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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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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Audiobook · medical thriller · serial killer

Audiobook Review – House Call

House Call

by Darden North, MD

Blurb

As young Dr. Knox Chamblee struggles to establish a medical practice in a southern town, both his social and professional conquests are derailed by a psychotic killer. In House Call no one connects the first victim, an attractive hospital nurse discovered floating in a bloody bathtub, to the near-frozen body of Dr. Cullen Gwinn, Chamblee’s mentor and chief proponent, found at the base of a deer stand. The primary police suspect is Dr. Aslyn Hawes, Chamblee’s female senior partner and overbearing nemesis, whose jealousy of the victims cloaks her in suspicion. In fact, Hawes resents virtually every non-patient resident of the town with the exception of the teenage ambulance driver who becomes a fixture in her Jacuzzi. That same young man sexually tempts Jay Rutledge, the conniving hospital administrator and the killer’s next target. As the murder investigation unfolds around him, Knox Chamblee evolves from potential suspect in the nurse’s murder to victim of a totally different crime – career sabotage due to reverse sexual discrimination. By squelching his own resentment and fulfilling his medical obligations, Dr. Chamblee overcomes his mentor’s death and the resulting career threat caused by a killer who has slaughtered out of mistaken identity.

Narrated by Michael Robbins

My Review

4/5 stars

From the start, this story demands your attention. As Dr Knox Chamblee takes up a position at an obstetrics/gynaecology practice, across town a young nurse is found brutally murdered in her home. Yet, you’d be forgiven for thinking this is just another police procedural. In facts, the individual stories of the doctors at the practice run alongside the police investigation. 

Most interestingly, the author delves into the harsh reality of the medical profession in the US, where the almighty dollar rules, and productivity is more important than ability when it comes to keeping your job, as Knox soon discovers.

More deaths occur, and we are kept wondering who the killer is and why is he murdering these medical professionals? The intertwining lives of the doctors continue to unravel, with secrets galore coming out of the woodwork. Not all of the doctors are likeable, and they strive to keep their messy, personal lives private from their colleagues. 

There are a lot of characters and side stories, and the switching of POV mid-chapter is a bit jarring as a listener; I was constantly waiting to put a name to the character after an abrupt change of scene. Some of these subplots slowed the story down, heavy as they were in detail. I imagine some of those scenes could have been removed easily without impacting the overall story. That said, the extra detail does mean that each character is well developed and fully fleshed-out, even if not all of their daily habits are necessary. 

The narrator does a good job at conveying the varied emotions experienced by these people giving them clear and distinct personalities, and the accent portrayed the right tone for the setting (as far as I can judge on that anyway – it came across “Southern” to me, 😉 but what do I know as a Brit?)

This is an entertaining murder-mystery story which highlights the strains of the medical practice and the professionals therein, mixing in political and social issues to further mirror reality.

About the Author

Darden North’s mystery and thriller novels have been awarded nationally, most notably an IPPY in Southern Fiction for “Points of Origin.”

“The Five Manners of Death” released June 15, 2017, joins his other novels “Wiggle Room,” “Fresh Frozen,” and “House Call.” Darden has served on author panels at writing conferences including Killer Nashville, Murder on the Menu, SIBA Thriller Author Panel, and Murder in the Magic City. To book Darden for a book club, book signing, or presentation contact: Darden@DardenNorth.com.

A board-certified obstetrician-gynaecologist practising at Jackson (MS) Healthcare for Women, Darden North is Chairman of the Board of the Mississippi Public Broadcasting Foundation and member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of the Mississippi Medical Association. He lives in Jackson, Mississippi, with his wife Sally and enjoys family, travel, and, outdoor activities. The Norths have two adult children, who also work in the medical field.

Darden invites his readers and friends to visit his author page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DardenNorthA…

As always, 

Audiobook · blog tour · book review · courtroom drama · justice · legal · thriller

Audiobook Tour ‘n’ Review – Innocence on Trial

Audio Blog Tour: Innocence on Trial by Rick Bowers

Author: Rick Bowers

Narrator: Eleanor Caudill

Length: 7 hours and 31 minutes

Released: Feb. 5, 2020

Publisher: Rick Bowers

Genre: Legal Thriller

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Audiobook · intrigue · legal · thriller

Audiobook Review – The Murder Game

The Murder Game

by Julie Apple

(Catherine McKenzie writing as Julie Apple)

Blurb

For fans of The Secret History and How to Get Away With Murder comes an exciting new voice in suspense fiction.

Ten years working as a prosecutor have left Meredith Delay jaded and unsure of what she wants out of life. She’s good at her job, but it haunts her. Her boyfriend wants her to commit, but she keeps him at arm’s length. Then Meredith is assigned to a high-profile prosecution involving the violent murder of a fallen hockey star. At first, it appears to be just another case to work. But when her old friend Julian is accused of the murder, it takes on a whole new dimension.

Meredith, Julian, Jonathan, and Lily were a tight-knit group in law school. But now, Jonathan’s defending Julian, and Lily’s loyalties aren’t clear. And when Julian invokes a rare—and risky—defense, Meredith is forced to confront their past.

Has something they played at as students finally been brought to death?
 

My Review

5/5 stars

I loved everything about this – the dual timeline, the court trial ( 🙂 naturally) and the narration. The ending was sublime ….and totally reflected the story’s title. Had it really all been a game? Is there such a thing as the perfect murder?

Meredith Delay  works for the Crown Prosecution Service and has achieved great heights for someone so young. Her commitment to the job is unquestionable, and her personal life has suffered as a result. When her boss insists she take on a high profile murder case where the defendant, Julian, is an old law school friend of hers, she worries her past friendship make her unsuitable to try the case. These worries are compounded further when she learns he is to be represented by her ex-boyfriend, Jonathon. Along with Lily, they’d been a tight-knit group in law school. Is she really the right person to prosecute him? Her boss believes her past connection is an asset, and keen to prove him right Meredith builds her case against Julian. 

Told in alternate timelines between the present day trial and Meredith’s time in law school, the story builds gradually, revealing snippets about each character in a gradual manner, which then come to the fore as the trial progresses. The clues are there, but joining them into a cohesive whole comes later as the story heads towards a delicious ending that had me listening late into the night. 

I was completely hooked and waited for the verdict with baited breath. But there was more to come, and boy was that a gem worth waiting for. It certainly left me wondering if the jury had returned the right verdict, and I totally understand the comparison to How To Get away With Murder. 

This is a cleverly-written, intense legal thriller that I have no qualms about recommending. If you a pacy thriller with intrigue and suspense aplenty, you’ll love this. 

As always,