Friday 29 October 2021

Audio: The Christmas Dress by Courtney Cole

Narrated by: Bailey Carr

Length: 8 hrs and 23 mins

Release date: 10-26-21

Publisher: HarperAudio

Women's fiction

To review

A magical dress that fits everyone, and that still looks great decades later. More women's fiction than romance.

Meg inherits a building that is crumbling. People are upset when she does show up, cos hello, things to fix. But Meg is the sweetest, nicest person ever ( I would just have sold that money pit at once.) She tries to help, to fix, and to figure out what to do with her life.

She is also very self sacrificing. She meets this great guy, but is ready to give him up because she thinks she knows best (she does not). She broke up with someone (he was not for her), and she seems very cool with her best friend seconds later asking if she can date him. Wait until the body is cold. That feels like a really strange friendship.

But yes Meg is really nice, she would be the best friend anyone could have.

A little sidestory about the dress and its previous owner, Ellie is in here too.

But is mostly about saving this building, falling for someone (not a romance book though.) And meeting a new family.

A nice little Christmas book.

Good narration, and good voices for the whole cast.

When hopeful fashionista Meg Julliard must return to her hometown of Chicago to manage her late father’s apartment building, she thinks her dreams of making it in the fashion business are over. Add in her father’s eclectic roster of tenants who all need Meg’s attention (ASAP!), a host of building related disasters, and a handsome handyman she keeps embarrassing herself in front of, and this has all the makings for the worst Christmas she’s ever had.

Ellie Wade, one of the building’s longtime residents, is also not feeling the Christmas Joy this year. She is preparing to move into a nursing home (reluctantly), and is in the process of sorting through her belongings to downsize. Every corner of her apartment holds memories, some good, some bad. But there’s one dress she hesitates to pack up as it represents both the best and worst night of her life.

Ellie and Meg strike up an unlikely friendship and the story of Ellie’s dress comes out. Ellie gifts the gorgeous dress to Meg, hoping that it will bring her more luck, on the condition that she wear it to the building’s Christmas party.

The dress magically fits, and while it eventually leads to the best night of Meg’s life, it also acts as inspiration for Meg to follow a life-long dream of her own, a dream that will help save the crumbling Parkview West, and restore it to its former glory, and keep it as a safe home for all of the current tenants. The dress and the magic of the holiday season helps both Meg and Ellie find their own happy endings

Thursday 28 October 2021

Audio: The lady gets lucky by Joanna Shupe

Narrated by: Kit Swann

Series: The Fifth Avenue Rebels, Book 2

Length: 12 hrs and 32 mins

Release date: 10-26-21

Publisher: HarperAudio

Historical romance

To review

Poor Alice is overlooked all the time, well not exactly, it does have more to do with her mother being a right cow. Holy f, what a horrible mother. She was never kind once, she was an ass to everyone, and kept bullying her daughter. So yes poor Alice.

She meets Kit as a houseparty, and asks him to teach her how to act around men, cos she wants to get the hell away from her mother. She needs to marry.

Kit is your usual kind of scoundrel that does not want to marry. But he does have this depth of insecurities. 

From a houseparty we move to New York, and some drama, some cooking and a happily ever after.

They were perfect together. He needed someone who told him he was good enough. And she needed someone that showed her that she was strong, and that she should not listen to her horrible mother.

Good narration, and yes it sure felt difference to do a US historical romance for once

Shy heiress Alice Lusk is tired of being overlooked by every bachelor. Something has to change, else she’ll be forced to marry a man whose only desire is her fortune. She needs to become a siren, a woman who causes a man’s blood to run hot...and she’s just met the perfect rogue to help teach her.

Christopher “Kit” Ward plans to open a not-so-reputable supper club in New York City, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to hire the best chef in the city to guarantee its success. Even if it requires giving carnal lessons to a serious-minded spinster who has an in with the chef.

Their bedroom instruction grows passionate, and Alice is a much better pupil than Kit had ever anticipated. When the Society gentlemen start to take notice, Kit has to try to win Alice in other ways...but is he too late to win her heart? 

Wednesday 27 October 2021

Rhythm of War by Brandon Sanderson


Series: The Stormlight Archive (#4), The Cosmere

Format: 1230 pages, Paperback

Published: November 17, 2020 by Gollancz



I just can't---1200 pages!!! How do I even review that?! Seriously?!

Ok, so the beginning was tough, I did give up once. I read the last book 3 years ago, I could not remember anything. But then I braved it again and dove in (cos no, I am not re'reading every book every 3rd year.) And sure, there were things I was not sure of but it was still a thrilling ride.

Then I read the review of book 3, ha, there too I had the same questions. Like why are Shallan 3 people? How does the magic work? But he is just so damn good so it all works.

This was also the book of depression and ptsd.

Adolin is a right sweetheart.

Omg Kaladin, my heart.

These books are great, but yeah, maybe wait until they are all out cos else you will wait years in between books and forget it all. But then again then you will have to wait like 30 years

After forming a coalition of human resistance against the enemy invasion, Dalinar Kholin and his Knights Radiant have spent a year fighting a protracted, brutal war. Neither side has gained an advantage.

Now, as new technological discoveries begin to change the face of the war, the enemy prepares a bold and dangerous operation. The arms race that follows will challenge the very core of the Radiant ideals, and potentially reveal the secrets of the ancient tower that was once the heart of their strength.

At the same time that Kaladin Stormblessed must come to grips with his changing role within the Knights Radiant, his Windrunners face their own problem: As more and more deadly enemy Fused awaken to wage war, no more honorspren are willing to bond with humans to increase the number of Radiants. Adolin and Shallan must lead the coalition’s envoy to the honorspren stronghold of Lasting Integrity and either convince the spren to join the cause against the evil god Odium, or personally face the storm of failure

Tuesday 26 October 2021



Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post where bloggers discuss a wide range of topics from books and blogging to life in general. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog. Feel free to leave your links in the comments if you are participating.

10/26/2021 What is your real-life superpower?

Speed reading? Speed listening?

I got nothing

11/2/2021 Sci-Fi Stories: do you read them? Futuristic? Machine? Space Opera? Sci-Fi Romances?

11/9/2021 Do you use reading subscriptions (e.g., Kindle Unlimited, Scribd, etc)? Why/why not?

11/16/2021 Do authors/narrators actions, political beliefs, etc impact your view of their work?

11/23/2021vGratitude. What books/authors/narrators/bloggers are you most thankful for this year?

11/30/2021 Book cover love: Share some book covers that you loved in 2021

Monday 25 October 2021

Carole's Monday: When the skies cry

Author: Steve N. Lee 
Title: When The Skies Cry
(Books for Dog Lovers)
Genre: Fiction, Animals
Format: ebook
Published: October 22nd 2021
Where I Got It: My shelf (given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)

Harley loses everything when his master dies — his home, his best friend, his reason for living. Day after day, he trudges the streets, trembling from the biting cold, whimpering from the gnawing hunger.

Across town, Rachel has an alimony hearing looming and a make-or-break deadline hurtling toward her, yet they aren’t her biggest worries — her autistic son has withdrawn so far into his own private world, he barely acknowledges she even exists.

Luckily, the magic of life is in the surprises no one ever sees coming…

This is my second book by this author. I absolutely loved the other one so I was excited to read this one next!

We follow Harley who loses everything when his beloved owner dies. He finds himself on the streets and alone with an empty tummy. Across town, we also follow Rachel who has an alimony hearing looming and a make-or-break deadline for work heading her way. On top of that, she is trying to take care of her autistic son who has severely withdrawn since his father left. Luckily, life is full of surprises that no one ever sees coming. 

Oh man. The author has done it again.

All the feels are here friends. Joy, happiness, sadness, glee, tears.....all of them. It was a roller coaster of emotion. It was so heart-warming and you won't put it down. I finished it within a day (dang work slowing me down). I just HAD to know what was going to happen especially after a couple of events. Can't say. No spoilers here!!! It would ruin the tale for sure. 

The author really knows how to bring all characters to life. Not just the people, but our fuzzy characters as well. Fabulous. Fantastic. 

This is for sure a big contender for book of the year (I've gotten a couple already there - so there will be some stiff competition in December when I have to pick!). This had everything and you can't help but root for this little family. 

That ending.....oh that ending. If you feel nothing at the are heartless. It was so good. Did NOT see any of that happening. 

Overall, fantastic read. I highly recommend this. It's technically book 2, but there is no order, but you should read both this and the first one. I see a 3rd book is coming out....can't wait!! Read it. It'll give you all the feels. 5 stars of course. 

Friday 22 October 2021

Audio. Everything within and in between by Nikki Barthelmess

Narrated by: Frankie Corzo

Length: 8 hrs and 58 mins

Release date: 10-05-21

Publisher: HarperAudio

YA Fiction

To review

Maria, Ri, lives with her grandmother. Study hard, get into Yale or something, and live a better life than they did. She is also white passing and her grandmother thinks this is another great thing that will help her in life. They never spoke Spanish around her either and Ri knows nothing about her Mexican roots.

Ri did have this blind faith to her at times. Sure her grandmother was hard, but she genuinely wanted  a better life for her grandkid. Not having to work from dusk to dawn, not having people look at you like you might snatch their purse. But she also neglects that Ri might want other things and go make her own choices.

Which brings us to her choices. People tell her that this one guy might not want what she wants. But she thinks they are idiots. Sure, you are a teen, and sometimes they think with their lower parts. Then she tries something, and does not understand why her friends thinks that is a bad idea. I can't say I liked how she made everything into something else. Oh and last her mum, blind faith in the mom she has not seen for dunno, 12 years? If your mum loved you she would have come back, maybe listen to bitchy grandma for once.

So a bit too many bad choices, I can take some, but I had to agree with grandma, and dang that made me feel old. Can't blame it all on being a teen, I would not have tried cocaine is all I am saying.

But it is a journey book, you have to make some damn stupid mistakes to see what truly matters, good friends, family and love.

It also deals with some hard subjects when she is trying to find out who she is.

But I enjoyed it. It was a fast listen. A good read

Good narration. This was my first time listening to this narrator, and I would listen to her again. She did a great job with different voices and had the right feel of things

For Ri Fernández’s entire life, she’s been told, “We live in America and we speak English.” Raised by her strict Mexican grandma, Ri has never been allowed to learn Spanish.

What’s more, her grandma has pulled Ri away from the community where they once belonged. In its place, Ri has grown up trying to fit in among her best friend’s world of mansions and country clubs in an attempt try to live out her grandmother’s version of the “American Dream”.

In her heart, Ri has always believed that her mother, who disappeared when Ri was young, would accept her exactly how she is and not try to turn her into someone she’s never wanted to be. So when Ri finds a long-hidden letter from her mom begging for a visit, she decides to reclaim what Grandma kept from her: her heritage and her mom.

But nothing goes as planned. Her mom isn’t who Ri imagined she would be, and finding her doesn’t make Ri’s struggle to navigate the interweaving threads of her mixed heritage any less complicated. Nobody has any idea of who Ri really is - not even Ri herself. 

Thursday 21 October 2021

Audio: Sasha Masha by Agnes Borinsky


By: Agnes Borinsky

Narrated by: Agnes Borinsky

Length: 3 hours 30 minutes

YA Fic


Novella on audio? Yes, I like short, and it worked really well.

It is about Alex, have always felt like in between. Then his best friend moves away. He gets his first girlfriend and wonder if he now will feel like a real boy.

But, a name starts to come to him, Sasha Masha. He is that that name.

This is not a journey book, it is more coming to understand that there might be more to everything. Sasha still goes by him at the end though, and I will not assume I know how their journey turned out in the end. I hope Sasha truly becomes Sasha, and maybe changes pronoun.

I enjoyed it. Short! Haha, well I needed short

I was a bit afraid cos the narration was done by the author. And yes the tone, emotions and lack of distinct voices was there, but I felt like she made up for it because she that had gone through this could really put herself in the story'

Alex feels like he is in the wrong body. His skin feels strange against his bones. And then comes Tracy, who thinks he's adorably awkward, who wants to kiss him, who makes him feel like a Real Boy. But it is not quite enough. Something is missing.

As Alex grapples with his identity, he finds himself trying on dresses and swiping on lipstick in the quiet of his bedroom. He meets Andre, a gay boy who is beautiful and unafraid to be who he is. Slowly, Alex begins to realize: maybe his name isn't Alex at all. Maybe it's Sasha Masha.

Transgender author Agnes Borinksy deftly explores gender identity and queer romance in this heart-wrenchingly honest debut novel.

Wednesday 20 October 2021

Save a horse, ride a Viscount by Valerie Bowman

Narrated by: Mary Sarah

Series: The Footmen's Club, Book 4

Length: 7 hrs and 24 mins

Release date: 10-12-21

Publisher: Tantor Audio

Historical romance

To review

Thea was headstrong for sure, so headstrong she ended up with a broken leg, could not be moved and had to stay with a Viscount *wink wink* Just to see the horse her father sold long ago.

As for Ewan, oh man, you could have stayed out of so much trouble of you had just let her see that horse!

They have to spend some time together, and they talk, and fancy each other. But there has to be some drama, though to be fair, if she had just asked him one question then there had been no drama. So he had to do some chasing, good for you Sir.

There is also a sidestory with his friend who he tries to help, and I do hope that friend gets the next book.

All in all, a fast, sweet story. And a title that will always give me a chuckle.

The narration was good after a for me bumpy road, as she did not have a lot of voices for the characters. But she made it a fast fun read

Ewan Fairchild, Viscount Clayton, has been busy ticking off the boxes for a bright future. Become a rising star in Parliament? Check. Find a lady he intends to marry? Check. Make his stables the envy of every man in London? Check, thanks to the prize Arabian thoroughbred he's just won at auction. Clayton's on his way to having it all and won't change course for anyone - not even the beautiful young woman next door.

Lady Theodora Ballard didn't mind missing a Season of dinner parties, balls, and soirees to care for her ailing mother, but when Thea's father sold her horse out from under her, she thought her heart would break. Now the roguishly handsome viscount at the neighboring estate has her horse - and she'll stop at nothing to get him back. Unfortunately, a horse spying mission goes south, leaving Thea with a broken leg and Clayton with an alluring houseguest who upends his orderly world. The sparks between them are undeniable, but secrets and scandal abound. It's going to take more than a little love to save them....

Tuesday 19 October 2021



Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post where bloggers discuss a wide range of topics from books and blogging to life in general. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog. Feel free to leave your links in the comments if you are participating.

10/19/2021 Do you prefer to read standalone stories, duologies, trilogies, series? 

OH, no preference at all! I love stand alones! Wohoo, jump in and be done.

Duologies, trilogies, the more the merrier. More meat on the bones.

Series, sure, why not, let's continue this adventure!

BUT! I do hate when it goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on, arghhhh, let it END! Some series that I loved I have frankly forgotten about and 5 years later I will not go back. Then there are those I still love, looking at you October Daye, I am just feeling done, but I still love, but I am feeling, let it end.

10/26/2021 What is your real-life superpower?

11/2/2021 Sci-Fi Stories: do you read them? Futuristic? Machine? Space Opera? Sci-Fi Romances?

11/9/2021 Do you use reading subscriptions (e.g., Kindle Unlimited, Scribd, etc)? Why/why not?

11/16/2021 Do authors/narrators actions, political beliefs, etc impact your view of their work?

11/23/2021vGratitude. What books/authors/narrators/bloggers are you most thankful for this year?

11/30/2021 Book cover love: Share some book covers that you loved in 2021

Monday 18 October 2021

Carole's Monday: Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs


Author: Patricia Briggs
Narrator: Lorelei King
Title: Bone Crossed
(Mercy Thompson #4)
Genre: UF, Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Format: Audiobook
Published:  February 3rd 2009
Where I got It: Borrowed from Library

By day, Mercy is a car mechanic in the sprawling Tri-Cities of Eastern Washington. By night, she explores her preternatural side. As a shapeshifter with some unique talents, Mercy has often found herself having to maintain a tenuous harmony between the human and the not so human. This time she may get more than she bargained for.

Marsilia, the local Vampire Queen, has learned that Mercy crossed her by slaying a member of her clan—and she's out for blood. But since Mercy is protected from direct reprisal by the werewolf pack (and her close relationship with its sexy Alpha), it won't be Mercy's blood Marsilia is after.

It'll be her friends

The last book had me needing the next one right away. I started listening to it the moment I finished the review of the other one. 

Mercy has been through a lot the last few days. All she wants to do is return to normal-ish life. She wants to work on the cars and be with her new boy...the Alpha of the werewolf pack. However, the local Vamp Queen has learned that Mercy slew a member of her clan and now she wants Mercy's blood. Since Mercy is protected by the werewolf pack and mate to the won't just be Mercy's blood on the line. 

Not only does Mercy have to deal with the Vamp Queen here...she has to deal with an old college friend knocking on her door and asking for help AND Mercy is still trying to find her footing after a tragic event in the last book. She's got a lot on her plate AGAIN. Luckily she has the whole pack and her best vamp friend behind her.

Love how supportive Adam is. He is perfect for Mercy and it melts my cold heart how patient and kind he has been to Mercy after the events. He is not pushy. He knows she will need a LOT of time and LOTS of love to heal from what happened to her. Gah. Love him.

I'm glad Samuel is still around in a friend role. However....he needs to head home. I think that would be good for him and stop working at the hospital. He is falling apart. Gah poor guy. 

OoooOOOooo Stefan. I've been meh about him, but by the end of this, I was swooning just a hair. Shhhh. Don't tell anyone. I hope he finds comfort too. He's had a rough time here. Someone needs to stake that Queen Vamp. >_> 

This was a good one. You need to read the others before you get here. This felt like a lot of past stuff really created the issues here. 

OOOOH. I nearly forgot...we got to meet Mercy's mama for a hot min. I hope we get to see her soon. I would love even a short series featuring her mama and dad. Maybe her dad really isn't dead??? Wouldn't that be nice? Or we can find some of his people or fam? I want Mercy to learn more about what she is. She seemed to learn a bit in this one, but I feel there is a lot that she doesn't know. 

The narrator is fantastic as per normal. Not more to say. Fantastic for these characters and this world.  

Overall, this series and world are just getting better and better. I'll give this 5 stars. One of my favorites of the series so far. 


- #68 for Audiobook challenge

Friday 15 October 2021

Audio: The Mars Strain by A.C.Anderson

Narrated by: Morgan Hallett

Length: 10 hrs and 28 mins

Release date: 04-27-21

Publisher: Recorded Books Inc.

Scifi thriller

To review

Could I have read this last year? No, a virus that kills everyone within hours, yikes! Too scary. But now, yes now it works. We are far enough into this pandemic for me to go into pandemic book territory.

A cube is brought back from Mars, I guess there was life on Mars after all. But then people start to die, horrible deaths. It is fast and it is ruthless, and as we know people are idiots and it spreads. Pandemic, The Mars strain.

First, the how and when of the cube was really interesting and I would have loved to learn more. So intriguing.

Thrillers are not something I read a lot, they have to speak to me. Ánd I am glad I gave this a chance, though to be honest the tech med talk is not my biggest fav to be honest, but it still worked well. It was the fight against the clock. Either everyone dies, or they stop it. I was pulled in and the stakes kept getting higher.

As for the characters, we really could have done with a Juliet during covid, she is one smart woman.

I enjoyed it, it got really dark at one time and I wanted to know how it would turn out.

Good narrator, distinct voices and she kept up the thrilling pace of the story. This is one for audio. A thrilling ride that keeps you wondering.

We’ve colonized Mars, but we never should’ve come back.

When the first astronauts of the Mars Colony returned to Earth, they brought a mysterious, metal box they had found half-buried in the red dirt, called the Mars Cube. The scientists assigned to uncover its secrets tested it, scanned it, tried to blow it up, and everything in between. Then they accidentally opened it.

Biosafety level-4 laboratories, BSL4, hold the most deadly viruses on the Earth, and Juliet handled them daily. Her research at the CDC landed her a position on the Mars Cube Investigative Team in the world’s only BSL-5 lab. The only drawback: Her ex was one of the astronauts that brought back the Cube.

What was held inside the Cube shouldn’t have gotten out. It shouldn’t have ever been exposed to our planet because the Mars Strain is now loose and killing at a 100 percent mortality rate. Juliet is fighting for our very existence, Jake is working with the Mars Colonists to decipher the Cube’s holographic message for a clue, and someone wants to take over the Mars Program for themselves. They’re all watching the clock, and it's about to run out.

Thursday 14 October 2021

Dark Witch by Nora Roberts

342 pages, Paperback

First published October 29, 2013

Series: The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy (#1)

Paranomal romantic fic


I can't say I cared one way or another. Everything just happened so easily, talk about magic happened so easily. She got into her powers so easily. The big bad was not scary at all.

Iona comes to Ireland. Her cousins are awesome. She gets a job at once. She falls for a horse, she falls for a man.


Oh the big bad!


The end

I guess when they finally defeat the big bad it will happen easily.

I would have liked to learn more about their ancestor instead, she sounded cool.


With indifferent parents, Iona Sheehan grew up craving devotion and acceptance. From her maternal grandmother, she learned where to find both: a land of lush forests, dazzling lakes, and centuries-old legends.

Ireland. County Mayo, to be exact. Where her ancestors’ blood and magic have flowed through generations—and where her destiny awaits. Iona arrives in Ireland with nothing but her Nan’s directions, an unfailingly optimistic attitude, and an innate talent with horses. Not far from the luxurious castle where she is spending a week, she finds her cousins, Branna and Connor O’Dwyer. And since family is family, they invite her into their home and their lives.

When Iona lands a job at the local stables, she meets the owner, Boyle McGrath. Cowboy, pirate, wild tribal horsemen, he’s three of her biggest fantasy weaknesses all in one big, bold package.

Iona realizes that here she can make a home for herself—and live her life as she wants, even if that means falling head over heels for Boyle. But nothing is as it seems. An ancient evil has wound its way around Iona’s family tree and must be defeated. Family and friends will fight with each other and for each other to keep the promise of hope—and love—alive…

Wednesday 13 October 2021

Audio: Cheers to the Duke by Sally MacKenzie

Narrated by: Justine Eyre

Series: Widow’s Brew Series, Book 3

Length: 7 hrs and 44 mins

Release date: 09-28-21

Publisher: Tantor Audio

Historical romance

to review

Jo is happy running her home for mothers and daughters. Her own marriage was bad with a husband who spent time with everyone except for her.

Edward  was a lawyer, now he is a Duke, and the ton does not let him forget that he used to work for his money. The horror!

There is a houseparty of sorts. They are both invited. He is looking for a wife. She is not looking for a husband

They are so right for each other, but she was really messed up by her stupid husband. I liked seeing him fall, and her realising that all marriages are not the same.

I enjoyed it. a A sweet tale

Justine Eyre narrated, and she is always awesome! You can't go wrong with her

As the founder of the Home, Josephine Smyth-Waters is determined to be there for the women who need her. But when those same women conspire to accept an invitation on her behalf, she finds herself suddenly on the way to the christening party of the Earl of Darrow's baby. Guests at the party include her friends and former partners Pen and Caro-and Edward Russell, Duke of Grainger, the Home's generous benefactor and the man she's been writing to for months. While Jo decidedly does not have marriage on the mind, the duke's handsome looks and charming words are enough to make the lovely widow a little reckless....

Even after a year, the title of "duke" still sits strangely on Edward Russell's shoulders. When Edward encounters Jo - capable, fun, and utterly irresistible - he's delighted to find someone he truly connects with. A trick of fate has placed them on two different paths...but Edward is beginning to realize that perhaps he's not the kind of man who does the expected thing after all....

Tuesday 12 October 2021



Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post where bloggers discuss a wide range of topics from books and blogging to life in general. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog. Feel free to leave your links in the comments if you are participating.

Paper, electronic, audio... How do you read?


I would never have started listening to audiobooks if it hadn't been for blogging, and I am super grateful to you fellow audio lovers. It has become my first love.

Paper. Hey, I am old school and I love the feel of a book in my hands. I want to look at them, look at them on my shelves and have two pages open at the same time, 

Electronic is last.I will always choose paper over it. It is faster for me, my e'reader is not the best. It is not a joy reading on it and I always forget faster what I have read.

10/19/2021 Do you prefer to read standalone stories, duologies, trilogies, series? 

10/26/2021 What is your real-life superpower?

11/2/2021 Sci-Fi Stories: do you read them? Futuristic? Machine? Space Opera? Sci-Fi Romances?

11/9/2021 Do you use reading subscriptions (e.g., Kindle Unlimited, Scribd, etc)? Why/why not?

11/16/2021 Do authors/narrators actions, political beliefs, etc impact your view of their work?

11/23/2021vGratitude. What books/authors/narrators/bloggers are you most thankful for this year?

11/30/2021 Book cover love: Share some book covers that you loved in 2021

Monday 11 October 2021

Joint Discussion: Cinderella


This month we decided to discuss 'Cinderella' (2021).

Blodeuedd is in red and Carole is in purple.

Title:  Cinderella

Genre: Comedy, Romance, Adventure
Released: Sep 2021
Length: 1h 53 min


Newest Cinderella movie, yup had to give it a try

Yessss this was a must-try. 

Though from watching pre-views I was all srsly? And yes they sure mixed clothes and things, pretty sure I saw a plastic something once too. But I guess that is how we roll these days

OMG, the power tools at the beginning had me laughing out loud. This was for sure a fantasy town. No, but they had power tools. Weird world. 

Oh yes, the power tools were insane. And then the princess talked about wind power, hey you peeps already got power tools, you have to have some power ;) Lol

Yaaa this world made no sense at all BUT it oddly made sense. I kept thinking this was just some dreamland or something. IDK. Very weird, but I kinda liked the silliness of it. 

Ohhh, that makes sense. It was all a dream. Damn, I want this dream! Singing, meeting a prince, hell yeah

Same!!!! Esp with the song choices. It’s like a mom fell asleep watching the original Cinderella with their kid or something. The songs were for sure classic songs. I think a couple of originals, but mainly songs we all know. Like the one by Queen. 

Excellent song choices. I am team Dream now for sure. I am not the biggest musical fan, but I liked it here, and the best thing was, town crier guy on the bridge? Or whatever he was

Yesss him and his band. He was excellent. I loved our Godmother too. That whole scene had me smiling and laughing. Our Ella and the Godmother were hilarious together. And those mice!? Best scene in the movie methinks. 

Yes, the mice rocked it :D I also liked how the stepmom and sisters weren’t totally bitches. I know I know, not nice, but not total bitches. They had redeeming qualities.

At first, I was meh about the mice and they didn’t really seem to add anything...until that scene. Love them! And agreed. I like how the stepmom and sisters were not nice and kinda mean, but they had redeeming qualities. I honestly think the stepmom cared a tiny bit. She wanted Ella married off and supported and not follow silly dreams. I think Ella reminded her of her younger self so there was some resentment there. 

Totally, she was practical. A woman could not start a shop. Getting married would have you protected. So yes I think she cared too.

I don’t wanna give spoilers, but there was the scene where the stepmom was all “YES ELLA!!! I SUPPORT YOU!” (the scene where Ella was in bed depressed). I thought that was really sweet but then Ella said no. 

Agreed. I liked this more than other ones, the whole mean thing is so strange at times. This was more hopeful. I needed that.

TBH I did not watch the live-action remake but remembering the old original one the step mom was just a monster for NO reason. She just wanted a slave. In this version, the step mom wants Ella be well-trained and run a household and be married off. Sure she could’ve been nicer and let her come to the ball. But she does redeem herself sorta later on. I liked this dynamic and these versions of the character better. Ella is NOT perfect either by any means. Same with Prince Charming. He was a bad boy who didn't want the throne. I liked these characters. 

I do get why she said no, Ella was pretty, much so than her own daughters. They would not stand a chance, so sorry Ella. Not nice at all. But yes she tries later on. And they all had their imperfections. I still do not believe these two will live happily ever after though, I will stand by that. They will be together for a few years, break up, and find other people and be happy. But that is life

LOLLL and the stepsisters KNEW they didn’t stand a chance when Ella came out in that original dress because she thought she was going. The bigger sister was all “WELP….we don’t stand a chance….why bother even goin!” hahaha. And yesss….I don’t think they will last. I think Ella is too selfish to want to settle down anytime soon. I think the Prince will wanna get married and have babies soon-ish. 

I think so too. I can take it :) Anything more?

This was cute with some good songs. SUPER DUPER CHEESY….but fun. That’s all I got!! Glad we watched it!

A good movie :) Cheesy is good at times. Ok, gotta go now!

Have fun! Imma take a nap! See ya next time!

Friday 8 October 2021

Audio: It started with a dog by Julia London

Series: Lucky Dog (#2)

Format:11 h

Expected publication: October 5, 2021 by Tantor Audio

To review

Contemporary romance

By chance Harper and Jonah exchange phones. And they have each other phones for a week, and since they want to know what happens they do read texts and text each other about it. Lots of fun and gringy moments.

Then they meet, find each other as interesting as in their texts, and it begins. But oops! She is working for the new coffee shop chain, and his family's shop is not doing well.

For once they do talk in this one, and try to make it work even though they are "enemies", that was a nice change of things. Talking! Trying! Sure there are some speed bumps, but which relationship does not have those. And of course there are dogs. I mean it did start with a dogs, so lovable dogs for everyone.

I enjoyed it, sweet, I did see that end coming before they did. Good choice.

Great narration too. She really got that annoying boss down. A good listen

All Harper Thompson wants for Christmas is the huge promotion she's worked so hard for--which she should get, as long as her launch of the hip new coffeehouse, Deja Brew, goes according to plan. Jonah Rogers is spending the holiday season trying to save his family's coffee shop, Lucky Star, from going out of business, which will be tough with the brand-new Deja Brew opening across the street.

When Jonah and Harper meet for the first time after accidentally swapping phones, their chemistry is as electric as a strand of Christmas lights. He's a tall, handsome, compassionate hunk of engineer, and she's an entrepreneur whose zest for life is very sexy. They love all the same things, like running, scary movies, greasy food--and most of all, dogs. It's a match made in heaven...until Jonah finds out that Harper's the one about to put him out of business.

Only one coffee shop can survive, and a competition of one-upmanship ensues in a holiday battle of the brews. The paws really come out when the local rescue shelter has a fundraiser where local businesses foster dogs, and patrons donate cash to vote for their favorite pup. Harper takes in an adorable old bulldog on behalf of Deja Brew, while Jonah fosters a perky three-legged dachshund for Lucky Star. When one precious pup is crowned King Mutt, and a For Sale sign goes up in the other shop's window, Harper and Jonah must decide if their connection was all steam or if they are the perfect blend.

Thursday 7 October 2021

Lord of Snow and Shadows by Sarah Ash

Series: Tears of Artamon (#1)

Format: 704 pages, Paperback

Published: January 1, 2004 by Bantam Books



Tsarist "Russia" fell and an empire was divided. One is ruled by a "dragon", one kingdom seems to be mostly Swedes, oh and Finn! And the rest eh, something. It was a mix of things.

Guy gets kidnapped and is told he is to rule as the dragon, and then he starts to change. Ohhh. I liked Gavril, clueless kid who tried to be nice. His mother had spirit too.

The bad guy, I do not know why he is bad, maybe cos he is Swedish? HA, burn. Sorry. Finnish joke.

Lots of political intrigues, a bitchy woman just cos women are bitchy. A princess in distress. A maid that is shown to be more. Oh and those dragon powers, I need to know more.

I gave up the first time, but this time I finished, and it was decent. I got it for free and I have book 2 also, so will continue. Cos that stupid boy, ugh, maybe save that for later! He just doomed his kingdom

Seemingly always the outsider, Gavril Andar - an impoverished young painter - yearns to join the privileged circles of Muscobar polite society. However, unbeknownst to him, he does have royal blood in his veins: the dark and powerful blood of a father he never knew - the Drakhaon, ruler of the isolated northern kingdom of Azhkendir. And when the Drakhaon is brutally murdered, an unwilling Gavril is forced to take up the mantle of both his father's rule - and his power. For blood will out. And the Drakhaon's carries within it a taint that gives its bearer access to awesome, unimagined magics - but at a soul-shattering price.

Now trapped in this bleak, mist-shrouded land full of superstition and racked by bitter rivalries, Gavril faces an awesome task. He must find his father's killer and unite his fractured kingdom against those who see it as weak, defenceless and ripe for invasion before he pays the price of kinship and succumbs to the dread curse that uncoils within him . . .


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