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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Ghost and the Graveyard by Genevieve Jack

Loved it! I was laughing from page one.



My Review:
This is the first time I've read or listened to any of this authors stories and will not be the last. This book had me rolling in laughter. Grateful is a young woman with bad taste and luck with men. The last boyfriend somehow drove her into deep debt so she moves into an old house of her dad's, something he inherited. The rent is free but with that is a catch.The back yard is a graveyard!

Almost immediately she meets Rick the caretaker who is hunky and lives next door.She also meets a couple of ghosts living in her house. Logan, one of the ghosts is hot and a great cook who makes her morning coffee. There's also a locked room in the house. Grateful grows more curious about the room and the tidbits she'd getting from Rick and the ghosts who coincidentally don't necessarily like each other so she pursues the mystery which leads to secrets about herself.

I absolutely loved the author's voice. She adds little antidotes that made the story memorable. I'm not a fan at all of romance but the humor, coupled with the mystery and paranormal had me glued. I started it in the car on my way to work and was so involved I continued listening while I worked. I couldn't put it down. The narrator was perfect for the character. Her voice was also clear and she used excellent pacing and inflection. 


Through and through a wonderful, hilarious story!

Amazon/Audible

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Secret of Mirror House by Jennifer Blake

I absolutely enjoyed this one! It's going in my memory as a favorite read.



My Review:
Amelia has just received notice of her father's death and an invite to stay in his creepy house. She doesn't know it's creepy until she gets there and it so much the house as the residents, her cousins, that are strange and eccentric. She discovers secrets about her father's past and is pushed by her cousins to marry one of them. That was a bit strange but the book is set in horse and buggy days so maybe not so much then.

There's plenty of suspense to keep me listening intently. I listened to most of it in one setting. The author drew me in with her descriptions of the old house and pacing. She never gave away too much at a time and she painted vibrant characters through dialogue and actions. The only think I really didn't like was her use of the most obscure adverbs, sometimes a couple per sentence. 

The narrator was awesome! I loved her voice and how she varied her inflection. She was also great with voices!


A fun listen!

Amazon/Audible

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

It Began by Max Lockwood

A post apocalyptic novel. 



My Review:
It Began is a cautionary tale. Clara is a teacher. A career that leaves her unfulfilled but it pays the bills and supports her family. At home she provides for her grandmother whose mind is slipping and her sister Tessa. Her sister has visions or a heavy sixth sense that predicts the future. Clara and everyone mostly consider her insane. When an EMP strikes and takes out electricity it changes their lives. All the conveniences used in the characters daily lives is gone and food is in high need.

The story wasn't as suspenseful as I was hoping but was an interesting story. The pace is very slow. There wasn't much solved in this segment except the showing of how Clara and the town she lives in deals with everything. There is a bit of mystery surrounding Tessa and a few spots where delinquent behavior is displayed. I tend to think people would act far more rashly than the book paints but these people are pretty mild. There was a couple other things that didn't add up either but I don't give away any spoilers.


It's a decent listen.

Amazon/Audible

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Sisters Arcana by Ken Janssens

Great audiobook for the family!



My Review:
This story is perfect for a family vacation travelling by car. The plot and characters are entertaining. I wasn't fond of the narrator as many times she sounded mechanical but did get better with the progression of the story.

Nova is a young lady with a wild imagination and when Sammy goes missing she takes on the act of figuring out what happened and is encountered by a plethora of problems that prevent her from solving the mystery, including her sister Rowan. Rowan is a typical teen whose main concern in life is Mitchell the boy she has a massive crush on. When he goes missing to she jumps into action becoming her sister's accomplice. 


There's plenty of action and suspense along with aliens and other strange characters to keep the story moving along.

Amazon/Audible

Anthem by Ayn Rand

As I attempt to broaden my literary horizons I find myself listening to more classics.



My Review:
I wasn't fond of the story. It was written in more of a prose than story, repeating the same phrases so many times it drove me nuts. On the other hand this book was written decades ago and literature and what defines a good book has changed. Keeping that in mind the book wasn't horrible, it just didn't keep me at the edge of my seat.

There really wasn't a central character, more a narrator describing the world's various groups, named by number  Each group has various characteristics that make them stand out and they're all evil. Not really, but the story repeated how they were considered evil. One group in particular stands out as larger, smarter and more adaptable than the rest.

It's a very surreal story and I begged for a character to root for but there wasn't. If you enjoy classic fiction or just want to widen your literary horizons than it's worth listening.


I lost my desire to interpret literature after college so I'm not the one to tell you the deep meaning behind this story, although, I'm positive there is one.

Amazon/Audible

Thursday, July 27, 2017

No Direction Home by Mike Sheridan

Possibly the best account I've read as to what might actually happen in a post apocalyptic world.



My Review:
I've read a lot of apocalyptic and post stories and this one is possibly the most realistic as to how survivors would act. There story follows several groups, some with better intentions than others but all trying to survive. My favorites were the Irish couple. I adored them.

Some groups are trying to form and build societies, there's the egotistical power hungry leader, and the sweet young couple who find love in the ashes of society. Others are happy stealing from the hard working. The author makes a slam dunk describing the best and worst of humanity.


There's a few action scenes that set the hear racing and characters to root for and others to wish the worst for. Very good story!

Amazon/Audible

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Tampa and Beyond

This month I went to Tampa, FL for the Indie Author Book Convention. It was great! I met new readers and reunited with a few I've met in the past and met authors new to me. I also got to hang out for the day in the elaborate Chic Venue.

Here I am!!                                     My table filled with books.



                           The VIP room for the after party.



As you know I love the beach so of course I couldn't stay that close to it without making at least one or a several stops. Here are a few.

                       Tarpon Springs (not the best quality, sorry 😣 )

                            Sand Key

Clearwater beach. If you look close you'll see the rainbow above the boat.

                                         Saint Pete   

And since I was in no hurry I took the long, long way home through central Florida. It's pretty amazing I've lived here twenty years and never knew these tiny little towns existed. Remember I did this while listening to gothic horror stories so my imagination ran pretty wild. 

A mountain in Florida. If you look into the distance you can see it!


I made a couple stops. this is the first town. I was leery about making it out alive, but I had to stop and use wifi to download another book. Maybe the strange glances were my out of state plates on the rental car. Either way it'll be a future story.



There was also a lot of nothing for miles and miles.


The best thing is I'd do it again but first I have to stock up on more horror audiobooks!










Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Audiobook Deals! Grab the Ruthless Storm Trilogy Now!

Today I'm bringing you The Ruthless Storm Trilogy. It's a mystery/thriller decked to the hilt with suspense and plot twists that are mind-bending. The entire trilogy is now in audio!

Get the true audio experience by upgrading!

Volume 1 Eye of the Storm: Eilida's Tragedy Kindle is FREE!! and available for whispersync



Amazon

Blurb:
It’s a normal day for Sunshine as she takes the seat at her desk as receptionist at the Lyden Times until the tragedy of a young nameless woman floods the newsroom. Her head and body covered in bloody gashes and fresh bruises. Sunshine forms an immediate interest and digs into her life. After learning her identity, Eilida, she pokes around her hometown where she is mistaken for Eilida. Soon Sunshine’s world crashes. Everything she loved begins to fade. She trades in her skirts and heels for jeans and sneakers. A ghost avails itself to her and a man with eyes dark as coal stalks her dreams and waking nightmares. Her fiancé worries as he can’t wrap his mind around her transformation yet refuses to let go. Time ticks down as their wedding date approaches on the anniversary of a day that changed Eilida’s life forever.

Volume 2 The Calm Before the Storm: Evan's Sins Kindle is only .99! and available for whispersync



Amazon

Blurb:
The prequel to Eye of the Storm Eilida's Tragedy.

Evan O’Conner isn’t a normal child. His father’s alcoholism and mother’s abuse drives him to concoct a plan to rid his life of them permanently. The night is fraught with a horrendous storm, thunder and lightning as the beast inside him is born. Even in her death his mother won’t leave. She haunts his subconscious as he attempts over and over to kill her. 


Evan meets his match when Officer Burkhlader enters the picture. One of her closest friends and his family fall victim to violent deaths during the worst hurricane Billows Hollow has ever seen. With only a sketch she learns the identity of the perpetrator and digs into his life, pries into his past – hunting him. Will she stop him? Or will somebody else?

Volume 3 In the Midst of the Storm: Tommy's Deception. The Kindle is only 2.99! and available for whispersync



Amazon

Blurb:
Tommy and Eilida meet again at Flashers. The local college bar. Their friendship develops quickly. Then a student is murdered in her dorm, another victim of the Hurricane Killer. The assailant is on the loose when Eilida’s apartment is broken into and she runs to Tommy for safety. She discovers his birthday is the one day that makes her soul cry but is it only a coincidence?

The cards stack against him as she finds Tommy is hiding Astrological charts and Evan’s map, material that would have solidified a case against the Hurricane Killer. And Eilida discovers a ring that went missing the day she met Tommy at an astrology convention was present at Evan O’Conner’s murder scene. Did Tommy kill the monster? Or is he picking up where Evan left off? Will astrology give her answers?


The nightmares of Eilida’s past rush forward and everything points toward Tommy.

Don't pass them up!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Matanzas Moon: Ablaze by Elizabeth Raven

I brought you the first book and now I've read the second. It's just as amazing!



My Review:
An excellent sequel. I'm really enjoying this series and not just because it's setting is my favorite US city or the ghosts. It's well written, exciting and suspenseful. I cling to the pages and can't wait to see what will happen next.


Bridget and Nick's relationship is going well since their Halloween nightmare. They have gotten back from a vacation when ghosts strike again. An arsonist is on the loose and something happens to Bridget. Her entire personality changes and Nick is at odds and lost. Things get even more complicated when RIP is plagued by memories of a past love. He turns to drugs and alcohol then the spark between him and Bridget who is not herself ignites into passion. Things spiral out of control quickly and RIP has to find a way to save the day.

Not a dull moment!

Amazon

My autographed book!


The End by Adam M. Booth

I  enjoyed Angela so much in all it's dark intensity I checked out Adam M. Booth's other books and found a great deal on The End so I picked it up. The Kindle was .99 and the audio upgrade only 1.99.



My Review:
This story was interesting and unique as a zombie tale. It's about how one woman faces the zombie apocalypse. She becomes a zombie and tells the story from the zombie perspective. I enjoyed that as it's really different. Most people write from the non zombie perspective. It's gory in places, not overly suspenseful but unique.


How does a zombie think or do they? Adam M. Booth's imagination is deep and the picture he paints is very probable.

Amazon/Audible

The Horror at Red Hook by H.P. Lovecraft

Another classic that I listened to on my way home from Tampa. The language is more of a dark prose. There's a story but it's filled with imagery.



My Review:
This is a really short story about a lonely and peculiar man known for dabbling in witchcraft and a police officer who witnesses something beyond imagination. The story is intense and filled with vivid imagery.


This is the first HP Lovecraft book I've listened to or read and I enjoyed it. The narrator, Austin Vanfleet is good and builds the intensity of the story with his voice and fluctuations.

Amazon/Audible

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

My Tampa Audiobook Deals

The night before I left for my road trip to Tampa I bought a few audiobooks knowing I needed some entertainment for the drive. The following are what I found and the prices. All are whispersync deals.

I was craving gothic horror and ghosts and these all fit the bill, although, I don't recommend listening while driving through the boonies such as I did unless you really enjoy fear. 

Wicker's Bog by Mike Duran


Blurb:
Every autumn, when the weather turned and the wind came off the marsh, the dark waters of Wickers Bog gave up its ghosts and reawakened the old yarns. 

Julene Ella Haddan is about to be drawn into one of them.

It was a grey, joyless day, when young Julene heard the song of the siren and followed its melody into the enchanted swamp... a journey which led her into a tale of murder and deceit. It's only the fated who hear the siren. Yet Julene's fate now seems bound to the fabled Lady of Lisenby, the spectral gatekeeper of the Bog, queen of the haunted deep. However, is it justice the Lady seeks or is Julene the siren's next victim? 


Myth and mystery collide in this tale of Southern Gothic horror.

Kindle was .99 and I upgraded to audio for another 1.99

Angela by Adam M. Booth



Blurb:
"I left her when she was eight. Just a child. Too young to be alone. I killed myself because I could never atone for the things He made me do. There is something wrong with my family, you see. A fear runs through us, through our blood. A fear that circles above us, shredding the sky and clawing at our hearts, and now, from a deathless realm, I am forced to watch as my lonely daughter is tortured by the life I gave her to endure. No father should see the things I've seen, but then no father should do the things I did. 

Forgive me Angela."


ANGELA, a bleak and unflinching tale in which we meet a lonely, middle aged woman who must live with the legacy of her family's dark secret, the madness that grows in the absence of love, and a closet full of delicate skeletons.


ANGELA is available as part the collection TERMINAL by the same author.

I bought the Kindle for .99 and upgraded to audio for 1.99

Turn of the Screw by Henry James



Blurb:
Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Emmy winner Emma Thompson lends her immense talent and experienced voice to Henry James' Gothic ghost tale, The Turn of the Screw.

When a governess is hired to care for two children at a British country estate, she begins to sense an otherworldly presence around the grounds. Are they really ghosts she's seeing? Or is something far more sinister at work?


Having performed in films based on some of the greatest works in literature - including Sense and Sensibility, Howards End, Much Ado About Nothing, and Henry V - Thompson is no stranger to the classics, and she lends a graceful eloquence to this moody, macabre story. Joined by listener favorite Richard Armitage, who performs the prologue, Thompson reinvigorates this psychological thriller of life, death, evil, and the unknown.

The Kindle was free and I upgraded to audio for 1.99.

I can't guarantee these prices as they can change over time. Reviews for all these books coming soon!

Turn of the Screw by Henry James

Another book I listened to during my Tampa trip. It wasn't my favorite and listening to this and driving I had to listen to it again because I missed a lot. It takes full concentration just to determine the code to the language in this classic.



Review:
I listen to audio books for fun and the outdated language in this classic dashed the fun out of it. I had to decipher the meanings of the words and strings of sentences. It reminded me of lit class in college.

Overall the story is a decent thriller. A nanny is hired to care for a couple children. The boy Miles is creepy from the beginning. As the story moves along he gets creepier and the nanny notices various 'otherworldly' occurrences. Throughout the story they get worse and she learns history about the family. I won't give away anything.


Other than the language, the wordings tends to be very flowery which maybe something common for the times the book was written. Overall it was okay, not my favorite and one I probably won't listen to again but I'm also glad I listened to it. It's something I should probably do more.

Angela by Adam M. Booth

While in Tampa I did a lot of driving as I scoured the beaches. This is one I listened to during my drive.



Review:
This story was creepy to say the least and that's what I enjoyed about it. It's macabre, dark and twisted. Angela lives a lonely life with her birds. She has a thing for birds and a crush on her boss. At one point she finds a bird, an evil bird that shows her things and makes her do things. Her lonely life with the solemn birds changes as this one, dark and evil takes over her life.

Angela's life has always been one filled with sadness and death. The author builds the story bit by bit giving profound clues as Angela falls into insanity.The descriptions are full and gory, very prosy in some parts and they give the story an extra eerie feel.


If macabre is your thing, check this one out!

Amazon/Audible

Wicker's Bog by Mike Duran

This is another I listened to on my Tampa trip, on the way home. Loved it!



Review:
I loved this story and have already listened to it a second time since buying it. The story is set in the south. I loved the speech patterns and sayings that are very distinct and gave so much character to the story.

The story begins with Julene wandering into Wicker's Bog when she hears a beautiful voice singing. She finds there the dead body of a young woman who disappeared some time ago. I won't give anymore because the story is short and I hate to give anything away.

Set in the deep south the descriptions of the area and Wicker's Bog remind me of almost any swampy area. There are so many hidden areas that could be such a place. There's a story behind the bog. In this one a plantation house was swallowed by water. The curious characters who lived there died when the water so quickly overtook the place and the lady of the house is said to remain there.


The authentic descriptions and colorful language really make the story. The sound quality in parts wasn't great but the narrator was fabulous! At some point I'll be listening to this again a third time and probably more!