Wanderlost 3: More Shots of Literary Tequila for the Restless Soul by Simon Williams Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Strap in and get ready for another hilarious, unbelievable journey into the life of author Simon Williams in the third book in his travel series, Wanderlost 3: More Shots of Literary Tequila for the Restless Soul. Here is the synopsis:

The Synopsis

From being dragged from an icy river on a white-water rafting trip in Nepal, to going headfirst over the handlebars of a moped in the Greek Isles, to struggling to understand the complexities of the bar fine system of a Thailand whorehouse, what else can go wrong on a trip? 

These are one man’s engrossing stories of wandering our planet that the editor at Frommer’s Guides doesn’t want you to know. Simon explains exactly what not to do when you find yourself in a tricky situation.

Nobody travels like this anymore. Maybe for good reason. Simon Williams doesn’t go looking for trouble in life, but when he finds it he never keeps his sarcastic mouth shut.

Travelling – it leaves you speechless then turns you into story tellers. Ibn Battuta

The Review

Author Simon Williams continues to dazzle and amuse readers with tales that seems impossible to be true. From an unplanned trip to the Taj Mahal that nearly drives the author over the edge to losing friends in Northern Ireland and even hilarious experiences watching passengers in airport terminals, this story has it all.

The author does a marvelous job painting a picture of the world through his eyes, bringing much needed humor and wit to normally stressful and awkward situations travelers have to endure around the world. The language and custom barrier between cultures can lead to unexpected outcomes when traveling abroad, and having a sense of humor about it can help ease the misunderstandings that are bound to happen. The author perfectly brings this imagery to life to showcase the situations one encounters during a life of travel.

The Verdict

Overall I loved this book. It continues an already exciting series of novels that explore one author’s journey in a funny and unique way. Filled with laughter, amazing looks from around the world and a steady dose of sarcasm and wit, this is the travel series you need to be reading now. If you haven’t yet be sure to grab your copy of Simon Williams Wanderlost 3: More Shots of Literary Tequila for the Restless Soul today!

Rating: 8/10

https://www.amazon.com/Wanderlost-Shots-Literary-Tequila-Restless-ebook/dp/B07GN19GZB/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1539657676&sr=1-1&keywords=9780463648001

About the Author

16480199

If sarcasm was your acceptable daily allowance of protein, then author Simon Williams would be a juicy 12-ounce steak sandwiched between two pieces of red meat. In a recent Facebook posting of the 37 things people regret when they die, there was only one item he hadn’t done. Let go of a grudge, but he doesn’t regret it.

Born in Townsville, Queensland Simon now lives in Miami, Florida. He always wanted to see the world and still harbours a strong desire to visit Cambodia, Ceylon, and Leningrad, but is buggered if he can find where they are on a map. He has spent half his life having to tell Americans that he grew up near Sydney, as most of them have no idea that Australia has another city.

He found out how much he enjoyed writing when his 10th grade English teacher told him that he was lazy, so he wrote a 25-page story for his next essay just to annoy him. That is coincidentally when he found out he liked to shit stir people. His sense of humor was developed over 8 years of boarding school. As a way of both evading having the crap between out of him, while also dealing with being a smart boy who sat at the back of the class but who couldn’t see the board because he refused to wear his glasses.

His favourite pastime is trolling his mates on Facebook and taking the piss out of them. He has only been unfriended twice, on both occasions by his wife.

Advertisements

Dracul by Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

One of 2018’s most highly anticipated fall reads has to be author Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker’s novel Dracul. The book is the official prequel to the classic literary horror classic Dracula, written by Dacre Stoker’s great-granduncle Bram Stoker. Taking the concept first explored by Bram and showcasing how the legend of Dracula first began, the story puts the Stoker family in the role of protagonists and explores where the myth and legends truly came from. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

The prequel to Dracula, inspired by notes and texts left behind by the author of the classic novel, Dracul is a supernatural thriller that reveals not only Dracula’s true origins but Bram Stoker’s–and the tale of the enigmatic woman who connects them.

It is 1868, and a twenty-one-year-old Bram Stoker waits in a desolate tower to face an indescribable evil. Armed only with crucifixes, holy water, and a rifle, he prays to survive a single night, the longest of his life. Desperate to record what he has witnessed, Bram scribbles down the events that led him here…

A sickly child, Bram spent his early days bedridden in his parents’ Dublin home, tended to by his caretaker, a young woman named Ellen Crone. When a string of strange deaths occur in a nearby town, Bram and his sister Matilda detect a pattern of bizarre behavior by Ellen–a mystery that deepens chillingly until Ellen vanishes suddenly from their lives. Years later, Matilda returns from studying in Paris to tell Bram the news that she has seen Ellen–and that the nightmare they’ve thought long ended is only beginning.

The Review

I will say it now: this is one of my 2018 picks for best book of the year. It was truly amazing to read, and was as engaging as the original novel written by Bram Stoker over a century ago. Capturing the gothic, Victorian era setting and interweaving history, mythology and handwritten notes from author Bram Stoker himself, the authors really did a wonderful job bringing the life of Bram Stoker and his family to life in a horror based setting.

Now while the world knows the works of Bram Stoker’s Dracula to be a fiction horror tale, what fascinated me about Dracul was not only the amount of history and real life individuals mixed into the narrative, but learning about the creation of Dracula to begin with. Readers will be enthralled to learn the true manuscript first written by Bram Stoker was never meant to be a fictional tale, but through the words of Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker’s afterward we learn how the book came to be what we know today, and that large portions of the original novel have never been published before. How much of this horrific and scary tale are fiction as we know it, and how much is fact?

The writing itself was amazing. The story was written in an epistolary format, allowing us to delve into the minds of the Stoker family themselves, as well as associates of the family and historical records to match some of the claims. Fans of the original tale of Dracula will love the similarities and context given throughout this novel, while modern day horror fans and readers will be enthralled with the vast character development and parallels between the life of Bram Stoker (in the novel) and the stories told within his novel years later.

The Verdict

This is a must read book for 2018. As a history buff, classic horror fan and overall Bram Stoker enthusiast, this story really captured my attention from the beginning. From the author’s early years battling illness to the life or death battle with unknown forces he and his siblings undertook, this is the kind of story that comes along rarely. If you haven’t yet, be sure to pick up the novel Dracul by Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker today!

Rating: 10/10

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0735219346/ref=x_gr_w_glide_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_glide_bb-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0735219346&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

About the Authors

Dacre Stoker:

2909175

Dacre Stoker, a Canadian citizen and resident of the U.S., is the great-grandnephew of Bram Stoker. He is also the godson of H.G. Dacre Stoker, the commander of the AE2 submarine, whose tactics were instrumental in Gallipoli in World War I.

Dacre, who now calls Aiken, South Carolina home, was a member of the Canadian Men’s Modern Pentathlon Team, Senior World Championships in 1979 and coach of the Canadian Men’s Modern Pentathlon Olympic Team, Seoul, South Korea in 1988. Dacre is married to Jenne Stoker and is the father of two children. He is the Executive Director of the Aiken Land Conservancy.

Dracula: The Un-Dead is Dacre’s first novel.

Dacre Stoker’s Links:

https://twitter.com/dacrestoker?lang=en

https://www.facebook.com/DacreCStoker/

J.D. Barker:

8224327

J.D. BARKER is the internationally best-selling author of Forsaken, a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel, and winner of the New Apple Medalist Award. His work has been compared to Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Thomas Harris. His 4MK Thrillers, The Fourth Monkey and The Fifth to Die, were released in June 2017 and June 2018 respectively. He has been asked by the Stoker family to coauthor the forthcoming prequel to Dracula due out in fall 2018. His novels have been translated into numerous languages and optioned for both film and television. Barker currently resides in Pennsylvania with his wife, Dayna, daughter, Ember, and their two dogs, both of whom sit outside his office door daily, eagerly awaiting his next novel.

A note from J.D.

As a child I was always told the dark could not hurt me, that the shadows creeping in the corners of my room were nothing more than just that, shadows. The sounds nothing more than the settling of our old home, creaking as it found comfort in the earth only to move again when it became restless, if ever so slightly. I would never sleep without closing the closet door, oh no; the door had to be shut tight. The darkness lurking inside needed to be held at bay, the whispers silenced. Rest would only come after I checked under the bed at least twice and quickly wrapped myself in the safety of the sheets (which no monster could penetrate), pulling them tight over my head.

I would never go down to the basement.

Never.

I had seen enough movies to know better, I had read enough stories to know what happens to little boys who wandered off into dark, dismal places alone. And there were stories, so many stories.

Reading was my sanctuary, a place where I could disappear for hours at a time, lost in the pages of a good book. It didn’t take long before I felt the urge to create my own.

I first began to write as a child, spinning tales of ghosts and gremlins, mystical places and people. For most of us, that’s where it begins—as children we have such wonderful imaginations, some of us have simply found it hard to grow up. I’ve spent countless hours trying to explain to friends and family why I enjoy it, why I would rather lock myself in a quiet little room and put pen to paper for hours at a time than throw around a baseball or simply watch television. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I want to do just that, sometimes I wish for it, but even then the need to write is always there in the back of my mind, the characters are impatiently tapping their feet, waiting their turn, wanting to be heard. I wake in the middle of the night and reach for the pad beside my bed, sometimes scrawling page after page of their words, their lives. Then they’re quiet, if only for a little while. To stop would mean madness, or even worse—the calm, numbing sanity I see in others as they slip through the day without purpose. They don’t know what it’s like, they don’t understand. Something as simple as a pencil can open the door to a new world, can create life or experience death. Writing can take you to places you’ve never been, introduce you to people you’ve never met, take you back to when you first saw those shadows in your room, when you first heard the sounds mumbling ever so softly from your closet, and it can show you what uttered them. It can scare the hell out of you, and that’s when you know it’s good.

jd

J.D. Barker’s Links:

http://jdbarker.com/

https://www.facebook.com/therealjdbarker

https://www.instagram.com/jdbarker_author/

https://twitter.com/jdbarker

The Suicide Letters Of Jack Monroe by Mary Maurice Review and Blog Tour

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

TRIGGER WARNING: This book deals with themes and storylines/dialogue involving suicide and mental health struggles. Anyone who is triggered by this should be aware before continuing forward.

Author Mary Maurice has crafted a truly unique thriller unlike any other in the novel “The Suicide Letters of Jack Monroe”. A strange business involving writing suicide letters turns into a dark roller coaster between two people fighting for control of an unraveling situation. Here’s the synopsis:

The Synopsis

Susan Jordan awakens at her Santa Fe apartment, cloudy and disoriented. Her clothing is unfamiliar. Where has she been? Her nose crinkles as she smells his scent. Jack’s back! Rubber filled legs brace against the stone cold tile floor as she reaches for the pile of mail haplessly setting on the table. Dozens of letters! Jack Monroe never stops. Susan wishes he would just leave, take his advice and go back to Detroit. He’s gaining to much control! He’s taking over!

The Review

What begins as an unusual business involving a man writing a person’s suicide letter to try to convince them not to commit suicide turns into a strange tale of obsession and two people struggling to define themselves by their relationship with one another. The book is incredibly written, consisting entirely of the letters of both Jack and Susan back and forth one another. The plot unravels into many twists and turns with each letter, and by book’s end readers will be on the edge of their seat in anticipation.

The subject matter can be difficult to read. In an era where the importance of mental health awareness and the impact of suicide on both the person committing the act and those left behind in their wake are at an all time high, traversing this area in a fiction setting can be difficult. Yet the author crafted a truly unique tale that was both a fast read and an engaging read all at once.

The Verdict

Overall I loved this book. Filled with the twists and turns you come to hope to expect in a thriller like this, The Suicide Letters of Jack Monroe is a one of a kind novel that readers will love to get lost in. If you haven’t yet be sure to grab your copy of Mary Maurice’s book today!

Rating: 8/10

https://www.amazon.com/Suicide-Letters-Jack-Monroe-ebook/dp/B07FMX9HLH/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1533684573&sr=8-1&keywords=the+suicide+letters+of+jack+monroe

About Mary

Mary Maurice Head Shot

Mary Maurice wrote her first poem when she was in the ninth grade, and hasn’t stopped writing since. Catching the fire at an early age, she continues to dedicate her time to the craft.Ms. Maurice has completed several novels of fiction and poetry, and has performed readings in distinct cities around the country. She presently resides in Sante Fe, New Mexico.

The Lowriders (V, #2) By Josh Holliday Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author Josh Holliday returns as a force of nature as he explores firsthand experiences of the Latino community in East Los Angeles in the 1970’s in his novel The Lowriders (V, #2). Here is a quick synopsis:

The Synopsis

This story evolves around several young Latino people who populate the Barrio section of southeast Los Angeles in the mid to late 1970’s.

It focuses on their lowrider cars, their habits, style of living, and use of marijuana.

The reader will see how they connived their way in and out of tight ordeals staying one step ahead of the law in their various exploits.

The author lived in East L.A. from 1969 to 1971 and experienced some of these same adventures.

The Review

This is an interesting look into the lives of the Latino community in the area in the 70’s. As a Hispanic man with a deep love and respect for my culture and family, it was interesting to see the hardships and struggles the Latino community faced and continue to face at this time. While this book dives into a very specific group of the Latino community and does not represent all Latinos, the culture of this area and the times themselves and how they played a role in the Latino culture in that era was fascinating to see unfold. It was also a great opportunity to see the extreme treatment those in the Latino community suffer at the hands of the police, often being treated ten times more harshly than a caucasian person who had committed similar crimes.

The Verdict

Overall this was a fast paced read, filled with personal stories and images that reflect an era not too far removed from our own. While the book would do well with some further editing, the overall story allowed audiences to delve into the vast and rich culture of the Latino community in East LA at that time. Be sure to grab your copy of The Lowriders (V, #2) by Josh Holliday today!

Rating: 7/10

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-lowriders-josh-holliday/1129557611?ean=2940156066803

Wanderlost 2: More Shots of Literary Tequila for the Restless Soul by Simon Williams Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

The humorous adventures of author Simon Williams continue in Wanderlost 2: More Shots of Literary Tequila for the Restless Soul. From the not so glamorous life of a movie extra to over the top river guides and everything in between, the author continues to amaze readers with tales that seem too surreal to be true. Here is the synopsis:

The Synopsis

From being abducted off the streets of Los Angeles in the middle of the night, to facing off with the German mafia in a Bavarian nightclub, to wandering lost in a forest at the foothills of Mt. Fuji with ten people I just met, what else can go wrong on a trip? These are one man’s fascinating stories of wandering our planet that Travel and Leisure magazine doesn’t want you to know.

Simon Williams doesn’t go looking for trouble in life, but when he finds it he never keeps his mouth shut.

Travelling – it leaves you speechless then turns you into story tellers. Ibn Battuta

The Review

This humorous memoir/travel book is a real gut buster. Filled with hilarious tales of hitchhiking miscommunications, border agents with a mean streak and inexplicably getting involved in the finding of a dead man, the author’s life seems to take him from one adventure to another. These sarcasm laden passages do a great job of highlighting the cultural differences between various nations on our world, and brings often stressful situations into a better light to help diffuse some of that traveling stress.

This book also gives good insight into what to expect when traveling through certain areas. From the streets of Los Angeles to the travel system in Japan and everything in between, these stories bring a life lesson on how to react to situations (or not react in some cases), and showcases one man’s journey that taught him the hardships and lessons of the world through travel.

The Verdict

This is a wonderful continuation of this amazing five part travel/memoir series. Filled with action, humor and experiences everyone will be able to find to relate to, this is a must read book for anyone interested in traveling around the world. If you enjoy a good laugh and fun travel stories, then pick up your copy of Wanderlost 2: More Shots of Literary Tequila for the Restless Soul by Simon Williams today!

Rating: 8/10

https://www.amazon.com/Wanderlost-Shots-Literary-Tequila-Restless-ebook/dp/B07GN21NQQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1538963798&sr=1-1&keywords=9780463221884

About The Author

16480199

If sarcasm was your acceptable daily allowance of protein, then author Simon Williams would be a juicy 12-ounce steak sandwiched between two pieces of red meat. In a recent Facebook posting of the 37 things people regret when they die, there was only one item he hadn’t done. Let go of a grudge, but he doesn’t regret it.

Born in Townsville, Queensland Simon now lives in Miami, Florida. He always wanted to see the world and still harbours a strong desire to visit Cambodia, Ceylon, and Leningrad, but is buggered if he can find where they are on a map. He has spent half his life having to tell Americans that he grew up near Sydney, as most of them have no idea that Australia has another city.

He found out how much he enjoyed writing when his 10th grade English teacher told him that he was lazy, so he wrote a 25-page story for his next essay just to annoy him. That is coincidentally when he found out he liked to shit stir people. His sense of humor was developed over 8 years of boarding school. As a way of both evading having the crap between out of him, while also dealing with being a smart boy who sat at the back of the class but who couldn’t see the board because he refused to wear his glasses.

His favourite pastime is trolling his mates on Facebook and taking the piss out of them. He has only been unfriended twice, on both occasions by his wife.

Wanderlost: Shots of Literary Tequila for the Restless Soul by Simon Williams Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Return to the hilarious, sarcastic humor of author Simon Williams with his latest novel, Wanderlost: Shots of Literary Tequila for the Restless Soul. Here’s the synopsis:

The Synopsis

Take a FREE shot of Tequila and make some poor choices in your life. 

When was the last time you laughed your f#cking arse off? 

Do you feel bored, listless, and trapped? Want to take off from your life for awhile? Ever tried taking a walk in someone else’s shoes… when their choice of footwear is a pair of flippers? 

Three things in this world are certain. Life can be repetitive and boring. Having more money would solve 99% of our problems. Pissing ourselves laughing will make 99% of our problems not seem quite as bad, while uplifting our spirits as we wait for our lotto numbers to come in. 

Soak in the literary intoxication of the Wanderlost series while you roar with laughter. On the bus, at school, or at work. The next best thing to drinking at work and your boss will never find a bottle. 

The Review

The first in a new series by the author of the nonfiction, humor/memoir series Torn, Wanderlost #1 captures the humor and sarcastic wit of author Simon Williams. Already this series of books has captured my attention, leaving me laughing out loud (literally) as I read the stories the author experienced.

 

From drunken fights about overpriced cab fares in Hong Kong that draws the attention of local police, to issues of personal space from the moment you exit your plane into New Delhi, the author uses humor to make light of otherwise frustrating struggles many travelers endure in the world. Being from another country makes world travel difficult, and only be leaning into the absurd and mind-blowing circumstances of travel can one hope to survive with their sanity intact.

The Verdict

This is a wonderful first book in what promises to be a hilarious, laugh riot of a travel book series. The honesty and personal experience of the author blend well with the sarcasm used by the author throughout the novel. This book showcases the various struggles of going to other nations around the world, as this lone Australian citizen treks the countries of the United States, China and more. If you enjoy funny, well written and quick reads about travel, then author Simon William’s novel Wanderlost: Shots of Literary Tequila for the Restless Soul is the book for you. Grab your copy today!

Rating: 8/10

https://amzn.to/2IH0RBQ

Longevity: The Wardens of Time by Caleb Smith Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

One young man’s journey of self-discovery leads to a world of magic and danger in author Caleb Smith’s novel Longevity: The Wardens of Time. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

Noah Thomas is a scrawny seventh grader who is bullied to the brink in his new town. Friendless, except for sassy tomboy Wendy Sherman, who seems to lend him the confidence he needs to stand up to his oppressors. Upon stumbling into a bookshop one afternoon while on the run from some teenaged tyrants, Noah is hurled into an unexplainable adventure. Noah learns that the bookshop does, in fact, lead to the Akashic Records – a place that holds all spirit lives recorded in tablets of light. With this new found knowledge, Noah begins to grow in wisdom and confidence to face his fears. His biggest challenge comes in the form of five demonic spirits that he accidentally lets loose from a lost tablet. Will Noah succeed with the help of his guardian angel cat he calls Keeper, or will all Hell’s henchman prevail?

The Review

This YA Paranormal/Coming of Age story was an incredible read. The author does a marvelous job of blending the struggles of a young middle school child struggling with his status as an outsider and being bullied with the magical and mythical circumstances he finds himself in throughout the book. Noah is a very relatable and heartbreaking character. In an age where bullying and even cyber-bullying are at an all time high, Noah’s struggle with the bullies at his school and it’s affect on his life was an emotional struggle that readers will be able to hone in on. Meanwhile Noah also struggles with maintaining his first real friendship with Wendy, while also coming of age and discovering his independence while dealing with a worried single mother and no father to help guide him through the hardships of life.

While children will identify with Noah and his adventures, parents will immediately love Noah’s mother and Wendy’s father as they both serve as single parents struggling to raise children on their own. Meanwhile the paranormal element of the story helps illuminate Noah’s real life struggles by giving him a taste of heroism and showing the power that stories and words really have in this world. Delving into the lore of a surprising mythology, the story turns to a classic yet epic battle of good vs evil, and what happens when a small, frightened young boy grows into an adult and becomes the protector he was always meant to be. The writing here was well done, using the mythology told throughout the story to paint a fantastic image of what ancient forces descending on a small town would really look like.

The Verdict

Overall I loved this story. The characters and story really did an amazing job of drawing me into the book and created a fantastic new YA mythology that has the potential for far more stories in the franchise. It’s a story of finding hope, discovering your inner strength and standing up to the bullies and evil of the world around you. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of Longevity: The Wardens of Time by Caleb Smith, available for pre-order now and set to release on October 25th, 2018.

Rating: 8/10

Check out the Author’s Facebook page down below, as well as a special giveaway happening for the book on Goodreads!

https://www.facebook.com/calebsmithauthor/ 

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/enter_kindle_giveaway/284681?utm_medium=api&utm_source=giveaway_widget