About the Story Sanctuary
The Story Sanctuary began in 2013 with one simple goal: to review and include content warnings (profanity, violence, sexual situations, etc.) and representation for each book. My goal is to make it easier for you to find books you’ll love, and books where you get to see yourself on the page.
I used to post about twelve book reviews per month as well as occasional author interviews, excerpts, giveaways, top ten lists and other bookish posts. These days it’s closer to twenty reviews.
The Story Sanctuary sees about 25K page views and 16K unique visitors each month. Check the links to social media pages in the top right corner of the page for information on social media reach.
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 or identity.
The goal is to make it easier for parents, librarians, teachers, and readers to find books with specific characters in them as well as books with diverse casts of characters so readers are more easily able to find books that feature characters like them.
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.
Any spiritual content will be summarized.
Violent content will be summarized.
Any alcohol or drug references, use, or misuse will be summarized in this category. I also specify whether the characters experienced consequences for their actions. I note whether main characters participated or witnessed the use or misuse, and whether it happened on scene or someone reported it later.
About the Reviewer
I’ve been writing book reviews at The Story Sanctuary since 2013. Since then, I’ve written over 1,400 book reviews. When I’m not reading or reviewing books, I like spending time with my partner, two daughters, and our two cats. You might find me messing around with a ukulele, out fly fishing, or catching up on a Final Fantasy game.
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.
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 book bloggers 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!