Category: Audiobook

Blog Book Tour | A listener’s spin on #podcast review of Xela Culletto’s “Understanding the Stars” (#SFF)

Posted Saturday, 10 June, 2017 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

A unique kettle of fish erupted into my audiobook listening adventures – wherein, I could not listen to ‘Understanding the Stars’ – mind you, I tried every which way to Sunday to get the book to play except to say, I was left with a lot of dead air. The lovely narrator I had heard via the sampler was remiss and I was left wondering what the book would reveal to me, as this was one book I was looking forward to listening to see how the author would shape the story around the aliens.

I was short on time to resolve this – as I’ve tweeted recently, this Spring has been ‘a beast!’ for allergies this Season. I haven’t been able to shake the reactions since wayy back in March or end of February; honestly, I don’t even remember when it all began; each week blends into a new one and I still have extreme allergies assaulting me! I dream of RAIN. I pray for a DOWNPOUR. Summer could not start soon enough for me this year in other words! I sort of lost track of where I was with my blog’s schedule as when your feeling more blue than sunshiny, who keeps up with their calendar? Ergo, I caught sight of one blunder a bit too late to make amends – my copy of ‘Understanding the Stars’ is unplayable – and before you say “ask for Help”, been there & done that. Apparently it’s a quirk or a tech issue that has no textbook solution. Aye.

Oy vie. Never one to give up without a bit of ingenuity – my rabbit out of the hat idea was to merge my love of listening to @AudioShelfMe with my second stop on the ‘Understanding the Stars’ tour seemed to be the best route to go! I had discovered this lovely podcast duo (Brad & Britney) courtesy of Jess @ the Audiobookworm who was tagging a heap of us to introduce us to the Audiobook Month (JUNE) Listening Challenge – where we can all play #AudioBingo, meet new bookish friends who love audiobooks as much as we do and get a bit of fun out of our listening endeavours whilst we try to score ‘points’ for securing titles on the board!

I will be revealling which audiobooks I am thinking of listening to for the challenges when I start to reveal the #20BooksOfSummer I have chosen to focus on for another Summer Reading Challenge! Those two posts will run next week – as I am getting a bit of a late start but look forward to seeing where my mad dash of listening and reading shall take me!

Now then, without further adieu, here are my notes whilst listening to Brad and Britney hash out their recap of ‘Understanding the Stars’.

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Understanding the Stars by Xela Culletto

Alexandra Blackwood is minding her own troubled life when she unknowingly gets caught up in an extraterrestrial conflict. Ronan, a human with his own alien-entangled past, has been keeping an eye on her and sets out to help her escape looming abduction, and maybe win her heart.

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The podcast started off with Brad impersonating alien-speech with a few seconds of alien music before the overlay of their theme and the introduction of how they hosted their first book tour. I agreed about the synopsis being a smidge short but enough to serve as a taste of what might be included in the story’s arc. Read More

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Posted Saturday, 10 June, 2017 by jorielov in Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Indie Author, Notes of a (Podcast) Listener, Science Fiction, Soft Science Fiction, Space Opera, Speculative Fiction

Author Q&A | Understanding the writing process of Xela Culletto author of “Understanding the Stars” (#SFF)

Posted Wednesday, 7 June, 2017 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

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Good morning, dear hearts!

As you might already realise – I have a wicked fascination with #SFF (Science Fiction & Fantasy) – throughout JUNE, I will be resuming my showcases on behalf of the Speculative realms, as I originally as dipping back into them last November before I alighted into the lovely anthology Gifts of the Magi just as the New Year began to dawn! (see also Review) Due to my readings of those lovely short stories, a few of the authors I had read then will be re-explored this month, as well!

I am also continuing my exploration of World Weaver Press whilst reading two more anthologies (Space Opera + Fantasy) as I move into two novels set around the Jin. I first came to appreciate the lore & legends of Jinni through Ms Wecker’s incredibly layered and intriguing debut novel! (see also Review) There is quite a bit in store this month here on #JLASblog – if you are as wicked happy about finding exciting new worlds to explore in the Speculative realms, stay attuned to my blog and my readerly tweets in the twitterverse! You will happily be discovering the authors who are charming me with their world-building and their fantastical imagination!

To kick off my #SpecFic showcases, I am sharing a conversation I had with a self-published author who similar to me has grown up with a deep appreciation for the realm. As you will see throughout our conversation, I unearth her writing process and what makes her passionate to tell the stories she is penning.

If this is your first visit to my blog, I have been enjoying listening to audiobooks for almost a year, whilst having the pleasure of interviewing the authors & narrators alike. Audiobooks are a gift of joy to me as they allow me to find a new way to connect to stories and to pick up an artistic habit of ‘colouring’ as I listen – the suspension of focusing on the story as I colour allows me to better understanding the content of the stories but also provides a way to decompress from the stress of a blogger’s life!Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Understanding the Stars by Xela Culletto

Alexandra Blackwood is minding her own troubled life when she unknowingly gets caught up in an extraterrestrial conflict. Ronan, a human with his own alien-entangled past, has been keeping an eye on her and sets out to help her escape looming abduction, and maybe win her heart.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Being an avid science fiction reader, what drew your eye to lay down the foundation of an alternative alien space opera story-line? Wherein you centre your action on Earth rather than have the story transition from Earth to Space or even subspace environments?

Culletto responds: I wrote this story with the intention of having it be something that I personally would like to read. While I have read some hardcore sci-fi (Asimov, Sagan, etc.) I’m at a stage of life where I prefer lighter reading, which for me means not having massive amounts of new jargon or world-building–something that is easily accessible  and doesn’t require too much memory space in the reader’s brain. That being said, the sequel to “Understanding the Stars” is entitled “Following the Stars” (to be released 2018), so you can probably get an idea of where the plot will be headed next. Read More

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Posted Wednesday, 7 June, 2017 by jorielov in Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Indie Author, Science Fiction, Soft Science Fiction, Space Opera, Speculative Fiction

Audiobook Review | “Keep on Believing: A Cinderella Story by Marie Higgins, narrated by Paula Slade

Posted Wednesday, 8 March, 2017 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Digital Audiobook by: I am a new blog tour hostess with Audiobookworm Promotions wherein I have the opportunity to receive audiobooks for review or adoption (reviews outside of organised blog tours) and host guest features on behalf of authors and narrators alike. I started hosting for Audiobookworm Promotions at the end of [2016] during “The Cryptic Lines” tour wherein I became quite happily surprised how much I am now keen on listening to books in lieu of reading them in print. My journey into audiobooks was prompted by a return of my chronic migraines wherein I want to offset my readings with listening to the audio versions.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “Keep on Believing” via the publicist at Audiobookworm Promotions (of whom was working directly with the author Marie Higgins) in exchange for an honest review. The difference with this complimentary copy I received is I had a 90 day window to listen and review the book whilst given a soft deadline where I could post my ruminative thoughts at an hour which worked for me on the day the review was due; this differs from a blog tour which has a more set schedule of posting. The audiobooks are offered to ‘adopt’ for review consideration and are given to readers to gauge their opinions, impressions and insight into how the audiobook is resonating with listeners. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

NOTE: I had fully intended to listen to Keep On Believing somewhere between mid-to-late December and mid-to-late January; both months proved to be quite intense, most of which I recently blogged about on my latest #StoriesOfJorie. February proved to be an upturnt month for me – I simply couldn’t motivate myself to read nor blog. As such, I am running into my deadline to post my review for this adopted audiobook rather than being ahead of it.

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What initially prompted me to listen to Keep On Believing:

One of the joys of being a book blogger is discovering new niches of literature – in this particular case, I have come to appreciate ‘Fairy Tale Re-Tellings’, which I feel this qualifies for as it’s a spin on the traditional ‘Cinderella’ story, which of course, is amongst my top favourites for seeking out. I wasn’t sure if this one would be a good fit for me, but I had hoped it might be enjoyable to listen too. It’s hard to find the type of fairy-tale re-tellings I enjoy most, but as my Story Vault reflects, I do find one every so often.

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Audiobook Review | “Keep on Believing: A Cinderella Story by Marie Higgins, narrated by Paula SladeKeep On Believing
by Marie Higgins
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Paula Slade

Taking some of the family's jewels, Ella Spencer and her brother left the kingdom in the dead of night, escaping the clutches of their evil stepmother. Ella realized they need a different life than one of a servant. Now living in a new kingdom, Ella believes this is where they can start over again. So far, it's working - until her brother's school teacher starts poking his nose into their business. Ella cannot tell him the truth, yet deep down inside, she feels that he might be her Prince Charming after all, and be the one who will save her from danger.

Christopher Morgan is hiding secrets that he never plans to divulge. The sister of one of his students intrigues him, and he can't keep from wanting to know more about her. When a man comes around asking questions, Chris fears Ella is not safe and he needs to protect her. But he finds that he is the one in need of a dream-come-true. Can he hope that Ella will be the one to rescue him out of his life before these secrets destroy him?

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

ASIN: B01N03DZPG

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance, Fairy-Tale Re-Telling


Published by Marie Higgins

on 14th November, 2016

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 6 hours, 16 minutes (unabridged)

Where Dreams Come True Series:

No.1 The Witch Hunt

No. 2 Her Own Fairy Godmother

No.3 Champion

No.4 Keep On Believing

Marie Higgins | GoodReads | @mariehigginsxox | Facebook

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Posted Wednesday, 8 March, 2017 by jorielov in Audiobook, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Contemporary Romance, Indie Author, Marriage of Convenience, Premonition-Precognitive Visions, Romance Fiction, Vulgarity in Literature

Audiobook Review | “His Trophy Wife” by by Leigh Michaels, narrated by Paula Slade

Posted Tuesday, 7 March, 2017 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Digital Audiobook by: I am a new blog tour hostess with Audiobookworm Promotions wherein I have the opportunity to receive audiobooks for review or adoption (reviews outside of organised blog tours) and host guest features on behalf of authors and narrators alike. I started hosting for Audiobookworm Promotions at the end of [2016] during “The Cryptic Lines” tour wherein I became quite happily surprised how much I am now keen on listening to books in lieu of reading them in print. My journey into audiobooks was prompted by a return of my chronic migraines wherein I want to offset my readings with listening to the audio versions.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “His Trophy Wife” via the publicist at Audiobookworm Promotions (of whom was working directly with the author Leigh Michaels) in exchange for an honest review. The difference with this complimentary copy I received is I had a 90 day window to listen and review the book whilst given a soft deadline where I could post my ruminative thoughts at an hour which worked for me on the day the review was due; this differs from a blog tour which has a more set schedule of posting. The audiobooks are offered to ‘adopt’ for review consideration and are given to readers to gauge their opinions, impressions and insight into how the audiobook is resonating with listeners. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

NOTE: I had fully intended to listen to His Trophy Wife somewhere between mid-to-late December and mid-to-late January; both months proved to be quite intense, most of which I recently blogged about on my latest #StoriesOfJorie. February proved to be an upturnt month for me – I simply couldn’t motivate myself to read nor blog. As such, I am running into my deadline to post my review for this adopted audiobook rather than being ahead of it.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

What initially prompted me to listen to His Trophy Wife:

When I was first getting home from being at the hospital overseeing my father’s care as he recovered from his series of strokes, I couldn’t think of wanting to read anything too serious nor emotionally gutting. I had thought perhaps I could use a bit of lighter stories in my life – or at the very least, lighter Romances to serve as a bit of a distraction whilst I shifted back into reading more widely and regularly. The only error on my part is not realising I would vacillate between being inclined to read or listen to audiobooks and feeling a bit indifferent to either of them. This is one of those lighter Roms I thought might inspire me forward but hadn’t foreseen I’d be listening to it the day my review was due to post – as I hadn’t known then, at the time of my request I’d fall in and out of loving to read stories.

I typically read quite a lot of Romances per year – including having read quite a number of Harlequin Romances in the past, which is why I thought this might be a good fit for me. I knew going in the subject matter was a bit of a different turn of conflict than I normally read in Romances – as generally speaking, I read relationship-based Romances where both lead characters ‘want’ to be around each other; at least, generally speaking! There are times where I soak into a Rom where one characters falls for the other whilst waiting hopeful the feelings are returnt. in this particular case, it was more of a marriage of convenience where one party is gaining a bit more out of it than the other. These make for good folly – as does the convenience of the marriage act as subterfuge to a marriage which can last? Or is there more going on beneath the surface of what they’ve shared, lending towards a unique outcome once everything is revealled? In essence, this was picked to re-inspire me to listen and read during a time where I felt like doing anything else.

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Audiobook Review | “His Trophy Wife” by by Leigh Michaels, narrated by Paula SladeHis Trophy Wife
by Leigh Michaels
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Paula Slade

When Morganna Ashworth's father died, leaving her his debts, Sloan Montgomery realized he could finally achieve his two lifelong ambitions: the acquisition of a socially acceptable wife, and revenge on the Ashworth family!

In return for him paying off the debts, Morganna became Mrs. Sloan Montgomery. But once they were wed, Sloan didn't bargain on falling deeply in love with his trophy wife! Especially considering all the secrets and lies between them….

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

ASIN: B01KYLGPTO

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Contemporary Romance


Published by Leigh Michaels

on 26th August, 2016

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 5 hours, 54 minutes (unabridged)

Leigh Michaels | Site | Blog | @leighmichaels | Facebook

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Posted Tuesday, 7 March, 2017 by jorielov in Audiobook, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Contemporary Romance, Indie Author, Marriage of Convenience, Premonition-Precognitive Visions, Romance Fiction, Vulgarity in Literature

Audiobook Blog Tour | “Meeting Lydia” by Linda MacDonald

Posted Friday, 17 February, 2017 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Digital Audiobook by: I am a new blog tour hostess with Audiobookworm Promotions wherein I have the opportunity to receive audiobooks for review or adoption (reviews outside of organised blog tours) and host guest features on behalf of authors and narrators alike. I started hosting for Audiobookworm Promotions at the end of [2016] during “The Cryptic Lines” tour wherein I became quite happily surprised how much I am now keen on listening to books in lieu of reading them in print. My journey into audiobooks was prompted by a return of my chronic migraines wherein I want to offset my readings with listening to the audio versions.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “Meeting Lydia” via the publicist at Audiobookworm Promotions (of whom was working directly with the author Linda MacDonald) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I wanted to read this story:

Shortly ahead of this review, I posted an author guest post in relation to the topical inclusions of ‘Meeting Lydia’ where the author and I share different points of view on behalf of being bullied whilst being integrated into a co-ed learning environment which was once boys-only.

I do find stories like this which seek out the social-psychological perspectives to be most interesting to read – as we all react differently to situations we might share in common. In essence, despite the amount of bullying I’ve endured in my life, I have yet to find another who has experienced the same who felt the way I did about all of it. I do credit my rebounding approach to find the goodness in others and to find something to be thankful for each day. Whilst my parents were steadfast in their support but also had the foresight to pull me in and out of public and private schools to where I was never in the same bad situation twice even if it repeated at another school.

To me though, this did not initially feel like a story of someone who was once bullied and lateron had issues moving forward in life but rather it presented itself more of a mid-life change of philosophy about life, love and second chances when it comes to romance and relationships. How to off-set hormonal changes as well (ie. menopause) and how to deal with possible regrets (of roads not taken) which might come back to haunt someone whose still not quite where they wanted to be at the age in which they felt their lives would have been fully resolved by now.
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Audiobook Blog Tour | “Meeting Lydia” by Linda MacDonaldMeeting Lydia
by Linda MacDonald
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Harriet Carmichael

Edward Harvey. Even thinking his name made her tingle with half-remembered childlike giddiness. Edward Harvey, the only one from Brocklebank to whom she might write if she found him.”

Marianne Hayward, teacher of psychology and compulsive analyser of the human condition, is hormonally unhinged. The first seven years of her education were spent at a boys’ prep school, Brocklebank Hall, where she was relentlessly bullied. From the start, she was weak and frightened and easy prey for Barnaby Sproat and his gang. Only one boy was never horrible to her: the clever and enigmatic Edward Harvey, on whom she developed her first crush.

Now 46, when Marianne finds her charming husband in the kitchen talking to the glamorous Charmaine, her childhood insecurities resurface and their once-happy marriage begins to slide. Teenage daughter Holly persuades her to join Friends Reunited, which results in both fearful and nostalgic memories of prep school as Marianne wonders what has become of the bullies and of Edward Harvey. Frantic to repair her marriage, yet rendered snappy and temperamental by her plummeting hormones, her attempts towards reconciliation fail.

The answer to all her problems could lie in finding Edward again...
But what would happen if she found what she seeks?

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

ASIN: B01N74OZJ5

Also by this author:

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Women's Fiction


Published by Essential Music

on 17th November, 2016

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 8 hours and 43 minutes (unabridged)

About Linda MacDonald

Linda Macdonald

Born and brought up in the town of Cockermouth in the Lake District in England, Linda MacDonald has a degree in psychology from Goldsmiths’, London University, and a PGCE in biology and science. She retired in 2012 from teaching psychology in a 6th Form College in order to focus on writing, and has now published three print novels, the first of which is now an audiobook. She lives in Beckenham in Greater London, and travels to speak to various groups about the inspiration behind the ‘Lydia’ series and the psychology of internet relationships.

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Posted Friday, 17 February, 2017 by jorielov in 21st Century, Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Dating & Humour Therein, Fly in the Ointment, Indie Author, Modern Day, Realistic Fiction, Sociology, Vulgarity in Literature, Women's Fiction

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