CLAY by Tony Bertauski – AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

Image obtained from www.audible.com

Image obtained from http://www.audible.com

CLAY – Halfskin Book Two

Author: Tony Bertauski

Type of Book: Audiobook – Unabridged

Narrator: David W. Dietz

Length: 8 hours, 47 minutes

Genre: Science Fiction

Release Date: January 9, 2015

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

* I received a free copy of this audiobook from the narrator in exchange for an honest review.

This is the follow-up book to HALFSKIN.

Twenty years have passed since Callie invented biomites that were untraceable by the government. Nix and Callie are both still alive, yet they lead vastly different lives.

Technology did not stand still over the past twenty years. Biomites no longer replicate unchecked and people are able to maintain them at a level of 49.9% biomite and 50.1% clay (or organic/original matter).

The government still shuts down people’s biomites when a person becomes Halfskin. However people have found a way to outsmart the system using untraceable biomites created by many different sources (called Nixes) and bought and sold on the black market.

Technology has advanced so far that the government has created “Bricks.” These are 100% biomite created people. These “Bricks” are uses to hunt down and destroy Halfskins.

Jamie is 19 and is 49.9% biomite, so is her boyfriend. They are desperate to find a way to avoid being “charred.”

Marcus Anderson is back. He’s older but he is still 100% clay. He wants to rid the world of biomites once and for all.

Meanwhile Nix Richards wants to find a replicator to create a human body and he is willing to do anything to achieve his goal.

This audiobook is a thrill ride that will have listeners riveted to David Dietz’s wonderful narrative skills. With just the right amount of drama and suspense listeners will not want the story to end.

This is a thrilling tale of what can happen if technology proceeds unchecked. It is also a tale of human nature and the pursuit of a dream. Visionary or fanatic? Technological marvel or the downfall of mankind? Readers are sure to develop their own opinions on biomites.

This might just be a look into the future of our society and that is precisely why this book is so interesting (and scary).

This story may be fiction, but it addresses many ethical questions that arise when issues such as cloning and artificial intelligence are discussed. The author does a wonderful job of explaining and exploring the varying opinions on the topics. This book will not only entertain you, it will make you think.

I rate the story as 5 out of 5 stars and the narration also deserves 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Both HALFSKIN and CLAY need to be added to everyone’s “must read” list for 2015.

I can’t wait to read/hear what Tony Bertauski comes up with next.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

To learn more about Tony Bertauski visit http://www.bertauski.com or http://bertauski.blogspot.ca

ABOUT THE NARRATOR:

David W. Dietz is a writer, actor, director and producer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

For more information about this narrator or his production company visit: http://dietzthethird.com

Follow me on Twitter @Amieroger

INSIDE ISIS: The Brutal Rise of a Terrorist Army by Benjamin Hall – BOOK REVIEW

INSIDE ISIS: The Brutal Rise of a Terrorist Army

Author: Benjamin Hall

Genre: Non-Fiction

Publisher: Faithwords / Center Street

Release Date: March 10, 2015

Length: 270 pages

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

* I received a free copy of this book from http://www.netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.

It was not very long ago that no one had even heard of ISIS and now it seems that you can’t turn on the news or listen to the radio without hearing about this terrorist organization. Despite the fact that it is constantly in the news I did not have very much information about the who, what and why of ISIS before reading this book.

“Life inside the ISIS capital of Raqqa goes on … Thousands of foreign fighters roam the streets, morality police patrol the neighborhoods, businesses and individuals are subjected to extortion, and women live in fear as ISIS drives them back to the Middle Ages.”

Journalist and Author Benjamin Hall spent time behind enemy lines and this book is a direct result of the information he obtained and the events he witnessed.

“Every day people are beheaded in public, stoned to death, whipped, or have their hands chopped off… Music is forbidden and prayers are forced upon the people.”

ISIS is a plague that must be stopped. They hate all things Western and all of us who live in the United States and Canada. They say they are fighting a holy war, but it seems that what they say and what they do are completely different.

In this book the author attempts to answer many of the questions that come up when ISIS is discussed. Where did ISIS come from? What do they want? And most importantly how can they be stopped?

The names of the various jihadist groups as well as the names of individual people within those groups are difficult to pronounce and since so many of the names are similar, they are often confusing to the reader. However, the author has done an admirable job of distinguishing between the various and often convoluted jihadist groups operating in the Middle East.

This is an important book. Knowledge is power and the more people know about ISIS, the less power they will be able to wield.

I encourage every U.S. and Canadian citizen to read this book. Through knowledge maybe we can affect significant and lasting change for the innocent victims of ISIS in the Middle East.

This book will stay with you long after you close the cover.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Benjamin Hall is an independent journalist based in London. He has travelled to many countries to document conflicts in war-torn regions. To learn more about him visit http://www.hallbenjamin.com

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Knowledge is power Kofi quote from:
http://izquotes.com/quote/5651

BREATHE by Daniel Wallock – BOOK REVIEW

Image obtained from www.amazon.ca

Image obtained from http://www.amazon.ca

BREATHE

Author: Daniel Wallock

Published: 2014

Genre: Non Fiction, Autobiography

Length: 8 pages

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐

* I downloaded this book free from http://www.amazon.ca

This is an extremely short non-fiction story about the author’s life.

Although I feel genuine compassion for Daniel’s life challenges I am rating the story, not the emotion behind it.

I think that if this was longer and a bit more detailed I would have given it a higher rating. As it stands it is hard to feel much since the length of the story does not give the reader time to genuinely connect with the author and his plight.

The fact that the author is only 18 years old probably accounts for whatever shortcomings the story has. But I do believe he has potential. Also, his life story is probably fascinating and if turned into a novel length narrative would grip the reader’s attention.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Image obtained from www.danielwallock.com

Image obtained from http://www.danielwallock.com

To learn more about this young author and to discover more of his published works visit http://www.danielwallock.com

I rate this as 3 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐
Follow me on Twitter @Amieroger

CHIMERA – The Weaver Series – Book One by Vaun Murphrey – BOOK REVIEW

Image obtained from www.vaunmurphrey.com

Image obtained from http://www.vaunmurphrey.com

CHIMERA – The Weaver Series #1

Author: Vaun Murphrey

Cover Artist: Nathalia Suellen

Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult

Publication Date: March 10, 2015

Publisher: Artemis Femme

Length: 299 pages

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

* I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Cassandra’s parents were killed and she was captured and imprisoned at the age of five. She has spent the past eight years living in a ten foot by ten foot cell with no contact with other children and barely even any contact from her captors.

** NOTE **

There is a brief but disturbing scene near the beginning of this book that contains material inappropriate to younger readers. In my opinion this book is not appropriate for readers under the age of sixteen.

Cassandra is rescued after her eight years in captivity by an Uncle that she never knew existed. Gerome was her mother’s brother and he had thought for many years that Cassandra had died alongside her parents.

Taken to live with Gerome and his wife Maggie, Cassandra must readjust to life outside of prison. This is easier said than done, especially once she discovers that she is not like everyone else.

Cassandra is a Weaver. This means she has the ability to access the Web. The Web is just that: a web of information, knowledge, memories and the minds of others, both living and dead.

Cassandra discovers that she has escaped captivity but is still not safe.

I enjoyed this book and the target readership is Young Adults who I believe will like this new series very much. The reason I gave this book 4 stars rather than 5 stars is that the lead character is only thirteen and yet acts much older. It seems a bit unlikely that any thirteen year old would be as mature as Cassandra is. However, she is obviously not a normal thirteen year old. She is a Weaver with very special abilities, so I assume that is why she is so mature.

This is the first book in “The Weaver” series. Books 2 & 3 are also currently available. The fourth book in the series is due to be published soon.

This book will delight readers who are interested in the Science Fiction genre. This is definitely an interesting book and keeps the reader’s interest right to the last page. The ending leaves the reader wanting to immediately start reading the next book in the series which is exactly what I plan to do.

The cover was created by artist Nathalia Suellen and is absolutely stunning. This cover is what initially drew my attention to this book which is exactly what author’s want their book covers to do.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Photo taken by Sam Norman in 2014

Photo taken by Sam Norman in 2014

Vaun Murphrey is a writer, a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister and a friend. She currently lives in Lubbock, Texas.

To learn more about this author visit: http://www.vaunmurphrey.com

Follow me on Twitter @Amieroger

HALFSKIN by Tony Bertauski -AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

Image obtained from www.bertauski.com

Image obtained from http://www.bertauski.com

HALFSKIN

Author: Tony Bertauski

Type of Book: Audiobook – Unabridged

Narrator: David W. Dietz

Length: 7 hours, 31 minutes

Genre: Science Fiction

Release Date: May 20, 2013

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

* I received a free copy of this audiobook from the narrator in exchange for an honest review.

Biomites are artificial stem cells that can replace any cell in your body.

Nix Richards nearly died in a car accident when he was a young child. He was seeded with Biomites and they saved his life.

Imagine being able to cure any disease, even cancer. Imagine having the ability to recover from any injury. What an incredible boon to mankind.

However, there are always those who will oppose any medical advancement as an affront – either against God or against mankind.

The government decides that anyone with 50% Biomites are no longer human. At 40% you are “detained and observed” at 50% they shut you off.

When Nix is detained his sister, Callie, a brilliant biomite researcher is determined to find a way to save him.

Meanwhile a religious fanatic who happens to be a federal agent is equally determined to shut Nix down forever.

This book is brilliantly written and is so realistic that readers cannot help but see this as an inevitable invention. There is the perfect amount of tension and suspense. The author has done an incredible job of detailing the difference of opinion between those who want to use any technology necessary to prolong human life and those that believe that any tampering is going against God’s will. It brings to mind the belief of some religious groups that exist today who would rather let their child die than to allow a life-saving blood transfusion.

This book will stay with listeners long after the audiobook ends.

Narrator David Dietz was the perfect choice for this book. His tone of voice and pacing was just right and he draws the listener into the story. He differentiates easily between characters and is able to convey emotions with ease.

I rate this book as 5 out of 5 stars and I am looking forward to listening to “Clay” which is the follow-up to this audiobook.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Photo from the author's blog

Photo from the author’s blog


To learn more about this author visit http://www.bertauski.com or http://bertauski.blogspot.ca

ABOUT THE NARRATOR:

David W. Dietz is a writer, actor, director and producer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

For more information about this narrator or his production company visit: http://dietzthethird.com

Follow me on Twitter @Amieroger

LIKE MAYFLIES IN A STREAM by Shauna Roberts – AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

Audiobook cover photo obtained from www.audible.com

Audiobook cover photo obtained from http://www.audible.com

LIKE MAYFLIES IN A STREAM

Author: Shauna Roberts

Type of Book: Audiobook – Unabridged

Narrator: Hollie Jackson

Length: 6 hours, 52 minutes

Release Date: July 14, 2014

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publisher: Hadley Rille Books

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

* I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review. This audiobook was downloaded from http://www.audible.com

Mesopotamia approx. 4750 years ago

This is a retelling of The Epic of Gilgamesh.

The book was an interesting and entertaining listening experience.

Set in the ancient world of Mesopotamia in the time of King Gilgamesh, in the great city of Uruk, this book follows the intertwined lives of several interesting characters.

Gilgamesh may be the most powerful King of the most powerful city in the land, but that does not mean that he is a good King. In fact, he is anything but a benevolent ruler. He claims the right to bed any bride on her wedding night and exercises that right often and with brutality. He forces citizens to wrestle him and does not care when they are left crippled and unable to support themselves or their families afterward.

Citizens of Gilgamesh’s city have been flocking to the temples of their Gods in droves asking for assistance and protection. The temple priests and priestesses are desperate to find a way to turn Gilgamesh into a King worthy of worship and adoration rather than fear and hatred.

Shamhat, a priestess of Inanna, is sent into the wilderness to find and civilize a wild-man who is thought to be a match for Uruk’s violent King. The priestesses are hoping that he will be able to humble Gilgamesh.

This story brings to a life a tale that has endured the test of time. It is a book that examines the benefits of being part of a society (civilization) versus the benefits of living free and relying on no one but yourself. Which is better? Why? It also highlights the drawbacks of both lifestyle choices. Is it better to give up your freedom in exchange for comfort and security? And what happens when the leader who is responsible for maintaining order thinks only of himself and not his citizens?

The character of Shamhat is a wonderfully vivid character and Hollie Jackson (the narrator) skillfully brings her to life in stunning detail. Her voice is perfect for this character and greatly enhances the listening experience.

This book is not meant for younger readers since it contains sexually explicit and violent situations.

If you have not yet heard the tale of Gilgamesh or it has been a while since you have read it, I highly recommend listening to it as an audiobook. It is an experience that you will not regret. Everyone should know the tale of Gilgamesh and this book does a great job with that epic tale.

The author has included many fascinating cultural details as well as details about the ancient gods and how they were worshipped. I found the description of ancient burial rites as well as the intricacies of ancient commerce particularly interesting. There are Author Notes included at the conclusion of this audiobook which offers even more details.

I rate this audiobook as 4 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Photo taken by: Vicki Stanwycks, New Orleans

Photo taken by: Vicki Stanwycks, New Orleans

Shauna Roberts was born in Ohio and has lived an interesting life. She has a wide variety of interests and affiliations. For more information about Shauna Roberts visit her website at http://www.shaunaroberts.com

DINOSAUR LAKE by Kathryn Meyer Griffith – AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

Image obtained from www.audible.com

Image obtained from http://www.audible.com

DINOSAUR LAKE

Author: Kathryn Meyer Griffith

Type of Book: Audiobook – Unabridged

Narrator: Johnnie C. Hayes

Production Date: July 2013

Length: 10 hours & 45 minutes

Genre: Suspense, Thriller, Horror

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

* I received a free copy of this audiobook from the author in exchange for an honest review. This audiobook was downloaded from http://www.audible.com

REVIEW:

Henry loves his job. He is the Chief Park Ranger at Crater Lake Park in Oregon. He has spent the last eight years as a Park Ranger after leaving his life as a New York City police officer after being shot while on duty.

The park’s central attraction is the deep blue lake that was created by a volcanic eruption millions of years in the past. While leading a tour group Henry is on hand when an earthquake strikes the park. The tourists were shaken up but unharmed and Henry led them back towards the Lodge. This was the second earthquake they had in the last two years and it concerned Henry.

On the path back to the Lodge, Henry makes a stunning discovery. The earthquake had shaken loose a section of the ground and revealed a large and obviously ancient bone pile. The bones were too large to be those of a bear or mountain lion. In fact what they looked to be was dinosaur bones, but Henry knew that dinosaur bones had never been discovered in that region. He decides to contact a paleontologist to come and examine the bones to find out if his suspicions are valid.

Meanwhile one of the park visitors mentions that a year earlier her friend had seen a monster in the lake. Of course, noone believes it. Why would they? It’s ridiculous and preposterous.

People start to disappear and something attacks the homeless camp in the park.

Obviously since this book is called “Dinosaur Lake” the mysterious monster turns out to be a dinosaur. The author has done a good job of making this unrealistic situation come across as possible.

This book is a combination of “Lake Placid”, “Jurassic Park” and “Volcano”. It is a light and entertaining book.

The narrator has a good voice for coming across as a simple, good ol’ boy type of Park Ranger. He is able to convey the reluctance of a regular guy to believe in the unbelievable.

I rate this book as 4 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Image obtained from www.goodreads.com

Image obtained from http://www.goodreads.com

Kathryn Meyer Griffith is the author of twenty-two published novels as well as novellas and short stories.

To learn more about her visit http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/889499.Kathryn_Meyer_Griffith

ABOUT THE NARRATOR:

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Johnnie C. Hayes is a voice actor who has experience with commercials as well as audiobooks. To learn more visit his website at http://jchayesvoice.com/

Image obtained from http://jchayesvoice.com

Image obtained from http://jchayesvoice.com

Follow me on Twitter @Amieroger

THE FUNERAL (The Waiting 1.5) by Elizabeth Burgess & Marie Hewes – BOOK REVIEW

Photo obtained from www.amazon.com

Photo obtained from http://www.amazon.com

THE FUNERAL – Book 1.5 of The Waiting Series

Authors: Elizabeth Burgess and Marie Hewes

Publication Date: October 31, 2014

Genre: Thriller, Mystery

Type of Book: eBook – Novella

Length: 107 pages

Intended Readers: Adults 18+

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

* I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

This novella is a follow-up to the first book in THE WAITING Series.

* WARNING* This novella will not make much sense if readers have not read THE WAITING first. To understand exactly what is happening with each of the characters and how they came to this point in their lives is essential to truly appreciate the storyline.

THE WAITING is complex and has a complicated plot with a large cast of characters.

At the end of THE WAITING Arianne has found her oldest son shot in the entrance to her home. He dies en route to the hospital and the ambulance is involved in an accident torching the van along with it’s occupants.

Arianne may have fought with Nash, even despised him at times, but he was her son and she loved him deeply and unconditionally.

Andrew and Arianne had just decided to give their damaged 26 year marriage a chance. Andrew had promised to try to be a better husband and father.

Gregory found out that his ex-girlfriend, Tiffany was pregnant with his child. (Readers know she isn’t really pregnant) He was in love with Arianne and she loved him but it was Tiffany’s pregnancy and Arianne’s belief in familial duty that prompted her to return to Andrew rather than to seek happiness with Gregory. She loved him enough to let him go so that he would have a chance at his own family and happiness. Gregory does not love Tiffany but he recognizes that Nash’s death has changed everything.

Arianne is going to be arrested for the murder of her son and both Andrew and Gregory know that she did not kill him, but they need to discover who is actually responsible.

Millie was in love with Nash even though he was her ex-husband’s son. She is racked with guilt and remorse. No one knows that it was her plan to have Nash’s brother Reece killed that went horribly wrong and instead ended in the death of her beloved.

All of this and a illegal organ transplant ring that involves multiple hospitals and even multiple states. This story has it all.

You can see what I mean when I say the plot is complicated and the cast of characters large and complex and even with all the facts I just listed, I have left out quite a few details and even failed to mention several key characters.

This series is a terrific read. The authors have managed to create an amazing story that will keep you reading long into the night.

The convoluted relationships may seem unrealistic, but once you read the books you will begin to understand exactly how it is that they came about. The authors have done an incredible job of delving into people’s psyches and detailing what makes them tick.

This novella is a terrific addition to the series and I am excited to read Book Two.

I rate this novella as 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

NOTE: This book is intended for mature readers due to adult scenes, situations and language.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

Elizabeth Burgess and Marie Hewes have been best friends since the ages of six and four. They both live with their partners in Louisiana. THE WAITING is their first book.

To learn more about these authors visit: https://elizabethburgessandmariehewes.wordpress.com/the-waiting-series/

Follow @LiddyBurgess on Twitter for updates

Follow me on Twitter: @Amieroger

JUAREZ SQUARE & OTHER STORIES by D.L. Young – BOOK REVIEW

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JUAREZ SQUARE and OTHER STORIES

Author: D.L. Young

Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian Fiction

Rating: I rate this collection of stories as 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

* I received a free signed copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The cover design is nothing short of awesome. If you are a Science Fiction fan or a fan of Post-Apocalyptic fiction then this book cover cannot help but stimulate your interest.

“The stories in this collection revolve around people whose lives become entangled in the unintended consequences – and sometimes the intentional abuse – of advanced technologies like robotics, genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, and drone warfare.” – From the Introduction by the author

D.L. Young has written a highly entertaining but also terrifying collection of short stories. The author and I seem to share some of the same concerns with where our modern society and it’s technological advances are heading.

THE READER – Though this story takes place in a distant future and offers a tantalizing glimpse into that world, it is more a story about human nature than about technology. Though it is short it is a captivating and compelling tale.

TRAINING THE FUNDIES – “The Fundamentalist Church of Divine Wrath” scared the heck out of me. The scariest part of this story was it’s plausibility.

JUAREZ SQUARE – Fifteen year old Diego is summoned by EL CARNICERO (The Butcher) “the local narco boss”. He doesn’t know why and he’s scared. This story proves that no matter how much technology we may have, there will always be people who will prey on the weaknesses of others. I love the robots in this story. So creative.

There are several other stories in this collection and each one has the potential to be a full-fledged novel. D.L. Young has imagined a very detailed and terrifying future that could actually become a reality. This is a collection of dystopian fiction that is a must-read for lovers of that genre.

Despite the fact that these stories are fiction, they are also a warning and a commentary on modern day society. They warn against a possible future that may come to pass if technology and greed continue to advance unchecked.

This short story collection will strike a chord with all intelligent readers. It not only entertains, but also offers food for thought. Who could ask for anything more?

I rate this collection as 5 out of 5 stars and can’t wait to see what this author comes up with next.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

All photos obtained from http://dlyoungfiction.com

All photos obtained from http://dlyoungfiction.com

“D.L. Young is based in Texas and is the founder of the Space City Critters Writers Workshop.

He is a Mensa member who loves both cigars and English soccer.

To learn more about this author visit http://dlyoungfiction.com/

Follow me on Twitter @Amieroger

THE WAITING by Elizabeth Burgess and Marie Hewes – BOOK REVIEW

Image obtained from the author's blog - see link below

Image obtained from the author’s blog – see link below

THE WAITING

Author: Elizabeth Burgess & Marie Hewes

Genre: Thriller, Mystery

Publication Date: August 2014

Length: 417 pages

Intended For: Readers ages 18+

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

* I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

This book starts off with a murder.

The book then goes three weeks into the past and a large number of characters are introduced. It can be daunting trying to remember who each character is and how they are connected to each other, but the author does a good job of explaining each of the complicated relationships.

The cheating, womanizing and egotistical Dr. Andrew Douglas has been married to the lovely and talented Arianne for twenty-six years. Throughout their entire marriage he has cheated on her with a string of young, buxom women but none of them have really meant anything to him. His sense of entitlement and self-importance allows him to exist guilt free and to never even consider what effect his philandering might have on his wife or children.

Arianne is the perfect wife. Despite the fact that Andrew had been married when he and Arianne first met, Arianne had hoped to change his cheating ways and to turn him into a good husband and father. Twelve years into their marriage, in a moment of weakness, Arianne fed up with Andrew’s cheating and his lack of availability she sought solace in the arms of his best friend, Dr. Gregory Adams. The result of that brief, but intense affair was the birth of the now thirteen year old Pike.

No one knows that Pike is really Gregory’s biological child, even Gregory has no idea, and Arianne is determined to keep it that way. She also tries to hide the fact that deep down she is still in love with Gregory. Her sense of honor will not allow her to follow her heart and leave Andrew to seek happiness with Gregory.

Andrew Douglas wants it all. He wants his gorgeous and talented wife at home waiting for him. He wants his mistresses ready and waiting for him whenever the mood strikes him. He even wants his ex-wife in his bed, despite her hatred for Arianne. He wants more prestige, more power, and of course, more money. This desire for “more” leads him to get involved in organ trafficking.

It is his ex-wife Maddie who gets him involved in the scheme. This “venture” seems too good to be true and Maddie has a diabolical plan of her own.

If I try to list all of the characters in this review, it will end up being several pages long.

This story is full of intrigue, love, lust, betrayal and lies. It is a bit like “Gray’s Anatomy” meets “Dallas” meets “Criminal Minds.”

The best word to describe this book is SCANDALOUS!

Despite the large and detailed cast of characters this is a good story. In fact, it would make a good television series. In a television venue it would be allowed the time to develop each of the characters and to highlight each of the complicated and convoluted ways they are tied to each other. The author should definitely send this book to a television producer.

Readers know from the beginning that the lives of the characters in the book are about to be shattered and there is non-stop action throughout.

Old actions come back to haunt some of the characters and deep seated hatred is let loose by others.

If you enjoy a good drama/thriller than THE WAITING is the book for you. I read this entire 417 page book in a twenty-four span. It is just too good to put down. I highly recommend adding this book to your MUST READ list.

I rate this book as 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I highly recommend this book to those who enjoy immersing themselves in the complicated, dysfunctional and dramatic lives of others.

There are three more books in this series that are currently available. Book # 1.5 “THE FUNERAL” is next up on my reading list.

* This book is NOT suitable for readers under the age of 18. There are sexually explicit scenarios and adult themes and situations.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

Elizabeth Burgess and Marie Hewes have been best friends since the ages of six and four. They both live with their partners in Louisiana. THE WAITING is their first book.

To learn more about these authors visit: https://elizabethburgessandmariehewes.wordpress.com/the-waiting-series/

Follow @LiddyBurgess on Twitter

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DYING FOR A LIVING by Kory M. Shrum – AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

Photo obtained from www.audible.com

Photo obtained from http://www.audible.com

DYING FOR A LIVING

Author: Kory M. Shrum

Narrator: Hollie Jackson

Type of Book: Audiobook – Unabridged

Length: 8 hours, 56 minutes

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Paranormal Fiction

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

* I received a free copy of this audiobook from the author in exchange for an honest review.

This book grabbed my attention right away. The narrator’s voice is perfect for the lead character. She has just the right amount of attitude to pull it off.

I have to say I LOVED this book. It is so rare to find a story that is truly unique. DYING FOR A LIVING is one of a kind. It is a completely original story. It takes a lot to get me excited about a new book series, but I am excited about the Jesse Sullivan series and can’t wait to listen to more of these audiobooks.

Jesse is different. She may be a bit emotionally damaged (ok, maybe she is more than just a little damaged) but despite the emotional baggage she is a wonderful heroine. She may not have super powers, but she has something better: she is a Necronite and works as a Death Replacement Agent.

What is a Death Replacement Agent? Well, to describe her job I will have to describe Jesse’s DNA mutation. Jesse has a special DNA mutation which gives her the is ability die and to then heal and return from the dead. Some people call people with this gene zombies, but that is a politically incorrect term. The proper term is “Necronite.”

Necronites are able to work with special predictors who tell people the exact date of their death. If a Necronite is present at a person’s death, they are able to “replace” them and die in their place. Now, that is a unique storyline.

Think you know what this book is about from what I have detailed above? Think again! This book has so many twists in it that you need to pay attention.

The narrator has the perfect voice for Jesse. Jesse has a sarcastic sense of humor and the narrator does an exquisite job of delivering her many one liners. I laughed out loud a few times and even snorted a couple times.

DYING FOR A LIVING is a great book to listen to. I’m sure reading it would be good too, but it is definitely a book that lends itself well to narration. A good narrator can make all the difference when listening to an audiobook and Hollie Jackson’s narration allowed me to immerse myself in the story and helped to bring the character of Jesse to life.

The characters in the book are very well developed and as the story progresses we learn more about the main characters. Because of this the listener is always kept interested. There is never a dull moment.

I rate this book as 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I look forward to listening to DYING BY THE HOUR which is the next Jesse Sullivan novel.

About the Author:

Image obtained from the Author's blog

Image obtained from the Author’s blog

Kory M Shrum lives with her partner and a pug in Arizona.

To learn more about her and her books visit her blog at http://korymshrum.blogspot.ca

PIE GIRLS by Lauren Clark – AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

PIE GIRLS

Author: Lauren Clark

Narrated by: JoBe Cerny and Mary Hollis Inboden

Type of Book: Unabridged Audiobook

Length: 8 hours and 26 minutes

Release Date: December 23, 2014

Genre: Fiction, Romance, Chick-Lit

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

* I received a free copy of this audiobook from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Searcy Roberts has been with her husband Alton since high school. Now in their mid-thirties they have been married for ten years.

Searcy is a spoiled-rotten southern belle who exists in a world of air kisses, personal shoppers, BMWs, diamonds and designer clothes.

On the night of their ten year anniversary Searcy is blindsided when Alton announces that he is quitting his job as an advertising executive and that he doesn’t want to be married anymore.

Unsure of what she will do with the rest of her life, Searcy is relieved when her mother calls and invites her to visit.

Arriving back in Fairhope Searcy discovers that her mother is very ill and her business is in jeopardy.

Searcy must reevaluate how she has been living her life. She makes it her mission to save “Pie Girls” from closure and in saving the business she just might save herself.

At the beginning of this book I really disliked Searcy and I thought this was going to be an entire book filled with superficial characters living plastic lives. I was mistaken.

As the story progressed I began to like Searcy more and more. As she grows as a person, she also grows on the reader.

The narrators have done a terrific job of making the characters come alive. Their narrative skill very definitely contributed to my enjoyment of this book.

If you like “feel-good” and/or redemptive stories then PIE GIRLS is for you. It is well written and the story flows along at the perfect pace.

There are a few surprises in the story which I will not mention. I do not want to ruin the surprise for other listeners/readers.

Despite it’s slow beginning I very much enjoyed listening to this audiobook and it was a surprisingly entertaining book. I recommend this audiobook to listeners who want a fun story that is pure entertainment.

I rate this audiobook as 4 out of 5 stars and I look forward to more books by Lauren Clark. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

To learn more about this author visit: http://www.laurenclarkbooks.com

To learn more about Narrator JoBe Cerny visit https://m.facebook.com/JoBeCernyfanpage

To learn more about Narrator Mary Hollis Inboden go to:
http://www.maryhollisinboden.com/#2601

To purchase this audiobook visit:
https://mobile.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Pie-Girls-Audiobook/B00RC64XB2?s=s

THE LITTLE TOY UNICORN by Lily Lexington – BOOK REVIEW

Photo obtained from www.amazon.ca

Photo obtained from http://www.amazon.ca

THE LITTLE TOY UNICORN
(Fun Rhyming Children’s Books)

By: Lily Lexington

Published: 2012

Genre: Children’s Book – Fiction

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

* I downloaded this book for free at http://www.amazon.ca

Firstly I must mention the cover of this book. The toy animals are absolutely adorable, especially the super-cute pink unicorn and the monkey with the silly smile. The colors are bright and vivid and are sure to capture any child’s attention.

The rhyming way the story is told makes this a perfect book to read aloud to your child. Even though it is in a rhyming style it still tells a story and the rhymes strike the right balance between cute and informative. The story takes center stage, not the rhymes which is exactly what is needed to capture and hold a child’s interest and imagination.

“The store on the corner had tigers and bears,
Monkeys and elephants sitting in pairs.
Assortments of creatures for you to take home
To cuddle and play with and make them your own.”

This book centers on a pink and purple toy unicorn “with sparkles and shine.” The unicorn wants a girl to take her home. Other stuffed toys are chosen first and the unicorn is passed over by the boys who come to the store.

Will the little toy unicorn ever find a girl to take her home?

The length of this book is not too long, it’s not too short, in fact, it is just right.

I rate this book as an enthusiastic 5 out of 5 stars and I will be adding Lily Lexington to my list of favorite children’s authors. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

To find out about new releases by Lily Lexington and/or to sign up for her mailing list visit http://www.lilylexington.com

To contact the author send an email to: feedback@lilylexington.com

FALLEN (Fallen #1) by Lauren Kate – AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

Image of book cover from www.amazon.com

Image of book cover from http://www.amazon.com

FALLEN ( Fallen #1)

By: Lauren Kate

Narrated by: Justine Eyre

Type of Book: Audiobook – Unabridged

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Fiction

Length: 9 cds = 10 hours, 56 minutes

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐

My Review:

I borrowed this audiobook from my local library. I listen to audiobooks mostly on my iPod, but in the car I listen to books on cd since I can borrow them for free at the local library.

First off the cover of this book is delightfully gothic looking. It gives a sense of impending freakiness. I applaud the cover designer for a job well done.

This book is geared toward a Young Adult audience.

The story centers around Lucinda Price (everyone calls her Luce) and Daniel Grigori.

Luce is sent to Sword and Cross, a live-in Reform School after she was involved in a fire that took the life of her boyfriend, Trevor. Luce has only vague memories of that tragic night. She remembers seeing threatening shadow shapes but little else. Because she mentions the shadows and cannot defend herself, the fire and Trevor’s death are blamed on her. We never do find out exactly what crime she is convicted of, or exactly what her sentence is. This “fire” seems like a convenient way to place Luce in reform school. More backstory as well as more details on the “crime” would have been greatly appreciated.

Once Luce arrives at the school she sees Daniel and feels an instant connection to him. He apparently doesn’t feel the same since his response to her smile is to give her the finger. This should be enough to turn her off completely. Instead her feelings are hurt. She acts like a baby. No self respecting female should pursue a man (or boy) who treats her with such disrespect.

What follows is her basically stalking him and him avoiding her. There is another boy (Cam) at the school who is gorgeous, rich and attentive. But, does she want him? No! Well, actually she does a good job of leading him on, all the while trying to figure out how to go about getting the guy she really wants. This bothered me. What sort of message is this sending to the young adults reading this book? Do we really want teenage girls to think it is okay to string someone along just so that they have a backup plan? Yuck!

Mysterious things happen. There are dreams that seem like memories, but they are of places Luce has never been. These do not feel real and do not contain enough emotional moments.

There is the obligatory paranormal twist and of course it wouldn’t be a young adult novel without the requisite love triangle.
I was actually rooting for her to go out with Cam and forget all about Daniel Grigori.

The narrator does an amazing job with the material she was given. Her voice is clear and she is able to make the book seem more interesting than the plot suggests. Kudos to Justine Eyre for a job well done.

I guess by my above comments, you will see that I wasn’t won over by this book. It isn’t horrible, its just that it seems so similar to so many other young adult books that I just couldn’t immerse myself in the story. The characters fell flat and there was a distinct lack of authentic historical details.

Also, I found Luce VERY annoying. Daniel blows her off repeatedly. Luce must be a sucker for punishment because she keeps throwing herself at him. This is NOT what we want our young adult generation to see as a healthy relationship. (In the author’s defense, her obsession does have a reason). I felt that this girl had no self-respect. If any guy ever treated me the way Daniel treats Luce for the first half of the story, I would want exactly nothing to do with him … EVER!

This story does have potential and could have been good, but it drags. The reader knows at the beginning that Luce is fated to be reincarnated time and time again and to fall in love with Daniel each time. That love always end tragically for Luce. But, even though the signs are all there for Luce, she has no clue. It takes most of the book for her to realize what is happening. This fact does NOT endear Luce to the reader. In fact, it makes the reader (at least it did for me) want to smack her for being such a moron. Also, she ignores her friends and family and even her teachers. All she can think about is Daniel. This is not love, this is obsession and it is NOT healthy.

I find it very difficult to enjoy a book when I do not like any of the characters. Luce is spoiled, self-centered and stupid. Daniel is arrogant and just plain mean. They have very few redeeming qualities.

Eventually Luce and Daniel fall in love, but it is not believable. What does she love about him? The only reasons she gives is that he is gorgeous and that she feels drawn to him. What qualities make her love him? He doesn’t save puppies or do charity work, if he had done either of these things then maybe he would be at least a little bit like-able. In fact, he’s a delinquent (if he wasn’t he wouldn’t be in reform school) and he is often downright cruel. He is condescending whenever he talks to Luce. I don’t know about other women, but I certainly do not enjoy being treated like I am beneath other people. I would have liked Luce a lot more if she didn’t come across as such a doormat.

Luce is a feminist’s nightmare. She would have been more relatable if she wasn’t so wishy-washy. Her character has potential, but she does not live up to it.

Unfortunately, despite wanting to like this book, I was unable to do so. It is for all the reasons listed above that I rate this book as only 2 out of five stars. ⭐⭐

I will pass on reading the rest of this series.

WASP SHADOWS by Ben Moeller-Gaa – BOOK REVIEW

Photo of cover taken by me

Photo of cover taken by me

WASP SHADOWS

Author: Ben Moeller-Gaa

Calligrapher: JS Graustein

Genre: Poetry; Haiku

Length: 23 pages

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

* I received a free paperback copy of WASP SHADOWS through the Goodreads Giveaway program.

This is a collection of twenty haiku poems. They have been beautifully presented in calligraphy by JS Graustein.

I have never been a huge fan of haiku because I find that they usually make little or no sense to me. However Ben Moeller-Gaa’s haiku are different. They actually make sense.

Each haiku is a snippet of a moment in time. The poet may use only a few words, but those words have power. They contain the power to invoke a specific scene or feeling in the audience.

The only complaint I have about this book is it’s short length. With only twenty haiku this book takes very little time to read.

I rate this book as 4 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

About the Author:

Ben Moeller-Gaa is the author of a haiku chapbook and has had his haiku published in many different books and magazines. He lives in Missouri with his wife Jessica and a white cat named Flitwick.

For more chapbooks like this one visit http://www.foldedword.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/foldedword
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/foldedword

 

 

100 JOURNEYS OF A LIFETIME by National Geographic – BOOK REVIEW

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100 JOURNEYS OF A LIFETIME By: National Geographic

Foreword by: Richard Branson

Publication Date: 2011

Type of Book: Softcover Glossy Magazine

Length: 127 pages

Genre: Non-Fiction, Travel

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

My Review:

This magazine is a feast for the eyes. The subtitle “The World’s Must-See Destinations” had me intrigued and judging by the pictures and descriptions, it is accurate.

The foreword was written by Sir Richard Branson who states “If you share my hunger to live life to its utmost, to immerse yourself in this world crammed with wonders, this book is your perfect passport.”

The book is divided into five categories. They are:

1. Water

2. Road & Rail

3. Wilderness

4. Food & Drink

5. History & Culture

Each of the one hundred travel destinations are given either a one or two page layout.

Each destination has it’s own title, the name of the location and a blurb with tips for planning a trip to that locale. It also includes advice on the best time of the year to travel to that specific destination. A website (sometimes two) is also listed for each destination to enable would- be travelers to obtain more detailed information.

The pictures of each of the 100 journeys are nothing short of awe-inspiring. The editors have done an amazing job by picking photographs that are sure to entice readers to want to experience each journey themselves.

The 100 journeys are not just place names. For example, one of the suggested locales is Scotland, but the article is entitled “Scotch Whiskey” and the information includes details about the scenery and also about touring whiskey breweries.

The only thing that would make this book better would be more pictures and more details about each place. This is actually available since this magazine is a shortened version of National Geographic’s hardcover book ” Journeys of a Lifetime” which is available to purchase at http://www.nationalgeographic.com for $40.

Since reading this book my “Bucket List” has gotten substantially longer. I have added new experiences and travel destinations to my list of things I want to do and see before I die.

This book will stir up the desire for adventure in everyone who reads it.

I rate this book as 4.5 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I definitely want to buy the expanded version of this book as I love to travel.