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review 2020-07-08 13:33
The Secret of the Alchemist
The Secret of the Alchemist - Colm Holland

by Colm Holland

 

This is a book unlike anything I've seen before. It is written by someone who was in the publishing industry when The Alchemist by Paul Coelho first came out in English translation. The introduction explains how the author was in charge of determining which new releases would fill the scarce shelves of the Australian book market and after reading the manuscript of Coelho's book, saw a bestseller and ordered an unprecedented number of copies.

 

But that isn't all. It goes on to tell how a meeting with Coelho led to a mystical experience and understanding of the book far beyond a story of a shepherd discovering his true will. That mystical revelation and subsequent changes to the author's life, from a fiction story, is what this book is all about.

 

At the time of writing this review I haven't read The Alchemist, though it's on my tbr. I wondered many times while reading, did Coelho intend to speak in allegory for deeper meanings or did Holland read his own mystical journey into what was intended only as a hero's journey story? I have no answer to that, but it apparently worked well for Holland and put his life on a satisfying track.

 

The explanation of the stages of spiritual Alchemy was worth the read alone. The "Dark night of the soul", enlightenment, then active phases might have come out of a book in the Mind, Body, Spirit section and perhaps that is where this one will be categorised. Much of it is personal to the author, yet the journey has similar stages to anyone following this spiritual path, whatever symbols they couch it in.

 

An interesting read and well-written so that it kept interest.

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review 2020-05-17 08:10
New Release Blitz - Karma's A Bit*h

Title: Karma's a Bit*h
Author: Este Holland
Publisher: Self-publish
Release Date: May 15, 2020
Heat Level: 4 - Lots of Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 50,000
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Gay romance, Boss/employee
 
 

Add to Goodreads

 

 

Synopsis

 

Jake Michelson plays it safe. All he wants to do is keep a roof over his head and graduate from NYU in a few months. He can count on three things in life: his job at Dinkin’s Donuts, his best friend Marri, and school.
 
Archer Ferraro plays by his own rules. The one thing he can’t stand is when bad people get away with doing bad things. He’s dedicated his life to righting the wrongs the police can’t or won’t handle.
 
When Archer accidentally upsets Jake’s life, he vows to make it right and hires him.
Together, Jake and Archer must work on a new case involving stolen jewelry and a womanizer, deal with a lawyer brother and a jailbird father, and stay out of the cops’ way.
 
Should be easy…right?

Excerpt

 

“Hey!” Everyone stopped to gawk at the smallish, drunk man with his glasses askew. Jake struggled from my hold and staggered off his stool. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?” He took a few steps toward the asshole cowboy. “We’re having a good time. You can’t ruin our fun with your <em>stooopid</em> face.” Jake hauled back and punched him.
 
“Shit!” I lunged and grabbed Jake around the middle, pulling him away before the cowboy retaliated.
 
The cowboys surged forward, but a piercing whistle ripped through the air and everyone froze. Titus crooked a finger at one of his friends, a guy as big as himself, and pointed at Jake who was once again asleep in my arms.
 
The biker smiled, revealing a gold tooth. I returned it with an aborted one of my own. He slid his arm under Jake’s knees, then wiggled his other arm between us. I held his head as the guy lifted Jake like a child. I grabbed Marri’s hand before she could attack, and I hurried after the dude. He entered a door behind the bar and deposited Jake on a sofa.
 
“Thanks, man,” I said.
 
“No problem.” He slapped my shoulders and my knees almost buckled.
 
Breaking glass and shouts came from the bar, and I winced.
 
A chuckle rumbled in his chest like one their motorcycles kicking on. “Don’t worry. This happens at least once a month.”
 
“Seriously?”
 
“Titus doesn’t like homophobes, racists, or conservatives.” He grinned and headed out the door.
 
Marri and I exchanged glances.
 
“Are your friends okay?”
 
“They left. That’s what I was coming to tell you guys.” Marri peeked out at the bar and shut the door fast as glass shattered.
 
“Shit. Does it lock?”
 
She pushed the little button in the knob, and I laughed.
 

Purchase at Amazon

 

 

 

Karma's a Bit*hKarma's a Bit*h by Este Holland
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jake has stayed the course and will soon graduate. He is trying to stay on track, and is looking at the goal on the horizon. Then he meets someone who turns his world sideways and upside down.

Archer first comes into Jake's place of business and begs him to sell something unsellable. There are real consequences to this action, for both of them. Then realizing they can help one another, they make a new plan that takes them one step closer to the rest of their lives.

This book is fast paced and literally can go whizzing by. I found I liked the characters lack of steady under their feet as it made for a fun read. Poor guys never know what hit them. From attraction, to change of jobs, to learning to navigate friendships this story has the reader on thier toes just wishing to be in on the action.


***This ARC copy was given in excahnge for an honest review only.

View all my reviews

 

 

 

 

Meet the Author


Este Holland is a writer and reader of all things Romance. She's also a treasure hunter, a word wizard, a lover, and a fighter. She was born and raised in WV, and now lives in Virginia. She works in marketing during the day. She began writing novels in 2012.
 
 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | eMail Instagram | Pinterest | Bookbub

 

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review 2020-05-11 09:16
Unshaken
Karma's a Bit*h - Este Holland

Jake has stayed the course and will soon graduate.  He is trying to stay on track, and is looking at the goal on the horizon.  Then he meets someone who turns his world sideways and upside down.

 

Archer first comes into Jake's place of business and begs him to sell something unsellable.  There are real consequences to this action, for both of them.  Then realizing they can help one another, they make a new plan that takes them one step closer to the rest of their lives.

 

This book is fast paced and literally can go whizzing by.  I found I liked the characters lack of steady under their feet as it made for a fun read.  Poor guys never know what hit them.  From attraction, to change of jobs, to learning to navigate friendships this story has the reader on thier toes just wishing to be in on the action.  I give this read a 3/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This ARC copy was given in excahnge for an honest review only.

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text 2020-04-14 03:14
The court has directed?

 

“We do not want anybody to manipulate the woman to settle their own scores,” said the judge, adding that the sofa velvet manufacturersMeToo campaign was only for the victims and should not be misused by anyone to settle “their own scores”.The court has directed the woman to submit a signed statement on October 23 stating that she does not wish to pursue the case.On Friday, senior counsel Navroz Serwai appeared before the court on behalf of the lady, who has alleged sexual harassment at the hands of Bahl. The court said that while it was appreciative of the #MeToo campaign, at the same time it should not be misused.Following this Justice SJ Kathawalla said that if the woman is not willing to pursue the case, then no one should speak about it.

Advocate Serwai however, told the court that the lady was not desirous of being a part of the litigation..Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Friday observed that the #MeToo campaign was only for victims and that it should not be misused by anyone to manipulate a victim to level allegations of sexual harassment against anybody to settle “their own scores”.The court’s observation came while hearing a plea filed by Bollywood director Vikas Bahl seeking a direction to his former partners, directors Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane and producer Madhu Mantena, to refrain from speaking to the media or posting on social media about the case in which a woman employee has claimed that Bahl allegedly sexually assaulted her in 2015 # in Goa during a promotional tour for the movie Bombay Velvet.

 

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review 2020-03-18 14:04
Havenfall - Sara Holland

This was one of two books I read at the same time, that I found difficult to finish because I was just so incredibly bored (the other one was Girl, Serpent, Thorn). Originally I thought that this may because we've just hit the Coronavirus epidemic, but after finishing the books I realised that they both have major issues that affected my reading.

If I told you that this was an Agatha Christie style murder mystery at a magical inn with guests from different worlds, with fantasy creatures, this sounds exciting, yes? If I now tell you that this is a book about an inn with magical doors that leads to different worlds, but we never get to see those worlds, you now feel a little cheated, right?

That was the problem I had with Havenfall. I am a Christie fan so I picked up on that vibe quickly and guessed who the Bad Guy was pretty much as soon as they turned up. That was, when we finally got past the 100 page constant infodump. The first third was rougher than a dog's backside with sandpaper taped onto it. I couldn't really enjoy the story because Maddie kept dragging me back to past events that I didn't really care about.

So, what we have here is a confusing murder mystery, the most random hidden secrets ever that took so long to get to I no longer cared and a character that disappears for most of the book, makes a reappearance later on and really doesn't give a satisfactory answer as to why they vanished, except Plot Reasons.

I would read the second book because God Damnit I want to finally visit those other worlds, if we ever do. If we do not, I'm giving the sequel 1 star and calling it a day.

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