Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Audio Book Review: Make Bright the Arrows

Make Bright the Arrows

By:  S.A. Huchton

Publish Date:  August 6, 2018, Audiobook Release July 12, 2018

Format:  Audiobook - 8 hrs 14 mins
Narrated By:  Starla Huchton

Genre:  Science Fiction

Series:  1st in Flights of the Nanshe series

Impression:  Gentle space opera with action and Firefly influence

Synopsis:
"Soldiers need wars, doctors need patients, and the Nanshe needs trouble. That's just kinda how it is."

The galaxy ain't a friendly place, but it's a good sight better when you've got friends at your back. And when the crew of the Nanshe stumbles into larger-than-your-average trouble, they'll need all the help they can get.

What starts off as a simple retrieval of stolen goods turns deadly when Leena Espinoza discovers a girl stashed in a cellar, her guardian murdered. The crew has a soft spot for hard cases, and despite Delilah's odd behavior, offer help instead of turning her over to the authorities.

But what they don't know might kill them.

No good deed goes unpunished, and the crew winds up on the radar in the worst possible way. Merc squads, shadowy coalitions, plus the usual criminal element are all on their tails, so it's fight or flight.

As a plot to unbalance the entire civilized universe unfolds around them, the ladies of the SS Nanshe gear up for battle. Through blood and fire, they'll do everything they can to protect what little they have. In the vast blackness of space, taking matters into your own hands isn't an option... It's a matter of survival.

First Sentence:
It wasn't every day a gal had six loaded guns pointed at her head while poised to jumpstart a fifteen-year-old girl with live wires.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles 

Audible

My Thoughts and Summary:
*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Starla is an amazing author and awesome voice to listen to. She voices the crew of Nanshe with different accents and personalities. I was impressed with how different each character came across! In distinct tones, accents, and personality of voice. Starla brought the crew to life for us. The pacing was fitting for the story, easy to follow that moved along. If there was a moment where we felt as though things moved faster, Starla gave us the feel of the moment. Starla felt seamless in her narration and the background was clear. Wonderful job!

Starla channeled a little of Joss Whedon for this book. I immediately felt a strong Firefly influence in the story, which carried through the whole book. But the crew is all female. The ship is a crew of woman that do search and salvage jobs to get by, things they are hired to find. At times, this can be more dangerous than other times. What they find on their latest delivery is more than they could have expected. When delivering a mysterious box to a Reverend, they find a teenage girl huddled away in a hidden basement room. In trying to find a place for this innocent to go, they find that someone has paid a steep price to send dangerous people after her. And the little innocent girl is more than they ever foreseen.

I love this crew! Leena is the point of view character on the ship for us, and we learn that they won't take advantage of Lilah as many people would. The crew may be of a mercenary sort with some of the jobs they take, but they have morals they live by. They all have each other's back at all times. They even have a sense of what others need to do to become more in their own rights. There are moments Leena is worried that the boss, Edie, might turn Lilah over to someone who would take advantage of her or worse, to save them all. And Edie might still just do it with the way things go.

Each crew member has their own story for ending up here on the Nanshe and in their dangerous line of work, Cynthia, JC, Anita, Doc Jasmine Cole, and Kara, and we get to hear some of them. If I had to pick my favorite character... Ugh! I don't know if I could do that. We get to know the crew pretty well through Leena and her thoughts. I think I'd have to pick Lilah though. She's the wild card though the story. She's the reason I was so glued to the pages, just to learn if what I suspected was true then to learn why and how and what will be done about those after her. I would like to learn more about Edie though. She's the owner of the ship and doesn't like to be called captain. There is a story to her and I'm curious about it.

I found it interesting how Edie seems to be pushing Leena to learn to be more a leader than a follower. The thing is, Leena has the traits to be a leader, I don't really see her as a follower but she doesn't always think as a leader does. Leena is growing stronger in her own mind through this book as she learns little lessons along the way as she watches over Lilah. Leena sort of becomes of a motherly nature with Lilah and her eyes are opened about a few crew members too.

I love how the characters are who they are; straight, gay, fire-y red heads, owner/boss, and more but the story isn't about all that. All of it is a part of who the character is, sure their past and who they are influences their decisions, but that goes for everyone. They don't care any less for each other for any of it. They accept each other as individuals and family. It's well done as the character is who she is and the story happens.

This is a story of a crew of strong woman doing their thing in space to survive. A story full of family and action on the ground and in space. They have to think out of the box with being in space, and they do. This is not a romance story, no intimate scenes or major flirting happening. Sure there is love to be found, but it's the love of family and dear friends. The story is more a gentle space opera than scifi, in my opinion. There is not all the scifi tech we have to understand to get the story.

I would highly recommend this story to anyone (male or female) who enjoys action and camaraderie of a crew with great personalities. And looking for some fun.

Starla has outdone herself once again! On so many levels. Character wise. Plot wise. World wise. I can't wait to read/listen to more of the adventures of the Nanshe!



****If you found my thoughts helpful, please click Yes at Amazon and/or Audible. Thank you!

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Sunday Post #205


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.

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It's been about three Sunday's since I've done a Sunday post. It's been rather busy here. We took a week off work to get lots of work done around the house. Only to be rained out each day. Ugh. We had plenty of other things to do but the major work was out side. My husband and I came to realizations though. When we retire, we are going to the grocery store Monday mornings and to the drive-in during the week. lol. We'll fill our time for sure.

During these last weeks, I've celebrated our wedding anniversary of 16 years (we've been together about 21 yrs total), had a birthday (I'm not telling my age lol), went to Confluence SFF convention, and went to a wedding. Like I said, it's been busy. I have pictures from Confluence to share, I just have to get the post done.

That's my quick run down. What have you been up to?

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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... Not...really... Time is mad at me right now.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
What's Happening in Books:

Current Read:
She Dreams of Fire by M.K. Gibson
Editing work.


Current Audiobook:
Will start a new one on Monday.


Current Podcast Book Listen:
Nothing new.


Finished Last Week: 
Books:
The Books and Braun Dossier by Philippa Ballantine & Tee Morris
The Job by Greg L. Turnquist


Audiobooks :
War and Wind by Alex Lidell
Make Bright the Arrows by S.A. Huchton
The Living End by Craig Schaefer


Finished Podcast Book Listen:
Nothing new yet.


DNFed:


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Last Two Weeks on the Blog:


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




Guest Posts:


Posts:


Spellbound in a Flash:
Spellbound in a Flash now has a Facebook Page!

The photos from Confluence are up here! And band concert photos for Gary Pratt along with East Coast Turnaround.




Challenged Writers:



Around the Internet...



Reviews:
As Dead as a Vampire

"I know Grimstone is different, but I get the cozy feeling from it like I did from Halloween town in the Disney Halloween movies. I love this feeling. Of course, Grimstone isn't as safe as it once was and that's something to look into, but it feels homey. And it's full of supernatural creatures!"


War and Wind

"There are many worried we feel for Nile as she went on this venture. We know them and still worry as things start to surface and seen by others. There are new worries that slowly grow here, and potential worries that could go either bad or good for Nile."



Podcast Review:




Mama Bitchstress Reviews:



GIVEAWAYS:



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This Week to Come on the Blog:


I will finished up two reviews for you this week.



~~~~~~~~~~

Received For the Last Few Weeks:
(Note: Links to Amazon are buy links where I could earn commission, in case you are interested.)


For Review Consideration:




Audio Books Requested for Review:
Darklight by Greg L. Turnquist
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Snitch, a young woman who grew up on the medieval streets of Kelmar as a thief, has learned something terrible. The regime’s evil military ruler has learned the hideout location of the resistance she joined and ordered an all out assault. Combined with the captain of the disbanded royal guard, a political prisoner, a duke’s daughter, and an old advisor, can her team rise to action and free Kelmar?

Dreadful Company by Vivian Shaw
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Contemporary fantasy in the world of Strange Practice, starring Dr. Greta Helsing, whose family has been keeping the supernatural community not-alive and well for generations.

When Greta Helsing, doctor to the undead, is unexpectedly called to Paris to present at a medical conference, she expects nothing more exciting than professional discourse on zombie reconstructive surgery and skin disease in bogeymen -- and hopefully at least one uneventful night at the Opera. 

Unfortunately for Greta, Paris happens to be infested with a coven of vampires -- and not the civilized kind. If she hopes to survive, Greta must navigate the darkest corners of the City of Lights, the maze of ancient catacombs and mine-tunnels underneath the streets, where there is more to find than simply dead men's bones.

Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
There are three things that earn you a man’s name among the Jan’Tep. The first is to demonstrate the strength to defend your family. The second is to prove you can perform the high magic that defines our people. The third is simply to reach the age of sixteen. I was a few weeks shy of my birthday when I learned that I wouldn’t be doing any of those things.

Magic is a con game. 

Kellen is moments away from facing his first mage's duel and the start of four trials that will make him a spellcaster. There's just one problem: his magic is gone. As his sixteenth birthday approaches, Kellen falls back on his cunning in a bid to avoid total disgrace. But when a daring stranger arrives in town, she challenges Kellen to take a different path. Ferius Parfax is one of the mysterious Argosi - a traveller who lives by her wits and the three decks of cards she carries. She's difficult and unpredictable, but she may be Kellen's only hope...

Shadowblack by Sebastien de Castell
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
The second book in the page-turning Spellslinger series for all teen, YA, adult and fantasy readers.

It's a few months since Kellen left his people behind. Now aged sixteen, Kellen is an outlaw, relying on his wits to keep him alive in the land of the Seven Sands. He misses home, he misses family and more than anything, he misses Nephenia, the girl he left behind. 

Then he meets Seneira, a blindfolded girl who isn't blind, and who carries a secret that's all too familiar to Kellen. Kellen and Ferius resolve to help - but the stakes are far higher than they realise. A Shadowblack plague is taking hold - and Kellen can't help but suspect his own people may even be behind it.

King of Assassins by RJ Barker
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
THE KING IS DEAD, LONG LIVE THE KING . . .

Many years of peace have passed in Maniyadoc, years of relative calm for the assassin Girton Club-Foot. Even the Forgetting Plague, which ravaged the rest of the kingdoms, seemed to pass them by. But now Rufra ap Vthyr eyes the vacant High-King's throne and will take his court to the capital, a rat's nest of intrigue and murder, where every enemy he has ever made will gather and the endgame of twenty years of politics and murder will be played out in his bid to become the King of all Kings.

Friends become enemies, enemies become friends and the god of death, Xus the Unseen, stands closer than ever - casting his shadow over everything most dear to Girton.

Lucifer's Nebula by C.T. Phipps & Michael Suttkus
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
From the bestselling author of The Rules of Supervillainy: Captain Cassius Mass can only run so far from his problems and the galaxy isn't big enough to hide from those pursuing him. Cassius soon finds himself blackmailed into a mission that will clear him of all charges as well as protect him from future persecution: bring an end to the civil war currently racking the galaxy. Accompanied by a new set of untrustworthy allies, the crew of the Melampus, and the A.I duplicate of his dead wife—Cassius needs to figure out how to not only deal with his target but also his employers. 

Because the entire universe is at stake.



Purchased/Winnings/Gifts:
Book:



Audio:
Innocence Lost by Patty Jansen
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
A fantasy loosely based on the historical setting of the Netherlands and western Germany.

Johanna is the daughter of a rich merchant in the kingdom of Saarland. As an only child and without a mother, she has grown up with notions, such as that she wants to take over her father's river trade business in her own name. Courtesy of her eastern mother, she has an unusual ability. She sees things in willow wood: whenever she touches wood, it shows her what has happened around the tree or wooden object. Any kind of magic is not common in Saardam, and the Church of the Triune, which rapidly gains influence in the city, forbids it.
While she goes to church, Johanna also maintains a loose network of magic-enabled people. One of those people is Loesie, a farmer's daughter from out of town.
One day, Loesie comes to town after having been struck mute by magic. She carries a basket made from willow twigs that tells Johanna that a group of bandits with demons is about to attack the city.
But there is no non-magical proof, so she can't tell anyone or she'd be branded a witch. The time of witch-burnings was not that long ago.
Never mind that the army is still approaching, and there are increasing signs that Saardam's embattled royal family might have done something that has angered magical forces in the east. Add to this that the royal family seems to have fallen out with the city's nobility, and that the recent death of the crown princess has left the family with only one heir: the mysterious prince whom no one has seen for years and who has suddenly returned home.
At the annual ball, Johanna's father has brokered a dance for her with the prince. Johanna just wants to warn people of the impending attack.





Free Ebooks:
(On my Kindle and Nook App) Links to books under title. They may or may not be free at this time.
The Job by Greg L. Turnquist
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
What if a pickpocket had a change of heart? 

Snitch and her partner in crime decide to knock over a pawn shop. But something goes wrong. What should she do next?

The Glass Mermaid by Melanie Karsak
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Amazon Synopsis:
I'm the last mermaid.

On the shore of Lake Erie, I spend my final days hunting beach glass and waiting for my mermaid glamour to leave me. Then it will be over. I resigned myself to the fact that there's nothing more for me. Until I saw Cooper.

He comes to the beach every day to paint the sunrise and sunset. Nothing in this vast world has sparked my attention as much as him. I have no business falling in love with a human. Not now. And Cooper seems to have secrets of his own. I should leave him alone, but the curious mermaid in me can't let that shiny bauble go.

More than anything, I want to be part of his world...before it's too late.

At the Heart of the Deep by Carrie L. Wells
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Oceanographer Luke McAllister races to figure out why the ocean depth is changing off Florida's Treasure Coast. But before he and his crew discover what’s transforming the deep, he stumbles upon an even greater mystery. Leagues below the waves, he swear he sees…a mermaid? 

Anya isn’t allowed to get close to humans. But when a golden-haired researcher gets too close to her island, she can’t afford to stay away. 

Together, this unlikely pair will seek to discover what’s causing shifts in ocean floor. While their new alliance is forbidden, Anya will risk everything to save her beloved ocean. The only problem is, she’s not sure what’s really luring her in, her love of the sea or the tempest Luke has stirred in her heart. Either way, Anya knows that the dangers facing the sea are nothing compared to what will happen to her when her father learns she’s broken the merfolks’ most sacred law. 

Can Anya and Luke discover what lurks at the heart of the deep before it's too late? 

Adult novel. Due to steamy scenes, this novel is best suited for mature readers. 

Submerged by Pauline Creeden
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Mermaids can be cruel creatures.

I couldn’t stop them from hurting her, but I couldn’t let them destroy her, no matter what they did to me. The moment I heard the bottom feeder had been chosen for the reckoning, my heart sank. Had I been discovered for what I truly was? Years of pretending I was just like everyone else could all have been for naught. But then I heard it was Verona, and my blood ran cold.

Why was I surprised?

I shouldn’t have been. I’d stood by and watched her ridiculed since we were younglings. I was never as brave or as unselfish as she was. But today, I would be.

Ghostly Paws by Leighann Dobbs
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Middle age can be murder ... 

At least that’s how it seems to former crime journalist, Wilhelmina Chance, whose near-fatal accident has given her a strange side effect ... she sees ghosts. 

After a messy divorce sends her fleeing back to her hometown of Mystic Notch, nestled in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Willa finds herself haunted by the tenacious ghost of the town librarian who insists Willa solve her murder. 

Luckily, she has lots of help, including a quirky cast of small-town characters, the cat she’s inherited from her grandmother, and her best friend, Pepper, who claims her herbal teas can work magic. 

But just when Willa thinks she’s discovered who the killer is, she finds out that things are not what they seem in Mystic Notch, and the case takes a strange turn that has Willa adding even some of her long-time friends to her suspect list. 

Can Willa find the real killer in time to keep the magical balance in Mystic Notch on the side of good, or will evil prevail?

A Vision For the Future by Melissa Wright
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Elaina Johnson was born with a vision of her own death. It was something she had accepted, but as the end moves closer, she learns that seeing and knowing are far different things.

This is a short story of approximately 3600 words. Additional content includes a free preview of Bound by Prophecy.

Frey by Melissa Wright
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Frey's life is a lie. She doesn't remember being bound from magic. She didn't intend to get entangled in Council business.

But she did.

And now she's on the run. As the Council trackers pursue her, Frey discovers a world beyond their lies. With the aid of a stranger, she fights to reclaim her true identity before the others hunt her down. If they find her, she will burn.

King of Ash and Bone by Melissa Wright
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
When flying monsters break through the veil into her world, Mackenzie Scott has nothing left to lose. Her brother has been taken, her future has vanished, and all that remains is a desperate need for revenge. After discovering the breach the creatures used as a gateway, Mackenzie devises a plan to stop them, whatever the cost.
When she finds an injured stranger in the street, he just might be the key she needs to succeed. What Mackenzie doesn't know is that this stranger isn't the helpless boy he appears to be. He's one of the monsters. And he's got plans of his own.
Thrown into a dying city in another realm, Mackenzie is powerless to get back. With the gateway closing, time is not on her side. But the stranger is, and if they can escape execution, this girl and her monster might be able to save both their worlds.

Conjure by Lea Nolan
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Be careful what you search for...

Sixteen-year-old twins Emma and Jack Guthrie hope for a little summer adventure when they find an eighteenth-century message in a bottle revealing a hidden pirate treasure. With their best friend—and Emma's secret crush—Cooper Beaumont, they discover the treasure, and accidentally unleash an ancient Gullah Hoodoo curse that attacks Jack with the wicked flesh-eating Creep and promises to steal Cooper’s soul on his approaching eighteenth birthday.

Determined to save the two people she loves the most, Emma apprentices herself to an elderly sea island hoodoo root doctor who agrees to teach her the magic to undo the hex while she works to unravel the riddle of the pirate’s message. With the clock ticking down to Cooper’s birthday and Jack turning into a walking skeleton, Emma must hone her new skills to conjure visions of the past to discover the curse’s origins, steal an antique ruby, battle a horde of terrifying demon dogs, and summon ancient spirits who can help set things right before it’s too late.

Inseverable by Cecy Robson
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
How can you imagine forever with someone who's leaving everything behind?

Callahan, a former army sniper, wants to make an escape from his past and everything he experienced at war, but most of all, just not feel. Feeling leads to pain and he’s suffered enough. When he inherits a house on South Carolina’s Kiawah Island, he packs his bags, lured by the peace and seclusion he thinks it will bring. But, Callahan never counted on meeting anyone like Trinity . . .

Trinity has always been the cute, and funny one, who most guys overlook in pursuit of her "hot" friends. She became used to being everyone’s pal, until the day the young man she was attracted to, was drawn to her in return. He became her first great love, and first crushing heartbreak when she found him in bed with one of her closest friends.

To move forward, and to carry out her commitment to helping those in need, Trinity enlists in the Peace Corps, but not before returning to Kiawah for one last memorable summer. She just never imagined it would be so unforgettable.

Callahan doesn’t want to get close to anyone—let alone Trinity. He finds her perkiness insufferable and her attempts to entice a smile distracting. After all, he’s in Kiawah to leave all feelings behind. But when it comes to Trinity, who feels everything, it's hard not to feel something.

Neither expected to fall in love. And no one could have predicted how inseverable they’d become.



Free Audio Books/Stories:




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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
Lex Talionis by Starla Huchton
Spark by Starla Huchton
Heir to Kale by K.L. Bone
Tales from the Archives Vol 4 #5 - Old Sinner's Bones
The Death of Dulgath by Michael J. Sullivan
Danger's Halo by Amanda Carlson
Make Bright the Arrows by S.A. Huchton
The Books and Braun Dossier by Philippa Ballantine & Tee Morris
The Job by Greg L. Turnquist
The Living End by Craig Schaefer

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Audio Book Review: War and Wind

War and Wind

By:  Alex Lidell

Publish Date:  May 18, 2017, Audiobook Release April 27, 2018

Format:  Audiobook - 9 hrs 5 mins
Narrated By:  Kaitlin Bellamy

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  2 in Tides series; 1st Book ~ Air and Ash

Impression:  Secrets are catching up with Nile and the war.

Synopsis:
A cowardly captain. An incompetent crew. A mission she can't fail.

Nile and her small band of loyal midshipmen saved the ship, and Captain Rima might just kill them for it . . . one young officer at a time. No one and nothing on the Aurora is safe anymore, least of all Nile’s explosive secrets or her connection with Domenic, which vibrates between them like a cutlass speared into the deck.

When the shifting tide of war suddenly turns Aurora’s backwater outpost into a vital battleground, Nile faces an impossible choice between duty and freedom. In a cascade of violence, gunpowder, and lies, Nile will soon discover who has her back and who wants to stab a dagger in it. To save the ones she loves, Nile may have to sacrifice everything.

First Sentence:
Captain Ral Quinn of the Tirik Ship Hope, The People's Republic of Tirik Navy, knew his good fortune would run out at some point.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles  /  Book Depository

Audible

My Thoughts and Summary:
*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

The book starts a few short hours after Air and Ash ends. It's a continuation in the time line. We do get drops of what has recently happened on the ship and who is where and what they've done, but it's brief and quick to get back into the flow of the story. This is book two of the series, and you really should start with book one.

I'm thrilled Kaitlin returned to the series as the voice of our characters. She has become Nile, in voice, for me. Kaitlin continues with the personalities and voices of all the characters we got to know in the first book. The story is brought to life by Kaitlin with emotions and pacing that fits each action or event of the story. Once again, the story flows smoothly and voiced with feeling.

The beginning is bringing us back into the world, raising our awareness of all that is happening around Nile. It grows the worry that she'll be found out, or punished or worse, and spark the flame between Nile and Dominic.

There are many worries we feel for Nile as she went on this venture. We know them and still worry as things start to surface and seen by others. There are new worries that slowly grow here, and potential worries that could go either bad or good for Nile.

We have a new POV that's added into the story through out. Captain Ral Quinn. The story starts with his POV and picks up with him off and on through the book. I like this addition as he sheds some light on a few things, and opens up some possibilities for the gifted along with worry for Nile. A worry Nile doesn't even know about, but also something that could help her in more ways than one.

There is a war between nations in this book. Something we are not front and center at seeing. But it's important as it motivates the movements of all in the world. And, eventually, it becomes something Nile is drawn into and becomes more active in.

We more new characters here. Ones that I quickly came to love. Would I have loved them as much had we met them before all the events in the first book... I don't know. But I love them now. They will become important in Nile's life and how she'll live her life.

We have our characters we know... Dominic, Captain Rima, and many others. I still love Dominic and those that Nile has come close to on the ship. I still hate Captain Rima. lol. That is all credit to the author. She has written a bad person in a wonderful way to have me hate him so. And, there is a character that my thoughts shift some on. You'll know who it is as you get back into the world.

I'm sorry if I sound vague in my descriptions, but this book follows close to book one and I don't want to give any spoilers or details to the story. If you enjoyed book one, keep on sailing through as you'll enjoy this one as well.

I will be watching for the third book in audio too!



****If you found my thoughts helpful, please click Yes at Amazon and/or Audible. Thank you!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Audio Book: As Dead as a Vampire

As Dead as a Vampire

By:  April Fernsby

Publish Date:  July 5, 2017, Audiobook Release June 19, 2018

Format:  Audiobook - 6 hrs
Narrated By:  Beverley Murray

Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Series:  2 in A Brimstone Witch Mystery series

Impression:  Cozy witch mystery as the witch grows internally too.

Synopsis:
A Cozy Mystery With Witches

Cassia Winter is a witch. She investigates crime in the supernatural town of Brimstone.

There’s an increase in the illegal use of black magic in Brimstone resulting in the crime rate escalating. Taking her gran’s advice, Cassia takes up residence in town so she can observe anyone who’s acting out of character.

It’s not long before Cassia comes across the murdered body of a vampire. Cassia discovers he was a particularly nasty vampire who had countless enemies – and there are many residents who are happy to see him dead. But which one of his enemies actually killed him?

First Sentence:
"Why have you packed my suitcase?

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Nobles 

Audible

My Thoughts and Summary:
*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Gran loves having Cassia home, but wants Cassia to stay in Brimstone for a few days to get to know the people in town. There is black magic in Grimstone making the residence do bad things they normally wouldn't do. By staying in town, Cassia will get to know the town folk and how what they are doing is abnormal. Then, with Cassia learning her powers as a witch, they can start to take on cases separately to solve and take care of events quicker. But, Cassia has a terrible feeling in her stomach at the thought of staying in Grimstone. Something very terrible will happen, and soon...

I was attracted to Beverley's accent straight away. She has a slight British accent that feels soft and natural for the character as she speaks. Cassia feels relaxed with her family, and learning about herself with being a witch. Beverley really brings Cassia's personality out in voice. I loved the feeling I got, and how it fit the story and characters. Beverley was clear and clean with her pronunciations and character feelings as she narrated. Lovely job.

This is a relaxing, cozy mystery story. It's clean of language and intimate moments. I enjoy a good, clean mystery book. It's nice with being in audio because I don't have to worry about language, sexiness, or anything being too much for co-workers if they walk into my office.

I know Grimstone is different, but I get the cozy feeling from it like I did from Halloween town in the Disney Halloween movies. I love this feeling. Of course, Grimstone isn't as safe as it once was and that's something to look into, but it feels homey. And it's full of supernatural creatures!

This story holds a few objectives/mysteries for us. The main objective of Cassia going to Brimstone is to get to know the residents better, observe them. This is so she can know when they are doing something out of character that's law breaking. So there will be more cases to solve in the future with breaking the law. But Cassia and Gran know there is something evil making the people do these things. This is the over all mystery that feels it will flow through the series. The case in this book, that Cassia comes across is a murder of an old vampire.

Cassia seems like a timid person. She's a little anxious about being in Grimstone, and we learn why. Cassia is also seems unsure about herself as her life has recently had a drastic change, which is book one. But as the story goes, she grows bolder and stronger in believing in herself. Even Stanley too. Stanley is Cassia's familiar and cat. He's adorable and fits her perfectly. Stanley and Cassia seem like two peas in a pod, so similar in personality, and both grow in this story as they meet people and become more confident in their selves.

This is book two in the series. Yep, I read it out of order. But, I didn't feel it deterred from the book at all. We understand the situation of Cassia, learning about her new discoveries from the first book. This is a case all of its own, so it doesn't affect the story-line. You are good to read this one before book one, and still enjoy the book.

I would like to go back and pick up book one now. And continue with the series as it goes. Also, I hope Beverley sticks with the story as she really felt to fit Cassia so wonderfully.



****If you found my thoughts helpful, please click Yes at Amazon and/or Audible. Thank you!!

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Sunday Post #204


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.

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And another week in the dust. I've been trying to keep myself busy. I've been taking photos - a concert Thursday night, football Saturday morning, and fireworks Saturday night at a carnival I went to with my husband. It was nice to have a night out to relax a little. It's been stressful with the pets and all.

Sheba's been sick with a terrible, terrible skin infection and I've been trying to keep her cleaned up. She does seem to be improving with her new antibiotic, at least in her movements and personality. She's not just laying on her pillow sleeping now. And she's eating much better.

I've been working on editing work, which it totally awesome. I'm excited for this author and book.

It's been crazy here with Sheba being sick, so I haven't been on the blog lately. I really wish things would go back to normal so I can do what I love.

I've found with Googles change in policies, they no longer email the blog owner of any comments on posts. I miss this as this is how I found who comments and where so I can answer and follow back to your blog. Does anyone know how to change this so I DO get the emails on comments?

Oh well. Lets move on to the next week of events. Hope they are all good ones for you!

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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... Not...really... Time is mad at me right now.

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What's Happening in Books:

Current Read:
The Books and Braun Dossier by Philippa Ballantine & Tee Morris
Editing work.


Current Audiobook:
Marines by Paul E. Cooley
War and Wind by Alex Lidell


Current Podcast Book Listen:
Nothing new.


Finished Last Week: 
Books:
xxxx by xxxx



Audiobooks :
Flotsam Prison Blues by M.K. Gibson
As Dead as a Vampire by April Fernsby



Finished Podcast Book Listen:
Nothing new yet.


DNFed:


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Last Two Weeks on the Blog:


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




Guest Posts:


Posts:


Spellbound in a Flash:
Spellbound in a Flash now has a Facebook Page!

Have you seen Aubrey Burchell in the early stages of American Idol? She went to Hollywood but didn't make the top for the show. I got to hear her sing locally! And photograph her. She's a local gal.




Challenged Writers:
April Update - How Camp NaNoWriMo went & a little on my re-write process.


Around the Internet...



Reviews:
Helios

"I love how things come together. These stories bring things together I wouldn't expect to relate, yet they fit. Religion, gods, aliens, and so much more tie in threads to each other along with adventure. I get caught up and find I stop and listen, pausing to take it all in. It opens my mind to the possibilities the authors are creating with the characters and events. I can see the connections! Myths and the way things were related in stories for what could have been something people lived through."


Flotsam Prison Blues

"What I love is the lessons learned and important points made that people need to remember through life. These are mixed in with crazy and funny moments, but in the end there is a huge point that hits home with the characters and with the readers. The way it's done, it feels as though a comic book fashion is used but in words. I love it!"



Podcast Review:




Mama Bitchstress Reviews:



GIVEAWAYS:



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This Week to Come on the Blog:


I will finished up two reviews for you this week.



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Received For the Last Two Weeks:
(Note: Links to Amazon are buy links where I could earn commission, in case you are interested.)


For Review Consideration:
Bad Faith by Jon Hollins
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Will and his comrades went to war to overthrow the reign of dragons, winning battle after battle, and acclaim as conquering heroes.

But now they've angered the gods, and may just need the dragons to help them this time...


Audio Books Requested for Review:
Make Bright the Arrows by S.A. Huchton
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
"Soldiers need wars, doctors need patients, and the Nanshe needs trouble. That's just kinda how it is." 

The galaxy ain't a friendly place, but it's a good sight better when you've got friends at your back. And when the crew of the Nanshe stumbles into larger-than-your-average trouble, they'll need all the help they can get. 

What starts off as a simple retrieval of stolen goods turns deadly when Leena Espinoza discovers a girl stashed in a cellar, her guardian murdered. The crew has a soft spot for hard cases, and despite Delilah's odd behavior, offer help instead of turning her over to the authorities. 

But what they don't know might kill them. 

No good deed goes unpunished, and the crew winds up on the radar in the worst possible way. Merc squads, shadowy coalitions, plus the usual criminal element are all on their tails, so it's fight or flight. 

As a plot to unbalance the entire civilized universe unfolds around them, the ladies of the SS Nanshe gear up for battle. Through blood and fire, they'll do everything they can to protect what little they have. In the vast blackness of space, taking matters into your own hands isn't an option... It's a matter of survival.




Purchased/Winnings/Gifts:
Book:
She Dreams of Fire by M.K. Gibson
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Agatha “Aggy” Grae was only ten years old the night a witch of the Umbra Coven killed her mother and burned her home. Injured, she received a transfusion of blood tainted by witchcraft, and immediately her eyes were opened to the truths hidden from mundane eyes. She saw a new world, a hidden world, one filled with darkness and secrets. 

And that new world was now aware of her. 

Through the years, Aggy never quit hunting the mysterious coven. From the shadows she gathered information, stepping out only to hurt those who dared to hurt others. But everything changed the night she helped a familiar-looking stranger. Through magical means, Vanessa, a high witch of the Umbra Coven, has learned of Aggy. Following the orders of the coven’s leader, The Veiled One, Vanessa has begun her own hunt, one that can end only with Aggy’s blood. 

She Dreams Of Fire is a story of strength. In order to survive, Aggy must defeat her own doubts, addictions, and fears. In order to win, she has to endure everything the witches and the Hidden Folk throw at her. Partnered with a man from her past, the unlikely pair must learn to trust each other as they suffer betrayal, discover hidden truths about themselves, and battle the monsters in the dark. 

But does Aggy have the strength to walk through the fire?



Audio:






Free Ebooks:
(On my Kindle and Nook App) Links to books under title. They may or may not be free at this time.
Witch Slapped by Dakota Cassidy
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
"Oh, good. Not a problem. I'll invoke the Gods of Pilates. I'm sure they'd be happy to help. Hang on just one sec while I dial them up. Oh, wait. I can't. Know why I can't? Because my hands are tied behind my back with zip ties, Win!"

A rib-tickling cozy mystery complete with an ex-witch, a dead British spy, a cotton ball bat and a cast of suspects that will keep you guessing right up to the end! Witch Slapped from USA Todaybestselling author Dakota Cassidy is book one in her new cozy mystery series Witchless In Seattle. Join the hunt for a murderer with Stevie, Winterbottom, and Belfry in a race against time as the local police prepare an eight by ten cell for our intrepid ex-witch.

What's a girl to do when she's a broke, shunned ex-witch with a very tiny, very hungry bat familiar named Belfry to feed?

Hello. My name is Stevie Cartwright, and I've been witchless for thirty days.

If only there was a support group for down-on-their-luck ex-witches who've had their powers slapped right out of them (literally). Just as I was licking my wounds after returning to my hometown of Ebenezer Falls, WA, and navigating my suddenly non-magical existence with the help of my familiar, the only friend I have left in the world--things got sticky.

Enter an ex-spy and newly departed spirit named Winterbottom, who's infiltrated my life with his sexy British accent and a couple of requests...

Thanks to Belfry's successful attempt to use me as a human antenna to the afterlife, I can somehow hear Win. I should be ecstatic; helping departed souls used to be my witch specialty. It's like I got the teensiest piece of my old life back. Except Win's dropped me right at a dead woman's feet.

Madam Zoltar, the town's beloved fake medium, has been murdered, and Win wants me to catch the killer.

My old life won't be worth much if it gets me whacked before my new life has barely begun--and that seems to be exactly what the killer has planned!

Content Notes: This cozy mysteries women sleuths series has a complete cast of oddball characters from witches to ghosts and bats to psychics. Witchless In Seattle Mysteries is a spin-off of Dakota Cassidy's popular A Paris, Texas Romance Series.

Siren's Tide by Pip Ballantine
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Ianthe Liakos is a mermaid from a different dimension and between that and now working as a PI in the corrupt climate of Washington DC, she'd thought she'd seen it all. 

But when following a case leads down a trail of money that connects the murders of young political interns to a new paranormal threat, she realizes she must protect the next target. 

The waters turn even murkier when Clayton Abernathy, a newly risen revenant fresh out of the grave, finds himself under the power of this new unnatural threat. Ianthe must hunt down this new threat to DC, while trying to keep her own identity safe. If the paranormal citizens of Washington DC found out that a mermaid has returned her own life and mission would be in danger. 
And when it becomes clear that the murderer and Ianthe's mermaid past are inexplicably intertwined, she realizes she may just be out of her depth dealing with this killer. 

======================================= 

Six remarkable female writers, bring you a new urban fantasy series of novellas. Their Sea King’s Daughters will carry the reader into uncharted waters.

Ethan: Prequel Novella by P.T. Michelle
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
Ethan Harris never thought monsters and darkness would consume his daily thoughts, but every night the same visions repeat in his dreams. He’s careful to project a semblance of normalcy, keeping the suffocating darkness locked inside. As much as he wishes he could focus on girls, sports, and cars like other seventeen-year-olds, nothing distracts him from his own demons or shines through.

Until Nara Collins crosses his path. The blonde fascinates and intrigues him, giving him a measure of peace he’s never felt before.

When Ethan discovers there’s more to Nara than she allows others to see, that she might have a unique secret of her own, suddenly his world comes into focus.

Note: ETHAN is a novella PREQUEL to BRIGHTEST KIND OF DARKNESS. This story will give some of Ethan’s background and lead up until the day he and Nara talk for the first time.

The Mystery of the Emerald Flame by Pip Ballantine
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
After her brush with death, Verity Fitzroy and the children of the Ministry Seven retreat to London, but adventure has a way of finding them. 
With her Uncle Octavius somewhere out there, Verity is sure the disappearance of children in the fogs of the capital cannot be a coincidence. But when she and the Ministry Seven find traces of the mysterious emerald flame, they will find themselves whisked into the embrace of dark conspiracies, and ancient puzzles. 

Rocket Fuel (Tor Anthology of short stories)
PICK UP AT AMAZON
Goodreads Synopsis:
A collection of some of the best feature articles from Tor.com’s 10 year history as an online sci-fi/fantasy literature magazine. Read:

- An intimate moment under the covers that bloomed into a lifetime lived through sci-fi/fantasy.
- A fierce defense of fan fiction.
- The history of Wheel of Time author Robert Jordan, and the story of the reader who had her future rewritten in turn.
- A deeply unwise thought experiment that explains how centaurs eat.
- The story of one writer’s amazing day, starting out on her last dime and ending with her somehow hugging her idol, Terry Pratchett.
- And much more!

Rocket Fuel: Some of the Best From Tor.com Non-Fiction features essays from Seanan McGuire, Ursula Vernon, Jo Walton, Nisi Shawl, Kate Elliott, Becky Chambers, Kai Ashante Wilson, Sarah Gailey, Grady Hendrix, Judith Tarr, Lish McBride, Emily Asher-Perrin, Ryan Britt, Leah Schnelbach, Natalie Zutter, Molly Templeton, and more!

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.





Free Audio Books/Stories:




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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
Lex Talionis by Starla Huchton
Spark by Starla Huchton
Heir to Kale by K.L. Bone
Tales from the Archives Vol 4 #5 - Old Sinner's Bones
The Death of Dulgath by Michael J. Sullivan
Danger's Halo by Amanda Carlson
As Dead as a Vampire by April Fernsby