Book Tour Review: Slow Down by Lee Matthew Goldberg

Hello dear readers, I want to let you know that this week’s book was given to me as part of a book tour with Blackthorn Book Tours in return for an honest review.

If you enjoyed Slow Down, or like my reviews, make sure to follow me here, or on social media.
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Title: Slow Down
Author: Lee Matthew Goldberg
Rating: ★★★.5☆☆

How far would you go to make your dreams come true? For budding writer and filmmaker Noah Spaeth, being a Production Assistant in director Dominick’s Bambach’s new avant-garde film isn’t enough. Neither is watching Dominick have an affair with the lead actress, the gorgeous but troubled Nevie Wyeth.

For Noah’s dream is to get both the film and Nevie in the end, whatever the cost. And this obsession may soon become a reality once Dominick’s spurned wife Isadora reveals her femme fatale nature with a seductive plot to get rid of her husband for good. Slow Down, a cross between the noir styling of James M. Cain and the dark satire of Bret Easton Ellis, is a thrilling page-turner that holds a mirror up to a media-saturated society that is constantly searching for the fastest way to get ahead, regardless of consequences.


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A Drug Induced Story

I had an idea of what I was getting in to when I started Slow Down, but I don’t think it’s possible to entirely understand a book until you start reading it.

Slow Down reminded me of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas; both drug filled adventures that keep you on the edge of your seat.

I’m not always the biggest fan of these stories. Often the characters are out of their minds the entire time and they try to sound like the smartest man in the world; having reasoned out why humans suck, and it gets annoying.

Slow Down had this aspect to it, and at times it was too much, but it wasn’t intolerable.

For the most part, the characters are just high on drugs and partying, which I would usually find annoying, but Goldberg is able to tame it down and give us more of a mystery in the background of it all.


Blunt and Vulgar

With an entire story focused on being high on drugs, you can expect some vulgarness. Swearing, disrespecting women, death and more are all commonplace in Slow Down.

It makes sense in some parts of the story, but others it just felt like the character choice, and that made the story contradictory in a sense.

They were supposed to be enlightened and brilliant, yet they are disrespectful towards women and were prone to violence.

It’s a subtle touch by Goldberg, to show readers that the character’s are just as ignorant as they claim they aren’t, and that was a part of why I gave it a slightly higher rating than I normally would have.


Fast-Paced Read

Another aspect of this story that made me appreciate it more than I normally would for this type of story, is that the story was written around the drugs involved in the story.

If your story is just one drug-induced trip pretty much, then let the story be written that way. Don’t give me some slow burning story about drugs and their effects on people and the protagonist’s slow demise down the drug-filled rabbit hole.

I want something fast-paced, non stop, keeping me excited and waiting to see what happens next.

Goldberg does that well with Slow Down. Thing start a bit slow, but they ramp up at a nice pace and eventually things are happening left and right, you can’t help but keep reading.


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Final Thoughts

Slow Down isn’t my go-to choice of book to read. I usually prefer something with a bit more subtlety to it and not as in your face as drug focused stories often are, but Slow Down had a lot going on in the background which I appreciated.

I enjoyed reading it, and it is a short read, so you can definitely get through it quickly.

What did you think about Slow Down? Let’s talk about it in the comments.

Book Tour: Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis

Hello dear readers, before I begin I want to just let you know that I received this book as part of a book tour with The Write Reads in exchange for an honest review.

Lola Nox is the daughter of a celebrated horror filmmaker – she thinks nothing can scare her. But when her father is brutally attacked in their New York apartment, she’s swiftly packed off to live with a grandmother she’s never met in Harrow Lake, the eerie town where her father’s most iconic horror movie was shot.

The locals are weirdly obsessed with the film that put their town on the map – and there are strange disappearances, which the police seem determined to explain away. 

And there’s someone – or something – stalking Lola’s every move.

The more she discovers about the town, the more terrifying it becomes. Because Lola’s got secrets of her own. And if she can’t find a way out of Harrow Lake, they might just be the death of her…

Title: Harrow Lake
Author: Kat Ellis
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

If you enjoy this review, make sure to follow me on social media.
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The Horror Genre

So I am still new to the horror genre. It’s not a genre I have read a lot of books from, so maybe I have set the bar too high, I’m not really sure.

When I thought about horror books, I had assumed that I would be losing sleep, seeing things in the dark, and being generally scared by what I was reading.

When I was reading Harrow Lake, I never really had those moments. I never felt like this Mister Jitters was going to keep me up at night. I never felt the fear.


On the shorter side

I am still on the fence on how I feel about the length of Harrow Lake. Coming in at 368 pages, that is plenty of time to scare someone, but it’s not too long that the horror turned into annoyance.

Harrow Lake didn’t seem to find a good balance in my opinion. There were times where I was annoyed, but then moments later I felt like I had hope that there was going to be something scary just around the corner.


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Felt empty

The overall story itself felt kind of empty and full of holes. The whole premise of the story makes no sense. I don’t think the protagonist would be sent off to her grandmother’s house when her father got hurt.

If he was going to get better in just a few days, she could have stayed at home and someone could have watched her.

Even if that was the case, and she was shipped off to her grandmother’s, there are too many moments in the story that happen just for the sake of happening. There isn’t much rhyme or reason to it all, and the most description we get is “this place turns people bad”.


Scares seemed vague

The most “scared” I ever got when reading Harrow Lake was one of the first scares. The evil monster was still new, and we didn’t understand it yet.

After that, the scares seemed excessive, like they could be avoided with a bit of reason from the protagonist.

When a “scary” moment did happen, it felt like the writing just wasn’t developed enough. Like we were only getting the very surface of what was going on, and that didn’t go deep enough for me.


I’m sorry to say that I didn’t like this book. I always feel bad when I get a book from an author and didn’t like it.

If you enjoyed Harrow Lake, let me know why! I want to hear your thoughts about it.
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Literary Quotes about Friendship

Hello dear readers. In times of hardship we need those close to us to keep us from going to the dark places. It is with their guiding light that we find joy and happiness.

So, in honor of those friends we all hold so dear, I’ve collected some of the best quotes from literature about friendship that I could find.

If you know any that I might have missed, let me know in the comments, or send me a message on social media.
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“We cannot tell the precise moment when friendship is formed. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over; so in a series of kindnesses there is at last one which makes the heart run over.” —Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

“It is love and friendship, the sanctity and celebration of our relationships, that not only support a good life, but create one. Through friendships, we spark and inspire one another’s ambitions.” —Wallace Stegner, Crossing to Safety

“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.” —L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

“She recognized that that is how friendships begin: one person reveals a moment of strangeness, and the other person decides just to listen and not exploit it.” —Meg Wolitzer, The Interestings


“Friendship is certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love.” —Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

“It’s not enough to be friendly. You have to be a friend.” —R.J. Palacio, Wonder

“‘You have been my friend,’ replied Charlotte. ‘That in itself is a tremendous thing.’” —E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web

“She thought of how precious it was to be able to know another person over many years. There was incomparable richness in it.” —Alice Walker, The Way Forward Is with a Broken Heart

“The friend who holds your hand and says the wrong thing is made of dearer stuff than the one who stays away.” —Barbara Kingsolver, from “Stone Soup” in High Tide in Tucson: Essays from Now or Never


“She is a friend of my mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order.” —Toni Morrison, Beloved

“Friendship…is born at the moment when one man says to another ‘What! You too? I thought that no one but myself…’” —C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

“A good friend is a connection to life—a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world.” —Lois Wyse, Women Make the Best Friends: A Celebration

“The best kind of laughter is laughter born of a shared memory.” —Mindy Kaling, Why Not Me?

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“We clung to books and to our friends; they reminded us that we had another part to us.” —Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“Not a word passes between us, not because we have nothing to say, but because we don’t have to say anything.” —Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

Sabran IX Berethnet: A Queen of Legacy

Hello my dear readers. After many weeks of putting it down to finish other books, I finally finished The Priory of the Orange Tree.

This isn’t a review of the book, that will come some time in the future, hopefully soon. Instead, I want to analyze one of the main characters that stuck out to me during the book; Sabran IX, the ruler of the Queendom of Inys.

Some of these opinions might be seen as controversial, and if you agree or disagree with me, we should talk about it in the comments, or send me a message on social media.
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She’s Flawed

My favourite thing about Sabran is that she is far from perfect and confident. She is very much a flawed character, and that is what makes her story so much more interesting.

She is a young Queen, but a strong ruler.

She has her fears about having children, and pursues immortality instead. She has fears that plenty of young women have.

Childbirth can be a scary thing for anybody, even a queen. If the power of immortality was at your fingertips, wouldn’t you think of pursuing it too?

Samantha Shannon, author of The Priory of the Orange Tree

She’s Conflicted

Sabran has lived her entire life with other voices in her head, making decisions for her. She is the Queen, but she’s had advisors and other nobles limiting her freedom of thought.

Because of this, we see her doubt. We see her unsure of herself when she has a moment of privacy that the reader gets to explore. On the surface, she is a strong, more than capable queen. When we can tear wear the tough exterior, she is scared, she is unsure, she is exhausted.

It can’t be easy being a Queen, and when you’ve had a parentless existence like she has, you can imagine how lonely it can be.


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She’s Romantic

Marriage is one thing Sabran tried to avoid when she was young. She didn’t want to marry, she wanted to be immortal instead.

When love finally comes her way, it’s as if she dives into it head first. She opens herself up to it, and she enjoys it. All of her fears are put to the side, and she accepts the beautiful things that love can bring.

That’s when her world is torn apart.

Sabran finally accepts love. She realizes the good it can bring, and how happy it can make her, and then it is ripped from her.

Her husband and her child are taken from her. The two things she was terrified to go through with were torn from her, her fears come true.

The emotional and mental destruction that would bring on anyone. She spent years avoiding them, and it is almost as if her fears made it a reality.

When Sabran realizes her feelings for Ead, it’s as if her pieces are put back together, slowly, but much stronger.

Cover from Goodreads

She allows herself to feel again, despite all the pain and fear it has brought her.

This time, she finds the love of her life. She finds her other half, and even when she falls into more emotional moments, where Ead is in danger, she keeps a strong head and does what needs to be done.

She may love Ead, but she knows when she needs to be a lover and when she needs to be a fighter.


She’s Strong

It’s never directly stated, but it seems like Sabran’s ancestors have always suffered from depressive episodes.

It’s fairly well known, and Sabran experiences a few throughout the book.

What I like about her, is that she comes back from these dark moments, and she steps up when the time is right.

A thousand years of “destiny” and “prophecy” are on Sabran’s shoulders. She believes she is the sole reason that the end of the world is alive. She believes if her lineage ends, the Nameless One will rise and destroy the world.

When a High Welters, the strongest of the dragons besides the Nameless One, comes to her doorstep, she doesn’t hesitate in confronting it. She knows she could die with one swipe of its tail, but she confronts it as if she could kill it with her gaze alone.


She’s Wise

As we make it further into The Priory of the Orange Tree, the entirety of Sabran’s religion is tested more than once.

The truth to the origin story of her religion is proven wrong, and then wrong again.

Despite this, she is understanding, and she is open minded. She could remain ignorant, sticking to her beliefs of what her and her people have been taught for hundreds of years.

It would be the easiest thing for her to do, but she is willing to accept the truth to it all, and learn from it.

Fan art of Sabran IX from the PotOT Wiki

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Sabran’s character is far from perfect. She’s a bit of a bitch at times during the start of the book, but as we get to know her more and more, we understand why.

We understand her thoughts and actions more and more, and we realize she is an amazing character.

Sabran is definitely my favorite part of The Priory of the Orange Tree. She provides a wonderful emotional thread to the story, and it’s always refreshing to have a character that acts with her mind and heart, instead of just her heart.

Fan art of Sabran IX from the PotOT Wiki

What did you think of Sabran IX? I’d love to talk about her, or this book in the comments, or on social media.
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Poetry Events, Bookish Tank Tops, Queer Women Romance Books….Check out these bookish items!

Hey there dear readers. Just a quick post today. I found some interesting bookish things to read, follow, or buy occupy your time during quarantine. Consider giving them a look if you want something to do!

Live Poetry Events

Some cool looking bookish tank tops you might want to wear this summer

10 Great 2020 Queer Women Romance Books to Watch Out For

Writing/Reviewing Poetry

Letting Books Create your Summer

Top 5 Worst Rulers in Literature

Hello dear readers, I am back for another Top 5 Tuesday, which is hosted by Bionic Book Worm.

This week’s topic is the top five worst rulers in literature. I took the term “ruler” rather loosely, and sort of included anyone with a decent amount of power over other people.

What are terrible leaders from literature that you know of? Let me know in the comments, or send me a message on social media.
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Let’s check out the list!


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Joffrey Baratheon – Game of Thrones

This provably seems like a pretty obvious choice. He was a terrible ruler that really only used his power for his own gain. He is a sadistic, cowardice monster that failed as a ruler time and time again.


Dumbledore – Harry Potter Series

Though he inspired many to follow him against Voldemort, I don’t think Dumbledore is a good ruler at all. He trusts none of his followers with important information, and because of that, almost makes it impossible for them to destroy Voldemort after his death.


Katniss – Hunger Games

The idea of Katniss = inspired an army. Katniss’ abilities = near useless and unordinary. She didn’t do much other than just inspire the army to overthrow the government. All she could really do was shoot a bow.


Noah – The Girl Who Found the Sun

Unwilling to analyze obvious information and was willing to let small children die because of poor leadership decisions. He was the leader of the arc, but he was willing to watch them all die without exploring every option of survival.


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Emperor Palpatine – Star Wars

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. The most powerful Sith Lord we’ve ever seen should not lost to a young twenty year old brand new Jedi. Sure he manipulated the events of the clone wars, but he’s terrible his own execution apparently.


What are other terrible leaders from literature that I missed? Let me know in the comments, or send me a message on social media.
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Solve it Sunday: Elevating

Hello dear readers…yet another puzzle for you to keep your mind busy during these quarantine times.

If you like these puzzles, make sure to follow me on social media for more…an as always the answers are in the comments.
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The first elevator machine is believed to have been the invention of Archimedes, in the third century BC. It took the form of a rudimentary cab supported by a hemp rope, and powered by the manual labour of humans or animals.

It wasn’t until 1852 that Elisha Otis devised his safety elevator, designed to lock in place by toothed guides at the side of the wall, if it started moving too quickly. He demonstrated the principle at Crystal Palace in 1853, on an open elevator platform above a stage, set between two toothed girders.

Most modern elevators are derived from his designs – but unlike his demonstration, they are enclosed within shafts. Though this is primarily for convenience, what benefit does a well-fitted shaft offer that a securely enclosed cab does not.