Tag: Self Published

An #HistoricalMondays Author Interview | a wicked awesomesauce convo I shared with Edale Lane (by phone!) wherein I interviewed her about the #behindthebook secrets of writing the “Secrets of Milan”!

Posted Monday, 6 July, 2020 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

Conversations with the Bookish badge created by Jorie in Canva. Updated version July 2020.

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You could say this has become tradition,…

I am anchouring the delightful #vlog interview I shared with Edale Lane with this lovely after I’ve read the book conversation for Secrets of Milan. I love having the chance to interview authors – either on Jorie Loves A Story directly and/or through my bimonthly (or sometimes weekly bookish chat @SatBookChat). It allows me to delve #behindthebook, seek out the author’s writerly style, voice and inspiration for writing said book whilst at the same time – peering into their writerly process and to better understand who they are as writers.

It isn’t oft I get to read a book in full ahead of sorting out the questions I want to ask the author – as generally speaking, for the life of my blog (til this point) for the past seven years, most of the conversations have been developed whilst doing research online into the writer’s collective works, their previous interviews and a few readerly reviews where book bloggers and/or reviewers have writ such an informatively insightful recollection of their readerly experiences I’ve been able to craft a conversation out of the research I’ve invested into that author. Other times, such as today – I’ve had the chance to develop a conversation to reflect my readerly ruminations on behalf of a book I’ve read – getting to hug closer to my own views I’ve shared in a book review and seeking to expound upon those views as I delve deeper into the back-story of how a story was first written, conceived or continued if it is part of a series such as the Night Flyer trilogy I’m featuring today with Edale Lane.

This is a second featured post during the blog tour hosted by the lovely Tomorrow Comes Media – who is a blog touring company I’ve been blessed to have worked with collaborating to host book reviews, interviews, guest posts and special non-conventional content for book bloggers such as when I interviewed two lead actors in a pilot film for a pitch for television and two vlog style interviews featuring both E. Chris Garrison (ie. Ms Chris) and Edale Lane.

There have been a few occasions in the past history of Jorie Loves A Story wherein I’ve had the pleasure of joy of interviewing an author by telephone but only a few of those made it through the editing rounds to reach my readership. One in particular I’m hoping to bring to my readers during #MyYASummer which was just recently announced as the conversation and the hard copy notes for the interview were lost until Spring 2020. Thereby, this is a special day to celebrate the joyful connections we can make as readers and authors as we celebrate being bookish in the book blogsophere.

Prior to book blogging, I also participated in phone-in interviews with authors via a now defunct programme which paired us with published authors on group calls wherein we could take turns asking questions of the authors and responding in real-time. A few of those transcripts also made it to Jorie Loves A Story as the conversations continued during my first year as a book blogger before they were shortly discontinued thereafter. It is a wonderful moment to have a real-time conversation with an author and I am blessed each time an author lets me interact with them on the phone and/or agrees to a bookish discussion during #SatBookChat as it is a virtual meeting space where readers and writers unite together to discuss a mutual passion for the crafting of stories.

Today marks a bit a of a tradition where I have read an installment of the Night Flyer trilogy and I am now able to discuss my ruminative findings of the story with the author Edale Lane. I hope as you tuck into our conversation you might consider giving this Historical Fantasy series a bit of a go in your own readerly pursuits as we’ve highlighted a lot of the key discussion points of both “Secrets of Milan” and the series overall. One aspect of the conversation I strived to shield my readers away from were *spoilers!* and those sections were omitted but happily disclosed and discussed privately between myself and Ms Lane. (big smiles)

As always – be sure to grab your favourite cuppa

and ENJOY where this conversation leads you!

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At the heart of this series is family – both the ones you create for yourself and the one you are bourne into which is what makes it such a compelling drama. Especially if you take into account the lengths Florentina has always gone to ensure the sanctity of honour for hers and the protective armour she tries to envelope over Maddie and her children. Yet there is a third carefully considerate character emerging in the background of their lives which is Maddie’s brother Alessandro who is just as observant as Florentina and has keen insight into their lives from an outisde perspective. He seemed to be the kind of brother who you’d want in your corner – kind, supportive and willing to let you live your life without interference or commentary.

Ah, yes, what can be said about the arch nemesis of the Night Flyer, Don Benetto Viscardi? He is truly a man whose torn himself between the choice of revenge (for his destruction in both status and in business) and of choosing to take the harder road towards redemption. He’s a man in conflict with not just himself but with life – how he chooses to deal with his disruptions in life would put anyone at ill ease because he doesn’t own the mistakes he’s made nor does he find any ill will towards placing blame onto others for actions he’s guilty of himself. In may regards, Viscardi is both the most intriguing character of the trilogy and the most vexing; he’s definitely a morally gray character but one who has given Lane the chance to present to the reader in a way that humbly speaks to the choices everyone has within them: do you revert back to your old ways of living after you’ve been interrupted in your vile plans or do you take heed of unwanted advice and choose an alternative path?

This is what intrigued me as I read his sections of the novel – I hadn’t wanted to be invested in his character’s path but there was something about how Lane wrote his sequences in this installment which implores you to hug close to his scenes and to root out what Viscardi chooses to do. Although at the same time, it was his family you grieve for the most – they had to put up with him vacillating in his ruminative state of uncertainty and in regard to his son, Niccolo I felt he was most unfair in how he handled disclosing the current state of their affairs. Children need to know they have security in life – even if you’ve lost your wealth and your way of living, children like the reassurance that they can trust their parents to figure a way forward if nothing else. Niccolo unfortunately was coming back to his family at a state of chaos as his father was not yet ready to step up to be the father he felt he had always been.

Part of the mystery within the folds of this story were also relating back to da Vinci – especially in regards to a particular horse he was commissioned to create for a certain Duke. What made this bit intriguing is how the back-history of this commission was even more interesting than how the horse itself was being used as a clue (at least for me) because of the tragedy of it really – how the Duke wasn’t able to have the horse he truly wanted despite the hard work da Vinci had put into creating it. It felt like such a hard ending to a project da Vinci had devouted himself to doing right – which of course speaks volumes about other characters in this series as well. How sometimes you are aligned on a certain path but suddenly find the trajectory you felt you’d take had to alter course?

I love how grounded this series is in how it is told through a philosophical, metaphysical and spiritual background of intuitive knowledge and observation. Lane happily inserts bits of her own research and her own keen insight into the Renaissance in nearly every chapter wherein a bit of back history or a murmuring of realistic foundation is necessary to carry-on the plot to re-anchour the era in the minds of her readers. I’ve been enjoying the disclosures but also how she’s set the pace of the trilogy – to first and foremost focus on the slow burning romance between her heroine and her lover (ie. Florentina and Maddie) whilst keeping our focus secondary on the evolving conspiracy which is shadowing round them.

And yet, what was most beautiful of all is the gift Alessandro gave to Maddie – because he saw her self-worth and her keen head for business, he rewarded her in a way she never felt she’d be able to embrace. It was such a wicked humbling moment because Maddie would never believe she should highlight her skills in front of others as I think she would believe that would be a bit too vain and to have her seen as worthy in his eyes was quite lovely because this was something I felt would help Maddie recognise how much she gives to others as much as how much she has stablised her own family after the death of her husband.

I was not quite prepared for how Secrets of Milan concludes because it owns to the title – wherein there are far more secrets afloat in the series now than there were previously! Including one that I felt would be difficult for Florentina to maintain as it might drive a wench in her relationship with Maddie – time will of course tell in that regard but for me personally, I loved how this one concluded because it honed in on the heart of the series – giving us more time to spend with Florentina and Maddie as their relationship drew closer together and allowed us further chance to peer into this hidden dark world Florentina is bent on exposing. Towards that end, the tenacles of how this secret world interacts with society is more intricate than a spider’s web and far more deadlier than a black widow.

-quoted from my book review for Secrets of Milan

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Quote banner for Secrets of Milan provided by the author Edale Lane and OWI Blog Tours; used with permission.

If you haven’t yet seen the lovely in-depth #behindthebook featured guest essay Ms Lane contributed to my stop on her tour with OWI – kindly take a moment to visit her words to find out how Art History and research into the world of art played such a strong role in how she developed the background of this series! This previous blog tour was a bit of a preview of what would come next during the Tomorrow Comes Media tour – I was thankful to be a part of both tours and have the chance to feature this author on three separate occasions whilst helping to relate to my readers why I am enjoying her stories and why they ought to consider placing her trilogy on their #nextreads list!

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An #HistoricalMondays Author Interview | a wicked awesomesauce convo I shared with Edale Lane (by phone!) wherein I interviewed her about the #behindthebook secrets of writing the “Secrets of Milan”!Secrets of Milan
Subtitle: Book Two of the Night Flyer Trilogy
by Edale Lane
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Enggar Adirasa
Source: Direct from Author

The Night Flyer had brought Florentina and Madelena together but now threatens to drive them apart. While Florentina searches for a mysterious underworld organization that has attempted to murder the woman she loves, Maddie struggles to deal with the danger Florentina is courting. Her brother, Alessandro, has become the most prominent merchant of Milan, but the Night Flyer uncovers a secret so shocking it could destroy them all.

Secrets of Milan is the second book in Edale Lane's Night Flyer Trilogy, a tale of power, passion, and payback in Renaissance Italy. If you like drama and suspense, rich historical background, three-dimensional characters, and s romance that deepens into true love, then you'll want to continue the Night Flyer saga. Order your copy today!

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 979-8643642060

Also by this author: Merchants of Milan, (Video) Interview feat. Edale Lane (Merchants of Milan), Secrets of Milan (Guest Post by Author), Secrets of Milan

Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Feminist Historical Fiction, Historical-Fantasy, LGBTQIA Fiction


Published by Past & Prologue Press

on 5th May, 2020

Format: Unbound Manuscript (ARC)

Pages: 262

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Merchants of Milan by Edale LaneSecrets of Milan by Edale Lane

The Night Flyer trilogy:

Merchants of Milan (book one) | see also Review

Secrets of Milan (book two) | see also Review

Chaos in Milan (book three) *forthcoming release!

Genre(s): Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Alternative History,
as well as Renaissance (time period), Action and Adventure, Superhero Fiction

Identities represented: F/F Romance, Lesbian friendship/relationships

Converse via: #WyrdAndWonder, #HistoricalFantasy, #SapphicFiction,
#SpeculativeFiction, #LGBTQ and #NightFlyerTrilogy with #EdaleLane

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com Read More

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Posted Monday, 6 July, 2020 by jorielov in Author Interview by Phone, Blog Tour Host, Fantasy Fiction, Historical Fantasy, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, Jorie Loves A Story Features, Self-Published Author, Speculative Fiction, Tomorrow Comes Media, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event

#EnterTheFantastic Book Review | “Secrets of Milan” (Night Flyer Trilogy, Book Two) by Edale Lane

Posted Wednesday, 1 July, 2020 by jorielov , , , , , 0 Comments

#EnterTheFantastic Book Review banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: When I first started book blogging in [2013] one of my first touring companies to work with was Tomorrow Comes Media who worked in conjunction with Seventh Star Press (an Indie publisher of Speculative Fiction) whilst featuring other Indie and/or Self Published authors. I am a regular blog tour hostess with Tomorrow Comes Media and enjoy getting to read a wide range of Speculative Fiction across Science Fiction, Fantasy and Cosy Horror genres of interest. Sometimes the stories are genre-benders and/or they’re embracing the beauty of #SpecLit to such a degree they are their own unique niche in the larger expanse of the genre itself. 2020 marks my seventh year hosting for Tomorrow Comes Media and Seventh Star Press respectively.

I received a complimentary ARC copy of “Merchants of Milan” direct from the author Edale Lane in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Let’s re-visit why I have enjoyed sharing my features showcasing this trilogy:

The author I am featuring for a regeneration of my featured posts showcasing Fantasy novelists I love reading (ie. #EnterTheFantastic) is Edale Lane. I originally crossed paths with Ms Lane earlier this year wherein I first started my journey into her Night Flyer trilogy and of whom has written such a convicting slow-burn Historical Romance set within a Renaissance Fantasy world.

I first discovered her style of writing whilst I read “Merchants of Milan”. I am anchouring the delightful #vlog interview I shared after my readings of “Merchants of Milan” with my ruminative thoughts of “Secrets of Milan” and a follow-up interview on behalf of the second installment as well. To continue hosting this author via Tomorrow Comes Media has been a delight of joy – as they truly champion Indie Authors and Indie Publishers. You’ll have to come back to Jorie Loves A Story lateron on this blog tour (Monday, 6th of July) to read over our conversation which delves into the series at large and what comes ‘next’ after ‘Chaos in Milan” (book three).

For those of you whom are new to Jorie Loves A Story, let me share a bit about why I loved reading the Night Flyer trilogy:

Lane inserted such a beautiful scene wherein the children of Maddie, Florentina and her childhood friend discussed how da Vinci painted The Last Supper, noting the techniques he used in the paint choices, the ways in which he used perspective to draw your eye towards a particular section of the painting itself and what this representation of the scene he painted reflected on himself as a painter, an artist and a man of faith. This isn’t the first inclusion of Medieval thoughtfulness on religious discourse in the novel – where Lane has bridged the gap between known history and religious history as it would be anchoured into this background given the age of where enlightenment first began and how openly curious those persons were who lived in the age of the Renaissance. It was a time of rebirth but also of intellectual curiosity – where pursuing knowledge was the mainstay of those were intellectually adventurous.

This first installment sets down the foundation of how Maddie and Florentina must join forces in order to seek the truth of what is happening in the shadows of Milan’s powerful houses. There is something untoward going on whilst the rest of the city is going about its business as usual. If the Night Flyer hadn’t started to make appearances and seek out truth from the shadows of night, they might not have learnt as much as they had now. It was only when they each started to question certain truths in their own lives did they start to discover the levels of deceit in their lives. The hardship of course is what to do with all the information once it is learnt? This became a bit of a battle of wills for the women as neither of them felt they would have anything to gain but vengeance and peace of mind for their actions.

The Night Flyer exists similar to Zorro – as a person for the people and the ones in their society without the voice to give light to the ills of the city. It is here where you start to see how the Night Flyer has taken on more than what they originally sought because it is too hard to bypass the needs of the people in pursuit of one man who wronged so many in his lifetime. It was a clever plotting how the Night Flyer could have a bit of duality – not only in their life when their unmasked but as a masked figure they had a certain layer of freedom and of movement that would not have been afforded to them if they hadn’t conceived of the masked identity. That in of itself spoke volumes about the greater purpose of the Night Flyer and also how hard it would be to find truer justice in this world that was severely unjust to the working class.

There is a secondary focus on the villain’s family – wherein his wife Daniella and his daughter Agnese are discussing their health and how the mother feels that perhaps her own health was destroyed by the personal care products she had been using ahead of her own health’s decline. Products such as cosmetics and hair dye – which I felt were a fitting reference, as in other historical narratives it is revealled how toxic those products were to be used and how uninformed people were of what they were actually using on their hair and face. It was also a stark contrast to today’s world where there is still a misalignment with safety when it comes to personal care products and cosmetics overall.

I loved how approachable Lane made this world – you took up residence in the story as soon as it began – with the presumption of a horrid man getting away with a despicable truth and wherein two women join together to take-on the conspiracy of injustice they both mutually shared. I loved the descriptions of the objects in the novel, too, from Florentina’s father’s clock to how Lane wanted you to have a fuller appreciation for the engineering and production of things in this world.

-quoted from my book review for Merchants of Milan

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Quote banner for Secrets of Milan provided by the author Edale Lane and OWI Blog Tours; used with permission.

If you haven’t yet seen the lovely in-depth #behindthebook featured guest essay Ms Lane contributed to my stop on her tour with OWI – kindly take a moment to visit her words to find out how Art History and research into the world of art played such a strong role in how she developed the background of this series! This previous blog tour was a bit of a preview of what would come next during the Tomorrow Comes Media tour – I was thankful to be a part of both tours and have the chance to feature this author on three separate occasions whilst helping to relate to my readers why I am enjoying her stories and why they ought to consider placing her trilogy on their #nextreads list!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

#EnterTheFantastic Book Review | “Secrets of Milan” (Night Flyer Trilogy, Book Two) by Edale LaneSecrets of Milan
Subtitle: Book Two of the Night Flyer Trilogy
by Edale Lane
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Enggar Adirasa
Source: Direct from Author

The Night Flyer had brought Florentina and Madelena together but now threatens to drive them apart. While Florentina searches for a mysterious underworld organization that has attempted to murder the woman she loves, Maddie struggles to deal with the danger Florentina is courting. Her brother, Alessandro, has become the most prominent merchant of Milan, but the Night Flyer uncovers a secret so shocking it could destroy them all.

Secrets of Milan is the second book in Edale Lane's Night Flyer Trilogy, a tale of power, passion, and payback in Renaissance Italy. If you like drama and suspense, rich historical background, three-dimensional characters, and s romance that deepens into true love, then you'll want to continue the Night Flyer saga. Order your copy today!

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 979-8643642060

Also by this author: Merchants of Milan, (Video) Interview feat. Edale Lane (Merchants of Milan), Secrets of Milan (Guest Post by Author), Secrets of Milan

Also in this series: Merchants of Milan


Genres: Fantasy Fiction, Feminist Historical Fiction, Historical-Fantasy, LGBTQIA Fiction


Published by Past & Prologue Press

on 5th May, 2020

Format: Unbound Manuscript (ARC)

Pages: 262

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Merchants of Milan by Edale LaneSecrets of Milan by Edale Lane

The Night Flyer trilogy:

Merchants of Milan (book one) | see also Review

Secrets of Milan (book two) 

Chaos in Milan (book three) *forthcoming release!

Genre(s): Fantasy, Historical Fantasy, Alternative History,
as well as Renaissance (time period), Action and Adventure, Superhero Fiction

Identities represented: F/F Romance, Lesbian friendship/relationships

Converse via: #WyrdAndWonder, #HistoricalFantasy, #SapphicFiction,
#SpeculativeFiction, #LGBTQ and #NightFlyerTrilogy with #EdaleLane

About Edale Lane

Edale Lane

Edale Lane is the author of an award winning 2019 debut novel, Heart of Sherwood. She is the alter-ego of author Melodie Romeo, (Vlad a Novel, Terror in Time, and others) who founded Past and Prologue Press. Both identities are qualified to write historical fiction by virtue of an MA in History and 24 years spent as a teacher, along with skill and dedication in regard to research. She is a successful author who also currently drives a tractor-trailer across the United States. A native of Vicksburg, MS, Edale (or Melodie as the case may be) is also a musician who loves animals, gardening, and nature.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Wednesday, 1 July, 2020 by jorielov in #EnterTheFantastic, #JorieLovesIndies, #WyrdAndWonder, ARC | Galley Copy, Blog Tour Host, Equality In Literature, Fantasy Fiction, Historical Fantasy, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, Jorie Loves A Story Features, OWI - Other Worlds Ink Blog Tours, Self-Published Author, Speculative Fiction, Tomorrow Comes Media, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event

A #SatBookChat Book Review | “Happy Everything” (Merry Hanukkah series, Book Two) by Debby Caruso

Posted Friday, 12 June, 2020 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Book Review banner created by Jorie in Canva.

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Acquired Book By: In 2018, I was approached by the author to read the first story in her Merry Hanukkah series – whilst in 2019, I had the delightful joy of having her as a featured guest during my @SatBookChat! I naturally was curious about the sequel and when she offered to send me “Happy Everything” I felt it was a fitting way to begin my New Year reading the sequel and kicking off my #SaturdaysAreBookish featured reviews.

Except to say, it took me until #IndieApril to find the focus I needed to re-absorb myself back into this lovely series – as the first bits of the New Year did not quite pan out the way I had intended them too! By sharing this review during April, I was hoping to re-highlight how much I enjoy hosting my #SatBookChat authors whilst also noting that I am a champion for #IndieAuthors both on my blog Jorie Loves A Story and through my @SatBookChat showcases.

I had the best of plans to run this during #IndieApril – however, a migraine and seasonal pollen allergies interfered and I had to bump this showcase forward to a weekend where I was free of both! I find May the hardest month to transition through for my pollen allergies and thus, this review kept getting bumped forward until now, finally in JUNE I can share it at long last! It also kicks off a new sequence of #SatBookChat Reviews wherein I am reading and reviewing my @SatBookChat backlogue!

I received a complimentary copy of “Happy Everything” direct from the author Debby Caruso in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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On what I enjoyed about “Merry Hanukkah”:

We enter Rhonda’s life at her wedding – where despite the festive nature of the day, there is a foreboding undercurrent of doubt in regards to whether or not her in-laws truly accept her as they’re daughter-in-law; as an ill-fated scene played out at the height of the celebrations. You could gather there was something brewing in the background – perhaps, the in-laws weren’t certain of their son’s choice due to the combining of their religious backgrounds? As the ceremony was delightfully equally divided between both their traditions, uniting them both through love and the faith they shared between them. Yet, I could imagine this might not settle well for traditionalists who might prefer the ceremony had been singular rather than plural and spilt.

It is here where you see how Rhonda is trying to balance her life through the holidays – as we fast forward a bit to where she’s bursting with anxiety about how to combine Christmas and Hanukkah – or rather, to come up with a crazy plan of action with her best friend Dez (whose never out of zingers and zany remarks!) as this is the year she wants to prove to her mother-in-law she and James can have a happily ever after as a family who celebrates both religious heritages. The irony though is that she is approaching it as if she needs to make it the picture perfect reality she envisions rather than trying to keep it a bit more real and humble, knowing not everything has to go smoothly in order to be the best holiday you’ve celebrated.

Before Rhonda can make her plans though, life starts to grab her at the quick! Her agency wants her to be part of the team who can deliver an ad campaign worthy of a New Year and her husband’s family goes through the process of loss before the holidays even start to blink into sight. It proves that no matter how hard you try to organise your life, there are days and moments you can’t plan for ahead of time. Life finds a way to unsettle your status quo and take you for a bit of a ride whenever things seem to be a bit on the quiet side.

As soon as you pick up Merry Hanukkah, you know your in for a delightful fun read – as Caruso has a natural talent for humour and wit; lacing in her style of Contemporary life with the fuell of comedy she evokes a sense of festive cheerfulness in her story. This isn’t a story to take too seriously as at the heart of the story itself is the truer blissitude and purpose behind why we all celebrate the holidays together as best we can as we merge our families together. Not all families can agree on the details but for those of us who celebrated the holidays whilst combining traditions and memories, those were the holidays you remember the most. Where everyone found a way to come together uniting through the blessing of the season and finding a reason to celebrate the joyfulness of being together.

This is what you can pick up on whilst reading the story – as Caruso wants to show how even if you have a family at odds with one another on certain points, there is renewed hope in being able to come together for the special moments in life which unite us without having to worry about all the little particulars that no one will remember anyway!

Caruso has a quick style – similar to writing for screen where she places you in-scene rather immediately and lets each individual scene speak for itself. As you shift between the chapters, you notice her style as you don’t wait long for embellishments on the previous disclosure and sequences, as you’ve found the plot has already moved forward. This works well for a short Holiday Contemporary like this one, as the pacing is matching the rush you feel at the holidays where there is never enough time to get everything accomplished you wish to get done.

-quoted from my book review for Merry Hanukkah

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A #SatBookChat Book Review | “Happy Everything” (Merry Hanukkah series, Book Two) by Debby CarusoHappy Everything
by Debby Caruso
Source: Direct from Author

Happy Everything is the ongoing story of Rhonda and James, following them from Merry Hanukkah directly into the much anticipated second installment in the Merry Hanukkah series.

Everyone’s favorite newlyweds have settled into married life, but now it’s Dez and Jack’s turn to make it official. In typical Rhonda fashion, she’s determined to give her best friend Dez the best bridal shower ever, all while juggling yet another work crisis and still trying desperately to fit in to her new family situation. Unfortunately, Aunt Bunny is diagnosed with cancer, and the entire family starts coming apart at the seams. Rhonda and James step in to help support Uncle Ben any way they can, but it’s never enough for Rhonda’s incorrigible mother-in-law, Vivian. Will Vivian’s constant meddling finally cause Rhonda and James irreparable damage? Is there any way that Rhonda can pull the family together by hosting both Passover and Easter on the same weekend?

Why is Rhonda’s Dad suddenly dating someone much younger than him? And how can Rhonda come up with a new and exciting way to sell protein bars?

Follow Rhonda into this new chapter of her life, where success hinges on the latest and greatest ad campaign, and her personal triumphs are determined by how much she can do for others. Journey with her as she begins to slowly realize that she can’t be all things to all people; even the ones you love the most.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1732519022

Also by this author: Merry Hanukkah

Also in this series: Merry Hanukkah


Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy (Rom Com), Women's Fiction


Published by Self Published

on 13th September, 2019

Format: POD | Print On Demand Paperback

Pages: 182

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The Merry Hanukkah series:

Merry Hanukkah by Debby CarusoHappy Everything by Debby Caruso

Merry Hanukkah (book one) | see also Review

Happy Everything (book two)

Converse via: #SaturdaysAreBookish + #WomensFiction or #RomCom

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Friday, 12 June, 2020 by jorielov in #SaturdaysAreBookish, 21st Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Christianity, Contemporary Romance, Equality In Literature, Family Drama, Family Life, Indie Author, Judiasm, Modern Day, Romance Fiction, Women's Fiction, World Religions

INSPY Blog Book Tour | “The Earl’s Winning Wager” (Lords for the Sisters of Sussex, Book Two) by Jen Geigle Johnson

Posted Tuesday, 9 June, 2020 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Book Review banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I have been hosting blog tours with Cedar Fort Publishing and Media for several years now, wherein their new blog tour publicist (Ms Sydney Anderson) also runs her own publicity touring company: Singing Librarian Book Tours (or SLB Tours for short!). I happily joined her team of book bloggers as a hostess in late Spring, 2018 wherein my first tours with her as a hostess began Summer, 2018. I appreciate reading INSPY literature and was happy to find these are most of the stories she is showcasing through SLB Tours! Most of her authors are published through Cedar Fort, though she does work with authors who are either Self-Published or Indie published through different publishers as well.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Earl’s Winning Wager” direct from the author Jen geigle Johnson in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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I had the lovely opportunity to read the first novel in this series which was “The Duke’s Second Chance” late last year wherein I found Ms Johnson’s writing style to be quite lovely for those of us who are seeking INSPY Romances set in the Regency. As a Romance reader – I regularly move between the Regency & Victorian eras – whether I am reading mainstream and/or INSPY.

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Let’s look back and find out what stood out to me as I first ‘met’ this series:

It isn’t easy to find a writer who can tap into that emotionally wrecking moment of personal loss – to find a way to entreat inside the gutting realisation that you’ve just lost the love of your life and to write it so eloquently within that static moment of disbelief – I found the way in which Johnson handled Gerald’s intense grief and the shocking blow it took on his soul to be beyond realistic because it is the moment he was in a heightened state of euphoria – the expectations of joyful celebration on the cusp of his spirit; his heart was not prepared for the news the doctor had to reveal to him and thus, his reactions to this newbourne child was one I felt keenly realistic to how Johnson presented his reaction. You cannot even begin to judge his words nor his responses because how can anyone fully understand the moment of that kind of loss? It would take time to heal and further time to resolve what is unthinkable to have happened. I felt Johnson excelled in this moment of hypersensitive awareness of a husband’s reaction and of a father’s unwillingness to see the positive out of the shock of despair.

As gentle as a cloud Johnson moved us from the point of loss into a teahouse – a place where you expect the serenity of time to drift against tea leaves and conversations but for Gerald this would mark the moment he would accept his heart needed to heal. I was thankful the route Johnson took to show how Gerald was making progress – the slowness of his healing and the purposeful intention he still had to honour his wife but with the unfortunate leaning towards denouncing his child. It was here in an unexpected place such as a teahouse where you first see how someone can interact with a grieving widower in such a way to break through that tide of anguished grief. His family and even Morley were just tip-toeing round him to the point of allowing him to wallow without letting him face what he needed to face head-on. This woman named Amelia was touching the cornerstones of his soul, allowing his mind to catch-up with his grief and for his spirit to allow someone else to linger over the words he needed to say even if he wasn’t the best at accepting the responses they would receive. It was a marked moment for Gerald and one I felt was written with the same earnest honesty as the death scene of his wife.

The confidence Morley shares with Amelia was one of my favourite scenes because it shows the interesting way a commoner can have a slight influence on the ton but also how the ton are not entirely shunning of the commoners! Johnson intermixed the social standings of her characters in such a way as to allow for a meet-cute situation to occur but in a unique fashion of interference. She built off that first meeting with an impromptu reaction on Amelia’s part and when it came time to respond to that obstacle, it was Morley who interfered next on the Duke’s behalf. I gathered Morley was the character who held the Duke’s conscience in his heart and as his best mate, attempted to steer Gerald on a course the Duke would lateron not regret. In that, Johnson held firm to the Regency – the traditions and the social classes notwithstanding but also the little ways in which even in the Regency, rules can become broken if will was fiercely strong as fire!

Such confounding ire to have in a dust-up just when you are attempting to give your best of impressions – at least, this is how I found Lady Rochester to be in front of Gerald! She was such a wretched woman who had her own issues to wrought out in front of him that I am uncertain if even Morley could’ve protected him from this disgrace if he had known first-hand of her nature! I admit, Johnson played the scene so dearly well – it was like I had mentioned previously, a play before your eyes as if the characters were on stage, taking their queues and entertaining you with a dramatic romance set in the Regency! This woman much to her ails was the fitting fool to besiege an audience with her lunacy but more to the point, half the time you’re observing her you’d think she was the one with the goose up her sleeve in an ill-attempt to pool the wool over the Duke’s eyes and to justify herself in sitting herself on a newly devised throne!

There is such a quick pacing of this story – before you even realise it you’ve reached the ending and part of the ending involves the curiously inherited sisters which I felt still have a place in the series! Finding out Lord Morley’s story is the sequel to The Duke’s Second Chance is rather fittingly brilliant because his story is the one I was most curious about seeing expanded! Anyone who would go to such lengths as himself to not just protect but aide a friend like Gerald deserves to have more of his own story told! Not to mention perhaps a bit of dashing happiness cast his way?

Johnson has written a wonderfully dramatic romantic comedy set in the Regency as at first I thought it was mostly a drama but in the end, it had such beautiful strokes of comedy which turnt it quickly into a dramedy! Laughs. You get swept into the lives of Amelia and Gerald; their slow-burning romance, the friendship which sparks something more between them and the world outside their rendezvous is equally fetching when you factor in his Mum and sister, her father and the extended relations of her grandparents. Everyone rounds out this feast of relationships and follies to be a wicked good reading for the romance reader who is seeking a lightly spun Sweet Romance with a touch of INSPY to guide them through the deeper context of the scenes!

-quoted from my review of The Duke’s Second Chance

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INSPY Blog Book Tour | “The Earl’s Winning Wager” (Lords for the Sisters of Sussex, Book Two) by Jen Geigle JohnsonThe Earl's Winning Wager
Subtitle: Lords for the Sisters of Sussex
by Jen Geigle Johnson
Source: Author via Singing Librarian Book Tours

Lord Morley's life will change forever when he wins a game of cards
and a family of sisters to go along with it.

Miss Standish in none too pleased to have become the responsibility of yet another Lord, even if he is full of charm and goodness. Her responsibilities are to her sisters first.

With the repairs on the castle moving forward nicely and concerted efforts in a season in Bath made to find suitors for them all, Miss Standish and Lord Morley must determine where duty stops and matters of the heart take over.

Read this warm tale of family, sisters, loyalty and love to get a huge dose of the best part of a regency romance fans of Jane Austen or Georgette Heyer would enjoy.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1734128826

Also by this author: Author Interview Jen Geigle Johnson (Regency House Party), The Duke's Second Chance

Also in this series: The Duke's Second Chance


Genres: Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Sweet Romance


Published by Self Published

on 22nd April, 2020

Format: POD | Print On Demand Paperback

Pages: 204

This is a Self-Published Novel.

Formats Available: Trade paperback and ebook

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The Lords for the Sisters of Sussex series:

The Duke's Second Chance by Jen Geigle JohnsonThe Earl's Winning Wager by Jen Geigle Johnson

 

The Duke’s Second Chance (book one)

The Earl’s Winning Wager (book two)

Her Lady’s Whims and Fancies (book three)
← a Digital First Release August 2020!

Suitors for the Proper Miss (book four)

Pining for Lord Lockhart (book five)

The Foibles and Follies of Miss Grace (book six)

Converse via: #LordsForSistersOfSussex as well as #INSPYRomance
#INSPY or #CleanRomance + #HistRom & #Regency or #RegencyRomance

About Jen Geigle Johnson

Jen Geigle Johnson

An award winning author, including the GOLD in Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards, Jen Geigle Johnson discovered her passion for England while kayaking on the Thames near London as a young teenager.

She once greeted an ancient turtle under the water by grabbing her fin. She knows all about the sound a water-ski makes on glassy water and how to fall down steep moguls with grace. During a study break date in college, she sat on top of a jeep’s roll bars up in the mountains and fell in love.

​Now, she loves to share bits of history that might otherwise be forgotten. Whether in Regency England, the French Revolution, or Colonial America, her romance novels are much like life is supposed to be: full of adventure. She is a member of the RWA, the SCBWI, and LDStorymakers. She is also the chair of the Lonestar Ink writing conference.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Tuesday, 9 June, 2020 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 19th Century, Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), Family Drama, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, INSPY Realistic Fiction | Non-Fiction, Romance Fiction, Singing Librarian Book Tours, Sweet Romance, the Regency era

A #WyrdAndWonder Book Review | “Ariella and the Curse of Dawnhaven” (Dawnhaven: Book One) by Owen Crane

Posted Saturday, 23 May, 2020 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

#WyrdAndWonder Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: Right before #WyrdAndWonder, I received a review request directly from the author Owen Crane. It was good timing as I was starting to assemble my chat schedule of guest authors for @SatBookChat for May as I knew I wanted to highlight Indie Fantasy authors during the chat whilst Wyrd And Wonder was underway. As a bit of a meet-greet for participants and authors as well as for my regular chatters to gain some exposure and introduction to what Fantasy can provide as a reader and/or learn about the craft from a writer’s perspective. Thereby, I offered to host Mr Crane during #SatBookChat whilst accepting his novel for review.

I received a complimentary copy of “Ariella and the Curse of Dawnhaven” direct from the author Owen Crane in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Reading and Chatting about Dawnhaven during #WyrdAndWonder:

I truly enjoyed being able to chat about this series, the debut of the author’s and to highlight another introductory conversation about Fantasy during #SatBookChat! It allowed me to present Fantasy in an approachable manner to my regular chatters who might not read as much Fantasy as I do but feel inclined to discuss it in case it might become a new niche of joy for them to chase after as well. It also gave the participants of Wyrd And Wonder a chance to ask an author direct questions about his writerly style of approaching Fantasy, why he personally loves the genre of Fantasy and what his plans were for the series which first begins with “Ariella and the Curse of Dawnhaven”!

During the chat we were able to root out there are five books planned for this series which follows the five year Journey Ariella is undertaking with the Guardians. I felt this made the most sense when Crane disclosed it because it would allow for the most growth out of Ariella as well as the secondary cast of characters to have their chance to shine throughout the saga, too. I love long series in genres – it allows you to gain further knowledge about the world itself, the characters who live there and in a way, you get to stay longer in worlds you don’t wish to exit if it had only been a one-off story.

As we were chatting, we also discovered how much I appreciate reading Fantasy where the Light is not snuffed out by the Darkness. Nor do I seek out overtly gritty and gruesomely violent stories – (in Fantasy or other genres!) as I like to sink my teeth into stories which have quests for the characters to endure and/or there is something they need to either achieve or overcome but not to the point where the context of their stories are erasing the joy in which I pursue the stories I want to be reading. I was thankful a writer of Middle Grade Fantasy also felt this way because too often I am finding Middle Grade & Young Adult Fantasy are becoming a bit to adult in how they are either too darkly lit or too adult in their themes and story-lines.

There is a wonderment of joy seeking out Fantasy as a younger reader – that suspension of reality and the fantastical where innocent curiosity and joy can be nurtured through a story which doesn’t seek to erase that innocence but to capitalise on a well-told story in this ‘otherworld’ place which feels like ours but is wholly new & exciting to explore. I have oft felt Middle Grade & Young Adult stories should be focused more on encouraging younger readers to read well-rounded stories – where there can be adversity and challenge as well as growing transitions in their lives but not to the brink where it feels oppressively dire. This is one reason why I seek out a lot of coming-of age stories – as those can lend better to the kind of story I am seeking out of Children’s Literature.

Having the chance to discuss this series and to talk about Fantasy with Mr Crane was a true delight of joy for me because I like shining a light on Indie Authors who are curating the kind of stories which give me a wicked good time reading! If I could help encourage other readers to try his series and to give an Indie Fantasy series a chance at being one of their next favourite reads – I’ve happily passed forward the joy of discovering his novel! I am thankful he found my blog and submitted a review request – otherwise none of this would have been possible! 

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A #WyrdAndWonder Book Review | “Ariella and the Curse of Dawnhaven” (Dawnhaven: Book One) by Owen CraneAriella and the Curse of Dawnhaven
by Owen Crane
Source: Direct from Author

Ariella Lightharbour is heir to the crown with a nation at her feet but knows she’s meant for more. Forsaking her throne she chooses to become a Guardian. As she embarks on The Journey she must find the courage within herself to battle the deadly Ghost Raiders that murdered her father, discover the identity of the elusive shadow and fight to end the curse that threatens to overwhelm the land.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 979-8607648008

Genres: Action & Adventure Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Middle Grade, Middle Grade Fantasy


Published by Self Published

on 29th March, 2020

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 214

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This is a Self-Published Novel

The Original Title for this story was Ariella and the Blood Curse (2015)

Converse via: #Dawnhaven, #MGLit, #MGFantasy
as well as #MiddleGrade #Fantasy, #IndieAuthor/s, #WyrdAndWonder

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WyrdAndWonder
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Posted Saturday, 23 May, 2020 by jorielov in #Unboxing BookMail, #WyrdAndWonder, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Book Review (non-blog tour), Childhood Friendship, Coming-Of Age, Fantasy Fiction, Juvenile Fiction, Life Shift, Light vs Dark, Middle Grade Novel, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event