Uncategorized

Book Review – The Child in the Photo

Blurb:

I stare at the newspaper article about a baby snatched from the back of a car thirty years ago, and wonder why someone would post it through my door. Looking closer, my blood freezes. The little girl in the photo has an unusual scar – just like mine. I’ve never met anyone with one like it. Is this stolen child… me?

Trembling with shock, I know I have to confront my mother. My parents got me through a horrific accident, helped me find a job I love teaching art, and even with buying my own house. But was it all built on lies?

She tells me the day I was born was the best day of her life, and I’m flooded with guilt for questioning her – but why do I catch her burning papers in the garden the next day?

Then I come home to find a woman sitting on my doorstep, covered in bruises and claiming she knows who abducted me. I don’t know if I can trust her – or if I’ll be the next to get hurt.

Because all the while, I’ve been hiding my own secret. Does whoever sent the article know what really happened the day of my accident? Desperate for the truth, I break into the house of my supposed kidnapper. Inside, I find a handwritten list of names. A shiver goes down my spine as I realise wasn’t the only child to be stolen.

Then I hear a key in the lock, and I know my life is in terrible danger…

An absolutely addictive read that will have you racing through the pages and questioning everything you thought you knew about your family. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train, Lisa Jewell and Shari Lapena.

Purchase link

My Review

As soon as I read the book description of The Child in the Photo, it struck me as something I’d enjoy reading. And, for the most part, I did.

Hope receives a newspaper cutting through the post about a stolen baby some thirty-odd years ago, and upon closer examination of the image she recognises herself in the child by virtue of an unusually-shaped ear. That sets her mind racing: could she be that child? Was she stolen and raised by people who weren’t her parents?

Her confrontation with her mum, I found disconcerting. It made me wonder how I’d react in the same circumstances. But I understood her need for the truth, so it made sense for her to track down the mother of the stolen baby. Not only does she find her “birth mother”, but on returning home, the person who posted the newspaper clipping is waiting for her, and she claims to be the real daughter of the couple who stole Hope (Baby Jane).

How Hope deals with all this new information is the crux of the story, aided and abetted by her best friend Stephen, and her sweet, elderly neighbour, Mr Bonner. Was she the only child to have been stolen? How did knowing the truth affect her life and relationship with her mum? Great stuff!

There’s a side story about an accident that Hope had, which rendered her an amputee that, for me didn’t tie into the story as much as I expected. Because all the while, I’ve been hiding my own secret. Does whoever sent the article know what really happened the day of my accident? For the life of me I don’t recall finding out the answer to that question posed in the blurb. There was also an issue around a phone call Hope received from her birth mother’s stepson that also seemed to run out of steam.

That said, I did enjoy this book and found the premise fascinating. The dilemma facing Hope caused her to reflect on her past and to see for the first time the lies and drama around her birth. At times, it felt as though she was being led a merry dance and I had to wonder whether she’d come out of it all with her family relationships intact.

A riveting read with a few surprises on the way.

As always,

Amazon Reviewer Name
book review · psychological suspense · suspense · Uncategorized · women's fiction

Book Review – The Street Party

The party was supposed to be the highlight of the summer. If only I’d known that night would destroy our lives…

All the neighbours were laughing, drinking out of plastic glasses and getting along. I almost felt happy. Almost forgot about the terrible argument earlier and the sinister messages I’d been receiving from a strange address all week, threatening to expose the lies behind my perfect life.

As we finished with the red and gold fireworks and welcomed everyone back to our house, I believed that everything would be okay.

But I didn’t know who I was inviting in.

I never could have imagined what would happen here, in our home, after I’d gone up to bed.

Everyone saw something different.

It’s my daughter’s word against the story the boy from down the road is telling. But how can I find out what really happened that night without everyone finding out the truth about me?

Purchase Link

My Review

Honestly, this is a real slow-starter; I was halfway through the book before the street party events kicked in … and even further on before the real drama began. That said, there are a number of characters at play here, all wildly different and with their own baggage to bring to the party. Could those early chapters have been condensed? Probably. But having reached the end, I can say it was worth the wait.

The story focuses on a group of neighbours who live in the richest part of London – though not all can truly afford to be there. There are three women at the centre of the story

  • Nella (future politician’s wife with lofty aspirations and more money than sense, and a desire to be seen to be doing good)
  • Melissa (yoga queen and a very lovely stepmother but with an abusive husband)
  • Ruby (florist, widowed, lives with her son and is very much on the edge of Nella’s group of helpers)

Nella plans on holding a fundraiser – not only will it make her look benevolent, but it won’t harm her husband’s political campaign either. So, she rallies her “friends” around. Melissa is Nella’s yoga teacher, and also best friend to Ruby who for the life of her cannot she why she has been invited to the inner sanctum.

Nella’s rather handsome husband – Marcus – is keen to get Ruby involved too, and offers to help out with getting her son an internship. Why he would do that is a mystery to Ruby (Could it be because her son is mixed race? Would a politician really be that shallow? ) However, Ruby is quite taken with Marcus’s attention … only to find out she is not the only woman he’s playing.

So, when the party finally begins, it looks like a great success. Until the police call around at Ruby’s house the next morning to speak to her son. Allegations have been made that will rock their world, its implications extending into the wider community too. No one is safe from the after effects of what is purported to have happened that night.

The story is told from the three women’s alternating viewpoints as they come to terms with the aftermath. It calls upon them to reflect upon their own situation, their behaviour, and the kind of world they want their kids to inherit. But, of course, neither woman will air their dirty laundry in public, and so the conundrum continues as to what really happened that night. Who is telling the truth? Who is covering for whom?

The final third of the book lived up to its “unputdownable” billing, though I still wouldn’t class it as a psychological thriller, more along the lines of women’s fiction with a suspense vibe.

What I didn’t like – apart from the slow start – was the constant dribble of “something’s going to happen soon” references, but I loved how the author grounded the characters (Ruby, in particular) in modern British cultural references. Of the three women, Ruby certainly came across as the most relateable.

Who I didn’t like – Melissa’s husband and Nella’s daughter top the list for me, but I loved Fin, Melissa’s stepdaughter, and Ruby and her son. The “good” characters were far from perfect, but the “baddies” were awfully good at being bad.

If you can tolerate a slow start, then you’ll be rewarding with a speedy ending that will leave your head spinning.

As always

Amazon Reviewer Name

 

comedy · cover reveal · friendship · mystery · romance · Uncategorized

Cover Reveal – The Promise of Summer

The Promise of Summer

Ruby’s life is about to change for ever…

After years of dating losers, cheats and one guy who did something unrepeatable to her kettle, Ruby has all but given up on romance. But then a stranger sits next to her on a train to London and explains his plan to propose to the woman of his dreams. Maybe true love does exist after all?

When the man accidentally leaves the engagement ring behind, Ruby is determined to save the day. But she hasn’t counted on fellow passenger Curtis stepping in and insisting he should be the one to track the stranger down.   
 
As summer closes in, the unlikely pair make a promise to reunite the ring with its owner. But can they find their own happy ever after along the way?

Pre-order Links 

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08R6Q4T66/

Universal Amazon link – http://mybook.to/ThePromiseOfSummer

KOBO – https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/the-promise-of-summer

Publication Date – 22nd July 2021

Author Bio

Bella has been jotting down stories as far back as she can remember but decided that 2013 would be the year that she finished a full length novel. Since then she’s written seven best selling romantic comedies and she’s been shortlisted three times for the RNA Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year Award. 

Bella’s stories are about friendship, love and coping with what life throws at you. She lives in The Midlands, UK with her husband, daughter and a cat who thinks she’s a dog. When not writing Bella is usually eating custard creams and planning holidays.

For more about Bella, visit her website at http://www.bellaosborne.com or follow her on social media.

Social Media Links

Twitter – https://twitter.com/osborne_bella 

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/BellaOsborneAuthor/ 

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/bellaosborneauthor/ 

As always,

Amazon Reviewer Name

Uncategorized

Book Blitz – The Exit Strategy


Women’s Fiction

Audio Book Release – February 2021

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press



Tech executive Carly can’t wait to marry the man of her dreams. But her world is turned upside down when she discovers her fiancé is already wed to Ryn — her company’s top investor! Can the two women overcome heartbreak together?

Silicon Valley investor Ryn Brennan is on the verge of achieving everything she dreamed. She’s succeeded in the sexist venture capital world, has a supportive husband, and is about to close the deal of her career. Everything is going exactly as planned, until she meets her husband’s mistress, across the negotiating table.

Carly clawed her way back from being a teenage runaway to become an accomplished scientist, caring single mom, and co-founder of her startup. Once she marries her loving fiancé, she’ll secure the complete family she craves. But she’s blindsided to discover her not so perfect fiancé is already married.

In an industry full of not-so-subtle sexism, can the two women rise above, and work together to overcome heartbreak, and ensure their success?



Critic Reviews

Strong women faced with timely struggles. Friendship, forgiveness, and moments of heartfelt laughter. You won’t forget these courageous characters.” Rochelle Weinstein, USA Today bestselling author

SO MUCH FUN. Incredibly fast paced and satisfying, with two believable protagonists and one guy so bad you’ll be dying to see if he get what he deserves.” (K J Dell’Antonia, New York Times bestselling author)

5 Stars! Secrets, betrayals and vulture like venture capitalists will keep you on the edge of your seat.” (Miss W Book Reviews)


Audiobook Excerpt Available at

Soundcloud


About The Author

Lainey Cameron is an author of women’s fiction and a recovering tech industry executive. Her award-winning novel, The Exit Strategy, a #1 Amazon Best Seller, was inspired by a decade of being the only woman in the corporate boardroom. It’s been called a “rallying call for women to believe in themselves and join together”.

A digital nomad–meaning she picks locations around the world to live (and write) for months at a time–Lainey is an avid instagrammer, and loves to share her insights. She loves to connect with readers and audio listeners at http://www.laineycameron.com

She’s a proud member and volunteer with Women’s Fiction Writers Association, hosts an Instagram TV show called The Best of Women’s Fiction, and believes community makes the author’s life worthwhile. Originally from Scotland, Lainey has a soft spot for kilts, good malt whisky, and anything equine.


Contact Links

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

BookBub

Promo Link


Purchase Links

Audiobook:

Amazon

Audible

iBooks

Libro

Kobo

Google Play

Chirp Books


eBook:

Amazon

B&N

Overdrive

iBooks

Kobo

Google Play

 

RABT Book Tours & PR
Uncategorized

Book Blitz – Loser’s Gumbo

Bullet Books Speed Reads #13

Crime Fiction/Mystery/Thriller

Date Published: September 17, 2020

Publisher: Starpath Books, LLC

 

photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png

 

LOSER’S GUMBO

MURDER WITH A DASH OF ZYDECO…

 

When Mack Mouton finds a dead body in a drum case, Louisiana police suspect
him of the murder. As Mack travels the South, and performs with his band, he
becomes the target of the real killer. Mack is sucked into danger and
intrigue, and discovers a mystery about his deceased father. Will Mack be
the next body in the drum case?

Or…will he evade the killer and solve the puzzle?

 

BULLET BOOKS

ON A PLANE… ON A TRAIN…FASTER THAN A SPEEDING BULLET!

 

Bullet Books are speed reads for the busy traveler, commuter, and
beach-goer. All are new original crime fiction stories that can be read in
two to three hours. Gripping cinematic mysteries and thrillers by your
favorite authors!

Page turners for fans who want to escape into a good read.

ALL ABOARD!

 

 

 

Manning Wolfe

 Manning Wolfe, an award-winning author and attorney residing in Austin,
Texas, writes cinematic-style, fast-paced crime fiction. Her legal thriller
series features Austin Lawyer, Merit Bridges. Manning is co-author of the
popular Bullet Books Speed Reads, a series of crime fiction books for
readers on the go.

As a graduate of Rice University and the University of Texas School of Law,
Manning’s experience has given her a voyeur’s peek into some
shady characters’ lives and a front row seat to watch the good people
who stand against them.

 

Contact Links

Manning Wolfe Website

Facebook

Instagram: @manningwolfe

Twitter: @manningwolfe 

Blog

Goodreads

Sign up for newsletter

 

John T. Davis

 JOHN T. DAVIS has co-authored, under the pen name Miles Arceneaux, five
thrillers set on the Texas Gulf Coast. The first novel in the series, Thin
Slice of Life
, was followed by La Salle’s Ghost, Ransom Island, North
Beach,
and the latest volume, Hidden Sea. His Bullet Book Speed Read,
co-authored under his own name, is Loser’s Gumbo. A journalist by
trade, John makes his home in Austin, Texas.

 

Contact Links

Book Series Website

Twitter: @bulletbooksSR

Instagram

 

Purchase Link

Amazon

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

RABT Book Tours & PR
99p books · book blitz · historical · Regency Romance · romance · Uncategorized

Release Blitz – Tempting the Scoundrel

House of Devon, Book 3

 

Historical Romance, Regency Romance

Release Date: September 23, 2020

 

photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png

 

Only $.99

September 23-27

 

Below stairs is where the romance begins..

As the most distinguished watchmaker in England, Christian Bainbridge believes in accurate timepieces, not love. He secretly offered his heart years ago, and he’s never gotten it back. When Raine Mowbray stumbles into his life again, Christian realizes the woman he’s worshiped from afar is still the woman he desires above all others.

Raine Mowbray needs solitude and employment, not love. A housemaid forced to flee a loathsome earl’s grasp, the last thing she’s seeking is a man’s amorous attention. When she finds herself unexpectantly paired with a gorgeous watchmaker in need of an assistant, she’s unnerved by his wit, kindness—and clandestine devotion to her.

If you like spirited heroines who fight falling in love and charmingly arrogant heroes who think they know best, then this is the book for you! Snuggle up with Tempting the Scoundrel, a steamy second chance, love-at-first-sight Regency Romance!

 

This is a Downton Abbey-ish novella at 98 pages and 25K words!!

 

Find the entire House of Devon Series on Amazon

 

 

 

About the Author

 

Award-winning author Tracy Sumner’s storytelling career began when she picked up a historical romance on a college beach trip, and she fondly blames LaVyrle Spencer for her obsession with the genre. She’s a recipient of the National Reader’s Choice, and her novels have been translated into Dutch, German, Portuguese and Spanish. She lived in New York, Paris and Taipei before finding her way back to the Lowcountry of South Carolina.

When not writing sizzling love stories about feisty heroines and their temperamental-but-entirely-lovable heroes, Tracy enjoys reading, snowboarding, college football (Go Tigers!), yoga, and travel. She loves to hear from romance readers!

 

Sign up for my newsletter HERE

 

Contact Links

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

BookBub

Promo Link

 

 

Purchase Link

Amazon

 

Only $.99

September 23-27

 

RABT Book Tours & PR
blog tour · book review · historical fiction · Uncategorized

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – The Girl from The Hermitage

The Girl from the Hermitage

Galina was born into a world of horrors. So why does she mourn its passing?

It is December 1941, and eight-year-old Galina and her friend Vera are caught in the siege of Leningrad, eating wallpaper soup and dead rats. Galina’s artist father Mikhail has been kept away from the front to help save the treasures of the Hermitage. Its cellars could provide a safe haven, as long as Mikhail can survive the perils of a commission from one of Stalin’s colonels.

Three decades on, Galina is a teacher at the Leningrad Art Institute. What ought to be a celebratory weekend at her forest dacha turns sour when she makes an unwelcome discovery. The painting she starts that day will hold a grim significance for the rest of her life, as the old Soviet Union makes way for the new Russia and her world changes out of all recognition.

Warm, wise and utterly enthralling, Molly Gartland’s debut novel guides us from the old communist era, with its obvious terrors and its more surprising comforts, into the bling of 21st-century St Petersburg. Galina’s story is an insightful meditation on ageing and nostalgia as well as a compelling page-turner.

Purchase Links

http://eye-books.com/books/the-girl-from-the-hermitage (20% off with discount code HERMITAGETOUR. Free UK p&p)


https://www.amazon.co.uk/Girl-Hermitage-Molly-Gartland-ebook/dp/B087BZSXN5

https://www.amazon.com/Girl-Hermitage-Molly-Gartland-ebook/dp/B087BZSXN5

Author Bio

 

Originally from Michigan, Molly Gartland worked in Moscow from 1994 to 2000 and has been fascinated by Russian culture ever since.

She has an MA in Creative Writing from St Mary’s University, Twickenham and lives in London.

The manuscript for her debut novel The Girl from the Hermitage was shortlisted for the Impress Prize and longlisted for the Mslexia Novel Competition, the Bath Novel Award and Grindstone Novel Award.

Social Media Links – @molbobolly Twitter

 

My Review

Sometimes, you just know when you’re reading something special. From the opening scene, I had no doubt this would be an exceptional story.

As Mikhail scrapes a strip of wallpaper for that night’s soup to share with his daughter, Galina, the mood is set to perfection. What he can offer her is not enough, he knows that all too well, but he’s doing his best. Having lost his wife not long ago, she is all he has, and all that matters.

When he is commissioned to paint a portrait of The Colonel’s two sons, despite his misgivings, he knows he has to do it. For Galina. Moving in to The Hermitage is an added bonus. There’s more food available, as well as place for him to work. The moment the job starts, and he arrives at the colonel’s home, he is met with opulence and affluence. Theirs is a life so far removed from his own and so many others in Leningrad. Stealing a few biscuits and an apple or two here and there to take home to Galina is a risk he is willing to take. When so few have so much, how can it possibly be wrong? Yet, he knows it is wrong, and fears the consequences if he should be caught.

These slight touches of humanity speak volumes. And, it is with such humility that Galina grows into adulthood. A talented artist like her father, the story progresses forward and depicts Galina’s life through the decades as a wife, mother, grandmother and friend. Family matters become her priority as society changes and more prosperity comes her way, though she never quite gets used to the “bling” lifestyle of her son and his family. Galina is very much a product of her upbringing.

The story has a biographical quality to it, and in that sense it is quite slow, yet rich in detail, and the world of art and painting is woven through every event connecting the generations.

Beautifully written, highly absorbing and hugely fascinating.

For more news and reviews,

As always,

Uncategorized

Audiobook Tour ‘n’ Review – Blood Lies

Audiobook Blog Tour: Blood Lies by Andrew Cunningham

Author: Andrew Cunningham

Narrator: Greg Hernandez

Length: 6 hours 12 minutes

Series: Lies Mystery Thriller Series, Book 5

Publisher: Andrew Cunningham

Released: Mar. 17, 2020

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Add on Goodreads Continue reading “Audiobook Tour ‘n’ Review – Blood Lies”

blog tour · book review · Contemporary Romance · France · Giveaways · Uncategorized · women's fiction

Blog Tour ‘n’ Book Review – Summer in Provence (with giveaway)

Summer in Provence

Is a change as good as a rest?

When married couple Fern and Aiden have a windfall, their reactions could not be more different. While Fern is content to pay off their mortgage and build a nest egg before starting a family, her husband is set on traveling the world.

Fern’s not much of a back-packer so, before she knows it, the idea of a ‘marriage gap year’ takes shape. And, as Aiden heads off to the wilds of Australia, Fern chooses the more restful Provence for her year out.

Set amidst the glorious French scenery, Château de Vernon offers a retreat from the hustle and bustle of normal life, and Fern agrees to help out in return for painting lessons from the owner – renowned, but rather troubled, painter Nico.

As their year unfolds in very different ways, will the time apart transform their marriage, or will it drive Fern and Aiden even further apart…

Let Lucy Coleman whisk you off on a heart-warming, sun-drenched and magical French adventure.

Purchase Link

Amazon: https://smarturl.it/SummerInProvence

Author Bio

From interior designer to author, Linn B. Halton – who also writes under the pen name of Lucy Coleman – says ‘it’s been a fantastic journey!’

Linn is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels – including Summer on the Italian Lakes, Snowflakes over Holly Cove, The French Adventure and A Cottage in the Country. She is represented by Sara Keane of the Keane Kataria Literary Agency.

 

When she’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture, working in the garden, or practising Tai Chi.

Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she is an eternal romantic.

Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the SoA and writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.

Social Media Links

 

Website: http://lucycolemanromance.com/

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LucyColemanAuthor/

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LucyColemanauth

Giveaway to Win a signed paperback of ‘A Springtime to Remember’ and a Boldwood Tote bag (Open INT)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  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.

RAFFLECOPTER LINK

 


My Review

4.5/5 stars

This book took me totally by surprise. I’ll admit to struggling to get into the story at first, but after the first 20% I was hooked. For me, the preamble to Fern and Aiden took an inordinate amount of time, but soon after I could understand why the author had taken her time at the outset. 

It was such an original storyline which was what initially attracted me, as well as having read previous books by the author. She has always managed to ground me totally to the location of her stories, whether it be Versailles, or now in Provence. I felt like Fern’s shadow, not just witnessing what she saw but understanding her concerns, her pain, and latterly her new found joy of painting. If it were possible, I’d be booking my tickets there right away. 

The pacing turned out to be perfect for this story; the slow start necessary, the settling in scenes vital, and the ending just beautiful but not without some heartache on the way. 

A story of self-discovery that felt so natural, unhurried, atmospheric, and captivating. Not your traditional romance, but definitely one that suited me, and one that will make me pick up more of this author’s books in an instant. Lucy Coleman is an author I trust implicitly to deliver a complete experience.

If you decide to delve in – and you should – be prepared to let the story happen at its own pace. You’ll be glad you waited for it. Fans of upmarket women’s fiction will love this. 

As always, 

Audiobook · murder mystery · mystery · paranormal · series · Uncategorized

Audiobook Tour ‘n’ Review – The Soul Searchers Mysteries: Donn’s Hill

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

Author: Caryn Larrinaga

Narrator: Jessica McEvoy

Length: 9 hours 54 minutes

Series: The Soul Searchers Mysteries, Book 1

Released: Aug. 1, 2017

Publisher: Twisted Tree Press

Genre: Supernatural Cozy Mystery

“Grief can change us… rewire our brains and shift the way we look at the world…”

After returning home from her father’s funeral to find her boyfriend in bed with another woman, Mackenzie Clair is looking for a fresh start. She thinks she’ll find it in her favorite childhood vacation spot, but returning to Donn’s Hill awakens more than nostalgia. Mac regains a lost psychic ability to talk to the dead, and the poltergeist haunting her apartment is desperate to make her use that gift to find his killer.

Aided by her new roommate – a spirited Tortoiseshell cat named Striker, and the ghost-hunting crew of the nationally televised show Soul Searchers, Mac struggles to learn how to use her powers. But she’d better get a handle on them fast, because someone in town is hiding a deadly secret. If Mac can’t somehow divine the truth, Donn’s Hill will never be the same.

Buy on Audible

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.

WebsiteTwitterFacebookInstagramGoodreads

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.

Twitter

5/5 stars

Not many towns can boast an annual paranormal festival, but Donn’s Hill is a town like no other. Everyone has an aura, a vibe or a fascination with the paranormal. There’s even a dedicated team of ghost hunters for a TV show. Not that Mac knew this when she moved there, though she did remember her mom taking her to the festival when she was a child. It’s probably her only memory of her mom whose maternal instinct was somewhat lacking. Raised by her father, recently passed, and finding her boyfriend is a cheat, Mac packs up her belongings and heads for Donn’s Hill where she discovers an ability to communicate with the dead, who are most eager to talk to her. 

Mac is a likeable character, a true bookworm, an introvert, and coffee addict – how could I not like her? 😉 

Learning her new “apartment” has a ghost is the least of her problems to start with, and she keeps the fact to herself for some time, trying hard to adapt to her new surroundings and not wishing to cause a fuss. At least she has Striker the cat to share her woes. Not just any cat though, Striker comes to her defence many a time, and especially when it matters most. When her apartment ghost proves more difficult, then she calls for help from the town’s medium, Gabriela to rid her space of the now-frantic poltergeist. 

Mac starts working for the ghost-hunting team, as they recognise her affinity with the spirit world, and how she seems to attract the very ghosts they are looking for. Except, ghost-hunting leads to her finding some more recently deceased residents. Solving these murders now becomes a priority. 

The narration by Jessica McEvoy is well done; she plays the characters with differing tone making it easy to follow. Combined with an intriguing storyline, fascinating backdrops, and well-rounded characters the story comes alive in all its creepy eeriness and Mac’s moments of vulnerability.

Stand-out moments: Striker takes first place, swiftly followed by that windstorm …and then it’s all topped off with a great ending. I’m hooked and in this for the long haul – bring on book two!
I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Caryn Larrinaga. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Plugging you into the audio community since 2016.

Sign up as a tour host here.

As always,