Author Interview: Kasham Keltuma

I had the pleasure of talking with a local author over email this past week named Kasham Keltuna about their book Caucasian Ovtcharka. We wish we could have met in person to do a video interview but because of COVID, we went the written route.

20200817_235028
Synopsis: Caucasian Ovtcharka, a contemporary literary novel, tells the story of a young lady contracted to marry the cripple heir of a multi-Billion Naira estate.

Despite their mutual unwillingness, they are prevailed upon and the marriage ensues whilst the lady feels the need to flee the union and protect herself, the young man becomes smitten, whether his love is genuine or just a means to an end remains a heartbreaking mystery.

Buy her book here: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B08D2GNXHH/ref=cm_sw_r_wa_awdb_t1_qYseFbRE8FAYF

Here is the interview I did with her! Her answers were great and I would look forward to meeting her in person once COVID settles down!


Q. What is your top read of 2020 so far?

Becoming – Michelle Obama

Children of Blood and Bone – Tomi Adeyemi

Season of Crimson Blossoms – Abubakar Adam Ibrahim

The Spiral Staircase: Karen Armstrong

Q. What is your favorite book friendship?

The novel, Radio Silence by Alice Oseman about the characters Frances and Aled and their formidable friendship over a period of a year is a great way of embodying a platonic relationship, especially for teenagers.

Q. Most anticipated book release of 2020?

Too Much and Never Enough – Mary L. Trump

Becoming – Michelle Obama

Breast and Eggs – Mieko Kawakami

Q. How many books are in your TBR pile?

For the physical books, I’d say about 20. I try to make a point to finish reading my pile before buying new ones. For my eBooks TBR, I have about 200 books.

Q. Who is your favorite author?

That will be Henry Charles Bukowski.

Q. How did you start writing?

I just started. Somehow during my teenage years, I got lost in reading books and came to the thin line between me reading and writing.

Q. Where is your favorite reading spot?

I really wouldn’t say I have a favorite reading spot. With the right book, every spot is favorite.

Q. How long have you been an author?

Ten years.

Q. Why do you like reading?

I think the reason why I love reading is its ability to transport me back to worlds outside my immediate reality into wherever the writer navigates me to. In a way, you could say it is an escapist pastime, which will be correct.  But it is also the foreplay between the writer, characters, and myself as the reader that captivates me in profound ways because my soul merges with these people both fictional and non-fictional and ultimately, life never remains the same.

Q. If you had to describe yourself in a book title, what would it be? 

The Audacity of Hope – Barrack Obama

IMG-20200721-WA0003

Kasham Keltuma is a filmmaker and has written several screenplays for the big screen and television. She has been writing nearly half of her life. Her debut novel is titled Caucasian Ovtcharka. She hopes to adopt a dog one day and currently lives in Sudbury, Ontario.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kasham.keltuma

Instagram: https://instagram.com/KashamKeltuma

Thank you so much Kasham for joining me for an author interview! If you are an author or know of an author that would like to participate in an interview for the blog, don’t hesitate to reach out!



Thank you to our Patreon Supporters:

Get your name/blog added to our blog posts and Youtube videos by supporting us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/breakevenbooks

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

I absolutely love coffee so I just had to do the Coffee Book Tag! All of the prompts are related to hot drinks and it was a blast to film. Let me know in the comments how you take your coffee (or whichever hot drink you prefer)! Check out the video below:

Book Review: And Hell Followed With Him

It is about time that I got back to some good old fiction! I recently read And Hell Followed With Him by J.M. Bedard and it was pretty decent.

Processed with VSCO with p5 preset

Synopsis: Winter is approaching fast in the windswept plains along the Canada/US border; the landscape is bleak, but the prospects of the people living there, even more so.
Dave returns home for the first time since he left as a teenager and finds his family in disarray; the Mathises, once reigning over all criminal aspects of the area, have begun to lose their grip. Palmer, the patriarch, has only gotten more bloodthirsty in his old age, an influence that has begun to rub off on Dave’s brother, Jed. It seems that the more the Mathises try to manage their own affairs, the stronger things spin out of control. Soon nearly everyone in town is drawn into the mess, from morally bankrupt cops to teenagers, to Dave himself.

Loyalties and grudges, left to fester, underpin every decision.
Family binds together, then wrenches apart- and Dave, not quite a local but not a stranger, cannot fully cleave himself from it all.

He will try- and the results will leave no one untouched.

This book started off with such an intense scene and it pulled me in. I found it to be quite an interesting read with all the perspectives you were able to explore as the reader. The mafia-style family that has control over the town is in such a mess with all their drama and it kept me reading to see what happened with them. I haven’t seen many episodes of this show but I would compare it to Bloodline from Netflix.

There is one character called “The Canadian” and they are supposed to be this ominous, powerful, menacing character which I find really funny because I am Canadian and I just picture him being very nice and saying sorry a lot (which is a stereotype but a lot of us do that ;P).

I wasn’t a huge fan of how it ends. I’m not sure if there are going to be more books added to this or if it is just a standalone but it seemed like there would be more. There are a lot of unanswered questions I have which is why I think I feel this way.

I would read more books by this author to see their journey as a writer. I will say that they could pull off some of the personas of their characters really well. All in all, I did like the book and it kept my attention enough to read the whole way through.

Book Rating: 3/5

You can buy this book on Amazon and find it on Goodreads. Check out the author’s Instagram to keep up to date with her!

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the author in the ebook format to read and give my honest review.


2019 was a year full of reading and I compiled a list of the top 10 books of the year that I read. Watch the video and let me know if you agree with any of them!

Author Interview: Ben Galley

Ben Galley is an author of dark and epic fantasy books who currently hails from Victoria, Canada. Since publishing his debut The Written in 2010, Ben has released a range of award-winning fantasy novels, including the weird western Bloodrush and the epic standalone The Heart of Stone. He is also the author of the brand new Chasing Graves Trilogy.

cLOWGWRx.png-large

Author Interview

1. What is your top read of 2019 so far? 

I must admit, given my workload this year, the reading has taken a bit of a back seat. However, I’ve been catching up in recent weeks, and I’ve been utterly blown away by Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology. It’s a book I’ve been wishing existed since my obsession with Norse Mythology began at an early age.  Gaiman does an excellent job marrying his excellent prose with the majesty – and frankly madness – of the Norse mythos.

I am so happy he said this! We have a book we both read and loved (and we both read it recently too).

2. What is your favorite book friendship? 

I’m a huge fan of the First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie, and the friendship between Dogman and Logen Ninefingers is not only a highly enjoyable one but a funny one, too. I could read a series just featuring those two, with all their misadventures and narrow escapes. Their personalities clash and intertwine in intricate ways together and yet stand alone as fully-realized characters when they’re apart.

3. Most anticipated book release of 2019? 

2019 seems to be an exciting year for books! I’m looking forward to throwing Dark Age by Pierce Brown into my TBR pile, along with the Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang, and hopefully (fingers crossed) Thorn of Emberlain by Scott Lynch and Doors of Stone by Patrick Rothfuss.

Can’t wait for Dark Age! This guy know his good books.

4. How many books are in your TBR Pile? 

I dread to think… Currently, I think my TBR pile, in its entirety, has about 65 books in it. The summit of Mount TBR at the moment consists of The Hod King by Josiah Bancroft, City of Lies by Sam Hawke, and the End of the Line by Gray Williams.

5. Who is your favorite author? 

That is a tough one, however, based on the level of inspiration they’ve brought to my life and writing career, and the sheer mastery of their work, I would have to say J.R.R. Tolkien. An obvious choice, perhaps, but The Hobbit and LotR kindled a fierce passion in me for fantasy and writing. That passion put me on the path I still tread today.

6. How did you start writing? 

I started quite young. Thanks to spending my formative years devouring Middle Earth, Narnia, and Redwall, it wasn’t long before I started to write as well as read. I decided to attempt a novel aged 11, and managed to write two by my early teens. I believe that gave me a solid foundation for when I decided to make a professional go of being an author when I was 21. I spent a year or two working on my debut, The Written, and launched it in late 2010. I haven’t looked back since!

7. Where is your favorite reading spot? 

My favorite spot doubles as one of my favorite writing spots. There’s a little bar just on the edge of Victoria Harbour that looks over the Juan De Fuca strait between Vancouver Island and Washington. On clear days, the snow-capped mountains dominate the horizon while ships potter about below, and if you’re lucky, you might just glimpse a humpback or pods of orcas traveling through.

8. How long have you been an author? 
I would say since aged 11 or 12 when I realized that writing was all I wanted to do in life. However, in regards to publishing and selling books, I would say I’ve been an author since 2009.

9. What do you like about reading? 

The escape. When I read, the world around me fades away and my entire attention is focused on the text. I have a very visual imagination and mindset, so can see every action and scene all playing out behind my eyes as I read. That combination of absorbing an author’s prose and yet conjuring up your own imagery and ideas is fantastic, and so hard to achieve with other media such as films and games, in which the visuals are already constructed for you. It’s a kind of magic that only books can offer.

10. If you had to describe yourself in a book title, what would it be?

Great question! And difficult, too… I would have to go with “Magic, Mischief, and Malt Whisky: An Epic, If Not Narcissistic, Saga.


Check out my No Disclaimers tag video where I answer questions regarding books and the bookish community!

Beliosa

Author Interview: Shelby Eileen

What is new with my favorite bookworms? I was perusing Twitter, doing Twitter things when I came upon a post about another blogger that wanted to do guest posts and in general just connect with other bloggers. So I reached out to her and am glad I did because she is an amazing person and super nice. It is always great to make new blogging friends.

thumbnail_IMG_9850

Shelby Eileen is a queer Canadian writer in a perpetual state of stress concerning her unmapped future. Eileen studied at Brock University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature. She uses the knowledge and skills gained from her degree throughout her daily life, even if others hardly notice that she does so. One of her many dreams is to live alone in a little apartment with a cat and good writing energy. Her published works include; soft in the middle, sunfish, Sunshine, Sadness, and other Floridian Effects, and Goddess of The Hunt. In her free time, you can find her listening to audiobooks, crocheting, or sending pictures of corgis and Jake Gyllenhaal to her friends. The next thing she hopes to tackle after another poetry collection or two: romance novellas! Connect with her on Twitter and Instagram. Her handle is @briseisbooks.

We conducted a Q&A with her as she is a budding author with her poetry collections and we wanted to learn more about her. Without further ado, here is our Q&A session!

Author Q&A

What is your top read of 2019 so far? 

Definitely, without a doubt, The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty.

What is your favorite book friendship? 

Ginger and Daniel from 2 of my favorite romance books by Roan Parrish- Small Changeand In The Middle of Somewhere.

Most anticipated book release of 2019? 

Oof, there’s many, but The Fever Kingby Victoria Lee, I Wish You All The Best by Mason Deaver, and If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann.

How many books are in your TBR Pile? 

TOO MANY (definitely 100+).

Who is your favorite author? 

Madeline Miller. She writes my favorite Greek myth/historical fantasy books; The Song of Achilles and Circe.

How did you start writing? 

I’ve always taken advantage of writing classes if they were offered at school – in high school and university. I recently did a creative writing workshop, which was amazing and helped me get in touch with how fun and therapeutic writing is. I think what got me into writing in a more serious way was the drive to depict the under-represented parts of me; my queerness, my religion, and my fatness.

Where is your favorite reading spot? 

My bed.

How long have you been an author? 

I’ve been a published author since December 2017.

What do you like about reading? 

I love how much I learn through reading, the community that comes with it, and how sentimental and comforting certain books can be.

If you had to describe yourself in a book title, what would it be?

Let’s Talk About Love (by Claire Kann) … I think I just read so much romance it kind of permeates my brain lol. Also, as a writer and a human, it’s so important to me to distinguish different types of love (romantic, platonic, familial, etc), and lift them all up as being equal and significant.

Great answers Shelby! This interview was an amazing success. I am always joyed to connect with book lovers of all ages, sizes, and sexual orientations. This book blog is about honesty in reviews and having an open dialogue with other bloggers/authors. I strongly encourage you to go follow Shelby on social media to stay up to date with her books that she is writing!

Shelby was nice enough to send me copies of her poetry books for a giveaway! So if you would like to enter, just click on the image below. We will be announcing 2 winners in 1 week. Good luck!

Surprise! Sale


There is a new book on the block that I am promoting. This one is called Justice Gone by Nick Lombardi. Justice Gone is the first in a series of psychological thrillers involving Dr Tessa Thorpe, wrapped in the divisive issues of modern American society including police brutality and disenfranchised returning war veterans. You can get it here: https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/1785358766/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb_ca-20&linkCode=as2&camp=15121&creative=330641

40398725

Up to 46% off daily on jewelry beads, acrylic beads, gemstone beads,rhinestone beads, ect.

Top 5 Book Box Subscriptions

Hey bookworms, it has been a while since I have just sat down and taken the time to appreciate books and all they have to offer. Most of my posts involve a review or a highlight of some sort but today I wanted to talk about Book Subscription Boxes and where to find them. I believe they are becoming a huge part of the bookish community as they give us (the readers) a monthly dose of some good (or bad, depending on how you feel about it) literature with some fun/exciting book themed goodies.

I personally have collaborated with one and I have observed many others through my Instagram page and Twitter feed so I will list the ones that appeal to me and include links to their websites so you can check them out for yourself!

  1. Book Box LoveScreen Shot 2019-02-26 at 8.40.34 PM

Book Box Love was created to enjoy, celebrate and support incredible Canadian talent. I personally acquired a sponsored box from this company and only had good things to say about it. Each box includes:

  • The best new books by Canadian authors!
  • Hand-made, exclusive bookish gifts by local artists.
  • Treats.  Because you deserve it.

A monthly box goes for about $60 which I realize is a little expensive but it is because all the products come hand made from local Canadian vendors. We are giving back to Canada by supporting this box. *Insert Canadian Mountie chant for more maple syrup and poutine*.

2. LitJoy Crate

Screen Shot 2019-02-26 at 8.47.51 PM

LitJoy Crate is a simple, creative, and easy way to read more and more often! They offer products that create lifelong readers and foster a love of literature! Each box includes:

  • Receive a new release YA novel and 2-3 items directly related to the book every month
  • Perfect for any reader age 14 and up
  • Ships on the 20th of each month (except in December it ships on the 10th)

They have 2 options for this. One is the full bundle which costs $29.99 and then there is the box with just the YA book in it and this one is $18.99.

3. SweetReads Box

Screen Shot 2019-02-26 at 8.53.26 PM

Pour yourself a cup of tea, cozy up into your favorite chair and get ready for some well deserved ME time. This is another Canadian book box subscription. Each box includes:

  • Bestselling Fiction Novel
  • Beautifully Crafted Items
  • Artisan Drinks
  • Gourmet Goodies

Each of these boxes has quite a bit in them which is why this one goes for $58.99 + shipping. It is a little more expensive but well worth the cost for the value of items in it each month.

4. Unplugged Book Box

Screen Shot 2019-02-26 at 8.58.43 PM

Unplugged Book Box is a seasonally inspired monthly subscription box featuring one hardcover NEW RELEASE Young Adult or New Adult book (published within 2 months of shipment) + 4 to 6 bookish self-care goodies that help you focus on you.

Each of these boxes goes for $34.99 if you choose month to month. They have other options for 3-month, 6-month, and 12-month payments.

5. Totally Booked Crate

Screen Shot 2019-02-26 at 9.03.05 PM

They are always seeking to create the BEST box every month and are committed to offering you a great read. Their team will do all the necessary research or even read the book, to carefully select the one special book they know you, their reader, will enjoy and love. And they are dedicated to providing you with the perfect crate made with high-quality materials. Each box contains:

  • A new release book
  • 3-5 curated items
  • Book swag

This box goes for $29.99 a month. It also has the option for longer commitments.

And that wraps up my list! Let me know in the comments below if you agree and what you think! If you have any other recommendations, let me know!


There is a new book on the block that I am promoting. This one is called Justice Gone by Nick Lombardi. Justice Gone is the first in a series of psychological thrillers involving Dr Tessa Thorpe, wrapped in the divisive issues of modern American society including police brutality and disenfranchised returning war veterans. You can get it here: https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/1785358766/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb_ca-20&linkCode=as2&camp=15121&creative=330641

40398725

Smarthome Apple HomeKit 'works with' - shop now!

Book Blogger List

I’m on the Top 100 Book Blogger List!

Wow guys. I saw this morning that I had some traffic referred to my blog from a source I had never seen before so I checked it out and it turns out that I am on the Top 100 Canadian Book Bloggers and Websites to Follow list! You can find me at #49 on the list (in the top percentile by 1% woop woop).

You can find the list here: https://blog.feedspot.com/canadian_book_bloggers/

It is days like this that show all the progress I have made with this little blog. I never would have started this if it wasn’t for my friend Kylee Bakowski. She gave me the idea to start a blog because I talked about books a lot and she saw it as a way to get myself connected with other like-minded people. I am glad that I listened to her and tried it out 🙂

The blog has been live for about a year now and it has been a productive year full of book reviews, being a part of various blog tours, interacting with so many authors and above all the book blogging community. I put enough time into this blog that it could be a full time job. Wouldn’t that be the dream….reading books for work!

Anyways, just a little update this morning but what a cool surprise to see that I made it onto a list. If you get a chance, check out the blogs on the list. A lot of them are the fellow bloggers that converse with me on a weekly basis and will provide excellent book reviews for authors out there.


Get Booked! The hottest spring reads are here!

Book Box Love Review

Bookworms! I had the pleasure of trying out the August box of Book Box Love’s subscription service and I was not disappointed in the least. It was fantastic! They give you a book plus a bunch of handmade items made by Canadian companies.

40923002_386502311883974_5770258381440811008_n

This box was packed with so many awesome goodies! The book was Radiant Shimmering Light by Sarah Selecky (you can find her on Instagram) and the items were as follows:

  • Pear Infusion Tea from David’s Tea + tea bags
  • Chakra Bead Bracelet from EVB Jewelry (you can find her on Instagram as @evbjewelry and check out her Etsy Shop)
  • Positive Thinking Notepad
  • Fun, Quirky Bookmark

The Pear Infusion tea was so delicious. I think it may have moved into the top spot for my favorite tea. I use the Notepad at work to write all my to-do lists for the day.

Everything included in this book box is Canadian made which is so cool and makes me a huge supporter of this company! I strongly recommend trying them out 🙂 You won’t regret it!

You can follow Book Box Love on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!

If you do end up subscribing to this box, share the experience by sharing a photo with the hashtag #bookboxlove! And tell me because I love talking to people about bookish goodies.

Talk to you later bookworms 🙂

Free Shipping on Orders Over $25!

Book Review: Fred’s Funeral

New book review! This one was called Fred’s Funeral by Sandy Day. It was a quick read at only 114 pages but oh so interesting 🙂 The author even sent me a bookmark which was quite a nice little surprise when I opened up the book and it was tucked in there.

Books and a mug on a bed

Synopsis: Only at his funeral, does a family come to know a long-neglected and shell-shocked soldier from WWI. Based on a true story. It’s 1986. Fred Sadler has just died of old age. Seventy years after he marched off to WWI.

As his ghost hovers near the ceiling of the nursing home where he’s died, Fred listens in dismay as the arrangement of his funeral falls to his loathed sister-in-law, Viola.

Fred’s ghost follows his family, eavesdropping on his own funeral, and agonizing over his inability to set the record straight.

Did old Uncle Fred really suffer from shell shock? Why did his family lock him away in the Whitby Hospital for the Insane? Couldn’t they have done more for him?

Fred remembers his life as a child, his family’s hotel, the War, and the mental hospital. But his memories clash with Viola’s version as the family gathers one rainy October night to pay their respects.

This book was fantastic! I loved it. It was so cool to see the perspective of a ghost looking down on his own funeral and know what he was thinking. Poor Fred had such a hard life.

He was in the war and when he got back from the war, he was experiencing PTSD but this wasn’t even a thing yet so everyone called it Shellshock. He was constantly in and out of a home for the mentally ill because no one could diagnose his disorder and just assumed he was crazy. The poor guy eventually gave up on escaping the home and just accepted what everyone was telling him (that he was crazy).

The book went back and forth between the present where the family is all together reminiscing about Fred’s life and the past where Fred’s memories take place. It was set in Ontario, Canada and it was really cool for me as a Canadian because I knew of all the places and locations mentioned in the book. I have swam in Lake Simcoe multiple times so I can relate 🙂

There was one part of the book I was not fond of. It was a little traumatizing, to be honest. They have a kitten that kept showing up on the property and the kids loved playing with it when it was there so the father put it in a box then put a pipe into it and connected the other end of the pipe to the car exhaust to kill the kitten (not in front of the children but still). I realize this may have been something that people did back in the day (its the first time I have encountered it) but I would not be ok with this at any time in my life. All part of the story though, which was a very quick and enjoyable read for me!

I would recommend this book to all the Canadian readers out there. It is a good wholesome Canadian book about the life and struggles of a man who survived the war and dealt with the aftermath as a PTSD victim without being properly diagnosed.

I even put my new Canada mug in the picture that I just got from Indigo because the book had such a Canadian theme!

Book Rating: 4/5

You can find the book on Amazon and Goodreads!

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

Get 5X Plum Points when you spend $10 or more on books!


Every book ships free!