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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Movie Trailer: Masterminds

In this action comedy based on true events, David Ghantt (Zach Galifianakis) discovers the true meaning of adventure. He is a simple man stuck in a monotonous life. Every day he drives an armored car, transporting millions with no escape in sight. The only bit of excitement is his crush Kelly Campbell (Kristen Wiig), who lures him into the scheme of a lifetime. Along with a group of half-brained criminals led by Steve Chambers (Owen Wilson) and a faulted heist plan, David manages the impossible and makes off with $17 million… only problem is he foolishly hands the money over to this group of double-crossers and is set up to take the fall. With the bandits blowing millions on ridiculous luxuries, they leave behind a glaring trail of evidence. In over his head, David must dodge the authorities, evade a hit man, Mike McKinney (Jason Sudeikis), and turn the tables on the ones he trusted.


Saturday, May 23, 2015

Audiobook Review: Eighth Grave After Dark by Darynda Jones

Title: Eighth Grave After Dark
Author: Darynda Jones
Narrated by: Lorelei King
Series: Charley Davidson, book 8
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Format: Audiobook
Length: 9 hrs 
This review contains spoilers, many spoilers. You have been warned!
With twelve hellhounds after her, pregnant Charley Davidson takes refuge at the only place she thinks they can’t get to her: the grounds of an abandoned convent. But after months of being cooped up there, Charley is ready to pop. Both metaphorically and literally since she is now roughly the size of a beached whale. Fortunately, a new case has captured her attention, one that involves a murder on the very grounds the team has taken shelter upon. A decades-old murder of the newly-vowed nun she keeps seeing in the shadows is almost enough to pull her out of her doldrums.

Charley's been forbidden to step foot off the sacred grounds. While the angry hellhounds can’t traverse the consecrated soil, they can lurk just beyond its borders. They have the entire team on edge, especially Reyes. And if Charley didn’t know better, she would swear Reyes is getting sick. He grows hotter with every moment that passes, his heat scorching across her skin every time he’s near, but naturally he swears he’s fine.

While the team searches for clues on the Twelve, Charley just wants answers and is powerless to get them. But the mass of friends they’ve accrued helps. They convince her even more that everyone in her recent life has somehow been drawn to her, as though they were a part of a bigger picture all along. But the good feelings don’t last for long because Charley is about to get the surprise of her crazy, mixed-up, supernatural life….
Eighth Grave After Dark is the eighth book in the Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones. Lorelei King narrates this audiobook.

I used to read these books; I used to pester the publisher for ARC copies of these books… until the day I decided to listen to the audiobooks. After hearing the awesomeness that is Lorelei King, I didn’t want to read these books again, I wanted Lorelei to narrate them to me. So this time around, I didn’t pester anybody, I patiently waited for release day to get my hands and my ears on the audiobook and I glad I did because Darynda’s writing and Lorelei’s voice are a match made in heaven.

Everything started well in the story; Charley was being Charley while waiting for Beep to be born. While Reyes was being Reyes, keeping secrets while trying to protect Charley and Beep. They are living in an abandoned convent, confined to the consecrated grounds. The usual gang and their new friends are there for them.
Cookie and Ubie are in a good spot. Amber and Quentin are as cute and special as always. Angel, Garret and Osh are working together in different fronts trying to find a loophole or anything that could help Charley and Beep. Gemma and Denise are also there for them and although Denise pretends to have a change of heart we later see her real intentions. That I won’t spoil for you.

I loved Eighth Grave After Dark and it was everything I was expecting it to be until its last chapter, then it all went down for me… and here start the spoilers so stop reading after this if you don’t want to learn serious spoilers, I’m talking about the mother of spoilers. You have been warned… Twice.

Charley gives birth to Beep in this installment and although she loves her daughter I felt there was a missing connection there. Most of the time Beep was cared by others and not Charley. I don’t know any new mom who spent as little time with her newborn baby as Charley did. I understand she has a support group, but she’s the mother. The only friend I know who spent as little time with her baby as Charley did was suffering from a very severe case of postpartum depression, Charley wasn’t. I should have felt clued in on what was to come after I noticed that, but it was only in the last chapter when Reyes tells Charley the best thing they can do to keep Beep safe is to send her away that I realized Beep didn’t fit in the bigger scheme of things. I knew a baby was going to be a hindrance in a fight and I guess Darynda realized that as well, unfortunately a bit late in the plot. So the solution is to send Beep away with people we are conveniently just introduced in this book. This made me feel kind of betrayed… I don’t think that is the right word but is the one that closes express what I felt. That move reminded me of when Chloe Neill killed Ethan, and then realized her mistake, and brought him back to life. I felt the same way. Darynda Jones gave Charley and Reyes a baby and then she realized her mistake, a baby doesn’t fit in the plot, so she fix it by sending her away -with strangers- until it does. No, no and no. I gave up on the Chicagoland Vampires series after that move, but I still have faith in Darynda, so I’ll wait until next book to see what she is going to do with Beep and then I will decide what to do. Until then, I will be waiting with a disappointed heart for the release of next (audio)book, The Dirt on Ninth Grave on January 6th, 2016.

My Story Verdict: 3 Paws
My Narration Verdict: 5 Paws
My Overall Verdict: 3 ½ Paws

Other books in the series
Third Grave Dead Ahead
Seventh Grave and No Body
Eighth Grave After Dark
The Dirt on Ninth Grave (January 6th, 2016)

Other reviews Goodreads

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Audiobooks Mini Reviews: Departure by A.G. Riddle, The Silver Witch by Paula Brackston & Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Title: Departure
Author: A.G. Riddle
Narrated by: Nicola Barber & Scott Aiello
Genre: Sci-Fi
Publisher: Audible Studios
Format: Audiobook
Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
Harper Lane has problems. In a few hours, she'll have to make a decision that will change her life forever. But when her flight from New York to London crash-lands in the English countryside, she discovers that she's made of tougher stuff than she ever imagined.

As Harper and the survivors of Flight 305 struggle to stay alive in the aftermath of the crash, they soon realize that this world is very different from the one they left. Their lives are connected, and some believe they've been brought here for a reason.

In addition to Harper, several other passengers seem to hold clues about why Flight 305 crashed. There's:

Nick Stone, an American on his way to a meeting with The Gibraltar Project, an international group dedicated to building a dam across the Strait of Gibraltar and draining the Mediterranean.

Sabrina Schröder, a German scientist who has unknowingly sealed the fate of half the flight's passengers.

Yul Tan, a Chinese-American computer scientist who has just made the breakthrough of a lifetime: a quantum internet capable of transmitting more data, farther, faster than ever thought possible. His invention, however, does much more than he ever dreamed possible.

With time running out to save the survivors of Flight 305, Harper and Nick race to unravel the conspiracy that crashed their plane. As they put the pieces together, they discover that their decisions have already doomed one world and will soon determine the future of ours.
I didn’t know what to expect when I started Departure by A.G. Riddle, what I got was an engaging Sci-Fi thriller with compelling characters and an original story that keep me listening until late. Departure is a book that will make you think about the decisions we make today and the repercussion they could have in the future. Departure was my first (audio)book by A.G. Riddle, but it won’t be my last.
Nicola Barber and Scott Aiello bring to life the story with their narration.

My Verdict: 4 Paws
Other reviews Goodreads

Title: The Silver Witch
Author: Paula Brackston
Narrated By: Marisa Calin
Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Format: Audiobook
Length: 13 hrs and 29 mins 
A year after her husband’s sudden death, ceramic artist Tilda Fordwells finally moves into the secluded Welsh cottage that was to be their new home. She hopes that the tranquil surroundings will help ease her grief, and lessen her disturbing visions of Mat’s death. Instead, the lake in the valley below her cottage seems to spark something dormant in her – a sensitivity, and a power of some sort. Animals are drawn to her, electricity shorts out when she’s near, and strangest of all, she sees a new vision; a boatful of ancient people approaching her across the water.

On this same lake in Celtic times lived Seren, a witch and shaman. She was respected but feared, kept separate from the community for her strange looks. When a vision came to her of the Prince amid a nest of vipers she warned of betrayal from one of his own. Prince Brynach both loved and revered her, but could not believe someone close to him wished him harm, even as the danger grew.

In her own time, Tilda’s grief begins to fade beside her newfound powers and a fresh love. When she explores the lake’s ancient magic and her own she discovers Seren, the woman in her vision of the boat. Their two lives strangely mirror each others, suggesting a strong connection between the women. As Tilda comes under threat from a dark power, one reminiscent of Seren’s prophecy, she must rely on Seren and ancient magic if death and disaster are not to shatter her life once more.
The Silver Witch by Paula Brackston is the story of two women, Tilda and Seren and how their lives are connected through time. Tilda lives in our time and Seren in Celtic times. Usually I have problems with audiobooks when they move back and forth in time because I get confused. I didn’t have that problem with The Silver Witch, Marisa Calin does an excellent job with the different voices, so it was easy to know who was who when they were talking. The Silver Witch is a book about magic, history and the power of love. I’m looking forward to read/listen to more books by Paula Brackston.

My Verdict: 4 Paws
Other reviews Goodreads

Title: Landline
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Narrated by: Rebecca Lowman
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Format: Audiobook
Length: 9 hrs and 3 mins 
Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it’s been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply—but that almost seems beside the point now.Maybe that was always beside the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her—Neal is always a little upset with Georgie—but she doesn’t expect to him to pack up the kids and go without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts. . . .

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?
Landline by Rainbow Rowell is a (audio)book about all the things we take for granted in our relationships with our significant other. Rowell balances the drama with humor to made of Landline a very enjoyable listen. Landline will leave you thinking about all the little mistakes you unconsciously make in your life and how could you change them to make your relationship a better one.
Rebecca Lowman perfectly conveys the feelings and brings to life the different characters.

My Verdict: 4 Paws
Other reviews Goodreads

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Hot Off the Press: May 19th Releases

May 19th

Beach TownMary Kay AndrewsWomen's Fiction
Unbearable DesireVivi AndrewsLone Pine Pride #4PNR
Alien SkyDaniel ArensonAlien Hunters #2Sci Fi
Robert B. Parker's KickbackAce AtkinsSpenser #43Mystery
A School for Unusual GirlsKathleen Baldwin Stranje House #1YA
The Scarlet GospelsClive BarkerHorror
In Firefly ValleyAmanda CabotTexas Crossroads #2Contemporary Romance
The WellCatherine ChanterFiction/Suspense
Nothing but ShadowsCassandra Clare, Sarah Rees BrennanTales from Shadowhunter Academy #4YA
Flame OutM.P. Cooley June Lyons #2Mystery
Death Ex MachinaGary Corby The Athenian Mysteries #5Historical Fiction/Mystery
Six and a Half Deadly SinsColin CotterillDr. Siri Paiboun #10Mystery
Behind the MaskCarolyn CraneThe Associates #4Romantic Suspense
Game ChangerMelissa CutlerBomb Squad #3Contemporary Romance
The ChoosingRachelle DekkerSci Fi/Dystopia
The Silver SwanElena DelbancoWomen's Fiction
CorneredHelenKay DimonCorcoran Team: Bulletproof Bachelors #1Romantic Suspense
IllusionariumHeather DixonYA/Fantasy
The Sweetheart DealPolly DuganWomen's Fiction
The Hanged ManP. N. ElrodHer Majesty's Psychic Service #1Mystery/Thriller/History
Eternity's WheelNeil Gaiman, Michael Reaves, Mallory ReavesInterworld #3Sci Fi
Dangerous DeceptionKami Garcia & Margaret StohlDangerous Creatures #2YA
Lion HeartA.C. Gaughen Scarlet #3YA
The Harvest ManAlex GrecianThe Murder Squad #4Historical Fiction/Mystery
The Bride Fonseca NeedsAbby Green Billionaire Brothers #2Contemporary Romance
SugarbabyCrystal Green Aidan Falls #2Contemporary Romance
Chantress FuryAmy Butler GreenfieldChantress Trilogy #3YA
Bone to Be WildCarolyn Haines Sarah Booth Delaney #15Mystery
Skies of AshRachel Howzell HallDetective Elouise Norton #2Mystery
Radiant StatePeter HigginsWolfhound Century #3Fantasy
The Neptune ChallengePolly Holyoke The Neptune Project #2Sci Fi
Talking DirtyElliott JamesPax Arcana NovellaUF
Eighth Grave After DarkDarynda JonesCharley Davidson #8UF
Witches Be Burned Stacey KennedyMagic & Mayhem #2PNR
Disclaimer Renée KnightMystery/Thriller
Devil in the WiresTim LeesField Ops #2Fantasy
The GracekeepersKirsty LoganYA/Fantasy
Water from My HeartCharles MartinFiction
ReviveTracey MartinRedZone #1UF
Tracking MagicShannon Mayer Rylee Adamson #0.25UF
From a Distant StarKaren McQuestionYA
Stallion MagicDeborah Fletcher MelloContemporary Romance
Summer's EndMary Alice Monroe Lowcountry Summer #3Women's Fiction
The Life and Death of Sophie StarkAnna North Fiction
UprootedNaomi NovikFantasy
The Coldest SeaMarian PereraEden #5Fantasy/Romance
Off the PageJodi Picoult, Samantha Van LeerBetween the Lines #2YA
Dead ShiftRichard PhillipsThe Rho Agenda Inception #4Sci Fi
Hannu Rajaniemi: Collected FictionHannu RajaniemiSci Fi
Protective InstinctKatie ReusMoon Shifter #5.5PNR
Once PureCecy RobsonShattered Past #3NA
Crossfades: A Dystopian NovellaWilliam Todd RoseHorror
SnatchedDavid SapersteinSci Fi
Hold Me Like a BreathTiffany SchmidtOnce Upon a Crime Family #1YA
Ever NightGena ShowalterPNR
SevenevesNeal StephensonSci Fi
The KnockoffLucy Sykes, Jo PiazzaWomen's Fiction
When the Heavens FallMarc TurnerThe Chronicles of the Exile #1Fantasy
The Shadow of ElysiumDjango WexlerThe Shadow Campaigns #2.5Fantasy
Use Once, Then Destroy: StoriesConrad WilliamsHorror
The Canterbury SistersKim WrightWomen's Fiction
Made You UpFrancesca ZappiaYA

Contemporary Romance
Historical Fiction
New Adult
Paranormal Romance
Romantic Suspense
Science Fiction
Urban Fantasy
Women's Fiction
Young Adult

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