Sunday, April 28, 2019

Still Life in Shadows by Alice J. Wisler and narrated by David Bosco

Still Life in Shadows by Alice J. Wisler and narrated by David Bosco turned out to be a fabulous emotional listen that took me by surprise. I ventured out into something new and this didn't disappoint. Strongly recommend. (Full review below)


Still Life in Shadows by Alice J. Wisler and narrated by David Bosco was a fabulous emotional listen on many levels. This is not my typical read and wanting to venture out into something new, I am happy with this choice. Strongly recommend this book. A solid 4 ½ stars.

Gideon, an ex-Amish young man, left his life behind to start a new one. The book takes place after Gideon has settled into his new life where he is part owner of an auto shop, but leaving your past behind is never as easy as it seems. A young autistic girl, Kiki, and his long lost brother, Moriah, enter his life, causing Gideon to rethink what life is about.

This is a book about family, letting go of/dealing with your past, forgiveness, heartache, love, growing up, adult life, death of a loved one, friendship, and so much more. Something I kept thinking about throughout the book: You can't out run your past, but you learn to adjust the best you can.

The narrator, David Bosco, is once again fabulous! He is one of the reasons I listened to this book. I would gladly listen to another one of his and the author’s in a heart beat.

The only thing I can say negative about this book is sometimes I wanted just a little bit more, especially with Kiki. Anyone who has a friend or family member who is higher functioning on the autism scale will likely appreciate this book a little more than the average reader.

I was concerned with the religion portion of it, as I am not a religious or spiritual person, but I can assure those who share the same beliefs as me, it is not a preachy book (very minimal- only one part of it did I think it went on for a little too long). The portions that contain scripture/religious aspects are intertwined with the main characters feelings and the story itself will have you not wanting to put the book down. The book didn’t always go where I expected it to, but I count that as a good thing.

Parental guidance/trigger warning: talk of father's abuse (Amish father physically disciplines his children) multiple times throughout the book- sometimes it is in details, while others it is more of a mention, a mother who has a hoarding addiction and loses custody of her daughters (phone calls still made to them), religion (Amish), hell used once (“see you in hell”)- I do not recall any other swearing, family tensions, mention of Johnny Depp, racism- one specific character is racist throughout the book, drugs addiction (meth), murder, teasing of ex-Amish people in the town despite how long they’ve lived in town, love interest (minimal talk/thoughts), the MC struggles with religion, ret@rd and slow used in reference to an autistic girl.

*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!

Where to purchase:
Audible
Barnes & Noble

Where to find the author: Alice Wisler

Where to find the narrator:David Bosco

The Autobiography of an Extraterrestrial Saga: I Am Thyron by Craig Campobasso and narrated by David Bosco

Recently finished The Autobiography of an Extraterrestrial Saga: I Am Thyron by Craig Campobasso and narrated by David Bosco. If you are religious/spiritual and enjoy extraterrestrial life, this book is for you. (full review below)



The Autobiography of an Extraterrestrial Saga: I Am Thyron by Craig Campobasso and narrated by David Bosco is a unique combo on spirituality and extraterrestrial life. This book is for a specific audience and unfortunately it wasn’t me. If you are religious/spiritual and enjoy extraterrestrial life, this book is for you. It's difficult to rate because this book isn't one particular genre, it's a mixture and while the author knows where he wants to go, the readers/listeners may not get there.

I was drawn to the book from the cover, the narrator, and the interesting description. Unfortunately I found it difficult to connect to the characters and found myself losing interest despite the great narration. If David wasn’t the narrator, this would be sitting in my DNF pile.

The narrator, David Bosco, was fantastic as usual! Would highly recommend you check out his other narrations.

Some things to expect: archangels, realms, religion, monogamous and open relationships, alien life, priestess, priest, telepathy, Gabriel vs. Lucifer in the supreme courts, different planets (ex. Prison, Earth, Bruba), gathering info on the planet's state of consciousness, recording of every persons state of spiritual development, spirituality, mythology (ex. Zeus), past life memories, reincarnation, cosmic mind, cosmic truth, orbs from mind to mind, love story, pregnancy, and more. There are a couple added sound effects throughout (good and doesn’t distract).

What kept me interested: the extraterrestrial scenes were interesting enough that had it been only that, I would be giving the story 4 or 5 stars.
What didn’t keep me interested: The foreword by Sylvia Brown (meh), parts were way too preachy/boring and those were frequent enough I wanted to stop (had to force myself to listen at multiple points). Female characters were not strong- ex. “Being with him made her weak”, “she couldn’t imagine her life without him” and like things. For being a story in the future/ET life, I expected more than the typical cliches. It felt like the book never fully took off despite the potential being there.

This might sound odd, but there’s a good part of me that thinks this would be better off as a movie (having the visual might make it easier to connect and convey to the audience). Overall I would only recommend if you are into both religion/spirituality and extraterrestrial life.

Parental advisory/trigger warnings (note they may contain minor spoilers): foreword is from Sylvia Browne (the psychic), talks about conceiving a child, giving birth, kissing, talk about sex (minimal), sex scenes ("passion", "arousal", mention of breast/buttocks, watching him undress, soul sensuality, pretty minimal- think ET spirituality sex), death, funeral. I do not recall any swearing.
(Spoiler alert on the ending...I typically do not do this but feel it’s important to note this for multiple reasons…
quit reading if you do not want to know…)

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At the end, a “specific human trait” was injected into him, resulting in him being able to pick what sex (male/female) he fell in love with. All sexuality is embraced where they are from but judged on Earth.

*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!

Where to purchase:
Barnes & Noble

Where to find the author: Craig Campobasso

Where to find the narrator: David Bosco

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Dick Cheney Shot Me in the Face and Other Stories of Men in Pain by Timothy O’Leary, narrated by David Bosco

Dick Cheney Shot Me in the Face and Other Stories of Men in Pain by Timothy O’Leary, narrated by David Bosco, is a thought-provoking series of well crafted short stories for adults. I would recommend if you enjoy short stories, thought-provoking stories, or just looking for something different. (Full review below)


Thought-provoking and well crafted short stories for adults...

Dick Cheney Shot Me in the Face and Other Stories of Men in Pain by Timothy O’Leary, narrated by David Bosco, is a series of short stories revolving around men and what’s happening in their life at that particular time. It contains adult themes. If you are a fan of short stories, thought-provoking stories, or just looking for something different, give this book a listen. I highly doubt you’ll be disappointed.

Each chapter is a different story with various lengths (see list below for details). I had no problems with the transitions as you hear the title of the story (I could see how if you’re not paying attention it might be missed). There were a few I wish were just a tad bit longer, but it is what it is. I listened to a couple of stories a day and enjoyed them immensely. The stories were intriguing enough that several of my family members asked what I was listening to.

This is my second audio book by narrator, David Bosco, and he was once again awesome! He certainly adds to the feel of the stories. His voices for the different characters are marvelous. David is one of two narrators I’m watching to see what they do next. My advice is to listen to his books because if you haven’t, you’re missing out. Seriously.

Some things to expect/thoughts that came about as I listened: Laughter, feeling for these people or disliking them, some of the stories will leave you wondering, how our past play into our current and future life, how we deal with what comes our way (whether the outcome is good or bad depends on the person), and underlying/revolving themes- how your actions affect others/how we are more like one another than we realize or want to admit at times/what’s right or what’s wrong/who is right and who is wrong when we have a difference of opinions or beliefs/bad habits are hard to break.

One of my favorite quotes from the book is “expect the unexpected because things are not always as they appear”.

~A brief description of the stories~

1) “Dick Cheney Shot Me In the Face”- pretty much what the title of the chapter says. Approx. 21 minutes.
2) “First Kill”- A teenager is taken on a hunting trip with his father. The two do not share the same views on life. Approx. 29 minutes.
3) “Fake Girlfriend”- A guy creates a fake girlfriend online and things don’t go as planned. Approx. 41 minutes.
4) “One Star”- A not-so-bright couple leaves a review on an immigrant family struggling to run a restaurant. Approx. 41 minutes.
5) “The Tower”- A man’s wife dies in a car accident and he learns something about her after her death. Approx. 16 minutes.
6) “Hecklers”- A washed-up actor turned offensive comedian. Approx. 25 minutes.
7) “Regarding Your Ex-wife”- Two guys talking about an ex-wife. Approx. 8 minutes.
8) “Impala”- Two brother’s are abducted by a child molester. One ends up in the same prison as the child molester. Approx. 18 minutes.
9) “Jesus Knocking”- A guy goes to a not so typical church and meets people he didn’t think he’d ever hang out with. Approx. 43 minutes.
10) “The Big Chocolate Whistle”- A substance abuser causes a ruckus on a flight resulting in numerous fallout's. Approx. 21 minutes.
11) “The Purification”- A severely abused boy shows up at a sheriff’s house requesting help. Approx. 42 minutes.
12) “Midnight Elvis”- A son discovers something fun about his father. Approx. 6 minutes.
13) “Costco Girl”- A guy sees a girl from his past at Costco and learns several things he wasn’t aware of. Approx. 18 minutes.
14) “Everyone Loves Meatloaf”- A guy’s midlife crisis. Approx. 4 minutes.
15) “Bouncing”- A former Marine works in Las Vegas as a bouncer and is hired to protect a wealthy geek. Approx. 22 minutes.
16) “Adolph’s Return”- A tale of Adolph Hitler being reincarnated as a cow. Approx. 8 minutes.
17) “Homeless Gary Busey”- A man is bullied and harassed by a mentally unstable homeless man who happens to look like Gary Busey. Approx. 45 minutes.
18) “A Letter to the Governor”- An inmate pens a letter to the governor claiming his innocence. Approx. 8 minutes.

Parental guidance/trigger warnings: Make no mistake, these stories are for adults and for adults who can handle tough subjects/swearing/reality of life and what it can bring. The warnings below may give some spoilers away. You’ve been warned...
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Abusive father to wife and son, swearing throughout (I don’t recall a story that didn’t contain at least one but I could be wrong on a couple of the shorter ones), shooting a person, drinking mentioned in multiple stories, hunting, camping, talking about sex in multiple stories, pressures to “be a man”, pressures of society on marriage and having children, internet dating/social media, bad credit issues, smoking cannabis in a couple stories, wife dies in a car accident from another driver texting, a large amount of slurs and self-deprecation in story six, addiction to pills/alcohol/other drugs, out of control shopping due to drug use, Bill Cosby mentioned once, a child molester kidnaps two brother/kills one/the living brother struggles through life after the kidnapping/rescue, prison in a couple of the stories, religion, cannabis grower, family problems, a father’s death, drinking beer with pastor, sick mother, racism, stealing, lying, multiple stories have characters hitting rock bottom when they think they have it figured out only to fail again, a father who is abusive to his son after his wife dies, murder of abuser, cancer, back injury due to falling off horse, STD mentioned as a joke, death from knife, Adolph Hitler and Heinrich are the MC’s in one of the stories, threats, bullying, PTSD, homelessness, several stories mention serving in the military/war, physically assaulted, dog is poisoned and dies, and mentions of prison conditions. Slurs- many throughout the book but not in every story. Some examples of what are used are: red#*in, camel j*#key, tr@*$vestite, fa**ot, m!*get, and probably a lot more I forgot to write down.

*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!

Where to purchase:
IndieBound

Where to find the author: Timothy O'Leary

Where to find the narrator: David Bosco

Monday, April 1, 2019

Tempted by Magic: a Baine Chronicles World novel (Mischief and Magic Book #1) by Jasmine Walt

Recently Jasmine Walt released Tempted by Magic: a Baine Chronicles World novel (Mischief and Magic Book #1), a spin-off on the Baine world. While I enjoyed this book immensely, know going in that is a bit darker than Sunaya's books. You will find the Baine world characters making appearances and the story holds it's own (in a good way). I look forward to the next book and honestly hope there will be more than a couple in this story. (Full review below.)



A fun, dark ride through The Baine World!

Tempted by Magic: a Baine Chronicles World novel (Mischief and Magic Book #1) by Jasmine Walt is a fun, darker ride through the Baine World. I recommend if you enjoyed Sunaya’s books but are looking for something a little darker.

Minimal spoilers below…….
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Some things to expect: Annia’s own adventures that are intertwined in Solantha life (you get small visits from previous characters), a possible love interest for Annia (or so I hope it turns into that in book #2), magic, shifters, enforcer work, enemies, steampunk elements, and lots of action.

If a strong female lead is what you’re looking for, Annia is it! I said this in my novella review- this series is a little darker than The Baine Chronicles, so beware going in. If you are not sure, check out Called by Magic: a Baine Chronicles World Novella (Mischief and Magic Book 0). For those who want to dive in and are not familiar with The Baine World, there is a glossary in the back to help familiarize yourself with the world.

I’m loving this series and cannot wait the future installments (I’m ready for at least five books, can we make that happen Jasmine?). I finished this book in less than 24 hours.

Parental warnings/trigger advisory: death, fighting, swear words throughout- s x10, f x19, hell x29, damn and pissed used numerous times as well, kiss on the mc’s knuckles from a guy, multiple pregnant women, sex slaves (being held prisoners/naked), mention of rape at a party (Annia hunts the guy down who raped the girl), gang activity, torture of a young man that results in death.

Where to purchase:

Where to find the author: Jasmine Walt