Audiobook Reviews: 4/5 The Time Pedaler by Michael Maxwell and Tally Scully

 

Summary:

Chant Baker finds and old time machine in the basement of his parents’ shop. He uses it to visit a few key spots in history and solve a small mystery.

Additional Comments:

– It’s middle grade appropriate.

– I’m not big on time travel books in general because logic always messes with my head. They tried to address the issue of clothes a few times, but it just seemed like everywhere Chant went initially, people were very friendly and totally accepting of the fact that he appeared out of nowhere. I can see his clothes blending in well enough in the 1960’s but 1860’s?

– His family’s perfect, but that’s cool. The fact that a perfect nuclear family strikes me as abnormal is probably just a sad commentary on the state of the modern world.

– The places Chant chooses to visit do follow a certain logic, which I appreciate. (Mostly, they’re places he wants to study for history or English class.) I enjoyed the fact that he didn’t get a perfect grade even though he’d traveled back in time and witnessed the event in person because history isn’t always remembered perfectly.

– There wasn’t a real sense of danger, but that might come from the general middle grade feel than something in the plot. Probably don’t want a story like this to come across as too scary anyway.

– I hear the audio version, which was very good.

– Fun, unique premise that’s well-executed (in audio format anyway)

Conclusion:

If middle grade time travel’s something you enjoy, Chant won’t disappoint you.

 

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.

 

Awesome Audiobooks: 4.5/5 Apprentice Cat by Virginia Ripple

4.5/5 Cute Cat Goes to Magic School Type Story

Summary:

Toby’s only mediocre at magic, but he still wants to fulfill his mother’s dream of being accepted into the Academy. Once in, he stumbled across a colossal mystery.

Random Comments:

  • It’s an intriguing world where humans and cats work hand-in-hand. The description of it being a kingdom and them traveling in carriages sort of make me think it’s a steampunk type era. It’s a tad hard to tell though.
  • The characters are well-developed.
  • The narration is nicely handled. I personally didn’t enjoy the voice used for Terrence as that was a little tough to follow, but the characters are distinct.
  • The mystery meanders a bit, but things work out in the end.
  • It finds the balance between giving the reader closure and leaving enough loose ends to gracefully beg for a sequel.

Conclusion:

Slow start and lots of world-building, but overall, a satisfying tale.

 

The book is permafree! Go ahead and download it … then prep yourself for the first Sunday in October when you can request a free audio version.

As Always …

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

If you’re an author 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.

Awesome Audiobook Reviews: 4.5/5 Mystery of the Dead Sea Scrolls Revealed by Spencer Hawke

Introduction:

I don’t read or experience historical fiction much these days, but this book provided a nice change of pace from the dragons, fairies, and Gifted teenagers. I love all those other things, but change can be good too.

Summary:

Mystery of the Dead Sea Scrolls Revealed is not really a mystery or a history, but it is decent historical fiction. This is the story of a Bedouin boy who grows up to be a scribe then a priest and guardian of Israel’s greatest treasures. It doesn’t present the Roman soldiers in the best light, but I think history in general agrees they could be brutal.

Additional Comments:

– The author narrated the story. The music in the beginning kind of threw me for a little, but I enjoyed the added touch.

– I love the camel. She gets the best side character award.

– The hero and his uncle are fleshed out quite well but most of the other characters weren’t. I’m not sure why Lazarus was in the story.

– I really enjoyed the set up with the boy, Hilal (sorry if I misspelled that, I heard the audio), but then it pulled one of those “thirty years later” things that make me cringe a little. I guess that’s a pacing issue. Same thing near the end, you get wrapped up in the thrill of the hunt then boom it’s late 1940’s. I understand why it’s done that way, but the transition was … abrupt.

– Content warning: There are descriptions of Roman atrocities and torture.

– The book was a refreshing change from the book fare I’ve been taking in lately.

Conclusion:

Interesting take on the battle to preserve history.

 

As Always …

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

If you’re an author 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.

 

My Audiobook Obsession and AE Code Shortage Remedy

Introduction:

In the last couple of months, I’ve spent much time setting up Audiobook Edge to bring authors/narrators and readers together. (If you’re not a member yet, no problem. Go here to fix that.) I want everybody to get something good out of the experience, but I realize that some weeks there might be a shortage of codes. To help remedy that, I will be offering up to 5 copies of my books each week as necessary to fill in some of the gaps.

*Please note, that I’m not purposefully shorting the list, but I am keeping the number of books low so people get the maximum exposure possible.

This post will introduce you to the works I have available.

My Audiobooks:

Over the past few years, I’ve embraced the opportunity to work with several talented narrators to give my books that added layer. I have 8 titles with one in the works and another under contract. I’m waiting to see what happens with The Davidson Case before leaping to find somebody for The Keres Case. First, I’ll break down which books are credited to which narrator. Then, I’ll give you details on which are available to you.

Who Did What:

Ashlynn’s Dreams became my first book to morph into an audiobook. I knew zip about the process, but luckily, Kristin Condon submitted an audition. Eager to begin, I closed auditions very soon after hearing how close Kristin came to how I pictured the characters of Jillian and Danielle.

These things, meaning audiobooks, don’t happen overnight. They take weeks and months, depending on how much time the narrator has to devote to a project. The sad reality is that very few people can make a living off of this sort of work. Over the course of several years, Kristin worked on Ashlynn’s Dreams Shorts, Nadia’s Tears, The Collins Case, and The Kiverson Case. Then, life interfered and we parted ways.

Julie Hinton stepped in to take over the creation of Malia’s Miracles. She did a lovely job taking my scattered notes on the characters and bringing her talent bear here. I’m grateful for her willingness to tackle the center of a series. She’s currently working through Varick’s Quest. My guess is that should be ready Summer 2017.

Brian Troxell performed the prequel to the Devya’s Children series, The Dark Side of Science. I absolutely love this guy’s voice and range of characters. He did a superb job. It’s best to be familiar with the Devya’s Children characters before jumping into this book, but it can stand alone. Some might disagree with my choice, but I wanted a male voice for this story. The rest of the Devya’s Children series is set very much in the head of Jillian and Danielle, but Dark Side is third person. I wanted more of a storyteller of old feel to its presentation.

Caitlin Jacques became the voice of Victoria Saveron and many more characters from Awakening. I would have hired Julie Hinton again as I enjoy working with her, but I wanted a new voice for the Redeemer Chronicles series. The auditions for this one were very tight. It was a very tough decision because I got some great auditions, but I’m happy with how the project turned out.

Lightning Quick Summaries:

      Devya’s Children (YA, Science Fiction)

  • The Dark Side of Science (prequel) – a scientist struggles to regain her memories so she can help her children survive a brutal competition.
  • Ashlynn’s Dreams Shorts (short stories, prequel) – Jillian’s pre-kidnapping journal entries.
  • Ashlynn’s Dreams – Jillian and her babysitter get kidnapped so she can learn to be a Dream Shaper.
  • Nadia’s Tears – Jillian struggles to wake her sister from a coma while Danielle tries to save a friend from stupid decisions.
  • Malia’s Miracles – Jillian and her siblings fight cancer and try to stay free.
  • Varick’s Quest (coming soon…) – an admirer of Dr. Devya snatches Jillian and Danielle for his own purposes.

    Heartfelt Cases (Christian Mystery)

  • The Collins Case – 2 FBI agents race against time to save a kidnapped family.
  • The Kiverson Case – Ann and Patrick play a deadly game with a man bent on revenge.

    Redeemer Chronicles (Fantasy)

  • Awakening – a girl and her two friends try to survive zombies and her uncle’s schemes.

What You Can Request:

Although technically anything I have available in audio form is up for the asking, you will likely get the most out of the first in each series. If you’d like Malia’s Miracles but you want to catch up first, head over to my website and join the Spec Fic list. You’ll get Ashlynn’s Dreams for free. That should help a little. If you like the book and review it on amazon, you can then email me the review link with a request for a copy of Nadia’s Tears. (These are very limited, so act fast.)

As with all audiobooks, you should listen to the retail sample to see if you enjoy the narrator’s voice. I personally love each of the narrators I’ve worked with. That said, having listened to 15+ audiobooks in the last few weeks, I understand that not everybody’s going to fall in love with every voice. That’s just the way life goes.

For Kristin Condon, I’d recommend going with Ashlynn’s Dreams.

 

The others currently only have one title each.

Sorry, I couldn’t find the audiobook version of The Dark Side of Science. Click through and you should still get to an audiobook sample though.

Caitlin Jacques’ audiobook debut:

Julie Hinton’s first work for me.

 

Audiobook Buying Ninja Tips:

Any book you own the official kindle version for, you should be able to buy on audio for around $1.99. I have mixed feelings on this. From a reader perspective, it’s awesome, but it does tend to short the authors/narrators. (Royalties are based on sale price.) For example, the Dark Side of Science was free on amazon for a few years. If you download it, you should be able to add the audiobook for the steeply discounted price.

If you find that you love audible and want to move to a paid plan, an easy way to help your favorite author/narrator is to buy their book first. ACX offers bounties, which is an ingenious way on their part to get some free advertising out of people. I’ve got 8 title, so if you’re moving that way, I’d love for you to choose one of them as your first book. Oh, and before you move to a paid plan anyway, do the free trial, so you get the first book or two free.

Meet the Narrators:

Kristin Condon

Brian Troxell

Julie Hinton

Caitlin Jacques – Sorry, she’s a bit of a mystery. I couldn’t find an official website.

Conclusion:

Audiobooks allow one to do other things while still experiencing stories. They’re great for long car rides, quiet afternoons, and something to do while ironing. Let me show you a whole new world.

As Always …

If you haven’t done so yet, join Audiobook Readers’ Edge.

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

For a limited time, I’m offering a fantasy book to anybody who supports Audiobook Edge.

Coming Soon … Lei Crime Kindle World: Echoes by Scott Bury

Introduction:

May 12, 2017 will be quite the exciting day for those who love the Lei Crime Kindle World. A grand total of 11-ish new titles will launch that day. Join us for a Facebook Party too. It runs 3-11 PM EST on Friday, May 12, 2017. You’re cordially invited to come hang with us, chat, win prizes, and check out the sweet books releasing that day.

Echoes (Excerpt From Chapter 1): Out of the Past

Dylan nodded slowly and took a deep breath. “Cole’s wanted by the police. They say he shot two cops.”

“I know.”

“You know?”

“I’m a cop. FBI. Did you think the Oahu Field Office wouldn’t get notified about the shooting of two officers on the same island? And, of course, I recognized the name.”

“You knew? And you’re not doing anything about it?”

“I was pretty shocked, Dylan. I couldn’t imagine little Cole getting into any kind of trouble, let alone shooting anyone. But I read the reports. Although he hasn’t been convicted yet, he has a pretty long record for possession of drugs and association with criminals. He’s supposed to be a pretty big supplier of marijuana, ecstasy and other drugs on Oahu. And he apparently has been trying to move in on the heroin trade.”

She leaned in. “I’ve been following the case daily. You’re right. He’s gone dark. There’s an all-island alert for him, but no sightings since he burned down a house he was dealing from outside Hamika and shot two officers to escape.” Only then did she realize her hand was on Dylan’s knee.

He glanced down and smiled, but the smile vanished. “Can you help him?”

Vanessa withdrew her hand and looked at the ground. “Dylan, if he really shot two cops, he’s going to have to take responsibility for it.”

“You mean, he’s going to have to die for it?”

“No. Luckily, neither cop was killed. One’s still in hospital, the other’s out. Lucky for Cole, too. But he’s going to have to stand trial, and if he’s guilty, he’s going to have to serve time.”

Dylan snorted. “You know the cops in Hamika. They’ll never let him live long enough to get to trial. If they find him, he’s dead.”

He turned toward her and took her hand between his. He looked into her green eyes, and Vanessa suddenly felt like she was 17 again, like that night, the last time she had seen him until now, looking into Dylan’s eyes as dark and rich as chocolate. Her throat felt dry. She used sipping her iced coffee as an excuse to tear her eyes away.

The thinking part of her brain reminded her then that fifteen years had passed since that night, that special, so very important night.

She calculated. There were no urgent cases on her plate right now. She could tell Waxman, the Special Agent in Charge of the Honolulu Field Office, that she needed to take some personal time. The Bureau owed her more than a week.

“All right, Dylan. I’ll help you, but it can’t be in any official capacity. So far, Cole’s case belongs to the Honolulu Police Department, specifically the Hamika detachment. I can take time off to help find Cole and convince him to turn himself in.” She touched his shoulder to stop his protest. “That’s all I can do, Dylan. And I’ll be acting in my own capacity, which means I won’t be able to use any Bureau files, networks or other resources. It will be personal.”

Dylan looked into her eyes again, but she was ready for him this time. He wasn’t going to wear her down today. After a beat, he nodded. “Okay. That will do.”

“And Dylan? You’re going to tell me about that night fifteen years ago. The truth. That’s the deal.”

Dylan sighed, not breaking eye contact. “That night. The truth. Deal.”

About Echoes:

“I am hopelessly in love with a memory. An echo from another time, another place.” — Michel Foucault

In 1999, the Kahuna was The Man on Oahu’s west coast. The coolest guy at the wildest parties, with the coolest posse, the best weed and the most beautiful girlfriend.

Then he disappeared.

Fifteen years later, that girlfriend is no longer a high school senior. She is FBI Special Agent Vanessa Storm, and she sees through every lie the Kahuna spins when he shows up again to beg her help.

How can she say no when the Kahuna wants her help not for himself, but to protect his little brother. Young Cole ‘Aukai is ready to set fire to the whole Oahu illegal drug trade—for revenge.

Echoes is Scott Bury’s fourth Lei Crime Kindle World title, joining:

About the author:

Scott Bury can’t stay in one category.

After a 20-year career in journalism, he turned to writing fiction. He has written children’s fiction, mysteries, historical magic realism, action thrillers, memoirs and erotic romance.

In between writing books and blog posts, Scott helped found an author’s cooperative publishing venture, Independent Authors International. He is also President of author’s professional association BestSelling Reads.

You can find more about Scott Bury, and contact him through his website, http://www.writtenword.ca, his blog, Written Words, and on Twitter @ScottTheWriter.

 

 

Audiobook Reviews: Diamonds and Cole by Michael Maxwell

Introduction:

I’ve had the privilege of listening to a lot of audiobooks of late, and I’ll say that this is one of the most compelling of the lot for large sections. The narrator fits the role very well. I have a few content reservations, but overall, the hours slipped by swiftly while listening to this.

Summary:

Cole Sage gets a call from an old flame and goes flying to her side. There, he finds her languishing in a nursing home with a couple of huge favors to ask of him. From there, Ellie and Cole’s story unfolds in detail. To him, she’s the one that got away, the one he walked away from because his career sang a siren song.

Why I have slightly mixed feelings:

  • There are some events in here that I find disturbing. They show a cruel streak in our hero. In one sense, it fleshes Cole out and gives him a few flaws, but in another sense, it just makes him look like a petty jerk. That’s not cool. I want to be able to root for the good guy always.
  • It’s categorized as a mystery, but it’s probably 30% mystery with 70% romance done in flashbacks. For once, the flashbacks are done very well. Cole has some downtime at various points in the book so he thinks and dreams about times with Ellie.
  • Ellie and Erin are decent characters, but again, choices are made along the way that cast them in a less flattering light.
  • I heard the audio performance by Lou Hecker. For the most part, it’s a stellar performance. Unfortunately, there are times he did his job too well. The few times he was doing a TV like preacher set my teeth on edge by being both loud and 130% annoying. There was one slight editing mistake in the almost 8 hour narrative.
  • Content warnings: some strong language; a disturbing/crude image within the first few pages. Aside from those though, it was fairly clean compared to the grand scope of modern mysteries.

What I liked:

  • The twist at the end is highly predictable but also satisfying.
  • I loved the narrator.
  • The story of Cole’s relationship with Ellie unfolds in a series of flashbacks. It’s filled with regret but beautiful all the same. I loved how he flew to her side and becomes her knight in tarnished armor. He might not be perfect but at least he’s willing to stand up for his friend.
  • The characters in here are quite interesting, flaws and all.
  • I liked the FBI guy – Ferguson (sorry about spelling, I heard the audio).
  • Aside from the few spots mentioned above, it’s an easy to listen to narrative.
  • Cole’s the kind of guy you can see getting in to a lot of trouble.

Conclusion:

This is only the first in a long series of books about the title character. If the opportunity arose again, I’d probably pick up another and see what’s up in Cole’s life.

As Always …

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

If you’re an author with an audiobook you’d like featured, sign up for Audiobook Authors’ Edge.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Julie C. Gilbert

For a limited time, I’m offering a fantasy book to anybody who supports Audiobook Edge.

 

Awesome Audiobooks – Hide and Seek by Amy Shojai

For all who love audiobooks …

Welcome to this series of reviews. Since starting Audiobook Edge, I have had the privilege of listening to a slew of wonderful audiobooks. I’m eager to share them with you. These are the books that will be available to you – the reader courtesy of the author or in some cases, the narrator. In this case, that applies to both since the author did the narrator herself.

*I will do my best to keep spoilers to a minimum*

Summary:

September Day’s got a past that’s catching up in a dangerous way.

Random Comments:

– I’ve not read or heard the first in the series.

– There are a few sections in here from Shadow’s (the dog) pov. I’d become familiar with the author’s penchant for such things through her Kindle Worlds story, Born to Love, so it fit fine. It adds a charming element to the work.

– Much of the story is grim as there’s clearly a stalker at work. But there are enough other sideplots to keep it light.

– The narration was decent. I’m super picky about such things and I’ve heard a lot of audios, so I could hear where some of the edit pts weren’t completely clean. They were few enough and far enough between to keep from interfering with the entertainment value.

– There was quite a bit of setup. Things were tied together in the end, but it’s on the long side, so expect to need to wade in to get the full value out of the work.

– The cover makes more sense once the story’s done. I love when that happens.

– There are some authors you would never want to be a character for … this is certainly true for Ms. Shojai. Poor September.

Conclusion:

A great addition to the world of audiobooks. This can be read/listened to without having heard the first, though I’m sure that there’s an added layer of enjoyment for fans familiar with the series already. Check this one out.

Special Treat:

If you want the audiobook for free, please join Audiobook Readers’ Edge. This book will appear in the May 7, 2017 edition of the program.

If you’re an author with an audiobook you’d like featured on the weekly list, sign up for Audiobook Authors’ Edge.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Julie C. Gilbert

For a limited time, I’m offering a fantasy book to anybody who supports Audiobook Edge.

Audiobook Edge Matchmaker Program – for Readers

Introduction:

I’d like to introduce you to an exciting new opportunity within Audiobook Edge. You can see the full post on that at this blog post. I’m starting a Matchmaker Program. If you’re not a member yet, that’s cool, there’s a direct link below for you to join if it sounds like something you’d enjoy. Long and short of AE – Readers get free/discounted audiobooks.

Pros:

  • Access to many more genres. A book might be “rejected” from the normal Audiobook Edge list for one of several reasons: wrong genre (large list aimed at mystery, thriller, scifi, and fantasy), too much violence, sex, or strong language, too long, etc. Genres I hope to add through this: nonfiction, contemporary romance, historical fiction, and slightly darker mysteries.
  • You get a much better chance of grabbing the audiobook. (competition for it will be much smaller) I will only be sending matchmaker emails to 1-5 people at a time for any particular title.

Details:

  • Most of these books will be those “rejected” from the standard Audiobook Edge list as that will be highly focused on mystery, scifi, thriller, and some YA appropriate fantasy. I will try to be as clear as possible about what you’re getting.
  • That said, I will not have read these books, so it will be based on a proposal from the author. I cannot guarantee that you will love every book I send. The success of a match will depend largely on how well you fill out the interest survey. (Be as thorough and clear about your preferences as possible.)
  • I will still not represent several very dark genres. (ie. erotica, dark horror)

Fine Print:

  • This will involve way more email communication between you and me and you and the author I match you with. As such, you must grant me permission to use the public email address for this purpose. (Consent is implied in your application to this program.) I will not sell your email address to anybody. You will be working through me. The decision to contact the author after you see the pitch is completely yours.
  • You must apply for this. I’m looking for people who love authors, can communicate well, and will review the audiobook if they happen to enjoy it. All readers are welcome to the larger list, but the authors are paying a small fee for this program, so I want to be sure they have a good experience.
  • I reserve the right to remove you from Matchmaker if too many authors report poor experiences. (This is meant to be a great experience for everybody.  If it’s just not working out, it’s best just to part ways.)

Questions and comments may be directed to me at devyaschildren @gmail.com.

Not a part of Audiobook Edge yet? No problem. Go to this page to sign up.