Friday, August 28, 2015

Audio Book Review: Invito Rex

Invito Rex

By:  Brand Gamblin

Publish Date:  December 1, 2013

Format:  Podiobook

Genre:  Neo-Victorian

Series:  2nd in Noblesse Oblige series; 1st Book ~ The Hidden Institute

First Glance Feel:  Dizzy who is one of the best at being a lower lord now has a true challenge and a bigger con to pull off. But is it a con?

In a fantastic world not too far ahead of us, Victorian sensibilities have brought back the monarchy, with a caste system that is lethally enforced. Dizzy is a con man, a commoner who makes his living impersonating the nobility. But one wrong turn leaves him trapped in the most dangerous place of all, the palace of the king. Invito Rex is the futuristic steampunk sequel to "The Hidden Institute".

First Sentence:
"As the boy becomes the man, so he must bear new burdens of sufferance and sacrifice.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Noble

Listen At:
iTunes  /  Podiobooks

My Thoughts and Summary:
The Dowager Queen is very well known by the nobility. Dizzy is about to meet her. He's nervous for what she will tell him, or what she could do to his cover as Earl of Viborg. Disraeli Augustus McCraken III is a con-artist. He posses as lower Earls, and only socializes with such. He doesn't push his luck with the high noble houses or the King. Captain Gallant Trumble has other plans. He will find and arrest any fraud of royalty, and it's his mission to prove the Earl of Viborg is not who he says he is. The Kings advisers beat Captain Trumble in the chase and take Disraeli Augustus McCraken III in their custody. Dizzy must now fit into the shoes he never thought he'd even attempt to try to fit.

Oh my god! This ended like that?! I...*breath* It's a big cliffhanger. I rushed to the authors site and signed up for the authors newsletter to find out when the next book is coming. THERE HAS TO BE A NEXT BOOK! I want to know!

In visiting the authors site, I found he's shared the first chapter of the next book: The Absent Emperor. Thank you Brand!!!

This is Dizzy's story. Oh Dizzy, Oh Dizzy, Oh Dizzy. The troubles he gets himself into, but this one isn't completely at his doing. This is the ultimate con that Dizzy needs to pull off.

I do enjoy Dizzy. He's a creative man. He's not completely Royal in his nature of speak and actions. But his thinking in actions and decisions seem brilliant. He tries his hardest to fit the shoes of his predecessor, Cadvan. Dizzy makes me smile at his actions when he decides how he'll act and what he'll do.

The first chapter felt a bit full of things that I wasn't sure what was going on or the direction of the book. Chapter two was the one that set the ways of the world here. Chapter two was the one to clarify things for me and set things straight. I liked this chapter and what happens. It was all down hill for me from there. I was hooked and couldn't stop listening. I did find there were a few times at the beginning that a bit more details were given that felt to slow things for me, but as the book went on we did need those details. The detailing didn't happen for long, so read through them as it will all come together and you'll understand.

I wasn't sure who was conning who here. To see Dizzy take the crown as his own is amazing. He's a fun character and when he decides he'll be himself, things fall into place and work wonderfully. I wasn't even 100% sure he was to inherit the crown. We do get the definite answer to that question.

In this book we see the design and rank of the nobles. This is a breakdown to know how people are classed and how the students of The Hidden Institute sees who they are to work for, or in Dizzy's case who he will work to be. This book also has more of the automatons showing up and the ways of the world. I enjoyed seeing that there is many interesting things in this world with electronics and such that are interacted with more so in this book.

Each chapter has an insightful lead in. It all, in some way, connect to the rule and the King. It might be something a king did or knew or relations. There is information on Royals and their connection as well. This is interesting as it gives a deeper insight into many things. I wasn't sure what they were hinting at, until I started seeing how they were connected to those in the story and what was happening. And even with King Augustus III. I grew to anticipate these as the book went on, as it gave many great details.

As I've said, I'm signed up for the authors emails. I'm wanting more of this world and Dizzy. I want to know what Dizzy's ultimate plan is and how things work out. Can't wait for more!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Audio Book Review: Winter's Reach

Winter's Reach

By:  Craig Schaefer

Publish Date:  November 11, 2014, Audiobook July 28, 2015

Format:  Audiobook - 11 hrs 24 mins
Narrated By:  Susannah Jones

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  1st in Revanche Cycle series

Impression:  An epic fantasy full of conspiracies in close proximity. Everyone has an enemy, or one desiring what another has.

Pope Benignus is dying, and the man who takes his throne will hold the reins of an empire. Conspiracies swirl like shadows around Livia, the pope's daughter, who refuses to be anyone's pawn: chasing the whispers of a deadly coup, she vows to expose the truth and save her church from disaster. Livia has secrets of her own, though, and one wrong move could cost her life and her soul.

Felix is the scion of a dying merchant house, a man with just one chance to save his family and the woman he loves. His last hope lies in the snowbound hell of Winter's Reach, a former prison colony turned "free city" under a brutal tyrant's reign.

Livia and Felix have never crossed paths, but they've both been snared in a far greater web than they can imagine. They -- along with a pair of veteran bounty hunters, an exiled politician, and a sadistic coven of witches -- are cogs in one man's apocalyptic plan for revenge. A plan which, if it succeeds, will leave an entire nation in flames.

First Sentence:
The family estate reminded Felix of a giant's rotting corpse, laid out under skies smeared a filthy gray.

Purchase At:


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

Felix is determined to set his families financial debts straight so he can marry his love, and not the merchants daughter he was arranged to marry that will save his family. He has a plan. According to old records, the dangerous free city of Winter's Reach has Alum mines being unused, and he plans to strike a deal with the Mayor to make money for him and her. However, others don't want him to get to those mines. Lodovico Marchetti is of the current family that has the control of the Alum market, and plans to keep it that way at any action. The witches have their own secret and plan to keep it that way. Then we have the church that is slipping into the wrong hands as the Pope is on his death bed. In all this a pair of hunters are out to do their job and working to forget the past of deeds they wish they didn't do.

Susannah is a gentle voice to listen to. She's done a lovely job with voicing the emotional rise and falls of the characters in the book and telling the tale of this world beaming with conspiracies. She doesn't do different voices for the many characters present, but she does pose different attitudes for each one. But she has told the story with heart. By the end of the book I felt I was sitting around a fire listening to an old tale, and wanting to hear more.

Where do I start? This is an epic fantasy with the many characters that are in play here.

All of these families are dangerous. They have desires and needs that they will do anything to get or keep in their favor. The lives of different groups of people heading in the same direction, though for different reasons. The political pull in the world is evident. Those with enough money and connections can make anything go their way. Everyone has their own motivators for their goals - love, guilt, lose - all the emotions pushing people to do more. The world not only has the evils of mans desires but also dangerous creatures and weather.

The Rossini family has no one to deal with, others are held on tight strings. Felix is to marry into the Grimaldi family to make a strong alliance. Felix has another idea. Winter's Reach. It's a free city now, but once was a prison colony where mines were built in the mountains, and is rich in Alum. Felix does what he wants for his reasons, but then becomes pushed to do more. And he decides to take new avenues to get what he wants.

Lodovico Marchetti... oh he's one we love and love to hate. He is the power hold in Mirenze right now. He makes the market go as he wants, and for him, as he holds the biggest Alum mine production. Alum is a mineral used in about everything. But, Lodovico has another plan in motion with his 'friend' Carlo at the church. He wants more, and revenge...

Carlo, Livia, Amadeo, and Benignus. They are all part of the church. Benignus is Pope and he's dying. The question is who will take over his throne when he's gone. There is discord among the Cardinals over this. Carlo, his second child and only son, is who is expected to do so. But he's not what we would think of as Pope material, and others think so too. However, he could be one used as a tool by others. Livia is the daughter and more than ready to stand up as Pope, however she's a female. In this world, females are not thought of more than marrying off for mergers and alliances. But, people don't realize she's more dangerous to their plans than they give her credit for. She is one to watch out for. Amadeo. Ah. I did enjoy him very much. He's a priest and one of the ones to have the most growth in this book, for me. I enjoyed his journey and how strong he's become.

I think the ones I enjoyed the most are Mari and Werner. This duo is a wonderful set. I love the care they have for each other. The hunters are not a couple, but more a father/daughter feel to them. Mari is a hurt girl. She suffers from PTSD from the death of her family and many of her home land. Werner found her and brought her back from the brink of the edge. Werner has given Mari something to strive for, and she does just that. She has morals to her ways and does her best to live by them. However both have moments in their past that haunts them, and could be a danger to them now.

Oh! I can't forget about the witches! They are cruel. The actions they take! Oh wow. Makes me cringe. We don't get all the dealings with the witches just yet. But they are here and we know what they are looking for, or at least Owl. I'm looking forward to seeing more of them in the future books!

The writing draws the visual world in a magnificent poetry, this caught my attention at the opening of the book. This is echoed throughout the book, usually at the beginning of a chapter.

I did find myself curious about the Empire here. We didn't get much in way of past details of coming to power, nor the relationship the throne of the church has with the Empire's king. There were a few things in the world building that I would have liked to have seen or learned more of, but I'm hoping that will come in the future books.

Everyone has an enemy, or one desiring what another has. There is always someone after another or another's material possessions. The different plots in the city by different people start to cross paths and collide as each person works for their own results. It seems the strongest of will and cunning will survive.

As in epic fantasy fashion, I'm left anxious for what's to come. Craig has drawn the world and characters to bring them all to this moment. Some are in precarious places and don't know it. Others are heading into a wind storm and don't know it. Some are expecting to create the wind storm. Oh I want to hear more of this world to see what happens with them all! Will the make it?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Book Review: Schemes


By:  Krista D. Ball

Publish Date:  August 2, 2015

Format:  eBook

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  4th in Tranquility series; Book 1 ~ Blaze, Book 2 ~ Grief, Novella 2.5 ~ Interlude, Book 3 ~ Fury

Impression:  Bethany is back! They want to move on, but what they did could bring the Elves after them.

Bethany returns to Taftlin to uncover a plot to assassinate King Arrago and Prince Henry. She enlists some interesting allies along the way, including an elderly duchess with a sharp tongue and an eager apprentice knight, and together they race against the clock.

First Sentence:

I've arrived in Wyllow and have settled in as best as possible.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles

My Thoughts and Summary:
*I received this book from the author for my enjoyment, as I requested and love this series.

After over a year of dishonorable respect at Wyllow, Bethany and Lendra are on their way to return to Taftlin. She could feel the Elves were shifting in power and someone would make a move soon. On their travels an attempt on Bethany's life is made, and she uncovers a plot to assassinate King Arrago and Prince Henry. Bethany turns to the few people that are still loyal to her along with her new allies in the North to keep everyone safe.

We start with a year of letters that makes us worry of what's happening in Wyllow, where Bethany has been to talk to the Council of the war and what happened to their beloved Goddess, Apexia. These letters get us worrying and set the stage for what's to come. Things have not gone well in this year for Bethany, along with her dearest friends. The Elfin Council has made their own decisions on rumors and events while Bethany and others had fought wars. Something is stirring as they try to discredit Bethany, and the enemy she made in Lord Jud seems to be involved.

Bethany is back!!

This is the Bethany I love. She's fun, mouthy, and ready to kick arse. The old Bethany. Her rough jokes, erm desires? to break legs. lol. She does not back down. She's come up with nicknames for people and she is quick lipped when she is pushed. She is quick to action when she spots things unfolding around her. Poor Arrago, but he loves her and goes with the flow knowing exactly how Bethany is, and loving her for it., he's had to stay at his throne and try to keep going with the letters about what was happening in Wyllow. Strong man. But, he'd have to be strong and relaxed at the same time to be with Bethany. Which he is. Arrago has made changes in Taftlin in his short time as king, and some people are not happy.

We get what we want with Bethany and Arrago, but they have to work for it. There is always trouble brewing somewhere, and this time it's aimed at them.

We see more Myra with Bethany. She has become a wonderful character. She's got her own zest and personalty that brings a smile to me. She's taken some lessons from Bethany. lol.

We don't get to see Jovan or Erem in this story. We hear about them... Jovan is safe and laying low. Erem is... well, we don't know. No one knows. That's where this book ends and readies us for the next series involving these new powers.

No one knows of the grace that Bethany, Erem, Jovan, Kiner, and Arrago have received. Even Lendra too. But at the end of this story, we see it start to manifest and what can be done. Cool! This story also works as a transition to the next series and adventures in this world. A whole new story is to come our way!


Krista has brough fun to the characters in a plot to assassinate the king and the strong knight. I enjoy this blend so much.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sunday Post #97

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


My brain isn't quite working yet this morning. It still feels idle and stuck on park. lol. It's been a long weekend of football stuff and hasn't ended yet. Last week was the early rise football camp for kiddo and then the evenings were spent looking for football spikes (which he blew out his new RGIII's he bought and wore for a month or so) or going to chiropractor or going for something he needed. We did finally find football spikes, although they were not the ones he wanted. Dicks Sporting Goods online kept trying to get me to order the shoes on line. Ha! I can't do that! Every shoe fits different and we don't know what fits until he tries it on. I refuse to spend all the over night fees (because he NEEDS shoes for practice) to find out they don't fit. They really should have more shes in the stores. I also found out from the local stores they have been sold out of football cleats since June! Seriously!?! But he has something to wear and we got him an ankle brace for his other foot too. We are hoping this will help and he's set.

This week is another football week of go-go-go to come. lol. Oh well. We do love the season.


The Fit Booker:

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

How did I do last week... I did get to exercise this week.
   Tuesday:  walk/slow job on the treadmill for about 2.49 miles for 41 minutes.

Episode 6:
I'm out on a supply run. I'm to pick up wire supplies from New Canton, the town we don't seem to get along with. Janine has a contact there and it's to be waiting for me when I get there... The Rebels of the city are to help us as they are going to want to leave with the way the city is being run. Ha! It's a trap! I'm now on the run!

What's Happening in Books:

Current Read:
Pure Blooded by Amanda Carlson
The Death of Dulgath by Michael J. Sullivan

Current Audiobook:
Altar of Influence by Jacob Cooper

Current Podcast Book Listen:
None, now back to Audio books

Finished Last Week: 

Audiobooks from Audible:
Winter's Reach by Craig Schaefer

Finished Podcast Book Listen:


Last Week on the Blog:

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


Around the Internet...


Podcast Review:

Mama Bitchstress Reviews:



This Week to Come on the Blog:

I have my 3 reviews scheduled for next week. Woot woot! Can't wait to share these!
   Winter's Reach
   Invito Rex


Received Last Weeks:

Review & Review Consideration:

Audio Books Requested for Review:
A Witch's Path by N.E. Conneely
Goodreads Synopsis:
After a near death experience, Michelle has vowed to do her job, magical assistance for the police, and leave the heroics to someone else. Besides, life should be settling down for her since the trolls have been captured and the sorceress was neutralized. Unfortunately, the power behind the sorceress wants her dead, Elron starts acting funny, a magical creature wreaks havoc on a town, and there’s trouble with the werewolves. As if that wasn’t enough, the clans have started to notice her power and she has more reasons than ever to fear the clans.

Things go from bad to worse when Michelle’s best friend is abducted, and she must decide between her friend and her vow to stay out of dangerous situations.

Heir to Kale by K.L. Bone
Goodreads Synopsis:
“Fear to the fearless. Hope to the hopeless. Mercy to those who hate you. Death to those who love you.” – Prophesy of the Kalian Twins. 

In the land of Kale there lies a delicate balance between the powerful Temples and the rulers from an ancient, royal bloodline. The Temples are ruled through combat, determined by a series of tournaments. Of these tournament champions, sixty are chosen to become Defendants, an elite team charged with protecting the realm from all enemies. Selection to this team is considered the highest of honours and leadership of the team is decided only once every thirteen years. 

Princesses Mariana and Ameria, twin daughters of two such champions, are taken as children to separate, yet equally powerful Temples. Through years of rigorous training both are educated in the arts of combat, swordplay, and the ancient traditions of the Temple Gods. Both eventually obtain the rank of Kalian Champions with the expectation of one day serving upon the coveted Defendant Team. 

Then, not long after their seventeenth birthday, the childless King declares that one of the sisters must succeed him as the future Queen. As the race for the throne begins, the sister’s long standing rivalry intensifies, leading both upon a dangerous path that threatens not only their lives, but the fate of the very kingdom. 

Unbeknownst to the twins, this treacherous path to the throne is the elaborate collaboration of an ancient prophecy and two creatures charged by the Gods themselves ensure it comes to pass. As primeval powers awaken, the two sisters must struggle to learn the truth behind the prophesy and search for a way to change their inevitable fate. 

Heir to Koloso by K.L. Bone
Goodreads Synopsis:
“Fear to the fearless. Hope to the hopeless. Mercy to those who hate you. Death to those who love you. That is your destiny, Princess of Kale, Princess of Koloso, heir to both.” – Prophecy of the Kalian Twins 

The struggle for the throne intensifies as twin Princesses Ameria and Mariana are forced to contend with their bitter rivalry and haunted past. In this sequel to Heir to Kale, the sisters learn that they must first expose the secrets of their past before they can begin to unveil their shadowed destiny. 

Awaiting the Temple bout which will determine her fate, Princess Mariana struggles to unite a Kingdom long bereft of leadership. She must navigate a labyrinth of rival families, powerful lords, and the ever-widening rift between those who serve the Temples and those who do not. Unprepared and still grieving the loss of her mentor, Mariana must decide for herself what is right for the kingdom and who, if anyone, can be trusted. 

Meanwhile, Princess Ameria is more determined than ever to discover the true identity of her father’s killer and is willing to risk everything in order to find the answers she seeks. Embarking upon a quest which takes her from gleaming Temples to darkened castles, she endeavors to learn the truth about her family, the Prophecy, and the future of the Kingdom. Eventually turning to her estranged grandfather, the powerful and dangerous Lord Riccard, Ameria uncovers a truth about her family’s past from which will threaten to challenge the very foundations of her beliefs. 

However, as the sisters come closer to revealing their past and the prophecy which haunts their future, the wraiths watch from the shadows, an ever-present reminder that time is running out and that the fight for the throne looms upon the horizon.

Free Ebooks:

(On my Kindle App) Links to books under title. They may or may not be free at this time.
From Gods by Mary Ting
Goodreads Synopsis:
Did you just see a flash of lightning across the sky on a clear sunny day? It’s not from Mother Nature. It is most likely from Mason Grand, swoon-worthy demigod, one of Zeus’s descendants. 

Skylar Rome is supposed to be having the best summer ever before she heads off to college. Little did she know, her whole life was about to change while visiting her cousin. Nearly drowning at the beach due to unknown forces, one of the Grand brothers she’d just met, Mason, saves her life. Cool, collected, mysterious, and dangerously good-looking, Skylar is drawn to him from the start. Though she knows he is the type of guy good girls stayed away from, it seems he is always saving her life, and the attraction was inevitable. 

Upon meeting the brothers, strange things begin to happen. When she accidentally kills one of the brothers, it throws her life into turmoil, as they search to find the answers. Implausibly, she gets caught up in a world of the decedents of ancient gods, all who have super powers. Not only is her discovery difficult to accept, evil beings are after her. Running out of time and running for her life, she must unravel a mystery. What do they want from her? Forced into a battle set into motion long before she was born, will she find the answers, or will she die trying?

Red Snow by Christine Sutton
Goodreads Synopsis:
When Kayla embarks on a drive from Washington to Texas, she is just doing her job. When the black 1967 Impala starts showing up at every turn, she starts to think it might be more than coincidence. When the mysterious driver leaves her a note, she is engulfed in a race for her life. Kayla is tasked with defeating vampires, werewolves and evil witches that threaten to destroy her happiness and her very life! Will she get her happily ever after, or will she fall victim to the evil that courses through her veins? Red Snow is an urban retelling of a classic fairy tale. Previously published as Red.

(On my Nook)

Free Audio Books/Stories:

Reviews to Come:

Soulless by Skyla Dawn Cameron
The Sentinel by Chris Lester
The Muse by Chris Lester
Metamor City: Making the Cut by Chris Lester
Metamor City: Whispers in the Wood by Chris Lester
Danube Waves by Katharina Bordet
Age of Myth by Michael J. Sullivan
Heartstealer by K.T. Bryski
Lex Talionis by Starla Huchton
7th Son: 7 Days anthology by J.C. Hutchins
House of Grey 6 by Collin Earl
The Secret World Chronicle: World Divided by Mercedes Lackey, Cody Martin, Dennis Lee, Veronica Giguere
The Secret World Chronicle: Waiting On by Mercedes Lackey, Cody Martin, Dennis Lee, Veronica Giguere
The Secret World Chronicle: Revolutions by Mercedes Lackey, Cody Martin, Dennis Lee, Veronica Giguere
Heir to Kale by K.L. Bone
Tales from the Archives Vol. 4: #3 The Black Empress
Invito Rex by Brand Gamblin
The Jester by Michael J. Sullivan
Professional Integrity by Michael J. Sullivan
Tales from the Archives Vol 4 #4 - Down by the River
Tales from the Archives Vol 4 #5 - Old Sinner's Bones
Schemes by Krista D. Ball

Friday, August 21, 2015

Audio Book Review: Stone of Fire

Stone of Fire

By:  J.F. Penn

Publish Date:  January 5, 2011, Audiobook May 23, 2013

Format:  Audiobook - 7 hrs 28 mins
Narrated By:  Veronica Giguere

Genre:  Thriller

Series:  1st in ARKANE series; Book 6 ~ Gates of Hell, Book 7 ~ One Day In New York

Impression:  Religion far deeper and adventurous than we ever thought, with a paranormal sway.

A power kept secret for 2000 years. A woman who stands to lose everything.

India. When a nun is burned alive on the sacred ghats of Varanasi, and the stone she carried is stolen, an international hunt is triggered for the relics of the early church.

Forged in the fire and blood of martyrs, the Pentecost stones have been handed down through generations of Keepers who kept their power and locations secret.

Until now.

The Keepers are being murdered, the stones stolen by those who would use them for evil in a world transformed by religious fundamentalism.

Oxford University psychologist Morgan Sierra is forced into the search when her sister and niece are held hostage. She is helped by Jake Timber from the mysterious ARKANE, a British government agency specializing in paranormal and religious experience. Morgan must risk her own life to save her family, but will she ultimately be betrayed?

From ancient Christian sites in Spain, Italy and Israel to the far reaches of Iran and Tunisia, Morgan and Jake must track down the stones through the myths of the early church in a race against time before a new Pentecost is summoned, this time powered by the fires of evil.

The first in the ARKANE series, PENTECOST is a fast-paced thriller that explores the edges of faith against a backdrop of early Christian history, archaeology and psychology.

If you love a fast-paced, rollicking read, download a sample or buy Pentecost now.

First Sentence:
It is said that those who die in Varanasi can achieve moksha, release from the suffering of repeated death and rebirth.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles
*This book is available for free in ebook.


My Thoughts and Summary:
*I purchased this book.

The Keepers are being murdered and strange, marvelous miracles are happening at these moments. The stones they keep safe are coveted and taken by another. The Apostles Stone. Morgan Sierra, a psychologist at Oxford University, is now approached about the stone she wears around her neck, along with her sister's. There is a group out to retrieved them all, in time for the comet that last was around Earth at the time of Jesus' Resurrection and the power of Pentecost bestowed on the stones. Morgan is approached by another group, the ARKANE, to join them with finding the stones and keeping them safe, along with her and her sister's family. She has nine days to find the remainder of the twelve stones for her sister and niece's lives. ARKANE is involved and she'll need the help and resources of ARKANE to do so. ARKANE is willing to offer it.

I'm hooked on listening to these books. Veronica shines in her talent of voices. There are male and female voices along with different accents. She easily differentiates personality and tones with each person. There is a moment where she even reads an article from a news paper and has the formal sound of the news. Veronica uses the emotion and rush of the moments in her voice to accent the rush of the moment. When things get moving, and hearts pumping, Veronica does speak with the speed of the moment. This is an older audio and there are moments the vocal sounds a teeny tiny bit of a twang to the voice.

There are different POV's in the chapters broken by the heading of place and time. There is also a long pause between these sections so they do stand out in audio as they would in reading. That long pause is nice to transition me to knowing there is another section highlighting someone else coming, but at times I felt the long pause meant my device shut off.

We meet Morgan Sierra for the first time. She works at Oxford University, but as much as she enjoys her job there feels to be something missing in the day to day work for Morgan. Until she is involved on a mission with the ARKANE to find all the Apostle's stones, and save her sister and niece. We get a glimpse at her life's experiences with the current dangerous events she's living through. And there are hints of things that's happened to her, that I'm hoping we get to see in future books.

We also meet Jake Timber for the first time. He's not so sure about working with an outsider, but finds that Morgan is intelligent and more than capable to take care of herself in dangerous situations. He finds he's even a bit attracted to her. Jake sounds like a wonderful person. I love how he struggles with his job and mission he's to accomplish and his internal cares. It's a rough spot to be in. But he is a hoot at times! Sometimes it calls for extreme actions, and Jake does it. We do get a view of his family past as well. I really do like Jake, and even meeting him here he sticks out for me.

Jake and Morgan end up making a great team.

Penn has a great way of writing a thriller where we get the evil doers POV as well. I like that we get to see the human side of the man who wants these powerful stones, and why. But what he does to get them. *chills* He's in need of help. But! There is mention of another entity here that is skating the trails of Morgan and Jake. We learn just enough to make us curious of this other group, and that they are dangerous. But not much more on them or why they are after the stones, or any powerful religious artifact. This entity feels like an extra that will lead to more in the future.

Penn has an amazing way of describing the city through the religious view and feel of the people. I find this attractive as it tells of the city and it's personality along with the people here, setting a whole stage easily. However at times my interest waned in some of the religious descriptions. I was really glad Penn didn't waste time on the uneventful trips but focuses on the search. The search of the cathedrals and citadels is where she blends in their history and the story, along with great action. Who the characters are is why they are here, so she accents their strengths to get the job done.

This is the first book of the series and well worth a try if you are a fan of Indiana Jones type adventure/searches along with the feel of The Da Vinci Code. Wow, what a blend.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

I'm Excited! I Guest Posted!

I'm excited to share this guest post I did! What did I talk about?

I've done a complete post on (and how the books are FREE for listening) at Jen's blog, That's What I'm Talking About, in her Listen Up! segment. I hope you stop by to check it out. :)

We are all here because we love books. So why don’t we take that three dimensional book and make it four dimensional? How do we do that, you ask. My answer to that is Podcast Books. What are Podcast books? Well, I find these are the best way to listen to books. For me, it’s a step up from audiobooks (which have come a long way in recent years). The story is broken into episodes, or chapters, and can be found at

Read more at Listen Up! hosted by Jen at That's What I'm Talking About. I'll gladly stop by and comment and answer any questions I can. :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Audio Book Review: Ink

Ink: A Mermaid Romance: A Falling in Deep Collection Novella

By:  Melanie Karsak

Publish Date:  May 17, 2015, Audiobook July 13, 2015

Format:  Audiobook - 3 hrs 20 mins
Narrated By:  Kristin James

Genre:  Romance

Series:  stand alone

Impression:  Strong mermaid princess does as she will to protect her people, and bring a few sides together as one in doing so.

A mermaid princess destined to wed a handsome king…

It sounds like a fairy tale, but the reality is far murkier.

Ink, Princess of the Florida Atlantic mers, is slated to wed the ancient enemy of her tribe, the King of the Gulfs. After years of war that led to countless mer deaths, as well as the genocide of aquatic shapeshifters and the freshwater mers of Florida, Ink’s marriage will bring lasting peace.

Or so it seems.

Mere hours before she’s supposed to leave the ocean for her customary year as a drywalker, Ink meets Hal, an alligator shifter who warns her that a storm is brewing. There is malicious intent behind Ink’s marriage—and worse, meeting Hal has also caused a storm to rage in Ink’s heart. Nevertheless, loyal to her tribe, Ink will put aside her feelings and journey to Miami to marry the decadent King Manx.

Ink soon learns that her only hope of surviving the crashing force swelling around her is to tap into a power deep inside—a forbidden power that might destroy them all.

First Sentence:

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles


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

Even though other mer's who have done their drywalking say the humans are kind, Ink hates them for the death she's seen them bring to her world. She wishes she could let loose the banished siren song on the fisherman killing and harming her sea. But now, she must take her exiled year of drywalking, on human land. Hal a Nagual, a rare human-animal shifter, visits King Creon as he's breaking the accord that was put in place by Ink's deceased father. Creon is infuriated and sends Hal to the shallow waters. Ink knows the Shallow Waters will kill Hal, so she does what she believes her father would have wanted and she knows is right. In doing so she learns news of a new war coming to her people.

Kristin once again is an outstanding voice actress. The determined personality of Ink is solid in her voice. She does many male voice tones along with females in this vast world, again making it easy for us to listen and differentiate the characters. And I really like when Ink thinks something, Kristin makes it sound as though it's vibrating in her head, this way we know she's thinking it and not actually saying the words. Though the reaction would be strong if others heard what she thinks from time to time.

Melanie once again hits the ground running in the first chapter. It's packed full with feelings of Ink on humans, her ruling Uncle, father and mother, and implying her thoughts on her dry walking starting tonight. However, I think it might have been a bit to fast.

This is a short story and a tremendous amount of story and world packed into it. Melanie has done an amazing job of bringing a whole world to us. But at times I felt like the story was to short for the size of the world and characters created. I would have loved a few more moments with them in some parts of the story. And other moments there was so much happening at the same time, all the connections in one spot firing away. It might have been only a few words that connected outside things to this one event, but they were there.

Aaah, the characters... Ink is a strong woman. She does what she must for her people to survive. The waters of the world are poisoned by pollution and the mer-folk are affected by it. The mer-people are also at odds with others of their kind. To try and help her people and live in peace, she's agreed to marry a man she would rather hate. But! Before she is betrothed she meets a stunning man that she feels drawn to from the first moment their eyes meet. He's a Nagaul. Nagauls are other shifters that live on land. Hal's animal form is an alligator. Dangerous! Just the type of animal he is sends the shivers down my spine.

Hal has come to talk to the king of the Atlantic mers. He has a treaty with the previous king, Ink's father, but King Creon is not of the same standing as his brother was. Hal does get to warn Ink, in a quick moment, that a new war is coming. And in this moment Ink realizes she's drawn to him, as she's never been drawn to a man before, so she shares the deepest secret she has and has never shared with another. That she sings the siren song.

It seems there are those who have their own plans for Ink and how they are going to use her. But Ink has her own plans and placement of honor. She will do as she needs to for her people. Ink learns all the truths of her parents and the plans that some have for her.

Quick romance story to enjoy. I haven't read mermaids in a while and it was fun to read/listen to this one.