Genre: Women's Fiction

A Contemporary Women’s Fiction #25PagePreview Spotlight | “Cupcakes & Crumbs” (Berry Lake Cupcake Posse, Book One) by Melissa McClone

Posted Thursday, 19 November, 2020 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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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. This is how I came to love discovering the Harlequin Heartwarming authors & series as much as it has been an honour to regularly request INSPY stories and authors. Whenever I host for Prism, I know I am in for an uplifting read and a journey into the stories which give me a lot of joy to find in my readerly queue of #nextreads. It is an honour to be a part of their team of book bloggers.

I received a complimentary ARC copy of “Cupcakes and Crumbs” direct from the author Melissa McClone 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.comOn baking and having an aversion to pink and how the latter
didn’t discourage my interest in reading Cupcakes and Crumbs:

I’ve been attempting to dodge a rather keen secret – PINK has never been my favourite colour and if anything, its my least tolerable colour in the whole spectrum of the colour wheel. And, yet, whilst the colour pink has a disservice to me – as it nearly turns me off anything associated with the colour, this particular cover nearly put me off reading the story because I seriously felt it was overly pink. It was the cupcakes which left me curious and the fact this was a work of Contemporary Women’s Fiction. A topic of interest I not only regularly read and discuss on Jorie Loves A Story but one part of the focus of my Twitter chat @SatBookChat! (six years strong!)

Being a home baker and one who LOVES binge watching Great British Bake-Off whenever she swings into streaming NetFlix (as I have the tendency of switching up my streaming life by choosing different apps/streaming services to stream tv every odd moon or month; as you get the best variety this way!) and how she’s started to master the learning curve with more challenging bakes like scones, biscuits and sorting out her path into self-rising flour and bread flour; (without actually baking ‘bread’) – she’s focused more on lime cookies and a stellar alternative solution to the ‘best’ peach cobbler – you could say a baking central focus of a novel was right up her street!

There was a strong interest on the ambrosial and baking delights this novel promised to deliver but in regards to the Women’s Fiction side of the ledger – it has been a long spell since I’ve tucked into an ensemble cast within the genre like this one – outside of the fact I’m nearly entering S3 of “Army Wives” – given the fact Mum and I only started it a week ago and we’ve already cried, laughed and ploughed our way through two seasons of this kickin’ rockin’ Military Women’s drama of a tv serial – you could say I was in the mood for this kind of story long before Roku decided to grace us with the full series for *FREE* this November. It was one of those series Mum and I pushed off to watch – thinking, there will be a better time to see it. Reality? Never a good time to start a soul-crushing dearly dramatic and highly realistic military drama surrounding the lives of wives of the currently deployed and their life on (an Army) post! You just have to breathe, exhale and DIVE – trust me, its worth the emotional upheavals because this is wicked good drama!

You have to realise something else – one of  my favourite female vocalists over the last two decades has been PINK. Mind you, her world and mine are so far removed from each other you might blink twice and question that statement – however, despite the fact she’s had a very street and real lifestyle, she has a heart of gold, one powerful voice and writes lyrics which get into your soul. Mind, her name on the other hand made me smirk so much I’ve permanently have burnt my cheeks! Plus, I just love how she’s raising her kids and encouraging them to find their confidence, own their voice and walk their own path in life wherever that might take them. Who wouldn’t want her as a best friend? Which is why I admire her from afar, love her songs and appreciate her interviews as she shares her life with all of us.

Hence – when it came to choosing which blog tours to join and which books I wanted to consider for review, this book cover was a complete turn-off – which I bring up for one fair point – it is not the book covers which get me interested in reading. It’s the synopsis and the potential for the context of the story inside the covers – the topping (ie. cover) is just art – as without a solid story, realistic characters and a plausible reason to feel as invested to sink into the soles and spirits of the lives involved in the plot as any wicked good serial drama on tv can provide; the cover alone isn’t going to sway me to read the book. Or in this instance make me not pick it up as its cotton candied pink.

And, that dear hearts is why I selected *Cupcakes and Crumbs* because you have to take the sweet with the chaos – all our lives give us equal reasons to celebrate life and equal measures of sorrow to grieve the loss of people, companions (ie. animals) and the other bits round us which give measure of grace to our lives. To live is to love and to love is to live in other words. It isn’t always a perfect cupcake but sometimes when your drowning in the crumbs – it is like a flowering plant bursting up through concrete wholly sure of itself and the impossible path it took towards asserting the right to be present for whatever tomorrow might bring along.

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A Contemporary Women’s Fiction #25PagePreview Spotlight | “Cupcakes & Crumbs” (Berry Lake Cupcake Posse, Book One) by Melissa McCloneCupcakes and Crumbs
Subtitle: Berry Lake Cupcake Posse
by Melissa McClone
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

After life takes five women on different paths, a death brings them home. But friendship might not be enough to keep them together.

When Bria Landon and her estranged father each inherit fifty percent of a small-town cupcake shop, her dad hires her worst enemy, and first love, to turn the place into a soulless franchise…or sell it.

To save her aunt’s legacy, Bria needs the help of people who love the bakery as much as she does—her old friends who worked there fifteen years ago. Except each woman is dealing with her own problem:

Juliet, who's trying to prove she’s more than a trophy wife; Missy, a widow who fears losing the job she loves; Nell, who's meddling mother won't stop playing matchmaker; and Selena, a life coach who excels at fixing everyone else's lives...but hasn't a clue what's missing in her own.

Each woman wants to believe their friendship can overcome anything. But as the Berry Lake Cupcake Posse reunite to save their beloved cupcake shop, they soon discover the undertaking will bring more trouble than they expected.

Genres: Baking, Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Cookery, Women's Fiction


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1944777555

Published by Cardinal Press

on 10th November, 2020

Format: Paperback ARC

Pages: 237

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Berry Lake Cupcake Posse series:

Cupcakes & Crumbs

Tiaras & Teacups ← forthcoming February, 2021!

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Formats Available: Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #CupcakesAndCrumbs, #WomensFiction and #Contemporary

About Melissa McClone

Melissa McClone

USA TODAY bestselling author Melissa McClone writes heartwarming Women’s Fiction and Sweet Contemporary Romance novels for Cardinal Press, Tule Publishing Group, and Harlequin Books.

When she’s not writing relatable characters and sigh-worthy happy endings, she spends rainy Pacific Northwest reading from her Kindle’s ever-growing TBR, napping, and decorating her Happy Planner. Melissa lives in Washington state with her husband, three children, a Norwegian Elkhound, and three cats who think they rule the house. They do!

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Posted Thursday, 19 November, 2020 by jorielov in #25PagePreview, Blog Tour Host, Contemporary Romance, Jorie Loves A Story Features, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction

Top Ten Secrets Behind the Tobacconist’s Wife this #TopTenTuesday | a clever list of #behindthebook insight by AnneMarie Brear!

Posted Tuesday, 17 November, 2020 by jorielov , , 3 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday blog banner created by Jorie in Canva.

#TopTenTuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl
Topic of the Week: Pet Names based on Books/Tv/Films

It would not surprise anyone I’ve found a heap of inspiration in naming my pets after favourite stories across the mediums I enjoy the most – especially of course from tv series and films! However, I wanted to focus on a different topic of interest today and get into the secrets #behindthebook of a Historical Fiction novelist I enjoy reading and hope to read more of in the future!

Jorie’s topic for AnneMarie Brear:
Top Ten Secrets Behind the Tobacconist’s Wife

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I have been enjoying creating special guest features for #TopTenTuesday this Autumn wherein different authors get the chance to delight us with their guest posts during the book blogosphere’s faovurite meme every Tuesday! I have been taken a bit of a backseat in composing my own entries for awhile as I haven’t quite felt as inspired as I have previously to respond to the topics at hand and have given authors I want to be reading the chance to showcase their stories instead. I am wicked thankful for the visitors and my readers alike who have been enjoying these sequences as it has inspired to me continue to seek out whys to have more guest authors become featured on Top Ten Tuesday in the future whilst I will also continue to add my own responses as I feel motivated to undertake the topics of the week.

Today’s guest author is Ms Brear – a Historical Fiction novelist I crossed paths with originally through hosting and reviewing for ChocLitUK. When I first read “Where Dragonflies Hover” I must admit, I was truly enraptured by how she wrote the story and how the story resonated with me once I had concluded it. I knew I had found a wicked brilliant new voice in Historical Fiction and I have been following her career over the years, sorting out which of her releases I want to be reading next and trying to find ways to host her again on my blog.

I hadn’t realised her second release by ChocLit I wanted to read went into a print release, so I’ve now added “Where Rainbows End” to my gathering list as it was a story I thought I would enjoy reading at the time I showcased the cover reveal. Today, however, she’s with Lume Books – another Indie Publisher in the UK I haven’t yet had the chance to discover and am delighted I get to feature a new-to-me publisher inasmuch as her latest release which is “The Tobacconist’s Wife”!!

Brew yourself a cuppa and let’s find out more about this story!

And, I hope this will give you a wonderfully keen insight into Ms Brear’s writerly process as she dives into both the story and her process to write it.

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Top Ten Secrets Behind the Tobacconist’s Wife this #TopTenTuesday | a clever list of #behindthebook insight by AnneMarie Brear!The Tobacconist's Wife
Subtitle: Dark Secrets Lurk Behind the Shop Facade
by Ms AnneMarie Brear

Having lost her father, Thea Goodson is alone in the world.

It is true she has a husband, but Ernie is a brutal man, more inclined to use his fists to keep Thea in line than to build on their marriage. And besides, Ernie Goodson has secrets – secrets that even his wife cannot share.

But in Victorian Yorkshire, appearances must be kept up, so Thea goes on powdering her bruises and forcing a smile as she toils in Ernie’s home and tobacco shop. There seems to be no other option.

That is, until a handsome and well-bred stranger arrives to set up shop next door…

Can Thea escape her misery and break from the conventions of society? Or will the clutches of her abusive husband confine her forever?

The Tobacconist’s Wife is the latest book from AnneMarie Brear, the highly acclaimed author of bestselling The Slum Angel. Perfect for fans of Catherine Cookson, Dilly Court and Rosie Goodwin.

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Women's Fiction


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1839012174

Published by Lume Books

on 12th November, 2020

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The stories by Ms Brear on my radar:

Where Dragonflies Hover by AnneMarie BrearWhere Rainbows End by AnneMarie BrearThe Tobacconist's Wife by AnneMarie Brear

Where Dragonflies Hover (see also Review)

Where Rainbows End (see also Cover Reveal)

The Tobacconist’s Wife *newly released!

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Published by: Lume Books (@lume_books)

Converse via: #TheTobacconistsWife, #AnneMarieBrear, #HistoricalFiction or #HistFic

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Top Ten Secrets Behind the Tobacconist’s Wife

by AnneMarie Brear

Inspiration from Jorie for this Topic: a lovely list of things we might not have realised go on behind the book for a writer to create the setting, characters and ambiance of their Historical Fiction narrative whilst potentially giving us a few secrets about the novel before we read it!

Author’s Response: Thank you for having me.

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Posted Tuesday, 17 November, 2020 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Book Spotlight, Bookish Memes, Historical Fiction, Indie Author, Love Books Tours, Top Ten Tuesday

A #HistoricalMondays Book Spotlight w/ Notes + Extracts | featuring my first blog tour with Frolic Book Tours : the Celtic #HistFic Saga by Rebecca Kightlinger: The Bury Down Chronicles (originally discovered via #NetGalley)

Posted Monday, 2 November, 2020 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I am wicked thrilled to be on this lovely blog tour celebrating a series I first *discovered!* on NetGalley – which is the Bury Down Chronicles! I have only been on NetGalley since February of 2020 (wherein I started participating by listening to audio extracts) and I have been reviewing and listening to audiobooks via NetGalley since July, 2020. Previously I was not able to participate on NetGalley due to my inability to read ebooks due to my chronic migraines. Hence why I am celebrating this year NetGalley finally released a format which works for readers who only read stories in print and/or listen to audiobooks; as the latter have been such a keen pleasure of joy in my life since I first started listening to them in 2016.

I wasn’t sure which kinds of audiobooks would be available for review consideration this Summer on NetGalley but what I am finding is a lovely mixture of stories – from adult to Children’s Lit and from Fiction and Non-Fiction. Three of the reviews I submitted are on my blog now – which are as follows: Solstice Shadows (see also Review); My Life in Plants (see also Review) and Jorik Calling (see also Review). I will be releasing more as I finish the stories I’ve begun listening to whilst I am also re-balancing my NetGalley selections as a few of them archived before I could listen to them and am thankful those selections are on Scribd.

When it came to Megge of Bury Down – I was thankful I could request the audiobook from the author as I had a lot of health issues in September and at the end of October; this coming week I am listening to both Megge of Bury Down (courtesy of the author) and The Lady of the Cliffs (which thankfully was available via NetGalley). What caught my attention first and foremost is how this is a lovely installment of stories featuring strong women and a cornerstone of History I do not regularly get to read or listen too. I love seeking out hidden stories in the historical past which bring to life a bit of history you are not expecting to find and whose heroines of the stories themselves have such a strong story to be heard.

I personally love finding Feminist Historical Fiction & Historical Women’s Fiction stories as much as I love stories which dip into the shadows and corners of Magical Realism. Each writer who uses Magical Realism re-invents what can be done with this genre and it is a joy to continue to discover each writer’s spin and evocation of the genre itself. For these reasons I am wicked thrilled I can listen to this series during the blog tour and to help signal boost the series to those readers who might not have discovered it.

Today, I am sharing extracts from both stories in order to give you a better preview of what is inside them and hopefully after reading the extracts you might decide to either fetch these audiobooks via NetGalley yourself (as I saw they are still available under ‘Listen Now’) or perhaps you’ll add the series to your own #mustread list! Either way, ENJOY!

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The Bury Down Chronicles:

Megge of Bury Down by Rebecca KightlingerThe Lady of the Cliffs by Rebecca Kightlinger

Megge of Bury Down (book one)

Megge of Bury Down was recently named a Distinguished Favorite in the categories of historical fiction and cover design at the Independent Press NYC Big Book Awards.

The Lady of the Cliffs (book two)

The Lady of the Cliffs is a continuation of Megge of Bury Down, it is not a standalone novel and readers will have to have read Megge in order to understand the events that take place in this book.

Published by: Rowan Moon (@RowanMoon_Press)

Genre(s): Historical Fiction, Celtic Historical Fiction

Converse via: #HistoricalFiction, #HistFic, #Celtic and #MeggeOfBuryDown
as well as #BuryDownChronicles, #MagicalRealism or #WomensFiction

About Rebecca Kightlinger

Rebecca Kightlinger

Rebecca Kightlinger holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast MFA program and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. A fulltime writer and literary critic, she divides her workday between researching and writing the Bury Down Chronicles, reviewing novels for the Historical Novel Society, and reading fiction submissions for New England Review. She travels to Cornwall to carry out on-site research for each book of the Bury Down series.

In her twenty years of medical practice as an obstetrician gynecologist, she had the privilege of caring for the women of Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Guyana, South America. A lifetime Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and a member of the American Association for the History of Medicine, she also studies ancient medicine, medieval midwifery, the history of Cornwall, and the manuscripts and arts of the mystical healer.
She and her husband live in Pennsylvania.

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Posted Monday, 2 November, 2020 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Book Spotlight, Indie Author