Monday, September 26, 2016

Review: Cara's Twelve

Cara's Twelve Cara's Twelve by Chantel Seabrook
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Cara is destined to be queen if she can survive! Lucky for her she has 12 champions who have sworn allegiance to her, but not all of those sworn to protect, have her best interest at heart. This is a medieval fantasy if you're expecting a romance forget it! I didn't find Cara a sympathetic character at all, while she rightfully expects fealty from her champions, she's pretty free with her own fidelity, bedding whomever she chooses and sometimes out of spite!

Cara flits mainly between Finn, the all-around good guy who is completely devoted to her and Tahdaon, the moody, angry warrior who reluctantly pledges to protect the very reign that has destroyed his family.

Admirably, Cara goes out of the way to aid and protect the men, who are sworn to protect her, but a few sharp words spoken in the aftermath of battle and she falls apart.

Beware! There are violence and blood galore, but the writing is very good. What takes this audiobook over the top, in my opinion, is the narration by Anne Flosnik, there are so many characters to keep straight in this epic story and you never lose track of who is speaking, all because of the subtle nuances in the tone that Anne employs.

Yes, I recommend this story, flawed characters and all, just don't expect to feel warm and fuzzy when it's all said and done!

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obsession obsession5 Synopsis This is a STANDALONE dark(ish) erotic romance with insta-obsession between two damaged soulmates(no cheating-HEA-no cliffhanger) Hannah All my life, I've only wanted one thing: someone to love me and someone who will let me love them in return. This seems like a simple request, but I was born to parents who wished I had died of childhood leukemia, instead of my younger sister, and who have ignored me no matter how much I've tried to please them. I'm starved for affection, addicted to the feeling when someone cares about me, which has led to a love life filled with either boys I've scared off, or men all too eager to take advantage of me. I thought I would never find a man who could feed my craving for constant attention--and then I met Leo. He fills the void inside of me, haunts my dreams, and does things to me in bed that are so good, they're probably illegal. I can only pray I don't scare him off once he figures out just how needy I really am. Leo There are very few people in this world I've ever been able to form an emotional attachment to, but the moment I saw Hannah, I knew she was mine. We were bound together by fate, our paths crossing first as children, then as adults, each time marking me. She doesn't know it but I've been watching her for a year now, studying her, stacking the deck so when I do make my move, there's no way she'll ever escape me. But my world is a harsh, cruel place, and the cartel I work for demands absolute loyalty and trust...a loyalty Hannah has yet to earn in the dangerous eyes of my employers. There is only one way to ensure Hannah's absolute devotion, and I hope that she doesn't hate me forever when she finds out that not only have I brainwashed her into loving me, but that I don't feel an ounce of guilt about doing it. She's mine, only mine, and I'm keeping her forever. Warning: This story features a rough and demanding Dom who's completely devoted to bringing his baby girl pleasure through such unconventional means as spanking, mild BDSM, D/S, roleplaying, and various other forms of wicked kinkery. BuyNow
With over forty published books, Ann is Queen of the Castle to her husband and three sons in the mountains of West Virginia. In her past lives she's been an Import Broker, a Communications Specialist, a US Navy Civilian Contractor, a Bartender/Waitress, and an actor at the Michigan Renaissance Festival. She also spent a summer touring with the Grateful Dead-though she will deny to her children that it ever happened. From a young Ann has had a love affair with books would read everything she could get her hands on. As Ann grew older, and her hormones kicked in, she discovered bodice ripping Fabio-esque romance novels. They were great at first, but she soon grew tired of the endless stories with a big wonderful emotional buildup to really short and crappy sex. Never a big fan of purple prose, throbbing spears of fleshy pleasure and wet honey pots make her giggle, she sought out books that gave the sex scenes in the story just as much detail and plot as everything else-without using cringe worthy euphemisms. This led her to the wonderful world of Erotic Romance, and she's never looked back. Now Ann spends her days trying to tune out cartoons playing in the background to get into her 'sexy space' and has accepted that her Muse has a severe case of ADD.  

Friday, September 23, 2016

5 Ways Audio Can Ruin A Good Book

Elsie’s Audiobook Digest

I’m No Expert, But!

Musings from an audiobookphile

by Lynda Guydon on September 23. 2016

In the 12 years, I've been a member of Audible I've amassed over 1100 audiobooks titles in my collection. Yep, that amounts to close to 100 books per year! 

So, I think that makes me qualified to speak to authors and narrators about what makes a good audiobook and pitfalls to avoid when making that decision to transfer your beloved work from pages to the spoken word.

I'm assuming that as an author you put a lot of time, blood, sweat, and tears into bringing your vision to life on paper, and as an avid audiobook listener nothing is more disheartening for me than seeing a good story ruined by bad audio or awkward narrating!

Here are 5 instances in which a bad audiobook can make me wanna holler and throw up both my hands! To quote Marvin Gaye.

  1. Authors narrating their own book. Yes, I understand you wrote the words and no one knows better than you, the feeling and emotion behind those words! But, unless you're an actor, please leave it to the professionals. Trust me when I say that I've clicked off so many books narrated by the author, that I refuse to look or listen any further when I see a book is narrated by the author.                                                                                                                       
  2. The narrator reads in a thick dialect that has too narrow an appeal. I've seen this happened in characters with Bostonian accents, Cajun accents,  and urban dialects.  I understand wanting to be authentic to the book, but seriously, what's your goal? Isn't it to put more of your books in front of as many people as possible? More people equals more sales. If I have a difficult time understanding the narrator or I find it distracting, guess what? Yep, right or wrong I'm clicking off!                                                                                                                                                 
  3. Poor audio quality. If there are noises and crackling in the background it's annoying. Likewise, if the narrator swallows excessively or has a cold it is very distracting and yes it has happened!  If I listen to a sample and the audio quality is bad… Next!!                                                                                                                                                                      
  4. Narrator voices the character too young or too old. Remember the fiasco that was the FSOG original audiobook? The lead character sounded like she was a fifteen-year-old girl! Yuck (shivers) it was so bad and they had so many complaints, it had to be recorded over again, a rarity in this business from my experience.                                                                                                                                         
  5. It bothers me to no end when a male narrator reads a female character with a high-pitched or screechy voice! When will they learn to just soften their voice, when reading a woman's part? It’s much more effective! It’s not just men, though, I've heard some awful narrations from women reading male characters too!

My question for authors, how much input do you have in choosing a narrator? Do you have any input while the narrator is recording?

So there you have it! Authors, what are your thoughts?

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Review: The Nightmare Pearl

The Nightmare Pearl by G. Lippert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is one of those books that defies categorizing, it's part mystery, part ghost story but above all it's a love story. It's two stories told several years apart and intersects at the end.

Adolescent boy David befriends Becca a black girl living in an abandoned culvert in the early seventies, even though she's aloof they almost immediately form a close bond to one another.

Meanwhile in future Sheila an aspiring writer loses her literary agent husband in the collapse of the twin towers during the 2001 terrorist attacks, and she cannot accept the fact that her husband has perished.

How these two stories are told is done so beautifully and with such tenderness. You can't help but be touched by the conclusion.

The only weak part of this book is in the narration, Steve White does an awesome job and I could listen to him read any book! He's just that good. But the production quality of the portion read by Kimberly Meciti is poor and it jarring, especially after the smooth delivery by Steve. Kimberly is a decent narrator, it's just the production that's bad.

Overall though the book still rates 4 stars.

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Review: Broken Innocence Boxed Set: The Entire Alpha Billionaire Romance Series Books 1-5: Complete Box Set Of Alpha Billionaire Romance Series

Broken Innocence Boxed Set: The Entire Alpha Billionaire Romance Series Books 1-5: Complete Box Set Of Alpha Billionaire Romance Series Broken Innocence Boxed Set: The Entire Alpha Billionaire Romance Series Books 1-5: Complete Box Set Of Alpha Billionaire Romance Series by Bridget Taylor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Erotica is like a box of chocolate, some are good, but most you take one bite and throw the rest out,

this audiobook was a pleasant surprise! It’s that magical piece of chocolate that makes the whole box worth the money you spent. It's the elusive golden ticket of erotica.

The story centers around Stacy Caldwell, a wunderkind who arrives at the Lennox Advertising firm and catches the eye of owner and CEO Henry Lennox and her manager Michael Cavanaugh I know what you’re thinking “This story has been told over and over again ad nauseam” but this one is different, the author really does a good job fleshing out the characters, really it’s more of a psychological study of a conflicted woman, torn between wanting to be love and wanting to satisfy her masochistic tendencies and the two men who fulfill different needs. The characters are flawed and sometimes you’re not sure who you should be rooting for!

Of course this is erotica and the sex scenes are numerous and very graphic, that’s to be expected, but the quality of the writing is uncommonly good and the narration and production is top notch too. I have never heard of this author but I’m impressed.

Looking for good quality erotica? This is it!

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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Review: The Vampire's Mail Order Bride

The Vampire's Mail Order Bride The Vampire's Mail Order Bride by Kristen Painter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's lighthearted fluff and I loved it. Delaney James inadvertently witnesses her boss murder a man in cold blood. Unfortunately for Delaney he finds out and our intrepid girl is marked for elimination too! What’s a girl to do? Pretend to be the mail order bride of a Hugh Ellingham in far away Nocturne Falls. While Delaney has her secrets her intended has his own, mainly that he is a 400 year old vampire.

This book has no language and no sex scenes and I totally didn’t miss it at all, quite a feat for this genre in this day and age.

B. J. Harrison is the narrator for the entire Nocturne Fall Series and he’s engaging and has the perfect voice for this type of book. I added him to my Narrators I Love List on twitter and if a reader is on that list he or she is in a rare club.

I plan on listening to the rest of the audiobooks in this series.

PS my twitter handle is @AudioAudits

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Jurassic Dead

Jurassic Dead

By David Sakmyster & Rick Chesler
Narrated by Andrew Tell

Just when you thought you've heard every conceivable zombie story, along comes Jurassic Dead! This book puts the pedal to the metal from the start and never ever lets up!

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Environmental activist Alex Ramirez the bane of his paleontologist father Marcus Ramirez's existence follows unsuspecting dad to the Antarctic determined to save rare organisms. Alas, some organisms were meant to die out and when you awaken them from a 65 million year slumber... Well to say all hell breaks loose is an understatement!

You have it all in this book, zealous researchers, a soulless corporate big wig and an undercover CIA agent, and then add in zombies! Okay now you have utter chaos, but no-o-o authors David Sakmyster and Rick Chesler aren't satisfied with that, they have to toss in dinosaurs, but regular dinosaurs are so last season, lets make them zombie dinosaurs! Chaos shake hands with pandemonium!

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When Alex meets research facility doctor Veronica Winters he immediately senses she’s hiding something and it becomes glaring obvious she’s no doctor, rather she’s an undercover CIA agent and to be honest she’s pretty green at that too!

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Teaming up with Veronica, Alex becomes a somewhat reluctant hero and honestly, it’s a toss up if anyone makes it out of this FUBAR situation alive! This whirlwind of a book is a gory, bloody, adrenaline fueled fun ride.

I'm half afraid to download book 2 in the series, where can you go after the first book? I don't know, but looking at the cover I’m assuming some of these creatures make it off the island, yeah I'm a glutton for punishment so download it I shall!

This is the first narration I've listened to by Andrew Tell but I doubt it will be my last! I thought he did an outstanding job.

If you’re looking for something different this is it.

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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Review: The Borrowed World

The Borrowed World The Borrowed World by Franklin Horton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've tried to analyze myself, why a girly girl like me loves apocalyptic novels. Alas, I have no answers, but with my voracious appetite for dystopian type stories, this book really hits the spot!

Jim Powell, devoted husband, father and doomsday prepper, gets caught out far from home, when a coordinated terrorist attack takes out vital parts of the US infrastructure in one felled swoop.

Trying to make his way back home from a business trip, he and his co-workers witness the frighteningly quick descent from civility to lawlessness as the government, in an attempt maintain control cuts off the supply of gas, leaving many people stranded. On a side note, if you have to go to the bathroom during the apocalypse, skip the gas station and pee on the go! Trust me you'll thank me.

Law enforcement tries to convince every one to head toward the FEMA camps, but who in their right mind would want go there! Certainly not Jim, he saw what happened in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and he's no fool.

Meanwhile back on the farm, (literally) Jim's wife and children are fighting a battle every bit as dangerous as the one Jim is fighting.

Warning this book has a cliffhanger, but the story is so engaging I didn't mind and I look forward to the next installment!

Now, can I just say that whenever I see Kevin Pierce is narrating, I know that my chances of enjoying an apocalyptic story go up significantly. His tone and delivery suit this genre so well and any post-apocalyptic author is very lucky to get him!

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Thursday, September 8, 2016

Review: Locker Nine

Locker Nine Locker Nine by Franklin Horton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ah... how nice to finally have a story about a competent woman!

College freshman Grace Hardwick has been taught from a young child how to fend for herself by her prepper dad, and after a large scale terrorist attack destroys the US infrastructure, everything she's learned from dear ole dad will be put to the test. Each decision she makes can mean the difference between life and death as she and her best friend leave the college campus and try desperately to make it home. Luckily her father has made plans for the inconceivable and stockpiled supplies and weapons off campus, where? you guessed it, locker #9.

On a different arc to this story, life long gamer, druggie and slacker Ray and his friends are heading back home after a road trip, when to their chagrin they get wind of the attacks as they are making their way back home. The ensuing stress causes Ray behavior to become increasingly erratic and when he finally snaps, the monster he becomes is horrifying!

If there's any criticism it's that I could have done without the political pandering at the beginning. It truly added nothing to the story and could have been left out.

The narration by Kevin Pierce was stellar as usual, he rarely makes a misstep!

I listened to the audiobook version of this book. Overall if you're a post apocalyptic junkie like me you'll love this audiobook too.

This audiobook was given to me at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review, thanks Audiobook Boom.

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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Review: Friction

Friction Friction by Sawyer Bennett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This isn't the first book that I've listened to by Sawyer Bennett, it's not the first that I've enjoyed, but this book is in a league of its own!

Leary Michaels is a partner at a law firm that champions the little guy and she has no losses in her column. She's relentless and her new case seeking justice for her client in a botched operation is no different. Enter big wig corporate lawyer Reeve Holloway, the defense attorney for the douche bag surgeon. When they bump into each other outside the courthouse, it's a calculate move on Leary's part, and while she hands him her ripped silk stocking in the elevator, in the courtroom she promptly hands him his ass.

What Leary doesn't expect is the intense attraction between herself and Reeve. Soon they began a questionable but unstoppable relationship, trying desperately to keep their private and work relationship separate. It's hard to do when Leary, secretly has much more than a professional interest invested in the case!

This story is has it all humor, heat and heartbreak.

I listened to the audio version of this book and I loved the narration by Sebastian York but Kendall Taylor's narration just seemed a bit too girlish. So I had to deduct a star on the performance. I would have been happier if Sebastian had narrated the whole audiobook.

Don't hesitate to download this gem of a story, you'll be happy you did!

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Friday, September 2, 2016

Plan Bea

Plan Bea
Written By: Hilary Grossman
Narrated By: Lisa Beacom

Plan to be amazed!
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First off I rarely give a story a 10 rating and I don't take giving one lightly! But, this book is fantastic! What does it take to get a 10? A unique story line, one the evokes deep feelings both negative and positive and this book delivers on all counts! I was expecting a romance, a love story. What I got was so much more! It is a love story of sorts, but not between a woman and man, but rather between a daughter and mother.
Annabel's mother Beatrice is a real piece of work! She a narcissist, she's a cold and indifferent mother and grandmother. Spending only 15 minutes a week touching base with her daughter over the past several years.

Their relationship is so fractured that Annabel even addresses her mother by her given name! I’ve met people like this in real life and from what I’ve witnessed, it all points to the child feeling a disconnect from the parent and in the case of this book it’s no different.
Quite unexpectedly Bea announces that she's getting married and she wants her daughter to help her plan the ultimate wedding! Somewhat reluctantly Annabel agrees to help.
This starts Annabel on a path of discovery, sometimes painfully, learning things about herself and her mother which completely upturn everything she thought she knew about their turbulent past. It’s an awakening of sorts, she learns things along the way that give her a new point of view on practically everyone in her life, her husband, her so called former best friend and her mother.
It’s a story that’s full of emotion, heartbreak and love and the twist at the end caught me completely off guard! I was asking myself what the hell is going on!

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This book is well written and the narration by Lisa Beacom was perfection!  and I highly recommend this audiobook. What a very pleasant surprise!
Plan Bea appears to be one of Hilary’s first novel written, If so I'm thoroughly impressed and I can’t wait to see what’s in store from her next!

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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Maneuver By Chelle Bliss - Cover Reveal

AUTHOR: Chelle Bliss
RELEASE DATE: October 2016
BOOK INFO: Standalone Second Chance Romance
COVER PHOTO ©: Harry Leonard Imagery
He promised they’d always be together. She promised she’d come back. He said he’d wait. They thought they’d last forever. ...But some promises are impossible to keep.
Smith: I’ve loved Maddy Reed since I was thirteen. She was my first love, first kiss, and first heartbreak when her family moved just before junior year. Six years later, Maddy expects me to let her go again, but I’ll do anything to keep her. Love is a wicked game, and I never play by the rules. Maddy: I’ve never stopped loving Smith Ricci, but some things aren’t meant to be. We’re not kids anymore, and too much has happened. He can’t discover the secret I’ve kept since the day I moved away. I said goodbye once, how hard can it be to do again?
Maneuver will ONLY be available for preorder on iBooks and will release LIVE everywhere else.
Chelle Bliss, USA Today Bestselling author, currently lives in a small town near the Gulf of Mexico. She's a full-time writer, time-waster extraordinaire, social media addict, and coffee fiend. Currently she's written a dozen books in three different series. She loves spending her free time with her boyfriend, 2 cats, and hamster.

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