#MidnightChocLit No.5 | “Only True in Fairy Tales” by Christine Stovell

Posted Sunday, 1 January, 2017 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

#MidnightChocLit banner created by Jorie in Canva. Book Photography Credit: Jorie of jorielovesastory.com.

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Acquired Book By: I am a regular reviewer for ChocLitUK, where I hand select which books in either their backlist and/or current releases I would like to read next for my #ChocLitSaturdays blog feature. As of June 2016, I became a member of the ChocLit Stars Team in tandem with being on the Cover Reveal Team which I joined in May 2016. I reference the Stars as this is a lovely new reader contribution team of sending feedback to the publisher ahead of new book releases. As always, even if I’m involved with a publisher in this sort of fashion, each review is never influenced by that participation and will always be my honest impression as I read the story. Whether the author is one I have previously read or never had the pleasure to read until the book greets my shelf.

I received a complimentary copy of “Only True in Fairy Tales” from ChocLit in exchange for an honest review! I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

#MidnightChocLit No.5: a New Year’s treat of a quirky magical story

read by a girl who LOVES Fantasy & Magical Bits & Bobbles

 A photo of a corner of one of my bookshelves with two of my plushies & #PocketChocLit. Book Photography Credit: Jorie of jorielovesastory.com.

Even my resident dragon is eagerly spying a snippet of this novella as a wicked good #nextread of his own! Astride his back is one of my favourite “Mum gifts” as when I was feeling especially poorly after foot surgery (in my late teens) she found a way to lift my spirits by giving me this beautifully lovely Angel Bear! The wings are so iridescent as much as the lovely star she’s holding, too! Hence why I thought it was rather a fitting shot – my Angel Bear holds a star, my dragon wants to snag this read for himself and all my #currentreads are ‘photo diving’ into the shot via the corner of one of my bookcases!

It should be known – when I started off as a book blogger, I had several bookcases stuffed to the gills with books from my personal library; although not the full collection; not even by half. I’ve been collecting books since I was knee high to a grasshopper, so you can well imagine the collection a bookish soul such as myself might acquire? However, 15 months ago I had to scale back my shelves and pack away most of my dearly beloved bookish friends til a new day when they meet each other again in the future; thus, I have two bookcases now: one for reviewing & one for my personal library selections.

There are seven ‘shelves’ if you count the fact I’m using the top shelf of the case itself as an ‘overflow’ area (laughs): the bottom is actually ‘spare space’ where I stored the one series I anguishing couldn’t finish collecting from Guideposts because despite being a subscriber to said series and told I’d get all the books; they quit printing the series and all of us were left with a non-completed set! The series is Mysteries of Sparrow Island and I think it will take me most of my life to find copies of this beautiful series readers have discarded as I have a nearly full set myself! I believe this is a full list of the series – my own copy a lovely clerk at Guideposts faxed to me years ago in an ill-attempt to secure the rest of series for me was found on one of my favourite sites for scouting out Cosy Mysteries! I promptly cancelled my second subscription for the Church Choir Mysteries and discarded all hope of picking up their other series as what is the point if they can just quit their subscriptions up out of the blue?! I digress.

The two shelves up from Sparrow Island are my ‘re-reads’ of review books I dearly want to re-soak inside and re-appreciate as soon as time and life allow me the pleasure of their returned company! The next two shelves are ‘current review books’ in-part as I have housed a lot of my ChocLit novels & novellas tucked into one half of one of the shelves (the other half of my ChocLit novels are on my second bookcase; those I never pack away!) and my Julie Lessman Library (feat. the Daughters of Boston series; 3x trilogies, plus a prequel), my Brenda S. Anderson Library (feat. the Coming Home series), my Dee Henderson books (starting with Full Disclosure; her previous series are packed) and my growing collection of stories by the lovelies of Southern Belle View (i.e. Lisa Wingate & Beth Webb Hart).

The top shelf (in theory, if you discount the upper shelf!) is housing my Science Fiction & Fantasy #currentreads (i.e. leftover from #RRSciFiMonth and being feat. in #SciFiExperience this January), my Ghost Harrison collection (by Heather Graham) and an assorted array of Suspense & Mystery novels I intend to finally dig inside in 2017 (either before or during October!). Which brings me to the upper shelf – two stacks deep occupy my #BacklogueReads (see this Riffle List), the middle stack are more Sci-Fi & Fantasy books and the last stack are books I’ve gathered to send-off to a dear friend who used to be a book blogger.

As you can see this small slice of my bookish life, I’m a girl who *devours!* literature in all it’s splendor of genre & thematic glory! I borrow quite a heap from my local library, too, per annum which rounds out the books not yet on my personal shelves but one day shall be! I segued away from my prompt though – as I was keen on saying, I love Magical Realism stories – including lighter fares of where the modern world enters into the Fantastical with little nudges, pushes and jolts. I love how Fantasy can be re-invented, re-bent and re-shaped per each writer’s vision of how a fantastical ‘something’ can be inclusive to a story-line, even if that particular story-line isn’t entirely Fantastically spun!

A bit like how one of my favourite films starring Sean Patrick Flanery (see also this Review) was the quirky Contemporary Rom Simply Irresistible. To this day, I have no clue how my tweets about his debut novel rang in so many favourites and re-tweets; my Twitter blinked into oblivion back then! Ironically or not, this particular film was his least favourite and it’s my personal favourite aside from his Young Indy films as he plays such a horrid bloke in The Dead Zone! He does redeem himself a bit though with a Contemporary Rom lead in a Hallmark Channel film – interestingly enough.

Ergo when the premise of this lovely novella mentioned ‘fairy tale’ truths – I was curiously drawn to wonder – was there a bit of magic spun into this tale or was it a play on words to where ‘as you least expect it, life shall surprise you’. Either way – if there is a spot of the magical or if it’s merely an uplift of hope for what hasn’t yet happened but will unexpectedly take the character unawares into a bit of blissitude, the story definitely caught my eye as soon as I turnt over the cover & read the blurb!

IF your just joining me for #MidnightChocLit and want to know why I conceived this wicked #awesomesauce of a readathon – please direct your attention to #MidnightChocLit No.1: You’re the One that I Want.

Join me whilst I read *six!* ChocLit novellas Christmas Week & New Year’s – as we read through the holidays with a ‘pocket of ChocLit’ in our hands! Remember: I’m tweeting LIVE as I read ahead of posting these reviews! Tweet me your reactions & add your commentary on the posts!

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

 #MidnightChocLit No.5 | “Only True in Fairy Tales” by Christine StovellOnly True in Fairy Tales
Subtitle: It's never too late to believe in fairy tales
by Christine Stovell
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Berni Stevens
Source: Direct from Publisher

It’s never too late to believe in fairy tales…

Eloise Blake has been fascinated by Prospect House, the shadowy romantic Gothic house opposite, ever since she moved to the village of Hookfield.

When its new owner turns out to be best-selling crime author, Ross Farrell, whose work is grounded in gritty reality rather than happy endings, Eloise is determined to concentrate on her tapestry design business and her rescue dog, Gracie.

She’s already given up on knights in shining armour and happy ever afters. Love, she thinks, is only true in fairy tales – even when Ross keeps appearing just when she needs help most. But is he the Prince Charming she thought didn’t exist – or is he a beast in disguise?

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

Book Page on World Weaver Press

ISBN: 978-1781893562

Also by this author: Turning the Tide, Follow A Star

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Romance Fiction


Published by ChocLitUK

on 4th November, 2016

Format: Portable (Pocket) Paperback Edition

Pages: 112

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLituk)

Available Formats: Pocket Paperback + Ebook and Audiobook

Converse via: #Contemporary #Romance + #ChocLit

OR #PocketChocLit (Jorie’s idea!)

Put some ChocLit,

in your pocket!

#PocketChocLit

(little rhyme I came up with to celebrate these editions!)

About Christine Stovell

Christine Stovell Photo Credit: Tim Jones

Winning a tin of chocolate in a national essay competition at primary school inspired Christine Stovell to become a writer! After graduating from University of East Anglia, she took various jobs in the public sector writing research papers and policy notes by day and filling up her spare drawers with embryonic novels by night.

Losing her dad to cancer made her realise that if she was ever going to get a novel published she had to put her writing first. Setting off, with her husband, from a sleepy seaside resort on the east coast in a vintage wooden boat to sail halfway round Britain provided the inspiration for her debut novel Turning the Tide and Follow a Star. Turning The Tide was a top 100 Bestseller with Amazon Kindle and spent months in the Top 10 Chart for Adult Contemporary Romance. Christine has also published numerous short stories and articles. Christine lives in Wales. Christine novels include: Turning The Tide, Move Over Darling and Follow a Star (July 2014).

Photo Credit: Tim Jones

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

My review of only true in fairy tales:

Eloise strikes me as the sort of woman who can get fit and tied about how local gossip mongers can wreck havoc on new neighbours before they ever have a spot of a chance to take up residence in a place where chatter about ‘what might be’ outweighs ‘what actually is’. She seems to be a bit upset with herself when we first meet her, too. Going to a party she’s less than stellar about attending, dealing with a rake of a bloke who has not proper sense of how to treat a woman and caught into a swarm of gossip by society leeches who like to dig their nails into your every last nerve! The reason why she wanted to attend this farce of a scene? Only one could wonder; yet you gather there is an ulterior motive lurking behind her curiosity.

I had to smirk ever since the book that broke my bookish heart (i.e. The Pilgrimage of Harold Fry) I know a johnny’s uncle knowledge of British roadways! Honestly, I think I could get-on quite well driving in England after dissolving into a quicksand of emotional angst by what that book put me through emotionally! The roads were the small blight of light as it was partially written in the voice of a travelogue – so much so – if your keen on driving, you definitely had a crash of a course on British roadways! Still. I am always in such a marvel over differences in words and phrases between both sides of the Pond; I have noted so many lovely variants throughout my readings of these novellas but for whichever reason ‘sold board’ in lieu of ‘sold sign’ stood out a bit more than ‘answerphone’ in lieu of ‘answering machine or voicemailbox’. Small changes yet somehow they do effectively re-paint the picture of how life in the UK is slightly different than life in America. Delishly so.

But that wasn’t why she’d accepted the invitation. Prospect House, an Edwardian folly dominated by a romantic Gothic turret, was quite unlike any of its neighbours. It was secluded yet, as the sales particulars boasted, commanded magnificent views of the surrounding Downs. Fringed on one side by gnarled trees and wayward bramble, it had remained uninhabited since the death of the former elderly occupant and looked, in some lights, as if it would only require some intrepid prince to come crashing through the undergrowth in search of a sleeping beauty to turn it into an enchanted castle. In other lights it seemed bleaker, more Gormenghast than Brothers Grimm.

-quoted from “Only True in Fairy Tales” with permission of the publisher ChocLitUK

Honestly, as soon as I arrived inside this paragraph, I was hooked! I dearly feel attached to Gothic houses and especially any house older than the mid 1900s is surely going to make me swoon over it! How fetching to find a house whose history is unknown and whose structure in of itself makes for dreams to spin cartwheels over design layouts and reno overlays of how to either bring back the historic charm or retrofit it into a more modern existence. Old homes are such fanciful characters – they speak volumes without having to reveall too much, too soon.

Ross (the author who resides at Prospect House) gives Eloise a bit of a run for her money; keenly observant in his own right, he takes her to her study for a one-on-one chat which nearly unnerves her confidence. He cannot quite fathom the type of woman who would be in her industry (textiles) and she in turn, is a bit repulsed by the kind of mind which dreamt of the criminal mind (as he writes thrillers). Going par for course to tie each other into a small fit of wits, neither of them wants to admit who has the upper hand on whom; though you can easily see who won the first few volleys! Sadly it wasn’t Eloise.

I think he disarms her a bit because he’s simply not the person she would suspect would purchase such a place to reside; the off-putting style choices aside, Eloise finds Ross quite full of himself. As would be expected but you had to wonder, is that in some ways short-changing the bloke?! They are such cardinal opposites, their first meeting was like seeing an exchange of firecrackers! Yet not even that would dissuade Ross from turning over their brief encounter and running the plausible gambit of what kind of woman Eloise might be as his mind was furthest from it’s intended course: writing his next novel.

Most writers could relate to the difficult path in front of Ross; to get past the blank page and to settle on an idea that not only had merit to pursue but had something to latch onto where your creativity felt impassioned by the prospect of filling in the details of what was proposed. Meanwhile, Eloise having her full of the vista from the upper floors of Prospect House took a small respite in Ross’s flowered and overgrown grounds to select her own inspiration for a project she was currently working on starting; setting up an entirely different provocation out of Ross than she might have been intending to yield!

Part of the joy of reading the novella is watching how misunderstandings and misrepresentations can twist and alter what is perceived to be true rather than let out the truth before it can become re-arranged into something altogether different! The magical illusions from the title are referencing how sometimes the woman who likes to stand tall on her own accord and whose decidedly chosen to live a life she believes will make her happy can at times, be shaken by how surprisingly different fate has chosen to give her something she never expected to find! Eloise is a right complicated woman; very modern in her ideals and has a sharp wit about her, too. Ross on the other hand is only half full of the confidence he eludes to having as Eloise has in herself. Both of them sort of met at a crossroads in their lives; right at moments where meeting anyone was not exactly on their radar of prospects.

on why i love the quirky contemporary styling of ms stovell:

Per the author’s note, I had to smile – as my Mum grew up with a dachshund and the cheeky behaviour did not surprise me one iota! For a small bit of time, my fam and I had a rescued greyhound, however, our family’s dynamic wasn’t a good fit for him as he was weary of cats and missed being able to run at long stretches outside; being city bound with a small yard, we happily helped him find a farm where he could run for hours! I never forgot the stories Mum shared about her childhood dog nor our adventures with our greyhound. Since my father’s stroke, I have done research about medic alert dogs and the greyhound was one of the breeds that came up as an alternative choice for service animals along with the goldendoddle. It is something in the back of my mind, as my Dad falls between the cracks in regards to ‘qualifying’ for a service dog but we can either adopt a dog to have trained for him and/or find a service dog organisation who trains dogs case-specific for each individual needs. Clearly a long term goal to work through as a family. All of this went through my mind as I read the author’s memories and smiled inwardly at how she included her ‘favourite’ companions into the story-line.

Ms Stovell dives straight into the goings-on of Eloise’s life as if you were cosying up to her for quite sometime and knew a bit about her social patterns and regret about attending certain functions that only served one purpose rather than personal joy. It’s a unique entrance because it starts running into a thread of  intrigue – how will the new neighbour affect the village and what will become of the local society chirpers of news when they learn of his plans?

Stovell exhumes frank honesty and an open dialogue of how a romantically sensual singleton might view Prospect House’s decour. Not one to mince words but rather give an appraisal of Eloise’s findings as earnest and quick as her mind lays her thoughts on the environment she’s surveying. It was a refreshing discourse in seeing how the house was being redone but not in the tone or style which befit it but rather someone elses opinion of what an Edwardian could be done up as even if it disrupted it’s legacy.

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

I happily review for ChocLitUK!

This book review is courtesy of:

ChocLitUK Reviewer Badge by ChocLitUK.Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

In case you’ve missed my ChocLit readings:

Please follow the threads through #ChocLitSaturdays!

And, visit my ChocLit Next Reads List on Riffle (recently upated!)

to see which stories I fancy to devour next!

I celebrated my 3rd Blogovesrary on 31st of March, 2016 wherein I revealled my Best of the Best Reads for 2015 via my End of the Year Survey. More than one ChocLit novel made the cut and received a special Award from me to acknowledge how lovely it was written!

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

#MidnightChocLit Schedule of Readings & Reviews:

*accompanying the reviews are LIVE readerly tweets starting @ midnight per date listed; reviews will go LIVE after the live tweeting sessions approx. one hour later. trying to keep the live reading reflections to an hour to give a small ‘taste’ of what is inside each novella!

You’re the One that I Want by Angela Britnell (22 DEC) (review)

Blueprint for Love by Henriette Gyland (23 DEC) (review)

Grand Designs by Linda Mitchelmore (Christmas Eve) (review)

Marry for Love by Christina Courtenay (30 DEC) (review)

Only True in Fairy Tales by Christine Stovell (New Year’s Eve)

The Art of Deception by Liz Harris (New Year’s Day)

*ChocLit Reviews of Novels return January, 2017 to Jorie Loves A Story!

Tell me: did I tempt you to ‘put a little ChocLit in your pocket’?

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

Why I feature #ChocLitSaturdays (book reviews & guest author features)
and created #ChocLitSaturday (the chat via @ChocLitSaturday):

I wanted to create a bit of a niche on Jorie Loves A Story to showcase romance fiction steeped in relationships, courtships, and the breadth of marriage enveloped by characters written honestly whose lives not only endear you to them but they nestle into your heart as their story is being read!

I am always seeking relationship-based romance which strikes a chord within my mind’s eye as well as my heart! I’m a romantic optimist, and I love curling into a romance where I can be swept inside the past, as history becomes lit alive in the fullness of the narrative and I can wander amongst the supporting cast observing the principal characters fall in love and sort out if they are a proper match for each other!

I love how an Indie Publisher like ChocLitUK is such a positive alternative for those of us who do not identify ourselves as girls and women who read ‘chick-lit’. I appreciate the stories which alight in my hands from ChocLit as much as I appreciate the inspirational romances I gravitate towards because there is a certain level of depth to both outlets in romance which encourage my spirits and gives me a beautiful story to absorb! Whilst sorting out how promote my book reviews on behalf of ChocLit, I coined the phrase “ChocLitSaturdays”, which is a nod to the fact my ChocLit reviews & features debut on ‘a Saturday’ but further to the point that on the ‘weekend’ we want to dip into a world wholly ideal and romantic during our hours off from the work week!

IF you love chatting about Romance novels, #amwriting adventures and being in a wicked good circle of writers and readers joyfully sharing their writerly & bookish lives, I invite you to join us for #ChocLitSaturday which is an extension of my reviews & guest features on behalf of ChocLitUK! All are welcome! Visit @ChocLitSaturday for more details!

Our chats resume January, 2017.

Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo.

I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary! Especially if you read the book or were thinking you might be inclined to read it. I appreciate hearing different points of view especially amongst bloggers who picked up the same story to read.

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I am cross-promoting my Christmas readings this year via the #WYReadathon of which was put together after I had envisioned my own Christmas selections! I felt it was quite kismet on the timing of it all, and looked forward to engaging with other readers who were going to blog their readerly delights this Thanksgiving and Christmas season! I find that I am the most comfortable reading Christmas Stories between Thanksgiving and Twelfth Night (in January); as the stories just appeal to me to be read during this short period of time where the fullness of the season is not only apparent but can be felt by spirit, mind and heart. I look forward to sharing more of my selections with you as I proceed forward with my readings! Happy Christmas!

There are more #ChristmasReads arriving on #JLASblog ahead of Twelfth Night as I had to push my schedule forward a bit during Christmas Week. Therefore, the select Christmas stories I’ve been reading and enjoying company inside are still going to be featured this first week of 2017. I had to amend my #ChristmasReads schedule due to my father’s stroke (see also this post).

This marks my 6th #WYChristmasReadathon post –

  1. Read my initial joy over reading Christmas Stories on my review of “Finding Father Christmas”!
  2. You’re the One that I Want by Angela Britnell (review)
  3. Blueprint for Love by Henriette Gyland (review)
  4. Grand Designs by Linda Mitchelmore (review)
  5. Marry for Love by Christina Courtenay (review)

What are you reading this Christmas Season?

Do you love soaking into Roms as much as I do for Christmas!?

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{SOURCES: Author photograph of Christine Stovell, Cover Art for “Only True in Fairy Tales”, Author Biography, Book Synopsis and ChocLit Reviewer badge were provided by ChocLitUK and were used by permission. Quotation from “Only True in Fairy Tales” selected by Jorie and is used with permission of ChocLitUK. Post dividers by  Coffee and Tea Clip Art Set purchased on Etsy; made by rachelwhitetoo and Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. #WYReadathon badge provided by Priya of Writerly Yours and is used with permission.  Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: #MidnightChocLit banner and the Comment Box Banner. Book Photography Credit: Jorie of jorielovesastory.com.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2016.

I’m a social reader | I love sharing my reading life

Forgive me – the archive of the live tweets will arrive lateron in the day.

You’ll find them of course on my Twitter feeds via @joriestory.

(tweets returning soon)

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Sharing the JOY of #MidnightChocLit via Twitter:

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Comments via Twitter:

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WYChristmasReadathon

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

read more >> | Visit my Story Vault of Book Reviews | Policies & Review Requests | Contact Jorie

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Posted Sunday, 1 January, 2017 by jorielov in 21st Century, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, British Literature, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Contemporary Romance, England, Indie Author, Modern British Literature, Modern Day, Romance Fiction, Romantic Comedy, Small Towne Fiction, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event




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