Book Review: Joy by Lilly Atlas

Title: Joy
Series: Hell’s Handlers MC
Author: Lilly Atlas
Genre: MC Romance
Release Date: December 10, 2019
 
Life, death, trauma, healing; the Hell’s Handlers have been through it all over the past year. They’ve conquered old enemies, acquired new ones, and struggled through devastating upheavals. So far, they’ve come out on top, knocking down challenges by focusing on one essential ideal: family above all. With Copper at the helm, the Handlers are a patchwork family of bikers who will fight to the death for what they’ve created. 
 
And after all they’ve survived over the past three hundred and sixty-five days, the Handlers are ready to lay down their weapons, pick up their drinks, and coast through the holidays with nothing but joy in mind. But as often happens with life in an MC, Christmas takes a back seat to club drama.
 
As the year rolls to a close, the men and women of the club will experience new life, new chapters in love, and plenty of new beginnings. But not everything is sparkly and bright as dangerous enemies threaten the tight-knit group of rough and rowdy bikers. Will twenty-nineteen end in tragedy, or will the club once again emerge victorious in time to find a little joy for the holidays?


 

It was such a joy reading this book! In the Christmas period there are many books with a festive theme that are able to bring the love and Christmas spirit in our souls, as readers and to be completely honest, I didn’t know what to expect from an MC group. For those of you who are familiar with the Hell’s Handlers, you know already they are tough guys and their “old ladies” have been through a lot. Well, despite all the things happening in “Joy”, this is the perfect book for the season.

One thing is for sure, in order to better understand the book, you should read at least a part of the stories in the Hell’s Handlers Series. We have multiple POVs, as each member is struggling with something. We see their fears, their pain and the support they give to each other. With a new threat in town, Copper’s revelation, Viper and Mama V’s problem and so many other things, this book doesn’t allow for a respite. I spent my night (literary) reading it because I am addicted!

I am addicted to this series and I am afraid at some point it will be over. This thought scares me, because every time I go back to any of the books in the series, it’s like coming home. Yes, they swear, they cuss and lead a less than polite social life. They may not be role models, and many would argue that the MC life is no life to raise a child. But the comfort they always find in each other and the way they come together in need is fantastic.

Lilly Atlas has given us a present. We see all the guys working together, we see the MC family coming together for one another. The feeling of “home”, the Christmas presents exchanged (especially the ones Mav is giving to his woman), the cookies, the kids, everything blends so well and pushes away all the bad memories or worries. I cried in the end – I let my emotions out. I was happy to see them together, stronger than ever. I spent so many hours reading about each MC member, what they’ve been through, about their ladies and now a feeling of happiness washes over me. Seeing one’s family around the table at Christmas is always cause for emotions. And Lilly Atlas made me, a reader, be part of this family she has created – it’s amazing 😊

 

 
  
  
 
 
 
Lilly Atlas is a contemporary romance author, proud Navy wife, and mother of two spunky girls. By day she works as a physical therapist for a hospital in Virginia. Lilly is an avid romance reader, and expects her Kindle to beg for mercy every time she downloads a new eBook. Thankfully, it hasn’t happened yet, and she can often be found absorbed in a good book.

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Audiobook Review: The Stigma Surrogate

Author: JT Lawrence

Narrator: Jean Ann Douglass

Length: 4 hours 1 minute

Publisher: Fire Finch Press⎮2018

Genre: Science Fiction

Series: When Tomorrow Calls, Book 0.5

Release date: Jul. 3, 2018

The Handmaid’s Tale meets Mr. Robot in this smart, sexy, cyberpunk thriller.

2021. A tribe of surrogates. A terror cult. A deal struck in desperation.

Keke is a biopunk journalist who won’t stop till she exposes the truth. Will her reckless ambition help the surrogates, or harm them?

Join Keke on her mission to uncover the biggest story she’s ever encountered. You’ll meet Jasmine and Marko and get pulled under with Kirsten, who’s on the cusp of her own nail-biting story.

Ready for your new pause-resisting addiction? Grab the prequella for the futuristic conspiracy thriller series When Tomorrow Calls now.

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JT Lawrence is a bestselling Amazon author, playwright and bookdealer based in Parkview, Johannesburg. She is the mother of two small boys and a baby girl, and lives in a house with a red front door.

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Narrator Bio

Jean Ann Douglass is an actor, playwright, producer, and voice artist living in Brooklyn, NY. She has recorded regional and national commercials, and numerous apps that assist kids learning how to read. She performs and co-creates work with Eric John Meyer for Human Head Performance Group, an internationally touring theater company. As a writer, her work will be seen at Underbelly at the Edinburgh Fringe this August.

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For its short length, this novella is quite complex, full of action and character development. Full of twists and complications, “The Stigma Surrogate” grabbed me from the very beginning.

A species on the verge of extinction, a virus, corporations trying to find solutions and a journalist caught between doing what’s right and going her job – this is what this book offers. Considering this is only the prequel to the actual story, I can tell you it is more that detailed and it shows a lot from our character’s personalities. The blurb is just a little of how explosive the things are in this book. I listened to the audiobook in just one sitting as I was so curious to see what’s going on. We also have a lot of diversity, with Keke being gay and all the action happening in a south African World.

The author has managed to create an incredible world with great and strong female characters. There is also a bit of alternation between text messaging and narration, which is quite welcomed. The descriptions take you right there with our journalists and their feelings are well captured.

I liked the narration as well, Jean Ann Douglass did a very good job. Although I would have wanted a little more of the voice acting, she did transmit the emotions and the mystery of some scenes.

All in all, I liked it and I cannot wait to see what happens in book 1 – 5 stars. Enjoy 🙂

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by JT Lawrence. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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Audiobook Review: A Witch’s Path

Author: N.E. Conneely

Narrator: Jeff Hays, Soundbooth Theater

Series: A Witch’s Path, Book 2

Length: 7 hours 26 minutes

Publisher: N.E. Conneely

Released: Aug. 27, 2015

Genre: Paranormal, Supernatural

After a near death experience, Michelle has vowed to do her job, magical assistance for the police, and leave the heroics to someone else. Besides, life should be settling down for her since the trolls have been captured and the sorceress was neutralized. Unfortunately, the power behind the sorceress wants her dead, Elron starts acting funny, a magical creature wreaks havoc on a town, and there’s trouble with the werewolves. As if that wasn’t enough, the clans have started to notice her power and she has more reasons than ever to fear the clans.

Things go from bad to worse when Michelle’s best friend is abducted, and she must decide between her friend and her vow to stay out of dangerous situations.

N.E. Conneely lives in northern Georgia with her dog and a mountain of books. They sweat through the summer and freeze through the winter, and life as they know it comes to an end when so much as a single snowflake falls out of the sky. For fun, N.E. plays with her dog, reads, knits, crochets, paints, and does tie-dyeing and origami. She makes a great pizza and is currently negotiating with her husband about raising sea monkeys and growing a vegetable garden.

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Narrator Bio

Jeff Hays has made a name for himself in the audio book world by creating immersive experiences out of his productions. His versatility and authenticity in voicing characters, expressive low-impact narration, and dedication to offering the highest quality audio possible has earned him a loyal following of listeners. Having been fascinated with sound since he can remember, Jeff takes his background of composing and producing music, and his continual consumption of the avalanche of fictional media we all experience in these modern times, and uses it to inform his style of story telling in the audiobook realm.

And now, having produced more than 80 audio books and perfecting his craft, using the namesake of his live streaming narration show, the Soundbooth Theater shingle has been hung. Soundbooth Theater is dedicated to applying Jeff’s production methods to new audio books with other budding narrator talent, and expanding his scope from audio books, to voicing and producing animation.

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I am so in love with this series. It gets better and better. It is perfect! “A Witch’s Path” could not have been better created to follow Michelle’s ….path J

My favorite witch is now cashing in her favors from book one and she does it in such a great way. She uses her connections to solve her best friend’s kidnaping and other mysterious cases and even makes new friends and bodyguards – one of which is a dragon (such a cute little dragon, wiggling its tale and cuddling next to its new owner….! Ok, stopping now). She takes a chance on the bond she has with Elron and their friendship becomes so much more! They are such a lovely couple. Elron is wise and shy at the same time. He doesn’t want to offend Michelle in any way and he feels protective of her.

There is so much politeness and kindness in these books, it’s inspiring actually. Michelle and Elron are polite not only to each other, but to others as well. Her kindness earns her so many bonus points with strange creatures. Once scene comes to mind when she meets (not a spoiler) a detective with 6 fingers on his hands. She treats him so nice. We are all equals; all creatures are equals in “A Witch’s Path”. No matter how strong or ugly they may be, they all answer to the same laws.

Should I comment on the narration? I mentioned at the end of my review for book one (which is here, by the way) that I could not wait to see what other voices Jeff Hays will interpret. He is fantastic to say the least. I lost count on how many characters he performed until now (and I was counting at some point, until the story took over and I lost count). The crying, the laughter, the effects… unbelievable!

Suffice to say that I liked it very much. I only have 5 stars to give and I’m giving those. I remember I gave book one 4 stars because there was too much tiredness in Michelle – she needed more energy and wanted to sleep to recharge. Well, I don’t care! The story is captivating, has so many turning points and it evolves in a rhythm that makes you beg for more! I want more, which is why I am ending here, as I have book 3 to listen to. Bye now!

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Jeff Hays. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

 

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Audiobook Review: Anne of Green Gables

Author: L.M. Montgomery

Narrator: Colleen Winton

Length: 10 hours 7 minutes

Publisher: Post Hypnotic Press

Series: Anne of Green Gables, Book One

Genre: Classics

Anne, a young orphan from the fictional community of Bolingbroke, Nova Scotia (based upon the real community of New London), is sent to Prince Edward Island after a childhood spent in strangers’ homes and orphanages. Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, siblings in their 50s and 60s, had decided to adopt a boy from the orphanage to help Matthew run their farm. They live at Green Gables, their Avonlea farmhouse on Prince Edward Island. Through a misunderstanding, the orphanage sends Anne Shirley. Anne is described as bright and quick, eager to please, talkative, and extremely imaginative. She has a pale face with freckles and usually braids her red hair. When asked her name, Anne tells Marilla to call her Cordelia, which Marilla refuses; Anne then insists that if she is to be called Anne, it must be spelled with an e, as that spelling is “so much more distinguished”. Marilla at first says the girl must return to the orphanage, but after a few days she decides to let her stay. Marilla feels that she could be a good influence on the girl and had also overheard that another disagreeable woman in town might take Anne in instead.

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➜Use the code Anne_VT17 to get 35% off downloads and CDs from Post Hypnotic Press.

Lucy Maud Montgomery OBE (November 30, 1874 – April 24, 1942) was a Canadian author best known Anne of Green Gables and the series of novels that book begins. The “Anne” of the books is Anne Shirley, an orphaned girl who comes to live with Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert on their farm, Green Gables. Published in 1908, the book was an immediate success in Canada, the United States and beyond. It has been adapted multiple times to screen, stage, radio, and TV.

Anne Shirley made Montgomery famous in her lifetime and gave her an international following. Anne of Green Gables was ranked number 41 in “The Big Read,” a survey of the British public by BBC to determine the “nation’s best-loved novel” (not children’s novel!). And a survey conducted by School Library Journal (USA) in 2012 ranked Anne of Green Gables number nine among all-time children’s novels.
Anne of Green Gables was followed by a series of sequels with Anne as the central character. Montgomery published 20 novels as well as 530 short stories, 500 poems, and 30 essays in her lifetime. Her work, diaries and letters have been read and studied by scholars and readers worldwide. Mostly set in Prince Edward Island and locations within Canada’s smallest province, the books made PEI a literary landmark and popular tourist site. Montgomery was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1935.
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Narrator Bio

Colleen is a Vancouver actor, singer, dancer, director and choreographer…and now a narrator. Her career has taken her all over the country and includes the Stratford, Shaw and Charlottetown Festivals, the original Canadian companies of CATS and Show Boat, extensive film/TV credits, and numerous directing/choreographing credits. Her stage work has been honoured with numerous nominations and a Jessie and Ovation award and she received a cultural award given by her local Chamber of Commerce. She was especially pleased to have recorded the works of L.M. Montgomery for Post Hypnotic Press just before she embarked on a production of the musical Anne of Green Gables at Theatre Calgary in which she plays Marilla Cuthbert.

If I were to choose a word to describe this book, it would most probably be innocence. “Anne of Green Gables” is a story about childhood, about growing up, receiving the proper education and appreciating small things in life. I was luckier to have listened to the audio version, narrated by Colleen Winton and it was much more of delight!

Anne Shirley is a character every child should know about. She brings forward the lovely act of living. Yes, she loves every little thing nature has to offer, form spring flowers to dark woods, always seeing the good in others, or better yet, she brings out the good! Her imagination has the power to create an entire universe, to lift her spirit and never let her feel lonely. As any child her age, she is not at all perfect. She has her own moments of misbehaving and as well her accidental mistakes, but always her heart remains pure! All her actions inspire the joy of living.

Her personality is as well as complex as her actions. We see a girl determined to make the two people that gave her a family proud (or at least satisfied). We see her wanting to be the best and the passion she inflicts on all she is doing is a big help for that. She is honest, does not take insults lightly and is a loyal friend. There are so many other things to say about Anne and her story, but I’ll keep some of them for my future articles.

The narration was fabulous! While I love Anne and everything she does, Colleen Winton gave her voice, gave her life! She did a fantastic job! I cried and laughed with every character throughout her voice acting and I lived all the emotions at maximum intensity. I can easily say this is the best narration of an audiobook I have ever listened.

 Without further comments, I must say that “Anne of Green Gables” is a fantastic read that will for sure bring a spark of life and enthusiasm in your souls. This is a book that will for sure come in handy in difficult times. But while I loved the story, I do believe the audio version – especially this edition – is providing a richer experience. I will review part 2 and 3 of Anne’s story and I cannot wait to tell you more about her. Until next time, have a lovely reading time J

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Post Hypnotic Press. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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