Monthly Archives: June 2020

Within A Name by R.A. Fisher

This is a short story set in Fom. A well-known man is found dead and robbed and Ranat Totz is faced with execution for his death. Rather belatedly he realizes he has nothing to show for his life except his name. Wanting his legacy to be more than a grave robber, drunk, and murderer, he sets out to prove his innocence and give his name meaning. A mystery set within a mystery Fisher describes Totz’s journey to redeem his name.

Fisher is detailed and vividly tells his story. Each character is developed fully and with realism. It’s not action-packed, but rather it is light, interesting, and entertaining. For a short story, Fisher does a solid job of telling the story.

The narrator, Ray Atkinson, performs the audiobook in a rich tone that adds to the character Ranat Totz. I found Atkinson to be flawless in his performance.

There were no issues with the production or quality of this book.

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Disclaimer: The audiobook was provided free of charge by the author, narrator, and/or publisher in exchange for a non-bias, honest review.

Fireside Tales of A Knight by David Kaemmerer

David Kaemmerer is a unique man –  he has played paintball, been a medieval knight, a samurai, a sniper, a friend, a supporter, and so very much more!  This book details his passion for adventure which has left him lying on the ground, lost in the darkest, coldest, and most isolated woods, to facing enemies that outnumber him 100 to 1!

He takes everything in stride with a sense of humor that will leave you laughing until the tears roll down your cheeks.  Some might cringe at the injuries he has suffered but overall, this is one of those books that once you start you cannot stop listening to … I can guarantee you will miss something!

Kaemmerer tells his life story in this biographical fictional tale broken down into short stories that will leave you wanting more.  His need to be in the middle of everything strategizing and helping is fun and endearing.  He always stands ready to fight the good fight, support his friends, and those that might become his friends.

Although, I would not want to get on his bad side … he is downright evil (in a fun way).   I cannot imagine what his wife goes through each time she gets a phone call or answers the door!  Seems Kaemmerer has a knack for getting into trouble i.e. falling off horses/mules, getting thrown, nearly breaking bones, fighting with bottle rockets, and … the list goes on.

As a child, Kaemmerer did all the things the kids of today would never consider … fighting with bottle rockets, riding bikes without a helmet, going off in the woods without equipment, or a map.   I can only imagine what he would have done on a skateboard!

Kaemmerer is vividly rich with details and communicates his passions clearly.  He takes the time to develop each character fully and clearly.   Given this is not my usual genre of book, I have to confess … Kaemmerer had me snagged from the beginning – I wish I knew this guy personally; he made the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) and paintball sound fun!

Nate Marble, the narrator, was perfect for this book.  He became Kaemmerer; the words rolled off his tongue as if he himself were Kaemmerer.  His tone and ease of narration were satisfying and smooth.

This is one of those rare finds!  I have considered pointing out my favorite short story but they all are!

5-Star Rating

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Disclaimer: The audiobook was provided free of charge by the author, narrator, and/or publisher in exchange for a non-bias, honest review.

Extinction Darkness (The Extinction Cycle: Dark Age Book 4) by Nicholas Sansbury Smith and Anthony Melchiorri

Extinction Darkness (The Extinction Cycle: Dark Age Book 4) by Nicholas Sansbury Smith and Anthony Melchiorri is AMAZING! Beckham, Horn, Kate, and Team Ghost have fought for freedom from the monsters – both human and non-human and everything in between! The Prophet and his Scions are just one step away from annihilating the entire race of humans. That step seems to be mighty large … he must first beat Beckham, Horn, and Team Ghost. Bent on revenge, the Prophet wreaks havoc. Death comes to several characters in this last book, but they die with honor and dignity fighting for what they believe in. Will it be enough? I won’t spoil the story, but I will tell you, that I just finished the book not 15 minutes ago and I felt compelled to write this review while tears stream down my face!

As co-writers of this story, it is impossible for me to tell differences in the writing styles, they are blended so completely that the story is seamless. The characters (beloved ones and hated ones alike) are so well developed that the mention of their names will create a reaction.

The story is solidly written with nothing left to question except what comes next after all the carnage and death and … plot twists are excellently executed. The deaths are dealt with well and the new characters added to the story are impressive and the same care and attention to detail are present.

I will say that there were several times I sat in shock, not believing what I had just heard … and disliking both authors to a small degree. Their skill in storytelling is vivid and engaging. Listeners cannot help but be sucked into the story and react to the words and images they create. While I am sorry to see the series end, it finishes with a solid ending, no questions.

To Nicholas and Anthony … well done!

R.C. Bray, narrator, as always does a fantastic job narrating/performing the story. His performance just added to the emotional reactions that each listener will feel as they hear the book. He brings the book to life! Well done R.C.!

There were no issues with the production or quality of this audiobook.

5 Star Rating!

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Disclaimer: The audiobook was provided free of charge by the author, narrator, and/or publisher in exchange for a non-bias review.

The Unexpected Tales Collection by Brad Ashmore

A 2020 indieBRAG Medallion Honoree

The author, Brad Ashmore has taken tidbits of ideas and written short stories around them creating short tales that entertain and invoke “what if” questions.  From finding ice to creating succulent recipes (one involving small red spiders!) through math problems to devices that influence our choices.  This collection of stories resembles the sci-fi 60’s hit The Twilight Zone series … where things may appear normal but really, they are not.

I enjoyed the story about the young man who had been so traumatized that he had no clue how to have friends or even how to love – his murderous rampage and some mysterious chemicals did not mix well – at least for him.  The budding romance between Carl and Amanda was not only entertaining but unexpected – two socially inept people finding one another and trying to be adept in their interactions but failing in ways that most would never experience.

This collection of stories was well written.  Characters were fine-tuned and clearly developed to tell the stories in an entertainingly smooth manner with unexpected twists.

These tales were narrated by two people, Alexander Masters and Natalie Gray.  Each performed their assigned stories well and with the right tone and enthusiasm.  I enjoyed listening to bother performers.

There were no issues with the quality or production of this audiobook published by Unexpected Books.

4.5 Star Rating

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Disclaimer: The audiobook was provided free of charge by the author, narrator, and/or publisher in exchange for a non-bias review.

Olivia Stone and The Trouble with Trixies by Jeffery E. Doherty

Review by Rox Burkey

Fun Way Out of Trouble!

Author Jeffery E Doherty adores storytelling with a vivid imagination perfect for children’s fantasy. Olivia Stone is an engaging character with all the determination of a 12-year-old on a mission. Helping Yip the grotesque that Olivia thought was a gargoyle is her mission against the trixies who are deceitful and evil. The trixies are deliciously evil with specific characteristics that make them plausible.

Olivia Stone learns she not only has magical powers, which she learns to control with the help of Yip. Olivia later overcomes her disability as she becomes stronger than she believed possible.

The story, designed for children is similar to fairytales where the scary parts are vivid. Twists and turns keep it interesting, even with the possibility of injury or death. Olivia is driven to succeed and beat the trixies.

Mayah Clarke has an interesting accent that suits this story.  The pace throughout is a little fast for a children’s book. The narration came across as monotone for the first half of the book, but the second half Mayah provided additional emphasis on the dramatic effects of the story.  Oddly, the music that separates the chapters didn’t work for me, but it might for others.

I can recommend this for children that love imaginative stories, but I do suggest parents listen in advance if their children are under 12-years-old.

No issues with the production or quality of this audiobook.

Four-Star Rating ****

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Disclaimer: The audiobook was provided free of charge by the author, narrator, and/or publisher in exchange for a non-bias review.

Whiskers, Feathers & Fur: Veterinary Tales by Austin Donnelly

From the beginning to the end of this audiobook, Austin Donnelly (author) regales his listeners with stories of his experiences as a child and a veterinarian.  Most moms expect to find surprises in their children’s laundry but Austin Donnelly, gives a whole new perspective!  For Mrs. Donnelly, her greatest fear was of what creature might crawl from her son’s pockets.  Not one to disappoint, Austin Donnelly hilariously describes one expedition to the ocean where he brings his mother some shells only to have an octopus crawl forth and land in his mom’s lap.

A world-traveled veterinarian, Donnelly details his experiences with domestic to wild animals around the world.   Beautifully told, Donnelly reveals deep compassion for all animals and their owners with deep heartfelt love.  There is nothing ordinary about Donnelly or his work.  If you need a light listen with some quirky, yet moving short stories peppered with humor, sadness, and joy … this is the book for you!

Well written and realistic.  Donnelly builds a connection between his book and his listeners that is engaging.

Derek Carney, the narrator, performs this book with ease and delivers each story with just the right amount of emotion.  His voice flows smoothly with each story, his accent proves to be just as endearing as his ability to perform this candid and charming collection of stories.

There were no issues with the production or quality of this audiobook.

4 Star Rating – ****

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Disclaimer: The audiobook was provided free of charge by the author, narrator, and/or publisher in exchange for a non-bias review.