Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Blog Book Tour | “The Witch of Painted Sorrows” {Book 1: of the Daughters of La Lune series} by M.J. Rose #HistFic is captured within the essence of a traditional Gothic tale where a woman has to choose what she desires more? Passion or Freedom?

Posted Wednesday, 18 March, 2015 by jorielov , , , , 5 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 “The Witch of Painted Sorrows” virtual book tour through France Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the publisher Atria (an imprint of Simon & Schuster), in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Intrigued to Read:

I previously hosted Ms Rose during her blog tour for The Collector of Dying Breaths, whereupon I also interviewed her for the same tour. I had a fascination inside me about the Reincarnationist series, but it ended up my heart was attached quite dearly to the second trilogy making up the volumes of: The Book of Lost Fragrances, Seduction, and The Collector of Dying Breaths. I went into details about this on my previous M.J. Rose book review, but what intrigued me about returning into her next novel is how it was set to life in Paris itself.

I have come to appreciate different eras of French History through the writers who write stories that surround us in the history and lore of France. In regards directly to the Belle Époque 1890s of this highly regarded city, I last ducked inside it’s chapters of time in Heather Webb’s Rodin’s Lover. The eras of salons where writerly and artistic immersions of the crafts could be celebrated and explored through peers of the same inclinations was quite the intrigue for me, as it is hard to pin-point where the ‘meeting of the minds’ meet-up in latter centuries which have provided as much feedback as camaraderie amongst like-minded spirits.

The layers she knitted into the story to encourage a back-drop of suspense mixing inside Gothic Lit undertones and the possessiveness of a long-dead master of darkness, was imploring as I wanted to see how this story would balance most of what I’ve come to love inside an M.J. Rose novel! I was thinking this was in-part a departure from her Reincarnationist series as much as an extension of the passionate drive her characters have for not only their pursuit of joy but their pursuit of how to live their lives without the attachments which might not allow them to live as freely as their soul desires. Rose tends to write convicting fiction where her characters are seeking ‘something’ in relation to who they are at their innermost core whilst giving the reader a depth of back-story to soak inside whilst the characters thrive through the journey they undertake.

Blog Book Tour | “The Witch of Painted Sorrows” {Book 1: of the Daughters of La Lune series} by M.J. Rose #HistFic is captured within the essence of a traditional Gothic tale where a woman has to choose what she desires more? Passion or Freedom?The Witch of Painted Sorrows
by M.J. Rose
Source: Publisher via France Book Tours

Possession. Power. Passion. New York Times bestselling novelist M. J. Rose creates her most provocative and magical spellbinder yet in this gothic novel set against the lavish spectacle of 1890s Belle Époque Paris.

Sandrine Salome flees New York for her grandmother’s Paris mansion to escape her dangerous husband, but what she finds there is even more menacing. The house, famous for its lavish art collection and elegant salons, is mysteriously closed up. Although her grandmother insists it’s dangerous for Sandrine to visit, she defies her and meets Julien Duplessi, a mesmerizing young architect. Together they explore the hidden night world of Paris, the forbidden occult underground and Sandrine’s deepest desires.

Among the bohemians and the demi-monde, Sandrine discovers her erotic nature as a lover and painter. Then darker influences threaten—her cold and cruel husband is tracking her down and something sinister is taking hold, changing Sandrine, altering her. She’s become possessed by La Lune: A witch, a legend, and a sixteenth-century courtesan, who opens up her life to a darkness that may become a gift or a curse.

This is Sandrine’s “wild night of the soul,” her odyssey in the magnificent city of Paris, of art, love, and witchery.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1476778068

Also by this author: The Collector of Dying Breaths, The Secret Language of Stones

Series: The Daughters of La Lune


Also in this series: The Secret Language of Stones


Genres: Gothic Literature, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense


Published by Atria Books

on St. Patrick's Day, 2015

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 384

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

Converse via: #TheWitchOfPaintedSorrows, #MJRose, & #FranceBT
Available Formats: Hardback and E-Book

About M.J. Rose

M.J. Rose

New York Times Bestseller, M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother’s favorite books before she was allowed.

She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice…books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it. She is the author of more than a dozen novels, the co-president and founding board member of International Thriller Writers and the founder of the first marketing company for authors: AuthorBuzz.com. She lives in Greenwich, Connecticut.

(Biography updated August 2016)

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Posted Wednesday, 18 March, 2015 by jorielov in 19th Century, Antiques, Art, Art History, Artist's Proof, Artwork Provenance, Belle Epoque Era, Blog Tour Host, Crime Fiction, Disillusionment in Marriage, Earthen Magic, Father-Daughter Relationships, France, France Book Tours, Freedom of Expression, Gothic Literature, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Historical Romance, Historical Thriller Suspense, Parapsychological Gifts, Premonition-Precognitive Visions, Psychological Suspense, Sculpture, Supernatural Fiction, Witches and Warlocks

Blog Tour | “Mist of Midnight” {Book 1: Daughters of Hampshire} by Sandra Byrd

Posted Thursday, 5 March, 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 contacted by the author’s (Sandra Byrd) CBA Tour Coordinator (Renee Chaw) back in November, 2014 about the possibility of receiving “Mist of Midnight” in exchange for an honest review which would be included on Ms Byrd’s official blog tour for it’s March release! I was beyond delighted at having been approached by her and readily agreed. As I have a non-giveaway policy for Jorie Loves A Story, this blog tour stop is not hosting the tour giveaway, but rather is solely a book review of the novel which is posted whilst the official tour is going on. I received my complimentary ARC copy of Mist of Midnight direct from Howard Books (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. In December 2014, I received the press materials from her publicist Ms Chaw. I am thankful for this wonderful opportunity, not only to read my first novel by Ms Byrd but to host my first blog tour book review for Howard Books! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Intrigued to Read:

I unequivocally can declare when it comes to Gothic Lit & the Historical Fiction side of literature, I am unabashedly intrigued by each new story and author I stumble across! Imagine my good cheer in finding an author had found me for her blog tour? I hadn’t realised it at the time, but Ms Byrd has been on my TBR for awhile now, as I had to remind myself I had spied her Ladies in Waiting series previously!

When it comes to Gothic Lit, the reason I am caught instinctively inside the pages of stories which befall this category is because I have a passionate affection for ‘psychological suspense’ and most of what I enjoy reading within this realm of plausibility curates this experience for me! I have a penchant for the Victorian era of which I believe might be deduced by my literary wanderings time after time; however, it’s this wicked joy I have bubbling up inside me when I know I am about to plunder inside an enriched atmospheric novel I find the most inspiring! As well noted by now throughout my blog, I’m a hybrid reader (dancing through genres of literature between mainstream & INSPY markets) and I cannot even properly express how wicked happy I was to discover Mist of Midnight!

I have recently read a re-telling of Jane Eyre, entitled: Keeping Kate on behalf of a blog tour for Cedar Fort Publishing & Media; this on the footheels of having learnt there was a readalong for Jane Eyre! Mind you, my unhealthy time consumption in February solely focused on technical malfunctions and ISP unknown tech issues caused my blogging life to be put on hold for most of the month; notwithstanding, I simply lost too many hours within my personal life outside of this blog to soak inside even one book more than I managed to feature within the month just extinguished from view. I still fully intend to read Jane Eyre and go back through the readalong posts, however, sadly it was ill-fated for me to participate as a whole. Thrice this has happened to me, where I had sought out a RAL for Charlotte Bronté’s classic tale, yet it did not stop me from absorbing myself straight into Keeping Kate!

Bringing me round to what I wanted to share, as I have slated in my mind and gathered a bit of my intentions of what to read next on my tCC List in direct reflection to this curiously addictive focus I have on Gothic Lit! What comes to mind after I muse about Eyre, is how in earnest I attempted to borrow and consume the narrative within the pages of The Distant Hours by Kate Morton or even The Accursed by Joyce Carol Oates; two novels continuously whetting my palette with hearty intrigue.

Now when it comes to ‘inheritance stories’ I must confess, I have a particular interest in them because they bring a swirl of excitement to central focus within the heart of where the story leads us to go as the lead character is nearly always at odds in these situations with an interloper! Someone who either has a hardened heart turnt black and whose ill will seeks to cause them extreme duress if not personal harm, has a shadowy allure to soak into your imagination due to the very nature of what pulls this context forward! You start to gather the facts inside your own mind, weigh and counterbalance what is perceived against what is known (as so oft-times the writer holds the reader in the dark and/or gives only ‘just so’ much information to leave the climax plausibly aloof) and hold a firm grasp on your emotional heart as the drama surrounding the entire tale will leave you up late into the night wicking at the flames of a candle!

Yes, I must confess, when it comes to seeking stories — the ones of which give me a hitch of wicked joy are the ones shrouded in suspense with the framework of a relationship that may or may not yield in romantic overtures. The mystery itself is well worth the wait to see how everything unfolds! With haste and felicity, I took up the pages of Mist of Midnight! Top cheers to Ms Byrd for allowing us the grace of seeing this is only one installment of a new series yet to bewitch us wholly and true!

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

Blog Tour | “Mist of Midnight” {Book 1: Daughters of Hampshire} by Sandra ByrdMist of Midnight
by Sandra Byrd
Source: Direct from Publisher

In the first of a brand-new series set in Victorian England, a young woman returns home from India after the death of her family to discover her identity and inheritance are challenged by the man who holds her future in his hands.

Rebecca Ravenshaw, daughter of missionaries, spent most of her life in India. Following the death of her family in the Indian Mutiny, Rebecca returns to claim her family estate in Hampshire, England. Upon her return, people are surprised to see her...and highly suspicious. Less than a year earlier, an imposter had arrived with an Indian servant and assumed not only Rebecca's name, but her home and incomes.

That pretender died within months of her arrival; the servant fled to London as the young woman was hastily buried at midnight. The locals believe that perhaps she, Rebecca, is the real imposter. Her home and her father's investments reverted to a distant relative, the darkly charming Captain Luke Whitfield, who quickly took over. Against her best intentions, Rebecca begins to fall in love with Luke, but she is forced to question his motives—does he love her or does he just want Headbourne House? If Luke is simply after the property, as everyone suspects, will she suffer a similar fate as the first “Rebecca”?

A captivating Gothic love story set against a backdrop of intrigue and danger, Mist of Midnight will leave you breathless.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Series: Daughters of Hampshire,


Genres: Gothic Literature, Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction


Published by Howard Books

on 10th March, 2015

Pages: 384

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: Howard Books (@Howard_Books)
(an imprint of Simon & Schuster: )

Available Formats:  Hardback & E-Book

Converse on Twitter: #MistOFMidnight

About Sandra Byrd

Sandra Byrd is a best-selling author and has earned Library Journal's Best Books of the year pick twice, in 2011 for To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn, and in 2012 for The Secret Keeper: A Novel of Kateryn Parr. She's twice been a Christy Award finalist, for To Die For and for Let Them Eat Cake: A Novel. Roses Have Thorns: A Novel of Elizabeth I published April 2013

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Posted Thursday, 5 March, 2015 by jorielov in 19th Century, ARC | Galley Copy, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, British Literature, Castles & Estates, Cemeteries & Graveyards, Clever Turns of Phrase, Death of a Sibling, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, England, Flashbacks & Recollective Memories, Genre-bender, Gothic Literature, Gothic Mystery, Gothic Romance, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Haunting & Ethereal, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Historical Romance, Historical Thriller Suspense, India, Inheritance & Identity, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Life Shift, Literature of India, Lyrical Quotations, Military Fiction, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Orphans & Guardians, Passionate Researcher, Philosophical Intuitiveness, Singletons & Commitment, Suspense, the Victorian era, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, World Religions

Book Review | “The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton” an anthology collection of ghost stories writ with a Victorian era curiosity on specters and parapsychological stories #OTBHorrorOctober

Posted Tuesday, 28 October, 2014 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

Horror October 2014

Parajunkee Designs

The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton

Borrowed Book By: 

After I compiled my reading list for Horror October (of which I blogged about on my post about being a Cosy Horror Girl), I knew that I wanted to borrow this particular collection from my local library. The best resource I have always enjoyed in my life are local libraries, as they have a beautiful outreach for materials outside their collection through the ILL services they provide with other libraries. (I shorten “inter-library loan” to ILL) In my particular case, my local library is part of a consortium of libraries from a portion of the libraries within my state. This means that I can draw books out of collections from larger cities as well as from University libraries. I borrowed “The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton” and elected to blog my ruminations without any obligation to do so. The hardback edition arrived to me via a Community College library within the consortium via ILL.

Encouraged to Read By:

This was one of the novels that was compiled on the List I asked (Mr.) Gregory Fisher @ Riffle Horror to curate for me as a way for me to seek out the cosier side of the Horror genre. I have always had a pure fascination for ghost stories, as there is always such a curious route the individual writer can take as they yield to the supernatural and the presence of each ghost they bring to life on the written page. I personally have a preference for spunky & cheeky ghosts as much as spirits of the recently deceased who are in seek of help from living persons who can either aide them towards finding peace, redemption, and/or justice as a way to transition forward in peace. (I spoke more about this on my review of Lost in Thought)

I have been wanting to read more Classics since 2014 began, as I had all these wicked happy ideas of where I could soak inside the works of the writers’ who not only championed the cause for well-written fiction but who were dedicated to the craft of writing in such a way as to illicit immediate respect and admiration. When I was finally able to join tCC (the Classics Club : my List), I thought for sure each month I’d be reading at least two classic novels! Clearly my year did not pan out as I had forethought it would but that doesn’t discount the fact I knew during Horror October I could finally introduce myself to the writing style of Edith Wharton! As Wharton is already listed on my Classics TBR List due to my interactions with an after canon author during a 2013 blog tour!

The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton
by Edith Wharton
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Laszlo Kubinyi
Source: Borrowed from local library

The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton are a collection of Gothic Literature Shorts set around the parapsychological phenomenon of hauntings by way of ghosts & spirits who are attached to either physical properties, (i.e. houses) or living persons of whom the ghostly spirit has found an attachment. Each of the short stories transcends what is popularly disbelieved and unwilling to become accepted as bonefide fact that there are experiences past our vision of acceptance where the supernatural lies just outside the stretch of the living soul's observational mirror.

The setting of choice for Wharton to place these stories was inside three distinctly different locales: England, Normandy, & America. Her preference was for the inclusion of a family estate to be the central focus of where her characters not only interacted with the ghosts but where the action of the story itself takes place.

Illustrative plates are included per short story to help the reader fuse directly into the heart of where Wharton hoped to take her readers with the vision of the supernatural she wished to convey.

The following short stories are included in this collection:

  • The Lady's Maid Bell
  • The Eyes
  • Afterward
  • Kerfol
  • The Triumph of the Night
  • Miss Mary Pash
  • Bewitched
  • Mr. Jones
  • Pomegrante Seed
  • The Looking Glass
  • All Souls'

Other Works by Wharton listed inside the collection are:

  • The Moose Marathon
  • The Mudslipper (Children's Lit)
  • Mistress & Other Creative Takeoffs (Short Stories)
    with Desmond Sim & Kwan Loh

This summary of a synopsis was written & composed by Jorie @ Jorie Loves A Story.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Genres: Anthology Collection of Short Stories and/or Essays, Ghost Story, Gothic Literature, Historical Fiction, Suspense


Published by Charles Scribner's Sons

on 1973

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 276

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Tuesday, 28 October, 2014 by jorielov in #HorrorOctober, 19th Century, Anthology Collection of Stories, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Bookish Discussions, British Literature, Classic Mystery, Classical Literature, Clever Turns of Phrase, Cliffhanger Ending, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, England, Ghost Story, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Gothic Literature, Gothic Mystery, Haunting & Ethereal, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Library Find, Literary Fiction, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Mental Health, Motion Picture Adaptation, Parapsychological Suspense, Philosophical Intuitiveness, Reading Challenges, Short Stories or Essays, Speculative Fiction, Supernatural Fiction, Suspense, tCC The Classics Club, the Victorian era, Writing Style & Voice

+Blog Book Tour+ The Typewriter Girl by Alison Atlee

Posted Thursday, 28 August, 2014 by jorielov , , , 1 Comment

Parajunkee Designs

The Typewriter Girl by Alison Atlee

Published By: Gallery Books ()
(an imprint of 
Simon & Schuster),

Official Author Websites: Site | @AlisonAtlee | Facebook
Available Formats: Paperback, Hardcover, Ebook, & Audiobook (only on Audible)

Converse via: #TypewriterGirlBlogTour, #TheTypeWriterGirl OR #TypeWriterGirl

Acquired Book By:

I was selected to be a tour stop on the “The Typewriter Girl” virtual book tour through HFVBT: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the publisher Gallery Books, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

My original reaction to joining the blog tour: I am thrilled to peaches that this is available for joining as a blog tour, as I was just the other day commenting on Twitter how thrilled I was to have discovered the novel! I was going to have to ILL it into my local library from out of the area, too! Wow. And, now I have the lovely chance of hosting the author & the book for the tour!!! THANK YOU!!!  My enthused reply to Ms. Bruno was due to the fact I had seen her tweeting about this particular tour alighting on the schedule — I took flight immediately to see if my local library held a copy and then, soon thereafter learnt I could (ILL) inter-library loan the novel instead! This is a resource I use quite a heap as it allows you to check-out materials that your local branch cannot always purchase. Mine is part of a consortium of libraries in my state (not even half which surprised me!), making borrowing books, audiobooks, musical albums, seasonal dvds (tv series), and motion pictures quite easy!

I was excited initially about the era this story takes place (the Victorian era is singularly my bonefide favourite next to the Regency!), and the entire synopsis felt like a story I could curl into and enjoy with my whole heart. In some ways, I wasn’t sure what was more exciting the fact that I had found a story where a character was using a typewriter on her job or the fact that I had found a strong female lead character set in an age where being strong was not as kosher as being passive.

I will admit when it came time to read the novel for the tour, I felt a bit apprehensive as through my research for the author interview I hosted ahead of this review, I learnt that the author has the occasion to use strong language in her writings. For regular readers and visitors alike, this will not come as a surprise when I say that I have the tendency to give out very few allowances for vulgarity in literature, as generally speaking I am not keen on the inclusion at all. So much so, I generally post a ‘fly in the ointment’ on a novel that pushes the envelope for me in this regard. Hence my apprehension and second-guessing about diving into this particular story! My thoughts were turnt a bit as I had read other interviews leading up to asking my own questions (as I always strive to ask different questions than the ones that are always asked), where readers were already voicing their own thoughts in this regard.

+Blog Book Tour+ The Typewriter Girl by Alison AtleeThe Typewriter Girl
by Alison Atlee
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
Narrator: Rosalyn Landor

When Bet­sey Dob­son dis­em­barks from the Lon­don train in the sea­side resort of Idensea, all she owns is a small valise and a canary in a cage. After an attempt to forge a let­ter of ref­er­ence she knew would be denied her, Bet­sey has been fired from the typ­ing pool of her pre­vi­ous employer. Her vig­or­ous protest left one man wounded, another jilted, and her char­ac­ter per­ma­nently besmirched.

Now, with­out money or a ref­er­ence for a new job, the future looks even bleaker than the deba­cle she left behind her.

But her life is about to change … because a young Welsh­man on the rail­road quay, wait­ing for another woman, is the one finally will­ing to believe in her.

Mr. Jones is inept in mat­ters of love, but a genius at things mechan­i­cal. In Idensea, he has con­structed a glit­ter­ing pier that astounds the wealthy tourists. And in Bet­sey, he rec­og­nizes the ideal tour man­ager for the Idensea Pier & Plea­sure Build­ing Company.

After a life­time of guard­ing her secrets and break­ing the rules, Bet­sey becomes a force to be reck­oned with. Together, she and Mr. Jones must find a way for her to suc­ceed in a soci­ety that would reject her, and fig­ure the price of sur­ren­der­ing to the tides of love.

Places to find the book:

Also by this author:

Genres: Historical Fiction


Published by Audible Studios, Gallery Books, Simon & Schuster

on 31st January, 2013

Format: Paperback

Pages: 384

Length: 12 hours and 39 minutes

Author Biography:Alison Atlee

Alison Atlee spent her childhood re-enacting Little Women and trying to fashion nineteenth century wardrobes for her Barbie dolls. Happily, these activities turned out to be good preparation for writing historical novels. She now lives in Kentucky.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

My Review of The Typewriter Girl:

I became a bit disenchanted reading this novel when I first started to read Chapter 1 — not only because of the word included on page 2 (which I highlight below) but because of Betsey’s demeanor and her air of entitlement. She carries herself as if she is devoid of any perimeter or courtesy of character. This is notwithstanding a fatal flaw for any character to have, but she is writ in such a way as to elicit a far different story than the one I first envisioned myself reading. Where I felt I would be arriving in Victorian England on the footheels of a strong female lead working her way through the working class ranks and proving her worth based on her work and/or her ability to rise above her circumstances, I instead am greeted by a rather crude and violent woman who feels she is detached from ordinary society to the brink that her actions do not befit consequence. She has a very distinct and disfavourable outlook on life, and her only mission appears to be getting ahead without much effort involved. I fear, as her tendency is leaning towards being more vocal and vulgar in both her speech and mannerisms, she’s not only a fallen woman but she is one who doesn’t see herself as such. She lives exactly the way she pleases not because of how she was taught or raised, but because it is as though she feels the world owes her something back for a debt no one knew to pay or collect.

The character model Atlee carved into Betsey is not one that I am especially keen on reading personally, as it takes a certain divergent method of telling a story. I oft find these are the kind of characters without spirit nor soul, simply living inside the moment and not even flickering to worry about the ramifications of their hours. What really appalled me is how she exited her first job at the end of Chapter 1, acting like a common ruffian thud rather than a spurned woman who would rather leave with dignity than a wage owed for time worked. I did not find myself endeared to her nor did I have any empathy for her plight. She felt cold and hardened past the point of light and I simply could not connect to her alienable personality.

I also have never honestly found a sex scene in a historical fiction novel quite like the one I found inside The Typewriter Girl — to be perfectly frank, even this scene was withered down to everything crude and vulgar. No intimacy at all. No connection of mind, body, heart, or soul. Just the perfunctory actions and a rather grotesque aftertaste. I never even say ‘sex scene’ as I read historical fiction & romance fiction, because the writers I generally read always knit in a heap of love and intimacy between their characters. The character of Betsey is too cold and too abstract to continue forward with her story. I simply could not find a way to connect to her, no matter how many chapters I read to find a measure of a mirth of why she acted and spoke the way she did. I feel more than a bit misled from my impression of the novel before I read the story to how I feel now that I’ve read a partial amount. I cannot read further, as it is simply not the kind of fiction I choose to read.

Fly in the Ointment:

Yes, dear hearts, I found the reason why another reader was upset as early-on as page 2, as even I had my brows raised attempting to sort out why this particular word was used when so many others could have been chosen to express or rather elucidate the precise action being taken. Such a distinctly vulgar word is not one I tread over lightly and it is the very reason I always put a clause in my Review Policy about why I have a preference to avoid as much vulgarity in literature as I’m able too. There are few instances where I’ll give an allowance, in this one particular moment of disclosing the word — I fully concur with the previous reader. A different way of expressing the exact same action would have sufficed. This is one moment where writers and readers are left at an impasse. (especially as Ms. Atlee is not the first to answer my question in the way in which she did) I’d prefer there was a middle ground — c’est la vie!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com
Blog Book Tour Stop,
courtesy of Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
Virtual Road Map of “The Typewriter Girl” Blog Tour found here:
I also hosted Ms. Atlee for an Author Interview

The Typewriter Girl Virtual Book Tour via HFVBTs

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

see what I will be hosting next for

Bookish Events badge created by Jorie in CanvaHistorical Fiction Virtual Book Tours - HFVBT

and mark your calendars!

Reader Interactive Question:

What are your own thoughts about vulgarity in literature!? What are your individual allowances (i.e. time period / era, personality type, publication year (such as classical literature accepted; modern not as much), etc) for accepting an author’s choice to include a rampant array of strong language verse an author who uses strong language only as a sprinkle of inclusion to where if you were to blink, you’d miss it completely? Where do you draw the line yourself? And, what do you wish could change in the climate of books being written with a heavier hand of vulgarity?

{SOURCES: “The Typewriter Girl” Book Cover, synopsis, tour badge, author photograph and HFVBT badge were provided by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and were used by permission. Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Bookish Events badge created by Jorie in Canva. Typewriter clipart inserted through the ClipArt Plug-In via WP for the Open Clip Art Library (OCAL) – all clip art images are in the public domain and are free to use without restrictions. Tweets embeded by codes provided by Twitter.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

Related Articles:

Book Review: The Typewriter Girl by Alison Atlee – (readingthepast.blogspot.com)

Book Review: The Typewriter Girl by Alison Atlee – (themaidenscourt.blogspot.com)

Blog Tour: AudioBook Review: The Typewriter Girl by Alison Atlee – (bibliophiliaplease.com)

Book Review: The Typewriter Girl – (amusedbybooks.com)

Book Review: The Typewriter Girl – (dwellinpossibilitybooks.blogspot.com)

Book Review: The Typewriter Girl – (thelostentwife.net)

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Posted Thursday, 28 August, 2014 by jorielov in 19th Century, Blog Tour Host, Fly in the Ointment, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, the Victorian era

+Blog Book Tour+ Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen

Posted Thursday, 12 June, 2014 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen

Mrs. Poe Virtual Tour via HFVBT

Published By: Gallery Books ()
(an imprint of
Simon & Schuster: ), 1 April, 2014 (paperback edition)
Official Author Websites: Site | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Available Formats:  Hardback, Paperback, E-Book
Page Count: 352

Accomplishments Thus Far:

Great Reads of 2013 –NPR
Books That Make Time Stand Still –Oprah.com
Editor’s Pick—The Historical Novels Review
Best Books of 2013—Atlanta Magazine
Indie Next List Pick

Converse on Twitter: #MrsPoeBlogTour  OR #MrsPoe

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Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Mrs. Poe” virtual book tour through HFVBT: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from publisher Gallery Books, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Curiosity Inspired Me to Read:

I actually requested to be placed on this blog tour originally, as I had heard of this book previously and was always fascinated by the premise! I wasn’t into Edgar growing up, but then, I sort of became curious about him in my twenties!? And, of course I adore *biographical fiction*! I even devoted an entire A to Z challenge post all about it! (Jorie’s Letter B) I am also finding creative new ways to blog about the books I am reviewing to garnish new interest in my book reviews! Not to mention I undertook the A to Z to be a bit of an ‘introduction’ to who I am as a book blogger! A project that I am still keen to continue writing once I sort out how to convey my thoughts for F through Z!

On the level of Poe, I think I spoke rather well about where my curiosity arose on the Interview for this blog tour:

When I first saw the blog tour for “Mrs. Poe” arrive on the dockets for Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, I was quite hopeful that I might secure a spot on the blog tour! And, I knew if I had, I would be more than compelled to enquiry a bit into the back-story of the novel itself as well as ask questions that would go a bit into the disparaging differences between the Edgar Allan Poe I grew up knowing as the true ‘Poe’, and the Poe, of whom is only recently (after apparently 150+ years of ill-begotten truths tainted our minds) has emerged as quite the dapper Dan (in appearance) and a wholly new Poe by personality! His measurement as a writer and of a man, have completely changed in my eyes and that was *before!* I ever breathed one word of the novel by Ms. Cullen! 

– quoted from the Interview I gave on behalf of Ms. Cullen author of Mrs. Poe

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Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen (excerpt) by Simon and Schuster

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Book Synopsis:

A vivid and compelling novel about a woman who becomes entangled in an affair with Edgar Allan Poe—at the same time she becomes the unwilling confidante of his much-younger wife.

It is 1845, and Frances Osgood is desperately trying to make a living as a writer in New York; not an easy task for a woman—especially one with two children and a philandering portrait painter as her husband. As Frances tries to sell her work, she finds that editors are only interested in writing similar to that of the new renegade literary sensation Edgar Allan Poe, whose poem, “The Raven” has struck a public nerve.

She meets the handsome and mysterious Poe at a literary party, and the two have an immediate connection. Poe wants Frances to meet with his wife since she claims to be an admirer of her poems, and Frances is curious to see the woman whom Edgar married.

As Frances spends more and more time with the intriguing couple, her intense attraction for Edgar brings her into dangerous territory. And Mrs. Poe, who acts like an innocent child, is actually more manipulative and threatening than she appears. As Frances and Edgar’s passionate affair escalates, Frances must decide whether she can walk away before it’s too late…

Set amidst the fascinating world of New York’s literati, this smart and sexy novel offers a unique view into the life of one of history’s most unforgettable literary figures.

Author Biography:Lynn Cullen

Lynn Cullen grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the fifth girl in a family of seven children. She learned to love history combined with traveling while visiting historic sites across the U.S. on annual family camping trips. She attended Indiana University in Bloomington and Fort Wayne, and took writing classes with Tom McHaney at Georgia State. She wrote children’s books as her three daughters were growing up, while working in a pediatric office and later, at Emory University on the editorial staff of a psychoanalytic journal. While her camping expeditions across the States have become fact-finding missions across Europe, she still loves digging into the past. She does not miss, however, sleeping in musty sleeping bags. Or eating canned fruit cocktail. She now lives in Atlanta with her husband, their dog, and two unscrupulous cats.

Lynn Cullen is the author of The Creation of Eve, named among the best fiction books of 2010 by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and as an April 2010 Indie Next selection. She is also the author of numerous award-winning books for children, including the young adult novel I Am Rembrandt’s Daughter, which was a 2007 Barnes & Noble “Discover Great New Writers” selection, and an ALA Best Book of 2008. Her novel, Reign of Madness, about Juana the Mad, daughter of the Spanish Monarchs Isabella and Ferdinand, was chosen as a 2011 Best of the South selection by the Atlanta Journal Constitution and was a 2012 Townsend Prize finalist. Her newest novel, MRS. POE, examines the fall of Edgar Allan Poe through the eyes of poet Francis Osgood.

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New York in 1845:

The blackened viewing of New York City in the mid-19th Century does not surprise me, because most of the larger metro cities during the same era were full of wretched realities for the working class. I am not even sure how anyone fared well living amongst the filth and the grit of what would be visible on the streets, much less what could be smelt in the air. Cullen paints a true black picture of a reality that can be seen as it shines out of her narrative, giving New York City’s backdrop a character narrative it its own.

I was delighted how the everyday muck and interesting bits of ordinary life were spun into life by the pen of Cullen, who had a true knack for descriptive narrative to propel the reader directly into the light of the scenes. Even if the scene was featured in the background rather than the foreground, as a sweeping arc of giving the narrative depth, what I appreciated was the level of realism stitched into those words whose paragraphs held bewitching choices of word and phrase. She had a way of saying something Osgood might be thinking, but in a way which conveyed the scene of which was before Osgood’s own eyes as she traversed through her everyday environment. In this, we are given a closer pull and tug towards this specific bracket of elapsed time between Poe and Osgood, almost as though our time travel experience was set on a singular slice of time and not a second more.

Fly in the Ointment: The bit that surprised me the most is the art on the cover art of the novel itself: where I had first felt the woman was either Mrs. Poe directly (as to being Edgar’s actual wife) or Frances Osgood, I was a bit disappointed to have learnt through the disclosure of its materials that the frame and the woman were stock images used to compile the theme of the novel. I felt for sure that perhaps historical photographs might have been found through research and then, used to paint a realism of who the story unfolds to encompass. However, I sadly am finding there is a shift with publishers to use more stock images and less original sources of art. Even if an illustrator could have created a likeness to Osgood, I think I might have preferred that over a stock image of a woman who could seemingly ‘fit’ inside the era of the story’s heart.

Perhaps I am simply a reader who is growing tired of being tricked and fooled by cover art that may or may not have a connection to the story underneath the pages it is attached.

My Review of Mrs. Poe:

I found myself betwixt and at ease whilst setting into the atmosphere of Mrs. Poe, due to the beguiling bent of mischievous intrigue woven into the fabric of the opening chapters. Here, I am lamenting on the level of stepping inside the folds of where time intersects with Edgar Allan Poe and Frances Osgood, at a point of a place in New York where the two writers would become ill-fated to draw a close match of wills towards each other. Their story envelopes you into their innermost nooks of thought and sanctum of writerly enclave to broach a dialogue of thought which extends out of history’s timeline.

The finger pulse of Osgood outing Poe on behalf of The Raven was quite fetching of her character, because it is Osgood who comes out strong and viable in this story, moreso than Poe, of whom is a counterpart compliment of her own search for literary freedom. The choices she had to contend with as a married woman with a louse of a husband would make any modern woman shudder – for her was not a choice of will, but one of propriety which determined her worth. Worth which could only be bartered against her willingness to pen what her heart was not always willing to concede. I liked the conversation she had with her daughters about the poem, because it etched alive in my own mind what I found so vexing about the poem myself! It was surely not what I had forethought it would be! How clever the full scope of its measure is included in the opening bits of the novel! It takes on a lifeblood of its own as the story progresses, and if anything becomes a measuring stick for Osgood to assert her own voice in ink to compete with Poe himself.

Osgood comes across as a woman who is determined to right her own sails and make her way in the world on her own means. She was given a hand that dealt her against her society’s provisions of acceptability when her husband walked out and left her in the wake of two small girls and the edge of propriety’s mirror peering into her soul. Rallying a force from inside she knew not the strength, she continued to chin up the courage to draw a breath of creativity through her pen, and ink stories which would sell a handsome income. Likewise, Poe on the other hand is an affable bloke of whom you are endeared due to his cautious and conscience nature towards his young bride-wife, who is afflicted and sickly. His loving kindness towards her and his awkward way of acknowledging Osgood paint a different portrait than the one of a writer I was most determined not to read during my own lifetime.

Having read and learnt of the literary salons of Paris whilst reading Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, I was pleasantly surprised by the tone of the private salon mentioned in this story, where Osgood would garnish her ability to learn without notice of others, and buckle down in strength to write what needed to be writ in order to survive on a wage that would allow her and her girls a bit of independence. Her friendship with Poe was by a strange fate of interlocking souls who creatively were equal to the other. She was attracted to Poe for the same reasons he was keen on her, to sense a recognition of understanding and of clarity of thought behind the outward appearance they each upheld to keep their place in society. A mask to allow each of them the grace of moving within the circles of their peers, yet always striving to step out of their circumstances. Neither willing to falter the illusion for the real connection they each shared, as their friendship blossomed during a crossroads they were each walking alone.

I enjoyed watching her mind draw a knitted brow of confliction, in wondering if the course she were to pursue would be worth any anguish in the long-term. Cullen writes a breadth of reflection and echoes Osgood vividly through her nuances of her character’s thoughtful mind, and culling process of teetering on which side of the line of right and wrong she wants to cross. I could have languished inside this ebb of life bubbling to the surface of the text, because inside the pages where Poe is interacting with Osgood, you start to notice a bit of a dance. A dance with two partners not always willing to keep distance, and yet, partners who appear to notice the shocking truth of where their feet wish to lead.

The hint and inclusion of other writers of the century’s prolific achievers were stitched into the backdrop, especially on behalf of the literary salon, which gained an element of joy for me. I enjoyed seeing which authors would intermingle with each other and the atmosphere of taking such different personalities and placing them aside one another. Although the story has a heart of depth, it is truly centered in its telling tale of two hearts betwixt with each other during a point in their lives where neither was free to be entwined. The subtle notions of their lives, the small attachments of their spirits, and their uncanny way of understanding before words were broached aloud is what drew me instantly into their story. This is a story that warms itself into your mind’s eye, for favour of reading the subtleties of life and how within those hidden moments, we all must decide which way our next course of action is meant to be.

My thoughts on Edgar Allan Poe:

Being this is the first time I have allowed myself to drink in the words of “The Raven” by Poe, I must confess, that what I was thinking I’d find inside the poem was most amiss of my attention and what laid bare inside took me by quite a happy surprise? Could I have been lead to believe one variation of Poe’s legacy over the truer nature of his gifts leading towards another ending of museful thoughts? I find that the Poe in which I was taught to know throughout the years I spent in lower grades at school did a most disserviceable disfavour towards allowing me to perceive Poe as he were rather than the Poe of whom everyone broached an acquaintance of. In this way, I think the impressions of how we perceive those of the literary past and those of whom are of the literary past can blur and blind us from the truth, if we were only given a marginal opening perception of who they were whilst they lived. In this particular instance, having found through the interview of Ms. Cullen I previously posted that Poe was marginalised and erased from an authentic true reality of his living years from the annals of history, I find myself besotted with a sorrow for the years in whence I could have spent knowing of his other writings. Giving myself the joy of knowing his truer self and revealing the legacy he would have preferred to have left behind in earnest.

Poe is most certainly not the first bloke whose memory has been asconed and defaced by a person who’d rather have control over the populist perception of their living reality, but to what disadvantage is served by not to bring forward the information which upturnt the prior legacy with the truth of the what scholars have unearthed? And, why then does it take such a long grievous of time to rectify what was already a blight on one man’s soulful truth? I was processing the 150+ mentioning of time elapsed between the Poe who lived and the Poe of whom we were tainted to be appalled and abhorred. Whole generations of readers were befuddled and bemuddled by one man’s ghastly take on another man’s dreams. That is the greater interest of mine. Of rectifying my own perception of a writer I truly never knew and allowing myself the grace in knowing there is still time in the clock-piece to visit with Poe.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comThis Book Review is courtesy of:

Mrs. Poe Virtual Tour via HFVBT

Monday, May 19
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Tuesday, May 20
Interview & Giveaway at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Wednesday, May 21
Interview & Giveaway at Flashlight Commentary

Thursday, May 22
Review & Giveaway at The True Book Addict

Friday, May 23
Review at A Bookish Affair

Monday, May 26
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Guest Post & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair

Tuesday, May 27
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Wednesday, May 28
Review at Turning the Pages

Friday, May 30
Review at Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews

Monday, June 2
Review at Let Them Read Books
Review & Giveaway at Book Lovers Paradise

Tuesday, June 3
Review at Kelsey’s Book Corner
Guest Post & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, June 4
Review & Giveaway at Reading Lark

Thursday, June 5
Review & Giveaway at Broken Teepee
Interview at Jorie Loves a Story

Friday, June 6
postponed due to illness*Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Interview & Giveaway at Historical Fiction Connection

Monday, June 9
Review at Historical Tapestry

Wednesday, June 11
Guest Post & Giveaway at Historical Tapestry

Thursday, June 12
Interview & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages

Friday, June 13
Review at Peeking Between the Pages

Monday, June 16
Review at Unabridged Chick
Review at A Bibliotaph’s Reviews

Tuesday, June 17
Review & Interview at Layered Pages
Interview & Giveaway at Unabridged Chick

Wednesday, June 18
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comas I am happily honoured to be a blog tour hostess for:

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours - HFVBTPlease visit my Bookish Events page to stay in the know for upcoming events!

Previously I interviewed Ms. Cullen on this blog tour & enjoyed what I learnt on Poe!

As this book has been released for awhile now, what was the greatest takeaway you learnt whilst reading about Edgar Allan Poe & Frances Osgood!? What surprised you the most about the nature of their characters and of how the story revealed itself within the narrative? Were you a dedicated appreciator of Poe OR did you come into the story completely without prior knowledge such as I had?

{SOURCES: Book cover for “Mrs. Poe”, Author Biography and Book Synopsis  were provided by HFVBT – Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and used with permission. Author Interview badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Post dividers & My Thoughts badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Buy links on Scribd excerpt are not affiliated with Jorie Loves A Story. Book Excerpt was able to be embedded due to codes provided by Scribd.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

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Posted Thursday, 12 June, 2014 by jorielov in 19th Century, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Edgar Allan Poe, Fly in the Ointment, Frances Osgood, Geographically Specific, Gothic Literature, Gothic Poetry, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, New York City, Scribd