Vanessa Hart, reading Liar, Liar by K. J. Larsen

The narrator Vanessa Hart is great, her voice suits Cat and she has a tremendous range of characterizations. She reads so well that I hope I find more books she narrates. Her inflections are right on, there are no lags between sentences. Her pace is good, not too fast and not slow. Her voice is mellow. Some narrators start to lag and drift when they are getting tired I did not detect this with Vanessa Hart. I really enjoyed listening to her. She really did expand the characters and the content of the book.
This was the first book I've listened to from K. J. Larsen. It was laugh out loud in some places and flowed well. I thought the characters were well filled out without going over board on them. I loved the name of her detective agency,  'Pants on Fire Detective Agency'  we expose liars and cheats. It's clever she has her cell phone ring tone set to play Your Cheating Heart. I always like it when the protagonist has a dog or cat. Cat Deluca has a beagle named Inga that loves Italian sausages. Cat, says Inga is a food whore. Cat isn't any better as she is constantly eating cannoli and pizza. The story starts with Cat doing survaillance on Chance Saveno, Rita Saveno hired her to find out if her husband was cheating on her. Chance catches Cat spying on him. While Cat is distracted with a phone call, Chance is suddenly at her car. During the ensuing conversation Cat learns that Rita Saveno is not his wife and he gives Cat some money to hire her to find out why this woman wants Cat to spy on him. Chance, has a meeting with someone at across from where Cat is parked. Cat, does not want his money or business. He sprints across the street for his meeting, Cat leaps out of her car giving him chase to give him his money back. Before she reaches him an explosion in the building blows her back and she is knocked out from a flying For Lease sign. When she wakes up in the hospital she has a visit from Chance and no one believes her because everyone says Chance died in the blast. But Cat keeps seeing him and talking to him but no one believes her and thinks she's gone wacko from her concussion. Her mother a bossy, controlling woman insisting that she needs a psychiatrist, even has the priest see her and has an intervention. Poor Cat, she has to battle with everyone that she is not crazy or psychotic from the concussion and she has seen Chance. I don't like odd names for characters like Chance but since he is a dishy guy I'll forgive Larsen for picking such a lame name for a hot guy. Chance did not die and she is seeing him. She does unravel the mystery and the book is funny and fun. I don't want to add more about it because it might spoil the book for you.


Epub, Document Viewers, Nook, Sony Reader

EPUB is for reading text on an EReader like Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader, or any other brand EReader. FireFox has a downloadable add on to the browser that will allow you to read an Epub file within FireFox. You can read more and get it here https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/firefox/addon/epubreader/
There are many readers available and which one you like is a personal preference and your budget. Most are proprietorial so if you buy Kindle, it will mainly download books or files you purchase from Amazon. I saw that Kindle is making itself available to libraries and is going to launch soon.
I am not that knowledgeable about Ereaders as I'm mainly interested in Audio Books. You can find some information here http://tinyurl.com/3styg89 or check out http://www.jedisaber.com/ebooks/Readers.asp for more detailed information.
I wanted to purchase Rebecca Woodhead's newly released Ebook from Amazon,  Palaces & Calluses. Amazon provides a small downloadable program that is similar to Adobe Reader. There was much about Kindle on the website so I had to look around for the alternate reader. I did not find it that easy, so I called the 800 number provided and the tech emailed the program to me. From there is was very simple. Just clicked on the link he provided, clicked download and then went on to make my book purchase. Barnes & Noble is about the same a little tricky locating the downloadable reader if you don't own a Nook. The process was a bit harder and I had to call the tech # which was provided over the phone from my local B&N. The gal that answered the phone did not know why I was getting strange error messages. The tech didn't either although he could see on his end my purchase order and my information for joining. Alas, I never did get it, so will try again later.
If you don't own an Ereader then it's best you do a lot of research and read reviews about them before making your decision.
Most libraries have Overdrive, NetLibrary, and Mobi, MP3 and so forth, books that are downloadable and readable on your device. I am recommending http://www.jedisaber.com/ebooks/Readers.asp for more detailed information on Readers. CNet has some good discussion on Sony Vs. Kindle which e-reader should I buy at http://tinyurl.com/42xuytc. I used Tinyurl to shorten the long links.
A viewer emailed me that she was able to download my site to her Sony Reader this way, "I saved some of your blog as a file on the computer. Then I converted it using Calibre and put it on my Sony E-reader. So I can catch up on it as I have the time at lunch at work or whenever.  It converted really well to my ereader. I used your blog photo as the book cover. To be more detailed what I did was saved the page as html. I wanted the photos. I assume I could just do it in text too. Anyway, then I opened Calibre. I located the file and added it to the Calibre library. Then I converted it to an epub file.  Then I just had it send it, to my  Sony ereader. Thanks, from Pat"
Calibre, is the very popular and easy to use program to handle your text and e-book files. You can get it here http://calibre-ebook.com/
Feel free to do a Guest Posting here if you have any tips to add.
Free Ebooks
A simple google search for free e-books or audiobooks will bring up tons of excellent sites as well as the one's I listed.


Palaces and Calluses by Rebecca Woodhead

Very excellent romance story. I liked the dog, but Mary is cool too. lol read it for yourself and remember what romance is about. I am looking forward to when Rebecca becomes a narrator. Her voice is lovely, clear and a pleasure to listen to. 
To get a copy of her book that is now on Amazon you can either get it off Amazon or from her links twitter @rebeccawoodhead  or webpage. http://rebeccawoodhead.com She lives in The Cotswolds, England, you know how all of us cozy mystery lovers like books that take place in the Cotswolds. Living there should give Rebecca some good ideas for writing a new book, a cozy mystery we hope.


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non audio book


The Wal-Mart Effect by Charles Fishman Alan Sklar narrator

The Wal-Mart Effect
By Charles Fishman
Narrated By Alan Sklar
Length: 10 hrs and 27 mins
Tantor Audio

The Walmart Effect Author Charles Fishman
Author Charles Fishman


Alan Sklar has a deep masculine voice that is easy to listen too. He reads at a steady pace without unnecessary pauses. He reads like he is actually reading the story and not just trying to get through it. His intonations are expressive of what he is narrating. He is a pleasure to listen too.

Whether you love or hate Wal-Mart this book should be at the top of your reading list. If you love them after reading this book you may not feel so much affection, if you hate them you will hate them more and maybe even see not just the bad they do but some of the good. If you are on the fence then you might remain on the fence. In the 1980's Wal-Mart was new to me. I'd never heard of them until spending some time in Kentucky. At that time it was  fun dropping in to buy some inexpensive things. I remember I bought a set of drinking glasses for less than ten dollars. Four sizes and I think six of each. I still have some of them. I just never gave a thought to why some things were so much cheaper than some other stores. Perhaps because there are always discount stores around.

In the 1990's I again had the opportunity to visit Wal-Mart. Most things were made in America. I spent a lot of money at the holy shrine of Wal-Mart at that time. The bargains were just irresistible. Again I did not question why the prices were so low. Now it's a challenge to find a single thing in Wal-Mart that is made in America. The pet food fiasco was not only a horrible and heart wrenching event it opened my eyes to the fact that I had no idea that some things I thought were made in America, actually were buying the ingredients from China. When I started examining the labels I saw  items 'packaged in California' or something similar. This shows that the item is out sourced to another country, usually China. They are only packaged and shipped to stores in America.  I am not against another country doing well and exporting goods and thereby improving their economy. This is slowly emerging to not be   the case.

The Wal-Mart Effect will really open your eyes to how Wal-mart is so secretive, that even putting together this book was a challenge for Charles Fishman. The reality is they bully manufactures to cut cost thereby lowering the selling price at Wal-Mart. Read the book and see how they have put companies out of business, forced them to cut cost by out sourcing. And the quality of what you buy at Wal-Mart and pay more for at another store (not big box) is not the same product.


Jamie Heinlein narrator for Jen Lancaster's, If You Were Here

If You Were Here
By Jen Lancaster
Narrated By Jamie Heinlein
Length: 8 hrs and 28 mins

Author Jen Lancaster photo
Jen Lancaster Author  

Photo Jamie Heinlein narrator
Jamie Heinlein Narrator
As a narrator Jamie Heinlein is very good. She expresses the personality of the characters and has a clear voice. She does sound a bit youngish for this particular book. Mac the husband is forty years old so Mia has to be in her thirties. Jamie Heinlein gives the impression that Mia and Mac are a young couple because of her youthful voice. Jamie Heinlein does a good job mimicking the foreign accents. She does a decent job for the male characters. The downside is she sounds like a teenager but she would be excellent narrator for The Carrie Diaries, by Candace Bushnell or If I Told You I Loved You, I'd Have to Kill You, by Ally Carter.

If You Were Here is about a couple living in a nice house in a not so nice neighborhood. Their landlady is a crazy trust fund baby that blew most her money up her nose. She manages to clean up her act after her family demands she support herself. Therefore a house as an investment property looked like an easy job. Between the erratic landlady and near criminal neighbors Mia and Mac her husband, set out to buy their own house. They quickly recognize that finding a house they can afford in a 'good' neighborhood is not going to be easy.

Much of the book is about the houses they look at and the problems they encounter. They decide to look for a fixer upper in a good area. They find and buy huge house that turns into the money pit. The second half of the book is about the trials they have with their new snooty neighbors who are loaded with complaints as soon as Mia and Mac move in. The house has many problems and all of them expensive to repair. There are a lot of good one liners and laughable events, more so if you've ever gone through the process of buying a house and love to watch HGTV.

I'd only rate this book a three star because much of it sounds patched together. It goes on and on into boredom with the repair problems. In the end it lacks any real substance. I stuck with it mainly because she does have some clever and funny one liners and situations.