Source: Borrowed from local library (ILL)

#Harlequin Heartwarming Series Book Review | “Mountains Apart” and “A Case for Forgiveness” (Book One & Two: Seasons of Alaska) by Carol Ross

Posted Thursday, 28 March, 2019 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Borrowed 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. I am unsure how many books I’ll review for them as most are offered digitally rather than in print but this happily marks one of the blog tours where I could receive a print book for review purposes. Oft-times you’ll find Prism Book Tours alighting on my blog through the series of guest features and spotlights with notes I’ll be hosting on behalf of their authors.

This particular review is slightly different from my regular blog tours and hosting features for Prism Book Tours – as an opportunity came along this March to secure a spot on a ‘review tour’ rather than a ‘blog tour’ for a novel within the Seasons of Alaska series by Carol Ross. I had previously read a novel by Ms Ross when I was attached to the five-book series “Return of the Blackwell Brothers” review tour wherein I read the entire series as a hostess for Prism Book Tours.

This time round – I am borrowing most of the “Seasons of Alaska” book series through my local libraries – either through ILL (inter-library loan) and/or local borrowing opportunities as one of my libraries had more of the books in their local catalogue than the others. My readings of this series will be spilt into review showcases of two books in sequence leading into my review for the review tour of “In the Doctor’s Arms” which is the latest release for this Harlequin Heartwarming series.

We had a lot of flexibility with this review tour – we were not required to read the entire series, however, being a serial fiction reader who likes to read more of a series than less – I elected to seek out the series in full to be read before “In the Doctor’s Arms”. The author herself was kind enough to send me a copy of the one novel I couldn’t borrow through my library which is “Bachelor Remedy”. The scheduling of my readings and my review postings for this review tour are as follows: “Mountains Apart” and “A Case for Forgiveness” (post one); “If Not for a Bee” and “A Family Like Hannah’s” (post two) and “Bachelor Remedy” and “In the Doctor’s Arms” (post three) – the third of which will be featured on my 6th Blogoversary the 31st of March, 2019.

I decided to read all the stories in this series ‘blind’ – meaning, I didn’t read each of the synopsis’s before setting into the stories as I was reading them. I knew I could trust where Ms Ross would take me as I loved her instincts for Return of the Blackwell Brothers – therefore, it became a bit of a lovely adventure seeing how her characters within this new series would develop, strengthen and grow!

I borrowed the following novels through my local library “Mountains Apart” through ILL (inter-library loan) services and “A Case for Forgiveness” through the local library’s catalogue. I was not obligated to post a review and am sharing my ruminative thoughts for my own personal edification whilst keeping my readers updated on my readerly life whilst I progress through the Seasons of Alaska series. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. Although I did not receive these novels through Prism Book Tours and/or the author – I did receive a few of the Press Materials to be used in conjunction with my reviews leading up to reviewing “In the Doctor’s Arms”.

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What I truly loved about discovering the Contemporary Romance styling of Ms Ross:

I wasn’t entirely sure what I was expecting to find in the segue between the Rancher who needed a Nanny and the Nanny who needed a second chance – at life, at romance – at everything to be honest! Lydia was running towards a place she could re-start her life, even if the one she’s left behind was still looming over her shoulders. What I appreciated about the ways in which Carol Ross introduce the elements of Romantic Suspense into her narrative is the unexpected nature of it – your thinking your settling into one kind of story, whilst being giving elements of surprise suspense where you become dearly concerned over the welfare of a character.

Ross knits in a lot of humour into her stories – even the kind of humour where it isn’t entirely meant to be funny, as it is awkward circumstances of two people trying to come together but who feel they have nothing in common with each other, so why attempt civility? Except in this case, it is the bloke who is at odds over his hired nanny (on first meeting) who makes soaking into this story quite enjoyable due to the natural high levels of tension erupting through the opening chapters! You truly feel you want to invest in reading this story if only to see if Lydia can succeed in making a positive impact on the twin girls’ lives or if she can even soften their father’s heart a small bit or if he will forever remain judgemental of everyone who doesn’t fit the image he has for a woman to be in hie life on his ranch. On that level, I was thinking about a second Hallmark Channel film which was Straight from the Heart (2003) (starring Teri Polo) where a city girl fell in love with a rancher!

Ross gives you such a firm grounding of centre – she introduces us to the Blackwells in such a way as it doesn’t feel like we’re meeting them for the first time (an echo of the style I am used to from Karen Rock and her Rocky Mountain Cowboys). We are getting into the back-histories of the family lore, the angst of having your grandfather go missing without notice and the issues of running a ranch when the grandfather left no forward notice of where to find him should he be unreachable. If you stop to consider everything on Blackwell’s mind, it is understandable why he’s uncertain how to approach Lydia.

I’ve mentioned Hallmark Channel quite a heap on this review because what I loved about reading The Rancher’s Twins is the fact it has the same kind of uplifting heart I love finding in certain Hallmark Channel movies – let’s face it, sometimes they have a few duds amongst the gems, but overall, what I love most about the ones which truly wick out a love of joy for me to be watching (esp the latest series All of my Heart) is how you feel pulled into the story-lines in such an organic way of alighting straight into the shoes of the characters! You can’t wait to see if they will get a happy ever after (even if mostly its a given but how will it pan out is always the critical mystery!) – and this same feeling is tucked inside the very first Return of the #BlackwellBrothers!

I am overjoyed I am able to participate in my first serial review tour! What a wonderful start to a series I am super excited to continue reading! I have not received the second book in the series The Rancher’s Rescue but I am dearly anticipating it now!! If I dare say – this particular one I’ve just read ought to be considered for Hallmark! It would fit well with their series of Western Romances – they haven’t put together a new Cowboy / Ranch Romance in awhile… hmm,… (*nudge, nudge*)

-quoted from my review of The Rancher’s Twins

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Seasons of Alaska series by Carol Ross

Seasons of Alaska series by Carol Ross

Mountains Apart (book one)

A Case for Forgiveness (book two)

If Not for a Bee (book three)

A Family Like Hannah’s (book four)

Bachelor’s Remedy (book five)

In the Doctor’s Arms (book six)

Mountains Apart
Subtitle: Seasons of Alaska
by Carol Ross
Source: Borrowed from local library (ILL)

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780373366705

Also by this author: The Rancher's Twins, If Not for a Bee, A Family Like Hannah's, Bachelor Remedy, In the Doctor's Arms

Also in this series: If Not for a Bee, A Family Like Hannah's, Bachelor Remedy, In the Doctor's Arms


Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance


Setting: Alaska


Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 25th February, 2014

Format: Larger Print (Mass Market Paperback)

Pages: 379

Published by: Harlequin Heartwarming (@HarlequinBooks) | imprint of Harlequin

Converse via: #Contemporary #Romance & #Harlequin

& #SeasonsOfAlaska

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About Carol Ross

Carol Ross

USA Today bestselling author Carol Ross grew up in small town America right between the Pacific Ocean and the Cascade Mountains, in a place where you can go deep sea fishing in the morning and then hit the ski slopes the same afternoon. The daughter of what is now known as free range parents, she developed a love of the outdoors at a very early age.

As a writer, Carol loves to breathe the life she has lived into the characters she creates, grateful for the “research material” that every questionable decision, adrenaline-charged misstep, and near-death experience has provided.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Thursday, 28 March, 2019 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), Contemporary Romance, Family Drama, Family Life, Indie Author, Inheritance & Identity, Life Shift, Prism Book Tours, Romance Fiction, Second Chance Love, Small Towne Fiction

#ThanksgivingReadathon | Jorie’s #mustread List for #Mythothon (otherwise known as the STORIES Jorie didn’t want to stop reading after she reached page *25!*)

Posted Friday, 23 November, 2018 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

#ThanksgivingReadathon badge created by Jorie in Canva

This lovely readathon is hosted by Jackie @DeathbyTsundoku

You can find the Announcement Page on her lovely blog!

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

For the past three days, I’ve been reading the FIRST *25!* pages of all my borrowed #Mythothon Reads via my local libraries! Yes, you read correct, multiple libraries were involved! I wasn’t able to tweet each of the days I was reading as since Wednesday night & early Thursday morning, I have been in *severe!* pain!

Funny story short – when your selecting a special priced *ham!* from a bin in the Meat Dept. be sure to PICK IT UP with both your hands and DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE how much it weights! I literally threw my back out and the severity of the pain made it IMPOSSIBLE To read / type in any kind of combination. I’ve popped on as I could to give small updates but blessedly, after rotating hot/cold compresses I’ve been able to resume a slightly more ‘normal’ groove – hence, if you start to see reviews & posts magically populating my blog’s archive, you’ll understand ‘why’… Laughs with a smirk.

This post is to re-acquaint  myself with the *thirteen!* stories which made my cut – the ones which I achingly had to put into the “Keepers Stack” in order to dig through the rest I borrowed to find the rest of the ‘gems’ I wanted to be reading for #Mythothon!

Ironically, I had originally envisioned spending 30! days on #Mythoton & #RRSciFiMonth – in the end, I’ve spent a fortnight so far reading my Sci Fi November selections (reviews are still forthcoming have no fear!) and I’ve only spent 72+ hours reading my #Mythothon selections! Thus, I’ve amended how those Mythos stories are going to be blogged! I’m starting off with this (post) to tuck into the 13 Stories which I knew in *25!* pages these writers were giving me something wicked lovely to contemplate and muse over as I read their #awesomesauce stories!

Next, I’ll be back-posting (Thursday)’s post which are the DNF selections – the stories which held either early promise OR repulsed me so quickly off the bat, there was simply no hope of return!! Those are the ones boomeranging back to the libraries so quickly I could have had whiplash! They might be ones who will resonate with other readers, but for me, as you will soon find out – there was *something!* not quite my cuppa within their pages!

Afterwards, I’ll be back-posting (Wednesday)’s post which is a continuation of gushing JOY over having discovered the magically lovely world-building within the Japanese set “A Mortal Song” which was truly absorbed & discovered the very day #ThanksgivingReadathon kicked off and entered my life! It will also serve as a journal about how a girl & her Mum can tuck into a diner late at night after a petrol accident (ever have a gas station have contaminated air?) to ‘clear’ their lungs — chattering about everything but specifically how this #Mythothon is giving me such a delightfully unexpected passage into a ‘hidden niche’ of literature I never knew existed! I also recapped the WHOLE twenty-five pages of “A Mortal Song” – so I’ll be trying to recapture that night – whilst discussing what we ate and drank; staying til nearly close and musefully enlightened with the joyfulness of Crewe’s artful story-telling!

Settle in with your favourite brew & cuppa in hand – soak in my ruminations over these enchanting twenty-five pages – per each novel of the stack of *13!* and find out why I, Jorie, wishes to DEVOUR the rest of the pages – maybe I’ll find beloved & cherished reads, maybe I’ll find myself pulled out of them at some unknown future page – all I know, is initially as I read these cleverly writ pages, I was fully absorbed through the vision each author had for their stories!

Come with me as we chase after #Mythos & #Mythologies – specifically attempting to focus on the Greeks with a few diversions along the way! Come share with me your own travelling routes in the comments & let’s rock out #Mythothon in the joyfulness of combined discoveries!!

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

#ThanksgivingReadathon TBR List badge created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit jorielovesastory.com

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

#ThanksgivingReadathon TBR List created by Jorie in Canva

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

My #25PagePreview of my #Mythothon Reads

during the 2018 #ThanksgivingReadathon !!

ALL the stories featured today
were #borrowed via my local #library!

I do earmark which ones were ILL’d but overall, for the most part, I lucked out by pulling from the locals which had a rather IMPRESSIVE selection of Mythos in Fiction!!

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A Mortal Song by Megan Crewe

Site | @megancrewe | Pub’d by Another World Press
*Ill’d (inter-library loan)

Notation on Cover Art: I was truly taken by the artistry of the cover art design for ‘A Mortal Song’ as it held my eye, never letting turn away and told a story of its own! I love artwork like this which is custom made for the story – it gives you more dimension and a hugged in feeling as if the artist and the writer were in symmetry with each other! I had such high hopes for this one – I had no idea between the evoking artwork and the promise of the premise, I would literally find my first #Mythothon selection I wanted to hug + shout out about to the world!

A bit of a background – I personally have loved Japanese culture, tradition, customs and art ever since I was a young girl as my maternal grandparents were collectors of their art and music. I grew up knowing quite a bit about Japan as a result from a cultural perspective whilst as I grew into a teen, I started to correspond with Japanese friends through postal letters, enhancing my knowledge of their customs (such as the tea ceremony) and the contemporary living histories of my friends as we would exchange memories and traditions in our letters. As an adult book blogger, I learnt more through my readings of the Shinobi / Hiro Hattori novels by Ms Spann, as her stories are set in the 16th Century but illuminated as if we were time travelling straight back into that era and can alight as if we’re meant to live then rather than now! Thus, finding a story involving the ‘kami’ was another element of intrigue for me and one I wanted to readily explore.

Dear hearts, this novel was published in [2016] and I must confess, my copy of the novel appears to have been read either by readers who leave no trace like I do for having read their stories OR I’m the first bookish heart whose graced the pages with her imaginative heart. Either way, it felt super special dipping into this world and seeing the wonders which IMMEDIATELY started to unfold!

As I am composing a special post featuring A Mortal Song – comprising of the JOY of finding this story was breathed to life in such a unique way of giving me a fantastical quest and journey into not just the mind of Crewe but into this part of Japanese folklore and Mythology, I shall leave these short takeaways to entice you to wait for my further revelations of why this readerly girl and her Mum felt enchanted together for the symbolic beauty awaiting everyone who picks this story up for themselves to experience!

Verdict? (see also this tweet!) & (see also this tweet, too!)

How do you prepare yourself to extract yourself from a WORLD you’re so dearly captured by you literally can’t think of anything else but ‘turning’ the next pages, falling further into the story and sorting out the Mythos along the way? I dearly wanted to stay up through the night & simply DEVOUR this until every last word was breathed into my imagination – however, life has a strange way of working against you at times! My back pain & injury left me unable to devout the night to “A Mortal Song” but my mind & heart never fully left its world; the pull it had on me was FIERCE!

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #ThanksgivingReadathon 2018
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Posted Friday, 23 November, 2018 by jorielov in #25PagePreview, #ThanskgivingReadathon, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, RALs | Thons via Blogs

#ThanksgivingReadathon | as #JorieReads and discovers her *first!* book hug: “A Mortal Song” by Megan Crewe

Posted Wednesday, 21 November, 2018 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

#ThanksgivingReadathon badge created by Jorie in Canva

This lovely readathon is hosted by Jackie @DeathbyTsundoku

You can find the Announcement Page on her lovely blog!

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

There are some stories which feel as if their world is not wholly unfamiliar to us, as if our first entrance into their setting is a returnt visit rather than the initial immersion! This is how I felt about reading A Mortal Song. The story which was unfolding right before my eyes was the kind of story you truly are hopeful to discover – where the author & the world they’ve left behind for us to find is achingly lush and spilling out into your imagination as if you’ve crossed this fantastical threshold many times and have become so familiar with what you’d see, you do not need a guide nor a map in hand to find your way again.

Of all the stories I borrowed from the libraries, this was the one I was most anxious about – I had no idea if it would even arrive in time, as I had to fetch it through inter-library loan – so imagine my happiness in finding it amongst the #libraryhaul selections I collected just ahead of the #ThanksgivingReadathon getting underway! It felt rather kismet – I was meant to read this story right now and it was a story which would evoke such an awareness of itself inside my mind, if I had been able too – I would have truly done as I tweeted: forsaken sleep and DEVOURED it straight-through on Wednesday night!

However, as I revealled on my #ThanksgivingReadathon TBR post – a serious back injury prevented me from being able to sit, type and read for any length of time. Hence why I grabbed an hour here or a few hours there between Wednesday & Friday to where I could chisel down my library holds into the thirteen stories I was most anxious to read in full! A Mortal Song simply percolated to the top of the list as soon as the world gave me something I was seeker as a reader who loves to #EnterTheFantastic whenever she can!

Nothing about Thanksgiving week went according to plan – not in the hours to read, not in the hours to plan a Thanksgiving feast and surely not, the ‘day’ in which we’d celebrate Thanksgiving. For starters, Mum was called into extra & double shifts – blessedly, our family is the most adaptive when it comes to holidays, as it was something we were always doing when my Dad worked as his industry was 24/7 as much as Mum’s is now. We decided we could cook the bird on Friday and feast after her shift; which turnt into cooking the bird from 8p to 1a on Friday rather than the morning/afternoon until after a double shift we decided a lighter dinner of chicken melted cheese sandwiches was closer to being a cosy comfort than a full-on turkey dinner with the fixings! Thereby, we re-shifted our plans once again – to where the bird is cooking happily in the oven (today) which is Saturday, by 7a the day of the #Mythothon chat! (hence why I’m trying to get two of my posts up on my blog ahead of it!)

Travelling back to Wednesday, a day and night which altered itself per hour – Mum and I found ourselves in a neighbouring towne, shopping for last minute bits for Thanksgiving and our weekly groceries – as sometimes, you just want a switch-up from going to your regular local haunts as it can become a strain of familiarity. Not to mention, our local shoppes and stores were more Grinch than Eggnog cheer this year; so by switching cities, we were able to find the ‘jolly’ we were dearly missing otherwise!

It was here, amongst free samples from cooking demos, bakery delights & deli specials we found our little cozy comfort of joyfulness the holidays generally exhume into our lives!! It was on our return trip where everything went slightly haywire – we passed by a petrol station and that is where our lungs & our eyes were inundated by a petrol leak! It contaminated the air in the car & I personally could not breathe – I have horrid environmental & seasonal allergies – which wasn’t helping at all to curb the smell – as I was trying to breathe through my shirt (and failing miserably!), I told Mum to head towards the diner which was slightly outside of the city back towards home.

There was wood smoke outside and petrol in the car – ironically enough with a biting chill to the air which gave us the most hope of all the smell would erase whilst we were tucked into the warmth of the diner. This is after hours for most places – well past the hour you’d think a place would be open but it is one of those dives you can’t help but return due to a kind-hearted staff and cosy comfortable foods! I grabbed all the bags full of our food choices and slammed the doors to walk in the brisk air and try not to hyperventilate in a delayed panic reaction to lack of breath!

As we made our ways into the front section of the diner (as who knew they’d be slammed the day before Thanksgiving?) – we settled in for coffee and conversation, as what is better than recovering from such a horrid and putrid air attack than coffee & a fireside chat!? I looked at the side dish menu of the day and spied a favourite: fried okra! Ooh, yes, please! We ordered a basket (which was plenty to share for two hungry foodies!) with bleu cheese dressing (beyond YUM) and had an unlimited mug of java to keep the conversation flowing!

The interesting bit is one of the waiters thought I was hyper excited due to the coffee – what he failed to know though is I’m naturally hyper and coffee actually has the reverse effect on me – it calms me down to my bones! I was so chill it was hilarious! What he mistook for coffee induced reactions is I was seriously on a high of love for A Mortal Song as I had just spent a considerable amount of time fully animated (with hand gestures!) discussing the ENTIRE 25 pages I had read earlier in the day!!

I wanted Mum to experience what I had experienced – thus, I tucked straight in- talking about the kami – from the crane and the monkey; commenting I hadn’t realised monkeys would be so keen for styling hair til Mum reminded me that Steve Irwin (we’ve been thrilled to bits the Irwin’s are back with their new show “Crikey! Its the Irwins” which we’re LOVING) met an orangutan who not only climbed down the tree – *he played with his hair* – I added! Ooh, I had forgotten that!

We didn’t even see the crowd in the diner, nor realise about twenty minutes went past before my mug was re-filled as they were making fresh decaf (I like to drink half/half so I’m not drinking straight fully loaded cuppas) – we were so invested in the moment, the height of the revelations and the curiosity of what is coming *after!* those first twenty-five pages! I am not even sure if anyone overheard us if they would understand the conversation as I was even delving into how Sora could morph dimensionally through solid rock of Mt Fuji!!

I’ll never forget Wednesday – the best gift I gave myself was participating in the #ThanksgivingReadathon – similar to July when I was participating in the INSPY Reads readathon – I’ve noticed, sometimes I need a proper nudge to get me back into the stories I most desire to read. Sometimes I need to pull myself out of my routines and rhythms and simply focus on a niche of literature I’m either wholly passionate about (like INSPY) or keenly curious over (such as Mythological After Canon Fiction) – it allows you to step through literature in a condensed state of concentration and walk out the other side with a renewed passion for reading, discovery of the stories and a better sense of who you are as you evolve through a new heightened layer of being an inquisitive and intuitive reader!

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

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

My #25PagePreview of the VERY first #Mythothon story which gave me such a warm bookish hug & inspired me to have a coffee klatch discussing it as if the pages were re-illuminating in front of my cuppa!

during the 2018 #ThanksgivingReadathon !!

A Mortal Song badge created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit jorielovesastory.com

A Mortal Song by Megan Crewe

was happily #borrowed via my local #library!

It ought to go without saying, but I am sharing my bookish ruminations for my own edification but also in a continued method of sharing my bookish life to help my readers find their own #mustreads and follow my own readerly journey into the stories I’m reading myself. I was not compensated for sharing my opinions and thoughts herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

A Mortal Song
by Megan Crewe
Source: Borrowed from local library (ILL)

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780995216907

Genres: Action & Adventure Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Mythological Fantasy, YA Fantasy


Published by Another World Press

on 13th September, 2016

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 380

Site | @megancrewe | Pub’d by Another World Press
*Ill’d (inter-library loan)
Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #ThanksgivingReadathon 2018
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Posted Wednesday, 21 November, 2018 by jorielov in #ThanskgivingReadathon, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, RALs | Thons via Blogs