Genre: Romance Fiction

#Harlequin Heartwarming Series Book Review | “The Rancher’s Redemption” (Book Three: Return of the Blackwell Brothers) by Melinda Curtis [of a five book series!]

Posted Saturday, 29 December, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 2 Comments

#SaturdaysAreBookish created by Jorie in Canva.

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In keeping with the change of name for my Romance & Women’s Fiction Twitter chat [@SatBookChat previously known as @ChocLitSaturday] – I am announcing a change of features here on Jorie Loves A Story. Since January, 2014 I carved out a niche of focus which I named #ChocLitSaturdays as I have felt the best time to read romantic and dramatic stories are the weekends. This spun into a Twitter chat featuring the authors of ChocLit whilst I supplied weekly topics which would appeal to readers, writers and book bloggers alike. We grew into our own Saturday tribe of chatters – then, somewhere round the time of my father’s stroke in late [2016] and the forthcoming year of [2017] I started to feel less inspired to host the chat.

I had new plans to re-invent the chat in its new incantation as @SatBookChat but I also wanted to re-invent the complimentary showcases on my blog which would reflect the diversity of stories, authors and publishers I would be featuring on the chat itself. As at the root and heart of #ChocLitSaturday the chat were the stories I was reading which complimented the conversations.

After a difficult year for [personal health & wellness] this 2018, I am beginning anew this Autumn – selecting the stories to resume where I left off featuring the Romance & Women’s Fiction authors I am discovering to read whilst highlighting a story by the author I am chatting with during #SatBookChat. Every Saturday will feature a different author who writes either Romance or Women’s Fiction – for the remaining weeks of October and most of November, I will be featuring special guest authors during #SatBookChat whose stories I have either read, are reading or hope to read in the future if their newer releases. The reviews on Saturdays might inspire the topics in the forthcoming chats or they might be directly connected to the current guest author.

Our holiday break for the month of December will find us resuming #SatBookChat the week after New Year’s, 2019 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.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Acquired Book By: I started hosting with Prism Book Tours at the end of [2017], having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) whilst I was visiting as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. I had to put the memes on hold for several months (until I started to resume them (with Top Ten Tuesday) in January 2018). When I enquiried about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. I am unsure how many books I’ll review for them as most are offered digitally rather than in print but this happily marks one of the blog tours where I could receive a print book for review purposes. Oft-times you’ll find Prism Book Tours alighting on my blog through the series of guest features and spotlights with notes I’ll be hosting on behalf of their authors.

This particular review is slightly different from my regular blog tours and hosting features for Prism Book Tours – as an opportunity came along this Summer to secure a spot on a ‘review tour’ rather than a ‘blog tour’ for a five-book series from Harlequin Heartwarming entitled “Return of the Blackwell Brothers”. This differs as each of the reviewers and book bloggers who are committing to this review tour are posting at different intervals as each of the five novels release which is also co-dependent on the format we are signed on to review.

My reviews will be showcased from August 2018 through January 2019 beginning with the first novel by Carol Ross. Only the first and second novel will showcase the book synopsis, author photograph and her biography as the rest of the tour will only feature the serial information which is also seen on this post. Each of us had the flexibility to choose when we are posting our reviews which was another added bonus to this particular review tour. I elected to post mine on Saturdays, as for the past four years Saturdays have been happily focused on Romances (previously strictly by ChocLit) and I am going to continue to expand this featured part of the week encompassing more Romances by both ChocLit and different publishers. Except for when I needed to post during the week in lieu of Saturday due to health issues or life in general.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Rancher’s Redemption” direct from the author Melinda Curtis in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Why I continue to feel attached & connected to the Blackwell Brothers:

After concluding The Rancher’s Twins, a bit more was revealled about Big E – the grandfather giving all kinds of strife to his grandsons and giving the impression he was no longer interested in running the family’s ranch. The shambles this man left things was wicked awful and yet, at the end of the last installment, not everything we were perceiving as readers was exactly the way we felt we were being lead to believe – as there was a bit of a unique cliffhanger right at the very end of the novel! That particular dose of insight gave me a newfound respect for the Blackwell Brothers series as it added a hidden layer of depth to the evolving story-lines – one I hadn’t foreseen coming and one which it would appear is still becoming hinted about in The Rancher’s Rescue. At least, I hope it is will continue to thread into the background of the stories – as Big E is one grandfather no one will soon forget!

Meanwhile, whilst we re-focus off Big E (as we had previously) and re-focus on the son who returnt home at the request of his brother – we find Ethan less than enthused to be home! He cares about his work and his career as a Equestrian Vet but beyond that, he has no inclination of staying longer than necessary; something I had a feeling was going to change, as how often does life go according to our plans? It was good folly finding Ethan and Jonathan at odds with each other – they didn’t quite agree on their plan of attack to sort out the ranch’s crises but they respected each other enough not to let that draw a wedge between them too.

I truly like Grace – the accountant who works at the store where the Blackwells purchase everything they need for their ranches. She has a winning personality but she also doesn’t put herself first – she tries to find the middle ground, work with people and still find time for herself. What was interesting I thought is how she was hiding she was in her first trimester – as when she first came on scene in front of Ethan and her parents, I was half expecting Grace to be far enough along to be ‘showing’ and thereby, raised eyebrows would have been on Ethan. Mostly as they had been separated for awhile now and he would be instantly surprised by her condition. Though, this isn’t how it came about and as she isn’t showing outright, the baby was as secreted in her heart as it had been at conception!

There isn’t anything quite like a small towne where everyone knows what is happening before it actually happens! Such is the case as we cheekily get a purview of the kind of life Ethan would have if he wanted to stake a claim to come back home, live in his hometown and actually find that these neighbours of his wouldn’t mind what his finances said, they only wanted to support a Vet they could personally rally behind to do a job they felt was being left undone by their current in-towne Vet. For Ethan, it was a bit of a wake-up call to how many food centered invitations you could accept in a small space of time and still feel as if you were accomplishing something you never set out to do once you were home. I had a good chuckle of a laugh over how no one who called him cared if he was licensed and only wanted to have a conversation with him ‘friend to friend’.

As we shift through this installment – we gather more questions than answers about Big E – he’s this elusive character threading in the background of the series, even though I realised in the first story he’s the catalyst of the changes in the Blackwell brothers lives, the hardest part is finding rationalisation. I had a sneaking feeling Grace’s parents were going to be understanding when it came time for her and Ethan to finally have their heart-to-heart conversation. The way she is herself you can tell a bit about how she was raised and the kind of parents she had. It would have felt much more awkward if this had been written in a very stereotypical way; I was so thankful Webb took this route instead!

OOh and just as I had hoped – we get more insight into Big E himself right at the ending of the novel – I am always full of big smiles from reading this series! The ways in which the characters are drawing closer together, re-affirming their own life goals and dreams whilst the balance of one family’s future is still slipping in and out of the safety zone – there is an overwhelming uplift to read the Blackwell Brothers series! You come for the heartache, the family drama and the budding relationships but what stays with you the most is the enduring nature of the characters who populate the series! This is there story – where each new installment is a delightful new piece of the puzzle which knits out their legacies!

-quoted from my review of The Rancher’s Rescue

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Return of the #BlackwellBrothers:

The Rancher’s Twins by Carol Ross → August 1st
The Rancher’s Rescue by Cari Lynn Webb → September 1st
The Rancher’s Redemption by Melinda Curtis → October 1st
The Rancher’s Fake Fiancée by Amy Vastine → November 1st
The Rancher’s Homecoming by Anna J. Stewart → December 1st

The Rancher's Redemption
Subtitle: Return of the Blackwell Brothers
by Melinda Curtis
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1335633811

Also in this series: Series Spotlight w/ Notes: Return of the Blackwell Brothers, The Rancher's Twins, The Rancher's Rescue, The Rancher's Fake Fiancee, The Rancher's Homecoming


Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Heartland Fiction, Ranches & Cowboys, Western Fiction, Western Romance


Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 2nd October, 2018

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 384

Published by: Harlequin Heartwarming (@HarlequinBooks) | imprint of Harlequin

Converse via: #Contemporary #Romance & #Harlequin

& #ReturnOfTheBlackwellBrothers

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About Melinda Curtis

Be sure to visit the author online and find out what is she is releasing next!

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Posted Saturday, 29 December, 2018 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Contemporary Romance, Farm and Ranching on the Frontier, Indie Author, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Western Fiction, Western Romance

#Blogmas | A Fantasy Christmas celebration feat. authors of fantastical realms | The Songkeeper Chronicles by Gillian Bronte Adams

Posted Sunday, 2 December, 2018 by jorielov , , , , , , , 6 Comments

Stories in the Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

A wee short bit of time ago – there came into my Inbox a curious little invitation about celebrating #FantasyReads for a properly lit #FantasyForChristmas celebration headlining authors through Prism Book Tours. As [2018] became the year I reclaimed my inner #fantasynerd whilst co-hosting the first annual #WyrdAndWonder event – I decided to participate – sorting through the authors and sorting out which days I wanted to host their introductions to their fantastical worlds – however, this particular novelist (Ms Adams) snuck past me and when I saw a chance to listen to the first chapter of “Orphan’s Song” if you joined her author’s newsletter – wells, let’s just say, I didn’t hesitate to sign-on!

I’ve been keen on sourcing more audiobooks to fetch throughout the New Year [2019] as I continue to try to offset my readings in print with listening to worlds in audiobook! What happened was rather magical – as I personally *adore!* how the author is narrating her own story! So much so, I dared to hope she’s recorded the full audiobook adaptation and perhaps, one day I can listen to it in full!

I have the tendency to forget about ‘Christian Fantasy’ as its own unique niche of literature, as I generally look at Fantasy from a wider angle and lens – I’m more Tolkien than I could ever be a follower of CS Lewis – (for instance) and the novelist who cut my teeth into High Fantasy / Epic Fantasy worlds was Kate Elliott with her Crown of Stars Saga; a series I need to re-visit one year whenever I am able to sort out which book contains the books as I never did read it in full after having *loved!* the beginnings! A quirk I am sure most booklovers can attest as being something that happens whilst we’re reading & discovering new stories. We don’t always get to finish the series we’ve begun – which in of itself is one of the reasons I’m joining the Backlist Challenge in [2019].

I don’t limit myself to INSPY Reads even though I have been a hybrid reader of both INSPY and mainstream fiction since I first started sorting out my reading life as a nine year old fourth grader as that was the year I started to :love: reading despite feeling up til then reading was a bit of a thorn in my side. Most dyslexics I am sure share a similar affinity for reading until they sort out their own path into these incredibly layered worlds of imagination! I love moving between both sections of literature – there is something for me in both branches *but!* as said, I tend to overlook the Fantasy, Sci-Fi and Speculative realms as sometimes I feel they go a bit overboard for what I’m seeking – hence, why today, I was thankful to read the approach of Ms Adams publisher! They write #SpecFic both ways – for those who want ‘more’ centreing on INSPY narratives and those of us who like narratives which are influenced by Christianity but are not overly intensive to where the world building itself suffers. In essence, its the best of both worlds for me – as I love cleaner reads, non-explicit worlds and a layering of epic quests which Fantasy is renown to have inclusive!

Whenever I get the JOY of finding a new publisher whose writing the kind of stories I’m keen on reading, I love *celebrating!* that find with my readers! Therefore, as I was originally meant to kick-off my #FantasyForChristmas spotlights on the 2nd, before our schedule was moved forward by a day – I decided to treat myself to see what this series was about and found something rather extraordinary when I listened to the audiobook sampler!

Plus, I spied a gryphon – which brought back why I have been itching to start reading Jess Owen’s The Summer King series! It isn’t often I find myself intrigued by a Fantasy series such as this one and I am thankful to be part of the Prism blogger team to take part in this lovely showcase as December starts to arrive bringing with it a lovely respite of #awesomereads!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Published by: Enclave Publishing (@EnclaveBooks)

an imprint of Gilead Publishing

(owned by Steve Laube of The Steve Laube Agency)

Songkeepers Chronicles:

Orphan’s Song (book one) | add to LibraryThing

Published: 14th October, 2016 | ISBN: 978-1683700289

HER SOLO IS A DEATH SENTENCE

Deep within the world of Leira flows a melody that was sung at the beginning of time by Emhran, the Master Singer. Now it is broken, buried, forgotten. But in each generation, a Songkeeper arises to uphold the memory of the Song against those who want it silenced forever.

When Birdie first hears the Song coming from her own mouth, her world shatters. She is no longer simply an orphan but the last of a hunted people. Forced to flee for her life, she must decide whom to trust—a traveling peddler, a streetwise thief, or a mysterious creature who claims to know her past.

With enemies at her heels and war threatening to tear her homeland apart, Birdie soon discovers an overwhelming truth: the fate of Leira may hinge on one orphan’s Song.

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Songkeeper (book two) | add to LibraryThing

Published: 15th April, 2016 | ISBN: 978-1621840695

WAR RAVAGES LEIRA AND THE SONG HAS FALLEN SILENT.

Freed from the hold of a slave ship, Birdie, the young Songkeeper, and Ky, a street-wise thief, emerge to a world at war. Hordes of dark soldiers march across Leira, shadowed by whispers of plague and massacres, prompting Ky to return to his besieged home city in hopes of leading his fellow runners to safety.

Desperate to end the fighting, Birdie embarks on a dangerous mission into the heart of the Takhran’s fortress. Legend speaks of a mythical spring buried within and the Songkeeper who will one day unleash it to achieve victory. Everyone believes Birdie is the one, but the elusive nature of the Song and rumors of other gifted individuals lead her to doubt her role. Unleashing the spring could defeat the Takhran once and for all, but can she truly be the Songkeeper when the Song no longer answers her call?

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Song of Leira (book three) | add to LibraryThing

Published: 5th June, 2018 | ISBN: 978-1683700869

THE SONG BIDS HER RISE TO BATTLE.

Reeling from her disastrous foray into the Pit, Birdie, the young Songkeeper, retreats into the mountains. But in the war-torn north, kneeling on bloodstained battlefields to sing the souls of the dying to rest, her resolve to accept her calling is strengthened. Such evil cannot go unchallenged.

Torn between oaths to protect the Underground runners and to rescue his friend from the slave camps, Ky Huntyr enlists Birdie’s aid. Their mission to free the captives unravels the horrifying thread connecting the legendary spring, Artair’s sword, and the slave camps. But the Takhran’s schemes are already in motion. Powerful singers have arisen to lead his army—singers who can shake the earth and master the sea—and monsters rampage across the land.

As Leira falters on the verge of defeat, the Song bids her rise to battle, and the Songkeeper must answer.

Converse via: #FantasyForChristmas, #FantasyNerd and #EpicFantasy

About Gillian Bronte Adams

Gillian Bronte Adams

Gillian Bronte Adams is a sword-wielding, horse-riding, wander-loving fantasy author, rarely found without a coffee in hand and rumored to pack books before clothes when she hits the road. Working in youth ministry left her with a passion for journeying alongside children and teens. (It also enhanced her love of coffee.) Now, she writes novels that follow outcast characters down broken roads, through epic battles, and onward to adventure. And at the end of a long day of typing, she can be found saddling her wild thing and riding off into the sunset, seeking adventures of her own (and more coffee).

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Posted Sunday, 2 December, 2018 by jorielov in #blogmas, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Spotlight & Announcement, Fantasy Fiction, High Fantasy, Indie Author, Prism Book Tours

#SaturdaysAreBookish | Book Review featuring @SatBookChat’s 17th November Guest Author | “Stay” by Jennifer Silverwood part of my #Mythothon readings!

Posted Saturday, 17 November, 2018 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

#SaturdaysAreBookish created by Jorie in Canva.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

In keeping with the change of name for my Romance & Women’s Fiction Twitter chat [@SatBookChat previously known as @ChocLitSaturday] – I am announcing a change of features here on Jorie Loves A Story. Since January, 2014 I carved out a niche of focus which I named #ChocLitSaturdays as I have felt the best time to read romantic and dramatic stories are the weekends. This spun into a Twitter chat featuring the authors of ChocLit whilst I supplied weekly topics which would appeal to readers, writers and book bloggers alike. We grew into our own Saturday tribe of chatters – then, somewhere round the time of my father’s stroke in late [2016] and the forthcoming year of [2017] I started to feel less inspired to host the chat.

I had new plans to re-invent the chat in its new incantation as @SatBookChat but I also wanted to re-invent the complimentary showcases on my blog which would reflect the diversity of stories, authors and publishers I would be featuring on the chat itself. As at the root and heart of #ChocLitSaturday the chat were the stories I was reading which complimented the conversations.

After a difficult year for [personal health & wellness] this 2018, I am beginning anew this Autumn – selecting the stories to resume where I left off featuring the Romance & Women’s Fiction authors I am discovering to read whilst highlighting a story by the author I am chatting with during #SatBookChat. Every Saturday will feature a different author who writes either Romance or Women’s Fiction – for the remaining weeks of October and most of November, I will be featuring special guest authors during #SatBookChat whose stories I have either read, are reading or hope to read in the future if their newer releases. The reviews on Saturdays might inspire the topics in the forthcoming chats or they might be directly connected to the current guest author.

Our holiday break for the month of December will find us resuming #SatBookChat the week after New Year’s, 2019 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.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Acquired Book By:

I started hosting with Prism Book Tours at the end of [2017], having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) whilst I was visiting as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. I had to put the memes on hold for several months (until I started to resume them (with Top Ten Tuesday) in January 2018). When I enquiried about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. I am unsure how many books I’ll review for them as most are offered digitally rather than in print but this happily marks one of the blog tours where I could receive a print book for review purposes. Oft-times you’ll find Prism Book Tours alighting on my blog through the series of guest features and spotlights with notes I’ll be hosting on behalf of their authors.

This particular review is slightly different from my regular blog tours and hosting features for Prism Book Tours – as an opportunity came along this Autumn to secure a spot on a ‘review tour’ rather than a ‘blog tour’ for the debut novel by Jennifer Silverwood entitled: Stay. Although she’s published different series and stories after this publication from 2013, I welcomed the chance to get to know her writing style from the moment it began being published. This differs as each of the reviewers and book bloggers who are committing to this review tour are posting at different intervals before the final deadline for the review tour concludes. In my case, this also included being able to anchour this review with my @SatBookChat showcase for the novel and the book discussion which came out of it.

I received a complimentary copy of “Stay” by the author Jennifer Silverwood in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Why I originally was keen on the writing styling of Ms Silverwood:

When I first discovered Silver Hollow, it was the genre-bending styling of the author which implored me the most to read the story. At the time, Silver Hollow was being re-released and the only version currently available back then in print was the older version. Sadly, despite my efforts to secure that copy by inter-library loan had failed. It still remains a story I want to read one day, however, what was interesting about moving inside Stay was finding the natural nuanced styling of a writer who takes cues straight out of the Mythological past!

As I hinted at during @SatBookChat today, there are moments within reading Stay where I could almost feel the presence of Poseidon and Zeus; except, I wasn’t naming them in my mind. There are enough elements of connection within the story itself to draw you closer towards naming them outright but it was the illusion of connection to these two which I appreciated even more because it deepened the suspense and the mythological proportions! If it could be them, what if it wasn’t? What if there are others out there who can behave and manipulate the elements just as cheekily and get away with it?

This bridge between the fantastical and the mythological is what made me keenly curious about Silverwood’s writing style. I wanted to see how she used the bridge itself, as generally speaking I do have a penchant for Urban Fantasy nowadays but each writer I read within that branch of literature has their own unique spin on how to make ‘modern’ settings warmly conducive to Fantasy realms.

Finding myself dearly enchanted by how she brokered a story out of the roots of Greek Mythos is only the tip of the iceberg I feel I shall be finding within her collective works! The joy of reading Stay and discussing it was finding out the sequel is arriving in 2019!

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On my connection to Jennifer Silverwood:

When our paths first crossed, Ms Silverwood and I shared a mutual interest and connection; however, our friendship did not form for awhile afterwards. It was truly after the interview went live and after I noticed I was reading her blog as much as she was reading mine – where I realised we shared a lot of commonalities in our reading lives as well as our writely lives! We decided to stay in touch and it is an honour to find someone who understands the bridge between reader, blogger and writer.

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with Ms Silverwood through our respective love & passion of reading inside the twitterverse whilst I hosted her Silver Hollow blog tour and privately as well. 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 or continuing to read their releases as they are available. This also applies to hosting a guest feature by the author I share a connection.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

#SaturdaysAreBookish | Book Review featuring @SatBookChat’s 17th November Guest Author | “Stay” by Jennifer Silverwood part of my #Mythothon readings!Stay
by Jennifer Silverwood
Source: Direct from Author

Rona believes love is nothing more than a myth, a tale for little girls.

Until the immortal ruler of the seas appears from thin air and she is swept into a dark and dangerous affair, turning myth into a grave reality. Commanded to work as the savior of true love, Rona realises that love is just an illusion as grandoise as magic and after two thousand years, she is ready to give up. Until the night a human, deep in the underbelly f the city that never sleeps sees her. She recognises him instantly, a lost love. Trouble is, he has no memory of her. Tasked with mending a relationship between the love she lost thousands of years ago and another woman, Rona will have to learn what it means to be human all over agai when past and present collide.

Can love transcend time or will Rona be forced to roam earth alone, forever?

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1484116890

Also by this author: Author Interview: Jennifer Silverwood (Silver Hollow), Book Spotlight: Borderlands Saga, Silver Hollow

Genres: Greek Mythos | Legacies, Nautical Fiction, Paranormal Romance (PNR), Romance Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Urban Fantasy


Published by Self Published Author

on 3rd June, 2013

Format: POD | Print On Demand Paperback

Pages: 214

Converse via: #PNR, #ParanormalRomance + #Mythos, #Mythology & #UrbanFantasy

as well as #WomensFic  or #WomensFiction

About Jennifer Silverwood

Jennifer Silverwood

Jennifer Silverwood was raised deep in the heart of Texas and has been spinning yarns a mile high since childhood. In her spare time she reads and writes and tries to sustain her wanderlust, whether it’s the Carpathian Mountains in Transylvania, the highlands of Ecuador or a road trip to the next town. Always on the lookout for her next adventure, in print or reality, she dreams of one day proving to the masses that everything really is better in Texas. She is the author of two series—Heaven's Edge and Wylder Tales—and the stand-alone titles Stay and Silver Hollow.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #Mythothon 2018
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Posted Saturday, 17 November, 2018 by jorielov in #SaturdaysAreBookish, 21st Century, After the Canon, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Trailer, Bookish Discussions, Bookish Films, Contemporary Romance, Content Note, Dark Fantasy, Debut Novel, Earthen Magic, Equality In Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Fly in the Ointment, Folklore and Mythology, Gods & Goddesses, Greek Mythology, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Indie Author, Modern Day, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Mythological Societies, Nautical Fiction, Parapsychological Suspense, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Self-Published Author, Spin-Off Authors, Supernatural Fiction, Urban Fantasy

Blog Book Tour | “A Cowboy’s Christmas Proposal” (Book Two: The Sweetheart Ranch) by Cathy McDavid a selection of #Harlequin Heartwarming

Posted Wednesday, 14 November, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 2 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I started hosting with Prism Book Tours at the end of [2017], having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) whilst I was visiting as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. I had to put the memes on hold for several months (until I started to resume them (with Top Ten Tuesday) in January 2018). When I enquried about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. I am unsure how many books I’ll review for them as most are offered digitally rather than in print but this happily marks one of the blog tours where I could receive a print book for review purposes. Oft-times you’ll find Prism Book Tours alighting on my blog through the series of guest features and spotlights with notes I’ll be hosting on behalf of their authors.

I received a complimentary copy of “A Cowboy’s Christmas Proposal” direct from the author Cathy McDavid in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Why I enjoyed getting to know a bit more about Cathy McDavid (via her author’s blog):

I feel especially blessed to have started reading Harlequin Heartwarming titles through hosting for PRISM over the past year – hard to believe I haven’t been hosting for them longer than that as I have found so many wonderful authors who are writing for Harlequin as a result of hosting their tours. One thing is for certain – I am finding Contemporary Romance authors I can appreciate reading through Harlequin’s imprints inasmuch as Western Romance authors as well! I have noticed a slight leaning towards the Westerns, as I have a personal preference for Western Fiction, Cowboys & Ranches and anything set where the skies erupt over open range! The kind of place a girl can ride a horse and feel a certain layer of freedom in having an endless path to ride!

As I’ve been hosting Heartwarming authors, I’ve also noticed that there seems to be a disconnect in marketing as Ms McDavid was not the only Heartwarming author voicing her concerns over how the line is marketed to readers. I’ve been a bit puzzled by this as despite all readers having some authors and stories resonate with them moreso than others, there are now two Harlequin imprints I can attest as to drawing my eye into their stories on a seriously regular basis: #LoveINSPIRED Suspense and the Heartwarming Romances!! I am hopeful it is only a matter of time before the momentum picks up and more readers will find what these writers are writing! Blessedly they also have a Heartwarming Blog!

For starters, although I read a heap of Romances & Women’s Fiction stories (hence why I host @SatBookChat on Saturdays on Twitter) – I do have to admit, I love relationship-based romances where the romance is gentler, sweeter and mostly on the cleaner side. I don’t mind a bit of extra heat round the edges, but I’m not a fan of overt descriptive sensuality either – from the notes I leave on the reviews where stories cross a certain line of tolerance for my own readerly sensibilities. I think this is why these two Harlequin imprints tend to have a lasting impression on me the most – I would also say the Love Inspired Historical imprint but it was discontinued for reasons I’m still trying to sort out even though I’ve read massive articles and tweet *threads about which imprints were dissolved recently at Harlequin.

I have a similar outlook really about it all to Ms McDavid – celebrate the here and now, fiercely support the authors you love reading and try to encourage other readers who love the same stories to take a chance on someone you read yourself and enjoyed reading. That is honestly the best way to ‘market’ a book – good ole’ fashioned IRL social communication – if you can gush and love on a book, odds are in favour someone else is going to feel curious and want to read the book themselves! At least, this is something I’ve found to be true – both IRL and online, through my blog and my Twitter feeds.

I pulled up the author’s blog getting the chance to know Ms McDavid a bit on a personal level and finding several of her posts rather enjoyable! The one about how she addresses giving away free copies of her novels (read: her author copies) is charmingly heartwarming in of itself! I also felt a bit sad to once again hear about the publishing travails of offering free ebooks to readers, as sadly most of the authors I personally love reading are either a) Digital First authors or b) authors who release across platforms and always include ebooks before they seek out audiobooks.

A good case in point of how I try to offset the fact my purchasing budget is on the smaller humbling side of the ledger is how I make regular purchase requests at my local library. This year alone they’ve blessed me with many titles I’ve requested and I am forever grateful as they allowed me to get introduced to authors who were either new to me or were writing another story in sequence of a past work. For instance, I have a blog tour coming up for the second book in a series, I opted to request the first and it was accepted to where I can read the first novel ahead of the second I am reviewing for a blog tour. In other cases, I might request previous releases of authors I discover on blog tours (ones I host or tours I follow by other bloggers) or authors I discover on Twitter.

One note for authors who are trying to get books in front of more readers – I have honestly crossed paths with more authors I will be reading and following their careers for the rest of my readerly life due to blog tours than I was able to discover on my own prior to becoming a book blogger. And, not just blog tours directly – as I’ve crossed paths with writers on Twitter as well, and by becoming active in the book blogosphere and chatting on Twitter in bookish chats or finding authors as we all find each other on the #bookish side of Twitter – has been a way forward for me to seek out the authors writing the stories I most desire to find on my bookshelf! It has increased the selections for me and has widened my reading life. I used to seek out a lot of stories before I blogged/tweeted – but those authors who have either gone on Twitter and/or have participated on blog tours – I’m telling you, I am grateful to each of you, as it led me to your STORIES.

I’m uncertain why most ebooks go for .99 cents when the profit margins are extremely short for authors as it were – I hope one day the price for the ebook will match the work the writers are putting into their stories and become a living wage rather than a discount for readers who have huge storage files of ebooks they’ve never read.

Counter to this, I loved reading about her resilience in book world and how she started to carve out her own path after imprints dissolved. Publishing is similar to life – you have to adapt to the circumstances which arise and do the best you can to set your attitude to where you are not defeated but can find a way to champion the moment, seek out the best new route of transition and find a tomorrow of possibilities.

Ms McDavid has a great blog with an insightful voice threading through it – I encourage you to visit with her and see for yourself the pearls of wisdom she is disclosing. She also has a comedic side to her blogging voice – one which made me think I might find it within her novels as well! Do remember though – she cuts the comments off on older blog posts, which is why I posted my reactions here as her blog was limited in where you could respond. I presumed that was for spam issues as most bloggers do that whereas I do not as I moderate the comment threads on Jorie Loves A Story.

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Blog Book Tour | “A Cowboy’s Christmas Proposal” (Book Two: The Sweetheart Ranch) by Cathy McDavid a selection of #Harlequin HeartwarmingA Cowboy's Christmas Proposal
Subtitle: The Sweetheart Ranch
by Cathy McDavid
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

At a magical time of year…

Can a cowboy help falling in love?

For single dad Owen Caufield, living and working at Sweetheart Ranch for a month is the perfect change of pace. While the cowboy turned wedding officiant can now spend more time with his children, Molly O’Malley, his new boss, is less thrilled. A wedding ranch isn’t the best place for three rambunctious youngsters. But amid the chaos—and the coming holidays—it may be the best place to fall in love…

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781335633873

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Heartland Fiction, Ranches & Cowboys, Western Fiction, Western Romance


Published by Harlequin Books, Harlequin Heartwarming

on 6th November, 2018

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 384

Published by: Harlequin Heartwarming,
an imprint of Harlequin Books (@HarlequinBooks)

Formats Available: Ebook and Paperback

The Sweetheart Ranch series:

A Cowboy’s Christmas Proposal (book one)

The Cowboy’s Perfect Match (book two) | forthcoming: May, 2019

This series is evolving into a proper quartet – there are four books planned!

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Unsure if there is a connection, but previously there were three novels set in Sweetheart, Nevada under the imprint: American Romance (by Harlequin) – I was wondering if the new series was a bridge between her current stories & this series. It could also be a coincidence in choice of titles – as just as I opened the first chapter I noted the new series takes place in Arizona and not Nevada! Still though, I know I’ll be fetching copies of this series as it is written with a similar venue and subject in mind at its heart!

The Rancher’s Homecoming (book one)

His Christmas Sweetheart (book two)

Most Eligible Sheriff (book three)

Converse via: #Contemporary #Romance & #Harlequin Heartwarming

About Cathy McDavid

Cathy McDavid

In the third grade, NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Cathy McDavid made it her goal to read every Black Stallion book ever written. Who knew such an illustrious ambition would eventually lead to a lifelong love of all things western and a career writing contemporary romances for Harlequin? With over 1.2 million books sold, Cathy is also a member of the prestigious Romance Writers of America’s Honor Roll.

An “almost” Arizona native, she’s married to her own real-life sweetheart, whom she re-met a few years ago at a high school reunion. Her grown twins are out on their own and finding their happily-ever-afters. In 2014, Cathy retired from the corporate world to write full-time. She now spends her days penning stories about good looking cowboys riding the range, busting a bronc, and sweeping gals off their feet. It a tough job, but she’s willing to make the sacrifice.

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Posted Wednesday, 14 November, 2018 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Contemporary Romance, Indie Author, Life Shift, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Small Towne Fiction, Sweet Romance, Western Fiction, Western Romance

#SaturdaysAreBookish | Book Review featuring @SatBookChat’s 10th November Guest Author | “Perfect Day” (Part One of a re-telling of #Persuasion by Jane Austen duology) by Sally Malcolm

Posted Saturday, 10 November, 2018 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

#SaturdaysAreBookish created by Jorie in Canva.

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In keeping with the change of name for my Romance & Women’s Fiction Twitter chat [@SatBookChat previously known as @ChocLitSaturday] – I am announcing a change of features here on Jorie Loves A Story. Since January, 2014 I carved out a niche of focus which I named #ChocLitSaturdays as I have felt the best time to read romantic and dramatic stories are the weekends. This spun into a Twitter chat featuring the authors of ChocLit whilst I supplied weekly topics which would appeal to readers, writers and book bloggers alike. We grew into our own Saturday tribe of chatters – then, somewhere round the time of my father’s stroke in late [2016] and the forthcoming year of [2017] I started to feel less inspired to host the chat.

I had new plans to re-invent the chat in its new incantation as @SatBookChat but I also wanted to re-invent the complimentary showcases on my blog which would reflect the diversity of stories, authors and publishers I would be featuring on the chat itself. As at the root and heart of #ChocLitSaturday the chat were the stories I was reading which complimented the conversations.

After a difficult year for [personal health & wellness] this 2018, I am beginning anew this Autumn – selecting the stories to resume where I left off featuring the Romance & Women’s Fiction authors I am discovering to read whilst highlighting a story by the author I am chatting with during #SatBookChat. Every Saturday will feature a different author who writes either Romance or Women’s Fiction – for the remaining weeks of October and most of November, I will be featuring special guest authors during #SatBookChat whose stories I have either read, are reading or hope to read in the future if their newer releases. The reviews on Saturdays might inspire the topics in the forthcoming chats or they might be directly connected to the current guest author.

Our holiday break for the month of December will find us resuming #SatBookChat the week after New Year’s, 2019 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.

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Acquired Book By: One thing I love about being active in the bookish side of the twitterverse is being able to interact with authors. Not only do I get to readily engage with authors I am just discovering ‘now’ but I have the chance to re-connect to the authors I’ve known in the past – Sally Malcolm is one of those authors! I first learnt of her style for Romance within her debut novel for ChocLitUK – in fact, it was featured during my original Saturday’s event called #ChocLitSaturdays. The novel was about pirates and life on the high seas – in essence, my affinity for Captain Jack Sparrow and my interest in these kinds of epics at sea is what led me to become curiously curious about “The Legend of the Gypsy Hawk”. I was oft curious if there would be a next chapter after this debut and due to life evolving forward, simply had forgotten to chase up the recent goings on in Ms Malcolm’s literary career.

Until I caught sight of her tweets giving a s/o about a m/m Romance re-telling of a Jane Austen novel I personally found quite arduous to get into and opted not to read it for a long while now! I was re-inspired to see ‘Persuasion’ from Ms Malcolm’s perspective and see how this would work through a re-telling and re-spun as an m/m romance duology. The first in the sequence is ‘Perfect Day’ and it is followed closely by ‘Between the Lines’.

Thus, I agreed to accept a complimentary copy of “Perfect Day” by the author Sally Malcolm in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I originally was keen on the writing styling of Ms Malcolm:

Malcolm has found a way to ignite your imagination inside a pirate tale by the smallest of details, tricking your mind into believing exactly what your heart is willing to acknowledge – she’s found clever ways of tucking in certain descriptive details that level themselves believable for the era but also, for the setting of a pirate’s locale! I loved the little touches she granted the opening of her trilogy – to root you where you were taken and to give an assurance that you could settle inside this pirate’s tale with the atmospheric touches you’d expect to find! It was in the manner of speech inasmuch as the necessity for firelight illuminating great niches of space where the pirates resided whilst eluding to the expanse of their reign over the region they controlled.

Even the manner of how the salt air mingled with long hair, and how bare feet graced Amelia’s feet as she causally walked about both ship and land – it gave you a proper glimpse of where the Gypsy Hawk had taken anchour! I could nearly have smelt it for myself, as Malcolm kept encouraging your imagination whilst building the back-stories of Captain Hazard and Amelia (a Captain in her own right of her father’s fleet) to where each would intersect and collide paths into one another. Fitting really, as they each had such a spark of defiance intermixed with a challenging will to seek adventure at all costs.

I liked Malcolm’s ease of manner in telling her tale – she purports you so completely inside the story, it’s nearly not known if you stepped through a portal or were simply ‘elsewhere’ the moment you picked up her story – this feeling I had whilst I was reading about the Gypsy Hawk was most welcome indeed – as it was a lovely reprieve and a quicker read than most historicals will grant you! I liked how right from the turning of the beginning chapters, your so settled inside the thickening plot as to beg the pages to turn faster to learn more of how any of the growing tension and conflict can resolve! I like a well-told story but what is keen is to have a quicker read told equally as well – sometimes it’s nice to take-on lighter faire in historicals – reads where you can let your mind play a bit round the edges of a story and not lie heavily on plots that tug at your heart or still your soul due to the dramatic revelations.

Malcolm has written a delicious historical for readers who want to take an adventure on the high seas and combine their love of pirates from motion pictures with their love of story-tellers who can capture their heart on the written pages of a novels!

-quoted from my review of The Legend of the Gypsy Hawk

I read about the Gypsy Hawk two years ago and now have had the lovely chance of reading Ms Malcolm’s newly revealled styling where she exchanged m/f romances for m/m romances! I am not a stranger to the m/m or f/m romance or fiction genres as I’m an open-minded reader who believes in #EqualityInLit. Something I’ve tried to promote via my feeds on Twitter inasmuch as my diverse selections on Jorie Loves A Story where I opt to either read to review, listen to review or showcase stories across all spectrum’s of literature including LGBTQ+ inclusive story-lines.

A few of the stand-outs for me was the discovery of the Edith Lewis and Willa Cather mysteries by Sue Hallgarth wherein we’re entreated to a purview of their lives on the road as they visit different locations important to them whilst they were alive and solve a bit of crime on the side! They are intuitive novels writ in the Cosier side of the ledger for mysteries but crafted with a sophisticated eloquence you don’t wish to put down at all!

One of my favourite champions of f/f Women’s Fiction which ties in a lovely relationship novel centred around non-traditional families, foster care and adoption is the delightfully poignant The Language of Hoofbeats by Catherine Ryan Hyde. This story echoes a realistic impression about at-risk youth, emotional anguish and angst of growing up without a foundation of ‘home’ and the people who risk their heart to nurture the children who have felt they were abandoned or forgotten. If you loved the relationship between Steff and Lena on The Fosters, the two characters within this novel will warm your heart!

In a new entry of cross-genre interest for Steampunk and altered time shifting stories, I happily discovered Tara Sim’s Timekeeper novel in audiobook! It was a wondrous world full of dramatic emotions and an intriguing plot set in a universe you truly want to re-visit and get to know even better than your first visitation! She also included a unique m/m romance between two very unique characters and I felt she honoured her cross-genre approach and the relationship very well. One of these days I need to listen to the next stories in sequence as this was only the beginning!

Being a Janeite, as much as the author herself, I was keen on seeing how she approached the original canon (even though technically I have not read Persuasion) and re-imagined it in a very modern and contemporary world setting. I wasn’t sure if I would pick up on the usual nuances re-tellings have within them due to my lack of knowledge of the original story however, as it was one story of Austen’s I never felt I could warm too I was excited about the prospect of finding a re-telling which might give me the aesthetic of Austen without it being of Austen.

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#SaturdaysAreBookish | Book Review featuring @SatBookChat’s 10th November Guest Author | “Perfect Day” (Part One of a re-telling of #Persuasion by Jane Austen duology) by Sally MalcolmPerfect Day
by Ms Sally Malcolm
Source: Direct from Author

When Joshua Newton, prodigal son of New Milton’s elite, fell in love with ambitious young actor Finn Callaghan, his world finally made sense.

With every stolen moment, soft touch and breathless kiss, they fell deeper in love. Finn was his future…until he wasn’t.

Eight years later, Finn has returned to the seaside town where it all began. He’s on the brink of stardom, a far cry from the poor mechanic who spent one gorgeous summer falling in love on the beach, and the last thing he wants is a second chance with the man who broke his heart. Finn has spent a long time forgetting Joshua Newton—he certainly doesn’t plan to forgive him.

But as Finn and Joshua circle each other, drawn together yet kept apart by their painful history, old feelings begin to stir. Is it possible for love to bloom again in hearts so scarred by regret, resentment, and hurt?

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978148803187

Genres: After Canons, Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, LGBTQIA Fiction, Men's Fiction, Re-telling &/or Sequel, Romance Fiction


Published by Carina Press

on 13th August, 2018

Format: Portable (Pocket) Paperback Edition

Pages: 266

Published by: Carina Press (@CarinaPress)
an imprint of Harlequin Books

four-half-flames

I’ve been adding flames to those stories of Romance which have extra heat inside them and are more intensively written than others. This one definitely qualifies as there is a certain flashback sequence between Finn and Joshua which explores how they fused their passion together and re-defined their own sense of sexuality amongst themselves.

This is a Digital First release and will be released into more formats.

Uniquely I do have a paperback copy of this novel – similar to the title I recently reviewed by Tule Publishing “A Small Town Christmas”, I cannot find a listing for the print copy I reviewed. I listed the ISBN for the print copy I have but used the publication date for the ebook as I couldn’t trace when the print copy dropped. What I love most about the book itself is how charmingly ‘portable’ this copy is – it reminds me of the vintage hardbacks my grandfather gave me – uniquely small, compact & brilliantly able to be taken with you as you travel!

Perfect Day by Sally MalcolmBetween the Lines by Sally Malcolm

Sally Malcolm’s re-telling of Persuasion duology:

Perfect Day (part one)

Between the Lines (part two) | Synopsis

Converse via: #ContemporaryRomance, #LGBT and/or #LGBTRomance

and #Persuasion OR retell of #JaneAusten

About Ms Sally Malcolm

Sally Malcolm

Sally Malcolm was bitten by the male/male romance bug in 2016 and hasn’t looked back.

Perfect Day is her first published male/male romance, with the follow-up (Between the Lines) out later in 2018 and a dozen other ideas bubbling away on the back burner. Her stories are emotional, sweetly angsty, and always have happy endings.

Sally also writes tie-in novels for the hit TV shows Stargate: SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis. To date she’s penned nine novels and novellas, and four audio dramas.

She lives in South West London with her American husband, two lovely children, and two lazy cats.

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Posted Saturday, 10 November, 2018 by jorielov in #SaturdaysAreBookish, 21st Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Contemporary Romance, Content Note, Fly in the Ointment, Indie Author, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Life Shift, Modern Day, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Vulgarity in Literature