Genre: Suspense

#PubDay Book Review | “Beyond the Wild River” by Sarah Maine

Posted Tuesday, 18 April, 2017 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

Book Review Banner using Unsplash.com (Creative Commons Zero) Photography by Frank McKenna

Acquired Book By: I received an enquiry from a publicist at Atria in regards to a novel of suspense by an author I had not yet heard of previously. What captured my attention about this release was the heart of the story itself and the way in which this felt like an Introspective Novel which is of particular interest in my reading life as I like seeking out the Literary novels which bespeak of digging a bit deeper than genre fiction and asking different kinds of questions on behalf of the readers who enjoy reading them. They genuinely get you thinking about the layers of the story and also, of the message within the fuller scope of what the author was attempting to present to you through the duration of the novel. I was keenly grateful I could receive a print ARC in order to read this ahead of publication.

I received a complimentary ARC copy of “Beyond the Wild River” direct from the publisher Atria (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I was keenly interested in this particular release:

One thing I truly appreciate is a wicked good novel of atmospheric suspense – which is a nod to my lifelong appreciation of Psychological Suspense films including those which were the founding entries which brought the Horror film genre to brilliant life. In other words, I grew up appreciating Alfred Hitchcock and his particular style of letting your imagination fill in the gaps between where his narrative lens left-off in such classics as: The Man Who Knew Too Much, The Lady Vanishes, North by Northwest, The Rope, Dial M for Murder and other such lovelies which truly knitted suspense into the cornerstone of the character’s journey. I specifically found his style of the craft to be a lead-in towards finding authors how convey the same appreciation for what he did in film.

A few years ago, I attempted to read my first Kate Morton novel (The Distant Hours) yet sadly never truly was able to attach myself into the story-line due to time constraints. Yet, in the beginning of her novel, I felt a kinetic energy of atmospheric beauty etching out of the narrative; both haunting and compelling all at once. There are other authors I’ve read and blogged about meeting here on Jorie Loves A Story, of whom write in a similar vein of interest – such as Kate Forsyth, M.J. Rose, Lena Coakley, Sarah E. Boucher, Richard Storry, Helene Wecker, Yangsze Choo, Edith Wharton and others of whom write in a particular style of evokes a certain layer of world-building through a Gothic-esque lens.

Whilst I continue to seek out stories which have this evocation, I am truly a Historical girl at heart – a realisation I discovered about myself as I became a book blogger, as until I blogged (in effect, journalled my reading life!) I hadn’t taken stock of which types of stories I lean towards to read moreso than others which happily enchant me as I meet them. Historical Fiction and all the lovely variants of it’s sub-genres have kept me entertained for the fullness of my reading life (ie. since I was a young girl!) due to how breath-taking Historicals can be penned! The eclipse of course to fully entreat into the historical past whilst following in the footsteps of characters so well conceived you feel as if you’ve slipped into their shoes and tackled living their life for a spell!

This particular novel felt it held enough Suspense threading through it to keep me on the pins of my nerves whilst the backdrop of moving between England and Canada would be a refreshing change in scenery! As I am oft wandering back through time periods and settings often visited; to where I like to switch things up a bit and go ‘somewhere’ new every once in awhile! I also felt it had an introspective vibe about it whilst attempting to pull out the human condition and psychological back-story of it’s lead characters who might not expect to be ‘caught’ at a fork in the road where they could chose which way they would go forward vs following an expected trajectory by someones choice.

As this is my first reading by the author, I was thankful to receive the ARC in which I had the joy of reading the Editor’s remarks on behalf of the author and of this story. I love receiving ARCs in that regard – for the little ‘extra’ insights into the author’s collective works or their initial debuts; it gives a sense of the author’s style but also, of their story’s heart. I also like seeing how each Editor in turn chooses to highlight what they feel is the core of the author’s message for the story at hand. I had to smirk to myself realising I had mentioned my personal love of Hitchcock when I was reading a direct reference to him in this Editor’s Note! Laughs. Sometimes I find there are happy coincidences and moments of quirky connections as I read and blog my reading life; this is surely one of them! I was keenly right about this being introspective – as there is a hint of a nod towards how this novel is both figuratively poignant as much as it is metaphorical; for me, that’s the baseline of a wicked good literary novel!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

#PubDay Book Review | “Beyond the Wild River” by Sarah MaineBeyond the Wild River
by Sarah Maine
Source: Direct from Publisher

The day comes sooner than expected when Charles, prompted by a near-scandal between Evelyn and a servant, brings her on a business trip to New York City and the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. Evelyn welcomes the chance to escape her cloistered life and see the world.

But a fishing expedition up the Nipigon River in Canada takes an unexpected turn when Evelyn discovers that their river guide is none other than James Douglas. Even more startling, her father betrays no shock, simply instructing Evelyn not to reveal their past connection with James to the rest of their party.

Evelyn never believed that James was guilty, but speculation about her father’s role in the killing has made her fearful. What is he hiding? As they travel deeper into the wilderness, and further from the constraints of polite society, the secrets and lies surrounding that night are finally stripped away, revealing the true natures of everyone in their party.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781501126956

Genres: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Suspense


Published by Atria Books

on 18th April, 2017

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 352

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

Converse via: #BeyondTheWildRiver
Available Formats: Hardback and E-Book

About Sarah Maine

Sarah Maine Photo Credit Susie McDonald at Brick Lane Studio

Sarah Maine was born in England but grew up partly in Canada before returning to the United Kingdom, where she now lives. She is the author of The House Between Tides.

Photo Credit: Susie McDonald at Brick Lane Studio

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Tuesday, 18 April, 2017 by jorielov in 19th Century, ARC | Galley Copy, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Canada, Chicago, Coming-Of Age, England, Family Life, Father-Daughter Relationships, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Literary Fiction, Suspense

Narrator (Audiobook) Interview | Conversing with the ‘voice’ behind the theatrical presentation of “The Cryptic Lines”!

Posted Sunday, 6 November, 2016 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Audiobook Narrator Blog Banner made by Jorie in Canva.

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

A few months ago, I was approached by Jess @ Audiobookworm Promotions to consider reviewing audiobooks and hosting the authors and/or narrators attached to the audiobooks as a bit of a switch-up from reading print books! I, was quite excited by her pitch to me, as for one, I had already started to consider breaking into audiobooks in the New Year (2017) as my chronic migraines returnt this past Spring (2016) and have continued to be an annoyance straight into Autumn!

Ergo, I have heard positive feedback from readers who have chronic migraines such as I do finding a better balance of reading their books and listening to audiobooks – wherein, you off-set your physical books by giving a go at the audio versions! It’s a whole new territory for me! I was quite the traditionalist, too! I never fathomed I’d get so giddy over listening to digital audiobooks until of course, my previous computer died a sad death in a lightning storm and had to be replaced post haste approx. a month later (early October). You see, my old computer was half dead already from the 90 days of lightning storms from Summer of 2015; part of the casualty then were the speakers! So you see, without the benefit of needing to replace said computer, digital audiobooks, podcasts or even internet radio was all a ‘non-go’ for me!

All things being equal, my new computer has opened a few new doors for me! Listening to digital audiobooks is just one of them! Coincidentally, my local library offers physical copies of audiobooks and digital audiobooks – which is rather smashing! If I’m in the mood for either of them, at least they are readily available! They also take purchase requests and can fetch others via ILL’ing (inter-library loan). You can well imagine my surprise then, when Ms Jess approached me! All of this was being considered in due haste on my part, sorting out how to navigate the new world of audiobooks (as I’ve been privy to some of the movement therein via chats on Twitter) whilst embracing a new avenue for me to pursue as a book blogger! I’ll talk more about this new path of mine between now and when my second audiobook tour arrives in December, but I wanted to give a bit of an introduction to my new showcasing of audiobooks – especially to those of you who have been so very loyal in following my bookish life and might be curious to know about this new interest of mine!

I do still credit Katie @ Doing Dewey as being the one person who initially inspired me towards this end, as one of her Non-Fiction Book Club choices was a CD audiobook I enjoyed listening whilst reading the print book in tandem! This is a special treat I enjoy doing, perhaps you do as well!?

Today, marks my first contribution to the blog tour featuring the Historical Suspense Thriller “The Cryptic Lines”. I had originally planned to post my review today, but have inverted my tour stops (the 6th and 8th respectively) at the last minute! Please return mid-week to see my ruminations on behalf of the story and a bit of a new method of revealling my impressions as I change my format of how I review a novel I’ve read, er, listened too!

I am looking forward to hosting narrators and sorting out which narrators will become my most beloved in the industry. I can attest the one I am interviewing today is definitely at the top of the list for owning his characters and for the incredible capacity he has for theatrical voicing!

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

Narrator (Audiobook) Interview | Conversing with the ‘voice’ behind the theatrical presentation of “The Cryptic Lines”!The Cryptic Lines
Subtitle: an audiobook read by Jake Urry
Narrator: Jake Urry

Set in a sprawling Gothic mansion in a remote coastal location, somewhere in the British Isles, the elderly recluse Lord Alfred Willoughby is deciding what is to become of his vast fortune after his death. Whilst his head is telling him to leave nothing at all to his wastrel son, Matthew, his heart is speaking differently.

After much deliberation, in a last-ditch attempt to try and show to his son the importance of applying himself to a task and staying with it to the end, he devises a series of enigmatic puzzles cunningly concealed within the lines of a poem – the cryptic lines.

If he completes the task successfully and solves the puzzles he will inherit the entire estate; but if he fails he will receive nothing. However, from Lord Alfred’s Will it emerges that Matthew is not the only interested party. The mysterious old house holds many secrets, and nothing is as it first appears…

Places to find the book:

ASIN: B01D0E6ZK6

Genres: Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction, Suspense


on 16th March, 2016

Length: 4 hours and 13 minutes (unabridged)

Rainbow Digital Clip Art Washi Tape made by The Paper Pegasus. Purchased on Etsy by Jorie and used with permission.

I love how you’ve taken such a theatrical tone in narrating “The Cryptic Lines” to where it feels textural like a live-action play rather than a narration of a novel. What is your process for enveloping yourself inside the atmosphere of a story such as this one that has a unique pacing of revelation of it’s twists, events and the final reveal?

Urry responds: Thank you! It was important for me to get across the different personalities of the characters in this book, as they are all so well written. For me the process starts with finding the voices for each character and then thinking about how they fit in with the overall atmosphere of the story. For instance Lord Alfred in many respects sets the whole mysterious atmosphere up and revels in the game he’s created, so his voice was more theatrical and menacing. In contrast the character of Meg is very much acting in her own tempo, unconcerned with the urgency of the contest, so I had fun making her more whimsical and carefree. Read More

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Posted Sunday, 6 November, 2016 by jorielov in Audiobook Narrator Interview, Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Historical Mystery, Historical Thriller Suspense

Book Review | “SCARECROW: an #anthology of shorts” [edited by] Rhonda Parrish published by #IndiePub World Weaver Press

Posted Sunday, 30 October, 2016 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book by: Did you ever grow curious about a new publisher who produces science fiction, fantasy, and horror genre selections in both novel length and short stories? Did you ever decide to enquire with the publisher you’ve found to see if they were open to book blogger requests to read and review their selections!? This is the situation I found myself in as I was quite mystified by the offerings of World Weaver Press! Such a delightful discovery on my behalf [in 2015] with a website full of inspiring reads across SFF!

Since I started reviewing with World Weaver Press [one year ago in August, 2015] there has been a changing of the guard behind-the-scenes where there is a new owner & publicity team. I am wicked happy to see the legacy and tradition of WWP has been carried forward by this lovely new team! I am honoured to work with them continuing to showcase World Weaver Press through reviewing their titles and hosting future guest features by their authors! The current four reviews I’m posting on their behalf (i.e. The Falling of the Moon, Scarecrow, Frozen Fairy Tales and Far Orbit: Apogee) were selected before the company changed hands. Moving forward after these reviews, I am hoping my next review will be for “Murder in the Generative Kitchen” of which I thoroughly enjoyed highlighting recently! Although I do hope to continue reading the anthologies Ms Parrish is making as SIRENS released recently, too!

I received a complimentary copy of “Scarecrow” direct from the publisher World Weaver Press in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I am wicked excited to read SCARECROW:

You simply know going into reading one of the anthologies by Ms Parrish that your in for a wickedly delightful reading! In this particular case, I was so deeply attached to the stories in CORVIDAE (coming out of reading FAE), I was wicked enthused to begin reading SCARECROW! It’s the type of anthologist whose instincts to pull together writers & their stories that you cannot help but celebrate because her instincts give you such a palette of choices to read! It’s quite incredible, honestly – because each time I step inside the vortex of the Magical Menageries I feel as if I’ve travelled to so many wondrously illuminated places all within the pages of one singular anthology!

I happen to love reading stories of Cosy Horror in the Autumn months – as this time of the year is anchoured to Halloween! I’ve been a long-time appreciator of Halloween as I love celebrating the holiday with all the festivities that pull together it’s light-hearted core of joy whilst embracing all the quirks that go along with it, too! I haven’t had the chance to see a lot of scarecrows in fields but I grew up loving the Wizard of Oz like most children, and therefore, had a strong impression of a fantastical scarecrow!

I like being introduced to new windows of Speculative Fiction – which is one reason I am attracted to the collective works of World Weaver Press! Each time I pick up their anthologies, I find a new world to alight inside, a new writer to champion and an incredible depth of layered story-telling within the framework of a ‘short story’! It’s wicked good fiction but I appreciate the new realms I’m discovering too, which broker into Cosy Horror!

The past two months notwithstanding, as my migraines returned and I had to take a small hiatus from blogging – what motivates me to read SCARECROW is for that experience of the unknown to once again re-align in my imagination & the hauntingly epic feeling that despite reading a scary story every now or then, I truly love embracing this new branch of literature that gives me so much joy to read!

I love to just *dive!* into a Rhonda Parrish anthology
and see what she’s given me to devour!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Book Review | “SCARECROW: an #anthology of shorts” [edited by] Rhonda Parrish published by #IndiePub World Weaver PressScarecrow
by (Editor) Rhonda Parrish
Source: Direct from Publisher

Hay-men, mommets, tattie bogles, kakashi, tao-tao—whether formed of straw or other materials, the tradition of scarecrows is pervasive in farming cultures around the world. The scarecrow serves as decoy, proxy, and effigy—human but not human. We create them in our image and ask them to protect our crops and by extension our very survival, but we refrain from giving them the things a creation might crave—souls, brains, free-will, love.

In Scarecrow, fifteen authors of speculative fiction explore what such creatures might do to gain the things they need or, more dangerously, think they want.

Within these pages, ancient enemies join together to destroy a mad mommet, a scarecrow who is a crow protects solar fields and stores long-lost family secrets, a woman falls in love with a scarecrow, and another becomes one. Encounter scarecrows made of straw, imagination, memory, and robotics while being spirited to Oz, mythological Japan, other planets, and a neighbor’s back garden. After experiencing this book, you’ll never look at a hay-man the same.

Featuring all new work by Jane Yolen, Andrew Bud Adams, Laura Blackwood, Amanda Block, Scott Burtness, Virginia Carraway Stark, Amanda C. Davis, Megan Fennell, Kim Goldberg, Katherine Marzinsky, Craig Pay, Sara Puls, Holly Schofield, Laura VanArendonk Baugh, and Kristina Wojtaszek.

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

Book Page on World Weaver Press

ISBN: 978-0692430224

Also by this author: FAE, Corvidae

Genres: Anthology Collection of Short Stories and/or Essays, Cosy Horror, Fantasy Fiction, Sci-Fantasy, Science Fiction, Suspense, Thriller


Published by World Weaver Press

on 4th August 2015

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 206

Published By: World Weaver Press (@WorldWeaver_wwp)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Ebook

Genre(s): Fantasy | Horror | Speculative | Stories of Scarecrows

Mythology | Steampunk | Magic | Metaphysical

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Collection No.1 in this series is FAE | Info on Editor’s Blog | Info on Pub | my review

Collection No.3 in this series is Scarecrow | Info on Editor’s Blog | Info on Pub

Collection No. 4 in this series is SIRENS | Info on Editor’s Blog | Info on Pub

Collection No. 5 in this series is EQUUS | Read the Announcement on Pub
+ Read the OPEN Submissions note on the Editor’s Blog!

Converse via: #DiverseSFF, #SFF, #scifi, #Fantasy & #anthology

+ #MagicalMenageries (the series tag!)

About (Editor) Rhonda Parrish

Rhonda Parrish

Rhonda Parrish is a master procrastinator and nap connoisseur but despite that she somehow manages a full professional life. She has been the publisher and editor-in-chief of Niteblade Magazine for over five years now (which is like 25 years in internet time) and is the editor of the forthcoming benefit anthology, Metastasis. In addition, Rhonda is a writer whose work has been included or is forthcoming in dozens of publications including Tesseracts 17: Speculating Canada from Coast to Coast and Imaginarium: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing.

Starting July 1, 2014, Rhonda Parrish will be reading for Corvidae and Scarecrow, two new anthologies in the same series as Fae. Like Fae, each of these new anthologies will focus on a single construct treated in many varied and enthralling ways by new speculative fiction short stories.

The twin anthologies also present a unique opportunity: to create a conversation between the two volumes, between the crows and the straw-men, between the bird tales of Corvidae and the totem tales of Scarecrow. Anthologies to be published in 2015. More information at WorldWeaverPress.com.

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Posted Sunday, 30 October, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Anthology Collection of Stories, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Cosy Horror, Earthen Magic, Earthen Spirituality, Equality In Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Fantasy Romance, Folklore and Mythology, Good vs. Evil, Haunting & Ethereal, Historical Fiction, Horror-Lite, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, Parapsychological Suspense, Short Stories or Essays, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Supernatural Fiction, Superstitions & Old World Beliefs, Urban Fantasy, Vulgarity in Literature, World Weaver Press

Book Review | “JUNE” by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore #BloggingForBooks

Posted Tuesday, 23 August, 2016 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I decided to join the “Blogging for Books” programme (on 9th July, 2014) which is a book for review programme created by the Crown Publishing Group. As a book blogger you are offered books in exchange for an honest review on your book blog as well as the ability to reach new readers when you cross-post your review to the Blogging for Books website. The benefit for the blogger is exposure as a reviewer as they put direct links back to your blog post on the book you select to review as well as your homepage.

I received a complimentary copy of “June” direct from the publisher Crown Publishers, 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

Book Review | “JUNE” by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore #BloggingForBooksJune
by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore
Source: Publisher via Blogging for Books

From the New York Times bestselling author of Bittersweet comes a novel of suspense and passion about a terrible mistake made sixty years ago that threatens to change a modern family forever.

Twenty-five-year-old Cassie Danvers is holed up in her family’s crumbling mansion in rural St. Jude, Ohio, mourning the loss of the woman who raised her—her grandmother, June. But a knock on the door forces her out of isolation. Cassie has been named the sole heir to legendary matinee idol Jack Montgomery’s vast fortune. How did Jack Montgomery know her name? Could he have crossed paths with her grandmother all those years ago? What other shocking secrets could June’s once-stately mansion hold?

Soon Jack’s famous daughters come knocking, determined to wrestle Cassie away from the inheritance they feel is their due. Together, they all come to discover the true reasons for June’s silence about that long-ago summer, when Hollywood came to town, and June and Jack’s lives were forever altered by murder, blackmail, and betrayal. As this page-turner shifts deftly between the past and present, Cassie and her guests will be forced to reexamine their legacies, their definition of family, and what it truly means to love someone, steadfastly, across the ages.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780553447682

Genres: Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction, Suspense


Published by Crown Publishers

on 31st May, 2016

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 400

 Published By: Crown Publishers (@crownpublishing)

(an imprint of Crown Publishing Group)

Available Formats: Hardcover, Audiobook & Ebook

Converse on Twitter via: #JUNE + #BloggingForBooks

About Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

Miranda Beverely Whittemore_Photo Credit Kai Beverly Whittemore

Miranda Beverly-Whittemore is the author of three other novels: New York Times bestseller Bittersweet; Set Me Free, which won the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize, given annually for the best book of fiction by an American woman; and The Effects of Light. A recipient of the Crazyhorse Prize in Fiction, she lives and writes in Brooklyn.

Photo Credit Kai Beverly-Whittemore

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2016 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Tuesday, 23 August, 2016 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Blogging for Books, Book Review (non-blog tour), Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Historical Fiction, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Literary Fiction, Small Towne USA, Vulgarity in Literature

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