Monday, February 8, 2016

Audio Book Review: Bound by Prophecy

Bound by Prophecy

By:  Stormy Smith

Publish Date:  November 12, 2015, Audiobook Release December 3, 2015

Format:  Audiobook - 8 hrs 42 mins
Narrated By:  Kristin James

Genre:  New Adult Urban Fantasy, Paranormal

Series:  3rd in Bound series; 1st Book ~ Bound by Duty, 2nd Book ~ Bound by Spells

First Impression:  You are bound by your decisions and choices in life, not always by what people put in motion for you. Amelia, Aidan, and Micah start to see this for themselves as they rise to be who they really are.

Synopsis:
Amelia Bradbury is finally free from Queen Julia and Cresthaven, but she isn’t safe yet. The Keeper power runs rampant inside her and it will take an ultimate act of selflessness to contain the darkness that threatens Amelia’s sanity and the future of the Immortal race.

Aidan Montgomery refuses to give up on Amelia. Once she’s rescued from the Keeper’s hold, he intends to prove his love is more than a side effect of the prophecy, even if doing so leads him away from his pack and on a journey that will irrevocably change them both.

When the past and the present collide and the shocking origin of the Immortals is revealed, Amelia and Aidan are forced back to Cresthaven to end a war that never should have started.

First Sentence:
He was here.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles  /  Book Depository

Audible

My Thoughts and Summary:
*I requested to review a copy of this audiobook for an honest review from the author.

Amelia has locked herself away inside her mind. It's all she can do to keep the Keeper from harming anyone she loves. Aidan is determined to get her back to herself, even with the terrible news of what happened in the battle at Cresthaven. The whole group of friends have many heartaches to overcome, but they will need to and work together to stop Queen Julia and free all the mages to live as they should. Once Amelia learns about the magic she carries in her, she will have to make a choice to do what she wants or what is needed.

Kristin is always a treat for me to listen to. Her favorite voice for me, Bethany and her sweet southern accent. And oh, the strong personality for Bethany that pops with the accent. lol. And Micah's accent. I love it! This is a great cast that Kristin makes fun to listen to and easy to differentiate the characters as they speak. The different characters personalities and attitudes ever present in their voices. Male and females are all different in accent, tone, and feels as we listen. Oh! When two sing a song, we get both voices! The harmony of the two together. I love when we get these little extras that makes the story feel more alive with the characters.

I was so relieved to get back to Amelia and Aidan's world. Amelia was left in a bit of a secluded spot and I wanted to know if she gets out along with if they figure out Aidan is her special person. In the beginning, I was surprised that Amelia and Aidan seem to know they are the prophesied couple. It almost seemed as no one knew who her 'man' would be and that he'd have to be found at the end of Bound by Spells. But, we get back into the story here, where a few of the characters are left in moments of pain; physical or emotional.

In the beginning everything is tough and people are sad or scared and hurting in some way. We start to see a small flicker of light spark when trying to find a way of helping Amelia. Having Amelia moving among the people would influence moral, giving a solid, positive direction to things. But things don't happen as hoped and Amelia feels she's a curse more than a prophecy that the people need. It's sad and some huge mountains for the characters to figuratively climb to overcome.

Not only do we journey through the prophecy of what's to come of Amelia and Aidan, but we also get to the root of Amelia's Keeper power mystery. Amelia has grown! I was worried going in that the book would fall flat for getting us through Amelia's Keeper powers. Yet we get something a little different other than her finding a way to work with what she has. I enjoyed this. She's come into her own with help from someone we didn't expect. She finally faces the magic and love that she's been scared of for so long. We even end with a fight that's not as deadly as it could have been. It moves quick and keeps us listening yet with Amelia and Aidan in the place they are now, it doesn't need to be bloody. It's more than that.

I really liked this ending!

A wonderful YA read of letting yourself love and accept who you are. Even when in battles, it doesn't always have to end ugly. There are options and choices in life that you get to pick from even if it doesn't seem that way. You need to accept and live by your choices.

I love the feel of the theme in this story. How Amelia is bound by what was set in motion, through prophecy, for her. But in the ending, all learn they are not bound by others but that they are bound by their choices in life. It felt like it really hit to the heart for me.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sunday Post #115

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news ~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share new about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Another week gone in the wind. Where does the time go? We are still on the move for Kiddo with physical therapy starting back up and we went to a college fair. Oh that was great! We found a few new potential colleges for Kiddo, one in particular that he really loved and so did I. We'll be visiting that one here in the months to come. His cast is removed and he's back to therapy, though he's working hard to keep the knee straight.

I've been racking up the reviews lately and only posting two a week. I'm thinking I'll need to bump that up to three a week for a month or two to get myself caught up again. I feel bad doing that as I'm not on visiting and pimping it every night.
What do you think? Go with the three a week or stay at two?

I watched the weekly movie last night. Yes, my husband and I watch a movie each week, unless crazy week with family and friends. The movie was Ant-Man. I loved it. I got my laughs and action in one place. I do hope they do another movie with Ant-Man (and possibly Wasp) in the future along with the hint that a few of the Avengers need Ant-Man's help. lol. Always watch after the credits with Marvel movies. ;)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Fit Booker:

Goal:  Workout in any form of exercise (or on Wii Fit) 2x's a week. (to feel better and hope to drop a few pants sizes)

How did I do last week... I didn't get on the treadmill at all this week with all we had going on.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
What's Happening in Books:

Current Read:
Will start a new story on Monday.


Current Audiobook:
Will start a new story on Monday.


Current Podcast Book Listen:
Nothing


Finished Last Week: 
Into The Aether by P.J. Schnyder

Audiobooks from Audible:
The New Agenda by Simone Pond
Core Punch by Pauline Baird Jones
Playing with Magic by Carrie L. Wells


Finished Podcast Book Listen:
Nothing

~~~~~~~~~~

Last Week on the Blog:


Cover Reveals: (click titles to go to post & learn more)



Posts:


Around the Internet...


Reviews:



Podcast Review:



Mama Bitchstress Reviews:



GIVEAWAYS:
GIVEAWAY!!
A Voice Behind the Words. I interviewed one of my favorite narrators & she's giving away your pick of her works!



~~~~~~~~~~

This Week to Come on the Blog:

I have two reviews scheduled.
  Bound by Prophecy
  Serpent Singer & Other Stories

Cover Reveal for:  Hound's Bite


~~~~~~~~~~

Received Last Weeks:


Review & Review Consideration:
Only Ever You by Rebecca Drake
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Three-year-old Sophia Lassiter disappears at the playground only to return after 40 frantic minutes-- but her mother Jill's relief is short lived. Jill is convinced the tiny dots on her daughter's arm are puncture marks. When doctors find no trace of drugs in her system, Jill accepts she won't ever know what happened during her daughter's absence and is simply grateful to have her home safely.

Except Sophia isn't safe. Three months later, she disappears again. This time from her bed at home, in the night. Working with the police and the community, Jill and her husband David are desperate to bring their little girl home. They remain hopeful---until information turns up suggesting their daughter was murdered, causing the police to turn their suspicions on the parents. Facing ugly family secrets and heart-rending evidence, Jill is still convinced her daughter is alive. But when the dragnet begins to close around them, Jill realizes the worst: if the police believe she has killed her daughter, that means they aren't out there looking for the real perpetrator. They aren't hunting for Sophie or the person who still has her.

Danube Waves by Katharina Bordet
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
The portals between worlds have been shut down, leaving king-to-be Max Schindler-Krug trapped in our world in the form of a goat. An impending revolution, a murderer on the loose, recurring nightmares and a mad scientist stand between him and the throne. It’s going to take more than a talking swan, a fainting goat and copious amounts of coffee and cake to save the day.


Audio Books Requested for Review:
Revolution by K.A. Salidas
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Peace is an illusion. Blood, violence, and death follow Mira like shadows. 
Battle lines have been drawn between human and Otherkin, and a bloody war is on the horizon: one that will end in either a shift in the world’s balance of power...or ultimate destruction. 
In spite of their strength, powers, and a rage known only by the oppressed, the Otherkin are evenly matched by the superior numbers of the human army. To tip the balance in their favor, the Otherkin need more soldiers – and their only options are the Gladiators of New Haven city. 
Mira is sent across enemy lines to recruit any able-bodied vampires to her cause. But what she discovers along the way will blur the lines between friends and enemies. Seeds of doubt weaken Mira’s allegiance, and she finds herself torn between the old masters who used her as entertainment and the new ones who consider her as nothing more than a weapon.
As the war draws near, Mira will have to decide what she is truly fighting for.



Purchased/Winnings/Gifts:
Book:
Owl and the Japanese Circus by Kristi Charish
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Fans of Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher, and Linda Hamilton will flock to the kick-ass world of Owl, a modern-day “Indiana Jane” who reluctantly navigates the hidden supernatural world.

Ex-archaeology grad student turned international antiquities thief, Alix—better known now as Owl—has one rule. No supernatural jobs. Ever. Until she crosses paths with Mr. Kurosawa, a red dragon who owns and runs the Japanese Circus Casino in Las Vegas. He insists Owl retrieve an artifact stolen three thousand years ago, and makes her an offer she can’t refuse: he’ll get rid of a pack of vampires that want her dead. A dragon is about the only entity on the planet that can deliver on Owl’s vampire problem – and let’s face it, dragons are known to eat the odd thief.

Owl retraces the steps of Mr. Kurosawa’s ancient thief from Japan to Bali with the help of her best friend, Nadya, and an attractive mercenary. As it turns out though, finding the scroll is the least of her worries. When she figures out one of Mr. Kurosawa’s trusted advisors is orchestrating a plan to use a weapon powerful enough to wipe out a city, things go to hell in a hand basket fast…and Owl has to pick sides.


Audio:



Free Ebooks:

(On my Kindle App) Links to books under title. They may or may not be free at this time.



(On my Nook)



Free Audio Books/Stories:
Interview with an Accidental by Dakota Cassidy
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
National bestselling author of The Accidental Dragon, Dakota Cassidy is puttin’ on her tiara, sharpening her fav hot pink pen, and kicking her feet up on the desk to ask the hard questions. Get the inside scoop on all the hot, sexy cast members in this free, uproariously funny interview with the girls of her Accidental series. Find out who’s doing what to whom and more, as Dakota hosts the interview of the decade!

Dear Readers, It’s been seven (seven!) years since the release of book one in my Accidentals series, dear readers, and now, on the cusp of releasing book ten (hold me!), I figured it was high time I put together something that would not only help new readers jump into the fray several books in, but also help me remember what I wrote way back when. (Hey, I ain’t gettin’ any younger, and my brain is stuffed full of makeup tips and reality TV trivia.)

So I called up my pals Nina, Marty and Wanda, who schlepped all the way out to my home in Oregon—with a few other fan-fave characters in tow, for Interview With an Accidental. During an intimate interview by moi, you can meet the ladies who have been mainstays in all of my Accidental books—if Nina lets anyone get a word in between all her, um…colorful commentary.

Grab a cocktail and enjoy a gabfest with the girls, as well as a bonus chapter from my next book, Accidentally Aphrodite—for the low, low price of free! That’s right. FREE! Consider it my way of saying thanks for keeping me company on these crazy Accidental adventures. May you join me for many more!

Zombie Fallout by Mark Tufo
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Zombie Fallout

It was a flu season like no other. With fears of contracting the H1N1 virus running rampant throughout the country, people lined up in droves to try an attain one of the coveted vaccines. What was not known, was the effect this largely untested, rushed to market, inoculation was to have on the unsuspecting throngs. Within days, feverish folk throughout the country, convulsed, collapsed and died, only to be re-born. With a taste for brains, blood and bodies, these modern day zombies scoured the lands for their next meal. Overnight the country became a killing ground for the hordes of zombies that ravaged the land.

This is the story of Michael Talbot, his family and his friends. This is their story a band of ordinary people just trying to get by in these extra-ordinary times. When disaster strikes, Mike a self-proclaimed survivalist, does his best to ensure the safety and security of those he cares for.

Book 1 of the Zombie Fall-Out Trilogy follows our lead character in his self-deprecating, sarcastic best. What he encounters along the way leads him down a long dark road always skirting on the edge of insanity. Can he keep his family safe? Can he discover the secret behind Tommy's powers? Can he save anyone from the zombie Queen - a zombie that seems by all accounts to have some sort of hold over the zombies and Mike himself? Encircled in a seemingly safe haven called Little Turtle, Mike and his family together with the remnants of a tattered community while not fighting each other, fight against a relentless, ruthless, unstoppable force. This last bastion of civilization has made its final stand. God help them all.

Frostborn: The First Quest by Jonathan Moeller
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
A thousand years ago, the last grandson of Arthur Pendragon led the survivors of Britain through a magical gate to a new world, a world of magic and high elves, of orcs and kobolds and stranger, darker creatures. Now the descendants of the exiles rule a mighty kingdom, peaceful and prosperous under the rule of the High King.

But dangers stir that the realm is not ready to face.

RIDMARK ARBAN is a new-made knight and Swordbearer of the realm. When the archmage of the high elves asks for aid against the dread Warden of Urd Morlemoch, Ridmark volunteers for the quest, eager to prove himself and win glory and renown.

But terrible evil awaits in Urd Morlemoch, and those who enter the Warden's clutches rarely escape them...

Static: White Noise by James Hunt
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
We get up. We go to work. We come home. Those are the daily pillars that nearly every person in the world experiences. In most first world countries those pillars are supported by computers, cell phones, cars, radio, television, all of which have the speed and sophistication of modern day electronics. Whenever one of those devices malfunction it can put a heavy burden on our day. If all of them turn off, everywhere, the world falls apart.

Static: Fade to Gray by James Hunt
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
The thin thread holding the civilized world together has been severed. Millions of citizens have been thrust into the unknown, breeding fear into the minds and souls of those seeking to survive. Wren Burton, an architect from Chicago, has been engulfed by the chaotic aftermath of an EMP blast. Her family is injured. The enemy is unknown. And help is nowhere to be found. 



~~~~~~~~~~
Reviews to Come:

Soulless by Skyla Dawn Cameron
The Sentinel by Chris Lester
The Muse by Chris Lester
Metamor City: Making the Cut by Chris Lester
Metamor City: Whispers in the Wood by Chris Lester
Danube Waves by Katharina Bordet
Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan
Lex Talionis by Starla Huchton
Spark by Starla Huchton
House of Grey 6 by Collin Earl
The Secret World Chronicle: World Divided by Mercedes Lackey, Cody Martin, Dennis Lee, Veronica Giguere
The Secret World Chronicle: Waiting On by Mercedes Lackey, Cody Martin, Dennis Lee, Veronica Giguere
The Secret World Chronicle: Revolutions by Mercedes Lackey, Cody Martin, Dennis Lee, Veronica Giguere
Heir to Kale by K.L. Bone
Tales from the Archives Vol 4 #5 - Old Sinner's Bones
The Death of Dulgath by Michael J. Sullivan
Bound by Prophecy by Stormy Smith
Serpent Singer and Other Stories by M.H. Bonham
Bound Together by Stormy Smith
His Dark Empire by M.R. Forbes
Trueheart by Mel Sterling
Into The Aether by P.J. Schnyder
The New Agenda by Simone Pond
Core Punch by Pauline Baird Jones
Playing with Magic by Carrie L. Wells

Thursday, February 4, 2016

A Voice Behind the Words. With GIVEAWAY!


As many have seen, I've found my way to audio books. And I'm loving it. I do believe the narrator can make or break an audio book. I have found audio book narrators that I love listening to, and they make the books all the better by bringing it into a fourth dimension for us.

One of those voices I've grown fond of and love her work is Kristin James. Kristin has done many great voices for authors. She's voiced Melanie Karsak's books for The Harvesting series and Stormy Smith's Bound series along with several others!

I'm thrilled to have Kristin by for an interview about audio work along with a giveaway at the end for you.

Please give a huge warm welcome to Kristin!

M:  Hi Kristin. Thank you for joining us today.

KJ:  Thanks so much for having me!

M:  I've noted in several of your narrations that you do different accents and voice tones for characters. Did you, or do you still, do research on voice sounds, accents, and personalities of people to add to your audio works?

KJ:  Always! Sometimes the research is more traditional, like looking up a vocal coach or native speaker on youtube if I need a specific accent. Other times it’s in the moment. If I hear a voice or sound that I like I’ll try to emulate it on the spot. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve gotten in this area came from one of my voice coaches, Joe Loesch. He said, “Remember, even if you fail at perfectly mimicking a particular voice- you’ve still created a new voice in the process.”

M:  Have you always been a master at vocal changes and voices?

KJ:  You are very kind to call me a master; I think I’ll always think of myself as a student. I’ve often had people comment on my voice and how much they liked it, but I didn’t really take acting seriously until college. There, I trained for the stage and learned invaluable vocal warm ups and care. After graduating I decided to take what I’d been hearing from others about my voice seriously, and signed up for several voice-over specific classes. I fell in love and have never looked back.

M:  Have you ever played a trick on people in public with your many voices? Pretending to be someone else or anything with strangers?

KJ:  Not yet, but you’re giving me ideas. ;)

M:  You have a talent for getting into character. What does it take to get into the brain of the characters? Do you read the whole book first?

KJ:  I always read fiction cover to cover before starting the recording process. I think it’s important to know the journeys the characters embark upon and the ways in which they deal with things before committing to “their” voice. I use the process to experiment along the way. I’ll read aloud to myself to try out a voice on a character to see if it fits. If it does that’s how I’ll hear them in my head as I continue. If it still makes sense by the end of the book I know I’ve found a winner.

Non-fiction is different and I’ve found that listeners prefer consistency on those projects. I tend to just stay one chapter ahead in that field.

M:  Do you talk in detail with the author about the characters before or during the recording of their book?

KJ:  Sometimes I ask for a one or two sentence descriptor for the major characters, just to make sure we’re on the same page. But most of the time those descriptors come out in the writing within the novel. After I’ve read the book I’ll send any questions I’ve got their way. I’ve also worked together with authors on voices before I begin recording. I’ll send a few sentences of dialogue a few different ways and they pick their favorite version.

M:  When you record a number of voices, do you read in pieces by character or read straight through switching characters as you come to them? Your work sounds seamless as if you read straight through with adjusting as you go.

KJ:  On one of my earliest projects, I tried doing each character’s dialogue individually and then Frankensteined everything together after the fact. I thought it would keep the consistency of the characters more intact. After one of the most arduous editing jobs I’ve ever given myself, I knew there had to be a better way. Then I realized that I'd already been doing this at home. All my dogs have voices and have full "conversations" with each other and me and my family. If I could switch between them without issue, why couldn't I do the same in an audiobook? I practiced switching from one audiobook voice to another and found that it wasn’t as daunting as I’d made myself believe. Self-doubt had caused me to second-guess my abilities. Once I proved to myself that I was capable of switching between characters on the fly, I’ve read my projects straight through. My advice to anyone reading is to trust yourself. You are likely far better than you are giving yourself credit for.

M:  Would you like to share what your latest or next available narration novel will be?

KJ:  Absolutely! My most recent release is Damned if I Do by Erin Hayes. You can find it here:

http://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Damned-If-I-Do-Audiobook/B01AIWT50A/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1454438645&sr=1-1

My next title is Reflections in Psychotherapy and Paths for Wellbeing by Veis Djalali PHD. It should be out later this month.
The next project I’ll be starting is The Girls from Alcyone by Cary Caffrey.


Bonus! 
Kristin's inspiration to get into voice acting:
A question I get asked a lot is, "You're a voice actor? How do you even get into something like that?" Rather than give the standard, "went to school for theater, continued taking voice specific classes after graduating, ect" answer, I thought I'd get a little more personal.

When I was ten years old I had a heart attack. Thankfully, I was in the hospital when it happened. I was receiving treatment for ‪‎Kawasaki Disease‬, which Wikipedia defines as, "an autoimmune disease in which the medium-sized blood vessels throughout the body become inflamed. It is largely seen in children under five years of age. It affects many organ systems, mainly those including the blood vessels, skin, mucous membranes, and lymph nodes. Its rarest but most serious effect is on the heart, where it can cause fatal coronary artery aneurysms in untreated children. Without treatment, mortality may approach 1%, usually within six weeks of onset. With treatment, the mortality rate is 0.17% in the U.S."

It turns out I was in that unlucky "rarest but most serious" category and had 2 aneurysms on the arteries in my heart. (Don't worry, as seen in the before/after photo they're gone now and have been for some time.)

During the attack I was rushed to the ICU where I spent about 5 and a half days of my 11 total days in the hospital. I don't know how much experience you all have with the ICU, but patients aren't really allowed to do much of anything except to rest and focus on getting better.

Fortunately, I had some very good friends who not only visited me, but also brought me a very influential present. I was given Lois Lowry's "The Giver" in audiobook form (on cassette!) performed by Ron Rifkin.

Listening to that story I was able to forget for a little while that I couldn't play soccer or softball anymore, that my days would be dominated by a medication schedule, or that I didn't know when or if I would be able to go back to school. I was able to just get lost in the world that Lowry created and Rifkin brought to life.

I still have that copy.

That experience has always stuck with me. I don't remember that time as blood tests and IVs, but rather as the first time Jonas ever saw color.

If Lowry and Rifkin could do it for me, then maybe, just maybe, I could do it for someone else.


About Kristin James:
Kristin “KJ” James was born and raised in the Nashville, TN area. Acting has always been a passion of hers. Starting on the stage as early as preschool, KJ pursued her passion into college where she received a BA in Communication with a double emphasis in Theatre and Public Relations from Mississippi State University. After college she found herself more and more drawn to voice overs. Several classes, coaching sessions, seminars, research, and a closet-turned-studio later, and she now records and produces audiobooks on a regular basis. She has also done several radio commercials for clients such as Advance Financial, TriStar Health, and GAC.

When she’s not in her booth, you can find her crocheting, playing video games, or running agility with her dog, Zeus. If you’re unfamiliar with the sport, check out the video!


Follow Kristin James to keep up with her latest works:
Facebook:  KJ the Voice Actor
Twitter:  @KJtheVoiceActor
Her Site:  KJ the Voice Actor
Her works on Audible (you can listen to samples there as well!)


GIVEAWAY TIME!!
Kristin has offered up one of her audio books as a prize.
YOU PICK!
That's right, you get to pick which book you'd like from Kristin's narrations on Audible.
Fiction or Non-fiction. Urban Fantasy with Romance, Fantasy, Scifi Romance, and more to pick from!
Whether you are old hat and want to try a new voice, or new to audio books and would like to try Kristin. We are sharing with you all.
Please make sure you are able to listen to Audible in your country.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Audio Book Review: Destiny

Destiny

By:  David Wood & Sean Ellis

Publish Date:  March 1, 2015, Audiobook December 6, 2015

Format:  Audiobook - 7 hrs 48 mins
Narrated By:  Jeffrey Kafer

Genre:  Adventure

Series:  1st in An Adventure from the Myrmidon Files series

Impression:  A thriller that demands your attention as where it takes you is through adventure and action to find the true ploy.

Synopsis:
On the Texas border, a brutal massacre threatens to ignite a firestorm of violence that will destabilize an already fragile Mexican government and trigger an international crisis that knows no boundaries. The only clue, a cryptic message: The time for Destiny has arrived! Tam Broderick, leader of an elite CIA task force, code-name: Myrmidon, knows that the Dominion—a quasi-religious extremist group—is behind the attacks; now it’s up to her and her team to find out what the Dominion’s true goals are, and stop them dead in their tracks.

From the authors of the bestselling Dane Maddock Adventures and Dane and Bones Origins comes a new series set in the Maddock Universe. Join CIA agent Tamara “Tam” Broderick and her team as they continue their struggle to foil the power of the Dominion. Action, adventure, and thrills abound in The Myrmidon Files!

First Sentence:
The Lieutenant was awake before dawn and ready for the day's activities, which came as no surprise to cavalry scout Emil Holmdahl.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles 

Audible


My Thoughts and Summary:
*This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com, at my request.

Tam brings the Myrmidons, her special task force, together after receiving a call that the Dominion is believed to be behind the murder of a bus load of college students at the border of Mexico and up to more with a call that was intercepted by the murderers. Mention in the call were clues to get Tam and her Myrmidons into action, 'time for Destiny' and an artifact of Patton's being needed. They venture through a race against Dominion members to find the artifact and figure out the clues to find the powerful information that the Dominion feels will get them what they want.

Jeff has become the voice of action, adventure thrillers for me. But I'm drawn to Jeff as a narrator for these stories because of his style and strong bold voice. He tells the story as he's living through it as the characters. Jeff doesn't give away any clues as to where the story will go while narrating for us. He keeps me wondering with the characters. Jeff doesn't question anything in his tone, unless the character does. Jeff feels as he's the expert the character comes across as. Jeff does slight changes to his voice for each character. Jeffrey did an accent of English spoken by the characters in Mexico. I didn't think anything of it when I came across it as it fit perfect to the story and was clear in understanding the words.

This is a world that is shared with other books, BUT! it is it's own story and characters. There are some connections mentioned but not a lot of time spent on them. In this fashion the authors get us into the world and characters here, along with their story and adventure. No time wasted, thank you.

Wow! David and Sean have created a huge system here. I listened to one book in this world. But this is a different group of people. They share enemies ~ Dominion and Norfolk groups ~ but they have their own assignment. There is a lot of information shared as the story moves forward, on characters and story line. All the information is given, but I feel as I'm missing that one piece of evidence that fits it all together, that's what makes it the mystery and for me to keep listening. I wanted to know what was missing and why, just like the characters. Then we meet a new character, that was what I needed for the light bulb to light. He held the pieces I was wanting. I wanted to know all he had to add to the story and twists that were to come.

I really had no idea where to expect this story to go with the starts as it is. And the story held up to the clues and evidence to drive it to a ploy I never thought would be present. Though sometimes I was curious about the connections but thanks to Stone and a few others we get to see them mapped out. Some of the connections are made fast. I really had to listen and re-listen at times to get all the details. (If you read the story, you may not need to re-read it as you can read slowly to digest what's happening.)

Stone is a mystery all of his own. None of the other team members knows much of him and Tam's not sharing her knowledge. I liked learning about him and the other team members thought on him as we venture through the lands. Stone has a special way of reading the world. It's almost unbelievable and magical, and I like the twist he adds to the story and how he moves things along with what he reads in the information and world.

If you like thrillers that demand your attention as it speeds through adventures to get the evidence and troubles that ensue, this is a book for you. And, from what I've experienced in another book in the same world but different series, all the books in this world are something to read.

Foot chases, car chases, escapes from lock downs and prison, stealing, adventuring, gun shots and fist fights. Oh my! Yes please. And thank you!



If you found this review helpful, please click Yes at Amazon and/or Audible.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Audio Book Review: Earth's Requiem

Earth's Requiem

By:  Ann Gimpel

Publish Date:  March 1, 2015, Audiobook November 12, 2015

Format:  Audiobook - 10 hrs 4 mins
Narrated By:  Caroline McLaughlin

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Series:  1st in Earth Reclaimed series

Impression:  Sex is the motive and drive for everything.

Synopsis:
Resilient, kickass, and determined, Aislinn's walled herself off from anything that might make her feel again. Until a wolf picks her for a bond mate and a Celtic god rises out of legend to claim her for his own.

Aislinn Lenear lost her anthropologist father high in the Bolivian Andes. Her mother, crazy with grief that muted her magic, was marched into a radioactive vortex by dark creatures and killed. Three years later, stripped of every illusion that ever comforted her, twenty-two year old Aislinn is one resilient, kickass woman with a take no prisoners attitude. In a world turned upside down, where virtually nothing familiar is left, she’s conscripted to fight the dark gods responsible for her father’s death. Battling evil on her own terms, Aislinn walls herself off from anything that might make her feel again in this compelling dystopian urban fantasy.

Fionn MacCumhaill, Celtic god of wisdom, protection, and divination has been laying low since the dark gods stormed Earth. He and his fellow Celts decided to wait them out. After all, three years is nothing compared to their long lives. On a clear winter day, Aislinn walks into his life and suddenly all bets are off. Awed by her courage, he stakes his claim to her and to an Earth he's willing to fight for.

Aislinn’s not so easily convinced. Fionn’s one gorgeous man, but she has a world to save. Emotional entanglements will only get in her way. Letting a wolf into her life was hard. Letting love in may well prove impossible.

First Sentence:
Aislinn tried to stop it, but the vision that had dogged her for over a year played in her head.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles  /  Book Depository

Audible


My Thoughts and Summary:
*This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com, at my request.

Aislinn has come to the attention of the Dark Ones for her unique blend of Mage and Seeker blood. They want her to produce their offspring. The Lemurians, who use the people with magic remaining on Earth to their needs, offer to help Aislinn. They open their doors to their city to Aislinn, which they don't do to humans, to help prepare her against the Dark Ones. Through the journey to Taltos, Aislinn starts to evolve into more. The Lemurian leave her on the land to allow her more time to discover her talents, as she's starting to show evidence of all five magics present in her.

This is my first time listening to Caroline's narration. At first I thought she was speaking a bit fast, but I think it's the information we get at diving into a new world. I have to pick up what the world is like and the "rules" at which people live by here. Caroline does slight tone differences to easily differentiate those that are speaking. Caroline's voice became Aislinn and Finn for me. She did a few different tone differences for males and females, and also to sound different for Rune the wolf and Bella the Raven. There is personality and attitude when they start to heighten.

We have two prologues. I thought it was a bit strange, but with telling the story of two character's histories it leads to two prologues. One of Aislinn and what happened to her father and then mother. The other is of Rune's previous bond mate, which we learn later what we don't know at this time.

I feel like a lot of information in the beginning, but we got some pieces of the information yet again in the first chapter. Like Aislinn's alive because she can do magic. I figured so with what we were told of the human race then again in the first prologue of Aislinn and her mom.

The story is a blend of Celtic fantasy with dystopian feel to the world as alien beings, Gods, took over. Aislinn is one that finds herself more than she ever imagined and with Celtic gods that help pull the humans remaining together to fight for their world. All this, and blend in sex as the undercurrent to everything.

This story has more of a sexual content than I was expecting. Ugh. The whole book is all about sex. And not necessarily good sex to boot. The gods sleep with woman and did experiments on them when first emerged. The dark gods presence are strong in the sexual sensations to all around them when they are near. Aislinn fights with her bodies wants when they are around. Even when come cross the ghost of skeletons of the dead humans, one gropes Aislinn. I didn't think this was needed. Even a line when she sleeps with one man, it's cheesy. A dragon and minotaur? In the midst of finished battle. Yes. Granted the Dark God was stopped for now, but he could return at any time. And all the friends are missing. But the desire of not being laid in hundreds of years had to be sated at this moment.

This isn't a bad thing, but definitely not what I was expecting when going into the book. I feel like the sensual moments the characters spend together are just that. Moments of sex. I didn't feel the build up and connection between them. Just wham bam thank you ma'am. The first few sex scenes felt clunky and not to have a smooth lead in. They feel as though they were put in because sex was needed. Fine, the gods use sex to entice and take peoples lives and there's a lingering need after the spells touch that Aislinn needs to sate. Aislinn and Finn, the connection grows to be more. But with the Dark Ones, there are other ways to convince people to do as they want, other than magic to spike their sexual drive. Well, I guess the Old Ones (the Lemurians) are known to use those other methods. It didn't work for me. Others it may work well for as many people loved the book and story. Check out Goodreads as there are many.

The second half of the book is when things took off for me, for the good. The story deepens as we learn of connections and potential plans of the Lemurians and their connection to the Dark Ones. There is sex but it feels as it fits now.

As the storyline and potential has a great grasp, this isn't my kind of read. The fact that everything is about sex just puts me off because there could be so much more here in this world.



If you found this review helpful, Please click Yes at Audible and/or Amazon.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sunday Post #114

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news ~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share new about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

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It's been a week. Evenings have been on the go. Football parents meeting, take car to garage, pick car up from garage, go over recruiting site with kiddo, and heavens knows what else. I think this week is going to be close to the same. Kiddo gets his leg cast off on Tuesday, Wednesday he starts back to therapy, Thursday we are going to a college fair, and whatever else we can slip in there. lol. I knew it'd be crazy busy with Kiddo until he finds a college and such, but wow it's a lot of work!

I did get to visit blogs a bit this past week through it all and hope to continue to do so this week. It might only be two evenings, but I hope to get there. :)

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The Fit Booker:

Goal:  Workout in any form of exercise (or on Wii Fit) 2x's a week. (to feel better and hope to drop a few pants sizes)

How did I do last week... I didn't get on the treadmill at all this week with all we had going on.


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What's Happening in Books:

Current Read:
Haven't started anything new.


Current Audiobook:
The New Agenda by Simone Pond


Current Podcast Book Listen:
Nothing


Finished Last Week: 
Trueheart by Mel Sterling

Audiobooks from Audible:
His Dark Empire by M.R. Forbes


Finished Podcast Book Listen:
Nothing

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Last Week on the Blog:


Cover Reveals: (click titles to go to post & learn more)



Posts:


Around the Internet...


Reviews:



Podcast Review:



Mama Bitchstress Reviews:



GIVEAWAYS:




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This Week to Come on the Blog:

I have two reviews scheduled.
  Earth Requiem
  Destiny


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Received Last Weeks:


Review & Review Consideration:



Audio Books Requested for Review:
The Games of Supervillainy by C.T. Phipps
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Get ready for the action-packed follow up to The Rules of Supervillainy. This time with zombies, zombified heroes and villains, cults, magic, superscience, a dragon, a Greek demigod, and so much more! 

Gary and Cloak have returned from the supervillain prison on the moon only to discover the city he plans to conquer and rule with an iron fist has been overrun with the living dead. Once again taking up the mantle of Merciless, the villain without mercy, Gary will have to pull it together quickly, find his wife, his gang, and a whole lot of help to stop the Brotherhood of Infamy from slaughtering the population of Falconcrest City and opening a portal to summon a Primal force of creation. 

But Gary has a plan, or at least he's sure he'll have one soon. Just give him a second.

Acheron Highway by Gary Jones
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
"He stole my heart, Mr. Shade. I want you to find him and steal it back."
The dead won't stay buried in Denver, so Jonathan Shade isn't too surprised when a deceased woman shows up wanting to hire him. A necromancer stalker has stolen her heart--literally--and she needs it if she's going to live.
But Shade's jobs are never simple. The dead won't leave him alone. They work for a lovesick goddess who wants Shade to turn over her former lover. Chased by zombies, and then by an army of skeletons, Shade and his magically-engineered partner, Kelly Chan, fight to stay alive.
Keep your hands and feet in the vehicle at all times, and hang on, because there are no safe exits from Acheron Highway...



Purchased/Winnings/Gifts:
Book:



Audio:



Free Ebooks:

(On my Kindle App) Links to books under title. They may or may not be free at this time.
Home from the Hill by Jolie Mason
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Things have changed on the Bell, thanks to the war. Luca finds herself doing some pretty colorful runs for the Carnes Syndicate these days, beginning with a little weapons smuggling. It's not the smuggling that's dangerous, though.It's the thugs following her that catch her first mate's attention. 

Emery Charles trained for years to do the Empire's dirty work, and he did it without flinching. His refusal to bring in the captain of the Carry Bell gets a bounty on his head, and a swarm of operatives out to do the job. 

Now, they have to find a way out of this rat's maze of spies, war and biological weapons alive. Falling in love is bound to complicate everything, but he's not sure he has another option.

Trees, Like Candles, Dripping Wax by Resa Nelson
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
When Cathy opens the kitchen curtains, she looks outside and wonders why the trees are melting. 

She’s scared when she realizes she’s the only one who can see them. The trees look normal to everyone else. Afraid there’s something wrong with her, Cathy keeps the melting trees a secret. 

After all, things are bad enough. She’s starting her senior year in high school as the new kid. Cathy wants to make friends but also has to navigate the treacherous waters of high school politics. All the while, everywhere she looks, the trees are melting and Cathy doesn’t know why she’s the only one who can see them. So she begins to draw what she sees. 
But will her drawings reveal her secret? Could they jeopardize her chances of getting into college? Or will they lead her to a much-needed ally? 

This story was originally published in Fantasy magazine. Appropriate for all ages. 

Road to Shandara by Ken Lozito
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
From Earth, A Hero Will Rise…

An epic fantasy adventure series begins
My name is Aaron Jace. Until a few months ago I’d never heard of the world Safanar or a place called Shandara. I was a normal guy about to graduate from college and now….now I’m being hunted, even in the solace of my dreams. My life has been a lie and I’ve been pulled into a war that spans worlds. I am the last scion of the house Alenzar’seth, the lords of Shandara. The ones on the hunt are after the one thing that will grant them ultimate power over the world….Me.

Synopsis

Aaron Jace is about to graduate from college when his grandfather unexpectedly dies. He finds a mysterious note that tells him he is a descendant from an ancient and powerful family called the Alenzar'seth, the Lords of Shandara. Along with the note is a family heirloom with a magic all its own, and two mystical swords forged as if they were made for him. The problem is he has never heard the name Alenzar’seth or of a place called Shandara. With the death of his grandfather, Aaron is thrust headlong into a war where the enemies of Shandara have the power to reach across worlds to pull him into the fight. He is being hunted and his family is in danger as Tarimus, a demon sentinel from the world of Safanar, leads the charge to steal the power of the Alenzar'seth before Aaron has a chance to learn his full potential.

In a race that begins on Earth, Aaron will journey to Safanar launching him on a thrilling fantasy action adventure in search of the fabled land of Shandara and learn that while some nations hold the Alenzar'seth in high esteem, others rejoice in its demise and are still searching for the source of power laid hidden amidst the ruins known only to a powerful few.

During his quest, Aaron will discover that the world of Safanar is built upon the stuff of legends and fantasy with dragons and castles, to cities closely resembling the modern cities of Earth with hints to science and technology that even surpass that of Earth. The Road To Shandara is an epic tale of action adventure with ancient and powerful families on distant worlds involving sacred allegiances and loyalties that span lifetimes.

The Road to Shandara is the first book of the Epic Fantasy Series of the Safanarion Order.

This is not your traditional fantasy novel.

A Winter of Rolling Thunder by Resa Nelson
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Every time Elaine has a new boyfriend, she goes out of her way to make time for her best friend Meg. But when the tables are turned and Meg begins a new relationship, Elaine feels left out in the cold. 

During a normal workday, sudden changes startle everyone. A white light flashes in the sky. A shock wave shudders through the earth. Traffic freezes because car engines fail, and elevators won’t work. Everyone panics, many believing a bomb has been dropped and that nuclear winter has begun. People race to find the fastest way home to their loved ones. 
Elaine finds herself lapsing in and out of consciousness. Every time she awakes, the world has shifted in a new, surrealistic way. Strangely colored storm clouds race across the sky. Some people float up and down in the air. Nothing makes sense. And yet, every time the world changes, she gains a better understanding of what kind of friend Meg really is. 

This story was originally published in Tomorrow SF magazine. Appropriate for all ages. 

The Conduit by Stacey Rourke
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
All 18-year-old Celeste Garrett wants is to head off to college and make those fun, yet ill-advised, choices college kids are known for. And maybe to spend some time with the hot cameraman she just met. Instead, because of a pact her ancestors made in the 17th century with a mythical creature, she has to save the world.

While normal kids are slamming energy drinks and cramming for exams, Celeste will get her adrenaline rush fighting a fire breathing dragon. She wants to meet friends in the quad to exchange lecture notes, but first she must exchange blows with a shapeshifting demon on the rooftop. Life isn’t always fair for a superhero, but at least she doesn’t have to do it alone. With her brother and sister as sidekicks, they alternate between saving lives and getting on each others’ nerves. Together the trio encounters unspeakable odds, mystical forces and comes face-to-face with an image that will haunt them forever—their grandmother in a leopard print bikini.

Okay, little side note here. If a psychopathic killer asks if you want to see a trick, say no. That’s the smart thing to do. I, on the other hand, responded, “Bring it.”
-excerpt from THE CONDUIT

Rebecca's Hell by Resa Nelson
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Peter is a 35-year-old curmudgeon making his living as an art history professor. A brilliant artist, his career has never developed what it could have been, thanks to his fellow art professor, Rebecca. She received the recognition Peter believes he deserved, but she’s allowed her career as an artist to falter and go nowhere. 

Peter knows it’s not her fault. He’s been in love with Rebecca since they were students, although he’s never found the courage to show it. Desperate, he encourages her to divorce her husband, the art critic who failed to help her launch what could have been a successful career. Embittered, Peter takes his frustrations out on his students. 

At a Halloween party, Peter’s concerns for Rebecca escalate when she tells him that Earth is hell. The world begins to merge with art by famous painters, and Peter struggles to separate reality from Impressionism. Soon enough he will understand Rebecca’s Hell and what it has in store for him. Recommended for adults (ages 17 and up).

Nightwalker by Allyson James
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Stormwalker Janet Begay, proprietor of the Crossroads Hotel, a place where the paranormal stop for a safe night’s rest, discovers the hard way that a slayer is targeting Ansel, a Nightwalker who’s become the hotel's more-or-less permanent resident.

When Janet and her lover Mick intervene to save Ansel’s un-life, they find that the attack is the beginning of an oncoming storm. Janet has her hands full already with the upcoming marriage of her father, the return of a woman who claims to be Coyote’s wife, her crazy half-sister, a couple dragons on her back, and her worry about Mick, who’s behaving strangely again. 

But it seems that everyone is after Ansel, who fears he killed the woman he loves in a Nightwalker frenzy. Janet must choose between protecting Ansel, or facing the most powerful magical beings in the world, who are willing to destroy Janet, Mick, her hotel, and everyone she cares about to get to Ansel and his secrets.

Murder at the Kinnen Hotel by Brian McClellan
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Special Detective Constable Adamat may be the most capable young investigator in all of Adopest. He's sharp, thoughtful, and his particular sorcery gives him a flawless memory. A transfer to the First Precinct seems like the perfect opportunity to showcase his abilities and advance his career. 

But things work differently in the First Precinct. The murder of a businessman's mistress quickly pulls Adamat into an unexpected world of conspiracy and politics where he's forced to use all his wits to stay one step ahead of unseen enemies and keep his friends—and himself—from the guillotine. 

Occurs twenty-two years before the events in Promise of Blood.


(On my Nook)



Free Audio Books/Stories:




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Reviews to Come:

Soulless by Skyla Dawn Cameron
The Sentinel by Chris Lester
The Muse by Chris Lester
Metamor City: Making the Cut by Chris Lester
Metamor City: Whispers in the Wood by Chris Lester
Danube Waves by Katharina Bordet
Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan
Lex Talionis by Starla Huchton
Spark by Starla Huchton
House of Grey 6 by Collin Earl
The Secret World Chronicle: World Divided by Mercedes Lackey, Cody Martin, Dennis Lee, Veronica Giguere
The Secret World Chronicle: Waiting On by Mercedes Lackey, Cody Martin, Dennis Lee, Veronica Giguere
The Secret World Chronicle: Revolutions by Mercedes Lackey, Cody Martin, Dennis Lee, Veronica Giguere
Heir to Kale by K.L. Bone
Tales from the Archives Vol 4 #5 - Old Sinner's Bones
The Death of Dulgath by Michael J. Sullivan
Earth's Requiem by Ann Gimpel
Destiny by David Wood & Sean Ellis
Bound by Prophecy by Stormy Smith
Serpent Singer and Other Stories by M.H. Bonham
Bound Together by Stormy Smith
His Dark Empire by M.R. Forbes
Trueheart by Mel Sterling