Title: HOW HE KNEW: Short Stories For the Young and Old

Author: Lynda Cordova

Type of Book: Audiobook – Unabridged 

Narrator: Tina Strong 

Length: 1 hour and 5 minutes

Genre: Fiction, Short Stories

Release Date: June 22, 2015

Publisher: Lynda Cordova 

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️

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

I actually struggled to listen to this audiobook in its entirety. The only reason that I didn’t just abandon this audiobook was because it was given to me in exchange for an honest review and I wanted to keep my word. 

However, I am glad I listened to the entire audiobook as I did enjoy a few of the stories. 

I think short story anthologies are difficult to rate because while some of the stories deserve a 4 or 5 star rating, others were not as highly enjoyable. That said, just because these stories did not strike a chord with me does not mean that other listeners will feel the same.

I suggest that if you like short stories then you should give this audiobook a try and form your own opinion. 

The narration was done well. Tina Strong was articulate and easy to understand with no distinguishable accent. I rate the narration as 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Overall I rate this audiobook as 3 out of 5 stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

5 Big Stars for THE END OF SEEING by Christy Collins – BOOK REVIEW


Author: Christy Collins

Type of Book: Softcover

Length: 190 pages

Genre: Literary Fiction

Publication Date: August 23, 2015

Publisher: Xoum Publishing 

ISBN: 978-1-921134-62-3 (Print)

ISBN: 978-1-921134-63-0 (EBook) 

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

~ I received a free copy of this book through the Goodreads Giveaway program. A review was not a requirement of receiving this book, but authors and publishers always appreciate honest reviews. 

THE END OF SEEING is the winner of the 2015 Seizure Viva La Novella Prize. 

“The buildings rise from the rain-blackened streets and office workers slip by leaving pieces of conversation in the air…”

Ana. Poor Ana. She has to be one of the unluckiest people alive. First, she loses her daughter in a tragic accident and next her photojournalist partner, Nick, goes missing and is presumed dead. 

Everyone, including the police and the rest of Nick’s family are convinced that he perished in a boating accident off the coast of Italy. 

But, no body has ever been found. Yes, his cellphone washed ashore, but there are lots of reasons his cellphone could be there without him.

Ana is determined to find out the truth and to prove that he is still alive. She sets out to follow his path and to trace his movements.

What she discovers along the way will surprise everyone.

This book is a literary masterpiece. 

It is written in delightfully descriptive prose that will resonate with readers of all ages. 

Ana’s desire to believe that Nick is still alive is 100% believable and totally understandable. I have always wondered how a person can possibly grieve and move on if no body is found. I believe that I would be just like Ana; thinking of all the possible (even if improbable) scenarios that could lead to someone’s disappearance. This is highlighted by Ana’s thoughts at the beginning of the book:

“We’re you on that boat? Did you get off alive? Did you think: now’s my chance to disappear, to escape the grief and guilt of Mia’s death? Did you mingle in a crowd, jump on a bus, and head for the mountains, cross the border on foot, without papers, like others on board had no doubt planned to do? Maybe you were unable to resist the power of your own story, seeing how far you could get, how long you could survive – earning black money or none at all, nameless and untraceable. Or are you maddened by an ordeal at sea? Perhaps you don’t know your own name… Perhaps you’re asleep in a youth hostel, bed springs creaking above and below you. Perhaps you’re dreaming of running a very long way without anything to stop you. While I, awake in the middle of the night, am dreaming still of you.”

The subject matter may seem bleak and dark at times, but the same can be said of reality. Everyone experiences times of darkness in their lives. Christy Collins has eloquently captured both the beauty and despair of the human condition and the endurance of hope when all seems lost. 

Christy Collins has an uncanny ability to say quite a bit by using few words. For example; interspersed amongst the details of Ana’s journey are random memories that pop into her mind. Here is one such memory: 

“I remember a summer holiday: no-one on the beach but the two of us. Evening waves repeated themselves softly on the shore. Beginning with the soles of my feet, you reminded me I was alive. Later: salt and sand swilled down the drain in the cracked-tiled bathroom in a cheap hotel. You reminded me again.”

Nowhere in the above narrative does it say that Ana and Nick made love, but the reader knows that this is what occurred. Also nowhere in this description does it mention how old they were when this event took place, yet, somehow, the way it is written evokes a vision in the reader’s mind of Nick and Ana in their youthful, carefree past; before adult and familial responsibilities changed their lives. Only a highly skilled and supremely talented author can say so much with so few words. 

I highly recommend this book and rate it is 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

Visit for more information as well as links to buy this amazing book online. 


“Sometimes I felt like we were shipwreck survivors, washed up in Suburbia – living day to day and waiting for the rescuers to come and deliver us back to the country where our real lives were going on without us.”

“I look around the [hotel] room, not really expecting to find anything: hotel rooms like this one have no memory.”

“I’m on a mission no-one else believes in, and I’m not even sure I believe it myself. What was I expecting? Clues scrawled in blood on the hotel wall? Love letters jammed under sofa cushions: ‘Come find me, my love; we’ll both disappear’?”

“The day is clear and blue and emerald green. The smell of my sunscreen reminds me of summers past.”


Christy Collins is a writer, reader, film reviewer and PhD student at the University of Tasmania. The End of Seeing is published by Seizure and was a joint winner of the Viva la Novella Prize 2015.

To learn more about Christy Collins visit 

5 Stars for DIAMONDS FOR DINNER by Hilda Newman – BOOK REVIEW


Title: DIAMONDS FOR DINNER: My Life as a Lady’s Maid in a 1930s Stately Home 

Author: Hilda Newman (with Tim Tate) 

Type of Book: Softcover

Genre: Non-Fiction, Autobiography, Memoir 

Length: 241 pages

Release Date: September 2013

Publisher: John Blake/Trafalgar Square

Regular Price: $14.95

Sale Price: $5.99 at Chapters in the Bargain Book section

ISBN: 978-1-78219-610-5

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

Are you a fan of Downtown Abbey? Have you ever wondered if what you see on the show is historically accurate? I am, and I have. 

When browsing through the Bargain Books section at the Chapters store in Barrie, Ontario I came across “Diamonds For Dinner” and I was intrigued to see if the reality of being a ladies maid was really like the way it is portrayed on Downtown Abbey.

I expected this book to focus solely on Hilda’s time as a ladies maid, but upon reading I realized that it was much more than that. 

Chapter One begins: “I am, it is safe to say, old now. Though a more polite way of looking at it would be to say that I have seen a lot of history.” 

To say that Hilda “…has seen a lot of history…” is an understatement. She was born during World War I and served in World War II. In her lifetime there have been 20 (yes, 20) different British Prime Ministers and she has been alive during the reign of two (and a half) kings and was ten years old when Britain’s current Queen was born. If that is not considered seeing a lot of history, I don’t know what is. 

Hilda has lived a very interesting life and she has written this book (at the age of 97) with a wickedly wry sense of humour that makes it eminently readable. 

Hilda was born in 1916 while her father was away fighting the war in France. In fact, she would be two years old by the time she finally met him for the first time. She didn’t know it then, but she was extremely lucky. Lucky because her father not only made it through World War I alive, but that he came through it physically unscathed and arrived home without any physical infirmities. 

Hilda’s parents were never rich, and when her father returned from the war, he discovered that he no longer had his previous job as an engineer to fall back on. Hilda’s parents believed in hard work. “But we learned from our earliest years that life was a test and what mattered was the choices you made, never knowing whether you’d made the right one until it was too late: you might be right, you might be wrong but you had no option but to choose and, when all was said and done, you’d better be prepared to take the consequences.”

It was this philosophy that ultimately led Hilda to apply to be a ladies maid for Countess of Coventry, even though she had no previous experience in “service.”

This book is the story “…of life with the Earl and Countess of Coventry – one of the oldest and greatest families…” in England at the time. 

The details of both how the servants lived and how the family lived are fascinating. As are the details of the estate itself. In “Downtown Abbey” the story focuses mainly on the people and on the main house and rarely shows the scope of the estate’s size. In “Diamonds For Dinner” Hilda finds a guide book in the library that she follows around the grounds. Imagine having to walk for thirty minutes just to find a building that was built as a pleasure house for the residents of the main house. 

This book is completely absorbing and is so fascinating that I read the entire book over a twenty-four hour span. Because of this I have to rate this book as no less than 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

To learn more about Croome Park – the estate featured in this book, visit 

All pictures below were obtained from the website above. 

 Friends of Croome Court 



Author: Shaun O. McCoy

Type of Book: Audiobook – Unabridged 

Narrator: Gabrielle Olexa 

Length: 1 hour and 13 minutes

Genre: Science Fiction 

Release Date: November 2013

Publisher: Sisyphean Publications 

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 
~ I received a free copy of this audiobook through AudioBookBlast dot com in exchange for an honest review. 

PA3025 is an obsolete robot who was created to be a PA (Personal Assistant). Yes, he’s a robot … and he’s depressed. 

His “therapist” – a man named Knickers tells him that he needs to volunteer his services to someone who could never afford an actual personal assistant.

This is how he meets Madelaine, a partly-senile, half blind, old-school technophobe with two arthritic cats. 

Madelaine nicknames PA3025 “Arty” and the name sticks.

Arty helps Madelaine and Madelaine helps Arty and together they try to find meaning in their lives.

This audiobook was very different from other robot/android stories that I have read and/or listened to. Yes, it is technically a Science Fiction story, but it is more a story of what it means to be “alive” and the importance of purpose rather than the action/thriller type of story that is typical of the Science Fiction genre. 

Narrator Gabrielle Olexa does a ‘spot-on’ job as the voice of Madelaine. She is very believable as an elderly woman and her performance of Madelaine perfectly captured the nuances of an aging woman. The only small issue I had with the narration was that using a female narrator as the voice of Arty was a bit confusing. Until Arty’s “gender” was revealed I believed that PA3025 was a female robot model. Gabrielle Olexa was excellent as the voice of a robot who operated on logic and lacked emotion. She was convincing in her lack of emotional inflections. 

I feel that a rating of 5 out of 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ is well deserved for ELECTRIC BLUES. 

I do want to comment on the audiobook cover. Cover art is the first thing a potential reader sees when deciding whether or not to pick up a book or audiobook to read the back cover. If the artwork is not relevant to the story or does not somehow reflect the audiobook’s genre, it is possible that potential readers are lost simply because they never bothered to read the book’s description. I think this could easily happen with ELECTRIC BLUES. The saxophone on the cover leads potential readers to think this book is about music.

However, on the author’s Facebook page I found an alternate cover for this book which is terrific. Here is what I found:


Shaun O. McCoy is the author of the popular HELLSONG series. More info about that series can be found at 

Shaun started out as a writer at an early age. He wrote (well, probably printed) his first full length novel in middle school. 

In his sophomore year of high school, Shaun traveled with his father and grandfather aboard the research vessel World Discoverer to the far off continent of Antarctica. 

At age 20, Shaun was struck with CSD, which put him in a coma and hospitalized him for two weeks. Upon recovery, he traveled to Florida to live on his aunt and uncle’s horse ranch in the hopes of regaining his constitution. 

It was there that he was introduced to ideas like discipline and cage fighting. Shaun has since competed in two cage style Mixed Martial Arts competitions, and he is the proud victor of both events. He is an avid chess fan and active tournament player. At one time he was ranked as the 79th chess player in the state of South Carolina. 

In 2010, Shaun began to pursue his life-long goal of becoming a professional writer. Even Hell Has Knights was his debut novel.

Check out Shaun’s Facebook page at 


Gabrielle Olexa received a Bachelor’s degree in English/Secondary Education from the University of South Carolina in 2004. 

She says it was during an English class that the first seeds of interest in a career as an audiobook narrator were planted. When asked to read out loud in class, someone complimented her on her mellifluous voice. 

Gabrielle taught English in China before settling down with her husband, Phil in Charlotte. They now have one child. 

To learn more about narrator Gabrielle Olexa visit: 

On Twitter at: 

Zaria Fierce Series by Keira Gillett – More Info


Blurb: When her friend, Christoffer, is kidnapped by a river-troll, Zaria Fierce must team up with his three best friends and complete a quest to rescue him

Available in E-book | Print | Audio Book formats.

Author Website: 

Visit my other blogs:

YA Book Blog: 

Romance Novel Blog: 

5 Stars for BREAKDOWN: Season One by Jordan Quattlebaum – AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

Title: BREAKDOWN: Season One

Author: Jordan Quattlebaum

Type of Book: Audiobook – Unabridged 

Narrator: Mitchell Lucas 

Length: 5 hours and 5 minutes

Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Fiction

Release Date: July 24, 2015

Publisher: Jordan Quattlebaum 

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This book is a post-apocalyptic serial. This audiobook contains episodes 1 to 5. 

The best thing about this series is that the characters are regular people. 

Thomas Monroe’s life is a mess. He lost his wife and has never been the same. He tries not to let his daughter see just how messed up he is, but even though she is away at college, she knows. 

On his way to work at a low-paying, but emotionally satisfying job he gets a phone call from a prior client who is in the military. The call is a warning of impending chaos. 

Obviously Thom has no idea what to make of the phone call and when his car breaks down, the call is pushed to the back of his mind. He’s having a bad day and he figures that it can’t get any worse. 

Wow! Was he wrong!

The United States is hit by what appears to be an electromagnetic pulse, knocking the power grid almost completely offline. This means that anything that runs on electricity or is computer-based will no longer work. This includes every vehicle made in the last twenty years. 

Millions will die in the coming weeks and most of the country, including Thom is completely unprepared. Worst of all, his daughter’s college is located halfway across the state. She is all he has left and he has to get to her. 

But, the roads, cities and towns between have quickly devolved into terrifying warzone a. 

Listen to this suspenseful audiobook to follow along with Thom as he makes friends, outwits thugs, battles bandits, and struggles across the state to attempt to reunite with his daughter. 

Can an everyday, broken man survive the apocalypse? 

“Breakdown is a serial adventure. Think of it like listening to your favorite TV show, with a new episode released every three to four weeks. These episodes are not stand-alone books. Each season will be a stand-alone book containing to four to five episodes.” 

I was completely sucked into this story from the first few minutes of this audiobook. The characters are easy to relate to and it is easy to imagine yourself in Thom’s shoes. It brings to mind questions as to how you would react to each scenario that Thom must face on his quest to reach his daughter. As a parent, I can relate to his need to reach his child and his willingness to do whatever it takes to get to her. 

The narration is terrific. Pacing is perfect. Voices are realistic and easily distinguishable from one another. Mitchell Lucas does an outstanding job of conveying emotions and urgency. The narration alone deserves a 5 star rating. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

Overall, the only thing about this audiobook that I did not like was that it had to end. I will be eagerly awaiting the release of the audiobook of BREAKDOWN: Season Two.

I give BREAKDOWN: Season One a rating of 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

Fortunately, the author is currently offering a free copy of his new short story on his website at 

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

Jordan Quattlebaum is a regular guy with a talent for writing fiction. He is married and has two children. 

He has a terrific website that I encourage everyone to check out at 

To learn more visit Jordan’s Quattlebaum Facebook page 

4 Stars for RE-WIRED by Greg Dragon – AUDIOBOOK REVIEW


Author: Greg Dragon

Type of Book: Audiobook – Unabridged

Narrator: Jack Nolan

Length: 3 hours and 44 minutes

Genre: Science Fiction 

Release Date: July 16, 2015

Publisher: Greg Dragon 

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Set in Seattle sometime in the not-too-distant future. There are flying cars as well as regular cars, robots and androids have become commonplace and marijuana is legal. But some things haven’t changed … such as the desires and expectations of family. 

Brad’s family is no exception. His has always been a medical family and Brad has been groomed since childhood to become a doctor. What Brad’s parents don’t know is that he has no intention of following the life-path they have designed for him. 

Attending college, he is taking all the requisite medical classes, but Brad’s favorites class is an elective – Robotics. When each member of the class is given a basic android kit and told that they are each to create their own android, Brad is thrilled. Being assigned to create his own android is his dream come true. He has many ideas and innovations that he is eager to try. He wants to create an android that is indistinguishable from humans and one that is self-aware and who can think for herself. 

The project becomes an obsession and he desperately wants his android (whom he named Trisha) to have human looking (and feeling) skin. But that type of upgrade is expensive and Brad needs to figure out a way to get the money he needs. 

His only option is to look for the “skin” in the criminal underworld. It is there that he is offered a deal seems too good to be true. 

Remember the old adage that states “If something seems to good to be true, it probably is.” But, will this be true for Brad? Or will he and his android prove to be the exception? 

This book grabbed my interest right from the start. The idea of creating self-aware androids is not a new idea. In fact, it is a plot line in many movies and books. Because of this I expected a predictable storyline, but thankfully my suspicions were completely unfounded. 

This audiobook takes the listener on a roller coaster ride with lots of twists, turns, dips and even some blind corners. 

The narrator, Jack Nolan’s voice is the perfect blend of raw and sophisticated. He is easily understood which is essential to a positive listening experience. He never rushes the story and his pacing is ‘spot-on’. I rate the narration as 5 out of 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The story was interesting and the many twists mean that the listeners attention never wavers. I enjoyed this audiobook and I look forward to reading other titles by Greg Dragon. 

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

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


Greg Dragon has been a creative writer for several years, and has authored on topics of relationship, finance, physical fitness and more through different sources of media.This Florida author brings exciting action and drama to his written work. His storylines keep readers engaged with characters that come to life from the beautiful celestial scenes of science fiction, to the gritty world of urban drama.

To learn more about Greg Dragon visit his website at 


Jack Nolan is both a narrator and an audiobook producer. He has worked as an actor for more than two decades and despite the fact that people often think he is British, he is, in fact from California, USA. 

To view a list of audiobooks narrated by Jack Nolan check out  



4 Stars for INO’S LOVE by Marianne Sciucco – AUDIOBOOK REVIEW


Author: Marianne Sciucco 

Type of Book: Audiobook- Unabridged 

Narrator: Terry Murphy

Length: 28 minutes

Genre: Fiction, Short Stories 

Release Date: September 21, 2015

Publisher: Bunky Press

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 


“Into prepares a Christmas feast for her successful CEO son, but when he’s too busy to spend the holiday with his mother, she shares her dinner and gifts with her home health aide. Sometimes, the people who love us best are not family.”


This audiobook was a very quick listen. The entire story only lasted 28 minutes, but within those twenty-eight minutes quite a lot took place. 

Ino is an elderly widow living in an apartment in New York’s Little Italy. She has lived there for most of her life and she has no intention of ever moving, despite the fact that she now has difficulty handling the stairs. As far as Ino is concerned, there is nothing or no one that could ever convince her move away from the place where she experienced so many happy moments in her life.

Ruby is a paid caregiver who visits Ino several times a week and spends a few hours with her each time. This service is paid for by Ino’s son who is a bigshot corporate executive who makes a ton of money, but lives on the other side of the country. 

When business brings him to New York a few days before Christmas he calls his mother and tells her that he is dropping by to visit her. 

Ino is excited that her son is coming to see her and she cooks his favourite food. However, he calls and says he can’t make it. Ino decides to ask Ruby to stay for dinner instead.

I have to admit that it made me quite angry that her son was so self-absorbed that he didn’t even consider his mother’s feelings when he cancelled. Sadly, this scenario is one that plays out way too often in households across the country. 

There is a whole extra topic of conversation and discussion that arises when Ruby stays for dinner, but I won’t go into detail here because I don’t want to ruin the story for potential audiobook listeners. I will say that if this audiobook does not make you feel, then you are immune to normal human emotions. 

The narrator for this audiobook was outstanding, perfectly capturing the mood and emotions of the characters in this story. 

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

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


Marianne Sciucco is a writer who happens to be a nurse. A lover of words and books, she studied the craft of writing as an English major at the University of Massachusetts at Boston and briefly worked as a newspaper reporter in New England. 

To avoid poverty, she later became a nurse and wrote about the intricate lives of people struggling with health and family issues. 

A native Bostonian who loves Cape Cod, she lives in upstate New York. When she isn’t writing, she works as a campus nurse at a community college. 

To learn more about her visit 


Terry Murphy started her voiceover career in 1980 and she has held multiple News Anchor jobs including positions in Cincinnati, Detroit Michigan, Chicago Illinois and Los Angeles California. 

Her voice was the driving force behind the highly successful syndicated show “Hard Copy” for nine years. Because of this, she was once known as America’s tabloid queen!

More information can be found at

5 Stars for BROKEN DOLLS by Tyrolin Puxty – BOOK REVIEW


Series: Broken Dolls – Book One

Author: Tyrolin Puxty

Length: 175 pages

Genre: Fantasy, Horror, Science Fiction 

Publication Date: December 14, 2015

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

EBook ISBN: 978-1-62007-929-4 

Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-62007-931-7

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-62007-930-0 

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️🌟 

First off I feel that I have to mention the stunningly gorgeous cover of this book. The “doll” is stylized and disjointed with a black wind-up type key in its right side. The choice of having the doll standing on a plush red heart that matches the colour of the doll’s dress mixed with the small black butterflies surrounding her gives a sense of something just not quite right about her surroundings. When you look closer, you realize that she is standing on a hinged piece of wood which is attached to a similar piece of wood located behind her. In fact, it looks like the two pieces fit tightly together with the doll flattened inside whenever it is closed. Also, I love that the book title, along with the author’s name are inside scroll work. The chosen font is perfect.

In fact, I had decided that I wanted to read this book solely based on the cover design. Once I read the description I was thrilled that the book sounded just as interesting as the book’s cover. 

“Slowly and silently, cries the dancing doll, meekly, angelically, she weeps for her soul.”

Ella used to be human, but she has no memories of that time. She is a doll … A broken doll. She has lived the past thirty years as a doll. She was “saved” from her human life and turned into a doll by the Professor. 

Ella lives in the attic and has been conditioned by the Professor to never try to leave it. 

When the Professor decides to make another doll Ella is excited. She has never had another doll to play with. She knows that when the new doll wakes up she will be devoid of memories, won’t even know her own name and will be disoriented, but Ella vows to help her adapt to her new life.

The new doll’s name is Lisa. When the Professor activates her, Ella asks her what she remembers and is shocked to find that not only does Lisa remember her own name, but that the majority of her memories are also intact. Another shock comes when Ella realizes that Lisa is mad. 

When the Professor’s granddaughter, Gabby arrives, the Professor tells Ella that they will become friends. 

But, what will happen to Lisa? Will Gabby somehow accept a talking doll? Is the Professor out of his mind? Is he evil? Or is he actually a saviour? How does he turn humans into dolls? And, why would he want to? 

For answers to the questions above as well as many more, you will need to read BROKEN DOLLS. 

You will not regret your decision to pick up this book. The only thing you might not like is that the story has to end eventually, but I am happy to report that this is the first book in a planned series. I will be eagerly awaiting the release of Tyrolin Puxty’s next book. 

The characters in this book are complex and believable and the concept of being changed from a living, breathing human into a doll is absolutely horrifying. Imagine never again feeling a fresh breeze on your face, never feeling the softness of grass under your feet and never being able to smell the distinctive aroma of fresh cut grass. These may seem minor things, but they are all significant parts of being human. 

Tyrolin Puxty has a wondrous gift for vivid descriptions that evoke emotional responses in the reader. For example, when describing a first visit to the ballet, she says: “The orchestra was like a romantic radioactive wave that wafted through the theatre, sending ripples of emotion through the audience. The dancers’ technique was flawless, impeccable, perfect. I loved how their eyes glistened when the audience cheered. I envied their heaving chests as they posed during the applause. I wanted the exquisitely crafted costumes that pressed into their flesh. THEY have a life.”

Not only is this book a great read but it also brings up many ethical questions such as: 

The dilemma of quantity vs quality of life

Is it better to die? Or live trapped in a dolls body?

Is he evil? Or is he a saint and a saviour?

Was does “to live” really mean? Is it life if you don’t breathe? Is it life if you are stripped of your memories?

At what point do we cease to be human? What if you were in a car accident and you lost both legs and both arms and they were replaced with prosthetics? Would this make you less human? 

For all the reasons outlined above and for the sheer entertainment value, I rate this book as 5 out of 5 stars.⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

To find out more about this phenomenal read go to:  


“If she’s going to be a black hole of misery that absorbs my happiness, then she belongs in the shadows!” 

“The storm intensifies. Sticks and other small pieces keep flinging against the window. It’s really creeping me out. I keep imagining a demonic deer hovering outside, saliva dripping from its snarl as it headbutts the pane. Why a demonic deer? No clue. Deer are terrifying. I’ve never even been able to finish ‘Bambi’.” 


Tyrolin Puxty is only 23 years old but she has already accomplished quite a bit in a short time. She was awarded “Australian of the Year” in both 2014 and 2015. She has also worked as a paralegal, appeared in television shows, been hired for product photography, modelled, become a Justice of the Peace, started her own club for school-age children who are interested in the arts, worked for a successful magazine company, published a book, hugged a koala and had a show ride collapse on her head. 

To learn more about this author visit 




The time has come! Pre-order for Fantasy of Flight is now available.

Pre-order always makes it so real!

The final product of the third instalment in The Tainted Accords is making author Kelly St. Clare so excited she is seriously losing sleep!

Release date for Fantasy of Fire is January 14th 2016 (a year from the release of Fantasy of Frost *wipes tear*). BUT remember, 5 ARCs (advanced copies) will be going out early. If you haven’t entered this giveaway already then head to this link to find the details. 


I absolutely love this series and have rated every one of the books as 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

Visit her website at


4 Stars for THREE INTO ONE by Julie Elizabeth Powell – AUDIOBOOK REVIEW


Author: Julie Elizabeth Powell

Type of Book: Audiobook – Unabridged

Narrator: Phil Mayes

Length: 21 minutes

Genre: Science Fiction, Short Story

Release Date: July 3, 2015

Publisher: Julie Elizabeth Powell

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This audiobook is extremely short. The entire thing only lasts twenty-one minutes, but those twenty-one minutes pack in a lot of story.

Thomas is an odd child. He has always been this way. Then, one night at the age of seven, he experiences something that affects him in a very strange way.

This event not only makes him seem even weirder than he had before, but it also alters him physically.

What happened that night? How does a seven year old wake up in the middle of a forest with no memory of how he got there?

The answers to those questions will affect not only Thomas, but the rest of humanity.

I enjoyed listening to this audiobook and was surprised to find out that it is narrator Phil Mayes first professional narration. He did a wonderful job in voicing not only the children’s voices but also as the voice of the third-party storyteller. He speaks clearly and is easily understood which is important for the listener. I rate the narration as 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The only thing I disliked about this audiobook was the story’s ending. I felt that it could have been wrapped up in a much neater fashion. I assume that the author left the story unfinished for a reason. I understand that this tactic leaves the listener able to speculate on the various outcomes for the story and it’s characters. But, to me this audiobook actually seemed like it was the opening chapter for a novel and that the listener was left ‘hanging’ just as the story seemed about to get even more interesting.

With that said, if author Julie Elizabeth Powell ever decides to turn this story into a full-length novel, I would be very interested in reading it. It is for that reason that I rate “Three Into One” as 4 out of 5 stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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


Julie Elizabeth Powell is an indie author based in England. She has authored over 17 titles of various genres.

For more information visit her author’s page on Goodreads:

Her novel “GONE” sounds intriguing.


Phil Mayes is from London, England, but now lives in Southern California and he loves his adoptive home. According to Phil this proves that climate beats culture.

After a life spent writing in Assemblers, C, C++, Python and Javascript, he is now writing in English. He currently blogs, takes naps and is working on his next book with his wife Maude Mayes. He recently started narrating audiobooks

To learn more about Phil Mayes go to: 


Check out his narrator info page at 

Zaria Fierce Book 2 Cover Reveal – Release Date: November 6, 2015

Zaria Fierce and the Enchanted Drakeland SwordAbout the Book:

Title: Zaria Fierce and the Enchanted Drakeland Sword

Release Date: November 6, 2015 (11/06/2015)

Author: Keira Gillett

Illustrator: Eoghan Kerrigan

Narrator: Michele Carpenter

Series: Zaria Fierce Trilogy, Book 2

Summary in a Nut-Shell: Zaria Fierce must undo the damage she and her friends caused when they accidentally aided Olaf in his quest to release the dragon, Koll.

Full Summary: If Zaria Fierce had her say, being a princess would mean you’d never have to wait for news. In the eight months since Olaf tricked her, Zaria has felt a near constant mixture of restlessness, listlessness, and hopelessness. When the time comes to fix past mistakes, she is more than ready to climb aboard the ship sailing towards the giants. Summertime in Norway promises many more adventures, but also many more perils… something sinister lurks beneath the surface following her every move, haunting her, disturbing her dreams, and stealing her peace. Can Zaria figure out what it is and stop it before it’s too late?


Pre-order on Amazon: E-book

Praise for Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest (Book 1):

“Are you in the mood for an old fashioned magical jaunt? Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest by Keira Gillett is a classic “perilous adventure” book for middle grade readers.” Jennifer Bardsley, The YA Gal

“A captivating blending of fantasy storytelling with today’s technology. At the base of this tale is deep, abiding friendship that stands the tests of time, adventure and even danger.” Kathy Haw, Goodreads Review

“A great book with a lovely story and amazing characters. It’s a fantasy and adventure book that will be the delight of Narnia fans and those looking for a bit of Norwegian folklore thrown into it.” Ner, A Cup of Coffee and a Book

“If you’re looking for an action-packed adventure dipped in fantasy, look no further. This book kept me on my toes with its many cliffhangers and plot twists; it was quite hard to put down at times.” Meredith, All ‘Bout Them Books and Stuff

“I love when a story jumps right in and hooks me like this one did. I highly recommend you look into it if you are in the mood for a fun adventure. I also recommend that you get it for any book loving middle schooler you know.” Emily, Midwestern Book Nerd

Illustrations by Eoghan Kerrigan:




Filip slung his window open and tossed out his backpack. It landed in a thump in the hedgerow. Aleks pulled it out and slung it over his shoulder with his own bag.

“How’re you getting down?”

“Hopefully with your stargazer.”

“Then why toss down your bag?” Aleks asked, exasperated.

“Just in case,” Filip said with a wink at Zaria.

She suppressed a smile. She looked to the others, “Does anybody have rope?”

Aleks and Geirr both nodded. Then Geirr unzipped his bag and pulled out a neat coil from on top. He tossed it to Filip, who snatched it up as it sailed by the window. He disappeared into his bedroom and reappeared moments later slinging the coil out the window. It unraveled to the ground.

“Good,” Filip said briskly. “It’s long enough. Now let’s see if it holds.”

Filip quickly scaled the side of the house and they gathered their belongings preparing to dash. Without warning, Mrs. Storstrand stuck her head out of a bottom window and shrieked at the sight of them.

“Just what do you think you’re doing?” she demanded.

“Run!” Filip shouted, grabbing his friends’ sleeves and rushing for the street.

Aleks cursed and threw Filip his backpack while slinging his own around to the front and unzipping a pocket. He looked frazzled as he dug inside the opening. Mrs. Storstrand was quick. She was already out of the house and chasing after them. She threatened life and limb and the most terrible of all – letting Filip’s father know what he was about.

At last Aleks found the stargazer – a shiny purplish egg-shaped object perforated with stars – and almost dropped it in his haste. After a brief fumble, Aleks located the largest star, and hastily jabbed his finger into the hole. Just like that, Mrs. Storstrand froze mid-run. But so too did Christoffer, Filip, and Geirr.

Aleks looked at Zaria and to the others. “Damn,” he hissed. “Wait! How are you not frozen too?”


Pre-order on Amazon: E-book

Keira Gillett author pictureAuthor Bio: Keira Gillett is a technical publications librarian, book blogger, world traveler, artist, and now author. She graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in Drawing and Painting. From an early age her mother instilled a love of the written word, as such she has always been a big reader. Her first book, Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest, is about a young girl who must complete a quest to save her friend from a nasty river-troll.


Social Media: Twitter (keiragillett), Facebook (zariafiercetrilogy), Pinterest (zariafierce)

Eoghan Kerrigan IllustratorIllustrator Bio: Eoghan Kerrigan is an illustrator from Kildare, Ireland who draws primarily fantasy characters and creatures. He studied illustration in Ballyfermot College of Further Education and has produced work for various independent projects. He has two cats and a soft spot for trolls.


Social Media: Twitter (eoghankerrigan), Facebook (eoghankart)

Michele CarpenterNarrator Bio: Michele Carpenter is an artist at heart, with a passion for acting. She and her husband (also a voice actor) often work on projects together and help one another through the journey. Together, they have three kids. Michele’s children love to hear her read stories and beg her to edit her narrations in the same room with them so they can listen too. It’s partially for this reason that Michele has come to feel a personal responsibility to only record books that aren’t inappropriate for children or young adults–at their respective age levels and according to the maturity levels of the books they’re able to read. “We never know how long we have on this earth and I’d rather leave behind a legacy of books that I’m not ashamed to have my friends, family and even future grandchildren, listen to forever.”


Social Media: Twitter (michelecvoice), Facebook (michelecarpentervoice), YouTube (micheleyoutube)

5 STARS for SPANNERS: Fountain of Youth by Jon Mass – BOOK REVIEW

Title: SPANNERS: The Fountain of Youth

Author: Jon Maas

Type of Book: Softcover 

Length: 371 pages

Genre: Science Fiction

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

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

This book is simply BRILLIANT! 

The story is unique and the characters are utterly fascinating. 

“Spanners: Fountain of Youth” is a MUST READ book for lovers of Science Fiction as well as those who love alternative history stories.

Have you ever heard of Juan Ponce de Leon and his quest for the Fountain of Youth? 

Most people have at least a vague idea of the story. In fact, if I remember correctly, there is a spring in Florida that some believe, even to this day, is the fabled ‘Fountain of Youth.”

Well, this is so NOT that story. This is something unique. Readers are in for a treat.  

Jon Maas has introduced “Spanners” to the world.

Humans live (on average) from zero to eighty years consecutively, but Spanners don’t. 

Spanners have different life spans from the rest of us. Some Spanners live their lives in reverse, some live only a matter of months and some are literally immortal. 

There are hundreds of different types of Spanners and each type is unique. In addition to their varying life spans, they also have various powers. 

Just like regular humans there are “good” Spanners and there are “evil” Spanners. But, how do you stop an evil Spanner if he can’t be killed? 

The ancient Arawalk Indians thought they had the perfect solution; bury them deep underground in a stone casket and leave them to spend eternity in a box under the earth. 

But what happens when someone uncovers that casket and sets the being inside free?

You will need to read “Spanners: Fountain of Youth” to find out. 

I can vouch that this book will completely suck you in. It is literally impossible to put down. In fact, I suggest you set aside a couple days and clear your schedule of everything other than reading this book YES, IT IS THAT GOOD. 

Not only is the story fascinating, but the plot is incredible as well. The variety of different Spanners that Jon Maas has created are AWESOME. These ‘beings’ should come across as ridiculous or at least as unbelievable, but somehow the author has made their very existence seem perfectly logical and highly believable. The different variations of Spanners and their “class” is so well written that readers may start to wonder if perhaps there are Spanners in their own neighbourhood. 

As far as I am concerned this book is a MUST READ and I quite happily and with complete confidence rate it as 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

I am also excited about the fact that this book has been made into a movie and I can’t wait to go see it. To watch the movie trailer go to:

The movie has won multiple awards since it’s release and I am hoping that it will be screened here in Ontario, Canada soon. 

Check out 


Jon Maas was born in New Haven, Connecticut and grew up in San Antonio, Texas. After graduating from Stanford University with degrees in Biology and History, he’s earned a living as a Musician, Peace Corps Volunteer, Standup Comedian, TV Producer and Web Designer. 

His first novel, “City of gods – Hellenica” has been well received, and his second book, ‘Spanners: The Fountain of Youth’ won the award for ‘Best Young Adult Fiction’ at the 2014 San Francisco Book Festival, as well as ‘Best Science Fiction’ at the 2015 IndieReader Discovery awards.

‘Spanners: The Fountain of Youth’ is the sequel to the independent movie ‘Spanners,’ which is currently on the film festival circuit –

He has released his third book this year, ‘Flare,’ and it has been well-received so far. He is working on another book, which he hopes to release by December 2015.

He writes on his bus commute to and from work, and I am really glad he does.


4 Stars for BLACK BEAUTY by Constance Burris – BOOK REVIEW


Author: Constance Burris

Type of Book: Softcover 

Length: 131 Pages

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Paranormal Fiction, Contemporary Fantasy

Release Date: July 30, 2015

ISBN: 9781515275893

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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

Shemeya is a young African American woman who lives with her mother in the rundown Vista Apartments. 

Another resident, who everyone calls “Crazy Jade” is believed to be a voodoo priestess. Supposedly she can grant wishes, but the price of wish fulfillment is high. 

Shemeya is being bullied. She wishes to have the confidence to stand up to the ‘mean girls’ who consistently make her life miserable. 

Latreece discovers that her boyfriend has been cheating on her. She believes that her life would be better if she was curvier. 

Ashley hates her “nappy” hair. Her fondest desire is to have “White Girl Flow” and she will do anything to get it; even steal from Crazy Jade. 

All these girls will soon find out that if you mess with Crazy Jade things might go very, very wrong. 

The intended audience for this book is young adult. 

I must say that there are not a lot of Young Adult novels that are written with lead African American characters. This book not only contains African American characters, but the author is also African American. It is nice to have books that reflect the diversity of today’s society. 

The story itself is only 131 pages and is a quick read. The softcover copy of this book also contains a 40 page preview of Book One of the Everleaf series, entitled “Coal”. I previously read and reviewed “Coal” and enjoyed it very much. 

Even though this book is more like a novella than a full length book I enjoyed reading it. The characters are believable and the author has done a terrific job of capturing the self-centred and superficial nature of many of today’s youth.

Overall I rate “Black Beauty” as 4 out of 5 stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 


Constance Burris is on a journey to take over the world through writing fantasy, horror, and science fiction. Her mission is to spread the love of speculative fiction to the masses. She is a proud card carrying blerd (black nerd), mother, and wife. When she is not writing and spending time with her family, she is working hard as an environmental engineer in Oklahoma City. 

4 Stars for HELLO, AGNIESZKA by E. Journey – Book Review

Title: Hello, Agnieszka!

Series: Between Two Worlds: Book Two

Author: E. Journey

Type of Book: Softcover

Genre: Drama, Romance

Length: 273 pages

Release Date: June 19, 2014

Publisher: Sojourner Books

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

~ I received a free softcover copy of “Hello, Agnieszka! – A 70s Love Story” free through the Goodreads Giveaway program. A review is not a requirement of receiving the free book, but the authors and publishers do appreciate receiving feedback (good or bad) from readers.

This is the second book in the “Between Two Worlds” series, however, it is not necessary to read the books in order since each one is its own stand-alone novel.

This book begins with the suicide attempt of a young adult named Peter. Fortunately the attempt was unsuccessful, but this single event triggers a tsunami of family revelations – all centred around Agnieszka.

The tale turns to the past and specifically to Agnieszka’s life from age ten to twenty.

Agnieszka’s Great Aunt Jola was a renowned beauty and pianist in her native Poland. However, she, along with Agnieszka’s grandparents fled Poland and the Nazi invasion and emigrated to the United States. It was in the U.S. that Agnieszka was born.

At the age of ten Agnieszka heard Aunt Jola play the piano for the first time and she was captivated.

That love of music shaped her life for years to come. As a teenager in the early 1970s, you would think that Agnieszka would have been experiencing the “free love” era, but she was a very sheltered young woman and spent all of her time either at school, at home or practicing the piano. At the age of 17 she had never even had a boyfriend.

That all changes when she meets Lenny and falls deeply in love.

Betrayal and heartbreak, along with love, lust and a mother who is stuck in the past all conspire to change Agnieszka’s life forever.

This is a tale of young love, first loves, heartbreaks and the power of music to soothe the soul.

If you are trying to decide whether or not to read this book, there are certain things that you need to take into consideration.

1. Are you looking for a steamy romance with detailed sex scenes? If so, this is NOT the book for you. Yes, there is sex in this book, but the act itself is secondary to the story and the author obviously decided that graphic sex scenes were unnecessary. In my opinion, this is a good thing. This book seeks to appeal to the reader’s heart, much more so than their libido.
2. Are you looking for a modern day setting? Again, if that is the case, this is NOT the book for you. But, if you want to read a story that is set in the 1970s during an era of change and exploration, this is EXACTLY the book for you.
3. Do you enjoy superficial characters that are completely lacking in depth and that readers are unable to relate to? That is the exact opposite of the characters in “Hello, Agnieszka.” The author’s character building is excellent. Readers learn more and more about each character as the story emerges and readers will find themselves beginning to be invested in the lives of Agnieszka, Lenny and Aunt Jola.
4. Are you looking for a book that contains only simple and straightforward emotions? If so, this is NOT the right choice for you. The emotions and actions of the characters in this book are complicated and often perplexing, but always realistic.

So, in conclusion, this book is more of a drama than a romance. Yes, the romance is central to the story, but it is about much more than that.

I enjoyed this book and will definitely read more books by author, E. Journey in the future.

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

To purchase this book visit

To learn more about this author visit

4 Stars for BLIND RAGE by Anita Paddock – AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

Cover image obtained from

Cover image obtained from


Author: Anita Paddock

Type of Book: Audiobook – Unabridged

Narrator: Kevin Pierce

Length: 3 hours and 55 minutes

Genre: True Crime, Non-Fiction

Release Date: September 10, 2015

Publisher: Pen-L Publishing

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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

In May 1981, Ruie Ann Park’s body was found by her adult son in a pool of blood in her own home. Her home was located on top of Log Town Hill overlooking the Arkansas River in Van Buren, Arkansas.

This is a photo from the Park family photo album of their home. Standing out front is a young Sam Hugh Park. Photo obtained from

This is a photo from the Park family photo album of their home. Standing out front is a young Sam Hugh Park.
Photo obtained from

She was beaten to death and left for dead. The police and townspeople assumed her son was the murderer. Why?

This murder took place in an era where being gay was proof of being deviant and therefore he was an easy target for law enforcement.

But the years would uncover a much more sinister story. Until the night of the murder, the Park family seemed to have an almost perfect life. For fifty years they were the owners of “The Press Argus” newspaper.

Hugh Park was connected politically and his wife, Ruie Ann, was a local historian, a journalist, and a teacher. They had a biological son who Ruie Ann thought was brilliant and could do no wrong. The couple also adopted a daughter, named Linda who seemed to become the father’s favorite.

Their golden life ended in divorce and the children remained with Ruie Ann, who stayed in the marital home, becoming bitter and more and more demanding of the daughter who couldn’t seem to up her mother’s expectations.

Fast forward to adulthood…

The son, Sam Hugh, had once had a promising legal career but this ended because of his penchant for young men, alcohol and drugs.
It was this history that set him firmly in the sights of law enforcement when his mother was murdered.

In comparison, adopted daughter, Linda, seemed to have a much more normal life. She graduated from college, married a lawyer and moved a few hours away from her overbearing mother.

So, if it wasn’t the ‘degenerate’ son, who killed Ruie-Ann Park? If you don’t already know the ultimate outcome if this murder case, the answer will surprise you.

I enjoyed listening to this audiobook and thought that the author did a terrific job of describing both the Park family’s history as well as the complex family dynamics. She was able to stick to the facts and weave them into a compelling tale that listeners are able to follow easily.

The narrator, Kevin Pierce has the perfect voice for true crime audiobooks. He seems to have an ingrained sense of which words and sentences to emphasize, as well as a gift for pacing. His voice never overwhelms the story itself which allows the listener to focus not on the voice, but on the content of the audiobook. I rate the narration of this audiobook as 5 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

My only complaint is that after the author spent so much time detailing the family history, it seemed like once the murderer was arrested (three years after the crime took place) the story starts to have huge holes in it. Listeners/readers are not given detailed information about how the death of another family member took place. It is eluded to that it was a suicide, but no details were given. I believe this information should have also been included. Also, once the murderer is arrested there is barely any information about the legal process. I would have liked a few more details.

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

To find out more about this book visit


Author photo obtained from

Author photo obtained from

Anita Paddock is a widowed author who currently resides in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Anita attended Van Buren High School, graduating in 1958 and enrolled in the University of Arkansas from 1958-1960 and graduated from Little Rock University in 1962.

To learn more, visit


Narrator photo obtained from

Narrator photo obtained from

Kevin Pierce is a full-time audiobook narrator and has received many awards and accolades on both Audible and ACX.

For more information visit