Genre: Western Fiction

Book Review | “The Lost Girl” by Liz Harris #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 15 April, 2017 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

ChocLitSaturdays Banner Created by Jorie in Canva.

Why I feature #ChocLitSaturdays (book reviews & guest author features)
and created #ChocLitSaturday (the chat via @ChocLitSaturday):

I wanted to create a bit of a niche on Jorie Loves A Story to showcase romance fiction steeped in relationships, courtships, and the breadth of marriage enveloped by characters written honestly whose lives not only endear you to them but they nestle into your heart as their story is being read!

I am always seeking relationship-based romance which strikes a chord within my mind’s eye as well as my heart! I’m a romantic optimist, and I love curling into a romance where I can be swept inside the past, as history becomes lit alive in the fullness of the narrative and I can wander amongst the supporting cast observing the principal characters fall in love and sort out if they are a proper match for each other!

I love how an Indie Publisher like ChocLitUK is such a positive alternative for those of us who do not identify ourselves as girls and women who read ‘chick-lit’. I appreciate the stories which alight in my hands from ChocLit as much as I appreciate the inspirational romances I gravitate towards because there is a certain level of depth to both outlets in romance which encourage my spirits and gives me a beautiful story to absorb! Whilst sorting out how promote my book reviews on behalf of ChocLit, I coined the phrase “ChocLitSaturdays”, which is a nod to the fact my ChocLit reviews & features debut on ‘a Saturday’ but further to the point that on the ‘weekend’ we want to dip into a world wholly ideal and romantic during our hours off from the work week!

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular reviewer for ChocLitUK, where I hand select which books in either their backlist and/or current releases I would like to read next for my #ChocLitSaturdays blog feature. As of June 2016, I became a member of the ChocLit Stars Team in tandem with being on the Cover Reveal Team which I joined in May 2016. I reference the Stars as this is a lovely new reader contribution team of sending feedback to the publisher ahead of new book releases. As always, even if I’m involved with a publisher in this sort of fashion, each review is never influenced by that participation and will always be my honest impression as I read the story. Whether the author is one I have previously read or never had the pleasure to read until the book greets my shelf.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Lost Girl” from ChocLit in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

I wasn’t surprised that Ms Harris tackled another hard-hitting dramatic story-line in her new book The Lost Girl as I have previously come to find she has a way of elevating historical fiction to an emotional keel of clarity. There is a richness to her stories – she dares to capitalise on the emotional heart of her character’s journey; even within the pages of A Bargain Struck this was true, and she did it by taking a seemingly ordinary story-line and moulding it into such a convicting story of life, love and second chances.

Harris has a way to broaching History with such a refinement of shaping the past through a lens of eloquence and clarity, that you simply devour her stories. I appreciate finding an author whose not only dedicated to research but dedicated to writing the stories she’s most passionate telling to a readership whose thankful she’s writing her heart out. – originally shared on the cover reveal for this novel

Dear hearts, I have truly been itching to read this particular release by Ms Harris for well over a year! I learnt about bits of the story whilst chatting during #ChocLitSaturday and the more I would learn about the heart of this novel, the more I dearly wanted to read it! I was meant to receive this towards the close of 2016 – as the paperback release was originally flying into reader’s hands at the close of last Summer. However, it took a bit longer for this lovely novel to reach me – not that I mind! I have always felt that books reach us when we’re meant to read their stories – how are we to know which is the better time to read any particular story if we are moved by it’s chapters and it’s pearls of insights at the moment we’re tucked inside it’s pages? Reading is quite the journey – we never know which story will alight on our path or when we’re itching to read any particular story, but sometimes, we get advanced word about a story (such as this one) which simply touches our soul.

I personally love stories of immigration and adoption; these are two overlapping themes which do have the tendency of appearing through my readerly life time and time again. It’s because the two themes are quite close to my heart; my family has a strong background of ancestral emigration as much as I will be adopting out of foster care in the future. There are so many different paths to highlight both of these themes, and one thing I have credited to Ms Harris with in her previous releases for Historicals is the touching manner in which she hones in on the heart of her character’s story whilst grounding her Historical Fiction in the truism of the moment in which the story is placed to be set in History. She offers a connective threshold of emotions and timeless aspirations for finding one’s purpose and passageway through life’s ordeals. One of the reasons I love her Historicals so very much is how she interconnects the reader and her character as if the two are entwined. It’s wicked brilliant to find Historicals which feel as if you’ve left your reality and exchanged it for another person’s life if only for the expanse of the novel; but in so doing, we humbly expand our empathy, our compassion and our worldview.

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

On my Connection to Ms. Harris:

I have been hosting #ChocLitSaturday chats on a regular basis for a bit over two years now. Eleven in the morning of a Saturday, has become a favourite hour for me to exchange conversation and joy with everyone who shows up to participate in a chat centered around ChocLit novels and the Romance branch of literature in general.

Similar to my previous thoughts I shared about Ms. Courtenay, I have come to appreciate chatting with Ms. Harris, either through #ChocLitSaturdays chats or privately. She is most giving of her time and I have appreciated the opportunity to know the writer behind the stories I enjoy reading! She always shares her happy spirit in the chats too, and her insights into why she enjoys writing the books that speak to her the most.

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with Harris through our respective love & passion of reading inside the twitterverse whilst I host #ChocLitSaturday the chat as well as privately; 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. Similarly this applies to spotlighting new books by an author I appreciate such as this one.

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

I’m sharing both the paperback cover & the ebook cover, as I’m still a bit partial to the ebook cover, even though I respectively understand it’s not as representative of the story as much as the print book cover encompasses. I’m hoping after I’ve read the novel, I can make my final assessment, as ahead of reading it – I still lean towards the first cover. Therefore, the cover featuring the ‘small towne’ is the one on the print release.

The Lost Girl
by Liz Harris
Source: Direct from Publisher

What if you were trapped between two cultures?

Life is tough in 1870s Wyoming. But it’s tougher still when you’re a girl who looks Chinese but speaks like an American.

Orphaned as a baby and taken in by an American family, Charity Walker knows this only too well. The mounting tensions between the new Chinese immigrants and the locals in the mining town of Carter see her shunned by both communities.

When Charity’s one friend, Joe, leaves town, she finds herself isolated. However, in his absence, a new friendship with the only other Chinese girl in Carter makes her feel like she finally belongs somewhere.

But, for a lost girl like Charity, finding a place to call home was never going to be that easy…

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

Book Page on ChocLitUK

ISBN: 9781781893012

Also by this author: A Bargain Struck, Guest Post (A Western Heart) by Liz Harris, Guest Post (The Road Back) by Liz Harris, The Road Back, Book Spotlight w/ Notes (The Lost Girl), Evie Undercover, Guest Post (The Lost Girl) by Liz Harris, The Art of Deception

Genres: Emigration & Immigration, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Modern British Literature, Realistic Fiction, Western Fiction


Published by ChocLitUK

on 22nd February, 2017

Format: UK Edition Paperback

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLitUK)

Formats Available: Paperback & Ebook

Genre(s): Historical Fiction | Western | Adoption | Chinese-American ancestry

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Liz Harris

Liz was born in London and now lives in South Oxfordshire with her husband. After graduating from university with a Law degree, she moved to California where she led a varied life, trying her hand at everything from cocktail waitressing on Sunset Strip to working as secretary to the CEO of a large Japanese trading company, not to mention a stint as ‘resident starlet’ at MGM. On returning to England, Liz completed a degree in English and taught for a number of years before developing her writing career.

Liz’s debut novel, The Road Back, won a Book of the Year Award from Coffee Time Romance in the USA and her second novel A Bargain Struck was shortlisted for the Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

Author Connections:

 Personal Site | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Converse via: #TheLostGirl & #ChocLit Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Saturday, 15 April, 2017 by jorielov in 19th Century, Adoption, American Old West, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, British Literature, Chinese Literature, ChocLitUK, Coming-Of Age, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Cultural & Religious Traditions, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Farm and Ranching on the Frontier, Herbalist, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Immigrant Stories, Indie Author, Multi-cultural Characters and/or Honest Representations of Ethnicity, Multicultural Marriages & Families, Old West Americana, Orphans & Guardians, Passionate Researcher, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Realistic Fiction, Siblings, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, Social Change, Stories of Adoption, Taboo Relationships & Romance, Western Fiction, World Religions

Cover Reveal | #CoorahCreek my beloved Outback series by Janet Gover, has a lovely NEW BOOK! This is the third in the series set in a small towne you’d love to call home!

Posted Thursday, 30 June, 2016 by jorielov , , , 4 Comments

Stories Sailing into View Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

If your a regular reader or frequent visitor of Jorie Loves A Story, you know I’ve been smitten with the novelists who publish their relationship-based Romances with ChocLitUK for a good two years now! I love being on the cusp of learning about a ‘new release’ whilst I remain patient to see if the Digital First new ChocLit novel will make it to a print release further down the road of it’s lifetime. I don’t mind the gaps between the ebooks and the print editions – as it’s always given me the pleasure of balancing my ‘next ChocLit reads’ to include both Front List and Back List offerings. Thus, I am enjoying being a member of the Reveal Team at ChocLit whilst it gives me a chance to introduce my readers to a variety of sub-genres within Romance I appreciate picking up to read!

On my new position as a ChocLit Star member: Whilst I am part of the ChocLit Reviewers having brought reviews & guest author features to Jorie Loves A Story for the past two years, I have recently become a part of the Cover Reveal Team, as disclosed when I hosted the first Reveal on behalf of Sheryl Browne’s ‘Learning to Love’. This new team works with ChocLit providing honest feedback on ‘projects’ such as title & book cover design choices as well projects in development on behalf of the publisher. I accepted being a ChocLit Star as I felt my love of the stories would be a good fit to give in-depth responses to the projects pitched to the Stars. Therefore, when I blogged about the cover for “Revenge is Sweet” it was the first reveal where my input as a ChocLit Star helped the reveal become possible!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Celebrating the Coorah Creek series by Janet Gover

This is one of those lovely series which simply sweeps you into it’s heart and never quite let’s you go once  you’ve become entrenched into the lives of the residents of Coorah Creek! This charmingly small Outback towne is on the outskirts of everything but holds within it’s folds the beauty of community & the togetherness of family which extends itself into your life through close-knit friendships with people who genuinely care about your well-being. It’s the kind of place where you can take your baggage from life and find a caring place to heal whilst you transition forward into a new chapter where everything becomes possible again, simply because you’ve changed your setting & taken a chance on a towne that has more going for it than meets the eye.

My love of Coorah Creek has been widely blogged & tweeted about since I first laid eyes on ‘Flight to Coorah Creek’ (see Review) two years ago – as it gave me such a sweet hankering for a Contemporary Western Romance within the setting of this amazing place in a country I’ve been charmed by since I was a young girl! I grew up with Westerns – in both films and stories, fully in love with the companionship & workmanship surrounding horses, whilst enjoying the reprieve from reality getting caught inside the lives of those who either fought to carve out a new life on the wilds of the Frontier or tried to homestead their way into a new chapter of their ancestral saga.

Coorah Creek marked the first foray I had into Australian Outback fiction – granting me a new appreciation for Australian Literature, and a heart-warming story that treated me to such wonderfully crafted characters by an author who dearly knows how to capture everything you hope to find inside of a Contemporary story whilst anchouring you to the natural beauty surrounding her setting. It’s such a deeply enriched balance – it makes returning to Coorah Creek so wicked sweet for me, as the only story in the series I have thus far gone without reading or listening too is ‘Christmas at Coorah Creek’ which is not yet in audio or print.

I do elude to how Ms Gover treats us diehard series readers to inside information about this novella as she firms together the missing bits inside the second installment ‘The Wild One’. Thus, I consider this new title the third book in the series, but the fourth story of the overall saga. I dearly hope to have a good listen to the novella one day (*fingers crossed* it goes to Audiobook!) whilst re-reading the series start to finish; not that I am ever quite prepared for ‘the final chapter’ of Coorah Creek; I am sure at some point, there will come the time where the last chapter is revealled. It’s just hard to find characters such as these and a setting you feel so dearly attached too – this is one reason I have a penchant for serial fiction; you don’t have to retreat & leave everyone so quickly as you do in one-offs!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Read More

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Posted Thursday, 30 June, 2016 by jorielov in Australian Literature, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover Reveal, Book Spotlight & Announcement, ChocLitUK, Indie Author, Romance Fiction, Small Towne Fiction, Western Fiction, Western Romance

Book Review | “The Wild One” (#CoorahCreek No.2) by Janet Gover #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 23 April, 2016 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

ChocLitSaturdays Banner Created by Jorie in Canva.

Why I feature #ChocLitSaturdays (book reviews & guest author features)
and created #ChocLitSaturday (the chat via @ChocLitSaturday):

I wanted to create a bit of a niche on Jorie Loves A Story to showcase romance fiction steeped in relationships, courtships, and the breadth of marriage enveloped by characters written honestly whose lives not only endear you to them but they nestle into your heart as their story is being read!

I am always seeking relationship-based romance which strikes a chord within my mind’s eye as well as my heart! I’m a romantic optimist, and I love curling into a romance where I can be swept inside the past, as history becomes lit alive in the fullness of the narrative and I can wander amongst the supporting cast observing the principal characters fall in love and sort out if they are a proper match for each other!

I love how an Indie Publisher like ChocLitUK is such a positive alternative for those of us who do not identify ourselves as girls and women who read ‘chick-lit’. I appreciate the stories which alight in my hands from ChocLit as much as I appreciate the inspirational romances I gravitate towards because there is a certain level of depth to both outlets in romance which encourage my spirits and gives me a beautiful story to absorb! Whilst sorting out how promote my book reviews on behalf of ChocLit, I coined the phrase “ChocLitSaturdays”, which is a nod to the fact my ChocLit reviews & features debut on ‘a Saturday’ but further to the point that on the ‘weekend’ we want to dip into a world wholly ideal and romantic during our hours off from the work week!

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular reviewer for ChocLitUK, where I hand select which books in either their backlist and/or current releases I would like to read next for my #ChocLitSaturdays blog feature. I received a complimentary copy of “The Wild One” from ChocLit in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I fell in love with Coorah Creek:

To fully capture my initial excitement about learning this series was going to continue, you can click to view the first tweet I shared! I have a soft spot for Westerns – stemming out of my love for horse-back riding but also, because I fell in love with the country having spent equal portions of my life between city and rural environs. Being close to the natural world and being cognisantly aware of wildlife and the natural habitats which play such an important role in our cyclic health on Earth has left an impression on my heart, mind and imagination.

I started reading Westerns as a young girl – curled up inside Cowboy fiction and the Americana of the Western Frontier is one way I spent a happy afternoon engrossed inside the pages of novels whose spirit of the West and of a particular kind of lifestyle championed a spark of joy inside me. This is why to this day, I love seeking out Westerns – either straight-up traditional historicals or the Contemporaries who are breaking new frontiers as they bring us a new endearing locale to frame our minds around a setting which can resonate as readily as the historical past!

This is one reason you’ll find more of these stories emerging on my blog as time moves forward, because I have two favourite authors (Liz Harris and Janet Gover) who write the novels I am seeking from ChocLit but also, because I have stories on my TBR List (of whom I need to add to my Leafmarks!) which are my ‘itching to read next’ choices! If you’ve caught sight of my reviews on behalf of the novels of Carolyn Steele (Willow Springs and Soda Springs) you will recognise instantly what I love about modern day Western authors! Even MK McClintock has a heap of lovelies I want to explore whilst finishing my stay inside her Alaina Claiborne! (see this conversation I had with her last year) Even Carla Kelly endeared me to her style as soon as I stepped through the pages of Softly Falling! It is an incredible time to be a reader of Western fiction!

When it comes to Coorah Creek, I was happily surprised by what I found inside the novel, so much so, I ached for a sequel long before I ever realised one was being breathed into life! Here is a sampling of my review on behalf of the first story which I did not want to end:

Creating a realistic impression of the Australian Outback is Janet Gover’s gift:

I honestly could not stop reading Flight to Coorah Creek, and in doing so, left myself at a bit of a loss as to how to properly leave behind my esteem and love of the story! I simply did not want to leave my comfy chair and make my way to my keyboard! I absorbed myself so fully into this story, as I had ached to get into the heart of it for most of Spring & Summer, that by the time I found the pages flying past my fingers, there simply was not one second to spare! I was thankful to soak into a light medical drama which did not affect me as medical dramas generally do these days (ooh, how I miss reading them!), as I was quite fascinated with Gover’s ability to take research & first hand experience (as she had disclosed in a #ChocLitSaturdays : chat on Twitterthat she had experienced an air ambulance service) and turnt it into such a believable and commendable tale of second chances, new beginnings, and atonement!

The subtle way she included what I would generally think of as a ‘third’ character: the Australian Outback itself was an alarming treat for your senses! And, how interesting that most of what was spoken about are part of the natural beauty I appreciate myself, even if the frying in the laser sharp heat of the sun might not be as keen, it was how she turnt the natural world into a visual backdrop I appreciated the most. The Outback was also quite the character, as the winds would shift and reveal a few things about where all of these lovely characters had settled into a sense of home and stability of calm. I honestly cannot wait to read another novel where she takes me on another epic journey of an adventure!

I have seen many a motion picture which involves drama on a plane, but I must say, Gover had me on the very edge of my seat and I nearly forgot to breathe whilst reading the passages where the flying was anything but routine!

as quoted from my review of Flight to Coorah Creek, the first book in the series

Sadly, there is anchour to this story, a novella which is currently only available in ebook format (Christmas at Coorah Creek) rather than being released into print or audiobook. It’s my mission to gather the audiobooks by ChocLit for the novellas and/or any novel that doesn’t make it to print but goes into audio release! I would love to say one day I have a lovely bookcase full of ChocLit paperbacks and audiobooks on CD! Until then, I gather in my mind which ones I wish to collect and hope for the best!

For those of you whose thirst for this series is intrigued to seek out the stories, let me share the synopsis for the novella! Remember this follows the time-line straight after Flight to Coorah Creek!

What if you don’t want to be home for Christmas?

Spending Christmas away from home is one thing but English nurse Katie Brooks is spending hers in Coorah Creek; a small town in the Australian outback.

Katie was certain leaving London was the right decision, but her new job in the outback is more challenging than she could have ever imagined.

Scott Collins rescued Katie on her first day in Coorah Creek and has been a source of comfort ever since. But Scott no longer calls the town home – it’s too full of bad memories and he doesn’t plan on sticking around for long.

Scott needs to leave. Katie needs to stay. They have until Christmas to decide their future …

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Book Review | “The Wild One” (#CoorahCreek No.2) by Janet Gover #ChocLitSaturdaysThe Wild One
Subtitle: A Coorah Creek Novel
by Janet Gover
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Berni Stevens
Source: Direct from Publisher

Can four wounded souls find love?

Iraq war veteran Dan Mitchell once disobeyed an order – and it nearly destroyed him. Now a national park ranger in the Australian outback, he’s faced with another order he is unwilling to obey …

Photographer Rachel Quinn seeks out beauty in unlikely places. Her work comforted Dan in his darkest days. But Quinn knows darkness too – and Dan soon realises she needs his help as much as he needs hers.

Carrie Bryant was a talented jockey until a racing accident broke her nerve. Now Dan and Quinn need her expertise, but can she face her fear? And could horse breeder Justin Fraser, a man fighting to save his own heritage, be the one to help put that fear to rest?

Sometimes, the wounds you can’t see are the hardest to heal…

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781781892664

Also by this author: Flight to Coorah Creek, The Wild One Cover Reveal, Little Girl Lost Cover Reveal

Series: Coorah Creek


Also in this series: Flight to Coorah Creek


Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance Fiction, Western Fiction


Published by ChocLitUK

on 2nd April, 2016

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 278

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLituk)

Available Formats: Paperback, Audiobook, Large Print & E-Book

Coorah Creek series:

Flight to Coorah Creek | No.1 (review)

Christmas at Coorah Creek | Novella

The Wild One | No.2

(read my Cover Reveal celebration for The Wild One)

Converse via: #CoorahCreek or #TheWildOne and #ChocLit

About Janet Gover

Janet Gover

Janet lives in Surrey with her English husband but grew up in the Australian outback surrounded by books. She solved mysteries with Sherlock Holmes, explored jungles with Edgar Rice Burroughs and shot to the stars with Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury. After studying journalism at Queensland University she became a television journalist, first in Australia, then in Asia and Europe. During her career Janet saw and did a lot of unusual things. She met one Pope, at least three Prime Ministers, a few movie stars and a dolphin. Janet now works in television production and travels extensively with her job.

Janet’s first short story, The Last Dragon, was published in 2002. Since then she has published numerous short stories, one of which won the Elizabeth Goudge Award from the Romantic Novelists’ Association. She has previously published three novels with Little Black Dress, Flight to Coorah Creek is her debut with Choc Lit and Bring Me Sunshine her first Choc Lit Lite ebook novella.

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo. Read More

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Posted Saturday, 23 April, 2016 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Action & Adventure Fiction, Australia, Australian Literature, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Contemporary Romance, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Indie Author, Life Shift, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Modern British Literature, Modern Day, Passionate Researcher, PTSD, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Singletons & Commitment, Small Towne Fiction, TV Serials & Motion Pictures, Vulgarity in Literature, Western Fiction, Western Romance, Women's Fiction, Women's Health, Writing Style & Voice

Blog Book Tour | For Steele’s sophomore release (“#SodaSprings”) she’s knit us inside a wicked lovely Western where Hope guides the characters towards redeeming the Light of their lives!

Posted Tuesday, 22 December, 2015 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: 

I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Cedar Fort whereupon I am thankful to have such a diverse amount of novels and non-fiction titles to choose amongst to host. I received a complimentary copy of “Soda Springs” direct from the publisher Bonneville Books (imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

On my connection to Ms Steele:

I first made a connection to Ms Steele when I read ‘Willow Springs’, however, time and life swept us up in our respective tides until several months leading up to the ‘Soda Springs’ blog tour. Occasionally we would see each other on Twitter, and when it came time for Ms Steele to find bloggers for her blog tour, we reconnected finding to each of ours chagrin how much we share in common! As both writers and photographers, a friendship organically started to develop. A friendship I find to be a true blessing to have and in no way does this cloud my judgement to review her novels, because each story I read is met with an open heart and mind.

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with Steele through our respective love & passion of reading inside the twitterverse or whilst in private conversations outside of it. 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 continuously throughout their writerly career.

Quoting a part of my enthused reaction on why I wanted to read ‘Soda Springs’:

I love historical fiction and family dramas; this new novel has everything I appreciate! Plus, I don’t mind that it’s based on a historical period of time for Mormons because I’m an open minded reader who reads about cross-cultural and cross-religious heritages which may or may not be my own. It’s part of what I love the most about reading!

You get to walk in different shoes than the pair your wearing!

On notation on Cover Art and the author’s dedication:

When I first caught sight of this novel’s cover art (as given to me by Ms Steele), I must say, I was quite curious at where the character’s eyes were cast – such a serious expression and a curiously fiery sky in the background. Her eyes stand so very resolute in their stare, you see. It could be twilight or it could be a forbearance of strife. The historical etching of place was quite apparent and I liked the overlays of graphics as well. The short quotation caught my eye, as I am attracted to stories of adversity in which the writers knit a layering of survival threaded through hope and the joys life can bestow us when we’re least expecting to find merriment.

The author’s dedication to both a specific locale and to her husband was most endearing – you gathered a true sense of what anchours Ms Steele and what uplifts her heart and spirit the most. I was definitely keen on visiting Grays Lake myself after such a hearty glimpse into what gives her such a renewal of memory and mirth of happiness.

Blog Book Tour | For Steele’s sophomore release (“#SodaSprings”) she’s knit us inside a wicked lovely Western where Hope guides the characters towards redeeming the Light of their lives!Soda Springs
by Carolyn Steele
Source: Direct from Publisher

“Father!” Tessa jumped off the porch, skipping the four steps and landing with her bare feet on the dusty cobbles, making a soft thud. She raced toward the man silhouetted by the flames. “Father, what are you doing?” She whispered her shout as loudly as she dared, fearful of waking the rest of her family. “Stop!”

“Go back inside,” he hissed at her, scarcely turning his head in her direction as he tossed a jacket into the fire.

“Your uniform . . .” She gasped in horror. Flames consumed the gray woolen coat and trousers. “Why?”

When Tessa Darrow discovers her father burning his Confederate uniform, she has no idea that his secret torment will devastate their family and drive them from their home in North Carolina. In 1865, her family treks along the Oregon Trail until tragedy strikes, leaving Tessa and her father to build a new life in Soda Springs, Idaho, a town settled by a group of exiled Mormons. For Tessa to find happiness in her future, she must learn to forgive and grow from the hurt and hardships in her past.

This sweeping story illuminates an oft-forgotten era in LDS Church history and highlights the history of Soda Springs, Idaho--referred to by early travelers as "an oasis on the Oregon Trail." Filled with drama, humor, and enduring love, it's a thrilling read for history buffs and romantics alike.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 9781462117000

Also by this author: Willow Springs

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, War Drama, Western Fiction


Published by Bonneville Books

on 8th December, 2015

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 264

Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards Badge created by Jorie in Canva. Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Published By: Bonneville Books (@BonnevilleBooks),

an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFortBooks)
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse via: #histfic, #ChristFic, #LDSFiction + #SodaSprings

About Carolyn Steele

Carolyn Steele

Carolyn Steele enjoys ferreting out obscure history and weaving it through her tales. With a career rooted in business writing, she loves researching details of her novels to ensure their historical accuracy, drawing praise from Pony Express re-enactors for her first novel, “Willow Springs.” Carolyn works full-time writing communications for healthcare providers, then spends evenings indulging her passion for writing historical fiction. When not at the computer, Carolyn loves traveling with her husband and visiting with her four children and thirteen grandchildren. In her spare moments, she traipses about Utah with a camera in hand, and occasionally muddles through a round of golf. She dreams of one day traveling the world, photographing all those mystical lands that beg to be backdrops for her novels.

To say “hello,” visit her on her social media channels!

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2015 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Tuesday, 22 December, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 19th Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Epistolary Novel | Non-Fiction, Family Drama, Family Life, Farm and Ranching on the Frontier, Father-Daughter Relationships, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Homestead Life, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Life Shift, Mormonism, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Old West Americana, Oregon, Questioning Faith as a Teen, Religious History, Romantic Suspense, Siblings, Western Fiction, Western Romance

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