Book Signing: Welcome, Brista Drake


My first book signing will be Sunday, July 19th, 2015 at 1 pm at the Bookloft in Columbus, Ohio. I chose this bookstore in particular because of it’s labyrinth-like appearance, featuring a total of 32 rooms that snake around each other. Go see for yourself! It’s definitely a place to stop by if you’re visiting the state’s capital.

I’ll be bringing my camera, for vlogging purposes, along with my own copies of Remedy for Memory that I’ll sign for you, a slideshow of pictures I find special, and my phone, just in case we want to talk about YouTube. If you’re in the area, I hope to see you there!

The address to the book loft is as followed:

631 S 3rd St

Columbus, OH 43206

P.S. I plan to leave before 4 pm. I might leave earlier, depending on the crowd, so please try to get there as early as possible.


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Book Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (#7)

Harry Potter DH

Read from July 04 to 12, 2015

Without spoiling anyone, let me say that this conclusion to the series really pushed all my buttons: love, hate, sadness, worry, etc.

I guess I can happily admit that this one did it best, though I admit it felt kind of forced in the first half. You know, “I’m going to shock the readers with this kind of event” sort of thing. The second half felt more authentic and I can understand the outcomes of certain instances.

The Deathly Hallows wraps up a lot of the questions that readers really started wondering about around the third or fourth book. Best of all, it hits the nostalgia button. One thing this series is fantastic at doing is relaying a memorable moment in the series in a new light.

P.S. As an adult, I found the ending of this story very heartwarming in a way I wouldn’t have seen my younger self appreciating. I can put myself in the shoes of some of the adults in the last few pages. Great touch. Maybe reread those in your adult life if you are currently a child younger than eighteen.

P.S.S …Now I understand the last few movies much better.

I would give this book a 5 star rating, but according to my rating system, that means that everyone should read it. I think it’s a great book, but not my favorite in the series. SO with that said, I’m giving The Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling 4.5/5 stars. Rating system below.
Here are my reviews for books #1,2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.

Book Review: The Enchanted

Read from June 20 to 21, 2015

FIRST: If you like adult literature, you might like this. If you like realism, even when there is not a lot of action in the story because the author really wants it to be realistic, then you’ll love this story. Also, it might be good to have some interest in seeing criminals in a good, childish light.

I like my books with a little bit of action, even if it’s not completely realistic, and I like a variety of voices and feelings, whereas this book has only one voice, and it’s depressing. WITH THAT SAID, I am rating this book as openly as I can, trying to judge what others might have seen in it.

I’ve read many adult books about prisons so it was easy to compare this one to those. Isn’t that the goal with ratings, to see which books of a certain genre you would like to read most? Something like that.

I have enjoyed better. This one tried to do first person and third person POV, but it always kept the same tone, which was annoying. It’s overly descriptive if you ask me, with way too many metaphors that confused me. Time also changes throughout the story.

The final thing I’d like to say is that I didn’t like the lack of relationships in the book, even though that was the point. Some people might like the description or the terribly accurate realism, but I found it boring.

The fact that I could SEE people liking this book pushed me to give it another star. (I would’ve gave it two, if I hadn’t read worse.) So, I gave The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld 3/5 stars. Rating system below.

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (#6)

Harry Potter HBP

Read from May 12 to June 20, 2015

What can I say? It’s a lovely addition to Harry Potter, (not my favorite like #5 or even #3). It deserves high marks all the same.

The important things that this book contributes to the series: questions are finally getting answered. Character building is strong in this one.

The sixth book runs a little slow for me, slower than usual. Some of this could’ve been explained in a mix of the previous and next book. Or maybe it was the fact that I had to wrap my head around SO MANY plots in this book that I couldn’t concentrate. There were times I caught myself wondering about a plot while reading a different one and got a bit agitated that it wasn’t explaining that topic. HOWEVER, I feel like all the plot points were necessary.

That’s basically it. I don’t want to spoil anyone with anything. Here are my reviews for #1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, or 7.

I gave The Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling 4/5 stars. Rating system below.

  • My rating system stands: 5/5 is a knock out of the park; this book deserves to be read by everyone. 4/5 is, “I really liked it,” but it did have a couple of kinks. 3/5 is, “I believe there are a lot of people who would enjoy this book, but for one reason or another, it didn’t sit well with me.” 2/5 is, “I really didn’t enjoy it and I’m not going to recommend it.” 1/5 is, “no one read this – throw it in a lake.”

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Book Review: The Birth Order Connection: Finding and Keeping the Love of Your Life

Birth Order Connection

Read from September 12, 2014 to May 17, 2015

I finished reading The Birth Order Connection by Kevin Leman in May, but I wanted to give it some space before writing the review. Likewise, while reading, I took a break between every fifty pages or so just to let what I read sink in. It’s a fast paced book if you’re into this stuff, which is why I purposely slowed my reading down.

Out of all the books on my shelf, I think I’ve used my highlighter the most in this one. There is so much good advice encircling relationships in today’s culture. I agree with each point Leman made, even if they were scattered across different types of people. Mostly, I connected well with what he said about my specific personality and birth order.

The book has a fascinating take on first borns, last borns, and everything in between. He makes it seems like there’s an actual science behind what people look for in partners. Like, it’s almost predictable from the moment you’re born.

To be honest, I’m probably going to pick up at least one of his other books, because I like his light humor to it all. I felt much more confident about the dating world after this book! LOL
I gave The Birth Order Connection 5/5 stars. Rating system below.
  • My rating system stands: 5/5 is a knock out of the park; this book deserves to be read by everyone. 4/5 is, “I really liked it,” but it did have a couple of kinks. 3/5 is, “I believe there are a lot of people who would enjoy this book, but for one reason or another, it didn’t sit well with me.” 2/5 is, “I really didn’t enjoy it and I’m not going to recommend it.” 1/5 is, “no one read this – throw it in a lake.”

Book Review: Twilight

Read from March 03 to 26, 2015

After racing through this book to meet my library’s deadline, I’ve figured out two things.
One: I like Twilight.
Two: I understand why girls had an unhealthy obsession for Edward Cullen. Especially at the beginning, when he doesn’t talk much.

The movie obviously ruined a lot for me, but it didn’t get in the way of enjoying it.

The beginning used feelings heavily, making it easier to relate to teens more than the plot. This worked for me as a reader. The second half was more plot driven and lots of character introductions – as in, it lost some of the pretty writing it had at the beginning and I already knew what happened all the way through. But I had that special wording at the beginning to get me started. A first-time reader would love this book (DON’T WATCH THE MOVIE!).

I was only slightly annoyed with all the “he look at me intensely” and “his smirk was this kind of smirk,” because I was picturing him smirking and staring every five seconds. Did he? Maybe. That’s really the only thing I found annoying about it, besides SPOILER (Edward being hundreds of years more mature than Bella and still having childish feelings for her. Is that really possible, having been around the sun a few more times?)

As long as you’re able to picture expressions easily and have not been spoiled on the scenes in the actual book by Stephenie Meyer, you should have a lot of fun sexy times. 😉

I’m not sure when I’ll be picking up the next book, but I know I’m not abandoning the series entirely. I just need to work myself up for another story I’ve already watched the movie for.

I gave Twilight 4/5 stars. Rating system below.

The Difference Between Thriller and Horror

To write a good horror or thriller, I want to point out the similarities that they both have that make them good stories.

A thriller and a horror both have a lot of action in them. Both use unusual circumstances to entertain the audience. The reader is enthralled by the story because they’re picturing themselves in these unlikely situations. It’s a second-hand experience of something entirely new at a safe distance.

Getting to the point of this post, what are the differences.

Thrillers thrill us, sending us through a roller-coaster of nonstop emotion. One moment, the characters are in a bad scenario, the next moment they’re in an even worse one. It takes a heck of a lot of quick thinking to get them out of trouble. Basically, there are so many unexpected twists and turns that your brain has no time to keep up, so it just sits back and enjoys the ride for what it is. That’s why most thrillers can come off as written and plotted brilliantly, because no one could’ve expected the outcome. It’s actually just hiding facts until they absolutely must be revealed.

Horrors horrify us. There is one emotion that this genre usually focuses on, and that’s fright. There’s a mix of disgust and suspense in there, but mainly it wants us to either instinctively shield our eyes or scream out-loud to ourselves. Horror has to be creative with it’s plot, too, presenting a situation that no person would wish on another. Gruesome images, whether it be gore or the next variation of scary eyes and teeth, are there to haunt your thoughts at night.

Those are the essential differences. A good thriller will have you thinking about those plot twists long after the story ends, and a good horror will have its images and/or scenarios.

Thanks for reading,

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How To Plot Out A Thriller/Mystery

A year ago, I plotted out my own little mystery thriller and hope to make it into a book one day. I enjoyed the scheming and implanting surprises. So here’s how I did it.

I knew I could complete a story in as many chapters as I needed. However, I didn’t have a story yet. So I thought I’d see what I could come up with in 27 chapters (3x3x3). I didn’t end up using all of them, but it did get the ball rolling

I came up with my ending first. What did I want to accomplish? What emotional state was each character going to be in?

I worked backward. I felt like my beginning should be the exact opposite. I wanted a story where my characters were heroic and loving at the end and lame and hateful at the beginning. I wanted there to be two main characters who grow closer throughout the book.

I had a beginning, a middle, and an end: boring and strangers, action and comrades, heroes and friends.

Then I decided what kind of action: do I want it to be a crime? A jungle adventure? A spy undercover operation? The list goes on. I thought a crime would be interesting. Multiple crimes, in fact.

So, I split my beginning into three parts, my middle into three parts, and my ending into three parts. I already knew that I had to find out about the crime, investigate the crime, and then solve the crime, but how could I split finding out about a crime into three parts? Investigating a crime into three parts? Solving a crime into three parts? Well that’s where my creative side came in. Each third became it’s own beginning, middle, and end.

I added character development, conflicts, and plot twists to fill the gaps, otherwise it’d be a three-chapter book. Maybe it takes three problems and two solutions to fully discover that a crime was committed. Maybe it takes a leap of faith, three lucky tip-offs, and two steps backward to get through the investigation. Maybe because of a new friendship and two minds working on the case, with a few cafe scenes here and there, the crime was finally solved. But the case is not closed until the criminal is caught, so there’s a few more scenes for ya’.

There are so many options that I had to split the thirds of the three into three parts themselves, resulting in 27 or so chapters. It allowed me to explore the characters with back stories, have intimate as well as action scenes, and really build a secret over time, which I had planted at the beginning of my plotting process. It sprouted into a drawn out sequence of events that became my book outline.

I hope that helped some with plotting your next mystery thriller!

Keep writing,


Where you can find my books:

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