Monday, December 30, 2013

Back to Christmas by Dennis Canfield


Back to Christmas by Dennis Canfield

This book was so cute! A great Christmas story that I can see being made into a movie.

Marmel, head labeling elf he is in charge of labeling the naughty and nice and he is in a tizzy because Santa changed the rules and now no one is on the naughty list but Marmel has found a whole family (The Krumwerth’s) that he thinks should be on the permanent naughty list, no more chances they are just bad, bad, bad, at least according to Marmel. However Santa wants to give them a chance to redeem themselves, much to Marmel’s chagrin. According to the rules Marmel must inform the family they are in danger of being on the naughty list forever, so he heads to the house and informs teenaged Amanda of the family’s fate. We also get to see Santa’s brother RC (Reverse Claus) who lives on the South Pole and wears green and has green and white candy canes, which I will never look at without thinking of RC again!

I enjoyed the Krumwerth family too they used to have fun on Christmas but have somehow forgotten their Christmas spirit, but they aren’t the only ones Marmel seems to be having a problem with this himself and for and Elf that is a very bad thing to happen.

The story is told by Marmel & Amanda in alternating chapters as you see how they try to get their Christmas Spirit back. I enjoyed the family stuff and know what it is like when Christmas becomes more of a chore than the fun and family it is supposed to be. I also enjoyed the scenes in the South Pole and hope maybe RC will get his own book one of these days!

I truly enjoyed this book and can so see it as movie **Hello Hollywood… Do You Hear Me?**

I highly recommend this fun book, even if you are done with your Christmas reads for the year I say pick one more up. I will be buying a paper copy for our library.

4 ½ Stars

I received this book from Netgalley for a fair and honest review.


PS I see there is an audiobook version of this that I am sure would make a fabulous roadtrip book for you and your family!

Additional Info:

I listened to the audiobook, and I was not disappointed, Ralph Lister’s narration was fantastic all the characters, voices and accents were fabulous!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Blackout (Blackout #1) by, Robison Wells narrated by, Ray Porter


Blackout (Blackout #1) by, Robison Wells narrated by, Ray Porter

This book suffered from not enough world building and possibly an editing problem, not the usual to many words but this felt like it had been over edited there were times when I felt like I’d missed something the story seemed to jump so fast.

I do enjoy this authors writing I just wish there had been more world building.  I am hoping that there will be more explanation in the coming books which I will at least give a try. I am also going to read the ebook prequel Going Dark and see if that gives us a bit more world building and will be back to let you know!

I enjoyed Ray Porter’s narration, though at times it felt like a straight read and then he’d suddenly start doing voices, but I would listen to him again.

I liked this book enough to be curious about the rest of the series because I did like the characters and am curious about where they will end up.


2 ½ Stars

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Comfort and Joy by India Knight, narrated by, Anne Flosnik



Comfort and Joy by India Knight, narrated by, Anne Flosnik

Hmm what to say about Comfort & Joy, first of all this isn’t your normal sappy with a good moral Christmas story it is more Sex in the City meets AbFab Christmas story. And that is exactly what I liked about this book it was fun and had many laugh out loud moments, but not one you want to listen to in public without earbuds in it does get a little racy in spots but that is half the fun of this book.

I liked the characters in this book, Clara was trying to do the best she could and I like that she included not only her exes but their families too so her children would still have family there for Christmas, which I found very refreshing. She is a bit of an A personality when it comes to planning the big Christmas meal and was happy that on the third Christmas in the book they went to Marrakesh and she let others do much of the work.

I related to Clara so much, trying to plan the perfect Christmas for a bunch of people you’re not sure you even want to spend time with let alone what’s supposed to be a happy holiday. But I loved how she handled it, I myself would have drank much more!  I loved Clara’s wit and sarcasm, I am a bit sarcastic myself so I enjoyed this aspect of Clara’s personality immensely!

Anne Flosnik’s flawless narration helps this book along at times and who knew she had such good comic timing, she embodies Clara and all the other characters, as always Anne’s narration was spot on!

Just a warning if you are reading or listening to this in public there are some laugh out loud moments and you may get sideways glances from people around you, I would also recommend not eating or drinking anything while reading especially the first half or you may ruin your book and/or your clothes from spitting whatever you have eaten or attempted to drink!

If you like your Christmas stories on the bawdy, funny side I highly recommend this book. Just don’t go into it thinking you are getting a heartwarming sappy read because that’s not this book!


4 Stars

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Wedding Gift , by Marlen Suyapa Bodden narrated by, Jenna Lamia & January LaVoy



The Wedding Gift , by Marlen Suyapa Bodden narrated by, Jenna Lamia  & January LaVoy

This was a great story. If you enjoyed The Kitchen House I think you will enjoy this one! Set in the time of slavery the story is told by slave Sarah and slave owner Theodora.

This was a fascinating story and made me realize something awful, so many slave owners had children with their slaves but never considered them their children, just their property to buy and sell and abuse at a whim. I just can’t understand how these men could treat their own flesh & blood this way that it is very disturbing.

There were times I thought for sure Sarah would see some very tough times because she seemed to talk about running away a lot and in front of people she shouldn’t trust.  Her mother was an amazing woman who took care of her children the best way she knew how and did things she had to do to keep her children safe and close, I think the realization of that really hit her daughters when certain things happened to Belle, when Emmeline decided to try to stand up for herself and learned a hard lesson.

Then we have Theodora who came from a family that called its slaves servants and treated them much better than the family she married into, the Allen family is a much tougher bunch with not only its slaves but its women too. Theodora’s marriage isn’t a happy one no matter how hard she tries, add to that the fact that her husband is having relations with one of the house slaves, Emmeline and has fathered a child with her. But Theodora is an amazing woman and rises above the abuses her husband doles on her and everyone else and her and Emmeline actually become very close. Their daughters Clarissa and Sarah grow up together never realizing (till later) that they are sisters but these two girls grow up best friends spending all their time together including doing schoolwork, even though it is illegal for slaves to learn to read and write Theodora sees nothing wrong with this, but will she eventually pay the price for teaching Sarah to read & write?


Thoughts on the audio production, I am already a huge fan of Jenna Lamia but this was my first time hearing January LaVoy and I must say I was very impressed and will be finding more books narrated by her. The narration of this book was so perfect both narrators bring these two women to life with such ease, I was very impressed with the narration and it ranks up in the top 10 of the year.(2013)

If you haven’t guessed I truly loved this book, I thought it was a very well written story, and I enjoyed seeing things from both perspectives.

I highly recommend this book especially on audio!


5 Stars

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion: A Novel by Fannie Flagg, read by the author



The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion: A Novel by Fannie Flagg, read by the author

This is my new favorite Fannie Flagg book! This had just the right amount of humor, emotion, and family drama to make it a perfect mix and a great story.

Mrs. Sookie Poole has accidently found out some life altering information, that changes how she sees herself  and who she thinks she is,  which honestly she was already struggling with before any of this happened, since she just married off her last daughter. She has an overbearing mother who she thinks is never happy with anything Sookie does. She is lucky that she has a wonderful, understanding husband and great kids that help her through this difficult time.

We also meet Fritzi  in the 1940’s, her family runs a gas station but when her father takes sick and her brother is sent off to war the girls of the family take over the station and make it a big hit with an all-girl staff. This works for a while but what Fritzi really loves to do is fly, and here is where we learn some great history of the WAF’s and how these sister’s became an integral part of that, it was a great history lesson of a little known part of the stateside war effort.

This was somewhat of a coming of age book for Sookie, she became something so much more than she ever thought she could be by the end but what I loved is that her kids and husband knew how great she was all along but she couldn’t see it. There is some great laugh out loud moments, and the relationship between Sookie and her mother Lenore is interesting and makes you realize sometimes people don’t see you the way you think they do.(and vice versa)

I loved this book and when I finished it I thought about starting over from the beginning again.

As always Fannie Flagg is one of those rare breed of authors that excels at reading their own work, try the audio you won’t be disappointed!


5 Stars


I actually won an Early Review copy of this book from Librarything but I didn’t get my copy yet and I’ve been waiting for this far too long to wait any longer than I had to, so I bought the audiobook.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Audiobook Marathon LIVE An ALS Charity Event

This event is personal to me because I lost my Godmother and namesake to this awful disease. If you love audiobooks and/or would like to help out this wonderful cause, check out the poster below!

You don't have to attend the live event to participate, there is an online auction here with proceeds going to ALS research.

Here is a list of events and some of the auction items.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Seven for a Secret By, Lyndsay Faye narrated by, Steven Boyer


Seven for a Secret (Timothy Wilde Mysteries #2)  By, Lyndsay Faye narrated by, Steven Boyer

I sort of finished Seven for a Secret by, Lyndsay Faye narrated Steven Boyer, I say sort of because I dnf'd it with about an hour left I just didn't care to listen anymore and I am not sure if the story got boring or if the narrator sounded bored so I was too. I wanted to like this book so much, since I loved Faye's Dust and Shadow: An Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr. John H. Watson but it just didn't do it for me.

This book reminded me of the TV show Copper which I love but this story got a bit long winded for me and by the end I just wanted it over. The middle of the story was interesting and she does give a great feel of New York in this time period, but I just wanted her to get on with the story and have it come to a conclusion. The copper star in this book Tim Wilde at times doesn’t seem too bright, and I felt that even for an abolitionist he seemed pretty forward thinking, again in that way it reminded me of the show Copper, and possibly that is why I didn’t enjoy this as much as I thought I would because of the comparisons.

Steven Boyer’s narration was really good at times, let me clarify the main character had this kind of boring one note dialect he sounded bored or depressed but his other characters and accents were very well done including a southern woman that I thought was very good, I think that may be why the main characters voice was so strikingly boring compared to all the other great voices he did.

I will read more Lyndsay Faye books as I said I absolutely loved Dust & Shadow and if she writes more Holmes books I will be thrilled, however I probably won’t read anymore in this series or if I do I will read them in paperform.

3 stars


I received the paperbook from Librarything Early Reviewers but got behind and bought it on audio. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen


Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

Another great book from Sarah Addison Allen, it’s magically beautiful! Now, I have to tell you, there is a bit of predictability to this book BUT it is the journey they take to get there that makes it so worth the read.

There are two stories at the beginning of this book that eventually intertwine the story of Kate who a year ago lost her husband and has been sleepwalking through life not being present in her or her daughter Devin’s life, in fact, in that year she has let her mother in law, Cricket , pretty much take over her life, which is ironic considering her husband always wanted her out of their lives. Then we have the story of Eby Kate’s great aunt who in the 60’s married the love of her life, George, who was also very rich not that Eby ever cared about that, while they are in Paris they meet Lisette (I won’t tell you how …Spoilers). When they finally come back to the states Eby’s family just wants and wants so Eby & George get rid of their money and buy a hotel/resort in Georgia called Lost Lake and are very happy for many years. Kate spent one glorious summer there when she was 12 and when she & Devin find an old postcard Eby sent to Kate years ago they decide to go visit Lost Lake much to the chagrin of her over bearing mother in law.

Devin & Lisette have become my new favorite characters from this author. I love Devin she is precocious yet so wise beyond her years she sees her mother sleepwalk through a year after Devin’s father dies and now that her mom is awake again she just wants things to work out and they aren’t going to work out moving in with her grandmother Cricket. Devin’s journey is so magical and wonderful. I just love her I can’t help it. Lisette is such an interesting character and I truly fell in love with her quiet wisdom too. I enjoyed every scene she was in. There is a slew of interesting characters besides the ones I have already mentioned, there is Selma and her charms, and Bulahdeen is hilariously over the top. These two ladies have been coming to Lost Lake for years and cracked me up most of the time, I loved that the author gave us a good background on these characters and not just here they are.


As with other Addison books there is some big time magical realism going on here in more ways than one which made this one unique, there are a few different magical realism stories here and they are so different yet the way they fit into this story is so well done that I believed it all.

All this makes this book almost impossible to put down, between the magical story and the great characters this is a must read especially if you are a southern fiction fan or a fan of magical realism.

Sarah Addison Allen did not disappoint in this long awaited book and I am so glad she updated her fans on her breast cancer progress that she has had 2 clean scans.. Hoorah!

5 Stars

Full Disclosure I received a copy of this book from Edelweiss & the Publisher for a fair and honest review.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The World's Strongest Librarian: A Memoir of Tourette's, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family By, Josh Hanagarne Narrated by, Stephen R. Thorne


The World's Strongest Librarian: A Memoir of Tourette's, Faith, Strength, and the Power of Family By, Josh Hanagarne Narrated by, Stephen R. Thorne
Published by, AudioGo
LENGTH- 8 hrs and 34 mins

I thought at first this book would only have a niche audience of librarians, but it is also about Tourettes and faith and even though the author is a Mormon I think what he says about faith applies to all religions. I enjoyed this book and not just the parts about libraries, though those may have been my favorite parts. I found it fascinating when he describes his Tourettes and how it feels; I’ve read a number of books about Tourettes but haven’t ever heard anyone describe the tics as well as the author did, like I never knew they hurt and that you could feel them coming on but could do nothing to stop them. I felt so bad for him when he was on his mission trip and his Tourettes got really bad. This is an awful disorder and I have a lot of compassion for Josh and think he is amazingly strong.

I also enjoyed how much he loves books and reading and the way he talks about his love of books, even at the adoption agency when he maybe should have let that conversation go! 

I also enjoyed how supportive his family was of him it was refreshing to see a family full of love and not torn apart by Tourettes or faith or anything else!

A few quick thoughts I jotted down while listening…Loved when he went to the city council & commented that he’d never seen any of them at the library, so true!! And being a babysitter, I know this pain big-time! Also the guy watching porn and you just want to say “seriously man you’re in a library” I know there are many librarians that have thought the same thing why would you look at this stuff in a public place?

Stephen R. Thorne was the narrator and I thought he did a very good job at the narration and telling Josh’s story, I liked that he didn’t go over the top when making the Tourettes vocal tics and didn’t make them comical because it is such a serious disorder.

I highly recommend this book to not only librarians and readers but anyone who would like to know more about Tourettes and anyone who has questioned their faith. I need to say I am not usually someone who likes books about faith because peoples beliefs are very different but I liked that he told it straight and didn’t get preachy.

4 Stars

Full disclosure I received this book from the Audiobookjukebox & the Publisher for a fair and honest review.

Friday, October 25, 2013

SAVE THE DATE... The First Ever! Audiobook Marathon LIVE: An ALS Charity Event

                                                                SAVE THE DATE...
The First Ever!
Audiobook Marathon LIVE: An ALS Charity Event
25 Hours, 12 Genres, 1 Amazing Causes!
 The Victory Theater in Burbank, CA
Saturday, November 9, 2013


WHEN:
Starts Saturday, November 9, 2013 at 6:30 PM
Continues until Sunday, November 10, 2013 at 7:30 PM
WHAT:
The First Ever Audiobook Marathon LIVE: An ALS Charity Event

You’ve heard them through your speakers, earbuds, and headphones, now see them perform live!  25 Hours, 12 Genres, 1 Amazing Cause!

The event begins with a one hour Children’s Hour.
The remainder of the event will occur in 90-minute performance blocks.
http://www.audiobooksLIVE.org
WHERE:
The Victory Theatre
3326 W Victory Blvd
Burbank, CA 91505

TICKETS:
• General Admission: $15
• Children’s Hour: $10 (6:30pm-7:30pm)
NOTE: after initial hour all tickets apply to 90-minute performance blocks

Audible Inc. has donated one free download with the purchase of every ticket.  Attendance required to collect.

Tickets can be purchased at
http://audiobooks.brownpapertickets.com

SCHEDULE:
Audiobook lovers and literature buffs can delight in the rare opportunity to see and hear LA's top audiobook narrators and celebrity guests come together live to perform selections from time honored classics and contemporary best sellers of every genre.  The marathon will begin with a Children’s Hour followed by twelve 90-minute performance blocks.  In each block a different collection of five fan favorite narrators will read selections in a specific genre of literature. 

·      Children’s Hour                                 6:30pm-7:30pm
·      Humor                                                8:00pm-9:30pm
·      Thriller/Mystery                               10:00-11:30pm
·      Science Fiction                                   Midnight-1:30am
·      Erotica                                                2:00am-3:30am
·      The Undead                                       4:00am-5:30am
·      Inspiration/Health                            6:00am-7:30 am
·      Juvenile Fiction (Ages 6-10)            8:00am-9:30 am
·      Biography/Memoir               10:00am-11:30am
·      Romance                                            Noon-1:30 pm
·      Classics                                               2:00pm-3:30pm
·      Multi-Cast                                           4:00pm-5:30pm
·      Humor                                                6:00pm-7:30pm

Beer, wine, coffee and other refreshments will be available for sale in the Lobby.
FUN & GAMES:
As the late night hours approach, throughout each 90-minute block the narrators and audience will be issued fun challenges to enhance, complicate, or render completely incoherent some of our most treasured stories.  Might we get a priceless opportunity to hear Scott Brick read Fifty Shades of Grey in a Scottish accent with a mouthful of marshmallows?  Anything is possible!           
PRIZES:
Alongside the performances there will be raffles with prizes that are sure to excite audiobook and literature fans alike. There will also be an online auction of rare items and once in a lifetime experiences.
Online auction prizes include:
·   Lunch with Henry Winkler
·      A tour of Random House Studios during working hours
·      The Complete Works of Ernest Hemingway from Simon & Schuster Audio, a $400 value
·      Personalized voicemail message recorded by famed narrator Scott Brick
·      Visit George Guidall in a NYC studio and see the master at work
·      Countless bestselling audiobooks from top publishers Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, Random House, Scholastic, Blackstone, Recorded Books and more 
·      Hunger Games set (Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay)
·      Maggie Stiefvater sets:  Shiver series (Shiver, Linger, and Forever), The Scorpio Races (single title), Raven Cycle series (two titles have been published to date, The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves) all in library packaging with cover inserts signed by Maggie Stiefvater.
·      DVD's: Scholastic Treasury of 100 Storybook Classics -- This is a box set of 100 Weston Woods films on 16 DVD's
·      Demo recording: For any NY-based voiceover talent willing to come to Weston Woods’ studio in Danbury, CT, three hours of studio time to record and edit an audiobook narration demo
·      Gift cards to Audible.com, High Bridge Audio, eChristian Audiobooks, and many more
·      One-on-one narration classes with a number of established working instructors including Carol Monda, Johnny Heller, Robin Miles, Pat Fraley, and Marc Cashman
·      90-minute in-house massage
·      Voice Over Talent Listing in Audiofile Magazine, a MUST for new narrators
·      A ticket to the 2014 Audie Awards Ceremony in New York City
·      A one year APA (Audio Publishers Association) membership

New prizes added every week leading up to the show!
To bid on one of these amazing prizes and many more visit:

Who:
A small sampling of industry-top narrators who will be involved.
Simon Vance
Scott Brick
John Lee
Julia Whelan
Kirby Heyborne
(and many more)
PROCEEDS:
Proceeds from the auction will go to the ALS Association.  Ticket sales will go toward medical expenses and a new wheelchair for beloved audiobook producer Bob Deyan, who has been suffering with ALS disease for several months.   
http://www.alsbob.com

WHY:
The 25 Hour Audiobook Marathon Live was inspired by audiobook producer Bob Deyan’s current fight with ALS.  Bob and his wife, Debra, manage Deyan Audio, a recording and production studio that has produced multiple Grammy and Audie Award winning audiobooks and brought work to hundreds of narrators and audio engineers. 

While enjoying the grand opening gala of their new studios in Northridge, CA Bob’s leg began tingling.  That was the beginning.  Bob has been battling ALS for several months now.  He has since lost the ability to walk and can now only speak on occasion.  Friends, family, and professionals in the audiobook industry were stunned and saddened by Bob’s diagnosis.  But ever since discovering he is ill, Bob has made it his mission to battle this disease, which includes raising awareness as well as money for ALS-related charities.  Many in the industry have rallied behind him, uniting an often solitary community of professionals.  His health, however, has been fluctuating and with the escalating cost of hospital visits and home care the audiobook community wants to pick up the torch by continuing to raise money and awareness for research, and help Bob and Debra with their mounting medical expenses.  All donations raised toward Bob’s care will be facilitated by the not-for-profit Help Hope Live. 
http://www.helphopelive.org
ABOUT:
Deyan Audio:

Bob and Debra Deyan LOVE books and especially AUDIOBOOKS! So, when Bob and Debra got married they put their schooling and experience together and dove into the publishing world.  When they got started, audiobooks were recorded to 1/4" tape. Things have come a long way since then!

Deyan Audio is a multimedia company, which was conceived in 1990 by Bob and Debra Deyan in Van Nuys, CA. Bob Deyan, from Los Angeles, has a B. A. in Radio/Television Broadcasting from the University of California Long Beach. Debra Deyan from Virginia Beach, holds a MBA from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA.

Bob produces, directs, and QCs (Quality Control) audiobooks, as well as manages the company alongside his wife Debra. He has produced over 1,000 audio books. Bob has directed celebrity readers such as Richard Dreyfuss, Craig Ferguson, Raven Simoné, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Alice Cooper, Dudley Moore, Juliet Mills, Ed Asner, Patrick MacNee and recorded Milton Berle, Whoopi Goldberg and Joe Mantegna and many more. Bob also works with celebrity authors and famous motivational speakers.
Besides more than 20 years in the audio book business, Bob has had experience as a Television Director, Videographer, Photographer, Voice Over/Radio Talent and Operations Manager for a Los Angeles based radio station. During his college days at UCA-LB, Bob was chosen out of hundreds of applicants to intern on the set of M.A.S. H. for several weeks based on a script he wrote for the show.
Debra manages the editing and engineering team and QCs. Debra is responsible for financials and daily operations. Before Debra started her 20 plus year career in audiobook creation, she used her MBA in the swimming pool supply business as a Director of Regulatory and Legal Affairs for 7 years and prior to that she put herself through college as a saleswoman for 6 years in the wholesale fishing tackle industry.

ALS:
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive degenerative disease that affects the nerves and spinal cord.  The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.  There is no cure or treatment to reverse the disease. 

The ALS Association: 
The mission of The ALS Association is to lead the fight to treat and cure
 ALS through global research and nationwide advocacy while also empowering people with Lou Gehrig's disease and their families to live fuller lives by providing them with compassionate care and support.  We are a member of the National Health Council and the only national organization solely dedicated to fighting ALS on all fronts while directly serving the ALS community.  By leading the way in global research, providing assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through certified clinical care centers, and fostering government partnerships, The ALS Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure.

The Audiobook Marathon Planning Committee:
Mostly comprised of narrators, the committee behind the event includes Tara Sands, Cassandra Campbell,  Deanna Hurst-Levin, Steve Sidawi, MacLeod Andrews, Hillary Wilson, Kimberly Farr, Kathe Mazur, Coleen Marlo, Vikas Adam, Michael Goldstrom, Allyson Ryan, and Jessica Kaye.
#                                              #                                              #

For more information, photos, or to schedule an interview please contact Lynn Tejada at 213-840-1201 or lynn@greengalactic.com.

MacLeod Andrews at 502-523-2739 or macleodandrews@gmail.com

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Storycatcher by, Ann Hite narrated by, Allyson Johnson

The Storycatcher by, Ann Hite narrated by, Allyson Johnson


This was a very unique ghost story, or haint story, because that’s what they call ghosts on Black Mountain. But there are times when it gets a little confusing because there are so many stories and characters and there were times I had forgotten who was dead and who was alive because the ghosts felt like flesh and blood people going about their business, although that is also what made this book so unique.

These haints are everywhere on the mountain just not everyone can see them, and there is one that is a  storycatcher she catches peoples stories , which is usually the secrets and lies, the hurts done and takes it upon herself to right these wrongs in any way she can. And there are a lot of secrets on Black Mountain and the Rev. Dobbs holds a doozy and he will pay one way or another for it.


I truly enjoyed the writing and felt the characters were well fleshed out but there are a lot of them and there is back and forth in time too with some of the stories but once you get them straight in your head you need to hear more about each and every one of them and the strands of how it all fits together makes for a fascinating story.

Allyson Johnson was a new to me narrator and I was very impressed with her narration she moved smoothly from female to male and from old lady to young girl. Her southern women seemed very real the accent didn’t sound faked or forced in any way. I will be finding more books narrated by her.

This was my first Ann Hite book and for sure won’t be my last I truly enjoyed how she weaved this story and can tell she is a master storyteller, I look forward to reading more books by her.


4  Stars

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein Narrated by, Morven Christie & Lucy Gaskell


Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein Narrated by, Morven Christie & Lucy Gaskell

Wow wow wow…a book that completely lived up to its hype! What an interesting story, something so different than anything else I’ve ever read about WWII. I never knew there was even a Women’s’ RAF auxiliary and being a work of fiction did not make this story any less fascinating. What Maddy (Kitty Hawk) & Julie (Verity) did for the war effort was pretty amazing considering the time.(or at anytime really)

I felt like I was listening to an unreliable narrator because you just couldn’t believe that she was giving so much away and well **No Spoilers** when you get to the end and understand more it makes you want to go back to the beginning with that knowledge of truth start over again but I bet even if you did there are still parts that will make you cry! I just can’t say much more because you need to become enrapt with these characters and I don’t want to spoil that for anyone!

There are parts of this that are funny, ironic and desperately sad but written in such a way it blends so perfectly as if listening to a real person tell a story, I was very impressed with Wein’s writing chops! I know I fell in love with these characters through the telling and these are characters that will stay with me a very long time!

The two new to me narrators, Morven Christie & Lucy Gaskell truly brought this book to life Morven Christie’s accents and emotions were beyond amazing she has a huge fan in me now, and I will be finding other books she has narrated. Lucy Gaskell’s was great too she did well at accents and emotions too it’s just maybe I was more invested in the other narration however I don’t want to take anything away from Gaskell as she did a fabulous job and again I will seek out other books she has narrated. I would highly recommend the audio production of this book over paper these two narrators are amazing!!

So I guess I am simply saying READ THIS BOOK! Or should I say LISTEN TO THIS BOOK!

5 stars

Yes there are a lot of exclamation points in this review it deserved all of them!!! ;)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Flame of Sevenwaters (Sevenwaters #6) by Juliet Marillier narrated by, Rosalyn Landor


Flame of Sevenwaters (Sevenwaters #6) by Juliet Marillier narrated by, Rosalyn Landor

We are back at Sevenwaters, Finbar is now a boy of 7 or 8 and seems to have a few lasting effects of his time in the otherworld with Mac Dara , also Maeve, daughter of Lord Sean who was badly burned as a child in Fianne’s story comes back to Sevenwaters after 10 years spent in the house of Liadan & Bran. It is tough on her because she has very limited use of her hands and her face is scarred and at Harrowfield she wasn’t an oddity because she has always been there but back at Sevenwaters people stare and talk behind her back. Plus she is having a hard time reconnecting with her mother who just wants to pretend the last 10 years didn’t exist or to see the strong woman her daughter has become. Maeve has a way with animals, it is her gift.

Maeve & Finbar are both feeling a bit constrained in the house Finbar is under constant guard and doesn’t seem to be able to do anything a normal child of his age can do and Maeve used to having freedom to be outside in stables or just outside period is having a very hard time sitting in the ladies sewing room with her mother and the other women of the house since she can’t sew since her hands are burnt up.

I enjoyed the budding friendship between Finbar & Maeve neither has ever had their siblings around very much so it was neat to see them become so close.

There is a bit of formula to this one but since Marillier is such a great writer I chose to overlook that. There is finally a ending to the Mac Dara story but not in the way you may have thought it would end but I wish there would have been more of Cathal & Clodagh and even though we have been working up to this conclusion for a few books I still felt it was a little rushed and wished we had seen Ciaran’s entire journey and Cathal’s journey back. There is a death at the beginning of this book that is sad for fans of Daughter of the Forest but it makes a true ending of that story.

As always Rosalyn Landor’s narration was well done, I like that she made Maeve sound a bit different than everyone else at  Sevenwaters after all she has been living in Britain at Harrowfield so she would have a different accent .

Even though this isn’t my favorite Sevenwaters book it was still worth 4 stars.


4 Stars

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Seer of Sevenwaters (Sevenwaters #5) by Juliet Marillier narrated by, Terry Donnelly


Seer of Sevenwaters (Sevenwaters #5) by Juliet Marillier narrated by, Terry Donnelly

Read in Paperform in 2011 re-read 2013 on audio.

Another great addition to the Sevenwaters saga! In this one we follow Sibeal on her path to become a druid ,Ciaran has sent her to the island of Inis Eala to spend the summer with her sisters before she makes her final pledge to become a full druid. But as with all daughters of Sevenwaters her path takes some twists and turns. Also in this book we had some continuation of Clodagh and Cathal’s story but their story is far from over so I look forward to more from them.


This was a really good story and I loved the look back in stories that were told in the hall it made me remember some of the details I had forgotten from the previous books since it has been awhile since I’ve read them. It also reminded me how many generations of the Sevenwaters family I have come to know and love. Sorcha’s great grandchildren were born in this book and I guess I’d kind of forgotten just how far this story has come.

The story did wrap up but there is definitely more story to tell and look forward to the next book in this wonderful series.

4 ½ Stars

 Audiobook Review: Terry Donnelly was the narrator of this one and I did enjoy her narration except for her Norse male voices they just sounded odd I can't describe exactly what was wrong with them but they were just off and didn't sound at all Norse to me, other than that she did a good job.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Heir to Sevenwaters (Sevenwaters #4) by Juliet Marillier narrated by, Rosalyn Landor


Heir to Sevenwaters (Sevenwaters #4) by Juliet Marillier narrated by, Rosalyn Landor

 When we venture back to Sevenwaters the household is preparing for the wedding of Dierdre to a nobleman, the house is full of people among them Johnny and some of his men including Aiden and Cathal, Aiden has eyes for Dierdre’s twin Clodagh and his rude foster-brother Cathal seems to have a lot to say about this. As was decided by Lord Sean, Johnny son of Liadan & Bran would be the heir to Sevenwaters since he and wife Aisling have only had daughters but an unexpected late in life pregnancy produces a son they name Finbar. The pregnancy has been worrisome to the whole household because of Aisling’s age but when everything goes well with the birth the whole household celebrates and sighs with relief, until the day Cathal comes to say goodbye to Clodagh in the nursery and in that second her brother Finbar is gone and in his place a changeling made of sticks that only she can see is a real child from the otherworld. This begins Clodagh’s journey into the otherworld to rescue her brother with Cathal’s help.

This one had much more otherworldly/magical beings and worlds than the last couple books have had which I enjoyed, most of the book is spent in the otherworld with forest beings and the evil King of The Oaks Mac Dara who wants something but it isn’t Finbar or Clodagh . Cathal was an interesting character because in the beginning he is so rude to everyone especially Clodagh but as the story goes on we see why he was like he was and his reasoning’s behind it all.

Clodagh’s journey is interesting because unlike all the other daughters of Sevenwaters who did battle with otherworldly foes this is this first one that did their fighting in the otherworld, she has a long harrowing journey and I was glad that years and years hadn’t passed in the real world while she searched for her brother!

Rosalyn Landor did a great job on the narration as always, Mac Dara’s voice had just the right amount of contempt for humans and venom when he was crossed. She gave Clodagh a dignity and fragility at times that was a nice blend. I always enjoy all her different voices male and female.


4 Stars

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Child of the Prophecy (Sevenwaters #3) by Juliet Marillier narrated by, Heather O'Neill


Child of the Prophecy (Sevenwaters #3) by Juliet Marillier narrated by, Heather O'Neill

Fianne daughter of Niamh and Ciaran comes to Sevenwaters after her mother’s death and is welcomed into the family fold, however things aren’t as they seem because the Sevenwaters clan has no idea she has been tutored not only in the ways of a druid by her father but in the dark arts by her grandmother the evil sorceress who was the one who cast the spell on the sons of Sevenwaters. In a long ago prophecy it states that it will take a child that was neither of Britain nor or Erin but at the same time both, who is marked by the raven to take the sacred island back. Everyone assumes this is Johnny son of Liadan & Bran and the evil sorceress has sent Fianne there to kill him when the moment is right so the prophecy is not fulfilled.

I enjoyed Fianne’s story very much she is as all other Sevenwaters women very strong and goes through a lot but she is being controlled by the sorceress but also still has the good in her that comes from her father’s teachings. She has a very hard road I think the toughest since Sorcha, because she so wants to be good even when the sorceress forces her to do terrible things that injures one of the other daughters of Sevenwaters.

I liked this book because it is filled with the Sevenwaters family no one is really off their own, Fianne is surrounded by people who want her to be good and want her in their lives, her two biggest allies are Finbar the uncle who still wears a swans wing thanks to her grandmother and Darragh her childhood friend. This is also our first look at island of Inis Eala where Bran’s men under the tutelage of his son Johnny are running a sort of school for warriors and we see the families of the men from Son of Shadows including Gull’s wife Biddy who was a favorite character of mine. We also have the creepy Eamonn again and contrary to outward appearances he has not forgiven what he feels are the wrongs done to him by Bran & Liadan.

I would say this is my second favorite of the series after Daughter of the Forest. I thoroughly enjoyed Fianne journey and the outcome, even though fans of the other books may need hankies towards the end, I know I did.


Heather O'Neill’s narration was great, Fianne unlike the rest of her family in Sevenwaters was born in a different part of the county and had a stronger Irish accent more I don’t know maybe lowborn but I thought Heather’s portrayal of her was very well done. I truly enjoyed all her accents. I would definitely listen to more by this narrator.


4 ½ Stars