Category: Equality In Literature

#WyrdAndWonder | Short Story Review of “Ethical Will” by Kaki Olsen part of the UNSPUN: A Collection of Tattered Fairy Tales (anthology)

Posted Thursday, 31 May, 2018 by jorielov , , , 1 Comment

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

Acquired Book by: My path originally crossed with Kaki Olsen whilst participating on her blog tour via Cedar Fort Publishing & Media for her debut novel: “Swan and Shadow” (see also Review) in [2016]. Since her blog tour, in the years since our paths first crossed, we’ve kept in communication and a friendship organically grew out of our conversations. Therefore, when she started to publish Speculative Fiction stories such as “Ethical Will” in the UNSPUN: a Collection of Tattered Fairy Tales and her story involving an android and a dragon in the Iron Doves Charity Anthology – I have happily been able to feature her on jorielovesastory.com sharing our mutual passion for Speculative Literature.

I received a complimentary PDF copy of “Ethical Will” direct from the author Kaki Olsen in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. I also received permission to print a copy of this story in order to read in full due to the fact I cannot read stories in electronic form due to my chronic migraines. I appreciated the kindness of the author who allowed me to find a way I could read her story.

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On why this anthology first appealed to me & why I look forward to having a copy:

As you might already be aware of – I have a serious ADDICTION to Speculative Fiction anthologies! So much so, they are amongst my *favourites!* to be reading outside of the INSPY Lit novella or short anthologies which are read with equal passion! When it comes to #SpecFic though, the best joy of my heart is getting caught up inside another writer’s vision of their world – of seeing how they pull together an anthology theme of purpose and how they chose to carry this vision through the shortness of their story! I am forever impressed by those who can pen shorter fiction as it is a struggle for me, as a writer to do the same! I just do not feel as free to write a story in short formats as I have the tendency to write better in ‘length’. Hmm. does that really surprise my readers of Jorie Loves A Story!? I think not! lol

In recent years, I came to garnish an affection for ‘altered fairy tales’ and variant re-tellings on stories of lore – it began with different adaptations in novel-length and then, I started to find myself across the genre spectrum finding myself motivated to see how a writer might re-cast a familiar story against a newer impression of shifting the tale into either a different genre of interest or through a new thread of Speculative possibilities!

Thus, this is how I came to itch to read this particular collection – as much as I want to still gather a copy of the first anthology Iron Doves which features the quirkiness of an android and a dragon who have the fate of the world in their hands in outer space! For those who have been following me for awhile, you know I had a healthy convo about this story during [2017]’s #RRSciFiMonth.

Ahead of reading this review of mine, you might want to visit the convo I had with Ms Olsen about the key components of how she wrote this tale & a bit more about her writing style in general!

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On my connection to Ms Olsen:

I happily have had the pleasure of interacting with Ms Olsen whilst hosting her blog tour “Swan and Shadow” and in the years since it was released. Our friendship grew out of a mutual passion for reading, researching our stories and the many mutual interests we each share whilst finding ourselves randomly conversing on Twitter. We have enjoyed keeping in touch sharing our bookish and writerly lives whilst appreciating a fascination with the world of Fantasy.

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with her ahead of reading her novels. I treat each book as a ‘new experience’, whether I personally know the author OR whether I am reading a book by them for the first time. This is also true when I follow-up with them on future releases and celebrate the book birthdays that come after their initial publication.

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#WyrdAndWonder | Short Story Review of “Ethical Will” by Kaki Olsen part of the UNSPUN: A Collection of Tattered Fairy Tales (anthology)Unspun
Subtitle: A Collection of Tattered Fairy Tales
by Kaki Olsen
Source: Direct from Author

Whatever happened to “happily ever after”?

Heroes search for happiness, villains plot revenge, and nothing is as easy as it once seemed. Gretel suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, an orphan girl questions Rumpelstiltskin’s legacy, a monster cat searches for a child to eat, and the pied piper realizes stealing a hundred and thirty children may not have been his smartest idea.

Fairy tales have endured for centuries even though—or perhaps because—their conclusions are often more unsettling than satisfying. In Unspun, eleven storytellers come together to challenge and explore a few of those classic tales. Unexpected twists are sure to provoke both thought and laughter.

Gorgeous illustrations by Ruth Nickle accompany each piece.

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1986727877

Also by this author: Unspun

Genres: Anthology Collection of Short Stories and/or Essays, Fairy-Tale Re-Telling, Fantasy Fiction, Re-telling &/or Sequel, Urban Fantasy


Published by After Ever After Publishing

on 4th April, 2018

Format: ePub | PDF Chapter Sampler

Pages: 50

Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Ebook

Read more about ‘Ethical Will’ on the Author’s Site

Previous releases by kaki olsen:

Swan and Shadow by Kaki OlsenIron Doves: A Charity Anthology

I had the pleasure of being on the blog tour celebrating the release for “Swan & Shadow” – you can find my review and my interview as well as Ms Olsen’s Guest Post attached to the tour happily celebrated on Jorie Loves A Story. Previously, I had plans to discuss the short story within the “Iron Doves: Anthology” for ‘Wyrd and Wonder’, however, I will now be doing so in a special feature I’m creating called: #EnterTheFantastic where I showcase stories of Fantasy between ‘Wyrd and Wonder’ events throughout the calendar year wherein I continuously read fantastical stories!

About Kaki Olsen

Kaki Olsen

Kaki Olsen has published stories about swan maidens, space-faring dragons, dying astronauts and shape-shifting sorcerers.

Her articles in AuthorsPublish cover a variety of craft topics. She is also known for her academic papers on everything from Anakin to Zuko for Life, the Universe, and Everything. In her spare time, she travels excessively and reads voraciously.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WyrdAndWonder
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Posted Thursday, 31 May, 2018 by jorielov in #WyrdAndWonder, After the Canon, Anthology Collection of Stories, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Cultural Heritage, Dark Fantasy, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debilitating Diagnosis & Illness, Equality In Literature, Fairy Tale Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, Judiasm, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Re-Told Tales, Realistic Fiction, Short Stories or Essays, Speculative Fiction, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Terminal Illness &/or Cancer, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event, Urban Fantasy, Women's Health, World Religions, Yiddish Words & Phrases

#WaitingOnWednesday No.4 | “Ignoring Gravity” (Identity Detectives series, Book One) by Sandra Danby on the eve of the second installment being published: ‘Connectedness’

Posted Wednesday, 9 May, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: In [2015] I crossed paths with Sandra Danby – as I originally found her debut novel “Ignoring Gravity” as part of a pitched book to be published via the publishing platform BNB or Britian’s Next Bestseller. Shortly thereafter, our paths crossed via Twitter and we connected  as writer and book blogger. I was meant to showcase ‘Ignoring Gravity” closer to the time I received the book, however, I was delayed due to personal and health reasons until this Spring 2018. Therefore, I received a complimentary (original) copy of “Ignoring Gravity” direct from the author Sandra Danby in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein. By ‘original’, I refer to the fact my edition has the original cover art for the novel.

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a word about ‘waiting on Wednesday’:

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

I have decided to start participating in this book blogsphere meme with a few small changes of how it’s regularly blogged about by my fellow book bloggers. I will either be introducing my current reads of upcoming releases as I am in the process of reading them and/or I might be releasing a book review about a forthcoming title by which I had been blessed to read ahead of publication. The main purpose behind the meme is to encourage readers and your fellow book bloggers to become aware of new books being released which caught your eye and which held your interest to read. Sometimes if your still in the process of reading the books, its the titles which encouraged your bookish heart. I look forward to spending the next seasons of the year, talking about the books I have on hand to read, the books I’ve been reading and the books I might not even have a copy to read but which are of wicked sweet interest to become a #nextread of mine.

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In celebration for the second installment of the Identity Detectives series releasing on Thursday, I wanted to take a moment to share my musings about the first novel: Ignoring Gravity. As most of my readers are aware of – I’m a Prospective Adoptive Mum – who will be adopting out of foster care in the future, which is why there is a focus on adoptive and foster care stories both in Fiction and Non-Fiction throughout Jorie Loves A Story. I have garnished an appreciation from seeing all viewpoints and lifestyles within the parameters of this focus whilst finding the stories themselves are wicked uplifting for their honesty to portray characters with real-world composites in both circumstances and believable outcomes.

In this vein of interest, one thing I am aware of going into Adoption is there is going to come a time in the future of my own adoptive children’s lives where they are going to ask about their past, the family they had to leave and their birth origins. I want to be supportive throughout this process but also, honest about the realities of what they are facing when they try to ‘go back’ to their families. It can honestly go either way – positive or negative, where either the return is reciprocated or it is found unwanted. I’ve kept an eye on these kinds of stories for most of my life – I grew up in a family who was interested in Adoption years ago (in the 80s/90s) however the availability of legally free children is not what it is today (as the laws were changed) – to where I’ve seen both outcomes come alive in documentaries, Unsolved Mysteries (a tv series) and other outlets of exploration – such as the film Philomena.

What I appreciated about finding the Identity Detective series by Ms Danby is how she has dedicated her series to exploring the harder stories – the stories which evoke a longing of finding oneself and the family you’ve never known but with mixed outcomes during the search itself. In essence, she is carving out a footprint of the ‘other side’ of Adoption and placement – where some children as adults are finding their way ‘back to family’ is not quite the path they felt it might be – whether due to lost connections (ie. missing records, or unknown information blockages) or a disinterest on the side of the family (as an example) – there are hidden stories out there which speak to the ‘other side’ of where Adoption stories do not oft tread.

As this series is still underway, I thought it would be a wonderful selection for #WaitingOnWednesday – as this is my first reading of the novel and it has been a pleasure to assemble a few showcases on behalf of the series overall. Aside from this review, please take note of the following dates:

10th May | Connectedness Spotlight with Author Interview

17th May | Author Guest Post and Series Spotlight

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Before you read my ruminative thoughts this #WaitingOnWednesday, kindly take a moment to play this lovely book trailer for Ignoring Gravity and gather a proper sense about what this novel explores through it’s dramatic story re-linking lives together and sorting personal identity.

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This is my 4th #WaitingOnWednesday showcase, be sure to visit my 1st, my 2nd and 3rd!

A new meme inspired by Waiting on Wednesday is Can’t Wait Wednesday for which this marks my first #WaitingOnWednesday post I’ve been able to share with the bloggers following this version of the meme hosted by Tressa @ Wishful Endings! (Tressa introduces her meme) Here is the post by which I shared my link. Be sure to find out which book bloggers I visited who helped ADD to my #TBRList by finding my blog hop route below this showcase!!

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#WaitingOnWednesday No.4 | “Ignoring Gravity” (Identity Detectives series, Book One) by Sandra Danby on the eve of the second installment being published: ‘Connectedness’Ignoring Gravity
Subtitle: Two pairs of sisters, separated by a generation of secrets
by Sandra Danby
Source: Direct from Author

Rose Haldane is confident about her identity. She pulls the same face as her grandfather when she has to do something she doesn't want to do, she knows her DNA is the same as his Except it isn't: because Rose is adopted and doesn't know it. Ignoring Gravity connects two pairs of sisters separated by a generation of secrets. Finding her mother's lost diaries, Rose begins to understand why she has always seemed the outsider in her family, why she feels so different from her sister Lily. Then just when she thinks there can't be any more secrets...

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780993113413

Also by this author: Connectedness

Also in this series: Connectedness


Genres: Adoption & Foster Care, Amateur Detective, Motherhood | Parenthood, Realistic Fiction, Women's Fiction


Published by Beulah Press

on 4th December, 2014

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 433

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the Identity Detective series:

Ignoring Gravity by Sandra DanbyConnectedness by Sandra DanbySweet Joy by Sandra Danby

Series Overview:

Rose Haldane, journalist and identity detective, reunites the people lost through adoption. The stories you don’t see on television shows. The difficult cases. The people who cannot be found, who are thought lost forever. And each new challenge makes Rose re-live her own adoption story, each birth mother and father, adopted child, and adoptive parent she talks to, reminds her of her own birth mother Kate. Each book in the ‘Identity Detective’ series considers the viewpoint of one person trapped in this horrible dilemma. In the first book of the series, Ignoring Gravity, it is Rose’s experience we follow as an adult discovering she was adopted as a baby. Connectedness is the story of a birth mother, her hopes and anxieties, her guilt and fear, and her longing to see her baby again. Sweet Joy, the third novel, will tell the story of a baby abandoned, and how the now elderly woman is desperate to know her story before it is too late.

Ignoring Gravity | No.1

Connectedness | No. 2 | Synopsis → Happy Pub Day, 10th of May, 2018!

Sweet Joy | No. 3 → forthcoming third installment!

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Published By: Beulah Press (2014)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #IdentityDetective

About Sandra Danby

Photo Credit: Ion Paciu

Sandra Danby is a proud Yorkshire woman, tennis nut and tea drinker. She believes a walk on the beach will cure most ills. Unlike Rose Haldane, the identity detective in her two novels, Ignoring Gravity and Connectedness, Sandra is not adopted.

Photo Credit: Ion Paciu

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Posted Wednesday, 9 May, 2018 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Equality In Literature, Indie Author, Lady Detective Fiction, Modern Day, Publishing Industry & Trade, Vulgarity in Literature

Audiobook Review | “Sharpe Edge” (Book Two: Maycroft Mysteries) by Lisa B. Thomas, narrated by Kelley Hazen

Posted Monday, 23 April, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Digital Audiobook by: I am a new blog tour hostess with Audiobookworm Promotions wherein I have the opportunity to receive audiobooks for review or adoption (reviews outside of organised blog tours) and host guest features on behalf of authors and narrators alike. I started hosting for Audiobookworm Promotions at the end of [2016] during “The Cryptic Lines” tour wherein I became quite happily surprised how much I am now keen on listening to books in lieu of reading them in print. My journey into audiobooks was prompted by a return of my chronic migraines wherein I want to offset my readings with listening to the audio versions.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “Sharpe Edge” via the publicist at Audiobookworm Promotions (of whom was working directly with the author Lisa B. Thomas) in exchange for an honest review. The difference with this complimentary copy I received is I had a 90 day window to listen and review the book whilst given a soft deadline where I could post my ruminative thoughts at an hour which worked for me on the day the review was due; this differs from a blog tour which has a more set schedule of posting. The audiobooks are offered to ‘adopt’ for review consideration and are given to readers to gauge their opinions, impressions and insight into how the audiobook is resonating with listeners. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

NOTE: Due to my unexpected hiatus in September, my adopted audiobooks (‘Life as a Spectrum Mom‘, ‘Sharpe Shooter‘ and ‘Sharpe Edge’) as well as the blog tour ‘The Supernatural Pet Sitter’ were delayed from posting until I was able to listen to them due to a series of health issues which left me afflicted throughout Autumn 2017 and again in early Winter 2017/18.

[Due to technical difficulties, Winter/Spring 2018] I was delayed in listening to nearly all my audiobooks – as I never could technically fix a glitch which prevented me from downloading audiobooks to listen to offline from Audible.com as well as OverDrive (for library audiobooks). It wasn’t until I was able to touch base with a tech at a reciporcal branch in my library region and a third attempt to find a tech via Audible who could help me work through this glitch – where I found the freedom to finally be in a position to listen to all the lovelies I wanted to hear ‘offline’ without being co-dependent on a stable connection.

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Why I was excited about listening to this sequel & why I love the series overall:

As Deena grew closer to the truth – she was finding she wasn’t the only person investigating Matthew’s disappearance – in fact, she was nearly circling the same leads as the other ‘investigator’ who was either a few steps ahead of her or right in-line with where her own queries were leading her to venture future into the past to see where Matthew’s own footsteps might lead her to uncover the fuller truth of his disappearance. One of the best parts about her tenacious focus is how she was not afraid to follow every clue which might have insight into Matthew and thereby, a small trace of the truth which was so shrouded from sight now in the present day as if to be forever erased from the memory of those who might have known more than they were willing to share.

I had to agree with Deena about shopping at thrift and antique stores – you get caught inside your own memories and the memories of other times. I also like the fact you can find things no longer available and they can become part of the treasures you enjoy now in your own life. They have histories you might never know yourself but you can appreciate them with renewed love and find that sometimes the best way to curate your own style is looking for things which are being resold years after their original owners have parted with them.

I love how there are people who are in Deena’s life who provide her with new insights into Matthew’s life – such as the person who noticed something about a photograph. In other ways, it was interesting to see how Deena is connected to a lot of people who can aide her in her effort to understand Matthew’s unknown past. Meanwhile, as her path was on a collision course with the other investigator – you are partially surprised by what you find when the two actually meet! I was expecting this to go a different way, but he, in turn, ended up being one of the best people to point her in a direction she might not have considered otherwise! It was as if the closer she came to having all the loose threads resolved, the further she was from the actual truth which tried to remain out of reach.

Whilst Deena was trying to resolve the case, the police were trying to delegate the investigation and let things take their due even if that meant passing off some people to the family. I was truly impressed though how the conspiracy theory angle actually held weight and how Ms Thomas was able to knit this Cosy into a thread of such a well-known event in our History was quite impressive to listen to unravel – this is one thing that I admired most about how she told the story. You think at first it’s a simple answer to why Matthew disappeared and why his death went unknown for so many years – but then, there are other components being pulled into the tapestry of this mystery and which deepen the plausibility of why Matthew might have run into trouble.

I quite literally LOVED listening to this story – yet finding a way to articulate this admiration into a review took a bit of extra time! Sometimes you can find yourself devouring a story with wicked passion but then, how do you fuse your passion for a story and discussion of it’s heart?

– quoted from my review of Sharpe Shooter

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Audiobook Review | “Sharpe Edge” (Book Two: Maycroft Mysteries) by Lisa B. Thomas, narrated by Kelley HazenSharpe Edge
Subtitle: Cozy Suberbs Mystery Series
by Lisa B. Thomas
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Kelley Hazen

Buoyed by a new job and a spirit for the holidays, Deena Sharpe didn’t know she’d be investigating the town matriarch’s death at her own Christmas party. Everyone assumes it was an accident— everyone but her daughter, Estelle. Now Deena must rely on her craftiness to dig out the truth before anyone else gets hurt.

A little romance, some snarky suburban competition, and a lot of mystery will keep readers guessing in this cozy whodunit.

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B072HTQCVY

Also by this author: Sharpe Shooter

Also in this series: Sharpe Shooter


Genres: Amateur Detective, Cosy Mystery, Crime Fiction


Published by Self Published Author

on 11th May, 2016

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 6 hours, 8 minutes (unabridged)

Self-Published Audiobook

Order of the Maycroft Mysteries: (Read the Series Synopsis’s on the Author’s Site)

NOTE: Initially I thought this was the Cozy Suburbs Mysteries – however it’s really the Maycroft Mysteries series – as the sub-title on the audiobook versions revealled the other name.

Sharpe Shooter | Book One (see also Review)
Sharpe Edge | Book Two
Sharpe Mind | Book Three | Synopsis
Sharpe Turn | Book Four | Synopsis
Sharpe Point | Book Five | Synopsis
Sharpe Cookie | Book Six | Synopsis
+ Sharpe Image | PREQUEL Novella | Synopsis

Lisa B. Thomas | Blog | Site | @LBThomas2 | Facebook

Narrator: Kelley Hazen | Site | @KelleyHazen1 | Facebook

As an aside – I hadn’t realised I’ve known about the work of Ms Hazen previously – as two of my favourite holiday films on Hallmark Channel were “Single Santa Seeks Mrs Claus” & “Meet the Santas” whilst I loved watching “Strong Medicine” until the story-lines took a hard turn which took the joy out of watching the series. “Commander in Chief” is a dvd set I can’t wait to watch and I had wondered who did the voiceover on the montage within “What A Woman Wants”,… interestingly as a book blogger I love finding how my other creative interests in film, tv or music start to crossover into my bookish life as well. The reason I hadn’t known I knew of her work previously is because I have the tendency of remembering performances rather than names; not limited to those who act either – I’ll remember almost anyone on ‘sight’ before I recall their ‘name’.

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Posted Monday, 23 April, 2018 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Audiobook, Autism, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Brothers and Sisters, Clever Turns of Phrase, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Debilitating Diagnosis & Illness, Disabilities & Medical Afflictions, Equality In Literature, Humour & Satire in Fiction / Non Fiction, Indie Author, Learning Difficulties, Memoir, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Modern Day, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Mother-Son Relationships, Motherhood | Parenthood, Non-Fiction, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Siblings, Special Needs Children, Vignettes of Real Life, Women's Health

Book Review | “Follow A Star” (Book No.2 of the Little Spitmarsh series) by Christine Stovell #ChocLitSaturdays

Posted Saturday, 21 April, 2018 by jorielov , , , 3 Comments

ChocLitSaturdays Banner Created by Jorie in Canva.

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!

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 “Follow A Star” 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.

Why I am enjoying my respite in Little Spitmarsh:

Not quite a village or hamlet, but in some ways it is both – if you consider how insular resorts can become when it feels like all of life is bubbling within it’s natural boundaries. I was quite delighted by the Prologue to cast a pointed eye on what Little Spitmarsh had been once in it’s heyday of popularity with visitors from away inasmuch as the cross-comparison of what it has become now; a sad remnant of it’s past. This is quite common I think, when urban and rural areas fall into decay from an absence of care – where it takes someone with vision to re-transitionalise the place into a new kind of beauty that will lure people back to a place they once knew. Although this isn’t merely a resort or a marina, it’s a small towne whose point of focus has fallen and whose re-development could change the way in which the townespeople will live in the future.

This felt like such an honest prospect of interest – right from the start – as who doesn’t like to see how developers with an eye for progress and a nod towards preserving certain bits of the past could lend a new lease of life on a place like Little Spitmarsh? Of course, that would be far too easy, of course! There was a small hinting of what would become fireworks (nearly certain!) lateron, as just because a land deal seems cut and dry on the offset doesn’t necessarily mean there aren’t hidden ‘obstacles’ that might test the patience of someone whose vision might be a bit misguided.

The scenery alone makes you hunger to visit this little niche of a small community if only for the pause of breath to drink in the natural joys you would be viewing. Stepping outside of civilisation where nature still had the larger bounty and has been allowed to thrive without too much interference are the places to cherish the most. They are kept away and hidden from the masses for a reason – to preserve what is able to be conserved. The book cover places you visually in the right kind of place that is being described inside the chapters as it truly is a place that hugs the water whilst ebbing you into a sync of natural harmony.

I liked too, how Ms Stovell has her own rhythm of threading a Contemporary with it’s own narrative pace and tone of telling a story set in such an interesting place. The setting and the vibe of the community have their own lifeblood in this Contemporary granting the reader a strong visual of not only the natural setting of how a harbour or seaside area can dictate but how a community is as quirky as it’s residents! The fuller personalities of how she rounded out her cast of characters and augmented such a normalcy out of the quirks of their everyday lives is part of what granted so much enjoyment to read the story! It’s truly a novel that paints it’s own portrait by how it’s writer chose to deliver it’s contents – loved her choices but also, the way in which she delves past the surface and digs in for the heartier story-line that is just bubbling under the drama.

-quoted from my review of Turning the Tide

I’ve taken my time to return back to Little Spitmarsh – I had aimed to continue my readings of this series closer to when I entered ‘Turning the Tide’, however, my own tides took me away from the series until now. Even over the past six weeks, where my health hasn’t been the best – I’ve had to put my ChocLit readings on hold, until I was in a better position to focus on reading again. One of the key issues was a relapse in my chronic migraines – I was able to handle listening to audiobooks here and there, but overall, reading and attempting to type on a screen was proving to be more than what I could handle.

There were a few moments where Twitter acted as a reprieve from my heath issues but even that has taken a bit of a backseat since my migraines resumed. I had planned to anchour April with a Georgette Heyer chat and a Women’s Fiction topical chat – however, just to return back into a ChocLit novel felt wonderful! I’ve also decided for the foreseeable future, the last two weekends of the month work best for me hosting @SatBookChat.

It is also coincidentally on the heels of helping to select the cover for the Little Spitmarsh novella “Moonbeams in a Jar”. Which I happily tweeted about previously as soon as I saw the release make it’s way into the twitterverse! Always a happy day celebrating a forthcoming release within a series you love reading!

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

Notation on Cover Art: Little Spitmarsh is unique setting where the water, the tides and the small community round out the appeal of living there. I liked how this cover focused on sunset, as there is something quite special about the setting of the sun – of how even after hard days or the uncertainties of futures, seeing the sun set and rise is a lovely moment where you can draw a breath of serenity and simply appreciate the scenery for how the colours play against the natural landscape.

 Book Review | “Follow A Star” (Book No.2 of the Little Spitmarsh series) by Christine Stovell #ChocLitSaturdaysFollow A Star
by Christine Stovell
Source: Direct from Publisher

Sometimes your heart’s the only navigator you need

May Starling’s had enough of her demanding career and even more demanding ex. Responding to a ‘crew-wanted’ ad, she follows her dreams of escape only to find herself at sea with red-haired Bill Blythe.

Bill warns May that close-quartered living can create a boiling pot of emotions, but even May is surprised by the heat building up inside the vintage wooden boat. And when May and Bill tie up at Watling’s Boatyard in Little Spitmarsh, May’s determined to test her new-found feelings on dry land.

But May’s dream of escaping her former life is in danger of being swept away when several unwelcome blasts from the past follow her ashore, all seemingly hell-bent on reminding her it’s never that easy to clear the decks.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

Book Page on ChocLitUK

ISBN: 978-1781891360

Also by this author: Turning the Tide, Only True in Fairy Tales

Also in this series: Turning the Tide


Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance Fiction


Published by ChocLitUK

on 1st July, 2014

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 336

Published by: ChocLitUK (@ChocLituk)

Available Formats: Paperback, Audiobook, Large Print & E-Book

Order of Sequence of Little Spitmarsh series:

Turning the Tide by Christine StovellFollow a Star by Christine StovellMoonbeams in a Jar by Christine Stovell

Read my review of Turning the Tide

Read the Synopsis for Moonbeams in a Jar

Converse via: #Contemporary & #Romance + #ChocLit #LittleSpitmarsh

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. Read More

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Posted Saturday, 21 April, 2018 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Britian, British Literature, ChocLitSaturdays, ChocLitUK, Debut Author, Debut Novel, England, Equality In Literature, Green-Minded Publishers, Indie Author, LGBTTQPlus Fiction | Non-Fiction, Modern British Author, Romance Fiction, Vulgarity in Literature