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Audiobook Review & Giveaway: Onions in the Stew by Betty Macdonald

20 Mar

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Author: Betty MacDonald

Narrator: Heather Henderson

Length: 9 hours 40 minutes

Publisher: Post Hypnotic Press⎮2016

Genre: Humor, Memoir

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The bestselling author of the American humor classic The Egg and I continues the adventure with this collection of tales about life on the fringe of the Western wilderness. Writing in the 1950s, Betty MacDonald, sophisticated and urbane, captivated readers with her observations about raising a family on an island in Puget Sound. As usual, humorist MacDonald is her own favorite target. She manages to get herself into scrapes with washing machines set adrift in rowboats, used cars, and a $25 Turkey Squasher. And then there’s the scariest aspect of island life — teenaged children.

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Buy on Audible or Amazon

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Betty Bard MacDonald (1907–1958), the best-selling author of The Egg and I and the classic Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle children’s books, burst onto the literary scene shortly after the end of World War II. Readers embraced her memoir of her years as a young bride operating a chicken ranch on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, andThe Egg and I sold its first million copies in less than a year. The public was drawn to MacDonald’s vivacity, her offbeat humor, and her irreverent take on life. In 1947, the book was made into a movie starring Fred MacMurray and Claudette Colbert, and spawned a series of films featuring MacDonald’s Ma and Pa Kettle characters.

MacDonald followed up the success of The Egg and I with the creation of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, a magical woman who cures children of their bad habits, and with three additional memoirs: The Plague and I (chronicling her time in a tuberculosis sanitarium just outside Seattle), Anybody Can Do Anything (recounting her madcap attempts to find work during the Great Depression), and Onions in the Stew (about her life raising two teenage daughters on Vashon Island).

Author Paula Becker was granted full access to Betty MacDonald’s archives, including materials never before seen by any researcher. Looking for Betty MacDonald, the first official biography of this endearing Northwest storyteller, reveals the story behind the memoirs and the difference between the real Betty MacDonald and her literary persona.

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Heather Henderson is a voice actress and audiobook narrator with a 20-year career in literary and performing arts. Her narrations include the NYT bestseller (now also a feature film) Brain on Fire; and Sharon Creech’s The Boy on the Porch, which won her an Earphones award and was named one of the Best Children’s Audiobooks for 2013 by Audiofile Magazine. She earned her Doctor of Fine Arts degree at the Yale School of Drama, and is co-curator of AudioEloquence.com, a pronunciation research site for the audiobook industry. In 2015, Heather was a finalist for a Voice Arts Award (Outstanding Narration, Audiobook Classics), for her narration of Betty MacDonald’s The Egg and I.

 

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I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy of the audiobook. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I had listened to The Egg and I, The Plague and I,  and Anybody Can do Anything and enjoyed all of them so I was looking forward to listening to this one. Betty MacDonald’s storytelling is delightful as is the narration.

This isn’t my favorite book by Betty MacDonald, but it’s still good. It’s about her family life on Vashon Island in Puget Sound with her husband Don and her girls during their trying teen years.

Betty had such a great view of everything and everyone. From neighbors and unexpected guests to blundering repairmen and unreasonable teen daughters, she made me giggle.  

The narrator, Heather Henderson, has a pleasant voice and I enjoy listening to her. She did a great job of using different voices for different characters. She has narrated all of the books by Betty MacDonald that I’ve listened to and it was nice to associate her voice with Betty’s stories.

I definitely recommend all of these audiobooks by Betty Macdonald. They’re bound to bring a smile to your face. Continue reading

Book Review & Giveaway: How to Find Your Dream Dog by Dixie Tenny

14 Mar

Bringing a new dog into the household should be one of life’s happiest events. The process always starts with excitement and high expectations. Too often, though, it ends in disappointment. The new puppy wakes everyone three times a night, gnaws on furniture, piddles everywhere, knocks the children down. The new adolescent dog is too wild. The new adult dog growls at your neighbors. And where did all this dog hair come from?

Most people spend hours researching a new mattress, days researching a new car, and weeks researching a new home or job. Yet for a new dog, a companion for the next 10-15 years, the most they do is visit the nearest shelter or pet shop and buy whatever looks cute and appealing. It’s no wonder they end up disappointed.

Whether you are looking for a purebred puppy or a charming mixed-breed, the type of dog you bring into your home matters. A quiet owner will struggle to keep up with a high-energy labrador mix, for instance, while an active outdoor family will be impatient with a snoozy bulldog. And finding the right kind of dog means becoming the right kind of owner—a task that takes some forethought and planning.

How To Find Your Dream Dog is here to fix the disconnect of dog ownership. It walks you step-by-step through the process of choosing the right type of dog for you—not only exploring the canine qualities that can determine your perfect puppy, adolescent, or adult dog, but also assessing your lifestyle to make sure you’re a good match for the dog, too. The book also looks at good (and bad) sources for finding healthy and sound pet dogs, gives guidelines for evaluating individual puppies, and warns of some red flags to watch out for during your dog search. With this guidebook in hand, you can be confident that the next puppy or dog you bring home will be the right companion and friend for you for the rest of its days.

Dixie Tenny is a Certified Training Partner with the Karen Pryor Academy of Animal Training and Behavior. During her 30+ years spent working with people and their pets, she has seen again and again how mismatches between dog and owner can create “behavior problems” that never would have happened if the right dog had been matched to the right owner in the first place. She wrote this book to help puppy buyers and dog adopters start out on the best possible foot with their new pet dogs, and stay on that path for years to come.

Buy the Book:  Amazon  ~  Add on Goodreads

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

After reading this book I feel lucky. We did nothing to prepare for the two dogs we have but they’re part of our family and we wouldn’t trade them for anything. I will, however, use How to Find Your Dream Dog as a resource the next time we decide to get a dog.

There is a lot of good information contained in these pages. Dixie Tenny starts with a section to help you decide if you even really want a puppy, which will change your life. Or, perhaps an older dog would be more your style. Once you decide that you do want a puppy or a dog, she explains the usual traits of breeds of dogs. Of course, not every dog is the same. They each have their own personality just like people. So spending time with the dog you choose is necessary before you decide for sure that that is the one for you.

There are guidelines for starting out with a puppy that will make your life, as well as the puppy’s life, much easier in the beginning. I wish I’d had these the last time I potty trained a puppy!

If you’re thinking about getting a dog for the first time or if you’ve been a dog owner all your life, this book is for you. It contains a lot of useful advice and is a great resource.

 

 

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About the Author

Dixie Tenny has been helping people and their dogs find each other and form successful partnerships since the early 1980s. She founded two rescue organizations: Purebred Dog Rescue of Saint Louis in 1984, and Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue, Inc. in 1987. Dixie was the Director of Training for the Greater St. Louis Training Club, Inc., for five years, creating classes and overseeing the work of 40 head and assistant trainers. In 2003 she and another experienced trainer created Dogs Unleashed, LLC. They traveled to clients’ homes and worked with behavior and training issues.
Dixie’s professional credentials include trainer certifications from the prestigious Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training and Behavior, and the Association for Pet Dog Trainers. Dixie formed her own business, Human-Animal Learning Opportunities, LLC (HALO) in 2013. HALO hosts continuing education seminars for dog trainers.
Dixie has lived with a wide range of dogs over the years including mixed breeds, Australian Shepherds, Welsh and Cairn terriers, and more. While in Seattle, Dixie raised a labrador puppy for Canine Companions for Independence, Inc. (CCI). Currently Dixie lives with a Beauceron and an elderly Papillon, as well as four cats. When not doing things related to animals, she reads widely, enjoys the company of her three grown children, follows baseball and English Premier League football, and travels the world.

 

 

Connect with the author:  Website  ~  Facebook

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Giveaway

Prizes:

Win one of 5 Dream Dog prize packages! Each package includes a copy of How to Find Your Dream Dog, a $15 Amazon Gift Card and Outward Hound Slow Feeder Dog Bowl) Open to USA & Canada

Ends April 8

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Book Review & Giveaway: India by Debra Schoenberger

9 Mar

I have always been fascinated by the sheer beauty and diversity in Indian culture. “Sensory overload in a glance” is an apt description of a country that is always in movement. To be able to stand still in the middle of all that movement allows me to really “see” her people and absorb the flow of life from birth to death.

From learning how to make yellow ink from cow urine to watching funeral pyres burn in Varanasi, I realized that I would have to spend a lifetime here to grasp the immense value of her art, stunning architecture, fascinating food and love of all that is beautiful.

 

Buy the book:   Amazon   Blurb   iTunes   Website

 

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. I had read To Be a Child by Debra Schoenberger so I was looking forward to reading this book also.

India is full of amazing photos taken in India. There is a map at the end of the book that shows where the photos were taken which I found interesting. She didn’t go to just once city but to many. The photos capture the diversity of Indian culture, from beautiful architecture to cows lazing in the streets. Debra has captured it all.

This would make a good coffee table book. It’s a book to pick up over and over to look at the photos again and again. It is a book for all ages since it is full of photos rather than text. 

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About the Author

Debra Schoenberger aka #girlwithcamera

“My dad always carried a camera under the seat of his car and was constantly taking pictures. I think that his example, together with pouring over National Geographic magazines as a child fuelled my curiosity for the world around me.

I am a documentary photographer and street photography is my passion. Some of my images have been chosen by National Geographic as editor’s favourites and are on display in the National Geographic museum in Washington, DC.  I also have an off-kilter sense of humour so I’m always looking for the unusual.

 

Connect with the author:    Website ~  Facebook ~ Instagram ~  Pinterest

 

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Book Review & Giveaway: Hurricane in Paradise by Deborah Brown

9 Mar

Set against the steamy backdrop of Tarpon Cove’s sun-kissed, tropical waters, sexy sleuths and best friends Madison and Fab are at it again dealing with the occasional dead body. Hidden just below the surface of the small town lies an underworld, one steeped in deceit, corruption, and deadly secrets. It’s only a matter of time before Madison and Fab find themselves on a collision course with the police, who consider them likely suspects in a murder.

Ride along on their adventures when the duo realizes that a family member is missing and pull themselves away from all jobs to track him down. Theories: walked away, freak accident, kidnapped? If so, then why no ransom demand?

Hurricane in Paradise is book ten in the thrilling and humorous provocative Paradise series, which finds the two waist-deep in mystery and romance. It is a smart, adventurous read that delivers heart-thumping, non-stop action. Join Madison and Fab as they solve the most twisted of cases, through unconventional ¬– and highly entertaining – measures… sometimes in flip-flops.

The Paradise series, are Florida Keys mysteries, “great as stand-alone reads, but they’re like chips…you won’t be able to devour just one!”

Available to buy from…..
Amazon.com    Amazon.co.uk   Amazon paperback 

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My Review

I have read most of the Paradise books and I always look forward to reading the next one. They are full of action, humor, suspense, and mystery but are also quick, fun reads. 

Madison Westin and her best friend, Fabiana, are always getting into trouble. Their boyfriends, Creole and Didier, seem to have finally come to terms with the fact that they’re going to do what they want and rather than trying to keep them from walking into dangerous situations, they’ve made them promise to always stay together. They also went with Madison and Fabiana a couple times rather than complaining about them going.

I don’t usually care much for the lovey dovey stuff in books but these girls and their gorgeous boyfriends make it fun. Even when they’re upset with each other, they know how to work it out and make up.

There’s nonstop action in Hurricane in Paradise. Madison has to deal with losing her home temporarily, the disappearance of her brother, and there’s always the goings on at the Cottages. She never knows what’s going to happen there!

I love Deborah Brown’s writing. It flows well and there’s always humor. I definitely recommend Hurricane in Paradise as well as all of the other Paradise books.

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“Deborah Brown’s Florida Keys mystery series is highly addictive! The characters are quirky & amusing. The dialogue is snappy. The plot highly entertaining & thrilling. All the oddball cast of characters are back as well as Mad’s & Fab’s deliciously hunky loves, Creole & Didier.” 

“Madison and Fab are so much fun to read about along with their better halves. This time there’s murder (of course), a missing family member and a crazy grandma! You’ll love this book so much!”

“Once again Deborah Brown has written a wonderful humorous highly entertaining book.”

Above reviews from Amazon

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About the Author

I’ve been writing, in one way or another for as long as I can remember; writing poetry, short stories, a romance novel secretly stashed under the bed and sappy love letters. Fiction should be fun. I wanted to create the perfect beach book, to make the reader laugh, cry and cheer… and then run out and tell their friends about it.

My love of reading began when I was seven, the day I opened the cover of my first Mrs. Piggle Wiggle book. Mrs. P gave lessons to other children in how to behave and to me I learned to love the written word. I live with my family and demon children aka rescue cats in South Florida.

Find the author on the following sites…
Website  Facebook  Twitter  Pinterest  Google+  Goodreads  Amazon Author page Continue reading

Audiobook Review & Giveaway: Anybody Can Do Anything by Betty MacDonald

27 Feb

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Author: Betty MacDonald

Narrator: Heather Henderson

Length: 8 hours 30 minutes

Publisher: Post Hypnotic Press⎮2016

Genre: Humor, Memoir

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“The best thing about the Depression was the way it reunited our family and gave my sister Mary a real opportunity to prove that anybody can do anything, especially Betty.”
After surviving both the failed chicken farm – and marriage – immortalized in The Egg and I, Betty MacDonald returns to live with her mother and desperately searches to find a job to support her two young daughters. With the help of her older sister Mary, Anybody Can Do Anything recounts her failed, and often hilarious, attempts to find work during the Great Depression.

Buy on Audible/Amazon

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Betty Bard MacDonald (1907–1958), the best-selling author of The Egg and I and the classic Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle children’s books, burst onto the literary scene shortly after the end of World War II. Readers embraced her memoir of her years as a young bride operating a chicken ranch on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, and The Egg and I sold its first million copies in less than a year. The public was drawn to MacDonald’s vivacity, her offbeat humor, and her irreverent take on life. In 1947, the book was made into a movie starring Fred MacMurray and Claudette Colbert, and spawned a series of films featuring MacDonald’s Ma and Pa Kettle characters.

MacDonald followed up the success of The Egg and I with the creation of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, a magical woman who cures children of their bad habits, and with three additional memoirs: The Plague and I (chronicling her time in a tuberculosis sanitarium just outside Seattle), Anybody Can Do Anything (recounting her madcap attempts to find work during the Great Depression), and Onions in the Stew (about her life raising two teenage daughters on Vashon Island).

Author Paula Becker was granted full access to Betty MacDonald’s archives, including materials never before seen by any researcher. Looking for Betty MacDonald, the first official biography of this endearing Northwest storyteller, reveals the story behind the memoirs and the difference between the real Betty MacDonald and her literary persona.

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Heather Henderson is a voice actress and audiobook narrator with a 20-year career in literary and performing arts. Her narrations include the NYT bestseller (now also a feature film) Brain on Fire; and Sharon Creech’s The Boy on the Porch, which won her an Earphones award and was named one of the Best Children’s Audiobooks for 2013 by Audiofile Magazine. She earned her Doctor of Fine Arts degree at the Yale School of Drama, and is co-curator of AudioEloquence.com, a pronunciation research site for the audiobook industry. In 2015, Heather was a finalist for a Voice Arts Award (Outstanding Narration, Audiobook Classics), for her narration of Betty MacDonald’s The Egg and I.

 

 

I chose to listen to this audiobook after receiving a free copy from Audiobookworm Promotions. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I had listened to The Egg and I and The Plague and I and enjoyed both so I was looking forward to listening to this one. Betty MacDonald’s storytelling is delightful as is the narration.

This is my favorite book by Betty MacDonald so far. It’s mostly about her family life, both as a child and after she left her husband on the chicken farm and returned home. Since it was during the Depression, Betty, her daughters, her mom, and her siblings all lived under one roof and tried to survive the best they could. 

Betty’s sister, Mary, was a force to be reckoned with. She could talk Betty into doing just about anything both when they were children and when they were adults. She got Betty into some scary situations but Betty is always able to put a spin on it and makes most things funny, anywhere from a chuckle to laugh out loud funny.

The narrator, Heather Henderson, has a pleasant voice and I enjoyed listening to her. She did a great job of using different voices for different characters. She has narrated all of the books by Betty MacDonald that I’ve listened to and it was nice to associate her voice with Betty’s stories.

I definitely recommend Anybody Can Do Anything if you enjoy a good story and I am looking forward to listening to Onions in the Stew by Betty MacDonald in the near future. Continue reading

Book Review & Giveaway: Grimm Woods by D. Melhoff

9 Feb

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A remote summer camp becomes a lurid crime scene when the bodies of two teenagers are found in a bloody, real-life rendering of a classic Grimm’s fairy tale. Trapped in the wilderness, the remaining counselors must follow a trail of dark children’s fables in order to outwit a psychopath and save the dwindling survivors before falling prey to their own gruesome endings.

Drawing on the grisly, uncensored details of history’s most famous fairy tales, Grimm Woods is a heart-pounding thriller about a deranged killer who uses traditional children’s stories as tropes in elaborate murders. Set against the backdrop of modern-day Michigan, it’s a journey through the mind of a dangerous zealot and a shocking glimpse into the bedtime stories you thought you knew.

 

Buy the Book: Amazon.

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My Review

I chose to read this e-book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I could not put this book down once I started reading it. I had to know what was going to happen next.

Scott decides to become a counselor at Camp Crownheart, a summer camp based on fairy tales that is for troubled kids. His only goal is to make some money but it doesn’t turn out that way. Soon he realizes that earning money is no longer his goal. His new goal is to stay alive and help keep the children and other counselors safe because a crazed killer is on the loose.

I wish I could say that the characters are unrealistic. Unfortunately, there are some troubled teens and twenty-somethings who act like these counselors. Note that I said some. I was disappointed in Scott at times, but his character is realistic.  

I knew that the original Grimm’s fairy tales were gruesome but I never had the desire to read them. I might have to do that now.

Grimm Woods is nonstop suspense filled with gore, terror, and is a great read. I definitely recommend it if you like a horror-filled whodunit.

Warning: contains sex, graphic violence, profanity.

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About the Author

d-melhoffD. Melhoff was born in a prairie ghost town that few people have heard of and even fewer have visited. While most of his stories are for adults, he also enjoys terrifying younger audiences from time to time, as seen in his series of twisted picture books for children. He credits King, Poe, Hitchcock, Harris, Stoker, and his second grade school teacher, Mrs. Lake, for turning him to horror. For more information, visit www.dmelhoff.com.

 

Connect with the author:  Book Website  ~  Twitter ~  Facebook

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Giveaway

Prizes: Win a copy of GRIMM WOODS by D. Melhoff or a $20 Amazon GC

(4 print copies for USA & Can, 20 ebook copies for international winners, GC open int’l)

25 winners total

Ends March 11

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Audiobook Review & Giveaway: Halfway Hunted by Terry Maggert

8 Feb

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Author: Terry Maggert

Narrator: Erin Spencer

Length: 6h 56m

Publisher: Terry Maggert⎮2016

Genre: Paranormal

Release date: November 10, 2016

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synopsis

Welcome to Halfway; where the waffles are golden, the moon is silver, and magic is just around every corner.
A century old curse is broken, releasing Exit Wainwright, an innocent man trapped alone in time.
Lost and in danger, he enlists Carlie, Gran, and their magic to find the warlock who sentenced him to a hundred years of darkness. The hunter becomes the hunted when Carlie’s spells awaken a cold-blooded killer intent on adding another pelt to their gruesome collection: hers.
But the killer has never been to Halfway before, where there are three unbreakable rules:
1. Don’t complain about the diner’s waffles.
2. Don’t break the laws of magic.
3. Never threaten a witch on her home turf.
Can Carlie solve an ancient crime, defeat a ruthless killer and save the love of her life from a vampire’s curse without burning the waffles?
Come hunt with Carlie, and answer the call of the wild.

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Left-handed. Father of an apparent nudist. Husband to a half-Norwegian. Herder of cats and dogs. Lover of pie. I write books. I’ve had an unhealthy fascination with dragons since the age of– well, for a while. Native Floridian. Current Tennessean. Location subject to change based on insurrection, upheaval, or availability of coffee. Nine books and counting, with no end in sight. You’ve been warned.

WebsiteTwitterFacebookGoodreads

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Erin loves audiobooks! As an actress, they have allowed her to creatively stretch by playing all kinds of characters, all kinds of ages and all kinds of accents! She voiced roles in the Audie award winning title, Illuminae and was also nominated for a Voice Arts Award in the romance category. She has narrated over 100 titles and as an audiobook director has worked on at least 100 more. She has worked for most of the major publishers and also enjoys working with indie writers who are some of the most talented writers out there! Follow her on Twitter @ErinSpencerLA or find her on Facebook, Erin Spencer Actress.

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Halfway Witchy Series by Terry Maggert

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review

I chose to review this audiobook after receiving a free copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

This is the third book in the Halfway series. I read the first book, Halfway Dead, and even though I didn’t get the chance to read the second book, Halfway Hunted gave enough back story that I was able to figure out what I missed.

Carlie is a good witch. She is young, cute, and betrothed to a vampire. She’s been working on a spell for months that will hopefully turn her lover into a human. It’s risky and dangerous but it’s a risk she is willing to take. At the same time, she is dealing with Exit who has been in the dark for a century. He needs Carlie’s help to find the warlock who did this to him. Of course, Carlie uncovers more than she wanted…

Carlie is quirky, likable and stubborn. She’s not perfect but she’d make the perfect friend. Her Gran, who is also a witch, has a lot more experience than Carlie and she learns a lot from her.

Erin Spencer did a great job narrating. Her voice is perfect as Carlie and she changed her tone just enough so that I knew when someone else was speaking.

I like Terry Maggert’s writing style and I definitely recommend Halfway Hunted, especially if you like reading books with mystery and humor.

 

 

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Halfway Hunted Giveaway #1
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Halfway Bitten Giveaway #2
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Halfway Bitten Giveaway #3
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tour-schedule

Jan. 30: terrilovesbooks (Review)
The Book Junkie (Spotlight)

Jan. 31: Chapter Break (Review & Author Interview)

Feb. 1: Dab of Darkness (Review)

Feb. 2: The Book Junkie (Review & Audio Excerpt)

Feb. 3: Collector of Book Boyfriends (Audio Excerpt)

Feb. 4: The Desert Bibliophile (Review, Spotlight, Audio Excerpt)

Feb. 5: Totally Addicted to Reading (Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

Feb. 6: Guilty Indulgence Book Club (Review & Audio Excerpt)

Feb. 7: Que Sera Sara (Review & Audio Excerpt)

Feb. 8: Rolo Polo Book Blog (Spotlight)

Feb. 9: Jorie Loves A Story (Review & Author Interview)

Feb. 10: Mama Reads (Review)

Feb. 11: Lilly’s Book World (Review)
Up Til Dawn Book Blog (Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

Feb. 12: Book Lover’s Life (Review)

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Book Review & Giveaway: Westobou Gold by Hawk MacKinney

30 Jan

The Amazon purchase link in this post is an affiliate link. Purchasing through it helps sustain Bound 4 Escape.

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The Indian Queen would risk torture and worse to keep her secrets from these barbarians in suits of metal and their search for cities of gold. They never found the gold. Empires rose; empires fell, the centuries passed. Legend became fireside myths, but no treasure was ever found. Yet, among the grey-green drapes of wisteria and wild jasmine along the misty shrouded lowlands of bayous and marshes of the Westo River, the folktales persist.

In the lazed creep of a near-tropical dawn lit the pungent Turkish coffee permeates Moccasin Hollow. Beyond the kitchen door Lucky, Craige Ingram’s German shepherd gnaws a favorite bone. Looted burial mounds seem a world away until plundered mounds on Moccasin Hollow land brings amateur archaeologist PI Craige Ingram into the cross-hairs of kidnapping. Stealthy hideaways are concealed in old colonial brick-lined river grottoes beneath the big house of Ardochy plantation. Sex-tape underage blackmail and thrill killings on federal land spur a medical examiner’s preliminary postmortem to more than a hired cleaner’s quickie cover-up passed off as drug deals gone sour. Greed tangles a witch’s pigswill of illicit affairs and murder-to-hide-murder. Shady investigators and shadier politics stir an unexpected concoction that threatens the lives of those at Moccasin Hollow in a spiteful plot against ex-SEAL Craige Ingram and the woman he loves.

 

Buy the Book:  Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble

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My Review

I chose to read this e-book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I had read Hidden Chamber of Death, the first book in the Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series, so I was looking forward to reading the second book, Westobou Gold. It is a murder mystery with multiple murders and multiple bad guys. When Craige Ingram is asked to look into a questionable murder-suicide, he ends up getting tangled up in much more. The question is can he keep himself and those he loves safe while he’s investigating? 

I like Craige Ingram and Terri, the widow he saved in the last book. They have a good relationship and understand and support each other. The main villain in this book is a law enforcement officer who is not only psychotic but he thinks he can do whatever he wants because of his badge. But he’s not the only villain, there is a lot of corruption in this small town. 

There are a lot of pieces in this puzzle and they finally all come together toward the end of the book. I had a little trouble getting into it but once I did, I couldn’t put it down. I do suggest better editing because the lack of editing was a distraction to my reading.

If you like a good murder mystery with twists, I recommend Westobou Gold.

 

 

About the Author

hawk-mackinney-1Internationally acclaimed author and public speaker, Hawk MacKinney began writing mysteries for his school newspapers. He served in the US Navy Reserve for over 20 years, and was a tenured faculty member at several state medical facilities, teaching postgraduate courses in both the United States and Jerusalem, Israel. Since retiring Hawk has authored several novels that have received national and international recognition. Moccasin Trace, a historical novel, was nominated for the prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes Book Award. The Cairns of Sainctuarie, his science fiction series, includes The Bleikovat Event and The Missing Planets, with a third book in the works. Hawk’s latest project focuses on The Moccasin Hollow Mystery Series. Book 1 in the series, Hidden Chamber of Death, was released early 2016.

 

Connect with the author:  Website

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Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card (open int’l / 1 winner)

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Book Review & Giveaway: The Extraordinary Journey of Vivienne Marshall by Shannon Kirk

19 Jan

the-extraordinary-journey-of-vivienne-marshall

What if you could choose your heaven now? Go on a celestial shopping trip of sorts? Thirty-five-year-old Vivienne does just that, as she lies dying in the ICU; a fatal walk into the path of a truck. In her final week of life, Vivienne treks through the Heavens of a priest, a best friend, a homeless child, and a lover who never was. Vivienne’s guardian angel, Noah, who may just be her soul mate, escorts her through selections of Heavens and through the confusion Vivienne experiences as she flounders between a doubt of life and the certainty of death. Although her visits to varied afterlives provide peace and beauty, choosing proves not so easy: Vivienne’s love for her young son and her earthly father pull her from her colorful journey—and from her divine love of Noah.

The nature of love, the variety and magic of life, unending hope, and the importance of saying goodbye are central to this uplifting tale.

Buy the Book:   Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Vivienne Marshall is so busy texting while walking that when she comes to a crosswalk, she doesn’t stop and steps in front of a truck. Suddenly, her life is changed forever. She finds herself in a beautiful park where Noah, her first love and her guardian angel, greets her. She learns that she needs to choose her Heaven because she is dying. 

The Extraordinary Journey of Vivienne Marshall is an imaginative and hopeful way of looking at life after death. I love the idea of being able to choose your own Heaven. But more than that, it’s heartbreaking yet heartwarming. The descriptions were excellent. 

I liked the characters but for some reason, I had difficulty connecting with Vivienne, maybe because the story seemed a bit disjointed. I loved everything about her nurse Marty: his personality, his stories, and the way he approached his position.

The Extraordinary Journey of Vivienne Marshall is thought-provoking and has a unique concept.

 

About the Author

shannon-kirkShannon Kirk is the awarding-winning author of the international bestselling Method 15/33 (psychological thriller–bestseller in Colombia and Spain, will be lead title in Italy, 2017) and Heavens (Literary Fiction). Method 15/33 has received multiple accolades: 2015 Foreword Review Book of the Year (Suspense); Winner of 2015 National Indie Excellence Award, Best Suspense; 2015 USA Best Book Finalist; School Library Journal’s Best Adult Books for Teens (2015); and Finalist in 2013 William Faulkner William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition (when a Novella). Method 15/33 is optioned for a major motion film and has sold to nineteen foreign rights.

When not writing, she is a practicing lawyer, residing on Massachusett’s Cape Ann with her husband and son and two cat writing accomplices, Marvin Marquez (in honor of Gabriel Garcia Marquez) and Stewie Poe (Edgar Allen Poe).

Shannon enjoys writing in several genres: literary fiction, psychological thriller, young adult, and poetry. She has been honored three times by the William Faulkner William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition.

Connect with the author: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

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Giveaway

Prizes:

Win a copy of The Extraordinary Journey of Vivienne Marshall (10 print copies for USA & CAN) and (20 ebook copies for Int’l)

30 winners total

Ends Feb 11

 

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Audiobook Review & Giveaway: Halfway Dead by Terry Maggert

14 Jan

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Author: Terry Maggert

Narrator: Erin Spencer

Length: 7h 12m

Publisher: Terry Maggert⎮2015

Genre: Paranormal

Release date: Aug. 07, 2015

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synopsis

Carlie McEwan loves many things. She loves being a witch. She loves her town of Halfway, NY – a tourist destination nestled on the shores of an Adirondack lake. Carlie loves her enormous familiar, Gus, who is 25 pounds of judgmental Maine Coon cat, and she positively worships her grandmother, a witch of incredible power and wisdom. Carlie spends her days cooking at the finest – and only – real diner in town, and her life is a balance between magic and the mundane, just as she likes it.

When a blond stranger sits at the diner counter and calls her by name, that balance is gone. Major Pickford asks Carlie to lead him into the deepest shadows of the forest to find a mythical circle of chestnut trees, thought lost to forever to mankind. There are ghosts in the forest, and one of them cries out to Carlie across the years. Come find me.

Danger, like the shadowed pools of the forest, can run deep. The danger is real, but Carlie’s magic is born of a pure spirit. With the help of Gus, and Gran, and a rugged cop who really does want to save the world, she’ll fight to bring a ghost home, and deliver justice to a murderer who hides in the cool, mysterious green of a forest gone mad with magic.

buy-links

Buy on AudibleAmazoniTunes

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author-bio

Left-handed. Father of an apparent nudist. Husband to a half-Norwegian. Herder of cats and dogs. Lover of pie. I write books. I’ve had an unhealthy fascination with dragons since the age of– well, for a while. Native Floridian. Current Tennessean. Location subject to change based on insurrection, upheaval, or availability of coffee. Nine books and counting, with no end in sight. You’ve been warned.

WebsiteTwitterFacebookGoodreads

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narrator-bio

Erin loves audiobooks! As an actress, they have allowed her to creatively stretch by playing all kinds of characters, all kinds of ages and all kinds of accents! She voiced roles in the Audie award winning title, Illuminae and was also nominated for a Voice Arts Award in the romance category. She has narrated over 100 titles and as an audiobook director has worked on at least 100 more. She has worked for most of the major publishers and also enjoys working with indie writers who are some of the most talented writers out there! Follow her on Twitter @ErinSpencerLA or find her on Facebook, Erin Spencer Actress.

TwitterFacebookGoodreads

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review

I chose to listen to this audiobook after receiving a free copy from Audiobookworm Promotions. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I always enjoy a good mystery but it’s even better when the main character is different from the norm. In this case, Carlie is a witch. She’s young, cute, single, and very serious about her craft. Witchcraft has been in her family for generations and she has some awesome magical powers.

This is the first book by Terry Maggert that I have read (or listened to) but it won’t be the last. I have a found another favorite author! I enjoy his writing and it was difficult for me to turn this audiobook off once I started listening to it. 

Carlie’s character is unique and likable. She’s not perfect which makes her more realistic. Jim, the detective who accompanies her into the forest, is interesting. He’s not magical at all; in fact, he has just learned that magic exists, but he is observant and calm at all times. 

Erin Spencer did a fantastic job narrating this book. Her voice is perfect as Carlie and she changed her tone just enough so that I knew when someone was speaking. I am looking forward to listening to her narrate the next book about Halfway.

I definitely recommend Halfway Dead, especially if you like reading paranormal books with a bit of mystery and humor.

 

 

 

giveaway
Mini Bluetooth Speaker

$10 Amazon Gift Card

Halfway Dead Digital Audiobook

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tour-schedule

Jan. 2: Dab of Darkness (Review)

Jan. 3: The Desert Bibliophile (Review, Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

Jan. 4: Que Sara Sera (Review & Spotlight)

Jan. 5: Terri Loves Books (Review & Author Interview)

Jan. 6: Guilty Indulgence Book Club (Review)

Jan. 7: The Owlery (Review)

Jan. 8: Ribbon Reviews (Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

Jan. 9: Lynn’s Romance Enthusiasm (Review, Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)
2 Girls and A Book (Review)

Jan. 10: Chapter Break (Review & Author Interview)

Jan. 11: Jorie Loves A Story (Review)

Jan. 12: Smada’s Book Blog (Review & Audio Excerpt)

Jan. 13: Mama Reads (Review & Author Interview)

Jan. 14: Bound 4 Escape (Review & Audio Excerpt)

Jan. 15: Avid Book Collector (Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

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