Tag Archives: Brilliance Audio

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

“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.

“Shadow Spell” by Nora Roberts

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Why do I recommend, “Shadow Spell” by Nora Roberts?

First, “Shadow Spell” is a mystery that spans the centuries.  Nora does an excellent job connecting the Autumn of 1268 with the Autumn of 2013.  Eamon and Connor are kindred spirits finding common ground in the spiritual world.

Second, I find “Shadow Spell an intriguing study of old and new Ireland from the landscape to the customs.  Especially how each family unit made their income then and now.  Nora’s description of the tourism of modern Ireland makes me want to visit there and see for myself.

Finally, “Shadow Spell” speaks to the heart.  The importance of family in the good and bad times.  Learning how to work through disagreements within the family both those of the blood and those created through love and understanding.  Nora let me see how love grows through sharing and caring.

I hope you find the story of “Shadow Spell” as inspiring and enlightening as I have.  I’m looking forward to reading “Blood Magick” by Nora Roberts, hopefully to be released in October of 2014.  I’m hoping Cabhan gets what he deserves in this final installment.  I feel it will take spiritual strength and heart that extends back to the year 1268.

I purchased the novel “Shadow Spell” by Nora Roberts online via Turn The Page Bookstore Cafe at this link http://ttpbooks.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Store_Code=TTPB&Screen=PROD&Product_Code=COD2

Requesting signed books is still possible. Please follow the instructions on the website carefully to be sure to get the book signed as you request, see this link for further information https://melissablanchard62.wordpress.com/2014/04/19/facebook-posting-from-turn-the-page-bookstore/

The site is safe and secure – I’ve been using it since August 2013 with great success. I visited Boonsboro, MD last July and am also able to say the staff and store are both friendly and helpful in customer service and layout.

Audio is also available via ttpbooks.com but I didn’t realize until after I purchased the audiobook on iTunes via Brilliance Audio see this link:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/audiobook/shadow-spell-book-two-cousins/id824435002

The narrator, Allan Smyth, has a lovely accent which adds to the feel of traveling to Ireland.  Nora’s excellent descriptive writing does the rest.  I enjoyed listening as I did my daily walks and working on preparing my meals.  Allan’s ability to bring emotions to life with his tone of voice brought depth to the battle scenes.

Thank you Nora Roberts, for giving us this story of family that spans the centuries in the Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy with Book 1, “The Dark Witch” reviewed at this link:  https://melissablanchard62.wordpress.com/2014/03/24/dark-witch-book-one-of-the-cousins-odwyer-trilogy-by-nora-roberts/ and Book 2, “The Shadow Spell” and Fall release of “Blood Magick”.

You deliver with every book and I appreciate all you share from the romance, to the family love that is of blood and spirit.  I appreciate the signature as well.  I did “Imagine” and found acceptance and love.  Peace.

 

 

 

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

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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

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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.

Book Reviews – Melissa Style

Hi Everyone,

Hope where you are the weather is getting milder, frozen North is still frozen but we have hope – around 40 today so all things are possible.

This is a note on my philosophy on book reviews.  I’m not doing my reviews for money or any sort of compensation – such as free books or other give a ways.

I’m doing my reviews because a librarian once told me to read only what you like when its for entertainment. So I read for enjoyment and hope you’ll be able to pick out books you’ll like based on my reviews.

Since I’m doing this as a way to share my likes you won’t see critical reviews on this site.  Sometimes I wonder why, with our finite time on earth, some feel it necessary to be critical.  You’ll accomplish much more by promoting and supporting authors you like and you’ll feel better when you’re sharing positive energy.

I do the same with any reviews on Amazon or iTunes where my user name is MissMed51.  In those cases it will cover reviews not only on books, but movies, TV or equipment I may need to buy.

This is my soap box talk for tonight – won’t promise never to do another post like this one but will if needed.  A good rule of thumb is this, if you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all.  Don’t know who said that but have been hearing it in one form or another all my life and whenever I follow the advice my life goes very smoothly.

Also, one should always remember, each of us has a bias where anything is concerned.  Know the books you enjoy reading and review those. There are many styles – find one that makes you say, yes, this is something I like.

Authors are making their living based on book sales – your opinion matters – make the most of it.  My wish is to help out a few authors while sharing my joy in having shared an imaginary world with them for the length of the book.  Hope you find something in what I write that helps you find your favorite book type that will lead to your next arm chair trip into the jungles of South America or the Carpathian Mountains in Europe. Take some time to travel.

Why I Recommend “Delusion in Death” In Death, Book 35 by J.D. Robb Book & Audiobook?

What do you look for in a good mystery?

First thing I want is a complex crime that takes some time solving. I want a strong detective that thinks through their search in a way I can share. The criminal(s) needs to have some moves that keep police guessing.

These key elements are in every J.D. Robb story. “Delusion in Death” is no exception.

The crime is particularly nasty because friends are viciously killing friends, no apparent reason is on scene, and they are dying in very large numbers.  The time of the murders is also ironic – during Happy Hour.

Eve – a strong, smart female Lieutenant of Detectives at NYPSD – knows there’s more going on than just a bad day.  She starts her investigation with her usual style – all business. Her methodical search gives me a look into the criminal mind and the motives that drive them.

“Delusion in Death” brings out the best in Eve helping her learn more about how she thinks so I, as the reader, find insight into my own thoughts.  Always more than just the main story in J.D. Robb books.  When I study the story I acquire knowledge about human nature, what it takes to keep sanity on a job, and maintain a happy, healthy home life in a stressful career.

Give “Delusion in Death” a look – you won’t be disappointed.

Why try the audiobook? Because Susan Ericksen is the narrator of the series!  She creates characters I recognize from tone and inflection alone.  Emotions come out as the story unfolds.  Better than any old time radio drama by far.

The number one reason to try the audio J.D. Robb writes dialog that’s real (doesn’t describe every conversation with said, or asked, for examples – the text flows together without identifying every nuance of the speech).  You’ll never find yourself keying in on and counting phrases like “he said” or “she said” instead of what the book is about.

Where I buy J.D. Robb is at the following links:

Audiobook:

http://www.audiobookstanddl.com/51FA9AEE-1110-4CCE-AEDD-204FCE8C8D55/10/119/en/ContentDetails.htm?ID=75779298-4189-4E72-8A3C-5505161828D1

My Favorite for Nora Roberts and J.D. Robb books, audiobooks and movies:

http://ttpbooks.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Store_Code=TTPB&Screen=PROD&Product_Code=X35DELUSIONmm

Book and Kindle:

http://www.amazon.com/Delusion-Death-Book-35/dp/0425250660/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1394915373&sr=1-1&keywords=delusion+in+death

Recommend JD Robb’s Concealed In Death

I just finished listening to JD Robb’s Concealed In Death audiobook. Every book in the In Death series gets just a little better than the last. This one is no exception and very special in how Eve finds and handles the murderer.

What stays the same is how Susan Ericksen presents each character. Each one unique and easily discerned as I listened. JD Robb’s dialog is always flowing and adaptable to reading but Susan’s ability to give each character their own sound makes identifying them easy.

Brilliance Audio produces an excellent show that reminds me of the best of old time radio programs. Find downloads for purchase at http://www.audiobookstanddl.com.

I was also surprised to find the audiobook on iTunes which made my listening totally portable with great sound quality on my iPad. Here’s the link to buy https://itunes.apple.com/us/audiobook/concealed-in-death-in-death/id804987806.

I’m a fan of the In Death Series and have all of the audiobooks that were made by Brilliance Audio. I do a marathon listening session every year, (since 2008) or so and always find something new to appreciate in the recordings.

What a gift – excellent writing and narration thanks to JD Robb – (Nora Roberts) and Susan Ericksen for their beautiful work on this series. I hope the books continue for a very long time.

To learn more about JD Robb books and her fans check out http://fallintothestory.com and https://www.facebook.com/jdrobbauthor. JD Robb also does book signings – see http://ttpbooks.com – Turn the Page Bookstore for scheduled events – signed copies are available virtually for those unable to attend in person in Boonsboro, Maryland.