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Wednesday, 5 August 2020

TOMYARDS & BUTTERFLIES


Tombyards & Butterflies by Orlando A. Sanchez
Book 1 of the Montague & Strong Case Files series
Narrated by Kevin T. Collins
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: ebook & audiobookAudiobook


About Tombyards & Butterflies:
A Missing Ferryman. An Undead Dilemma. An Immortal Detective. An emissary from the Dark Council has just materialized in the office of the Montague & Strong Detective Agency, and makes Simon Strong an offer he can’t refuse. Charon is missing. The legendary ferryman responsible for transporting sorcerer souls across the river Styx hasn’t been seen in days. And with each passing hour, those unable to cross the river are left to walk among the living, tilting the world further out of balance.

Meet Simon Strong, an immortal, who is also the best private detective in New York City. Together with his surly partner-Tristan Montague, a mage of indeterminate age, they must find the Ferryman and get him back to work before another Supernatural War ravages the earth, destroys humanity, and Simon’s local coffee shop.

Time is running out. His landlord wants the rent and Karma with a capital K is paying him a visit, and she can be a real…

Join the Montague & Strong Detective Agency and help them locate Charon, so he can restore balance to the universe, put the dead sorcerers to rest, and maybe solve the age old conundrum-coffee or tea?
Source: Info in the About Tombyards & Butterflies was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34419392-tombyards-butterflies on 30/06/2019.

Buy Link(s):


Peaches
My Thoughts:
Glad I stumbled into this series!

This is another " Dresden Files by Jim Butcher " story where the characters even mention "that wizard in Chicago" urban fantasy worlds combobulation. Originality-wise, it has been around the block once or twice too many... However, it is not necessarily the originality that I am looking for as an urban fantasy reader, it is how the story is told! And Orlando Sanchez is wonderful!! In fact, for an author to pull it off and compete in a very congested market, one has to be good enough for readers to keep coming back. And this author pulled it off. How's that for talent?! And of course, my favouritest of them all, is Peaches! My image here of Peaches is not that of a scary hellhound, but he is still a puppy. Besides he is bound to Simon. He gets his fierce hellhound look only when there are bad guys around.

And hey, there is a plot too! Plot is not something I highly prize in an urban fantasy book as I would in a crime fiction one. But this book got it anyway. Another kudos to the author! The title... so Hack mentioned it, but, it still hasn't been explained what the ef**** it is!?!...

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4.5
Character development = 5
Story itself = 4.5
Writing Style = 4
Ending = 4
World building = 4.5
Cover art = 4
Pace = 3.5
Plot = 3.5
Narration = 4.5

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 cherries


Books in the Montague & Strong Case Files series:
Book 0.1: THE WAR MAGE   Book 0.5: NO GOD IS SAFE   Book 1: TOMBYARDS & BUTTERFLIES   Book 2: FULL MOON HOWL   Book 2.5: THE DATE   Book 3: BLOOD IS THICKER   Book 4: SILVER CLOUDS DIRTY SKY   Book 5: HOMECOMING   Book 6: DRAGONS & DEMIGODS   Book 7: BULLETS & BLADES   Book 8: HELL HATH NO FURY   Book 9: REAPING WIND   Book 10: THE GOLEM   A Montague & Strong Short Story Collection   A PROPER HELLHOUND   HELLHOUND BLUES: A BREW & CHEW ADVENTURE   A PERFECT CUP


Meet The Author

About Orlando A. Sanchez:
Orlando Sanchez has been writing ever since his teens when he was immersed in creating scenarios for playing Dungeon and Dragons with his friends every weekend. An avid reader, his influences are too numerous to list here. Some of the most prominent are: J.R.R. Tolkien, Jim Butcher, Kat Richardson, Terry Brooks, Piers Anthony, Lee Child, George Lucas, Andrew Vachss, and Barry Eisler to name a few in no particular order. The worlds of his books are urban settings with a twist of the paranormal lurking just behind the scenes and generous doses of magic, martial arts, and mayhem. He currently resides in Queens, NY with his family and can often be found in the local coffee shop where most of his writing is done.


The Narrator

About Kevin T. Collins:
Kevin T. Collins is an actor, singer, and recording artist with a BFA from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. He has performed in numerous theater performances, including Angels, City of Angels, Paradise Lost, and on television in Law & Order: Criminal Intent, As the World Turns, and The Guiding Light.


FTC Disclosure:
The ebook and audiobook copies of the book were purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Bulgogi & Russian Morkovcha



Being a die hard fan of Ilona Andrews, I tired to recreate the Bulgogi and Russian Morkovcha recipe. I don't know if I did it right or not. Either way, it was delicious!!



Sunday, 5 July 2020

TALLOW JONES


Tallow Jones by Trevor H. Cooley
Book 1 of the Tallow Mysteries series
Read by Andrew Tell
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: paperback, kindle ebook, & audiobookAudiobook


About Tallow Jones:
When Detective Douglas Jones' son goes missing under strange circumstances everyone assumes he ran away. The first break in the case comes when a long lost relative shows up with a new name and a strange tattoo on the palm of his left hand. His name is Tallow Jones. He is a private detective . . . and a wizard.

A wizard is needed too because, in Atlanta, strange abductions are just the tip of the iceberg.
Source: Info in the About Tallow Jones was taken from Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36324291-tallow-jones on 29/07/2018.

Buy Link(s):
  Audible Books

My Thoughts:
This is the first book in the Tallow Mysteries which is an offshoot series from The Bowl Of Souls saga. Reading about the old world, Gaiana, made me miss the old characters like old friends.. like Death Claw and Fist!! It makes me wish that there would be more Bowl Of Souls books with Death Claw in it and more...

Andrew Tell sounds surprisingly so similar to James Foster that I thought I was listening to James Foster still, until about halfway through. Hah! My ears fooled me!

The author skated closely to destroying the plot. He had a lot of explaining to do to tie ends up nicely. Which he did... and skimmed through by the skin of his teeth.

The cover is not the best cover art in the world. If I hadn't known the author already, I don't think I would be picking up this book. It might be apropos to the story but it is not conducive to "book-buying" to my fantasy geek eyes.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4
Character development = 4
Story itself = 4
Writing Style = 4
Ending = 4
World building = 4
Cover art = 2.5
Pace = 4
Plot = 3.5
Narration = 5

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries


The Author
Trevor H. Cooley
Since putting out his first book: Eye of the Moonrat in May of 2012, Trevor H. Cooley has sold over 200,000 copies of his books in ebook and audio formats.

He was born in South Carolina and has lived all around the United states, including Utah, New Mexico, Michigan and Tennessee.

His love of reading started in the second grade with Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain series. He couldn’t get enough and continued with David Eddings, Tolkein, Robert Jordan, Stephen King, and many others. Since then, all he wanted was to become a published writer.

The characters and concepts that eventually became the Bowl of Souls series started in his teens. He wrote short stories, kept notebooks full of ideas, and generally dreamed about the world constantly. There were several attempts at starting a novel over the years.

Not long after he was married, his wife told him to stop talking about the story and write it down. Many years and rewrites and submissions and rejection letters later, he finally put the books on Amazon. In August of 2013 he quit his day job and started writing full time.


The Narrator
Andrew Tell
I’m an actor and voiceover artist based in Los Angeles, California. I’m a versatile, articulate, and technically clean narrator with a strong background in improvisation and comedy. In audiobook narration, I’m an Audible-Approved producer audibleapproved._CB169116043_with thousands of 5-star performance reviews by Audible listeners. I work closely with independent authors and publishers to bring their books and characters to life.



FTC Disclosure:
This book was purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

Friday, 12 June 2020

THREE MAGES AND A MARGARITA


Three Mages And A Margarita by Annette Marie
Book 1 in the The Guild Codex series
Narrated by Cris Dukehart
Genre: urban fantasy
Format: ebook & audiobookAudiobook


About Three Mages And A Margarita:
Broke, almost homeless, and recently fired. Those are my official reasons for answering a wanted ad for a skeevy-looking bartender gig.

It went downhill the moment they asked for a trial shift instead of an interview — to see if I'd mesh with their "special" clientele. I think that part went great. Their customers were complete jerks, and I was an asshole right back. That's the definition of fitting in, right?

I expected to get thrown out on my ass. Instead, they ... offered me the job?

It turns out this place isn't a bar. It's a guild. And the three cocky guys I drenched with a margarita during my trial? Yeah, they were mages. Either I'm exactly the kind of takes-no-shit bartender this guild needs, or there's a good reason no one else wants to work here.

So what's a broke girl to do? Take the job, of course — with a pay raise.
Source: Info in the About Three Mages And A Margarita was taken from GoodReads at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41748044-three-mages-and-a-margarita on 01/05/2020.

Buy Link(s):
  Audible Books

My Thoughts:
Good start to a new-to-me series!

It started off slow but it picked up about halfway into the book. I like the premise. I also like the way the story is told. What I didn't like is the fight scene where the protagonist just stand there while people around her got beaten up by the bad guys. Makes me wanna scream like, "Pick up the damn frying pan and whack the bad guys with it!". But, other than that, the story building was solid.

The cover art is kind of misleading though, because our heroine is supposed to be human and has no magic. So that light thingie at the end of her fingers in the cover (which I presume is suppose to denote magic) is not true.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 4
Character development = 4
Story itself = 4
Writing Style = 4
Ending = 3.5
World building = 4.5
Cover art = 4.5
Pace = (7 hrs and 14 mins listening time)
Plot = 3.5
Narration = 4.5

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 cherries


Meet The Author

About Annette Marie:
Annette Marie is the author of YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, its prequel trilogy Spell Weaver, romantic fantasy Red Winter, and sassy UF series The Guild Codex.

Her first love is fantasy, while fast-paced adventures and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She proudly admits she has a thing for dragons, and her editor has inquired as to whether she intends to include them in every single book.

Annette lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it’s not quite that bad). She shares her life with her husband and their furry minion of darkness — sorry, cat — Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.

Find out more about Annette and her books at www.annettemarie.ca.


The Narrator

About Cris Dukehart:
A graduate of Johns Hopkins University, Cris Dukehart has recorded over 300 audiobooks across genres.

An Audie Nominee and Earphones Award Winner, she lives with her daughter and a hairy white monster dog, dividing her time between a little Post-it Note Cottage in Pennsylvania and a mountaintop house in the Caribbean.


FTC Disclosure:
The ebook and audiobook copies of the book were purchased with private funds.
No money received for this review.

 
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