Audible reads

Lately I have found myself listening to books instead of rereading them. In fact, I have listened to four books this month, when normally it takes me a month to even finish just one! I’ve been getting a start on my holiday crafts, so these have given me a nice distraction and kept me focused. I usually only listen to books I’ve already read, so I don’t get sidetracked and miss something. With kids, that happens quite often. But this month I took a chance on two different books and listened even though I never read them. What an experience!

queenMy first relisten was Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas. In preparation for the release of Empire of Shadows, I needed to reread QoS in order to remember the finer points. But I’m so glad I decided to listen instead. It was so much more exciting. I was actually able to grab the Throne of Glass coloring book early and I spent a few nights coloring the pictures for the scenes I was listening to. I think I’ll do another relisten of the entire series, next year before the final book releases. Grab Queen of Shadows HERE.

fallen I read the Fallen series a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. Super fun and exciting YA series. And after my QoS relisten I wanted another fantasy book to keep me motivated, so I went to my Overdrive system and starting searching for anything that fit the bill. As soon as I saw the cover, I KNEW I needed to grab it. Since it’s been a few years since I read this, I really didn’t remember any of it. I get the gist of it, but not the finer points, so it was sorta like reading it for the first time. And then when the movie trailer released, I was even happier with my decision. Such a romantic story! I highly recommend it. Grab Fallen HERE.

six Next on my listening list is Six of Crows. It’s a spin off of the Grisha series, which I read last year. It’s part of a duology and the second book, Crooked Kingdom, releases today, so I needed to read this book first. This is one I never read before, so I’ll admit I was a bit nervous listening. I was afraid I would get confused with all the many points of views, but it’s told in a way that’s easy to keep up with. In fact, it has seven different narrators! SEVEN! I was completely sucked into this book and then kicked myself for waiting so long. I have a feeling I’ll be grabbing the audible for CK also, even though the DTB is being delivered today. Grab Six of Crows HERE.

every And last but not least, Everything Everything. I actually listened to this in one day. I spent all day Sunday carrying around my phone as I did chores and some crafting. I’ve heard great things about this book and I know it’s getting made into a movie, so I asked my friends if I should read it or just wait for the movie. Well, you can imagine what they said. Lately I’m not one to read straight YA or NA books. I want fantasy. So I didn’t think I would enjoy it as much as they did. Honestly. But I found myself giggling and smiling, and a few times gasping. I was hoping my daughter would read this, but there’s so much love I fear the book would get tossed in my face, so I think I’ll wait and convince her to read it when she’s older. But if you haven’t read it, I recommend it. It was really sweet. I wish there was just a wee bit more at the end, but all in all, I was happy. Grab Everything Everything HERE.

If you’ve never heard of Overdrive, I hope you look into it. All you need is a library card. In fact, I get many of my books from there and this month made me realize how many audibles they have also. I think I’ll be utilizing them more often. Check it out HERE.

~Melpomene

Review: Ascension Trilogy by Gaelen Foley

01 asc Lately I’ve been feeling kind of blah with my reading. I’ve read so much this summer and most of it is blurring all together, not making an impact on me whatsoever. I was ready to turn in the towel and just swim all day, even though I HATE swimming, I was that fed up. I wanted something new. I wanted something real. Basically I wanted something with emotion, and not all the angst and unrealistic emotions that my recent books have been giving me. I thought I was in the mood for something different, perhaps historical romance, or even pirates. Surely this will help. 01 asc3I could escape in a world of adventure and romance, without the crass language and over the top craziness. So I went to one of my book clubs and asked for some recommendations and someone mentioned Gaelen Foley’s Ascension trilogy. I grabbed my computer and checked my overdrive system and low and behold, they had a million of her books. Well, not a million, but a good chunk. The book gods were smiling on me, because they had most of them ready and waiting for me to check them out. No holds needed. So I grabbed the Ascension trilogy, downloaded them to my kindle and sat down, hoping to be wowed. Well…..I was.

01 asc2This trilogy was just what the doctor ordered. I was in heaven. It had all the action I wanted. Pirates, princesses, kidnappings and sword wielding warriors. And of course, romance. I gotta have my romance. I wanted the epicness of Outlander, but with a quarter of the pages. I love the fact that each book is about the same family. The first, The Pirate Prince, is about the parents. It’s the start of this entire family. It introduces us to one of the main characters in the next book, but we have no idea. The second book, Princess, is about the daughter(obviously) and about her fierce protector. I adored this one!! I love the friends to lovers books. They tend to have so much love already, this would be the next step in their relationship. Book 3, Prince Charming was just right. It takes place almost 10 years after Princess and we get to see how the son gets healed by someone he least expects. That book was perfect.

While I never cried in these books, my heart was still very happy. So if you’re looking for an epic romance, with swoon worthy men and women who know how to fight for what they want, you must try this series!! Now, I’m about to grab another series by Gaelen, and I have high hopes that this will keep the book blahs away from me.

~Melpomene

Buy The Pirate Prince (Ascension Trilogy Book 1)
Princess: (Ascension Trilogy Book 2)
Prince Charming (Ascension Trilogy Book 3)

Review: Taming Lily by Monica Murphy

01tameYES!!! It’s Lily’s turn in the spotlight. Well, technically she’s always in the spotlight, but it’s not for the right reasons. But I’ve been patient, and I’m quite happy I was. This story was filled with secrets, lies, a hefty amount of heartache and quite a bit of romance. All in all, I am very satisfied with the ending of this series.

SYNOPSIS
I’m in trouble. Again. And instead of facing my problems head on, I’ve run away. Far away this time, and no one can catch me—not my two younger sisters, Violet and Rose, not my father, my grandmother, or that witch Pilar who wants to take control of my family’s cosmetics company. Now I’m in Hawaii, enjoying the sun and the sand and water, where nobody knows the hot mess known as Lily Fowler. And I’m loving every minute of it.

But someone is watching me. Following me. He’s gorgeous. And soon we’re talking, and against all my instincts, I reveal bits and pieces of myself to Max. It feels good, though I know he can’t be the man for me. These sudden feelings we share are way too complicated, too fraught, too intense.

Then everything explodes and I’m forced to return home. My intentions have always been true, but now everyone’s mad at me. I don’t know who to turn to anymore . . . except to Max. He’s who I want to trust. But I’m not so sure I should. Maybe it’s worth the risk—and what-ifs be damned. . . .

Lily has always wanted love and respect from her family. After losing her mom, in a very selfish way, and having her dad ignore her, unless she was bad, has left her feeling lonely. She has no one in her corner. No one to defend her. No one to support her. And when she gets herself into major trouble, she runs away, cuz she knows she’s on her own to fix it. What she isn’t planning on was finding Max.

“Keep me wild.”

For once, she may have found someone to put her trust in. Or has she? As she grows closer to Max, she finds herself wanting to tell him everything. All her deep dark secrets. But she has always been alone, so trusting someone is quite difficult for her.

Max has a way of tearing down some of her walls and soon she’s falling for him, faster than anyone before him. Their chemistry is off the charts hot. The sexual tension is so thick, I was squirming in my seat. But I loved every minute of it. But Max has a secret of his own. And when Lily finds out, her world is flipped and she’s beginning to question if there’s anyone she can trust.

I just want to be free. To fly. To lose myself and let this man to whatever he wants to me. I just want…to feel nothing.

And everything. All at once.

I enjoyed reading quite a few scenes with her sisters and brothers in law. I did wish, however, that her father somehow manned up and told her that he loved her. But I doubt that relationship will ever be like that. But that’s alright. She has the love of her sisters and Max, and that’s all she needs.

~Melpomene

Release date: July 7, 2015
Buy Taming Lily: A Novel (The Fowler Sisters)

Review: Grey by EL James

01 grey Let me start out by saying I haven’t read Fifty Shades in over 3 years. I read them before the hype in 2012, so I had forgotten many of the smaller points. I’ve seen the movie twice, so I have the gist, but still I missed a lot. I was actually planning a doing a reread during my vacation next week. That all changed when EL James announced she was releasing a book from Christian’s POV. I was debating on rereading still, but decided on going in fresh. Let me tell you, I am so glad I did!! She gave us what we wanted, and I couldn’t be happier.

Grey is a retelling of Fifty Shades of Grey. A retelling. This means you will get a lot of the same scenes and even the same conversations. And let’s not forget those fun emails. SHOUTY CAPS and Twitchy Palms. But the best part is now you get to see what goes on in his head. I like that. I’m a girl. I know how we think, but I have no clue how the male mind thinks. Christian Grey is NOT your typical male. So to have glimpse into his brain is very intriguing. I liked his vulnerability. I liked the way he was so unsure of himself. Every time someone would gaze at him or he would look in a mirror, you saw his reaction and how he felt about himself. It was sad at times, yes. He had a rough beginning, so his self esteem isn’t where it should be.

I was completely lost in his feelings for Ana. He adored her. He wanted to be the one for her. His feelings were overwhelming to him. He couldn’t seem to wrap his head around the fact that she was willing to be with him, for love and no ulterior motive.

I went back and forth between listening and reading, and let me tell you, if you have the extra audible credit, get it. Zachary Webber does a fantastic job as Christian. I mean, holy crap, that was HOT!!! Yes, some parts were super sexy and I needed a minute to compose myself, in public, when I was grocery shopping. Word to wise, don’t listen while grocery shopping, unless you wanna end up standing in the frozen food section in front of an open door, for a few minutes. But no only are sexy parts super sexy, the sad and emotional parts will tug at your heart. His dreams, and memories of the past, are what make him who he is, and when you hear them, it’s way worse than reading them. So, I’m warning you now.

She’s mine. She’s heaven.

My most favorite parts of this book were the smiles and strange glances from those around Christian. They knew what was going on with him, even before he did. He’s so clueless, it’s hilarious. He had no idea why they kept looking at him like that. I was smiling right along with them.

I’ve come alive since I’ve know her. These last few weeks have been the most exciting, the most unpredictable, the most fascinating in my life. I’ve been enticed from my monochrome world into one rich with color-and yet she can’t be what I need.

Since this is a retelling from just the first book, you know how it ends. It’s not pretty, but it makes me even more excited for my vacation reread. I look forward to reconnect and remember how he changes and grows.

Thank you, EL James, for listening to us die hards and giving us what we begged for. Now I’m crossing my fingers that she decides to give us the rest of the books also, and perhaps a prologue from 10 years later. Crossing my fingers.

~Melpomene

Buy Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told by Christian

Review: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

*1So weird…this of course was real life vs Murakami’s imagination. I absolutely love how this man can stump me on one single sentence for minutes at a time…I just read them over and over again….this book was not like that….it was pretty straight and to the point….with most of his books I give them 4 stars right off the bat and then go back a month later and bump it up to 5 because, honestly, it sometimes takes me that long to fully appreciate him….yes, a month later, I still often think of the latest Murakami book I have read. It’s true…for me, his words become part of me…they seep into my very bone marrow…but for whatever reason, this one got 5 stars right off the bat….why? I am not sure…I just know it deserves it….stupid reason, but there you have it…and really, who knew he could run 60 plus miles in a single day? Who knew he has more albums than I have books? But most of all, I felt a real connection to him after reading this book. I don’t write. When I write down my thoughts they start to consume me. I lose control. It is a very scary thing for me. It’s why I avoid it when I can…Murakami spends some time in this book explaining why he must run to offset the unhealthiness of his imagination…How you have to go deep inside you to be able to tap your creative vein…if you don’t stay healthy on the outside, the inside will take over….me? I just have never learned how to do that…I fear one day I would just bleed out….

Until next time…

Urania xx

Buy it now What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

Review: The Hot Zone by Richard Preston

*1Since this has been all over the news of late I thought it was time to revisit. I now live in the United Kingdom and often do my clothes shopping online (much easier than trying to suffer though the experience with my loving but very impatient husband) and I admit I was somewhat shocked at looking at the shipping restrictions. It appears that post is no longer allowed to be sent many countries now with “Ebola virus” listed as the cause….This is just mind-blowing to me….anyway…here is the review of this book that has always stayed in my mind. I worry about chemical warfare and someone leaking this type of virus much more than I’ve ever worried about a bomb going off overhead….

What can I say? This one really makes you stop and think. How close are we all to death? What blink of an eye can mean the end of the world as we know it? Forget how utterly disgusting this book was. I mean, seriously, this was the most insane, make you wish you hadn’t eaten that for lunch, I think I just threw up in my mouth, wipe that grimace off your face book I have ever read. i still can’t stop imaging what it would be like to have your tongue, esophagus and intestines slough off and run through your body. Nor can I stop trying to imagine the black vomit or bleeding out through ever orifice of your body. Screaming monkeys. This book really could give you some nightmares. Seriously. Who is that guy sitting next to you on the plane? Does he look sick? Does he have a virus lurking in his hazel eyes? Did that cough just set the virus free?

I tell you something, this type of book makes me reevaluate my life. I want to do things differently. I want to be in a different place….and today might be the last day to do so…time to get my ass moving…..

Until next time….

Urania xx

Buy it now The Hot Zone by Richard Preston

Listen to this!!!

01aa11
Do you listen to books?? I must admit, up til a year ago, the only audible books I listened to were Hank the Cowdog, with my kids. I’m dead serious. They’re funny as heck, but when you find yourself listening, in your car, ALONE, it’s time to be a grown up and listen to grown up books.

Around this time last year, I grabbed a ton of the classics, which were free at the time. But have I listened to them?? That would be a big fat NO. However, around this past March, a friend gifted me Maybe Someday, by Colleen Hoover. Since I already read the book, I wasn’t sure how I was going to like it. But, I stinking loved it!! I fell in love with Zachary Webber, during this book. Seriously. That kid can read me the phone book and I would sit and listen to it.

Since then, I’ve found myself buying more and actually wanting to walk my dog and go grocery shopping alone, just so I can listen to some books. So far this year, I’ve listened to Flat-Out Love, by Jessica Park, Red Hill, by Jamie McGuire, Hopeless, by Colleen Hoover, and Divergent, by Veronica Roth. I started The Fault in Our Stars, but never finished and I’m currently listening to Outlander: A Novel.

But by far, the BEST BEST BEST audible I’ve listened to is The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay. I’ve read the book a couple times and it’s in my top 5, but when I listened to it, I lived it. The guy who does the guy’s voice, Kirby Heyborne, did an amazing job!! He had such emotions I seriously thought he was crying. He sounded so believable. If anyone asks what audible they should try, I always tell them this one. Talking about it now, kinda makes me wanna go and listen again.

Sometimes the book is read by a single person, which can be good or bad. I’ve tried to listen to a few and found them quite annoying, but some I find, very enjoyable. My first experience was with Flat-Out Love. At first I wasn’t so sure I was going to like it, but after a little bit, I actually forgot it was only one person. That book was so sweet and funny, I actually startled a few people, in the grocery store, when I was listening to it.

Some books are read my numerous people. Red Hill, for example, was read by three different voices. Zachary Webber *sigh* was one of them. I actually had my hubby listen to this one, on our way to Chicago, in June. The story was so well written, that I was on the edge of my seat listening. My poor hubby kept getting shushed, even though I read the book before. I just wanted to listen to them, not him. The voices were so smooth I felt like I was in a trance.

So far I’ve only listened to books that I’ve already read. I think I enjoy the story more that way. For me, if I never knew the story, I think it would be hard to pay attention. I know I would miss things. My life isn’t always silent and I get distracted easily. So I think I’ll keep to previously read books. Up next, on my audible list, Ugly Love, by Colleen Hoover.

If you’ve never tried audible, I encourage you to do so. They’re always running deals. In fact, if you’re a new subscriber, I think you get 2 free books. That’s great!! And even paying monthly, is sometimes half of what an audible costs. It’s so worth it. And if you do try, let me know which ones you get.

~Melpomene

Buy Flat-Out Love

The Sea of Tranquility: A Novel

Red Hill

Maybe Someday

Hopeless

Divergent

The Fault in Our Stars

Outlander: A Novel

Ugly Love: A Novel

The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog