Monday, March 26, 2012

Blackbird Fly by, Lise McClendon narrated by, Denice Stradling

Blackbird Fly by, Lise McClendon narrated by, Denice Stradling

The sudden death of her husband turns Merle Bennett's life upside down. She finds herself doing what she least expected, decamping to France for the summer to fix up the ancestral home. The village in southwest France should be idyllic: warm sunshine, vineyards, and walls of golden stone. As the past unravels, colliding with modern tensions and the filthy trials of renovation, the summer takes on a dark cast, full of secrets best left buried.

My Review:
Poor Merle, her husband has died and she realizes she isn’t as sad as she should be, maybe she didn’t love him anymore? But when secrets start coming to the surface she realizes there was a lot more wrong with her marriage than she thought. And the only asset he left her was a house in France that Merle didn’t know he owned, so when she takes a trip to France to get the house ready to sell there is much more trouble ahead.

This is a great story of family secrets and discovering who you are (or who your late husband was). Parts I figured out before Merle did but sometimes that’s to be expected. I liked Merle I thought she was a strong woman who maybe should have listened to her instincts but then where would the fun be in that!?! I liked this story very much; I liked the characters and the French setting. The little town was full of narrow minded people and secrets and Merle drops herself right in the middle of the whole mess and comes close to paying a heavy price for it. I felt this was more a family secrets novel than a straight up mystery and was very well written. The only thing I don’t understand is the title but that didn’t keep me from enjoying this book.

Denice Stradling narration was really good, her male French voices took some getting used to, but I ended up pretty enthralled in the story and the great narration.

This was a new author and narrator for me and I look forward to reading more by this author and listening to more by this narrator.

4 Stars
I received this book from the Solid Gold reviewer program at Audiobookjukebox and iambik

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Secondhand Spirits by, Juliet Blackwell narrated by, Xe Sands

Secondhand Spirits by, Juliet Blackwell narrated by, Xe Sands~~Audiobook~~

Synopsis:Lily Ivory hopes for a normal life when she opens Aunt Cora's Closet. With her magical knack for vintage fashion-she can sense vibrations of the past from clothing and jewelry-her store becomes a big hit. But when a client is murdered and children start disappearing from the Bay Area, Lily may be the only one who can unravel the crime. She tries to keep her identity a secret while investigating, but it's not easy-especially under the spells of sexy "mythbuster" Max Carmichael and powerful witch Aidan Rhodes. Will Lily's witchy ways be forced out of the closet?

My Review:
I really enjoyed this paranormal cozy mystery. Lily is a witch who owns a secondhand store and hopes she can just live a normal life without using witchcraft, but things don’t quite work out for her. While buying a collection of clothes from an elderly lady a child goes missing and Lily feels like Mrs. Potts’ life is in danger and her premonition is right on the money and the next day she is found dead. Lily tries to find out what happened to the little girl and Mrs. Potts.

There is also a mythbuster, a male witch, a ghostly spirit and a goblin that turns into a pig familiar who are all interesting characters in their own right with the pig being my favorite! San Francisco and the area of the Haight were kind of a character too, you really get a feel of the bay area and I felt like a tourist discovering it all.

This was the best of two genre’s I enjoy, paranormal and cozy mysteries, it was a great first book in the series and will definitely be a series I continue reading, however I so enjoyed the narration by, Xe Sands that I want to wait till I can listen to the rest on audio so I hope Tantor Audio will get them all recorded soon!

If you enjoy a good cozy with magical elements I highly recommend this series!

The audio production of this was great Xe Sands does such a wonderful job and she is well on her way to becoming a favorite narrator!

4 Stars