Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Twisted Mind (A Broken World Novella) & Twisted Memories: A Broken World Novel (Twisted, Book #2) by Kate L. Mary and narrated by Heather Firth


Twisted Mind and Twisted Memories by Kate L. Mary and narrated by Heather Firth, are outstanding additions to the Broken World series. Recommend for those who prefer the darker side, zombies, or post-apocalyptic books. Full reviews on both below...


Where to purchase:
Audible
Amazon
IndieBound
Barnes & Noble

Twisted Mind (A Broken World Novella) by Kate L. Mary and narrated by Heather Firth, is a look into Jackson’s deranged mind. The events take place in Twisted World: A Broken World Novel (Twisted, Book #1) but from Jackson’s point of view. This novella did not disappoint. If you enjoyed Twisted World, you MUST listen to this. I listened in one sitting so good luck putting it down once you start.

Usually novella’s aren’t my thing, but this one was impressive. If you are ever wondering what a psychopath thinks, listen to this and you’ll know.

The narrator, Heather Firth, did an incredible job once again.

I recommend and can’t praise this series enough for the dark, twisted entertainment it is.

Parental guidance/trigger warnings: This is for the adults who can handle the dark side of things. If you do not fit this, stay clear. Leaving it at that.




Where to purchase:
Audible
Amazon
IndieBound
Barnes & Noble

Twisted Memories: A Broken World Novel (Twisted, Book #2) by Kate L. Mary and narrated by Heather Firth is a dark entertaining listen. I recommend this series, starting with book one, if you enjoy the darker side of things or are a fan of zombies/post-apocalyptic books. 

This book took me by surprise as I thought it would continue where book one left off, but it does not and that’s OK (I was so excited to get to the next book, I didn’t read the summary). Instead this book ventures through the memories (good and bad) of those involved but we didn’t see much of in the first book. It answers any questions you may have about them and how they came upon their current situations. It leaves you at the end of events for book one. Stick with it even if you are unsure in the beginning and I promise you won’t be able to put the book down once the stories start to unravel.

I’m really enjoying Kate’s books- the writing is smooth, characters interesting, world building is great, and the darkness, well it’s a perfect blend.

The narrator, Heather Firth, did an incredible job. Easy to listen to.

I highly recommend this series for the zombie/post-apocalyptic fans.

Parental guidance/trigger warnings: Spoilers are kept to a minimum here….stop now if you do not want any...This is for adults and adults who can tolerate the darker side of life. If you do not fit this, stay away because this book series is not for you.
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...
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Death, experiments on people, drugging of people, shooting, repeated rape of a male subject by female doctor, swearing, relationships that are not healthy/toxic.

*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!

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

Friday, May 24, 2019

Death Becomes Us by Pamela Skjolsvik and narrated by Lisaun Whittingham

Death Becomes Us by Pamela Skjolsvik and narrated by Lisaun Whittingham, is a thought-provoking listen through the subject of death and life. Highly recommend for everyone regardless of your comfort with the subject. It kept my interest the entire time. (Full review below)

Where to purchase:

Where to find the author: Pamela Skjolsvik

Where to find the narrator: Lisaun Whittingham

Death Becomes Us by Pamela Skjolsvik and narrated by Lisaun Whittingham, is a thought-provoking listen through the subject of death and the elements that surround it, including life. Highly recommend for everyone regardless of your comfort with the subject.

The summary does a good job at touching the surface, yet there is so much more to this book. Other things to expect: How the author came upon the idea for the book, price of funerals/cremation, humor/sarcasm at times, death photography, how death affected her hairdresser, pet death, bio-hazard cleaning, EMT interview, the different ways we grieve, why celebrity death can make a big impact on someone despite no personal relationship with the celebrity, talking with a medium who talks to the deceased, writing letters and talking in person with a death row inmate, a hotel murder in Baltimore, cremation, hospice work, interview with a former prison warden, interview with a chaplain who is with the death row inmates when they die, and an interview with mortician.

Lisaun Whittingham, the narrator, was a pleasant surprise. I would listen to another of her books no problem. There was one mispronunciation with the word pertussis (maybe it’s a regional thing?).

What I wish had more detail/or would change: Dr. Huser talking more in depth about feelings and dealing with death on a daily basis. There was a couple times towards the beginning of the book where the author was a bit captious of others she met (didn’t ruin the book and it became less as the book progresses, but wanted to note in case you are listening and are wondering if you should stop listening- I’m here to tell you to continue because it is a fantastic book overall).

Thoughts that came about during my listening of the book (the extremely condensed version): death affects us all, it’s part of the life cycle, death changes us, we continue our bad habits knowing they can lead to an early death, how important closure is, what is proper etiquette with death, even though everyone experiences death at multiple times in their life it doesn’t make it any easier when it happens, we have to go through the emotions or problems can arise from holding it in, if you experience multiple deaths (for people/pets) each year or for consecutive years how does that affect you vs. experiencing a death once every 10 years, how you feel when it’s a sudden loss vs. an expected loss, everyone has a death that stays with them more than others (is it because it’s traumatic, someone you were especially close to, or something else?), Innocence Project (is death row OK? What if it was you or one of your loved ones who is later found innocent? If someone has a mental illness, such as Schizophrenia, should they be on death row?), the author’s family is a typical family, how age changes your views on death, do death row inmates turn to God because there is nothing left for them, why it’s important to make your wishes known on paper (having a will and what you want/don’t want for a funeral), how did the veterinarian miss the fleas, PETA- wow and shame on you, and those of us that work in fields where death happens- we don’t lose feelings, but have to keep a small distance for our own sanity/well-being.

Favorite quotes from the book: “The day you stop feeling is the day you stop doing your job.” and “The challenge of death and dying is not for the one who passed, it’s for the ones who have been left behind.”

Overall I would recommend and would easily listen to a follow up book by Pamela.

Parental guidance/trigger warnings: Death (duh!), anxiety/panic attack talk/experiences throughout the book, therapy, Woody Allen quote, Michael Jackson’s death, body image talk (weight gain/aging), dissecting fetal pig in science class, breast feeding, death right after birth, multiple miscarriages and the struggles involved, child death, unprofessional medical employees, talk of thyroid cancer, murder of family by the father in a hotel, suicide (the father in a hotel, three attempts in prison in detail), mention of an affair (literally a mention), animal death, birth of child, and some talk of God/religion but not preachy/minimal. Words: Bitch x1, hell x1. I do not recall any other swearing, but possible I missed it.

*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!

A couple of personal thoughts~
I received a copy of the book, started listening to it, experienced the sudden death of my cat the next day. I wasn’t sure how long it would be before I picked up the book again, but did so a couple days later. I found there is a certain amount of comfort with this book. Despite the difficult subject matter, it also helps to weed out your feelings on the subject.

There is enough subject matter were a second book could be written- death options (natural burial, ashes into a tree, ashes placed into a vibrator, body into compost, etc.), death with dignity, organ donation (is it the end of life if your organs are given to someone so they can live?), follow ups with the families involved in the murder/death row inmate, and so on.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Soul and Diana (An Atlanta Love Story) by Jade Jones and narrated by Derrick E. Hardin

Soul and Diana (An Atlanta Love Story) by Jade Jones and narrated by Derrick E. Hardin is an emotional ride for adults. Would recommend if you're looking to feel, try something new, or if this is your usual cup of tea. (Full review below).




Where to purchase: 


Where to find the author: Jade Jones

Where to find the narrator: Derrick E. Hardin


Soul and Diana (An Atlanta Love Story) by Jade Jones and narrated by Derrick E. Hardin was an emotional ride! I’ve been looking at Jade’s books for a while now and had an opportunity to request the audible version and glad I did. It’s an in-your-face, on the edge of your seat, emotional listen for adults.

The story goes back and forth from the present to the past. I had no problem keeping up with it, but it left me wanting to know more of Soul and Diana’s history (you do get enough info to understand what’s happening in the current book). I found myself rooting for Diana more than any other character I’ve read about (maybe because the reality of some of the situations/knowing others who have been in similar situations hits close to home). There is no shortage of action and drama. Some folks might have problems grasping the slang, but that’s what Google is for. It is left with a cliffhanger.

This book is about so much more than love- how difficult it is to change our habits, how power/money can change you, friendship, relationships, toxic masculinity, reaching your breaking point, doing better for your children/how innocent kids suffer due to the choices of adults, how love sometimes makes us stupid, and broken promises.

My favorite quotes from the book are: “Communication is the key to every successful relationship.” and “At some point you had to realize some people can stay in your heart but not in your life.”

The narrator, Derrick E. Hardin, was wonderful. He captured the characters perfect and has a very easy to listen to voice.

The only issue I had with the book was sometimes certain words took away from the story, but at the same time they were made to fit certain characters. Also should note there appears to be some glitches with editing- a couple words at the end of three or four sentences repeated twice.

Overall I would recommend. I would listen to another story by Jade and narrated by Derrick in a heartbeat.

Parental guidance/trigger warnings: This book is for adults. Physical altercations between numerous characters, fairly graphic sex scenes, single parent (or father’s minimal involvement), gun shot wounds, relationship problems play a large role in the book, cheating, prison talk/memories, torture of a man, drugs (selling), domestic violence, rough sex/rape (some will see it as rape while others might see it as rough sex), anal sex, schizophrenia, murder (of daughter and husband), and addiction.
Words: swearing (lots of it, pretty much every word is used), slurs (n-word, f@g***)

*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, May 18, 2019

Twisted World: A Broken World Novel (Twisted, Book #1) by Kate L. Mary and narrated by Heather Firth

Twisted World: A Broken World Novel (Twisted, Book #1) by Kate L. Mary and narrated by Heather Firth is a chilling zombie tale and is recommended if you enjoy darker stories or are a fan of zombie/post-apocalyptic books. (Full review below)



Where to purchase: 
Barnes & Noble

Where to find the author: Kate L. Mary

Where to find the narrator: Heather Firth

Twisted World: A Broken World Novel (Twisted, Book #1) by Kate L. Mary and narrated by Heather Firth is a chilling zombie tale of humanity at its worst. I recommend this book if you enjoy darker stories or are a fan of zombie/post-apocalyptic books.

Twisted World is a dark book with bad people doing bad things while a small group of good people try to do better/survive. The world now contains settlements where the non-infected live, some sanctioned, some unsanctioned. Corruption runs deep. Meg meets Donaghy while he is fighting zombies in a cage for his freedom from prison. Family, old friendships, and new friendships come into play. It will keep you on the edge of your seat- I couldn’t stop listening. The viewpoints switch between Meg and Donaghy (not confusing and straight forward). Despite this being the first book I’ve listened to by the author, I had no problems knowing who was who/what was going on (my understanding that this is a spin off from a previous series). I anticipate the next books in the series will be exceptional.

Some may not be happy with the cliffhanger ending, but good news- the other books in the series are out, so quit your complaining.

The narrator, Heather Firth, did a great job with this one. Transitions were easy and voices great. Would definitely try another of hers.

I have not read/listened to Kate or Heather’s books before and I enjoyed this book immensely and look forward to the rest of the series. Overall, I recommend, especially if you are a fan of zombies/post-apocalyptic books.

Parental guidance/trigger warnings: religious fanatics, multiple rape scenarios (attempted rape multiple times, talk about a girl’s previous rape), some swearing, drinking, death (this has zombies in it, so use your imagination), knifes, guns, sex (not graphic), and experiments done on people. As I’ve stated before, this is a darker book meaning it contains darker themes. This is not for the faint of heart.

*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!

Friday, May 17, 2019

The Epic Adventures of Wil Calder, Space Smuggler (Space Rogues, Book 1) by John Wilker and narrated by KC Johnston

The Epic Adventures of Wil Calder, Space Smuggler (Space Rogues, Book 1) by John Wilker and narrated by KC Johnston was a fun space opera. Would recommend if you are into space operas. (Full review below)
***Kindle edition is free on Amazon as of this posting 5/17/19***


Where to purchase: 

Where to find the author: John Wilker

Where to find the narrator: KC Johnston

The Epic Adventures of Wil Calder, Space Smuggler (Space Rogues, Book 1) by John Wilker and narrated by KC Johnston was a fun, easy listen! Would recommend if you are into space operas.

What’s it about? The summary explains it well so details here will be minimal. Some other things to expect: peacekeepers, officers, different planets, goons, smuggling jobs, night markets, aliens, and a robot. It’s fast-paced, lots of action, and humorous at times.

The narrator, KC Johnston, did a fantastic job at bringing the characters to life. I would recommend listening to his books. He is one of two narrators I’m following to see where their narrating careers go.

Overall it was good and I recommend if you’re looking for a space opera.

Parental guidance/trigger warnings: some swearing (S-word, F-word), drinking (the brew of space but it does get you “wasted”), smuggling, death, MC considers suicide at one point.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

The Fat Man Gets Out of Bed (Collected Short Stories) by Michael Lynes and narrated by David Bosco


The Fat Man Gets Out of Bed (Collected Short Stories) by Michael Lynes and narrated by David Bosco is a fantastic set of short stories ranging from Sci-Fi to realistic life situations. If it's been a while since you've listened to short stories, or forgotten how great they can be (like me), or are looking for something new, I recommend you give these a try. (Full review below)



Where to purchase: 

Where to find the author: Michael Lynes

Where to find the narrator: David Bosco

The Fat Man Gets Out of Bed (Collected Short Stories) by Michael Lynes and narrated by David Bosco are a fantastic set of short stories ranging from Sci-Fi to realistic stories on grieving/death.. If short stories aren’t your typical listen/read, or perhaps forgotten how great they can be (like me), I recommend you give this book a try. Michael and David make a fabulous team.

It’s difficult to pick a favorite as they are each unique, but if I had to choose, it would be “The End...All Things Considered”. If you are going to listen to one, make sure it’s this one. The humor and story is rather amusing.

The narrator, David Bosco, did an outstanding job. You really get a sense of his voice ranges. Highly recommend giving his books a listen.

The descriptions on the stories are beautiful and engaging. Some may break your heart and have you thinking long afterwards, while some may have you laughing and thinking what if. Death and Sci-Fi elements are common themes. There are occasional but minimal sound effects used for certain stories (aliens, Gods).

~A brief description of the stories~
1) “My Father’s Hands”- A man’s father is hospitalized. Memories flood the man’s mind. Approximately 25 minutes.
2) “It’s In the Blood, Part #1”- A demi-god and his sword (mythology/Gods). Approximately 49 minutes.
3) “It’s In the Blood, Part #2”- Approximately 1 hour.
4) “Melancholy”- Not really sure how to describe this one, it’s more of thoughts on curses and blessings of sorts. Approximately 3 minutes.
5) “Sunset Beach” - Spreading of a loved ones ashes into the ocean. Approximately 8 minutes.
6) “East of East of Eden, Part #1”- A tale of Adam & Eve mixed with tech and more. This was not preachy despite the Adam and Eve theme to it. Approximately 54 minutes.
7) “East of East of Eden, Part #2”- Approximately 48 minutes.
8) “The Fat Man Gets Out of Bed”- A nurse and patient are connected in a metaphysical way. Approximately 1 hour 18 minutes.
9) “My Angel Comes”- A mother dying in the hospital. Approximately 25 minutes.
10) “Above...All Seems Desolate”- A hive explores space. Approximately 11 minutes.
11) “The End...All Things Considered”- Creation of the universe. Approximately 13 minutes.
12) “A Slice of Perfection”- United by marriage and more (Sci-Fi). Approximately 20 minutes.
13) “Memories to Treasure”- A man’s house is foreclosed on, while going through a chest, memories come back to him. Approximately 45 minutes.
14) “The Dust Bunny”- A professor’s manuscript is taken by aliens and problems unfold. Approximately 56 minutes.
15) “The City”- A family goes to a futuristic New York. Approximately 13 minutes.

Some things I thought about during the listen: The circle of life, how memories can be/bring you back to the time or place, that blood doesn’t necessarily mean family. My favorite quote from the book is “Only those who once live may truly die.”

Overall I recommend, especially if you enjoy Sci-Fi, short stories, or are looking to expand out of your normal comfort zone.

Parental guidance/trigger warnings: death of a parent, child with cancer, bible verse (short) in Sunset Beach, Satan, Eve ogled by Luke (Satan), Eve is naked at one point, naked man, nursing home deaths, yelling, talking about someone getting a “switch”, bruises on girl from abuse, attempted rape, death, wife hit by drunk driver, death of second wife, attempted suicide via hanging, adoption, aliens, protests, rolling of joint, indoctrination, suicide by jumping.
Words: damn, dammit, hell (in reference to hell), talk about heaven, “F-ing” or “F” was used but not the full word.


*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, May 11, 2019

The Zee Brothers: Zombie Exterminators (Volume 1 & 2 Box Set) by Grivante and narrated by Ian McEuen

The Zee Brothers: Zombie Exterminators (Volume 1 & 2 Box Set) by Grivante and narrated by Ian McEuen is must for any zombie fan...(full review below)


A must for any zombie fan...

The Zee Brothers: Zombie Exterminators (Volume 1 & 2 Box Set) by Grivante and narrated by Ian McEuen is a must listen/read for any zombie lover. I listened to this straight through and honestly, it made my day. There’s an amusement to it reminiscent of Ash vs Evil Dead mixed with Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (and maybe a hint of The Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse).

Some things to expect: a variety of stories that revolve around the Zee Brothers and their zombie service, humor, death (nobody is off limits), a variety of characters, references to other Z shows/movies, and a bit of romance (for lack of better word).

The narrator, Ian McEuen, did a good job. Sounds like he had fun with this one. I have not listened to him before, but would try another book narrated by him.

I do not want to say too much due to spoilers, so I’ll leave it at if you are a zombie fan, you MUST check out this book.

Parental guidance/trigger warnings: This is a book for adults/older teens. There is swearing, sex, killing, or like things throughout. If you are easily offended or prude, this is probably not the book for you.

*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: 

Where to find the author: Grivante

Where to find the narrator: Ian McEuen

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Bridgeworld, Volume 1 by Travis McBee and narrated by KC Johnston

Bridgeworld, Volume 1 by Travis McBee and narrated by KC Johnston is a fun, easy listen aimed for teens. Would recommend for those in middle school. (full review below)





Bridgeworld, Volume 1 by Travis McBee and narrated by KC Johnston, is a good listen and step into Sci-Fi for the younger folks. Despite being well past my teen years, I enjoyed this listen and wish this would have been around when I was growing up. I would recommend this book to teens in middle school.

What’s it about? A teen finds out he isn’t from Earth and ends up entering Bridgeworld Academy. It contains the typical teenage problems- relationships, sports, fitting in, jealousy, clothing, prom, birthdays, and like stuff. And if the summary, book cover, or my review didn’t make it clear- Outer space. Would like to note the book is rather descriptive (a good thing). There are underlying themes throughout (acceptance being one).

The narrator, KC Johnston, was once again fantastic! This is his second book (or so I believe it is) and he helps make the book what it is. KC is one of two narrators I’m following to see where they go. He has a steady, soothing voice. Would recommend giving him a listen.

Would I recommend? Yes. Would I listen to the next in the series? Yes, while it’s made for a younger audience, I find KC’s narrations are a must listen.

Parental advisory/trigger warnings: Overall it is a fairly clean book- beware spoilers are kept to a minimum here….stop now if you do not want any...
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...
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I do not recall any swearing. Kisses between boyfriend and girlfriend multiple times (not described in detail). One boy attacks another during a game, but the attacker get his arm broken. Relationships between boyfriends and girlfriends (very PG from what I recall). Aliens, adults drinking alcohol, competition between two schools & the one school has a history of pranks gone wrong. Bathroom bullying by two girls from the other school at sports game. Bullying throughout the book between students. Kidnapping. One student gets kicked when he is unconscious (he is knocked out first) by another student.

*I won a copy of this book. Probably don’t need to write this but here it is.

Where to purchase: 

Where to find the author: Travis McBee
Where to find the narrator: KC Johnston

Monday, May 6, 2019

Maxwell Cain: Burrito Avenger by Adam Smith and narrated by J. D. Ledford

Maxwell Cain: Burrito Avenger by Adam Smith and narrated by J. D. Ledford is for fans of over-the-top 80’s movies and even some movies today, such as Kung Fury, John Wick, and Turbo Kid...would recommend if these are your thing. (full review below)


For fans of over-the-top 80’s movies...


Maxwell Cain: Burrito Avenger by Adam Smith and narrated by J. D. Ledford is a revenge gone right reminiscent of the 80's and even some movies today (Kung Fury, John Wick, Turbo Kid). If you enjoy over-the-top action with lots of carnage and revenge, this book is for you. If that isn't your thing or you don't have an appreciation for these things, stay clear.

What’s it about? A good guy, who just wants to eat his burrito, gets screwed over by others and attempts to take out the gangsters/bad guys with his strong-willed partner.

Over-the-top: ✔️
Excessive gunfire: ✔️
Nonstop (or close to it) revenge and action: ✔️
Violence: ✔️
Some humor: ✔️

You're not going to experience earth-shattering emotions/dialogue/etc. because that's not what this book is about, but you will be rooting for the duo. I listened to this in one sitting.

The narrator, J. D. Ledford, did a great job with this one. I am interested to hear her other narrations.

Overall, I would recommend. I imagine I’ll be listening to this again and would listen to a sequel in a heartbeat.

Parental guidance/trigger warnings: This is an adult book- it contains adult themes. Lots of violence, revenge, guns and swords, swearing, and similar things.

*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
Amazon

Where to find the author: Adam Smith

Where to find the narrator: J. D. Ledford

Sunday, May 5, 2019

An Angel on Her Shoulder by Dan Alatorre and narrated by David Bosco

An Angel on Her Shoulder by Dan Alatorre and narrated by David Bosco is a captivating paranormal tale with religious undertones. It has a Supernatural-esque feel to it. (full review below)


An Angel on Her Shoulder by Dan Alatorre and narrated by David Bosco is a captivating paranormal tale with religious undertones. It has a Supernatural-esque feel to it, so if you are a fan of that show, give this a try.

The narrator, David Bosco, was exceptional as usual! I’ve made it clear in previous reviews I am a fan of his narration and look forward to his future books and how he progresses as a narrator. David enunciates well and has an easy to follow pace. I highly recommend him.

What to expect: Doug and his family (wife Mallory & daughter Sophie) have odd/scary things happen to them at the same time every year (I won’t go into specifics due to spoilers). There is a creepiness to it, but not a jump out of your seat type. Friendships, family, the unknown, clairvoyance, religion, and general life events/outings are present throughout. The book has a slower build- stick with it and I doubt you will be disappointed. The story is told between the past and present time (I had no problems with the changing back and forth as it’s very clear when it changes).

Despite the religious aspect, it was not preachy. It may or may not have you thinking/questioning the “what ifs” that have happened in your life. I really enjoyed the parts when Doug was a kid (at times it added humor to the story). I wish some of the characters would have came along sooner (Tyree).

A couple things I didn’t care for:
1) The emotional annoying wife cliché. Maybe if she had some character development I’d feel different? Or played a larger role at the end? Whatever the reason, she didn’t sit well with me.
2) There were a couple parts I wish had a little more to them.

I would listen to another book if a sequel was in the works. Overall, I recommend, especially if you enjoy paranormal religious themes.

Parental guidance/trigger warnings: religion (Christianity, angels, demons), suicide of mother and her baby via train, voodoo, Hitler talk (killing him hypothetically via a game kids made up), kid sees murders or attempted murder, someone is injured from a automobile, adults drinking (not in excess). It’s possible I missed some as once I got into the story, it was difficult to remember to write stuff down.
Words: S-word x4, F-word x2, h3llx24, crap x9, damn x21.

*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: 

Where to find the author: Dan Alatorre

Where to find the narrator: David Bosco