which left quite the strong impression on me. From there, I started moving into fictional accounts of History whilst in my mid-thirties whilst binging on Classical Films via Turner Classic Movies (a channel I can never tire of watching) – I watched 1776 (1969) which is a musical film about the founding of our country but more strictly about the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

You could say my jaunts into this era of history are quite eclectically tethered to different parts of my life and you’d be correct in that observation. The beauty of course is not being in any particular haste to ferret out new stories but to take a bit of time to seek out the stories which keep me invested in the subject of interest as I navigate new stories and new authors who are re-telling History in such of way as to re-paint it alive for those us far, far removed from the 18th Century to consider it ‘living history’.

Towards that end – I don’t oft get the pleasure of reading stories anchoured to both spouses – mostly I find stories through the portal of one of the husbands (ie. former Presidents) rather than in full scope of whom they were in their personal and/or their professional capacities. I felt this particular novel would be intriguing as it puts us behind closed doors and gets to see Washington as “George” the man who was in love with Patsy (‘Martha’) who just happened to be our first President of the United States.

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#HistoricalMondays Book Review | “Mount Vernon Love Story: A Novel of George and Martha Washington” by Mary Higgins Clark As a new reader of MHC’s stories, I was wicked excited when I learnt this lovely #HistRom about the Washington’s was her *debut novel!*Mount Vernon Love Story
Subtitle: A Novel of George and Martha Washington
by Mary Higgins Clark
Source: Borrowed Book (Family/Friend)

In Mount Vernon Love Story -- famed suspense writer Mary Higgins Clark's long-out-of-print first novel -- the bestselling author reveals the flesh-and-blood man who became the "father of our country" in a story that is charming, insightful, and immensely entertaining.

Always a lover of history, Mary Higgins Clark wrote this extensively researched biographical novel and titled it Aspire to the Heavens, after the motto of George Washington's mother. Published in 1969, the book was more recently discovered by a Washington family descendant and reissued as Mount Vernon Love Story. Dispelling the widespread belief that although George Washington married Martha Dandridge Custis, he reserved his true love for Sally Carey Fairfax, his best friend's wife, Mary Higgins Clark describes the Washington marriage as one full of tenderness and passion, as a bond between two people who shared their lives -- even the bitter hardship of a winter in Valley Forge -- in every way. In this author's skilled hands, the history, the love, and the man come fully and dramatically alive.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780743448949

Genres: Biographical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Presidential Life & History, Time Slip and/or Time Shift


Published by Simon & Schuster

on 1st June,, 2003

Format: Hardcover Edition, Large Print Edition

Pages: 223

Published by: Simon & Schuster (

This particular novel was the author’s first published story.

Interestingly enough it is also my *first!* story of Ms Clark’s I’ve read!

A bit of trivia: this novel was originally entitled: “Aspire to the Heavens” (1969).

The version of the book I have is the hardcover edition published in *2002!* – however, I’ve included the details if you want to seek out this 2003 edition by Simon & Schuster. It should also be noted I read the *Large Print!* edition of the hardcover release – wherein it was quite easy on the eyes to read and a blessing for a girl recovering from five migraines in May, 2019.

I am delighted to say this hardcover edition features lovely interior illustrations!

Converse via: #MaryHigginsClark, #GeorgeWashington + #MarthaWashington

as well as #HistRom or #HistoricalRomance; #HistNov + #ColonialAmerica

About Mary Higgins Clark

Mary Higgins Clark Photo Credit (c) Bernard Vidal

The #1 New York Times bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark has written thirty-seven suspense novels, four collections of short stories, a historical novel, a memoir, and two children’s books.

With her daughter Carol Higgins Clark, she has coauthored five more suspense novels, and also wrote The Cinderella Murder, All Dressed in White, The Sleeping Beauty Killer, and Every Breath You Take with bestselling author Alafair Burke.

More than one hundred million copies of her books are in print in the United States alone. Her books are international bestsellers.

Photo Credit: © Bernard Vidal

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Monday, 19 August, 2019 by jorielov in 18th Century, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Book Review (non-blog tour), Colonial America, George and Martha Washington, George Washington, Historical Romance, Martha Washington, Romance Fiction

#SaturdaysAreBookish | “The Royal Secret” by Lucinda Riley

Posted Saturday, 25 May, 2019 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

#SaturdaysAreBookish created by Jorie in Canva.

After launching this lovely new feature of mine during [Autumn, 2018] it is a pleasure of joy to continue to bring #SaturdaysAreBookish as a compliment focus of my Twitter chat @SatBookChat. If you see the chat icon at the top of my blog (header bar) you can click over to visit with us. The complimentary showcases on my blog will reflect the diversity of stories, authors and publishers I would be featuring on the chat itself. As at the root and heart of the chat are the stories I am reading which compliment the conversations.

#SaturdaysAreBookish throughout [2019] will be featuring the Romance & Women’s Fiction authors I am discovering to read across genre and point of interest. Every Saturday will feature a different author who writes either Romance or Women’s Fiction – the stories I am reading might simply inspire the topics in the forthcoming chats or they might be directly connected to the current guest author.

I am excited about where new guests and new stories will lay down the foundation of inspiring the topics, the conversations and the bookish recommendations towards promoting Romance & Women’s Fiction. Here’s a lovely New Year full of new authors and their stories to celebrate!

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Acquired Book By: I became introduced to the writing style of Lucinda Riley through reading her dearly epic Seven Sisters saga – I have also participated on a few of the last blog tours celebrating this series whilst having had the pleasure of borrowing the books through my local library in order to read the series start to finish. Through these readings during the past few years, I’ve felt her writings and stories have etched themselves into my heart for their breadth of depth and the wondrous ways in which her characters never quite leave your heart after you conclude their individual stories!

Therefore, when I was approached about a new book being released that is outside this series I have a fond attachment too but is within the scope of the recent IRL Royal Romance between Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex – I knew I had to read this novel!

I received a complimentary ARC copy of “The Royal Secret” direct from the publisher Atria Books in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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On why I love returning back inside a Lucinda Riley novel:

What was beautiful about the story is the resolve of Tiggy’s grandmother and the rest of the women in the family; I leaned closer to Maria than Lucia; though in truth, Lucia had a complicated life. She was passionate to a fault, addicted to her talent and sought for nothing outside the pursuit of her chosen craft: dancing. She also was at a deficit in life to strive for her own goals due to her father’s manipulations – overall, you felt for her in those moments where you wonder how things could have gone if she hadn’t hitched her dreams to her father’s selfish motivations.

Tiggy’s story has a lot of unexpected surprises within it – the best of all is when Ally came back into the time-line as I was most happy with what is revealled about her and where she is presently in her life. Other sisters came in and out of the sequencing of events but it was truly more centred on Tiggy and Ally at one point which was quite lovely, I thought! Tiggy didn’t have an easy path anymore than Lucia – similar to how the past and the present affected her sisters, Tiggy was learning that her past was also influencing her present in ways she might never had understood if she hadn’t believed in her instincts to live and work the way she believed was her heart’s passion.

It speaks to how we all need to listen to our intuition and to be mindful of the things we are understanding – living life on faith and for hugging close to our family. Whether our family is found, adopted or biological – all families are important in our lives as it is the one place in this crazy world where we can find unconditional love and acceptance. This is truly a series which champions family, love and the fierce strength of the women who the seven sisters are related too. Each new installment re-strengthens the legacy of their lives and draws us closer to the truth emerging out of the unknown passages of time uniting them all.

I truly love when writers insert linguistical expressions of phrase into their stories – I’ve read quite a few stories about Scotland and the Highlands in particular (as it is my favourite setting!) – however Ms Riley truly tapped into their dialect in a beautiful way of convincing you on your arrival to the Kinnaird estate! The words are writ just as they would be heard and it added more dimension I felt to Tiggy’s story as this is how she would be hearing the words herself when she was interacting with everyone.

The linguistics continued in the sections highlighting life in Spain – including the cultural heritage of gypsies and the flamingo dance. You truly felt taken on a flight through history – seeing how Tiggy’s ancestors once lived in caves and how their cultural heritage was something they were not just proud of but something they maintained generationally. Getting to peer into the past was a blessing as it showed the background of Tiggy’s origins whilst it contrasted with who she is today. It also spoke to those moments of insight she felt as she had grown up and what her intuition truly could reveal about her truer nature.

Riley continues to inspire me for the depth of conception within her series – she spends a heap of time developing the characters, their back-stories, their present lives and the ways in which the past arches back into the present to where you will lovingly feel dearly attached her narrative style for giving you a breadth of joy as you settle into her series.

I love how this series transitions through a Contemporary narrative into a Historical one – it is a time shift series where you spend half of your time in the past and the rest of the time in the present. Each section of the novels inter-relate to the other sections to where you have this beautifully strung continuity between the ancestral lines of the sisters and their own lives in the present day. It makes for a lovely reading experience because your shifting back and forth, digging into the past but also walking through the present towards the future. I love this style of story and the best bits really is how taut and exacting she’s crafted the continuity between the installments.

-quoted from my review of The Moon Sister

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com#SaturdaysAreBookish | “The Royal Secret” by Lucinda RileyThe Royal Secret
by Ms Lucinda Riley
Source: Direct from Publisher

When Sir James Harrison, one the greatest actors of his generation, passes away at the age of ninety-five, he leaves behind not just a heartbroken family but also a secret so shocking, it could rock the English establishment to its core.

Joanna Haslam, an up-and-coming reporter, is assigned to cover the legendary actor’s funeral, attended by glitzy celebrities of every background. But Joanna stumbles on something dark beneath the glamour: the mention of a letter James Harrison has left behind—the contents of which many have been desperate to keep concealed for over seventy years. As she peels back the veil of lies that has shrouded the secret, she realizes that she’s close to uncovering something deadly serious—and the royal family may be implicated. Before long, someone is on her tracks, attempting to prevent her from discovering the truth. And they’ll stop at nothing to reach the letter before she does…

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781982115067

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Epistolary | Letters & Correspondences, Genre-bender, Women's Fiction


Published by Atria Books

on 21st May, 2019

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 528

 Published By: Atria ()
{imprint of} Simon & Schuster (

Available Formats: Hardcover, Audiobook, Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #TheRoyalSecret and #SaturdaysAreBookish

About Ms Lucinda Riley

Lucinda Riley Photo Credit Boris Breuer

Lucinda Riley is the New York Times bestselling author of The Orchid House, The Girl on the Cliff, The Lavender Garden, The Midnight Rose, and the Seven Sisters series. Her books have sold more than fifteen million copies in thirty-five languages globally. She was born in Ireland and divides her time between England and West Cork with her husband and four children.

Photo Credit: Boris Breuer

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Saturday, 25 May, 2019 by jorielov in 21st Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Family Drama, Family Life, Inheritance & Identity, Life Shift, Modern Day, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Unexpected Inheritance, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Fiction

Audiobook Blog Tour | “Being A Witch and Other Things I Didn’t Ask For” by Sara Pascoe, narrated by Fiona Hardingham

Posted Sunday, 17 March, 2019 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 “Being A Witch” via Audiobookworm Promotion who is working with Sara Pascoe on this blog tour in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

What inspired me to listen to this audiobook:

I am on the lookout for pro-positive stories about foster care & adoption, as I’m a Prospective Adoptive Mum. I’ll be adopting from (domestic) foster care here in the United States – which is important to mention, as this audiobook highlights the unique differences between the *UK!* and the *US!* foster and adoptive situations children & youth are facing today. A topic I discussed openly with the author, Sara Pascoe earlier on the tour.

Being involved on this blog tour has re-opened my eyes to the various differences in adoption & foster care services between countries; as I knew a few of those differences previously but not the insight I’ve gained directly by this blog tour. I also loved being able to see how the world within “Being A Witch” was developed and what readers can expect next within the series as this is only the first installment. I was quite thankful Ms Pascoe was open & welcoming to discuss the key components of not just her story but of the foster/adoptive services between both our countries.

I look forward to seeing the next chapters of this series and hoping that the rest of the installments will also be narrated by Fiona Hardingham.

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Audiobook Blog Tour | “Being A Witch and Other Things I Didn’t Ask For” by Sara Pascoe, narrated by Fiona HardinghamBeing A Witch And Other Things I Didn't Ask For
by Sara Pascoe
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Fiona Hardingham

After a life of hurt and disappointment, Raya, the spiky-haired, Doc Marten-wearing 14-year-old decides it's time to strike out on her own. She leaves the boring English village and what she's determined will be her last foster placement for the excitement of London. But it turns out she's a witch, with the annoying habit of time-traveling - by accident. And a sarcastic witch's cat Oscar tags along for the ride. Why would she fling herself into the midst of the Essex Witch Trials in 1645 England?

After being arrested by one of history's most notorious witch hunters, her social worker and witch mentor Bryony goes back to try to save them from the gallows. But returning to present day London remains out of reach when they find themselves in Istanbul in the year 1645. There, life is more amazing than she ever dreamed.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B07N34WBZ4

Also by this author: Author Inteview: Sara Pascoe (Being A Witch)

Genres: Adoption & Foster Care, Children At Risk, Children's Literature, Young Adult Fiction


Published by Self Published Author

on 28th January, 2019

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 7 hours and 40 minutes (unabridged)

This is a self-published audiobook.

Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #BeingAWitch, #SaraPascoe + #AudioReads, #Audiobook

OR #loveaudiobooks, #YALit + #YAFantasy

About Sara Pascoe

Sara Pascoe

Sara Pascoe comes to writing after a career in psychology, where she had many wonderful experiences, from the chimp house to the halls of Congress, with neuroscience research in between. Originally from the United States, she moved to Great Britain in 2004. She lives in Bournemouth, on the southern coast of England where they run a B&B for English language students.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Sunday, 17 March, 2019 by jorielov in Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Coming-Of Age, Content Note, Dreams & Dreamscapes, Familiars, Fantasy Fiction, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Fly in the Ointment, Indie Author, Mental Health, Realistic Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Time Travel, Time Travel Adventure, Urban Fantasy, Vulgarity in Literature, Witches and Warlocks, YA Fantasy, YA Paranormal &/or Paranormal Romance, Young Adult Fiction