If your a regular reader or frequent visitor of Jorie Loves A Story, you know I’ve been smitten with the novelists who publish their relationship-based Romances with ChocLitUK for a good two years now! I love being on the cusp of learning about a ‘new release’ whilst I remain patient to see if the Digital First new ChocLit novel will make it to a print release further down the road of it’s lifetime. I don’t mind the gaps between the ebooks and the print editions – as it’s always given me the pleasure of balancing my ‘next ChocLit reads’ to include both Front List and Back List offerings. Thus, I am enjoying being a member of the Reveal Team at ChocLit whilst it gives me a chance to introduce my readers to a variety of sub-genres within Romance I appreciate picking up to read!
I remember when Ms Brear’s debut novel was released Digital First and hoping to find it was going to make into a print run as it felt like the kind of Historical novel I would enjoy to read. Where Dragonflies Hover is happily being released in print for the first time this JUNE whilst Ms Brear’s sophomore release with ChocLit is being released right now in MAY! Isn’t that lovely!? I am thankful I am able to help celebrate her second release today (she has multiple stories published outside the scope of ChocLit by the way) by revealling the cover art and the joy I had in helping to choose the artwork which graced the cover itself.
However, shortly ahead of getting onto my blog to set this post to go live (originally I worked on this late in the night on the 22nd) – I came across the newsfeeds and tweets surrounding the tragedy in Manchester and it was with a heavier heart, I wrote these words. I also worked on the final edits for a Guest Post about Bonnie and Clyde which was just as difficult to work through as my heart was reaching across the ocean to offer the comfort of prayer to those families who are affected. I think the hardest part truly was learning the families were separated; where children and parents had trouble reuniting afterwards but how kind it was for everyone in Manchester offering their support. Truly a somber day, indeed for bookish news when such tragedy affects so many.
I was betwixt knowing if I should run my posts – although I was up at an hour which would lend itself to contact the publisher (ChocLit) if they were considering to pull the announcement for this release or not, part of me just felt the full breadth of the tragedy; as I could personally self-relate to close-knit connections between Mums and their daughters; as much as the heartache of being in a place where there is sheer panic and you just want to do ‘something’ to help ease other people’s anxieties. There are so many things going on right now which affect Women’s Rights and this just felt multilayered when you realise it’s a concert where young girls and their Mums predominately attended moreso than any other concert goer. I cannot even imagine being there – either solo or with my Mum, nor of how to handle the aftermath. We are each given different circumstances to survive and different adversities to live through; but last night, I just felt as if I were there with them in Manchester due to reading the live tweets across all the trending tags and watching the live video uploads by the survivors. When I stumbled across the homeless man who helped the girls’ ahead of the EMS arriving, it felt like the quote circling from a beloved children’s programme host from my own childhood now had living proof of the words behind the sentiment (referencing ‘look for the helpers’ by Fred Rogers; see also Tweet).
I must say, even when adversity affects my own life – there is some comfort in stories and the hours we give to reading. It make take us a bit to get a rhythm going to resume the joy of reading but overall, I have found my own spirit renewed countless times this past Spring by digging back into reading after my father’s stroke last Thanksgiving. In many ways, the books which cheered my spirit the most were ChocLit titles – as they have such a heap of hope and light running through them, to where you cannot help but feel the joy of the romances filling your imagination each time you pick up one of their novels to read.
I am looking forward to starting to read Ms Brear’s novels, as I do have a hearty penchant for Historical Fiction – something I never truly gave much consideration about until I became a book blogger! lol I seem to adore residing in the historical past more times than the contemporary alternatives; the pages which brim to life yesteryear and of the traditions of eras which sometimes can become lost to time if we do not reacquaint ourselves inside their worlds.