Sunday, April 5, 2020

Suddenly, the Cider Didn't Taste So Good (Adventures of a Game Warden in Maine) by John Ford and narrated by Michael A. Smith

Suddenly, the Cider Didn't Taste So Good (Adventures of a Game Warden in Maine) by John Ford and narrated by Michael A. Smith is a good book if you need a pick-me-up or want to hear what life is like for a game warden. It’s guaranteed to give you some giggles, some shaking of your head, and possibly some tears. 4 ½ stars for stories, 4 stars narration.

Where to purchase:

Barnes & Noble

What’s it about? The book contains stories from John Ford Sr.’s time as a game warden in Maine. You get everything from funny to sad to frightening. Breakdown below.

Foreword by John Marsh (former Chief Warden of Maine) and Introduction by John Ford. Approximately 9 minutes.
Chapter 1: Just Dropping In, Ladies ~ John learns to embrace a flying situation. Approx. 7 minutes.
Chapter 2: Caught in the Trap~ It isn’t always who you think it is. Approx. 5 minutes.
Chapter 3: Drop the Waders!~ Poachers. Approx. 11 minutes.
Chapter 4: A Mater Manure-Spreader Gets His Comeuppance~ Bad hunters. Approx. 16 minutes.
Chapter 5: If You Step in it, You’ll Know~ Deer season. Approx. 13 minutes.
Chapter 6: The Moody Mountain Manhunt~ Tracking escapees from prison. Approx. 26 minutes.
Chapter 7: More Bang for Your Buck~ A deer lawn ornament of sorts. Approx. 5 minutes.
Chapter 8: I’m Lost, You Know!~ A search for a resident of an assisted living home. Approx. 6 minutes.
Chapter 9: Last Flight into Abbott’s International Airport~ Flying with Dana Toothaker, the “cowboy warden”. Approx. 12 minutes.
Chapter 10: The Warden Gets Caught~ A fisherman’s tales. Approx. 11 minutes.
Chapter 11: The Bogeyman~ Sometimes our imagination gets the best of us. Approx. 6 minutes.
Chapter 12: Daddy Who?~ John raises Who-Who and Boo-Hoo with the help of the community. Approx. 9 minutes.
Chapter 13: You’re Welcome, Deer~ Raising Bucky the deer. Approx. 9 minutes.
Chapter 14: The Game Warden and the Murderer~ A friendship of sorts forms. Approx. 22 minutes.
Chapter 15: Foot-jack-uh!~ The night hunters. Approx. 8 minutes.
Chapter 16: Night-Hunting for Drug Smugglers~ Exactly as the title indicates. Approx. 8 minutes.
Chapter 17: Right on Time~ Night hunters in court and one minute. Approx. 6 minutes.
Chapter 18: Don’t Mess with Blinky~ Decoy deer and night-hunters. Approx. 8 minutes.
Chapter 19: Leo and the Life Preservers~ Practice what you preach. Approx. 7 minutes.
Chapter 20: It Helps to Be a Damned Sneak~ Scaring illegal trappers. Approx. 6 minutes.
Chapter 21: A Ride-Along with the Boss~ Exactly as the title indicates. Approx. 10 minutes.
Chapter 22: Every Town Has Its Cast of Characters~ Exactly as the title indicates. Approx. 10 minutes.
Chapter 23: Care to Join Us in a Deer Drive?~ The hunting season. Approx. 7 minutes.
Chapter 24: A Real Hat Trick~ Sunday hunting. Approx. 5 minutes.
Chapter 25: Good News, Bad News!~ Don’t leave your wallet when doing illegal things. Approx. 7 minutes.
Chapter 26: The Improvised Lie-Detector Test~ Stupid people. Approx. 11 minutes.
Chapter 27: Cat Got Your Tongue?~ Coffee with friends. Approx. 7 minutes.
Chapter 28: Are You Lonesome Tonight?~ Elvis’s death and his grandmother. Approx. 6 minutes.
Chapter 29: Smoke Gets in Their Eyes~ A funny tale of illegal fishing. This one is one of my favs. Approx. 6 minutes.
Chapter 30: Excuse Me, Ma’am~ Two orphaned fawn, two women, and the need to urinate. Approx. 7 minutes.
Chapter 31: One Man’s Tragedy Saves Another Man’s Life- Mine~ John’s battle with cancer.
Chapter 32: 
An Albino Fisher? Come on, Jimbo!~ Jimbo the poacher. Approx. 7 minutes. 
Chapter 33: Where’s the Justice?~ A guy gets away with animal abuse. Approx. 6 minutes.
Chapter 34: Wile E. Fox Finds a Home~ Raising a fox, John gets a surprise and then heartbreak. Approx. 8 minutes.
Chapter 35: Suddenly, the Cider Didn’t Taste So Good~ An apple plus some. Approx. 7 minutes.

The narrator, Michael A. Smith, was good overall. Sometimes the accents would go in and out.

Parental guidance/trigger warnings: death (people, animals), friendship with Joel Fuller, cancer battle, a little preachy during the cancer battle as he relies on his faith to get him through, one story is about a guy who gets away with setting traps that purposely injure animals and there is no justice. Language used: SOB x4, Bastards, Sx2, damn/damned x78, hell x61.

Where to find the author: John passed away in 2018. You can visit his Find a Grave memorial here.
Where to find the narrator: I am unable to verify if Michael has a page for contact at this time.

*I was given a free review copy of the audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. Thank you for allowing me to listen and review the book!

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Dead Eye: The Skinwalker Conspiracies by Jim Bernheimer and narrated by Jeffrey Kafer

Dead Eye: The Skinwalker Conspiracies by Jim Bernheimer and narrated by Jeffrey Kafer is great second to the series. I loved this one more than the first- it’s one wild ride with Mike this time around. I really hope there is more of this series in the works. Seriously love it!
Where to purchase:

What’s it about? Mike is back and solving cases of vengeful/waiting spirits and is on a mission to find his father who has been possessed by a skinwalker. Eventually Mike teams up (sort of) with Lee Harvey Oswald, a previous nemesis, and some friends to take down Hernando De Soto, but things don’t go as planned. I’ll leave it at that due to spoilers. This is a fairly fast-paced book with lots of twists and turns. The flow is smoother than the first book.

The narrator, Jeffrey Kafer, did a great job once again. He really brought the characters and story to life.

I hope there is more of this world in the future. If you’re like me and enjoy tales that are out of left field, you should def check this series out.

“Everyone always jokes about the phrase, ‘The Lesser of Two Evils,’ but after experiencing it firsthand, I’d never look at it the same way again.”

“It never ceases to amaze me how often the root cause of a ghost’s problems end up being the living.”

“If Hell did exist and Cassandra finally made it there, I wondered if she’d look around and say, “I could run this place better.”

Parental guidance/trigger warnings: war mentions (Iraq/Civil), death, taking control of others bodies, drugging, or similar things. Language used: Sx17.

Where to find the author: Jim Bernheimer
Where to find the narrator: Jeffrey Kafer

*I was given a free review copy of the audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. Thank you for allowing me to listen and review the book!

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

The End of Everything: Book 5 by Christopher Artinian and narrated by Kim Bretton

Wow, wow, wow! The End of Everything: Book 5 by Christopher Artinian and narrated by Kim Bretton might be the best in the series- it’s full of action and wow, wow, wow! It’s really life or death for the sister’s this time around. Highly recommend if you’ve been following this series or if you’re looking to start a new one. I keep waiting to hear about a streaming service picking this up, shouldn’t be long...
Where to purchase:

What’s it about? Robyn and Wren are trying to make it in the new town, only not everybody agrees with the previous events causing tension and problems. Things come to a boiling point not long in with Fry and his cronies trying to be the top dogs but Robyn and Wren are a force to be reckoned with. There are heavy loses, pretty much non-stop action, emotional moments, sibling bonding/bickering/snark, and so much more. Even though this is the longest in the series, it flew by- I listened in one sitting. And a side note: I love this cover!

The narrator, Kim Bretton, was great once again. She nails these characters and absolutely adds to the series.

Parental guidance/trigger warnings: Without giving spoilers away- this is a harsh, post-apocalyptic world- death via zombies, death via people, weapons, struggling to survive, and like situations. Language used: Sx14.

Where to find the author: Christopher Artinian
Where to find the narrator: Kim Bretton

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Redemption (Moonchild, Book 3) by Kate L. Mary and narrated by Heidi Drennan

Redemption (Moonchild, Book 3) by Kate L. Mary and narrated by Heidi Drennan is another good addition to the series. I recommend if you’ve been following this series. There's a steampunk feel to it and make no mistake, a darkness as it's a brutal world. 

Where to purchase: 

What’s it about? Scarlett, Asher, and the gang return with Scarlett and Layla going out for a night on the town where bad things take place resulting in Layla needing to hide from the law. Asher brings a small group of their people out west to a town where it’s safe from the automatons but not safe from the people as no rule or law exists. As they try to settle in, things become dangerous when they find themselves helping to stop the more sinister dealings taking place. While the current events wrap up at the end, it is left open for another book, which I’m hoping will be an epic battle against ___(listen to the book if you want to know who 😊).

Redemption is the perfect title for this book. I like that the characters are relatable in the sense they struggle with real problems such as PTSD, they are not perfect people, and the world is not all sunshine and rainbows. The things I didn’t like were (which is my first time ever writing this about Kate’s work): the focus on the weather was mentioned a few times too many and the pace/action was slower than the previous books, but want to note it may have seemed slower to me because I just finished Kate’s The Brightest Darkness, which is chock-full of action.

The narrator, Heidi Drennan, did a great job again. She brings the characters, new and old, to life perfectly.

Overall I recommend, especially if you’re looking for a new YA series with steampunk elements to it.

Where to find the author: Kate L. Mary
Where to find the narrator: Heidi Drennan

The Eddie Lancaster Series: Volume 1 Books 1-3 by Sean Stone and narrated by Hannibal Hills

The Eddie Lancaster Series: Volume 1 Books 1-3 by Sean Stone and narrated by Hannibal Hills is an amusing listen imo, but I can see how it could be a turn off for some. Eddie can be a bit of an arrogant, sarcastic dillhole in the first book, but as the series progresses he becomes more likable- still sarcastic but more likeable. Eddie isn’t afraid to do things that cross the moral lines at times, but perhaps it’s because he has a curse in him (darkness) or maybe it’s just he way he is. If you don’t mind a little of what I’ve described, def give this a listen. If this type of character isn’t your thing, look elsewhere, but I really recommend sticking with it through at least the second book. I found myself migrating back to Eddie’s story and it was difficult to put down once I started the second book. Break down book by book is below. 4 ½ stars for story.

The narrator, Hannibal Hills, did a wonderful job voicing Eddie throughout the series. If Hannibal hadn't voiced Eddie so well, I don't think I'd be giving such a good review. He def made the character not so annoying- can’t say I’d feel the same if I read the book (but who knows...), so do yourself a favor and listen to it. 5 stars for narration.

Where to purchase: 

Book One (I picked this book up first and the bundle later):
Eddie, a warlock who does pretty much anything for the right amount of money, gets involved with a client named Ashley, who needs help. Only she doesn’t want his help at first, but he butts in anyways. Eventually they form a friendship (of sorts) to take down Killian, a ruthless leader and seer. How do you take down a guy who can see the future and has his hands in everything? There is an underlying back story that helped keep it interesting and, I assume, will serve a purpose in future books.

“The point is, don’t waste time. We all have a small amount of time. We shouldn’t waste it. Spend your time doing the things you love. Things that make you happy. Don’t waste time worrying about things that might or might not happen. Just get on with your life. Cheesy I know, but in your case, it serves a valuable lesson.”

“I wanted to drag it out for as long as possible, but I’m smart enough to know not to tempt fate. It happens countless times in films; whoever has the upper hand takes their time about things and the tables quickly get turned.”

Parental guidance/trigger warnings: kidnapping, drugging, death, weapons (gun, knives). Language used: Fx24, Sx11.

Book Two: Warlock Wanted
Eddie is dealing with the fallout from the battle with Killian resulting in Inspector Richards hot on his tail. Trying to make money to live, he agrees to a job investigating missing people in a local park. Only it’s not so simple as Rachel wants Eddie to do her bidding. Rachel killed Eddie’s parents when he was a child (perhaps that’s why he’s a little jolted in life) and has plans for him and his ability to steal magic. When Rachel puts his friends on the chopping block, Eddie must make a decision as it’s no longer just about him. There’s a lot of action, different mythological creatures (vampires, wendigo, ghost), dark elements, life lessons/choices, relationship elements (friends, lovers), and interesting back stories.

“Her words hit me like a dick-slap on both sides of the face.”

“He was an old man, at least fifty. Some people might not thing that’s old but I do and since it’s my story my opinion is the only one that matters. He had dark grey hair and huge bushy eyebrows to match. I mean really bushy. Something could be living in them.”

Parental guidance/trigger warnings: this will be kept minimal due to spoilers, but expect things like death, kidnapping, drugging, weapons, or like things. Language used: Sx8, Fx25.

Book Three: Dark Warlock
Eddie is now working with police helping to solve the case of missing children. He continues to struggle with the curse of darkness and figuring out what is him and what is the darkness. While this story is of darker nature, there is a bit of fun to it. You can probably listen to this story as a stand alone. While we get characters (Ashley and Inspector Richards) from the previous books, we get a new story line complete with gnomes, mystery, imps, ghosts, black markets, fairy realm, the defunct supernatural investigations team, the new SIT of sorts, and plenty more.

This book certainly brings the series to the next level in many ways. I look forward to the next and what’s in store for Eddie.

“But my grandmother always said we shouldn’t let the trouble of the past stop us from doing what’s right in the present.”

“One thing I admire about children is their lack of respect for social rules. If they have a question they just ask it. If adults did that the world would be a much simpler place.”

“My instinct was to shut the kid in a cupboard but I knew that wasn’t the right way to react to a bit of attitude.”

Parental guidance/trigger warnings: Same or similar to those listed above. Language used: Sx7, Fx28.

Where to find the author: Sean Stone
Where to find the narrator: Hannibal Hills

Saturday, March 7, 2020

The Brightest Darkness: A Post-Apocalyptic Zombie Novel (Oklahoma Wastelands, Book 2) by Kate L. Mary and narrated by Heather Firth

The Brightest Darkness: A Post-Apocalyptic Zombie Novel (Oklahoma Wastelands, Book 2) by Kate L. Mary and narrated by Heather Firth is a great second for the series. Recommend if you are looking for a new z series (make sure to listen in order) or have listened to the first and wondering about the second.

Where to purchase: 

What’s it about? The group is dealing with the fallout from the previous events while trying to move forward, only it’s not so easy to trust in this harsh post-apocalyptic world. Those immune to the virus are no longer able to keep their secrets hidden as Andrew hunts them down. New members shake things up and the Z’s are getting smarter. The result is a fast-paced story with a good amount of action. There is a bit of romance between a few couples with the main focus on Regan and Kellan. The book ends in a cliffhanger of sorts (I need the next book ASAP please!). I love it’s set in the same world as Agnes James (another must listen for z lovers)- nice to have it all tie in.

The narrator, Heath Firth, was marvelous- love her narrations! She brings the characters to life and helps pull you into the story. Between her narration and Kate’s writing, it’s a perfect team.

Overall, I recommend, especially if you are new to Kate or Heather.

“If there’s no goodness, no humanity left in the world, we deserve to follow the dinosaurs into extinction.”

Parental guidance/trigger warnings: It’s the zompoc folks, so things like death, weapons, and not nice people doing not nice things. Threats of rape, reliving the trauma that occurred in the previous book, PTSD, some sex (semi-detailed). Language used: Sx49, Fx2.

Where to find the author: Kate L. Mary
Where to find the narrator: Heather Firth

Dead Jack and the Pandemonium Device (Dead Jack, Book 1) by James Aquilone and narrated by Eric G. Dove

Take a ride through Dead Jack’s crazy world...seriously, it's crazy, fun, and just out there. Dead Jack and the Pandemonium Device (Dead Jack, Book 1) by James Aquilone and narrated by Eric G. Dove lives up to it’s title- it’s one wild and crazy ride through Dead Jack’s world. I think Dead Jack may be a relative of Ash Williams…or Ash as a Z. 

Where to purchase: 

What’s it about? Jack is a zombie private investigator who happens to be addicted to fairy dust because it’s the only thing that controls his zombie appetite- better than alternatives, right? He has a side kick of sorts named Oswald. Together they set out to solve the goblins missing cat problem and discover a more sinister plan is in play. You’re taken into Jack’s world where there are ghosts, kraken, ghost pirates, shark women, goblins, leprechauns, demons, entertaining dialogue between Jack and Oswald, and so much more. You get a little of almost everything in this book and it makes for an odd, humorous listen. 4 ½ stars for story, 5 stars for narration.

The narrator, Eric G. Dove, did a wonderful job. Nails the characters and script perfectly.

Overall I recommend, especially if you enjoy dead, odd humor. I’m not sure how anyone could not like this book, but one thing is for certain, I need more Dead Jack on audible!

~ Thank you, Oswald! Ever since I hooked up with that damn homunculus I’ve had nothing but misery and annoyance. “You’re taking to much dust, Jack.” “You’re not a zombie if you don’t act like one, Jack. Don’t eat that fairy Jack.”

~ The little monster looked dumber than a bag of warm centaur sh**.

~ A thief with morals. I admire that. You must know other infernal thieves, though. Maybe there’s someone you know who likes kitty cats? Someone with a whisker fetish?

~ I’ve never liked ghosts, even if they call themselves spectral buccaneers. You can’t trust them. They always have some gripe or mission or obsession. ShadowShade is full of spirits, hence the name, so I know of what I speak. My secretary, Lilith, is a ghost. She’s always going on about being hammered to death. Let it go, honey. It happened centuries ago.

Where to find the author: James Aquilone
Where to find the narrator: Eric G. Dove