Category Archives: Audiobooks

Fall Into the Story Brunch Event with Nora Roberts on July 23rd, 2017

Hi All,

The Annual Fall Into the Story Brunch was excellent food and conversations.  I won the raffle to sit at the author table 2nd year in a row.  This event gives you a longer time to share books you love to read and the styles we enjoy best.  Everyone that attends get the chance to chat with Nora Roberts.  It’s a special event that donates to proceeds to charity.

Check out this link to see what interests Nora Roberts, travel, gardening and writing its all there – Nora writes excellent non-fiction too on her blog.  Nora Roberts Blog Fall Into the Story Managed by Laura

I’m thankful to Jeannie, Laura, Jason and Kat and the staff of Vista for an wonderful meal (including awesome gelato) and the opportunity to meet beautiful people that all like to read:).

I hope to see everyone next year.

Sincerely,

Melissa Jane Blanchard

Nora Roberts Book Signing Event on July 22, 2017 in Boonsboro, Maryland

July 22nd, 2017 Book Signing Event Pictures.

I’m thankful to Nora Roberts and all the authors that attended along with all the wonderful fans of romance novels full of suspense and possibilities.

I also appreciate all the efforts of the bookstore staff too.  Check out this link for the next Boonsboro, MD book signing event Turn The Page Book Store a great brick and mortar business with a secure website ordering system too.

I Recommend Mary Balogh’s “A Secret Affair”

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Mary Balogh’s “A Secret Affair” gets 5 Stars from me.

More than a great romance story between a strong woman and man. This story covered some of the ills of the period and how two caring people were able to make a difference for those unable to improve their lot in life on their own.  Anne Flosnik does an excellent job bringing the characters to life with her narration on the audiobook.  Well done production.  Thank you Hennepin County library for providing the best selection of audio and ebook for any library of similar size.

Sincerely, 

Melissa Blanchard

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Minneapolis MN

Recommend JD Robb’s Survivor In Death

I’m traveling to Boonsboro, Maryland for the November 1st book signing event at Turn The Page Bookstore Cafe see this link for further details:   http://ttpbooks.com/category/VB.html

I’ve been listening to the In Death Series on digital audio and just completed book 20 in the series.
SURVIVOR IN DEATH AUDIO (select for prices)

This title is available via this link:  http://ttpbooks.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Store_Code=TTPB&Screen=PROD&Product_Code=1AUDIOJDRa20

Summerset shines in this continuing story of the crime busting, Lieutenant Eve Dallas.  10 year old Nixie Swisher finds solace with Summerset when Lieutenant Dallas needs to keep her safe in the fortress Roarke built.
JD Robb writes several moving and vivid scenes in “Survivor In Death”.  The most memorable was the trip to the morgue to take Nixie to say goodbye to her murdered family.  Every time I read this section of the book I cry.  It reminds me so much of those I’ve said goodbye to as a child and adult.  The crowning scene though is when Nixie goes back to Lieutenant Eve and Roarke’s house and sits with Summerset.  Brings tears to my eyes just remembering the moment between them. Take some time today and experience these touching scenes.  This story is also a great Fall book – I love how Peabody describes the falling leaves and how bare the trees are after all the leaves have gone before the first snow falls.  So true to the mid-west and New York too. May you find comfort for any loses you’ve experienced as you read “Survivor In Death”. Peace.

“The Witness” by Nora Roberts

 

The Witness by Nora Roberts

Why read “The Witness” by Nora Roberts?

Consider a young girl, Elizabeth, finds out her Mother didn’t give birth to her for love but to make the best out of a sperm donor’s DNA.  Elizabeth finds herself at 16 a college student that has never been on a date nor has she ever been shopping with friends.  She has an opportunity to have a day shopping with a girl from her old high school and forging fake ID’s for them to go out to a popular club.

Elizabeth soon finds herself running for her life.  What comes next will change her life in ways she would have never dreamed possible.

Will this naive girl survive into womanhood?  If so, what sort of life will she have?

All this and more will be answered by Nora Roberts as the story unfolds.  You’ll discover what happened to Elizabeth, her Mother and the Federal Agents assigned to protect Elizabeth or is it to prosecute?

“The Witness,” kept me guessing.  It is a snapshot of a girl left on her own with no guidance and the trouble that finds her.  A Mother’s love is important and this story shows why on so many levels.

The adult Elizabeth finds she still has things to learn about finding and keeping love between a man and a woman too.  She has to find the courage and wisdom within herself to pursue the man of her dreams while staying safe from the men from her nightmares.

Nora brings all the characters in this book to life from the shy and bookish Elizabeth to the sterile, demanding and unfeeling Mother you’ll find those you love and those you will love to hate in this adventure of the heart.

There are very few writers that could bring a character like Elizabeth to life, but Nora Roberts does it beautifully.  From the style of Elizabeth’s hair to the experience of wearing her first pair of heals, you will not be disappointed.  This is a definite re-read for me.  So much detail needs to be savored.

I hope you pick up “The Witness” by Nora Roberts and see for yourself what makes this coming of age story a suspenseful drama full of mystery and hope.  You can get the book in the following formats at the links below:

http://www.audiobookstanddl.com/9B656443-488B-4EA1-813A-6E319CB89573/10/119/en/ContentDetails.htm?ID=9C9FA007-8C8F-4C14-A40E-19C9E8FDCAE4

http://ttpbooks.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Store_Code=TTPB&Screen=PROD&Product_Code=1WITNESS

If you buy with the second link you can ask to have it signed by the author and its on clearance for $10.00.

I also enjoyed the audiobook performance by Julia Whelan.  She brings out all the emotions of the characters in her voice tone and reading style. Lovely job, Julia, thank you.

“The American Heiress: A Novel” by Daisy Goodwin

<span class=The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin_” width=”201″ height=”300″ />

Why do I recommend Daisy Goodwin’s “The American Heiress“?

First, the novel is well written with elements of romance but not focusing on the happily ever after concept. Instead Daisy Goodwin provides a fresh look at turn of the twentieth century America and England. Her perspective is a new one for me painting a picture of how truly callous the wealthy are during this era.

You’ll learn much about what a British title costs the young Cora Cash.  Cora pursues the title to appease her Mother but finds herself drawn to a Duke she meets by chance.

I think what brings depth to “The American Heiress,” is the relationship between Cora and her maid, Bertha. As Cora is drawn more and more into the drama of English Aristocracy, Bertha is able to ground her on what’s most important. Bertha’s story is every bit as important to the plot of this excellent tale as Cora’s.

There’s also plenty mystery and intrigue as the story unfolds. Daisy Goodwin keeps me guessing until the final chapter.

Will Cora be happy? Is Bertha going to be able to keep her position and the love of her life? You won’t find out until the very end, but I can guarantee “The American Heiress” is a page turner that keeps you hooked until the very end.

I listened to the audiobook and found Katherine Kellgren’s narration engaging and full of emotion.  A very well done production.

You can get an audiobook from iTunes or the book or e-book from Amazon at the following links.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/audiobook/american-heiress-novel-unabridged/id441922680

http://www.amazon.com/American-Heiress-Novel-Daisy-Goodwin/dp/0312658664/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1400438349&sr=1-3&keywords=daisy+goodwin

http://www.amazon.com/American-Heiress-Novel-Daisy-Goodwin-ebook/dp/B004RCNS9C/ref=la_B004DYTI20_1_1_title_1_kin?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1402182543&sr=1-1

Enjoy.

 

“The Collector,” by Nora Roberts

Front Cover The CollectorInside Covers Art The CollectorSignature page The CollectorBack Flap Credits The CollectorBack Cover The CollectorBookSpine

 

“The Collector,” by Nora Roberts surprises, entertains and inspires. Lila is charming with how she makes the most out of all situations. She’s always willing to help out which, in one case, may get her into some trouble.

I don’t want to give away any of the treasures you must uncover for yourself, so not much about the details of the story here. This is a murder mystery romance. It’s also an adventure, comedy and drama.

Laughter, crying and anger are the emotions I experience as I read “The Collector”. Nora is very good at pulling the emotions out of me. She also writes page turners I’m unable to put down – home run with this book. Descriptions of the settings are out of site from downtown New York – street level and a bird’s eye view from the 14th floor window – to Italy. Beautiful scenes of the people, city and rural landscape. Nora took me there for an afternoon better than any movie.

The hard cover book is pictured above with cover and without. Note the back flap is hard to read so I’ll give the credits here:

Jacket design by Richard Hasselberger
Jacket photograph of city
Copyright Sandra Kreuzinger/Getty Images
Photograph of the author Copyright Bruce Wilder [Personal note from me – thank you Bruce Wilder for an excellent picture of Nora – love the scene you chose to frame your subject.]
penguin.com
G.P.PUTNAM’S SONS
a member of
Penguin Group (USA)

“The Collector” book is well crafted and very beautiful with burgundy shades and gold lettering on cover and spine. A great edition to any library shelf. Mine also has a signature from the author virtually via the link: http://ttpbooks.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Store_Code=TTPB&Screen=PROD&Product_Code=COLLECTOR_HC

Getting a personalized copy of your own is still an option, just follow the link above and be sure to read my post at this link: https://melissablanchard62.wordpress.com/2014/04/19/facebook-posting-from-turn-the-page-bookstore/
Where you’ll learn all the best practices to get your signed copy anywhere in the world that mail is able to reach.

I also purchased the audiobook from iTunes at this link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/audiobook/the-collector-unabridged/id852344791

Julia Whelan is an excellent narrator. Her accents and vocal artistry identified each character for me. Every inflection of Julia’s voice convey the emotions of the characters. I enjoy listening to Julia and will again I hope. Nora’s excellent dialog and seamless narratives did the rest.

I hope you all find “The Collector,” as entertaining and adventurous as I do. Now I’m off to read, “Shadow Spell” by Nora Roberts. I’m loving the Cousins O’Dwyer’s trilogy so far. Thank you Nora Roberts for delivering with “The Collector”.

 

 

 

“The English Daughter” by Lindsay Townsend

The English Daughter Cover Image from an Internet Google search on the phrase: The English Daughter, by Lindsay Townsend

“The English Daughter,” by Lindsay Townsend is a beautifully written romantic suspense novel showing the same mastery of the genre as Phyllis A. Whitney in her novel “Hunter’s Green”.

How do I explain the significance of this style of writing?  Scenes so well crafted I can see the characters in my mind’s eye.  Flowing movement of the players in quiet desperation to escape an evil force that is not fully identified until the very end.

“The English Daughter,” is about life and death with a tender romance that heals Val’s self-image.  The love scenes are tasteful and allow for imagination – they are not the focus of the tale.  The mystery of Val’s dreams and the unknown killer is the purpose of the telling.

First, I traveled to Corfu in Val’s dream – vivid and dark, where she witnesses a crime she could not have seen.  Then I arrive in the beautiful Corfu – a place I’ve never been but feel as though I’ve been there through the brilliant depictions designed by Lindsay.

Beautiful landscapes, towns and intense sunlight is the backdrop where the crime was committed.  Lindsay also uses Val’s vocation of piano restorer in the narrative. She weaves the intricacies of restoring wood to its original unblemished state into the healing of her cast.

Why do I recommend this book to all that enjoy romantic suspense? The account of Val’s life and travels in the here and now and in her dreams brings fulfillment to me as a reader. All of Lindsay Townsend’s work has had this impact on me. Her writing is a reminder to me of why I love reading books. Examing her work now takes me back to the stories I read as a teenager finding ideas of stories I’d like to explore from my Grandma Effie’s book of the month club. When yarns were written to engage the reader and take them on an adventure of discovery. “The English Daughter,” is a story that appeals to all generations and all genders. I hope you take the time to look up this book and take a trip to Corfu.

I enjoyed the audiobook production of this story as well. The narrator, Michelle Ford, does an excellent job of telling the account. Her voice is very melodic keeping me absorbed in the descriptive tale as I listen to it over and over.

I bought the audiobook from the following source:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/audiobook/english-daughter-unabridged/id547504841

Kindle e-book is available at the link below

Learn of other points of purchase at Lindsay Townsend’s blog:

http://www.lindsaytownsend.net/2008/04/english-daughter.html

“Dark Wolf,” by Christine Feehan, Dark Series, Book 25

Dark Wolf by Christine Feehan Image

Image above from url: http://www.audiobookstanddl.com/9F06783A-2485-4B86-822F-90B59FC19C7B/10/119/en/SearchResults.htm?SearchID=38726141&SortBy=title

What happens when Carpathians meet Mage? You get “Dark Wolf,” by Christine Feehan. This Carpathain novel is special not only due to the Mage element but also because Skyler from “Dark Legend” is coming of age. Skyler is a key in both novels and I enjoyed being reintroduced to Skyler this time as a young woman instead of a damaged child that Francesca saves in “Dark Legend.”

Here’s a quote from “Dark Wolf,”
“‘No. You’re my best friend, Sky. Dimitri probably despises me and wishes I was dead, but he’s your lifemate and he’s been literally thrown to the wolves.’ Josef sent her a little grin, pleased with his pun. ‘Of course I’m going to help you. I helped you come up with this plan, didn’t I? And it will work.”

Skyler, Josef and Paul are on a mission to save Dimitri from a slow tortuous death at the hands of the Lycans. The wolves mistake Dimitri for a monster that will destroy them all when all he’s ever done is protect them.

Skyler learns she has more gifts than she thought, but will they be enough to keep them all safe as they attempt to free Dimitri? Will they reach Dimitri before his heart is attacked by the silver the Lycans have been injecting into his body?

I enjoyed this story, “Dark Wolf,” by Christine Feehan. The scenes are vividly described. The characters are people I’d like to get to know more because I appreciate their loyalty and love for one another.

The audiobook is well produced by Brilliance Audio at http://www.audiobookstanddl.com/. The two narrators, Phil Gigante and Natalie Ross, do an excellent job team reading “Dark Wolf.” Trading off when the male or female characters are prominent in the scenes. The characters are easy to identify and the story free flowing with dialog that lends itself well to reading.

“Dark Wolf,” brings new life to the Carpathian story adding new possibilities to the characters and their journey fighting vampires and evil where ever they find it.  Christine Feehan’s characters bring healing to those that need it the most.  The evil elements in the stories are brought to justice in ways that are fair and equatable.   The women are strong and capable of taking care of themselves and those they love.  Keep on writing, Christine.

I’m thankful that Hennepin County Library had this title available on Overdrive rented downloads.

Here are other places to acquire “Dark Wolf.”

Audiobook
http://www.audiobookstanddl.com/9F06783A-2485-4B86-822F-90B59FC19C7B/10/119/en/ContentDetails.htm?ID=E87F76CB-C69F-499A-BBAC-55EB91DBCD77

Book

http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Wolf-Carpathian-Christine-Feehan/dp/0425270793/ref=sr_1_1_title_1_har?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1396837626&sr=1-1&keywords=dark+wolf

Kindle
http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Wolf-Carpathian-Christine-Feehan-ebook/dp/B00DGZKJAW/ref=sr_1_1_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1396837588&sr=1-1&keywords=dark+wolf

“Whiskey Beach,” by Nora Roberts

IMG_0424IMG_0427IMG_0428WhiskeyBeach by NoraRoberts BackCover9-15-13 Upload 012

The pictures are from “Whiskey Beach,” by Nora Roberts, the first book I’ve ever had signed by the author in person.  The last picture is one that Laura Reeth, Nora’s personal publicist, offered to take with my iPhone, which sealed the memory for me.  I traveled from Minneapolis, Minnesota to Boonsboro Maryland, over 1,000 miles, for this experience and would do it again in a heart beat.

Why?  For me it was a wish come true. Right after I signed up for the Brunch with Nora (which was just an e-mail from Nora’s blog Fall Into The Story (http://fallintothestory.com/) so I mailed in my RSVP. I knew I wanted to attend the book signing on the same weekend, it was as I was making the arrangements to travel to Boonsboro MD I found this album on iTunes, “Julie Andrews Selects Her Favorite Disney Songs” many were favorites of mine from a childhood Disney album but the one song that really felt right to express the moment I realized I was going to visit my favorite author was “When You Wish Upon a Star (from ‘Pinocchio’)” Cliff Edwards and Disney Studio Chorus,

Julie Andrews Selects Her Favorite Disney Songs
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/julie-andrews-selects-her/id161399330

DISNEY

When You Wish Upon A Star Lyrics

When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you

If your heart is in your dream
No request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star
As dreamers do

Fate is kind
She brings to those who love
The sweet fulfillment of
Their secret longing

Like a bolt out of the blue
Fate steps in and sees you through
When you wish upon a star
Your dreams come true

Fate is kind
She brings to those who love
The sweet fulfillment of
Their secret longing

Like a bolt out of the blue
Fate steps in and sees you through
When you wish upon a star
Your dreams come true

these lyrics are submitted by Cora Hume
Source: http://www.elyrics.net/read/d/disney-lyrics/when-you-wish-upon-a-star-lyrics.html

Nora Roberts’ books have been capturing my heart since I first picked up her Cordina’s Royal Family series in 1986.  After that I just kept looking for her books at libraries and bookstores.  I could read her work for hours, even when re-reading her books, I find it very difficult to stop reading.  Nora’s writing has an energy that engages my imagination until the very last page.

In person, Nora is very much the same.  She has a seemingly inexhaustible energy, to sign books, chat with fans, and pose for pictures.  Nora is very engaging and appreciative of her readers.  It was a meeting I’ll never forget.  She signed “Whiskey Beach,” “Thankless in Death,” and “Kindred in Death,” the last two she signed as J.D. Robb.  It was an excellent day and a beautiful memory, I’m very thankful to Nora Roberts and all who helped get the word out to all, even people in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

“Whiskey Beach,” by Nora Roberts is about the damage done by rumors designed to convict an innocent man in the court of public opinion.

Abra Walsh doesn’t believe in gossip.  She’s experienced first hand how damaging words are to a person’s life.  Abra is on a mission to see that Eli Landon fights back against the false accusations.  She has an ally in his Grandmother, Hester Landon, who mysteriously took a fall down the steps some two months before Eli arrives at Bluff House at the very spot where she landed.

This is a mystery that kept me guessing until the very end.  Eli knows he didn’t kill his wife but has no idea who did kill her a little over a year before the story starts.  Just when Eli begins to respond to Abra’s gentle urging to live again, a private investigator turns up dead and the old rumors start up all over again.

Will the person that killed his wife come after Abra or ultimately Eli? Is it the same person that killed the private investigator?

“Whiskey Beach” is an excellent mystery romance that will keep you guessing.  The characters have depth with an integrally woven plot that drew me in and kept me hooked until the last page. All created within a vividly descriptive world by the sea.

Here’s a quote from page 4 of Nora Roberts’ “Whiskey Beach”:

“Sleet slapped at him [Eli Landon] when he climbed out of the car, but the cold, that whistling Atlantic wind, cut through the outer layers of lethargy. Waves boomed against the rock, slapped against the sand, combining into a constant hissing roar. Eli dragged the house keys out of his jacket pocket, stepped onto the shelter of the wide stone portico to the massive double entrance doors hewn more than a century before from teak imported from Burma.”

An excellent romantic suspense novel that starts in winter’s cold and end’s with the sweet promise of Spring. Hope you all get a chance to read “Whiskey Beach” and share in spending some time by the ocean.

The physical book is a work of art that takes me back to the quality of the books my Grandmother used to buy – made to last. Craftsmanship is fantastic. Above you can see the quality of the graphic arts included not only on the outer covers but on the inside of the front and back covers as well. Very well done.

The audiobook is also very well done by Narrator, Luke Daniels. He put emphasis on the words that I wouldn’t have thought of when reading silently bringing more meaning to the story.

I purchased the audiobook at:

http://www.audiobookstanddl.com/9F06783A-2485-4B86-822F-90B59FC19C7B/10/119/en/ContentDetails.htm?ID=8C4600C8-0A2B-43E6-91BB-718F7B134673

I bought the hard copy signed from:

http://ttpbooks.com/

The brick and mortar version on this occasion. Loved the atmosphere, very inviting as was Maryland. Great vacation for one or the whole family. Keep on reading everyone.