Haunted Melody by: J. Kent Holloway Narrator: Wayne Farrell

Haunted Melody
Author: J. Kent Holloway
Narrator: Wayne Farrell
Seven Realms Publishing
28 minutes

Haunted Melody a short story by J. Kent Holloway
Author J. Kent Holloway
Wayne Farrell reading Haunted Melody by J. Kent Holloway
Narrator Wayne Farrell

No one does spooky better than Wayne Farrell. There is no end to this man's ability to
send shivers down your spine and make you look behind yourself, you know, just to double
check that the monster isn't creeping up behind you, because by god, Farrell is going to scare the bejeezus out of you. So dim the lights, pull up the recliner and lay back and let Farrell work his magical voice on you. You won't regret it, and, you will appreciate that he succeeded in scaring you.

Book Review:
Haunted Melody by J. Kent Holloway

The piano was a gift from Paul, her adoring husband, a symbol of his enduring love, but from the moment she began playing it, Melody's nights suddenly were filled with terrifying nightmares. Dreams of an ancient city in ruins, where the streets run red with blood and winged creatures watch lustfully from high above. With the dream comes the singing, a far away tune that doesn't really fit with the terrifying sights in the dream, and it calls to her.
She knows that her night terrors are inextricably entangled with the piano and its troubling history, but exactly how or why, she doesn't know. What she does know is the horrible dreams started when the piano arrived. Soon she was afraid to play and even to look at the piano, until Dr. Cavendish recommends she play immediately after a nightmare.  Reluctantly at first she tries this, and finds that he's right, it does soothe her and carry her far away from the nightmare. But is it really?  Soon, "she must keep playing...searching for that one melody that will quiet the haunting dreams that threaten her very sanity."

This is a short story, but Holloway once again has built a solid framework and succinctly created an extremely scary story that compels you to keep listening to the horrifying ending. J. Kent Holloway always writes the most spine tingling, frightening and exciting tale like The Djinn. You will not be disappointed listening or reading any of his fabulous works. For me it works best to listen to Wayne Farrell to get the maximum impact.

Dogs Don't Lie by Clea Simon Narrated by Tavia Gilbert

Dogs Don't Lie: A Pru Marlowe Pet Noir Book 1,
Author: Clea Simon

Narrator: Tavia Gilbert
Blackstone Audio, Inc.

(now called Downpour.com)

8 hours 58 minutes

Tavia Gilbert Narrator for Clea Simon's Pet Noir Series Dogs Don't Lie
Narrator Tavia Gilbert

Author Clea Simon of The Pet Noir Series, Theda Krakow Mysteries, and Pru Marlowe
Author Clea Simon

Narrator Review: Tavia Gilbert

What a stunning rendition Tavia Gilbert does on this fun book, it is just so outstanding, sheer listening satisfaction. A great deal of this book is animal voices and Ms. Gilbert is superb. She's a dog, she's a ferret, she's a cat, each with it's own unique personality and quirks. I loved the way she did the poor dog accused of killing his owner. Truly it is positively a superior narration, creative, and ingenious. Tavia Gilbert definitely takes hold of the emotional content whether grief, or pleasure of Lily the Pit Bull, or the snobbery of Wallace, Pru's sidekick cat. Ms. Gilbert expresses the entire gambit of emotions for each animal. I enjoyed it even more on the second listen, and laughed out loud with her accurate depictions of cat meows.Takes a special talent to pull off so many animal sounds. Tavia Gilbert has the voice, and she knows how to use it.

picture of a line of 4 cats bicycling
Cats out for a day of fun

Audiobook Review: Dogs Don't Lie, by Clea Simon

Pru Marlowe animal psychic and animal behaviorist, although animal behaviorist is stretching the truth a bit. Pru uses it as a cover for her psychic ability to communicate with animals. Who'd believe her, in fact who wouldn't think she was crazy. Even Pru herself had some qualms about talking to animals, but with some professional help she got through that. She leaves the city, drops out of her animal behaviorist classes and returns home to help her mother who is dying from cancer. This gives her a chance to get away from the cacophony of animal chatter she hears in the city and time to adjust to this strange ability she's acquired. Trying to be in an accepting mood of her quirkiness she free lances her behaviorist talents with the animal shelter. Her schedule is full with a regular daily round of dogs she walks and of course talks with. There's no keeping a secret from Pru as long as there's a pet around to tell her the truth.

Her friend, Charles has hired Pru to help him reprogram a Pit Bull he rescued from an evil dog fighting ring, Lily is a very traumatized and a really gentle dog, she loves Charles very much and is happy he rescued her. Some nefarious person has set up Lily to take the fall for killing Charles. When Pru gets to Charles' house she finds him on the floor with his throat gnashed out. Lily covered in blood, is too traumatized and frightened to communicate with Pru, and Lily is suspect number one. With the vicious reputation for Pit Bulls and where Charles got her the police think Lily killed him and they send her to the animal shelter to be put down. Poor Lily, so happy in her new home and with such a loving master only to end up in the dog pound grieving for Charles.

Pru catches some of Lily's feelings but can't make much out of them. One thing she is sure of, Lily did not kill Charles.Things really heat up when Pru is suspected of being the murderer adding to that the authorities want to do a rabies test on Lily. That means only one thing, they have to kill Lilly to do the test. With the comforting assistance of her faithful cat Wallace, Pru bulldozes headlong into dangerous situations and faces down sneaky underhanded people to solve this crime. Lily's life is on the line and maybe Pru's is too. I can't say I would  liked this book quite as much if I had read the hardcover, as I liked it listening to Tavia Gilbert read it. Pru is what I'd call a little campy, she is slow to pick up the clues the animals give her and her thinking processes are muddled at best.


Harvesting Faith, Author: Linda K. Hubalek Narrator: Ann M. Richardson

Harvesting FaithBook 3, Planting Dreams Series
Author: Linda K. Hubalek
Narrator: Ann M. Richardson

3 hours


Ann M. Richarson narrates Linda Hubalek narratorreviews.org
Narrator Ann M. Richardson

Ann M. Richardson has successfully transitioned from Charlotta the young mother, to Charlotta the middle-aged woman, and now in Harvesting Faith, to an old lady. Charlotta in this the final book of the Planting Dreams Series, is about seventy-five years old and in failing health but still of stable mind. 

Ms. Richardson brings out the sad as well as the happier moments of Charlotta's life. I admire the skill shown by Ms. Richardson in sustaining the voice and thoughts expressed by someone aged and who knows this is the final chapter of their life. Ann Richardson is a very empathetic and expressive reader, giving full embodiment to every nuance and emotion that the author has created.

Like a rose coming to full bloom Ms. Richardson harmoniously reads with compassion the words and thoughts of Charlotta as she meanders down memory lane. Well done Ms. Richardson, well done.

Audio Book Review: Harvesting Faith by Linda K. Hubalek

Hubalek author of Planting Dreams Series
Author Linda K. Hubalek

In Harvesting Faith the last book of the Planting Dreams Series, we've come to care about the Johnson family, from when we first meet them struggling with the wisdom of leaving Sweden and immigrating to America in Planting Dreams the first in the series and in the second book Cultivating Hope, with their struggles, labor, and losses, to the finale and end of life. Yet, their legacy lives on in the children, grandchildren, and into the future of many generations.

Although life was hard and full of toil, it was so, for most immigrants in those days. As Charlotta, turns over those thoughts, she also ponders that life was harder in Sweden and they fared better in America than they would have, had they remained in Sweden. 

Charlotta and Samuel,  in spite of any hardships, lived a good life and succeeded in fulfilling their dreams of having a successful farm, and leaving a legacy of a better life for their children, and grandchildren while also creating a sustainable life for themselves. 

When Charlotta passes away, life is very different from when they came to this country. The children are grown, and living in ways very different from what she and Samuel experienced. Even their desires and life choices are dissimilar and the ever-changing outer world has bestowed undreamed of possibilities and life styles for them to choose from.

I found it very poignant when Charlotta expresses her sadness for never having pictures taken of her children when they were growing up. As sweet as it would have been for Charlotta to hold and look at photos, it would have been a wonderful gift to future generations.

Unfortunately, we rarely consider such things while living our day-to -day lives and are unaware that even the most seemingly insignificant life has great value and future generations look to the past to see where they came from and what similarities they possess of their antecedents.

Ladies dressed up standing by horse drawn carriage
A House on the Prairie 


Jinx Schwartz's Hetta Coffey Series TOP PICK FOR 2013

Just Add Water
Just Add Salt
Just Add Trouble
Author: Jinx Schwartz
Narrator: Beth Richmond


Jinx Schwartz Author of the Hetta Coffey Series
Jinx Schwartz Author
Beth Richmond Narrator of the Hetta Coffey Series, written by Jinx Schwartz
Beth Richmond Narrator

There were literally hundreds of great audio books in 2013. New authors and new narrators, or at least new to me. It was a very satisfying year for my gluttonous appetite for audio books. I'm going to share with you which books were my favorites and which narrators absolutely grabbed me with their wonderful narrations.
I listen to hundreds of audio books, yes, that sounds excessive I know, but it is true. I listen to at least one per day and often two or if shorter I may listen to more. Although some books were published before 2013, I listened to them in 2013.

My very favorite audio book last year, gets the top pick not only for the content but for matching it up with a wonderful narrator. Jinx Schwartz's Hetta Coffey series read by Beth Richmond is my number one star pick. The series is fun, laugh out loud, clever, and full of the spunky antics of Hetta Coffey and her sidekick Jan. We get romance, murder, mayhem, danger and a bit of geography and history thrown in. A great combination. Beth Richmond is so perfect for this series, I loved her narration, she really makes the characters pop. Never a dull moment in either the book or the narrator. I am hoping that the fifth and newest in the series Just the Pits, will be out in audio very soon and of course read by the sensational Beth Richmond.

Just Add Water, was the Eppie Award winner for best mystery and Just Add Trouble was finalist for Best Mystery. Ms. Schwartz has a wonderful sense of humor that is sprinkled throughout her books but also on her own blog, and interviews, it does shine through.

Some places you can locate Jinx Schwartz are:

A nice interview with the author. http://johnmdaniel.blogspot.com/2011/11/ahoy-jinx-schwartz.html

Well done blog about Jinx


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