Tag: St. Martin’s Griffin

Author Guest Post | The author behind “The Lost Season of Love & Snow” explores the hidden meaning behind the title and talks about how it inter-relates to Natayla herself.

Posted Thursday, 8 February, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Author Guest Post Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

As you might recall, I happily read a novel in January which was set in Russia and captialised on a living person’s life – my latest in finding a compelling Biological Historical narrative which was so wickedly writ to the truth of the woman’s life as to make you feel you had walked a proper mile in her shoes. The author and I staid in touch after my review posted during her lovely blog tour – as I had hoped all along to feature her in a guest post talking about specific points of her story-line (the cross-references to today’s current events) and the curious hidden meanings (if any) behind the choice in ‘title’.

This lead to a wonderfully planned out essay which Ms Laam has written to be shared with all of you – I love how she talks to the purposeful meaning behind what is truly ‘lost’ and how the theme behind the title is played throughout the story, further revealling the homage seen in the title. Whilst I had observed whilst I was reading the novel, there are a lot of carry-overs into today’s society about the rights for women and the further need for our rights to be upheld in all instances (not just in the workplace). Natayla did not live in an age of freedom where she would have more choices than those which were availed to her and in many ways, her story does read like a tragic love story. I personally felt Natayla had been given a bad rap in History – as I sided with the author’s own reflections after I finished reading her rendition about her life.

Too often women in History are misunderstood or their motives are misconstrued in modern eras – in Natayla’s case, I don’t believe any historians had fully given her a chance to have her voice heard much less understood. When you read about what she was facing and what she was going through – your heart softens to her plight. You can definitely feel empathy for her and in the end, what is truly sad is how it all unfolds into such an emotionally charged ending. I am unsure if she’s a victim of the times or a victim of how sometimes you can become a victim of circumstances which are never fully resolved. In her case, love was not something without conditions placed against it and her life was never truly her own.

I hope you enjoy reading Ms Laam’s guest essay about “The Lost Season of Love & Snow” – perhaps inspiring you to pick up a copy of this dearly inspiring Historical narrative or if you’ve already read it – perhaps this will help clue you into things you’ve observed whilst you were reading it. Either way, be sure to brew yourself a cuppa and enjoy ruminating about what the author leaves behind to be pondered!

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Why I was interested in learning more about the hidden meaning behind this title:

There are so many keen moments of beautiful prose in this narrative – of observations on ordinary objects, to the traditions of holidays and the little touches of rooting us within the time-line of History, as Natayla steps further into the foreground of the story. The people she is interacting with are as viable as anything else being described because of the nature of how close certain circles were kept and maintained. It was fitting to find her in such company because her movements in social circles was evidence enough she would cross certain people’s path at some point or another. What lends such a gasp of awe for us who are reading about her for the first time is how her path started to intersect with so many well-known figures of her generation. A bit like the Fitzgeralds in the 1920s who curbed the market for knowing all the latest persons in literature, art, music and the creative arts.

It was not long for me to feel lost inside the world Ms Laam created within the pages of The Lost Season of Love and Snow; for this was a coming-of-age story which created it’s own niche out of what is known and unknown within the fables of history. As we dig further into the life of Natalya, we find a girl who is maturing into her own skin, of sorting out her emotions and of finding she does not fully ascribe to her mother’s sensible beliefs about marriage and life. Within these pages, you get to tuck close to her, watching her as she moves through the hours and attempts to forestall the influence of her sisters and brothers whilst owning to the fact, without being married she is still under her mother’s rules. This is partially what captured my attention most – as in so many ways this story reminded me why I love Little Women.

-quoted from my review of The Lost Season of Love and Snow

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Author Guest Post | The author behind “The Lost Season of Love & Snow” explores the hidden meaning behind the title and talks about how it inter-relates to Natayla herself.Guest Post (Jennifer Laam)
Subtitle: The Lost Season of Love and Snow
by Jennifer Laam

The unforgettable story of Alexander Pushkin’s beautiful wife, Natalya, a woman much admired at Court, and how she became reviled as the villain of St. Petersburg.

At the age of sixteen, Natalya Goncharova is stunningly beautiful and intellectually curious. But while she finds joy in French translations and a history of Russian poetry, her family is more concerned with her marriage prospects. It is only fitting that during the Christmas of 1828 at her first public ball in her hometown of Moscow she attracts the romantic attention of Russia’s most lauded rebel poet: Alexander Pushkin.

Enchanted at first sight, Natalya is already a devoted reader of Alexander’s serialized novel in verse, Evgeny Onegin. The most recently published chapter ends in a duel, and she is dying to learn what happens next. Finding herself deeply attracted to Alexander’s intensity and joie de vivre, Natalya hopes to see him again as soon as possible.

What follows is a courtship and later marriage full of equal parts passion and domestic bliss but also destructive jealousies. When vicious court gossip leads to Alexander dying from injuries earned defending his honor as well as Natalya’s in a duel, Natalya finds herself reviled for her alleged role in his death. With beautiful writing and understanding, Jennifer Laam, and her compelling new novel, The Lost Season of Love and Snow, help Natalya tell her side of the story—the story of her greatest love and her inner struggle to create a fulfilling life despite the dangerous intrigues of a glamorous imperial Court.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 978-1-250-12188-2

Also by this author: The Lost Season of Love and Snow

Genres: Biographical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Women's Studies


on 2nd January, 2018

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Posted Thursday, 8 February, 2018 by jorielov in 19th Century, Alexander Pushkin, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Coming-Of Age, Creative Arts, Family Drama, Family Life, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Romance, History, Inspired By Author OR Book, Life Shift, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Passionate Researcher, Russia, Russian History, Second Chance Love, Siblings, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, Women's Fiction, Women's Rights, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, Writer, Writing Style & Voice

Blog Book Tour | “The Lost Season of Love & Snow” by Jennifer Laam

Posted Wednesday, 17 January, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 2 Comments

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

Acquired Books By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! I received a complimentary ARC copy of “The Lost Season of Love & Snow” direct from the publisher St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I was interested in the premise behind this novel:

Similar to why I wanted to read Who is to Blame?, this novel appealed to me because it is about Russian History. Being a reader of military dramas in my youth, Russia was one of the countries most used as a back-drop (especially in regards to the Jack Ryan series) wherein I developed an appreciation for seeing Russia in fictional settings. There were a few Historical Romances I’ve read over the years which are set in this country as well, but this was the first time, (I can recall) where the story is predominately showcasing Russian History.

Towards that end, I was most appreciative of finding a part of living history etched into the premise of this novel – of how Ms Laam had found a woman to champion – someone who was lost inside her own histories from the prejudices of memory by people who were not willing to understand her as she had lived. This is one of the issues with living histories of person who lived; they are not always fully understood whilst they are alive nor are they honoured lateron with a sense of self by biographers or those who seek to bridge their lives into the world of Historical Fiction. It takes an eye and heart like Ms Laam to see their worth – of hearing their voice and of finding a way to fuse their story into a captivating drama such as The Lost Season of Love and Snow.

The truer gift being given through this novel is having one woman’s life untarnished by supposition and hearsay – to get to the singular truths of her own story without the prejudices injusticed against her person – whilst re-alighting through her own journey towards womanhood, marriage, family and the ache of her own heart whilst she realised the folly of her own actions. This reads like a proper Biography – with the added benefit of listening to Natalya as she tells her own story. Including critical nods towards where living history and her fictionally voiced thoughts co-merge to paint the landscape of her life from the moment she lost Alexander to the moment she first knew she was in love with him.

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Blog Book Tour | “The Lost Season of Love & Snow” by Jennifer LaamThe Lost Season of Love and Snow
by Jennifer Laam
Source: Publisher via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

The unforgettable story of Alexander Pushkin’s beautiful wife, Natalya, a woman much admired at Court, and how she became reviled as the villain of St. Petersburg.

At the age of sixteen, Natalya Goncharova is stunningly beautiful and intellectually curious. But while she finds joy in French translations and a history of Russian poetry, her family is more concerned with her marriage prospects. It is only fitting that during the Christmas of 1828 at her first public ball in her hometown of Moscow she attracts the romantic attention of Russia’s most lauded rebel poet: Alexander Pushkin.

Enchanted at first sight, Natalya is already a devoted reader of Alexander’s serialized novel in verse, Evgeny Onegin. The most recently published chapter ends in a duel, and she is dying to learn what happens next. Finding herself deeply attracted to Alexander’s intensity and joie de vivre, Natalya hopes to see him again as soon as possible.

What follows is a courtship and later marriage full of equal parts passion and domestic bliss but also destructive jealousies. When vicious court gossip leads to Alexander dying from injuries earned defending his honor as well as Natalya’s in a duel, Natalya finds herself reviled for her alleged role in his death. With beautiful writing and understanding, Jennifer Laam, and her compelling new novel, The Lost Season of Love and Snow, help Natalya tell her side of the story—the story of her greatest love and her inner struggle to create a fulfilling life despite the dangerous intrigues of a glamorous imperial Court.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 978-1-250-12188-2

Also by this author: Guest Post (Jennifer Laam)

Genres: Biographical Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Women's Studies


Published by St. Martin's Griffin

on 2nd January, 2018

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 352

Published By: St. Martin’s Griffin via St. Martin’s Press (@StMartinsPress)
imprints of St. Martin’s Publishing Group,
which is now a part of MacMillian Publishers

Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #HistFic, #HistoricalFiction + #LostSeasonOfLoveAndSnow

About Jennifer Laam

Jennifer Laam

Jennifer Laam is the author of The Secret Daughter of the Tsar, The Tsarina’s Legacy, and the forthcoming The Lost Season of Love and Snow, all from St. Martin’s Griffin.

She is represented by Erin Harris at Folio Literary Management. Jennifer has lived in Los Angeles and the suburbs of Detroit, and currently resides in California’s Central Valley. When she is not busy writing or reading, Jennifer spends her time obsessing over cosplay, trying new vegetarian recipes, line dancing, and spoiling cats. She works for her alma mater, University of the Pacific.

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Posted Wednesday, 17 January, 2018 by jorielov in 19th Century, Alexander Pushkin, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Coming-Of Age, Creative Arts, Family Drama, Family Life, Grief & Anguish of Guilt, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Romance, History, Inspired By Author OR Book, Life Shift, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Passionate Researcher, Russia, Russian History, Second Chance Love, Siblings, Sisters & the Bond Between Them, Women's Fiction, Women's Rights, Wordsmiths & Palettes of Sage, Writer, Writing Style & Voice

Book Spotlight w/ Excerpt | Avelynn’s sequel is here! The Vikings #HistRom from last October I loved devouring has a new adventure to be read!

Posted Friday, 21 October, 2016 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Stories Sailing into View Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Last October, I made a rather brilliant discovery in Historical Fiction – I met Avelynn for the very first time! This was also my very first historical involving the Vikings – a group of people of whom have held my curiosity for most of my life, yet for some strange reason I never quite took the time I should have to ‘meet them’ properly – either through historicals or non-fiction accountments of their lives! They were such a fascinating group of adventurers, explorers and of course, have such an anchoured past to turbulence and upheaval across power struggles for land & prosperity.

As you can see from this quote from my review last year, I was quite keen on how they were portrayed by Ms Campbell:

On the Vikings themselves:

Alrik isn’t quite the Viking warrior I was expecting to find, though to be honest anyone outside the precept of who Vikings are known for being outright would have been a pleasant surprise, truly! Alrik leads with his heart but with a mind that is truly rapt for battle. He understands loyalty but his trust in both his men and the cardinals of war is where his confidence lies. He isn’t one to tempt a woman past her own senses nor does he find himself able to do anything that is not proper or honourable. He’s an interesting bloke by half, considering he’s at an impasse in regards to his kin who are seeking wrath more than peace.

In some mannerisms he showed Avelynn at their first meeting, I was reminded of stories I’ve read about the Highlander Scots – both are fiercely proud and grit wit a determined air to battle any sort who try to cause them ill-harm or take back a stronghold they’ve already won.

quoted from my review of Avelynn

Avelynn took me by complete surprise – turnt out to be one of my most beloved reads of 2015, and never quite left my mind! I was quite curious what would happen ‘next’ and how the characters within the world of Avelynn would continue to move forward with their lives. It’s compelling drama, but it’s also a brilliantly written arc of Historical Romance set during a difficult time in history where everything is a bit uncertain and strife with war or changes in  power. It’s not the easiest of generations to make your mark on the world but there was so much heart and hope stitched inside this HistRom that I truly felt hugged closet to Avelynn herself and the emotional journey she was undertaking!

This is why I am so wicked excited to be a part of the blog team whose announcing the sequel’s arrival & why this #bookbirthday has me so wicked happy to have a sequel to read this Winter! There is a bit more to the story behind how I’m reading “Avelynn: The Edge of Faith” but right now I want to share the information on the book itself, the beautiful cover art & the lovely Excerpt Ms Campbell provided for me to share with my readers! A bit of a tradition – I shared an Excerpt last October for her debut and now again for her sophomore release!

Enjoy reading this wicked glimpse into Avelynn and Alrik!

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Book Spotlight w/ Excerpt | Avelynn’s sequel is here! The Vikings #HistRom from last October I loved devouring has a new adventure to be read!Avelynn
Subtitle: The Edge of Faith
by Marissa Campbell

It’s the year 871. Charges of treason, murder, and witchcraft follow Avelynn into exile as she flees England with Alrik. Arriving in Wales, they find refuge among Alrik’s friends in the Welsh nobility. Cast out by his half-brothers, Alrik seeks to regain his honor and earn favor with the gods. When war threatens, Alrik embraces gold and the opportunity for his crew to become mercenaries, aiding the Southern Welsh kings in their fight against Rhodri the Great.

Desperate to return home, Avelynn seeks to find a way to prove her innocence, but she is pitted against Alrik as their desires for the future clash. With battle looming, Avelynn’s faith in their relationship is further tested through a bitter struggle with Marared, a jealous lover from Alrik’s past. Marared’s threats turn deadly, and Avelynn runs afoul of magic and sorcery, causing her to question her beliefs and role as priestess.

When Avelynn and Alrik are betrayed, Avelynn is captured and Alrik is charged with regicide. The two become separated, a chasm of greed, deceit, and ambition driving them apart. In an act of harrowing faith, Avelynn will stop at nothing to find her way back to Alrik and break them both free from Wales’s bloodthirsty grasp.

AVELYNN: THE EDGE OF FAITH is a stand-alone novel and #2 in the Avelynn series.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-0986627217

Also by this author: Avelynn

Series: Avelynn


Also in this series: Avelynn


Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance


on 26th September, 2016

Published By: Self Published Author
Available Formats: Paperback & Ebook

Converse via: #Avelynn

About Marissa Campbell

Marissa Campbell

Marissa Campbell is a published freelance author, and co-author of the award-winning, spiritual self-help book Life: Living in Fulfillment Every Day.

Her debut historical fiction AVELYNN, was published through St. Martin’s Press, September 2015. She self-published her sophmore release Avelynn: The Edge of Faith. She is a proud member of the Historical Novel Society, Romance Writers of America, Writer’s Community of Durham Region, and local critique group B7.

When she is not writing, she is busy looking after her wonderful children, spending time with her fantastic husband, hanging out with her awesome friends, teaching yoga, dancing, laughing, and having fun!

Author's biography updated October 2016.

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Posted Friday, 21 October, 2016 by jorielov in 9th Century, Action & Adventure Fiction, Arthurian Legend, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book | Novel Excerpt, Book Spotlight & Announcement, Book Trailer, Bookish Films, Canadian Literature, Crime Fiction, Earthen Magic, Earthen Spirituality, England, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore and Mythology, Gods & Goddesses, Heroic Bloodshed, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Historical Mystery, Saxon | Viking History, Superstitions & Old World Beliefs, Warfare & Power Realignment

Author Guest Post | “GODIVA: Saint or Goddess?” by Eliza Redgold the author of NAKED: A novel of Lady Godiva!

Posted Monday, 16 November, 2015 by jorielov , , , 2 Comments

Author Guest Post Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Quite an interesting story behind how I was able to become attached to the UK blog tour for NAKED, as the publicist working on scouting book bloggers to host the author and the novel stumbled across my blog thinking I was a UK book blogger! The joy that overflowed inside my heart at this realisation was unlimited in measure because it was the first true glimpse of how my words and my blog are resonating with the reading public. I have discovered my own niche in writing to have organically merged into a new hybrid style of written voice where I combine both my British ancestry with my American roots to convey a new methodology of how my words own my writerly thoughts!

This was a way for me to find independence from my dyslexia as much as seek a written voice that truly owned itself to being uniquely my own. To have a publicist find my book blog and take the context of what I’ve written here in this space in the book blogosphere as a naturally speaking Briton was quite the compliment to receive! I eagerly read as much British fiction as I can by modern and classical British authors because at my heart’s core I am an Anglophile. However, to discover that my passion for British Lit and the phrasing of British English has attracted notice by those who live in the UK was such a lovely piece of feedback to receive!

Thereby, after conferring with the author, the publicist was able to add me to this mini-UK blog tour wherein I asked if I could feature both a review and a guest author feature. The author at the time of my enquiry was stateside on a leg of her IRL book tour, wherein she was able to post me a copy of the book and confirm that she could send me an essay about the origins of the mythology and legend of Lady Godiva. I had intended to pitch a topic quite close to the one she sent me to feature, that I yielded to the author’s inspiration of where to take today’s topic.

What made me smile is how she seemingly knew before asking me where my curiosity lies in regards to the myth and how much I yearned to know more about the historical back-story of how she as a writer was able to carry forward the character within the pages of NAKED. I hope dear hearts you will appreciate reading this lovely essay as much as I did when it first arrived in my Inbox!

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Naked by Eliza Redgold

We know her name. We know of her naked ride. We don’t know her true story.

We all know the legend of Lady Godiva, who famously rode naked through the streets of Coventry, covered only by her long, flowing hair. So the story goes, she begged her husband Lord Leofric of Mercia to lift a high tax on her people, who would starve if forced to pay. Lord Leofric demanded a forfeit: that Godiva ride naked on horseback through the town. There are various endings to Godiva’s ride, that all the people of Coventry closed their doors and refused to look upon their liege lady (except for ‘peeping Tom’) and that her husband, in remorse, lifted the tax. Naked is an original version of Godiva’s tale with a twist that may be closer to the truth: by the end of his life Leofric had fallen deeply in love with Lady Godiva. A tale of legendary courage and extraordinary passion, Naked brings an epic story new voice.

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Godiva: Saint or Goddess

This blog post comes to us from Eliza Redgold, author, academic and unashamed romantic. Her new novel Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva will be released by St Martin’s Press on Bastille Day (July 14 2015).

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“My father dreamed of building in stone,” I said. “He dreamed of a castle. And my mother used to say, Better to have castles made of wood than made of air, Radulf.”  Leofric smiled; the unexpected boyish smile that seemed to go straight to my core. “And what did your father say to that?” “He said dreams must come first.” “Dreams must come first. And what would you build?” “My mother believed we should build a church before we rebuilt the hall. She always wanted to have a stone church for Coventry. A church should be the first stone building, she said, for a church is for everyone. She and Brother Aefic long planned it. One day I hope to build it in her memory. I would make it so fine that all the townsfolk would want to come. I would build it with glass windows as they do in the great cities.” “So buildings made of dreams do last,” he murmured. “The dreams of your parents have become yours.”  “Perhaps dreams are passed down along with lands.”
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Posted Monday, 16 November, 2015 by jorielov in 11th Century, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book | Novel Excerpt, Bookish Discussions, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Folklore and Mythology, Historical Fiction, Inspired by Stories, Lady Godiva, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author, Story knitted out of Ancestral Data