Tag: Gallery Books

#SaturdaysAreBookish | Book Review | “The Summer Guests” by Mary Alice Monroe

Posted Saturday, 22 June, 2019 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

#SaturdaysAreBookish created by Jorie in Canva.

After launching this lovely new feature of mine during [Autumn, 2018] it is a pleasure of joy to continue to bring #SaturdaysAreBookish as a compliment focus of my Twitter chat @SatBookChat. If you see the chat icon at the top of my blog (header bar) you can click over to visit with us. The complimentary showcases on my blog will reflect the diversity of stories, authors and publishers I would be featuring on the chat itself. As at the root and heart of the chat are the stories I am reading which compliment the conversations.

#SaturdaysAreBookish throughout [2019] will be featuring the Romance & Women’s Fiction authors I am discovering to read across genre and point of interest. Every Saturday will feature a different author who writes either Romance or Women’s Fiction – the stories I am reading might simply inspire the topics in the forthcoming chats or they might be directly connected to the current guest author.

I am excited about where new guests and new stories will lay down the foundation of inspiring the topics, the conversations and the bookish recommendations towards promoting Romance & Women’s Fiction. Here’s a lovely New Year full of new authors and their stories to celebrate!

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Acquired Book By: I have been hosting blog tours and reviews for Simon & Schuster off and on for nearly a year now. I’ve had the joy of discovering their stories through Contemporary and Historical narratives whilst happily finding a lot of their authors are writing the kinds of stories which keep me engaged and rooted in their narratives. Such as the Seven Sisters series by Lucinda Riley – which is why when I first saw the note about the tour for ‘The Summer Guests’, I was most curious – not just of this potentially becoming my first Monroe novel to read but because of where the story was set. I happen to love the mountainous regions of my country and this one in particular hugs close to Appalachia which happens to be the mountain range I am most familiar with due to how oft I read stories set there. It has only been in recent years I’ve exchanged the Eastern mountains for the Rockies; thus, when I learnt the setting was in Western North Carolina and centred round hurricanes, natural disasters and overcoming life’s adversities – I was quite smitten with the plot!

I received a complimentary copy of “The Summer Guests” direct from the publisher Gallery Books (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why this particular story perked an interest to read:

First and foremost, I love stories about horses, horse culture and horsemanship. I’m the girl who grew up reading about the wilds of the West, farms, ranches and cowboys because the wide open landscapes of those stories called to my spirit, to my soul. They were enriching in how families hugged close together, how life was better lived together and how if you needed some space, the wide open plains provided the best place to seek it out on a horse. The concept of being able to wake with the roosters, put on your riding clothes and hide out to chase after dawn’s first break of dawn was something that truly appealled to a girl who loved horse-back riding but wasn’t able to continue it forward into her teens and adult years. I still long for the day where I could get back on a horse and reconnect with a sport I have loved since I was quite young.

You can see this love of mine coming through Jorie Loves A Story – from the stories of Karen Rock (her Rocky Mountain Cowboys series), the limited serial Return of the Blackwell Brothers, the enduring and brilliant dramatic Catherine Ryan Hyde novel The Language of Hoofbeats and a forthcoming review by a new series of Harlequin Heartwarming entitled Reunited with the Cowboy. It is also seen in my choices of television and motion pictures – I have been passionately attached to the production of Heartland – streaming it first on Netflix for the first nine seasons and finding the tenth happily available to stream via Hallmark Movies Now. I’m hoping to stream the eleventh season if Hallmark acquires the rights to it as the series is currently in production for their 13th season.

Whilst at the same time, I also have a healthy appreciation for the mountains – Appalachia on the East and the Rockies on the West. Growing up natural disasters were as much a part of my life as they are a part of a lot of people’s lives today. There were some honest whoppers of destruction back in the ’80s and ’90s; some even set the record books before they were re-broken in the 21st Century by fiercer storms and/or worse disasters than our imaginations could have conceived. I still have shivers of anxiety just contemplating Hurricane Sandy for the folks on the Mid-Atlantic Coast! Not to mention the fires and floods of the West Coast and the persistent tornadoes of the Mid-West this Spring have re-set how we view natural disasters and how we survive them.

Finding this was a story about an eclectic group of people who not just evacuated but found themselves in a place they weren’t expecting with people they weren’t planning to connect with felt like a wicked good read. It also felt like an alternative view of what we think about most when we connect a natural disaster in our minds with the chaos we see on television. There is always much more to the ‘story’ than what the stories are revealling to us in a televised recapture of events and that is why I felt reading The Summer Guests would be a brilliant way to kick-off my #SummerReads for Women’s Fiction!

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#SaturdaysAreBookish | Book Review | “The Summer Guests” by Mary Alice MonroeThe Summer Guests
by Mary Alice Monroe
Source: Direct from Publisher

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Beach House series comes a heartwarming and evocative novel about the bonds and new beginnings that are born from natural disasters and how, even during the worst of circumstances—or perhaps because of them—we discover what is most important in life.

Late August is a beautiful time on the Southern coast—the peach trees are ripe, the ocean is warm, and the sweet tea is icy. A perfect time to enjoy the rocking chairs on the porch. But beneath the calm surface bubbles a threat: it’s also peak hurricane season.

When a hurricane threatens the coasts of Florida and South Carolina, an eclectic group of evacuees flees for the farm of their friends Grace and Charles Phillips in North Carolina: the Phillips’s daughter Moira and her rescue dogs, famed equestrian Javier Angel de la Cruz, makeup artist Hannah McLain, horse breeder Gerda Klug and her daughter Elise, and island resident Cara Rutledge. They bring with them only the few treasured possessions they can fit in their vehicles. Strangers to all but the Phillips, they must ride out the storm together.

During the course of one of the most challenging weeks of their lives, relationships are put to the test as the evacuees are forced to confront the unresolved issues they have with themselves and with each other. But as the storm passes, they realize that what really matters isn’t what they brought with them to the mountains. Rather, it’s what they’ll take with them once they leave.

With Mary Alice Monroe’s “usual resplendent storytelling” (Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author), The Summer Guests is a poignant and compelling story of self-discovery, love, and redemption.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781501193620

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

Setting: Western (Mountains) of North Carolina

Published by Gallery Books

on 11th June, 2019

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 368

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

Formats Available: Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #TheSummerGuests, #SummerReads and #SaturdaysAreBookish

About Mary Alice Monroe

Mary Alice Monroe Photo Credit Mic Smith Photography

Mary Alice Monroe is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books, including the Beach House series: The Beach House, Beach House Memories, Swimming Lessons, Beach House for Rent, and Beach House Reunion.

She is a 2018 Inductee into the South Carolina Academy of Authors’ Hall of Fame, and her books have received numerous awards, including the 2008 South Carolina Center for the Book Award for Writing, the 2014 South Carolina Award for Literary Excellence, the 2015 SW Florida Author of Distinction Award, the RT Lifetime Achievement Award, the International Book Award for Green Fiction, and the 2017 Southern Book Prize for Fiction.

Her bestselling novel The Beach House is also a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie. An active conservationist, she lives in the lowcountry of South Carolina.

Photo Credit: Mic Smith Photography

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:


Posted Saturday, 22 June, 2019 by jorielov in #SaturdaysAreBookish, 21st Century, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Fly in the Ointment, Horse Drama & Fiction, Latter-life Adventures, Life Shift, Low Country South Carolina, Meteorology, Modern Day, Natural Disasters & Catastrophic Events, Non-traditional characters, North Carolina, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Rescue & Adoption of Animals, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, Vulgarity in Literature, Western North Carolina Mountains, Women of a Certain Age, Women's Fiction

+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.

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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)


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