#FreeBook Happy Thanksgiving from Briar featuring an interview from Kelley Kaye Bowles!

On this lovely day before the American Thanksgiving, I am going to share an amazing offer with you! Not only will you get to read an amazing blog post but you also have a chance at a free book! So, take a peek at the content below and at the very end you’ll have a super special surprise… A free book by the author Kelley Kaye Bowles!

First and foremost, Kelley and I asked each other 3 questions about gratitude! Around this time of year, it’s always important to take a step back and reflect on what you’re thankful for (hence the name… Thanksgiving).

 

My questions for Kelley and her answers are as follows:

1. What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? Ugh—how can I make this anything but cliché? I’m thankful for my children and my husband and my home. I’m thankful to be alive—every day above ground is a good day! On something closer to home, I’m thankful the destructive winds around here have stopped and no California fires are currently threatening me and mine. ~ Kelley

 

2. Who is one person you’d like to say ‘Thank you’ to? I’d like to say thank you to William Shakespeare. I think a lot of what came after as far as studies into humanity and human relationships was explored first by him. But not really, right?!? What about Homer? That guy was born in 850 b.c. and The Odyessy certainly covered humanity and human relationships. So sorry, Briar, I can’t pick only one! I just want to thank WRITERS. ~ Kelley

 

3. Is there anything in your life you take for granted that you’re grateful for? I think I took my parents for granted a lot—they were great! Now my Dad is gone and my mom has Alzheimer’s, so she’s not gone but she is—the interactions we were able to have are gone. I am really grateful to have had them. ~ Kelley

Kelley sent me back three questions, so of course I had to answer them!

1. What’s your fave ‘stop and smell the roses’ activity? (I.e. what’s something you do purely because it makes you feel present or peaceful?) Whenever I’m in an area that has butterflies around, I always take a small moment to admire them. This year I was lucky enough to take that to the max and go to a Butterfly Conservatory. Just watching these beautiful creatures interact with the environment and thinking about how important they are for pollination makes me take a big step back! I feel at peace around them and it really cements ‘the butterfly effect’ – how one little act like a butterfly pollinating a flower can have a big impact on the world.
2. What’s a place in the world where you feel you most belong? That is honestly a very hard question to answer! I’ve always been ‘outcast’ growing up – I liked swimming when my class liked basketball, I liked reading when it wasn’t ‘cool’,  I was interested in grades and spending time with my family when my friends were interested in parties, etc. Which, consequently, made me feel like I didn’t belong for a very long time! This isn’t necessarily a place, but when I’m swimming in a pool I feel like I belong. My life was always dictated by water, so it makes sense that I feel like I belong when I can swim my little legs off!
3. What’s a time you did something that scared you, but now you’re so grateful you did it? This isn’t a happy story, but it’s one that is dear to my heart. Years ago, while my Dad was ill, our dog was also near the end of her life. We had to put her down and I was horrified to stay in the room with her. My parents convinced me that we were truly the best of friends so it was important for her to see me to feel safe. Now, you might be thinking ‘why would she be grateful for THAT’? Well, I’m not grateful for that moment, in fact – I wish I never had to put my dog down. But, that was one of the last days my Father was alive and I am so grateful to share that powerful and emotional moment with him. That’s a hard bond to recreate – two humans bonding over their shared and extremely powerful love of their mutual best friend. Oh man, I have tears in my eyes writing this!

 

If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! Reflect on how you would answer those questions yourself during this holiday season, since this is the season for nostalgia.

Now, time for that free book! Since there’s a four day weekend for the U.S.A, why not spend your time reading a FREE book? Yes, FREE!!

Here’s the links to this AMAZING and FREE book:

Amazon.com – Down in the Belly of the Whale

Amazon.ca – Down in the Belly of the Whale

 

If you don’t know what this book is about, then you’re in luck! I have read this book myself and I’d love to give you a quick summary of this magnificent book.

This YA story is an emotional roller coaster that is all about the strength of families and friendship. Harper has this incredible ability – she knows when people feel ill. Suddenly, she notices her best friend isn’t feeling so well and she takes some action! The book tackles a multitude of real issues that teenagers in a heartfelt story. If you’re looking for a book that feels real and is beautifully written, you’ve found it!

So, get on that buying spree and remember to post a quick review to Amazon once you’re done! Kelley’s book is an absolute must read for those who love the YA genre!

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#BookReview The Gap of Time by Jeanette Winterson

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The Gap of Time was a fantastic retelling of The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare.

When I first started this book I was very unsure about it. Typically retellings are almost an exact copy of the work and appear to be more of a “fan fiction” than their own work. But, this beautiful novel was different! While it was a retelling, it was not an exact retelling. The story follows the general plot line of The Winter’s Tale, but also tells it’s own story as well!

I was hooked at every word of this story. It was written in a way that kept me wondering what was happening to Perdita and her Father.

There wasn’t much I would change about this story. The pace moves at a good speed and the plot does not go off on random tangents. There are also themes that are evident: jealousy, redemption and the concept of love.

Overall, this book was fantastic!

I did receive an ARC copy, so there were some “errors”, such as reminders to check certain pages randomly in some sentences. There were some spelling and grammar mistakes as well, but since this was an advanced reader’s copy, it was expected.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a general fiction novel that dives into themes. It would also be good for someone looking for a retelling of a classic story.

Five out of five stars!

I received this book as an Advanced Reader’s Copy.

 

Comment below with your fave general fiction read!
If you enjoyed this review, check out another you might enjoy: Book Review: Destinare by Matt Micros

Use the hashtags #BriarsReviews and #GapofTime on twitter if you read this review! Give me a shoutout! @ReviewAlholic

#BookReview Survving Revision: How One Writer Finished What She Started by K. Kris Loomis

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Surviving Revision by K. Kris Loomis is a thoughtful reflection on the writing process.

If you’re looking for a non-fiction book surrounding the thoughts on how to finish writing your book, then you’ve come to the right place! K. Kris Loomis (the author of The Sinking of Bethany Ann Crane) compiled a list of all the helpful ideas and tools that helped her get through revising her novel. This is a non-fiction, opinionated collection that can help you work through those tough times when writing your novel.

If I’m comparing it to my recent writing adventure (it was an essay, don’t get too excited), I felt like it was pretty spot on. Here’s just some of the general ideas she discusses (and explains why they are important and/or how you can fix them!). Don’t worry, I’m not spoiling much… Read the book to find all of the full details!
1. You write a draft that has all of your ideas and it’s not perfect. It’s like a big, blobby mess full of everything you want and lots of stuff you don’t.
2, Editing and revising can be an absolute pain, but it’s a must for your novel. Suddenly, that big, blobby mess will mold into what looks like an actual first draft!
3. Setting goals are important!

So, what do I think?

I think this is a really helpful book! If you’re not used to writing, this will give you insights into what actually happens in the writing process. It’s definitely honest, and it’s full of helpful and useful information. If anything, use it as a stepping stone so you know where you’re headed!

What I did like about it, was that it was relatively short! My ebook copy was just over one hundred pages, which is way easier to read than the thousand page English and Revising books you’d find at a college or university for writing. It felt like the perfect summary of those giant works! Also, this book was in a very comfortable, chatty tone. I felt like the author was actually talking to me and explaining what was happening, rather than reading it from a boring, old textbook. That makes this book so much more personal and enjoyable.

Are there cons?
Absolutely! As I said, this book isn’t a textbook! If you are looking for a step-by-step plan on how to totally finish your book, then this book might not be for you. It’s more generalized and personal than a textbook is. The book doesn’t give you specific grammatical errors to look out for or contain a list of commonly misspelled words. Since this book is a narrative of how one person overcame these issues, you need to be aware of what you are getting into. Some readers might not like that, so I’d say that is the con of this book!

My favourite part of this book was seeing how K. Kris Loomis worked through her book. That included what she was doing, her goals and her frustrations along the way. It showed me that the writing process isn’t always purely productive. Sometimes, you’re rocking it out and sometimes you’re having a little more difficulty than you let on. But on other occasions you can have a lot of fun and enjoy the ride! Having that sort of honesty was really cool and it’s something I don’t see very often in literature these days!

Overall, I liked this book! It felt personal, realistic and it echoed a lot of what I’ve found out myself. I think it’s a great read for someone who’s interested in finishing a book but doesn’t know what to expect. Sometimes, the best way to learn is to draw on the experiences of others!

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book from the author K. Kris Loomis in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

Find out more about K. Kris Loomis on:

K. Kris Loomis Goodreads Page

http://www.kkrisloomis.com/

Twitter – @KKrisLoomis

 

If you enjoyed this review, check out these other books by K. Kris Loomis:

#BookReview The Sinking of Bethany Ann Crane by K. Kris Loomis

#BookReview The Monster in the Closet and Other Stories by K. Kris Loomis

 

Give me a shout-out on Twitter, on Facebook, or comment below with any other books you’d like to see on my blog!

 

Photo from Goodreads.

#BookReview The Erotic Muse by Rajeev Singh

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Erotic horror is not a type of book I see often, but man did Rajeev create one interesting story within that genre!

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this book. The synopsis sounded awesome, and a mix of erotica and horror (two genres I like to read) could have gone very sour if not done right. I think this book is definitely a niche market and isn’t suitable for all readers. That being said, it is really well written!

K, our main character, follows an interesting yet dark story line full of porn and sex, into rape and fantasy, and ending on a higher note than where he begins. It’s a unique take on a hero’s journey to recognizing more about themselves and growing as a character. The theme (yes, somehow there is a theme in an erotic horror novel!) also was intriguing – do you stay motionless or fight your demons? How can one rise above the negatives?

This book felt like Alice in Wonderland meets Black Swan meets Fifty Shades of Grey on steroids. The twists and turns will leave you breathless (and slightly confused at times, but that’s a good thing) and will keep you on edge. I think Rajeev is one talented author, because this book boggled my mind! I didn’t know what would happen next (which I love, I hate guessing the endings) and I had to think a lot to grasp what this novel was portraying. If you don’t read into it, yeah… it seems kind of weird… but you can take a lot out of it.

Would I recommend this book? Yes. I definitely think you need to research this book before jumping into it, because it’s not for the lighthearted by any means. It’s R rated and brutal at times. But, it was still a great novel! I love the fact that it was so different from my typical read and opened me up to a new genre. Essentially, I want to read more by Rajeev Singh – he’s creative!

Four out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book from the author Rajeev Singh in exchange of an honest review.

 

Info about this book:

The Erotic Muse

Genre: Dark fantasy, horror, coming of age, erotica.

Brief summary: ‘The Erotic Muse’ is the story of K, a young porn-addicted college-dropout who shies away from relationships and harbors dreams of becoming a writer. Full of anguish, he is given to self-abuse. One evening, while masturbating to his favorite erotic muse, Fanny Leone, sprawled on the cover of an underground porn magazine, K finds himself magically transported to a parallel world where all sexual desires and perversions are fulfilled, although with the price that he might remain trapped in this unique pleasure-hell all his life – unless he can find a way out. This ‘way out’ is his redemption, a journey studded with heart-stopping adventure, life-threatening danger, nerve-wracking horror, and a brush with true love.

Goodreads link: Goodreads – The Erotic Muse

Amazon link (only 0.99$):

Amazon.ca – The Erotic Muse

Amazon.com – The Erotic Muse

Books2Read : Books2Read – The Erotic Muse

 

Did you enjoy this review? Give me a shout out on Twitter using the hashtag #briarsreview if you read this review! @ReviewAlholic

And comment below – What book are you currently reading?

#BookReview Intricate Intentions by Jennifer Rayes

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This addicting series will keep you hooked with it’s fast paced suspense and drama!

If I’m being honest, I’m really into this series right now, way more than I expected! It has the perfect mix of drama, suspense and romance (well, this book lacked on the romance end – but I’m sure more will come).

If I’m comparing it to other works, it feels like 25% Game of Thrones (for some of it’s more violent content), 25% Reign (drama and royalty) and 50% soap opera. This book specifically started out with a big bang (much like Game of Thrones with it’s final episodes of their seasons) and continues the action through out. I didn’t feel bored anywhere in this book, and it’s hard to keep my attention!

My cons of the novel are as followed:
1. Cliffhangers – I have a strong hatred for cliffhangers, especially since we don’t know when the next book is coming out. I like a book being able to stand alone at the end and be it’s own entity, so the cliffhanger is more of a personal annoyance than a “con”, but it fits here.

2. Not enough Raoul – This time around there was lots of Dominique, but Raoul didn’t get enough “screen time”. I’d love to see both boys grow in their character arcs in further novels. Additionally, Raoul was just… odd. I’ll stick with odd so I don’t spoil anything. Hopefully, he’ll grow in the next book.

3. Carlos – I just wasn’t digging him at all. His story works within the overall plot, but I’d rather of had more Dominique and Raoul time. Again, personal annoyance.

4. “Second Book Curse” – The second book curse of most series seems to be the the second book is a little more boring than the first. It’s a stepping stone to the next book, so I REALLY hope we get another one that picks the series up. I loved this book, but I’m scared it will have the “Second Book Curse” where we never see the third book in the series because people didn’t love the second one as much…

My pros:
1. Fast Paced – Constant movement of the plot, mixed with action and dramatic scenes.

2. Fantasy – This book seems to be picking up some more fantastical plot lines, and it fits. I like how it’s expanding instead of staying the same old, same old.

3. Lovable Characters – I still love these characters – Gaia, Emily, Dominique, Raoul – and the newer characters being introduced are becoming just as lovable. They do have their flaws, but that’s kind of why I like them. I hate perfect Mary Sues or plain Janes, so having these characters be flawed and unique is a nice change.

4. Change in Plot – This might be a con for some readers, but the plot has moved from Human Trafficking over to a virus. I would like to see both plot lines continued in some form, but I can settle with a change like this. It makes the books move smoother and cover more topics.

Overall, I like this series! I want it to continue and I want more! Jennifer Rayes is a great author and the more she writes, the better it will get. I’m hoping more people read this series so Jennifer Rayes can continue writing it. The books are good and I’d love to see a “House of Night” treatment with this series where it gets more books to cover more content with all of it’s characters.

Five out of five stars.

I received a free copy of this book form Jennifer Rayes in exchange of an honest review.

 

Check this book out on:

Intricate Intentions (#2) on Amazon.com

Intricate Intentions (#2) on Amazon.ca

 

Check out the first book in the series on:

Intricate Deceptions (#1) on Amazon.com

Intricate Deceptions (#1) on Amazon.ca

 

Find Jennifer Rayes on her website or Goodreads:

http://jenniferrayes.wix.com/intricateseries

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7410834.Jennifer_Rayes

 

Comment below if you’re read anything by Jennifer Rayes! And give me a shout-out on Twitter if you read this review! @ReviewAlholic

#BookReview And The Wolf Shall Dwell by Joni Dee

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And the Wolf Shall Swell by Joni Dee

Summary:

Summary: John Daniel, just a regular Joe, a foreigner who works in the City of London, is entangled with a political plot which tracks all the way up the corridors of Westminster. Aided by retired MI6 agent Adam Grey, the duo will set off to an adventure which will take them throughout London. A nuclear threat, terrorism in Oxford Street, Israeli Mossad and the British government, are all working against them. Will they unravel the plot in time?


This thriller felt like a mix of Jason Bourne, James Bond, Man from U.N.C.L.E and Jack Reacher. It was a fast, thrilling ride that will keep you hooked until the last page!

The book is fictional, but felt oh so real. Joni Dee’s descriptions and plot lines mirror reality, which thoroughly impressed me. Additionally, the settings were so beautifully described – I felt like I was in London (and I’ve never been there before). Mixing in the well-written, well developed characters made this book all around fantastic. Joni Dee is someone to watch for the future, because this book rivals the top spy thrillers.

I really liken it to the new Man from U.N.C.L.E movie – it gave me those epic thriller vibes that had me hooked to that movie. The book was also just long enough that it kept me interested. There wasn’t anything I’d remove from the novel, and I wouldn’t ask for much more. Somehow, Joni managed to find that perfect medium (for me, anyways).

This isn’t a mind-blowing new genre, it’s pretty “typical” when it comes to the thrillers I’ve read. That being said, Joni has his unique spin on it that made this book feel like it’s own entity. If you’re looking for some new “spin” on the thriller genre, this book isn’t it. If you love spy and thriller novels, this book is perfect for you.

One element that was “missing” was romance, which some readers might not like. I felt like this book didn’t need romance, so Joni did well in that aspect. Almost every thriller or mystery novel I read, there is always some romantic element in there that doesn’t need to be. The tension between characters is awesome, but that lack of romance made this book go to a new level for me. Joni didn’t need to follow the stereotypical norms of these books, so A+ for Joni!

Overall, for a DEBUT NOVEL (seriously? That doesn’t even seem right! This book was so good!) I am blown out of the water. Five out of five stars for sure! Joni Dee needs to write WAAAAY more soon, because his talent is only going to sky rocket with each book he writes.

Five out of five stars!! A definite recommendation from this reviewer!

I received a free copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.


 

Message from the author: All “verified purchase” reviewers will enter a raffle to have 1 of 2 characters named after them in the sequel. see https://jondbooks.com for details.


Get this book on Amazon:

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 

Find Joni Dee on his website: https://www.jondbooks.com/ or give Joni Dee and myself a shout-out on Twitter! @ydital  & Briar’s Reviews on Twitter: @ReviewAlholic

 

Comment below with your favourite spy thriller!!

#BookReview Twisted Reasons by Geza Tatrallyay

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One Word: Wow!

Twisted Reasons by Geza Tatrallyay was an epic, suspenseful thriller that kept me hooked at every turn!

This thriller novel follows an international story revolving around stolen uranium – trailing across Russia, Vienna, Georgia, and other beautiful landscapes. While I don’t know much about those areas or the atomic bombs, I found Geza’s retellings to be enough to get me really hooked to the story. Mix in Geza’s skill of weaving a beautiful story, epic character arcs and the suspenseful twists and turns and you’ve got one awesome novel!

DISCLAIMER: There were some R rated scenes in this novel (both sexual and horrific in nature), so if you are not comfortable with brutal topics, this book might not be for you.

My pros: The chapters are short (which makes it great for little caffeine breaks for this reviewer!), relatable characters who grow over the novel, epic twists and turns (some I saw coming, but I’ve watched too many soap operas), incredible descriptions (landscapes, history, etc), and the story comes to a “close”. There is a sequel, but I like when a book can be it’s own entity and have an ending.

My cons: The cover is boring. I am the type of person who will pick up a book because the cover looks cool (yeah, I know, don’t judge a book by it’s cover but some covers are just SO awesome), so I might have skipped over this book. Luckily, I didn’t, because this book is a real gem and a must read for those who love suspense and thrills!

Overall, this book was intense and awesome. I really enjoyed it and I want to read more! I liked it more than most famous/popular thriller novels are out there. It felt more real and not “typical”. While it does have a “typical” story line – thriller, suspense, mystery, politics, war – it felt unique by the way Geza wrote it. He knows his material, he is clearly a very talented writer, and he makes characters we get invested in. Most stories follow the same old, same old path with the same story arc – Geza made this feel different, and I really enjoyed it. That being said, I will definitely be picking up the sequel!

Five out of five stars!!

I received a free copy of this book from the author Geza Tatrallyay in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out more books by Geza on his website: www.gezatatrallyay.com

Check out this book (Twisted Reasons) the first in the series on Amazon:

Twisted Reasons (#1) on Amazon.com

Twisted Reasons (#1) on Amazon.ca

Check out the sequel (Twisted Traffick) on Amazon:

Twisted Traffick (#2) on Amazon.com

Twisted Traffick (#2) on Amazon.ca

Stay tuned for the third book in the series, coming June 2018!!!

Give Geza and myself a shout-out on Twitter if you read this review! @GezaTatrallyay & Briar’s Reviews – @ReviewAlholic