Dead Spots (Scarlett Bernard #1)
By Melissa F. Olson; Performed by Amy McFadden
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Release Date: 2012
Publisher summary: A woman with the ability to counteract magic is in a race against time–and the supernatural underworld–to catch a killer before another body drops.
Scarlett Bernard knows about personal space: step within ten feet of her, and any supernatural spells or demonic forces are instantly defused–vampires and werewolves become human again, and witches can’t get out so much as a “hocus pocus.” This special skill makes her a null and very valuable to Los Angeles’s three most powerful magical communities, who utilize her ability to scrub crime scenes clean of all traces of the paranormal to keep humanity, and the LAPD, in the dark.
But one night Scarlett’s late arrival to a grisly murder scene reveals her agenda and ends with LAPD’s Jesse Cruz tracking her down to strike a deal: he’ll keep quiet about the undead underworld if she helps solve the case. Their pact doesn’t sit well with Dash, the city’s chief bloodsucker, who fears his whole vampire empire is at stake. And when clues start to point to Scarlett, it’ll take more than her unique powers to catch the real killer and clear her name.
I snagged this audiobook to post about from the stack of urban fantasy because it was an author I had not heard of, the first of a series, and not previously published on Audible! Reviews I’ve seen so far are complimentary on the main character, and the complexity of the story.
Coincidentally, we are on the hunt for 1-2 paranormal romance or urban fantasy audiobook reviewers. If this kind of book is your kind of thing, please contact Jenny on the about page!
Posted by Jenny Colvin
“If any of [my stories] succeed in causing their readers to feel pleasantly uncomfortable when walking along a solitary road at nightfall, or sitting over a dying fire in the small hours, my purpose in writing them will have been attained.” – M.R. James
I’m just beginning to get into M.R. James so I’m not sure quite what to make of his stories yet. To me The Ash Tree felt restrained, subtle, and it was “pleasantly uncomfortable” to be sure – but is that enough?
I haven’t hit a story of his that has grabbed me the way Guy de Mapassaunt’s The Horla has or the way William Hope Hodgson’s The Voice In The Night has.
Maybe ghost stories just need to have something other than haunting to draw me in.
The Ash Tree
By M.R. James; Read by Peter Yearsley
1 |MP3| – Approx. 35 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: June 7th, 2006
A damp Suffolk house, with a curious ash tree growing close to it, may have been cursed by a woman once executed for witchcraft. First published in Ghost Stories Of An Antiquary, 1904.
Posted by Jesse Willis
Talked about on today’s show:
SciPodBooks.com, the SciPodCast, The Syndic by C.M. Kornbluth, The City At World’s End by Edmond Hamilton, the virtues of democracy, Oath Of Fealty by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, H. Beam Piper, Space Viking, a wealth of ideas, Frederik Pohl, the story as a straw man, Robert A. Heinlein, telepathy, witches, dystopia, utopia, polo played with jeeps (mounted with 50 caliber machine guns), the syndicate vs. the mob, Ireland, Iceland, libertarianism, the Prometheus Unbound review of The Syndic, polyandry, an economy run on alcohol, sex, and gambling, laissez faire capitalism, monopolies, robber barons, taxes vs. shakedowns, “a real mess of a book”, should a society compromise its ideals to save itself?, is the joke on us?, a velvet gloved invisible hand, The High Crusade by Poul Anderson, the children’s crusade, WWII, rule by mob vs. rule by mobsters, Ron Paul, the sustainability of a war based economy need not much concern the arms manufacturer, Isaac Asimov, The City At World’s End has a real plot, disaster stories, new ideas trump big flaws, “writing by the seat of your pants”, space opera, E.E. “Doc” Smith, respect for science and scientists, Farnham’s Freehold by Robert A. Heinlein, The Green Odyssey by Philip Jose Farmer, LibriVox.org, Riverworld series, rolling ships, Hyperion by Dan Simmons, the problem of endless series, StarShipSofa, The Truth Is A Cave In The Black Mountains by Neil Gaiman, A Princess Of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, A Voyage To Arcturus by David Lindsay, “philosophy, philosophy, philosophy”, it starts with a séance, C.S. Lewis, Right Ho, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse, Jeeves And Wooster, Leave It To Jeeves, LibriVox’s new funding (from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation), Orson Scott Card, Harlan Ellison, Airborn by Kenneth Oppel, Gregg Margarite, Lone Star Planet by H. Beam Piper, Kevin J. Anderson, Principles Of Economics, iambik audio, Wonder Audio, All Or Nothing by Preston L. Allen, The Tattoo Murder Case by Akimitsu Takagi, Toshiro Mifune, Akira Kurosawa, High And Low, Netflix, Sweet And Lowdown, One O’Clock Jump by Lise McClendon, A Is For Alibi by Sue Grafton, Talents Incorporated by Murray Leinster, goofy, the William Woodsworth Microphone Showdown, do expensive mics make great narrators?
Posted by Jesse Willis
Talked about on today’s show:
Assam & Darjeeling by T.M. Camp, Podiobooks.com, iTunes, serialized fiction, entertaining copyright notices, where do you do your podcast listening?, I’ve got my hands full of car, the volume on Assam And Darjeeling is way too low!, remastering Assam And Darjeeling for audiobook, listening to podcasts at double speed (only on iTouch and iPhone), the premise of Assam And Darjeeling, Hades, the underworld, Inferno by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle |READ OUR REVIEW|, Escape From Hell by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle , The Divine Comedy: The Inferno by Dante Alighieri, Virgil’s The Aeneid, Ovid, the Brothers Grimm, witches, Greek Mythology, Edgar, no one can be as cruel as a kid, Joss Whedon, in the hands of a skillful author, Matters Of Mortology by T.M. Camp, Kij Johnson‘s The Fox Woman, the Black Gate blog, foxes in mythology, Aesop’s Fable The Fox And The Grapes, Cernunnos, Herne the Hunter, making the switch from comedy to horror and horror to comedy, the Shaggy Man (in the Oz series), Tom Bombadil, he has psychic powers too?, page 18, masterly dialogue put into the mouths of young children, the PDF version of Assam And Darjeeling, What Dreams May Come by Richard Matheson, life after death, Inception, Edgar Alan Poe should go into the underworld to get his wife Virginia, The Memory Palace episode about Edgar Allan Poe’s death (Episode 20 strong>This Ungainly Fowl), This American Life is really bleak, WNYC’s Radiolab isn’t, general fiction is generally bleak, A Good Man Is Hard To Find by Flannery O’Connor, Science Fiction vs. general fiction, Social Science Fiction, Science Fiction has a second layer, it’s not all style, The Cold Equations by Tom Godwin, Staggerford by Jon Hassler, there are ways to tell powerful stories, A Man In Full by Tom Wolfe, Bangsian Fantasy, Fantasy, re-reading The Lord Of The Rings, the more I think about it the more I think I don’t like Fantasy, SFSite.com, derivative Fantasy, romance novels, Jane Austen, John Thorne, The Long Walk by Stephen King (Richard Bachman), The Stand, It, Salem’s Lot, The Shining, Under The Dome, Shirley Jackson, Ray Bradbury, long vs. short, The Cell by Stephen King, 28 Days Later, Desperation by Stephen King, The Rapture, if you were a character in this book who would you be?, the rule that makes any book better: talk about food, Lawrence Block, the economy of the afterworld, lampshading, I’m done with sequels, Mike Resnick’s Starship series, Jim Butcher’s Dresden series, The Fall Of Hyperion by Dan Simmons, Make Room, Make Room by Harry Harrison, Soylent Green, Adventures by Mike Resnick, mammoths vs. mastodons, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, The Star Beast by Robert A. Heinlein, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
Posted by Jesse Willis
At 110 years old The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz (aka The Wizard Of Oz), is one of the few children’s classic novels, that children read, and that WAS a children’s novel from the very beginning. Today a tour through the kids literature section of your local big box bookstore will probably turn up a dozen or so “classic novels” that purport to be ‘kid lit’ of some sort. For publishers what makes them ‘children’s classics’ is that they are public domain and they have recognizable titles. Few were written with actual children in mind, and due to the age many can use an English language that’s so archaic as to be hard for many adults to read. Not so with The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz. Sure it’s public domain too, but unlike most it was actually written with children wholly and completely in mind, unlike say, The Call Of The Wild, Frankenstein or Dracula.
In a 1975 essay entitled The American Grimm, comics legend Roy Thomas describes L. Frank Baum as the New World’s successor to “Hans Christian Anderson” and “The Brothers Grimm”. Writes Thomas:
“After trying his, hand at both acting and journalism, Lyman Frank Baum decided to create a unique Americcan fairy tale which did not owe its entire existence and background to the European tradition of goblins, witches, elves and the like. To do this, he set the beginning and ending of his story (which was originally called simply The Emerald City and at one point even From Kansas To Fairyland) in the heart of the American prairie. Of course. he didn’t completely keep out the witches.”
The Free Listens blog rates LibriVox’s audiobook version, as narrated by J. Hall, rather highly! Consider:
“J. Hall narrates the book with a pleasant American accent that would be at home at NPR. This isn’t a professional reading; Hall has several minor stumbles and he doesn’t attempt distinguishing voices for the characters. However, these minor faults can be easily overlooked when one considers the excellent pacing and emphasis with which Hall reads. The recording is free of any background sound, but has a compressed sound when played at higher volumes, perhaps due to noise filtering. All in all, this is a excellent choice if you’re looking for a recording of The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz that comes without silly voices or overacting.”
The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz
By L. Frank Baum; Read by J. Hall
1 |M4B| File, 25 Zipped MP3 Files or Podcast – Approx. 3 Hours 45 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Published: March 10, 2007
The timeless story of the Wizard Of Oz. Follow Dorothy as she leaves Kansas for Oz on a cyclone. She meets many strange, and wonderful people and creatures along the way. Enjoy it again with your children and family.
iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE|
[via Free Listens]
Posted by Jesse Willis
Look what popped into my spam folder (addressed to “undisclosed-recipients”):
Looking for a break from studying, research, work, the whole bit?
Would you like to read a book that is as good as – or better than – Harry Potter? Eragon? Twilight? Fablehaven?
How about if it is GUARANTEED… you don’t like it, you don’t pay.
At www.whoisbillyjones.com, that is EXACTLY what you get. BILLY: MESSENGER OF POWERS is the story of a high school student thrust into the world of the Powers – you or I would call them witches – when he discovers that he may be the key to victory in the upcoming war between Dawnwalkers and Darksiders.
I’ve just started listening to this audiobook. So far it is both well narrated and well written! A reference to “patriot missles” in the first chapter makes me think it was written about twenty years ago but that’s not the only thing that’s retro. Sadly, to make the site the Billy-crew seems to have used a frightful mid-1990s website template. The only thing missing from the site is a spinning GIF. It’s got music, sparkly purple mouse trails, a whimsical EULA and a color scheme right out of the heyday of GeoCities. But nowhere amongst all of the goo-gaws can you find the most important feature for a self published audiobook … a podcast feed!
So in the interest of usability I’ve made one (two actually because HuffDuffer has a 20 file max per feed). Here’s the skinny…
Billy: Messenger Of Powers
By Michaelbrent Collings; Read by Andy Bowyer
32 MP3 Files or HuffDuffer Podcasts – Approx. 16 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Billy: Messenger Of Powers is the story of a high school student thrust into the world of the Powers – you or I would call them witches – when he discovers that he may be the key to victory in the upcoming war between Dawnwalkers and Darksiders.
HuffDuffer podcast feed (Part I):
HuffDuffer iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE| (Part I)
HuffDuffer podcast feed (Part II):
HuffDuffer iTunes 1-Click |SUBSCRIBE| (Part II):
Posted by Jesse Willis