Audiobook Review: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Adapted by Dave McCluskey

Author: Dave McCluskey
Narrator: Liam Scott
Length: 1 hour 11 minutes
Publisher: Dammaged Productions
Released: Nov. 20, 2020
Genre: Classics

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A classic Christmas tale, lovingly recreated in this beautiful audio book.

The reviled Scrooge is visited by three spirits who teach him the real meaning of life.

The tale has been turned into rhyme, making this a delightful new twist to the story you know so well. Could it be a new addition to your Christmas traditions?

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I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Dave McCluskey. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Like many others, I enjoy reading Christmas books and watching Christmas movies, so I was excited to listen to the audiobook of A Christmas Carol. I didn’t realize until I started listening to it that it’s in rhyme! I already knew that Dave McCluskey is talented, but this book is impressive. It has to be difficult to take a book that was written so many years ago and turn it into a rhyming book.

The narrator, Liam Scott, does a magnificent job. This is one of the best audiobooks I’ve listened to. His pace and timing are perfect, and he does a splendid job at the different voices.

This version of A Christmas Carol is a good audiobook for both adults and children. All ages will enjoy listening to it. I know it’s a book that I’ll add to my Christmas tradition.

Writing as D E McCluskey, I write novels, graphic novels and comics. I live in Liverpool (UK) with my partner and our daughters, one of them an author in her own right (at the age of 11) with her children’s adventure The Hangry Hamster.

I began writing in 2011, creating my first comic publication entitled Interesting Tymes. This is an anthology of short horror stories written in rhyme for children and adults, introducing the world to Edward D’Ammage. The first book was quickly followed by Interesting Tymes x 2 and the spin off series called Edward D’Ammage Presents: The Wedding.

I then moved on to more adult related fiction, bringing out the one shot Wooden Heart, followed by the full graphic novel Doppelganger.

I then moved on to produce a number of comics and graphic novels, including The Few, a zombie series, DeathDay Presents, a graphic novel comedy based in Hell, Three Days in the City, The Adventures of Mace Masoch and many more. I wrote and produced a full graphic novel for children entitled OLF, a clever twist on an old Christmas tale. Spurred on by this, I partnered up with artist Joe Matthews to produce a retelling of the classic Christmas tale A Christmas Carol, re-writing it completely in rhyme.

I then turned my sights towards writing novels. My debut novel The Twelve was released in 2017 to great reviews. This was followed by a collaboration with a local, Liverpool music historian, to produce a historical thriller called In The Mood… For Murder, based in Liverpool in 1946.

My next novel was a dark, brutal psychological horror entitled CRACK, which tackles the issues of PTSD and addiction.

I then produced a romance/horror/comedy crossover entitled Z: A Love Story.

In August 2019 I did a collaboration with another author based in Liverpool. C William Giles. The book is called The Contract and will be the first of a trilogy.

Butterflies, my first foray outside the genre of horror/thriller is a female led drama, was released on 1st October 2020.

I have produced 2 audio books, one of CRACK and the other of A Christmas Carol.

My future works will include horrors, thrillers, children’s books and YA adventures.

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Narrator Bio

Liam Scott Actor – Director – Writer (Ginificent) A dynamic and motivated Actor, Writer and Director with a twenty year history of performing live and on film. Liam is an exceptional performer and producer who can achieve many accents and dialects at ease. He has a professional studio and can create quality mastered recordings, with sound knowledge of logic pro and final cut. He has enjoyed a successful career as an actor on Stage and more recently on TV & Film. Liam is a passionate creative and thrives on managing projects from concept to completion. Previously a teacher of The Arts and and avid reader, Liam loves bringing books to life and delivers performances with perfection and understanding. He has an in-depth knowledge of classic texts and has created stage plays in support of GCSE English, delivering creative workshops nationwide. An adaptable and transformational actor with an ability to work independently. Liam is also a musician and has vast experience of creating soundscapes and music in support of TV, theatre and radio plays.

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Book Review: Emery & Reyes (Evermarked novella 2.0) by AJ Eversley

The story of Emery and Reyes before Evermarked. This novella also tells how Jayla and Caspian became Watchers.

My Review

I read the Watcher series by AJ Eversley a while back, and I’ve been looking forward to reading this new series based in Cytos, the same city that the Watcher series began in. I liked the novellas she wrote about different characters from the Watcher series, so I knew I wanted to read about Emery and Reyes.

I’m planning on reading Evermarked soon, so I decided to read this novella first. Normally, I would wait until after I read the first book, but I already know a bit about the story, so I wanted a little back story. Even though it’s short, Emery & Reyes gives plenty of a back story as well as being as absorbing as one of AJ Eversley’s full length novels. Now I can’t wait to start reading Evermarked! If only I could take a day off to read…

About the Author

As an avid reader from a young age, it only made sense that one day I would write my own stories. I grew up in a small town in central Alberta Canada where there wasn’t much to do but read, cheer on the Oilers and attempt to enjoy the long winter months. 

​After high school, I attended college where I played 4 years of college basketball and eventually went into Recreation as a career. I stayed at the college I graduated from, where I am currently still employed full-time (as well as writing full-time…some days I wish clones were real so there could be two of me!) and am heavily involved in the fitness industry. 

​My first book series, The WATCHER Series, was self-published in 2017 and later picked up by Aelurus Publishing to be republished. The three-book series, along with a second four-book series The HIDDEN WAR, set in the same world released in 2020. 

Website http://www.ajeversley.com
Twitter ajeversley

Book Review: The Grumpy Panda Fixes His Smile by Felicia Richards

Has your child ever got angry or grumpy about little things that are not worth paying attention to?

What a bad luck!

The same thing happened to Andy the panda! All-day was spoiled because his favorite toy car broke down.

Now, not only the toy car is ruined, but also Andy’s mood. His parents are also upset because their son is angry!

What to do now?

Andy found a way out of the situation, and his beloved and wise grandma helped him in this.

Amazon

My Review

Andy, a young panda, was having a rough day. He lost the wheel to his favorite toy car behind a cabinet. That made him mad which only made things worse. When his family goes to his grandma’s house, Andy is still in a bad mood, but she knew exactly what to do. She helped Andy to solve his problem which made him happy, and he learned that getting angry doesn’t solve anything.

This story is well written and has illustrations with vibrant colors that will keep children’s attention. It’s one young children will love and it has a good message as well!

About the Author

Felicia Richards is a children’s author who has loved to write since her youth. However, Felicia was motivated to write her own book because she couldn’t find a suitable book for her child. Everything she read, she wanted to change and bring to the ideal. Then it was decided to make her own book and put into it everything that she wanted to tell her child about through a children’s story. The book impressed not only her own son Michael but also the children of Felicia’s friends. Therefore, Richards decided to do it professionally and began publishing her own books to a wide audience.

Book Review: Have no Fear, a Friend is Near by Felicia Richards

Don’t be afraid of the under-bed monster – you can make friends with him!

Is your child afraid of monsters under the bed? Then the adorable Zeek will come to kid aid!

The fluffy hero will become a friend for every child! Your kid will understand that there is nothing to be afraid of, because fear lives only in our head. In fact, all the worst that we fancy is just a good imagination that needs to be developed in the creative field.

This book of feelings reveals one of the sides of children’s emotions. Thanks to the colorful illustrations, the kids will see that all our fears are greatly exaggerated in our imaginations.

To understand this, the child needs to decide to look fear in the eye – then everything will stand into place. The kid will understand that there is nothing to be afraid of.

Amazon

My Review

Have no Fear, a Friend is Near is an adorable book about a boy who knows there is a monster under his bed and he’s scared of it. Zeek, the monster under his bed, is scared of the boy on the bed! They both learn that there’s nothing to be afraid of except the unknown.

This story is well written and beautifully illustrated. It’s one young children will love and it has a good message as well!

About the Author

Felicia Richards is a children’s author who has loved to write since her youth. However, Felicia was motivated to write her own book because she couldn’t find a suitable book for her child. Everything she read, she wanted to change and bring to the ideal. Then it was decided to make her own book and put into it everything that she wanted to tell her child about through a children’s story. The book impressed not only her own son Michael but also the children of Felicia’s friends. Therefore, Richards decided to do it professionally and began publishing her own books to a wide audience.

Book Review: Hairlarious Cat Tails by Sharon Kleve

Hairlarious Cat Tails makes a beautiful table top book filled with creative insights and beautiful images. It provides a much-desired glimpse into the minds of our most mysterious of loved ones–cats.

What makes cats climb into tiny spaces? Why do they sleep that much? And, most of all, how can we give them a good life? They may seem low-maintenance but thoughtfulness about where you put their water, how warm or cool they like to be, what name to choose and how to groom them properly will make a life-changing difference.

With understanding, affection and respect, your cat will be healthier and very content. I don’t know about you, but that makes me very happy…

Amazon

From Hairlarious Cat Tails

My Review

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

I love this coffee table book! It would be a great gift for any cat lover. It is full of beautiful photos of cats (of course). Along with the photos are interesting facts, things a cat might say, and a few puns at the end.

A couple of the facts that stood out to me: cats don’t meow at other cats, only at humans. They purr, hiss, and spit at other cats; when a cat’s tail wags, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s angry. Their tails communicate many different things like when we gesticulate.

The things that a cat might say were cute. One that hit home with me because of one of my cats: “Hello, I am very pleased to see you, allow me to give you a front row view of my butt.”

Hairlarious Cat Tails is one of those books you can go back to time and time again especially to look at the adorable photos!

From Hairlarious Cat Tails

About the Author

Sharon Kleve was born and raised in Washington and currently lives on the Olympic Peninsula with her husband and two cats. When not writing, and working full-time, she can usually be found either curled up in her recliner with her cats and a good book or in the kitchen making baking sourdough bread or bagels.

Sharon is a multi-published author of contemporary romance published in eBook, paperback, on audio and translated into foreign languages. She has written New Adult and Romantic Suspense, but what brings her the most joy is writing Romantic Comedies.

She loves giving her characters the happily ever after they deserve–with a few laughs and maybe a few bumps and bruises along the way.

Her latest adventure is writing about her favorite furry friends.

Email: sharon.kleve@gmail.com
Blog: http://authorsharonkleve.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sharonkleve
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/srkleve/boards/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5399389.Sharon_Kleve
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Sharon-Kleve/e/B006JAH14S

From Hairlarious Cat Tails

Book Review & Giveaway: Eye for Eye Trilogy by J.K. Franko

If you like smart, fast-paced thrillers with unexpected twists, then you’ll love J.K. Franko’s Eye for Eye Trilogy!

“REALISTIC & CHILLING!” – Mystery Thriller Week

Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Crime, Legal
Published by: Talion Publishing
Publication Date: October 5, 2020
Number of Pages:1050

Amazon & Goodreads

My Review

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

The Eye for Eye Trilogy is fast-paced with surprises around every corner. It had many characters, and I can’t think of one that I liked, but each character was different in their own unique way. None of the main characters seemed to have a real problem with murder.

I thought having Roy and Susie’s therapist as the narrator of the books was ingenious. It did make sense, though, since they were both sociopaths so they’d seek understandably seek help.

This is a great trilogy that I especially enjoyed because I could read the books back to back. I did feel there was some superfluous text and occasionally just wanted the author to get to the point.

Eye for Eye

“NEW TWIST ON STRANGERS ON A TRAIN”
~ THE SUNDAY TIMES

Roy and Susie are on a skiing holiday, trying to take a break from the constant reminders of their daughter, tragically killed by a careless driver. Out of the blue they meet Deb and Tom, another couple with a tragic past and a shocking proposal to put things right.

As the bodies accumulate, secrets are revealed and alliances crumble. Ultimate survival depends on following the rules for a perfect murder. And the first rule is… leave no singing bones.

My Review

Eye for an Eye was my favorite of the three books. I think it was because I didn’t know what to expect and there were so many surprises. Once I got into the book, it was difficult to put down. There was so much going on!

At first, I felt sorry for the couples, and I can’t imagine what I would be capable of if one of my children were raped or killed. As events unfolded, however, I was shocked not only because of the lack of remorse but the deception! Roy, Susie, and Deb had so many secrets from others and from each other.

If you only have time to read one of the books in this trilogy, this is the one I’d recommend.

The Trial of Joe Harlan Junior

A college Halloween party. A night of fun, dress-up, and laughter. But for Kristy Wise, it quickly became a night of horror.

Now, Joe Harlan Junior, entrepreneur and son of a prominent senator, is at risk of losing everything as he stands accused of a crime he insists he did not commit.

Yet the facts are undisputed: Kristy was drugged, and she did have sex with Joe.

But was it consensual?

Read the story. Listen to the testimony. Is everything that happens next justified?

YOU decide.

My Review

In my kindle version of the trilogy, this prequel popped up. It’s a court document (mostly) about Joe Harlan Jr.’s trial that was the subject of a lot of the first book, so it was a nice addition. It’s short but enlightening. I would have read it before the first book if I’d known it was there, but I think I got more out of it after having read book one first.

Tooth for Tooth

What would YOU do?

What would you do if you got away with murder? Would you stop there? Could you?

Susie and Roy thought that they committed the perfect crime.

Their planning was meticulous. Their execution flawless.

But, there is always a loose end, isn’t there? Always a singing bone.

Now, while enemies multiply and suspicions abound, their perfect world begins to crumble.

The hunters have become the hunted.

My Review

Book two started slower than the first book, but eventually it was very good. I made myself a note to be sure to mention that “these people are horrible.”

Those affected by the murders had more of role in this book. Deb and Tom’s daughter, Kristy, the girl who was raped, sought answers. Eventually, of course, she sought revenge. The parents of those murdered in book one also wanted answers. There were also many new characters and more crazy twists and, of course, more murders. There was so much going on! I was surprised that I could keep the characters and events straight in my mind, but I was so invested in the story that it was easy.

At the end of Tooth for Tooth I couldn’t imagine how much more craziness could happen to these people!

Life for Life

What would YOU do if someone threatened your family?

Roy Cruise and his pregnant wife Susie barely survived an assassination attempt in their own home. The police now have them under surveillance. Meanwhile, Kristy Wise is a loose cannon—she knows too much and is trying to “set things right.”

What goes around comes around. And in this case, Roy and Susie may have pushed things too far. There are too many dead bodies. Too many foes plotting against them.

Roy and Susie must outwit the police and neutralize their enemies once and for all. If not, their days of retribution may end behind bars… or six feet under.

My Review

Life for Life had some of the same craziness especially in the first third of the book. A lot of book three was a trial…yes, someone was finally caught. While some aspects of the trial were interesting and there was a surprise or two, there was a lot of testimony that repeated events from the first two books. As a result, although interesting, it wasn’t the page turner that the first two were.

The ending wasn’t what I expected, but there was a lot in the trilogy that wasn’t expected! I look forward to reading book four.

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Book Review: Philippa and the Homeless Bumblebee by David Greaves

One day a happy bumblebee has her world turned upside down when her beloved meadow home is destroyed. But to her delight, a brave child comes to her rescue. Philippa and the homeless bee embark on an exciting adventure together. Where will their journey take them?

Philippa and the Homeless Bumblebee offers young readers an important reminder about the beauty, fragility and vulnerability of the natural world around us.

When The Homeless Bumblebee and Me was first published by Friends of the Earth in 2015,  David Greaves’ and Danielle Callaghan’s heartwarming ecological fable quickly established itself as a firm favourite in many homes throughout the UK. Republished now by Stanage Press Ltd. in a new and updated edition, Philippa and the Homeless Bumblebee continues to support Friends of the Earth’s vital environmental campaigning work: £1 of every copy sold will be donated to Friends of the Earth.

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.

Philippa and the Homeless Bumblebee is about a happy bumblebee who suddenly loses her home when humans destroy her meadow. We’re taken on a journey as the bumblebee and her new friend, Philippa, search for a new home. It’s not as easy as it sounds. With humans disturbing so much of the environment, every time they think they’ve found a home, there’s a problem. As it gets dark, they begin to wonder if they’ll ever find a new home for the bumblebee.

This book not only points out the impact that we have on our environment, but it is a great introduction to children about bees. It would be easy to explain the importance of bees after reading about the homeless bumblebee. With the rhyming text and the beautiful illustrations, it will be a favorite.

Philippa and the Homeless Bumblebee is a children’s story that adults would enjoy reading to children, and it has a lesson. What more could you want? I look forward to reading it to my grandchildren.

About the Author

Born in Yorkshire in 1985, David Greaves’ kindness and generosity of spirit, and his love of travel and adventure led David to make friends around the world with people from all walks of life.

The stamina and strength of character demonstrated by David’s achievements as an ultra-marathon runner and Iron Man triathlete were also shown by his determination to complete a wonderful collection of children’s stories in verse, while living with the cruel limitations imposed by Motor Neurone Disease (ALS), diagnosed shortly after David’s thirtieth birthday in June 2015.

In September 2015 David married the love of his life, Philippa. They climbed Mt Kilimanjaro together, raising over £12,000 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association, then travelled widely in East Africa before settling in Newcastle upon Tyne. As MND progressively deprived David of the use of his hands, and then the power of speech, he finished his collection of stories for children’s using revolutionary computer software that allowed him to communicate by tracking and translating into readable text the movement of his eyes. David passed away peacefully at home in September 2016. David’s wife Philippa and his family intend to honour David Greaves’ outstanding gifts as a children’s author by eventually publishing all David’s completed works.

Book Review: The Only Book a Kid Needs to Read About Coronavirus Ever by Dr. SG Jack

The crazy coronavirus has been causing chaos around the world! It’s changed everything and created so much confusion. Want to know more than your teachers, parents or even the President about coronavirus? Let’s uncover all the important truths, without skimping on the revolting details, that Disgusting Doctors love!

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About the Disgusting Doctors series: This is hopefully the first book of many in the Disgusting Doctors series. The next book is titled “Ten Terrible Ideas Doctors Used to Think Were Wonderful”. The underlying ethos behind Disgusting Doctors is to ignite a curiosity about health and the human body at a young age. We believe with an early understanding of health we can reduce the burden of illness in later life. We feel this is a more effective way to practice medicine, focusing on prevention as opposed to cure. The plan is to have a range of books tackling all aspects of health, mind and body.

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.

If children have questions about Covid 19, this is the book to get. It explains everything in detail that children can understand, with a bit of humor here and there. A good example (and my favorite) is how the importance of facemasks is explained:

Kids will love the analogy and it makes the necessity of wearing masks super simple!

Along with learning about the coronavirus, Covid 19, stopping the spread of the virus, and treatments, every once in a while there is additional information under the titles “Did You Know,” “Extra Facts for Brainiacs,” and “Leadership.” One of the things that I found interesting under a “Did You Know” was that TV shows that are set in hospitals had a lot of masks and gowns used as stage props. The donated these to local hospitals during the pandemic. How great is that?!

If you have a child who is wanting answers to questions about the pandemic, this is a good book to get. It’s also a good read for adults because it’s based on fact, and we all know that we don’t know what we can believe on the internet.

About the Authors

Book Review: Scavenger Art by Lexi Rees

Scavenger hunts are fun.

Drawing is fun.

Put them together for ★ SCAVENGER ART ★

This unique art-based activity book includes 52 scavenger hunts designed to

✓ encourage curious minds
✓ spark creativity
✓ practise mindfulness
✓ develop drawing skills

Perfect for ages 6 to 12.

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1913799042/

US –  https://www.amazon.com/dp/1913799042/

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.

Scavenger Art puts scavenger hunts and art together. It’s a great book that will give kids something fun to do while teaching them creativity. What a great book to get for bored children during the holidays, summer vacation, or a lockdown.

The book has several sections: My House, My Stuff, Outside, People, Faces & Bodies, Nature, Eating, and Birds, Insects, & Animals. Each section lists instructions for a scavenger hunt and a page to draw 9 pictures of items found. Here’s an example from the My House section:

This is a great book that will keep kids entertained for hours. I’m going to have to get one for my grandkids when they’re a little older!

About the Author

Lexi Rees was born in Scotland but now lives down south. She writes action-packed adventures brim full of witch-doctors, fortune-tellers, warriors and smugglers, combining elemental magic with hints of dystopia. She also writes fun activity books for children. 

Her fantasy adventure, Eternal Seas, was awarded a “loved by” badge from LoveReading4Kids. The sequel, Wild Sky, is available now. 

She’s passionate about developing a love of reading and writing in children and, as well as her Creative Writing Skills workbook, she has an active programme of school visits and other events, is a Book PenPal for three primary schools, and runs a free online #kidsclub and newsletter which includes book recommendations and creative writing activities.

In her spare time, she’s a keen crafter and spends a considerable amount of time trying not to fall off horses or boats.

Social Media Links –

Website: https://lexirees.co.uk

Twitter: @lexi_rees  or https://twitter.com/lexi_rees

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LexiAuthor/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/lexireesbooks/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lexi.rees/

Audiobook Review: Daisy McDare and the Deadly Political Affair by K.M. Morgan

It is election season in Cozy Creek and the race for mayor has really heated up.

So when the front-runner, Adam Mitchell, is murdered a week before the big vote, his political rival becomes an obvious suspect.

But Daisy McDare believes this case isn’t as clear cut as it appears to be.

There are a number of other people in town who wanted Adam dead, and Daisy isn’t going to stop until she discovers who was really behind the murder.

Amazon

My Review

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

Daisy McDare & the Deadly Political Affair is a novella in the Daisy McDare cozy mystery series. I’m listening to them in order which isn’t necessary, but it does make the stories flow well.

When one of the candidates for mayor is murdered, Daisy is once again curious and starts asking Lt. Crumple questions about the case. Since things worked out so well last time when they worked together, Lt. Crumple invites her to help out with the case…he knows she’ll just do it on her own anyway.

Daisy and Crumple solve the case quickly. They are able to narrow down the suspects easily. Once again, I thought Crumple would have taken more control over the interviews rather than Daisy asking many of the questions and getting a confession. It is unrealistic, and I can’t see him taking the back seat like that.

The narrator, Donna Soto, did well with pace and timing. Distinguishing between the characters, though, was a problem and the men sounded like Granny Annie.

I recommend Daisy McDare & the Deadly Political Affair to anyone who likes cozy mysteries and super quick reads. I think I would prefer to read these though rather than listen to them.

About the Author

K.M. Morgan loves baking, crafts, cute cat videos, and reading mysteries.

Sign up for the K.M. Morgan new release mailing list here: http://eepurl.com/7Wt8L


You can contact K.M. with questions and/or comments here: kmmorgancozy@gmail.com