Book Review: Roses in December

OMG Bookworms! I go to Ireland tomorrow. I am so freaking excited. I did a lot of reading this week to get my OWLS in for the Magical Readathon. So far I have completed Defense Against The Dark Arts and now having completed this book, I have completed Herbology. Speaking of this book, it is called Roses in December: Haunting and Macabre Tales by Matthew De Lacey Davidson.

The book Roses in December lying on a blanket

Synopsis: Roses in December is a short story collection which defies categorization. Some of the stories are haunting – others are deeply troubling.

A man receives a religious vision in his ordinary back garden; a nuclear physicist in Australia experiences a great surprise where he least expects it; a duct-tape salesman unsettles his faithful customer; Voltaire does not put his best foot forward; someone makes a grim discovery upon waking up in a prison; a psychiatrist does his best to treat a political extremist; a nineteenth-century photographer goes about his usual (and highly unusual) business; and a wealthy neighborhood in Montreal becomes the scene of an immense and avoidable tragedy.

This book was too short. I loved it and wish there was more of it to consume my time. It has over 20 short stories in it and they are all so different yet exciting. Some of them are super eerie and when you are finished you are like “heck yes, I love when they leave it with such an ominous tone”.

The last one is very sweet and I believe the author wrote it about someone very special to him. It is about life and how it moves on but we always stay connected to those that are close to us, be it family or not.

You will not get bored reading this book as each story is only 4-5 pages each and the book itself is only around 115 pages. I find that I am a big fan of short story collections and will continue to find more of these to read. Especially dark, thrilling ones.

If you like short stories then I suggest picking this one up.

Book Rating: 4.5/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and Book Depository or find it on Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in physical format by the author to read and give our honest review.


Is anyone taking part in the Harry Potter Magical Readathon? Here is my video showing the books I chose to read for my OWLS! Let me know in the comments if you are participating.

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Book Review: Enigma In Time

Here is the review for the second graphic novel sent to us by Bad Aura. This one was called Enigma In Time by Chris Kostecka.

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Synopsis: A speck, the size of a drop of blood, driven mad by eons of silence, filled with unimaginable power senses its missing piece on earth. It finds this essence inside an unimaginably cruel human named Gordon. It sets off toward earth traveling across the universe destroying many planets, solar systems, and civilizations along the way.

Meanwhile, on earth, Neal, a seemingly ordinary boy witnesses the suicide of his father and is traumatized by this unexpected act. A frightening man in a red shirt stands over his father’s crushed body. 

Years later Neal is adopted by a loving family and his life changes for the better.

Eventually, the speck arrives at earth. Gaea, the earth’s sworn protector, is quickly overwhelmed by the speck and its power; in the last ditch effort to save the earth she merges with the speck empowering it with a conscience. Gaea redirects it from Gordon into Neal. Enigma in Time is a story about something that should not exist but does. It is a story about Set’s rebirth.

This was quite an interesting comic book. It was kind of an origin story but then kind of not at the same time. The main character Neal keeps going in and out of time (at least I am presuming that is what is happening) throughout his life growing up.  Sometimes he is in his bedroom then all of a sudden he is in medieval times.

Many events happen throught Neal’s life that are traumatic and he plays the part of a hero in a lot of them. He has this force inside of him that is always there and he can feel it but can’t access it.

The girl/woman he loves is also experiencing this time traveling which makes me curious to know if the two of them are tangled in the same time web and if they will come to play a more prominent part in each other’s stories.

I enjoyed the graphic novel overall but I wouldn’t say it was one of my favorites. The storyline gets a little confusing at times and the dialogue is very straight forward. That being said, I would be interested to see what happens in future issues as the ending insinuated that there would be more to come.

Book Rating: 3.5/5

You can buy this book on the Bad Aura website.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in physical format by Bad Aura to read and give an honest review.

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Book Review: Hippo Ocracy

Welcome back to the blog, bookies. We have a new review for a graphic novel called Hippo Ocracy by a company called Bad Aura. They sent us two graphic novels (the other will be reviewed tomorrow) and we are more than happy because graphic novels are the best.

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Synopsis: Khipo leads the hippo kingdom with his energetic blonde hair, political savvy, and lackadaisical demeanor. Along with his rhino wife Ronda and their half-breed, pacifier sucking son Rhipo they rule with total devotion from their subjects.  Watch the insanity within his kingdom unfold as elephant royalty visits, and enemies from the past threaten to destabilize everything. All along the way, you will be introduced to fantastic over the top characters and subplots. Will the hippo’s triumph over their enemies?

Honestly, this graphic novel was hilarious. Yes, it may have been a very simple storyline that didn’t have much substance to it but it was very creative in the way it portrayed many huge media references. Such references include:

  • the hippos building a wall to keep the crocodiles out (Trump’s wall)
  • A reporter showing up during the battle called Clark Potamus (even had the classic hair swirl that Clark Kent aka Superman has)
  • The enemy crocodile leader wearing crocs to battle (this was just funny)

The hilarity even went as far as a zebra being a referee due to its obvious colors. He then gets mad and uses beavers as chainsaws to wreak havoc on the battlefield. I was laughing out loud while reading this and kept snorting while enjoying this lovable, slightly ridiculous, fun comic book. It really reminded me of Happy Tree Friends.

I would recommend this comic book to literally everyone because it gave me about 20 minutes of complete entertainment. It is a very quick read.

Book Rating: 4.5/5

You can find this book on the Bad Aura website!

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us by Bad Aura in physical format to read and give an honest review.

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Book review: The Mighty Thor – Lord of Asgard

Bookworms! I read a graphic novel as a little in between books break because we all need those every once and awhile. This one was called The Mighty Thor – Lord of Asgard by Dan Jurgens and Joe Bennett. This graphic novel collected Thor (1998) #44-50.

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Synopsis: Thor is called upon to fulfill his father’s legacy as lord and master of the Eternal Realm—leaving Earth’ protection in the hands of the untested Tarene! But an old foe of the Thunder God has embarked on a quest for immortality, one that may spell the end of both Midgard’s fledgling guardian and Thor’s new reign! And then it’s Thor, Lord of Asgard vs. Desak, Destroyer of Pantheons!

This review will be short and sweet because well it was a graphic novel so there is not much to say about it. I enjoy Thor as a hero but I must say that I prefer his brother Loki. He is very cunning and entertaining as he will always throw a loop into Thor’s plans which keeps the storyline flowing.

I feel like there could have been a bit more action and less narration in this comic but overall it was set up for future issues so that is understandable. The art was pretty great! I always marvel at the art in comic books. This style of art is what inspired me to go to school for Graphic Design so thank you Marvel (and all the other comic publishers out there ;P).

Book Rating: 4/5

You can find this book on Goodreads!

Disclaimer: I bought this book at a comic book shop for an amazing discounted rate and read it because I wanted to.

Fusion Belts

Book Review: The Cosmic​ Hello – Lessons in Co-Dependency

Bookworms!! Guess what?! I have another review for you. But before I jump into that, I have some news to share with you. I have been reaching out to different Canadian Publishers to see if they wanted to do some collaborations and a couple have responded and wish to do so! You will be seeing some fantastic work from these publishers when I get to working on our collaborations but for right now, I am just super excited that they want to work with me 🙂

For the review, this one is called The Cosmic Hello: Lessons in Co-Dependency by C. Alexander.

Book Synopsis: “Couples therapy sessions slowly morphed into solitary therapy sessions. My therapist kept coming back to the question of my passions, and where I was headed. I knew it was writing. So I wrote. I wrote my pain of loss. I wrote my confusion about the existential questions that plagued me as someone who grew up in the bible belt, but had a hard time swallowing the bigotry I saw. I wrote my struggle through heartbreak and single life. I wrote my triumphs in self-confidence, and ultimately I wrote a new love story, with a new person. Ultimately, it’s not about meeting the right person; instead, it is about finding out that you are quite capable of loving yourself, and anyone else loving you is just a wonderful sprinkle on top.”

Ok, so this book was too short. I want more! It is another poetry collection but I loved the intensity with which this author talked about his past love life. It is simply beautiful and poetic and real. Oh so real.

“It’s in our nature to destroy in order to create.”

They connect with their reader in a way that sticks with you. The hopeless romantic in me is loving the progression of vulgar, bitter-sweet poems to remembrances of love and hope for a future with it in it. I resonate with the author’s feeling of never fully being ok after a breakup. Feeling like a part of yourself is broken and can’t be fixed. This comes with the territory of serious committed relationships. But eventually, we get to a point where the scars that the last person left are washed away like names written in sand and you can feel love and be loved again.

I will not settle for less than shared sunsets unaccountable, but always to few.

I want to type out one of the poems from the back of the book because I found it so enlightening and I couldn’t help but share it.

The Things We Make With Our Hands

I want to grow a tree out of my chest
gnarled roots as veins, ventricles.
I want to brew my coffee with soil,
French Press, not those drip machines.
I want to bear fruit
that children suck between their teeth
when they take a 5-minute break
from playing hide and see.


I want you to build a home in me
With leaves and twigs and broken things
I want you to feel secure
on clear starry nights
or when the storms threaten to topple me over,
“Case baby I won’t break,
Won’t be destroyed by happenstance”.


And when this is done,
you can chop me down,
count the rings and stories I made for
myself and for you.
Pour the sap in syrup bottles
so you have something sweet with your breakfast.


Build foundations with me
and let every knot that splinters your
front porch, every imperfection,
be understood in the way only you can.
You can knock on me to ward off bad luck
and I’ll always be your cool shade in summer.

Isn’t that just beautiful? I strongly recommend this book to poetry fans who like the brutal honesty of relationships and how to survive when one comes to an end.

Book Rating: 4.5/5 (Lost .5 because it was too short :P)

You can find this book on Amazon and Goodreads!

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in physical format to read and give an honest review.

There is also another book on the block that you should check out if you haven’t heard of it yet. It is called Addicted To Hate by Lucia Mann and it is a great one! You can find it on Amazon or on her website: www.luciamann.com!

Addicted to Hate - Front Cover


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Book Review: The Long Body That Connects Us All

Another book review to scratch off the list. This one was called The Long Body That Connects Us All by Rich Marcello.

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Book Synopsis: Provocative and profound, Rich Marcello’s poems are compact but expansive, filled with music as seductive as their ideas, and focused mostly on how to be a good man. This is a collection of deep passion and wisdom for fathers, husbands, and sons, but also for mothers, wives, and daughters, many who began with a longing for the things they were taught to desire by their forefathers, only to later discover a different path, one lit by loss and welcoming of the vulnerable, one made of the long body that connects us all.

As far as poetry goes, this one was pretty good. It had a lot of nature in it but also played on family, relationships, and hardships. As I was reading, I found that a lot of the passages had me reflecting on my interactions in the past with those I had loved and lost. It warmed my heart to read things like this and as I have probably said before, the beauty of poetry is that everyone can take a different meaning away from it. It works on a personal level and is interpreted in different context with every reader or performer (if you go to poetry readings).

Overall, I rather enjoyed this one and would suggest it. It is a very quick read at only about 60 pages so give it a shot.

Book Rating: 4/5

You can find this book on Amazon and Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in physical format to read and give an honest review.

I am hosting a giveaway for the next week! If you’re interested in winning some Star Wars Magnetic Bookmarks, an Iron Man coaster, and some fun stickers, then click the link below!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/5760930a5/?


There is also another book on the block that you should check out if you haven’t heard of it yet. It is called Addicted To Hate by Lucia Mann and it is a great one! You can find it on Amazon or on her website: www.luciamann.com!

Addicted to Hate - Front Cover


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Book Review: A Land Apart

Hey bookworms! How are you? Tell me in the comments below! I like to keep up to date with you guys.

We have a new review over here at Breakeven Books. This one is called A Land Apart by Ian Roberts.

A Land Apart book lying on a blanket

Synopsis: This gripping story of adventure and courage is set in a magnificent wilderness with the French, English, Iroquois, and Wendat just starting to do battle for what would become the US and Canada. The novel begins with the English pitted against the French, both aggressively claiming the land and resources of North America for themselves. The Iroquois align with the English, the Wendat with the French. The warring conflict between Iroquois and Wendat goes back generations but exists in an uneasy balance until the English sell guns to the Iroquois. Etienne Brulé, a historical character, has lived with the Wendat for 25 years. He knows even if he can get guns for the Wendat, the price everyone will pay in the end will be way too much.

This book was a historical fiction about Etienne Brulé and his dealings with the Wendat. I am normally not very into historical fiction but the way the author told this story had me encaptured since the very start. When they were in life-threatening situations and doing everything they could to survive, I felt my heart pumping faster as I read with the anticipation to know what happens next.

It was very interesting to learn about the Aboriginal culture in the context of interactions between the Wendat and the French and see how they differed in social dynamics. They lived very different lives yet wanted what each other had. The Aboriginals wanted the guns because they saw it as a source of raw power and the French wanted a strong sense of resolve that the Wendat showed in their character.

I would definitely recommend this book to the historical fiction buffs out there. It is worth the read and it has these beautiful black and white illustrations throughout that were done by the author.

Book Rating: 4.5/5

You can find this book on Amazon and Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in physical format by the author to read and give an honest review.

Sidenote: If you want to support a fantastic literary company, our friends STORGY have a Kickstarter running currently for their Anthology called Shallow Creek. You get cool prizes if you pledge to the project so you should check it out!


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RIP Stan Lee

I know this post is a little late but I just wanted to express my sadness for the loss of Stan Lee. This man was a legend and an inspiration to all. He created most of the comics that I loved and adored as I grew up (still love them to this day). He is the reason I got into drawing and art in general. I have one of his drawing guidebooks that I used to practice with as a kid. You could say that it is because of him that I went to school for Graphic Design and am working in the design field.

His memory will live on in all of his beautiful creations and the stories to come in the Marvel universe. We owe it to him to continue to read comicbooks and to believe in ourselves because we can do anything we put our mind to.

PS. In honor of Stan, use the link below to get 15% off your purchase at Indigo Chapters.

15% off with HERO15 (ends Nov 15)

Giveaway Time

Hey bookworms!

It’s been a minute since I hosted a giveaway so here you go. I am giving away a copy of Tiger in Trouble by Eric Walters and some cartoon stickers to one lucky winner! You can enter on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter! This is your chance to get another book on your shelf and some fun stickers to put on stuff 🙂

A book on a table with one stickers around it

 

For extra entries, you can complete the steps on the Rafflecopter page! Just go to this link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/5760930a3/?

Also exciting news, we now have another reviewer that will be joining the team to help out with our review list. Her name is Bonnie Humber and she recently celebrated the birth of her first child, a little boy named Alastor!

She is an artist and hosts paint nights for people in and around North Bay, Ontario, Canada! If you are interested in a paint night, you can contact her on her facebook page and check out the different options of images to paint.

Good Luck with the Giveaway! Get back to reading 😛


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Author Interview: J.L Mulvihill

Hey bookworms, I joined a book tour and decided to do an author interview! This author is promoting her new Steel Roots Series.

About the author:  A California native born in Hollywood, J.L. Mulvihill has made Mississippi her home for the past seventeen years. Her debut novel was the young adult title The Lost Daughter of Easa, an engaging fantasy novel bordering on science-fiction with a dash of Steampunk, published through Dark Oak Press in 2011. The sequel to this novel is presently in the works.

Her Most recent novel, The Boxcar Baby of the Steel Roots series, was released in July 2013 through Seventh Star Press. Steel Roots is a young adult series based in the Steampunk genre and engages the reader into a train hopping heart stopping adventure across America. Book 2, Crossings released December of 2014.

She is also the co-editor of Southern Haunts; The Spirits That Walk Among Us which includes a short story of her own called Bath 10, and a fictional thriller involving a real haunted place. Her poem, The Demon of the Old Natchez Trace, debuts in Southern Haunts part 2, Devils in the Darkness.

J.L. also has several short fiction pieces in publication, is very active with the writing community, and is the events coordinator for the Mississippi Chapter of Imagicopter known as the Magnolia-Tower. She is also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Gulf Coast Writers Association (GCWA), The Mississippi Writers Guild (MWG), as well as the Clinton Ink-Slingers Writing Group.

And now on to the author interview that I conducted with her!

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

1. How did you start writing?
I have been writing short stories and poems for as long as I can remember I just never saw myself as a writer so I never did anything with them. One day I had a very queer dream about being chased through the woods by a giant spider. That bizarre dream turned into my first novel, The Lost Daughter of Easa, which sold out at DragonCon in 2011 at its debut. I have been seriously writing ever since.

2. Who is your favorite author?
I have way too many favorite authors but I can tell you the authors that have influenced this series is L. Frank Baum who wrote The Wizard of Oz books and Laura Ingalls Wilder who wrote The Little House On The Prairie series. Some other great authors I admire would be Robert A. Heinlein, Mike Resnick, Terry Brooks, Nevada Barr, Ramsey Campbell, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, David Blalock, Kimberly Richardson, Michael West Alexander S. Brown and Stephen Zimmer and. Those are just a few of my favorites like I said I have so many it really is hard to pick.

3. What goes into your writing/planning process?
If I am writing a novel and/or series I plan out at least an outline of plot points. After that, I just go with it because I want the story to be as free and organic as possible. I do tend to do a lot of research of places, people, and things. Though I am writing fiction, I try to make the story as real and plausible as possible. Of course, there are no children eating trolls living in America, as far as we know but if you do your research you will find it is very possible that a carnivorous race of beings could very well have crossed the ocean hidden on the boats with the immigrants and settled down in caves and eventually abandoned mines in the United States.

4. What do you like about reading?
I like reading all genres as you can tell by the wide variety of authors I like. Any kind of a book that can take me away on an adventure either on earth or in space I love. Any kind of a book who can take me through a mystery and engage me in the game of who done it I enjoy greatly. Any story that can send shivers down my spine and quicken my heart with anticipation thrills me. Any kind of a book that can make me think about the world around me and the possibilities of what is and what could be amazes me. So, I pretty much like reading just about anything as long as it holds my interest which it will if written well.

5. Where is your favorite reading spot?
I don’t have a particular reading spot just anywhere quiet where I can immerse myself into the story. A good cup of tea and a cuddly blanket in my easy chair of my office is good. I do a lot of driving so Audiobooks work great for me as well, especially if it is a large series of books, for instance, The Game of Thrones series got me across the country and back.

6. What words of advice do you give to readers of your book?
Never stop reading because it opens the minds and feeds the soul. If you want to write then read everything you want to write about and then write your version of a story. Also, pay attention to your characters but they are so real and sometimes they will lead you down a better path of the story than you had planned on. Always be true to yourself and don’t jump on the bandwagon. Enjoy the adventure and find yourself along the way.


That’s all for this author interview! Feel free to answer some of the questions yourself in the comments below because I would love to know 🙂

You can find J.L Mulvihill on Twitter and Facebook.

Talk to you later bookworms.


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