Love Story

One of the major focuses is the main characters’ love life.

Audio Book Review: Virtually Perfect by Paige Roberts

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Title: Virtually Perfect
Author: Paige Roberts
Narrator: Marguerite Gavin
Length: 9.40 Hours (unabridged)
ISBN: 9781538438039
Publisher: Blackstone Audio

Synopsis:

Not so long ago, Lizzie Glass had a successful TV show, a cookbook deal, and a social diary crammed with parties and events. But fame doesn’t stay fresh for long. Her show fizzles, her magazine column is canceled, and Lizzie’s only option is a summer job as personal chef to the Silvesters, a wealthy and eccentric family.

Their beach house is a lavish, beautifully decorated palace on the Jersey Shore, and Lizzie gets to work catering to Kathryn and Jim Silvester’s fashionably restrictive diets. But it’s their
twentysomething daughter who presents Lizzie with her biggest challenge—professionally and personally. A self-proclaimed “wellness warrior,” Zoe Silvester has a hugely popular website and app that promotes healthy living and organic, unprocessed foods. Yet Lizzie soon realizes that the Clean Life site has a dirty little secret. In fact, Zoe’s entire online persona is based on a dangerous hoax that runs deep and will damage lives. Exposing Zoe won’t just jeopardize Lizzie’s job and a promising new relationship—it may expose the cracks in her own past.

Sharply observed, witty, and thoughtful, Paige Roberts’ debut novel is a compelling look at one woman’s journey toward reinventing herself—and seeing through the facade of others—to discover the imperfect but sometimes wonderful truth.

My Review:

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Audio Book Review: The Punch Escrow by Tal M. Klein

Author: Tal M. Klein

Narrator:Matthew Mercer

Length: 8 hours 42 minutes

Publisher: Audible Studios

Released: Jul. 25, 2017

Genre: Tecnothriller

It’s the year 2147. Ad

vancements in nanotechnology have enabled us to control aging. We’ve genetically engineered mosquitoes to feast on carbon fumes instead of blood, ending air pollution. And teleportation has become the ideal mode of transportation, offered exclusively by International Transport—a secretive firm headquartered in New York City. Their slogan: Departure… Arrival… Delight!

Joel Byram, our smartass protagonist, is an everyday twenty-second century guy. He spends his days training artificial intelligence engines to act more human, jamming out to 1980’s new wave—an extremely obscure genre, and trying to salvage his deteriorating marriage. Joel is pretty much an everyday guy with everyday problems—until he’s accidentally duplicated while teleporting.

Now Joel must outsmart the shadowy organization that controls teleportation, outrun the religious sect out to destroy it, and find a way to get back to the woman he loves in a world that now has two of him.

Tal M. Klein was born in Israel, grew up in New York, and currently lives in Detroit with his wife and two daughters. When she was five years old, his daughter Iris wrote a book called I’m a Bunch of Dinosaurs that went on to become one of the most successful children’s book projects on Kickstarter ―something that Tal explained to Iris by telling her, “your book made lots of kids happy.” Iris then asked Tal, “Daddy, why don’t you write a book that makes lots of grownups happy?” Tal mulled this over for a few years, and eventually wrote his first book, The Punch Escrow. It won the Inkshares Geek & Sundry Hard Science Fiction publishing contest, and is the first book published on the Geek & Sundry imprint.

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Narrator Bio

Matthew Christopher Miller, known professionally as Matthew Mercer or Matt Mercer, is an American voice actor involved in English dubs of Japanese anime as well as cartoons, films and video games. In anime shows, he voiced Levi in Attack on Titan, Kiritsugu Emiya in Fate/Zero, Kanji Tatsumi for episodes 13-26 in Persona 4: The Animation and Trafalgar Law in the Funimation dub of One Piece. In video games, he voices Leon S. Kennedy in the Resident Evil series, Jack Cooper in Titanfall 2, Chrom in Fire Emblem Awakening, McCree in Overwatch, MacCready in Fallout 4 and Yusuke Kitagawa in Persona 5. In addition to voice-over, Mercer has developed some live-action web series including a Nintendo character parody called “There Will Be Brawl” and the famous Geek & Sundry and Alpha Dungeons & Dragons gaming session show “Critical Role.” The Punch Escrow is his first audiobook.

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Q&A with Author Tal M. Klein
  • How did you select your narrator, Matthew Mercer?

I always knew I wanted Matt Mercer to narrate my book, the hard part was getting him to agree to do it. Between Critical Role and his various Nerdist responsibilities, he’s also an incredibly prolific voice actor. Recording an audiobook is a serious time commitment! There was also the challenge of getting Audible to agree to having Matt do the book because he’d never done an audiobook before. Ultimately I got lucky in that Matt read my book, liked it, agreed to do the audiobook, and Audible was easily convinced to sign off once they heard his voice acting reel. The rest is history!

  • How closely did you work with Matthew before and during the recording process? Did you give him any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?

Matt is a consumate professional. We did one session on pronounciation, but everything else was entirely in his court. I wanted him to make my book is canvas. He did an outstanding job.

  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?

The Inkshares community is incredibly supportive, so they are owed a lot of credit, but my wife deserves the lion’s share. She was my rock throughout the writing process and the book would have never gotten finished without her support and enthusiasm.

  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?

I love audiobooks, though I tend to prefer listening to nonfiction. One of the reasons I was so particular about choosing Matt Mercer to do my book is because I knew he would give each chracter a unique voice. I feel like many fiction audiobooks lose me when they are narrated in monotone.

  • Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?

Nothing beats Matt Mercer singing Karma Chameleon. That alone is worth the price of admission in my humble opinion.

  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?

I think the two experiences are distinctly different. As I mentioned, I rarely listen to fiction audiobooks, but when I do it’s usually after I’ve already read the book.

  • How did you celebrate after finishing this novel?

A bottle of expensive bubbly with my family and friends!

Oct. 4th:
Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews
Brian’s Book Blog

Oct. 5th:
Buried Under Books
Lomeraniel
Lilly’s Book World

Oct. 6th:
It’s Novel to Me
Macarons & Paperbacks
The Bookworm Lodge

Oct. 7th:
Book Stacks Amber
Here’s to Happy Endings

Oct. 8th:
Lynn’s Romance Enthusiasm
Bookwormerz

Oct. 9th:
Canadian Book Addict
Audio Spy

Oct. 10th:
The Book Addict’s Reviews
Bound 4 Escape

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Audio Book Review and Amazon GC Giveaway: A Building Passion by Sandra Kyle

Author: Sandra Kyle

Narrator: Kelley Hazen

Series: DIY, Book One

Length: 8h 14m

Publisher: Sandra Kyle

Released: June 27, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Synopsis:

Vanessa moves to Savannah to pick up the pieces of her once very certain existence after her fiancé cheats on her. An independent and self-sufficient accountant, Vanessa also has a knack for DIY. When she purchases a ramshackle property in need of repair, she crosses paths with Daniel, a sexy and skillful carpenter. Daniel is a ladies’ man who plays the field and has his own romantic issues to conquer. As Vanessa embarks on a journey to embrace her new community and rehab her new home, she enlists Daniel’s help. Tackling the house is the easy part, but can two do-it-yourselfers find a way to work together to fix their love lives as well?

 

About the Author:

Born to Italian parents, Sandra is a “first generation” American. Her parents came to America in search of a better life. Along with their dreams they brought with them wonderful tales that Sandra recalls told time and time again around the kitchen table.

Though not sure where her love of writing originated, she can admit to having penned stories (i.e., fanfic) about New Kids on the Block back in the late 80s – scribbling pages and pages in notebooks shared before school by lockers and passed in between classes. It was fiction that included classmates and heartbreaking romance only a teenage girl filled with unbearable angst could summon.

An avid movie lover and introvert, she reads anything from Austen to King. She is an east coast gal and currently resides (when not immersed in the fictional worlds that occupy her headspace) with her husband and bipolar feline.

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About the Narrator:

Kelley Hazen is an actress, blogger and audiobook narrator living in Los Angeles with her husband and their two awesome dogs. The Los Angeles Times describes Kelley’s work – “…listen to Kelley Hazen, so poised and well spoken, so in command of this room full of strangers you wonder why she isn’t off winning Oscars….” Kelley received recognition from Audible.com as ‘Best New Audiobook Talent’. She twice received the Audiofile Magazine ‘Earphones Award’ for her narration. She holds an MFA from The Asolo Conservatory for Professional Actor Training. Kelley isa lecturer in astronomy for the world-renowned Griffith Observatory. She was recently invited to participate in “A Celebration of Mark Twain” as part of the annual HEAR NOW Festival in her hometown of Kansas City, MO. Kelley owns and operates Storyteller Productions, an intimate, boutique, recording studio carved into a San Gabriel Mountain hillside.

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This or That Questionnaire with Sandra Kyle

  1. Waffle fries or curly fries? Waffle
  2. GIF with a hard g or soft g? Soft (I’m also an ETHERNET with short e gal *shrugs*)
  3. Fantasy or science-fiction? Fantasy (Have you seen “The Dark Crystal” or “Legend”?)
  4. Superman or Batman? Superman – Reeves and his little curly que made quite an impression on me when I was younger.
  5. Text message or call? Text for information dissemination. Call for true connection.
  6. Pancakes or waffles? Waffles – perfect balance of crispy exterior and fluffy interior.
  7. Doctor Who or the Walking Dead? Neither at the moment.
  8. TV Shows or movies? Hm, tough one. Television production has really raised the bar in terms of entertainment value over the past decade. I guess just for binge-watching potential I’d have to go with TV Shows.
  9. Facebook or Twitter? I find Facebook easier to use.
  10. Alice in Wonderland or Robinson Crusoe? Crusoe
  11. Being too warm or too cold? I’d rather be too cold.
  12. Netflix or Hulu? Netflix
  13. Work Hard or Play Hard? Work Hard
  14. Passenger or Driver? I selfishly enjoy being the passenger and taking in the view
  15. Amusement Park or Day at the Beach? Either one if it can be at night and at my leisure – any place with too many people is too much stimulation and stress.
  16. Honesty or Other’s Feelings? It can be tough to hold to, but I value honesty.
  17. Movie at Home or Movie at the Theater? Movie at home – air popped popcorn and pausing for bathroom breaks.

My Review:
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Book Review: The Heirs by Susan Rieger

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Synopsis:

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My Review:

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Book Review: Paris Is Always a Good Idea by Nicolas Barreau

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Title: Paris Is Always a Good Idea
Author: Nicolas Barreau
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
ISBN: 9781250072771

Synopsis:

Rosalie Laurent is the proud owner of Luna Luna, a little post-card shop in St. Germain, and if it were up to her, far more people would write cards. Her specialty is producing “wishing cards,” but where her own wishes are concerned the quirky graphic artist is far from lucky. Every birthday Rosalie sends a card inscribed with her heart’s desire fluttering down from the Eiffel Tower – but none of her wishes has ever been fulfilled.

Then one day when an elderly gentleman trips up in her shop and knocks over a post-card stand, it seems that her wish cards are working after-all. Rosalie finds out that it is Max Marchais, famed and successful author of children’s books who’s fallen into her life. When he asks her to illustrate his new (and probably last) book, Rosalie is only too glad to accept, and the two – very different – maverick artists become friends.

Rosalie’s wishes seem to be coming true at last, until a clumsy American professor stumbles into her store with accusations of plagiarism. Rosalie is hard pressed to know whether love or trouble is blowing through her door these days, but when in doubt, she knows that Paris is Always a Good Idea when one is looking for the truth and finding love.

My Review: (more…)

Book Review: Always by Sarah Jio

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Title: Always
Author: Sarah Jio
Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 978-1-101-88502-4

Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Blackberry Winter and The Violets of March comes a gripping, poignant novel about the kind of love that never lets go, and the heart’s capacity to remember.

While enjoying a romantic candlelit dinner with her fiance, Ryan, at one of Seattle’s chicest restaurants, Kailey Crane can’t believe her good fortune: She has a great job as a writer for the Herald and is now engaged to a guy who is perfect in nearly every way. As they leave the restaurant, Kailey spies a thin, bearded homeless man on the sidewalk. She approaches him to offer up her bag of leftovers, and is stunned when their eyes meet, then stricken to her very core: The man is the love of her life, Cade McAllister.

When Kailey met Cade ten years ago, their attraction was immediate and intense everything connected and felt “right.” But it all ended suddenly, leaving Kailey devastated. Now the poor soul on the street is a faded version of her former beloved: His weathered and weary face is as handsome as Kailey remembers, but his mind has suffered in the intervening years. Over the next few weeks, Kailey helps Cade begin to piece his life together, something she initially keeps from Ryan. As she revisits her long-ago relationship, Kailey realizes that she must decide exactly what and whom she wants.

Alternating between the past and the present, Always is a beautifully unfolding exploration of a woman faced with an impossible choice, a woman who discovers what she’s willing to save and what she will sacrifice for true love.

My Review: (more…)

Book Review: Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner

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Title: Good in Bed
Author: Jennifer Weiner
Publisher: Atria Books
ISBN: 9780743418188

Synopsis:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner brings to life an irresistibly funny and relatable heroine in the novel The Boston Globe called “funny, fanciful, extremely poignant, and rich with insight.”

For twenty-eight years, things have been tripping along nicely for Cannie Shapiro. Sure, her mother has come charging out of the closet, and her father has long since dropped out of her world. But she loves her friends, her rat terrier, Nifkin, and her job as pop culture reporter for The Philadelphia Examiner. She’s even made a tenuous peace with her plus-size body.

But the day she opens up a national women’s magazine and sees the words “Loving a Larger Woman” above her ex-boyfriend’s byline, Cannie is plunged into misery…and the most amazing year of her life. From Philadelphia to Hollywood and back home again, she charts a new course for herself: mourning her losses, facing her past, and figuring out who she is and who she can become.

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Book Review: The Fifth Petal by Brunonia Barry

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Title: The Fifth Petal
Author: Brunonia Barry
Publisher: Crown Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-101-90560-9

Synopsis:

Beloved author Brunonia Barry returns to the world of THE LACE READER with this spellbinding new thriller, a complex brew of suspense, seduction and murder.
When a teenage boy dies suspiciously on Halloween night, Salem’s chief of police, John Rafferty, now married to gifted lace reader Towner Whitney, wonders if there is a connection between his death and Salem s most notorious cold case, a triple homicide dubbed “The Goddess Murders,” in which three young women, all descended from accused Salem witches, were slashed on Halloween night in 1989. He finds unexpected help in Callie Cahill, the daughter of one of the victims newly returned to town. Neither believes that the main suspect, Rose Whelan, respected local historian, is guilty of murder or witchcraft.
But exonerating Rose might mean crossing paths with a dangerous force. Were the women victims of an all-too-human vengeance, or was the devil raised in Salem that night? And if they cannot discover what truly happened, will evil rise again?”

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Book Review: The Shark Club by Ann Kidd Taylor

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Title: The Shark Club
Author: Ann Kidd Taylor
Publisher: Viking
ISBN: 9780735221475

Synopsis:

A novel about love, loss, and sharks by the New York Times bestselling coauthor of the memoir Traveling with Pomegranates.

On a summer day on the Gulf of Mexico in 1988, two extraordinary things happen to twelve-year-old Maeve Donnelly. First, she is kissed by Daniel, the boy of her dreams. Then, she is attacked by a blacktip shark.

Eighteen years later, Maeve is a world-traveling marine biologist studying and swimming with the very animals that once threatened her life. Known among her peers as the “shark whisperer,” Maeve is fearless in the water. On land, however, Maeve is dogged by unresolved wounds and indecisive about the path her life will take. After a particularly inspiring assignment abroad, Maeve returns to the small island off Florida’s coast where she grew up and to her childhood home—the legendarily charming and eccentric Hotel of the Muses, where she was raised by her grandmother. There, she is greeted by troubling news.

An illegal shark-finning operation has moved into town, and hundreds of sharks are dying. As Maeve fights to protect the fate of the animals so dear to her heart, she finds that her twin brother may be about to make it big as a novelist, using her love life as his jumping-off point. Will she confront her feelings about her brother’s betrayal—and forgive her childhood sweetheart, Daniel, the missteps of their youth? Or will she dive headlong back into her work and open her heart to Nicholas, her colleague who shares her passion for the ocean?

Set against the intoxicating backdrop of palm trees, blood orange sunsets, calypso bands, and key lime pies, The Shark Club is a love story, an environmental mystery, and an exploration of a woman’s mysterious kinship with the sea and the sharks that inhabit it.

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Audiobook Review: Another Glass of Champagne by Jenny Kane

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Title: Another Glass of Champagne
Author: Jenny Kane
Narrator: Anna Parker-Naples
Length: 8 discs/ 9 Hours and 8 Minutes Unabridged
Publisher: Dreamscape Media
ISBN: 9781520035611

Synopsis:

Amy and husband Paul are expecting their first baby – they want Amy’s best friend Jack to be godfather, but having left London to ‘find himself’ he hasn’t been heard from in months. When Jack suddenly turns up, things seem to fit nicely into place – but his motives for returning to Richmond aren’t all altruistic. He has a plan – one which could put community hub Pickwicks Coffee Shop out of business, and potentially ruin a number of old friendships…

Meanwhile, Kit has problems of her own: just when her career as an author has started to take off, she finds herself unable to write – and there’s a deadline looming…not to mention two children to see through their difficult teenage years…

A warm-hearted, contemporary tale of life in a small corner of busy London.

About the Author:

Usually to be found within range of a plate of hot buttered toast, a hug mug of black coffee, and with a bar of emergency chocolate tucked in her jacket pocket, Jenny Kane spends her days in her local cafe typing away.  Kane combines her past experiences as an archaeologist, university tutor, cheese seller, newsagent, hat maker, and data clerk, with the sights and sounds of everyday life, to weave tales of relaxingly relatable romance.

My Review:

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