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Moonbeams in a Jar

Published Date: May 22, 2018

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Book 3 - Little Spitmarsh series


When Chloe Potter wishes on a star that she’ll find a man who’ll accept her and her noisy dachshund Wilma, she doesn’t think that she’ll bump into one quite so soon …

But almost immediately she meets Ryan Green and his boisterous basset hound, Fred. Ryan is larger than life, ruggedly handsome and, most importantly, a dog lover – surely a match made in heaven?
But Chloe soon finds that trying to tie a man like Ryan down is like trying to catch moonbeams in a jar. Ryan’s job as a photographer means that when he’s not in the middle of a war zone, he’s trying to catch just the right light at the top of Mount Snowdon.

Chloe wants stability and when it becomes clear that Ryan will always put his job first, she knows she has to move on. But then a once-in-a-lifetime trip unexpectedly brings them together once again …

Book 3 – Little Spitmarsh. Book 1: Turning The Tide. Book 2: Follow a Star.

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Christine Stovell

Chris Publicity Picture [resize]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 Little Spitmarsh series. Her debut novel, 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.

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Customer Reviews


  1. Els Ebraert
    Els Ebraert at

    It started as a holiday romance, but evolving into something deeper. Chloe searching for stability, while Ryan runs away from it. But love conquers everything, not?
    I loved reading it, it has humor, friendship, romance. A feelgood story, perfect for holidays.
    Read the full review here …

  2. Jo Lambert
    Jo Lambert at

    Chloe Potter and her beloved Daschund Wilma have taken themselves off to Norfolk in a rented cottage after a painful breakup with her rather intolerant boyfriend Guy. During her stay she meets photographer Ryan Green whose Basset Hound Fred takes a shine to Wilma. Chloe falls for Ryan but he makes it clear with his work taking him away regularly he can’t commit, even telling her he can’t attend a wedding with her as he’ll be photographing mountains in North Wales.
    Disappointed Chloe returns home and soon becomes drawn back to Guy, who is now working at a radio station. He offers her future promotion if she becomes his assistant. The man’s a total rat, only interested in using Chloe to advance his own career. I was surprised Chloe was keen to go after the way he’d treated her but once more she’s making all sorts of excuses for his past behaviour – silly girl! I guess maybe the thought of possible career advancement was a little too tempting. Prior to taking up this new job, she embarks on a holiday to Hong Kong – something she’s been promising herself for some time. Discovering Ryan on the plane she’s annoyed and despite trying to avoid him and do her own thing while there, she’s soon in need of his company. Chloe hopes the trip will give her the opportunity to produce a presentation for Guy’s radio programme which will boost her chances of that promised promotion.
    Poor Chloe, a glutton for punishment. Guy with his arrogant attitude and definite OCD tendencies deserved to be dumped right from the start but fresh from her disappointment with Ryan she once more falls for his lies. Inviting him to go to the wedding with her turns into a total disaster with help from Wilma and Chloe finds herself jobless. A horrible thing to happen but at least it got shot of the odious Guy. Ryan, cold and miserable half way up Snowdon, suddenly realises what is important in life. But how will he make Chloe believe him?
    An entertaining romantic read.

  3. Anne
    Anne at

    I devoured this novella in one sitting. It was beautifully written. I couldn’t put it down. I fell in love immediately with Ryan, Chloe and of course, Fred and Wilma. Christine Stovell has created a lovely story with great characters and super locations. I loved the Hong Kong part.
    Chloe is looking for a settled happy-ever-after, while that’s the last thing Ryan is interested in. They seem to be meant for each other but can they overcome their differences and find a way to be together or are their dogs destined to a life without one another? You don’t have to have read Christine’s previous books set in Little Spitmarsh to enjoy this one, I hadn’t, but I was delighted to discover there were two other novels set in Little Spitmarsh and they are definitely both on my reading list now.

  4. Moonbeams in a jar is the third in the series about a little village called Little Spitmarsh.

    It’s setting is by the sea and you don’t need to have read the previous two first.

    This is where we first meet Chloe and her dashshund Wilma, sitting on the edge of a wooden pontoon. (This image has stayed with me from my first review copy prior to being published and having no knowledge of the author or book title )

    We also meet Ryan, a freelance photographer always looking for his next adventure. He is often found climbing up a mountain or in the middle of a war zone and has an aversion to commitment or staying in the same place for too long.

    Chloe has recently split from her boyfriend and is coming to terms with this when she meets Ryan. They soon become good friends, but it is early on that Ryan makes it clear he is not boyfriend material.

    They part their ways and Chloe decides to book herself on a trip of a lifetime. She boards a flight to Hong Kong, falls in to a deep sleep only to be awoken by Ryan!

    Ryan suggests to Chloe that they make the most of their time in Hong Kong and convinces her to reach out of her comfort zone to write a 1000 word article using 10 pictures Ryan takes and gives to her. Their trip is magical and my favourite part was seeing the largest Buddah in the world. (I do love a Buddah )

    At the end of the trip they go their separate ways. Chloe goes back to work with Guy (her ex-boss and ex-boyfriend) and it doesn’t take long for him to woo her back into his life again.

    During the trip to Hong Kong, Chloe sees a fortune teller. He tells Chloe she will know who will stay in her life by the four legged creature beside dark waters. Does he mean Guy or Ryan? Chloe is left feeling very confused….

    It’s magical, funny, inspiring and easy to read and relate to. Another great book from Christine.

    #Trip of a lifetime
    #Moving on
    #ivereadthis & #ilovedit

  5. Barbara P
    Barbara P at

    This story will certainly bring a tear to your eye as you read of the problem Chloe encounters, but the antics snd love between Wilma and Fred will clear it away fast! The love story between the dogs is much smoother running than that of their owners, Chloe and Ryan, but as in all good romance books, the end will bring a big smile. The tribulations en route will strike a cord with most of us, individually small but ultimately a large problem. Christine writes well and her description of the holiday in Hong Kong is excellent, enough to encourage a lot of us to visit. A well rounded book for all.

  6. Gill L.
    Gill L. at

    My mouse finger must have got away with me – I fully intended to give this 5 FIVE stars, not 3.!!

  7. Gill L.
    Gill L. at

    This is an enjoyable little story that I was very happy to finish in one sitting – Chloe is at a crossroads in her life, she is looking for security and happy ever after. Jake is a ‘will o’ the wisp’ type – an adventurous photographer with no plans at all for settling down. Maybe the gods know better? Even their dogs (Fred and Wilma!!) make a match so there’s probably no escape.
    This writer is a new one to me, but I now intend to be reading more of her work – Little Spitmarsh here I come!

  8. Janine Nelson
    Janine Nelson at

    This is the first I have read of this author and i really enjoyed it. This really is a case of opposites attract, Chloe who likes to plan and know where she is heading in life and Ryan, a hunk of a guy who has his own reasons for being ‘on the run’ all the time and very much against settling down.
    There are some lovely descriptions of Hong Kong, an impromtu holiday of a lifetime for Chloe, probably one of the most out there things she has done in life and one that will certainly leave an impression on her!

    This was a lovely easy read that had it all in just the right size, i am hoping to revisit Little Spitmarsh very soon.

  9. Ruth
    Ruth at

    This fabulous book cover should catch the eye, calling out, ‘read me’.
    Chloe is a planner with schedules, always needing to know exactly what she’ll be doing tomorrow, in other words, no surprises thank you. Ryan lives moment-by-moment with an adrenaline filled life, rushing from one exciting assignment to another. Neither believes that two people with such differing outlooks in life can really be happy together? Making an effort to be independent and knowing that Ryan will soon accept another project leaving her broken hearted, Chloe suddenly acts totally out of character and jets off by herself to Hong Kong. Ryan, however, is determined that they spend this trip together. Can they both change a few of their priorities to be together.
    It was only at the very end that I realised how few characters there were: Chloe and Ryan, their dogs, Chloe’s ex and Ryan’s sister, with a few others just for padding, this worked surprisingly well giving an absorbing read.

  10. Els Ebraert
    Els Ebraert at

    Sometimes you think you have to be there for other people to help them through bad times. That’s a good thing of course, but was it not a convenient excuse for hiding yourself and not moving on?
    Meet Chloe.
    Sometimes you think you have it all. A job you love, making your own schedule and do as you please, a great career, but what does it mean if you don’t have someone to share your life with? When you realize that, it’s time to make changes, changes you would never have thought you would be willing te make before.
    Meet Ryan.
    If you are in for not one but two a lovestories, this is a book you should read. I am certain you will enjoy it.

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