Friday, February 27, 2015

Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim narrated by, Bahni Turpin ~~ Armchair Audies

Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim narrated by, Bahni Turpin ~~ Armchair Audies

Brilliance Publishing

Nominated for an Audie in the Solo Female narration category

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.

This is a beautifully written book about a young white girl Lisbeth or Miss Elizabeth as her parents want her known as who grows up on Fair Oaks Plantation in the 1800’s. When Lisbeth is born she is handed from her mother to slave/wet-nurse Mattie who has been taken from the Quarters and her newborn son to the Big House and Elizabeth’s mother thinks she should be so grateful to be living in the lap of luxury. As time goes on Lisbeth learns to love and depend on Mattie much more than her own mother but Lisbeth is young and naïve and doesn’t realize there is much more to life on the plantation than she is seeing.

This is a coming of age story as we watch Lisbeth from the time she is born till she is a grown woman, we watch as innocence is replaced with knowledge and knowledge is not always a happy thing. This realization is a slow building and at times Lisbeth doesn’t want to see but when the time comes she has to make a choice- “ Decisions to make, she thought to herself. She was too tired to make any more decisions.”

I loved the character of Mattie she has this outlook on life that is inspiring especially considering the life she lives as a slave. And even though she had to leave her own child to take care of Lisbeth she loved the girl.

These characters were so real to me I could hear their voices in my head; I could see what they saw. This author gave voice to these people in such a beautiful way I can’t even come close to finding the correct words to explain it. This is a debut novel and I am amazed by that and hope this author writes many. Many more books because I plan on reading them all!

Beautiful southern historical fiction I highly recommend!

5 Stars

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Murphy's Law by, Rhys Bowen narrated by, Nicola Barber ~~ArmchairAudies

Murphy's Law (Molly Murphy Mysteries #1) by, Rhys Bowen narrated by, Nicola Barber

Audible Inc.

Nominated for an Audies in the Solo Female narration category

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.

Molly Murphy accidently killed a man after he attacked her it was self-defense but she ran away and ran all the way to America under an assumed name. While waiting to get through Ellis Island another man is murdered and Molly was seen arguing with him hours before his death and becomes a suspect in the murder. Molly decides to investigate and of course things don’t go well.

I did enjoy the descriptions of New York City in this time period (the early 1900’s) how Molly was expecting Americans and found that NY City was really just a bunch of little countries that didn’t mix with each other, when she is out trying to find a job and runs into ladies that make shirts but the boss won’t hire her because she isn’t Italian, and how the Irish all live in one area and the Italians in another and so on and so forth with all the different ethnic groups not wanting anything to do with each other. Also the descriptions of Tammany Hall and the corruption there was interesting too.

This was more of a whodunit than a mystery as Molly tries to find the man she saw the night of the murder, she takes a liking to the good looking police man who seems to be the only one that believes she is innocent. You can guess what happens with them by the end of the book.

This is a good historical cozy with characters you come to like, Bowen is a good author and I liked Molly, but I do like Georgiana from the Royal Spyness series better, however I would pick up another one of these up to see where Molly goes from here.

3 ½ Stars

Monday, February 23, 2015

Until the End of the World by,Sarah Lyons Fleming narrated by, Julia Whelan ~~ArmchairAudies

Until the End of the World (Until the End of the World #1) by Sarah Lyons Fleming narrated by, Julia Whelan

Podium Publishing

Nominated for an Audie in the Sole Female Narration Category

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!

I never thought I would be a fan of zombies until The Walking Dead came out actually I didn’t even watch the first season until it was on Netflix then I was hooked. However I haven’t read many zombie books, so this probably wouldn’t have been a book I would have picked up on my own but thanks to the Armchair Audies I had the pleasure of listening to this one. I mention The Walking Dead because this has the same feel to it, in that you care about the group and you want them all to survive.

This is so much more than a zombie book though, it is about survival. This group of people is lucky to have Cassie, her parents were preppers so she has some skills and also a cabin full of food and anything they need to survive but first they need to get there. The group consists of Cassie her now ex-boyfriend Peter (Yes, Cassie picked the day the world fell apart to break up with him), her two best friends Nelly and Penny and Penny’s bratty little sister Anna. And some people they encounter along the way. (No Spoilers) There are some safe havens and one happens to be run by Cassie’s ex-fiancé Adrian, but she broke his heart and isn’t sure he’d want to see her anyway  and besides they are doing okay at her parents cabin right??!!?? Well it is the zombie apocalypse and things don’t always go as you want or expect them to.

The characters in this book are very well written, you want to cheer for a couple, and smack a couple others but as a whole you want this group to survive even the ones that need to grow up and stop making things worse for everyone. I am completely hooked on this series and will be continuing on (in fact I am listening to the novella ‘So Long Lollipops’ right now) because I need to know where they go from here and if they ever figure out how to get rid of the zombies and what life will become after the end of this book.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book both the great writing and wonderful narration will keep you captivated all the way through. I would recommend this book to anyone who is a Walking Dead fan.

4 ½ Stars 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Those Who Wish Me Dead by, Michael Koryta Narrated by, Robert Petkoff~~ArmchairAudies

Those Who Wish Me Dead by, Michael Koryta Narrated by, Robert Petkoff

Hachette Audio

Nominated for an Audie in the Thriller/Suspense Category

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.

This was a great thriller; you could cut the tension with a knife! Jace Wilson is in the wrong place at the wrong time and witnesses two men getting rid of a body and to make matters worse the men know he saw them and now he must die. Jace’s parents decide to send him to a mountain camp for troubled kids, under an assumed name, he hides from the hit men but they know he’s there somewhere and will stop at nothing to find him no matter who gets in their way or who has to die. Ethan, the man running the camp knows he has a witness in the group but doesn’t which boy it is. But the Blackwell brothers do and these are two of the freakiest, creepiest killers I’ve read about in a long time I would not want to be hunted by these men they scared the bejeezus out of me, they were so well written!

This was my first book by Koryta but sure won’t be my last, this book was very hard to stop listening because from beginning to end it was fraught with tension and you just had to know if Jace and the people helping him were going to make it out of these mountains alive.

This book is set in Beartooth Pass between Wyoming and Montana I have been through this pass on the back of Harley in August and it was snowing at the top so I could imagine what it was like hiking through there and how steep it is and all the switchbacks coming up one side and down the other. So was kind of fun to be able to picture this location in my head as I was reading.

If you hadn’t guessed I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend this thriller!

4 ½ Stars

Friday, February 13, 2015

2015 Armchair Audies~~Let the Fun Begin!

I am participating in The Armchair Audies again this year. I will be reviewing the Audie Nominations in Solo Female Narration, Mystery, and Thriller/Suspense. The Full List of all categories is Here.

If you are a blogger and audiobook addict and would be interested in joining in the fun either leave a reply on The Armchair Audiesblog  or on twitter @ArmchairAudies or if you just want to follow along check out the hashtag #ArmchairAudies.

Here are my categories:

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Among The Missing by, Morag Joss, narrated by, Robin Sachs, Kate Reading, and Cassandra Campbell

Among The Missing by, Morag Joss, narrated by, Robin Sachs, Kate Reading, and Cassandra Campbell 

Amazing story especially the last hour it made the whole book!

Have you ever thought about starting your life over? What if by a chance of fate you could start anew? When unbeknownst to her husband a pregnant woman sells her car and soon after that car is being shown on all news outlets plunging into the river after a bridge collapses, her husband was not happy about the pregnancy so she decides to stay “dead” and becomes Annabelle. The only problem is she sold the car to a man who had a child with him and they are actually the ones who went into the river, and the guilt of this is hard on her. She makes her way along the river and ends up at the cabin of a woman named Silva, who also happens to be wife and mother of the man and child in the car. There she tries to make a new life never telling Silva the truth and her only other companion is Ron the boatman the 3 of them and their secrets fill the cabin. But secrets never quite stay hidden and when all these secrets come out there is no telling what may happen.

This is not a happy book these three people are all mourning something and keeping secrets and dealing with guilt, however this is a beautifully written book that kept my attention from beginning to end. And as I said the last hour was edge of my seat, nail biting, tummy flipping suspense when one secret bubbles to the surface yet is misunderstood and the tension is palpable.

The narration is wonderful and really enhances this sad story I had forgotten how much I love Robin Sachs voice, his narration was superb he had many different accents and the Scottish man working on the bridge was great, and the ladies Kate Reading & Cassandra Campbell WOW great accents, and such a great range of emotions that make you feel everything these women go through. This is a book to listen to just for the fabulous narration if nothing else. But I did like this story yes it is sad but it is also a very powerful story of what ifs.

Highly recommend this audio!

4 Stars
5 Stars narration

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

My Audie Nomination Predictions 2015

My Audie nomination predictions 2015:

I have never gotten any predictions correct but I truly think there are a couple that I predicted that will be correct on this year. I have only added books that I have listened to (with the exception of audiobook of the year explanation to follow) and only in the categories I have listened to. Also as I said in my year-end post I did not listen to near enough male narrators this year, and the ones I did listen to were older titles.

I will start out with the categories that I usually judge for the Armchair Audies (Solo Female & Mystery/Thriller)

Solo Female Narration:

Dollbaby by, Laura Lane McNeal narrated by, January LaVoy

What She Left Behind by, Ellen Marie Wiseman narrated by, Tavia Gilbert

Everything I Never Told You by, Celeste Ng narrated by, Cassandra Campbell (or Literary Fiction)

Written in my Own Hearts Blood by, Diana Gabaldon narrated by, Davina Porter (or Romance)

The Pearl That Broke Its Shell by, Nadia Hashimi Narrated by, Gin Hammond (Not sure if this could be in a different category or not)

Mystery/Thriller: I read a lot of older mysteries this year so I am looking forward to listening to this category for the Armchair Audies

Missing you by, Harlan Coben narrated by, January LaVoy

The Burning Room by, Michael Connelly narrated by, Titus Welliver


Euphoria by, Lily King narrated by, Xe Sands & Simon Vance (or Literary Fiction)

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon narrated by, Cassandra Campbell and Kathe Mazur


Wild Rover No More: Being the Last Recorded Account of the Life & Times of Jacky Faber by L.A. Meyer narrated by, Katherine Kellgren


As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride By Cary Elwes, Joe Layden, Rob Reiner (foreword) Narrated By Cary Elwes, Christopher Guest, Carol Kane, Norman Lear, Rob Reiner, Wallace Shawn, Robin Wright, Billy Crystal

Audiobook of the Year:
This is based solely on the past couple years winners and nominations I have not listened to this book but am guessing it will at least be nominated since Audiobook of the Year for past few years is just best celebrity book/narration.

Yes Please by, Amy Poehler Narrated By, Amy Poehler, Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, Mike Schur, Eileen Poehler, William Poehler, Patrick Stewart, Kathleen Turner

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes, Joe Layden

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes, Joe Layden

This is so much more than just Cary Elwes’s remembrances of filming the Princess Bride it is really all the surviving cast members’ story of the filming. If you are a fan I highly recommend this audiobook which has way more narrators than just Cary there are snippets from many of the stars plus Cary’s impressions of many of the cast.

I enjoyed knowing that the filming of this movie was as magical as the film itself. I really enjoyed all the stories about what a wonderful man Andre the Giant was and was a little surprised at how much everyone loved Mandy Patinkin given the things his recent co-workers have said about him and how much he loved making this film and being a part of it, I don’t know I guess you can’t believe everything you read about stars these days so was nice to hear Mandy’s take on this movie from his own point of view.

I really do think you have to be a fan of the Princess Bride to enjoy this book but if you aren’t a fan then you have obviously never seen the movie and need to remedy that immediately. This movie is a classic and is enjoyed by generations and I believe always will and this book was a nice addendum, a day in life say of the making of the film.

4 Stars

Now I need to go watch the movie again…

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Crash & Burn by, Lisa Gardner

Crash & Burn by, Lisa Gardner

Man alive this woman knows how to write a I can't put this down, edge of my seat thriller. I devoured this book in one day I could not stop reading.

This book once again features Tessa Leoni and Wyatt and also features DD Warren in an interesting side story which makes me anxious for the next DD book to see where her life goes after this book. We also get an update on Bobby Dodge & Annabelle.

This was such a different story, it kept me guessing even though I was able to figure out a couple things that didn't stop my complete enjoyment of this book.

Is it memory or delusion or a bit of both? What do you do when you can't trust your own mind and what it is telling you about your life? We have a completely and wholly unreliable narrator in Nicky Frank the book starts out with a car crash and her complete belief that a little girl named Vero needs saving and was with her but does Vero even exist? Nicky doesn’t seem to know what is real, what is a memory or is it a delusion, she has had 3 concussions in a short amount of time and her brain is mixed up she keeps looking for the girl Vero is she lost, gone, dead or just a figment of her imagination. Was Nicky her savior or her killer? And what of Nicky’s husband Thomas is he the caring husband he seems to be or is there more behind the 3 “accidents” that have happened to Nicky, her car crash being just the latest.

This case starts out with a bang and gets weirder and weirder and poor Wyatt can’t seem to make heads or tails out of the information he is being given by Nicky while he investigates her car accident. Hopefully Tessa can help him out but she seems a little on edge and won’t tell Wyatt what is going on however they do work well together as they did on the last case that they have to put their personal feelings aside to try to get to the bottom of this very odd case. They even bring DD in to help them out.

This book will grab on and not let you go but that’s okay, just hang on, and enjoy the ride. Lisa Gardner does it again with another fantastic thriller!

5 Stars

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