Book Review: Mind Over Magic

The Audio Book

Morgen is experiencing a midlife crisis when she travels to a small Washington town to handle her late grandmother’s estate. But upon arrival, she discovers the house is full of witch paraphernalia — and that she has powers she never knew about! Can Morgen adapt to her new reality while racing to solve her grandmother’s mysterious death?

Purchase Link: https://www.chirpbooks.com/audiobooks/mind-over-magic-by-lindsay-buroker

My Review

I listened to the audiobook of Mind Over Magic, by Lindsay Buroker, and narrated by Vivianne Leheny. I have listened to this fantasy mystery three times, because it is so well crafted, with vivid descriptions and distinctive characters. Lindsay Buroker is known best for her snarky dialog and this book is no exception. Her humor allows for realistic reactions to bizarre occurrences such as finding a wolf on the hood of your car and then watching it change into a man, or discovering that your grandmother was a witch.

Morgan Keller is a practical and analytical data base tech who doesn’t believe in witches or werewolves. When she arrives at her grandmother’s home to wrap up the estate and decide what to do with her inheritance, it feels like she’s walked into another world. Grandma had some secrets that she hadn’t shared with the rest of the family, like the fact that she was a witch. The werewolf who lives in the barn claims that her grandmother was murdered with magic, and it’s up to Morgan to learn who the killer is. But in a town with two packs of werewolves and a local witches’ coven, this is no easy task.

Lehany does a fine in bringing the different characters to life. But I will say that her French accent is better than her Spanish one. In truth though, she handles a full cast of characters quite well, offering a distinctive voice for each one.

A fun and quirky story, with distinctive characters readers will grow to love. This is the first book in Buroker’s A Witch in Wolf Wood series. I would definetly read the others, as I want to hear more from these characters. I give Mind Over Magic five quills.

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Kaye Lynne Booth does honest book reviews on Writing to be Read in exchange for ARCs. Have a book you’d like reviewed? You can request a review here.


Book Review: Lover’s Moon

Lover’s Moon is a part of Mark Leslie’s Canadian Werewolf series, with co-author Julie Strauss. This is the romance story that tells the tale of how the two lovers, Michael and Gail met. And since one of the lovers is a werewolf, I guess that makes it a werewolf romance.

Although the audio book has a version narrated by professional narrators, the version I listened to was a free podcast version on Spotify, narrated by the authors. Mark narrates Michael’s parts and Julie narrates the parts for Gail, and for me, they will always be the voices of those characters, because they did an amazing job.

Technically, this might be considered a podcast review. I mean, what do you call it when the authors release a serialized version of their audio book in a podcast format for their readers for free? I call it brilliant!

You too can enjoy this delightfully entertaining werewolf romance for free, and read by the authors here: https://www.amazon.com/Lovers-Moon/dp/B0B1Z3QBYB/

Lover’s Moon

You can purchase a copy of Lover’s Moon in ebook, print, or audiobook format here: https://books2read.com/b/loversmoon

My Review

After listening to the audio book, Canadian Werewolf in New York, I was in love with the characters of Micheal and Gail, and I was left with many questions. Michael was the P.O.V. character, so you knew where he was coming from, and he obviously has still has feelings for his old flame, and regrets for having to end the relationship. Gail appears again after a long period when she had been out of the picture and her character was a bit more unpredictable. It was clear that there is history between these two, and I wanted to know more.

Lover’s Moon is the tale of how Michael and Gail met, their relationship and their break-up. If you’ve never read a werewolf romance, this quirky tale might be just for you. Lefebvre’s Canadian Werewolf series isn’t horror with a lot of blood and guts, but stories told with a touch of humor from the human perspective of the werewolf, and Michael’s relationship with Gail is a touching one, with the ups and downs of a roller-coaster. Their story will steal your heart. It did mine. And co-writing with Julie Strauss, having her write, and narrate, the chapter’s that are Gail’s perspective absoulutely works. Her portrayal of Gail in the narration is priceless.

Lover’s Moon, by Mark Leslie and Julie Strauss, is a quirky werewolf romance that will steal readers’ hearts, and create a dire urge to read or listen to the rest of the series. What more could a reader ask for? I give it five quills.

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Kaye Lynne Booth does honest book reviews on Writing to be Read in exchange for ARCs. Have a book you’d like reviewed? You can request a review here.


Book Review: Canadian Werewolf in New York

When I picked up Canadian Werewolf in New York, by Mark Leslie, I must admit, I had visions of one of my favorite werewolf movies. But Leslie’s wolf isn’t one plagued by the spirits of his victims, as are the American versions. It was a pleasant surprise to find that I was wrong on that note.

Mark Leslie’s werewolf uses his more beastly senses like superpowers to come to the aid of the damsel in distress, making this story a cross between a pulp story and a werewolf cozy, as his writer turned wolf character goes about solving mysterious disappearances for the woman he loves, and fighting crime in a classic hero’s journey. Quite entertaining.

A Canadian Werewolf in New York

His main character, Michael, is a Canadian writer, trying to make it in the big apple, but of course he’s also a werewolf. The appearance of his old flame asking for his help finding out what her fiance is up to throws him into a mystery, calling his sleuthing skills into play. At the same time, there’s another wolf in town, and he must use all of his heightened wolf senses to sniff out his rival and protect the girl.

As an author, I know it can be very effective to use the senses to help put the reader in the story, but I also know it can be tricky writing in details of the senses other than those we use and think about most. But, Leslie has managed to skillfully craft in and use the sense of smell throughout this tale, taking the reader on an olfactory adventure like none I’ve had before. Brilliant!

I listened to this tale in the audio book form, and I must say that the narrator, Scott Overton, does a fantastic job, never once stumbling on difficult character nicknames like “Mr. Hyper-halitosis”. He also did a fabulous job with a Yorkshire accent and the female voice.

I truly enjoyed listening to Canadian Werewolf in New York. I found it fresh and entertaining, and I give it five quills.

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Kaye Lynne Booth does honest book reviews on Writing to be Read in exchange for ARCs. Have a book you’d like reviewed? Contact Kaye at kayebooth(at)yahoo(dot)com.


Shadow Blade: Audio book brings characters to life

Shadow Blade Audio

Audiobooks. They are the latest digital form of literature, quickly rising in popularity with readers on the go. And why not? What a great way to multitask. Instead of having to find a quiet time to sit and read the printed word, you can listen to the story while getting multiple things accomplished. I listened to Shadowblade, by Chris Barili, narrated by Marc Swezczyk while ironing, while cleaning the bathroom, while driving, and while sitting at the campfire. It was kind of cool to do chores when I’d rather be reading, and actually be able to do both.

As my first experience with audio books, I found it to be a convenient form of literature. I received my copy via my Kindle Fire, through Amazon. Like digital books through Amazon, it downloaded to my Fire automatically. It was time saving, in that I could listen to it at times that normally would be uproductive to my writing. It reminded me of the old radio serials, but you can start and stop whenever it is convenient, and don’t have to wait a week to find out what happens next. I think I could have gotten through the book a lot quicker in overall time spent reading, had I read it myself, just because I read faster than the pace of narration, but by allowing me to listen at times when I normally wouldn’t be able to read, it was helpful with my very busy schedule.

Marc Swezczyk was a good choice for a narrator on this story, in that his dialects and difficult name pronunciations sounded quite natural. His voice changed slightly for each character switch, making dialog easy to follow, as well. However, outside of the dialog, his narration falters with an unvaried pace and lack of inflection. This causes the some of the pain stakingly crafted action scenes to fall flat and the narrative seems to drone on in places. Having previously reviewed Shadowblade, I honestly didn’t feel as though Swezcyyk made this story shine as brightly as it could have.

Shadowblade is a great fantasy story, and Marc Swezczyk’s narration brings the interesting and diverse characters to life in the audio version, however he was unable to draw me into the scenes, which does not do this superbly written story justice. I give Shadowblade audio four quills.

Four Quills

I see the audio book being the future of literature, so I wonder how it is from the author’s side of things. If you are an author who has tested the waters in the audio realm, please comment to share your experiences with audio books. Is it easy to publish audio? Was it difficult to find a narrator? Is it expensive? We here at Writing to be Read want to know.


Kaye Lynne Booth does honest book reviews on Writing to be Read in exchange for ARCs. Have a book you’d like reviewed? Contact Kaye at kayebooth(at)yahoo(dot)com.


The benefits of listening to audio books

Growing bookworks 2

I love listening to audio books. There is no better way, in my experience, to appreciate a good book than listening to it being read aloud by a skilled reader. I listen to approximately four audio books in a six week period, many of which are classic books.

My love of listening to stories started when I was a little girl, although audio books were few and far between then. I remember listening repeatedly to a cassette with four stories about a family’s adventures in the wild west of America which I was given as a birthday present. My father also bought me a couple of LP’s, including Disney’s Alice in Wonderland and Sleeping Beauty, and I listened to these often.

During our music appreciation lessons at school, our teacher played us the audio books of Peter and the Wolf, a symphonic fairy tale for children, which comprises of a narrator telling a story while an orchestra illustrates it. The intention of this composition is to introduce children to the individual instruments of the orchestra and it did its job well for me, as listening to this story is one of my remembered highlights of my childhood and I have never forgotten the names of the various instruments and the sounds they made. If you are interested in listening to this brilliant story, you can find it here:

I also remember listening to the Sparky books at school. This series comprises of Sparky’s magic piano, Sparky’s magic echo, Sparky’s magic baton and Sparky and the talking train.  The magic of these stories is still readily available to me if I sit and conjure up my memories of listening to them as a child. The audio versions of these stories made a huge impact on me as I don’t remember any story that I read myself as vividly.

When my boys were small I searched for, and purchased, all of the Sparky stories and Peter and the wolf as audio books for them. We used to listen to them in the car when we traveled, together with an array of nursery rhyme CD’s. My boys grew to love music and both of them learned to play instruments. Michael still plays the drums and intends to learn the guitar as well.

Audio books are a wonderful way of teaching children to appreciate literature and also grammar. They enable children to learn and understand complex language above their own reading levels and illustrate the benefits in story telling of punctuation, enunciation and emphasis.

Audio books make literature more accessible to children who struggle with reading, giving them an opportunity to enjoy the text without struggle to decipher difficult text. It teaches children new words and phrases, thereby expanding their vocabularies. In addition, in a modern world of shortening concentration spans in children due to television and computer games, audio books teach children to sit and listen.

I used audio books extensively as a tool to help Michael learn to enjoy books and develop a love of reading. When Michael was four years old, I discovered Naxos Audio Books and I bought a significant number of these for Michael. We listened to non-fiction books, including Famous Heroes of the American West, The Vikings and Great Scientists and Their Discoveries, fairy tales, including Grimms’ Fairy Tales and fiction, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, New Treasure Seekers, The Phoenix and the Carpet, Five Children and It, The Children of the New Forest and The Coral Island. Amazingly, Michael loved The Children of the New Forest and The Coral Island and listened to them repeatedly during his bouts of illness.

I received Michael’s school report for the first half of the year recently and the teacher remarked on his excellent vocabulary and above average comprehension skills. I attribute his strength in these areas to all the audio books we listened to and all the reading aloud I did to him and his brother.

Did your children listen to audio books? If yes, did you experience these benefits? Let me know in the comments.

About Robbie Cheadle

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Hello, my name is Robbie, short for Roberta. I am an author with six published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children aged 2 to 9 years old (co-authored with my son, Michael Cheadle), one published middle grade book in the Silly Willy series and one published preteen/young adult fictionalised biography about my mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk during World War II called While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with my mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton). All of my children’s book are written under Robbie Cheadle and are published by TSL Publications.

I have recently branched into adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differential my children’s books from my adult writing, I plan to publish these books under Roberta Eaton Cheadle. I have two short stories in the horror/supernatural genre included in Dark Visions, a collection of 34 short stories by 27 different authors and edited by award winning author, Dan Alatorre and three short stories included in Death Among Us, an anthology of murder mystery stories edited by award winning author, Stephen Bentley. These short stories are published under Robbie Cheadle.

I have recently published a book of poetry called Open a new door, with fellow South African poet, Kim Blades.

Find Robbie Cheadle

Blog: https://bakeandwrite.co.za/

Blog: robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com

Goodreads: Robbie Cheadle – Goodreads

Twitter: BakeandWrite

Instagram: Robbie Cheadle – Instagram

Facebook: Sir Chocolate Books


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