Tag Archive: book-1



A Ghoulish Midlife (Witching After Forty, #1)A Ghoulish Midlife by Lia Davis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I needed a light read. This did the trick. Though it had scary topics, it was all tongue-in-cheek fun.
Coleen Marlo, the narrator, was fun to listen to, although her males sounded hoarse and hard to distinguish from each other.

This is a story for you if you like witchy stories with humor. It is a fast read; I think I read it in one night. It’s weird that I still call listening to a book ‘reading.’ But it goes in my head as if my eyes were on it. I like Audible because I don’t have to have the light on to read. I like how narrators can pronounce words that might not be common in my world. And in this case, Coleen giggled or nearly shouted at the appropriate moments, keeping me interested the whole time.

Sadly, I am not in the mood to reach out for the next book. I think it was the googly, girlie attitude toward the handsome man. I hate that stuff. Not romantic. Just small-minded reasons to do things. I like stronger, smarter characters.

Still, like I said before, it was a quick, fun read.

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Relatively Normal Secrets (The Falinnheim Chronicles, #1)Relatively Normal Secrets by C.W. Allen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Want a little reprieve from the heavier material you’ve been reading lately? This is the book. It is so much fun and a quick read. After all, it is a chapter book for middle grades. But I don’t quite know how to intrigue you without giving spoilers. Here is the blurb, even it has spoilers I wouldn’t have included.

“Tuesday and Zed Furst are perfectly normal children with perfectly strange parents. Their father won’t discuss his job, their mother never leaves the house without her guard dog, and the topic of the family tree is off limits.

When a last minute “business trip” gets the adults out of the way, Zed and Tuesday decide to get to the bottom of things once and for all. Too bad some thugs with shape-shifting weapons have other ideas. Their escape leaves them trapped in the modern-meets-medieval Falinnheim, where everyone insists their father is a disgraced fugitive. They hope whoever is leaving them coded clues may have some answers, but they’re not sure they’re going to like what they learn.

If they ever want to see their parents again, they’ll need the help of a smuggler with a broken compass, their unusually talented dog, some extremely organized bandits, and a selection of suspiciously misquoted nursery rhymes.

Zed and Tuesday may not have all the answers, but one thing is certain: when it comes to normal, everything is relative.”

Add to the adventure the great narration by Ivy Tara Blair in this Audible version, and you will be in a place of pure enjoyment.

I don’t remember how I heard about these books, but I am already reading the second. I love the characters and how they go about solving the mysteries around them.

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The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels (Dangerous Damsels, #1)The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels by India Holton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I don’t do this often, but I think I should include the blurb from the GoodReads page.

“A prim and proper lady thief must save her aunt from a crazed pirate and his dangerously charming henchman in this fantastical historical romance.

Cecilia Bassingwaite is the ideal Victorian lady. She’s also a thief. Like the other members of the Wisteria Society crime sorority, she flies around England drinking tea, blackmailing friends, and acquiring treasure by interesting means. Sure, she has a dark and traumatic past and an overbearing aunt, but all things considered, it’s a pleasant existence. Until the men show up.

Ned Lightbourne is a sometimes assassin who is smitten with Cecilia from the moment they meet. Unfortunately, that happens to be while he’s under direct orders to kill her. His employer, Captain Morvath, who possesses a gothic abbey bristling with cannons and an unbridled hate for the world, intends to rid England of all its presumptuous women, starting with the Wisteria Society. Ned has plans of his own. But both men have made one grave mistake. Never underestimate a woman.

When Morvath imperils the Wisteria Society, Cecilia is forced to team up with her handsome would-be assassin to save the women who raised her–hopefully proving, once and for all, that she’s as much of a scoundrel as the rest of them.”

My friend, a Pirates of the Caribbean fan like me, suggested this for fun. Her book club had just enjoyed it.

But after the serious reading I had been doing of late, this was just not my cup of tea. At least at first. By the end, my sense of humor came back, and I had a hard time reading it before bed without letting Laugh out Loud moments escape me.

My copy came from the library on the Libby app. It was the audio version and the narrator, Elizabeth Knoweldon, was a hoot to listen to. I loved her accent and how she adjusted her voice according to the character.

If you are looking for a fun summer read, this might do the trick!

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The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time, #1)The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Well, there are a couple of weeks I won’t get back.

Okay. Some people will love this and climb down my throat about this epic adventure. These may be the same ones who hate my opinion of the Lord of the Rings series and the Star Wars series. Those people are more likely males or still haven’t shaken free of forgiving male-heavy reads or shows. Look. I get it. We had no choice of what to reading when I was a kid. All the adventures were about guys. But for the adventure, I’d read.

‘Oh, but you had Nancy Drew!’ I hear them say. Yes, a girlie girl who took time to straighten her nylon seams, donned lipstick and could run like the wind in heels. No, thank you! Sure I enjoyed looking like a girl, but the reality is, let’s have the adventure without vanity like most of the guys could.

Ahem. Sorry, here’s me stepping off the soapbox.

This read was the Libby audio version. The narrator, Michael Kramer, was hard to take. His female voices were demeaning. And though it says there was a female narrator, Kate Reading, I don’t remember hearing her voice until the end of the book.

I remember when they were giving this first book away to entice folks into reading the series. It was EVERYWHERE. I refused. I hate coercion like that. The only reason I gave in now was that the television show is coming up, and I wanted to compare. My husband has watched a bit of the series, and he loves it. I hope they have learned since the writing and the show will be equal in adventure.

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I bought and read the hardback over ten years ago. Somehow my collection went away. Did I sell it before moving? I can’t remember. But I remember enjoying the story and the movies. But one thing I hated about the whole enterprise was how male-heavy it was. With it written by a woman, you would think that she could have brought it around to a female point of view instead of making fun of the most brilliant girl in the room and making McGonagle mean.

I listened to this Audible version because I needed a light read for bedtime. I’ve been reading some pretty heavy non-fiction during the day that I knew I couldn’t read before bed.

The narrator, Jim Dale, did a reasonably decent job of most of the voices. But he was not good at the female voices. As seems to be the case, males doing female voices always sound like they are making fun of the females.

All in all, though, it did make going to sleep easier. I knew where the story was going, so it soothed me to sleep.

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The Beginners Method for Soprano and Alto Recorder, Book 1 (Hargail Performance Series)The Beginners Method for Soprano and Alto Recorder, Book 1 by Sonja Burakoff
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I picked up the Kindle version of this book first. Later I ordered the paper version so I would have the book online or without electronic aid. I had a soprano recorder I was learning to play and decided to try the alto, too. I love how the book showed the fingering for both recorders and even combined to make duets that both recorders would play a part.

Every couple of pages, the book gives a new note or two. I am happy to say that I have played all the songs in the book, the soprano melody, and the alto melody. I am glad they were, for the most part, easily recognizable folk songs. That meant that this first go-round, I could concentrate on the fingering, which is far different from the piano that I’ve played all my life.

After a music hiatus, this book was the perfect way to get back in and enjoy music.

Though I have played the melodies, I plan to use this book the following way. I have an app or two that will help me. One will play the metronome, and then I will record each part of the duets presented. It seems like a fun way to get even more acquainted with the fingering I have mastered. I know I still need work on breath and tempo.

After this book, I have many more beginning recorder books to play with. Each has different approaches and ways to perfect what I know to get to the next level.

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Girl Love Happens - Season OneGirl Love Happens – Season One by T.B. Markinson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

T.B. Markinson writes believable characters. In this book, the fiction felt realistic.

The blurb says it all:
‘Two college roommates are about to discover how awkward and sexy coming out can be.

Colorado, 1992. Tegan entered her freshman year of college with an open mind. As she tries to cope with a long-distance relationship, Tegan realizes it may not be the miles pulling her apart from her boyfriend. It may be her confusing feelings for her new roommate, Gemma. But when an innocent back rub turns into her first girl-on-girl make-out session, she isn’t sure if she’s ready for the world to know she’s attracted to women.

Gemma knows who she is, but she doesn’t expect Tegan to shout from the rooftops about their new relationship status. With the prying eyes of friends and jealous rivals, however, secrets may not stay hidden for long.

If you like tumultuous love stories, simmering chemistry, and colorful casts of characters, then you’ll love this first installment of T.B. Markinson’s smart, sexy series about coming-of-age as a lesbian in the 1990s.’

The book delivered a story I can’t wait to continue in book 2.

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Siren Magic (Sirangel #1)Siren Magic by Lucia Ashta
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a fun diversion from the more serious reading I’ve been doing lately. However, I hate reading about yet another mermaid, not in the water. That’s my inner spirit. I miss swimming so much!

In this case, the mermaid is part angel. And she knows nothing about any of her powers and is put in a totally new situation to her—legs on land, with wings.

It was an excellent bedtime book. It was exciting while soothing. So much so that I had to pick up the next book and started reading it last night.

If you like the occasional fantasy and don’t mind a young adult bent, this would be fun for you, too.

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Urban Shaman  (Walker Papers, #1)Urban Shaman by C.E. Murphy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you like urban fantasy, this will do the trick. The main character, Joanne Walker, is tough with faults making her human enough to believe. She pulls from Native American shamanism and mythology to get the spirit world jobs done.

I got a little annoyed with how often she was getting injured in what seemed like hot temper issues or emotions flying. But it was in character with the auto mechanic of the police department. The female cop is not being respected enough to get a beat. Suddenly the shaman in her starts waking, and all hell breaks loose as she tried to solve a string of murders.

It was a good read, and I may read others in the series sometime.

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Guardians of the Trails: Secret Agents of the Wilderness Volume 1Guardians of the Trails: Secret Agents of the Wilderness Volume 1 by Ron Guiley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I recently went to the eye doctor. Yes, the one that didn’t give me new glasses as he is setting up cataract-removal surgery for me. I can’t wait! It will be so nice when I can read all books again. Until that operation happens, I guess children’s books or Kindle and Audible are my only way to read. As the doctor and I discussed how I couldn’t even see the big E with my left eye, I told him how important it was that I be able to read. “I’m a writer!” I said as I pointed to my 2020 NaNoWriMo winner’s T-shirt. He pulled out his bookmark to prove he not only wrote but actually had published his masterpiece. I couldn’t wait to get it and read it.

Luckily, this book is a wonderful picture book. The poodles pictured in the book are the doctor’s own. He enjoyed taking them on hikes and snapped pictures. A story evolved with the pictures, as with children’s books, the writing is large enough for most of us to read. And the illustrations are adorable. Don’t think for a minute it is just a bunch of poodle pics. The story is fun. The poodles are secret agents solving nature puzzles. I can’t wait to see what they get up to in volume 2!

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