Awesome Audiobooks 4.5/5 Stars: Murder at the Kinnen Hotel by Brian McClellan (Narrated by Julie Hoverson)

4.5/5 stars Awesome Introduction to an Intriguing World

Murder at the Kinnen Hotel by Brian McClellan (Narrated by Julie Hoverson)


A young policeman with a gift for remembering everything struggles to solve several murders, save a friend from the guillotine, and preserve his own career before the rich and powerful destroy him.

Additional Comments:

– I’ve never read the Powder Mage series, but this is a nice introduction to that world.

– 5/5 stars world-building: Fantasy of this sort hinges on creating a world at once familiar yet fantastically and fundamentally different. Brian McClellan does both. It probably helps that he already did the heavy lifting in the regular series, so he’s very comfortable describing his world to us.

– 4/5 stars characters: Adamat’s the sort of guy one can root for. Captain Hewi seems competent. Lieutenant Dorry’s somebody you’d love to hate. Adamat’s friend (the businessman) comes across as a useless lout, which is unfortunate because I think we’re supposed to like him. I don’t even remember his name and I finished the book yesterday. The cabal lady was suitably scary and awesome at the same time.

– 4.5/5 Plot: Things work out and tie up nicely. I liked the pieces where Adamat could explain stuff he’d read in newspapers several weeks ago. Kind of reminded me of a Sherlock Holmes’ moment.

– Content warning: standard fantasy violence. A few descriptions of blood and gore but nothing that would shake most genre fans.


Not sure where this fits in the grand scheme of the world, but it’s a cool introduction all the same. (Also not sure I’d invest $2.99 per subsequent 75 page novella … I’d probably wait for a combo book.)

Associate links to follow…

Amazon Prime


Audible – If you’d like some free codes, please email me at [email protected] with requests for any of my works.

Audiobook Reviews 4/5 Stars: Kingdom of Clockwork by Billy O’Shea


Intriguing Start to a Steampunk Series

4/5 stars Kingdom of Clockwork (Written and narrated by Billy O’Shea)


Karl Nielsen (going with the spelling I found in a review since I listened to the audio and the blurb doesn’t mention the main character, which is weird) is the king’s clockmaker. Despite kind of just wanting to do his thing quietly, he gets caught up in the court intrigue.

Additional Comments:

-5/5 stars for world-building: This is an intriguing world. To be honest, I had no idea it was supposed to be a future Denmark until I read the blurb (after listening to the book). It’s a future sort of set in the past. There are some things that don’t make sense but it’s not for lack of effort on the author’s part. As a world, they’re back to fighting with muskets and swords and using steam power. Yet there are remnants of what once was, forbidden railways and the like.

– 4/5 characters: Karl’s interesting as a narrator. I enjoyed the beginning even though it didn’t have much to do with the end except describe the world we land in. The king comes across as a decent king, which sort of requires him to be a jerk at times.

– 3.5/5 plot: The beginning is cool because it introduces you to a quaint world set in a future that’s been sent to the past by war and lack of oil. The middle is interesting because it features the bulk of the court intrigue and the start of what could be an exciting adventure. And then, it sort of just runs out of steam (sorry, had to do it). The main character doesn’t actually do much. He’s mostly an observer on this journey that takes up the bulk of the book. It turns into a political thing solved through means that don’t involve a good physical fight (that’s kind of disappointing). It ends with an okay amount of closure, but there are definitely threads to follow into a sequel.

– 4/5 Sound effects and narration: The sound effects were cool and the narration was well- handled.

– Content warnings: It’s mostly a clean fantasy read. There are some mentions of adult content late in the book, but nothing’s particularly described. Still, it’s a bit of an oddity because the rest is something that would be cool for a middle grade student.


Good start to a steampunk, pseudohistorical tale.


Associate links to follow…

Amazon Prime



Audible – If you’d like some free codes, please email me at [email protected] with requests for any of my works.

Movie Reviews 4/5 Stars: Black Panther


I do not own the copyright for the image. Found it on Google.

Another Neat Entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe


Prince T’Challa becomes king, but he doesn’t find that easy by any stretch. Facing threats without and within, the young king has a tumultuous introduction to his new life.


Additional Comments:

– It’s a beautiful movie, though I guess it should be with the budget they had to work with.

– Special effects were okay. Rhinos were a very cool idea but the execution was just okay.

– Fight scenes were well choreographed, but the end one kind of stretched on. I liked the battle on the plains though.

– Plot kind of plodded in spots, but the car chase was a lot of fun.

– Humor was delivered well, but I don’t think there was quite as much as some of the other Marvel movies.


Probably won’t enter my top 10 list for movies, but I enjoyed it and would recommend it to anybody looking for an entertaining way to spend an afternoon.


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Audiobook Reviews 3/5 Stars: The Games You Cannot Win by M.K. Williams

3.0/5 Mixed Bag of Short Stories


The first and second stories kind of blended in together. I had to restart the audiobook to even remember what the first one was about. I guess I should probably evaluate them separately because they’re very different tales.


Additional Comments:

– In the Business: 3/5 I totally forgot the story existed in the set.

– The Joker: 3.5/5 Politics isn’t really my thing but this story had a nice balance. Not sure it was really a happy ending sort, but there was a decent sense of closure. I found “riffle, riffle, riffle, bridge” really annoying to hear in audio.

– Dolly: 4.5/5 Hands-down my favorite. There wasn’t really a sense of suspense or danger, but you could see the quiet frustration of an old story coming back to threaten a current career.

– Escaping Avila Chase: 2/5 I liked the main character at first and probably would have enjoyed the story if it was way shorter. As it was, his obsessing just got annoying.

– Several stories didn’t really resolve one or more of the major threads, especially the last one, which was disappointing. Probably closer to what happens in real life, but still disappointing.

– Characters are realistic, probably too much so. They’re not really shining examples of people I’d like to know better. I really like being able to root for characters, and nobody here stood out as somebody I could stand, except maybe Katherine Hertzfeld-Doll.

– Overall, it’s an okay collection. Since the last tale sticks with you the most just because of its position, I ended up not really loving the whole collection and that’s probably unfair to the individual stories.



If politics and realism are important points for you in short stories, give these a go.



Associate links to follow…

Amazon Prime



Audible – If you’d like some free codes, please email me at [email protected] with requests for any of my works.

Audiobook Reviews 4/5 Stars: Adana the Earth Dragon by Debbie Manber Kupfer

Adana the Earth Dragon: An Elemental Tale by Debbie ManberKupfer

Narrated by Fiona Thraille

4.0/5 Cute, Very Short Story


This is a very short story about an Earth dragon that basically follows a typical kid’s story arc. Nobody pays any attention to poor Adana until her unique talents save the day.

Aside: I must say this has one of the cutest covers I’ve seen in a while. I heard the audiobook but I’m sure the illustrated version is beautiful, if I’m allowed to judge the book by the cover.


Additional Comments:

– It’s only 13 minutes as an audiobook.

– The morals are very clearly defined but don’t come across as too contrived.

– Adana is sweet. The other dragons are a bit bully-like until they need the heroine.

– There’s very little to no danger involved.


Short and to the point children’s book.

Associate links to follow…

Amazon Prime


Audible – If you’d like some free codes, please email me at [email protected] with requests for any of my works.

Audiobook Reviews 3/5: Short Story Collection by Charlie Chitty Narrated by Petrina Kingham

3/5 stars Mixed Bag Short Story Collection


The stories range a bit in genre from zombie apocalypse to family drama to futuristic scifi to suspense to flat out horror. It’s a little hard to judge something like this on the whole. There are stories in here I absolutely loved, like the one with the 12 year old boy and the baby. On the flip side, there are some stories in here that are so disturbing that I can’t even recommend the book on a clean mailing list.

Additional Comments:

– Most of the stories have some sort of circular logic, a twist at the end that makes it wrap up nicely given previous events. That makes them cool but somewhat predictable.

– I can’t remember every detail right now, but I guess it followed a standard bell curve. 2-3 stories really impressed me in every sense, most didn’t move me one way or the other, and 2-3 either annoyed me or brought out some other negative emotion.

– Content warning: Adult content. There’s one story in particular where the plot involves teenagers getting into the porn industry. Very strong language. Several stories dropped unnecessary f-bombs. (There were about 5-7 throughout the book, maybe 1 was necessary to move the plot forward.)

– I heard the audio version. It was decently narrated.

– There’s a note at the end of the audiobook that bothered me because it came across as arrogant. It said something like “if you enjoyed this, please consider leaving a review …” (that’s standard and totally acceptable, but then it went on…I’m paraphrasing here.) “If you didn’t like it, I’m sorry. I’m sorry you don’t know how to have fun.” I get that it was meant to be funny, but it’s way more abrasive than it should be. People being people, at best you get a chuckle or two but at what cost?


It’s a very mixed short story collection. Some are worth reading, and some are not. This book will not be on the Audiobook Edge list, but I’m starting to believe that I should just post all opinions and let people decide for themselves what they spend their time on.


Associate links to follow…

Amazon Prime


Audible – If you’d like some free codes, please email me at [email protected] with requests for any of my works.

Audiobook Reviews 3/5 Stars: A Turtle’s Magical Adventure by Wanda Luthman

3/5 stars A Turtle’s Magical Adventure by Wanda Luthman


Tad the Turtle’s journey to accept himself.

Additional Comments:

– The book contained some interesting world-building (like the wizard’s seeming absolute rule over the forest), but there wasn’t enough details to really make anything stick.
– I realize it’s a children’s book, but the turtle made quite a few nonsensical, extraordinarily stupid moves based on bad advice that it became painful to listen to.
– Things work out in the end.
– There’s very little sense of flow. He’s at school then he’s talking to neighbors then he’s wandering away to go get some stranger to magically improve his life. Where the heck are his parents?
– moral lesson – accept yourself as is, you are wonderful.


I will absolutely be the first to admit I am not in the target audience, so if you have very small children and they have very good headphones it’s probably a great gift for them.

Associate links to follow…

Amazon Prime



Audible – If you’d like some free codes, please email me at [email protected] with requests for any of my works.

Companion Playlist for Reclaim the Darklands



Everybody knows that music can hit a whole lot of emotions. People have used it to enhance movies and television shows for ages. Recently, I’ve asked a friend whose taste in music ranges very far and wide to select songs for themes, characters, and situations in some of my book series. What follows is my commentary for a selection of the songs. I will share her thoughts later in the week. This kind of project is very collaborative. I focused a lot on the story tie-ins and my friend did that plus paid attention to the flow of music.

Here’s the link to the ebook connected to this music. You can receive the first in the series by joining my mailing list. (There are also a lot of opportunities to win free paperback versions.)

Reclaim the Darkland Playlist

Select Character Themes:

Right Where You Want Me – Victoria Saveron (beginning)

“If I’m a target for the enemy, then I’m exactly where you want me.” It captures the idea that no world changing ever happens in complete peace. There’s conflict. There’s hardship. There’s war.

For This You Were Born – Victoria Saveron (end; she’s half Arkonai/ half Saroth)

The song kind of sums up the whole series. I don’t think the lyrics particularly contain spoilers but there are several parts that connect very well to Vic’s journey to understand who she is and what she’s always been destined to accomplish. “Silence the doubt in you mind. You were by design a victor”

Born to Bring the Light – Katrina Polani (Saroth)

Katrina’s always been very comfortable supporting Vic’s quest, but there’s also a time when she’s asked to step up even more. “I wasn’t looking for a fight, but the fight found me.” “I was born to bring the light. To chase the dark and face the night.”

On My Side – Sara Andari (Bereft)

Sara’s always had very, very strong faith. Even though she’s Bereft, meaning she has no connection to magic, she trusts the One completely. “You go before me. You stand behind. You tell my fear to run. Always and forever I am loved.” (Could also be for Vic, but more than half the songs have some connection to her.)

Devil’s Got No Hold – Shadow (Arkonai)

This is for his turning point. Most characters have one. There’s a particular point late in the book where Shadow needs to pick a side once and for all. “He can’t have the best of me. The devil’s got no hold on me”

My Favorites:

With 57 songs, it’s inevitable that any listener will be able to find a few favorites and a few they have trouble connecting to. I’m no exception. Here are a few of my personal favorites.

Who Are You and the Who Are You remix:

They’re both gorgeous pieces of music. I argued strongly to keep both in the list, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t have to twist my friend’s arm too hard. They ended up at different parts of the list because the differences in their tempos facilitated different moods. I feel like the lyrics fit the Dark Man (bad guy) questioning Vic. “You’re not such an easy target. One minute I know you then I don’t.”

Be A Witness: This song is pretty convicting. The whole of Redeemer Chronicles has some strong themes of racial tensions and unrest. “If you want to watch the war break out. If you want to let your silence shout. You can, but I won’t just be a witness.” This is the crux of the declaration the main characters are making at the beginning of the story.

Roots: This is beautiful and poignant song about breaking free. Different context than the video, but there’s a chapter in the book that lines up with the ideas pretty closely. “I’m tired of running, running running into the things that kill my soul.”

Chapter Alignments (Work in Progress):

This is a slightly outdated list, but it shows you some of my initial processing of the list of music. Question marks mean I wasn’t certain of the placement. There might be a few songs that were removed from the list, but I “think” I got them all.

Chapter 1: Rise of the Redeemers – We will All Be Changed; Be A Witness (Wow, powerful song)

Chapter 2: Hostage Negotiation – Watch Your Back

Chapter 3: Two Visitors – Right Where You Want Me

Chapter 4: Search for the Sage – Heart of Courage

Chapter 5: Resolute Rule – The Hate Inside; Free

Chapter 6: Kaltan City Fires – Hero

Chapter 7: Redeemer’s Gift – On my Side (Sara)

Chapter 8: Special Election – Let the Light Come In

Chapter 9: Prison Break – Free??; Fight On

Chapter 10: Unlikely Healers – Salt of the Earth

Chapter 11: Control Spells – Never Give up?

Chapter 12: Messengers – Find You

Chapter 13: Into the Darklands – Madness (entry); Wake Up World (Vic’s pov – as Vic steps into the Darklands) Running for Your Life (Dark Man’s pov); Closing In; Never give up?

Chapter 14: Special Guests – Game of Survival

Chapter 15: The Black Dragon’s Army – Turning Tides; Legends are Made; Sound Off the Sirens

Chapter 16: Renew and Restore – Conquer; Cover the Earth; Wake Me

Chapter 17: Four Corners –  Ready Set Let’s Go; Devil’s Got No Hold

Chapter 18: Trail of Tears – Never Surrender; Heart of Courage;

Chapter 19: Perfect Prison – Song of the Beyond; Dreamer; Roots

Chapter 20: The Dead Find Rest – Recover; Breathe; Something can Grow; Let the Light Come In

Chapter 21: Fourth Form – Dragonland;

Chapter 22: Most Desperate Hour – I Know Your Secrets; Who Are You (Remix)

Chapter 23: Family Affair – Darkness (Dina’s theme)

Chapter 24: Soul Keeper – Born to Bring the Light (Katrina’s Theme)

Chapter 25: Campfire and Crossroads – Blood and Tears; Never Give Up; Into the White Light


Whether you get to read the book or not, you should totally check out this fabulous list of music. Then go follow all those artists and support them on their journeys. Thanks for reading.


Associate links to follow…

Amazon Prime


Audible – If you’d like some free codes, please email me at [email protected] with requests for any of my works.

Audiobook Reviews 4/5 Stars: Davenport House by Marie Silk


This is most definitely a period piece


Mary Davenport deals with the death of her father and a slew of intrigue within her own house.


Additional Comments:

– The dialogue is very, very, very formal. That comes across as stiff. I experienced the audiobook, so it didn’t bother me as much. But hearing it might actually turn some people off more.

– The plot’s decent.

– The saga vaguely reminds me of Downton Abbey.

– Some characters really came across as annoying. They’re either pure evil (selfish manipulative louses or drunken, useless heaps of humanity, etc) or pure good (selfless, kind, compassionate people walking around with an unseen halo over their heads). I think the most neutral one was the jealous servant.

– End twist was cool. Unrealistic but cool.

– Content warnings: none

– It never comes up how the Davenports are rich. What kind of business does Mr. Davenport do?

– Mary is a character one can root for.



If historical fiction is your thing, this is a decent series to start.

Associate links to follow…

Amazon Prime



Audible – If you’d like some free codes, please email me at [email protected] with requests for any of my works.

Movie Reviews 4.5/5 Stars: Tomb Raider 2018 (Reboot Featuring Alicia Vikander)


4.5/5 Stars Movie Review: Tomb Raider


Lara Croft’s no stranger to the big screen or video games. After all, she started out way long ago as a video game character. This particular reboot follows a lot of things in the “new” games that explored more of her origin story.

Additional Comments:

– I enjoyed the Angelina Jolie version of Tomb Raider put out ages ago. They were fun, mindless, action flicks.

– Alicia Vikander does a nice job bringing the iconic character a new life and vulnerability as a young woman trying to make it on her own and holding out hope of finding her father. I watched some of the behind the scenes Youtube videos. Yikes, that woman worked hard for this movie.

– The whole refusing her inheritance thing was dragged out a bit. That process can be reversed, so I don’t see the point of her refusal except as a mark of her stubborn character.

– The movie brings in a lot of stuff that the “new” video games did, but they changed significant pieces of the story. Game: Lara’s more of an archaeology student who gets shipwrecked on the island along with several friends. That’s how she runs across the bad guys. Movie: Lara and 1 companion sail toward the island in the Devil’s Triangle in order to seek out what happened to their fathers who disappeared there together 7 years prior.

– There are some decent twists to the movie version of the story.

– I have to see this again because I missed the once scene I wanted to see (the parachute scene).

– Fans of the game will recognize a few of the ways you can die in the game.

– It’s one of the best video game movies I’ve seen. (Though to be fair, I haven’t seen all that many video game movies. Typically, their reputation for being downright terrible scares me off.)


A worthwhile action flick based on a beloved character.