THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS by M.R. Carey – 5 Star AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

Cover image obtained from www.amazon.com

Cover image obtained from http://www.amazon.com

THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS

Author: M.R. Carey

Type of Book: Audiobook – Unabridged

Narrator: Finty Williams

Length: 13 hours and 4 minutes

Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Fiction

Release Date: June 10, 2014

Publisher: Hachette Audio

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Holy Moly! What a terrific audiobook! I would give this a 6 Star rating if it were possible!

Narration is simply perfect and the story grabbed and held my attention from the very first sentence.

Just when I thought the post-apocalyptic genre and especially zombie fiction held no more surprises, along comes THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS!

Did I mention that I LOVED THIS AUDIOBOOK?

Well, even if I did say it already, I will say it again … I LOVED THIS AUDIOBOOK.

Melanie is the best young heroine I have read about in quite a while. She is definitely not the typical young girl that readers/listeners have come to expect. She may be different, but she is terrific.

I usually write a synopsis of each book or audiobook I review, but I am going to break that tradition for this review because I do not want to ruin the story for potential readers or listeners.

The setting is post-apocalyptic England and the author does not go into detail about what happened. She gives the listener enough information for them to figure it out on their own. As an avid reader I appreciate the fact that the author assumes her readers/listeners have enough intelligence that they do not need every tiny detail spoon-fed to us like idiots.

The character development in this audiobook is simply superb. As the story progresses, the listener cannot help but sympathize with Melanie’s situation. The same thing can be said about the character: Miss Justineau.

Dr. Caldwell is a terrific villain. It is also interesting that she can be seen as either a heroic figure or an evil monster depending on who is judging her character.

This book is not just pure entertainment (although it is extremely entertaining). It is also a treatise on what it means to be human.

This would be a terrific book to read as part of a book club. There are so many topics and scenarios that take place that are worthy of the “What Would You Do in that Situation” discussion, that this single book could be discussed at multiple book club meetings. Discussions could also arise on ethics and what actions can be justified “for the greater good.”

The narrator has an English accent, which, due to the setting of the audiobook is appropriate. There are many variations of English accents depending on which region of the UK the speaker hails from. Some accents are difficult to understand, but the accent of the narrator of this audiobook is very clear. She is quite simply brilliant and whoever it was that chose her to narrate “The Girl With All The Gifts” deserves to recognized for making the perfect choice. I will definitely be adding Finty Williams to my list of favorite narrators.

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Photo obtained from www.goodreads.com

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

M.R. Carey is a pen name for author Mike Carey. Mike Carey is a British writer whose work spans comics, novels, film scripts, and TV shows. After writing shorts for British sci-fi comic 2000 AD and a few one-shots for Caliber Comics during the 1990s, he was offered DC/Vertigo’s Lucifer — henceforth the longest running and most successful Sandman-related spinoff to date. While continuing to work with DC on Vertigo series like Crossing Midnight and graphic novels like God Save The Queen, he took over as lead writer for Marvel’s X-Men (now X-Men: Legacy) in 2006. His work includes DC/Vertigo’s Hellblazer, Marvel’s Ultimate Fantastic Four, the Felix Castor novels, The Steel Seraglio (with Linda and Louise Carey), and DC/Vertigo’s The Unwritten (with Peter Gross).

To find out more about M.R. Carey visit his official website at
http://www.mikeandpeter.com

ABOUT THE NARRATOR:

Photo Credit: Clara Molden

Photo Credit:
Clara Molden

Finty Williams is a 41 year old actress living with her 18 year old son, Sam in London, England.

Finty is the daughter of award-winning actress Dame Judi Dench and actor Michael Williams. She spends her weekends visiting her mother at her childhood home near Reigate in Surrey.

In a newspaper interview with “The Telegraph” Finty said “I wanted to be a dancer – which is why I’m so thrilled to be the voice of Angelina, in Angelina Ballerina – but I grew the wrong way and, when I was about 13, my leotard stopped fitting and I was turfed out of ballet class. I sort of fell into acting when I was doing my A-levels, and got offered a TV series, and then I did the whole drama school thing at Central.”

To read the entire article (written by Anna Tyzack) go to: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/mother-tongue/11031677/Judi-Denchs-daughter-to-compare-me-to-mum-is-ridiculous.html

Photo Credit:  Jonathan Hordle/Rex Features

Photo Credit:
Jonathan Hordle/Rex Features

Perhaps it is not surprising that Finty Williams became an actress since both her mother (age 80) and her father (deceased) were/are in show business, but Finty has never needed to rely on her pedigree to land roles. She has worked hard and paid her dues and landed roles based solely on her own incredible talent.

Going by her narration of “The Girl With All The Gifts” I am extremely impressed with her skills as a narrator.

PREDATORY INSTINCT by Michael McBride – AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

Cover image obtained from www.audible.com

Cover image obtained from http://www.audible.com


PREDATORY INSTINCT

Author: Michael McBride

Type of Book: Audiobook – Unabridged

Narrator: Scott Thomas

Length: 9 hours and 3 minutes

Genre: Thriller

Release Date: April 27, 2015

Publisher: Michael McBride

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Image obtained from author.michaelmcbride.net

Image obtained from author.michaelmcbride.net

* I received a free copy of this audiobook through Audiobook Blast in exchange for an honest review.

When I read the synopsis of this story I thought it would be similar to movies I have seen of people trapped in an Arctic station and stalked by a primitive beast, but I was pleasantly surprised to be wrong.

The fossilized remains of a species never before documented is found in the Altai Mountains. The discovery causes a rush of scientists to converge on the frozen location in hopes of proving that there was a third protohuman ancestor. It would be the discovery of the century if the theory could be proven.

The unthinkable happens and the exploration team is attacked (this part is very predictable).

I do not want to give away too much of the plot, so I will not go into detail. However, I very much enjoyed listening to this audiobook.

Scott Thomas was the perfect choice to narrate this audiobook. His pacing was great and although he could have rushed when the action gets intense, he kept his voice modulated. He was able to convey urgency without rushing. I rate the narration of this audiobook as 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This book is a thriller and offers the listener a “thrilling” listening experience.

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Author photo obtained from http://author.michaelmcbride.net

Author photo obtained from http://author.michaelmcbride.net

Michael McBride is the author of multiple award-winning thrillers.

Michael McBride is the author of more than twenty novels and novellas. His short fiction has been featured in Cemetery Dance, Dark Wisdom, Dark Discoveries, and various anthologies. He lives in Westminster, Colorado with his wife and children.

To learn more about him and the books he has written visit his official website at http://author.michaelmcbride.net

ABOUT THE NARRATOR:

Narrator photo obtained from www.amcstudios.com

Narrator photo obtained from http://www.amcstudios.com

Scott Thomas has been a voice-over professional for over twenty years. He is the founder of AMC Studios in Jacksonville, Florida.

The name AMC stands for Alex/Maddie/Carolyn – Scott’s twin daughters, and wife of over 20 years.

Scott has been performing voice-overs for over 25 years, with a wide range of styles and deliveries, from video narrations to character acting. Clients and agencies from coast-to-coast have sought Scott out for his talent, professionalism and attention to detail.

Radio and television commercials, business narrations, audio books, amusement park characters, documentaries, video game voices, website narrations, video presentations…Scott has worked with scores of recognizable names such as Disney, The Jacksonville Jaguars, General Dynamics, Coca Cola, Safetouch Security, Gate Petroleum, Lexus, Burger King, Sally Corporation, Dalton Agency, DR Horton, and so many more.

For projects that require multiple voices, Scott has a network of widely diverse talent, ranging from children to mature adults.

To learn more about Scott Thomas and to listen to many samples of his work visit http://www.amcstudios.com

THE GIFT by Simone Pond – BOOK REVIEW

Cover image obtained from www.simonepond.com

Cover image obtained from http://www.simonepond.com


THE GIFT

Author: Simone Pond

Type of Book: eBook

Length: 24 pages

Genre: Young Adult Dystopian Fiction

Release Date: February 26, 2015

Publisher: Ktown Waters

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Image obtained from www.simonepond.com

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

This short story is part of Simone Pond’s Voices of the Apocalypse series. There are ten stories in this series.

Ransom Sherman is a sixty-three-year-old retired farmer who lives deep in the woods of Ohio. He lost his farm years earlier when the bog corporations seized control of the Midwest’s farming industry. He was forced off his own land, but didn’t let that stop him from stealing back some of his own chickens. Now he sells their eggs at the local farmer’s market.

In fact, he met Keyla Johnson on his way to the market one morning. The first thing he noticed about Keyla was not her black skin, it was how small and scrawny she looked. He knew she couldn’t be much older than twelve years old and just from looking at her, he knew she was all alone in the world.

Both Keyla and Ransom have had it rough for a long time, but, maybe this unlikely duo will find solace from being together.

Twenty-four pages should not be enough space to fully develop a single character, so it definitely should not be enough to develop two characters. Yet, somehow Simone Pond has managed to exceed my expectations.

I rate THE GIFT as 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Simone Pond is an award-winning author of dystopian fiction. Her current series includes The City Center, The New Agenda, The Mainframe, and The Torrent. She also has a short story series called Voices of the Apocalypse.

She grew up in Kensington, Maryland – a small town just outside of Washington D.C. As a young girl, she loved writing in her journal and making up stories, but after reading S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, everything changed. Amazed that a woman could write so convincingly from a teenage boy’s perspective, Pond became determined to become a writer as well.

Pond currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their Boston Terrier. Follow her blog at Simone Says… http://www.simonesaysblog.com

EDMUND KEMPER: The True Story of the Co-ed Killer by Jack Rosewood – BOOK REVIEW

Cover image obtained from www.amazon.com

Cover image obtained from http://www.amazon.com

EDMUND KEMPER: The True Story of the Co-ed Killer

Author: Jack Rosewood

Series: Historical Serial Killers and Murderers – True Crime by Evil Killets: Volume Two

Type of Book: eBook

Length: 72 pages

Genre: Non-Fiction, True Crime

Release Date: June 22, 2015

Publisher: Wiq Media

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐

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

Edmund Kemper is probably the sickest serial killer ever to have walked the Earth. His crimes are still talked about today and his deviant behavior both fascinates and appalls many people still to this day.

Edmund Kemper was born in Burbank, California in December of 1948. His was a troubled childhood with a mother that should have never been allowed to procreate.

Edmund was always awkward. His body was massive; weighing almost 300 pounds and reaching a height of six feet, nine inches.

His deviant thoughts started long before his killing spree did. He harbored gory and elaborate fantasies full of rage.

This book is his story. Readers need to be warned that this is not a story with a happy ending, and those who have sensitive stomachs should not read this book.

Kemper began his decapitation fantasies as a child and practiced by beheading the dolls of his sisters. This was soon not gratifying enough for this twisted psychopath and he moved on to torturing and killing the family’s pet cats. “Kemper’s rage against women – revealed first through the dolls with long, blond hair, and later through the cats – was a result of his abysmal relationship with his mother.”

He would eventually kill ten people; including hitchhiking co-eds, his mother and both his grandfather and grandmother.

To learn how he became the vicious psychopath that he is today, you need to read this book.

I have mixed feelings about this type of book. While I find deviant psychology fascinating, I hate that the killers get so much more attention than their victims. However, it is a sad truth that people are more interested in the killer than the killed.

I would have liked it if there was a bit more detail about each of the victims.

Despite that, the author has done a good job of condensing the story into only 72 pages.

There are some editing/proof-reading errors, but once I pointed them out to the author, he has assured me that they will be fixed immediately.

I rate this book as 3.5 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐

THE LAST SUMMER AT CHELSEA BEACH by Pam Jenoff – BOOK REVIEW

Cover image obtained from www.pamjenoff.com

Cover image obtained from http://www.pamjenoff.com


THE LAST SUMMER AT CHELSEA BEACH

Author: Pam Jenoff

Type of Book: Softcover

Length: 373 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction, Historical Romance

ISBN: 978-0-7783-1754-8

Price: $14.95 US / $17.95 CAN

Release Date: August 2015

Publisher: Mira Books

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

* I received a free softcover copy of this book through the Goodreads Giveaway program. A review was not a requirement of receiving the book, but I love receiving free books and I think reviews are important to both writers and to potential readers.

This book is set in America, both before, and during the Second World War.

It begins in 1941 when seventeen year old Adelia Monteforte is taken from her home in fascist Italy by her mother and placed aboard a ship headed to the USA. Adelia had no idea she was going and had no possessions with her. Also, despite her pleading, her parents do not accompany her on the journey.

She was met at the port in Philadelphia by an Aunt and Uncle she had never met before. They took her into their home despite the fact that they had no children of their own.

Her Aunt and Uncle spent summers at the shore and Adelia had no choice but to go with them.

It is at this ‘summer home’ that she meets the Connally family. She didn’t know it at their first meeting, but knowing the Connally family changes her life forever.

Adelia falls in love at first sight with Charlie Connally. Charlie was the oldest of the four Irish-Catholic boys. Adelia is an immigrant Italian whose family is Jewish. Obviously, Addie and Charlie would make a unique couple, but their religious differences don’t seem to matter at all.

Just when Charlie and Addie seem to have their futures together all figured out, tragedy strikes and everything changes.

Addie is grief-stricken and does the only thing she can think of; she flees. She heads to Washington and works as a typist for the newspaper. But, when her past shows up in Washington she runs away again – this time she ends up in war-torn London, England where she lands an amazing job at a highly regarded newspaper.

It is in London that Addie begins to realize that running away did not solve anything. She finds herself torn between the love of two terrific men.

Eventually, she realizes that, in order to find herself, she needs to return home.

I had expected this book to be like dozens of other war-time romance novels and I thought I knew the plot before I even started reading. However, this book is not like other books of the same genre – in a very good way!

I found myself drawn into the lives of Addie and the Connally boys immediately. The author has a gift for making the characters come alive for the readers.

This book is set in the early 1940s and it is the perfect setting for this story.

THE LAST SUMMER AT CHELSEA BEACH is a book that readers will literally be unable to put down. This book is so well written that I was completely engrossed in the story. In fact, when tragedy strikes I actually got teary-eyed and that does not happen to me normally.

A writer that can make a reader cry, laugh and hope throughout the course of the story is a very talented author. Kudos go to author Pam Jenoff for achieving this rare feat.

I also like the fact that included at the back of the book are two pages of “Questions for Discussion.” This will give Book Clubs a starting point for their discussions.

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

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
(Information and photo obtained from http://www.pamjenoff.com)

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Pam Jenoff was born in Maryland and raised outside Philadelphia. She attended George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and Cambridge University in England. She received her master’s in history from Cambridge, and afterwards accepted an appointment as Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Army. The position provided a unique opportunity to witness and participate in operations at the most senior levels of government, including helping the families of the Pan Am Flight 103 victims secure their memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, observing recovery efforts at the site of the Oklahoma City bombing and attending ceremonies to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of World War II.

Following her work at the Pentagon, Pam began work at the State Department. In 1996 she was assigned to the U.S. Consulate in Krakow, Poland. It was during this period that Pam developed her expertise in Polish-Jewish relations and the Holocaust. Working on matters such as preservation of Auschwitz and the restitution of Jewish property in Poland, Pam developed close relations with the surviving Jewish community.

Pam left the Foreign Service in 1998 to attend law school and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. She worked for several years as a labor and employment attorney in Philadelphia and now teaches law school at Rutgers.

Pam is the author of The Kommandant’s Girl, which was an international bestseller and nominated for a Quill award, as well as The Winter Guest, The Diplomat’s Wife, The Ambassador’s Daughter, Almost Home, A Hidden Affair and The Things We Cherished. She also authored a short story in the anthology Grand Central: Original Postwar Stories of Love and Reunion. She lives outside Philadelphia with her husband and three children.

To find out more visit http://www.pamjenoff.com

THE AVENUE by Simone Pond – BOOK REVIEW

Cover image obtained from www.amazon.com

Cover image obtained from http://www.amazon.com

THE AVENUE

Author: Simone Pond

Type of Book: eBook

Length: 18 pages

Genre: Young Adult Dystopian Fiction

Release Date: April 14, 2015

Publisher: Ktown Waters

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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This short story is part of Simone Pond’s Voices of the Apocalypse series. There are ten stories in this series.

Tiger Saparito loves Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. It was once a thriving Italian neighborhood, but unfortunately it had become a wasteland. Ever since the Planners had begun the Repatterning, the entirety of New York had changed, and not for the better.

The Mafia had been left alone by the Planners until they instituted the Law of Conscription which took all the young men and shipped them off to “war.”

Now all that is left on Arthur Avenue are aging Mafiosi who are clinging to their deteriorating businesses by their fingertips.

When Tiger’s long-time crush rushes into his cafe and announces that the Planner’s are destroying her bakery, Tiger has had enough.

He calls his old “work” buddies together and they decide to fight back.

But how do you fight against the Repatterning? And with what? What hope do they have of winning?

I enjoyed THE AVENUE. It brought to mind many different groups of people and how they would respond to an apocalypse, but I must admit that I had never given a second thought to how the mafia would react.

I love the fact that author Simone Pond has chosen to set each of her short stories in a different state and city. This allows the reader to “see” that the Repatterning has affected the entire country.

I rate THE AVENUE as 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Simone Pond is an award-winning author of dystopian fiction. Her current series includes The City Center, The New Agenda, The Mainframe, and The Torrent. She also has a short story series called Voices of the Apocalypse.

She grew up in Kensington, Maryland – a small town just outside of Washington D.C. As a young girl, she loved writing in her journal and making up stories, but after reading S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, everything changed. Amazed that a woman could write so convincingly from a teenage boy’s perspective, Pond became determined to become a writer as well.

Pond currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their Boston Terrier. Follow her blog at Simone Says… http://www.simonesaysblog.com

DEAD CELLS by Kevin Millard – AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

Cover image obtained from www.audible.com

Cover image obtained from http://www.audible.com


DEAD CELLS

Author: Adam Millard

Type of Book: Audiobook – Unabridged

Narrator: Luke Smith

Length: 5 hours and 52 minutes

Genre: Zombie Fiction

Release Date: March 13, 2015

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐

* I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review through Audiobook Blast.

THE STORY:

The premise of this novel is a zombie outbreak in a high security prison. Not a bad idea, but limited in scope. Despite that, I decided to give this audiobook a chance.

The main character is a regular guy named Shane. Shane has a wife and young daughter, both of whom he adores. In fact, it is his devotion to his family that eventually lands him in jail.

With the threat of being evicted and despite his diligent job-searching, Shane has been unable to provide financially for his family. In desperation and a misguided attempt to avoid receiving charity, Shane’s pride overrides his common-sense and he does something supremely stupid and very illegal.

Shane receives a three year prison sentence for his actions and the book begins when he only has three months left on his sentence.

Shane is incarcerated in one of the nation’s most notorious prisons and is constantly surrounded by murderers, rapists, gangsters
and pedophiles.

When a new inmate is brought in, carrying with him a deadly virus, Shane realises that his plans, his release, and even his life are at risk.

The sick prisoner is carrying a horrible virus which quickly spreads throughout the prison, infecting both the prisoners and the guards.

“With the virus spreading, turning guards and inmates into flesh-eating zombies, it’s up to a few survivors to figure out how to escape the facility, how to get along.”

I expected more from this audiobook than I received. The author has taken some very large liberties with the story’s logistics. For example: The warden’s office does not have a lock. I find this simply ridiculous. Of course his office door would have a lock. I highly doubt that a high security facility would be lacking in such basic security measures. Not even a simple lock on the warden’s office, and yet other areas require fingerprint scanning to enter. This makes no sense.

I did enjoy listening to the narrator’s voice, however there were some editing errors that distracted me from being able to be fully drawn into the story.

There are at least three instances where the narrator repeats himself. This is both irritating and unpredictable.

Another thing that bothered me about this audiobook was the inconsistency of the time it took for people to turn into zombies. Some inmates took hours or even overnight to change and yet others seemed to change instantly. If the author had offered some explanation for these variations it might have been more believable.

Due to the issues listed above, I rate this audiobook as 3 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐

CLASSICALLY EXPOSED by Lexi Lauderdale – AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

Cover image obtained from www.audible.com

Cover image obtained from http://www.audible.com

CLASSICALLY EXPOSED

Author: Lexi Lauderdale

Type of Book: Audiobook – Unabridged

Narrator: Audrey Lusk

Length: 35 minutes

Genre: Erotica

Release Date: July 8, 2015

Publisher: Soft Kiss Books

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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

** This short audiobook is meant for Adults Only! Listeners should be 18 or older.

Catherine has dated and bedded her fair share of men but she has grown bored of what some people call “vanilla sex.”

In her job as a paralegal she must present a professional front, but inside she harbors a desire for excitement.

She begins to search for what will fulfill her sexually. She researches various fetishes that do not appeal to her until finally she comes across forums and blogs that pertain to the fetish of exhibitionism.

She is excited to give it a try and the first time she exposes herself she realizes that she has found her niche.

Now she is continually upping the stakes in search of the ultimate exhibitionist display. That display will leave her “Classically Exposed.”

Lexi Lauderdale’s writing of this novella comes across more as self-empowerment than as smut. This is not just about sex. It is about a woman exploring exactly what she needs to experience to feel fulfilled.

The narrator, Audrey Lusk has a voice that is perfect for erotic fiction and more importantly, she does not overact.

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

THE PREPPER by Simone Pond – BOOK REVIEW

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THE PREPPER

Author: Simone Pond

Type of Book: eBook

Length: 24 pages

Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Young Adult Fiction

Release Date: January 27, 2015

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Mona Hendricks is a seventeen year old, red-haired beauty and Critter Holt has been in love with her since Kindergarten.

Critter has a plan. He and his small circle of friends may be outcasts at their high school, but they don’t care. Their classmates call them “Preppers” as if it were a dirty word. Critter couldn’t care less. He would much rather be prepared than popular.

Who do you think has a better chance of surviving The Repatterning? The “Preppers” or the spoiled rich kids who rely on their money and their popularity to get through life? And who will rescue Mona when the crap hits the fan?

Simone Pond’s writing talent astounds me. THE PREPPER is only 24 pages long and yet somehow she has packed the story with so much depth that readers cannot help but empathize with the characters. Her short stories draw the reader into her world and don’t let go. I dare anyone to read just one of her stories. Her writing is like that commercial for Lay’s potato chips. ‘Betcha can’t read just one.’

I have read most of the stories in the Voice of the Apocalypse series (and will have read them all shortly) and the one thing they all have in common (besides the obvious) is that I could easily each one of these stories being expanded into full length novels and I would want to read every one of them.

If you have not yet read any of Simone’s books or short stories yet, then YOU ARE MISSING OUT!

I may have only discovered Simone Pond’s books and stories a year ago, but she has earned a spot in my list of favorite authors. I highly recommend reading any and all of her works of fiction.

I rate THE PREPPER as 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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To learn more visit http://www.simonepond.com

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FOG CITY by Simone Pond – BOOK REVIEW

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FOG CITY

Author: Simone Pond

Type of Book: eBook

Length:

Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Young Adult Fiction

Release Date:

Publisher: Ktown Waters

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This short story is part of Simone Pond’s Voices of the Apocalypse series. There are ten stories in this series.

Samantha Crawford was supposed to be at work. Her job was PR and she was good at it. However, on this particular day she and a male coworker, named Crow, had snuck out of work to meet at a dive bar and play dominoes.

Samantha was in love with Crow, but too scared of rejection to let him know.

She receives a priority message from the CEO of her PR firm that changes her entire life.

Will she tell Crow how she feels or will she let her fear of rejection dictate her life? And, what exactly did the message say? And how will affect the rest of her life?

Once again Simone Pond has written a story with strong characters and a spell-binding storyline. What this story lacks in length is more than made up for with depth.

Simone Pond has that rare talent to immediately draw her readers into the world she has created.

I rate FOG CITY as 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Simone Pond is an award-winning author of dystopian fiction. Her current series includes The City Center, The New Agenda, The Mainframe, and The Torrent. She also has a short story series called Voices of the Apocalypse.

She grew up in Kensington, Maryland – a small town just outside of Washington D.C. As a young girl, she loved writing in her journal and making up stories, but after reading S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, everything changed. Amazed that a woman could write so convincingly from a teenage boy’s perspective, Pond became determined to become a writer as well.

Pond currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their Boston Terrier. Follow her blog at Simone Says… http://www.simonesaysblog.com

THE HILL by Simone Pond – BOOK REVIEW

<img src="https://amiesbookreviews.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/image30.jpg" alt="image" width="280" height="162" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-THE HILL

Author: Simone Pond

Type of Book: eBook

Length: 25 pages

Genre: Young Adult Dystopian Fiction

Release Date: February 7, 2015

Publisher: Ktown Waters

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This short story is part of Simone Pond's Voices of the Apocalypse series. There are ten stories in this series.

You will not regret spending money on books or short stories by Simone Pond. She is an amazing author and has quickly become one of my favorite authors of all time.

Anyway, enough rambling. Here is my review of THE HILL.

"That warm June night was the final time the five of us would meet at Gore's hill. We didn't know it was the last time we'd meet there, or the last real cigarettes we'd smoke together. We just knew it was the first day of summer break and the first year none of us had summer school."

The world had changed, and we now lived in an alternate universe where everything sucked and fun was illegal…We were the disintegrating middle class."

Toni is sixteen and her world is changing. The night she meets up with her friends on Gore's hill will change her life forever.

This short story was inspired by the New Agenda book series. There are four books in the series, including: "The City Center," "The New Agenda," "The Mainframe" and the thrilling conclusion to the series: "The Torrent."

I rate THE HILL as 5 out of stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Simone Pond is an award-winning author of dystopian fiction. Her current series includes The City Center, The New Agenda, The Mainframe, and The Torrent. She also has a short story series called Voices of the Apocalypse.

She grew up in Kensington, Maryland – a small town just outside of Washington D.C. As a young girl, she loved writing in her journal and making up stories, but after reading S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, everything changed. Amazed that a woman could write so convincingly from a teenage boy’s perspective, Pond became determined to become a writer as well.

Pond currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their Boston Terrier. Follow her blog at Simone Says… http://www.simonesaysblog.com

Be sure to join the mailing list for updates on new book releases at http://www.simonepond.com

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DOCTOR MARS by T.A. Uner – AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

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DOCTOR MARS

Author: T.A. Uner

Type of Book: Audiobook – Unabridged

Narrator: Elizabeth Phillips

Length: 1 hour and 8 minutes

Genre: Science Fiction

Release Date: June 10, 2015

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

* I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review through Audiobook Blast dot com.

This is the first episode of the Mindcop Dossiers.

DOCTOR MARS is set in the future. The story takes place on the planet of Mars which, after a century of preparation is now fully colonized. In fact, Mars houses a population of five million.

Liberty Rise works for the MCPF (Mars Colony Police Force) as a part of the Mind Cop program. She is a mutant with a unique power which she uses to help solve crimes.

When the mutilated body of a technology student is discovered it is up to Liberty to solve the crime and maybe even save the planet at the same time.

Even though this audiobook is only just over one hour in length, I enjoyed it. It provides just enough details about the Mars Colony to intrigue listeners and to pique their interest in the rest of the series.

The end of this story paves the way for the rest of the series. It does not end on a cliffhanger, it is a completed story which is something I very much appreciate. It is frustrating when an audiobook ends in the middle of a story and the listener is left waiting for the next audiobook to be released in order to finish the story.

The author has done a great job with character development, especially in such a short length of time. Listeners will feel the emotions that Liberty experiences along with her. This is due in part to good writing and in part to excellent narration skills. I would rate the narration as 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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

IGNITE THE SHADOWS by Ingrid Seymour – BOOK REVIEW

Cover image obtained from www.ingridseymour.com

Cover image obtained from http://www.ingridseymour.com

IGNITE THE SHADOWS: Book One

Author: Ingrid Seymour

Type of Book: eBook

Length: 400 pages

Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction

Release Date: April 23, 2015

Publisher: Harper Voyager an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers Ltd.

ISBN: 9780008113667

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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

“I try not to look inside the alley. It’s dark. Creepy dark.”
“Really I don’t know what I was thinking when I let Xave slink in there to spy on his brother. He walked between the two buildings until shadows devoured him.”

It’s February in Seattle, Washington. Marci and Xave (short for Xavier) have followed Xave’s brother Clark to the “bad” side of town. They are trying to figure out exactly what Clark is up to.

Xave followed Clark into the alley while Marci waited with the motorcycle running. Marci spent long minutes trying to keep her stress level low. She knew that stress would trigger her and she needed to avoid all triggers.

“The alley looks like a tomb of indefinite depth. I’m trying to tear my eyes away from it when my hands begin to shake. Crap. Not now. There’s never a good time for an attack, but right now has got to be the worst. Fear floods my chest, paralyzing my racing heart.”

Escaping on a motorbike, Marci feels her “self” being taken over. “All my senses are gone. Yet somehow, I know I’m here, pushed to a corner where I’m tiny and inconsequential. I’m weightless. A plundered body, a consciousness without gray matter, nerve endings or synapses. A wisp of nothing. WHAT IS THIS? Then I understand. The shadows have won. I’ve lost total control like never before. My brain, my body are gone. I have been … replaced…”

It is easy to imagine the absolute and utter fear that Marci feels. It is a terrifying concept to be fully aware, while something takes control of your entire body. Marci’s terror and helplessness are described by the author:

“This thing didn’t kill me. It made me a prisoner, and it’s worse than a thousand deaths at the blade-end of a thousand knives.”

As if fighting off some mysterious force trying to take over her body isn’t enough, something or someone has hacked into her computer system.

That should never have happened. Marci is one of the best hackers on the Net. She had set up the security on her “gear” herself and the protection she placed on it should have kept out just about anyone.

Now, throw in a mother who is totally emotionally absent and who spends all of her time obsessing over the sixteen year old kidnapping of Marci’s twin from the hospital immediately after their birth.

Poor Marci. She has quite the challenging life and more problems than any teenager should ever have to deal with.

When a classmate’s father is murdered, Marci’s entire existence is thrown into utter turmoil. Will Marci be able to get through it? Or will it all become too much for her to bear? And, what the heck does the dead man have to with her?

For answers you will need to read the book.

Ingrid Seymour has done an outstanding job of creating characters that are realistic and that readers (especially young adults) will be able to relate to.

The lead character, Marci, is not a typical heroine. Marci’s mother is caucasian and her father was hispanic. Marci inherited her coloring from her father and her grandfather who had come from Chile to the United States.

I love the fact that the author has chosen to use multiple ethnicities in her work. This is much more reflective of today’s society than books that contain only caucasian characters.

This book sucks the reader into the story right from the first chapter. It is packed so full of action that readers will not want to put it down.

I loved the science of the story and the unique take on an age-old concept. I also really enjoyed learning more about Marci.

There is a romantic sub-plot but it never takes over the story. The focus remains where it should be – on the plot.

The author also has a flare for describing complex emotions and perfectly captures the awkwardness and confusion of first love.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and I will be eagerly awaiting the release of the next two books in the trilogy.

I rate IGNITE THE SHADOWS as 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

FAVORITE QUOTES:

“We speed for a few blocks and I dare hope we’ve left the cop behind, but I’m fooling myself. He can go from zero to screwing-up-our-lives faster than I can.”

“My life as I know it is disintegrating like sandcastles in a windstorm.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Author photo obtained from www.ingridseymour.com

Author photo obtained from http://www.ingridseymour.com

Ingrid Seymour is not only an author, she is also a software engineer. She spends some of her time cooking exotic recipes, working out and hanging out with family and friends.

Ingrid lives in Birmingham, Alabama with her husband and two sons.

You can follow Ingrid on Twitter @Ingrid_Seymour

Visit her website at http://www.ingridseymour.com

CARY STAYNER: The True Story of the Yosemite Park Killer by Jack Rosewood – BOOK REVIEW

Cover image obtained from Amazon.com

Cover image obtained from Amazon.com

CARY STAYNER: The True Story of the Yosemite Park Killer

Author: Jack Rosewood

Type of Book: eBook

Series: Historical Serial Killers and Murderers: True Crime by Evil Killers: Volume 4

Length: 71 pages

Genre: Non-Fiction, True Crime

Release Date: August 9, 2015

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐

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

Cary Anthony Stayner was born in California to a lower-middle-class family. He had three sisters and a younger brother. His family spent summers camping at different national parks, including Yosemite which was close to their home. Cary had decent grades at school and even played on the school baseball team. Sounds like an idyllic All-American childhood, doesn’t it?

So, if he grew up leading such a wonderful life, how did he end up becoming a killer?

The facade of normalcy that Cary’s family portrayed to the outside world proves that you cannot always judge a book by it’s cover. Cary’s childhood and his family life were anything but idyllic.

Add to this multiple family tragedies, one of which received nationwide attention and you have a recipe for disaster.

Find out what caused a seemingly normal boy to turn into an evil monster by reading this short novella by Jack Rosewood.

Shortly after starting to read this book I realized that I knew of parts of the story, but had forgotten the name of the murderer. However, I definitely learned much more about this crime by reading this book than I had known previously.

There are aspects of this book that I enjoyed immensely, but there were a few minor things that (in my opinion) could have been improved.

One of the things I did not like was that some phrases were not explained. For example, in 1999 when their granddaughter Carole Sund (age 42) and their great-granddaughter Juli (age 15) along with Carole’s sixteen year old exchange student, Silvina Pelosso, an Agentinian national went missing, Francis Carrington “… was called in for a three-house interview…” What the heck is a “three-house interview? This is not explained in the book.

The other issue I had with this book was that it needed an editor or proof-reader. Several paragraphs and sentences were redundant and some contained typos. For example: “told her I loved her, and slit her throat, driving the knife so deeply into her throat that her almost severed her head.” I assume this was supposed to say “…he almost severed her head.”, not “her.”
Example 2 – “He might just as well been talking about the bogeyman.” This should have said: “He might as well have been talking about the bogeyman.”

Once these two issues are addressed, the book will deserve a higher rating.

Author Jack Rosewood has done a terrific job of taking a huge amount of information and condensing it to fit into only 71 pages. This makes this True Crime book a quick and easy read.

Overall I enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading more true-crime stories by this author.

I rate this book as 3.5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Author photo obtained from Amazon

Author photo obtained from Amazon

* Author information taken from his biography on Amazon.com

I live in one of the most beautiful places in Florida, Jupiter, with my wife, two kids and our golden retriever, Vincent. I’ve been a full time author for the last 15 years and I wouldn’t trade it against anything in the world!

My father was a journalist and wrote about some of the worst crimes you could ever imagine, and that’s where my big interest from serial killers and other horrible crimes comes from. Just to hear my father talk about the evil acts of Ted Bundy as we were out fishing as a kid are some of my best memories.

Join the Email list for great offers: http://eepurl.com/bilCuf

Facebook Fan Page: http://facebook.com/jack.rosewood.author

THE BORROWED WORLD by Franklin Horton – AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

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THE BORROWED WORLD

Author: Franklin Horton

Type of Book: Audiobook – Unabridged

Narrator: Kevin Pierce

Length: 7 hours and 55 minutes

Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Fiction

Release Date: July 2, 2015

Publisher: Franklin Horton

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

* I received a free copy of this audiobook through Audiobook Blast in exchange for an honest review.

ISIS is a terrorist organization that everyone has heard of. A group that only a year ago no regular US or Canadian citizen had ever heard of, is now extremely well known and much discussed.

Jim travels the five hour distance to Richmond, Virginia on a semi-regular basis for work. He hates it, but has no choice.

He is what is known as a Prepper. He is always ready for any emergency scenario and even travels with a “Get Home Bag.”

When small groups of terrorists simultaneously hit large numbers of key infrastructure targets all over the United States, they set in motion a devastating effect on the United States. They hit oil refineries and hydro stations – leaving 65% of the USA without power and without the means to create and distribute the fuel that is such an integral part of American life.

Stranded in Richmond, 500 miles from his wife and children, Jim is determined to get home to them.

At home his wife Ellen and Jim’s two children face a different set of challenges. Thankfully, Jim has written a manual to help assist and prepare Ellen in case of emergency.

With the power out and food and gas supplies quickly dwindling, it does not take long for the more primitive (and violent) side of human nature to start rearing it’s ugly head.

This audiobook is an excellent listening experience. Kevin Pierce, does a spectacular job as the narrator. He emotes very well and his sense of timing and pacing is perfect and keeps the listener enthralled. I especially liked the fact that he did not “overact” during dramatic scenes. Instead, he infuses his voice with just the right amount of urgency and inflection to pull the listener into the story.

I read and listen to a lot of dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction because the genre fascinates me. I love the fact that Franklin Horton has added a Prepper twist to his book. It is a nice change from the typical book in which the characters are caught completely unaware and much of the book is spent in disbelief.

In this audiobook, the main character, Jim clues in very quickly to what is happening and the listener does not have to endure chapter upon chapter of disbelief. It is a refreshing change.

Franklin Horton has also done an incredibly believable (and I believe – accurate) description of how people react when faced with a major catastrophe. He takes into account that not everyone will act in the same way when faced with the same circumstances. The scene at the Interstate Rest Stop is particularly well written. He has a great sense of timing and every single event in this book comes across as believable. This is what makes THE BORROWED WORLD such a compelling audiobook. The print version of this book is also available, but I highly recommend listening to the audiobook instead. As I mentioned above, the narration by Kevin Pierce is excellent. In fact, I give the narration 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

My biggest complaint about this audiobook is that it ended with a cliffhanger. I did not want to stop listening. I need to know what happens next with Jim and his companions. And, what about Ellen and the kids? I need to listen to the next audiobook in the series asap. I will be eagerly awaiting the release of the second book in this series.

Overall I have to rate this book as 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I loved it! Give this audiobook a chance and I think you will love it too.

HOUSE OF CRIMSON AND CLOVER – BLOG TOUR POST – NEW RELEASE

CCTour

The House of Crimson & Clover Box Set Volumes I-IV
by Sarah M. Cradit
The House of Crimson & Clover #1-5
Publication Date: August 17, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Tour: The House of Crimson & Clover Box Set Volumes I-IV by Sarah M. Cradit

Purchase on Amazon

The Sullivans, a family of hard-working Irish lawyers, came from nothing and built a life they can be proud of. The Deschanels amassed incredible wealth by siding with the North during the Civil War, betraying their people. Both New Orleans families have a dark and rich history, painted with secrets, treachery, and colorful, supernatural abilities.

The House of Crimson and Clover unravels the mysteries surrounding both families, pulling us further into their tangled, enigmatic lives.

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About Sarah M. Cradit

Sarah M. Cradit

Sarah is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Paranormal Southern Fiction series, The House of Crimson & Clover. The series was born of her combined loves of New Orleans, family dramas, and the mysterious nature of love and desire. Her books combine elements of paranormal, mystery, suspense, intrigue, and romance. She is always working on the next book in the series, and absolutely loves connecting with her fans.

Sarah lives in the Pacific Northwest, but has traveled the world from Asia to Europe to Africa. When she isn’t working (either at her day career, or hard at work at writing), she is reading a book and discovering new authors. The great loves of her life (in order) are: her husband James, her writing, and traveling the world.

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