#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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#GuestPost Kelley Kaye Bowles Takes Over the Bloggity!

Today, on my blog, I welcome the fantabulous (yes, that’s a word) Kelley Kay Bowles/Kelley Kaye. We stumbled across each other, and I fell in love with her books! This amazing author has a cozy murder mystery series as well as one amazing YA novel that truly opened my eyes. When the opportunity came up for Kelley to spread the word about her novel, Down in the Belly of the Whale, I jumped at the chance! She had a really cool audiobook and was willing to share her experiences about making it. So, now is her time to shine! Here is Kelley’s guest post on my blog about her audiobook for Down in The Belly of the Whale.

Once again, thank you Kelley for taking the time to come join the bloggity!

Stay tuned…if you’re visiting on October 10th, 2018 then there is a free book in store for you….

 

When I was three years old, my grandma gave me a book. I don’t remember the title of the book, because I’m old now, but I’ve been assured it was a complex enough book – not a dick and Jane see Spot run, but an actual story.

So apparently what I did was rush up to my mother and say oh mommy will you read this to me?? To which she replied why don’t you read it to me?

So I did.

I guess it took a long time to convince my family that no one had read it to me before, that I just knew how to read, but there you have it. The birth of a story-loving, story-reading, storytelling monster.

Fast-forward to 2017. Insert 20 years of reading aloud to students in the interim, and plop me into a mix which includes a local publisher who is willing to take risks on an unknown. Then stir in a high voice which could pass for 15 (as long as you can’t see my wrinkles) a fancy microphone, a laptop, a chair, and a closet, and Voila! You have an audiobook!

The genesis of the Down in the Belly of the Whale audiobook actually has its own cool story. There’s an intense scene in the book involving a pretext call. You know the one I’m talking about! So during the editing process for the Belly manuscript, I’d just finished a rewrite which I felt really made the scene. . . pop. It actually made me cry, made my heart beat faster, basically affected me emotionally. Which was exactly what I wanted, ya know? So I called the publisher and read the scene over the phone.

She FLIPPED out, loved the reading so much, said, “You have to do the audiobook!” And I said,”YES!”

Ideally you go to a studio to produce a quality audiobook. But, ideally you have a budget with which to do that sort of thing—which I really did not. So we did the next best thing: punt. The publisher found me a high-quality microphone, and I’m one of those people who never gives clothes away (“Bellbottoms will come around again…it’s a cyclical thing!”) and therefore have a closet that’s chock full of sound suppression!

So every day, after the landscapers at my condo complex put their leaf blowers and lawn mowers away, I’d plug the microphone into my laptop and get into my closet. I’d close the door and sit down, do some deep breaths and tongue twisting exercises, and then launch into a chapter.

Each chapter got uploaded to my computer and sent to the publisher. After the first draft, we got into re-records, in some chapters where the voices weren’t consistent, or maybe with volume or pacing issues. I had to completely re-record the last eight chapters because of a mysterious, unidentifiable thump.

Anyway, the entire process took about six months. It was extremely draining. And interesting. And fascinating.
And FUN!

Check out the sample: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07FMCKD67/

So if you have a commute, or some housekeeping to do, or you’d just rather listen to stories sometimes, here’s an opportunity! Audiobooks are always less expensive when purchased with the actual, written word version. So today, on World Mental Health Day, “buy” Down in the Belly of the Whale for free on Amazon, and have some audio story time with me for only $7.49! Yay, BOOKS!

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon.ca – eBook
Amazon.ca – Audiobook

Amazon.com – eBook
Amazon.com – Audiobook

Barnes & Nobles – eBook
Barnes & Nobles – Paperback

Chapters/Indigo/Coles – Paperback

 

Find out more about Kelley Kaye on:
http://www.kelleykaybowles.com/
Twitter – @kelkay1202

 

Check out Briar’s Reviews on:
Goodreads – Down in the Belly of the Whale review
Twitter – @ReviewAlholic
Facebook – @BriarsReviews
#BookPlaylist Down in the Belly of the Whale by Kelley Kay Bowles

 

If you enjoyed this book, check out my Top Ten list of other books you may enjoy (which this book is on!!!). Collection 2: #TopTens – Young Adult Part 1

#BookReview Poison by Punctuation by Kelley Kaye

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This sequel is another thrilling yet cozy mystery that is set in the halls of a high school!

We continue on in this book with Emma and Leslie in yet another pickle. This time around, a student was murdered! The suspense is excellent in this story – I felt myself being pulled in even farther into the story as each page went by. It really hooks the reader and makes them feel committed! Throw in some A grade comedy, fantastic character development and lots of education allusions and you’ve got one epic book!

These two sleuths are basically the adult versions of Nancy Drew! The wittiness and cuteness of this book makes it the perfect relaxation novel. I also found it to be the perfect binging novel (although you could easily put this book down and jump back into it). It’s also a G to PG rated book – there’s nothing graphic or overly worrisome. Teens and adults alike will easily be able to read and enjoy this book!

It was a real delight seeing Emma and Leslie and their fantastic chemistry together again! The two of them make the perfect best friends for a fun, cozy story! I can almost feel them radiating their positivity off the pages! And on top of that, they are hilarious! I also have a strong love for the secondary characters as well! The other teachers are all interesting and truly characters.

Hunter was a real breakout character for me. I loved seeing more of him in this novel and I hope in any future books he’s hanging around more!

I loved all the quotations between the chapters – that’s one major part of this series that raises it above all the others! The Shakespeare quotes always get me! I love it!

My final comment – I loved that adoption became a big part of this book. The awareness of adoption, while out there, isn’t spoken about enough (in my honest opinion). Thank you Kelley for expanding the conversation!

Kelley Kaye is the Queen of cozy, comedic mysteries! I will definitely be looking for more books by her and I highly recommend picking up this must read novel!

Four out of five stars!

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

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads – Poison by Punctuation

Youtube – Book Trailer – Poison by Punctuation

Amazon.com – Poison by Punctuation

Amazon.ca – Poison by Punctuation

 

Check out the first book in this series, Death by Diploma, on:

Goodreads – Death by Diploma

Youtube – Book Trailer – Death by Diploma

Amazon.com – Death by Diploma

Amazon.ca – Death by Diploma

Find out more about Kelley Kaye on:

Goodreads – Kelley Kaye or Goodreads – Kelley Kaye #2

YouTube – Kelley Kaye

http://www.kelleykaybowles.com/

Twitter – @KelKay1202

Facebook – Kelley Kaye

 

If you read this review, give me a shout out on Twitter! @ReviewAlholic

#BookReview Death by Diploma by Kelley Kaye

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Death by Diploma by Kelley Kaye is a fun, cozy mystery that is perfect for binging!

I’ve gotta say, I have been yearning for some teacher centered reads lately (ironically, since school is getting out around now for the elementary school kids in my area). And what is my luck that Kelley Kaye has an awesome mystery series that’s full of teachers, silly antics and loads of thrills!

Our lead Emma working at a new school and meets Leslie, the current head of the English department. While being introduced to her new life as the high school English teacher, she discovers a murder! Leslie, Emma and a band of jolly characters must work together to find out who killed a beloved janitor and all of the secrets he held behind the scenes in his life.

The book is FULL of quotes – Star Wars and Shakespeare just to name a couple! I loved all of the silly references that I understood, and the ones I didn’t I got to look up and find MORE books to add to my never ending to-be-read pile! Add in the comedy that Kelley Kaye is clearly an expert at providing, and you’ve got yourself a fun time! Work your way through this book and try to solve the mystery, or just enjoy the giggles you’ll get from the wacky one liners!

For me as a reader, I couldn’t find much wrong with this book. It was short enough to binge it but long enough to feel fulfilling. It was also packed with everything I love – silly comments, epic quotes and fun characters. There’s drama, a splash of flirtiness and romance, gossip, thrills and chills. It hits all the notes I want in a sweet novel!

I would say this book is for 16+, due to some of the adult comments used in the book. That being said, if you’ve got a mature teen they will have no problem reading this book! It’s not R rated, it just has adult comments that you might not want to read to your children.

Five out of five stars! It was a fun ride that I definitely want more of! I’ll be searching for Kelley Kaye’s books on every bookshelf I can!

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

 

Check out this book on:

 

Check out the first bo on:

Goodreads – Death by Diploma

Youtube – Book Trailer – Death by Diploma

Amazon.com – Death by Diploma

Amazon.ca – Death by Diploma

Find out more about Kelley Kaye on:

Goodreads – Kelley Kaye or Goodreads – Kelley Kaye #2

YouTube – Kelley Kaye

http://www.kelleykaybowles.com/

Twitter – @KelKay1202

Facebook – Kelley Kaye

 

If you read this review, give me a shout out on Twitter! @ReviewAlholic

And comment below! What books do you find “cozy”?

 

Photo from Goodreads.