About the Story Sanctuary
The Story Sanctuary began in 2013 with one simple goal: to review and include information about potential triggers (profanity, violence, sexual situations, etc.) in each book. Not every reader is ready for or interested in every book. We’ve all got things we love to read and things that are too much. My goal is to make it easier for you to find the books you’ll love. You can find more information on the types of content that I flag on the For Readers/Parents page.
I usually post about twelve book reviews per month as well as occasional author interviews, excerpts, giveaways, top ten lists and other bookish posts. The Story Sanctuary sees 7,500 page views and 4,500 unique visitors each month. Check the links to social media pages in the top right corner of the page for information on reach through those outlets.
About the Content Section of My Reviews
After reading about the review policy at Kirkus Reviews regarding race of protagonists, I’ve decided to add a section to my reviews that explores what types of characters or situations are represented the books I’m reading. This can include race, religious affiliation (though I’ll save the significant exploration for the Spiritual Content section), disability, or elements related to sexual orientation.
The goal is to make it easier for parents, librarians, teachers, and readers to find books with specific issues or characters in them as well as books with diverse casts of characters.
Profanity and Crude Language
For me, this breaks down into two joint categories: word choice and frequency.
- Mild: Words like h—, d—, a– appear in the story.
- Moderate: Words like h—, d—, a–, sh– appear. No F-bomb.
- Extreme: Language includes use of f—.
- Infrequent: Swear words appear fewer than ten times (total) throughout the story.
- Moderate Frequency: Swear words appear ten to twenty-five times (this is about once or twice per chapter, depending on the length of the story.)
- Frequently: Swear words appear more than twenty-five times total.
- Excessive Frequency: So many swear words I wanted to swear about it.
My reviews include a brief summary of the romantic or sexual content, so be aware of that in case you’re trying to avoid spoilers! I do try to keep it as vague as I can while still posting content. So it’ll likely say “kissing between boy and girl” or “references to having sex in the past” without specific character details.
Rather than a scale here, any spiritual content will be summarized.
Rather than a scale here, any violent content will be summarized.
Any alcohol or drug references or abuse will be summarized in this category. I also try to specify whether the characters experienced consequences for their actions and whether main characters participated or witnessed drug or alcohol abuse.
About the Reviewer
I’ve has been writing book reviews at The Story Sanctuary since 2013. Among my favorites books are re-imagined fairy tales like Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury, contemporary young adult novel like Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer, historical mysteries like The Lost Girl of Astor Street by Stephanie Morrill, and middle grade mysteries like Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage.
I recently published a short e-book titled Reviews Wanted, a guide for authors on networking with book review bloggers. I love helping authors promote their books and succeed at connecting with other bloggers.
When I’m not reading, writing, or pestering all my friends to read my latest favorite books, I’m probably fly fishing, pretending to rock out on the guitar, or pretending to be entirely grown up.
Other Notes and Fine Print
The Story Sanctuary never charges a fee for a book review. All reviews are granted free of charge (though the author often provides a copy of the book) and represent the honest opinion of the reviewer.
The Story Sanctuary never gives out author or subscriber information to third parties. Your email address, any promotional material not used on the blog and all e-book files remain private.
The Story Sanctuary uses affiliate links in blog posts. This means if you click links in my reviews and then buy books or other products on sites like Amazon or Bookshop, I get a small commission to support this blog for things like book purchases, funding giveaways and covering shipping costs.
My Book: Reviews Wanted
I’ve seen thousands of pitches from authors looking for reviews since I started blogging in 2013, and recently, I compiled my best tips and tricks for impressing a book blogger and getting more reviews for your book. It’s a quick read and an easy buy at $2.99 on Amazon.
Have you read it? I’d love to know what you think!