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Melissa and Josh

USA
  • 216
  • reviews
  • 263
  • helpful votes
  • 221
  • ratings
  • Blue Lights, Bitter Roots: a short horror story

  • By: Dona Fox
  • Narrated by: Sarah L. Colton
  • Length: 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10

Millions of threads so thin as to be invisible, so vaporous as to be ductile, drift through the classroom, emitting a chill and leaving a sense of unease. Hidden deep in their cloaks, the Blue Lights analyze the odors that cling to the individual cells of every child, from the top of each little head to the bottom of their ticklish feet and every dark secret place in between, from their gathering brains to their blood-soaked spleens. One girl feels dizzy; one boy throws up.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • I was a little lost with this story.

  • By Melissa and Josh on 11-13-18

I was a little lost with this story.

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-13-18

I received a free audiobook copy of this book for an honest review.

This is the second story I've listened to by this author, and I'm noticing a trend. I'm all for weird, but I was left kind of confused with this story, specifically with the ending. Overall, this was a sad story; I felt bad for the main character. Everyone is dying and getting sick around her, and she's simply struggling to keep her family alive. I'll be on the lookout for the next story this author releases.

The narrator did a good job; she has a nice narrating/speaking voice. I'd definitely listen to more of her narrations.

  • Witch Dance

  • By: Lori Crane
  • Narrated by: Sarah L. Colton
  • Length: 5 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7

Just south of Tupelo, Mississippi, on the Natchez Trace lies a place of mystery called Witch Dance. When Thomas and Margaret Speedwell took their twins to Witch Dance for a weekend camping trip, they never imagined they would be pulled into a vortex of witchcraft, tragedy, and karma. One of the girls goes missing; the other won’t say what happened on the other side of the hill. The tragedy pulls together a cast of characters from Margaret’s childhood and beyond - Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians, Toltec ancestors, the extinct Hopewell tribe.  

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • This was an interesting story.

  • By Melissa and Josh on 11-13-18

This was an interesting story.

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-13-18

I was given a free copy of this story for an honest review.

Even though I was left with a fair amount of questions at the end of the story, I thought it was interesting overall.

The narrator did a pretty good job. With more practice, I can imagine her becoming a lot better. My only issue was in relation to her tone. Usually, I would just say it is obvious she was reading from something, but it was more than that with this audiobook. She spoke slowly and way too calmly, I think that was what the issue was.

Questions/Comments:

After the first scare with the girls, at the beginning of the story, I was surprised Margaret did not try to stay closer to them, especially after they went over the hill.

I assume the sheriff interacts with a fair number of wealthy people to where he noticed Margaret’s husband wearing a Rolex from afar.

There was a strange conversation, or part of one, between Rich and Margaret that had a little flag going up. Rich tells Margaret that she can stay with him and his grandma. She commented about how Oma was used to reporters. Margaret’s response? Well, she apologizes and hoped she did not offend him. Huh? I had no clue what she was referring to, as in why she thought apologized or why she thought he would be offended.

I have not read/heard that many stories about American Indians, but I was surprised the medicine woman in the tribe talked about there not being magic. And her telling Chicksa that she could only heal the physical ailments yet did not actually do anything for Selena was strange.

What exactly was Selena suffering from beside (post-partum) depression? Her dying for her ailment was because she was not eating or drinking, right? Yet, after the witch helps her, Selena thinks back to that time and informs the reader that she did not want to die. So, why did not she get up? Ask for water or food? Talk to anyone? Instead, she would rather sacrifice a baby, one that doesn’t even belong to her, to the witch? If the reader was supposed to feel sorry for Selena during this time, I wasn’t feeling it. It was sad that her baby was stillborn, but that was where my sympathy stopped for her.

Many times, it was mentioned that Margaret and her husband had tried for kids. Based on the way it was written, it sounded like there were miscarriage and stillbirths prior to the twins as well as after. Considering all the issues they had prior to the girls, why would they torture themselves by trying to have more kids? This just seemed like one of those situations where you’d be thankful for what you had. Just saying.

Did any notice how strange the conversation between Margaret and her mother was regarding the death of Margaret’s father? It seemed very nonchalant and cold as if they were talking about something else and not the death of a family member.

Oma talks to Selena about banishment. Selena ends up asking her what banish; how in the world did she not know what the word meant?

Was there actually a time when Margaret was described? If so, I could not find it when attempting to look back over the story in audiobook form. Based on the fact multiple people said she looked like Mia, I assumed she looked American Indian.

Ivy ends up saying how she has not changed anything because she does not want to call attention to herself. Would not that draw attention to you though? I mean, if she was an old lady that never seems to die. It just sounds strange.

Again, another reason to not feel sorry for Selena. Instead of just defying Oma and not steal babies for her, Selena continues on with it. A second time where her life is more important than a child(s).

Why did it seem like Selena was taking more babies through the years, then what was accounted for? How long had they been at the mounds? A long time. Yet, after doing the research Margaret and Rich only came across three kids having been taken.

Oma threatened Ivy and Merdle(?) that once they left, she would come after them. She would be able to find them, no matter where they went. So, where do they end up going? Not far from the mound, and Oma never comes after them.

Speaking about Oma again, Ivy, Merdle, Margaret, and Selena are coming up with a way to attack Oma by the mounds. Selena, the only other witch with Oma, has been gone for hours. The reader knows that if the witches are near the mounds, Oma will automatically know they are there. So, why does not Oma come out prior to being called? How did the witches not think she would know what they were up to?

  • The Unforgiven

  • Echoes from the Past, Book 3
  • By: Irina Shapiro
  • Narrated by: Wendy Wolfson
  • Length: 12 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 8

Pregnant and alone, Dr. Quinn Allenby finds herself detained in New Orleans, tasked with obtaining footage for the finale of the Echoes from the Past series. As she delves deeper into the mystery of Madeline Besson, whose very existence seems to have been erased from history, Quinn finally gets closer to finding out the truth about her own psychic gift, and to a secret that had remained buried for over a century. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Just as good as the first two

  • By sherry Christenson on 11-14-18

A great story!

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-09-18

I received a free audiobook copy from the author for an honest review.

While I’d heard of the author prior to reading/listening to this book, this was the first book in this series that I’ve read/listen to. While there were parts that I wasn’t totally clear on, most likely because I hadn’t read the previous books in this series, they didn’t detract from the main story. Plus, I’m all for a good historical drama, and this one fit the bill! I loved this story!

There were so many aspects of this story that I loved. All the twists and turns, always leaving the reader wanting more, wanting to find out what exactly is going with the characters. The author is definitely good at keeping the reader’s interested. The back and forth between the present day and past day characters was smoothly done, and thinking back now, I’m not sure which character I liked more because they were both unique in their own ways. I liked both of the stories they told.

I loved the narrator’s voice. Although there were times when she mispronounced certain words, for example, “Shaman” which was pronounced as “Shay-men,” she did an overall great job. I did find her American/Louisiana accent kind of funny though.

Questions/Comments:
When Madeline is getting ready to have sex for the first time, she has a strange thought pop into her head. It was something along the line of how no one had touched her there (downstairs area) since she was a child. What exactly did she mean?

When Madeline finds the button under Mammie’s cot when they’re living in the swamp, she ends up seeing the past. Was it just curiosity that kept her watching Mammie give oral sex to her (great?) grandfather?

After Quinn meets Jude, she questions the bruises he has around his neck. Gabe ends up telling her that the bruises are most likely from autoerotic asphyxia. What would have made him think that? But then, later on, Jude shows up wearing a dog collar, which Gabe assumes is the likely cause of the bruising. Yet, why would Jude be wearing the collar that tight to where it would cause bruising?

  • A Gift of Time

  • By: Jerry Merritt
  • Narrated by: Christopher Lane
  • Length: 11 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,203
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5,863
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,847

When Micajah Fenton discovers a crater in his front yard with a broken time glider in the bottom and a naked, virtual woman on his lawn, he delays his plans to kill himself. While helping repair the marooned time traveler's glider, Cager realizes it can return him to his past to correct a mistake that had haunted him his entire life. As payment for his help, the virtual creature living in the circuitry of the marooned glider, sends Cager back in time as his 10-year-old self.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Smart and original

  • By J. OBrennan on 12-29-17

A great story!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-03-18

I. Loved. This. Book.

My husband suggested I listen (audiobook) to this story, after being suggested to listen to it himself, by some Facebook friends. Needless to say, I was hesitant because I don't usually listen/read Science Fiction, but I'm glad I did. This was a great story! While the science-y talk was a little confusing at times, it didn't go on and on, instead, the author wrote it more as short snippets, I guess you could say. So, it wasn't enough to cause me to get bored or want to stop listening. I loved the characters, especially Aunt Celie. She was a funny lady.

By the time I got to about forty minutes left of listening time, I was really curious how the author was going to finish the story. The whole 'going back in time' concept was interesting, especially when the main character realizes he can't actually change anything in the past. Looking through the other reviews and those who felt the last part of the story was written by another person because of how neatly the story was wrapped up, I liked it. His whole goal had been to help/change what happened to his brother and Arlie. Although I was uncertain why he was so eager to help Arlie in the first since they hadn't even been friends the first time around. Either way, he was able to bring his favorite people back together with him.

My only question relates to the fact the main character never seemed interested in having a relationship...or even a one-night-stand. I didn't understand that part. Maybe that's just a stereotypical thing - man goes back in time, is now in a young man's body and can 'go to town' with the ladies, if you know what I mean.

The narrator did an excellent job! This was my first time listening to him narrate and wow! His Aunt Celie voice was great! I'll be on the lookout for more audiobooks by him.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Ghostly Gig: A Vienna Rossi Paranormal Short Story

  • A Lost Souls, Book 4
  • By: Michelle Ann Hollstein
  • Narrated by: Natsumi Bailey
  • Length: 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7

Vienna accepted a side job that she finds intimidating. She’s worried that it’s out of her league. She’s been hired to alleviate a house of a haunting. And in order to complete the task at hand, Vienna will need to use her newfound psychic abilities to communicate with the ghost. She’s never removed a ghost from a house before. Will she be able to solve this lost soul’s mystery and help the ghost crossover? Join Vienna and her best friend Kim in a hauntingly good A Lost Souls short story.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • This was a cute short story.

  • By Melissa and Josh on 11-01-18

This was a cute short story.

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-01-18

The idea behind the story was interesting. Maybe it’s because it was so short that I felt like there was almost too much information, like it would have better had it been longer.

With more practice, I can see the narrator getting much better. As she stands right now, it sounded like her voice was echoing or something; I imagine it’s because of the room she recorded in. Otherwise, she did a good job.

  • Get Bent!

  • The Hybrid of High Moon Series, Book 1
  • By: Rick Gualtieri
  • Narrated by: Rachel Dulude
  • Length: 9 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 48
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 47

My name is Tamara Bentley, "Bent" to my friends, and I'm not supposed to exist. I was born of the forbidden union between a witch and a werewolf, and they've been trying their damnedest to hide my existence ever since. But now my secret is out, and my uncle, the leader of the wolf pack, is pissed beyond belief. In his eyes, I'm something that should've never been born. He wants me dead and doesn't care who he has to sacrifice to get the job done.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • looking forward to the next book

  • By Robert Alley on 10-25-18

I got bent and I liked it!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-31-18

Josh here

What a fun story! Listening along on Bent’s journey to self-discovery in her new role in a world not of her own creation was quite enjoyable. The dynamic between two different warring paranormal species brought me back to memories of Rick’s other works.

One thing that always resonates with me in a story is human connections. In this story, watching the relationship between Reva and Tammy (see what I did there?) shift as Bent learned of her true nature solidified my being “drawn in” to the book. This story also had a lot of little extras that made me laugh such as the garden gnomes, Bent’s clueless guy friend (this was me in high school, and likely now), and the fights between Bent and her brother. Additionally, I laughed quite a bit at the “domesticated me” comment and told my wife about it. She then proclaimed that is what she had done to me in our relationship.

Rachel did a fantastic job with the narration and I will be looking into other works she has performed. As a fan of Rick’s already, I will be on the lookout for the next book in the series. I cannot wait to see what Rick has in store for Tammy.
-------------------------------------------------------------

Melissa's Review
Overall 4 stars
Performance 5 stars
Story 3 stars

My husband is friends with this author and suggested I give this book a listen to (audiobook version).

My biggest issue with this story was the lack of a backstory surrounding why the witches and werewolves hated each other. I mean, this story was solely focused on witches vs. werewolves, yet there was not much information as to why they could not get along.

Overall, this was an okay story. I loved the funnies/sarcasm that the author incorporated throughout the story. I liked Bent’s character and what all she had to go through, as well as how the characters interacted with each other.

The narrator did an awesome job! She has a very natural reading/narrating voice. I would definitely listen to more audiobooks by her.

Questions/Comments:

When there is shouting and howling involved, what parent would be clueless that their children cannot hear them having sex? I mean come on! I’m sure most readers/listeners just chuckled at that part, along with Bent and her friend, but I did not find that funny. Who wants to hear their parents having sex, especially when they have friends over?

Why was the wolf pack so surprised that her parents had had sex? Yes, they were sworn enemies, but I mean, they had been together for twenty years!

I believe there was only one other time when Bent was younger where she was late to take her medication. So, why does she act like she had been sick multiple times from with-drawl? I just did not understand her referring to herself as a junkie and being mad at her parents for putting her on an addictive medication. She was sick one time.

At the wrestling competition, Bent learns that her mother had double-dosed her that day. Had Bent won, her picture would have been in the newspaper and attention drawn to her. What was the big deal though? She had been taking the medication, which inhibited her powers/strength since she was a child. She was able to beat guys in wrestling on the medication up until that point in time. Why would anyone have been surprised if she had won the competition? That part didn’t make sense to me.

Craig tells Bent she will have to join the pack. But, prior to him even thinking of her having to marry one of the wolves, how did he think that was going to work out? I mean it is not like she was going to go back on her medication; therefore, the wolves would have known something strange was going on with her.

If she were forced to join the pack, how did she not think to at least be allowed to pick out her own wolf, as opposed to being stuck with Warty Jerry? Speaking of Jerry, what was with the warts? I've read/listened to plenty of werewolf-related stories. This was the first time in which a werewolf had a deformity, so to speak.

Was it just coincidence that Jerry and Gary rhymed? The wolf she doesn’t want/the human she does. Both being stupid males though.

Did her parents ever consider just moving? Her father could have left the pack. I do not know about her mother since she was still somehow the head witch. That part confused me as well. Why did her father have to step down as Alpha-in-training when her mother did not?

Her mother ends up hitting her with, basically a death spell. Had Bent not been Bent, she would have died. How did her mother know that the spell would not kill her though?

I found it strange that Craig felt like he was forced into a bad situation with Bent having powers and whatnot. He was the Alpha though. The Alpha is the ones in charge. He could have just told his wolves to leave her and her family alone. Look at her father did when he became Alpha. He told the other wolves to not mess with her. Simple.

Why did not Bent try to alert the police or someone, prior to the werewolves attacking? Whether she sounded crazy or not, she could have done something. So, any human who was killed during this battle is on her.

The witches and werewolves, like most supernatural creatures, do not want attention from the humans. They do whatever they have to do to stay in the shadows. So, how did Craig think killing a town full of people would help the werewolves? It was not like he knew the witches were going to come around and clean up their mess.

Why did her parents take so long before popping up at the very end of the battle? What were they doing? Bent could have easily died, yet her own parents were off doing who knows what. Even if the witches could not come right out and attack the werewolves, per their truce, they could have helped the humans.

  • The Quarantine Fence: A Zombie Horror Short Story

  • By: Roma Gray
  • Narrated by: Brett Schumacher
  • Length: 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12

The zombie plague has been contained, right? Frank’s job is to patrol the fence that separates the living from the undead. It’s a boring job...at least it was until today. Has the true apocalypse finally arrived?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • wow

  • By Maly C on 11-02-18

Great Zombie Short Story

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-30-18

I received a free copy of this story from the author.

I’m a big fan of Roma Gray, whenever she posts saying she has a new story out, there I am. Sometimes I like the story, sometimes I don’t; but either way, her unique tales always call me back wanting more.

This was the first time I’ve listened to this particular narrator. Overall, I think he did a great job and would love to hear more by him.

This story provided an interesting new take to zombies. It was different, and I liked it!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Crazy Cat Lady

  • The Hissing Booth Chronicles, Book 1
  • By: Gemma Thorne
  • Narrated by: Lynn Norris
  • Length: 4 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 12

In a world where magic is mundane, soothsayer Journi McCutcheon's love of black lipstick and sarcasm is the oddest thing about her. Being clairvoyant isn't glamorous, but it pays the bills. Mostly. When an ordinary sooth goes awry, however, revealing that a child's life - and maybe the entire city - is in danger, it's up to her to save them. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Journi doesn’t like cats or kids. So tonight is a disaster waiting to happen.

  • By Murphy on 11-04-18

Loved!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-24-18

Where to start? I loved the story, and the narrator did a terrible job.

The story itself was fast-paced, entertaining, and had me chuckling throughout. I loved the characters and how they interacted with each other. They were sarcastic goofballs who’d I’d love to have in my own family.

The narrator, a first-time listener, was so natural it was hard to imagine she was reading from a script. Maybe it was her pace, which seemed a smidge faster than most narrators I listen to, but it was perfect for the story.

This was one of those stories that were so good I had a hard time pausing it to go to sleep.

I’m definitely interested in reading more by the author and hearing more from this narrator. Great job, ladies!

  • The Case of the Haunted Address

  • An Aggie Underhill Halloween Short Story (An Aggie Underhill Mystery, Book 9)
  • By: Michelle Ann Hollstein
  • Narrated by: Eliza Anders
  • Length: 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28

It’s Halloween night, and Aggie, Betty, and Roger are invited to a haunted house by a handsome vampire. Little did they know that they were about to encounter something incredibly spooky. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A fun Halloween listen.

  • By Mandymay💄👠👛 on 10-28-18

Cute story

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-22-18

This book was given to me free at my request and I have voluntarily left this review.

This was a cute, fast-paced, short story.

The narrator did a great job, loved her accents. The characters were easy to tell apart as well. I'd definitely listen to her again.

My only question is regarding Roger and why he had an American accent as opposed to his cousin, Betty, who had an English accent?

I also thought that the one guy from the bar was somehow more involved, so that was a surprise when he wasn't.

  • The Werewolf Meets His Match

  • Nocturne Falls, Volume 2
  • By: Kristen Painter
  • Narrated by: B.J. Harrison
  • Length: 8 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,118
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,958
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,951

Getting arrested wasn't on werewolf Ivy Kincaid's agenda when she arrived in Nocturne Falls, but her life rarely goes according to plan. The upside of spending the night in the local lock-up is finding a hotel room is no longer a worry...but the downside is the man she's come to marry will get his first impression of her behind bars. That's not exactly the way Ivy was hoping to meet her pack's sworn enemy...aka her fiancé.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Awesome Story and Performance!

  • By Cheri on 02-14-16

I loved it!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-22-18

I liked book 2 a lot more than book 1. Even though both showcased the insta-love between the main characters, which I'm not a big fan of fun, I felt there was more going on in this story. Yes, all the problems were gently cleaned up, any secrets Ivy kept from Hank...Hank ended up accepting, and everything fell into place at the end, but sometimes that's what a reader is unknowingly looking for.

Again, I love the narrator! I think he does the entire series, which is a big plus! He has such a unique-sounding voice, at least to me, and it definitely draws me into and leaves me wanting more.

My only...issue is that I wish more would have happened to Ivy's father. I thought maybe Sam, her brother, was going to try for pack leader because the book ended, but nope. I'm actually surprised another wolf hadn't tried for the spot much sooner considering how horrible of a person/wolf he is.

Looking forward to book 3.