#BookReview Two Mothers by K. Kris Loomis

Two Mothers is a horrifyingly great book by K. Kris Loomis. It features postpartum depression across generations, with two women (who become Mothers) being connected despite being many years apart.

The first chapter alone having a 15 year old giving birth but potentially having to give that child up is… intriguing. It draws you in and makes you question what’s going on in the book. Then we move to Anna, who seems to be a Mother going through lots of confusion, stress and grief. She doesn’t seem to know what to do with a baby, which has me even more curious on how this book will progress.

There are some goofy, punny jokes in there too that makes this book a little more light-hearted. It’s not dark and suspicious all the time, which is also a nice touch. It makes this book more readable! I like it!

The change between first and third person also makes this book rather spooky. The entire book had me questioning reality, much like I did when reading The Turn of the Screw. I really liked that aspect of the book, because you didn’t really know what was going on until you read the entire thing and connected the dots.

I do love a K. Kris Loomis book. There’s always something unique about them. Psychological horror and fiction is always done right by this author, just saying. They sit up high on my top reads book shelf and I will continue to recommend and enjoy them. I highly recommend this little novella if you are seeking a quick horror read that makes you think.

Five out of five stars.

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

You can pick up this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

Learn more about the amazing author, K. Kris Loomis, by clicking on the links below:
http://www.kkrisloomis.com/
Twitter: @kkrisloomis

Check out more K. Kris Loomis books featured on my blog:
#BookReview The Monster in the Closet and Other Stories by K. Kris Loomis
#BookReview The Sinking of Bethany Ann Crane by K. Kris Loomis
#BookReview After Namaste by K. Kris Loomis
#BookReview The Murder of Leopold Beckenbauer by K. Kris Loomis
#BookReview 100 Tiny Tales by K. Kris Loomis

ive me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

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#BookReview Bunnicula by James & Deborah Howe

Happy Spooky Month!
This is my favourite time of year, so it’s time to share some of my fave spooky reads! This particular book is a personal fave from my youth. Enjoy!

 

Back in the day, Bunnicula was THE book to read in elementary school. The class clambered to the front of the classroom to sit in our little circle and have story time. This book turned us all into little book loving zombies and we were desperate for more. Unfortunately, our school and teachers were only ever able to get the first book, but that didn’t deter us. We all had it memorized by the end of the day.

Fast forward to 2020. I see this book in a local used bookstore and I decide, “Hey, why not read it again and see if it holds up?” I can see this book for what it is – an absolute delightful middle grade novel that introduces fun horror to youthful eyes. As an adult, it didn’t hold up for me but I still have a special place in my heart for it. Who doesn’t love Bunnicula? Seriously.

Vampire Bunnies. It’s such a unique idea and I LOVE it. This book sits with Goosebumps on my happy, little, Halloween-loving shelf. This bunny goes and drains vegetables, because obviously it was owned by Dracula! It’s a fun concept and super silly! It’s definitely a book I would recommend for parents and educators. Get your little readers into a spooky, Halloween spirit with this little gem!

As an adult, it feels like a funny SNL skit. It’s not scary to us because we know it’s fiction but to little kids it’s a potential nightmare (in a good way, it’s not THAT scary). The anticipation as a child was not there as an adult, but I can still appreciate how wonderfully written this book is. It’s short and sweet but packed full of story!

Also, surprise ending! I forgot how this book ended so I was pleasantly surprised!

The only negative I had with this book was some of the adult references: classic books, taxes, etc. Kids might not understand these terms, but if they have a great adult reader helping them along, it might be a good educational opportunity, I guess.

Overall, this book is a childhood fave of mine that I would still highly recommend! It’s so nostalgic for me and I truly miss the whimsical nature of reading these books!

Four out of five stars.

 

You can find out more about this childhood classic on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Indigo
Kobo

 

Looking for more middle grade books? Here’s some recently featured on my blog that you might enjoy:
#BookReview The Great Grain Elevator Incident by Kevin Miller
#BookReview Seizure by Kathy Reichs
#BookReview Loki’s Wolves by K.A. Armstrong and M.A. Marr

 

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Twitter: Briar’s Reviews – @ReviewAlholic #briarsreviews

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#BookReview Say Cheese and Die by R.L. Stine

Happy Spooky Month! Here’s another spooky filled book to brighten up (or darken) your shelf!

 

Who doesn’t love a good throwback? Especially one from the master, R.L. Stine.

I loved Goosebumps as a kid and I still love them now. They are the ultimate throwback and totally brightens my day. Sure, these books don’t scare as good as they used to but I still love the thrills along the way.

Greg and his buddies, Bird, Michael and Shari, find a magical camera. Except, this camera isn’t the good kind of magic – it’s the evil kind. When they take pictures with it, the developed pictures show evil, horrible, no good things. Crashed cars and scary scenes, and the worst part? They all become real. Suddenly Greg and his friends need to find a way to save the city and themselves from this potential disaster.

A while back I watched the first season of the television series and specifically watched this episode (Baby Ryan Gosling folks!) and it does not equate to this book. The book is way, way, way better and the show doesn’t do it justice. I’m glad I read this book after to see how great it actually was! Don’t judge the book by the television episode.

I don’t think this book will hold up as well, mostly because it involves a Polaroid camera. I think only the hipster kids will have any idea what it is. Either way, these middle grade novels are the best for introducing kids and readers to horror. It’s super fun and spooky, but not absolutely horrifying. Along the way I was chuckling at all of the thrills, knowing full well as a kid I would have been shaking in my boots.

The ending happened very quickly and suddenly, speeding up like a really fast car. I enjoyed it, but some readers may not.

This is definitely one of the better ones in the Goosebumps collection, so if you’re looking for fun horror or a good old fashioned throwback, grab this book! It’s a real delight!

Four out of five stars!

 

You can find this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Indigo
Kobo

 

If you love middle grade reads, here’s some other books to top up your shelf:
#BookReview The Great Grain Elevator Incident by Kevin Miller
#BookReview Seizure by Kathy Reichs
#BookReview Monster Blood (Goosebumps) by R.L. Stine

 

Check me out on:
Twitter: Briar’s Reviews – @ReviewAlholic #briarsreviews

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#BookReview Dead Women Tell Tales by Rajeev Singh

I picked up Map of Desire, a haunting anthology, to read Rajeev Singh’s latest story. This guy is a master of erotic horror (at least in my books) and it’s always a pleasure diving into his stories. They are creepy, weird, haunting and everything you expect out of an erotic horror. In all the best ways, it’s horrifying and disturbing.

Dead Women Tell Tales is extremely wicked. Our lead character, Leon, stumbles upon this brothel like place where dark secrets and passions hide. Suddenly he is given the choice to enter doors, and darkness consumes him. Sexual nightmares, dark and haunting past secrets and wild exploration occurs. All of these will leave you shivering, staring in awe at the page and had me completely struck with shock. Like normal, Rajeev has made one wildly epic erotic horror.

I keep saying again and again that to me Rajeev is this king of erotic horror. He always blows me away with his writing. It’s descriptive, oddly addicting and pulls the reader in. If you haven’t picked up erotic horror before, this author is one guy you should check out. I’m always just amazed at his work. It’s wild. This story was no different! It’s much shorter than some of his other works, like The Erotic Muse, but it still packs quite the punch.

Four out of five stars.

Thank you to Rajeev Singh for supplying me a free copy of this anthology in exchange of an honest review.

 

You can find this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo

 

Find Rajeev Singh on Goodreads – Author Page

Here’s some other books by Rajeev Singh that have been featured on my blog! Check them out:
The Erotic Muse by Rajeev Singh
Blood Rain by Rajeev Singh

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

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#BookReview Blood Rain by Rajeev Singh

Blood Rain by Rajeev Singh is another dip into erotic horror that will steal the spotlight.

Erotic horror is one of those criss-cross genres. It’s creepy yet sexual (as the name implies) but hits in such a strange way. I don’t know whether to be scared, horrified or shocked.

A group of five get isolated on an island with sexually charged, exotic women, all being affected by a blood rain. Danger and horror await the crew as they try to traverse through the jungle and come out unscathed. Among the group, emotions are high and terror is higher.

There’s lots of women having sex with inanimate objects in this story. It’s very strange and is connected to horror, but the characters also find it oddly erotic. Add in blood rain, scary tales and an adventure, and you’ve got one wild ride (pun intended, thank you very much).

I will give Rajeev a virtual high five for his prose. His story telling ability and his word choice will make chocolate melt in your mouth. Seriously, he’s got a way with his words. The first chapter alone had me curious and interested in the story.

If you’re looking for something a little different, a little niche, totally R rated, and some truly insane erotic horror then you need to grab this book. Rajeev is such a talented writer and writes this niche market really well.

Four out of five stars.

Thank you to Rajeev Singh for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

 

If you’re looking for more by Rajeev Singh, click the links below:
Goodreads – Rajeev Singh
Briar’s Review’s #BookReview The Erotic Muse by Rajeev Singh
Goodreads – The Erotic Muse
Amazon.ca – The Erotic Muse
Amazon.com – The Erotic Muse
Books2Read : Books2Read – The Erotic Muse

 

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#BookReview Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

One of my life long reading goals is to pick up more classics, and since I am ALWAYS in a Halloween mood I figured Frankenstein would be right up my alleyway.

But let me set the record straight, Hollywood has done Mary Shelley some dirty. This book was NOTHING like what Hollywood told me, and I almost wish I would have picked it up in an audio book format to make it more enticing and scary for me.

First things first, Mary Shelley is a CHAMPION of writing. She is one of the best there is and this story is woven in such a beautiful way that it’s hard to say anything bad about it. The style, the prose, the word choice… It’s so intriguing and beautiful, despite being touted as a “horror” novel. Yes, there’s scary parts and a monster, but it wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. The story is more dramatic, full of powerful scenes about life, death and family and it makes you question your feelings about the lead characters a LOT.

I would highly recommend reading this book if you’re into classics or want to see the real Frankenstein’s monster. I hardly saw Victor as a villain, more of a sad character due to circumstance. Even Frankenstein’s monster wasn’t as scary as I anticipated, I felt so bad for him. He’s given life but no existence… It’s a truly marvelous read. He might be a monster due to creation, but he’s not as horrifying as the movies would lead you to believe.

I will absolutely be jumping back into this book and tearing apart the themes and prose one day. I think this is a uniquely written book that presents itself in a ridiculously cool fashion. That being said, it did take me a long time to read it. It’s old fashioned, the writing style is different and it’s not fast paced and as crazy as Hollywood’s renditions. I did enjoy it though! Before I was able to watch a few videos and translate some of the more confusing parts of this book, it sat at a solid two for me. It’s jumped to a three only because it’s not something I’d read again without the help of an English major. It’s really cool and I did really love it, it’s just not the star studded book I expected it to be.

A lot of this book is delivered in letters and about a trip, very little felt like the scary horror novel I was expecting. I am impressed how the Hollywood renditions has changed the story, but it did throw me off when half of this book was just letters between two individuals. Either way, it’s still really cool. I can’t imagine being nineteen years old and writing a book that causes so much drama and excitement for people two hundred years later. That’s a good well done for Mary Shelley!

Three out of five stars!

 

Do you love the classics? Horror? Despise them all? Comment below!

 

If you enjoyed this review, check out others you might enjoy too:
#BookReview The Murder of Leopold Beckenbauer by K. Kris Loomis
#BookReview NYV: Goth by K.D. McQuain
#BookReview The Stickman’s Legacy by Benjamin Appleby-Dean

Check me out on:

Twitter: Briar’s Reviews – @ReviewAlholic #briarsreviews

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#BookReview Monster Blood (Goosebumps) by R.L. Stine

Goosebumps was one of my all time favourites as a kid. I scrambled to the library at every chance to get my hands on any Goosebumps novel. I didn’t care if I read them over and over and knew the story by heart, I’d read them again! And then hope the library got the television show and movie versions so I could watch them.

As an adult, I’ve been trying to find the Goosebumps series in my home town without much luck. Then, lucky me found five at a local thrift shop and my inner child went wild.

Fortunately, these books were just as good as I remembered!

Monster Blood follows Evan and Andy at Evan’s great-Aunt’s house. They buy some monster blood, slime like toy and suddenly all heck breaks loose! Evan’s dog grows in size, the cat is evil and his Great-Aunt Kathryn is seemingly weird. Is she a witch?! Is she crazy?! Either way, that monster blood is taking over the city!

This book was a hundred pages of pure fun and mild terror. As a kid these were so much scarier, but they were still just as epic! I loved the story moving quickly, being full of wild twists and turns and being a great book for both children and adults. This book also brought me back to my childhood with lots of nostalgia. Do you have any Nintendo games?!

Was there any negatives about the book? Yes. Trigger was an elderly dog who acted very young. Was it super duper scary? No. I think it might scare the middle grade readers who this book is aimed to scare, but it’s not scary to adults. Either way, it was still a fun and easy read that had me chuckling along the way. I enjoy R.L. Stine’s writing style. It’s not meant to be taken seriously (it’s not It or Carrie or any Stephen King book). This book was meant to bring the younger demographic a little horror novel and introduce them to the genre. Can every Goosebump book be an absolute winner? No.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book! It’s a little spooky and is totally getting me in the mood for Halloween and October!

Four out of five stars!

You can find this book on:
Amazon.ca
Audible
Indigo
Kobo

 

Check out some other reviews you might enjoy:
#BookReview The Boy Who Cried Ghost by Richard Clark
#BookReview Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
#BookReview The Mega Collection by Scott Gordon – Nine Awesome Bedtime Stories!

 

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

#BookReview I Am the Night by Ruth Miranda

Ruth Miranda has a way with words that really pulls me into her books.

I Am the Night is a continuation of the Blood Trilogy series. It takes place inbetween the first and second novels, but it’s still one marvelous read.

In this little novella, we take a peek into Marcus’s life. His back story of becoming a vampire is more fleshed out this time around. I have to say that I really enjoyed it, despite all of it’s brutality. There’s lots of blood, gore and sex yet it doesn’t feel over the top. Somehow, Ruth also manages to mix in the raw emotion and crazy roller coaster that Marcus is going through. The highs and the lows are all present, and somehow she moves seamlessly from one to the other. It’s really intriguing to read, to be brutally honest.

I was totally addicted to the Blood trilogy, so this little novella made perfect sense to me. I wouldn’t recommend picking this story up unless you’ve at least read the first book in that series. It won’t make much sense otherwise. I’d label this book a “companion” novel to that main series. I’d like to see more little side stories like this one in the Blood trilogy series. It’s such a good series with so much plot and development! It deserves little stories like this to keep it alive!

I’d give this book an R rating for the intense horror of blood and death. It’s not overly horrific, but if you don’t like hearing about vampires killing people or blood then this book won’t be for you!

Overall, this book is epic! I love Ruth Miranda and her work! It’s no surprise that I’d binge read this book in one sitting too. It was well worth the wait and I hope Ruth brings some more books my way!

Five out of five stars!

I received this book for free from the author, Ruth Miranda, in exchange for an honest review.

 

Find more books by Ruth Miranda on Amazon:
Amazon.com – Ruth Miranda

Check out my reviews of other books by Ruth Miranda by clicking the links below:
#BookReview Blood by Ruth Miranda
#BookReview Marianne by Ruth Miranda
#BookReview Scars by Ruth Miranda
#BookReview A Study for Love by Ruth Miranda

 

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

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#BookReview NYV: Goth by K.D. McQuain

NYV: Goth is a great addition to the New York Vampire series by K.D. McQuain.

I have been waiting anxiously for this sequel for quite a while, and I have to say it didn’t disappoint! This sequel is darker, more twisted and absolutely brutal!

Yet again, we follow Chris in his new vampire life – he’s a little older, a little wiser and still getting into trouble. This book packs on the drama, the sex, the blood and the gore. As he tries to find his place in this world, performing a job alongside Amym and Joyce, trouble ensues.

This book is one hundred percent an R rated novel – there’s lots of sex scenes and lots of blood and guts. This book is not for the light-hearted, but it’s still quite the treat! The mature tone makes this book an interesting read since we are following a teenager. At times, I forgot that Chris was a teenager despite his actions reflecting his age pretty well. I still love Amym in this book, and I wish we got more from his side of the story. His little novella (#1.5 in this series) was really awesome – if you haven’t read that book, pick it up! Seriously, it’s great!

I loved that Chris is growing as a character. He wasn’t my favourite in the first novel, but he’s grown on me quite a bit. He has realistic emotions and reactions in a book that’s fantastical. I hope K.D. McQuain continues with this series and continues growing and developing Chris. He’s becoming one truly interesting character.

My issues with the book were as followed: I always seem to have difficulty figuring out how to pronounce the names of the characters. Googling them rarely helps me, so it’s more of a personal ‘con’ of the book. I’d love to see how K.D. had pronounced them as he was writing – that’d help silly old me out. My other con is that I wanted a little more from the side stories. They were really interesting, but I just wanted… more. Maybe I’m just greedy because I like K.D.’s writing style.

Overall, this book was a dark yet fun ride! It’s another ‘Reader Beware’ book – it’s really dark, it has rape and murder and lots of R rated content that might not be suitable for all ages or personalities

I would recommend this book if you like R rated vampire books (no glitter here folks!), drama and horror mashed together, or want a new series to jump into. I would recommend reading the first book so you really get the whole picture of this series, but you could definitely follow along with this story without any prior knowledge.

Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

 

This book can be purchased on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

 

The first book in this series can be found on Goodreads: Goodreads – NYV: Punk (#1)

Check out AMYM:The Mamluk Who Defied Death (New York Vampire #1.5) on Goodreads: AMYM on Goodreads

Find this book, NYV: Goth on Goodreads: Goodreads – NYV: Goth

Or…check out this website for more information on KD’s Books! K.D. McQuain’s Books

Find K.D. McQuain on Twitter! @McQuain_kd

 

Here are my other reviews for K.D. McQuain’s books:
#BookReview AMYM:The Mamluk Who Defied Death (New York Vampire 1.5) by K.D. McQuain
Book Review: NYV: Punk by K.D. McQuain

 

 

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

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#BookReview The Gift by Stephanie M. Matthews

The Gift by Stephanie M. Matthews was a horrific, thrilling treat!

This psychological, thrill ride of a novel showcases a unique take on religion. If Fae crazy? She’s hearing voices and a Gift from her grandmother has led her into some tempting and daunting situations. Will she get out alive? Will her friends survive? You’ll have to read to find out…

I was honestly surprised by this book – it had so many layers to it that I had to re-read a lot of chapters to really get the point (in a good way, of course). When you look at all of the aspects of this book, you get a real good idea of how talented Stephanie is. Christmas Day, German roots, bountiful landscapes, religious views and arts, and a dark yet intriguing writing style all creates a dark yet vibrant story. I kept getting pulled back into the book as I left it since I really had to know what was going to happen. This is one of the few books that I didn’t see the ending coming, which was nice.

Throw in a Frankie Valli reference, and I’m always game. On top of that, Stephanie is from Canada! It’s like this review was meant to be.

The genre of this book is hard to pick. It had a mixture of horror and thriller in there. I would recommend this book for at least 13+ if not an adult audience. There’s no crazy gore or R rated scenes, but the religion debate has a big influence on this novel.

If I had to summarize this book in one quote from the novel, it would be, “Sin is just what religious people call personal choices the church doesn’t like.” Seriously, that line gave me SHIVERS.

I don’t really have any negatives for this book, but I will say it’s a bit of a niche novel. It’s written beautifully, but some people might not like the themes. So, buyer beware (as always…) – research your books before you read them.

Overall, I liked this book. You could easily binge or set this book down, depending on your mood. I loved the prose and writing style Stephanie uses because it was absolutely perfect for the tone of this book. I’d love to read more from Stephanie in the future, because she’s clearly one talented author.

Four out of five stars.

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

 

You can find this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo
Barnes & Noble
Indigo – Canadian Retailer

 

Find out more about Stephanie M. Matthews:
Goodreads
www.stephaniemmatthews.com
Facebook
Instagram

 

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*Photo courtesy of the author, Stephanie M. Matthews