Audiobook · blog blitz · book review · historical fiction · murder mystery · mystery

Book Birthday Blitz ‘n’ Review – The Automobile Assassination (Audiobook)

The Automobile Assassination

A 1940s mystery

Erdington, September 1944

As events in Europe begin to turn in favour of the Allies, Chief Inspector Mason of Erdington Police Station is once more prevailed upon to solve a seemingly impossible case.

Called to the local mortuary where a man’s body lies, shockingly bent double and lacking any form of identification, Mason and O’Rourke find themselves at Castle Bromwich aerodrome seeking answers that seem out of reach to them. The men and women of the royal air force stationed there are their prime suspects. Or are they? Was the man a spy, killed on the orders of some higher authority, or is the place his body was found irrelevant? And why do none of the men and women at the aerodrome recognise the dead man?

Mason, fearing a repeat of the cold case that dogged his career for two decades and that he’s only just solved, is determined to do all he can to uncover the identity of the dead man, and to find out why he was killed and abandoned in such a bizarre way, even as Smythe demands he spends his time solving the counterfeiting case that is leaving local shopkeepers out of pocket.

Join Mason and O’Rourke as they once more attempt to solve the impossible in 1940s Erdington.

Purchase Link – https://books2read.com/TheAutomobileAssassination

Author Bio

MJ Porter is the author of many historical novels set predominantly in Seventh to Eleventh-Century England, as well as three twentieth-century mysteries. Raised in the shadow of a building that was believed to house the bones of long-dead Kings of Mercia, meant that the author’s writing destiny was set.

Social Media Links

Website: www.mjporterauthor.com/www.mjporterauthor.blog

Twitter: https://twitter.com/coloursofunison

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MJPorterauthor

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mj-porterauthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/m_j_porter/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/coloursofunison/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/mj-porter

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/MJ-Porter/e/B006N8K6X4/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7163404.M_J_Porter

Linktr.ee: https://linktr.ee/MJPorterauthor

My Review

As a Brummie and avid fan of historical fiction, I couldn’t turn down the audiobook version of The Automobile Assassination, if only to see how the local dialect was conveyed. Well, the narration was excellent – such a soothing yet perfect-for-the era voice – and the dialect, pretty good taking into account that Erdington at that time was a more rural area. So, it was off to a flying start for me.

Chief Inspector Sam Mason is in need of a challenge, but the latest case assigned to him does not appeal – that of counterfeit coupons infiltrating the area and causing much angst amongst businesses. The government has refused to accept the fake ration coupons, leaving the butcher, baker etc out of pocket. Besides, Mason thinks the sergeant running the case is making sufficient progress to not require his input.
Meanwhile, there’s a to do with the AA (The Automobile Association) who seem to be helping their members avoid speed traps, which is just not on! 😉
Mason is finding things a little dull, so when a body is found near Castle Bromwich aerodrome, this case is more to his liking. With no identification on the victim, Mason begins his investigation with the help of Sergeant Clara O’Rourke. But at the nearby air base, they say the man is not one of theirs and rumours abound that the victim might be a spy who’s come a deadly cropper. On top of that, there is no vehicle and the body is bent double at the most awkward angle. Questions, questions!
However the investigation seems to hit a dead end, and it is only when they follow up with the AA that potential clues appear that might solve the matter of who the victim was … but they’re still no further forward with finding out how, or indeed why the man died, let alone if there is a killer at large.

Mason and O’Rourke make a great team, in fact the police officers are a capable (if plodding along nicely) bunch apart from Mason’s boss – Superintendent Smythe whose passive-aggressive stance sees Mason once more diverted away from the case of the dead body in favour of the counterfeiting case that is gathering steam locally.
Nonetheless, Mason will not give up and he and O’Rourke follow up their enquiries up to a point where things really take off. There’s some undisclosed shenanigans at the AA headquarters, and even criminals with guns… suddenly Erdington is no longer the quiet rural place is used to be. Add in the intrigue of the AA shelters where members can call for assistance and fill up (from a jerry can) if they’re out of petrol, the mysterious locked shelter and several maps hidden in dark recesses of said shelters (that fuel the idea of spies being at large) and you have a compelling mystery on your hands.

A fab mystery, great characters, lovely historical touches and knowledge, and the most excellent narrator. I so enjoyed this that I am off to check out the case that boosted Mason’s reputation – The Custard Corpses – and I’ll add author, MJ Porter to my list of those to follow.

As always,

Amazon Reviewer Name

Audiobook · British · community · Contemporary Romance · friendship · humour · relationships

Blog tour ‘n’ Audiobook Review – Riverside

Riverside

The feel-good, life-affirming story of love, friendship, family, and new beginnings!

Changes are coming to the riverside town of Ryemouth, and while some of the community are excited by new beginnings, others are finding it hard to let go of the past.

A new 14-episode audio soap with a cast of loveable characters you’ll want to laugh and cry along with.

Susan and her boyfriend Dave can’t wait to open their new café and deli, The Old Engine Room. But Susan’s dad, George, is not so thrilled. He’s never approved of Dave, who used to hang out with the wrong crowd. Can the happy young couple win George round?

Mary and Ruby have been friends since the first day of infant school, even though their lives have turned out very differently. Mary has a contented family life with husband George and daughter Susan. Poor Ruby has never been so lucky in love. Then she meets her teenage crush in surprising circumstances. Mary has her doubts about the charming Paul. Will Ruby finally get her own happy ever after?

Dave wants to put his past behind him. His dream is to make a success of the business, and one day be a good husband and father, like his own dad, Mike. Yet, he’s forced to keep a secret from everyone he loves. Who should he turn to for help out of a tricky situation?

When the community comes under threat from developers, can everyone put their differences to one side to defend the town they love?

Riverside is full of romance, heartbreak and secrets, as well as gentle wit and humour.

The Riverside audiobook drama is based on the popular weekly magazine serial written and created by Glenda Young.

Purchase Links

https://www.amazon.co.uk//dp/B0B7887MYJ/

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Riverside-Audiobook/B0B7883C7S

Author Bios

Ian Skillicorn is a publisher, producer and writer. He has written the script for the Riverside audiobook drama based on Glenda’s stories and characters.

He also directed and produced the audiobook. Ian’s publishing imprint, Wyndham Books, publishes best-selling fiction by some of the best-loved novelists in the UK and Australia.

He was a podcasting trailblazer, producing streaming audio programmes in the early 2000s well before the podcast revolution.

Glenda Young is a best-selling author and award-winning writer. She’s written Riverside, a weekly soap opera published in The People’s Friend magazine since 2016.

Meanwhile, she is the author of two successful book series – gritty sagas set in a northeast mining village in 1919, and cosy crimes set in modern-day Scarborough.

She has also written official TV tie-in books for ITV’s Coronation Street.

Social Media Links (Authors)

www.riversidethesoap.com

Twitter = @ian_skillicorn, @flaming_nora

Narrator Bios

Dave McClelland has enjoyed a busy career in Film, TV, theatre and radio, in both the UK and Canada. Recent television credits include Coronation St, Emmerdale, Doctors, Broken, and Compulsion, and he’s recently worked in the horror movie Black Daruma, to be released later this year. Dave worked as a radio host with CBC whilst living in Canada, and since returning to the UK, he’s put his voice to work in radio dramas, audiobooks, and voiceovers.

Melanie Crawley is an actor and voice artist. She recently produced and performed in the political theatre project ‘Next Left: Test Track Trace’ at Theatre Deli Sheffield, the northern UK tour of ‘Tannie & Tannie’ by Claudine Bennent and in various ‘All Female Shakespeare’ productions at Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester. She has narrated around 50 audiobooks from her studio in Sheffield where she also works as a corporate and commercial voice artist and as an actor for radio / audio comedy and drama. Her most recent audio projects include ‘The Age of Love’ a podcast for ‘Festival of the Mind’ by Christopher Green, ‘Sketch Up’ a series of comedy radio sketches which she also performed at Leicester Comedy Festival. For screen, Melanie’s recent projects include ‘Truck’ part of the Council Culture Online TV series and ‘Tea and Cake’ one of the ‘Monarchy Monologues’ for Act Your Age. She writes, performs and produces the narrated audio-drama podcast: Low Light.

Lisa Armytage is an experienced actor in film, tv and theatre, and an established audiobook narrator. After a season with the National Youth Theatre, she trained at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, soon afterwards emigrating to Australia. She is best known as Dr Beverley Marshall in the iconic Aussie soap, ‘Neighbours’, and the lead female role in the Australian romantic movie ‘Cool Change’. Also in Australia, Lisa was a main cast member in the TV mini-series ‘The Lancaster-Miller Affair’ and ‘Miraculous Mellops’ and took guest roles in ‘’Cop Shop’, ‘Cell Block H’, ‘The Flying Doctors’, ‘Police Rescue 2’, ‘A Country Practice’, ‘Sky Trackers’, ‘Heartbreak High’ and ‘All Saints’. Since returning to the U.K in 2003 Lisa returned to working in theatre before narrating a wide range of audiobook genres. She has recently completed her third audiobook for best-selling British-Australian novelist Anna Jacobs, and has voiced animations and dramas, of which ‘Riverside’ is the latest.

As a Voiceover Artist, Gerard Fletcher can be heard currently voicing ads on TV and commercial radio stations worldwide (as well as major supermarkets) and has narrated 2 audio books and documentaries for BBC, ITV, Channel 5, Paramount and History Channel.

He is also the calming onhold voice of many major companies including DPD, The National Trust and Halfords and The Sheffield Tram!

He’s a musician and has published works for commercial sound libraries and theatre.

Trained at LAMDA. TV includes “The Crown” Series 5 (Netflix), “Sherwood” (BBC), “Get Even” (BBC/Netflix), “Emmerdale” (ITV),”Girlfriends” (ITV), “Happy Valley” (BBC), “Coronation Street”(ITV), “In the Club” (ITV), “The Accused” (BBC) “The Street” (BBC), “Shameless” (BBC). Feature Film: “Gold” (2018), “The Messenger”.

Gerard has performed in radio drama (BBC Radio 3, 4 and 4 Extra and Wyndham Books) and presented Screwfix’s YouTube channel for 2 years!

Glen McCready trained at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art where he graduated with honours. Screen credits include Signor in Years and Years (BBC), Henry Bowater in Hotel Portofino (Britbox Original) and Jack in the indie feature Above the Clouds. Stage credits include Eddie in Blood Brothers and Sgt Trotter in The Mousetrap (both in the West End). Glen works extensively as a voice actor with numerous credits in animation (including Granitface in the animated feature Dragon Rider), video games (including Maximillian in Evil Genius 2 World Domination), audiobooks (including Conan Doyle’s The Lost World), audio drama and radio drama.

As an award winning voice artist and actress, Penelope Rawlins is known for her work in animation, audio drama, narration, video games, audiobooks, theatre, radio and television.

Known for her authentic children’s voices – Penelope can be heard on Netflix in Rainbow Rangers (voice of Lavender and Indigo), in Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger, voicing Jackson Jet on the Kartoon Channel, CBBC in Ninja Express, Amazon Prime in Uma & Devan Namaste! and the title role of Mini Wolf. Other animation includes Mighty Smighties, Captain Virat, Pomi & Nar, Hubert & Takako, The Amazing Adventures of Kika & Bob, Lulu Zipadoo and the voices of Princess Rhea and Princess Hera in the popular series SpacePops.

Penelope has voiced over 300 audiobooks and was nominated by Audible for Narrator of the Year. Favourite titles include; Gorillas in the Mist, Journey to the River Sea, The Turn of the Screw, Homeland: Carrie’s Run, Homeland: Saul’s Game (based on the CBS television series).

An extensive list of computer games and Warhammer titles, Penelope voiced Maleneth in series 1 and 2 of Realmslayer, opposite Brian Blessed’s Gotrek. As a stage actress for many years in regional and national theatre, Penelope played opposite Tommy Steele in Chaplin: The Musical. National tours include: Brief Encounter, Butterflies Are Free, Present Laughter, The Railway Children, The Lady Vanishes and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?

Radio dramas for the BBC include: Proust’s In Search of Lost Time, The Professor, The American Senator and Portrait of a Lady.

She wrote and produced her first play Pigeons in 2019 which sold out at the Hen & Chickens Theatre, London to 5 star reviews.

Becky Wright is best known for her many years on The Archers, playing Nic Grundy.

Toby Laurence is Freddie Pargetter in The Archers.

Social Media Links (Narrators)

Twitter

Dave McClelland = @mcclellanddave

Melanie Crawley = @melaniecrawley

Lisa Armytage = @LisaArmytage

Glen McCready = @McCreadyGlen

Penelope Rawlins = @PenelopeRawlins

Toby Laurence = @TobyLaurence

Giveaway to Win 5 x Audio copies of Riverside

(Open to UK/US)

*Terms and Conditions –UK/US entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter link above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

My Review

Oh my, this is the perfect combination of a soap opera style drama, a close-knit community with its own cosy mystery, and an addictive radio play with proper dialects. Kudos to the narrators for bringing this marvellous cast of characters to life. It’s episodic format makes it so easy to dip into, although one episode is never enough.

A believable community centring on a couple of families, the younger generation taking on a new venture with their café/deli, aptly named The Old Engine Room, the story hinges on their relationship with each other and their respective parents. It combines a nostalgic look back at Ryemouth’s ship-building past with the development of luxury apartments overlooking the river: the past bleeding into the future of the community.

Family conflicts are put aside when trouble from the past threatens the café’s future – and possibly even relationships – and it’s heart-warming to see the hero of the day coming from a most unexpected source.

Add into the mix the enduring friendship of Mary and Ruby. When an (old) newcomer tips the apple cart and seems to ruin things for Ruby, Mary is on hand to help her friend, but another upset awaits and the two women have to reflect on their past to prove the solidity of their friendship.

An engaging, funny, and charming story in which community spirit, friendship and romance steers the residents of Ryemouth through choppy waters to a happy ending. I would happily listen to more of these episodes … please!

For more news and reviews,

As always,

Audiobook · Giveaways · psychological suspense · thriller

Book Tour – Future Skinny (plus giveaway)

Today is my stop on the Future Skinny tour! Check out this gripping psychological thriller and enter the giveaway for a chance to win one of five audio editions of the book!

Future_Skinny_Cover

Future Skinny Publication Date: May 24th, 2022

Genre: Psychological Thriller/ Suspense

TW: Body Dysmorphia/ Addiction

Casey Banks is a devoutly anorexic man who discovers he can see the future by binge-eating. His new plan? Perform visions for cash while staying thin by any means necessary. Reading futures proves to be lucrative, but when he ignores a vision of his girlfriend committing a grisly murder, it sets Casey on a dangerous path toward a destiny he’ll do anything to avoid.

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Excerpt

There he is.

The hotel room is dim, but Casey isn’t hard to find.

His body is a beacon of desperate protest underneath a forgiving silk tee. Bone thin. Skin bagging from every corner of his six-foot frame. A good guess would be one-hundred and twenty pounds. He has more hair, just not on his head. Fuzzy wisps of keratin on his arms and thick on the nape of his neck. Inky around the eyes, a dire pigmentation that frames the focus he is straining to hold on the stranger at the other end of the makeshift dining table.

Casey is binge-reading still, and by the look of him, he has been binge-reading far too often.

The spread between the two men is huge, was huge, most of the food has already been eaten.

The client’s eyes are wide but unmoved by the brittle hands Casey is using in lieu of utensils. The fingers clutching each next bite are topped with nail beds of blue. The knuckles on his index and middle are callused to the point of deformity. This client’s indifference is nothing new. Like all customers, he is there to hear his future. It has never mattered how the pig is slaughtered so long as the bacon tastes good.

Lylian is there too. She hasn’t left Casey yet, though their age difference looks as if it’s somehow doubled. Longer hair now, green eyes still bright, the only authentic shines in the room. Her arms are firmly folded atop a roadblock stance halfway between the client and the front door. At her size, her posture is hardly intimidating, but for someone so small, she can explode big.

The air stinks. It isn’t just the food. Beyond cooling grease and the chemically crafted scents of take-out littered about the table, the odors turn human quick. Inhale like you mean it and you can smell the sin. A half-century’s worth of intimacy baking in the manufactured heat of the room’s lone window unit.

The repugnant bouquet is married to the chomp, smack, and slurp of Casey’s consumption. He is eating hard. He is swallowing fast. Wet. In fact, everything feels wet. Rooms like this one have a squish to them that is everlasting. Stray spit won’t make much difference.

The bathroom door behind Casey is open. For now, the smell of upchuck is faint, maybe imagined. There is a beige sink, a matching toilet, and a poky little tub with a basin too small for anyone un-elfin. Any of the three are good for vomit. If Casey were to make sick prematurely, the carpet underfoot would hide it well: it’s a synthetic jumble of colors expertly designed to disappear manmade soils. Casey has a twenty-three-gallon Rubbermaid imitation at his side, just in case. Its corner-store price tag hasn’t been removed. Accidents happen. The only thing closer to Casey than this emergency bin are his and Lylian’s bug-out bags.

The client begins to fidget, he can’t keep his focus on the spectacle in front of him. He looks to the television, then to the table lamp, then back to the black screen of the TV. He actively works at fixating on anything that isn’t the redundancy of Casey eating and eating. There isn’t much to distract a person in this by-the-hour room. Perhaps inadvertently, he lands his gaze on the open black duffle at the end of the bed. The stacks of money define the bag’s canvas. The stranger’s attention sits on the opportunity, hanging there just long enough to visibly concern Lylian.

It starts with a twitch. Her arms uncross and she takes one step forward. Her eyes reach for Casey, but he is lost in his gorge, oblivious to Lylian’s subtle just-in-case preparations.

This client could be one of David’s thugs. Then again, any human being could: all ethnicities, a child, a senior citizen, religious or agnostic. David is an equal opportunity criminal, a true champion of diversity in the workplace.

Lylian puts a hand on the table lamp, wraps her fingers around its base. If this stranger decides to go rogue, she has all she needs to bash the back of his skull.

There is a mumble. It’s enough to break the client’s fixation on the bag of cash. He looks back to Casey, but Lylian remains committed.

“Did you say something’?” the client asks, the words passing through what is left of his jagged, flaxen teeth.

Casey struggles to form a comprehensible answer. His response works its way around the saliva-soaked mass he hasn’t stopped chewing. “How will the world know you?” he repeats.

“Are you askin’ me? You should be telling me.”

The loss of confidence in the client’s voice doesn’t go unnoticed by Lylian. Her grip tightens on the lamp’s base.

With his eyes shut tight, Casey goes adrift on his own question. He silently mouths it a few more times. Then, through quivering lips, he repeats it aloud, changing just the last word.

“How will the world know me?”

Available on Amazon

About the Author

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Peter Rosch is what happens when a Polish drag-racing varsity bowler and a beautiful, but über paranoid, French Canadian Air Force brat get together on a disco dance floor in glorious Albuquerque, NM. An award-winning writer whose decades in advertising, music, and film introduced him to more than a few bad habits. He hopes it wasn’t for naught. Kirkus called his first novel, My Dead Friend Sarah, “a gripping story” in which “Rosch skillfully renders a unique story of a missing woman.”

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Audiobook · blog tour · book review · crime · mystery · series · thriller

Audiobook Blog Tour ‘n’ Review – Jailbird

Jailbird

When you’re working undercover the smallest mistake can cost you your life.
‘A riveting read full of tension and suspense with a vivid cast of characters and an enticing plot.’ Heather Burnside

Detective Constable Bailey Morgan has been out of the undercover game since her last job went horribly wrong, leaving her with scars inside and out.
When her colleague Alice is found dead whilst working deep cover in a women’s prison, Bailey steps in to replace her.
Working alone, Bailey embarks on a dangerous journey through the murky underbelly of the prison and soon discovers that Alice’s death was part of a spate of brutal murders.

Surrounded by prison officers, criminals and lowlifes, the slightest mistake could cost Bailey her life.
Illicit drug trafficking, prison gangs and corruption are just some of the things she’s up against… and behind it all lurks a sinister and terrifying secret that will truly test her survival instincts.
Heart-stopping and gripping. Perfect for the fans of hit TV shows such as Line of Duty, Orange is the New Black and Bad Girls.

Purchase Link – https://bit.ly/JailbirdAudible

Author Bio –

Caro Savage knows all about bestselling thrillers having worked as a Waterstones bookseller for 12 years in a previous life. Now taking up the challenge personally and turning to hard-hitting crime thriller writing.

Social Media Links –

Twitter Profile: https://twitter.com/CaroSavageStory

https://www.instagram.com/carosavage/

Newsletter sign up: http://bit.ly/CaroSavageNewsletter

My Review

Having already read book 2 – Villain – I jumped at the chance to hear Bailey’s backstory. With hindsight I think I would have slightly preferred to have read this book for myself as although the narrator had a lovely and well modulated voice once she adopted a character’s voice I found it quite dramatic for bedtime listening – the scalpings in particular kept me awake.

That said, as a thriller, this is both original and intense. The women’s prison makes for a perfect setting; you just know it’s not going to be an easy ride for Bailey. There were many times that I just wished Bailey hadn’t been so strong-minded and stubborn, and that she had just got out of there when she had the chance. But Bailey is made of grittier stuff, and when she’s on a job she doesn’t back down for anyone.

And when things go wrong, they go wrong big style. I felt very on edge at times and concerned for her well-being. The author has created a cast of characters that are very believable and their environment is what you would – unfortunately – expect, with a way of life that inevitably includes drugs and violence. Accordingly, the inmates have a very different value system to the outside world. It’s rough, tough and scary but not without kindness and compassion: you just have to be very wary of “Greeks (not literally) bearing gifts.”

The ending is powerful, though I did work out who was involved early on, but the matter of how and why the killer chose the victims and then killed them made for compelling listening.

The narrator – Genevieve Swallow – did a fantastic job and made it easy to follow the story even when the subject matter grew brutally intense. I’m glad to have had the chance to learn more about Bailey, and now that I do, I can’t wait for more.

For more news & reviews:

As always,

Audiobook · book review · murder mystery · mystery · series

Audiobook Blog Tour ‘n’ Review – Lethal Voyage

 

Author: Kevin G. Chapman

Narrator: Kevin G. Chapman

Length: 9 hours 39 minutes

Series: Mike Stoneman, Book 3

Publisher: First Legacy Productions

Released: Nov. 22, 2020

Genre: Thriller

Continue reading “Audiobook Blog Tour ‘n’ Review – Lethal Voyage”

Audiobook · book review · paranormal · YA

Audiobook Review – Extraordinary Lies

Author: Jennifer Alsever

Narrator: Moira Todd

Length: 11 hours 9 minutes

Publisher: Jennifer Alsever

Released: Sep. 8, 2020

Genre: YA Paranormal

Julia and Charley may come from two completely different worlds, but they’ve been called the same names all their lives. Psycho. Liar. Witch. It’s the price of being a supernaturally gifted female in sexist, narrow-minded 1971. Until they’re invited to join the Stanford Research Institute. There, a team of scientists are conducting experiments on people like them – people with the ability to tell the future, read minds, move objects without lifting a finger. At first, the institute seems like a safe haven. For the first time, Julia and Charley are not alone. Surrounded by others with powers like theirs, they finally make real friends.But as the experiments become darker and more dangerous, and the test subjects’ lives are increasingly at risk, the two girls must work together to unveil the truth behind the scientists’ experiments – and the extraordinary lies they’ve been told to keep them in the dark.

Buy Links
Buy on Audible

A teenager still lives inside author Jennifer Alsever. She spent two decades as a professional journalist, contributing to such publications as Fortune Magazine, the New York Times, Inc Magazine and the Wall Street Journal, before letting her imagination run wild in 2016. The result is Ember’s story told in the three-book Trinity Forest Series, her first published fiction work. When not absorbed in writing, Alsever enjoys a good hike, doing some yoga, hanging with her boys, some moguls on skis, a rigorous mountain bike ride or indulging in the simple pleasures of life. Her favorites: untouched snow, frozen chocolate chips, savasina on a yoga mat and yes, bowls of pan fried brussels sprouts. She is currently working on her fifth novel titled Déjà vu.

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Narrator Bio

Moira Todd is a Washington, DC-based actor. She originally hales from Mt. Hood, Oregon where the trees are always green, the mountain is always pointy, and the weather is usually rainy. It was there that she learned the secret arts of alpine skiing and whistling at the same time as you hum. While neither has proved useful in her theatre career, she remains hopeful. These days she spends most of her free time swimming, baking bread, and watching whale documentaries.

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I’m not usually a reader of YA fiction, but I loved the premise of this story: the study of young adults with “special” abilities such as mind-reading and telekinesis within a government-backed research setting.

Set during the Cold War era, and told in alternating chapters from the perspectives of Julia and Charley, the story follows them their “real” lives before going to the Institute right through to a dramatic conclusion. The two girls are as opposite as can be when it comes to the background and childhood experiences, but they do share one thing: being marked out as different from the rest of their peers.

The students enjoy getting to know each other, appreciating the different skills they have. They’ve found a place that doesn’t treat them as weirdos or freaks, and their confidence and trust in each other provides them with friendships they’ve never had before.

The research institute promises to explore their abilities and to offer an explanation for them. The reason for this research is sold to them as being for the good of the nation; the kids are playing their part in helping to win the Cold War against the Soviets. Yet, things are not as they seem. The experiments get more sinister as time passes. The tests the girls and the other “skilled” students are put through have another purpose, and the scientists in charge don’t want that information to go public.

The plot builds on the basis of secrecy – the government and scientists are hiding the true purpose of the experiments, while the students are forced to hide their suspicions – if they want to stay safe … or even alive. Does everyone survive? Who will have the upper hand?

The narrator of this audiobook superbly conveys the enthusiasm of the teenagers, their innate curiosity, their need to bond with like-minded individuals, and their reaction to the danger they find themselves in. It’s impossible not to get drawn along for the ride.

The era is the perfect backdrop for this kind of story, and the twists and turns of the story perfectly suit that period in time.

The audio version of Extraordinary Lies delivers an engaging story, with great characterisation and a tense plot.

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

By Author Jennifer Alsever
Q&A with Narrator Moira Quirk
  • How did you wind up narrating audiobooks? Was it always your goal or was it something you stumbled into by chance?
    • I used to narrate audiobooks as a side hustle to fill my schedule when I wasn’t acting on stage. Now that nearly all live events are canceled for the foreseeable future, I feel very lucky that I have the ability to transition to audiobook narration full time.
  • A lot of narrators seem to have a background in theatre. Is that something you think is essential to a successful narration career?
    • An important part of narration, particularly fiction narration, is pacing. A background in theatre certainly helps with that, but it’s not the only thing that can.
  • What type of training have you undergone?
    • I have a Bachelor of Fine arts in Theatre.
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • Yes, I love audiobooks. Maybe because after reading in the studio all day, it’s nice to sit back and listen.
  • What would you say are your strongest narration abilities?
    • I think my strength is first person narration.
  • Who are your “accent inspirations”?
    • I did a lot of new accents for this book. I mostly used a lot of youtube videos for inspiration. The accent tag has been a super useful internet trend for me.
  • How did you decide how each character should sound in this title?
    • Jennifer wrote great descriptions of how the characters sound into the book. We also talked a bit about how the main characters sound before I began recording.
  • What types of things are harmful to your voice?
    • A respiratory virus!
  • If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
    • I’d like to travel to the future, find out how we solve our climate crisis, and come back to get the ball rolling.
  • If you could narrate one book from your youth what would it be and why?
    • The Phantom Tollbooth. I record books for my mom, just sending her chapters whenever I get a chance, and that was one of her favorite books to read to me. I’d like to record it for her.
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Audiobook · blog tour · book review · family · mystery · romance · series

Audiobook Tour ‘n’ Review – Spent Identity (The Annalisse Series – Book Two)

This is the second mystery in the series that spans New York with worldwide destinations. Big city life disappears as Spent Identity journeys to Walker Family Farm in upstate New York. The quiet home of Annalisse’s beloved Aunt Kate.

Be warned though; writing stories where the reader must figure out villains and their motives through intricate puzzles is what I do! Spent Identity is a novel that will have you turning pages, gasping at the audacity of the characters, and at times, shaking your head at Annalisse’s decisions— sometimes unwise— but she manages to unravel even the most twisted clues.

A continuation from the first installment, Stolen Obsession, Annalisse not only addresses her failed relationship with Alec Zavos, she uncovers a betrayal that crushes her in Spent Identity. Grab a paperback or eBook and see if you can uncover the family secrets before she does. I dare you!

Author: Marlene M. Bell

Narrator: Katina Kalin

Length: 9 hours 43 minutes

Publisher: Ewephoric

Released: May 13, 2020

Series: Annalisse Series, Book 2

Publisher: Ewephoric

Genre: Mystery

Continue reading “Audiobook Tour ‘n’ Review – Spent Identity (The Annalisse Series – Book Two)”

Audiobook · book review · mystery · romantic suspense · series · thriller

Audiobook Tour ‘n’ Review – Stolen Obsession (The Annalisse Series – Book One)

WELCOME FROM THE AUTHOR

I’m so excited you’ve dropped in to visit the AUDIOBOOKWORM PROMOTIONS ANNALISSE SERIES Tour!

Author: Marlene M. Bell

Narrator: Katina Kalin

Length: 9 hours 38 minutes

Publisher: Ewephoric

Released: Nov. 28, 2018

Series: Annalisse Series, Book 1

Publisher: Ewephoric

Genre: Mystery

Continue reading “Audiobook Tour ‘n’ Review – Stolen Obsession (The Annalisse Series – Book One)”

Audiobook · detective · female detective · Female sleuths · mystery

Audiobook Tour ‘n’ Review – 15 Minutes

Author: Larissa Reinhart

Narrator: Joan Dukore

Length: 10 hours 26 minutes

Publisher: 1969

Released: May 28, 2020

Genre: Mystery; Amateur Detective

Continue reading “Audiobook Tour ‘n’ Review – 15 Minutes”

Audiobook · blog tour · book review · mystery · paranormal · series

Audiobook Review – The Soul Searchers Mysteries: Donn’s Shadow

Audiobook Series Blog Tour: The Soul Searchers Mysteries by Caryn Larrinaga

Author: Caryn Larrinaga

Narrator: Jessica McEvoy

Length: 9 hours 51 minutes

Series: The Soul Searchers Mysteries, Book 2

Released: March 2020

Publisher: Twisted Tree Press

Genre: Supernatural Cozy Mystery

Mackenzie Clair finally has this whole ghost-hunting psychic thing figured out. The Soul Searchers are a hit, she’s got pet-parenting down, and she even has a plan to banish the poltergeist running amok at a lakeside cabin. Best of all, Donn’s Hill feels like home. But not everyone loves the town as much as Mac.

A world-famous paranormal debunker thinks the psychics in Donn’s Hill are lying about their abilities. His determination to destroy the Soul Searchers threatens Mac’s livelihood, and when a killer strikes, the sheriff’s suspicions threaten her freedom.

Mac needs all the help she can get to find the real murderer and clear her name… even if that help comes from beyond the grave.

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Caryn Larrinaga is a self-described horror evangelist and paranormal junkie. Her debut supernatural mystery novel, DONN’S HILL, won the League of Utah Writers 2017 Silver Quill Award in the adult novel category and was a 2017 Dragon Award finalist. Her short fiction has won multiple honors and been featured in local and international anthologies. Watching scary movies through split fingers terrified Caryn as a child, and those nightmares inspire her to write now. She lives near Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and their clowder of cats. Visit http://www.carynlarrinaga.com for free short stories and audiobooks.

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Narrator Bio

Between peddling video games and teaching yoga in her home state of Arizona, Jessica McEvoy attempts to conduct a career as a professional voice actress. This, however, is moderately undermined by the fact that she records in a dimly lit closet with her microphone balanced on a stack of old board games (Junior Scrabble and Powerpuff Girls Monopoly form a strong foundation), but she hopes that no one holds that against her.

Though her main work consists of narrating audiobooks, her first dive into the voice world was through the NoSleep podcast after answering a post from the LibriVox forums. Having been raised on horror movies and scary stories, she was beyond excited to be able to work on the show. Many stories, tortured screams, deranged villains, and creepy little girl giggles later, Jessica hopes to work on the podcast for seasons and seasons to come.

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Yay! At long last the audiobook for Donn’s Shadow landed in my inbox. Was I excited? Of course. Book One was amazing in every aspect, and it was great to see the same narrator was back.

As before, this was well written,  totally absorbing and cunningly mysterious. This time, the author introduced a touch of horror, which made me wary since I’m no horror fan usually. Luckily, this was done in such a way that the story was intriguing enough to keep my attention, and the horror elements didn’t overwhelm the mystery; rather the tension ratcheted up several notches.

When the team set up ready to film at the lakeside after a spirit had previously harmed an innocent adventurer, they are rudely interrupted by the one man Mac had taken an instant dislike to. Raziel, a famous psychic debunker, arrived in Donn’s Hill determined to out those he considered frauds. Such was his determination that he had Mac and the team on his radar too. So, when he was found murdered, Mac’s name was quickly added to the suspect list. And, clearing her name proved more difficult than she expected.

The characters were well written, and Mac’s past was developed further with some letters from her mom to Gabriela (a character from book one now awaiting trial for murder / manslaughter). Continuity from book one means reading or listening the first in the series is advised, as this is a series in every sense of the word but especially with character development. As before, Striker outclassed the human contingency, and some new characters cropped up with interesting businesses …well, Donn’s Hill is not the place for your regular entrepreneur 😉

The mystery was very well written, and the ending was another winner. This author knows how to finish a story with a flourish. Another great paranormal mystery, with superb narration. I really hope there’ll be another in the series.

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

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