Audiobook Review: Primrose’s Curse by Kiara Shankar & Vinay Shankar

Narrator: Laura Welsh

Length: 1 hour and 28 minutes

Publisher: Vinay Shankar SP

Released: Apr. 21, 2019

Genre: Children’s; Fantasy


Primrose Fernetise, a beautiful, audacious 12-year-old girl, and a group of woodland animals with divine mystical abilities set out on an adventurous mission to Hellevue, a murky island on the dreary part of Mystopical. Their daring mission involves vanquishing the evil sorceress Queen Evelyn Velecrona and breaking the curse she has cast on humanity.

How do the woodland animals and Primrose plan and embark on their brave voyage to defeat the wicked sorceress?

Will the bunch of lovable woodland animals and an innocent 12-year-old girl really succeed in bringing down the dreadful Queen Evelyn? Also, will they be able to bring back peace, well-being, and happiness to humanity?

To find out more about this epic fairy tale, please do consider listening to this entire audiobook.

Available on Audible

My Review

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

Primrose’s father is sick so she decides to go deep into the forest to find a healing plant. What she finds are magical woodland animals and an exciting adventure. If she and the animals are successful, they won’t just heal Primrose’s father but all of humanity!

Primrose’s Curse is for middle-grade readers. Based on the books I’ve read for middle-grade readers, I’d recommend this one to girls who are just beginning to start middle-grade books.

The narrator has a great voice for this book. She also has a good pace and timing.

About the Authors

KIARA SHANKAR is a young talented author from San Francisco, California, USA. Apart from writing books, she loves reading, artwork, writing poems, playing with her friends, and listening to her favorite Bollywood music.

Kiara’s poem “A Deadly Star” was published in the national level writing contest book “A Celebration of Poets” (Fall 2018 Edition – published by Creative Communication, Utah, USA).

VINAY SHANKAR is Kiara’s dad, a software professional, who found himself inspired by his daughter’s idea of writing fictional fairy tale books and decided to co-write books with her. This collaborative effort of the family is helping to bring great ideas to life!

Viki Publishing * Twitter * Facebook * Pinterest * Instagram


About the Narrator

Laura Welsh is a Voice Actor currently living in Sunny California. She divides her time between the Studio and maintaining her Succulent Garden, equally passionate about both! Her professional career has spanned from TV and radio commercials, video games, cartoons, and Youtube channels, and of course narrating audiobooks. Delighting in her work, she hopes to be able to bring joy and pleasure in the projects she assists with for many many years to come.

Instagram * Facebook * Twitter * Website


Book Review: Bernie and the Time Lords by Steve LeBel

Our young god has a new assignment.

The planet Flo is supposed to produce a florescent dust for the gods, but they have closed their mining operation. Bernie’s job is to get the mines reopened and working again. But there’s a problem. Every time he tries to re-negotiate a trading arrangement with the owner of the mines, it fails. But that’s just the beginning of the problems.

Each time Bernie returns to the planet, he finds things have changed. How can he get the mining operation restarted if the mine owner has difficulty remembering Bernie? And, to make it more difficult, other things are changing, too. The technology on the planet is advancing at an alarming rate. It’s as if someone is changing the past.

Bernie’s boss thinks the best solution is to eliminate all the people and repopulate the planet with a species less inclined to develop new technology. Bernie, of course, doesn’t want that to happen.

But how can he get the mines reopened if things keep changing? Bernie must begin a search throughout time for the malevolent force determined to destroy Flo’s timeline. If he can’t find and stop it, everyone on Flo will be destroyed. 



My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free advanced review copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. I have read the other books in this series, and I’ve been patiently waiting for this book to be ready.

I love the world that Steve LeBel has created in which gods create universes. They live on a plateau and they don’t have a lot of resources so they make the universes to trade for the things they need. For example, the planet Flo has been mining fluorescent dust that keeps the gods’ streets glowing at night. They have a trade agreement with the owner of the planet but suddenly they stop mining the dust. Flo is brought in for Bernie to find out why they’re no longer mining and to fix it. If he doesn’t get it fixed soon, everything on the planet will be wiped out and they’ll start all over again. Bernie doesn’t want this to happen, especially once he’s met some of the people.

The characters are well developed and have mostly human characteristics. Bernie, the main character, is a young god, famous because of winning an award for a universe he created. His best friends are Suzie and Lenny and they try to help him figure out ways to save Flo. They also accompany Bernie to the Blue Mountain which is a long ways away from the plateau they live on and the journey could be very dangerous.

I like Steve LeBel’s writing style. He brings the characters and the planets alive. This book does stand on its own but I recommend reading the series. It’s well worth your time. The only complaint I have is that I have to wait for the next book.



About the Author

What is the best way to describe an author who writes humorous fantasy?
Do we tell about bookshelves full of fantasy, science fiction, and paranormal books, his love of mythology, or the years he spent as dungeon master? Or is it more important to know his favorite player-character was a chaotic-good elven fighter / magic user? What about that stack of old comic books he never seems to get rid of?

But there’s a serious side too. The other half of his bookshelf is filled with books on management, marketing, computer programming, and financial analysis? What about his years as a hospital president, or the many businesses he created, his years as a stock trader? What about his early years counseling drug addicts?
Is there a pattern to his travels around the world? Why chose places like King Arthur’s Camelot, the Temple of Delphi, Buddha’s Tree of Enlightenment, China’s Forbidden City, or the Great Pyramid of Egypt? What is it he’s searching for?
And what does any of this have to do with writing a good fantasy book?
Perhaps it’s that mix within Steve that makes The Universe Builders such a delightful story with such serious undertones.


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Book Review & Giveaway: The High Court by Chris Ledbetter

Book Title: The High Court by Chris Ledbetter
Category: YA Fiction, 290 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Month 9 Books
Release date: October 16, 2018
Tour dates: April 1 to 30, 2019
Content Rating: PG (some profanity (damn, ass), no f-bombs, some kissing, no sex scenes, some violence, nothing gory or graphic)


High atop Mount Olympus, dawn breaks on a new academic term. Normalcy has returned to campus following a harrowing expedition into The Underworld to rescue kidnapped students by Zeus and his fellow Olympians. Now, as they prepare to testify in The High Court, Hyperion will be tried for the attack on Crete and death of Anytos. Kronos will stand trial for the murder of Mount Olympus Prep’s Headmaster Ouranos.

As the trials draw near, Mount Olympus Prep students and faculty are besieged repeatedly by a race of gargantuan stone and earth giants. Under heavy assault, the Olympians are forced to flee to the volcanic island of Limnos to regroup. Meanwhile, a toxic poison Zeus has carried with him since a prior fight with a dragoness, creeps toward his brain.

In a race against time and beasts, Zeus and his friends must find a way to survive not only the toxin ravaging Zeus’ body but also the giants who grow stronger after every attack and somehow make it to The High Court alive.

To read reviews, please visit Chris Ledbetter’s page of iRead Book Tours.


Buy the Book:

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 read The Sky Throne a while back and was happy to read the next book in the series.
Hyperion and Kronos are about to go on trial for murder but classes will resume at Mount Olympus Prep first. Unfortunately, things haven’t returned to normal by any means. The school is attacked by huge earth and stone monsters and have to leave to regroup. But wherever they go, they are followed. 
Finally, at the trial, they get some answers and are happy with the sentence that Hyperion receives but Kronos receives what everyone considers to be a slap on the hand. Things at the trial get out of hand and Zeus has suspicions and more questions than ever. I have a feeling he’ll be searching for answers in the next book.
The High Court is full of action and the characters are enjoyable to read about. For example, Aphrodite joins the school so of course all of the guys must work at not ogling her. The students work well as a team although they do have their moments. I definitely recommend The High Court which is a standalone even though it’s the second book in the series.



About the Author


Chris Ledbetter is an award-winning author of short fiction and novels for young adults. “Jason’s Quest,” a short story retelling of the Jason and Medea Greek myth was published in the anthology, Greek Myths Revisited. His first full-length novel, Drawn earned him two awards, Library of Clean Reads Best YA 2015 and Evernight Publishing Readers’ Choice Award Best YA 2015, as well as a USA TODAY “Must Read” recommendation. His second novel, Inked, concludes that duology. The Sky Throne is his newest young adult series. It includes, thus far, The Sky Throne and The High Court.

He’s a proud member of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) and a strong supporter of the Need for Diverse Books. He now writes and lives in Wilmington, NC with his family, including three cats.


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




Ends May 7, 2019

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Book Review: Secrets of Blood by Jennifer Arntson

Anna, a Scavenger Girl auctioned to the highest bidder at the Seller’s Stage as a surrogate, is purchased by one of the most influential families in Ashlund. Despite her efforts to appease them, tension grows when she cannot give them what they want most. As a slave whose life is in the hands of those with status, an arrangement is made – an
agreement so unspeakable the consequence of discovery is worse than death for everyone involved, but it just might work.
Freedom is found through servitude in a place girls like her rarely found: the arms of a loving man. But when betrayal and suspicion overshadow hope and desire, secrets kept too long take a murderous turn to protect them. One night of desperation and tragedy seals their fate, forcing confessions to save the most innocent among them.

Pre-order on Amazon


My Review

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

The Scavenger Girl series is one of my favorites. I was thrilled to find out that the author is writing stand-alone novels that complement the series. 

This novel takes place before The Scavenger Girl series and many of the characters are the same. When Von and Dala, Pantis’s son and daughter-in-law, are unable to conceive a child even with a surrogate named Anna, Von secretly begs his father to lie with Anna. Pantis’s decision to help his son results in an unspeakable tragedy.

Von had originally planned to marry Regena until she left him to marry Tawl. Redena and Tawl have a calling to help Scavengers as much as they can even though it is against the law. If they are caught, they could lose their status or even their lives but that doesn’t stop them.

It amazes me how all of the characters are tied together. It’s also interesting that those with the least as far as possessions are the ones who are the happiest. I’m looking forward to reading more of these books. I can’t get enough!



About the Author

Jennifer Arntson has a long history of crafting tales that people find unbelievable, but often true. As an observer of human and social development through the ages, a curiosity of faith, and dedication to the underprivileged of the developing world, Jennifer finds her creative outlet in stories and fables. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two children, and a mini-farm of otherwise useless animals where the family eagerly caters to their every need.

Instagram: Scavenger_Girl_Series


Twitter: @JennArntson

Book Review: Scavenger Girl: Season of Toridia by Jennifer Arntson



Holding strong to her principles, Una refuses to idly stand by as countless suffer in Ashlund. When forced to witness the death of someone close to her, the true nature of one of the most powerful men in the land is revealed. Her only hope of escaping with her secrets is to flee from the Authority’s neighborhood through the unruly woods at its border. There, she comes face to face with the ruthless band of criminals who rule the coveted shade. After disrespecting his display of power, Kash, the leader of the Woodsmen, grants her a painful exchange binding her forever to her choices. Before she is released, he pays an unsettled debt to Una; a favor so petrifying, it is considered a curse by any other standard.

With everything stacking up against her in a land that is falling apart, can she be the woman everyone needs her to be, or is it simply too late? 

Available on Amazon 




My Review

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

The Scavenger Girl series is one of my favorites. I can’t get enough of it. Although these books are difficult to put down, I actually had to put this one down a couple times because I was overwhelmed with emotion and had to give myself time to think about all I’d just read.

This is the Season of Toridia which is known for its heat. Una is living in a neighborhood with other members of the Authority and it’s eventually obvious that the family needs to relocate, so they move to the land that is owned by her family. They do their best to help the Citizens who have lost their homes and are starving. Eventually, it’s even too dangerous for them to stay there and they must move on again.

There are three factions vying for power: the Authority, the Woodsmen, and the Resistance. Will Una and her growing family be able to survive the war that is obviously on the horizon? I can’t wait to find out in the next book.

I didn’t think Jennifer Arntson could outdo herself after reading the last book, but I was wrong. What a fantastic read! This is a series I’m going to have to read again once the final book is out, although I truly don’t want the series to end.




About the Author

Author, dreamer, and sworn enemy of Caillou

Jennifer Arntson has a long history of crafting tales that people find unbelievable, but often true. As an observer of human and social development through the ages, a curiosity of faith, and dedication to the underprivileged of the developing world, Jennifer finds her creative outlet in stories and fables. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two children, and a mini-farm of otherwise useless animals where the family eagerly caters to their every need.





Instagram: Scavenger_Girl_Series



(author) @JennArntson

(characters) @Una_Ashlund  @Cal_of_Ashlund  @Mar_of_Ashlund









Audiobook Review: Frozen by Christine Amsden


Apparently, life doesn’t end when you get married.

When a couple freezes to death on a fifty-degree day, Cassie is called in to investigate. The couple ran a daycare out of their home, making preschoolers the key witnesses and even the prime suspects.

Two of those preschoolers are Cassie’s youngest siblings, suggesting conditions at home are worse than she feared. As Cassie struggles to care for her family, she must face the truth about her mother’s slide into depression, which seems to be taking the entire town with it.

Then Cassie, too, is attacked by the supernatural cold. She has to think fast to survive, and her actions cause a rift between her and her husband.

No, life doesn’t end after marriage. All hell can break loose at any time. 

Buy Links



My Review

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

I have read the complete Cassie Scot series by Christine Amsden including Frozen, but it is a series that I’d read again when and if I had time, so I jumped at the chance to listen to Frozen.

Christine Amsden’s writing style flows well and is easy to read as well as listen to. The narrator did a great job but it took me a little while to get accustomed to her voice because it wasn’t anything like the voice I had for Cassie in my head. I know that sounds silly, and it’s no one’s fault, it’s just something I found interesting.

There are a lot of characters in Frozen but they’re easy to keep track of since I feel like I know them and also because they’re each unique. 

Cassie is married to Evan and they have a one-year-old who is already powerful. They’re very much in love but they have a lot on their plates. People are dying by being frozen to death, Cassie’s siblings are in trouble, there are hell hound sightings for the first time in 500 years, and Cassie is having weird dreams. There’s a lot going on in Eagle Rock.

Cassie and Evan are both stubborn and there were times I wished I could tell them both, especially Cassie, to grow up! Her pride gets in her way sometimes.

I have grown fond of the characters and the town of Eagle Rock and I’m looking forward to reading the next Cassie Scot book. I definitely recommend Frozen but I suggest reading the books in order to get the most out of them.







About the Author

Christine Amsden has been writing fantasy and science fiction for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and relationships, and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone.

At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, which scars the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams.

Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. In addition to being a writer, she’s a mom and freelance editor.

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