Juliet Blackwell, In a Witch's Wardrobe, Narrator, Xe Sands

In a Witch's Wardrobe
Witchcraft Mystery Series, Book 4
by Juliet Blackwell
Xe Sands
Tantor Media
8 hours, 16 minutes

Narrator for Juliet Blackwell's series
Xe Sands Narrator
Juliet Blackwell author of In a Witch's Wardrobe
Juliet Blackwell


Xe Sands continues an unending stretch of outstanding narrations with the fourth in the Witchcraft Mystery Series from Juliet Blackwell. With her dulcet voice you are absorbed immediately into the land of imagination and magic. With the myriad voices to cover, including Oscar the pig, Sands delivers each with their own personalities. This is the best of the four that Xe Sands has performed for this series. I felt like her enthusiasm for the story really shines through in every vocalization. I completely enjoyed every minute and listened to this particular book twice. As wild as the Witchcraft series is, Sands makes it all sound believable.

Book Review: In A Witch's Wardrobe

Lily Ivory, owner of Aunt Cora's Closet, is dressed to the hilt for a 1920's Art Deco ball. Her mentor, the handsome warlock, Aiden is her escort. This is a big event for Lily, who's never been to a fabulous ball of any kind. If you listened to Secondhand Spirits you would know that Lily never finished high school, let alone attended a prom or school dance. So this is exciting and new for her.

At the grand gala event, Lily is struck with a sense of familiarity with another guest, Miriam. She wants to touch her to get a more details, but Aiden holds her back warning her to not touch her. Lily is annoyed and confused and becomes more so later when Miriam is brought to the ladies lounge in a state of semi consciousness and Aiden again warns Lily off from aiding or getting involved with Miriam. Fate has other plans for Lily and Miriam.

After the fracas of tending to Miriam and getting her off to the hospital, Lily sees Miriam in the mirror. Lily knows that someone has put a of spell on Miriam and she promises Miriam she will do all she can to help her and try and release her from the spell that has her soul trapped in the mirror.

When Lily visits the hospital to check on how Miriam is faring she finds her father there with Miriams baby, Luna. He is gets a little magic put on him when Lily wants to persuade him to let her and her friends use some magic spells on Miriam. He agrees since all the tests the hospital has done on her they found no reason for her condition, so how could a few chants do any harm. Lily finds that Luna, has also had some spells cast on her. Increasing her determination to find out who and why someone has done this to Miriam and her child.

Homicide detective Carlos Romero, Lily's friend on the S.F.P.D. is investigating the murder of a witch in another coven and is not able to penetrate the group. He asks Lily if she can talk with some of the witch's.
This pulls Lily even deeper into the politics of the covens and a group of witch haters that have been damaging businesses owned by any witch's. They call themselves Defenders of Morality or D.O.M., a rather odd name to choose for a group of people who are doing evil things themselves.  

I liked In A Witch's Wardrobe the best of the four. It has lots of real laugh out loud moments, some very funny spells and many clever witchy items. The theme of the twenties ball was great and gave lots of opportunities for talking about clothes from that period. The action was non stop and I hated to turn it off. 
If you are reading the hard copy you will find it hard to put it down. We find out more about Sailor, and even more about our clownish pig Oscar. The characters and setting are seamlessly done, and it seems that with each new book it just gets better and better. I love the quirky humor that Blackwell uses so deftly. She has a very wild and vivid imagination. Xe Sands, does a superb job in bringing this wonderful and fun series to life.


Hexes and Hemlines, by Juliet Blackwell, Xe Sands, Narrator

Hexes and Hemlines
Witchcraft Mystery series, Book 3
by Juliet Blackwell
Narrator: Xe Sands
7 hours 21 minutes
Tantor Media

Author Juliet Blackwell Hexes and Hemlines: Witchcraft Mystery series, Book 3
Juliet Blackwell, Author

Narrator: Xe Sands
Xe Sands, Narrator

Xe Sands does an impressive job representing this series. I especially like the way she does the grainy voice of Oscar the pig. Sands, deftly brings out and expands Oscar's, self indulgent, and ornery personality. She gives just the right touch of reticence to Lily. Lily Ivory, our witch protagonist, is a bit insecure from being chased out of towns and heckled for being a witch,  unable to stay in one town long enough to develop and maintain friendships let alone romantic relations, is causing Lily, to waver between self confident to shy and unsure of herself. Sands, manages to deftly express all of Lily's quirky ways. I admire the way Xe Sands narrates without ever letting you out of the continuous flow of the story, and the beautiful way that Sands, expresses each individual person, animal or demon, with her own unique voice.

Book Review for Hexes and Hemlines

I am a big fan of Juliet Blackwell, her stories move along smoothly, capturing your unbroken attention without ever losing track of who's, who. Lily Ivory, had a hard time in her past when people discovered she was a real witch. Compelling her to move on to another town, and yet, another town, until she finally locates in San Francisco, and opens her own store, Aunt Cora's Closet, retailing previously loved clothing. She finds her niche in the city and is accepted because of the unusual variety of people who live there.

Haight Ashbury, famous for it's sixties hippie population, is still home to shop owners and residents with an unorthodox flair. Open minded and open armed, they take too Lily and her shop readily. Lily, finally feels at home, and is pleased to finally have some girly friendships, and some men that are interesting to her. At last a sense of belonging fills Lily with anticipation of future bonding and being able to find long term relationships.

Lily is asked by her quasi friend, S.F.P.D. Police Inspector Carlos Romero, to take a look at a crime scene that has blatant symbols of witchcraft attached to it, so bold that even Romero, can't miss the implications.
The victim, Malachi Zazi, is someone Lily knows. Zazi was a Serpentarium Society member, a society devoted to exposing superstitions. 

Romero knows Lily is a witch and he is willing to consult her about witchy things but when Lily presses him for items or more details, he seems to backtrack and wants to separate himself from the reality of her abilities. Lily goes to the murder scene and although it has all the markings of an occult related killing, she cannot detect any vibrations from the room or anything in it. Someone has mystically wiped it clean. Among the many symbolic items at the scene is a black cat and a small bird. Lilly tells the bird to leave and it flies out the window. As for the cat, Romero, finesses Lily to take the cat with her and find it a home. When her familiar, Oscar, the pig, sees the cat he is not happy at all. The ensuing conversation about the cat is hilarious, with the pig finally agreeing to take care of the cat and not harm it. 

Lily does not think she can be of much help to Romero until her mentor the male witch, Aiden Rhodes, forcefully advises her to not investigate it and to leave it alone. When she learns a close friend has a connection to Zazi her interest is fueled to delve further into the mysterious circumstances surrounding Zazi's murder. One by one members of the  Serpentarium Society are beset with tragic to very bad luck events that add up to big time clues for Lily. When her cherished friends are attacked with black magic Lily throws herself into solving the crimes, regardless of threats and warnings to back off.

All in all Hexes and Hemlines was a very exciting and fun book. Oscar the pig really has a star role with his disgruntled disposition and penchant for gluttony. We learn more about Lily and her friends in this book and her romantic relationships are given more detail and attention. Lily still is in dire need of a heartthrob that will love her just as she is. I would like to see her in a romantic liaison with Inspector Carlos Romero. That could lead to many interesting stories in future Witchcraft stories.


Maiden Voyage of the Rio Grande By Michael Coorlim Narrated: By Wayne Farrell

Maiden Voyage of the Rio Grande: Galvanic Century
By Michael Coorlim
Narrated:  By Wayne Farrell
Series: Galvanic Century, Book 2
Length: 55 mins

Author, Michael Coorlim

Wayne Farrell reading Maiden Voyage of the Rio Grande
Wayne Farrell Narrator

Another dazzling narration by Wayne Farrell. Always a guaranteed clear and clean listen. Farrell, is an astonishing multi - talented narrator that deserves much credit for his wonderful narrations. No one can best him for doing the spooky, creepy, or scary voices. He also does fantastic character voices. Maiden Voyage is one of his best and I highly recommend that you give it a listen. Sit back and be carried away to steampunk flights of fancy.

Give a listen here:

Maiden Voyage of the Rio Grande, is a short story, but tightly written. James Wainwright inventor and his sidekick Alton Bartleby are desperately trying to find out who killed the second engineer. Wainwright has a vested interest to get to the bottom of the crime since he is the one being accused of committing it. James Wainwright is just a bit of a klutz around people but he has his faithful companion Alton Bartleby, who is smart and loyal, will always be there to assist him in every way that he can. 

The adventure is non-stop, and red herrings are scattered here and there. This is a who done it story, but in the adventurous land of steampunk. Imagine, an airship, with a murderer aboard, that must be uncovered before the airship crashes and takes out half of London. Someone has sabotaged the engine room. Can it be fixed? Who would want to do such a terrible thing? How will James Wainwright extricate himself from such a heinous crime? Since this is a short story just under an hour, I don't want to give away too much of the story, so just know that it is an excellent story that moves along fast and Wayne Farrell keeps it moving smoothly with his excellent reading and storytelling abilities.


Juliet Blackwell A Cast Off Coven Narrator Xe Sands

Witchcraft Mysteries, Book 2
Author: Juliet Blackwell 
Narrator: Xe Sands
Publisher: Tantor Media
8 hours 35 minutes

Xe Sands narrator of Juliet Blackwell's A Cast Off Coven by Juliet Blackwell
Xe Sands 

Juliet Blackwell

Xe Sands, is one of the most versatile narrators with her one woman cast of characters. Sands, never fails to cause a sharp inhalation of breath when you are taken by surprise at one of her stunning characterizations. I especially adore her renditions of children's voices, which always sound exactly like children. Her reading is smooth, transitions are great, and she always manages to move the story along at a steady unfaltering pace. Her own natural voice is charming, soft, feminine and very endearing which makes listening to her narrations a joy to the ears, ear candy to sooth the soul. Sands is rapidly soaring to the top of the charts as a popular and talented narrator. Lots of wow factor going on with this one. Be sure and catch any of her audiobooks.

In a Cast Off Coven, Lily is asked to look into strange goings on at the San Francisco School of Fine Arts. Lily is not about to turn down a trunk of Victorian clothes in exchange for her ghost busting services. Lily swears she doesn't do ghost, but strangely enough her adorable pig Oscar, has unplumbed depths. Oscar has to be my favorite character in this series. Oscar is Lily's familiar, and a familiar is de rigeur for any self respecting witch. In his natural form he is a grotesque looking creature, and completely unacceptable to Lily. So he takes the form of a pet pig. Like any pig, Oscar likes to eat and his main focus throughout the series is food. Aside from his gloutney, and like a good familiar, Oscar comes through for Lily when she's in a real pinch. Sands does a superior, Oscar, giving him more personality than perhaps the author had intended. That is true talent, to pull out a secondary character, and make them the star of the book.

During her investigation Lily finds Jerry Becker's body and is flooded with feelings that someone at the school is dabbling in the black arts and calling up demons. Lily pursues the demonic presence and leaves the solving of Becker's murder to the police. Talk of a previous suicide brings up questions of whether a ghost pushed Becker down the stairs or made him also commit suicide only add to the confusion. Horrible noises are heard echoing in the bell tower sending terror tingling down spines of anyone who hears it. Lily is undaunted and unwaveringly continues her investigations.

Lily doesn't have a good rapport with men and few are very supportive of her. Her romantic interest just are not very romantic at all. They all fail as potential lovers or partners. I would like to see Lily eventually meet a more personable man, that is more caring and supportive. A man that is helpful and she can talk to about her witchy ways. Gee whiz, the guy doesn't even have to be tall, dark, and handsome, but just a nice guy that really cares about Lily. Maybe a nice warlock will show up. Aside from the sad supply of male companionship, the other main characters are well developed and personable.

So for a fun read/listen, I highly recommend this series for its fun factor, interesting cast of characters, and a plot that moves along at a steady pace. The San Francisco location is very informative and accurate, and having been raised in that city it was fun reading/listening to well chosen details of its history. I also enjoy the parts of the story that involve Lily's store, Cora's Closet, where she sells previously loved clothes, her ability to connect with the spirit of the original owners is icing on the cake. I wish there were more of that in the books. I did enjoy the first in the series, Secondhand Spirits much more than, In A Cast Off Coven.  

A Cast Off Coven author Juliet Blackwell


Cleo Coyle, A Brew to A Kill, A Coffeehouse Mystery, book 11 Narrator: Rebecca Gibel

A Brew to A Kill

A Coffee house Mystery, book 11
Cleo Coyle
Narrator: Rebecca Gibel
10 hours 28 minutes
Whispersync ready


Rebecca Gibel Narrator for Cleo Coyle Coffeehouse Mystery
Narrator, Rebecca Gibel

Cleo Coyle, has crafted a winning series in the Coffeehouse Mysteries, the stories are not wimpy, and have a lot of meat to them. Rebecca Gibel, is narrator, for this series, and is outstanding; I love how she gets just the right tone on the faux French accent, for the funny and clever, 'Ooh La La, and Vanillala'... jingle, that blares out from the Cupcake Cart, a food truck belonging to a rival street vendor. It is very satisfying when a narrator reads so consistently that you are completely drawn into the story, losing track of time and your own surroundings. Gibel, accomplishes this with seeming ease. She is a wonderful story teller.

Cleo Coyle Narrator: Rebecca Gibel
Cleo Coyle Author

Clare Cosi, manager of The Village Blend Coffee House, has made a serious financial investment in a Food Truck. She has to convince her ex-husband Matt Allegro, that it is not only a good investment but also one necessary to compete with 'The Cupcake Cart' that daily pulls up in front of the Village Blend, while she has to helplessly watch, many of her customers rush out to buy Kaylie's cupcakes. 

Madam, the owner and Clare's ex-mother-in-law, agrees, it is a good business move. Matt has his own reasons for rejecting the idea as too big of an expense, until he gets a first hand experience with the Cupcake Cart. Threats and words are bandied about between the Village Blend and the Cupcake Cart, leading Kaylie to become a suspect in a murder.

When Lilly Beth Tanga, Clare's new business associate, leaves the Blend, she is struck down by a hit and run driver, leaving her near death on the street. Clare's determined to find that driver and and make them pay.

What made this book especially interesting, were the tidbits about other cultures and the accounts of Chinatown as seen through Clare's eyes, when she goes there to gather information, and the gossipy bits about New York City, and some of the neighborhoods. A Brew to A Kill, has some true moments of humor that are clever and original, lots of interesting facts about coffee, and some cultural education, woven into an intriguing and fast moving story. I'm a big fan of this series and if you like mystery, romance, and murder wrapped up in a cozy read, then you will enjoy the Coffee House Mysteries and the unexpected journey they take you on.

A Brew to A Kill, Cleo Coyle Narrator Rebecca Gibel
A Brew to A Kill by Cleo Coyle