3.5/5 Stars Kingdom of Embers by Tricia Copeland

Narrated by Amy Deuchler

Run Time: 8 hrs and 18 mins


A half-vampire and half-witch teenage girl goes to high school and investigates her past.

Additional Comments:

  • almost 6 hrs in… nothing is happening.
  • Once again, a bid to normalize vampires. This time, without any affinity for blood.
  • Witches is used like a race of people.
  • This 17 year old kid has a weird relationship with her mother.
  • The main character wants truths and lies to pretty much everybody.
  • Biggest thing mom teaches her is how to control her body temperature. If there’s danger why the heck isn’t she going to train her to fight or do something semi-useful.
  • Gamby (sorry about spelling I heard the audiobook) is a stereotypical bully.
  • Things I don’t get: program at a high school football game.
  • Cool background…but the biggest conflict for 3 hrs is Nick or Chase, who is better.
  • 6 hrs in and we’re adding boy number 3.
  • Soooo, angels are myth but witches are healers and peacekeepers.
  • World building 2/5: some excellent ideas but the background stuff reads like the author’s notes instead part of a story.
  • Yay. 7 hours in stuff is finally happening.
  • These people have a lot of powers outta nowhere. There’s a lot of early references to the main character training, but gives 0 references as to her power set.
  • Sense of Closure: Non-existent. Essentially, it’s a “to be continued” situation, which is unfortunate because there finally started to be action after like 7.5 hours of setup. The tie-in to the title worked well, but it was more like a throw away line instead of the central theme.
  • Performance 4/5: Decent voice variation.


If you’re in it for the series and enjoy the genre, you may like it. With my limited knowledge of the series, I’ll say, it seems to be an interesting take on the teen with superpowers trope combined with an attempt at cashing in on the vampire/occult/paranormal obsession. If you want a standalone story, move along. This isn’t the book you’re looking for.

Audiobook Promotions:

33 of my 34 audible titles are listed on Audiobooks Unleashed.
Whether you’re looking for mystery or suspense or fantasy, I’ve got a title for you. Never Again (mystery, suspense) and Reshner’s Royal Ranger (epic sci-fi) just made it there.
Note: Filter by US if you’re looking for those codes as many titles are out.
Ones I think may still have US codes: Reshner’s Royal Ranger, Never Again, Innova, The Golden City Captives, The Holy War, Reclaim the Darklands, Eagle Eyes, Treachery Makes it Tense, Ashlynn’s Dreams Shorts, The Dark Side of Science, Ashlynn’s Dreams, Nadia’s Tears, Malia’s Miracles, and Varick’s Quest

Devya’s Children Series Links:

Ashlynn’s Dreams Shorts – short stories featuring Jillian.
The Dark Side of Science – official prequel to Devya’s Children; Genetically altered kids fight for the right to live.
Ashlynn’s Dreams – Genetically altered Dream Shaper learns her gift.
Nadia’s Tears – Jillian tries to awaken her sister, Nadia, from a coma.
Malia’s Miracles – Jillian and her siblings try to save a friend’s mother.
Varick’s Quest – Jillian and Danielle get kidnapped. Nadia’s also in trouble.

Movie Recap – Best and Worst of 2018


Midway through the year I ended up joining AMC’s A List. That’s the program where you pay a flat fee each month and can see up to 3 movies a week. I’d been debating myself most of the summer if it was worth it. So far, it has, but I’m not sure how it will work moving forward as I return to more writing and less movies. It also depends on the movie releases in 2019. (You break even if you see 1 dolby movie or two of almost anything else in a month.) Unless you’re not terribly picky, it’s kind of hard to find 3 movies a week you’d want to see. Personally, I rewatch really good movies, but I only managed to see 3 movies 1 week so far.

Saw about 40 movies this year.

*Top picks after ads.

What I saw in 2018:

(This is what I have ticket stubs for or AMC’s app could tell me. The ratings might have changed since I actually reviewed them because I’m going from memory. Incidentally, how well I liked something is actually subject to change over time. Guess this is more a “what is my feeling this moment” rating.)

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle 4/5 stars (1/1/2018)

I remembered liking the original Jumanji movie when I was a kid, so I gave this one a shot. It turned out surprisingly entertaining. Didn’t watch it again, but if it happened to be on TV, I wouldn’t mind seeing it again.

The Last Jedi 4/5 stars (2/8/2018)

One thing a body learns being a Star Wars fan is that you’re not obligated to like every single one of the movies. They’ve definitely turned out some bombs. Still, I saw this multiple times, and I would see it again. It’s not ever going to make it as my absolute favorite Star Wars movie. I never was a fan of the middle story in a trilogy anyway. They’re always terribly dark. The end of next year should launch the conclusion to the trilogy, so I guess it’s all good.

Black Panther 4/5 stars (2/23/2018)

Enjoyable movie typical of the Marvel universe. It had plenty of action and a decent sprinkling of humor throughout.

Tomb Raider 4/5 stars (3/16/2018)

This reboot definitely follows more of the video game than the old school Tomb Raider stories, but both are nice prequel setups. The first game in the reboot series was absolutely fantastic. I remember playing it quite a few times. The only thing I didn’t do was finish all those silly shoot the target achievements. Anyway, it looks like that poor actress did a heck of a lot of work for that movie and it showed, big time.

Ready Player One 4/5 stars (3/29/2018)

Starting to think that my secret to enjoying movies is not really knowing the source material it comes from. I didn’t particularly like the main character in Ready Player One, but it’s an interesting world with some cool special effects. Reminded me a lot of Tron. A potential issue the story had was lack of stakes. Sure, the big, bad company’s after the kid, but what’s the impact for the rest of the world. A big company would have just as much motivation to keep things running smoothly for the mindless masses as a kid fighting for freedom on the Oasis.

Avengers: Infinity War 4/5 stars (4/27/2018; 5/4/2018)

Despite it’s infuriating lack of closure, Infinity War brought high stakes to new heights. It’s pretty much part one of its story arc because you know another movie’s coming. One of my friends really, really, really hated it, but I’m in the “eh, that’s a cheap trick, you studio meanies” category. I ended up seeing it several times as people could make it.

Solo 4/5 stars (5/24/2018; 5/25/2018)

Saw an early screening that was part of a fundraiser for my school. Then, I saw it the next day as well, as planned. That concludes the number of times I saw the movie. Although a decent film, it didn’t have a lot of sticking power. If it hadn’t been labeled Star Wars and used the familiar enemies and such, it could have been any middling scifi flick. I enjoyed it, but I wasn’t motivated to see it endlessly.

Incredibles 2 4.5/5 stars (~7/3/2018; 6/15/2018)

Despite them having one of those stupid “thanks for coming to see the movie” messages at the beginning, I enjoyed the movie. Why can’t they save that junk for the blu-ray/dvd extra section? My favorite part is still the baby’s fight with he racoon. Pretty sure I saw this a few times.

Ant-Man and the Wasp 4/5 stars (7/17/2018)

I can’t remember if I saw this more than once. I think so. It had good action, but in hindsight, I don’t think the main characters had much chemistry. Heroes don’t necessarily have glamorous lives.

Christopher Robin 3.5/5 stars (8/3/2018)

Enjoyable but forgettable. I like Ewan McGreggor and Haley Atwell. She’s better in Agent Carter, but that’s besides the point. The story is sweet, but it’s kind of like adults trying to cling desperately to their childhood dreams and cash in on a stagnant franchise.

Mission Impossible: Fallout 4.5/5 stars (8/4/2018; 8/7/2018;)

I’m not even a huge fan of the franchise, but this movie turned out swell. As usual, it’s a non-stop, the world’s gonna-end-if-we-don’t-stop-this kind of tale. Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is running over buildings and jumping off them as expected. The chase scene with the helicopters (last 1/5 of the movie) is intense and crazy.

The Meg 4.5/5 stars (8/14/2018)

Jason Stratham typically plays tough guy characters. This round that’s not much different, though there are less guns involved, more swimming. A giant company is exploring the depths of the ocean and accidentally releases a megaladon (really big shark). It wrecks havoc on the heroes.

Blackklansman 4/5 stars (8/28/2018)

Glad I saw this one, but it’s not exactly my usual movie fare. I like Adam Driver who plays a supporting character. Seems there was a whole rash of “based on a true story” movies this year, though that could simply be me finally paying attention to such things. I’d never have seen this without A-List because I just wouldn’t have bothered to pay to see it.

Crazy Rich Asians 4.5/5 (8/30/2018)

Another surprisingly enjoyable movie. One of my friends wanted to see it, and a group of my friends wanted to try a new dine-in theater. The theater experience turned out to be just okay because they needed a better variety of food, but I’m glad we went. Romantic Comedies aren’t typically my thing, but it was worth watching. Not sure I’d ever go out of my way to read the books.

Peppermint 3.5/5 stars (~9/10/2018)

Woman on a revenge spree. Jennifer Garner (I think) takes on the role of a mother playing avenging angel. Typical everything-must-die thriller.

A Simple Favor 4/5 stars (~9/12/2018)

Creepy mystery, though not a murder mystery per se … more of a twisty friendship gone weird thing.

The House With a Clock in Its Walls 3.5/5 (~9/19/2018)

One of the stupidest titles for a movie I’ve ever seen, but it was okay. A mindless Halloween kiddie movie.

Smallfoot 4/5 (~9/26/2018 – lost stub)

Has one of the catchiest songs.

Venom 4/5 stars (~9/30/2018 – lost the stub somewhere)

Dark but fun.

Night School 3.5/5 stars (~9/30/2018 – can’t find the stub)

Fun for a weird comedy.

Bad Times at the El Royale (~10/17/2018)

I was entertained, but this is the kind of movie that makes you feel like you knocked yourself unconscious and had a weird dream.

Hunter Killer 5/5 stars (10/29/2018)

If you’ve kept up with my reviews this year or even just within this post, you’ll know that I don’t just hand out 5’s like candy. It takes a lot to move me beyond 4 stars. It’s a simple must-stop-x-to-prevent-the-world-from-blowing-up story that’s terrifyingly plausible. Gerard Butler plays a submarine captain who’s tasked with finding out what’s going on deep in the waters near Russia.

The Nutcracker 3/5 stars (11/2/2018)

Reminded me a lot of the “new” style Willy Wonka. Had a lot of garish colors and weirdo characters. Pretty sure that’s what it was meant to have, but maybe I’m just old. I was bored. I’m generally cool with most movies, but I can’t help feeling this one just wasted part of my life.

The Girl in the Spider’s Web 4/5 stars (11/7/2018)

Still haven’t seen the rest of the movies in the series or read the books. That might have helped with me figuring out who’s who and what’s what, but the movie’s enjoyable alone. There’s part at the end with a house set in the middle of nowhere that involves some very cool tech.

Dr. Seuss’s The Grinch 3/5 stars (11/9/2018)

Love Benedict Cumberbatch, but he’s so much better as Sherlock Holmes. I’m only marginally familiar with the story of the Grinch. Still, it’s a fairly forgettable movie.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald 4/5 stars (11/19/2018)

A fun movie set in the world of Harry Potter, but besides the main character and possibly one of the newbies, it’s like they worked very, very hard to get certain characters in (Jacob) just to tie it to the first movie and call it a sequel. Also, besides the cool fight scene at the end, there’s really not much going on. It’s essentially the middle story of however many they can justify making, so there’s a decided lack of closure.

Robin Hood 4/5 stars (11/21/2018; 11/26/2018)

New take on an old tale. I saw this several times with different friends. It’s a fun genre breaking fantasy story. The costuming felt decidedly modern. The dude who played Krennic in Rogue One essentially plays the same character here as the Sherriff of Nottingham.

Ralph Breaks the Internet 4.5/5 stars (11/21/2018)

Great sequel, and yes, they did a horrific “thanks for watching the movie” thing. This time, it was even longer and more painful than others because they were pretending to be on voice group chat. Besides that, the movie itself was a lot of fun. It’s a great depiction of the internet.

Widows 3.5/5 stars (11/28/2018)

Intriguing heist thriller, though it’s technically not really about the heist itself. It’s about the characters. It’s a rather complicated tale. Satisfying to see once, but not worth it in the long run.

Instant Family 4/5 stars (12/4/2018)

This might be the most surprising in terms of me actually enjoying it. The story focuses on a couple who decides to liven up their lives by becoming foster parents to 3 kids, a teenager and two elementary school aged kids.

Creed II 4/5 stars (12/7/2018)

Don’t typically watch sports movies. They generally end the same, but all the side stuff about his struggles helped balance things out. Creed is on top of the world but gets challenged by the son of the guy who killed his father in the ring ages ago. It would have been so much more satisfying if one of them could have punched out that idiot promoter. He was such a slimeball.

Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse 3.5/5 stars (12/13/2018)

This is the type of movie that will continue to drop in stars if I think about it. It doesn’t make much sense, but then again, it’s based off a super hero so the unexplainable is sort of a given. I liked Miles Morales’s story, but the animation was a little hard to watch. They messed with the frame rate to make it more like a comic book. The end fight was like watching a nightmare fight (direction didn’t matter).

Mortal Engines 4/5 stars (12/14/2018)

Not sure why people keep making YA series into movies. While it turned out decently, I think it’s like the gold rush. Everybody’s hoping to recreate the giant success of Harry Potter and The Hunger Games (maybe even Divergent or The Maze Runner series, though I haven’t seen or read either of those). They come close but there’s so much in the books that it’s hard to adapt. I’ve not read the books so it didn’t bother me. The movie had some stellar and beautiful landscapes, but the story seemed convenient.

Green Book 4/5 stars (12/17/2018)

Not really about the story. Very much about the characters. It’s another “based on a true story” deals. An Italian guy and a world-class black pianist travel the deep South in the 1960’s. Racial tensions are still high, but in a different way than today.

Aquaman 4/5 stars (12/20/2018)

A genre-hopping wonderful hot mess of a movie. I had a great time and would definitely see it again. Jason Momoa is an excellent choice to play the title character. The guy who really wants revenge on him seemed like an annoying gnat of a character, but I think he means more to those who read the comic books.

Bumblebee 4/5 stars (12/21/2018)

Never saw the rest of the Transformer movies. Although a good movie, I doubt this would tempt me to see the rest of them. They spent a lot of time building Charlie’s backstory. While I liked her as a character, her longevity for the franchise is pretty much nil, so it seems a wasted investment of screentime.


Great year for movies. Lots of intriguing tales of adventure. I’m still drawn to action/thriller or Disney type animated family safe types.

Associate links to follow…

(If you click through and buy something, there’s the chance I’ll earn like $0.04 ….)

Amazon Prime

The Collins Case – 2 FBI agents track down a kidnapped family. Kid friendly.

If fantasy’s more your thing, go Redeemer Chronicles. The first, Awakening, is available as an audiobook.

Ashlynn’s Dreams Shorts – a kid deals with her parents’ divorce, bullies, and the wonder of discovery.

Try The Dark Side of Science – Genetically altered kids fight for the right to live.


Top Picks of 2018:

  • Incredibles 2 – family/ animated; funniest scene (Jack Jack vs the Racoon)
  • Mission Impossible: Fallout – action/thriller; top thriller
  • Ralph Breaks the internet – family/animated; fun film
  • Instant Family – family/drama; most surprising that I liked it
  • Nutcraker and Grinch – tie for worst movie I saw this year
  • Hunter Killer – favorite movie of the year
  • Smallfoot – one of the best new songs
  • Bumblebee – best overall soundtrack

Audiobook Reviews 4/5 Wendigo Fever by Kevin Hardman



Errol Magnus, a deputy Warden for lack of a better title, sort of inherits responsibility for the region when his older brother, Tom, goes missing. Something big and scary is out there taking down people.

Additional Comments:

– Not sure why this book isn’t just called the Wendigo. It’s not really about the Wendigo Fever, that’s just sort of a sidenote. The cover confuses this issue even more as it makes it seem like WARDEN is the title and Wendigo Fever the subtitle.

– The worldbuilding is decent for such a short story. I think if I remember correctly, it’s one of those post-apocalyptic, set so far in the future we’ve come full circle to the past sorts of settings.

– The book is surprisingly lighthearted for being a horror story of the creepy things that go bump in the night variety.

– Errol’s fairly fleshed out as a character, but pretty much everybody else isn’t. Gail had potential, but she does little more than give Errol somebody to talk to while he explains stuff the reader needs to know.

– I can’t really talk about my favorite side character because that would be a spoiler, but suffice to say that there are a lot of colorful characters in this world.


Interesting, short horror story.

Associate links to follow…

(If you click through and buy something, there’s the chance I’ll earn like $0.04 … not kidding, that’s basically it.)

Amazon Prime


Ashlynn’s Dreams Shorts – a kid deals with her parents’ divorce, bullies, and the wonder of discovery.

Try The Dark Side of Science – Genetically altered kids fight for the right to live.

Movie Reviews 4.5/5: Venom

Movie poster

4.5/5 Venom; Surprisingly Good Comic Book Movie

*mild spoilers possible*


Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) has it all: a great job as an investigative reporter, a beautiful fiancée, and a really nice apartment. One mistake/ moral choice costs him all of that. Six months later, he’s broke, living in a run-down apartment, job hunting, and very single.  Meanwhile, Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed) is a very wealthy business owner trying to save mankind by getting alien and human biology to be symbiotic to each other.

Additional Comments:

  • One of my friends said he overheard some young teens chatting afterwards, saying they were bored by the first half of the movie. I am grateful there was some setup involved. You got to see the rise and fall of Eddie Brock. This same friend also mentioned that since Tom Hardy played Eddie and voiced Venom, it was basically him talking to himself the whole movie.
  • CGI and special effects worked well enough. Venom’s not exactly going to be the poster child for hero, nor it is the best comic book movie I’ve ever seen. The general vibe of the movie goes toward action/horror.
  • Humor: There’s some. Not as much as most Marvel movies, but there are some well-timed funny lines. Venom can be sentimental and deadly.
  • So why the high rating: I found it entertaining. It’s not a deep-thinker, twisty movie. A guy picks up an alien and a lot goes down soon thereafter. There’s a certain amount of logic to the plot. Sure, there are quite a few predictable things, but it should hit the fandom-pleaser mark.
  • A note about expectations: The source material for this movie is a comic book series. You have to expect a certain amount of campy split from reality.
  • Parental Warning: Not exactly family fun. This movie does come with quite a few curses and at least one f-bomb.
  • Action movie: There’s a nice motorcycle/car chase and quite a few smaller fight scenes. The two larger fight scenes near the end didn’t have much suspense but they still scored.
  • I guess you could go into the ethical debates about progress vs human life, but generally, it’s recommended you leave it as an afternoon entertainment piece.


Worth watching on a big screen. Going to the movies is expensive, but if you’re going to watch something like Venom where it’s pretty much about the fights, a giant screen is recommended.

Associate links to follow…

(If you click through and buy something, there’s the chance I’ll earn like $0.04 … not kidding, that’s basically it.)

Amazon Prime


Ashlynn’s Dreams Shorts – a kid deals with her parents’ divorce, bullies, and the wonder of discovery.

Try The Dark Side of Science – Genetically altered kids fight for the right to live. Some of the crazy scientists in Venom reminded me of these people.

Movies Reviews 3.5/5: The House with a Clock in its Walls (mild spoilers ahead)


Rating: 3.5/5 stars


An orphaned boy moves to an old mansion with his bachelor uncle. There are clocks everywhere so the noise might drown out the sound of ticking from the walls. The uncle’s next door neighbor is a once-powerful witch who hasn’t been able to perform meaningful magic in quite some time.


Additional Comments:

  • There are very long stretches of boringness here. There was a sappy part in the middle of the movie that had me muttering “I hate this movie so much.” It redeemed itself for the most part by the end.
  • The humor is sometimes on point and sometimes just tedious. (Like the third instance of the griffin poops)
  • It’s well-acted but I don’t think there was much of a script to work with.
  • Most plot points are predictable.
  • The special effects are fine, very cool in most cases, but some of the choices were disturbing, like baby body only/adult head. That’s just weird, not funny, just weird.
  • The big reveals at the end worked to a certain extent.
  • Has one of the clunkiest titles I’ve ever seen in a movie or a book. Functional, not magical by any stretch.



Strange, pre-Halloween, semi-for-kids movie with decent moral messages. Worth seeing once. Had vibes like Ms. Perigrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, but for some reason, I enjoyed that movie more.

Associate links to follow…

(If you click through and buy something, there’s the chance I’ll earn like $0.04 … not kidding, that’s basically it.)

Amazon Prime


Want to dive deeper into the battle of good vs evil? Check out Spirit’s Bane. Two guardian angels get on Satan’s bad side.


Audiobook Reviews 4/5: Broken Branches by Brenda M. Spalding


Narrated by Eliza Wethers

4/5 Romance Mystery with Hints of Paranormal

*mild spoilers possible


Megan Calloway loses her grandmother in a tragic accident. After going to her gran’s house to hold the funeral and close out her affairs, Megan’s not entirely convinced it was an accident. Mysterious things are still happening around the house.


Additional Comments:

  • Characters (3.5/5 stars): They’re believable, if somewhat ridiculous. Amanda and Zach were kind of superfluous.
  • Plot (3/5 stars): Have these people never heard of a locksmith? First break-in, okay, scary, but do the instinctive but stupid thing of investigating. Second break-in, what part of first one didn’t sink in enough to say, “hey, probably should change my locks?” Third break-in, really? Also, the costume party was an excellent addition to the plot, but the actual costumes people picked were painfully cliché in a few cases, which I won’t name to avoid spoilers.
  • Romance (3/5): I’m not a big romance fan, but I would have bought the relationship a whole lot more if it didn’t begin during this book. Even if it had started a few months before the opening, it would have made a lot more sense. Do people really meet and sleep with somebody in 24 hours? I mean when they don’t intend it as a one-night stand.
  • Narration (4.5/5): Good distinction between characters. Great accents.
  • Content Warnings: There are several adult scenes that don’t quite fade to black. That would place this on the very edge of being what I’d consider clean. A few curses worked in at appropriate points (at least they’re not flung about just for the heck of it.)
  • Paranormal aspects seemed out of place. They popped up at sporadic points around the book, which was otherwise very normal. Some people will find that charming. Don’t get me wrong, some of my favorite books are paranormal and genre mixing can be great for a story. Still, I found it odd here.
  • Don’t think the cover fits very well. It’s got too many literary vibes, not enough paranormal.


If you like romance/mystery mixes with bits of paranormal, this is the book for you.

Associate links to follow…

(If you click through and buy something, there’s the chance I’ll earn like $0.04 … not kidding, that’s basically it.)

Amazon Prime


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

Romance and mystery your thing? Check out The Kiverson Case. (A pair of FBI agents have it out with a man who likes to play games.)


Audiobook Reviews 3.45/5 Stars: Chasing Eden by B.K. Sherer and Sharon Linnea (narrated by Kristina Fuller Yuen)

3.45/5 stars Insanely Far-Fetched Suspense Story with Fantasy Elements


Major Jaime Richards, an army chaplain, gets caught up in a giant conspiracy with world-altering consequences on the eve of Saddam Hussein’s fall in Iraq.

Additional Comments:

Characters (3/5):

Jaime’s likable but not realistic in any sense. She doesn’t think, speak, or act anything like I’d expect a chaplain to … except in maybe 2 scenes. There’s maybe three prayers in the whole book and they seem bland. We don’t know much about Jamie’s family. I think that’s by design. Does she have just a brother or a brother and a sister? Yani’s mysterious. I get that. There are reasons for the mystery man. There are very few sections by random army personnel. They’re good but too few to know the character.
– Aside: The main character might be a chaplain but it’s not a very Christian-y book. That might thrill people, but it makes her unrealistic. (The cynical part of me says that perhaps she’s “too realistic” in terms of what the church has become in America, very politically correct.) If you’re looking for something marked Christian Fiction, look elsewhere. If you’re just in it for general thriller with fantasy-ish elements, go for it.

Plot (2/5):

Scattered is the best term I can come up with. It’s definitely fast-paced much of the time, but the pacing’s also slightly awkward. It’ll be full-speed action sequence (well-described) then *boom* history lesson. I have several misgivings about coincidences that happen. Without going into too many for fear of spoilers, let me just chat a moment about a few. The character who shows up in the beginning “stumbles out of the desert” right across Jaime’s Humvee convoy – after having been captured by some nameless bad guys and tortured for information. How did she escape? How did she know how to find Jamie? They also went to college together. Jaime’s even in the Middle East at the right time and place she needs to be to be caught in the conspiracy. She speaks the right language to be relevant to the bad guys. I understand that they’re setting up for a larger world, but the plot’s needlessly complicated. It’s like they read a book on conspiracy theories and had a shopping list to tick off for items. Must have 2-3 crazy dudes looking for ultimate weapon for world domination.

End Sequence (4/5)

Unrealistic, but cool.
– Very End Sequence (1/5) – Intriguing in the sense that it explains a lot, but it also strikes as a blatant, “well, if you want to know the real story, you’ll just have to buy book 2” bid. That leads to lack of closure and tends to tick me off. I have a thing about needing closure to enjoy a story.

Action (4/5:

Nicely described.
– Narration (4.5/5) – Fitting. The narrator did a nice job, and I would listen to more books from her. She has a matter-of-fact style but it comes across as informative and earnest not annoying. Her voice quality is soothing.

Content and Language warning:

Besides a few war scenes (well-described), there is also one almost rape scene. There are at least 3 f-bombs in here. I officially tap out of a book at 4, so that’s saying something. Definitely not a kid-friendly book.


It’s an enjoyable listening experience if you can get past the highly unrealistic points.

Associate links to follow…

This Book…

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: Convicted by Raven H. Price


3/5 Odd Mix of Christian Fantasy and Rated R Mystery/Suspense

*mild spoilers possible in discussion, though I will keep things as vague as possible.



Hope Anderson has the ultimate God encounter and picks up some awesome spiritual gifts to boot.

Additional Comments:

The Neutral:

– The training scenes dragged on too long. That section’s about ½ the 12 hour book.

– Certain details like where Hope works were not very clear throughout the book. Not even sure the title of the place is given, except it’s a labor office. The whole reports thing kind of lost me because I wasn’t sure what these people did. Sounded like tax collection for a while.

– The pacing is very slow for about 10 hours.


The Oddities:

– Most of the book is squeaky clean in terms of language and content, but there’s a scene about 11 and a half hours into the 12 and a half hour audiobook that blows all that away. It’s a very odd mix. On the one hand, it’s honest about how twisted people can be, but literally the entire rest of the 12+ hour book was church picnics and Hallmark channel he-loves-me-but-I’m-not-ready-for-another-man romance stuff. Seriously, even most of the spiritual warfare went down like “she saw a creepy demon and glared at it … it screeched and went away” then BOOM hardcore torture for 5 minutes and BOOM again back to Hallmark romance. Gives one mental whiplash.

– This is probably only an issue with the audiobook. But most of the book is in the first person perspective, yet there are several shifts to God’s point of view or Satan’s point of view. In a book, you can have things like asterix to set apart these sections, but this audiobook lacked any such forewarnings of an abrupt scene shift. (It made the narrator sound nuts, though the rest of her performance was okay.)

– One overall end message came across as “God wants you (Hope) to grow the kingdom by having babies with his brothers” which might be true, but out of context just comes across as weird.

– The cover does not fit the vibe for the book. I’m getting nightclub scene vibes from the cover not spiritual warfare. It would fit better if Hope was an alcoholic addicted to champagne or something.


The Good:

– There’s some cool spiritual warfare stuff.

– The way spiritual gifts were handled in here is pretty cool.

– I liked some of the scenes of Hope training with God.



If you can handle a LOT of intensity in one scene and a much more sedate pace everywhere else, it’s an intriguing peek into spiritual warfare.

Associate links to follow…

Amazon Prime


Audible – If you’d like a free book, check out some of my works.

Narrator Interview: Moira Todd – Ember Burning , YA Fantasy


Hey all, thanks for joining us this week. I must be on a narrator kick.

Please welcome Moira Todd, the voice behind the new audiobook Ember Burning (Trinity Forest Book 1) (You can find the link below). The story follows a grieving teen as she ventures into a forest teeming with urban legends of witchcraft and disappearances and then once there, she finds she must face the truth behind her parent’s death or lose herself to the forest forever. The second book in the series, Oshun Rising, will be available on Audible in February.

Cool. Let’s meet the lady.

How did you get into audiobooks?

I auditioned for an audiobook production company and they pointed me toward ACX, where I can be my own producer, which is really great.

How many audiobooks have you produced?

I’ve produced 8 titles now, including Playing with Fire: A #Hacker Novel by Sherry Ficklin, and Why Can’t My Life Be a Romance Novel by Melinda R. Cordell. I also have three in various stages of production.

Why did you choose to work on Ember Burning?

I love working on books with female protagonists and I think Ember has a really fun voice.

What was your favorite part of the book?

My favorite is the end when everything really comes to a head and the suspense is at its highest.

What was the hardest part of working on the novel?

The hardest part is actually scheduling. I have to balance audiobooks with acting and teaching. So if I get a cold or something, and can’t record for a few days it can really mess up my production schedule.

What’s involved in the process?

Well, it starts with reading the book. I like to read it once just as an audience and write down my thought on the story as a whole so that I can remember that experience when I’m listening to myself read one sentence over and over. I then read it again an make notes of character descriptions, words I don’t know how to pronounce, and any major tone or pacing shifts in the story.

Me: That’s a lot of reading.

Then I’ll take a chapter or so at a time, and mark it up. This means writing in the best way to make the story clear, like which words to emphasize and when to breath. I take my marked up section into the studio and record it. Any time I mess up, I just go back and read it again. So what I’m left with is a big long recording with lost of repeated sections. I have to use editing software to delete the mess ups, and any big long breathes that sound weird, and make sure the pacing is effective. This then gets given to the author to approve, and eventually put on sale on audible.

How long does it take to create a chapter?

Typically it takes me 10 hours to produce one hour of finished narration.

Me: Oh my goodness.

What is your favorite part of being an audiobook narrator/producer?

My family is pretty spread out, so I love being able to share audiobooks with them, and it’s like were back at home and I’m reading a book to everyone in the living room around the fire.

What’s been the hardest part?

Keeping myself on track to meet deadlines is the hardest part. Because it’s just me, I have to hold myself accountable so that I don’t end up with a week left and half the book to finish.

What’s your favorite audiobook you’ve listen to? Why?
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy narrated by Rob Inglis. I listed to all three on a road trip across the country last year, so it just brings me back to those awesome memories.

What is ahead/next for you?

Are you working on any interesting projects? Do you have anything planned or in the works now? (Other books you might recommend?)

Yeah, I’ve got a few projects in the works. Right now I’m recording Killing Her Softly, a romantic suspense novel by Barb Warner Deane. And in the new year I’ll begin production on the next book in Jennifer Alsever’s Trinity Forrest series Book 2, Oshun Rising.

What do you do when you’re not working on audiobooks?

I’m in rehearsal for a show, or teaching theatre classes, or maybe going on a hike in the Potomac valley.

What do you expect to happen in the audiobook market?

I’m not sure. Podcasts have certainly exploded in recent years. Audiobooks seem like the prefect medium for commuting. People spend so much time in cars or trains or buses these days, why not be listening to a story at the same time.


Thanks for joining us, Moira. We appreciate you taking the time to chat.


Associate links to follow…

Amazon Prime

Free Kindle Reading App

Audible – If you buy some of my audiobooks with your first credits, I’ll pay the first month’s bill (beyond the free ones). (Terms and conditions: must have proof of purchasing my books, like a screenshot. Will also have to have paypal.)

Awesome Audiobooks: The Automaton’s Wife by Vered Ehsani


This story picks up roughly where The Ghosts of Tsavo left off. The series is pretty cool if you’re into strange characters. The narrator’s perfect for the part.


5/5 Charming, Witty, Weird

Summary: Bee’s back and she’s got her hands full. There’s murder and mayhem afoot and bigger crises like warding off would-be suitors.

Additional Comments:

– I think I’ve said it before: this is my brand of weird. That said, it’s probably not going to be everybody’s cup of tea. If you’re in the mood for a serious book, definitely wrong series.

– If you’re in the mood for fun and weird, definitely a great series to try.

– The series combines the charm of Alexander McCall Smith’s #1 Detective Agency with the random, wacky weirdness of Seth Graham Smith’s Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies.

– I’ve listened to a lot of audiobooks lately and these are always a light-hearted bit of escapism.

– The character has a few quirks that can come across as annoying, especially in the way she describes things. But overall, it’s still highly entertaining.

– I find the blurb a tad misleading after you’ve heard or read the story, but if you enjoyed the first story, I see no reason for you to dislike this one. If this is your introduction to the series, you might want to grab book one so you have some context.

Conclusion: Decent entry in an awesome series.


I’ve listened to dozens of audiobooks this year, and I have to say, this series is one of my favorites. They’re very, very strange, but quirky little mysteries. Most of the charm’s in the characters.


Associate links to follow…

Amazon Prime

Free Kindle Reading App