Audiobook Review – Julia Vanishes by Catherine Egan

Julia Vanishes by Catherine EganWitch’s Child #1
Read by Erin Spencer and Will Damron

Julia Vanishes Julia has the unusual ability to be . . . unseen. Not invisible, exactly. Just beyond most people’s senses.

It’s a dangerous trait in a city that has banned all forms of magic and drowns witches in public Cleansings. But it’s a useful trait for a thief and a spy. And Julia has learned–crime pays.

She’s being paid very well indeed to infiltrate the grand house of Mrs. Och and report back on the odd characters who live there and the suspicous dealings that take place behind locked doors.

But what Julia discovers shakes her to the core. She certainly never imagined that the traitor in the house would turn out to be . . . her.

Genre: YA / Urban Fantasy / Steampunk-ish
Story Rating: **** (4 stars)
Narration Rating: *** (3 stars)

Continue reading

Advertisements

Cover Reveal – Steel Magic by J.L. Gribble

Title: Steel Magic
Series: Steel Empires Book 2
Author: J.L. Gribble
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Alternate History
Release Date: July 6, 2016

Pre-order Link: http://amzn.to/1Rc17n2

Synopsis:

Funerals are usually the end of the story, not the beginning.

Newly graduated warrior-mages Toria Connor and Kane Nalamas find themselves the last remaining mages in the city when a mage school teacher mysteriously falls ill and dies. But taking over the school themselves isn’t in the cards. They’re set to become professional mercenaries-if they make it through the next 18 months as journeymen first.

The debate over whether to hunt mutated monsters in the Wasteland or take posh bodyguard jobs is put on hold when a city elder hires them to solve the mystery of the disappearing mages. Toria and Kane’s quest brings them to the British colonial city of New Angouleme, where their initial investigation reveals that the problem is even greater than they feared.

But when a friend is kidnapped, they’ll have to travel to the other side of the globe to save her, save themselves, and save magic itself.

_Steel Magic-Jacket.indd

About the Cover Artist:

Bradley Sharp was born in 1977 in Oxfordshire, UK. From a young age he filled many sketch books, so it only made sense to study Graphic Communication at Nene University, where he received a BA Honors degree in 1997.

But the real world called Sharp away from academics, so he traveled around the globe a couple of times, working as a graphic designer. Now he makes a living by designing magazine spreads, but freelances with vector illustrations, allowing him to create something far-removed from what he does in his nine-to-five job.

Sharp finds vector to be an easy tool and believes anyone can use it. “I’d say my artwork is nothing more than glorified doodling. I like the logical inconsistencies of surrealism and find inspiration from many places such as music or the science fiction genre. Dog Star’s novels lend themselves well to my style. I look forward to working with DSB in the future, and hope fans will like the imagery as much as they enjoy the words.” Find Sharp’s work online at http://www.bradsharp.co.uk.

About the Author:

Gribble photo color

By day, J. L. Gribble is a professional medical editor. By night, she does freelance fiction editing in all genres, along with reading, playing video games, and occasionally even writing. She is currently working on the Steel Empires series for Dog Star Books, the science-fiction/adventure imprint of Raw Dog Screaming Press. Previously, she was an editor for the Far Worlds anthology.

Gribble studied English at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She received her Master’s degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, where her debut novel Steel Victory was her thesis for the program.

She lives in Ellicott City, Maryland, with her husband and three vocal Siamese cats. Find her online (www.jlgribble.com), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/jlgribblewriter), and on Twitter and Instagram (@hannaedits).

Audiobook Review – Grimm’s Fairy Tales

Listening Library presents Grimm’s Fairy Tales (on sale 5/10/16)

Genre: Fantasy / Children’s Stories
My Rating: ***** (5 stars)

 

I was fortunate enough to get an advanced listen to this newly produced collection of Grimm’s fairy tales. (These are the original tales, full of violence and betrayal, and not suitable for very young children.) Full of favorite tales like Cinderella and Rapunzel, along with several lesser-known stories, and with such a spectacular cast of narrators, this audio collection is a treasure! I recognized most of the readers’ names, and even more of the voices in this collection. Jim Dale reading Rumpelstiltskin was a real treat, and there isn’t one bad narrator in the bunch. If you are a fan of fairy tales, or have a pre-teen or young adult reader at home who might be, don’t miss this one.

Rapunzel, read by Katherine Kellgren
The Six Swans, read by Davina Porter
Cinderella, read by January LaVoy
The Twelve Huntsmen, read by Dion Graham
Little Red-Cap, read by Simon Vance
The Goose-Girl, read by Edoardo Ballerini
Little Briar-Rose, read by Grover Gardner
Sweet Porridge, read by Jayne Entwistle
Little Snow-White, read by Kate Rudd
The Golden Goose, read by Luke Daniels
Rumplestiltskin, read by Jim Dale
Eve’s Various Children, read by Roy Dotrice
Snow-White and Rose-Red, read by Julia Whelan
The Elves, read by Bahni Turpin
A Riddling Tale, read by Janis Ian
The Twelve Brothers, read by Graeme Malcolm
The Sea-Hare, read by Mark Bramhall
The Frog-King
, or Iron Henry, read by Kirby Heyborne
The White Snake, narrated by Scott Brick
Hansel and Gretel, read by Robin Miles
The Shoes That Were Danced to Pieces, read by Alfred Molina

 

NOTE: I received a free review copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All comments and opinions are my own.

Review – The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

The Library at Mount Char
by Scott Hawkins

The Library at Mount Char Goodreads Description:

Carolyn’s not so different from the other human beings around her. She’s sure of it. She likes guacamole and cigarettes and steak. She knows how to use a phone. She even remembers what clothes are for.

After all, she was a normal American herself, once.

That was a long time ago, of course—before the time she calls “adoption day,” when she and a dozen other children found themselves being raised by a man they learned to call Father.

Father could do strange things. He could call light from darkness. Sometimes he raised the dead. And when he was disobeyed, the consequences were terrible.

In the years since Father took her in, Carolyn hasn’t gotten out much. Instead, she and her adopted siblings have been raised according to Father’s ancient Pelapi customs. They’ve studied the books in his library and learned some of the secrets behind his equally ancient power.  (read more)

Genre: Dark Fantasy / Horror
My Rating: **** (4 stars)

Continue reading

Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray – #WAYRW

whatareyoureadingwed

What Are You Reading Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted by It’s A Reading Thing. To participate, open the book you are currently reading to page 34 (or 34% in your ebook) and answer these three questions.

The Questions are:
1. What’s the name of your current read?

2. Go to page 34 in your book or 34% in your eBook and share a complete sentence. (or two!)

3. Would you like to live in the world that exists within your book? Why or why not?

Now for my answers this week…

2. Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray – Book #2 of the Diviners series
I’m listening to the audiobook, and January LaVoy is narrating again – yay! (See my review of the audiobook edition of The Diviners if you don’t know why I’m so happy about that.)
Lair of Dreams (The Diviners, #2)

2. Well, it’s an audiobook, so it’s hard to find page 34! 🙂 Here are a few random quotes instead….

For dreams, too, are ghosts, desires chased in sleep, gone by morning.

It was funny how one afternoon with a best friend could set a girl right.

This is how it is now. There is strength in acceptance, Ling. Your legs have been taken from you. But how you choose to live with that has not.

3. The story takes place in the 1920’s in New York City. I’d love a peek, but I wouldn’t want to stay. Couldn’t do without all of my more modern conveniences, or my right to vote!!

What’s everyone else reading this week?

 

Gone by Midnight – Tour and Giveaway

Be sure to visit the blog tour page for a chance to win your own copy in the Rafflecopter giveaway!

gone by midnighr large banner640
Gone by Midnight

Fans of Joyce and Jim Lavene will thrill at this collection of thirteen short stories—many are set in the worlds of their national bestselling mystery series, including the Missing Pieces Mysteries, the Renaissance Faire Mysteries, the Retired Witches Mysteries, and an upcoming mystery novel!

These stories contain the elements of mystery and fantasy the Lavenes are famous for, as well as some new things their readers have never seen. Several stories feature characters interacting with ghosts, magic, and the supernatural—the healing woman in “Courtship;” the Civil War widow in “One with the Darkness;” the city girl who summons a wizard from the past in “The Magician and the Sorceress/Accountant;” and the young introvert in “Aunt Edna” who finds her calling with help from a ghostly visitor.

Poignant, charming, and captivating, Joyce and Jim Lavene bring their characteristic wit and heart to these stories and introduce each one with a passage about its origin or how it ties into the universe they’ve created. Gone by Midnight is a treasury of tales that will delight the mind and touch the heart from one of the most prolific writing duos of our time.

My Review:
4 of 5 stars (****)
Genre: Short stories / SciFi / Fantasy / Paranormal

Gone by Midnight is an entertaining and eclectic collection of stories. From the opening sweet ghost story “Aunt Edna”, to sci-fi, fantasy, and everything in between, I enjoyed them all. My favorites were the fantasy tale within a tale, “Inn of Many Pleasures  “, and the futuristic “Assasin!”.

About The Authors
joycejim

Joyce and Jim Lavene write award-winning, bestselling mystery fiction as themselves, J.J. Cook, and Ellie Grant. They have written and published more than 70 novels for Harlequin, Berkley, Amazon, and Gallery Books along with hundreds of non-fiction articles for national and regional publications. They live in rural North Carolina with their family.

www.joyceandjimlavene.com

www.facebook.com/joyceandjimlavene

http://amazon.com/author/jlavene

https://twitter.com/AuthorJLavene

Purchase link: http://www.amazon.com/Gone-Midnight-Joyce-Lavene-ebook/dp/B019AJC1XU

Be sure to visit the blog tour page for a chance to win your own copy in the Rafflecopter giveaway

NOTE: I received a free digital copy in exchange fr an honest review.

 

 

 

5 stars – Ashley Bell by Dean Koontz

Ashley Bell by Dean Koontz

Goodreads description:
Ashley BellFeaturing the most exhilarating heroine in memory and a sophisticated, endlessly ingenious, brilliantly paced narrative through dark territory and deep mystery, this is a new milestone in literary suspense and a major new breakout book from the long acclaimed master.

At twenty-two, Bibi Blair’s doctors tell her that she’s dying. Two days later, she’s impossibly cured. Fierce, funny, dauntless, she becomes obsessed with the idea that she was spared because she is meant to save someone else. Someone named Ashley Bell. This proves to be a dangerous idea. Searching for Ashley Bell, ricocheting through a southern California landscape that proves strange and malevolent in the extreme, Bibi is plunged into a world of crime and conspiracy, following a trail of mysteries that become more sinister and tangled with every twisting turn.

Genre: Thriller / Fantasy / Paranormal
My Rating: ***** (5 of 5 stars)

When she realized that the tears might be as persistent as the shakes, she ran for the only medicine that reliably cured any bout of unpleasant feelings: a book. ~Ashley Bell

This was the best Dean Koontz novel I’ve read since the first Odd Thomas. I loved Bibi, and there was a great cast of supporting characters, including her parents, her best pal Pogo, and her fiance, a Navy Seal named Pax.  Not everyone was on Bibi’s side, however, and once again Mr. Koontz proves that sometimes the scariest monsters are those who wear human faces.

This is one of those stories that is very hard to talk about without giving too much away, and I would not want to ruin the surprises for anyone who might choose to read the book. With that said, here’s what I can tell you without spoiling anything…. The novel starts out with Bibi, a novelist, discovering that she has brain cancer. After hearing that she has less then a year to live, she surprises everyone (except maybe herself) by waking completely cancer free the next morning. As a celebratory gift, her parents send a psychic to Bibi, and during her reading, she discovers that her life was spared so that she could save someone named Ashley Bell. The journey that Bibi has to make in her quest to locate Ashley forces her to revisit places and experiences from her own past that she has long since forgotten.

The buildup in this novel started out slow but constant, and once it got moving I couldn’t put it down. Any Dean Koontz fan, or any thriller fan for that matter, will love this one. While Dean Koontz may be thought of as a horror writer, and there are some paranormal elements to this story, non-horror fans should enjoy this one also.

Note: I received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.