Rapid Fire Audiobook Mini-Reviews


First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones: I hadn’t heard of Darynda Jones before this book. She’s basically a Janet Evanovich clone with slightly naughtier scenes mixed in. And her writing quality might be slightly better Evanovich. This series is very Stephanie Plum.

Charley Davidson is a private investigator with supernatural abilities. She solves mysteries with the aid of ghosts. She’s got a mystery man hopping into her dreams. Excellent book junk food if you’re after entertainment. Nice and saucy.



Brighter than the Sun by Darynda Jones: a much shorter companion to First Grave on the Right told from the perspective of Charley Davidson’s male love interest.

This one is pretty brutal, but the story is decent. I don’t want to give away too much, but it tells the story of Reyes, who was raised by an abusive man. It runs through many of the events from First Grave on the Right as well as parts of Reyes’ life that didn’t involve Charley.

Do not read or listen to this before First Grave on the Right.

Oh, and the audiobooks are narrated by Lorelei King, the lady that narrates Evanovich books. She always does a great job with characters.



Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

This one is for 2 books in the Wayward Children series. The wayward children are kids that traveled into fantasy worlds and were subsequently booted from those worlds. They return to the normal world with a lot of damage.

Every Heart a Doorway follows a girl named Nancy as she adjusts to life at the home for wayward children. A murder mystery ensues. As the new arrival, she is first on everyone’s suspect list.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones is the story of twin girls named Jack and Jill. They enter their fantasy world through a trunk and find themselves in a world filled with danger.

Every Heart a Doorway is technically the first book. I listened to Down Among the Sticks and Bones before it, and I’m glad I did. The events of the 2nd book actually happen before the first, and I think the 1st book makes more sense when you have information from the 2nd.

I love McGuire’s writing style. It has this rhythmic fairytale quality that fits the subject matter of the books perfectly. The stories for both are both beautiful and violent. I did find the pacing a tad slow but not intolerable. The books are very short and definitely worth the read or listen.


Quick updates, current favorite writing music, and an entry from my dream journal

I have completed recording the kids book I was working on! YAY! I immediately celebrated by dropping a cup of water in my sound booth and on me…as one does.

I have no plans to edit the audio for that one anytime soon, because I am officially burned out on that book. I don’t think I could stand to listen to it or read it without developing some kind of nervous twitch.

Now that the weather is warmer, I’m having trouble getting booth time in which no lawn mowers, etc. are running. I live in a subdivision, so I should expect such things, but I’m still annoyed. I would really love it if they would establish an official mowing day, and everyone does it then. That would be much better than the constant (CONSTANT!!) barrage of motor sounds.

I do have a lot of sound dampening stuff in the booth, but it’s not 100% soundproof, unfortunately.

What else?

Oh, I should finish the last novelette for the first year of my upcoming short fiction series by Monday. Then, only 2 stories left to write! And all of them left to edit. That will be quick, though. I’m going to set an official launch date once I have the first 3 or 4 pieces proofread. If I had to venture a guess right now, I’d say…Julyish? I think I said May before? Sorry. I was not efficient.

Current favorite writing music: Where’s the Drop by DeadMau5

If you don’t know who DeadMau5 is, he’s an EDM guy. BUT this album is a collection of orchestral (?) versions of some of his songs. I love it very much, and I hope he makes more. Here’s a stream of it on youtube if you’d like to give it a listen.



On to the dream journal! I started keeping one about a month ago. I’ve never done this before, and it’s been an interesting experience. I don’t remember as many of my dreams as I thought I did. Some days I can’t remember them at all. I try, but it’s kind of like having a thought that you can’t quite grab. I’ve found that if I can land on a word that corresponds with something in the dream, I can get a lot of it to come back to me. Today’s word was zombie.

I don’t have zombie dreams very often, but when I do, I always get bitten right before I wake up.   😦

Here’s today’s entry:

5/9/2019: zombie dream. I was holed up in a hotel with some other people. We made a trap for the zombies that found their way in. It worked for a while, but eventually, we had to leave. I wanted to go to the country. Before I could get out, I was confronted by vampires who wanted to turn me and then force me to attend a vampire wedding as a guest. We only got as far as the car, though, and I remember driving past a couple of tourist attractions that other people in the car seemed pleased to see.


Vampire wedding!!! The ridiculousness of that did not hit me until I thought about it while awake. That might end up in one of my short stories in the future. It’s almost too ridiculous not to. Anyone care to analyze?