Tag Archive: text-to-speech-enabled



A Duel in Time: A Time Travel Romance (Thief in Time Book 5)A Duel in Time: A Time Travel Romance by Cidney Swanson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Inspirational! Who doesn’t enjoy a good time-travel book? This one addresses the subject of the musical Hamilton. What fun! And now I have to go find the books about him and the sheet music to play with, and learn to sing the tunes like I did with Phantom and Les Miz.

But the book isn’t all about the musical. It covered a lot about the history and character of the man, statesman, politician, Alexander Hamilton. And the fictitious twins of this century and their coming of age issues.

I always enjoy books by Cidney Swanson. I always have to say that her Saving Mars series is my favorite but all her work is so fantastic it is only that I have to be the old grown-up with left-over space-travel dreams that I gravitate to those books. But Time-Travel is fun, and educational and inspires me so much! Enjoy! I did!

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Payback's a Witch (Witch Detective #1)Payback’s a Witch by Constance Barker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this and the second book out of order as I wasn’t sure which was which. I wish that the Kindle people would put a large number on the little image of books so that it wouldn’t happen the way it did for me.

That said, I wasn’t as far off in what I believed happened in the second book and first book. I was prepared to read number two again if I needed it, but it all straightened itself out in my head.

This series is very light and fun a kind of cozy mystery. So if you are looking for a fun quick read, check these out. And the plus is that they are free with Kindle Unlimited. I hope you get the chance to check them out.

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No Crones About It (A Spell's Angels Cozy Mystery #2)No Crones About It by Amanda M. Lee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you are looking for a fun distraction, nothing too heavy or crazy, this is it. This series is about fun. Of course, you have to be the kind of person who enjoys a bit of snark.

There is a bit of shapeshifter and witchy romance but it is far from angsty. It is just the right amount of tension and fun between two people.

I am grateful to Kindle Unlimited to get to read this little gem.

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The Spellslinger (A Fistful of Daggers #4)The Spellslinger by S.M. Reine

Sara Reine has done it again. I love that we get to visit our favorite characters over and over in an ever-renewing timeline. Once again we visit the Reno-Tahoe area which for me, makes for one more character to enjoy.

Through the characters, Ms. Reine asks questions that remind me of why I loved Sci-fi for all my life. With deities, angels, and demons, subjects like philosophy, religion, and why things happen the way they do, and how it applies to our norms, all this comes up in the course of the story and makes the reader think. That is my favorite kind of writing. It isn’t preachy, it doesn’t even set up any rule to follow. These are questions the characters present as they chase down the next plot twist.

Ms. Reine writes so well and keeps the reader involved. I almost always finish her books quickly as I don’t want to stop reading until the end.

As always, I suggest a person go back to the beginning, Six Moon Summer and read the gazillion other books, they are all terrific. I can’t wait to read the next book! What will she come up with next?

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Fat Girl Walking: Sex, Food, Love, and Being Comfortable in Your Skin...Every Inch of ItFat Girl Walking: Sex, Food, Love, and Being Comfortable in Your Skin…Every Inch of It by Brittany Gibbons
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Autobiographies are harder to rate. This is someone’s life and their opinions of what they have been through. But as such, this was a fun book, in spite of the awful things that Brittany Gibbons has gone through, and her rise to fame, the story is an interesting read. And Brittany does have a fun sense of humor.

Since nearly 40% of the population is overweight or obese and every one of us has been weight shamed, even the skinny-minis. And no one that I know of has yet to lose weight from being shamed. Few have been able to maintain a weight-loss when they have tried. I think a new method needs to be tried. Since nearly half of us are afflicted. How about more of Brittany? Let’s celebrate life and live it. Let’s be okay with our bodies regardless. Let’s be okay with other folks as they are and let them live. Sure we all can improve. Just remember, just because your sins aren’t worn on the outside, doesn’t mean you are as bad or as unhealthy as the ones you like to shame.

So, stepping off the soapbox. This is a fun read

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Holly and Ivy: A Lesbian Holiday RomanceHolly and Ivy: A Lesbian Holiday Romance by T.B. Markinson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, this was cute. I think it is a nod to Nottinghill. It is rom-com with an LGBT leaning. There is a fun holiday feeling to it like Nottinghill. I don’t want to give a lot away. But if you like this kind of story it is fun.

I do love how T.B. Markinson writes. Her characters feel real. I’m not so sure about the millionaire. I’ve not been one nor do I know any personally, but it was Ms. Markinson’s story so it was where her characters led her.

I just didn’t want to finish with her world when I finished her combination book. So this filled the bill.

I can’t wait to read more from her.

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We Witches Three Books 7-10 Bundle (We Witches Three Bundles Book 2)We Witches Three Books 7-10 Bundle by Starla Silver
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m so sad about this series. The first no-no in my world is a cliff-hanger in the book before this one. Each of these books has about four novels. So they take forever to read. The other irritation for me is the angsty romance stuff. People can love many people. Look at families and friends and all. We love. Why set it up that a witch should be guilty for loving a Vampire and another witch? All the wasted romance is so boring to me. So I put my text-to-speech on speed two so as to get done faster.

The saving grace for this set of books is the gargoyle. Especially the pet who takes care of the female Howard. But that isn’t enough for me to find the next big book. It just is too much human angst for something that is a fantasy. Hopefully, others will like this and the books will do okay.

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The 100 (The 100 #1)The 100 by Kass Morgan
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

What a disappointment! I couldn’t afford to buy the Kindle and Audible versions of this book, so I looked it up in the e-library. I’m glad I didn’t spend money on this book.

What I wish is that those who took this book and made the fantastic series on Netflix would take a look at my on writing.

The thing I usually like about reading a book over watching a show is the depth of character you can enjoy. Instead, blathering emotional teen angst.

Oh, and I checked out the audio version thinking that real voices would help my reading experience. NOT! Justin Torres (Narrator), Phoebe Strole (Narrator). For some reason, the main character, Clarke, who is supposed to be the medical team leader of sorts, sounds like a five-year-old. Instead of having a space adventure or a new Earth adventure, we tripped about in romantic lunacy. Yes, the show did take more of a Lord of the Flies take on the loosed teens on Earth, but that was preferable. I wish more time would have been spent exploring and learning. I don’t think most teens are that immature as the book or the show portrays.

Anyway, after I gave up on the narrators and went with my text-to-speech. So much better. I can’t wait to see more of the 100 on Netflix, but I am not at all interested in reading more. That makes me sad!

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SaraliSarali by Susana Gino
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sometimes I read a book and feel raw from the length of the read. Granted, this was a Kindle ARC, so I’m sure a lot of the story will improve with the reviews.

The technical problem that has probably been addressed by now, but it took me out of the story every time, the author and/or the title and page number (?) pop up often and are inserted into the tale being told. I suppose if I were strictly reading it, my eyes would skip it, but since I read via text-to-speech, it is all very jarring.

Overall, the story was interesting, though the main character seemed in her head most of the time. The erotic scenes were almost too much while sorting through her growing maturity. And though the main character, who calls herself either Sara or Sarali according to whether she was involved in a sexual pursuit or her own enlightenment.

Though the main character seeks to learn of her sexuality and help others through their experiences with her, a sort of prostitution, that wasn’t my main problem with the main character. She seeks to be with her daughter out of love, and the relationship does grow. But her daughter’s safety ought to be her chief thought. A man who has such little control of himself as to rape a young woman and force her into marriage and having the resulting child, should not be trusted with that same child to raise on his own. What could he be doing to that child? It seems to me that should have been the character’s aim, not worry about what falsehoods he may speak. It is true, Sara needed to do some growing herself, but not once in her mental ravings about how unfair it was to her, did she mention what might be happening to her daughter.

My last problem with the book is how repetitive it was. I found myself wanting to find another book to read. Still, I think in a future edit or two that would be taken care of, and the newer readings will find an interesting read. As a seeming autobiography, the story reflects the way all our brains work in circular ways coming back to the trauma and trying to overcome it all. Worth the read.

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If All the Seas Were Ink: A MemoirIf All the Seas Were Ink: A Memoir by Ilana Kurshan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I was young, and even to this day, I loved to spend time, overnight to weeks, if I could, in other people’s homes. It was interesting to see how other people lived. I learned how different and yet the same my life was to my friends. What rules applied? What was okay? How huggy or talky were the people?

As an adult that is less likely to happen. Slumber parties seem to stay in the child’s world. Really close friends can share their lives. But it isn’t the same as personal observation.

Autobiographies give that kind of insight. You live inside the person’s world, hear their thoughts, see how they try to live up to their own standards. See how they feel when they don’t.

Ilana Kurshan provides that kind of insight. I admire her determination and curiosity. She decided to study the Talmud in a seven-year quest to understand it and her relationship to it better. She lived it as best she could, all the easier for living in Jerusalem, all the harder as a single person, then newlywed, then young mother. But she did her best to apply what she learned along the way.

I was raised protestant. I have many friends of various religious leanings and love to learn their belief systems and how they work in real life. I have a friend who has moved to Israel and thought of her as I read. I don’t know if she read this yet, but I bet she will glean from this person’s challenge.

Rating autobiographies is harder than a piece of fiction. It is personal. I can’t judge another person’s life or their own memories. It was where they are/were and how they choose to live it. Ms. Kurshan’s writing was compelling. I couldn’t stop reading. Since this was an ARC or Uncorrected Copy, there were formatting issues that made my text-to-speech the best way to read it all. But I’m sure those issues were corrected in the retail versions. Other than that it was a delightful read and I highly recommend it to others. I doubt I will ever try the seven-year Talmud, though who knows? I’ve taken on lessor challenges. I was glad that Ilana included scripture so I could feel a part of the quest. And I’m proud of her for taking a feminist view on her religion. It makes it all more real and possible.

I can’t wait to read other reviews about this book.

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