Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Audio Tour: Ash and Air (review)


Author: Alex Lidell

Narrator: Kaitlin Bellamy

Length: 6 hours and 57 minutes

Publisher: Danger Bearing Press

Released: Sep. 8, 2017

Genre: YA Fantasy




Master and Commander meets Sarah J Maas in a seafaring adventure of duty, love, magic, and a princess’s quest to protect her kingdom on her own terms.

After a lifetime of training, 17-year-old Princess Nile Greysik, a lieutenant on the prestigious Ashing navy flagship, sails into battle with one vital mission – and fails.

Barred from the sea and facing a political marriage, Nile masquerades as a common sailor on the first ship she can find. With a cowardly captain, incompetent crew, and a cruel, too-handsome first officer intent on making her life a living hell, Nile must hide her identity while trying to turn the sorry frigate battle worthy. Worse, a terrifying and forbidden magic now tingles in Nile’s blood. If anyone catches wind of who Nile is or what she can do, her life is over.

But when disaster threatens the ship, Nile may have no choice but to unleash the truth that will curse her future.

Air and Ash is the thrilling first installment of the TIDES series. Recommended for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Tamora Pierce, and David Weber.










Alex Lidell is the author of Amazon best sellers AIR AND ASH and WAR AND WIND (Danger Bearing Press, 2017) and an Amazon Breakout Novel Awards finalist author of THE CADET OF TILDOR (Penguin, 2013). She is an avid horseback rider, a (bad) hockey player, and an ice-cream addict. Born in Russia, Alex learned English in elementary school, where a thoughtful librarian placed a copy of Tamora Pierce’s ALANNA in Alex’s hands. In addition to becoming the first English book Alex read for fun, ALANNA started Alex’s life long love for YA fantasy books.
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Narrator Bio


Kaitlin Bellamy is a freelance performer and acting coach residing in Central Florida, with a theatrical history spanning more than twenty-five years.

Since relocating to Orlando in 2012, she has worked at multiple theme parks and various theatrical venues, in a career style she calls “Buffet Performing:” or, the idea of keeping several jobs active at any given time, so she may pick and choose where to work, and life never gets boring. Her specialties include Shakespeare, Voice Acting, and Puppetry. But above all, she is passionate about the performing arts, and all they stand for.
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQkNZUqbTnc





I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Alex Lidell. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.




Q&A with Author Alex Lidell
  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
    • At the time I was writing AIR AND ASH, no. But now that I am on the third book in the series, having heard Kaitlin narrate AIR AND ASH, I do hear the characters speaking in her voice as I write.
  • How did you select your narrator?
    • I listed to sample reels of many narrators and then invited Kaitlin to audition. I really like the range of emotions and undertones she has within each character’s voice.
  • How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?
    • Very closely! I was really shy about sending her an audio file of my voice pronouncing some words, but it worked :) We also have a shared google doc with character descriptions and we spent some time on the phone “auditioning” character voices. It was one of my favorite parts of the process and the reason I SO love working with Kaitlin.
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
    • Often by listening to audiobooks or watching some TV shows with the right atmosphere, and then analyzing the story/plot. What did I like about it? Why did I keep watching and listening? How can I apply that fun thing that got me excited to my own writing?
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • I’m a HUGE listener. I fell in love with audiobooks listening to Master and Commander, where the narrator helped me understand some of the technical seamanship. My favorite narrator (aside from Kaitlin of course!) is Jennifer Ikeda
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • I say Safety First! When I get into a book, I can’t pull away from it - so I end up walking down the street, reading my phone (yeah, i’m one of those horrible people). With audiobooks I can walk and listen!
  • How did you celebrate after finishing this novel?
    • I have a habit of traveling to meet people who I’ve e-met during the writing process. After finishing WAR AND WIND (TIDES book 2), I went to see Rachel E Carter in CA. And in October I’m going to go see Kaitlin to celebrate AIR AND ASH audio.
  • In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of writing a stand-alone novel vs. writing a series?
    • I think YA fantasy fans are often comfortable with a series - I know I am - and expect it. Other genres have different fan bases. From an author perspective, a series lets me tell more complex overall stories, but makes logistics difficult. IE in book one, the distance between A and B might not matter so I say “umm, half a day by horse, sure, why not”. And then in book 3 it becomes vitally important that it take a WEEK to get from A to B,... and I have to somehow deal :)
  • Do you have any tips for authors going through the process of turning their books into audiobooks?
    • Talk to your narrator and make sure you click as professionals. I really lucked out with Kaitlin because of her excitement level and flexibility - but some people prefer to have more “distance”. It was a match with Kaitlin herself, not just her voice, that finally closed the deal for me
  • What’s next for you?
    • WAR AND WIND (Tides 2) comes out in audio in December. SEA AND SAND (Tides 3) comes out in print/ebook in January!


Oct. 18th:
The Audiobookworm

Adventures thru Wonderland

History from a Woman's Perspective

My Creatively Random Life

Oct. 19th:

Lomeraniel

Jazzy Book Reviews

It's Novel to Me

Oct. 20th:

Notes from 'Round the Bend

Here's to Happy Endings

Kasia Burlakoff

Oct. 21st:

Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews

Turning Another Page

Oct. 22nd:

What Is That Book About

Up 'Til Dawn Book Blog

Lilly's Book World

Loves Great Reads

Oct. 23rd:

Spunky N Sassy

The Book Junkie Reads . . .

Oct. 24th:

My World...in Words and Pages

The Book Addict's Reviews

Smada's Book Smack

Zach's YA Reviews

Pregnant, Barefoot, in the Kitchen




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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sunday's Spotlight: Traitor's Blade (Greatcoats #1)

18947303Traitor's Blade (Greatcoats #1)

Falcio is the first Cantor of the Greatcoats. Trained in the fighting arts and the laws of Tristia, the Greatcoats are travelling Magisters upholding King’s Law. They are heroes. Or at least they were, until they stood aside while the Dukes took the kingdom, and impaled their King’s head on a spike.


Now Tristia is on the verge of collapse and the barbarians are sniffing at the borders. The Dukes bring chaos to the land, while the Greatcoats are scattered far and wide, reviled as traitors, their legendary coats in tatters.

All they have left are the promises they made to King Paelis, to carry out one final mission. But if they have any hope of fulfilling the King’s dream, the divided Greatcoats must reunite, or they will also have to stand aside as they watch their world burn…


Blog Tour: Birthright




Historical Fiction
Date Published: June 27, 2017
Publisher: Yo Productions, LLC

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As an infant, Niklas’s family escaped death when the entire royal bloodline of Livonia was murdered. As an adult, Niklas joined the Teutonic Knights in their bloody crusades across Europe to spread God’s Word. After years of service, he discovers that the army he faithfully served has ill-intentioned motives.
When Niklas and his friend defect from the knighthood, they are relentlessly pursued across the Baltic States by the wickedly led Teutonic Order. His only hope to enjoy a peaceful life is to unify the oppressed populace against their tyrannical rulers. But, political upheavals and looming enemies threaten any chance of peace. When it’s discovered that an heir to the Livonian throne is still alive, Niklas vows to help him regain his rightful place as leader. At best, Niklas’s oath can help bring freedom to people in a lost country. At worst, it can cost him his life.

Review: What a fun read! Fast paced, and easy to follow, with plenty of action and danger. I enjoyed this one! I liked the setting, and the characters were well written. The plot was easy to follow, and the writing style was easy to read.
About the Author





Nick G. Giannaras has been practicing Chiropractic for 20 years. He resides in North Carolina where he is active in his church, Deliverance Christian Center. He enjoys his great family amid numerous hobbies such as: tabletop wargames, creating music, painting, hunting, and fishing. He was also a Civil War reenactor for 15 years. He never considered writing as a ministry until the endeavor commenced in 2005. Nick views his books as ‘Entertainment with a message’ and prays they will reach the world with a positive impact for those who jump into his words.

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Reading Addiction Blog Tours

ARC Review: I Give You My Heart

33375941 I Give You My Heart by Pimm Hest
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Yuto receives a special gift. A gift that will change his life. A gift that moves him and brings him comfort, warmth and shelter. A gift for life. A gift to pass on. A poetic fairy tale with valuable life lessons, 56 pages of stunning artwork and magnificent laser cutouts that will enchant you. The story is about a special life-changing gift; I GIVE YOU MY HEART is an ideal gift itself, one that will change the life of all who read it.






Friday, October 13, 2017

Review: Ballad of the Beanstalk

33526191Ballad of the Beanstalk by Amy McNulty
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

  As her fingers move across the strings of her family’s heirloom harp, sixteen-year-old Clarion can forget. She doesn’t dwell on the recent passing of her beloved father or the fact that her mother has just sold everything they owned, including that very same instrument that gives Clarion life. She doesn’t think about how her friends treat her like a feeble, brittle thing to be protected. She doesn’t worry about how to tell the elegant Elena, her best friend and first love, that she doesn’t want to be her sweetheart anymore. She becomes the melody and loses herself in the song.

When Mack, a lord’s dashing young son, rides into town so his father and Elena’s can arrange a marriage between the two youth, Clarion finds herself falling in love with a boy for the first time. Drawn to Clarion’s music, Mack puts Clarion and Elena’s relationship to the test, but he soon vanishes by climbing up a giant beanstalk that only Clarion has seen. When even the town witch won’t help, Clarion is determined to rescue Mack herself and prove once and for all that she doesn’t need protecting. But while she fancied herself a savior, she couldn’t have imagined the enormous world of danger that awaits her in the kingdom of the clouds.

A prequel to the fairy tale Jack and the Beanstalk that reveals the true story behind the magical singing harp.



I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Alex Lidell. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

I had hoped to love this one, as I enjoy a good retelling. Sadly this one didn't work for me. There wasn't one point that I disliked, but I was just left unsatisfied as I listened to this one. The writing style didn't work for me, the characters came off as helpless and whiney, and the plot didn't hold my attention. This is the first time reading from this author, and I had hoped to find another powerful retelling, but this one didn't have any strong points and needed a lot of work. I did enjoy the narrator, and will gladly listen to more of her work in the future, and am interested to see what this author writes next, but I'm not in a hurry to pick up another of here retellings as of now.