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Book Review & Giveaway: The After House by Michael Phillip Cash

27 Apr

 

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The After House by Micheal Phillip Cash

Paperback: 212 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 30, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1500600369
ISBN-13: 978-1500600365

 

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ABOUT THE BOOK

Remy Galway and her daughter Olivia are rebuilding their life after a failed marriage in a 300 year old cottage in historic Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island. Little do they know, another occupant is lurking in the haven of their own home. Will the After House be their shelter or their tomb?

PURCHASE THE AFTER HOUSE ON AMAZON

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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.

The After House has a little bit of everything: historical fiction, romance, suspense, mystery, thriller, and ghosts. It begins about 300 years ago when Eli Gaspar was a whaler and his story is told throughout the book. He ends up being a ghost in the cottage that Remy Galway rents but it’s not clear until the end of the book how things turned out for him.

When Remy and her daughter Olivia move into the cottage, Olivia immediately knows that they’re not alone. Then strange things start happening and it appears that not only is the house haunted, but someone wants Remy out of the way. There’s so much going on in this book and yet the middle of it seemed to drag to me. The ending almost made up for it though.

I liked the characters of Remy, Olivia, and Eli. Hugh seemed a bit too good although I did enjoy the Hugh/Who? conversation. I would have liked his character to be developed further. Also, I was confused about who the angel and apprentice were until close to the end.

The information about whalers and whaling was interesting and I enjoyed reading about it and Eli.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Book Tour for The After House: Michael Phillip Cash Author Photo

Michael Phillip Cash is an award-winning novelist and screenwriter. His novels are best-sellers on Amazon under their genres – Young Adult, Thriller, Suspense, Ghost, Action Adventure, Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and Horror.

Michael writes full-time and lives on the North Shore of Long Island with his wonderful wife and screaming children. You can follow him @michaelpcash.

Readers are invited to connect with Michael on:

Facebook
Twitter
Author Website

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GIVEAWAY

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Book Review & Giveaway: Assata Shakur by Barbara Casey

24 Apr

In May 1973, Assata Olugbala Shakur was involved in a shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike in which she was accused of killing New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster and assaulting Trooper James Harper. This resulted in her indictment of first-degree murder of Foerster and seven other felonies related to the shootout. A member of the Black Panther Party, she became a prime target of the Federal Bureau of Investigations Counterintelligence Program. When she joined the Black Liberation Army and went into hiding, between 1973 and 1977, she was placed on the FBI’s Most Wanted List for three bank robberies, the kidnapping and murder of two drug dealers, and the attempted murder of two New Jersey police officers.

In March 1977 Assata Shakur was convicted of murdering state trooper Werner Forrester and was imprisoned. Two years later she broke out of the maximum-security wing of Clinton Correctional Facility in New Jersey, pistol in hand, as she and three cohorts sped out of the prison grounds. In 1984 she was granted political asylum in Cuba where she has lived ever since. On May 2, 2013, the FBI added her to the Most Wanted Terrorist List, the first woman to be listed. Assata Shakur: A 20th Century Escaped Slave is the story of Assata Shakur, before she became a fugitive and since. 

Buy the book:  Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble  ~ Books-A-Million

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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 have read several of Barbara Casey’s books including the nonfiction book Kathryn Kelly, so I was happy to read this book. It definitely wasn’t “pleasure reading” but it was interesting and informative. The beginning was a detailed history, a little too detailed for my liking, but that’s just me.

It was obvious that Barbara Casey did a lot of research on Assata Shakur and I was impressed that she just reported the facts and remained neutral throughout the book.

I was a teen in the ’70s and although I had heard of the Black Liberation Army and the Black Panthers, I had never heard of Assata Shakur, which surprised me. Even though I lived through those times, I learned a lot.

Whether she belonged in prison or not, I was shocked at her treatment while in prison. There’s no justification for continued solitary confinement and this is the first time I’ve heard of a woman being kept in a men’s prison. That’s just crazy.

Assata Shakur is an interesting read about a current fugitive who has political asylum in Cuba. I wonder if that will last given our improved relations with Cuba? Barbara Casey did mention that Assata Shakur used to be more out in the open than she is now.

 

 

Author’s Bio

Barbara Casey is the author of several award-winning novels for both adults and young adults, as well as book-length works of nonfiction true crime and numerous articles, poems, and short stories. Her previous nonfiction true crime work, Kathryn Kelly: The Moll behind Machine Gun Kelly, has been optioned for a major film and television series. In addition to her own writing, she is an editorial consultant for independent publishers and writers, and president of the Barbara Casey Agency, established in 1995, representing authors throughout the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan. Barbara lives on a mountain in Georgia with her husband and three dogs who adopted her: Benton, a hound-mix; Fitz, a miniature dachshund; and Gert, a Jack Russel terrier of sorts.

Connect with the author:  Website

 

 

 

Giveaway

Win a $25 Amazon gift card (open int’l – 2 winners)

Ends May 6

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

Audiobook Review & Giveaway: Chasing the Dollar by Ellie Ashe

22 Apr

Author: Ellie Ashe

Narrator: Teri Schnaubelt

Length: 7h 23m, 7h 9m, 7h 17m

Publisher: Ellie Ashe⎮2015, 2016, 2017

Genre: Mystery/Thriller, Cozy Mystery

Release date: Jul. 15, 2015

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Chasing the Dollar (Book 1)

Miranda Vaughn has spent the last year and a half fighting for her freedom. Arrested for a fraud scheme involving her supervisors, she’s lost her job at a prestigious investment firm, her fiancé, and her reputation. She walks out of the courtroom a free woman, only to find that life has a few more curve balls to throw her way. The jury may have found her not guilty, but Miranda is broke, in debt to her beloved aunt, and can’t find a job because of the cloud of suspicion still swirling around her. She’s not going to be able to move forward with her life until she finds out who set her up.

Buried in the evidence against her, Miranda finds a larger scheme, one involving far more money than the $37 million her boss fleeced from unsuspecting investors. Determined to uncover the truth, Miranda begins her own investigation – leading her to Macau and Belize, and into the arms of one sexy FBI agent, who may or may not prove to be trustworthy. When the danger heats up, Miranda finds herself in a race against time to find the person behind it all. Before he finds her….

 

 

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USA Today best-selling author Ellie Ashe has always been drawn to jobs where she can tell stories—journalist, lawyer, and now writer. Writing quirky romantic mysteries is how she gets the “happily ever after” that so often is lacking in her day job.

When not writing, you can find her with her nose in a good book, watching far too much TV, or trying out new recipes on unsuspecting friends and family. She lives in Northern California with her husband and three cats, all of whom worry when she starts browsing the puppy listings on petfinder.com.


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Teri Schnaubelt is a Chicago-based actor, voice actor and audiobook narrator with over 100 titles, including NY Times Bestsellers.

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

Chasing the Dollar is an adventure and mystery that is a fun read even though it is suspenseful at times.

Miranda Vaughn was arrested for fraud and embezzlement at the investment company she worked at and she was found not guilty, which she was. She was set up. Unfortunately, Miranda used all of her savings as well as her aunt’s savings for her trial and she can’t find a job because now she’s a high risk hire.

Miranda decides to try to clear her name and ends up on the adventure of her life. She also has to trust Jake Barmes, the FBI agent who had arrested her! They get to know each other and she realizes he’s not so bad while he realizes she’s not guilty. Also, to make things even more interesting, there’s a spark between them.

Chasing the Dollar never slows down. Ellie Ashe has a great writing style and the narrator, Teri Schnaubelt, does the story justice. She brings the characters to life and I look forward to listening to her narration of the next book in the series. If you like mystery/thrillers with a bit of humor, you’ll enjoy Chasing the Dollar.

 

Miranda Vaughn Mysteries Giveaway

 

Chasing the Dollar (Book 1)

Apr. 16: CGB Blog Tours

Apr. 17: Dab of Darkness

Apr. 18: Guilty Indulgence Book Club

Apr. 19: Desert Rose Reviews

The Book Junkie

Apr. 20: Lomeraniel

Apr. 21: The Book Junkie

Apr. 22: Bound 4 Escape

Between the Coverz

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Red-tailed Hawk by Nancy Schoellkopf

17 Apr

When Mariah Easter encounters a large hawk in her urban midtown neighborhood, her father Charlie is concerned. He can see a wild and mystical path opening before his daughter, a path he himself would never be able to resist. The hawk soon reappears: engraved with its twin on a golden thimble that has been an Easter family heirloom for generations. After the thimble is stolen at a funeral reception, Mariah and her mother Samantha set off on a road trip to find it, a journey that will bring healing to the grieving family and change Mariah’s life forever.

Red-tailed Hawk is a coming of age story, the tale of a young woman’s quest to discover the source of her own longing and to understand the mystical legacy of her family.

 

Buy the Book: Amazon  ~  Add to Goodreads

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My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. I previously read Yellow-billed Magpie and was happily surprised to realize that Red-tailed Hawk has the same characters several years later.

Yellow-billed Magpie was about Samantha’s journey and Red-tailed Hawk is about her daughter Mariah’s journey when she is 17 years old.

Samantha was married to Mariah’s father, Charlie, and when Charlie dies, the family has to learn how to deal with his death. They each have their own way of coping but Mariah ends up on a journey and learns a lot about herself. I don’t like how inconsiderate she is, though, of her mother’s feelings.

The characters are interesting and Nancy Schoellkopf does a good job at portraying them like real people, each with flaws and each with strengths. I especially liked how all of the relationships grew in such a short time while everyone was grieving.

I definitely recommend Red-tailed Hawk if you like women’s fiction with a touch of fantasy. It’s the second book about this family but can easily be read as a stand alone.

 

 

 

 

Author’s Bio:

Nancy Schoellkopf is the author of Yellow-billed Magpie, the first in her Easter Family series. Nancy has been telling stories and writing poems for many lifetimes. It goes without saying that she’d need a second income, so this time around she has happily taught amazing children in special education classes in two urban school districts in Sacramento, California. A full time writer now, she enjoys lavishing attention on her cats, her garden, and her intriguing circle of family and friends.

 

Connect with the author:    Website  ~   Twitter  ~   Facebook

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Giveaway

Win a signed copy of Red-tailed Hawk. One winner will also get a $20 Amazon gift card (3 winners total, open to USA & Canada)

Ends May 6

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

Book Review: Truths Not Spoken by Pamela T. Starr

13 Apr

Single mother Laura Walters had her life under control. She had a jewelry business, a generous best friend and a careful watch on her nine-year-old daughter, Emily. Then, Emily is seen on national television with Vic, the man who could tear their world apart. With one thirty second news clip, Laurel’s life turns into a tailspin. The paparazzi chase her. Two men from her past want her: Vic is a former lover. Kyle a former friend. They both know her secret, and either one could ruin the careful life Laurel built for herself and Emily.

Faced with no other option, Laurel turns to Kyle to protect her and her life with Emily. But just as Laurel and Kyle are beginning to trust each other, they learn of shocking betrayals they each have been hiding. Some secrets are made to be broken. Some secrets never should be. But how does Laurel learn which ones are which? Truths Not Spoken is the debut novel by promising new author Pamela T. Starr. It is a must-read for every woman who balances her dreams of love with a man with the needs of her child. Truths Not Spoken shows readers that yes, dreams can come true.

 

Buy the Book: Amazon

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My Review

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

Truths Not Spoken is about just that, secrets that the characters in this story keep from each other. I became a little frustrated with these people because they caused each other so much pain by keeping secrets. One person would finally come clean and the other one would be upset with them when they were keeping their own secrets! The most frustrating person was Laurel. I don’t know how many times I wanted to just shake her and tell her to calm down. I understand that being a single mom can be scary when you don’t trust the father (been there, done that), but she was constantly jumping to conclusions.

There was some decent drama here and there but I couldn’t really get into any of the characters except for Kyle, Laurel’s old friend. He really tried to help Laurel all he could. Even her daughter Emily didn’t have any qualities that really stuck out. She was a typical nine-year-old who Laurel did a great job raising, but like everyone kept telling her, she really needed to get to know her father.

Truths Not Spoken won’t grab you and knock you over the head but if you like a drama that moves at a good pace, and you don’t mind a little frustration, this is a good read.

 

Author’s Bio

 

Pamela T. Starr has been recognized as an outstanding new author with a promising future. Truths Not Spoken is the first in her Shifting Sands series, all set in her home state of Florida.

An accomplished trainer and public speaker, Pamela has motivated more than 60,000 people at live presentations and workshops. She has also logged more than 30 hours of live national television appearances.

Pamela is inspired by the two men in her life. The one she mothers is still young enough to be excited by life and the many opportunities he discovers. The one who is her life-long partner is old enough to know that life is an adventure and he embraces it every day.

 

Connect with the author:  Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook    

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Giveaway

Prizes:

  1. Win a grand prize A Year of Novels”  A collection of twelve novels by best selling writers, plus a signed copy of Truths Not Spoken by Pamela T. Starr  (1 winner, USA only)

  2. Win a Kindle copy of Truths Not Spoken (5 winners, USA only)

Ends April 29

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

Book Review: Savages by Katherine Bogle

12 Apr

 

Savages (Chronicles of Warshard #2)

 

Daughter of Chief Ruin, Breen, is one of the most fearsome warriors in the Southern Delica Tribe, but nothing can stop the Emperor from reaping the Savage Lands for soldiers.

When her village is attacked, Breen is taken from her home and her family to the Seaburn Academy, where southern savages are broken and chained into a life of service to the Empire. Through the beatings and torture, Drakkone, one of the few Seaburn-born soldiers, brings solace to her days and gives her hope for the future.

Once freed of the Academy dungeons, Breen is sentenced to daily training between her plots for escape. But one night of unexpected passion turns into a problem bigger than either of them could have imagined.

Breen and Drakkone must risk capture and flee the city or death might be a blessing compared to eternal imprisonment.

 

Buy the Book:

Amazon

 

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. I had read Haven by Katherine Bogle and really liked it so I jumped at the chance to read and review this book.

Savages is about Breen, who is taken from her home when she is a teen, locked in a dungeon with other warriors from her tribe, and is tortured until she’s broken. It gets to the point that she either give in or die. One of the enemy soldiers, Drakkone, persuades her to make a decision to give in before it’s too late.

Breen’s honor and determination are admirable. Everything she does is with escape on her mind. She must get home to her people. Drakkone does what he can to help her but it becomes apparent that escape is the only option for both of them.

The second half of the book draws on the story from Haven and would be confusing if I hadn’t read it first. It is nonstop action since Breen and Drakkone are on the run.

Savages is a young adult fantasy that I definitely recommend for young adults as well as adults. But be prepared: it is not a light-hearted read since it is full of fighting, torture, and loss. 

 

 

 

About the Author

2016-08-31_14-25-16Katherine Bogle‘s debut young adult novel, Haven, came second in the World’s Best Story contest 2015. She currently resides in Saint John, New Brunswick with her partner in crime, and plethora of cats.

Connect with the author: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Spotlight & Giveaway: Timekeeper by Tara Sim

7 Apr

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Author: Tara Sim

Narrator: Gary Furlong

Length: 8h 50m

Publisher: Forever Young Audiobooks

Genre: YA Fantasy

Release date: Feb. 14, 2017

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Two o’clock was missing.

In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.

It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors.

And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny’s new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower’s clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield’s time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he’s fought to achieve.

But when a series of bombings at nearby towers threaten to Stop more cities, Danny must race to prevent Enfield from becoming the next target or he’ll not only lose his father, but the boy he loves, forever.

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Tara Sim is the author of Timekeeper (Sky Pony Press) and can typically be found wandering the wilds of the Bay Area, California. When she’s not chasing cats or lurking in bookstores, she writes books about magic, clocks, and explosives. Follow her on Twitter at @EachStarAWorld, and check out her website at tarasim.com.

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Gary Furlong grew up in Wexford, Ireland. Throughout his life he has worn many a hat: He has worked as a teacher in Niigata, Japan; a puppeteer in Prague; an improv artist in Memphis, Tennessee; and as a singer and actor all over Ireland. He started narrating audiobooks in late 2015 and hasn’t looked back.

Gary made his acting debut in the musical Godspell as a student. Since then he has pursued acting both on the amateur and professional circuits. Notable roles include Tom Collins in Bare Cheek’s production of Rent in 2010.

Over the course of his five years in Japan, he was an actor, director, and audio producer. It was during this time that he discovered his interest in audiobooks and voice-over.

He now works full-time as an audiobook narrator and voice actor from his home in Ireland.

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Audiobook Review & Giveaway: A Fine Year for Murder by Lauren Carr

3 Apr

After months of marital bliss, Jessica Faraday and Murphy Thornton are still discovering and adjusting to their life together. Settled in their new home, everything appears to be perfect … except in the middle of the night when, in darkest shadows of her subconscious, a deep secret from Jessica’s past creeps to the surface to make her strike out at Murphy.

When investigative journalist Dallas Walker tells the couple about her latest case, known as the Pine Bridge Massacre, they realize Jessica may have witnessed the murder of a family living near a winery owned by distant relatives she was visiting and suppressed the memory.

Determined to uncover the truth and find justice for the murder victims, Jessica and Murphy return to the scene of the crime with Dallas Walker, a spunky bull-headed Texan. Can this family reunion bring closure for a community touched by tragedy or will this prickly get-together bring an end to the Thorny Rose couple?

 

Buy the Book:  Amazon  ~   Audible  ~  Add on Goodreads

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My Review

I chose to listen to this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. I have read several books by Lauren Carr including Kill and Run in which Jessica Faraday and Murphy Thornton are the main characters so I was looking forward to listening to this book. Before the Thorny Rose Mysteries, I read several Mac Faraday Mysteries. Mac Faraday is Jessica’s father so most of the characters in these books feel like old friends.

I like Lauren Carr’s writing style. It’s easy to follow and she doesn’t get bogged down with lengthy descriptions. The dialogue is especially enjoyable. There are quite a few characters in this book but they’re easy to keep track of, although that may be because I know so many of them from previous books.

Poor Jessica Faraday is having nightmares which turn out to be repressed memories. Her nightmares are getting more disturbing and violent so she and her husband Murphy Thornton decide to go to the town where she may have witnessed a murder when she was 10 years old. What they find are some disturbed people and despite several twists, they’re able to solve the mystery. But they come across so much more in the process.

The narrator, C.J. McAllister, does a great job narrating the story. He changes his voice just enough so that I could tell who was talking, which I imagine was a challenge with so many characters. He has a good voice for narrating and does a good job with clarity and pace.

This is definitely a book that will keep you guessing and I definitely recommend it to anyone who likes a good mystery. It will also stand alone without reading the previous books, but the Faradays and their friends and family are great!

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About the Author

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs (including the real Gnarly) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

 

Connect with Lauren: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

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Giveaway

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The purchase links in this post are affiliate links. Purchasing through them helps sustain Bound 4 Escape.

 

Audiobook Review & Giveaway: A Human Element by Donna Galanti

1 Apr

Author: Donna Galanti

Narrator: Chase Bradley

Length: 10h 8m

Publisher:Auspicious Apparatus Press⎮2017

Genre: Science Fiction/Thriller

Release date: Jan. 10, 2017

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Evil comes in many forms…

One by one, Laura Armstrong’s friends and adoptive family members are being murdered, and despite her unique healing powers, she can do nothing to stop it. The savage killer haunts her dreams, tormenting her with the promise that she is next.

Determined to find the killer, she follows her visions to the site of a crashed meteorite in her hometown. There, she meets Ben Fieldstone, who seeks answers about his parents’ death the night the meteorite struck. In a race to stop a madman, they unravel a frightening secret that binds them together.

But the killer’s desire to destroy Laura face-to-face leads to a showdown that puts Laura and Ben’s emotional relationship and Laura’s pure spirit to the test. With the killer closing in, Laura discovers her destiny is linked to his, and she has two choices—redeem him or kill him.

 

 

 

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

Several lives are intertwined in this Sci Fi story and the author does a good job of weaving those lives together as time goes on.

As a young boy, Ben witnesses a “meteor” demolish his home with his parents in it and is suddenly an orphan. Nine months later, twins are born to a young woman. One is deformed and horrific looking and is whisked away by the government. The other is a normal girl who is secretly adopted by a local family. The girl is named Laura per her dying mother’s request.

Laura and her twin are part alien, have powers, and are total opposites. The twin is locked up as an experiment and resents Laura because she’s been allowed to live a normal human life.

Ben and Laura end up meeting when they’re older when they’re both searching for what, they don’t know. Maybe each other? They realize that they need to figure out where Laura came from and that they’re going to have to face her evil twin brother.

Laura is such a strong character. She handles devastation, horror, and loss but she continues to live her life. I really liked the side characters, especially Jim, Laura’s older friend who lives by the lake.

I like the narrator’s voice. he has one of those voices that is easy on the ears. He did a good job with inflection and pacing of the story.

There’s so much happening in A Human Element. It starts as Sci Fi but is also a thriller with a bit of romance. I don’t recommend this book for younger readers because of a couple steamy sex scenes as well as some violence.

Donna Galanti is the author of the paranormal suspense Element Trilogy (Imajin Books) and the children’s fantasy adventure Joshua and The Lightning Road series (Month9Books). Donna is a contributing editor for International Thriller Writers the Big Thrill magazine and blogs with other middle grade authors at Project Middle Grade Mayhem. She’s lived from England as a child, to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer. Donna enjoys teaching at conferences on the writing craft and marketing and also presenting as a guest author at elementary and middle schools. Visit her at www.elementtrilogy.com and www.donnagalanti.com.

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Chase was born and raised in a quiet town in upstate New York. He concentrated on musical pursuits through most of his younger years, excelling in anything that had to do with using his voice. He attended college in Potsdam, NY, where he studied Wilderness Leadership, Sociology and Vocal training at the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. Chase’s dream since he was a kid was to be a voice over artist and professional musician, but after college he decided to spread his wings and explore the world a bit first. He worked as a mountain guide in Alaska, leading Ice Climbing, Mountaineering, and Backpacking trips. He traveled all over North and South America for work and and pleasure, climbing and skiing everything that stood in his way. After meeting a beautiful woman (in Alaska of all places!) and falling in love, he settled down in Lake Tahoe California, where he currently resides with his wife and two children. Chase has finally returned to his roots and works as a full time voice over artist, and plays weekly shows with his band. Things have come full circle, and the dream has been fulfilled. Chase does commercial voice over work, but has found that his true passion is narrating audiobooks. He has narrated 14 audiobooks to date, with more to come! Chase is constantly looking for ways to improve his narration, and deliver the best possible performance for the authors and listeners.

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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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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

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