Source: Borrowed from local library's CloudLibrary

An #INSPY Christmas Novella Spotlight with Notes | featuring “An Ivy Hill Christmas” (Tales from Ivy Hill series, Book 3.5) by Julie Klassen

Posted Friday, 18 December, 2020 by jorielov , , , , , , , 0 Comments

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I am unsure if I’ve blogged about my curiosity over Julie Klassen’s novels – I know I might have winked a bit about them during this year’s Christian Fiction Reading Safari in August – as I was seriously attempting to read my first Klassen novel *then!* – however, something has always distracted me and/or left me questioning which of her novels I need to be reading ‘first’ to where I have not made any progress at all in reading her collective works!! I wanted to change this sad fate of mine as she’s an author I’ve been following in the book blogosphere since a year before I became a book blogger (ie. 2012) as much as I have appreciated her guest posts, interviews and other interactions she gives to her readers whilst being a follower of hers on Twitter, too!

When I first learnt about “An Ivy Hill Christmas” – it was when this particular blog tour had been originally announced. I thought, hmm. This might be a good time to dive back into a Klassen novel and/or series – I especially love *Christmas stories* and at the time, I couldn’t discern if this was a novella which ‘fit into the series’ already established in the trilogy of stories released and/or if it was an extension of the series itself wherein new/old characters would be populating the storyline. It took some digging – both on Ms Klassen’s website, her group author’s blog (?) and a random search which led me onto a short Q&A (courtesy of Family Fiction) which revealled the truth! This is a novella within the series and it recaptures the series as it has already become established and thus, moves it forward – thereby, I anchoured this as Book 3.5 as it is a continuation of what was already established and follows suit after the third novel.

I originally borrowed a print copy of The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill thinking it would be an easier way for me to read the story – best laid plans, eh? – however, I quickly amended those plans and borrowed it via audiobook digitally via my local library’s CloudLibrary instead! Whilst I also borrowed An Ivy Hill Christmas – I wasn’t in enough time to provide a proper review today, though if you’re familiar with my #25PagePreview posts time after time on Jorie Loves A Story, I think you might get a hoot of a kick out of how I’ve assembled this spotlighted feature for the blog tour with Love Books Tours!

I must confess, this spotlight is arriving late in the night on my day of the blog tour because I misplaced the tour materials and the ‘date’ my spotlight was meant to run! After a seriously long week, I settled into sorting out my blog with some Christmas Coffeehouse songs via #Spotify and tucked into how I could ring out a post about Ivy Hill even if I had to forego the schedule for the tour as I honestly couldn’t sort out where my materials had gone off too! Then, right at the point I thought all was lost – I found everything I needed in two key places – Baker Publishing and a short scribbled note which revealled the 18th was my day! *whew!*

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An #INSPY Christmas Novella Spotlight with Notes | featuring “An Ivy Hill Christmas” (Tales from Ivy Hill series, Book 3.5) by Julie KlassenAn Ivy Hill Christmas
Subtitle: A Tales from Ivy Hill Novella
by Julie Klassen
Source: Borrowed from local library's CloudLibrary

Spend a festive Christmas in the English village of Ivy Hill, as divine hope, friendship, and unexpected romance work their magic. . . .

Richard Brockwell, the younger son of Ivy Hill's most prominent family, hasn't been home for Christmas in years. He prefers to live in the London townhouse, far away from Brockwell Court, the old family secret that haunts him, and the shadows of his past mistakes. But then his mother threatens to stop funding his carefree life--unless he comes home for Christmas. Out of options, he sets out for Ivy Hill, planning to be back on a coach bound for London and his unencumbered bachelor life as soon as the festivities are over.

But Christmas in the country presents many surprises, including encounters with an orphaned apprentice, the first love he disappointed years ago, and Arabella Awdry, a young lady who is far more appealing than he recalled--and determined to have nothing to do with him.

Will Christmastime in Ivy Hill, with its village charm, kissing boughs, and joyous songs, change his heart . . . and hers as well?

Genres: Christmas Story &/or Christmas Romance, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780764233807

Published by Bethany House Publishers

on 1st September, 2020

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 7 hours and 35 minutes (unabridged)

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Tales of Ivy Hill series:

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill by Julie KlassenThe Ladies of Ivy Cottage by Julie KlassenThe Bride of Ivy Green by Julie Klassen

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill (book one)

Welcome to the English village of Ivy Hill,
where friendships thrive, romance blossoms, and mysteries await. . . .

The lifeblood of the village of Ivy Hill is its coaching inn, The Bell. When the innkeeper dies suddenly, his genteel wife, Jane Bell, becomes the reluctant landlady. Jane has no idea how to manage a business, but with the town’s livelihood at stake and a large loan due, she must quickly find a way to save the inn.

Despite their strained relationship, Jane turns to her resentful mother-in-law, Thora, for help. Formerly mistress of The Bell, Thora is struggling to overcome her losses and find purpose for the future. As she works with Jane, two men from her past vie for her attention, but Thora has promised herself never to marry again. Will one of them convince her to embrace a second chance at love?

As pressure mounts from the bank, Jane employs new methods, and puzzles over the intentions of several men who seem to have a vested interest in the place, including a mysterious newcomer with secret plans of his own. With the help of friends old and new, can Jane restore life to the inn, and to her empty heart as well?

The Ladies of Ivy Hill (book two)

Return to Ivy Hill as friendships deepen, romances blossom, and mysteries unfold . . .

A gentlewoman in reduced circumstances, Miss Rachel Ashford lives as a guest in Ivy Cottage. With her meager funds rapidly depleting, she is determined to earn her own livelihood . . . somehow. Her friend Jane Bell and the other village women encourage her to open a circulating library with the many books she’s inherited from her father. As villagers donate additional books and Rachel begins sorting through the volumes, she discovers mysteries hidden among them. A man who once broke her heart helps her search for clues, but both find more than they bargained for.

Rachel’s hostess, Mercy Grove, has given up thoughts of suitors and finds fulfillment in managing her girls school. So when several men take an interest in Ivy Cottage, she assumes pretty Miss Ashford is the cause. Exactly what–or whom–has captured each man’s attention? The truth may surprise them all.

The Bride of Ivy Green (book three)

Come home to Ivy Hill, where friendship endures, romance triumphs,
and mysteries are revealed in this eagerly anticipated conclusion. . . .

Spring is in the air . . . and change is too. Mercy Grove has lost her girls’ school and is resigned to life as a spinster, especially as the man she admires is out of reach. She contemplates leaving Ivy Cottage to become a governess–a decision with consequences she never imagined.

Meanwhile, her friend Jane Bell is facing a difficult decision of her own. Should she accept Gabriel Locke even if it means giving up her inn and destining another man to a childless marriage?

When a secretive new dressmaker arrives in the village, Mercy, Jane, and the other ladies of Ivy Hill attempt to befriend her, but they soon suspect she isn’t who she claims to be.

Together, the women of Ivy Hill look forward to one wedding, but surprises lie in store and dearly held dreams may yet come true.

An Ivy Hill Christmas (book 3.5)

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Published by: Bethany House Publishers (@bethany_house)
an imprint of Baker Publishing Group

Available Formats: Hardcover, Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #INSPY #HistoricalFiction or #HistFic as well as #ChristmasRomance
as well as #JulieKlassen, #HolidayReads or #ChristmasReads and #INSPYRomance

About Julie Klassen

Julie Klassen Photo Credit: © Farrow Media

Julie Klassen (www.julieklassen.com) loves all things Jane--Jane Eyre and Jane Austen. Her books have sold over a million copies, and she is a three-time recipient of the Christy Award for Historical Romance. The Secret of Pembrooke Park was honored with the Minnesota Book Award for Genre Fiction. Julie has also won the Midwest Book Award and Christian Retailing's BEST Award and has been a finalist in the RITA and Carol Awards. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Julie worked in publishing for sixteen years and now writes full time. She and her husband have two sons and live in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Friday, 18 December, 2020 by jorielov in 19th Century, Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Christmas Romance &/or Holiday Story, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Love Books Tours, Sampler Chapters &/or Excerpt of Novel, the Regency era

An #INSPY Book Spotlight with Notes + Extract | featuring “Set the Stars Alight” by Amanda Dykes

Posted Monday, 5 October, 2020 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Stories in the Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I positively LOVE reading INSPY Lit and when I find an author has combined two of my favourite styles of story “Contemporary and Historical” in a lovely time shift, I dearly sit up and take notice! This particular novel I discovered a bit ahead of the blog tour being announced which is why I jumped at the chance to be on the tour itself – as I was sorting out which new books were being released by this publisher as I wanted (at the time) to see if I could get ahead of the pub dates and potentially seek out the stories via my local libraries (either in print or audiobook). I had good intentions but as the course of the year went the way it had for all of us, I admit, I lost track of which stories were releasing and when they might reach my libraries.

Ahead of my tour stop today, I happily found out the audiobook is available through my regional library via their audiobook catalogue on CloudLibrary!! Eek. I was overly excited finding this out as I am listening to more audiobooks lately as with all the migraines I’ve been plagued with from May-August and with September being a wickedly horrid month all the way round (from my parents health emergencies to my excessive migraines) you could say reading all the way round for me has been a bit more adverse than usual! Audiobooks and larger print books are easier for me to enjoy whilst I’m re-transitioning back into reading after a long nightmeric run of migraines and having this lovely so easily available was a bit of random joy for me recently!

I wasn’t able to get too far into the story but as I have it checked out, I’m hopeful I can finish it this October as you’ll soon find out why I enjoyed the hour I listened too! I love finding new authors and it is a delight of mine to be featuring some INSPY authors via this blog tour company as INSPY has long since been a cosy comforting branch of literature for me. I’ve been a hybrid reader (ie. mainstream and INSPY) since I was quite young and I oft turn to INSPY whenever I want to tuck offline into a story I know  will find a positive lift of joy to be reading! Most recently, I related my immense joy in listening to ‘Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish’ whilst ‘Magnolia Storms’ was one of my top favourites during a recent INSPY readathon this past August. You will find a healthy gathering of INSPY stories in my Story Vault as well!

Today, I am wicked thankful I can bring you a short extract from “Set the Stars Alight” as I love helping my fellow readers and book bloggers find stories they might love as much as I do! I look forward to conversing with you about this story in the comments! Especially if you think this might be a wicked good fit for you as a reader, too! I’d be keen to know what attracts you into time shift narratives (or time slip!) as much as why you love dual perspective novels which combine both modern settings with the historical.

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An #INSPY Book Spotlight with Notes + Extract | featuring “Set the Stars Alight” by Amanda DykesSet the Stars Alight
by Amanda Dykes
Source: Borrowed from local library's CloudLibrary

Lucy Clairmont's family treasured the magic of the past, and her childhood fascination with stories of the high seas led her to become a marine archaeologist. But when tragedy strikes, it's Dashel, an American forensic astronomer, and his knowledge of the stars that may help her unearth the truth behind the puzzle she's discovered in her family home.

Two hundred years earlier, the seeds of love are sown between a boy and a girl who spend their days playing in a secret sea cave, while the privileged young son of the estate looks on, wishing to join. As the children grow and war leads to unthinkable heartbreak, a story of love, betrayal, sacrifice, and redemption unfolds, held secret by the passage of time.

As Lucy and Dash journey to a mysterious old estate on the East Sussex coast, their search leads them to a community of souls and a long-hidden tale that may hold the answers--and the healing--they so desperately seek.

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Time Slip and/or Time Shift


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780764232671

ASIN: B0857HL9MJ

Published by Bethany House Publishers

on 30th June, 2020

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 12 hours and 36 minutes (unabridged)

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Published by: Bethany House Publishers (@bethany_house)

an imprint of Baker Publishing Group

Available Formats: Hardcover, Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #TimeShift, #HistFic, #INSPY or #ChristianFiction
as well as #SetTheStarsAlight & #BHPFiction

About Amanda Dykes

Amanda Dykes (Photo Credit: © Michael Pettrey)

Amanda Dykes is a drinker of tea, dweller of redemption, and spinner of hope-filled tales who spends most days chasing wonder and words with her family. She's a former English teacher and the author of Set the Stars Alight and Whose Waves These Are, an INSPY award winner and a Booklist 2019 Top Ten Romance debut, as well as three novellas.

Photo Credit: © Michael Pettrey

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Posted Monday, 5 October, 2020 by jorielov in Astronomy, Audiobook, Audiobook Excerpt, Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Love Books Tours, Space Science

An #INSPY Audiobook Review | Jorie was smitten by the cheeky Contemporary INSPY humour of Bethany Turner within the pages of “Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish”! [Started during #CFSRS20]

Posted Monday, 21 September, 2020 by jorielov , , , , , 1 Comment

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I have been participating in the Christian Fiction & Clean Reads Reading Safari readathon for the past three years now. I have found the readathon to be personally enriching as it is a wonderful month of respite for book bloggers who want to focus on reading outside their blog schedules and tuck into the gentler side of fiction which is Inspirational Fiction (ie. INSPY). A portion of INSPY is Christian Fiction however, INSPY overall encompasses all faiths and religious backgrounds as it is faith-inspired literature. As a participant of the readathon – each reader moves through the event at their own pacing – seeking stories to read, authors to get to know socially online and reading the stories which interest them throughout the readathon. As you participate there is a chance you can win a book or several throughout the month. This year I am reading a mixture of stories I’ve won during past CFSRS readathons, stories I’ve won through bookaways with Christian Fiction authors or bloggers as well as stories on my shelf from my personal library as well as borrowing INSPY stories in print and audio from my local libraries.

In May 2020, I was hosting a few promotional tours and social blitzes for JustRead Publicity Tours – one of those tours was the ‘Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish’ Takeover Tour – wherein I received a complimentary print copy of the novel in exchange for posting promotional content on social media featuring my own book photography. Whilst the audiobook edition for “Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish” was included in my Scribd membership which I use to regularly listen to audiobooks. However, I finished listening to the audiobook via CloudLibrary which is a service through my library for listening to audiobooks. I was not obligated to post a review on behalf of this novel and have elected to do so for my own edification as well as continuing to share my bookish and readerly life on Jorie Loves A Story. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I wanted to read this story:

You’d have to understand my affection and addiction to watching *celebrity chefs!* first and foremost – as I entered into my years of cooking a bit late in the game compared to most women. In fact, I took after Julia Child and I was wickedly overjoyed knowing that she didn’t get invested into cooking or the cookery arts until well into her thirties – wherein I happily beat her by a few years myself when I started to find that I enjoyed experimenting in the kitchen, too!

Prior to those years of my late twenties, I was resolved that perhaps when it came to cooking my real gift was for baking – as I just did not catch onto the buzz round using fresh farmer market ingredients and sorting out which vegetarian and/or vegan dish I wanted to create by using different cookbooks and/or vegan/veg blogger recipes online until after assisting Mum as her sous chef – I started to notice I was enjoying ‘going off the recipes’ and sorting things out on my own. It was a personal reckoning of joy and I was thrilled to bits about this new adventure I was undertaking.

This also lead us to requesting copious amounts of cookbooks & baking books at our local library and happily kept the Acquisitions Library well supplied with titles for vegans and vegetarians alike! Over the years we had to take a break from focusing on vegetarian foods and are more omnivores at the moment who are anxious to return back to living through the seasons with vegetables and grains. At the same time, I was no longer finding Food Network & the Cooking Network to be on the boring side of the ledger as half the time I felt a lot of that stuff flew over my head quite a bit.

I’m all-in now – from having personal favourite celebrity chefs to having series on Food Network I am wicked thrilled over seeing new episodes for whenever I’m able to see them to realising that it could take another lifetime to *bake!* like they do on the Great British Bake-Off! I even love a murder mystery series via Hallmark Movies & Mysteries called: “Morning Show Mysteries”. The title is elusive as she runs a restaurant and has a cooking segment on a tv show.

Thus, when I read the premise for “Hadley Beckett’s Next Dish” I thought how wicked wonderful one of today’s INSPY Contemporary novelists’ is taking a personal hobby following the lives of celebrity chefs and spinning it into a compellingly realistic story!

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Graphic created in Canva by Jorie. Hadley Beckett's Next Dish novel Photography Credit: © jorielovesastory.com.

Hadley Beckett's Next Dish
by Bethany Turner
Source: Borrowed from local library's CloudLibrary, Direct from Publisher, Scribd | Audiobook Subscription
Narrator: Aimee Lilly

Get ready for a heaping helping of humor, romance, and second chances

Celebrity chef Maxwell Cavanagh is known for many things: his multiple Michelin stars, his top-rated Culinary Channel show, To the Max, and most of all his horrible temper. Hadley Beckett, host of the Culinary Channel's other top-rated show, At Home with Hadley, is beloved for her Southern charm and for making her viewers feel like family.

When Max experiences a very public temper tantrum and is sent packing, his only chance to get back on TV and in the public's good graces is to work alongside Hadley. As these polar-opposite celeb chefs begin to peel away the layers of public persona and reputation, they will not only discover the key ingredients for getting along but also learn the secret recipe for unexpected forgiveness . . . and maybe even love.

In the meantime, hide the knives.

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Cookery, Foodie Fiction, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Southern Lit, Women's Fiction


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780800735234

ASIN: B087JZQCC3

Published by Revell

on 5th May, 2020

Format: Audiobook | Digital, Trade Paperback

Pages: 352

Length: 8 hours and 40 minutes (unabridged)

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The novels of Bethany Turner:

The Secret Life of Sarah HollenbeckWooing Cadie McCaffrey by Bethany TurnerHadley Beckett's Next Dish by Bethany Turner

The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck (2017)

Wooing Cadie McCaffrey (2019)

Hadley Becket’s Next Dish (2020)

Published by: Revell (@RevellBooks)

an imprint of Baker Publishing Group

Audiobook Published by: Oasis Audio (@oasisaudio)

Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Audiobook (Digital & CD) and Ebook

Converse via: #Contemporary #ChristianFiction, #INSPYRomance, #INSPYbooks,
as well as #HadleyBeckettsNextDish and #HadBeck

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7th Annual 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.

This story received my award for Best Contemporary INSPY Women’s Fiction
& Best Audiobook Narrator of 2020!

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About Bethany Turner

Bethany Turner

Bethany Turner is the award-winning author of The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck and Wooing Cadie McCaffrey and the director of administration for Rock Springs Church in Southwest Colorado. A former bank executive and a three-time cancer survivor (all before she turned 35), Bethany knows that when God has plans for your life, it doesn't matter what anyone else has to say. Because of that, she's chosen to follow his call to write. She lives with her husband and their two sons in Colorado, where she writes for a new generation of readers who crave fiction that tackles the thorny issues of life with humor and insight.

Photo Credit: Photo by: Emilie Hendryx © EA Creative Photography

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #CFSRS20
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Posted Monday, 21 September, 2020 by jorielov in #CFSRS20, #INSPYSundays, 21st Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Chefs and Sous Chefs, Christianity, Contemporary Romance, Cookery, Foodie Fiction, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Jorie Loves A Story, Jorie Loves A Story Cuppa Book Love Awards, Jorie Loves A Story Features, Library Catalogues & Databases, Library Find, Love Books Tours, Modern Day, Nashville, New York City, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Reading Challenges, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Sociological Behavior, Sweet Romance, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event, Women's Fiction