Tag Archive: text-to-speech-enabled



Fortune FallsFortune Falls by Jenny Goebel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a fun book! Though aimed at middle grades to young adults, I enjoyed it thoroughly.

My friend and her granddaughter were co-reading this. They shared on a Zoom friends-meet how much they were enjoying it. I started looking around to see if it was on Libby. I couldn’t afford to buy it right now. Thankfully my friend gifted the Kindle version to me. Yay! And thank you!

Imagine a town where superstitions come true. Sadie lived there and was considered unlucky. What an adventure she takes us on while making us question those beliefs!

If you want to take a break from the adult reads, this will fit the bill. I am amazed at the vocabulary and writing. I believe young me or my kids would have enjoyed this even more than I did, which seems an impossible bar to reach!

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The Butchers (Breeders #6)The Butchers by Katie French
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There are many different reviews on this book, low stars and high. I’m giving it five stars as I still care for the characters and the situation enough to make it through the whole series. And I look forward to the new book in a takeaway series in the future but in the same place.

What I hate has nothing to do with this book, except the way books have to be labeled. Yes, it is nice to have a guideline of readability levels. But maybe we need something that says, this is gory and has a lot of killing and blood. There is a romantic element but no sex. There are gender issues addressed in the way of this series’ settings.

But here’s my thing: Why do young adult books have to have young adults? I remember being a young adult and loving science fiction. The more, the better. Those characters were men, not anyone that looked like me. Still, I consumed them. Am I happier to see books that reflect every age of me now? Absolutely! I’m not ever depicted in exciting books, adventures, etc. Auntie is the closest to me. I think all of us need a variety of types of characters to get to know. What we relate to are the places, flaws, ability to rise above, etc. 71 year-olds are people who need all that, too!

The reading level is easily accessible by middle grades though a parent or teacher may want to talk to the child about it. Certainly, children these days watch shows on the media that contain all that is here. And for many, the survival of our characters teaches how one might be to be out in the New Mexico desert with bad guys everywhere out to kill you.

But barring all those elements, this story pulls me in. From the very beginning, The Breeders. I do agree that it is hard to differentiate between characters. Even having the title of the chapter as the heads up for the viewpoint, the character Sounds the same until he/she bring up individualized things. I’m not sure how to fix that confusion that happens if you are reading by listening only to text-to-speech. But I somehow got used to it and felt the new chapter beginning.

All-in-all, I loved these books enough to overcome the issues presented. I’m looking forward to reading more by Katie French.

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Girl Love Happens: Season ThreeGirl Love Happens: Season Three by T.B. Markinson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was my favorite of the series so far. The main character is coming into her own emotionally and using wisdom and care with others as she goes through the problems presented in her life. Tegan is far from a perfect person, but her growth is so fun to read about.

I love how T.B. Markinson writes. Her characters, even the secondary ones, all feel real. The situations feel plausible, and she brings wisdom to the story.

I like that we are getting to go through the college scene while Tegan learns about her sexuality. And as she learns how to help her mother adjust to Tegan’s self-discovery.

Though this book didn’t leave me on a cliff-hanger, it indicated that it would continue. I can’t wait to see how Tegan grows.

By the way, the book is free with Kindle Unlimited.

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Girl Love Happens - G&T Lesbian Romance Season TwoGirl Love Happens – G&T Lesbian Romance Season Two by T.B. Markinson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m not too fond of angsty romance, regardless of gender. But most romances are with young people who have little experience or self-esteem to bring to the table. Somehow most of us grow up going through it. It wasn’t fun then, and it is sometimes excruciating to read about. I think I am alone in this thought pattern as romances of all kinds seem to flourish in books and movies. It is just the mechanism of two people learning to live with each other. That part I find interesting. Not the does she, does he love me. But how can I make their life better?

Add in new friends and their traumas or dramas, and the angst grows exponentially. And in this book, two lots of problems start growing. Luckily, I have grown to love the characters and watching their growth. I love hearing the thoughts of what I can do to help them through this from multiple levels.

This was the hardest book of the series for me. But this middle book can’t be skimmed through. In book three, the characters need to learn their lessons and move on to a more adult way of life. Yes, I am already halfway through that book. I am proud that they struggled and matured in book two to set up an even better next book.

I love best how the secondary character calms and reasons with our main character and was a voice of reason for what readers may be going through themselves. She gives such excellent advice and yet helps the love stay in front of all the relationships a person deals with, parents, grandparents, family friends, etc. This book points out how no one is an island. You have to include who raised you and who you’ve become and portray that to others. I don’t know many books that include that kind of wisdom.

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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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Saving Snow WhiteSaving Snow White by Gita V. Reddy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really needed this story. After the stress of the last book I read, I needed a bit of a child’s adventure, Not that this is a childish story. Adults can appreciate this story, as can middle grades. There is a sweet nod to the Snow White story, but mostly this strong young girl had to figure a way to survive this evil stepmother. This would have been a great book to read to my kids at bedtime. I think there are many points that could have been conversation starters.

What I like best about this tale is how the author chose to let the child/children work out their own answers to their dilemmas. They were in positions where the adults were not to be trusted. It is good to teach your children to think for themselves about what they might do in the worst circumstances. As much as I would love the kind of world where that wouldn’t be needed, not teaching a child to think and act would be a disservice. We need to help our children feel strong enough to handle themselves while remaining respectful and still have the fun of being a kid. We all need that.

When you let yourself imagine yourself like this child, what would you have done? I don’t think I would have had the tools within me to survive much. I was so naive and gullible. I hope I raised mine with more gumption. If you need to set your inner child on a semi-scary adventure, this is one for you and yours.

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Review:


The Carolina Diaries: Belle

by Darlene Winters

The Carolina Diaries: BelleThe Carolina Diaries: Belle by Darlene Winters
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I don’t know. This was hard to read. It is hard to review. It feels autobiographical. Though it–

I don’t do this often as I figure people will go read the blurbs themselves. But this and the reviews make me wonder if I read the same book.

“Her cousin wants to die. She has the whole roadtrip to convince her otherwise.

Darlene only knows of one way to help her cousin Belle after a life of disappointments–go with her on a cross-country road trip, head back to California where Belle was born… and where she intends to die.

But deep family resentments and drama rides with them across the country, shedding light on heavy themes like sexual abuse and depression, as well as religion and politics. Growing up in North Carolina, these cousins have a lot of stories to share: some sad, some comical, and some just down right disturbing.

If you enjoyed Little Miss Sunshine and Girl, Interrupted, you’ll want to read The Carolina Diaries with its unique blend of dark humor and even darker perspectives of life past, present and future; the real take-aways being how to cope and heal.”

I found no humor. I wish I hadn’t picked it up. It was exactly what I don’t want to read before bed. All the reality of our daily news lives during this pandemic. And though I agree with the author on a lot of stances, I couldn’t deal with it in my bedtime fiction.

My fault. I saw road trip, my first name, and didn’t read the description.

Maybe if I read it during the day I could see the humor in a suicidal cutter who had lived with so much abuse, of every kind, during a pandemic during the political turmoil of 2020. No. I don’t think so.

The reason I am not giving this a lower rating is the list of good books and ideas the author presents. Unfortunately, the way it’s presented makes me sure the ones who need the information will not see it. Still, there’s a chance I could be wrong.

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Accidental HoneymoonAccidental Honeymoon by Miranda MacLeod
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So I learned that this book was free on Kindle Unlimited and decided to give it a try. First, I’m not a romance fan. But the story sounded interesting.

Let me be honest. I wouldn’t say I liked either of the main characters—one too pretentious, one too judgy. But people come in all sorts, and isn’t that what I want to see in my books? I continued reading, and by the end, well, the penultimate chapter, I was crying for these two.

It would be a great beach read. It is light enough not to have to get deeply involved. Yet, there is enough meat to keep you involved and caring about what happens next.

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Life in BitsLife in Bits by Harper Bliss
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mothers and daughters, family relationships, strokes, photography, charity, wealth, and war. These are some of the topics this lesbian May/December romance covers. For the most part I loved the whole story.

However. The grumpy old lady and the perfect ingénue trope was quite upsetting. It seems a dysfunctional relationship in the making.

Still, there is enough meat to the story to keep the reader interested. And the erotica was kept to a minimum just spicy enough to feel real.

I always want to know what happens afterwards. How will they make the relationship work?

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Angel MagicAngel Magic by Lucia Ashta
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Two things ruined this book for me. The first is such a big one that I may not read anything else by this author. I HATE CLIFFHANGERS! If I like characters and the world enough, leave me in a safe place, I’ll be back for more!

The second problem was that way too much helpless romance in both the main character and her love interest. Ugh! How about using that energy to find out her abilities. A part angel part mermaid could have made it quite interesting, but, no, we have to have romance take over and make the pair helpless once again. Ugh!

But maybe I am too old to get the need to be helpless? I think romance should happen between peoples’ strengths. Then the romantic interaction is so much more appreciated. This is a young adult book. But why do we need separate categories? A good book is fun for all!

Still, plenty of people loved this series so try it for yourself.

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