Genre: Short Story or Novella

Audiobook Review | “Sherlock Holmes in A Reflection of Evil” by William Todd, narrated by Ben Werling

Posted Wednesday, 21 February, 2018 by jorielov , , , , , , 2 Comments

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Audiobook By: I started to listen to audiobooks in [2016] as a way to offset my readings of print books whilst noting there was a rumour about how audiobooks could help curb chronic migraines as you are switching up how your reading rather than allowing only one format to be your bookish choice. As I found colouring and knitting agreeable companions to listening to audiobooks, I have embarked on a new chapter of my reading life where I spend time outside of print editions of the stories I love reading and exchange them for audio versions. Through hosting for the Audiobookworm I’ve expanded my knowledge of authors who are producing audio versions of their stories whilst finding podcasters who are sharing their bookish lives through pods (ie. AudioShelf and Talking Audiobooks; see my sidebar). Meanwhile, I am also curating my own wanderings in audio via my local library who uses Overdrive for their digital audiobook catalogue whilst making purchase requests for audio CDs. It is a wonderful new journey and one I enjoy sharing – I am hoping to expand the percentage of how many audios I listen to per year starting in 2018.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “Sherlock Holmes in a Reflection of Evil” via Audiobookworm Promotions who is working directly with the author William Todd in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I was keenly interested in listening to this story about Holmes:

As I was listening to the sampler of “A Reflection of Evil”, I noticed strong influences out of the canon itself and thus, was quite intrigued to listen to the whole story – seeing how Mr Todd interwove his story next to the ones we all know of being ‘Holmes’. Therefore, when I set to mind which topic I wanted to ask the author for the tour, I chose to focus on how he made the transition into voicing Holmes and giving us an authentic re-entry therein.

-quoted from the guest feature I hosted ahead of this review

This is what is most crucial for me when selecting after canon writers to read or listen to via audiobooks – of finding the writers who truly love the original stories and characters to the brink they enjoy bringing them back to life with their own unique insight into who they are as their stories continue forward. I was not disappointed by what I found inside the novella!

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Audiobook Review | “Sherlock Holmes in A Reflection of Evil” by William Todd, narrated by Ben WerlingSherlock Holmes in a Reflection in Evil
by William Todd
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Ben Werling

After months of inactivity, Holmes and Watson have two cases thrust in their lap in a single day. First, a mysterious woman from Swansea, Wales, seeks Holmes' help finding her husband who has disappeared in the middle of the night. As soon as she leaves, Holmes receives word that there has been a prison riot with several dead and a few inmates missing. Lestrade is asking for his services.

Holmes believes the two cases are not a coincidence, but he has no idea who is behind it and to what end. They go to Swansea in what could be either a wild goose chase or a setup. Will Holmes unravel the mystery before they get to Swansea? If not what will be in store for them when they step off the train?

Places to find the book:


Also by this author: Guest Post about A Reflection in Evil, Murder in Keswick

Also in this series: Murder in Keswick

Genres: After Canons, Classic Detective, Classical Literature, Crime Fiction, Re-telling &/or Sequel, Short Story or Novella

Published by Self Published Author

on 5th January, 2018

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 2 hours and 4 minutes (unabridged)

Self Published Audiobook

William Todd’s Sherlock Holmes stories:

Sherlock Holmes in A Reflection of Evil

Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the Broken Window

Formats Available: Paperback, Ebook and Audiobook

About William Todd

William Todd

I have been writing online since the early 2000’s, primarily writing horror stories in the style of Poe and Lovecraft. I was the 2nd most popular author on the website for two years before moving on.

I had my first book, a Victorian era horror compilation called Bumps in the Night, published by Mystic Moon Press just a week before they closed their website and never saw my hard work pay off. Afterwards I took publishing into my own hands, became an Indie author and haven’t looked back. My first self-published book was Dead of Night, another compilation of Victorian horror stories, published September 2016 by Createspace and on Kindle by KDP.

After its publication I left my comfort zone for mystery and wrote a short story about Sherlock Holmes in the Conan Doyle style. I loved it so much I then did a longer story A Reflection of Evil, both published in 2017 through Createspace and KDP. I have just released Beyond the Gossamer Veil, another compilation of both Victorian and modern supernatural/horror stories and am in the beginning stages of my third Sherlock Holmes installment.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:


Posted Wednesday, 21 February, 2018 by jorielov in 19th Century, After the Canon, Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Crime Fiction, Detective Fiction, Indie Author, Inspired By Author OR Book, Inspired by Stories, Self-Published Author, Sequel Authors

#ChristmasReads Novella Review | “A Christmas Surprise” by Emily Murdoch feat. a Guest Post by the author after my review.#WYChristmasReadthon

Posted Tuesday, 26 December, 2017 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

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

Acquired Book By: I am a hostess with Writerly Yours PR – which is run by my dear friend Priya of whom I met during a blogger panel. We have become friends through our collaborations and it has been an honour to work with her on her publicity projects for Indie authors – most of whom I have been featuring a guest author feature as I cannot read digital copies of books. In this particular instance, I was allowed to print the PDF in order to read in full for which I was thankful to the author for allowing me to do so in lieu of a paperback copy to read.

This particular story had a blog tour anchoured by Twitter chats last year wherein we attempted to break the novella down into collections of chapters and discuss the story via Twitter until time and circumstances prevented us from continuing. I have captured as much of the chats as I could which are included at the bottom of this post. I was meant to post this review on the 20th of December, 2016 however, it took me awhile to re-shift back into reading and blogging after my Dad’s stroke. This year, I felt more inclined to focus on Christmassy stories than I had last December where my reading habits were quite difficult to recapture.

I received a complimentary copy of “A Christmas Surprise” direct from the author Emily Murdoch in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I was keen on reading this story:

I personally love stories about upstairs/downstairs situations where the propriety of the past and the curious connections of those whom find themselves in love – sometimes do not hold fast to tradition. In this particular case, there is a twist of a surprise about whose heart is being wooed by which suitor and I thought it would be an interesting story to read. If only to see how the author brought the two together and how the story-line handled the twist in the end.

It was my original intention to continue to host the Twitter chats, as I had started them off by prompting directed conversations about the chapters we were reading at hand – however, most of those on the blog tour I found had read the novella ahead of the chats, whereas Priya and I were reading only the chapters pertinent to the chats to have the story ‘on mind’ to talk about as we proceeded forward. We were attempting to have it as a ‘readalong’ convo series in other words. I do regret I had to bow out of the chats, but as foresaid, I am including a capture of the chats below this review.

Likewise, I hadn’t foreseen my circumstances would have changed outright Thanksgiving weekend, and sadly, this was one of the blog tours I was not able to hold onto posting on schedule. I had tried to keep myself positioned to run this before Christmas, but I simply found my focus was limited and not where it had been prior to my Dad’s stroke. Therefore, I am running it after Christmas whilst running a succession of posts about #ChristmasReads ahead of ringing in the New Year.

#ChristmasReads Novella Review | “A Christmas Surprise” by Emily Murdoch feat. a Guest Post by the author after my review.#WYChristmasReadthonA Christmas Surprise
Subtitle: A Regency Romance
by Emily Murdoch
Source: Author via Writerly Yours PR

Every year for thirty years Lord Robert, the Viscount of Marchwood, throws a Christmas Ball.

But this year the Marchwood Christmas Ball holds extra importance.

His daughter, Lady Audrey, has just turned eighteen, and it is time for her to be introduced into society.

It is Audrey’s first, best, and potentially only chance of securing a husband.

Especially seeing as there are rumours that the Marchwood money is running dry.

But headstrong Lady Audrey is not sure she wants a husband.

Ever since her mother died she has been left to her own devices.

Though she is very close to her father, it was often the servants she turned to for companionship, particularly Thomas, who, five years older than her, was always the person she depended on for conversation.

She is not ready to leave everything she knows, and the thought of abandoning her father breaks her heart.

She is determined that only someone truly special will take her away from her home.

But with the ball centred around a masquerade theme, everyone is in disguise.

And a handsome stranger threatens to steal Audrey’s heart.

Could he hold the key to her heart?

And when she unmasks him will it be a good, or bad, Christmas Surprise?

‘A Christmas Surprise’ is a festive regency romance novella.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 9781517456153

Also by this author: A Valentine Surprise

Genres: Christmas Story &/or Christmas Romance, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Short Story or Novella

Published by Self Published Author

on 30th September, 2015

Format: epub | PDF editon

Pages: 94

Self-Published Author

Formats Available: Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #HistRom, #HistoricalRomance, #Regency or #IndieAuthor + #ChristmasRomance

About Emily Murdoch

Emily Murdoch

Emily Murdoch is a medieval historian and writer. She has authored a medieval series and a regency novella series, and is currently working on several new projects. To stay updated on her writing and upcoming books, follow her blog and on Facebook,Twitter and Instagram.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WYChristmasReadathon
  • 2017 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

Posted Tuesday, 26 December, 2017 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host & Reviewer

#ChristmasReads Book Review | “The Crooked Christmas Tree” by Damian Chandler

Posted Saturday, 23 December, 2017 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Book Review Banner using (Creative Commons Zero) Photography by Frank McKenna

Acquired Book By: I am a new reviewer for Hachette Books and their imprints, starting with FaithWords which is their INSPY (Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction) imprint of releases focusing on uplifting and spiritual stories which are a delight to read whilst engaging your mind in life affirming and heart-centered stories. I found Hachette via Edelweiss at the conclusion of [2015] and have been wicked happy I can review for their imprints Grand Central Publishing, FaithWords & Center Street.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Crooked Christmas Tree” direct from the publisher FaithWords (an imprint of Hachette Book Group Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why this story was one I thought I’d enjoying reading this Christmastide:

I almost laughed out loud – in the middle of the night – whilst reading the opening to this delightful Christmas story! Why dear hearts, did I find the laughter ready to burst out of me? Despite the hour and the darkness encroaching outside whilst I prayed for colder weather this Christmas instead of the traditionally humid stink of bright sunshine intermixed with forest fire smoke billowing into the skyline? The congested air is the worst – especially as whilst others are braving non-controllable burns – my county chose to have controlled burns which pollute the toxicity of the local air space during Christmas week (of all times!) adding to the absence of Christmas Spirit in our towne. You don’t have to look far to see someone saying something snarky – to find a cheerfulness during Winter is quite rare these days – which is one reason I surround myself with uplifting Literature – both fiction and Non-Fiction – whilst finding the simpler joys in life itself. To give of my own spirit to those who might not reciprocate but that’s their walk, not mine.

I read this story the week our car ran out of gas in the middle of the parking lot – right in-line with heavy traffic, negative comments from passerby (of whom judged the situation out of hand) and a genuine sense of “Lord, you know I’m not going to be able to move this car an inch – pray then, what am I going to do?” Out of sight behind me, a good Samaritan had arrived – a woman in flip-flops with a heart of gold – who was as immediately surprised as I was we could ‘move’ said stalled car out of the main lane of traffic, dodge a car who cut us off and volley between pushing in the front & rear of the car to make it into a ‘safe parking space’. She left to purchase an emergency can of gas before we could say anything other than ‘thank you’ and when she returnt to help us fill the tank, we only had time enough to give her hugs and a hearty ‘thank you’ before she disappeared back in queue to head off to where she was heading before her path intersected with ours.

Less than three days later – our car didn’t overturn, the battery was dead – we had to walk to make an appointment and blessedly had a kindness of a return trip back home given to us. The battery itself? Supposedly covered under warranty but only to the person who purchased it – if you have a used car, the total replacement cost of a battery which if installed improperly would kill the ‘brain’ of said car was not an option in a family who relies on the work life of their Mum. Getting the estimate was a test of faith in of itself – the fact we could run the car off the ‘emergency jump’ our insurance paid for was incredible – we travelled throughout our towne to seek out prices for batteries, a free test to confirm the dead state it was in and perhaps, if there were resources for help with dead batteries which need replacement. It was a long, long day – by the time the car finally was turnt off we were ready for comfort food and a Christmas movie (we chose a Bing Crosby film). Mum was only expecting a few days off but now has closer to five – as we await replacing the battery. That’s a walk of faith in of it’s own – she woke up this morning feeling quite ill – we hoped it wasn’t the seasonal flu everyone keeps telling us is horrid – which affected her hours at work but now – with a dead battery, we are drawing closer to hearth and home; encouraging each other knowing this new bit of strife shall pass and blessedly, even at Christmas – things could be far worse than they appear.

So you see, as I was reading this story – it came at a point in time where I needed some ‘extra’ Christmas cheer, a healthy dose of humour and a humbling account of another person’s insight in how even without our awareness, we are being guided through life lessons which help shape who we are and who we are becoming. In regards to the trials of the car – even at the height of the uncertainty of realising your car won’t turn over – either due to needing gas (there is a back-story about how we ran out) or needing to replace a battery; you find ‘the helpers’ Mr Rogers infamous quotation about the random acts of kindness strangers give to us throughout our lives. You’ll have a lot of naysayers and a lot of snark but then, if you look a bit closer – you’ll find the ones walking as humbled of a path as you are – where sometimes a person who stops their car in the middle of a parking lot, flashers ablaze and refuses to move their car until you can get yours parked is a reminder we’re all someone’s hero blessing each other with empathy and compassionate sympathy for life’s unexpected moments of adversity.

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#ChristmasReads Book Review | “The Crooked Christmas Tree” by Damian ChandlerThe Crooked Christmas Tree
Subtitle: The Beautiful Meaning of Jesus' Birth
by Damian Chandler
Source: Direct from Publisher

In this real-life Christmas fable, when a Dad decides to let his kids select the family Christmas tree, he gets an unexpected lesson about God's love.

In this thoroughly contemporary holiday story, a father lets his children choose the family Christmas tree. To his surprise, the kids pick one that is crooked. As he tries one thing after another to make the tree look right, he rediscovers the power of God's love. He begins to understand Christmas in a new way, particularly when his family decorates their tree and crown it with a star, never even noticing the crookedness he spent hours in the garage struggling to hide. The tender and laugh-out-loud narrative of real-life relationships propels the reader through the most un-generic Christmas story. This upbeat and comedic treasure refreshes the Christmas message of love and faith.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Find on Book Browse

ISBN: 9781478918370

Genres: Christmas Story &/or Christmas Romance, Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Short Story or Novella, Spirituality & Metaphysics

Published by FaithWords

on 3rd October, 2017

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 144

Published by: FaithWords (@FaithWords)
an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc. (@HachetteBooks) via Hachette Nashville

Formats Available: Hardcover, Audiobook & Ebook

Converse via: #INSPYbooks & #ChristmasReads

About Damian Chandler

Damian Chandler Photo Credit: Asun Olivan Photography

DAMIAN CHANDLER was born in Toronto Canada and raised on the island of Barbados. His ministry journey started in a small church housed in the basement of his uncle's home. With only nine members, the burden of the ministry fell equally on the shoulders of all, including 16-year-old Damian. That small church created his spiritual hunger and formed the foundation of his call to ministry.

He holds a Masters of Divinity; founded Impact Youth Ministries, an urban youth ministry focused on developing teens with a contagious and fearless faith; and has served churches in Seattle, Huntsville, and now Sacramento, where he is senior pastor of Capitol City SDA Church.

Damian is passionate about ministry but he is even more passionate about family. After years of dedicated pursuit, God gave him the desire of his heart and a partner in life, his wife Tanzy Chandler. They later added to their partnership daughter Zoe and sons Salem and Levi.

Photo Credit: Asun Olivan Photography

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #WYChristmasReadathon

Posted Saturday, 23 December, 2017 by jorielov in 21st Century, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Christianity, FaithWords, Family Life, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Modern Day, Non-Fiction, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Spirituality & Metaphysics, Vignettes of Real Life