Blood and Mistletoe (Ivy Granger)

Blood and Mistletoe

 

 

 

Publisher’s Summary

Holidays are worse than a full moon for making people crazy. In Harborsmouth, where many of the residents are undead vampires or monstrous fae, the combination may prove deadly.

Ivy Granger, psychic private investigator, returns to the streets of Harborsmouth in this addition to the best-selling urban fantasy series.

Holidays are hell, a point driven home when a certain demon attorney returns with information regarding a series of bloody murders. Five Harborsmouth residents have been killed, and every victim has one thing in common – they are fae. Whoever is killing faeries must be stopped, but they leave only one clue behind – a piece of mistletoe floating in a pool of the victim’s blood.

The holidays just got interesting. Too bad this case may drive Ivy mad before the New Year. Heck, she’ll be lucky to survive Christmas.

©2012 E.J. Stevens (P)2015 E.J. Stevens

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My Review ~ ★★★★★ ~ 5 Stars

BLOOD AND MISTLETOE (Ivy Granger) isn’t your average detective or even your average psychic detective. She’s an awesome character whose part Fae. The story takes place in Harborsmouth, where all types of interesting and fun beings dwell. Some aren’t so fun such as the pixies. I loved what she said about the pixies. Her friend Jinx is cool too.

It’s Christmastime and it’s her first Christmas with a boyfriend who’s a Kelpie King who was needed elsewhere and had to cancel their date for the tree lighting ceremony. The Kelpie and Selkie tribes were fighting over fishing rights and he had to go and keep the peace and prevent a Fae war.

Meanwhile Ivy had agreed to take Forneas’ case and Jinx also had her overbooked on other cases. The Fae needed her help and this kept her hopping 24/7 with emergency cases.

This was an amazingly good audiobook. E.J. STEVENS did a terrific job writing this. I loved the duel narration with Ivy and Ceff. With him being a water spirit, it was neat to hear when his voice came in. I’m looking forward to listening to more in this series. This one is up there amongst my favorite fantasy audiobooks if not my new favorite.

MELANIE A. MASON and DAVID WILSON BROWN did an exceptional job narrating this audiobook. I loved their characters and the duel narration.  They worked really well together and made this a really nice audio experience. I would definitely recommend checking this one out.

 

Audiobook received as a gift from the author in exchange for an honest review.

© 2014 crystalzen © Teresa W.

 

 

Eye of the Scarab: Dogboy Adventures, Book 4

Eye of the Scarab

 

Publisher’s Summary

It’s the end of the world as he knows it. Colta City is a timeless old town, but time is catching up to it. Old friends and old enemies close in around Bronson Black, and an impossible choice hangs over him. As the modern world bleeds through, Dogboy considers the past. His decision could spell the end of his crime-fighting career! But maybe that’s a good thing.

When the Colta City Shadows (including girl reporter Cindy McNeil) wake up in an underground arena, they face off against a group of extraordinary teens. Can the Shadows iterate through the Cycles, or will they become brainwashed soldiers in Mayor Lane’s superpowered army?

©2014 William Kenard Meeks (P)2015 William Kenard Meeks

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My Review ~ ★★★★★ ~ 5 Stars

I’m really excited about Dogboy’s return.  EYE OF THE SCARAB is the 4th of another exciting twist in Dogboy’s Adventures, THE PHOENIX QUEST ADVENTURES.  The stories still keep getting better each time.  I’ve enjoyed listening to this entire collection.  This story begins with Dogboy rescuing children from a burning orphanage.  Afterwards, Bronson and Cindy go to a storage room that had belonged to his dad and while there, he and Cindy find a silver case containing a scarab amulet along with some neat old comic books.

In this episode Bronson encounters new characters while still investigating and fighting the familiar ones such as the Mayor of Colta City.  Someone has recognized Bronson as Dogboy and holds this over his head.   He still lives at the Magic Emporium with Mr. Horum being a father figure to him.  The three of them, Mr. Horum, Bronson, and Cindy were playing with the scarab and found out it could fly like a drone with eyes.   Suddenly Cindy begs off saying she has to go and Bronson decides to follow her because she’s been acting suspicious lately.  He uses the scarab and watches her slip into Curleyworld.   Curleyworld was the closed down amusement park that first appeared in DEMON’S DARE where the Guild of Thieves hangs out.

One of the new characters is an invisible black-eyed girl named Destiny.  I thought she was an interesting character.  He also encounters Willowood again who’s still a villain.  This is such a fun series with a lot of adventure packed into it and it leaves off with another cliff hanger….Dogboy is an ongoing audio Superhero that’s not to be missed.  I definitely recommend this audiobook and I can’t wait to hear what happens next.  BILL MEEKS is an excellent author and continues to bring this series to the forefront.

NATHAN BEATTY is an incredibly good voice actor.  All his characters are amazing.  Mr. Horum is still great and I really liked the voice of Willowood.  Beatty does an outstanding job every time and has a great pace that keeps you on the edge of your seat.  His narration makes this a visual audiobook as well.  I can easily picture this as a TV series.  Dogboy’s a great listen for teens and up and I’ve enjoyed every episode.

 

Audiobook gifted in exchange for review.

© 2014 crystalzen © Teresa W.

 

Take a Piece of My Heart

Take a Piece of My Heart

 

 

 

Publisher’s Summary

Thirteen years: That’s how long Kara Salinger stays married to Danny Morino, which is a very long time considering his abusive behavior toward her. But eventually Kara musters up the courage and strength to leave Danny. And with that first step, she begins a great journey in search of her own “happily ever after”.

Kara is 32 when she starts anew. She’s been with just one man and has only one friend. Yet she forges ahead, trying out Internet dating – to comical effect – and learning about dating, sex, and friendship along the way to discovering that there are many types of families in this world.

Join Kara on her journey, and be prepared for many twists, turns, and surprises. Take a Piece of My Heart will make you laugh, cry, and experience just about every other human emotion. It might even make you blush a little, as Kara’s candor is sometimes brazen. You never know what words may spew out of her mouth as she experiences life’s ups and downs – but rest assured, they’re always honest, heartfelt, and hopeful.

©2014 Diane Rose Duffy (P)2015 Diane Rose Duffy

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My Review ~ ★★★★★ ~ 5 Stars

 

TAKE A PIECE OF MY HEART is a wonderful contemporary romance novel not to be missed.  DIANE ROSE DUFFY is a terrific author.  This book has everything including charm, wit, grit, heart and soul and everything in between.  This was such an incredibly good story that I’m almost at a loss for words.

Kara Salinger is one tough cookie who you can’t help but like right from the start.  After thirteen years, she decides she’s had enough crap from Danny when she comes home from work and finds a not so nice surprise.  And that’s not the worst of it.  He’s also abusive.  She has nowhere to go and a friend offers for her to stay in a cottage located on his property that he’s been wanting to fix up and she agrees with only one condition.  No strings attached.   There’s several fun characters in this story including Krista, the smart, tell it like it is little girl who always speaks her mind and usually its in public.  I found myself laughing out loud several times.  One of my favorite parts of the story was when Mitch brought a friend named Em home who was pregnant and Kara was beside herself.  She thought what any woman would think but once she learned the truth, she learned a hard lesson about judging someone without walking in their shoes.  To me that was pivotal to the whole story.

I also loved the family aspect of the story.  All these people with different backgrounds and different lives who weren’t related found a way to overcome obstacles and open their hearts and homes and become one big happy family.  There was a lot of fun AND a lot of love in this audiobook.  Heartfelt love.   This audiobook was the total package.  It was never predictable nor cliché.  It was fabulous and I would highly recommend giving this one a listen.  Diane Rose Duffy is on my author to watch list and I look forward to her next book.

JENNIFER BOSSIO.  What a fabulous job she did narrating this audiobook.  She was a natural, sounding as if my best friend was talking to me.  I loved the way she read this story.  Her voice inflections were perfect.  Beyond perfect.  This was a prime example of author/reader being in sync.  She was Kara Salinger.  She embraced this book and channeled her character in such an amazing way making it entirely real.  I’ll be watching for more of her outstanding work as well.

Audiobook gifted in exchange for review.

© 2014 crystalzen © Teresa W.

 

Darknet

Darknet

 

  • By Matthew Mather
  • Read by Tom Taylorson
  • Length: 10.0 hrs
  • Format: Unabridged
  • Fiction/Thrillers/Suspense
  • Release Date: 04/12/15
  • 2015 by Blackstone Audio, Inc.

– See more at: http://www.blackstonelibrary.com/darknet#sthash.jtsB7mGF.dpuf

Summary

From the bestselling author of CyberStorm comes a wild ride through the Wall Street underworld.

One minute Jake O’Connell is on top of the world with a beautiful family and bright future as a stock broker in New York; the next, it’s all ripped away when he’s embroiled in a fraud investigation, his childhood friend is murdered, and he finds himself on the run. Dodging the FBI and targeted by the Mob, Jake is thrown into a Wall Street underworld of cryptocurrencies and autonomous corporations, where he discovers a dark secret setting the world on a path to destruction. He must evade the shadowy forces hunting him and find a way to redemption—but the faster he runs, the deeper he becomes entangled. In the end, his only path forward is to return to the ghosts of his past.

Darknet is a journey into the back alleys of global finance and cyber espionage, the story of one man’s quest to redeem himself and save his family.

– See more at: http://www.blackstonelibrary.com/darknet#sthash.jtsB7mGF.dpuf

 

Author Bio:

Matthew Mather is the bestselling author of several books, including CyberStorm and The Atopia Chronicles. His work has been translated into sixteen languages, and CyberStorm is in development at 20th Century Fox. Before beginning his writing career, he worked at McGill University’s Center for Intelligent Machines and started several high-tech ventures involving nanotechnology, weather prediction, and genomics. He lives in Montreal.

Reader Bio:

Tom Taylorson is a Chicago-based actor with over a decade of stage experience ranging from outdoor and black-box theaters to the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. In that time he also built a voice-over career. He now primarily works as a voice actor and can be heard in a multitude of national radio and television commercials, on various websites, and in video games. Tom is an adjunct faculty member at Columbia College Chicago, teaching voice-over for interactive media.

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My Review ~ ★★★★★ ~ 5 Stars

Darknet

“Remember the nuggets.”

DARKNET was an amazingly well written thriller about the hidden internet most people don’t know exists.  It’s the wild west of the web where nefarious interactions take place.  It’s a place you don’t want to enter into which is exactly where Jake O’Connell finds himself.  He works for Atlas, a broker firm in New York City ran by a reptilian-like man named Donovan.  When Jake gets investigated for fraud, he finds himself being hunted by a group named Blue Bridge on The Assassins Market which is a crowd funded underground murder sect lurking in the deep web.  Blue Bridge has the ability to create AI bots mimicking people by using tor proxies allowing them to remain anonymous and literally get away with murder.

I knew this audiobook would be good and at first I felt somewhat lost however, it turned out to be even better than I expected.  It has a solid plot with great characters and excellent world building.  While it’s a story of fiction, it’s cutting edge and sharp.  The story moves around from Hong Kong to London, Canada, and the U.S. because that’s the story.  Jake’s on the run for his life as are others, he doesn’t know who he can trust and the clock is ticking. I liked the way this story was set with the chapters being dated as in journal entries.  It gives the story more of a real feel to it and adds a timeline of events as well as shows there’s an urgency in Jake’s situation.  Since no one knows who they can trust, Jake has a code word or words which is the only way of knowing who he’s talking to on the net and in person.

If you’re looking for a good, suspenseful thriller, this is it.  It’s not scary, it’s just aware-y.  I loved this one.  It was well put together and I found myself staying up late listening to it.  It was absorbing and an overall great listen.  I can definitely recommend this audiobook at 5 stars for being the total package.  MATTHEW MATHER is a fabulous writer and I look forward to more greatness from him.  When I see his name, I know I can count on a great book.  High-five!

TOM TAYLORSON is a terrific narrator.  I especially liked the approach he took with this audiobook.  One can feel the sense of urgency while he remains steady.  He has great voice control with perfectly timed voice inflections.  He added a feel of non-fiction to this work of fiction.  I’ve listened to other audiobook narrated by him and he always brings his A game.  He’s a voice actor who consistently delivers an outstanding performance.  Great work!

Review copy of this audiobook received from:  http://audiobookjukebox.squarespace.com/solid-gold-reviewer/
© 2015 crystalzen © Teresa W.

 

Damn Love

Damn Love

 

 

 

Publisher’s Summary

Set in San Francisco and North Carolina, the linked stories in Damn Love introduce us to characters struggling with love in all its complicated forms, including a young doctor getting over a breakup with the help of a patient, a newly married gay man who reconnects with his estranged mother, a trio of physicists caught in a surprising love triangle, and a soldier who takes secrets with her to the Iraqi desert. Together, these stories report out from the fault lines of American life, uncertain territory where identity, risk, and desire co-mingle, and where reconciliation can be found in even the most flawed efforts to connect.

©2013 Jasmine Beach-Ferrara (P)2014 ListenUp Production, LLC

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My Review ~ ★★★★★ ~ 5 Stars

Damn Love

DAMN LOVE was an artfully written selection of short stories about love, loss, and somewhere in between. Each story was moving and emotional. I especially liked the contrasting theme woven throughout the stories with the earthquake and tremors in San Francisco.  It added a comparison point of where the characters were during their highs and lows in their relationships and lives.  These were terrific stories.

I wouldn’t be able to pick one story I liked best as I thoroughly enjoyed them all. A few words come to mind. Heart-felt, bittersweet, longing, desire, and reflective. This audiobook was an overall excellent piece of literature involving meaningful subjects and unforgettable characters.

I completely adore JASMINE BEACH-FERRARA’s writing style and will look for more of her work in the future. She did an excellent job with this book. Very impressive and highly recommended.

COURTNEY PATTERSON, JO HOWARTH, TARA OCHS, ALDRICH BARRETT, KEVIN STILLWELL, JANINA EDWARDS, KRISTIN KALBLI, and GREGORY ST. JOHN were all amazing. Their performances were absolutely bar none outstanding. Each brought their A game as voice actors in this audiobook. I liked the way this audiobook was put together and would love to hear more books in this genre as well as more from each of these talented individuals. Great, great work!

Audiobook gifted in exchange for review.

© 2014 crystalzen © Teresa W.

 

 

Jaden Toussaint, the Greatest: Episode 1: The Quest for Screen Time

Jaden Toussaint

 

 

 

Publisher’s Summary

Giant afro. Even bigger brain.

Jaden Toussaint is a five-year-old who knows it all. I mean, really knows it all. Animal Science. Great Debater. Master of the art of ninja dancing. There’s nothing Jaden Toussaint can’t do. The only problem is that grown-ups keep trying to convince him that, even though he’s really smart, he doesn’t know everything. The thing is…he kind of does.

©2015 Marti Dumas (P)2015 Plum Street Press

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My Review ~ ★★★★★ ~ 5 Stars

Jaden Toussaint, the Greatest: Episode 1: The Quest for Screen Time

Some thoughts. As a grandma of three grandchildren ranging in age from 5,7, and 8, this audiobook has A LOT of appeal. It’s cuteness scale for me is off the chart awesomeness. Knowing what  they like and sort of how their little selves think, this hits the mark perfectly. My kids are in the military so I don’t get a chance to see my grandchildren as often as I’d like, but this is definitely a book and audiobook I’d send them.

J.T. EPISODE 1: THE QUEST for SCREENTIME is a wonderful children’s audiobook that I highly recommend. I thought the three-minute dance party was smart. The entire book was smart. J.T. was so excited when he was assigned screen time homework until he’s told it can be done without the computer. Loved it. Plus the epilogue where he has thoughts on when to have TV and screen time.

MARTI DUMAS is a terrific author of children’s stories. Even I enjoyed it, with my ‘I’m a kid at heart’ thing. I think many of us are. I would love to hear more stories written by her and especially more with JADEN TOUSSAINT.

DICK HILL did an Amazing job narrating this audiobook. I was fascinated by his vocal range. He was so good and well, I’m just really impressed with this book and this collaboration. Wonderful job.

Last but certainly not least, the cover art by MARIE MURAVSKI is incredibly good. This is the total package. A no-brainer. One can’t go wrong with this audiobook. It’s also, in my opinion, educational.

Audiobook gifted in exchange for review.

© 2014 crystalzen © Teresa W.

 

 

 

The Art of The Theatre

The Art of the Theatre

 

 

 

Publisher’s Summary

” I have not written this book to attract young people to the dramatic art but to give them friendly advice and guide them by my experience.” Thus begins a master class taught by Sarah Bernhardt, arguably the greatest actress ever to grace a stage.

Timeless and surprisingly current, The Art of the Theatre, published after her death at age 78, is the final and most in-depth record of the great actress’ views on acting and the theatre. Here “The Divine Sarah” shares advice on everything from speech, movement, role preparation, vocal warmups, and make-up tips to why she preferred to play Hamlet instead of Ophelia. Filled with lively stories and gleeful gossip, The Art of the Theatre shows the intuitive and often humorous observations that were Sarah Bernhardt. She describes her successes, her failures, and the times she lived in with unflinching honesty and an approach to the arts that leaves no doubt as to why she is still considered today to be one of the greatest artists ever to have lived. Out of print and unavailable for decades, this rare book is only available in this audio format.

Public Domain (P)2015 Kitty Hendrix

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My Review ~ ★★★★★ ~ 5 Stars

I FEEL.  I FEEL…”

THE ART OF THE THEATRE was a poetic and dramatic narrative of Sarah Bernhardt.  She was Chardonnay, a rite of passage, enigmatic, and while being a small woman, she was an icon of large magnitude.  She was a complex woman who embodied art, especially the dramatic art.  The theatre.  I think she was a woman who carved her place within a man’s world.  She was sharp, smart, and minced no words.  She told it like it was, the good and bad, the truth.  When asked why she would rather play Hamlet than Ophelia she countered with the fact that she liked playing male roles for their intelligence.  She stated that Hamlet was the most original yet the most simple.  He seemed complex but had only one idea which was to avenge his father.  She may well have described herself with those very words.

The advice she shares on acting such as stage presence, appearance, tone of voice, pronunciation, enunciation, and physical attributes is honest and timeless.  When she discusses the will or willpower, I think she really nails it.  “Willpower is the fundamental condition of success.”  An actor must abandon the whole ‘self’ and give the character a soul including heart, mind, and body.   “A true actor realizes himself through passion and can’t be natural unless he has the power to project himself.”

I feel that Sarah Bernhardt is timeless and highly revered as an exquisite woman of the arts and taste.  She’s the saint of all things dramatic.  Saint Sarah.  I don’t know how saintly she was but what I do know is that she knew her craft backwards, forwards and in between.  While she was the most famous actress she was also the most beloved as can be shown by large crowds waiting to see her and waiting for her after a performance.  I didn’t know she’d had a bit of stage fright.  This was an insightful narrative/bio of Sarah Bernhardt’s notes and musings about what it takes to be an actor.  She’s a woman I would love to go back in time and meet.   “The Art of the Theatre” is a fabulous audiobook that I would definitely recommend.  It’s a matter of style and taste but I loved it and Kitty Hendrix’s performance made it all the more wonderful.

KITTY HENDRIX is the embodiment of Sarah in this story.  Kitty reading Sarah is perfection.  She took it to a whole other level of amazing while channeling Sarah herself.   Kitty grasped everything this audiobook was about and projected it out into the world just as Sarah would have.  This was a dramatic as well as impressive piece of work.  She has a rich, even tone that adds sophistication to her work, making her a real stand out as a voice actor.

 

Audiobook gifted in exchange for review.

© 2014 crystalzen © Teresa W.

 

 

Cavalier In Buckskin: George Armstrong Custer and the Western Military Frontier

Cavalier in Buckskin

 

 

 

Audible Editor Reviews

“Utley’s excellent study has set the new standard against which all future Custer biographies must be judged.” (American Indian Quarterly)

Publisher’s Summary

George Armstrong Custer: The name evokes instant recognition in almost every American and in people around the world. No figure in the history of the American West has more powerfully moved the human imagination.

When originally published in 1988, Cavalier in Buckskin was met with critical acclaim. Now Robert M. Utley has revised his best-selling biography of General George Armstrong Custer. In his preface to the revised edition, Utley writes about his summers (1947-1952) spent as a historical aide at the Custer Battlefield – as it was then known – and credits the work of several authors whose recent scholarship has illuminated our understanding of the events of Little Bighorn.

The book is published by University of Oklahoma Press.

©2001 University of Oklahoma Press (P)2015 Redwood Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

“Utley combines a mastery of succinct, elegantly written narration with sound historical judgment based on deep understanding of the military and political milieu in which Custer operated.” (Illinois Historical Journal)

“An evocative book that expands the historiography on Custer beyond the extremes of the past to a more balanced and appropriate place in American frontier history and popular culture.” (American Historical Review)

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My Review ~ ★★★★★ ~ 5 Stars

CAVALIER IN BUCKSKIN was a treat to listen to on many levels.  I listened to the audiobook written by ROBERT M. UTLEY and it was one I didn’t want to turn off.  The life and legacy of George Armstrong Custer holds a fascinating place in American history that makes him one of the most bewildering yet iconic figures to date.  I truly enjoyed listening to his story not only to learn more about his military service and duties but his personal life as well.  This is an audiobook not to be missed.  In my case, I live near Custer Hill and the Custer House and also the Cavalry Museum which are all historical places.  The house is an almost exact replica of the original home which had burned down.  I also live near where there were and are many Native American burial grounds.  I’ve been to all the little communities that were established during the Indian Treaties and listening to this audiobook gave me chills thinking about all the history that surrounds me such as a small town nearby where every other year they hold a Native American Powwow.

 

This book gives an unbiased look at who Custer was from birth to when he attended West Point.  It covers his career with the Army, from all his post stations to his ‘dash’ battle style and his many skirmishes.  It details his dealings with the ‘Indians’ as well as his life with his wife Libby and why they never had children.  Then there’s the famous “Custer’s Last Stand.”  For me, he still remains elusive as to why he did what he did.  It was a mindset of the times.  It seems to me that he lived by the sword and died by the sword.  Or in another word…karma.

 

I would definitely recommend listening to this audiobook not only for its historical value but also for the way in which it’s told.  It’s very well researched and incredibly detailed.  This history holds one of the most important places of our times.  It’s a time that, with books such as this, will never be forgotten.  It’s also a part of history that makes me wonder what it might be like had these events never happened.  Where would the world be today?  Where would we be today?

 

ROY LUNEL did an excellent job narrating this audiobook.  He humanized Custer not only as a military and family man but also as a flawed man.  It thrills me when a reader fits the story perfectly and he did just that.  He spoke clearly and included voice inflections in the right places.  All the way through the book he held the same pace with an upbeat cadence and gave this work an air of quality that was refreshing for this type of book.  In my opinion this was a 5+ performance.  It was outstanding.   I highly recommend listening to this one.

 

Audiobook gifted in exchange for review.

© 2014 crystalzen © Teresa W.

 

Yesterday: A Novel of Reincarnation

Yesterday

 

 

 

Publisher’s Summary

In modern day Chicago, deja vu draws together a handsome mounted policeman and the beautiful young woman who saves his life. This tender love story pulls the reader back to previous lives and a time richly elegant. Yesterday is also a harrowing tale of escape through the American Civil War and the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. A life of tragedy is Amanda’s destiny, or so she believes. But, in this historical romance, Mark fights through Amanda’s rejection to prove that she will love again as she once loved – Yesterday.

©2011 Samyann Curtis (P)2013 Samyann Curtis

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My Review ~ ★★★★ ~ 4 Stars

YESTERDAY: A NOVEL OF REINCARNATION was an engaging novel about Amanda and Mark, a mounted police officer, who meet by chance in an accident where she saves his life while he’s on duty.  Meanwhile, she’s mesmerized by a beautiful old antique clock inside a shop.  It wasn’t for sale but the owner decides to sell it to her anyway since she saved Mark’s life.  She purchases it and brings it home but there’s more to it than just that.  She’s drawn to this clock as if she’s seen it before.  While over for dinner one evening, Mark decides to do some investigating with the clock and opens it up.  He and Amanda very carefully look behind the animal carvings and moon face to the back and he discovers soot inside it and a label of a company that never existed in Chicago in the 1800’s.  He also removes a small piece of wood to have it checked.  He ends up staying over on the sofa and they both have the same encounter in the middle of the night at the clock.  Was it just a dream?

 

The next day Mark learns that the soot inside the clock was from the Great Chicago Fire and the clock must have been saved from destruction and restored with a new label added onto it.  With both him and Amanda having continued feelings of knowing each other somehow and Amanda having seen the clock before, they decide to use Amanda’s therapist to put her through past life regression therapy.  This leads them on a path to discovering the origins of not only the clock but to a past life that neither of them could have ever imagined.

 

I found this to be a wonderful historical romance novel with well-rounded characters including Mary, her therapist.  I really liked her and she had a great southern accent.  I liked the idea of past life regression but it was more comparable to a time travel story.  There were a few places in the story where I felt the plot jumped around somewhat but it didn’t necessarily take away from the overall outcome.  I listened to this audiobook written by SAMYANN who’s an author to watch in the future.  I look forward to seeing what she does next.  I think “Yesterday” is worth a listen and I’d recommend checking this one out if you like historical fantasy/romance.

 

DARLENE ALLEN is a wonderful narrator with a wide range of tone.  She has a unique voice and keeps all the characters separate.  Her voice is deep enough to portray Mark cleanly while not compromising the part of Amanda.  She handled the story very well and made it an enjoyable audiobook.  This was a nice listen from both author and narrator.

 

 

Audiobook gifted in exchange for review.

© 2014 crystalzen © Teresa W.

 

City of Angeles: Memoirs of Marlayna Glenn Brown, Book 2

City of Angeles

 

 

Publisher’s Summary

Immediately following the wildly popular award-winning Overlay: A Tale of One Girl’s Life in 1970s Las Vegas, Marlayna Glynn Brown continues her remarkable journey in City of Angeles, revealing the underside of a life lived in 1980s Los Angeles.

This searing, often bizarre tale of Glynn Brown’s teens and twenties reveals her flight from Las Vegas to the formidable world of self-re-invention among the angels and demons.

Glynn Brown unflinchingly begets a self from the unlikeliest beginnings, and now delivers a sequel illustrating heaven and hell on her continuing flight for self-discovery.

©2012 Marlayna Glynn Brown (P)2015 Marlayna Glynn Brown

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My Review ~ ★★★★★ ~ 5 Stars

 

CITY OF ANGELES is book two in the moving story of the life of MARLAYNA GLYNN BROWN.  I especially liked this second installment of her story.  The first book, OVERLAY, was about her life while growing up in Las Vegas being the child of alcoholic parents.  Book one was an amazing and unforgettable story.  The last paragraph of my review of Overlay:

“This is book one in a trilogy and it ends with her calling her mother who has moved to Los Angeles and asking if she could come and live with her for a while. She’s now a teenager and has experienced many things that most people haven’t at her age. She withdraws herself from school and boards a bus and ends her journal….for now.”

Upon arriving in California, Marlayna undergoes multiple other trials and tribulations that most people never experience in a lifetime.  This move provides a whole new set of issues for her to learn about and deal with.  She manages to hold her own throughout her time in LA but with more mature thoughts and feelings.  It ushers in adulthood for Marlayna bringing with it the age of alcohol, failed relationships, learning about drugs, friends, rape, marriage, children…and divorce.  These are just some of the scary things she had to overcome while living in LA during the 1980’s.  She married a man named Chance and has four stair step children (meaning fairly close in age) by him.  Then Chance approached her one day and just decided he wanted out.  I think she may have seen this coming with his behavior.

 

This is an extremely good novel and series.  If anyone is reading this and considering this memoir, I would highly recommend it.  It should to be listened to in order because it’s Marlayna’s memoir and has a timeline.  I applaud her for writing this.  While she was raised by alcoholic parents, she does a great job at mothering her own children.  This book is involved, engrossing, endearing, happy, sad, and it’s told with grace and style.  She’s a strong, strong woman to have had so much adversity in her life and overcome it.  Well, I’m not exactly sure one ‘overcomes’ it but rather, makes peace with it.  Adversity is what makes us who we are.  I look forward to listening to the last book to see how she’s arrived at where she is now in her life and how she came to write these books.  I love the way she’s stayed friends with Linda Woo all these years and kept track of the people in her life.

 

ABBY ELVIDGE is the voice for Marlayna in this series.  She does a terrific job narrating these bios.  It’s like sitting down and talking with a friend you’ve known forever.  I can’t say enough good things about her work.  This is a perfect pairing of author/narrator.

 

Audiobook gifted in exchange for review.

© 2014 crystalzen © Teresa W.

 

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