Archive | September 2017

The Beast of Talesend AUDIOBOOK Review

Title: The Beast of Talesend
Author: Kyle Robert Shultz
Narrator: Richard “Spanners” Ready

  • Date finished reading (erm… listening to?): September 1, 2017
  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Genre: Fantasy / Fairytale Retelling (Beauty and the Beast)
  • Age: Anyone, really
  • Year pub: 2017
  • Hours: 4 hours, 13 minutes
  • Series: Beaumont & Beasley, #1
  • Fave character: Nick and Crispin
  • Source: Audible code from author for review
  • Notes: Audio version. Re-reading. Read my original review HERE.
  • Links: AudibleAmazonGoodreads • Author’s Website

I have flailed elsewhere about how much I love this book, and this time I’m here to talk about the absolutely delightful audiobook version.

I remember thinking, when I heard about the audio version, that The Beast of Talesend would make a positively fantastic audiobook. Add to that a British narrator and the levels of fantastic go through the roof. Fast-forward to my ecstatic reaction when the author offered me a chance to listen to the audiobook and review it. I gladly accepted, started listening to it right away, and . . . Oh, was I ever NOT disappointed!

The light, fun, humorous, fairytale quality of this book, makes it the perfect audiobook, and the Britishness reminded me of my favorite audiobooks from when I was younger. The Beast of Talesend audiobook is perfection. 😀

I don’t listen to audiobooks often these days (though I used to). They’re not always convenient for me, and these days I generally prefer to absorb stories through physically reading printed words with my eyes, you know? Otherwise my mind can wander and I miss important details, which drives me up the wall. (Not through the roof. Through the roof is a good thing in this case; up the wall isn’t.) I have listened to many audiobooks over time, but don’t as much anymore, except in extreme cases of really, really wanting to listen to one for some reason. Like this one.

In this case, the reasons were twofold: 1) I already had read The Beast of Talesend and loved it and wanted to re-read it anyway (never mind that it was only three months since I read it the first time), and 2) I listened to a sample and the narrator has a fabulous British accent.

I’m one of those shallow (erm, that is, blessed with good taste. *cough*) people who absolutely loves accents, and as an American who primarily lives in fictional worlds created by authors from the British Isles, accents which are English, Irish, Scottish, etc., are my favorites. Mr. Richard “Spanners” Ready has a fabulous British accent which was so fun to listen to, and that alone would have made this audiobook splendid.

HOWEVER, he’s also an amazing narrator, and the book was a delight to hear read by this fellow. He does different voices for all the characters, which was SO fun, and some with different accents as well. His narration as Nick Beasley (the main character who tells the story in a somewhat dry and totally funny way) was brilliant, and for some reason I particularly liked his depiction of Cordelia—she was spot-on! Actually, all the characters were. THEY WERE AMAZING! The acting/performance brought the story and characters to vivid life, and I simply LOVED that! It was like watching a movie… just… you know… listening to it instead. In a way, this is better, because you get the audio-drama quality BUT can still imagine everything appearing the way your imagination wants to paint it. And this narrator’s way of bringing the characters to life only adds to that. 🙂 He drew out so much of the character interactions, drama, excitement, and humor in the BEST way. It was fantastic and so fun!

Narrator quality varies in audiobooks, and I would say there are lots who are okay or even good, but not so many who are the best of the best. Out of the many narrators I’ve heard over time, I’d put Richard Ready in my top five with a very select few who are outstanding. He’s delightful to hear, and a narrator of true quality. 🙂

One or two characters sounded a little different than I, personally, had imagined (I think of Crispin with a higher voice and Whitlock with a lower voice; though both were great in the audio), and one area in the beginning was slightly rushed-feeling to listen to. But those are literally my only “complaints” (and very unimportant ones at that), because overall this audiobook was PERFECT and an absolute delight. I LOVED IT!

Some of my family was listening in while I listened to this, and we all had the best time. 😀 It’s also handy that it’s a shorter book—only a little over 4 hours long, so it was just right to listen to without feeling like it was going to take an age. I’ll probably even listen to it again sometime (What? The shock! Unheard of!) because it’s THAT fun.

Overall, my reaction: read this book, people! Better yet, have Richard Ready read it to you, because he’s fantastic. 😀 (And, great—now I want an audiobook of book 2, The Tomb of the Sea Witch…)

(I was given an Audible.com code for a free download of this audiobook from the author. I was not required to write a positive review, and these opinions are entirely my own.)

Story: 5/5
Narrator: 5/5
Performance: 5/5

~ ~ ~

Have you read this yet? BECAUSE YOU NEED TO! (And the audio version is a fun way to try it; just sayin’. ;))

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer

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Wanted: A Superhero to Save the World by Bryan Davis (Blogtour, Review + Giveaway)

Hey, Pagelings!

I’m so excited to be joining in on the blog tour for the new book by Bryan Davis, Wanted: A Superhero to Save the World!

It’s a super-fun book about two young superheroes, and it probably took me less than seventeen seconds to get hooked and stay hooked — I couldn’t put it down! 🙂

In this post, I’m sharing a review of it — and make sure you scroll all the way down for info about the book, the author, a couple of awesome giveaways, and the other tour stops! 🙂

Title: Wanted: A Superhero to Save the World

Author: Bryan Davis

  • Date read: September 12, 2017
  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Genre: Superhero / Contemporary
  • Age: Middle-Grade
  • Year pub: 2017
  • Pages: 250 (paperback)
  • Fave character: I… can’t decide who’s my favorite since I like so many of them; and the one I’m most intrigued about is a spoiler, sooo…
  • Source: The author
  • Links: Amazon • Signed CopiesGoodreads
  • Notes: I received a free copy of this book from the author (many thanks!). These opinions are entirely my own.

WANTED: A SUPERHERO TO SAVE THE WORLD is a gripping and delightful read, which I read in a day and couldn’t seem to put down.

Meet Eddie and Samantha (Sam) Hertz. They’re kids, but also superheroes—kind of—and the fate of their city (and the world) is on their small shoulders. Eddie and Sam make a great superhero team, and they have an adorable brother-sister relationship, which I absolutely loved!

Eddie is the one telling the story, and he’s a fantastic hero. This twelve year old is super smart (no pun intended, though he would have intended it because he’s fun like that), and I love all the gadgets he’s made. So fun! He’s heroic too, and goodhearted, and just… I really liked him. 🙂 Eddie’s the best. Eight year old Sam is… well, she’s adorable and I really liked her as well! I especially loved her “superhero name” and how she had a thing with long names, like with the cat. XD She’s awesome. And they’re especially awesome together. 🙂

I don’t read a lot of Middle-Grade type books, and I’ve only read one superhero novel before this one, so even though both are outside my usual reading zone, I really enjoyed this book and found it to be fresh and unique. Filled with excitement, danger, and edge-of-your-seat suspense and action, it still found time for humor, fun, and kids being kids. I was impressed with how TENSE the story is, keeping me flipping those pages. Super exciting and gripping. I loved watching Eddie and Samantha get out of things with cleverness, gadgets, and occasional superhero strength. 😉

There were so many twists in this story! Some of them I guessed, others were complete surprises. I loved them! It was so fun following the twisting plot and wondering what was going to happen next. Some of the reveals were awesome. I also loved the mystery and suspense, especially how there were a lot of mysterious characters around, and it was hard to know right away if they’re good, or bad, or… what. That was so cool! I always love it when books leave me guessing, and this was excellent in that way. 🙂

It’s really, really well written. I loved how there was SO MUCH attention to detail, without making it feel bogged down at all. I could see, hear, taste, smell, and feel everything in this setting. It was so vivid and felt like a super-cool movie—in book form, of course (which is the perfect mix for this booklover. ;)).

It has heart and humor too, and some touching or sad moments—I nearly cried a couple of times, when it was sad, or at a very touching adorable part near the end. ^_^ (SO, I wasn’t a fan of the sad things. But I got over it because I really enjoyed the book. :))

I just noticed that I must be getting old, since sometimes I worried about them because earthquakes and peril and swamps and they’re only eight and twelve… ahem. But that’s the point, of course, and having been a teenager myself not so long ago, I didn’t used to think of younger characters in terms of “protect the precious young childs!” It just makes me feel old. XD I do like that it’s suitable for all ages—so many books, even for younger children these days, seem to be dark or inappropriate or just… off, somehow. This one seemed just right for that age or anyone else, too. 🙂

I also loved how Sam and Eddie’s mom was a part of the story! You don’t see much of that in young adult or middle-grade fiction, and I loved that. 🙂 The other characters were all interesting as well! They were all so unique and quirky. I liked Barney, and Gilbert was unexpected. There’s a certain other character, who’s slightly spoiler-ish, so I won’t say much, but I’m now VERY curious/want to know more about him… or see more of him in a sequel.

Speaking of which… The book doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, but it does leave the door wide open for possible future books. Now I want more about Eddie and Sam and company, because that would be delightful! 😀

It’s not an absolute favorite, largely due to being outside my usual favorite genres/age-group, but for what it is, it’s absolutely fantastic and so much fun. 🙂

Overall, this was an extremely fun, vivid, suspenseful story, for readers of any age—children, young adults, or adults would all enjoy it, I think. I certainly did! Definitely recommend. 🙂


About the Book

Eddie Hertz is smart, real smart. He has to be. What other twelve-year-old patrols the streets of Nirvana alone, hoping to foil the schemes of the evil Mephisto? Since Eddie is small for his age, he trusts in his Batman-style gadgets belt and acrobatic skills as well as lots of experience, like knowing how to swing across dark alleys without being seen.

Eddie has a dream, to become like Damocles, Nirvana’s great superhero. To make that dream come true, Eddie invented a device that is supposed to give him superpowers, but using it on himself is dangerous, maybe even fatal. He doesn’t have the nerve to try it.

When Mephisto unleashes an earthquake machine on the city, Eddie gets a surprising teammate — his quirky eight-year-old sister, Samantha, who comes up with an unexpected way to help Eddie in the frantic battle to prevent the biggest earthquake of all.

Since Damocles has lost his ability to help in physical form, Eddie and Samantha are the only hope for Nirvana and the world.

Available on Amazon


About the Author

Bryan Davis is the author of several bestselling series, including Dragons in Our Midst and the Reapers Trilogy, speculative fiction for youth and adults. Bryan and his wife, Susie, work together as an author/editor team to create his imaginative tales.

Find Bryan Davis Online

Author WebsiteBook Purchase SiteFacebook PageWriting BlogTwitter: @bryandavisauthGoodreadsInstagram


Contest Giveaways

There are two giveaways on this blog tour!

The first contest’s giveaway is the winner’s choice of any Bryan Davis book, plus a Wanted: A Superhero to Save the World T-Shirt and bookmark. Enter via the Rafflecopter HERE!

The second contest holds the Grand Prize – the items from the first giveaway PLUS a complete Bryan Davis book series of the winner’s choice or a $50 Amazon gift card. To enter this one, you go through all the tour posts and gather the hidden number in each of them (which should be “hidden” fairly easy to find), including the one in this post; add them up, and you will have the key to the Grand Prize giveaway. You can read all the details in Bryan Davis’ opening post, and you can find the Grand Prize Giveaway HERE. Good luck! 🙂


Tour Schedule

Wednesday, September 20th

Tour Kickoff @ The Author’s Chair

Book Spotlight @ Backing Books

Book review and YOU WRITE: About Bryan Davis @ Zerina Blossom’s Books

Book Spotlight and Review @ The Spooky Bookshelf

Book Spotlight and Author Interview @ Scattered Scribblings

Book Review and Character Interview @ Light and Shadows

Thursday, September 21st

Book Spotlight and YOU WRITE: About Bryan Davis @ Red Lettering

Spotlight and Author Interview @ The Reader Addict

Spotlight and YOU WRITE: About Bryan Davis @ target verified

Book Review and Character Interview @ Hidden Doorways

Book Review @ Ashley Bogner

Book Review @ The Page Dreamer (You are here)

Friday, September 22nd

Book Spotlight and Character Interview @ Story of Fire

Book Review @ Inkwell

Book Spotlight and Character Interview @ Liv K. Fisher

Book Review @ writinganyone

Spotlight and YOU WRITE: About Superheroes @ Dreams and Dragons

Author Interview and YOU WRITE: About Bryan Davis @ March to a Different Drum

Book Spotlight @ Author Jaye L. Knight

Saturday, September 23rd

Author Interview @ Jessi L. Roberts, author

Book Spotlight and Character Interview @ Book Lovers Life

Book Review and Character Interview @ Verbosity Reviews

Book Spotlight, Author Interview and YOU WRITE: Superheroes @ Creature of Graphite

Character Interview @ Wanderer’s Pen

Book Spotlight and Author Interview @ Adventure Awaits

Sunday, September 24th

Tour  Wrapup @ The Author’s Chair (Winners will be announced here after the contest giveaway deadline which is September 27.)


Have you read any superhero novels? Any to recommend to me? And does this one sound fun? Because it is! What would your superhero power be?

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer / Deborah O’Carroll

Random News + Nightstand Books {September 2017}

Hey, my Pagelings! Time for some random news and September’s Nightstand Books! 🙂

RANDOM NEWS

It’s my Blogoversary + A Giveaway!

Yes indeed, I’m celebrating the 4th blogoversary of my other blog, The Road of a Writer, with an epic giveaway of a few fantasy books, so check it out if you haven’t! ^_^

Interviewed + Testing the Freelance Waters

I’m stepping into freelance copy-editing and web-designing, and was interviewed by Emily Ann Benedict! 🙂

Other News

So, you know those random news-bits that aren’t enough to actually POST about but you want people to know? I usually post such things on my Twitter so follow me there because I’m fun or sometimes my Goodreads… But a couple of fun things I wanted share here today…

Remember when I reviewed that modern fantasy book Masters and Beginners by Daley Downing? Well it has a shiny new cover by Kyle Shultz, and is now available on Barnes & Noble.

Also, I’d like to mention that one of the books listed below as next-to-read, is a collection of novellas, and you can get one of those as well as a novelette prequel, for free. 🙂

Free thing…

Rose of the Night by Hope Ann is a novelette prequel, available for free for signing up for her newsletter, here.

And another…

Rose of the Oath is a Beauty and the Beast retelling by Hope Ann, available for free download on Amazon and elsewhere.

NIGHTSTAND BOOKS

Aaand on to Nightstand Books, a blogging meme created by Jenelle Schmidt and DJ Edwardson — to share and be excited about the books we’re reading each month!

It’s usually the first Wednesday of the month, but sometimes I’m late never late, Frodo Baggins, nor am I early; I arrive precisely when I mean to. *cough*

(Join in here if you want!)

The titles below link to Goodreads.

September Nightstand

Most of the books this month are digital ones, but here’s a few on the physical nightstand…

  • The Twelve Dancing Princesses by Ellen Miles — I picked this up at a library sale recently and couldn’t resist reading it right away! Super short and cute read, an enjoyable mostly-traditional version of my favorite fairytale. I did like the couple of tweaks though! 🙂 And it was just generally… fun. *shrug* 4 stars
  • Wanted: A Superhero to Save the World by Bryan Davis — Look for a review of this one next week as part of the blog tour! I’ve only read one other superhero novel, and I don’t read Middle-Grade too often, so I’m excited for this because it’s different for me and fun, plus Bryan Davis. 😀
  • Mind Writer by Mike Lynch and Lisa Godfrees — I was given a copy of this and am trying to catch up on things I should review, so I’d like to read it soon. ^_^ It looks more sci-fi-y than my usual reading-zone, so that’s going to be interesting. Sometimes that’s enjoyable though, to try new things! 🙂

Digital Nightstand

Not pictured:

  • And a couple of beta-read projects for friends, which I hope to finish this month, or next month at latest…

Don’t know if some of these will be moving to next month, as usual… But I do have a lofty goal to finish all my review and beta books before NaNo hits. So. Yes. Either way, hopefully I’ll have these all done eventually!

I do have another stack of books off to one side that I really, really want to read, if I catch up on review books… but I didn’t share those since I have no idea when I’ll get to them. XD

August Nightstand: Take 2

On that subject, August’s nightstand looked less like I thought it would be in my last Nightstand post, and more like this:

(Find them on Goodreads here.)

  • The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien — LOVED this re-read! ❤
  • Beren and Luthien by J.R.R. Tolkien — So enjoyable and awesome! ❤
  • The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge — I adored this to BITS. ❤ Everyone needs to read it.

  • Perception by Emily Ann Benedict — My Review. Now I need the next Vintage Jane Austen book! 🙂
  • An Earthly King by Hazel B. West — This re-read was a delight! 😀 [Last year’s review.]
  • Magicians’ Trial by H.L. Burke — My Review. Aaand now I need more Spellsmith & Carver…
  • Yorien’s Hand by Jenelle Leanne Schmidt — I absolutely LOVED re-reading this, so I’m finally caught up on the series AND NEED THE NEXT BOOK NOW. ❤ [Last year’s review.]

Not pictured:

  • Plus the picture books listed in the original post. ^_^
  • And beta-reading the sequel to Masters and Beginners by Daley Downing. I need it to be finished/published please… 😀

So sometimes I’m totally wrong about what I’ll be reading, but hey, all of those were awesome, so. 😉

ANYWAY. There’s some stuff that’s been up lately, an update on my August nightstand (whoops), and my projected September nightstand. So now you know ALL the bookish things in my life. XD

What are you reading these days? 🙂

Thanks for reading! ^_^

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer / Deborah O’Carroll

Burning Rose Cover Reveal! (by Hope Ann)

Hey everyone!

I’m joining in to help Hope Ann reveal the cover of her paperback collection version of the first three novellas in the Legends of Light series! 🙂

I’ll be reviewing it in a few weeks, so stay tuned…

Meanwhile, here’s the info and cover! ^_^

Burning Rose by Hope Ann

A war, founded in ancient legends, changes the lives of those it touches forever.

Elissa, a villager from the northern mountains, attempts to save her brother and ends up trapped in a hidden valley with a strange host and a treacherous enemy.

Evrard, the Wingmaster of the Prince’s army, races against his own weakening powers to discover the location of his twin and save her from deadly mistbenders.

Haydn, a pardoned rebel from Tauscher’s army, confronts shadows of myth and former comrades in his struggle to keep his sister safe and find the stolen Stormestone.

BONUS

Before the war, before the legends, before the Separation, there was a man who started it all. There was a curse, a promise, and a sacrifice. There was the Oathkeeper.

Fairy tales retold as you have never heard them before.

ROSE OF THE OATH: Beauty and the Beast
SONG OF THE SWORD: Rapunzel
SHADOWS OF THE HERSWEALD: Hansel and Gretel 
and
ROSE OF THE NIGHT: a Rose of the Oath prequel

You can check out each ebook individually here or the Burning Rose page here. The Kindle version is available for preorder, but the paperback won’t be up to buy until the launch on October 3rd. (I’ll hopefully be reviewing it then, so you’re sure to hear about it. ;)) In the meantime, you can add Burning Rose on your Goodreads!

So, wanna see the cover? 😉

Designed by Kate Flournoy

ISN’T IT GORGEOUS?? 😀 *flailing around* I love it!

Burning Rose will be coming to paperback in less than a month, and for anyone who’s on Facebook, if you’d like to keep up on tidbits and behind-the-scenes looks at the launch, you can join Readers of Aslaria launch group. 🙂

Hope Ann is a Christian wordsmith, avid reader, and dedicated author. Her time is taken up with writing, reading, playing with inspirational photos, blogging, helping care for the house and eight younger siblings, and generally enjoying the adventures of life on a small farm at the crossroads of America. She is the author of Legends of Light is currently working on several projects including a fantasy novel and futuristic trilogy. You can find out more about her at https://authorhopeann.com/

What do you think, readers? ISN’T IT SO PRETTY? 😀

Thanks for reading!

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer / Deborah O’Carroll

Bookshelf Overhaul Cover Reveals: Kendra Ardnek

Hey everyone!

Today I’m helping Kendra Ardnek reveal the covers for her upcoming re-releases of all six of her novels!

They are pretty and I’m so excited to share them. 😀

First, here’s a bit about the author…

About the Author

Kendra E. Ardnek loves fairytales and twisting them in new and exciting ways. She’s been or acting them on her dozen plus cousins and siblings for years. “Finish your story, Kendra,” is frequently heard at family gatherings. Her sole life goal has always been to grow up and be an author of fantasy and children’s tales that glorify God and His Word.

Website • Blog • Amazon • Goodreads • Facebook • Twitter


And now for the covers!

(This one is my favorite! Eek! So adorable! 😀 It makes me want to read it NOW.)

Sew, It’s a Quest

Two twins in a fairy tale world must find their Fairy Godmother before their eighteenth birthday, lest they forever be stuck with the other’s gift.

GoodreadsCreatespace (Paperback) • Smashwords (FREE ebook)

Kendra’s Revision Notes: I sent this book to my kindle, tore it to shreds, then retyped the whole thing, making every word fight to stay in the book. I completely rewrote one chapter, and added/expanded several scenes, focusing on character development and pacing, in particular Robin’s character.


Do You Take This Quest?

A prince’s quest for allies against his miserly uncle and a madcap race to get home for a wedding.

Goodreads

Kendra’s Revision Notes: This book has one added chapter, a few (potentially) added scenes, and a severe edit. Again, focus is going to Robin’s character development. I hadn’t the maturity to completely handle her emotional situation when I wrote this book, and now I intend to fix that.


(King Arthur? I’m totally up for that!! :D)

My Kingdom for a Quest

Prince Arthur’s quest to take back his kingdom, and Casperl’s quest to find out how, exactly, he’s a prince.

Goodreads

Kendra’s Revision Notes: This book was mostly clean … but it’s getting a part two. AKA, book 3.5, The Quest for a Quince, AKA, Casperl’s story. There will be a edit to part one, though.


The following three book covers were designed by Alea Harper


The Ankulen

Jen knows she had an imagination once – how far will she go to get it back?

Goodreads

Kendra’s Revision Notes: Mostly just a thorough edit. I don’t foresee any great changes.

I read The Ankulen awhile back and it was quite fun! You can read my review for it on Goodreads, here. 🙂


(This is my second-favorite! EEK. 😀 Need to read this one as well…)

Water Princess, Fire Prince

When two teens are pulled into another world, fire and water must work together to defeat a dragon.

Goodreads

Kendra’s Revision Notes: Again, mostly a thorough edit, but there will be a few continuity fixes, and I’ll be adding a bonus scene to the extra stuff at the end.


(I love that tower reflection, for some reason. o.o So cool!)

Lady Dragon, Tela Du

Only the Tela Du stands in Amber’s way for ruling Rizkaland forever. Petra would much rather find her long-lost sisters than fight a Lady Dragon.

Goodreads

Kendra’s Revision Notes: Edits mostly.


Giveaway

This reveal is part of Kendra’s Bookshelf Overhaul — you can enter for a grand prize of a full signed collection of her books: all six of these lovely-looking fantasy tales! Details are on this page. (And yes, commenting on this post and the other cover-reveal posts counts!)


Other Lovely Souls Posting the Cover Reveal


And there you are! Be sure to drop by the other posts and see what the other presenters have going! 🙂 Also, which is your favorite of the new covers?

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Dream away in those pages . . .

~ The Page Dreamer a.k.a. Deborah O’Carroll