Blogger Themes

Audiobook tag


I discovered this tag at Blue Mood Cafe  and thought it would be fun to do for this month’s celebration of audiobooks. I have been chatting books with Jonetta for years on goodreads so let’s do it!


Have you always listened to audiobooks or when did you begin?

My husband encouraged me to try audiobooks a few years ago when I would ride the train an hour each way to work. My first book was Guilty Pleasures by Laurel K. Hamilton (Book 1, Anita Blake). The narrator Kimberly Alexis was amazing and I was hooked. I tried a couple of other book before I realized that a narrator could make or break my enjoyment.

 

What is your favorite audiobook?

That’s impossible so I will pick my top five in no particular order..
1. Lothaire by Kresley Cole (Robert Petkoff, narrator)
2. From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata (Callie Dalton, Narrato)
3. The Witness by Nora Robert (Julia Whelan, narrator)
4. Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas (Rosalyn Landor)
5. Sempre by J.M. Darhower (Carla Mercer-Meyer)

What is my least favorite thing about audiobooks?

A Monotoned narrator can really bore me and make me lose interest. Some make narrators have terrible female voices too.

What do you think is the difference in experience between physically reading a book and listening to it?

The difference to me is that I get someone who knows how to properly pronounce words (I hope) and the cadence of the reading is different from my own. Some narrators do a great job conveying humor, sadness etc. I feel like a kid being read a bedtime story to. Also if its a smutty book, I feel like someone is whispering something naughty in my ear. hehehe.

How and when do you listen?

I listen on my phone, in my car, sometimes on my tv via the audible app while I’m doing mindless household chores, grocery shopping and laundry. I listen while I am in bed, exercising, pretending to pay attention at work etc. I listen all day.

What style/genre do you prefer?

I don’t have a genre I prefer since I mostly read romance. I pretty much listen to all my reading selections if they are on audio.  I do have narrator that I avoid like the plague. If I see their name, I opt for the e-book instead.

What are some audiobook/narrator recommendations?

I highly recommend with a male and female narrator. Top five favorites are Rosalyn Landor, Julia Whelan, Therese Plummer, Lauren Fortgang and Jeffrey Kafer.   I do have honorable mentions like Bahni Turipin, Callie Dalton, Robert Petkoff, Shane East and Tristan James

What are your thoughts about audiobooks?

Feel free to do your own version of this tag!

Blogger Themes

Tag: The Liebster Award


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This is the first time I’ve been tagged so I’m excited to post a few answers even though, it took forever for me to publish this post. Better later than never… right? I was nominated by Literary Everything. Thank you, Lady B!

THE LIEBSTER AWARD RULES

  1. Acknowledge the blog that gave it to you and display the award
  2. Answer 11 questions that the blogger gives you
  3. Give 11 random facts about yourself
  4. Nominate 11 blogs and notify them of their nomination
  5. Give these blogs 11 questions to answer

11 Questions From Lady B:

What’s the worst book you’ve ever read?

Twist Me by Anna Zaires and Beast by A. Zavarelli are among ten books that I rated 1-star rating on goodreads. Both area popular dark romances, complete with kidnapping and rape etc. They were disturbing and I didn’t enjoy anything about them, not the writing, the characters or the journey. Nothing!

What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
My family and a book to read.

Do you have a best friend or have you ever had one?
Yes. my best friend Dee and I have been friends since 1997. We are opposites. It’s interesting because she is the carbon copy of my husband. Conversely, I am the carbon copy of her husband. I guess opposites really do attract.

Excitement or routine?
Excitement. I like variety. I prefer to eat at a different restaurant every time because I like to try new things. There are a few things I like to remain routine like Thankgiving. No new recipes like Karen’s Macaroni and Cheese. However Christmas every year, we try a different cuisine. Last year for Christmas we did a Barbecue theme, the year before Italian and this year will probably be Thai food. Thanksgiving is sacred though, turkey and the fixings, my mother and I also cook a lot of Nigerian food, then we watch football.

What’s your favourite genre?
Romance! It used to be Historical Romance, then Paranormal Romance, but now, it is Contemporary Romance. Those are all still subgenres of Romance.

How many languages can you speak?
Three: Igbo, English and Spanish.

Which music do you listen to?
Pop music, R&B, some Hip-Hop. I am the biggest Celine Dion and Whitney Houston fan. I love music that tells a story and makes me feel it. Current music that talks of nothing annoys me to no end!

If you wrote an autobiography of yourself, what would the title be?
“Always Hopeful.” I am a girl that believes that the Glass is always half full. I am an optimistic to the hilt. So if there is the slimmest possibility, I am going to hold on to that hope and I support underdogs.

If you could visit only one country in the world, which would you choose?
Italy. So much history especially of oppression and violence. I want to the see the beautiful and also examine the pain the Romans inflicted on all. I was the biggest fan of Spartacus, which came on Starz. I loved that series.

What skill would you like to master?
Sewing. My mother and mother in law are seamstresses. I can put on a button. I wish I would know how to use their sewing machines. They make their own nigerian attire too. I am so jealous but clearly too lazy to ask them to teach me.

Music. I also wished that I had continued with piano and the viola. When my parents were paying for it, I saw it as a chore and that I was being forced. Now that I have to pay for it myself, I keep thinking “Damnnnn, that ish is expensive.”

What’s the best thing about getting older?
I feel less stressed about thing. Less concerned about what people think. More urgency to do things that I have been putting off. I am less judgmental. I also think sex is better now and maybe because I have less fear about propriety 😀

11 Random Facts About Me:

1. I am a HUGE sports fan and enjoy most sports. I watch more sports than my husband.

2. I still watch Soap Operas. I watch General Hospital, Days of Our Lives, The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful.

3. I don’t sleep more than 3-4 hours a night (for the past ten years). It’s getting harder now that I am older and I feel tired all the time, but after 10 oclock when my kids go to bed is when I can have some quiet time to myself and relax. I end up bingeing tv until 2am-ish and have to wake up around 6am.

4. I am chronically late to work and events, and I am not a great rule follower. I like to live in the grey areas and push boundaries.

5. I have to eat breakfast everyday, even if it at night. But I can’t eat lunch or dinner food in the morning. For instance, I can’t eat pizza or a sandwich in the morning, but I can eat french toast or omelet at night.

6. I have 981 audiobooks on audible. It is crazy since you can’t even loan those books out. Once you read them, they just sit there. I think in 2020, I will go back to buying books. At least I can share them with people…well, I won’t loan out books that I like since my friends don’t return them.

7. I love period piece shows: Spartacus, Downton Abbey, Shaka Zulu, The Last Kingdom, Vikings, Reign, Dances with Wolves, Game of Thrones (Seasons 1-5 before HBO was left to their own devices), Braveheart.

8. I love Boy Bands. I have seen Boyz II Men four times in Concert. I went to see New Kids on the Block last Spring. I hope to see New Edition when they return to Dallas. I have plans to see Backstreet Boys in Dallas.

9. I walk around my house naked all the time so people better knock before coming into my home. They will be boob-flashed because the first thing I do when I come home is remove my Bra and free myself.

10. I prefer to see the movie before I watch a film. It allows me to give the characters mannerisms and a face other than what I would imagine. Also, it feels like getting an outline or cliff notes version and the book adds detail and shade to the movie version. It is very rare that a movie is on par with the book so I hate that feeling of disappointment. For instance, The Host by Stephenie Meyer was a great book and a terrible movie. Same with The Darkest Mind by Alexandra Bracken or Divergent by Veronica Roth.

I saw the Color Purple before I read it. Same with Twilight, Five Feet Apart and I enjoyed the books much more AFTER the movie.

My 11 Nominations are:
Jonetta at Blue Mood Cafe
Lara at Naija Book Bae
Carla at Carla Loves to Read
Jennifer at Tar Heel Reader
Nickimags at Secret Library Book Blog
Sophie at Beware of the Reader
Melanie at Meltotheany
Nick at Book Bastion
Jessica at Jessica’s Reading Room
Susan at Susan loves Books
Zuky at Bookbum

My Questions For You:

Does your name have a special meaning?

Do you have a hobby, craft or talent?

Who is your favorite musician? Favorite song?

What was your first job?

What is the best book you have read in 2019?

Have you been to an author book signing?

Your top five favorite authors or top five favorite books

What meal could you eat everyday?

Who is your favorite actor and actress?

What is the best new tv show (and movie) you discovered in 2019? This must be something new to you.

What do you wish you could tell your 18 year old self? (An advise or admonishment you wish you had known at age 18)

 

 

 

 

Audiobook, Blogger Themes, LGBTQ, Paranormal Romance, Review Books, Urban Fantasy, Werewolf shifters

Prophesy (The King & Alpha Series #1) by A.E. Via


 

Narrated By: Nathaniel Black
Length: 6hrs 50mins
 

Blurb: Justice Volkov is the youngest Alpha Zenith to ever lead the wolf shifters. Following in his father’s large paw prints was a responsibility he met head on. Now at age 33, he is alpha of the alphas. As a direct descendant of the original Siberian pack, his wolf is bigger and stronger than Justice himself is sometimes able to control. His wolf howled long and hard, but Justice kept it inside. It felt like a bass drum beating against his rib cage. The harsh breaths, angry snarls, and the determined pacing inside him were overtaking him. Justice takes his role of leadership and his legacy very seriously. He has little time for romance, not to mention a true mate. His packs are his priority. With a human government trying to regulate them, an uprising of rogue shifters, and a violent team of scientists trying to experiment on them, Justice has his hands way too full.

Chadwick “Wick” Bentley is not enthusiastic when the captain of his escort tells him he has to leave his comfortable London home and go back to the States. As the Vampire King, he has no choice but to get his species back in line before they cause anymore chaos. At over 100 years old, Wick is no one to trifle with, but his smooth, charismatic manner makes him quite unique, despite the negative reputation vampires have. Wick has had nothing but time up to this point. He doesn’t feel the need to make issues pressing. Nothing is urgent in his life. Until he meets Justice. His beloved.

“Natural enemies can’t be mates.” Or so Justice thought. He knows his skepticism and rejection is hurting his mate, so while he fights their connection, Wick gets help from a source very close to Justice to help him win his beloved’s heart. Wick is a force all on his own, but when he’s blessed with a special gift from the Mother herself, not even Justice’s powerful wolf can prevent the prophesy from being fulfilled.

My two favorite supernaturals were at war and eventually came to a truce: Werewolves and Vampires: Chadwick and Justice were a great match and I love how their names connected. I have never read this author and I also enjoyed the narrator. A very different take on werewolf and vampire lore. In this story, vampires and shapeshifters exist out in the open, known to humans. The humans don’t know everything, but there is enough knowledge that the various species co-exist together. But we see that the species have a duality to their supernatural side and it was all created by their deity in order to ensure their survival. 

I enjoyed their interaction together. It was sweet, charming and sexy at times. I love that they didn’t hide their feelings and it was widely accepted. I would have loved more development of both the plot and the characters but I am hoping that book 2 will fill in more details to this new inter-species mating. 

 

A.E. Via has been a best-selling author in the beautiful gay romance genre for five years now, but she’s no stranger to MM. She’s been an avid reader of gay lit for over fifteen years before she picked up her laptop to place her own kiss on this genre. She’s also the founder and owner of Via Star Wings Books, having published a couple great new up and coming MM authors.

A.E. has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Virginia Wesleyan College that she used to start her own paralegal firm after she graduated in 2008. She spent five years preparing and filing bankruptcy petitions for struggling blue collar workers who couldn’t afford to file with a lawyer. It was a rewarding and satisfying career… but another path called to her. Writing.

A.E.’s writing embodies everything from hopelessly romantic to adventure, to scandalous. Her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.

Now that she’s gotten over her 10 books published hump, she’s kind of known now for her hardcore, play rough and love hard, bad boy, alphas. However, she does like to push herself to step out of her comfort zone, exploring different tropes, but she won’t push herself into a whole other genre. She’s head over heels for gay romance and she has tons of more hot stories to tell.

Be sure to visit Adrienne on her social media pages and subscribe to her newsletter to never miss another release date! Go to A.E. Via’s official website http://authoraevia.com for more detailed information on how to contact her, follow her, or a sneak peak at upcoming work, free reads, VSWB submissions, and where she’ll appear next.

 

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Audiobook, Blogger Themes, Contemporary Romance, Review Books

The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves


Title: The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves
Series:
Narrated By:
Release Date: April 2, 2019
Format: Audiobook (4hrs and 59 mins)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Blurb: Annika (rhymes with Monica) Rose, is an English major at the University of Illinois. Anxious in social situations where she finds most people’s behavior confusing, she’d rather be surrounded by the order and discipline of books or the quiet solitude of playing chess.

Jonathan Hoffman joined the chess club and lost his first game–and his heart–to the shy and awkward, yet brilliant and beautiful Annika. He admires her ability to be true to herself, quirks and all, and accepts the challenges involved in pursuing a relationship with her. Jonathan and Annika bring out the best in each other, finding the confidence and courage within themselves to plan a future together. What follows is a tumultuous yet tender love affair that withstands everything except the unforeseen tragedy that forces them apart, shattering their connection and leaving them to navigate their lives alone.

Now, a decade later, fate reunites Annika and Jonathan in Chicago. She’s living the life she wanted as a librarian. He’s a Wall Street whiz, recovering from a divorce and seeking a fresh start. The attraction and strong feelings they once shared are instantly rekindled, but until they confront the fears and anxieties that drove them apart, their second chance will end before it truly begins.

I am not a big fan of second chance romances but I love this author’s work so I was willing to take a chance on this book.

This novel was written from the perspective of the main characters Annika and Jonathan, and it vacillates from their past to their present. Annika Rose and Jonathan Hoffman met at college at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagn as members of the chess club. Annika was a shy and socially awkward girl who showed signs of having either Asperger’s Syndrome or Autism. Jonathan was a confident transfer student who wants intrigued with Annika, especially with her chess expertise. Their friendship blossomed into a sweet college romance love and she ended up ghosting him after he graduated.

Ten years later, Annika accidentally ran into Jonathan at the grocery store so she asked him out for coffee. Annika saw this an opportunity to right a wrong from almost a decade ago. The readers get glimpses into the people they were back in college and who Annika and Jonathan are ten years later.
The story moves at an even pace, allowing the reader to get into the characters head and experience their emotions. It was certainly educational for me to see how different and challenging everyday occurrences can be for someone whose brain is wired is different from mine.

Tracey Garvis Gravis did a great job of presenting Annika and Simon without making it overly emotional and sappy. I also loved her addition of Janice, Annika’s roommate in college and current best friend. It was a journey of growth, independence and learning from one’s mistakes. It is also about communicating, understanding and having empathy for others who may not be just like you. It was very subtle the way the author mended something that was thought to be broken a long time ago resulting in a beautiful and more mature love. I enjoy stories where characters evolve and as a reader, I learn something new. I will definitely recommend it to others.

Blogger Themes

Book Tag: What’s On My Bookshelf?


Passed by this tag on Bookish Wisp.  I wasn’t tagged by Justine but I liked the game and her answers so I want to play too 😀

Rules:
1. Link back to the original creator, Naty @ Naty’s Bookshelf
2. Also link back to the person who tagged you!
3. Name one book for each category. Try not to repeat books to make this more fun!
4. Tag at least 5 people.

*Click on the cover to read my review, though a couple lack reviews from me if I read them long time before I started blogging*

A Book You Got as a Gift

I won this book on Goodreads and I enjoyed this chick-lit since I am iffy about office romances. But the characters grew and learned to take risks in their lives.

A Childhood Book

Best Friends (Sweet Valley Twins #1) by Francine Pascal
Anastasia Krupnik (Anastasia Krupnik #1) by Lois Lowry

I couldn’t choose between these two. Sweet Valley Twins was my first real series that I stayed with for years even moving onto Sweet Valley High.
Anastasia Krupnik was a series that cracked me up the more than Ramona Beezus. It even fueled by desire to visit Russia which we eventually did in High School.I can’t wait for my daughter to get to these two series.

A Magical Book

Nice Dragons Finish Last (Heartstriker #1) by Rachel Aaron

A couple of goodreads friends kept recommending this book but I wasn’t interested because I have a bias against ugly book covers. Plus, the blurb didn’t really stir interest. Then I entered Bingo reading challenge where I needed a Dragon book and this particular book was the audible deal of the day for $4.95. I decided what the heck! Let’s just say I finished all four audiobooks that same month. It wasn’t my usual style but I found the plot creative, different and the interpersonal relationships intriguing. So while this book was magical in the sense that it was a complete surprise and delight. Oh yeah, it does have magic in it too.

A Romantic Book

Then Came You (Gamblers #1) by Lisa Kleypas

According to Goodreads, This is the most read author on my bookshelf. Historical romance is my go-to genre and this book was one of the first audiobooks that I listened to. It not only introduced me to Lisa Kleypas but to the narrator Rosalyn Landor. Both are now at the top of my favorites list. But this story was everything I love in Historical Romances.

A Steamy Book

Lover Revealed (Black Dagger Brotherhood #4) by J.R. Ward
Pleasure Unbound (Demonica #1) by Larissa Ione

Books with vampires are almost always going to be steamy. The plot, character development and steamy factor were all 5-stars. Top notch writing makes these two some of my favorite series.

An Old Book

Blues Dancing by Diane McKinney-Whetstone

When I read this book in high school, it was one of the first narratives that implied that women needed to stand on their own two feet or risk always falling down. The heroine was always depending on the men in her life to take care of her, tell her what to do and rescue her. She was only able to really take control and go after what she really wanted when she took time to figure out what SHE wanted. She was a weak woman and she had to grow. I loved that message.

A Book That Makes You Happy and/or Laugh

The Gravity of Us by Brittainy Cherry

This story pushed all of my mommy buttons and just made me smile, shed a tear, chuckle etc. I love stories where babies force people to grow up and become better men/women. Brittainy Cherry is among my list of angst writers like Mia Sheridan, Colleen Hoover etc. She is an auto-buy author now.

A Book That Makes You Emotional

The Fault in our Stars by John Green

I have lost family members to cancer and this insidious disease is devastating. I loved this story and read it right after my aunt lost her battle. I cried a lot and thinking about Gus and Hazel makes me emotional because of the innocence at that age. The movie wasn’t done well in my opinion. Plus I couldn’t get over the fact that the actors played siblings in the Divergent movie that came out RIGHT BEFORE this one. So when they were interacting romantically, it grossed me out. I kept thinking “why is Tris kissing her brother Caleb?” It ruined it for me.

A Book Whose Ending You Dislike

Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth
Requiem (Delirium #3) by Lauren Oliver

I read these books back in 2013 and I am still seething about them. You can read my reviews to truly see what I mean. But the author let me down with the ending. I don’t think I have read another book by Lauren Oliver. I did try book 1 in Veronica Roth’s new series but I don’t trust her enough to follow the series.

A Book You Wish Had Illustrations

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

I could visualize this one in my head and it was raw. I would have loved to see faces and the anguish etc that went along with this story that left visceral reactions in those who read it.

A Book or Genre That You Love Reading When It’s Raining

Destiny’s Embrace (Destiny #1) by Beverly Jenkins

 

I wish to tag any and all who want to join in and have fun, but especially the following bloggers:
Susan at Susanlovesbooks
Jennifer at jennifertarheelreader
Lady B at Literary Everything
Justine at Bookish Wisps
Carla at Carla loves to Read
Sophie at Beware of the Reader

What books are on your bookshelf? Have you read any books from my list? If not I totally recommend them.

Blogger Themes, Contemporary Romance, Review Books

I Have Never (First Comes Love #2) by Camilla Isley


Title:I Have Never by Camilla Isley
Series: First Comes Love #2
Narrated By: Audra Cook
Release Date: July 13th, 2017
Format: Audiobook (5 hrs and 38 mins)
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Chick Lit
Blurb: Twenty-nine-year-old Blair Walker is a girl with a plan, or more like a girl with a list – a list of dos and don’ts to live the perfect life, land a dream career, and marry Mr. Right. But when Blair loses her job and gets dumped by her boyfriend all in one day, she starts to wonder if she’s had it all wrong. And what better way to find out than experience everything the list forbade?

Never lie
Never pick a fight
Never make a scene
Never make the first move
Never make impulsive decisions
Never mix business and pleasure

With hilarious consequences, Blair will discover some items are trickier to tick off than she’d thought.

This audiobook was easy to follow and was a fun listen until I got the end. It was a happy ending but it reinforced that office romances can never remain secret and can make the workplace tense when there is a disharmony.


Blair Walker was a girl who followed all of society rules of how a refined lady should behave. Living by that good girl code led her to losing her dreams to another who was willing to use all in her arsenal to get what she wanted. So Blair decided that she will throw out her list and just live without those constraints.
Life as a rebel led her to entrepreneur Richard Stratton, who was looking for someone to help him grow his online business. Their professional relationship thrived and was smooth until they developed an attraction. That’s when things got awkward. Should they risk it or play it safe?

I liked them together, but I am not a fan of office romances. They have a tendency to get messy when people have fights and/or break up. These sort of relationships are bad for business and it gets co-workers caught in the middle. There is workplace gossip as well as a resentment if there is a perception of favoritism.

I really liked the new Blair until she threw a couple of unprofessional fits at end of the book because of her feelings for her boss Richard. I was embarrassed for her and for Richard. The new Blair was empowered, likable and interesting. Her journey showed development and maturity even though she was likable even with the list too. Both Blair and Richard were fundamentally good people with a great work ethic.

Their relationship worked out in the end but I didn’t like her doing the opposite of what her list would have told her to do. The list wasn’t bad, I think she just needed to learn not to be so rigid. That is what life is about, having some flexibility in some things and being steadfast in others. Both Blair and Richard came to learn that in order to find true happiness, they had to be honest and true to themselves.

If you want an enjoyable and easy read, then I recommend this office romance to satisfy that need.