Monday, 18 June 2018

Audio: Love and First Sight - Josh Sundquist

On his first day at a new school, blind sixteen-year-old Will Porter accidentally groped a girl on the stairs, sat on another student in the cafeteria, and somehow drove a classmate to tears. High school can only go up from here, right? 

As Will starts to find his footing, he develops a crush on a charming, quiet girl named Cecily. Then an unprecedented opportunity arises: an experimental surgery that could give Will eyesight for the first time in his life. But learning to see is more difficult than Will ever imagined, and he soon discovers that the sighted world has been keeping secrets. It turns out Cecily doesn't meet traditional definitions of beauty--in fact, everything he'd heard about her appearance was a lie engineered by their so-called friends to get the two of them together. Does it matter what Cecily looks like? No, not really. But then why does Will feel so betrayed?

Audiobook, 6 h 25 min
Published January 3rd 2017 by Hatchette Audio
YA fiction
Own

My thoughts
This is written by a youtube personality...never heard of him. Moving on.

Will is blind but he wants to go to a mainstream school and try to make it on his own. I did like Will, and I do get that he gets tired of his mum. But at the same time I really understood the mum, she just wants what is best for him. She wants to be in the office when he talks medical issues, I mean I would want to be there, even if my kid wasn't blind. So this time I did connect wit the mum. I got it. 

I can not know for sure since I am not blind, but it did feel like the author did his homework. Many think they know what is best, or how to help someone who is blind. But Will in his inner voice shoots down all those things people think they know. And how people often just make it worse. There were many aha moments. Cos how could someone who is blind understand depth? And so many other things.

Will gets friends, meets a girl and thinks about having an operation that might give him sight.

But, there was this one thing that bothered me and since it is in the blurb you have guessed it. How can he be upset cos someone did not tell him about their "defect". I mean whatever man, maybe you are ugly too! But at the same time, it is written well so I forgive him.

A good story that gave me lots to think about

Narrator Pat Young
I have the most boring things to say, I always say the same thing. He did a good job...well he did do a good job!




Sunday, 17 June 2018

Audio Discussion: When Dimple met Rishi






Hello all! Carole and I will be discussing "When Dimple Met Rishi" by Sandhya Menon. I am in orange and Carole in red. 





Author: Sandhya Menon
Title: When Dimple Met Rishi
Genre: YA & Romance
Pages: audiobook
Published: May 30th 2017
Where I Got It: My Shelf (Freebie)

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?



Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.



The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?



Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.



Look, for June is Audiobook month Carole and I will try our first Audiobook together! We chose this one cos I had heard great things about it. And yes, it was actually that good too, at least I thought so ;)

Happy Audiobook month! And yes! I enjoyed it a lot!! Good pick ;)

We did good for once, phew! I guess this was the only good book this year then. WHat should we discuss first?

Yess the first really good one of the year so far and we are in June! WOAH! But let us see….let’s start with the narrators. We had two of them. One for Dimple’s POV and one for the cutest guy “alive”. I adored the narrators. What did you think?


Obviously I am not the person to ask, I have the BIGGEST voice crush on Vikas Adam *happy sigh* I kind of wanna make babies with his voice. There I said it. I love his voice. Love love love love it. Hihi. Ok yes I am smitten. So yes he was good, ahem.

*serious face* The other narrator whom I can not even recall the name of, sorry! But Vikas! Was good too.

Omg yes. His voice was beautiful and smexy. Hehe. He really was the best pic for our male hero. His girl voice made me chuckle though. 

I thought the same when I listened to a certain other series he narrated, and then I got used to it, but yes they are still amusing ;) I did like that they did it this way. Cos it really was HIS and HERS pov so they could not have done it any other way.

Agreed. I must listen to more by both of them. They really brought the characters alive! I did not feel like I was listening to an audiobook. It felt like I was listening to a show. So good, so good.

Then we both agree, great narration :) And sure, maybe I would have liked it as much if I read it, or maybe I would not have. I feel like the narration pushed it for me to great.

Yes. The story was good, but I feel the narration gave it an extra star for me. The story was good from page one. Those darn parents ;) I felt bad for Dimple, but she made me mad being all mean to Rishi!!!! HE IS AN ANGEL YOU WICKED WOMAN! *shakes fist*

I did wanna slap her at the end. Rishi loves you you stupid idiot! *shakes fist too* But I did like her parents, sure, it was not cool what they did, but they would never have forced her. They just tried to nudge her and it gave us the BEST opening. Omg I snorted when they met.

I did fall for her parents and especially her dad. They are just trying to help wicked Dimple. It was rude not to tell her, but they know she would’ve just said forget it. And yes, that meeting was the best in romance history. And he still wanted to stick around!!!???? Love him.

Oh yes, adore him! If I had met a Rishi, awww, a cute nerd! Gold! He tried so hard, gotta love him. I liked how he loved his own culture.

Yes, I liked that too. They are sooooo different, but so similar that they are the perfect couple. What did you think of his brother and Dimple’s roomie?

I was not sure about him at start, but then we saw this other side to him and I got him. The roomie, well I wanted to kick her too. Stupid idiot. But then I forgave her.

Agreed. A part of me thought the brother was going to fall for Dimple and Rishi would have to kick his little butt. Hehe. But yes, the roomie was sweet but blinded by lust for the “cool” kids. Sighs. Poor girl.

I did love how they called them Aberzombies (the bad peeps in the story). Hehe, cos they so were! Ugh, I hated them

Me too. They made good “baddies” though. I was hoping one of them who seemed to be not TOO bad would change sides and lead the charge against them. Not real life though. WHICH I must say...the author did a good job keeping this realistic. All the awkward 18 year old moments and dramas that seem so serious but isn’t.

It did give good normal drama. I got why the roomie wanted to be cool. It was all well written and felt real.

Yes, I understand her wanting to be friends with them. Things change out of High School...but at the same time they don’t.

I am stuck now, nothing more to say, ugh, think think…..heeeeelp!

Ooo. I was reading some reviews on Goodreads. There were some complaints about how people felt that the author didn’t spend enough time with the app and their development about it. They complained that the author glossed over it just to get to the romance parts. What do you feel? I felt it was well balanced and I came to read a romance...not a story about how to code an app….

They did not spent a lot of time on the app no, I mean they did, but not in the story. Though would we really want page after page about coding? I was fine with the romance. They still talked about it.

Yes, there was a good balance. The author would spend a couple of pages throughout the book about their class and app and whatnot. Also, this is a YA, but it never felt YA.

I guess it is NA *eyeroll* I just do not get NA! Sorry NA lovers. The edges tend to be so blurry there.

NA?

New adult. Out of HS and in the world. Which they were, but it still could be YA. But not really adult.

Ahhh I am so out of the loop sometimes...I swear I live in a cave. Hehe. But yeah...IDK. It was a good story. The ending had me mad...and then happy...but then mad again because I WANT MORE! I want a short story or maybe Rishi’s bro’s story. That would be fun.

Same. MAD, and then happy. A story about his brother, hmmm, dunno, since we know things that might happen. No surprise there for me.

I am just curious how the bro’s chica (will not give spoilers here) will fit in. I am curious about that aspect mainly. She is not someone the parent’s would’ve picked for him.

True, but then he is not really the “perfect” son either so maybe they are lenient. But yes in that way it would be interesting. But you know we would just get mad if they did not like her. Cos they like each other and they are happy so they should be happy.

I agree. I think the parents will like her after a couple of meetings...but the rest of the family? That will be a bumpy ride. Even a short story will settle my curiosity for sure.

Narrated by Vikas then sure ;)

It better be! He can play the brother. Or just do the whole narration. Haha. I would be fine with that.

Yes! Lol, are we done? Next book will suck for sure now

Don’t say thatttt!!!!!!! LOL! But yes, this was a good one and I am happy our first audiobook discussion ended well.

Yay, yes I am glad it worked out.

The end?

The end, Kaj is looking at me with narrow eyes cos he has waited for us to go grocery shopping. He skipped Coffee for it ;)

Hehehe sorrrrrrrrryyyyyy Kaj! *sips on my own coffee*

Running now, byeeeee

Byezzz


About the Authors
Carole and Blodeuedd have been blogging a long while now. The last couple of years the epic duo have been discussing books, watching movies, and even wetting the pen and sharing their stories with the worldwide web. They both love cats, chocolate, and a good story.






Saturday, 16 June 2018

June is Audiobook Month: Good Bloggers and books


Today I wanted to talk about fellow audiobloggers, and then I thought why not ask them about an audiobook they would recommend to others Well this soon spiraled out of control so I just ended up asking 3 bloggers ;)

First up is Melanie who reviews  at Hot Listens  (shout out to Loupe, I did not forget you!) & Books of My Heart She is the one who is to blame for me writing those crazy reviews for Heartstrikers, all caps and gushing.  I am so used to her listening to books so I honestly can not ever see her reading ;)

And this was her answer:
As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes (Westley)

Then she asked me if she could mention one more and I thought, why not. Oh, I should not have done that.

Those Who Wish Me Dead by Michael Koryta read by Robert Petkoff
The Martian by Andy Weir ready by RC Bray
The Stranger Beside Me: Ted Bundy The Shocking Inside Story by Ann Rule read by Lorelei King
Plus like 10+ UF and PNR series. 

The Daily Show: An Oral History as Told by Jon Stewart, the Correspondents, Staff and Guests by Chris Smith,  Jon Stewart (Foreword) is another good one.

...............................................



Next up is Sophia Rose, you might have seen her around cos she is eeeeeverywhere!
Shari @ Delighted Reader, Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviews, Sharonda @ Brazen Babe, Lily @ Night Owl Book Cafe, Debbie @ The Reading Frenzy, and Loupe & Melanie @ Hot Listens

She followed the rules and her answer was: Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen and narrated by Janet Metzger

And then we have Jen @ That's what I am talking about

Who recommends:

The Martian by Andy Weir, read by R.C. Bray… 
for UF series: Dresden Files by Jim Butcher tied with Kate Daniels read by Renee Raudman.
Romance: Roman Crazy (Broads Abroad #1)
by Alice Clayton & Nina Bocci read by Randi Geddens.



And as for other bloggers, we shall not forget Felicia at The Geeky Blogger, who is like Queen of Audiobooks
and Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviews

And of course there are many many others out there who share a love of audio :)
Now I get why Jen said these posts takes forever, so I will leave you with just these bloggers cos I am gonna go listen to an audiobook and chill







Friday, 15 June 2018

Author post: Walter Dinjos

Back in April I reviewed the magazine Abyss and Apex, and in there was a story by Walter Dinjos. There he mixed two worlds that have nothing to do with each other and brought them together. I have always liked myths, magic and religion. So today I have a guest post by him.


Tales of Magic, Hearsays, Blind Faith, and All Things Nigerian

If you should ask a group of Nigerians, “Do you believe magic or witchcraft exists?” the majority would reply that they do. Some might even go ahead to narrate how they've witnessed a certain unverifiable individual transform into a reptile (usually a big snake), a bird (usually an owl), or a cat (usually a domestic one). In fact, when an owl alights near a Nigerian house at night and begins to hoot, the residents typically start calling out, “Blood of Jesus! Holy Ghost fire!”

That's how superstitious some Nigerians can get. Or maybe there’s truly magic in that multicultural West African country. I earnestly can’t confirm anything. If you are curious about magic in Nigeria, all I’ve got for you is hearsays and tales of blind faith.

The idea of magic in Nigeria makes me think of the food chain. Call it the magic chain if you will. The gods are at the top of it. Us ordinary folk are at the bottom. Everyone else in-between is a magic-wielding villain. I will tell you about these deities and villains.

The Deities
These are the many gods various communities in Nigeria worshipped prior to colonialism in the region. Among the Igbo tribe in southeastern Nigeria, you will hear of deities like Amadioha, Ozodimgba (this one appeared in my story, The Woodcutters’ Deity), Ikoro, and more. In some places, they are the spirits of dead ancestors. In other places, they are simply gods and are represented with great trees, carved stones, or ancient sculptures.

These deities are believed to own and bestow magic.

The Witch Doctors
These are like the custodians of magic in the land of the living. They serve as a bridge between deities and other humans.

  • When they serve a particular community, they are usually called chief priests, ezemmuo (king of all things spiritual), or ezenwanyi (a woman with immense power perhaps like an ezemmuo), And trust me. They exist. Whether they can truly perform magical feats (like heal, curse, protect with magic on behalf of each community’s deity) is another story.

  • Well, in my story, Middle of Nowhere, magic actually works. You see the savage jujuist  place a curse on the protagonist.

  • When these witch doctors merchandise their magic instead of serving a community, they are often called native doctors or dibia (a spiritual healer). They basically serve their deity’s interests. And they rarely use their magic unless when absolutely necessary, as they understand it isn’t something to be toyed with.


However, if you want it, they will gladly give it along with the price of obtaining it (hideous sacrifices) and wielding it (difficult rules and repercussions).

These Witch Doctors. How Are They Made?
  • Some are osu (outcasts)--people dedicated to a deity when they were little.
  • Some inherit the role from their parents.
  • In the olden days, twins and babies with one disorder or another were either killed at birth or offered to deities in some parts of Nigeria
  • Sometimes grownups ask their deities for a child. In return, they promise the child will serve the deity.
  • Some witch doctors are born dada (that is, with a type of hair that is naturally and untidily matted), and here people believe that children with dada hair are of spiritual origin. I’m dada, but here I am, not serving any deity. In case you are wondering, that’s me in an old picture.

            

Witches and Wizards
In Nigeria, these are not your ordinary witch doctor. There’s a difference. Of course, they are believed to have powers--usually obtained through initiation, but they serve only their own interests. They thrive by siphoning the life force or imminent success of their prey. People here believe they visit at night, disguised as owls, cats, or wall geckos. And they attack by marking their prey’s body with their claws and from the slit do the siphoning. People who believe they are victims often complain about having bad dreams and the feeling of a pinioning weight swooping on them as they sleep and never letting go.

I just finished writing a story about these beings--How to Nab a Witch.

People That Wield Magic in Nigeria
These people, like the witches and wizards, serve their own interests. They want wealth, power, healing, protection…, and they procure these things through magic, of course, at a price.

They don’t wield magic in a direct sense. They visit a witch doctor, carry out the necessary ritual, which can include sacrificing a goat, fowl, or even a human. Then the witch doctor infuses an object like a ring, bracelet, broom, food, or drink with the particular magic power they need and hand it to them. Of course, with rules of usage like “don’t sleep with a woman,” “never allow water to touch the charm,” “always have the charm on you,” and so on. Breaking such rules could lead to the charm not working. It could also lead to madness or even death. Well, so I heard.

Do-As-I-Say Charm
If you should go to a Nigerian native doctor and obtain a do-as-I-say charm, you would most likely be given a ring. It’s believed that should you shake your prey’s hand while wearing the ring, they would become extremely gullible around you. A do-as-I-say charm can also be something you eat, drink, or touch to your tongue before speaking to your prey.

In fact, it’s often said that Nigerian scammers use do-as-I-say charms to make their victims guilliable. I don’t know what to believe, but here is a screenshot of an article about the subject at the Huffington Post. It’s horrible. The idea of magic is exciting, but in the case of do-as-I-say charms, I can't help but hope they are just fictional. 



Anti-Armed Robbery Charm
You could also visit a Nigerian native doctor and ask for protection from armed robbers. After performing the necessary ritual, the witch doctor would likely give you a broom to hang on your gate. The broom could serve as a warning to robbers that recognise the charm. But for those that don’t, breaking into your home would leave them hypnotised. And they would grab the broom and sweep your compound until you find them and release them from the charm.

Odieshi Charm
This is another type of protection charm. It basically makes you invulnerable to bullets and blades. So people here believe.  The ritual involved can be very dangerous. I heard people get buried alive simply to obtain this charm.

Plus, there are rules. The usual includes: “Don’t eat food prepared by a woman in her period” and “Don’t sleep with a woman.” I don’t know about you, but I’m beginning to think that magic in Nigeria has something against women.

Anyway, coming back to rules, it’s believed that  the Bakassi Boys, a vigilante group that operated in Abia, Anambra, and Imo States in Nigeria, used this charm. Eventually they started breaking rules. Also they became entangled with women’s issues and politics, and that led to their fall.




Blood Money
The magic behind this is hideous, whether true or not, and usually involves sacrificing a human being. I won’t go deep into this as what I’ve heard is very disturbing. If it’s any consolation, it’s often said that people that obtain blood money always end up miserable, in spite of their wealth, and their deaths are untimely and very unpleasant.

A man named Clifford Orji was suspected of both cannibalism and merchandising human body parts to blood money seekers.

Settling Disputes
Here in Nigeria, you can settle a dispute before a witch doctor and their fetish god. Typically, you honor the god with sacrifices and ask it to investigate the dispute and curse the guilty party.

Here is the story of how Eze-ego (a wealthy nigerian whom many suspected of having blood money) died after someone reported him to a deity.

Does Magic Truly Exist in Nigeria?
I will tell you a story.

I was sitting by a cement shop one day and two young men approached me, asking if I sold sound systems. I looked behind me and frowned. Then I said no.

They asked where they could buy one and as I gave them directions, one propped himself against the iron beam where I placed my left foot. He then began to move his ringed finger towards the foot.

He touched me, and I felt something. I don’t know what it was. Maybe a tingle or electricity passing through my body. But then last I checked, I didn’t like it when people in general, much less strangers, touched me. Yes, so maybe I was just nervous.

Anyway, his touch made me jerk up. And I quit trying to guide them and snapped, “Don’t touch me!”

They bolted off immediately.

Onlookers started asking why they were running. I explained everything to them. And they said I was lucky. That the boys had a do-as-I-say charm and would probably have made me empty my bank account into theirs if I had allowed them to continue touching me.

Those young men. Their charm didn’t affect me. Well that’s all good. It feels great to be special, believe me.

The truth, however, remains that I don’t believe those onlookers. Not one bit. Most people, if not everyone, in Nigeria have similar stories


Walter Dinjos is Nigerian, a Writers of the Future winner, and a runner-up in the Writers Bureau Writer of the Year 2017 Award. His stories have appeared, or are upcoming, in Writers of the Future Volume #33, Galaxy’s Edge, BSC, Deep Magic, Lamplight, and elsewhere. His poems have appeared in three The Literary Hatchet issues, and he hopes to portray the peculiar beauty of Nigerian cultures through his writing. When he is not writing, he travels across Nigeria, visiting the country’s many historic sites and communities to experience their diverse cultures and traditions first-hand, and when he writes, this rich cultural heritage becomes the heart of his prose. www.dinjos.com


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