Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Marley: The Other Christmas Carol by Donald Allen Kirch narrated by, J. Scott Bennett

Marley: The Other Christmas Carol by Donald Allen Kirch narrated by, J. Scott Bennett

I really enjoyed this story and thought the narration was very well done.

Marley is still rattling around the afterlife in chains but he is given a chance to redeem himself, remove the chains and move on, If he can save a family about to implode. It is how he chooses to “save” them that will get you right in the heartstrings if you don’t at the very least gasp or shed a little tear you may not have a soul! Just kidding but really this one got me right in the feels but at the conclusion I was able to breathe again and applaud the author for his great storytelling!

I enjoyed J. Scott Bennett narration he is a new to me narrator who I would definitely listen to again his British accents were the best and I enjoyed his little girl voice his American accent could use a little work but I still enjoyed it overall.

This book is only 2 hours and 46 minutes but I was completely enthralled the entire time. I highly recommend this different little book. A great addition to your Christmas listening list!

 4 Stars

**I received this book from the narrator for a fair and honest review**

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Necessary Lies by, Diane Chamberlain narrated by, Alison Elliott

Necessary Lies by, Diane Chamberlain narrated by, Alison Elliott

Another fascinating book about the eugenics program in North Carolina this time told from the perspective of a new social worker who is appalled at the program. The first book I read on this subject was “Unfit by, LaraCleveland Torgesen” which I found fascinating and I think both of these books should be read to really get a feel for what these poor women/young ladies/children went through.

Jane may be a woman ahead of her time because the only respectable job for a lady was a school teacher or nurse especially when you are married to a pediatrician who really doesn’t want you to work. You surely don’t go to work as a social worker, working with the poor and god forbid the coloreds , it made me sick that her husband was more upset about her having to work with the coloreds and that she wasn’t there to have dinner waiting for him. I for one am so glad at how far we have come as women!

We also meet Ivy Hart who is one of Jane’s clients Ivy is trying to keep her little family together even though she is only 15 years old herself. She takes care of her grandmother who has a problem with sugar which we now call diabetes and an older sister who has already had one illegitimate child but little William is the apple of everyone’s eye and they do try their best to take good care of him. But when Jane takes over as case worker everything changes, Jane makes a discovery and tells a secret that changes everything for the Hart family.

I really liked this book, this was a new to me author and narrator and I enjoyed them both very much. I liked the authors writing style and I found the subject matter well handled. The characters in this book are nicely fleshed out and it gives us a frightening look into social work in the 1960’s in North Carolina, which was the one state that continued the eugenics program longer than any other state, so many women (and men) were sterilized just for being poor or colored, which I feel is horrifying.

Narrator Alison Elliott did a really good job at portraying both of these women and I thought she added to the telling of this story I will definitely listen to her again.

I will be looking for other books by this author.

4 ½ Stars

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Still Missing by, Chevy Stevens narrated by, Angela Dawe

Still Missing by, Chevy Stevens narrated by, Angela Dawe 

This is going to be a short review because I don’t want to give anything away so you can read it yourself.

I really enjoyed this one! The reveal of who was behind it all shocked me completely and that doesn’t happen often, so Kudos to the author!

Annie was kidnapped and held prisoner by a sadistic rapist for a year, when she finally gets away and gets home there are so many unanswered questions, like why did the Freak (as she calls him) pick her, how does he have a picture of her, how does he know so many details about her life, friends and family, and was he working alone. Annie of course is having trouble dealing with life outside of captivity but she doesn’t want to burden anyone so suffers alone, however she is finally seeing a psychiatrist and we get an inside look into what the Freak did to her and all that happened in captivity during her sessions. As the story unfolds you totally understand why Annie is having a hard time adjusting and feeling safe.

Angela Dawe’s narration was really good she gave everyone a distinct voice and didn’t get too shrilly when Annie was dealing with things which I was happy about. This was the second book I’ve listened to by this narrator that I really enjoyed so I will definitely listen to her again.

I highly recommend this book, I enjoyed the authors writing style and how she kept the suspense going throughout the book. I have already put her newest book on hold and will be working my way through everything she has written.

4 Stars

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Worst Hard Time by, Timothy Egan narrated by, Patrick Lawlor

The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl by Timothy Egan narrated by, Patrick Lawlor

I have seen Ken Burns’ Dust Bowl Documentary on PBS which was quite fascinating so when this was picked for book club I was very interested in reading this book. I found that it put a face on the stories as we followed a few families through the lush beginnings to the terrible endings. I can’t even imagine looking up and seeing a 12,000 foot wall of dirt headed right towards you.

These people were made of stronger stuff than I or probably anyone living today, and that is scary because this could easily happen again. I can’t imagine living in a dugout, or the tar paper shacks which were supposed to be just temporary until the crops paid off but that was where they were still living when the worst of the dust and drought hit. To be living literally in a hole in the ground with your children while dirt so thick swirls around and in your “home” and the poor babies breathing in this dirt, my heart just broke for these people.

I did have a favorite family and that was Bam White’s family this man fought and fought even when there was nothing to fight for.  I also thought Hazel Shaw was pretty amazing after everything she went through she still wanted to feel like everything was okay and for her that meant wearing her white gloves every time she put them on I felt like they were her fighting gloves with these on I know I can make it.

All of these people just looking to make a living and provide for their families and things went so horribly wrong, honestly that any of them survived is a tribute to them. I felt so bad that even before the worst happened so many were swindled not only by the banks but by the land dealers there was a lot of corruption that was for sure.

I was also fascinated with this Governor Alfalfa Bill Murray, what a character my goodness some of the things that came out of his mouth wowza I can’t imagine in this social media age what people would say about him. His racism was awful.

Now for the narration, Patrick Lawlor’s narration was very well done it was a semi straight read but yet with emotion, you could tell he enjoyed telling this story and read it like a storyteller which I appreciated I was glad he didn’t do any accents of these immigrants because I think that would have distracted me from the telling. There were a few accents but they were people that needed it I think that Alfalfa Bill saying his three C’s it needed a slight accent.

This was an awful time in our nation’s history between the depression, the dust storms, the drought and unemployment these people lived through some of the toughest times we’ve seen the ones that survived came through tougher than we could ever be. And we should all hope that it never happens again and thank Hugh Bennett for starting Soil Conservation Districts because without these programs like CRP (planting fields to native grass for so many years to revive the soil) it would have already happened again. Soil is not indestructible and people need to remember that.

4 Stars

The Plow That Broke the Plains

Alfalfa Bill Murray

Friday, August 28, 2015

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab narrated by, Steven Crossley

A Darker Shade of Magic (A Darker Shade of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab narrated by, Steven Crossley

This was the best fantasy/alt.verse book I have read in a long time. I loved the premise of all the different London’s and how there is magic in some and not in others and that the degrees of magic are different.

The two main characters are Kell & Lila, these two are both so great I loved their bickering, Kell all reserved and noble and Lila all lets go on an adventure who cares if it’s dangerous, but in the end I think they balance each other out he for reigning her in and her for telling him it’s ok to do something dangerous because it is an adventure.

The world building in this book is solidly done by the end of the book you understand about the different London’s and how they relate to each other and how the Antari system works. I thought the author did a great job in revealing the details and differences of each London and how the hierarchy/royalty works in each world. Also the way magic works and how it’s different in different worlds was well done and believable.

I really liked Lila she is a tough as nails kick-ass woman who doesn’t seem to be scared of anything, even when faced with adversity she just seems to have an attitude of yeah and then what, I loved that about her. We do get a few details about her life but there are definitely some secrets yet to come out and I look forward to the next book and finding out more about certain things that were revealed in this book. (Sorry that’s vague but Spoilers)

Kell is a bit of an enigma he is pretty darn tough too but seems to also be a loner even when it comes to his “brother” Rhy who kind of comes off as bratty at first but well some things change I think of him a little better by the end of the book but he still has much to prove and is very lucky that deep down Kell thinks of him as real brother.

Steven Crossley’s narration was fabulous, every accent was superb and his male and female voices were so well done I think he enhanced this book which is really saying something. I will listen to him again in a heartbeat and just from this one book has gone on my favorite narrators list.

I can hardly wait till Feb. 2016 when the next installment of this series comes out; I look forward to more adventures with these two. I will definitely read other books from this author I really enjoyed her style of writing.

As if you haven’t guessed my rating

5 Stars

Thank-you to the Ford Audiobook Club Group on Goodreads for a copy of this audiobook.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica Narrated By Lindy Nettleton, Johnny Heller, Tom Taylorson, Andi Arndt

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica Narrated By Lindy Nettleton, Johnny Heller, Tom Taylorson, Andi Arndt

I liked this story, it wasn’t quite what I expected but that’s a good thing in this case, it was different, not a fast moving thriller like most books I read, however even though it wasn’t fast paced I still didn’t want to put it down. And I did not expect the reveal at the end that came as a total surprise! So, great job!

The way this went back and forth in time from before and after was well done, I could really feel for Mia’s mother Eve and I liked the gruff cop with a heart of gold, Mia’s father the bigtime judge is a whole ‘nother story, ugh what a jerk, the way he treats everyone is deplorable I hope he got his in the end! Eve was probably my favorite character she may not have seemed like the best mother in the world to Mia but she loved her children, and had been beaten down by verbal abuse for so long no wonder she felt invisible. There were times this was kind of Eve’s coming of age story along with the kidnapping story.

I absolutely loved the narration of this book I thought it was very well done, everyone’s accents were great and when they had to narrate the other person/narrators conversations it meshed very well! Highly recommend this book on audio for the fabulous narration!

This was my first book by this author but it won’t be my last I will be picking up her new book!

4 Stars

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Night Sister By, Jennifer McMahon narrated by, Cassandra Campbell

The Night Sister By, Jennifer McMahon narrated by, Cassandra Campbell

Spooky a bit creepy but oh so good!

This is a hard one to review because I don’t want to give anything away. This book is full of secrets and half-truths but I can’t tell you any of them without spoiling the story. Goodness this review is hard to write!

I loved the letters to Hitchcock that Silvie wrote; they added this neat historical side to this story. Especially since Rose & Silvie’s family home is an old roadside motel where mysterious things happen, “did you get the idea from me?” Silvie asks Hitchcock.

There are 3 time frames for this story 1961 with sisters Rose & Silvie, the 80’s when Rose’s daughter Amy and her best friends and sisters Piper & Margot are teens and present day there are also chapters from James the young man with a crush on Amy when they are teens but who is now married to Margot. The jumps in time were well written and I was never confused as to which time period I was listening to.

Something happens that summer though and splits these friends up, then when something terrible happens in the present it brings up memories from that summer and what went wrong between these friends. It may be the same thing that broke up Rose & Silvie’s relationship too, how can something cause generation after generation to fall apart? What is going on in this creepy old motel?

Cassandra Campbell’s narration was spot on as always, I liked how you could tell it was teen Piper & Margot speaking and when they were adults also a good job at the older Rose, also the narration of Amy’s daughter Lou was very well done. I waited for the audio version of this one and Cassandra didn’t let me down!

This would be a great October read, it has good spook factor and keeps you guessing.

4 stars

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Black-Eyed Susans by, Julia Heaberlin

Black-Eyed Susans by, Julia Heaberlin

Wow this book was so hard to put down. I did not even come close to figuring out who the monster was; she put in just enough red herrings to keep me guessing all the way to the reveal.
For the longest time I wondered if Lydia was imaginary, maybe one of the Susan’s.

This book is told from 2 perspectives Tessa present day and Tessie in 1995 still trying to come to grips with almost dying and being prepared for the trial of the man she is told did this to her. They are the same person yet not. These jumps in time made for an interesting way to tell the story of what happened to Tessa. Especially since she only remembers what happened just before she was taken and waking up in a grave with the other Susan’s. Who did this to her and what happens in between is just blackness but they told her the man Terrell did it and he was put on death row for the crime  , but did he? Now she's not sure.

Bringing this entire thing up again is really tough on Tessa especially since she has a teenage daughter of her own now and she doesn't want her daughter dragged down by this, but there is a man on death row that might be innocent and his execution is coming up fast. Tessa already lives with so much survivors’ guilt that she's not sure she can handle the guilt of her part of sending an innocent man to his death.

The forensics were a huge part of this book and you can tell the author did a lot of research for these parts which made this story feel like true crime, I believed it all.

I was so absorbed in this book and as I said it was so hard to put down I needed to know just as Tessa needed to know, what happened to her, who did this to her? The journey to get there was filled with sometimes manic decisions on Tessa's part but you could understand where she was coming from, she wouldn't be able to live with Terrell’s death on her conscience.

This book was amazing so well written; I don’t want to give too much away so I will just say…
 Read This Book Now!

5 Stars

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

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah narrated by, Polly Stone

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah narrated by, Polly Stone

This was my first Kristin Hannah book and I was completely captivated.

I didn't know much about how life was for the small towns in occupied France and it was heartbreaking. Also to learn about the women left behind and the conditions they had to live under, but how strong these women were was awe-inspiring. These two sisters are very different Vianne is a wife and mother, her husband is off at war her sister Isabelle is kind of a wild child who has been neglected by their father since the death of their mother, Isabelle is a jump first deal with the consequences later type of person and during a Nazi occupation that may not be the best attitude to have.

Although it took me a little while to warm to Isabelle, I did end up thinking she was more courageous than reckless by the end. And Vianne whose house has been taken over by a Nazi , a half decent man for sure she was very lucky with Beck he was, I believe, a kind soul who didn’t really believe in everything the Nazi party stood for. But as things tend to happen in war she ends up with a much meaner real Nazi staying at her home and that is when true darkness sets into her home. Vianne also at times was naïve about the what the Nazi’s were up to and gave a bit of information she later regretted very much, especially since her best friend Rachel is a Jew.

However Vianne and Isabelle both risk their lives for other people’s freedom, all the while not realizing what the other sister is doing, Vianne thinking Isabelle ran off to be with a man, and Isabelle feeling Vianne was a traitor for having a Nazi in her home, when really both women were doing things that could have gotten them killed.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, enjoyed might not be the right word for a book like this but you know what I mean, and it is a tough time period to read about but it is also important to know so it will not happen again.

 Polly Stone’s narration took a little getting used to but I ended up really liking her , the accents and male and female voices were well done and I would listen to this narrator again.

This was a very powerful book and well written and I am left thinking of these sisters days after I have finished this book. I highly recommend it.

4 ½  Stars

 Thank- you to the Ford Audiobook Club on Goodreads for a copy of this audiobook

And as you know I love a book that makes me do more research and found this fascinating page:

Crossposted to http://www.nrpl.blogspot.com/

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Truth According to Us by, Annie Barrows narrated by, Ann Marie Lee & Tara Sands (and various)

The Truth According to Us by, Annie Barrows narrated by, Ann Marie Lee & Tara Sands (and various)

It’s funny I never even read the description for this book I just knew I wanted to read it because I loved her Guernsey book so much, so imagine my surprise when this book was not set in Britain but in the American south, I know authors don’t write about the same place all the time but I guess I assumed the authors of Guernsey were British. I also didn’t realize the author writes the children’s series Ivy & Bean, so now that I’ve admitted to being a bad librarian I will get on with my review of this fabulous book.

Layla Beck a senator’s daughter is being taught a lesson and is sent away by her father to work for the WPA, a writer’s project that is part of the New Deal, she is sent to write a history of the town of Macedonia, West Virginia. She ends up in a rooming house run by Jottie Romeyn who lives there with her nieces Willa and Bird and their divorced father Felix.

Between Layla’s research for her book and Willa’s snooping no secret is safe in this small town and those secrets will affect everyone at the Romeyn boarding house and beyond. When Layla starts falling for Felix, Willa gets involved because she wants her parents to get back together and no one is good enough for her father, but is Felix as good of a man as these two think he is?

The characters in this book are at times eccentric and some are sad and lonely ( Jottie) but she keeps that sadness bottled up so everyone thinks she is just fine and when you come to understand the reasons for that sadness you will wonder why she let it go on as long as she did. But, family loyalty is important to the Romeyn’s even though some members of the family are holding back important details of the night that changed their entire life it seemed like the right thing to do. Ah, but secrets have a way of wiggling to the surface and when these secrets come to light this family will never be the same.

I really enjoyed this story and the characters and will read anything this author puts to paper!

Read by Ann Marie Lee, Tara Sands, and Julia Whelan, with additional readings by Cassandra Campbell, Danny Campbell, Mark Deakins, Kimberly Farr, Kirby Heyborne, Lincoln Hoppe, Paul Michael, Linda Montana, and Arthur Morey. The narration was very well done with the main narrators being Ann Marie Lee and Tara Sands who both did a fantastic job at bringing this book to life. The other narrators read letters and histories which I found interesting and thought it added credence to the letters.

I highly recommend this one on audio.

5 Stars

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Flying Circus by, Susan Crandall, Narrated by, Jacques Roy

The Flying Circus by, Susan Crandall, Narrated by, Jacques Roy

Another great book from Susan Crandall.

All three of these people are flawed and affected by the First World War; these three are so different yet form a family of sorts. There were times Cora bothered me because she had to push and push but she was so far ahead of her time that she had to because no one ever listened to a woman or talked about anything serious to her she may get the vapors( insert sarcasticon here). And there were times it felt like she was playing Henry and Gil and other times I thought she was just naïve. Gil was a flyer in WWI but doesn’t like talking about his time at war, Henry lost his brother in the war and lost the rest of his family he ended up an orphan until Mr.Dahlgren took him in over his wife’s objections but things went terribly wrong there and now Henry is on the run from the police. Cora’s mother and father were rich NY socialites until the money was gone, her father died and she lost a brother to the war too. Cora rides her brother’s motorcycle and invites herself along with Gil and Henry, these 3 lost souls setting out on an adventure. All 3 are also keeping a secret and the reveal of these secrets is a slow burn and makes for a great story.

I truly enjoyed this book, I didn’t know much about barnstorming and how they got crowds and how much traveling they did and inner workings of PR in the 1920’s was interesting, this is not the age of viral videos and Facebook events, most of the time they couldn't even afford posters and would just show up do a few tricks and hope people would show up willing to give their hard earned money for a chance to ride in a plane.

I came to care about these three people and was completely attached to them so when secrets started getting out and things happened I was so involved that my heart hurt for them! Susan Crandall has a knack for writing characters that you care about so much and it is hard when the book ends because you don’t want to let these people go. I can’t wait to see what she writes next!

Narrator Jacques Roy is a new to me narrator however I am now a fan, I thought he did a great job with male, female, different accents and general storytelling. I would definitely listen to another book narrated by him.

5 stars

I was fascinated by the descriptions of the bi-plane Jenny and of barnstorming I did some research and found these fun videos.

Mid Air Repair Gladys Ingles…. This could be Cora!

Vintage Barnstorming Clips

Curtiss JN4 Jenny Montage

Stock Footage - Roaring 20s - Biplane Wing Walker Daredevil

And this website:

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by, Erik Larson narrated by, Scott Brick

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by, Erik Larson narrated by, Scott Brick

This book was fascinating and kept me interested all the way through. It is about so much more than just the Lusitania it’s also about seafaring during a time war. It also gives a glimpse into who some of the victims were, the key players President Wilson being one I found out things I didn’t know about him, a young Winston Churchill gets a bit of a storyline to that I found interesting. And the first edition of A Christmas Carol that was also a victim was very sad too.

We all know the story of the Titanic, I’ve read countless books and seen so many documentaries and movies about it but I never knew much about the Lusitania, which is why I wanted to read this book. I found it interesting that the Germans didn’t care if it was a military boat or civilians because they could be bringing supplies so let’s torpedo them all, and that President Wilson said as long as no Americans are on the ships they are shooting down it’s fine, which is quite a different attitude than our government has today. And the British knew that they weren’t shooting at American boats so when the boats got close to England they would fly an American flag, then when the Germans figured that out it was a shoot at everything mentality.

The sad part of the Lusitania being shot down was there were so many children onboard, and that there were destroyers in the area, who I feel should have been escorting and protecting the Lusitania but because of an order to not engage with the subs they knew were there, left these people stranded and I believe more could have been saved had they intervened sooner.

I found this book completely fascinating and it was hard to stop listening, I found all the stories about what seafaring was like in this area during this time period really interesting, as I knew nothing of any of it.

Erik Larson is a great writer I really enjoy his writing style and I liked how he humanized all sides in this conflict.

Scott Brick’s narration was of course wonderful, I thought his male and female voices were well done and he really brought this story to life.

I would highly recommend this book for anyone curious about history or seafaring; also if you like to read books about the Titanic, you should read this book.

4 ½ Stars

I won this book from Tekreads

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Boo by, Neil Smith

Boo by, Neil Smith

This was a wonderful story; sad and beautiful in its own way. Boo is a character that will tug at your heartstrings you'll want to take care of him you'll want to make everything better for him. The other characters are well-written and fleshed out and you'll care about them too. Johnny is an interesting character because you're just never sure if what he remembers is true if it's what really happened or is he misremembering events.

This is such an interesting look at what heaven could be, part of me thinks it’s kind of sad to be 13 for 50 years , dear lord that's a long time to be 13, it is such a hard age as it is and to have to live it for so long would be tough. On Earth Boo was a boy with a holey heart (his words for a heart problem) so he was small and pale like a ghost and that is how he got his nickname, he was also bullied for these same things but Boo (Oliver) is also extremely intelligent and would just like to study everything. The last thing Boo remembers is memorizing the periodic chart before his holey heart gave out. But is that what happened? When another boy, Johnny, from his school also shows up in Heaven he tells a much different story.

This book was different from anything I've read for a while I fell in love with these characters; I fell in love with the writing style and the story. I really like the writing style of this author it is the first book I've ever read by him and I would definitely read another.

I don’t  want to give away a minute of this book because I want to enjoy every second, yes there are sad parts, but there are also uplifting moments, funny moments and moments that will pull at your heart. This book is YA but I would highly recommend it to adults and teens alike.

Gosh can you tell I loved this book? So I will end here by saying do yourself a favor and read this book!

5 Stars

I received a copy of this book from Edelweiss and the publisher for a fair and honest review. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

My Reading Log for the first half of 2015

We are at the halfway point of the year and so far I’ve Read 56 books 42 have been Audiobooks 14 Ebook or hardcover
Listened to 677 hours of audio
Read 5678 pages
23 Female Narrators
19 Male Narrators
32 Female Authors
24 Male Authors

Last year I noticed that I listen to way more Female Narrators than Male I’m doing a pretty good job at getting these numbers a little more even. I also tend to read more Female Authors than Male too and wanted to get those more even too but as you can see I’m still reading way more women than men.

So far my favorite books have been:

See what I mean, out of these 10 books only 3 are by men and only 2 narrated by men, and I don’t set out to read or listen to only women it just seems to end up that way. Another point I think is kind of funny is all these people out there saying “read more women authors” but I need to read and listen to more men to make my reading diverse!

So I am going to really try for the month of June which is Audiobook Month (but that’s every month for me) to listen to more male narrators and read some more male authors. Wish Me Luck!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Tallgrass by, Sandra Dallas narrated by, Lorelei King

Tallgrass by, Sandra Dallas narrated by, Lorelei King

This would make a really good book club book. It’s a fascinating look at the Internment camps, actually more of a look on the people in the towns and how they felt about it; it was nice to find out that some didn't want the camps and that these people should be released because they were American citizens. It’s a sad chapter in the US History but something that we need to look at so it doesn’t happen again especially in this day and age.

I enjoyed the characters in this book especially Rennie and her family, she was lucky to have great parents who objected to the camps, even when their own son was off at war. This book is also a bit of a coming of age story for Rennie. There is also a mystery added in and I’m sure you can guess who is blamed for the crime.

This was my first book by this author but it won’t be my last I really enjoyed her writing style and thought she was a very good storyteller. I also enjoyed the interview at the end of the book with the authors reasons for having the story told from the townies prospective and not the Japanese in the camps, which I felt made this a unique read because we are on the outside looking in just like the real people in the towns that were near any of these camps. The confusion of should you hate these people, then the realization that these are American citizens, and the backlash from other community members if you try to stick up for the people in the camps or say anything about releasing them. That’s what I find the most fascinating about this period in our history, is the how would you feel question, I’d like to think I would feel as Rennie’s father did but you just never know.

Lorelei King’s narration was as always spot on, everyone had their own voice and it was easy to differentiate between all the characters.

4 ½ Stars

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Armchair Audies..Thriller/Suspense Category …And the Winner Is….

Armchair Audies….THRILLER/SUSPENSE Category …And the Winner Is….

 Again in this category we have many different kinds of Thrillers and one I felt didn’t belong in this category. Here are the nominees:

The Avengers, Lost Episodes Vol 1: Hot Snow; Adapted by John Dorney; Narrated by Various; Big Finish Productions
I didn’t feel like this book belonged in this category I felt it should be in Audio Drama and it also seemed old radio show, which I enjoy but I didn’t feel like it was a good fit for the category. The narrations were okay but the music was extremely annoying.

Dead Six; by Larry Correia and Mike Kupari; Narrated by Bronson Pinchot; Audible, Inc.
We all know Bronson is amazing but even he couldn’t get me all the way through this 20 hour book. As always all his voices were great but I didn’t feel his range as much in this one as I did in his other nominated title in CHILDREN’S TITLES FOR AGES 8-12 (The Hero’s Guide to Being an Outlaw)

In the Morning I'llBe Gone; by Adrian McKinty; Narrated by Gerard Doyle; Blackstone Audio Inc.
Gerard Doyle’s narration is fabulous this man has a chameleon voice he can do any accent and every single person has a very distinct voice he is amazing!

The Lost Key; by Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison; Narrated by Renee Raudman and MacLeod Andrews; Brilliance Publishing
I must admit to liking MacLeod Andrews narration faster than Renée Raudman’s I thought his narrations were fabulous and all his accents seemed real and well done. Raudman though it took me a little while to enjoy her voice by the end I was enjoying her narration. I would listen to more by both of these narrators.

Those Who Wish MeDead; by Michael Koryta; Narrated by Robert Petkoff; Hachette Audio
I thought Robert Petkoff’s narration was amazing  and very impressive especially the narration of the 2 psycho hit men The Blackwell Brothers that are after Jace/Conner then when one of the characters describes how these men talk, it was even more right on, because he narrated them exactly how the author describes them. Every character has a distinct voice and his female voices were well done.  I will be seeking out other books Petkoff has narrated. I see he narrates quite a few of Koryta’s books so; I will be listening to more of this author & narrator combo.

Wayfaring Stranger; by James Lee Burke; Narrated by Will Patton; Simon & Schuster
I liked this book and at first I enjoyed Will Patton’s narration but after a while everyone sound like an old southern man with cotton in their cheeks.

And The Winner Is…..
Robert Petkoff for Those Who Wish Me Dead, his narration blew me away. The narration of the bad guys had my stomach churning from fear, his female voices sounded authentic and it was a great story.

Good Luck To All The Nominees!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Armchair Audies…Solo Female Narration—And the Winner is……

Armchair Audies…Solo Female Narration—And the Winner is……

This was a tough category this year, we all know how fabulous all these ladies are and honestly I will be happy whoever wins because every one of these narrations is an award worthy performance

The nominees are:

Boston Jacky; by L.A. Meyer; Narrated by Katherine Kellgren; Listen & Live Audio, Inc.
Katherine Kellgren IS Jacky Faber she has made this series come to life for me and this offering is no exception every accent every voice is amazing. Every single voice is different and this book has a huge cast of characters.

Life Drawing; by Robin Black; Narrated by Cassandra Campbell; Penguin Random House Audio
Even though this book was not my cup of tea, Cassandra Campbell’s narration was really well done with different accents and every character had a different voice. Although I disliked the story itself Campbell’s narration was the only thing that kept me listening.

Murphy's Law; by Rhys Bowen; Narrated by Nicola Barber; Audible, Inc.
Nicola Barber’s narration is well done, she has many different accents in this book from Irish to American to a little Italian, and her male voices are also very good. I enjoyed her narration and I think it added to my enjoyment of this book.

Until the End of theWorld; by Sarah Lyons Fleming; Narrated by Julia Whelan; Podium Publishing
Julie Whelan’s narration is well done, I enjoyed her many female voices, however at times her male voices muddled together, especially when Nelly and John are talking and Nelly’s accent isn’t as pronounced I wasn’t sure which man was talking. I did enjoy her narration very much as I always do and love her regular talking voice, and the whininess of Anna was good and not overdone to be annoying, well any more annoying the character of Anna is!

Written in My Own Heart's Blood; by Diana Gabaldon; Narrated by Davina Porter; Recorded Books
Ahh Davina she is the voice of the Outlander Series and I have listened to every one of this series many times so this is a favorite and Davina Porter’s narration is as always amazing. So many accents and characters all with their own voice you never wonder who is speaking, and there is a lot of characters in this series!

Yellow Crocus; by Laila Ibrahim; Narrated by Bahni Turpin; Brilliance Publishing
I read this book in print back in 2012 and if I remember right I read it in Bahni’s voice so was very happy to listen to the real thing. Bahni Turpin’s narration was amazing; she is such a great narrator. Every character has their own voice and her male voices are great too.  She makes this story come to life and embodies every character and makes them real.

Now to pick a winner……That is really tough!

And the Winner is….

Katherine Kellgren for Boston Jacky, for not only this book but this entire series her narration is amazing so many different voices and accents from all over the world she is an amazing talent.

Good Luck to all Nominees!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Armchair Audies …Mystery Category…. And The Winner Is……

Armchair Audies …Mystery Category…. And The Winner Is……

This year we really had a lot of different kinds of Mysteries in this category, some I enjoyed others not so much. I will be going back and listening to others in the Castillo series I really enjoyed that one and will look for other books by Katherine McInerney. I wasn’t a big fan of Malice or Providence Rag I thought both of these books dragged on and didn’t keep me on the edge of my seat. I really enjoyed Missing You and had listened to this before the nominees were announced and even predicted it was going to be nominated (I said Solo Female Narration) but it was still nominated! The Silkworm was a pretty good book but I think I should have read the first one because I did feel I was missing out on some character development.

Kathleen McInerney’s narration was really good she used a nice slight accent when she was voicing the Amish people, her German accents were good and her male voices were fine and her narration of Kate was very well done.

 Hounded; by David Rosenfelt; Narrated by Grover Gardner; Listen & Live Audio, Inc.
I listened to the last book in this series last year and didn’t enjoy it much so I only listened to some of this book. Grover Gardner’s narration is good I like his voice but couldn’t get past not liking the book.

Malice; by Keigo Higashino; Narrated by Jeff Woodman; Macmillan Audio
I usually enjoy Jeff Woodman’s narrations but this one was different he has an odd accent that I can’t place, this book is set in Japan but that isn’t the accent it has an almost upper crust British feel to it but not all out British but it isn’t a straight American accent either, but either way I can’t place it and it threw me off. Also every one pretty much sounds the same, I never knew when it was Detective Kaga or Nonguchi talking their voices sounded so similar. I think he attempted to make one voice higher but that just confused me more because I thought that was his lady voice.

January LaVoy’s narration was very well done I liked that you always knew who was talking and that everyone had a voice, I must mention though there are times some of her male characters sound like cartoons but that was only a couple people so it was easy to overlook. This is my second narration by January and I really enjoyed both so I will seek out books where she is the narrator.

Providence Rag; by Bruce DeSilva; Narrated by Jeff Woodman; Audible, Inc.
Jeff Woodman’s narration was good although sometimes his women’s voices weren’t believable. I thought his other accents and voices of men were well done. I have liked his narration of other books so I will listen to him again.

The Silkworm; by Robert Galbraith; Narrated by Robert Glenister; Hachette Audio
Robert Glenister’s narration is very well done he does both male and female voices very well; he also had a lot of different kinds English accents which were well done.


January LaVoy for Missing You, I thought she was the perfect choice for this book. I know Sleepless Reader and I disagree on this one and it was a tough call between Glenister & LaVoy but none of the other books brought out the emotion of the book the way January LaVoy did and for that reason she is my winner.

Good Luck to all Nominees!

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Dead Will Tell by Linda Castillo; Narrated by Kathleen McInerney ~~Armchair Audies

The Dead Will Tell by Linda Castillo (Kate Burkholder #6) Narrated by Kathleen McInerney

 Macmillan Audio

Nominated for an Audie in the Mystery Category

Kathleen McInerney’s narration was really good she used a nice slight accent when she was voicing the Amish people and her male voices were fine and her narration of Kate was very well done.

I have had my eye on this series for a while and now thanks to the Armchair Audies I finally listened to one, and I will now go back and listen to the beginning of this series.

I enjoyed this story it was interesting trying to figure out if the victims were seeing a ghost or was it just their guilt over what happened years ago. In this Amish community Kate Burkholder former Amish now Chief of Police has to go into the community she left behind and dredge up memories of a heinous crime where a father and 4 children are killed and the mother is taken and never seen again, one child survived and has stayed in the community although he deals with so much guilt over leaving his siblings to try to catch the people taking his mother he can’t catch them and when he gets back to the house it is completely engulfed in flames. But that was 35 years ago and today there are what at first look like suicides but Kate sees there is more going on here than meets the eye and it seems to have something to do with this long ago unsolved crime.

This book kept me guessing and the reveal surprised me it was definitely not who I thought it was. I liked the character of Kate but was a bit confused when it came to her relationship with Tomesetti but I think if I go back and listen to the previous books it will make more sense to me. That was the only part of the book where I felt like I was missing something although I still enjoyed the main story.

As I said I will go back and listen to previous books in this series so that tells you I liked it.

3 ½ Stars

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Lacy Eye by Jessica Treadway narrated by, Ellen Archer

Lacy Eye by Jessica Treadway narrated by, Ellen Archer

This was quite a story it kept me on the edge of my seat, especially when you listen to it as a mother and wonder what would you think and feel? Would you also stand up for your daughter even when everyone else thinks she’s guilty? There’s no way you could have raised a daughter who had a hand in killing her father and left you severely beaten and left for dead. Yes, your daughter has always been a bit odd and was bullied and teased as a child because of a lazy eye but she isn’t a monster right??!!??

I had a hard time putting this one down, I needed to know if Hanna was right or if she had just let one of her attackers back into her home. Yes there were times when I thought Hanna open your eyes and listen to what everyone is telling you but then when you look at it from a mother’s perspective of always defending and protecting your child I could understand where she was coming from.

I also liked the way this is written almost from inside Hanna’s head who doesn’t remember anything about the night of the attack but that night when a police officer asked her who did this she implicated her daughter Dawn and her boyfriend Rud. Rud ends up in prison but Dawn is never indicted because her roommate gives her an alibi. A lot of the book is Hanna going through memories of Dawn’s life, I think in her own way trying to justify why she said Dawn did it because she can’t come to terms with the possibility that her daughter had anything to do with it. There are times in these memories when you feel so bad for Dawn and how her classmates and even her own sister, Iris, treated her but there are other times especially in the present day that made the hair on the back of my neck stand up and wonder if Hanna is wrong about everything.

Okay I will stop now before I give anything away; this is a taut psychological thriller that I think would be fabulous for a book club because right now I wish I had a friend who had also read this book so I could talk to them about it. This is a powerful story and especially as a mother will pull at your heartstrings and leave you with a lot of “What if this happened to me?” questions.

Ellen Archer’s narration was very well done I thought the tones and sarcasm she gave Iris were perfect and also her narration of Dawn showed us that she really never grew up and seemed stunted as a child/teen. And with Hanna so much of the book is inside her head and I liked that I could tell when she was speaking to someone or just remembering things. I would definitely listen to this narrator again.

This was my first read by this author and I am now curious about her other books and will search them out.

4 ½ Stars

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Lost Key (A Brit in the FBI #2) by Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison narrated by, MacLeod Andrews and Renée Raudman~~Armchair Audies

The Lost Key (A Brit in the FBI #2) by Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison narrated by, MacLeod Andrews and Renée Raudman

Brilliance Audio

Nominated for an Audie Award in the Thriller/Suspense

I must admit to liking MacLeod Andrews narration faster than Renée Raudman’s I thought his narrations were fabulous and all his accents seemed real and well done. Raudman though it took me a little while to enjoy her voice although by the end I was enjoying her narration. I would listen to more by both of these narrators.

This book started out a bit slow for me and it took me a little while to warm up to the narrators but I ended up really liking this story and the narration once I got used to it.

This book had a conspiracy theory, a historical artifact that may be the key to the worst weapon ever, a large amount of gold bars and a secret society trying to make the world a better place. However when you have powerful people after something very important there is always a chance for someone to be subverted and when members of this secret society start to die you have to wonder if the threat is coming from the inside of the group or the outside.

This was my first book by this author and I think I will go back and listen to the first book in this series and follow this series as it progresses.

3 ½ Stars

Monday, April 13, 2015

A Touch of Stardust by Kate Alcott narrated by Cassandra Campbell

A Touch of Stardust by Kate Alcott narrated by Cassandra Campbell

First off I need to tell you I am a huge classic movie fan; I think movies made before 1950 are the best movies out there. That is why I requested this book from edelweiss but then I saw that Cassandra Campbell narrates it so I waited for the audiobook.

I loved all the insider info into the fights, casting, script writing, censors and producers that went on during the filming of this movie. I am so glad Louis B. Mayer didn’t get his way and that David O. Selsnick filmed the ending he wanted because it was the best ending possible!

Julie Crawford a young writer from Indiana comes to Hollywood to write for the movies, on her first job she doesn’t get a message to one of the directors of Gone With the Wind fast enough and is fired on the spot, however she has just met a beautiful woman who says she will help her out. When someone asks if she knows who the lady is she admits she looks familiar but can’t place her; the woman turns out to be Carole Lombard soon to be wife of Clark Gable who stars and Rhett Butler in the film. What I found a little weird about these scenes was if you are going to Hollywood to write for the movies wouldn’t you at least know a little about the stars you hope to write for? But she and Carole become very good friends and I loved all the scenes of them together Carole seemed like a very down-to-earth person. Also on that day she meets Hank Weinstein and they start a relationship even though he is Jewish. This is 1938-39 so Hitler is starting his holocaust of the Jewish people including Hanks grandparents so he is having a tough time of it.

I was impressed with Gable’s civil rights ideals (I really hope they were true) when he sees that the bathrooms and other places are segregated he has a fit and fights for their rights of non-segregation. Including almost not going to the premier because Hattie McDaniel and Butterfly McQueen would have to use a back door and sit in the colored section, even though it was Hattie who convinced Gable to go even when she boycotted the event.

This was a fun book it was such an insider’s look into old Hollywood and especially Carole Lombard & Clark Gable’s relationship. I did think Julie could be quite naïve but it was the 30’s and she grew up in Indiana so …

Cassandra Campbell’s narration was as always fabulous, I like how she made Clark gruff but didn’t try to imitate his voice, every character had their own cadence and tone and you were never left guessing as to who was talking.

If you are a fan of old Hollywood, and /or Gone With the Wind I think you will enjoy this book very much. I have enjoyed all of Alcott’s books so if you haven’t read anything by her before give her a try you’ll be glad you did!

4 ½ Stars

Friday, April 3, 2015

Searching for Grace Kelly by Michael Callahan, narrated by, Kristin Kalbli

Searching for Grace Kelly by Michael Callahan, narrated by, Kristin Kalbli

I enjoyed this book very much it was like listening to an old B&W Movie, which I love BTW. Especially Dolly’s voice it was the voice of so many characters in old films.

The Barbizon Hotel and New York City were almost their own characters in this story, and it gave a look into many different classes of people in the 1950’s from the elite of Park Avenue to the emerging bohemians and even the back alleys where no single girl should go. Every character in this book is so fully fleshed out I could see everything they did in my head, even the side characters were fascinating. Every character is flawed in one way or another and is trying to hide these flaws which lead to some very interesting storytelling. These three girls Laura, Dolly and Vivian come from such completely different worlds yet as roomies in the big city they become fast friends. I loved how strong all these women were even when they didn’t think they were (Dolly I’m looking at you). They are trying to find careers and maybe a husband but that is secondary, Laura finds two wildly different men so there is a bit of a love triangle but it is very well written and I could see why Laura was attracted to both of them.  Vivian’s find is less satisfactory and we see her go through the toughest choices. And Dolly dear sweet Dolly I just enjoyed her character, she isn’t as pretty, skinny or chic as her roommates but she is a good friend. I also loved the bookstore I would hang out there all the time too!

Kristin Kalibi was a new to me narrator and I was blown away, great voices, every character had a distinct sound and even all of the secondary characters had their own voices I will definitely be on the lookout for more books she has narrated!

As I said I really enjoyed this book , if you like historical fiction from the 50’s and old B&W movies I’d say to give this one a try and I highly recommend the audio version of this because Kristin Kalibi’s narration makes this book even better.

4  Stars

I received this book from the publisher (ListenUp Audiobooks) for a fair and honest review.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

At the Water’s Edge by, Sara Gruen

At the Water’s Edge by, Sara Gruen

Release Date March 31, 2015

Rich party kids Ellis, his wife Maddie and their best friend Hank could care less that there is a war going on, all they want to do is party, but when a night of partying goes a bit too far and Ellis causes his parents some embarrassment they are tossed from the family home. To try to get back into his parent’s good graces the threesome decides to travel to Scotland to find the great monster that caused quite a stir when Ellis’ parents were involved in the search years ago. What starts out as a whim turns into something completely different.

Both Ellis and Hank are exempt from fighting in the military Ellis is color blind and Hank has flat feet so they both seem so oblivious to the fact that there is a war going on that they travel by ship into Nazi infested waters to the great Loch ness but what they see on the ship and in Scotland still has no effect on the two men but Maddie is starting to see the world, her husband and his friend with very different eyes. Once in Scotland we see a very different side to Ellis and it is not a pretty side he seemed like a happy-go-lucky party boy but there is a dark side a very dark side and Maddie does not like what she sees.

I loved Maddie's journey throughout this book from party girl without much will of her own to a strong woman on her own two feet. I really enjoyed this book and read it very quickly, I enjoyed the growing friendships Maddie made in Scotland and the side stories about the locals.

The writing of this book, the descriptions of Scottish countryside and how the war affected the locals were so good it gave a bit of a day in life of these people so affected by the war. Plus we have the loch ness monster and who doesn’t enjoy a loch ness story.

All in all I really enjoyed this story and would recommend it.

4 Stars

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