Genre: Sweet Romance

#Blogmas | feat. #CleanRomanceForChristmas showcases | “Sweet Yuletide” (Indigo Bay Christmas Romances, Book Four) by Melissa McClone

Posted Monday, 21 December, 2020 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

#blogmas badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

As soon as I started reading “Cupcakes and Crumbs” – I knew I had found a new author I was going to seriously enjoy getting to know further! At the time I received it for review on the blog tour this year, I simply ran out of the hours I needed to properly finish reading the story – however, I gave a bit of a preview of my (still) forthcoming fuller review wherein you can see what it is about Ms McClone’s writing style which appeals to me as much as it does as you read my notes on about the bits I had read!

I love when writers can give me an emotionally convicting read – the more you can feel the character’s emotions, the more centred I feel as a reader. There is something to be said for writers like McClone who understand this connection readers feel for characters and of how they organically write their stories to allow us to intuit more out of the story they’ve written simply by how they’ve approached anchouring us into the storyline. Which is why when I saw she was listed on the Clean Romances for Christmas blog tour – I knew I wanted to learn more about this Christmas Romance series she’s writing!

I have it in mind to finish “Cupcakes and Crumbs” before the ball drops in Times Square – as it is one of those stories I’ve pulled to attempt to finish before the closing of the year. I had hoped to have finished it closer to when I had first begun to read it – however, I wasn’t able to re-attach into it until now and I’ve decided to have it as one of my final reads for 2020. I felt truly moved by how she was writing the story and I’d like to finish the story before too much time slips past me further as I don’t want to lose the connection I had started to establish – both in the context of the character’s life and journey and in regards to McClone’s own voice for the craft.

Thereby it was rewarding to realise I have such a larger series awaiting me to read – with the Indigo Bay Christmas Romances! How delightful, indeed! Plus, just knowing there is a series set round Christmas and the romantic ways in which people find the persons they’ve meant to find is a refreshing switch as I love watching Christmas romances on tv – as previously disclosed this #blogmas and it would be keenly lovely to start reading a series set round the same premise!

This also marks my final showcase for the Clean Romances for Christmas extension of my #blogmas posts this year. I will be curating a finale post which I will be sharing on the 23rd as the finale part of the blog tour starts to get underway – however, I am so thankful I could close out my selections of #blogmas joy with Ms McClone!

Curiously – what kind of Christmas Romances are you attracted too? Do you prefer series or one-offs? Contemporaries or Historicals? Do you read the same author every year or do you try to switch it up and find new authors to read and add-in to your traditions of reading Christmas Romances every holiday season?

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Melissa McClone's book photo provided by Prism Book Tours and is used with permission.

One beach cottage, two strangers, and a secret that could ruin everything…

Sheridan DeMarco would rather be anywhere than home for the holidays. Housesitting in South Carolina, far away from her new and chaotic blended family, sounds like the perfect way to spend Christmas. Until she arrives and realizes she isn’t as blissfully alone as she thought she would be…

Michael “Mikey” Patterson has a secret, one that requires him to stay out of sight until his attorney gives him the all clear. He finds the anonymity he needs in a small coastal town, but there’s a problem. Mikey isn’t the only one at the charming beach cottage, and the last thing he needs is a beautiful roommate named Sheridan who pushes all of his buttons.

All it takes is a sprig of mistletoe and one memorable kiss to make Sheridan and Mikey forget their plans to stay away from each other. But when his secret is revealed, can their newfound bond outlive the holiday season? Or will their happily ever after get tossed out with the discarded wrapping paper, ribbons, and tinsel?

Sweet Yuletide is the fourth book in the Indigo Bay Christmas Romance Series, but it and the other stories are standalone and can be read in any order.

Add to LibraryThing | ISBN: 978-1944777500

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Indigo Bay Christmas Romances:

Indigo Bay Christmas Romances series by Melissa McClone collage provided by Prism Book Tours and is used with permission.

Sweet Tidings (book one)

Sweet Noel (book two)

Sweet Joymaker (book three)

Sweet Yuletide (book four)

Sweet Mistletoe (book five)

Sweet Carol (book six)

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Posted Monday, 21 December, 2020 by jorielov in #blogmas, Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Book Spotlight, Indie Author, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction

#Blogmas | feat. #CleanRomanceForChristmas showcases | “Suits and Spark Plugs” by Aspen Hadley

Posted Sunday, 20 December, 2020 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

#blogmas badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I’ve been seeing Ms Hadley’s novels popping up through the Christian Fiction Reading Safari for the past few years – I’ve even tried to win one of her novels – in particular, “Simply Starstruck”, as I used to read and review for Cedar Fort Publishing & Media – her publisher. Sadly, I never had the chance to host her for one of their blog tours or one of the ones hosted by either Prism Book Tours or with Singing Librarian Books who hosted a lot of the authors through Cedar Fort before it was closed down this Summer, 2020. I loved reading the authors I found through Cedar Fort – especially for Contemporary Romances and/or Historical Romance – as much as the other genres I was interested in as a reader. I have a lot of good memories – of the authors I’ve discovered (and hope to continue reading one day – either directly through purchasing their books or reading them through my local library or by way of inter-library loans), the stories I’ve read and of the memories of the stories themselves.

I do not read enough RomCom – something I’ve tried to ‘fix’ over the years when I am not being smitten by more dramatic tales of realistic Contemporaries or convicting Historicals – in essence, seeking out the lighter side of Rom would be wickedly beneficial and it is something I always try to do each year and somehow fail a bit in my efforts!? It is hard to know why exactly but I guess I like drama a bit more than comedy as that is reflected through what I am gravitating towards on a regular basis if you take a gander at my readerly life!

And yet, I do like Romantic Comedies when it comes to tv movies and motion pictures – I have a discerning taste for them as I don’t like the ones with rude humour or off-colour narratives but I do appreciate a wicked good sophisticated RomCom such as “You’ve Got Mail”, “While You Were Sleeping” or even “Serendipity” or “One Fine Day”. It would stand to reason I’d enjoy reading them wouldn’t it? And, that is why I was thankful Ms Hadley was included in the Clean Romances for Christmas selections this year – as I’ve found so many lovely authors in the 2020 line-up I know I will have loads of fun throughout 2021 seeking them out to read!!

I have a penchant for holiday films as well – which is why the title “Suits and Spark Plugs” made me giggle into proper laughter even before I read the plot – as who out there wasn’t thinking this could be featured on Lifetime or Hallmark Channel during their holiday roundup of films? Speaking of Lifetime – a bit of FYI: for those library patrons who have access to Hoopla – you might want to dive into their app via Roku and find the 2020 Lifetime Holiday films!! I’ve seen at least 2x now and trying to watch a few more before Christmas weekend!! I was wickedly surprised they were included but I suppose its an off year all round – so even first-running holiday films are finding their way into our televisions a bit differently than in years’ past!!

Curiously – what gives your heart the most joy about Christmas Comedies & Romances? Do you regularly watch them on Lifetime or Hallmark or now, Hoopla? Or do you prefer reading them instead of watching them? I’d be keen to know which format you enjoy unless your like me and prefer them both! Whichever way you find yourself tucked into holiday RomComs – let me know the titles and if their stories, which authors do you enjoy most of all?

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Aspen Hadley's book photo provided by Prism Book Tours and is used with permission.

Liv Phelps is a woman on a mission: Get a degree, stay independent, and start a new life away from her small hometown. Love is nowhere on that list.

However, when dashing Blaine Harris enters the diner where Liv works, she’s flattered enough to give him a chance. Different from anyone she’s ever known, he introduces her the world she’s long dreamed about. Things are going surprisingly well, until he pushes her to get her beat-down car seen by the local mechanic.

Connor Hunt has been at the very top of Liv’s ‘do not disturb’ list ever since she had a front row seat to watching him create his terrible reputation. A magician with cars, he can’t stand to see a machine suffer. So, he comes up with a plan to fix Liv’s in spite of her inability to pay.

But will his solution cost more than she’s prepared to give?

Add to LibraryThing | ISBN: 978-1462138180

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Posted Sunday, 20 December, 2020 by jorielov in #blogmas, Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Book Spotlight, Indie Author, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction

#Blogmas | feat. #CleanRomanceForChristmas showcases | “Love, Lies & Mistletoe” (Blueberry Point Romances, Book Two) by DE Malone

Posted Friday, 18 December, 2020 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

#blogmas badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

When I first heard the premise of this novel “Love, Lies and Mistletoe” – let’s face it, I immediately was drawn back to why I love to binge Hallmark Channel or Lifetime Christmas movies EVERY single year save 2020. I’m currently watching a few via Hoopla – though my favourite find was “One Christmas” which is about an autobiographical slice of life from Truman Capote! (see also this *thread | see also this tweet) The night before I saw a film by Lisa Durupt which sparked this *thread of tweeting!* as well. You could say it has been a Hoopla, Christmas binge!

The reasons I love Christmas films is they are generally set in places I’d love to relocate too – such as “Evergreen” – as who wouldn’t want to live in Evergreen? The whole community pitches in and they have the most #awesomesauce life experiences in that towne! Plus, I love the randomness of people coming together at the holidays – how sometimes there is a reason they have to cross paths – whether that is by grand design or by idle fate twisting things up a bit – the curious ways in which people find each other, better understand themselves and find truer happiness by the end of the film(s) or specials for the Christmas season are my kind of jam! I love finding the stories which are a cuppa of love & comfy respite – where you can soak into a world similar to our own but without a) the pandemic and b) the chaos of our everyday lives! Sometimes it is nice to see life as it should be lived rather than how it is more readily known and stuffed with the angst most of us regularly transition through as we live!

I love the fact this is a series – and the quirky titles which are a part of it – plus, of course, the fact “love & lies” is a part of all the titles – as that just makes you ponder the finer points behind the series itself – what sparked the coupling of the words, what truly motivated the series and what inspired the writer to enter into the series from the places she had!! I am hoping I can start to seek these lovelies out in the New Year but like most years of #blogmas, some of the stories are readily available in public libraries (either locally, regionally or through inter-library loan) and other times, the stories are either digitally released or lesser known and are not regularly stocked in public libraries. Hence why I am seriously underread in most of my #blogmas showcases these past three years!

Have heart though – eventually I’ll be gathering copies of them – for now, I have been contemplating the series whilst listening to Christmas Coffeehouse via #Spotify and feeling grateful there are authors out there who are creating these kinds of series for the Christmas Romance readers like me who are seeking their stories and are thankful they took part in a series of #blogmas promotions to get their stories in front of us and to give us a chance to ‘meet them’.

Curiously – What do you love most about small towne Romances and those which are set at Christmastime? Do you have favourite small townes in fiction? Romance or otherwise? I mean, I could relocate not just to Evergreen in those lovely Evergreen movies but I could also take up residence in Eden Lake which is where #MurderSheBaked is happily set and visually the kind of small towne everyone would feel #blessed to call HOME. Although Aurora Teagarden’s series has some serious EPIC visuals in the background – I mean, hallo British Columbia you’ve spoilt me on Western townes and natural landscapes!!

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DE Malone's book photo provided by Prism Book Tours and is used with permission.

One stolen kiss.

A little Christmas magic.

And the snowy inn where love stands a chance.

Interior designer Layla Dean can’t believe her good fortune at snagging the holiday decorating gig at Blueberry Point Lodge. And even though her fledgling business has a growing list of happy clients, her personal life isn’t filled with the same Christmas magic. She needs a man in her life like she does coal in her stocking. But tell that to Brant Johnsson.

Brant is known as the Twin Cities’ Master of Lights and Luminaria for good reason. His company oversees most of the downtown’s outdoor displays every season. But when a professional snag sends him reeling, he’s ready to quit the business. Until he runs into Layla again. Forgetting their awkward mistletoe kiss last year just isn’t possible, but she doesn’t share the pleasant memory. Now that they’re decking the halls together for the newly opened inn’s first Christmas, Brant hopes for a replay of their first encounter. And something more.

When a misdirected text message pairs them together for a fundraising event, Brant and Layla find they have more in common than just a flare for holiday decorating and one mistaken kiss. If Layla can overcome her sour first impression, Brant might get his very merry second chance.

Add to LibraryThing | ISBN: 978-1951516055

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Blueberry Point Romances:

Love, Lies and Lavender by DE MaloneLove, Lies and Mistletoe by DE Maone

Love, Lies & Lavender (book one)

Love, Lies & Mistletoe (book two)

Love, Lies & Fireflies (book three)

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Posted Friday, 18 December, 2020 by jorielov in #blogmas, Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Book Spotlight, Indie Author, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction

#Blogmas | feat. #CleanRomanceForChristmas showcases | “The Promise of Miss Spencer” by Sarah L. McConkie

Posted Thursday, 17 December, 2020 by jorielov 0 Comments

#blogmas badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

When I used to be a blog tour hostess for Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, I loved their *Pure Romance* imprint of Historical Romances – each of them were a warm and cosy story within a genre I personally love to read and each other choose how to approach writing their #HistRom’s a bit differently from one another. When the blogging program discontinued I started hosting Cedar Fort’s blog tours with Singing Librarian Books until Sydney decided to close her touring company late this Summer, 2020. Therefore, I wasn’t sure if or when I’d get the chance to hear about forthcoming and new titles by Cedar Fort for awhile as most of their authors are in charge of their own marketing and publicity online or otherwise. Happily I found Ms McConkie was part of the Clean Romance for Christmas showcases via Prism Book Tours which is why I am celebrating her latest release with you today!

I originally read “Love and Secrets at Cassfield Manor” wherein I had this to share about the story:

What kept me grounded in the narrative though is the intricate natures of all the characters – their queues of moving in and out of the foreground, the flashbacks to yesterday where other truths are letting out their angst(s) of revelations and where, everyone is moving ‘towards’ each other and towards a larger moment of revelation. Each of them are acting on what they know or their instincts; some are making hard choices to thrive out of the necessity of choosing someone to walk through life together granting a better balance of equity and stability of accounting whilst your simply hoping those of whom have a harder road ahead of them have the courage to overcome the odds they never knew they had to face.

There were the usual hang-ups – the bloke who is a twin and whose business affairs on the surface look nefarious but what if the suppositions against him are the workings of a rumour mill? The girl who feels she has everything (Ivory) but longs to have the self-confidence to believe in herself? The quiet soul (Meg) who doesn’t seek for much and humbly accepts what comes her way. Whilst the bloke who has the most to gain, may or may not be the best of characters to trust? As you vacillate between which of the gentleman (Robertson or Davenport) are the better match for any girl who fetches after them with an open heart, you start to see the larger picture unfold through how McConkie draws you closer to where she wants you to walk past your assumptions and truly see her characters as the flawed individuals they always were but of whom could hold a few redemptive qualities within themselves.

Ms McConkie has writ an intricate drama – where the lives of four girls’ lingers in the balance against the men they choose to feel is their rightly match in life, love and a continuance of wealthy gains. Such was the hour of enlightenment in the Regency – girls’ were meant to marry well and secure their futures and the futures of their families. The men had a bit more flexibility but only justly so as everyone was under the same pressures and reputation had a lot of do with everything when it boiled down to marriage, matches and fortunes.

One of the pluses to reading this story is the ways in which the intrigue steps out of the shadows of a traditional scene of the Regency. Finding new entries into the romance and the courtship is a nice discovery to be made – for me, what I love most is how McConkie doesn’t let you rest on the laurels of what she discloses per each of her characters’. She wants you to think about everything that is happening in the story whilst countering that knowledge with the hopefulness she has etched into the path each of the girls’ are walking towards their own personal destiny. They each have different personalities with different goals – some are taking life as it comes, others are trying to curate the path they wish to walk and the others, wells, I think they are halfway between the duty and obligation of marriage and the carefree joy of youth.

I was blessed Singing Librarian Books had the blog tour – whilst I am now thankful to be hosting this spotlight for Prism as I hope more Cedar Fort authors might consider moving their tours to be hosted by Tressa @ Prism Book Tours as she has such a wonderful way of hosting, organising and featuring the kinds of stories and genres Cedar Fort is known for in the reading community.

Likewise, I look forward to adding this lovely release to my list for stories I want to be reading in 2021! It is nice to revisit an author you’ve previously read – seeing the changes in their style and voice as a writer since you’ve last read them whilst continuing to see how they’ve developed their niche within the craft of storytelling. I happen to love complicated love stories and this one – as it begins on the auspicious premise of a deathbed promise sounds like a lovely one to dive inside because what the heart wants and what is once promised could become two very different things!!

Curiously – what draws your eye into reading #HistRom’s? Do you like the lighter side of the Historical Romance genre wherein you’re either reading releases by publishers like Cedar Fort and/or through routes which feature INSPY narratives OR are you a bit more traditional seeking mainstream Historical Romances? Which eras are your preferred timescapes to explore and which authors would you recommend to me?

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Sarah L. McConkie's book photo provided by Prism Book Tours and is used with permission.

MISS SUZANNA SPENCER has successfully avoided marriage,
waiting for love and equality in a husband of her choice.

Yet when her father suddenly becomes ill, she agrees to his dying wish—to marry Mr. Lacy and secure her future. Cast suddenly into a mourning period, Suzanna and Mr. Lacy agree to keep their engagement a secret until the proper six months have passed. But when Suzanna and Mr. Lacy find themselves thrown together with Miss Grysham and her handsome uncle Lord Haversley, everything becomes complicated. If only Lord Haversley didn’t expose his true bravery.

If only there wasn’t so much more to him than a gaudy Lord in Parliament. If only he would leave Suzanna alone. As the threat of smallpox looms close, all four friends must work together—and apart—to save the lives of those they love. Forced into keeping a promise, or securing the promise of her future, Suzanna must reconcile her obligations with her heart as she searches for a love she never had.

Add to LibraryThing | ISBN: 978-1462135806

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Posted Thursday, 17 December, 2020 by jorielov in #blogmas, Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Book Spotlight, Historical Romance, Indie Author, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction