Thursday, June 28, 2018

0 Ambition's Curse is the theme for this week's free #audiobooks from Sync

Week 10 of Sync's Summer of Free Audiobooks for Teens starts today! These titles are available for free 06/28 - 07/05 only. Ambition is good, but too much ambition can lead you down the wrong pat. This week's books are Macbeth and The Curse of Crow Hollow.  Everything you need to know about downloading this week's titles can be found at

by William Shakespeare | Read by Josh Cooke, JD Cullum, Dan Donohue, Jeannie Elias, Chuma Gault, James Marsters, Jon Matthews, Alan Shearman, André Sogliuzzo, Kate Steele, Kristoffer Tabori, Joanne Whalley
Published by L.A. Theatre Works

Infamously known as the cursed "Scottish play", Macbeth is perhaps Shakespeare’s darkest tragedy. When General Macbeth is foretold by three witches that he will one day be King of Scotland, Lady Macbeth convinces him to get rid of anyone who could stand in his way—including committing regicide. As Macbeth ascends to the throne through bloody murder, he becomes a tyrant consumed by fear and paranoia. An L.A. Theatre Works full cast performance featuring: James Marsters as Macbeth Joanne Whalley as Lady Macbeth Josh Cooke as Banquo/Others JD Cullum as Macduff/Second Murderer Dan Donohue as Ross Jeannie Elias as Second Witch/Others Chuma Hunter-Gault as Lennox/Servant Jon Matthews as Malcolm Alan Shearman as Angus/Others André Sogliuzzo as Donalbain/Third Witch/Others Kate Steele as Lady Macduff/First Witch/Apparition Kristoffer Tabori as Duncan/Others Directed by Martin Jarvis. Recorded before a live audience at The Invisible Studios, West Hollywood in May of 2011.

by Billy Coffey | Read by Gabe Wicks
Published by Thomas Nelson

With the “profound sense of Southern spirituality” he is known for (Publishers Weekly), Billy Coffey draws us into a town where good and evil—and myth and reality—intertwine in unexpected ways. Everyone in Crow Hollow knows of Alvaretta Graves, the old widow who lives in the mountain. Many call her a witch; others whisper she’s insane. Everyone agrees the vengeance Alvaretta swore at her husband’s death hovers over them all. That vengeance awakens when teenagers stumble upon Alvaretta’s cabin, incurring her curse. Now a sickness moves through the Hollow. Rumors swirl that Stu Graves has risen for revenge. And the people of Crow Hollow are left to confront not only the darkness that lives on the mountain, but the darkness that lives within themselves. “Coffey spins a wicked tale . . . [The Curse of Crow Hollow] blends folklore, superstition, and subconscious dread in the vein of Shirley Jackson’s ‘The Lottery.’” —Kirkus Reviews

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

0 Review: The Soldier Prince by Aarti V. Raman

by Aarti V. Raman
Kindle Edition | 284 pages
Published May 22nd 2018 by Karou Publishing

Review Copy Provided In Exchange For A Review


The Soldier Prince...

Alexander ‘Iceman’ Heinrickson was born a prince. The spare heir to a European principality whose future was set in stone. Until circumstances forced him to abandon his wealthy lifestyle and royal heritage. He chose to become a soldier. After years of seeing needless combat, he works construction in New York city. And craves a normal life.  Going back home is not an option for him. But neither is leaving a brave damsel in danger. 

...And The Commoner 

Sasha Ray is an aspiring teacher and a soft touch waitress. Her life is normal. Boring even.
She also has a massive crush on the newest Tall, Blond, and Handsome who frequents the New York deli where she works. What she doesn’t know about the stranger called Iceman might get her killed. Or worse. 

For one, he turns out to be a lethally capable soldier. For another, he is the secret Prince of Stellangård, who is not used to the word no. So, when Alexander sweeps her off on a private jet to his castle nestled in the Swiss Alps for her own protection, she has no choice but to go with him. Falling for a tortured hero like Prince Alexander might be the biggest mistake of her life. 

But Sasha knows some mistakes are worth risking your heart for. With an unknown enemy closing in, Sasha and Alexander need to decide if happily ever after is just a fairy tale. Or can a Prince and a commoner find true love in the middle of danger? 

My Thoughts

Aarti V. Raman is a self-proclaimed incurable romantic. She has written several contemporary romance books, and her latest, The Soldier Prince, will make this already hot summer even hotter. This is the first book of her new series, and she sets the bar quite high. 

Alexander Henrickson abandoned his royal lifestyle to become a soldier. After years in combat, he retires from military life to become a construction worker in New York City, deciding to live a simple life instead of going home. Sasha Ray works at the diner Alex frequents. Sasha works two jobs while also trying to get a degree in teaching. 

One evening, a homeless man comes into the diner to urge Sasha to warn Alex that there are men looking for him. So she goes, believing he's in mortal danger. From there things go from bad to worse. And before you know it, Sasha is on a plane with Alex heading for his homeland of Stellangård for her own safety. Sasha knows that any attraction she feels towards Alex will be in vain. A relationship between the two will never work out, yet she can't fight her feelings.

The Soldier Prince reminded me a bit of Beauty and the Beast, in the fact that Sasha is kept against her will and there's a huge library that would make any bookworm fall in love. But right now seems to be the perfect time for Royal Romances, especially on the heals of a certain royal couple who just tied the knot. Alex and Sasha have great chemistry. Their situation seems impossible, but I still couldn't help cheering for them. But of course, this is a romance so you know the characters are going to get their Happily Ever After. 

I enjoyed this novel. The characters had great chemistry. There was enough emotional turmoil to keep me satisfied. And of course, the ending was worth it all. Raman's style breaths some fresh air into this popular genre that will have you eagerly waiting for the next book in this series.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

0 An #Audiobook Confession

I listen to audiobooks on many devices. My kindle, computer, and this  . . . 

An iPod shuffle (3rd generation). I've had this device for what seems like an eternity. It's small, compact, and weighs practically nothing. And while technology has moved leaps and bounds since this little thing came on the market, I still prefer to listen to audiobooks on it. It's dinged and scratched, but works perfectly. 

Last week while I was charging it, my daughter asked, "What is this thing exactly?" I then went on to explain, and with a confused look on her face replied, "Couldn't you just use your phone?" This conversation left me feeling a little bit . . . old. I guess I could use my phone, but the truth is I will keep using this tiny mp3 player until it no longer works. And then maybe I will switch to my phone. 

Or search ebay hoping someone somewhere has one to sell. 

In the meantime, if you see me around with my tiny mp3 player, you can safely assume I'm listening to an audiobook.

Monday, June 25, 2018

0 My faith in humanity is a little bit closer to being restored, Mary Shelley, Bodleian's New Tolkien Exhibit

"I have a fire in my soul . . . "

You may have already seen this in the theaters last month, but if you're like me, you haven't. Now it's available to rent, but I'm going to wait until it's on Netflix to stream. Have you watched it? Is it good?

The last few weeks have hit me hard. I haven't spent a lot of time on social media lately because . . .well you know. I know I'm not the only one struggling lately, especially with the current state of affairs. On one of the few occasions I did pop on, I saw this. It gave me hope that there are decent and kind people. More than we realize. And each in their own way trying to make this world a little bit better. 

Going on vacation? Why not travel to Oxford to see the new Tolkien exhibit. 
"Oxford University’s Bodleian Library recently launched a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition dedicated to J.R.R. Tolkien and his connection to Oxford." Check out the full article here.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

0 Celebrate Pride Week With Sync's Summer of #Free #Audiobooks for Teens #ILoveAudiobooks

Week 9 of Sync's Summer of Free Audiobooks for Teens starts today! These titles are available for free  06/21 - 06/28 only. This week's books are Doctor Cerberus and Openly Straight. Celebrate Pride Week with a novel and a play that ask: What’s the value of truth? The harm of labels? Everything you need to know about downloading this week's titles can be found at

by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa | Read by Steven Culp, Pamela Gray, Simon Helberg, Jamison Jones, Jarrett Sleeper
Published by L.A. Theatre Works

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's coming-of-age, coming-out cocktail with a twist of terror. Thirteen-year-old Franklin Robertson is trying to survive adolescence. His parents don't understand him, his brother torments him, he has no friends, and he's more interested in the high school quarterback than any girl. The one bright spot in his life is the glow of the black-and-white TV in his parents' basement. Here, he worships at the altar of the Saturday Night Horror Movie, hosted by the eerie Dr. Cerberus. Before long, Franklin is convinced that only by going on the show will his life be redeemed—by Dr. Cerberus himself! An L.A. Theatre Works full cast performance featuring: Simon Helberg as Franklin Robertson Jamison Jones as Doctor Cerberus Steven Culp as Lawrence Robertson Pamela J. Gray as Lydia Robertson Jarrett Sleeper as Rodney Robertson Original music by Steven Cahill. Directed by Bart DeLorenzo. Recorded before a live audience at the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles in July of 2010. Doctor Ceberus is part of L.A. Theatre Works’ Relativity Series featuring science-themed plays. Major funding for the Relativity Series is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to enhance public understanding of science and technology in the modern world.

by Bill Konigsberg | Read by Pete Cross
Published by Dreamscape Media

Rafe is a normal teenager from Colorado. He's been out since 8th grade, accepted by his peers & championed by his progressive parents. And while that's important, all Rafe really wants is to be a regular guy. To have his sexuality be a part of who he is, but not the headline, every single time. So when Rafe transfers to an all-boys' boarding school in New England, he decides to keep his sexuality a secret -- not so much going back in the closet as starting over with a clean slate. But then he sees a classmate breaking down and realizes his own labels aren't well-concealed. And most of all, he falls in love with Ben...who doesn't even know that love is possible.

Monday, June 18, 2018

0 Readers Make the Best Lovers, Stranger Things, and an inspiring speech!

Mathew McConaughey 5 minutes for the next 50 years of you life. This is a great speech that I think everyone should listen to. 

Penguin Random House has partnered with Netflix to publish a Stranger Things prequel novel, written by author Gwenda Bond, about Eleven’s mother and the MKUltra program. "The first two titles, set for a release this fall, will be a behind-the-scences companion book and a hardcover gift book for young readers. Additional titles for both adults and young readers will arrive later in 2019."

According to eHarmony, book readers make the best lovers. Well, who am I to argue with science. Click here to read the article.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

0 Sync is Celebrating Juneteenth With This Week's #Free #Audiobooks #ILoveAudiobooks

Week 8 of Sync's Summer of Free Audiobooks for Teens starts today! These titles are available  06/14 - 06/21 only. This week's book are My Name is Not Friday and Come August, Come Freedom. Both books in celebration of Juneteenth. "The occasion of Juneteenth, dating from 1865, is a good time to celebrate both freedom and equal rights." Everything you need to know about downloading this week's titles can be found at

by Jon Walter | Read by Dion Graham
Published by Scholastic Audio

A gorgeously written account of a freeborn black boy sold into slavery during the Civil War; think 12 Years a Slave for young adults. Well-mannered Samuel and his mischievous younger brother Joshua are free black boys living in an orphanage during the end of the Civil War. Samuel takes the blame for Joshua's latest prank, and the consequence is worse than he could ever imagine. He's taken from the orphanage to the South, given a new name--Friday--and sold into slavery. What follows is a heartbreaking but hopeful account of Samuel's journey from freedom to captivity, and back again.

by Gigi Amateau | Read by J.D. Jackson
Published by Candlewick on Brilliance Publishing

Born a slave in 1776, Gabriel grows up capable and literate only to be taken from his mother and sent to the capital city as a blacksmith’s apprentice. There in the forge, a meeting point for many travelers and news bearers, his work awakens him to the sparks of resistance that are igniting into rebellion around the globe. When he is unable to both defend the love of his life and earn the money to buy her freedom, and with the news of Toussaint’s successful rebellion against Haiti’s slave masters ringing in his ears, Gabriel makes a decision: freedom for just his own family would not be enough. Using the forge to turn pitchforks into swords and his eloquence to turn dreams into rallying cries, Gabriel plots a rebellion involving thousands of slaves, free blacks, poor whites, and Native Americans. To those excluded from the promise of the Revolution, Gabriel intends to bring liberty. Interwoven with authentic original documents, this poignant, illuminating novel about a major figure in African-American history gives a personal face to a remarkable moment in our past that is little known but should be long remembered.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

0 A Secret Garden remake, Falstaff, and the Secret Codes of a Reviewer

According to Bustle, they're remaking A Secret Garden starring Colin Firth and Julie Walters! I can't tell you how excited this makes me. I love the book! I love the 90s movie! I can't wait!

Craig Schwartz

Wait? Tom Hanks played Falstaff? How did I not know about this? I came across an article in Entertainment Weekly that declared it to be true. This all went down in Los Angeles and since I am nowhere near there, I missed out. But it sounds fantastic! Any chance it was recorded? 

Do you have a system for reviewing books? One woman made a secret code to review the books she read. This is awesome, as was the woman who made it. What kind of reviewing system do you have?

Friday, June 8, 2018

2 The Great American Read: A Book Giveaway With Dover Books

The Great American Read: A Book Giveaway With Dover Books

Prizes and samples provided by Dover Publications, Inc.

Dover Partners With PBS For The Great American Read
Hosted by Meredith Vieira, PBS’s 8-episode documentary, The Great American Read, celebrates America’s 100 most-loved novels — and Dover Books publishes a wide variety of these essential works as Thrift Editions, Evergreen Classics, deluxe hardcover Calla Editions™, and other affordable formats for readers of all ages.

Enter For A Chance To Win A Set Of 7 Titles From The Great American Read List, As Well As The Five Great English Novels Boxed Set!

Two (2) grand prize winners receive:
  • A set of 7 titles from The Great American Read list:
    • Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll
    • Anne of Green Gables, by L. M. Montgomery
    • Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
    • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain
    • The Call of the Wild, by Jack London
    • The Story of Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
    • Adventures of Don Quixote, by Argentina Palacio
  • A Five Great English Novels Boxed Set:
    • Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
    • Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens
    • Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë
    • Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
    • The Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad
Value: $51+
Three (3) runner-up winners receive:
  • A set of 7 titles from The Great American Read list (as above)
Value: $33+
Giveaway begins May 23, 2017, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends June 22, 2017, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

About The Books

Alice in WonderlandAlice In Wonderland

Written by Lewis Carroll
Publisher’s Synopsis: One adventure follows another in this delightful tale as Alice changes size unexpectedly, attends a tea party given by the March Hare, visits a garden of talking flowers, and acts as witness at the trial of a thief who has stolen some tarts. Along the way, she meets such unforgettable characters as the Mad Hatter, the grinning Cheshire Cat, the tearful Mock Turtle, the hookah-smoking Caterpillar, the autocratic Red Queen, and other fanciful folk.
Alice in Wonderland is one of the world’s most-beloved works of fiction, charming children and adults alike with Alice’s adventures and Carroll’s audacious puns and wordplay — but at the same time it is a clever satire, lampooning Victorian education, literature, and politics. Now this enchanting fantasy, enhanced with all 42 original illustrations by John Tenniel, is ready to charm readers of all ages in this unabridged Evergreen Classics edition.

Anne of Green GablesAnne Of Green Gables

Written by L. M. Montgomery
Publisher’s Synopsis: Life is forever changed at Green Gables, a tranquil farm on Canada’s Prince Edward Island, with the arrival of a redheaded chatterbox named Anne. The spirited, precocious 11-year-old orphan finds “scope for imagination” everywhere she looks, transforming the lives of Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, her elderly guardians, with her merry doings and misadventures. Anne — spelled with an “e,” as she gravely informs new acquaintances — builds a world of enchantment around Green Gables and its surrounding woodlands, lakes, and valleys. Thanks to the freckle-faced girl’s imaginative musings, the rustic region’s natural wonders blossom into a fairyland of endless romance. Anne’s inspired prattle, goodwill, and joie de vivre win her a warm circle of friends, just as they have won the hearts of readers around the world.
Since its first appearance in 1908, the novel has led generations of children to laugh and cry — but mostly laugh — along with this beloved story’s vivacious heroine. Now this inexpensive edition, complete and unabridged, introduces new readers to the ageless charm of a fanciful world made real by love and friendship. The inspiration for 2016 PBS movie and the 2017 CBC/Netflix Anne mini-series.
Reprint of a standard edition.

Little WomenLittle Women

Written by Louisa May Alcott
Publisher’s Synopsis: This American classic is as fresh and meaningful today as it was when it was first written in the 19th century. Largely based on the author’s own childhood, Little Women is a timeless tale of the four young March sisters — Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy — who grow to maturity in their mother’s tender but strong care. As different in their personalities as they are alike in their devotion to each other, the girls vow to support their beloved mother, Marmee, by behaving their best while Father is away, serving as an army chaplain in the Civil War.
Literary-minded tomboy Jo develops a fast friendship with the boy next door, and pretty Meg, the eldest, finds romance; frail and affectionate Beth fills the house with music, and little Amy, the youngest, seeks beauty with all the longing of an artist’s soul. Although poor in material wealth, the family possesses an abundance of love, friendship, and imaginative gifts that captivate readers time and again.
This inexpensive, complete and unabridged edition of this beloved novel is sure to delight a generation of new readers, as well as those reacquainting themselves with its warmth and charm.
Reprint of a standard edition. This classic was the inspiration for the May 2018 PBS three-part adaptation.

the Adventures of Tom SawyerThe Adventures Of Tom Sawyer

Written by Mark Twain
Publisher’s Synopsis: Like most boys, Tom Sawyer would rather play hooky than go to school. But Tom’s lively imagination and thirst for adventure lead him into the most extraordinary situations, from a search for buried treasure to the accidental witness of a murder in a graveyard. All of his exploits — tricking his pals into whitewashing a fence, sharing his medicine with the family cat, disrupting a church service with a pinching insect — are flavored with the humor for which his creator, Mark Twain, is justly famed.
In writing this great American classic, Twain drew upon his own memories of life in a small Missouri town before the Civil War. Since the book’s 1876 publication, generations of readers of all ages have laughed at Tom’s hijinks and taken him into their hearts, along with Huckleberry Finn, Becky Thatcher, Aunt Polly, and other memorable characters. This new Dover Evergreen Classics edition offers a fresh introduction to the lovable scamp and the enduring joys of his escapades.
Reprint of a standard edition.

The Call of the WildThe Call Of The Wild

Written by Jack London
Publisher’s Synopsis: This triumphant tale of survival, the greatest of Jack London’s works, relates the adventures of Buck, half-St. Bernard and half-Scottish sheepdog, who is forced into the brutal life of a sled-dog during the heady days of the Alaska gold rush.
Set in the harsh and unforgiving environment of the Far North, the story follows Buck as he grows daily in strength, savagery, and cunning, adapting to his hostile circumstances by responding to the stirring of his primitive ancestral traits. This unabridged edition offers young readers a fine introduction to the excitement of the classic adventure novel.
Reprint of the Macmillan Company, New York, 1903 edition.

The Story of FrankensteinThe Story Of Frankenstein

Written by Mary Shelley
Publisher’s Synopsis: With his debut nearly two centuries ago, Dr. Frankenstein’s monster captured the popular imagination and never let go, haunting even those who have never read this classic of horror fiction. This specially adapted children’s edition retains all of the excitement of the original version yet makes the enduring Gothic fable accessible to youngsters.
The brilliant scientist Dr. Victor Frankenstein indulges his curiosity about the hidden laws of nature when he happens upon the secret to the animation of lifeless matter. Piecing together the detritus of butcher shops and dissecting rooms, the doctor fashions an eight-foot-tall creature whose loathsome appearance fills even his creator with repulsion. Abandoned by his maker, rejected with fear and disgust by everyone he encounters, the enraged and embittered monster goes on a murderous rampage, determined to destroy Frankenstein by striking at those closest to him.
Since its 1817 publication, this incredible and imaginative fantasy has held generations of readers spellbound. This new, specially abridged edition, enhanced with illustrations by Thea Kliros, will satisfy young readers’ appetites for gripping suspense and ghoulish thrills.
Original abridgment of a standard edition.

Adventures of Don QuixoteAdventures Of Don Quixote

Written by Argentina Palacio
Publisher’s Synopsis: “Once, there was a man who went crazy from too much reading. He only read books about knighthood; that was the problem.” So begins this charming retelling of Don Quixote de la Mancha, one of the most entertaining books ever written. Young people will delight in the hilarious adventures of the idealistic would-be knight and his “squire,” Sancho Panza, as they set out to right the wrongs of the world. Ms. Palacios, a talented storyteller, captures all the flavor and irony of the original as the two heroes ride forth to conquer evil. Along the way the well-meaning but addled knight-errand mistakes a miserable inn and its keeper for a castle and its lord; imagines an ordinary peasant girl to be the noble lady Dulcinea, perceives windmills as giants to be overcome, and gets enmeshed in other cases of mistaken identity. These, and many more incidents and adventures are retold here in a beguiling, easy-to-read version, enhanced by six new black-and-white illustrations by Thea Kliros. This edition is sure to delight today’s youngsters, just as the original has enchanted countless readers since its publication nearly 400 years ago.
Reprint of The Knight and the Squire, Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1979.

5 Great English Novels Boxed SetFive Great English Novels Boxed Set

Publisher’s Synopsis: Five volumes of landmark fiction by noted English authors include Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein,Joseph Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations, and Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. Housed in an attractive slipcase, each of these classic tales is presented complete and unabridged.
Dover Original.
These Books Are Available Here:

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How To Enter

  • Fill out the required fields in the form below. It may take a moment to load.
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  • US and Canadian addresses only.

Giveaway Rules

  • Enter between 12:00 AM Mounatin Time on May 23, 2018 and 11:59 PM on June 22, 2018.
  • Open to residents of Canada and the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older.
  • Winners will be selected at random on or about June 26, 2018.
  • Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.
Prizes Courtesy Of Dover Publications, Inc.

The Great American Read Book Giveaway With Dover Books Tour Dates

You Can Enter To Win The Giveaway On Any Of The Following Sites:
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