Awesome Audiobooks 4.5/5: Swim Season by Marianne Sciucco

4.5/5 High School Sports Drama

Summary:

There’s drama in and out of the pool for the Two Rivers’s high school girls swim team. Aerin Keane’s been on a ton of teams in the last few years, but she’s spending her senior year living with friends of her mother so she doesn’t have to live with her father and his new family. She’s the outsider who just wants to fit in. Meanwhile, there’s a high-stakes challenge with a $50K scholarship on the line …

Additional Comments:

– I’m not sure about some of the details concerning school attendance and sports laws. Most public and private high schools have some sort of anti-recruiting rules in place. Meaning, I’m not sure Aerin would have legally been allowed to join the Two Rivers high school team. I’m not even sure how she would attend the school, though there might have been an exception given her family situation. (Doubtful because she could have lived with her father.)
– Another nitpicky point – quizzes do not get taken and graded in a day if they’re on paper. They “might” get graded instantly if they’re on the computer, but if somebody’s got to handle paper, there’s about a .0001% chance of that paper getting graded same day. Trust me. I’m a high school chem teacher. Also, why does Mel’s twin brother drive and she doesn’t?

Point by Point:

– Length 4/5: It’s long. Very long. Probably could have been slimmed down by 200 pages and been fine.
– I HIGHLY recommend the audiobook version because then the length doesn’t mean much, somebody’s reading the story to you. The narrator’s very believable and gave a solid performance.
– Main Character 4.5/5: The main character’s likeable for most of the book. The first third or so she annoyed me, but you knew she’d come around.
– Side Characters 4.5/5: Erica (sorry about spelling if that’s wrong; friend), Mel (new best friend), Tatiana (rival), and Jordan (mean girl) are a tad cliche, but high schools tend to have them, so in that sense it’s realistic. I really liked Aerin’s background. It might be cliche, but it works very well.
– Plot 4/5: While one could probably predict the outcome if you’ve read enough of these sorts of books, it’s still satisfying. The Allison Singer Challenge is kind of cool. I liked how the whole community really got into the swim team’s season. That sort of fervor’s usually saved for football in most towns.
– Swim details 4/5: In audio form, following the competition times got a tad difficult.
– Themes 5/5: I loved that the book contained a bunch of YA themes: fitting in, dealing with bullies, finding yourself, discovering your potential, pushing yourself, pressing on, the flightiness of popularity, etc.

Conclusion:

Swim season delivers an enjoyable high school sports drama.

The Ebook is only $0.99. That’s an awesome deal for a 600+ page book.

As Always …

If you want the chance to get the audiobook for free, please join Audiobook Readers’ Edge.

If you’re an author (or a narrator) with an audiobook you’d like featured, sign up for Audiobook Authors’ Edge.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Julie C. Gilbert

Audiobook Edge is completely free, but if you wanna donate anyway, go for it 😉

Please, just do it as a friend b/c otherwise, you’re basically just paying paypal.

Prime Student – Oh, how I wish I was still a student.

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Audiobook Reviews: 4/5 Beacon by Chess Desalls

 

Summary:

A girl goes for a coveted apprenticeship and doesn’t know what exactly that entails.

Additional Comments:

– The story has some neat little twists but it also has some questionable points such as why the apprenticeship is so special. I won’t elaborate on those here to avoid ticking off those who hate spoilers.

– What’s so wonderful about the lanterns anyway? (That might have been answered in book one, but I’m new to the series at book two.)

– The blurb pretty much spells out the tale.

– Serah Kettel’s a decent character. She’s not the most spectacular at anything, yet you’ll probably find yourself rooting for her anyway. There’s an innocent quality to her.

– Master Machin’s just sort of the mysterious puppet-master type, respected, yet not really known.

– The cook’s probably the most fleshed out of the side characters. Loved her.

– There are some lovely descriptions in here.

 

Conclusion:

If you’re in the mood for a short fairy tale, go for it.

As Always …

If you want the chance to get the audiobook for free, please join Audiobook Readers’ Edge.

If you’re an author (or a narrator) with an audiobook you’d like featured, sign up for Audiobook Authors’ Edge.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Julie C. Gilbert

Audiobook Edge is completely free, but if you wanna donate anyway, go for it 😉

Er, just do it as a friend b/c otherwise, you’re basically just paying paypal.

Prime Student – definitely that time of year

Kindle Unlimited

Free Kindle Reading App

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A New Kind of Fidget Toy

Need something to occupy kids?

Summary:

Simple toy to keep your hands busy. (I’ve come to hate fidget spinners. This is a nice, relatively quiet alternative.)

Additional Comments:

– These are probably going to seem expensive if you really only want one, but they’re the sort of thing that it’s nice to have a color variety.
– The packaging is simple yet nice. I like how they come individually wrapped as well as in the box.
– I probably won’t use the carrying case much, but they might make a good alternative to those infernal spinner things.
– You might want to be cautious about giving them to a small child. I think it’s too big to swallow but they have a bit of heft to them, which could be bad in the hands of an enthusiastic toddler who tends to throw things.
– They’re quiet as long as you’re not banging them on something, including each other.

Conclusion:

Interesting way to keep one’s hands busy so the mind can process. Or if you’re bored. Or if you just like having something to do with your hands.

Free Kindle Reading App

Audible

5 Fun, Free Clean Reads – Fantasy

Hall of Heroes Cover

Introduction:

Tired of hearing nothing but negativity? Let me share some free books that will take your mind off the “real world” and its problems. And give you new heroes and villains to wrestle with.

First and Second up: Anthologies Hall of Heroes by various Fellowship of Fantasy authors.

This is the second anthology. The first being Fantastic Creatures. Get introduced to a whole slew of new authors. I really wish this could be on audiobook, but that would take like 19 hours.

Fantasy Retelling: Beauty’s Curse by C.S. Johnson

Beauty's Curse (Once Upon a Princess Series)

Love this cover. Retelling’s aren’t usually my thing, but I’ve read some excellent ones. Will have to put this on the “to read” list.

What’s Fantasy without Dragons?

Dragon’s Future by Kandi J. Wyatt

I heard this one on audiobook. All books should be on audio 🙂

How About Fantasy with some Romance?

An Ordinary Knight by H.L. Burke

Conclusion:

Let’s stop there for today. I’ve got a whole bunch of books to add, but I’ve learned that things get lost in the shuffle if too many are mentioned at once. If you’ve read any of these, please chime in with your thoughts. If you want to read any of them, go grab them. These are all permanently free.

If you don’t have a kindle yet, there’s an app here that will let you read on your computer. There’s also one for the iphone/ipad. I do most of my reading on that. (Head’s up. They’re associate links. This really doesn’t affect you in any way, shape, or form, but legally, I think I’m supposed to let you know that I benefit if you partake in the free trials below.)

Kindle Unlimited

Amazon Prime

Free Kindle Reading App

Audible


Audiobook Reviews 4/5: When Dracula met the Jabberwocky by Paul Fitz-George

4/5 Sort of a Paranormal Travel Guide to Whitby, England

Summary:

The blurb sums up the tale. It’s an essay about how Whitby, a town on England’s North Yorkshire Coast, might have influenced the works of Charles Dickens, Wilkie Collins, Lewis Carroll and Bram Stoker.

Additional Comments:

– I heard the audioversion. The narrator did a nice job. I might be a tad biased, but so is the rest of the world who thinks the British accent is just lovely to listen to.
– It’s a super-short work. ~35 minutes
– It probably would have meant more to me if I was a bigger fan of those authors. (Alas, Dickens is okay, but I find him a tad depressing and high school English sort of ruined his works for me. I’ve not heard of Wilkie Collins. A movie when I was a kid is probably my only experience with Lewis Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland. And I’ve never read Bram Stoker.)
– The other thing that could make the work mean more to me is if I planned a trip to Whitby. I heard a rumor that it’s been called the one book you SHOULD read if you plan to visit Whitby, England.
– I found it kind of cool to hear about the tie-ins to the literature anyway.

Conclusion:

Not sure if this book alone would tempt me to visit Whitby, but if I’d planned on visiting, it certainly would enhance the experience.

 

As Always …

If you want the chance to get the audiobook for free, please join Audiobook Readers’ Edge.

If you’re an author (or a narrator) with an audiobook you’d like featured, sign up for Audiobook Authors’ Edge.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Julie C. Gilbert

Audiobook Edge and it’s Matchmaker Program are completely free now, but if you wanna donate anyway, go for it 😉

Please, just do it as a friend b/c otherwise, you’re basically just paying paypal.

Prime Student – Oh, how I wish I was still a student.

Can’t get enough audiobooks?
Audible

Fantastic Fall Freebies and Fun Stuff

First up – Paperbacks

Don’t miss this grand opportunity to grab some awesome books. Ebooks are lovely things, but let’s be old fashioned and pick up the real thing. Join over twenty indie authors and enter for your chance at one of 10 prize packs full of swag and paperback books. (Full details available at this site. Also, go there to check out the goods.)

8 Scifi, YA, and Fantasy Books

Official giveaway ended a couple of days ago, but I was told the offers should still be good so grab ’em while they’re hot.

7 Free Romance, Mystery, and Dystopian Books

Oh, look, preview. Technically, this one isn’t running yet, but I twisted some arms and gotcha a sneak peek. Seriously, people, if you can’t find something to love within this oddball (I mean awesome!) collection, dunno what to tell you. Pretty sure 90% of the genres are covered by at least one of these giveaways.

 

The usual litany of Amazon affiliate links.

 

Prime Student – Basically, Prime is awesome but super expensive, so if you’re a student, take advantage of the lovely opportunity to save big.

Kindle Unlimited – Never tried it, but then my personal reading time is severely limited by that the need to work for a living. Why can’t anybody just pay me millions for being cute?

Amazon Prime – Okay, so all those of use who are official adultified, here’s the real deal.

Free Kindle Reading App – Got nothing to lose on this one. Just a way to READ MORE BOOKS.

Audible – And for those of us addicted to stories who don’t have reading time, there’s always Audible.

Audiobook Reviews: 4/5 Polly Parrett Pet-Sitter Cozy Mysteries Collection by Liz Dodwell

Predictable but Charming

Summary:

A series of short cozy mysteries (yeah, there are bodies but nothing’s described in gruesome detail or anything.)

Additional Comments:

– Main character – Polly was basically Stephanie Plum lite – a clumsy disaster magnet with gorgeous boyfriend who saves her repeatedly.

– Side characters – including pets were very well fleshed out and added a nice layer to the story.

– I heard the audible version, which I definitely recommend over simple reading. Narrator did a decent job with the performance.

– I enjoyed how the stories built on one another. (Would not recommend reading the series out of order.)

One thing that bothered me: the main character/narrator broke the fourth wall (talked to the reader; ala – “now, I know what you’re thinking” style) numerous times. Once, I get (simple mistake/stylistic choice), but any more than that is just annoying.

– Plots ended up being unique if a little “convenient” from time to time, but that’s sort of the nature of a mystery novella.

Conclusion:

If you’re looking for short, fluff mysteries with minimal curses, this is a good choice.

 

As Always …

If you want the chance to get the audiobook for free, please join Audiobook Readers’ Edge.

If you’re an author (or a narrator) with an audiobook you’d like featured, sign up for Audiobook Authors’ Edge.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Julie C. Gilbert

Audiobook Edge and it’s Matchmaker Program are completely free now, but if you wanna donate anyway, go for it 😉

Er, just do it as a friend b/c otherwise, you’re basically just paying paypal.

Prime Student – Oh, how I wish I was still a student.

Kindle Unlimited

Free Kindle Reading App

Amazon Prime

Links to Review Sites for Julie C. Gilbert’s Books

Introduction:

Remember how I said something like reviews make the world go round for an indie writer? Okay, so if I didn’t, I’m saying it now. Reviews can’t make a book better, but they sure as sugar can make a book look better. Perception’s a lot in this modern world.

Fantastic Idea:

One of my reviewers had a fantastic idea. She said that I should have links to the various places each book could be reviewed as that would make it worlds easier for people to review a book. So, here they are … links to every site I can imagine for each book.

Note: A Books2read Universal Link should have further links to Apple, Nook, Kobo, Scribd, 24Symbols, Inktera, !ndigo, Angus and Robertson, and Mondadori. You’re not obligated to review any of the books on all of the sites, just the one(s) you feel would be useful to you.

Heartfelt Cases Series (Christian Mystery):

The Collins Case: FREE Amazon, Universal link, Goodreads

The Kiverson Case: Amazon, Universal link, Goodreads

The Davidson Case: Amazon, Universal link, Goodreads

The Keres Case: Amazon, Universal link, Goodreads

Heartfelt Cases 1-3: Amazon, Universal link, Goodreads

Devya’s Children (Science Fiction/Young Adult):

The Dark Side of Science: Amazon, Universal link, Goodreads

Ashlynn’s Dreams: Amazon, Universal link, Goodreads

Nadia’s Tears: Amazon, Universal link, Goodreads

Malia’s Miracles: Amazon, Universal link, Goodreads

Varick’s Quest: Amazon, Universal link, Goodreads

Devya’s Children 1-3: Amazon, Universal link, Goodreads

Redeemer Chronicles (Fantasy/Middle Grade):

Awakening: Amazon, Universal link, Goodreads

Kindle Worlds Novellas (Mystery/Thriller):

Ghost Girl Files 1: Fatal Interest: Amazon, Goodreads

Never Again: Amazon, Goodreads

Shadow Council 1: Money Makes it Deadlier: Amazon, Goodreads

Shadow Council 2: Revenge Makes it Sweeter: Amazon, Goodreads

Shadow Council 3: Christmas Makes it Chaos: Amazon, Goodreads

Shadow Council 4: Treachery Makes it Tense: Amazon, Goodreads

Shadow Council Omnibus: Amazon, Goodreads

Eagle Eyes 1: Violence in Vegas: Amazon, Goodreads

Eagle Eyes 2: Rescue in Reno: Amazon, Goodreads

Children’s/Short Stories/Anthologies:

Ashlynn’s Dreams Shorts: Helping Mr. Blairington and Other Misadventures: Amazon, Universal Link, Goodreads

The Golden City Captives: Amazon, Universal link;

The Quinn Case: Amazon, Goodreads

Fantastic Creatures: FREE, Amazon, Goodreads

Hall of Heroes: FREE, Amazon, Goodreads

Where the Light May Lead: Amazon, Goodreads

The Light Leads to Hope and Peace: Amazon, Goodreads

Poetry:

Thin Black Road: Amazon, Goodreads

5 Steps Series Nonfiction:

5 Steps to Better Blurbs: Crafting Dynamic Descriptions that Sell: Amazon, Goodreads

5 Steps to Surviving Teaching: Tips for Conquering the First Year and Every Year: Amazon, Goodreads (coming soon)

5 Steps to Surviving Chemistry: Tips for Understanding a Challenging Course: Amazon, Goodreads (coming soon)

Conclusion:

Reviews don’t have to be complicated things. Basically, just tell what you liked, what you didn’t like, and why you would recommend the story to others. We all love stories. A review’s just a chance to say why.

Social Media Connections:

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram – If you want to see pretty clouds and other random pics from me…

********

The usual affiliate links…

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Free Kindle Reading App

Awesome Audiobooks: 5/5 The Beast of Talesend by Kyle Robert Shultz

5/5 Definitely Worth Hearing

Summary:

Nick Beasley’s a magical sceptic until he’s struck with something that turns him into a beast. What follows is the misadventure of Nick and Lady Cordelia Beaumont trying to set all these wrongs to right.

Additional Comments:

  • The story hits all the right ridiculous notes. It’s a lighthearted, save-the-world story that pulls off a rather simple plot with style through dashes of wit and fun characters.
  • Nick and Lady Cordelia (sorry if I spelled her name wrong, I heard the audio …) are an interesting pair. There’s potential for them to become a couple in future books, but this one focuses on them being crazy partners of a sort.
  • Crispin’s a decent side kick, or at least I think that’ll be his role in any future works. I like that there’s a good sense of closure but enough of an opening that a sequel would feel natural.
  • The bad guy’s plan doesn’t seem very plausible but he fits the bill for power-hungry storybook villain.
  • The world-building is okay. There’s a section where Lady Cordelia basically explains magic for Nick’s sake but given that he’s spent much of his life actively disbelieving in magic, that sort of makes sense.
  • Nick’s surprisingly cool with being magically morphed into a monster.
  • The narrator’s British accent isn’t exactly Hollywood’s version but it fits the character and the story well. His performance adds a nice layer.

 

Conclusion:

If you’re in the mood for fun fantasy, this book would do.

 

The ebook is only $0.99, but go for the audio version.

It’s so much better as a performance.

As Always …

If you want the chance to get the audiobook for free, please join Audiobook Readers’ Edge.

If you’re an author (or a narrator) with an audiobook you’d like featured, sign up for Audiobook Authors’ Edge.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Julie C. Gilbert

Audiobook Edge and it’s Matchmaker Program are completely free now, but if you wanna donate anyway, go for it 😉

Please, just do it as a friend b/c otherwise, you’re basically just paying paypal.

Prime Student – Oh, how I wish I was still a student.

Kindle Unlimited – Keep that Kindle Happy. 30 FREE trial