Audiobook Review – Fear US

Fear Us

Keenan 

It’s been four years since I ran away – from home, my brother, and my maybe father. I created a life free of expectations while pretending I wasn’t being hunted by all of the above. I managed to stay under the radar all this time…or so I thought. When big brother shows up and saves my ass, I’m forced to face everything I left behind, including her. 

Sheldon 

It’s been four years since I became another statistic. I made a lot of mistakes when it came to Keenan Masters. The first was loving him at all. He took something from me the night he left, and when I told him I still loved him, he told me he’d always hate me. After that, I learned how to be okay…until he came back. Gone was the boy who always knew how to make me laugh, and in his place was a cold, arrogant monster.

hello wonderlandians. I figured I would try starting out there of you like that instead of starting it up at the top let me know what you guys think. So this is book 3 of the broken love series. This is probably so far my least favorite book in the series. If you read my other review fear you then you know I’m on book 5 as I’m writing this review. If you have not read my first two reviews of the series fear me and fear you please go read those before you read this review.

I have to put a big ass trigger warning because there is a lot of triggering things in this book. I may not get all of them but I will try my best so here we go manipulation, obsession, possession, rape, death threats, psychological warfare. I don’t know there was a lot to this book and I found it weirdly intriguing. This is a dark romance novel.

Already so onto the review this book follows Keenan and Sheldon. Keenan and Sheldon are in the very first book I didn’t mention them in my review because in all honesty I really wanted to focus on the two main characters from the first to book and Keenan and Sheldon really aren’t featured much in the second book so I didn’t think it was prevalent to mention them. But basically Keenan is the cousin of Keiran. Sheldon is the sister of their best friend Dash. Who I will talk about in the next review because he is the Male MC of that book.

So things happen in book 2 that make Keenan leave and this book jumps four years ahead. So to give you a little bit of background Keenan was a very fun loving and funny guy. He was also very easy-going. There was an event that happened in book 2 that made him change over the course of four years.

Sheldon was a very Spitfire kind of girl. She didn’t take shit from Keenan and I really appreciate her character. She went through a lot in the first book and she really wasn’t in the second book.

I believe I said in my review before that there were certain aspects of this book that I just feel weren’t necessary and to be completely honest I felt like everything that happened in this book wasn’t really relevant to the overall story. Actually I believe I said that each book has two storylines you have the big storyline that runs through all five books and then each sub book also focuses on the relationship between two characters. There is an event that happens in this book that I feel can push the overall story line but at the same time I feel like what was the point of it because a lot of the book was about Keenan and Sheldon and not the overall story line. It was about them kind of finding their way back to each other while this event was going on. So in my mind the big event that’s going on there really wasn’t much focus on that even though there should’ve been. I don’t know I just feel like the book overall was unnecessary and I would’ve liked to just continue with Lake and Keiran.

This saddens me because I really like these two characters I just wish that the event that happened honestly what takes place in book for and book 5 really don’t didn’t need box 3 to push the agenda along if that makes sense. I honestly feel like this book was a filler. I didn’t joy it it’s just I felt like it was completely unnecessary to the overall big story. And I feel like I keep repeating myself but this is honestly how I feel.

We are back with Ava Erickson and Teddy Hamilton. I gave all my thoughts on them in my last review my opinion has not changed I think they are wonderful together and I feel like they really add an extra layer to the story that I wouldn’t have gotten if I was just reading it myself.

Now when it comes to the overall production of the audiobook I am not a sound engineer so I really don’t know what goes into making an audiobook. I will say this it sounded very professional there were no weird skips or pauses in any of the chapters. The sound wasn’t distorted while listening to it. There are some audiobooks I listen to and it sounds like it was recorded in a zoo this was not that so I’m quite happy with the overall production of the audiobook it was quite professional.

How are you guys liking the new these reviews of this series. I wanted to do reviews individually instead of as a series because each book I have very deep thoughts on not very deep thoughts but I do have the lights on and I thought it would be best to talk about them individually it is a dark romance so please heat up my trigger warning at the beginning of this review.

Thank you all for joining me here in our little part of wonderland. Please do not forget to feed the unicorns on your way out. They do love their treats. And as you guys know at this time of the year they are granting wishes so if there’s something that you’ve been wishing for don’t hesitate to make a wish it may or may not come through.

Until next time

Happy reading

Much love

Ashten

Audiobook Review – Fear Me

Fear Me audiobook cover art

This isn’t another “I hate you because I secretly love you” story. Boy really does hate girl. And this isn’t just a forbidden love story. This is obsession at its darkest.

I don’t believe in fairy tales and Prince Charming.

I believe in fear.

He taught me how to be afraid.

We first met on a playground on a wonderful summer day. It was the first time he hurt me and it wouldn’t be the last. For 10 years, he’s been my tormentor and I’ve been his forbidden. But then he went away, and yet I was still afraid.

Now, he’s back, and wants more than just my tears. You see…he thinks I sent him away so now he wants revenge…and he knows just how to get it.

This book is a complicated one for me. There are many aspects of this book that does not sit well with me. It’s a dark romance. Typically when it comes to dark romances I do read the reviews 1st because I want a better understanding of why this book has really high ratings or why a book has low ratings. This audio book had some very high rating. It seems like the general consensus seems to really enjoy the book.

I want to give you a little look and to the process of my brain while taking notes for this audiobook review.

  • LAKE TRYING TO SAVE THE PEOPLE SHE LOVES

  • LAKE HAS BEEN THREATEN FOR 10 YEARS

  • LAKE TELLS KNOW ONE 

  • LAKE TRIES TO FIGHT BACK AGAINST KIERAN 

  • THIS IS A BAD IDEA 

  • SHE SHOULD HAVE PLAYED ALONG UNTIL SHE HAS AN OPPORTUNITY TO GET AWAY 

  • KIERAN BULLY, PSYCHO, POSSESSIVE, CRUEL, MANIPULATIVE 

  • LAKE AND KIERAN ARE IN HIGHSCHOOL 

  • THE MC SHOULD HAVE AT LEAST 10 YEARS OLDER

  • THOUGH THAT WOULD NOT REALLY MAKE THE STORY BETTER 

  • THIS IS A DARK ROMANCE 

  • LAKE HAS STOCKHOLM SYNDROME

  • KIERAN FLIP FLOPS THERE ARE MOMENTS WHEN IT SEEMS LIKE HE CARES ABOUT BUT THEN IN ANOTHER BREATH THREATENS TO KILL HER OR THE ONES THAT SHE LOVES

  • LAKE KEPT DOING THINGS TO PISS OFF KIERAN 

  • WHEN LAKE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO CLEAR HER NAME SHE SAID NOTHING UNTIL FORCED TO 

  • NOW THAT WE ARE IN THE LAST FOUR HOURS OF THIS BOOK IT SEEMS LIKE A DIFFERENT STORY 

  • DOES THIS MEAN CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT

  • THEY ARE SIMI ACTING LIKE A NORMAL TEENAGE COUPLE 

  • THEN THEY DON’T ACT LIKE A NORMAL COUPLE 

  • SHE KIND OF STARTS GETTING THE ANSWERS SHE WANTS 

  • SHE REALLY DOES ASK ALL THE WRONG QUESTION 

  • THEN SHIT HAPPENS AND THEY ACT LIKE A “NORMAL” COUPLE 

  • MORE SHIT HAPPENS AND THEN EVERYTHING GOES TO HELL 

So as you can see above that is my whole thought process while I was listening to this book. I have to put a big ass trigger warning because there is a lot of triggering things in this book. I may not get all of them but I will try my best so here we go manipulation, obsession, possession, rape, death threats, psychological warfare. I don’t know there was a lot to this book and I found it weirdly intriguing. This is a dark romance novel. The events that happen in this book are very unrealistic. I’m not even gonna go into the plot of this book again I had to take a very clinical approach to listening to this book. The author weaves a tale two high school kids. One wanted to see the other ones suffer. The main male character has a very messed up past. Which does lead to his actions of a threatening lake all the time. Now I’m not saying that what he’s gone through as an excuse for him to treat lake the way that he does. I’m just stating I can understand why he is the way that he is. Also there is child pornography in this book so if that triggers you please do not read this book.

Once again started reading comments on this book because when I first started listening to it it wasn’t at all what I thought it was. This is the type of book that needs trigger warnings. There is none so I am definitely going to have to deduct points from this because there is no trigger warning and there needs to be. So overall I’m gonna give the book about a two stars because of the content of the book it kind of was confusing but it intrigued me enough to where I did listen to the second book and I will listen to the third box because I have invested 22 hours into this book series that I might as well just goOnto reading the other three books. I really want to see where all of this ends.

Basically the gist of the story is lake moved to six Forks when she was eight years old she was on the playground trying to help this boy but the mail main character Kiernan decided that he hated this girl because of something that happened in his past. We basically torments her for 10 years and then he basically it’s on the way Juvenile detention on a drug charge he gets out he thinks lake is the one who set him up but the reality of the situation is lake did not set him up and so he is on a mission to take her virginity and basically break her.

He doesn’t really end up breaking her in all reality he ends up falling for her more so than he wants to. He wants to be this person who doesn’t give a shit about other people but sadly that’s not the case.

I have finished the second book for my review on that will be up in a couple of days. I want to say the redeeming quality of this whole novel was Eva Erickson. She is a fantastic narrator I love everything that she’s ever read. So I will continue to listen because I have a goal to listen to everything that she is narrated it so yeah

Thank you all for joining me here in our little part of wonderland. Please do not forget to feed the unicorns on your way out.

Until Next time

Happy reading

Much love

Ashten

Audiobook Review – Maybe Now

Synopsis

What is more important? Friendship, loyalty, or love? 

Colleen Hoover and Griffin Peterson collaborate once again to bring fans of Maybe Someday back into the musical world of Ridge Lawson and Sydney Blake. And Maggie. And Warren and Bridgette. 

This full-length novel is a follow-up to the New York Times best-selling novel Maybe Someday. For the best listening experience, Maybe Now should be listened to after Maybe Someday and the spin-off novella Maybe Not. However, Maybe Now can also be listened to immediately following Maybe Someday

Review

Finding this book was like reuniting with old friends. I absolutely loved maybe someday. I love the way that Colleen Hoover creates her characters. Sidney and Ridge were a couple that really fought hard against their attraction to each other but in the end at one out. The first story really takes you through an emotional roller coaster. It’s about for bidden love and whether or not to stay with somebody out of obligation. So since maybe someday took the reader on an emotional roller coaster I was very happy with the reprieve of this book. Maybe someday is a story with a dual perspective. This book has a total of four perspectives. Sidney, Ridge, Maggie, and the new guy Jake.

I read reviews while I was listening to the audiobook. I typically don’t let other peoples reviews sway my opinion. This is why I don’t mind reading reviews as I’m listening to a book because a lot of the reviews I read are not spoilers. I have to agree with some of the reviews that I read. I personally would’ve really liked if this book stuck to the two main characters from maybe someday. Although I do appreciate having Maggie‘s perspective I personally think she should’ve gotten a book solely on her own. I feel like there was more that we could’ve learned from Maggie and it really could’ve gone in depth in her own story. Like I said I appreciate the fact that we got her perspective in the story. Colleen Hoover introduces a new character as one of the main peel these in this book. There was a lot of backstory and I feel like again if he was just stuck in Maggie’s book we could’ve really gotten to know both of these characters individually.

Sidney and Ridge We’re absolutely cute in the story. It was really great to see them grow as a couple and how they interacted with their friends as well as Maggie. I don’t want to give spoilers in this review so I will say one thing I really do appreciate about Colleen Hoover with these books is how much sure everybody is. Nobody’s freaking out and in the first book there was a lot of drama so with this one I like that it was pretty much a smooth ride. Everybody was trying to navigate how because Ridge and Maggie broke up how everybody fit into their lives. Everybody is pretty much mature and can talk everything out which I like. I read a lot of novels where the two main characters go assuming with the other one is feeling or making the decision what’s right for the other person instead of just sitting and talking it out. I understand that this is to further along with Story and create angst but I also appreciate that there’s a book out there where the characters can sit down like adults and talk it out.

The narrators absolutely did a phenomenal job. Angela and Zachary it was such a pleasure listening to them together again. Zachary weber is one of my all-time favorite male narrators and I could just listen to him forever. Rebekah Ross also known as Elizabeth Louise is again one of my favorite narrators. I think the way she narrates is so beautiful. Her voice is very soothing. Jonathan Todd Ross is a new narrator to me. I think you did OK overall in the book but there was just something really monotone about his voice. It kind of felt like he was reading a script. Now I know that he was reading a script but it shouldn’t feel like he’s reading a script. His range invoices was really nice and he was OK to listen to.

The production of this audiobook was absolutely fantastic. Between all four narrators there wasn’t any awkward pauses in any of the chapters. The sound mixing was really professional. That’s all I can say about that because I don’t really know what it takes to be a engineer of sound.

If you guys made it through this review there and you guys deserve a cookie. I’m really sorry that I haven’t been around over this past year and really only posting reviews when books were given to me. This book was not given to me and I did buy it with my own money.

As always thank you for joining me and our little part of wonderland. Please do not forget to feed the unicorns on your way out.

Until next time

AshtenMuch love

Happy reading

Ashten

Audiobook Review – Marketville Mysteries Book Two

Audiobook Series Tour: Marketville Mysteries by Judy Penz Sheluk

Author: Judy Penz Sheluk

Narrator: Kelli Lindsay

Series: Marketville Mysteries, Book 2

Publisher: Judy Penz Sheluk

Released: Apr. 8, 2019

Genre: Mystery

Sometimes the past reaches out to the present. It’s been 13 months since Calamity (Callie) Barnstable inherited a house in Marketville under the condition that she search for the person who murdered her mother 30 years earlier. She solves the mystery, but what’s next? Unemployment? Another nine-to-five job in Toronto?

Callie decides to set down roots in Marketville, take the skills and knowledge she acquired over the past year, and start her own business: Past & Present Investigations.

It’s not long before Callie and her new business partner, best friend Chantelle Marchand, get their first client: a woman who wants to find out everything she can about her grandmother, Anneliese Prei, and how she came to a “bad end” in 1956. It sounds like a perfect first assignment. Except for one thing: Anneliese’s past winds its way into Callie’s present, and not in a manner anyone – least of all Callie – could have predicted.

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Judy Penz Sheluk is the Amazon international bestselling author of the Glass Dolphin Mystery and Marketville Mystery series. Her short stories can be found in several collections, including Live Free or Tri and The Best Laid Plans, which she edited. Judy is also a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Crime Writers of Canada, where she serves as Vice Chair on the Board of Directors. Find her at http://www.judypenzsheluk.com.

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Narrator Bio

Kelli Lindsay’s versatile style and years of experience with commercial, corporate and e-learning projects have created a dream career for her. She has lent her talents to TV, radio, video games, and various other fantastic projects, but she proudly admits that her true passion is narrating audiobooks. Her professional training has taught her how to put herself into the script or audiobook and deliver an incredible performance. With her professionalism and love for what she does, Kelli ensures that her clients and listeners get to hear exactly what they’re looking for!

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Judy Penz Sheluk has once again pulled you into another great mystery. The first book only gave you a taste of what Callie could do. Also, the first book left you wanting to know more about her life. Judy does not disappoint. Callie is on a whole new adventure. One thing I love about this author is that you don’t get bored reading or listening to her books. She weaves a tale that you finish her books in one sitting. It takes a true artist to be able to do that. 

Now for this book there was new voice actress Kelli Lindsay. I believe Kelli is a new a voice actress to me. She as amazing. She really brings the story to life. Also, I love the way she spells her name. It’s my favorite way of spelling it. Kelli has a voice for every character. Range is something I look for when listening to a new actor or actress if the have a weak range then I most of time I DNF the book. Kelli did not disappoint. 

The whole production was amazing. There was not any background noise or weird pauses.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Judy Penz Sheluk. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Giveaway

Giveaway: 5 Judy Penz Sheluk Audiobooks

Marketville Mysteries Giveaway: 5 Judy Penz Sheluk Audiobooks

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Audiobook Review – The Princess Pose

Audiobook Series Tour: Modern Royals by Aven Ellis

The Princess Pose

Author: Aven Ellis

Narrator: Andrea Emmes

Length: 21 hours and 8 minute

Series: Modern Royals, Book 2

Publisher: Tantor Audio

Released: July 24, 2019

Genre: Romantic Comedy

A modern princess. A charming commoner. Can they hurdle tradition to find true love?

Princess Elizabeth “Liz” of York isn’t interested in a fairy tale life. Determined to use her elite platform to champion children’s causes, she’d much rather raise awareness than find her prince. If only she could stop picturing one certain gardener with vivid hazel eyes….

When the relentless paparazzi invade her space, Liz’s crush comes to her rescue and steals her heart. Tossing aside centuries of tradition for something real, she takes Roman’s calloused hand and braces for the backlash. But after her progressive approach ruffles more than a few feathers, one member of the monarchy vows to keep the princess locked in her stylish but decidedly ivory tower.

Can Liz break through her birthright to find a powerful kind of love?

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Aven began her publishing career in 2013 with her debut release, Connectivity. She currently writes hockey and baseball romances as well as a modern royal romance series.

Her books are designed to make readers laugh out loud and fall in love. Happily-ever-after endings and good-boy heroes are guaranteed.

Aven lives in the Dallas area with her family. She is a huge fan of both the Dallas Stars and Texas Rangers. Aven loves shopping and fashion and can spend hours playing with fragrances in any department store. She can be found chatting it up on social media, eating specialty M&Ms, and crushing on the latest outfit the Duchess of Cambridge is wearing.

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Narrator Bio

Best Selling, Award Winning Audiobook Narrator, Andrea Emmes was born in Hollywood, Florida, grew up in both Tennessee and Rhode Island and started her career in musical theatre. She’s enjoyed an eclectic career as a singer, dancer, Vegas Headliner, Magician’s Assistant, a Recording Artist and a Video Game Designer.

A total book nerd, Andrea, now enjoys narrating all genres of audiobooks, especially YA, LitRPG, Mystery, Romance, and NonFictionat her professional home studio in San Jose, CA.

Her wide range of character voices and dynamic/emotionally invested performances has reviewers and listeners alike commenting on how she effortlessly pulls listeners in and has versatility and charisma.

Fun Facts: Andrea has a Bachelor of Science in Game Art and Design; was a game designer for Disney Interactive; and gets her gamer-geek on playing games of all kinds!

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Aven really knows how to tell a great story. I am absolutely loving this modern and day or royalty. It is taking the British monarchy and completely changing what we know about it. If the British Royal monarchy were ever going to take on a modern role in the world and let go of some of their traditions I would definitely hope that this will be the path that they’d take. It’s so fun reading these books. I’m really hoping that there is going to be more a. Out with I like a book about Prince Xander. The out there makes you wanna live in her world. Her writing is so pretty you just feel good while reading these books. 

The narrator I really enjoyed. Andrea does an amazing job. Her British accent for this a specific character Elizabeth was really nice to listen to. I will say though a where voices for males can be a little distracting and take you out of the story just a little bit but her fellow is really nice and you get sucked right back in period it on the fact that she was born in Hollywood of Florida and can pull off a British accent that while is amazing. There are just some narrators who can’t really pull off accents but she does it flawlessly.

The production and sound on this book were great!

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Aven Ellis. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Top 10 List

Aven Ellis’ Top Ten Literary inspirations
  1. Sophie Kinsella. The moment I started reading Confessions of a Shopaholic, I felt as though I had never read anything like it before. It was so funny, so vivid, so bright. I knew instantly that these where the kind of stories I wanted to write-ones with humor and heart. And that began my path toward becoming a romantic comedy writer.
  2. Georgette Heyer. I absolutely love her regency romances, in particular Sylvester and The Grand Sophy, which had me laughing out loud. Absolutely brilliant writing.
  3. Jane Austen. The way she weaves together a story is masterful. These are re-reads for me.
  4. JK Rowling. The fact that she had such strength and perseverance to follow her writing dream is truly inspiring.
  5. Maeve Binchy. She wrote the most beautiful descriptions and stories with so many layers.
  6. Julia Child. Her book Mastering the Art of French Cooking is a masterpiece. When you read her book My Life In France, you see what a monumental undertaking it was to write that cookbook and in this book, you feel like you are on the journey. I absolutely love both of them.
  7. Julia Quinn. Her Bridgerton series is a master class in laying out a series. How the plots are so thought out, so interwoven to lead to the next book, is brilliant.
  8. Margaret Mitchell. Gone with the Wind, need I say more? I love the way her plotting kept me turning the page.
  9. Helen Fielding. Bridget Jones’s Diary is humor at it’s best. She is another comedic inspiration for me.
  10. Emma MCLaughlin and Nicola Kraus, The Nanny Diaries. I still remember parts of this book, which made me laugh and made me sad. Most of all, I remember feeling it was totally unique and I loved that about their writing style.

Dream Cast

Aven Ellis’ Casting Picks for The Princess Pose

Giveaway

Giveaway: $25 Amazon Gift Card

Modern Royals Giveaway: $25 Amazon Gift Card

BOOK 1- A ROYAL SHADE OF BLUE

Aug. 25th:

Country Road Reviews

Viviana MacKade

The Book Junkie Reads . . .

Aug. 26th:

A Blue Million Books

KayBee’s Bookshelf, A Literary Blog

One Last Page Book Blog

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Aug. 27th:

Author C.A. Gray

My Creatively Random Life

The Book Addict’s Reviews

Aug. 28th:

Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author

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Jazzy Book Reviews

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BOOK 2- THE PRINCESS POSE

Sep. 1st:

Country Road Reviews

Dazzled by Books

Sep. 2nd:

Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author

The Book Junkie Reads . . .

KayBee’s Bookshelf, A Literary Blog

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A Blue Million Books

One Last Page Book Blog

T’s Stuff

Turning Another Page

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Author C.A. Gray

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Haddie’s Haven

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Teatime and Books

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Thank you all for joining me here in our little part of wonderland. Please don’t forget to feed the unicorns on your way out.

Until next time

Happy reading

Much love

Ashten

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Audiobook Review – My Last Chance

Author: Weston Parker

Narrators: Lacy Laurel

Length: 7 minutes 35 minutes

Publisher: BrixBaxter Publishing

Released: June 17, 2019

Genre: Romance

I’ve made lots of mistakes.

But never one like this.

Back in high school, the girl next door spent a serendipitous night in my arms. But she wasn’t my type or really up to my level.

So I walked away not knowing her secret—our secret.

Years later, I’m still at the top of my game, ruling my own chunk of the world.

She walks into my office a different woman. Strong, sexy, and dead set on revenge.

I need to walk away again, but I can’t. She’s a different person, and yet, all the things that first had me taking a chance with her pull me back in—deeper this time.

She’s going to wreck my life, one bad decision at a time, and fuck me, I’m going to let her.

The fact that the little man who calls her mom acts like me stops me in my tracks. He even loves the same things I do.

Surely not.

No damn way I’ve been a selfish bastard and haven’t considered the possibilities of our night together so long ago, but it’s true.

He’s mine, and I’m instantly in love with both of them.

I need one more chance, and I’ll do anything to get it.

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Hey there. I’m Weston.

I’m a former firefighter/EMS guy who’s picked up the proverbial pen and started writing bad boy romance stories. I co-write with my sister, Ali Parker as we travel the United States for the next two years.

You’re going to find Billionaires, Bad Boys, Mafia and loads of sexiness. Something for everyone, hopefully. I’d love to connect with you. Check out the links below and come find me.

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Narrator Bio

After going to school to obtain her BS and MBA, then starting a rather large and boisterous family, Lacy Laurel dove back into literature in order to relieve stress and have a little “me” time. Once finding audiobooks and falling in love with performance all over again, she set her sights on learning the art of telling an interesting and exciting story. Naturally being the passionate person that she is, she gravitated towards romance and erotica. Lacy thoroughly enjoys getting to bring stories of passion, love, loss, hunger, and angst to life.

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This book. OMG this book. Weston Parker knows how to write a very compelling book. This is the first book I have read from this author and it will not be the last. They way Weston crafts his story you are on the edge of your seat. His characters are relatable but complex. This is all about second chances and who is not here for that.

Lucy Laurel is a voice actress I have had the pleasure of listening to before. So listening to her again was such a joy. The second voice actor Gregory Salinas is new to me. I loved listening to him. When it comes to having two different voices actors. It really does ass to the story for me. Normally, one voice actor/actress never really stands out above the other for me. This time it Gregory Salinas. His voice was just so strong while Lucy voice is very soft.

When it comes to the overall performance I’m not sure if it was the app I was using or the audiobook itself it kept pausing on me. Which did take me out of the of the story. There were no weird sounds. I would say that they over all experience was a positive one.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Weston Parker. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Jul. 14th:

Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author

Jul. 15th:

Jazzy Book Reviews

What’s Beyond Forks

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Lisa Loves Literature

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The Bookworm Lodge

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Audiobook Fascination

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The Book Junkie Reads . . .

Page Princess

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Momma Says To Read or Not to Read

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Audiobook Review – Being aWitch and Other Things I Didn’t Ask For

Author: Sara Pascoe

Narrators: Fiona Hardingham

Length: 7 hours 40 minutes

Publisher: Sara Pascoe

Released: January 28, 2019

Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fantasy

After a life of hurt and disappointment, Raya, the spiky-haired, Doc Marten-wearing 14-year-old decides it’s time to strike out on her own. She leaves the boring English village and what she’s determined will be her last foster placement for the excitement of London. But it turns out she’s a witch, with the annoying habit of time-traveling – by accident. And a sarcastic witch’s cat Oscar tags along for the ride. Why would she fling herself into the midst of the Essex Witch Trials in 1645 England?

After being arrested by one of history’s most notorious witch hunters, her social worker and witch mentor Bryony goes back to try to save them from the gallows. But returning to present day London remains out of reach when they find themselves in Istanbul in the year 1645. There, life is more amazing than she ever dreamed.

Sara Pascoe comes to writing after a career in psychology, where she had many wonderful experiences, from the chimp house to the halls of Congress, with neuroscience research in between. Originally from the United States, she moved to Great Britain in 2004. She lives in Bournemouth, on the southern coast of England where they run a B&B for English language students.

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Narrator Bio

Fiona Hardingham is an award-winning audiobook narrator who has voiced over 175 audiobooks specializing in YA, Children & Contemporary Fiction titles. She is the recipient of several AudioFile magazine Earphones Awards and this year was nominated for an Audie in the ‘Middle Grade’ category. She is a professionally trained actress and recently played a role in the eagerly anticipated ‘Pokemon Detective Pikachu’ as well as a role in ‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’ both out this coming spring.

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This story is exciting, entertaining, and really funny. The author writes a story that takes you through time and adds a new level to the lore of being a witch. The writing style of the author I definitely feel was more I’m telling you it’s happening instead of showing you what’s happening. Though I do find this with a lot of stories that take place in England. This is the first book that I’ve read by Sara Pascoe. When I first heard about this book for the store I thought it would be an interesting read because our main character Rhea is only 14 years old and typically I don’t go for sorry it’s where the main character is under about 17 oh. There was something in the blurb that really caught my eye and I think it was the time-traveling element to this. I really didn’t know what I was getting into when starting this book but I’m really happy that I did sign up for this to her because the book took me on a very wild ride. But that’s all I’m going to say about that because I don’t want to give too many spoilers.
The narrator’s name is Fiona. This is the first book of heard her narrated and I have to say her voice is extremely Pleasant. She definitely had a wide range of voices for every character. Even though the book takes place in London what are the characters she had to voice for an American but specifically with a New York accent. She did a fantastic job when it came to an American accent from what I know doing an American accent is really hard. In my opinion, I feel like she did nail the American accent. I would definitely recommend listening to Fiona I think she is amazing in Narrating.
The production was bad of very professional. There were no awkward pauses when Fiona was narrating. There was no breathiness that I could hear when listening to the audio book. I would definitely recommend this audiobook to anybody and everybody who loves reading about witches.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Sara Pascoe. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Q&A with Author Sara Pascoe

  • Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
    • It was quite a process for me because at first, I tried doing it myself. I set up a home studio, which is no easy feat because there are all sorts of normal house noises you don’t think of, like the furnace kicking in, and even the hum of the fridge in the floor below had to be dealt with. I was able to manage all of that, but then I realised my acting and voice are not up to it, especially with all of the various accents and characters. And I wanted to do the book justice. So, I started looking around for a narrator, and got really lucky with Fiona Hardingham!
  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
    • No, I hadn’t thought about the possibility of an audiobook at all when researching and writing the book. In fact, if I had, maybe I would have reduced the number of characters! I felt bad for making Fiona do all these different characters across country, accent and time. But in the final analysis, to me all the characters are necessary to the story. In fact, I had gotten rid of some characters from the earlier drafts. So it could have been worse!
  • How did you select your narrator?
    • I found her, and then I asked her if she’d be willing to narrate Being a Witch. I started out by looking on the internet at a lot of different book narrators. And listed Being a Witch on the ACX site so narrators could bid for the job. (ACX is the Amazon company where audiobooks are produced, where narrators and writers can find each other to work together.) Some lovely narrators came forward and auditioned, but none of them matched Fiona Hardingham. I had found her profile on ACX and watched and listened to her work. I was smitten. I thought she was perfect for the book, by far. But I knew it was unlikely she’d agree to do the job, as people are busy, and it’s very subjective what work you want to do, especially when you’re a sought-after book narrator like Fiona. But, she agreed!
  • How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?
    • Fiona, the consummate professional asked for detailed information about the book before she started. She asked for brief character biographies, and had me record all words that were unusual, or that I wanted pronounced in a certain way. Half the book happens in 1645 Istanbul, with Turkish names and terms. Luckily, I have Turkish friends who helped me get these (hopefully) right. Then, I recorded all of the words in question. And Fiona is brilliant at not only British versus American English, at also doing regional accents from both countries. She had me roaring with laughter – as though someone else had written the book!
  • Were there any real-life inspiration behind your writing?
    • Yes. I used to work as a psychologist including with foster kids. Their lives always moved me. What it’s like to not have anywhere that couldn’t just throw you back if you were a pain. Not to have anywhere to call home the minute you turn 18. And to have all these grownups nosing around your life like you’re a bug under a magnifying glass. The two foster kids in this book, the main character Rachel (Raya) and the younger boy, Jake are tributes to the kids I’ve known, but not based on any specific individuals. None of the details or names are from any real people or real lives that I’ve known about.
      The cat, Oscar is a tribute to a wonderful, huge, black and white stray who came to live with us, in the very real cottage and village where the story starts. The first place I lived when I moved to England was this story-book cottage at the edge of a village called South Nutfield (really). There was a farm behind us, and an old stone cottage across the field, just like in the book. Oscar had been living on his own for a while and was skinny and scraggly. It was a friendly village full of pets, and although everyone knew him, no one knew where he’d come from. My husband thought maybe he’d fallen off the back of a witch’s broom as they were flying over the field. Hence, Oscar, the witch’s cat character was born!
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • Oh yes, I love audiobooks. And I think they speak to a very deep, human trait reaching back to our origins.
      Human language developed about 100,000 years ago. But the first mass-printed books weren’t made until the 1400s. So, we had a lot of time on our hands, over 98,000 years, when we talked to each other before most people had anything to read, let alone the ability to do so. In addition to simple transfer of knowledge, “there are good berries over there,” “watch out for the new caveman, he’s a jerk,” we also developed or found in ourselves the appetite and need for stories. Since ancient times, across all cultures, we told each other epic poems, myths and stories through song, passing these down across generations. Recent neuroscience shows that the listeners’ brains synchronise to the storytellers’ – we really to get onto each other’s wavelengths it turns out!
      I love hearing someone tell me a gripping story, or new information I’d been keen to learn through audiobooks. I find there is something special about having this person’s voice bringing the narrative to life. The science showing how we sync our brains to the story teller’s makes a lot of sense to me, because I get drawn in like you can with a movie, but with your own imagination filling in the visuals. And I often feel refreshed afterwards, like after watching a good movie, as though you’ve been on a mini-vacation. It can be a magical experience.
  • Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
    • More than a particular part of the book, I think it’s the fact of all these characters and accents, being brought to life by someone as adroit as Fiona that is especially wonderful in this audiobook. It was only once I started working to get the audiobook made that I realised what a challenge I had created for a narrator. When you ask for auditions you pick out parts of your book for people to narrate. I chose a selection covering the voices and accents, including Oscar, the cat who thinks he sounds like a movie star, so I could have an idea of the narrator’s abilities to do them all. Fiona really nailed it, you always knew who was talking, whether it was a human for the 21st or 17th century, in England or the Ottoman Empire, an animal, or a spirit being!
  • If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
    • After I read so much about the Ottoman empire in the middle 1600’s, I think I’d like to go back there. Istanbul was one of the most advanced cities of its time, and it was definitely the most diverse and very tolerant. Women from Venice and other European kingdoms ran away to Istanbul for better lives. And I would definitely want to go to the Turkish baths, the hammams. They still exist today, but nothing like what they were. Three different rooms where you went through a series of baths, showers under hot and cold fountains, massages and beauty treatments, all followed by coffee and pastries! I’m not a big beauty treatment person in this century, but these sounded so amazing, and they were also places where women would chat, make connections and get things done.
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • I’d say, please have another think and give them a try. If you don’t listen to audiobooks, you are missing out on a deeply essential human experience, a wonderful experience that can be uplifting, mood-changing, and mind-expanding. Listening to audiobooks is different than reading and reading cannot be replaced for many uses. No one is saying that. It would be hard to use a recipe from simply listening to it, because you couldn’t look back easily to check amounts and ingredients for example. And hard-core academic learning requires reading and re-reading information you want to learn. Although I find listening to a book I’m also reading a very good way to reinforce the information. And audio is essential to some types of learning including languages and music.
      But putting aside the learning of new information aside, sharing a story, being brought into someone else’s world, is terrific, and shouldn’t be missed. As we now know from neuroscience, our brains synchronise when we listen to a story teller we find compelling. And how magical is that? Why not let yourself synch up to new thoughts and feelings and worlds. What could be more amazing?
  • What’s next for you?
    • I am currently researching and working on the sequel to Being a Witch. I don’t want to give away too much about this first book, but at the end Raya finds herself with a huge responsibility to undo something she accidentally did back in 1640’s Istanbul that has unravelled history. In this second book, she learns in Witching Academy that this unravelling can be stopped, but only if she does certain things. While she is living her life with this heavy responsibility, she stumbles into current-day horrors that run under the surface of all our lives. Through the lady who owns the dog she walks for pocket money, she learns of a powerful evil over 1000 years old that has gotten larger while remaining invisible. Although she had no intention of fighting evil this school year, she can’t unknow what she now knows. Now, what to do about it?

Rachel Hollingsworth, “Raya” is a fourteen-year-old foster girl when we meet her in Being a Witch and Other Things I Didn’t Ask For. She’s a “turtle” hard on the outside from what she’s been through, but soft on the inside.

She grew up in East London, which is known as a hard-scrabble, working class area, until she was five. Her biological mother had problems with schizophrenia and couldn’t care for Raya by the time she was about three. She never knew her father was as her mother either didn’t know, or wouldn’t tell her. She’s an only child. Her maternal grandparents took care of her after he mother no longer could, but they had both died by the time she was five. She’s in in her fifth foster home when the story starts.

Raya is about 5’ 7” tall, and slender. She has blue-green eyes which she always thought looked like dirty dishwater. She finds her medium blonde hair boring, so dyes it jet black and has it shaved on the sides, with the top gelled in spikes when she’s allowed (most of the schools she’s gone to don’t allow it). She has a couple of facial piercings she got by lying about her age. She has almond shaped eyes and high cheekbones. She likes running although she has never joined a sports team at school, not being much of a joiner. And her experience as a foster kid has been to mostly be on the outside of most friendship groups in any of the schools she’s attended. She’s always liked reading, but her interests weren’t really formed for her at the start of the story, but this changes as she goes through a number of mind-bending and time-shifting adventures.

She secretly likes Sudoko and is pretty good at it. Before the story, her favourite food was Italian, especially anything with a white sauce, but she adores Turkish food after her adventures, now too. She prefers bold colours and funky, offbeat clothing. She secretly watches rom-coms, because she hadn’t wanted people to know she’s soft inside.

She can be spikey emotionally speaking, saying sharp things sometimes before she even knows what she’s said. She’s also kind and empathic inside, funny, impatient and has a decent brain.

Q&A with Protagonist Rachel Hollingsworth, “Raya”

  • QUESTION 1: So, Raya, what was the worse part of working with your author, Sara Pascoe?
    • RAYA: ‘What? Oh, right. Yeah, well she was OK mainly. But she could also be a whiny pain in the ass. Can I say that here? Ass? Sometimes she’d moan about not being able to, or not having enough time to write. And I’d have to just sit there waiting for her. She didn’t seem to think about that. About how we all had to just hang around in suspended animation waiting for her.
  • QUESTION 2: What’s suspended animation like? Is it relaxing? Do they have a nice sound track?
    • RAYA: I wish. It’s just boring, nothingness. Sometimes us characters would get together and play cards or something. But we’d have to use imaginary cards, and Oscar, the cat – I’m sure he cheated.
  • QUESTION 3: Getting back to you and your life, I hope this isn’t too personal, but what would you like to say to other kids out there in foster care?
    • RAYA: ‘Stop it. You’re making me cry. Just a second…OK, well, I’d like other kids in care to know, no, I’d like them to feel and believe in their hearts that there’s nothing “wrong with them”. That they weren’t put into care because they’re rejects or unlovable. Believe me, I know it feels like that’s why you’re there, in care. And it’s really hard to shake that feeling. But grownups are just human and a lot of them are screwed up or have problems bigger than they can handle. So just hold on and get through childhood as best you can. And do let the good parts in. There is always some good stuff. Sometimes even really good people around. And it doesn’t have to be someone you even know all that well. It could be the lady who runs the corner store. Or a custodian at school. Let yourself recognise these good, kind people and let yourself soak up your interactions with them.
  • QUESTION 4: Do you think it was the time travel that helped you see what you already had in life in general?
    • Raya: Well, it did in a way. Living through history is much more interesting than reading about it, if you ever get a chance. England in 1645 was shocking. It stank, people hardly ever bathed. The toilets were outside, the food was boring and gross. People had really weird ideas, like the idea that you can kill someone, or their pig just by being mad at them. But it also made me appreciate how knowledge and stuff accumulates over time, over the centuries. I mean they didn’t know about viruses or bacteria back then, so they tried to figure out why people got sick. And I had to zip and unzip my jeans really quietly. Zippers weren’t invented for like another 100 years, and I already stood out as weird. And back then and there was no good weird. There was only lock you up weird.
    • Istanbul, in the same time in history was so amazing. They were much more advanced in comparison. But I think the whole experience made me see that whenever and wherever we live is just luck. And that you’ve got to look at your own culture and society with clear eyes. You’ve got to think to yourself, “what stuff do we believe, take for granted, that they’ll laugh at 300 hundred years from now.”
  • QUESTION 5: Do you think everyone should get the chance to time travel?
    • RAYA: Absolutely not! I mean it is really interesting, but I think they should be careful who they let time travel. For example, I’ve totally messed everything up, and not on purpose. And now history was changed, which of course you’re never supposed to do. So, the instructors at the witching academy, they tell me it’s like an avalanche rolling toward us in the present. And that we need to make it right. As soon as Sara starts writing the sequel, this is going to be my biggest challenge is going back and doing certain things to fix what I messed up. And if I made this big problem, and I wasn’t even trying to do wrong, you can imagine what some time terrorist might try to do. So no, not everyone should time travel. Plus it’s a pretty weird thing to go through. It would probably mess with some people’s heads. I think people should be carefully selected, like astronauts or something.
  • QUESTION 6: Were you a cat person before you went through all this?
    • RAYA: Oh, no, not at all. In fact, I used to think people who get so mushy over their pets were a bit sad, to be honest. But after time traveling with Oscar, I completely changed my mind. At first, he got on my nerves with his snarky comments. But then I realized I must sound the same to a lot of people, which really made me laugh – learning to be a better person from a cat. And he saved my butt a number of times. And they are good company.
  • QUESTION 7: Are you looking forward to working with this author, Sara Pascoe, again?
    • RAYA: Yeah, I am now. Sara kind of grew on me, the way the cat did. Actually I wish she’d get off her butt and write the sequel. She keeps talking about it. Hmm, actually I guess it’s get on her butt in order to write, right?
  • QUESTION 8: What are you hopes for your future?
    • RAYA: Boy, if that isn’t the classic grown-up question. OK, so first I need to finish senior school. I think you call it High School in the U.S. And I also want to go to witching academy and get my certificate. It’s a lot of work to do alongside school, but I don’t want to wait two years, and keep accidentally time-traveling, popping across history. I need to get these skills under control. After all that, I think I’d like to go into law. Maybe human rights, or environmental law. This cracks me up. I never thought I’d hear myself talk about any kind of serious job. But what I went through changed all that – changed what I think is important. And changed what I think I can do.
  • QUESTION 9: Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers?
    • RAYA: Oh, right, “the interviewer can’t think of any more questions, question.” OK, I’ll give it a go. Don’t wait for your life to be perfect, or even for some particular thing to happen, like graduating from school, or getting the right job, or getting the right boyfriend or girlfriend in order to be happy. Don’t hang your happiness on some specific thing happening. ‘Cause, you know what? You’ll get there and you’ll still be you. Look around and really experience the cool stuff that’s happening now. ‘Cause there’s always some good stuff. Promise.

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Audiobook Review – Sail

Author: Lindsey R. Loucks

Narrator: Kamala Alcantara

Length: 9 hours 58 minutes

Series: Haunted Stars, Book 1

Publisher: Evershade Publishing

Released: Nov. 20, 2018

Genre: Paranormal Romance; Science Fiction

Nineteen-year-old Absidy Jones is a ghost magnet, a sensitive person spirits flock to when they can’t cross over. After her brutal past escaping the hordes of ghosts vying for her attention, she spends her reclusive existence melting down iron into bite-sized pieces. Whether alloy or wrought, ancient paper clips or nails, consuming iron is the only thing that keeps the ghosts away.

But when Absidy’s sister goes missing in deep space, a dangerous place brimming with rogue planets, ship-eating nebulas, and vicious aliens, Absidy vows to find her. She leaves her safe haven and boards the first ship she can that’s on a direct route to deep space – a ship that turns out to be haunted.

To keep the malicious ghosts from killing her, the alluring bad boy pilot gifts her a small bundle of all the iron on the ship. But their growing relationship is tested with the crew’s prying eyes and hidden secrets. While the ship sails into deep space, it’s not just her sister’s life that Absidy fears for. It’s her own as well. Especially since her stash of iron has shrunk to zero.

Lindsey R. Loucks is a USA Today bestselling author of paranormal romance, science fiction, and contemporary romance. When she’s not discussing books with anyone who will listen, she’s dreaming up her own stories. Eventually her brain gives out, and she’ll play hide and seek with her cat, put herself in a chocolate-induced coma, or watch scary movies alone in the dark to reenergize.

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Narrator Bio

Kamala Alcantara is a Voice Actress & Audiobook Narrator capable of performing a wide range of voices & accents.

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Lindsay is a new author to me. I have never listened or read whatever books before. If you love a good book about a medium Or someone who is sensitive to ghosts this book has a whole new take on that. So the setting is in a Futuristic land where we are able to travel between different planets. The main character is an interesting character to say the least to. She is our medium. She is able to attract ghosts to her unfortunately For her this is a bad thing because he ghosts are able to kill her. Our main character sister and the sending a signal thing sail The whole town thinks that she has gone rogue and she doesn’t want to be found. So this is where the whole adventure begins and I don’t want to give too much away because it is a very interesting read and I feel that it should be gone and to without knowing much about the story.

Now for our narrator this is the 1st story I have heard her read. She is absolutely fantastic. The range that she has is a very nice. There was a different voice for each of the different characters. This is really important to me when a voice actress is narrate a book because I like to be able to distinguish the characters. Her tone throughout the entire book is even and her voice has a nice calming effect to it. So even when she was reading high action and intense seems I just felt calm. It’s the weirdest thing I tend to gravitate towards readers who are very calm and have a soothing voice.

Now for the production of this audio book I found it was very professional. There were no awkward pauses or anything to distract from the audio book it felt. Over all this was a very enjoyable experience to listen to. As you guys know I like to speed my books up as I’m reading them. I ended up getting this almost to triple times the speed it because I did feel that the reader loves to make sure that she’s very understood. Sometimes I can find this to be a little too slow for my liking so I will speed the book up. And I didn’t find any distortion when I did feed the book up to triple times the speed. I was able to understand the narrator a very clearly. So this is also a Testament to the production over all of this book.

I definitely recommend the audio book over the physical or even E book. I always recommend an audio book over it E book or a physical copy I don’t know wh
I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Lindsey R. Loucks. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Dream Cast

By Author Lindsey R. Loucks
  • Jennifer Lawrence – Absidy Jones
    • Whether you love Jen or hate her, she’s proven she can be the tough girl with a don’t-give-a-f*ck attitude and a large dose of vulnerability. That’s my main character, Absidy, in a nutshell. Let’s just add some chains to Jen’s hair and dress her up in a spiked corset, and she’ll be repelling ghosts in no time.
  • Charlie Hunnam – Mason (Mase) Ryan
    • *swoon* Absidy’s love interest is a bad-boy pilot who is thoroughly lickable. Enter Charlie. Enough said. ☺
  • Idris Elba – Captain Glenn
    • Whenever Idris opens his mouth, I listen. He has that quiet command suitable to head a haunted spaceship and could silence an unruly crew member with one (sexy) look.
  • Ian McShane – Randolph
    • Randolph, head chef, is a little bit hairy and a little bit drunk, both things Ian McShane can portray very, very well!
  • Theo James – Doctor Daryl
    • Theo is good-looking, intense, and seems like he’s a bit of a loner, all qualities he shares with Doctor Daryl.
  • Mackenzie Crook – Nesbit
    • He’s a genius engineer who just might be insane, and Mackenzie’s exceptional, unique acting ability would be perfect for Nesbit!
  • Kelly Marie Tran – Moon Dragon
    • Sexy, confident, and funny, Moon has drawn Absidy out of her shell in their shared dorm at college. Moon is Absidy’s only friend, a responsibility Moon takes very seriously. Kelly Marie Tran has that same lovable, sultry allure as Moon.

Giveaway

Prize: 1-Month Audiobooks.com Membership

Sail Giveaway: 1-month Audiobooks.com subscription
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Thank you all for joining me here in our little part of wonderland. Please dont forget to feed the unicorns on your way out.

Until next time

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Happy reading

Ashten

Hello Wonderlandians…

Why hello there.  It has been sometime since I have been on this blog like a week and half. I’m so sorry that I have up and disappeared on you like that. Honestly. things have been very crazy over this last week. I started to move to a different building at work. Plus I have been training all new people for the last two months all while trying to get back into school mood. So while I have not posted in the last week and half does not mean that you are far from my mind. In fact every time I reading something over this week I have wanted nothing more than to tell you all about it.

I do have some really exciting news. I am this coming Sunday going to be one of the host for a read-a-thon. It has to do with mermaids. Next Thursday is my day to host. The days theme is going to be Retelling of the little mermaid. Trust me when I tell you that I am going to have a lot of recommendations for you on this prompt.

So next week I will be back in full swing next week but I will be posting throughout the weekend,

Thank you all for joining me here in our little part of wonderland. Please don’t forget to feed the unicorns on your way out.

Until next time

Much love

Ashten

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