Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corp.

Book Review | “Haunted” (Book No.1 of the Arnaud Legacy) by Lynn Carthage

Posted Monday, 31 October, 2016 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: Winning the bookaway attached to #HistoricalFix (see Info) when we talked about Cosy Horror & Historical Fiction stories – of which Haunted was one of the featured stories! The chat took place on 20th of October, 2015 and yielded a HUGE List of Next Reads suggested by everyone who took part in the chat itself! Cat Winters and Katherine Howe also attended giving me such a wicked awesome chat to participate inside as I have been wanting to read Howe & Winters for awhile! Ms Carthage and I enjoyed meeting up as well, due to our like-minded interests. The books given away during the chat are part of the fun and are always unexpected as they are essay-based where you have to respond to Questions; best replies win.

I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein nor was I obligated to post a review on behalf of “Haunted”. I am posting this review for my own personal edification after having enjoyed reading the story.

A bit of a backstory:

Originally, when I first caught sight of the Haunted blog tour being adverted as an upcoming event this Spring 2015, there was a strong draw for me to want to participate on it! After all, I have shared my first review on reading ghost stories (The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton), joined my first Horror October, expressed why I’m a Cosy Horror Girl, shared my top favourite Classic Horror Motion Pictures, and compiled a list of book series which are definitely bent towards the paranormal! As you will see from those previous blog posts I’ve written, there are aspects of the Horror genre I never quite realised I was enthralled with myself, as I always felt I was living outside the genre completely! Sometimes it takes an event like Horror October hosted by the girls @ Oh, the Books! to set your mind straight! Laughs.

Instinctively, I hopped on Twitter to see if Ms Carthage was online (not that instant, but in general!), as I have come to appreciate finding authors I am keen on reading are participating in reader to author connections via Twitter; as it allows the readers (such as I) to ask pertinent questions which might arise out of reading a book synopsis or an excerpt (if one is available). What followed was a happenstance conversation, where a reader enjoyed getting to know an author outside the scope of being able to read the novel! I asked a few direct questions, as I was a bit on the fence as whether or not I could read this novel as it might take me too far outside my comfort zones along the lines of what is seen or unseen in the novel itself.

I’m definitely *the Cosy Horror Girl* at heart, as I have to weigh what I want to read with what I can handle as I have a sensitive heart. Always feeling being honest about this upfront is best, I did share my concerns, and as we talked a bit more about Haunted and our personal likes in books, I decided I truly felt I would love to interview Ms Carthage in lieu of reading the book for her blog tour! The elements of the paranormal within the series is still keenly intriguing to me, and there was a heap about the setting and atmosphere she stitched into it which lit my imagination aflame with curiosity!

The book cover art alone has all the lovely bits I appreciate about what can be considered an epic Gothic suspense, as you have the house barely seen through the misty fog, the young protagonist’s field of vision not focused on what is in front of her but what is unseen to the side, and the colour dimensions give it a purely haunting feel, encouraging your will to want to read this in order to see where the layers enfold and retreat from what is visually representative in the art itself!

Therefore, I am quite happy to bring to you, dear hearts, the conversation I pulled together out of inspiration from our original twitterverse convo intermixed with bits and bobbles I discovered about her book series whilst composing my thoughts on this interview! I hope you enjoy the conversation!

-originally shared on my Interview with Ms Carthage

However, this wasn’t the end of my connection with the book, the series or the author! We honestly liked talking to each other, not just in the interview but in the twitterverse, too! As the moons aligned, guess what happened?! We both found ourselves happily engaged inside the #HistoricalFix chats hosted by Ms McCabe (of the novel I Shall Shall Be Near to You) wherein we were participating in a chat that felt like it was primed to be exactly set for readers like us who love cosing up to a wicked Gothic story where hauntings, the supernatural and everything that makes you feel spooky are par for course!

I should say, the #HistoricalFix chats have become my tribe of like-minded bookish souls who hunger for captivating next reads, challenging historical fiction and stories that will tuck themselves into our hearts. We chat as if we’ve known each other for centuries rather than a mere year or so, where we only gather each quarter to chat up our latest reads, decipher the latest releases that have charmed our curiosities and exchange all the bookish delights you’d find at a book club!

Snippets of last October’s #HistoricalFix are captured below, along with the convo I had with Ms Carthage about her novel and Cosy Horror in general! ENJOY!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

(tweets to return soon)

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Something quite wicked happened during that particular #HistoricalFix – I changed my opinion about not reading HAUNTED and dearly wanted to read it afterall! This is why I participated in the essay-based bookaway challenge to see if I could add my hat to the mix! I was truly overjoyed and quite shocked I had won – it was one of the happiest moments truly, as it was such a lovely capstone to the chat! I had wanted to read the book soon after I had found it in my postbox, however, time and tides had a way of working against me last year – to where I took great care to make sure HAUNTED was part of my #HalloweenReads in 2016!

Lest I mention, the author enscribed a note to me in the book on Halloween, 2015!? The very day one year later I pick it up to read having forgotten she had done that!? SPOOKY!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Notation on Cover Art Design: I immediately loved what the cover evoked about the setting, the Gothic nature of the tale and the way in which you can be haunted in a hauntingly ethereal setting! I also started to notice the girl on the cover was being featured on other books as well; something I had mentioned to the author. Apparently others had noticed too, which is why there was a big celebration of sorts about this girl and her hair recently that drew attention not only to HAUNTED but two other novels who featured her. One thing I liked even more than the exterior design is the interior mirror that graces the chapter pages! There is something about that design and the way in which it presents itself that just felt ‘authentic’ to this story!

Book Review | “Haunted” (Book No.1 of the Arnaud Legacy) by Lynn CarthageHaunted
Subtitle: The Arnaud Legacy
by Lynn Carthage
Source: Won a Bookaway

Sixteen-year-old Phoebe Irving has traded life in San Francisco for her stepfather’s ancestral mansion in rural England. It’s supposed to be the new start her family needs. But from the moment she crosses the threshold into the ancient estate, Phoebe senses something ominous. Then again, she’s a little sensitive lately—not surprising when her parents are oblivious to her, her old life is six thousand miles away, and the only guy around is completely gorgeous but giving her mixed messages.

But at least Miles doesn’t laugh at Phoebe’s growing fears. And she can trust him…maybe. The locals whisper about the manor’s infamous original owner, Madame Arnaud, and tell grim stories of missing children and vengeful spirits. Phoebe is determined to protect her loved ones—especially her little sister, Tabby. But even amidst the manor’s dark shadows, the deepest mysteries may involve Phoebe herself…

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781617736261

Also by this author:

Also in this series:


Genres: Ghost Story, Gothic Literature, Upper YA Fiction


Published by Kensington Books

on 24th February, 2015

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 288

Published By: Kensington Publishing Corp. ()
Available Formats: Trade Paperback, E-book

The Arnaund Legacy series:

Book 1: Haunted

Book 2: Betrayed (Synopsis)

Book 3: Avenged (Synopsis)

Read about the particulars of the series!

Converse on Twitter via: #Haunted & #arnaudlegacy

About Lynn Carthage

Lynn Carthage

Lynn Carthage is a novelist living in Sacramento, California, near where the Gold Rush launched. Under her real name, she was a Bram Stoker Award finalist. Born in Vermont, Lynn has lived in Maine, Ireland, and Arizona. She reads voraciously, loves anything French, gets “itchy feet” to travel on a regular basis, and finds peace in the woods, in meadows, in nature. She has always been fascinated by how history allows us to imagine how people of the past lived and breathed and felt.

HAUNTED is her first young adult novel, and will be followed by the next two books in the Arnaud Legacy trilogy.

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Posted Monday, 31 October, 2016 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, British Literature, Castles & Estates, Coming-Of Age, Content Note, Debut Author, Debut Novel, England, Fly in the Ointment, Ghost Story, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Good vs. Evil, Gothic Literature, Gothic Mystery, Haunting & Ethereal, Indie Author, Parapsychological Gifts, Parapsychological Suspense, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, Supernatural Fiction, Suspense, Upper YA Fiction, Vulgarity in Literature, YA Fantasy, YA Paranormal &/or Paranormal Romance

Blog Book Tour | “Decorum” by Kaaren Christopherson

Posted Thursday, 29 October, 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 was selected to be a tour stop on the “Decorum” virtual book tour through HFVBT: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the author Kaaren Christopherson, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Note of Gratitude to the author:

I was happily surprised by what came in the Post for me when Decorum arrived because the author included a few extras for me to enjoy finding tucked inside with my copy of the book! I was very grateful to her for being thoughtful enough to make this book one of my ‘book surprise parcels’ as whenever an author or publisher includes a few unknown extras for me to find in their parcels, it’s a wonderful gift of random joy for me on the other end! Finding the copy was autographed was a true delight, too! I tend to forget to mention this on previous reviews, but seeing the author’s handwritten note or signature is a mark of joy for me! Especially if they sign an ARC not just a finished copy, as it connects the moment of discovering their novel with the moment I’m reading it for the first time! Little bits of joy like these do a world of good for a book blogger who doesn’t expect to find anything except the book she’s reviewing!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Note on the Cover Art: I was captured by the image of this woman from the moment I first laid eyes upon the cover art. Not merely for reasons of sorting out if it followed the timescape of the novel but there was something ‘curious’ about her pose and the manner in which she held herself in this portrait. I love studying Art History and this particular portrait reminded me of that passion I have for classical artists and the confluence of period specific portraiture giving us a lens backwards into the historical past. The author has more info on her site.

Blog Book Tour | “Decorum” by Kaaren ChristophersonDecorum
by Kaaren Christopherson
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Kaaren Christopherson’s brilliantly observed novel captures the glamour and grit of one of the world’s most dazzling cities during one of its most tumultuous eras–as seen through the eyes of a singularly captivating heroine…

In 1890s New York, beautiful, wealthy Francesca Lund is an intriguing prospect for worthy suitors and fortune hunters alike. Recently orphaned, she copes by working with the poor in the city’s settlement movement. But a young woman of means can’t shun society for long, and Francesca’s long-standing acquaintance with dashing Edmund Tracey eventually leads to engagement. Yet her sheltered upbringing doesn’t blind her to the indiscretions of the well-to-do…

Among the fashionable circle that gathers around her there are mistresses, scandals, and gentlemen of ruthless ambition. And there is Connor O’Casey–an entirely new kind of New Yorker. A self-made millionaire of Irish stock, Connor wants more than riches. He wants to create a legacy in the form of a luxury Madison Avenue hotel–and he wants Francesca by his side as he does it. In a quest that will take her from impeccable Manhattan salons to the wild Canadian Rockies, Francesca must choose not only between two vastly different men, but between convention and her own emerging self-reliance.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

ISBN: 9781617735219

Genres: Historical Fiction


Published by Kensington Books

on 31st March 2015

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 417

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: Kensington Publishing Corp. ()
Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and E-book

Converse via: #KaarenChristopherson OR #DecorumBlogTour

About Kaaren Christopherson

Kaaren Christopherson

Kaaren Christopherson is the author of Decorum—a novel about Gilded Age New York—that began taking form in 1999 during a course on writing historical fiction. From that moment, Connor O’Casey (who had been rattling around in her brain for months) finally appeared one night and said, “All right, woman. Here I am. What are you going to do about my story?”

So she began to put his words on paper, and he hasn’t kept quiet since. Soon Francesca, Blanche, Tracey, Vinnie, and the rest of the characters began arguing, gossiping, loving, and forming themselves into Kaaren’s first novel.

Kaaren has had a professional career writing and editing for over 30 years and is a senior editor for an international development nonprofit organization in Washington, DC.

She has written fiction since her school days, story poems, children’s books, historical fiction, and time travel, and continues to be active in writer’s groups and writing workshops. In addition to her career as a writer, Kaaren was the owner of a decorative painting business. She loves to travel and prowl through historical sites, galleries, and museums. She is active in several churches in DC and in her local Northern Virginia community, where she shares her home with feline brothers, Archie and Sammy.

A Michigan native, Kaaren received her BA in history and art and her MA in educational administration from Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.

Photo Credit: Pat Everett Photography

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • 2015 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
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Posted Thursday, 29 October, 2015 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 19th Century, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Bookish Discussions, British Literature, Clever Turns of Phrase, Death of a Sibling, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Novel, Family Drama, Family Life, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Romance, Honeymoons & Weddings, Indie Author, Inheritance & Identity, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Life Shift, New York City, Orphans & Guardians, Passionate Researcher, Unexpected Inheritance, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, Writing Style & Voice

Blog Book Tour | “Death Comes to London” (Book 2: of the Kurland St. Mary #mysteries) by Catherine Lloyd Step inside the mayhem of the London Season, whilst keeping toe and step in tune with Lucy and the Major!

Posted Monday, 8 December, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

Death Comes to London by Catherine Lloyd

Published By: Kensington Publishing Corp. ()
Available Formats: Trade Paperback, E-book

Converse on Twitter via:#KurlandStMaryMysteries, #DeathComesToLondonBlogTour

Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Death Comes to London” virtual book tour through Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. I requested the first novel in the series to better understand the flow of continuity and the origins of the Kurland St. Mary mysteries series of which Kensington sent me a complimentary copy of “Death Comes to the Village”. I read both novels back to back for the blog tour and was not obligated to post a review for the first novel. I received a complimentary copy of “Death Comes to London” direct from the publisher Kensington Books, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

I sometimes find curious extra bits tucked inside my review book parcels, and this time around Kensington surprised me with a few things: a bookmark for “Death of a Dog Whisperer” by Laurien Berenson replete with the ENTIRE series listing on the opposite side of the bookmark! How lovely! I am going to be seeking this series out via my local library! My grandmother was keen on the series (at least I am thinking she was! I only remember there was a cookery mystery series she loved to read and I felt it was this one?) but it was the Double Fudge Brownie recipe bookmark which whet an interest to see when in 2015 I can borrow “Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder” to sort it out for myself! And, ooh yes! I am going to bake these brownies too! Which girl do you know wouldn’t savour a ‘free’ chocolate maddeningly rich brownie recipe!? The third surprise was a postie (postcard) annoucement for Kat Martin’s “Against the Sky” February release — on the flipside, it reflects her Alaskan series! However a rather buff agent of the law is on the cover of “Against the Sky” also set in Alaska (perhaps their the same series?) and I happily read “first time in print”! Ooh how lovely – perhaps it was an e-book previously!? (as an aside I found a tweet which answers my questions! see below this review!) Thank you, Kensington for whetting the whistle of my curiosity with these lovelies!

Inspired to Read:

As I have expressed recently, my love and passion for reading cosy mysteries are twofold: I appreciate the ones which take-on a particular historical setting and thereby become a part of the emerging sub-genre “Cosy Historical Mysteries” of which I defined a bit underneath this tour’s author’s guest post; all the while I appreciate the traditional cosy mysteries which harken back to the grandmother of the genre itself Agatha Christie! (read my thoughts on Dame Christie via my tour stop for The Monogram Murders) The Regency is a era of folly and mirth of joyful readings for me — I positively adore reading romances set during the Regency era and the fact this particular mystery series is set within a tranquil and quaint village outside of London; well, you can well imagine how wicked happy I was to request to be on the blog tour! I believe as you read my review of the first novel Death Comes to the Village prior to reading this review of the sequel you shall understand fully why I am drawn into reading cosies!

I read this installment with my newly given reading marker with the cutest hound dog and a stack of books seen on the front side of the Death of a Dog Whisperer bookmark! I had forgotten to mention there is a wicked lovely puzzle you can play with the cover art for “Death Comes to London” on the author’s website!  Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Go Indie
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Posted Monday, 8 December, 2014 by jorielov in #IndieWriterMonth, 19th Century, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book | Novel Excerpt, Cosy Historical Mystery, England, Equality In Literature, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Indie Author, Jorie Loves A Story Features, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Regency Era

Book Review | “Death Comes to the Village” (Book 1: of the Kurland St. Mary #mysteries) by Catherine Lloyd A Cosy Historical mystery you will surely find warmth inside and be thankful of your visit!

Posted Sunday, 7 December, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

Death Comes to the Village by Catherine Lloyd

Published By: Kensington Publishing Corp. ()
Available Formats: Trade Paperback, E-book

Converse on Twitter via:#KurlandStMaryMysteries

Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Death Comes to London” virtual book tour through Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. I requested the first novel in the series to better understand the flow of continuity and the origins of the Kurland St. Mary mysteries series of which Kensington sent me a complimentary copy of “Death Comes to the Village”. I read both novels back to back for the blog tour and was not obligated to post a review for the first novel. I received a complimentary copy of “Death Comes to London” direct from the publisher Kensington Books, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Book Review | “Death Comes to the Village” (Book 1: of the Kurland St. Mary #mysteries) by Catherine Lloyd A Cosy Historical mystery you will surely find warmth inside and be thankful of your visit!Death Comes to the Village
by Catherine Lloyd
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Regency-set historical mystery, first in new series.

A wounded soldier and a rector's daughter discover strange goings-on in the sleepy village of Kurland St. Mary in Catherine Lloyd's charming Regency-set mystery debut.

Major Robert Kurland has returned to the quiet vistas of his village home to recuperate from the horrors of Waterloo. However injured his body may be, his mind is as active as ever. Too active, perhaps. When he glimpses a shadowy figure from his bedroom window struggling with a heavy load, the tranquil façade of the village begins to loom sinister. . .

Unable to forget the incident, Robert confides in his childhood friend, Miss Lucy Harrington. As the dutiful daughter of the widowed rector, following up on the major's suspicions offers a welcome diversion--but soon presents real danger. Someone is intent on stopping their investigation. And in a place where no one locks their doors, a series of thefts and the disappearance of two young serving girls demands explanation. . .

As Robert grapples with his difficult recovery, he and Lucy try to unearth the dark truth lurking within the village shadows, and stop a killer waiting to strike again...

Places to find the book:

Also by this author: Guest Post: Catherine Lloyd, Death Comes to London

Series: Kurland St. Mary Mysteries,


Also in this series: Death Comes to London


Genres: Cosy Historical Mystery


Published by Kensington Publishing Corp.

on 31st November, 2013

Format: Paperback

Pages: 288

About Catherine Lloyd

Catherine Lloyd

Catherine Lloyd grew up in London, England in the middle of a large family of girls. She quickly decided her imagination was a wonderful thing and was often in trouble for making stuff up. She finally worked out she could make a career out of this when she moved to the USA with her husband and four children and began writing fiction. With a background in historical research and a love of old-fashioned mysteries, she couldn’t resist the opportunity to wonder what a young Regency Miss Marple might be like, and how she would deal with a far from pleasant hero of the Napoleonic wars.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

My introduction of the key characters:

The charm of the cosy within is the cantankerous bloke who warms your heart whilst saying the most wild and unsettling of declarations! He’s at his honest wit’s end, and thereby, all the wildlife in his particular section of the world must be within his field of sight of being ousted out of their natural environment because they are interferring with his tranquility of slumberment! If it weren’t so dire of a picture to envision this war hero walking angst ridden through wood and thistle, it would be laughable because whom would suggest such a crazy thing? Owls surely hoot for good reasons, but on the upturnt it was his nature of voicing his vexations at these natural occurring consternations that endeared me on the upstart of the novel!

My very first impression (of which will not surprise most who know me) of Major Robert Kurland mirrored a direct twin of L.B. Jefferies (Jimmy Stuart’s fated voyeur photographer who catches a murderer red-handed in Rear Window!) The Major has returnt from the front of war with an ill-begotten injured leg, laid up (pent up most likely!), and finding every wince of a vice he can lay his mind upon! He charmed me with his crustacean countenance!

Lucy is a spitfire in her own right, but with less confidence in voicing her confluence of opinions, and relegates her resolve of still being under her father’s roof; thereby his rules of life. A rector’s daughter who replaced her dear Mum who died in childbirth, Lucy’s path in life is laid out like paving stones leading out of a garden. Everything expected of her without a want or will of her own regard, yet a slow burn of freedom knits into her bosom! Her age of youth is on her side, which gives the impression she’s a heap of a step towards endeavouring her own mind and heart like Jo March!

The one character who will irk your ire quite a heap isn’t the Major, for he is by far the best companion detective to Lucy, and thereby brings out the joy in reading this series, no by all accounts it is the rector! Lucy’s father has a tongue of thorns and an indifference of gratitude for his daughter’s selfless and tireless work to maintain a home rather than a house. She took charge of everything yet has gained nothing but discontempt back from the one person you’d have felt would sing her praises. I applaud the differences being rapt apparent between her father and the Major; as the Major appears to be to have become not necessarily a full-on surrogate father but he is in her stead of confidence for an advisor on life’s affairs. She trusts the Major and even that surprises her a bit, but it is the level of honesty between them which I believe has endeared them to each other. Read More

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Posted Sunday, 7 December, 2014 by jorielov in #IndieWriterMonth, 19th Century, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book | Novel Excerpt, Cosy Historical Mystery, England, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Jorie Loves A Story Features, Regency Era

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