Posted in First Lines Fridays

First Lines Friday – January 17, 2020

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?  If you want to make your own post, feel free to use or edit the banner above, and follow the rules below:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

If you’re using Twitter, don’t forget to use #FirstLinesFridays!

Here we go…

There is blood under my fingernails. I wonder how many of my people I’ve killed this time.

Can you guess what book this is from???

Read on to find out…

First Lines Fridays

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer


Fall in love, break the curse.

Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year, Prince Rhen, the heir of Emberfall, thought he could be saved easily if a girl fell for him. But that was before he turned into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. Before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, Harper learned to be tough enough to survive. When she tries to save a stranger on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s pulled into a magical world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. A prince? A curse? A monster? As she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

Posted in book reviews

BOOK REVIEW: God of Manna by Daeus Lamb

BOOK REVIEW: God of Manna by Daeus LambGod of Manna by Daeus Lamb
Published by Independently Published on April 10, 2019
ISBN: 1093395915
Pages: 72
Source: the author

The hideous God of Manna has taken away the soul of Mortristan's father. Now, it is Mortristan's doom to find what his father never could: something worth living for.But when Mortristan is forced to hunt an intruder in the God of Manna's paradise-city, he learns just how enslaved he is. As bad as life is with the God of Manna, it's impossible to live without him. Can Mortristan really sacrifice everything he has to find just one thing that's lasting?The God of Manna has reigned for millennia and he doesn't take rebellion lightly...The world needs a savior. And if Mortristan doesn't find a way of escape, he will too.God of Manna is a fairy tale that explores the human search for satisfaction in both its glories and disgrace.Buy your copy today to follow Mortristan as he battles to free himself from the God of Manna.

I received this book for free from the author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I’ve had God of Manna book on my TBR for a really long time now. I started to read it right after receiving it, but I wasn’t really in the mood for a book I had to put much thought into… Now I kinda wish I’d given it a chance because I ended up really enjoying the allegory in this story!

The crazy thing is, I wasn’t a big fan of the beginning. But it made me curious enough to keep reading – so right when I was thinking “I’m gonna DNF after one more page,” I ended up speeding through the rest of the book, unable to set it down.

This dystopian world is beautiful and ugly and full of dark secrets. Everyone is separated. Those lucky enough to live in the lush land of Elysigard care nothing for the people outside in the desolate wasteland, who work and toil to keep the God of Manna and the people of Elysigard happy. The world itself is a major player in the book.

The main character, Mortristan, is on a search for something his father never finds (or many of us, for that matter)… something that lasts. Mortristan’s journey changes him in ways he could never imagine. He doesn’t seem like a courageous or even all that caring of a person, but he ends up doing miraculous things. He overcomes the land, himself, and even defies the God of Manna.

And that ending…At the time I’m writing this, I finished the book two weeks ago and I’m still thinking about it!

If you enjoy high-concept, allegorical dystopian stories then this novella is definitely worth the read. My only real complaint (other than the slow start) is that I REALLY wish it wasn’t so short. God of Manna could easily be a full-length novel and I think it may have been even better if it was.

What do you think? Have you read God of Manna? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave me a comment below!

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Posted in Audiobooks

CURRENTLY RECORDING: The American Dream by Russell A. Baker

The American Dream

Last week, I talked about one of the first books I narrated, The Rose Diary. This week, I thought it’d be fun to talk about what I’m currently recording.

The American Dream is Book 1 in The O’Connor Chronicles series written by Russell A. Baker. It’s a middle-grade time travel novel about faith, family, friendship and American history. Here’s the Goodreads blurb:

My name is Kaitlyn O’Connor and the story I’m about to tell you is unbelievable, but I know it’s true, because it’s my story.

I’m just a kid who goes to school, and lives in a small town called Ottersprings, Minnesota. I also love history. Maybe you do too, but most people think history is boring! Well this story shows exactly how not boring it is!

It all started on a rainy weekend. The kind where bored kids look for something exciting to do. My dad always says, if you look hard enough you can always find an adventure; well we found adventure and much more.

My friend Sam and I, along with my younger sister Kirsten discovered our next door neighbor, Mr. Bacon, was a lot more than just a 7th grade history teacher, when we stumbled into his secret workshop where he had invented a time traveling device. That’s right, I said TIME TRAVEL!

Mr. Bacon was happy to have us join him on his time jumping field trips and it was all fun and games until the past caught up to him like a violent tsunami that swept us all up in its wake.

Our teacher had a ruthless enemy from another era who would do anything to get his hands on the time device. When this nemesis broke into the secret workshop and stole the golden prototype time device, he also kidnapped my sister and used it to jump back in time!

Together, Mr. Bacon, Sam, and I were determined to follow them in order to rescue Kirsten in another century, and save the future of our beloved America.

Recording The American Dream is the most fun I’ve had narrating audiobooks so far! Don’t get me wrong, I love this job but not every book has me excited to step into my studio and get inside its world, the character’s heads, etc. As a book blogger, I probably know more than most about how every book has its niche and that even when you read the jacket and think “this is going to be awesome!”… there are lots of times when it’s just not. With blogging, I can DNF a book if it’s not something I love. Not so easy when a book becomes your job and you’re stuck inside it day in and day out. (Just realized I’m starting to ramble and this topic would be better suited to a whole other post… Moving on!)

So, back to talking about my time in the studio narrating The American Dream. Some of my favorite books to work on are told from the first-person point of view. American Dream does this, but different chapters are told by different characters. So I get to be the courageous yet reserved Kaitlyn (who’s the main character), but I also get to be her bouncy, adventurous younger sister, Kirsten.

There are some great characters throughout the story, like Kaitlyn’s best friend, Sam, and their teacher, Mr. Bacon, and I’m enjoying performing all their parts but………. I’m not sure if he counts as a “person” but probably my favorite voice to act during production on The American Dream has been Mr. Bacon’s robot, Buster.

I’m a HUGE R.A. Salvatore fan. SO much so, that my husband and I are naming our daughter after one of his characters. Kaitlyn and Sam’s history teacher is also a Salvatore junkie. And, in the words of Mr. Bacon, when he created Buster, he “tried to pull from a couple of my favorite characters and embed those characteristics into the AI. Clearly, I may have gone a bit too far.”

The result? I get to channel my inner Bruenor Battlehammer to voice Buster the robot!! I cannot tell you how much fun (and at times funny) that is!! Seriously, it’ll be worth getting and giving this book a listen just for my dwarven accent people!

The story itself is written for middle-grade, but I’m still enjoying it even though I’ve already read through it multiple times (and am basically living it any time my kids will let me work right now). I really can’t wait to share this story with more people. Stay tuned to find out when it’ll be available on audio, narrated by yours truly!

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Posted in First Lines Fridays

First Lines Friday – January 10, 2020

First Lines Fridays
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First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?  If you want to make your own post, feel free to use or edit the banner above, and follow the rules below:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

If you’re using Twitter, don’t forget to use #FirstLinesFridays!

Here we go…

I’m going to remember this day for the rest of my life, I thought to myself. This was the day that I could no longer remember the gentle caress of the Soussa winds when I closed my eyes. Instead, as I blinked back the tears, all I could feel was the oppressive heat of the tunnel that I was trapped in, and the bite of the unyielding rocks.

Read on to find out which book this extract is from…

First Lines Fridays

Dragon Connection by Ava Richardson.

Dragon Connection (The Stone Crown Series Book 1)


One crown can unite them—or destroy them all.

The three kingdoms lie splintered, their aging dragon riders content with stories of glorious battle victories. But a new evil creeps across the land. Inyene, a powerful noblewoman of the Northern Kingdom, plunders valuable resources to power mechanical dragons in her quest to gain a foothold in the Middle Kingdom. From there she will ascend the High Throne, once again uniting the realms under a single crown.

For the wearer of the Stone Crown can wield unlimited power—if it can be found.

Narissea has spent a quarter of her sixteen years slaving away in the mines, accused of a crime she didn’t commit. When word reaches her of the horrors assailing her village, Narissea knows she must act despite the risk. Already her arm is scarred with four brands signifying previous escape attempts. If she’s unsuccessful in her fifth, it will mean death.

But her life forever changes when she stumbles upon an injured dragon, discovers an ancient shrine, and learns the true purpose behind Lady Inyene’s mechanical abominations.

Now, Narissea has only one choice: gain Inyene’s trust and find a way to thwart her plans, even if it means sacrificing that which she desires most of all.

Her freedom.

This book contains violence.

My thoughts:

This is the first and only book I’ve read by Ava Richardson (so far). I grabbed it off of NetGalley mostly for the cover. I know, I know. You shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover… But I did. And I judged right! I’ll be posting a full review in a week or so, but for now I’ll just say… I NEED A DRAGON! WHY AREN’T DRAGONS A THING AND WHY CAN’T I HAVE ONE???

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Posted in book reviews, WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday – January 8, 2019

WWW Wednesday

Well, it’s a little later than I normally post, but better late than never, right??? It’s still Wednesday (at least here) so it’s time once again for WWW Wednesday ! WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

Don’t know what WWW Wendesday is or how to participate??? All you need to do is answer the following three questions and link back to Taking on a World of Words, or you can put your answers in the comments on her blog! (You can also leave your link in my comments to be sure I don’t miss your post!)

The three WWW questions are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

So let’s get started, shall we?

What am I currently reading?

Dragon Connection (The Stone Crown Seri…

Dragon Connection by Ava Richardson. I am LOVING this book so far. I get nervous when picking up fantasy from authors I’ve never read before because you never know what you’re gonna get. I can be kinda picky about my dragons especially, but I can already tell I’m gonna be an Ava Richardson fan for a long time! Which is exciting because I’ve been looking for some more female fantasy authors to follow!

What did I recently finish reading?


Veritas by Ariel Sabar. I ended up DNF ing this one. It was interesting but I just couldn’t get into it. Not sure if it was just my mood and it was the wrong time for me to be reading it or what. Just one of those cases where there was nothing wrong with the book itself, I just wasn’t the right reader for it.

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, …

City of Bones by Cassandra Claire. I felt like I was the only person in the book blogger world who hadn’t read this book yet. So I was super excited when I saw it’s the January book in the Book Hoarders United Group on Goodreads! I had a good idea I’d enjoy this series and I was right. I loved it! It was a good read to just tune out reality. It’s a super easy, quick read despite being 400+ pages.

What I’ll be reading next:

Posted in Audiobooks

AUDIOBOOK AVAILABLE: The Rose Diary by Curtis Maynard

AUDIOBOOK AVAILABLE: The Rose Diary by Curtis MaynardThe Rose Diary by Curtis Maynard
on March 26, 2019
Pages: 201

A young girl dies mysteriously from what can only be explained as a rare illness. Her younger sister finds a diary in her room that has never been written in. Day by day the book reveals a new writing that urges the young girl to investigate the death. From encounters to the writings, there is a story to be heard, a mystery to be solved.

The Rose Diary was one of the first novels I narrated. This may be why it’s near and dear to my heart…or, more likely, it’s because I got so attached to the characters that it was hard to end production on this story.

It’s a young adult paranormal mystery that begins with Jacky telling the story of the death of a boy who’s slightly older than herself, and her reaction to it. The event causes her to wonder about death in a way she never had or ever needed to before.

But then her sister, Sandra, dies from what turns out to be something more than just a childhood illness. And Jacky’s life is turned upside down as messages from the other side begin coming to her through her sisters diary.

Jacky must interrupt the vague messages in order to find out who is responsible for her sister’s death. But her only help is from her two best friends – one of which has abandoned her to hang out with the sister of a suspect!

Sound interesting? Listen to The Rose Diary now!!

The Rose Diary at Audible – US

The Rose Diary at Audible – UK

The Rose Diary at Audible – FR

The Rose Diary at Audible – DE