#BlogTour #Audiobook Jailbird by Caro Savage

It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour for the Audiobook – Jailbird by Caro Savage, narrated by Genevieve Swallow. 

About the Author

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. Sign up to Caro’s newsletter here

Follow @CaroSavageStory on Twitteron InstagramBuy Jailbird 

About the book 

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.

Review

Saying that Bailey’s last undercover job didn’t go exactly as planned is absolutely the biggest understatement of the century. Going back into deep cover again should be the last thing on her mind, and yet when her friend is killed on the job, she decides it’s the only way to find out who killed her.

She is sent into prison as an inmate, without any lifeline I might add, to find and take down the network at the centre of the aforementioned murder. Once in there Bailey finds there are more questions than answers and that it is harder to stay alive inside prison than it is outside.

At times you can feel the way Bailey drifts from one side of the fence to the other. When you are used to living a completely fake life during a deep cover assignment it’s easy to sink too deep into said cover. There are certainly moments when she waivers between crossing the line to keep her cover and revealing all to keep her sanity.

The author delivers a gritty urban crime story with a damaged main character. A character who is willing to do what it takes to bring the monsters, deviants and criminals of this world to their knees. An honest and perhaps worrying look into the world behind bars and the crime that lurks within prisons.

Although I listened to the audiobook, which is narrated by Genevieve Swallow, I also read the digital version via KU. Both versions absolutely convinced me and I wouldn’t hesitate to read or listen to another one by this author.

Buy Jailbird at Audible Uk or Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Boldwood Books pub date 15 October 2019. Buy at Amazon com. HiveWaterstones.

Listening Length – 13 hours and 6 minutes, Author – Caro Savage, Narrator – Genevieve Swallow, Whispersync for Voice – Ready,  Audible.co.uk Release Date – 15 October 2019, Publisher – Boldwood Books, Program Type – Audiobook, Version – Unabridged, Language – English.

#BlogTour #Audiobook The Evidence by K. L. Slater

 It’s my turn on the BlogTour The Evidence by K.L. Slater, narrated by Clare Corbett, Rachel Atkins, Alexandra Afryea & David Holt

About the Author

Kim is the million-copy bestselling author of twelve psychological crime thrillers. Kim’s titles are published by Bookouture, Audible and are available in paperback by Sphere in the UK and Grand Central in the USA.

For many years, Kim sent her work out to literary agents and collected an impressive stack of rejection slips. At the age of 40 she went back to Nottingham Trent University and now has an MA in Creative Writing.

Before graduating in 2012, she gained literary agent representation and a book deal. As Kim says, ‘it was a fairytale … at the end of a very long road!’ Kim is a full-time writer and lives in Nottinghamshire with her husband.

Follow @KimLSlater on Twitter, Visit klslaterauthor.com

About the book

When a killer’s podcast reveals more than the truth….

Esme is a start-up success who runs her own successful media company and heads up a series of investigative podcasts. She also has a beautiful home, where she lives with her sister, Michelle, and her son, Zachary. Sure, there’s an ex-husband hanging around – Owen likes to pop round a bit too often – but everything is civilised and amicable. She has life all tied up.

But Esme knows that any successful podcaster is only as good as her last story, so she sets out on a new series of interviews to get to the truth behind Simone Fischer’s high-profile murder of her husband. Self-defence, crime of passion or coldly pre-meditated? She emerges after one jail visit to discover that her sister has been viciously attacked and is in a coma. And so begins the unravelling of Esme’s life. Where she thought there was trust and loyalty, she slowly discovers deceit and betrayal. No one is quite who they seem – not even her closest family.

As the podcast interviews plunge deeper into revealing the unnerving psychology of a murderer, Esme must try to keep her own sanity intact. The truth – about Simone and Esme’s own family – is there, if Esme can only find it. But will her investigations reveal more than she ever wanted to know?

Review

Esme has her own media company and her thing is investigative podcasts. It’s all the rage to dismantle the details of true crime and if possible to solve complex, cold cases and cases where doubt hovers like a helicopter.

Esme is looking for the buzz. The type of story that gives you media-cred and helps to build your reputation. She juicier the better, but it also means she might dig too deep and uncover something that puts herself and her family in danger.

The high profile murder committed by Simone Fischer seems to be the right story to draw the listeners, but things go pear shaped really quickly when violence comes calling after she starts investigating. It is the beginning of a downhill roll. Esme has no clue what’s coming for her.

This reminded me of the brilliant Six Stories series by Wesolowski. The combination of modern media, a zest for true crime and the truth, and of course characters who run so close to the boundary of reality and fiction that it is hard to discern what is real or fiction.

When I listen to a well narrated book I often wonder whether the listening, and the very specific experience of multiple character narrators will give you the same experience if you are reading it. The audiobook gives this extra distinction and feel for the differences between the characters, especially when it comes to one of the female characters.

It’s a gripping psychological thriller, which has an incredible cast of narrators who bring life and an air of authenticity to the story.

Buy The Evidence in Audible Ukat Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Audible Original | 11th February. Buy at Amazon com.

Listening Length – 9 hours and 1 minute, Author – K L Slater, Narrator – Clare Corbett, Rachel Atkins, Alexandra Afryea, David Holt, Audible.co.uk Release Date – 11 February 2021, Publisher –Audible Studios, Program Type – Audiobook, Version – Unabridged, Language – English.

#BlogTour Audiobook – Dear Lina by Jess Glaisher

It’s an absolute pleasure to take part in the BlogTour for the Audiobook Dear Lina by Jess Glaisher, narrated by Amélie Roch and Dervla Kirwan, 

About the Author

Jess is a queer disabled feminist and activist, whose writing focusses on LGBTQ+ character representation, mental health visibility, and the lives of women. Her first short story ‘Destiny’ appears in the anthology (Re)Sisters: Stories of Rebel Girls, Revolution, Empowerment and Escape. Her work has also been featured in Novelty Magazine, Severine Lit, The Tiny Narrative, and on Dear Damsels, including their print anthology for 2019. 

She writes alongside a creative collective of women who met through the amazing Write Like a Grrrl course. She has written a TinyLetter about her mental health called The Stories I Tell Myself, as well as a blog about her experiences with endometriosis called Eight Years and Counting.

Follow @JGlaisher on Twitterjessglaisher_writer on Instagram, on Goodreads, Visit jgrenaissancewoman.comBuy Dear Lina

About the book

 England is recognisable on the surface: the buildings are the same, there is still a government, the tube still runs through London. For Lina, however, the England she knew when she was little, when her mum was still around, has disappeared completely.

Arriving home one day to find her mum gone, Lina finds in her place a leather-bound notebook containing hundreds of pages of her mum’s handwriting: letters of advice and memories; all the things her mother would no longer have the chance to teach her. Through these pages, Lina learns that her mother, Eve, left in the middle of the night to avoid being arrested. The Government crackdown on immigrants meant that Eve either had to flee or risk the same fate as her friends; friends who were taken away from their homes and families, but never made it back to their country of birth.

Taking Eve’s advice, Lina leaves her life behind, and sets off on a journey north to Scotland to find freedom and, she hopes, her mother.

Review

I hope this is released in book format, although there is a particular emotional element to hearing both characters speak to each other. I loved it. There is so much packed into this dystopian read, but in a subtle way, which means the reader may be paying attention to either woman and the oppressive structure of the time Lina lives in flows alongside like a bad dream.

The story is delivered by mother and daughter, as both narrate in turns. The mother speaking about the all the hopes and dreams she had and has for her daughter. The daughter as she tires of the Big Brother society, the inability to live and love as she pleases, and as her thirst for freedom grows stronger.

All that is left of her mother are memories and a notebook with thoughts her mothers wants her to acknowledge and hear. The mother who disappeared without a trace one day. Is she alive or is she a victim of the suffocating rules of the country they live in.

It’s a scathing social commentary on our own times and yet takes place in a dystopian setting. A moving and harsh scenario that shines a light on the systemic racism, discrimination of the population, but predominantly of those considered to be inferior and different. Women fit into that category, non-whites fit into that category and any LGBTQ+ fit into that category, as do Lina and her mother.

This author is definitely one to watch out for in the future. The intuitive, intelligent and accurate portrayal of a futuristic society bogged down by the shortfalls of the one we live in today is a sharp tongued warning delivered with finesse. Excellent listening experience.

Buy Dear Lina at Audible Ukat Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com.

Listening Length – 9 hours and 7 minutes,  Author – Jess Glaisher, Narrator – Amélie Roch, Dervla Kirwan, Audible.co.uk Release Date – 03 December 2020, Publisher – Audible Studios, Program Type -Audiobook, Version – Unabridged, Language – English.

#BlogTour Audiobook – No Ceremony for the Dead: Stories from the Margins by Shane Dunphy

Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour for Book 3 in the Audiobook series Stories From the Margins – No Ceremony for the Dead by Shane Dunphy.

About the Author

Shane Dunphy was born in Brighton in 1973. A child protection worker for 15 years, he is the bestselling author of 16 books. His first nine titles dealt with his time on the frontline of social care work, and include the number one bestseller Wednesday’s Child. His series of crime novels (written under the name SA Dunphy) feature the emotionally damaged criminologist David Dunnigan. Stories From the Margins, his new series of True Crime books written for Audible, is critically acclaimed as well as being an audio-bestseller.

Follow @shanedunphy1 on Twitteron Facebookshanedunphyauthor.comBuy No Ceremony for the Dead: Stories from the Margins 

About the book

‘I know I has special needs. So does Stanley and Francis and Billy and Josh. People don’t listen to us, ’cause they thinks we’re thick in our heads.’

Charlie works at St Patrick’s residential home, where the walls are so thick no one can hear you cry. He’s asking child protection expert Shane Dunphy for help, before someone gets murdered. Charlie tells him of mistreatment, brutality and random cruelty, and now Maisie, his girlfriend, a resident at the home, has gone missing. When Shane finds out what has happened to Maisie, he knows he’s uncovered a world of trouble.

Shane works his connections and, together with the ingenuity of the care home residents, attempts to subvert and infiltrate the system and bring the guilty to justice.

Review

In this third book of the Stories from the Margins series, which is part memoir and true crime, the author turns his attention on a story about St Patrick’s residential home. A place that purports to protect the vulnerable special needs adults it is supposed to be caring for. Instead it has become the hunting ground for an habitual abuser, a person who enjoys the power, pain and humiliation of his charges.

After being approached by a vulnerable young man who has come looking for assistance from the man who helps those who are unable to help themselves. Shane believes Charlie’s tale is enough to warrant a closer look into the accusations of abuse, what follows is the kind of truth that needs to be made public and the voiceless deserve to be heard loud and clear.

What I really enjoy about the way Dunphy approaches this series is the way he breaks up the listen with music and folklore, both of which give context and flavour to the story. The history on the way imperfect children were treated historically, which explains misconceptions and attitudes towards them. The chapter on the Changelings was especially interesting, albeit it very tragic.

Now this may seem to be an odd angle to work when it comes to true crime, however it turns the listen into a learning experience and an enjoyable one too. It also serves the purpose of being able to listen to the hard stuff by inserting breathers – music, folktales, historic crimes – intermittently throughout the audiobook.

The result is an invigorating encounter for the senses, a talent and style specific to this author, as he guides the listener with his dulcet tones and Irish lilt. Always an exceptionally enjoyable experience.

Buy No Ceremony for the Dead at Audible UkAmazon Uk, Published by Audible Studios – pub date 14 Jan 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

Listening Length – 8 hours and 19 minutes, Author – Shane Dunphy, Narrator – Shane Dunphy,  Audible.co.uk  Release Date – 14 January 2021, Publisher – Audible Studios, Program Type – Audiobook, Version – Unabridged, Language – English.

Read my review of the Audiobook – The Bad Place: Stories From the Margins by Shane Dunphy.

#Review #Audiobook The Killings at Kingfisher Hill by Sophie Hannah

This is the 4th Hercule Poirot story written by Sophie Hannah. It is narrated by Julian Rhind-Tutt.

Follow the author @sophiehannahCB1 on Twitteron Goodreads, Visit sophiehannah.comBuy The Killings at Kingfisher Hill

About the book

Hercule Poirot is travelling by luxury passenger coach from London to the exclusive Kingfisher Hill estate. Richard Devonport has summoned him to prove that his fiancée, Helen, is innocent of the murder of his brother, Frank. There is one strange condition attached to this request: Poirot must conceal his true reason for being there from the rest of the Devonport family.

On the coach, a distressed woman leaps up, demanding to disembark. She insists that if she stays in her seat, she will be murdered. A seat-swap is arranged, and the rest of the journey passes without incident. But Poirot has a bad feeling about it, and his fears are later confirmed when a body is discovered in the Devonports’ home with a note that refers to “the seat that you shouldn’t have sat in.”

Could this new murder and the peculiar incident on the coach be clues to solving the mystery of who killed Frank Devonport? And can Poirot find the real murderer in time to save an innocent woman from the gallows?

Review
Poirot is on his way to investigate the death of Frank Devonport at the behest of Richard Devonport. He is travelling with his companion and police detective, who is a really good sidekick by the way. Their attention is drawn by the antics of a young woman who seems particularly distressed and also convinced that someone is intent on killing her.

Her behaviour and insistence on swapping seats sets a series of events in motion that garners Poirot’s attention and gets the little grey cells bouncing, however he isn’t quite prepared for the surprises awaiting him at the esteemed Kingfisher Hill residence. A mystery on the way to solve a mystery – only Poirot can find himself in such a complex situation.

I have to say the more Hannah writes Poirot the more her voice sounds like Christie. Listening to the audiobook actually gives the listener or reader a better feel for said voice, because the narrator has the characters down to a fine art, especially Poirot. Julian Rhind-Tutt is an excellent choice.

I look forward to reading the next in the series and can only hope that eventually someone will revive the series in film or tv format featuring the stories of Christie’s famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot with Hannah at the helm of the ship. I miss Suchet and this gives me Suchet-Poirot vibes.

Buy The Killings at Kingfisher Hill at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon comBuy at Waterstones.

By: Sophie Hannah, Agatha Christie, Narrated by: Julian Rhind-Tutt, Series: New Hercule Poirot Mysteries, Book 4, Length: 8 hrs and 54 mins, Unabridged AudiobookRelease date: 20-08-20, Language: English, Publisher: HarperCollins.

Read The Mystery of Three Quarters (Hercule Poirot #3) by Sophie Hannah. Read Did You See Melody? by Sophie Hannah

#Audiobook #BlogTour The Bad Place: Stories from the Margins by Shane Dunphy

It’s a pleasure to take part in the Audiobook BlogTour The Bad Place: Stories from the Margins by Shane Dunphy – narrated by Shane Dunphy.

About the Author

Shane Dunphy was born in Brighton in 1973. A child protection worker for 15 years, he is the bestselling author of 16 books. His first nine titles dealt with his time on the frontline of social care work, and include the number one bestseller Wednesday’s Child. His series of crime novels (written under the name SA Dunphy) feature the emotionally damaged criminologist David Dunnigan. Stories From the Margins, his new series of True Crime books written for Audible, is critically acclaimed as well as being an audio-bestseller.

Follow @shanedunphy1 on Twitteron Facebook,  Visit shanedunphyauthor.comBuy The Bad Place: Stories from the Margins 

About the book

The Bad Place sees Shane Dunphy contacted by an old friend seeking advice about children who went missing in the 1980s. The call forces him to revisit a dark time in his early career as a child protection officer, when a young girl described children in care being taken to a residence known as the Bad Place. As a conspiracy emerges that goes to the top of the Irish police and Government, Dunphy recognises the MO of the alleged killer as The Dark Man, a terrifying figure he encountered over thirty years ago, who nearly ended his career before it had even begun.

Determined to confront his past, Dunphy decides to investigate, uncovering a vast international child trafficking ring involving cases of historical child disappearances, unsolved abductions, collusion with the Catholic church and its culture of secrets, lies and cover up

Review

I love the way the music, the talk of the culture, history and folklore of Ireland are interwoven into the stories. The frightening uncertain balance between fact and fiction, abuse and murder, and the general stereotypical ideas that come to mind when the country and people are mentioned.

Dunphy lifts the lid on the horrors, the reality and the unspoken is a direct contradiction to the image portrayed by anyone outside of the aforementioned. These brutally honest stories of True Crime will often make listeners shake their heads in horror, dismay and disbelief, especially given what appears to be complacency about the systemic abuse and murder committed against children and the vulnerable in Ireland.

Dunphy also delves into the status of the Irish Travellers as an ethnic minority. History builds a picture of why there is such a divide between the travelling community and the rest of Ireland. There is so much in this second book in the Stories from the Margins it would be hard to go into each story individually and would also spoil the listen for other listeners.

I’ll be honest some of the stories are tough to listen to, others are riveting because they explain so many unanswered questions, but overall this is a fascinating listening experience. One I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend.

Dunphy’s personal experiences result in a commentary, which will of course be uncomfortable for many, but it is important to open the doors on these horrors that the perpetrators want to keep hidden. Too many predators are organised in a way that is shockingly accurate, clever and done in a way that functions just below the surface of the face of normality. Somebody has to be the voice of the lost, the innocent and the forgotten. Shane Dunphy is one of those important voices.

Buy The Bad Place: Stories from the Margins at Amazon Uk 

Listening Length – 7 hours and 43 minutes, Author – Shane Dunphy, Narrator – Shane Dunphy, Audible.co.uk Release Date – 15 October 2020, Publisher – Audible Studios, Program Type – Audiobook, Version – Unabridged, Language – English.

Stories From the Margins #3 – Ceremony For the Dead (to be released March 2021)

Ceremony of the Dead – A group of childhood friends are coming after the man who abused them and put one of their friends in a coma; can Shane Dunphy stop their murderous plans but still bring the predator to justice?

The Sound of her Voice by Nathan Blackwell – Audiobook

About the Author

Nathan Blackwell was raised on Auckland’s North Shore and attended Westlake Boys’ High School before commencing a ten-year career in the New Zealand Police. Seven of those years were spent as a Detective in the Criminal Investigation Branch, where he was exposed to human nature at its strongest and bravest, but also at its most depraved and horrific. He investigated a wide range of cases including drug manufacture, child abuse, corruption, serious violence, rape and murder. Because some of his work was conducted covertly, Nathan chooses to hide his true identity.

Follow @Nathan_B_Author on Twitteron Goodreads, Visit nathan-blackwell.comBuy The Sound of Her Voice

About the book

Some murder cases you can’t forget. No matter how hard you try.

The body of a woman has been found on a pristine New Zealand beach – over a decade after she was murdered. Detective Matt Buchanan of the Auckland Police is certain it carries all the hallmarks of an unsolved crime he investigated 12 years ago: when Samantha Coates walked out one day and never came home.

Re-opening the case, Buchanan begins to piece the terrible crimes together, setting into motion a chain of events that will force him to the darkest corners of society – and back into his deepest obsession…

Review of the Audiobook

What’s different about this story in comparison to other police procedural crime reads written by authors with real life experience in policing is not only the authenticity, it’s also the intent. Blackwell really wants readers to comprehend the reality of working in law enforcement, especially when it comes to officers involved in violent, sexual crimes, perhaps more so when they are crimes against young women and children.

The emotional impact it leaves on their psyche, their lives and their relationships. Eventually it grounds down even the best and the strongest, and by strongest I mean the ability to disassociate and leave work at work. If you watch ex-police talk about especially vile crimes and/or cold cases that they have found hard to leave behind, you realise just how much damage crime does to everyone who comes in touch with it.

I especially enjoyed the frank discourse on the sexual assault. It highlights how the system lets victims fall through the cracks. Instead of protecting them and bringing their predators to justice the system helps to degrade the victims and let the guilty walk free. Free to commit more crimes.

The darkness has to be dealt with somehow, not taking it home and not letting it completely consume your soul is part and parcel of this story. There is a simple quick scene where Buchanan steps in for a more inexperienced police officer so the man will get a short reprieve from a brutal murder. Those moments speak to the ingrained brotherhood that exists within law enforcement agencies.

The narrator, David Thorpe, does an excellent job of giving listeners the atmosphere of the country and the New Zealanders. He absolutely does Blackwell’s story justice. I have to say I was particularly amused by the passionate swearing. 

Blackwell creates this symbiotic relationship between the fictional narrative, and the reality of horrendous and traumatic crimes, which Thorpe brings to life in this audio version.

Buy The Sound of her Voice at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Orion; pub date 18 April 2019. Buy at Amazon com.

Listening Length – 9 hours and 42 minutes, Author – Nathan Blackwell, Narrator – David Thorpe, Whispersync for Voice – Ready, Audible.co.uk Release Date – 18 April 2019, Publisher – Orion Publishing Group Limited, Program Type – Audiobook, Version – Unabridged, Language – English.

#BlogBlitz #Audiobook Wombat and Jones – The Great Banana Mystery by Arran Francis

Today it’s my turn on the BlogBlitz for the Audiobook Wombat and Jones – The Great Banana Mystery by Arran Francis.

About the Author 

Arran Francis is the creator of multiple series for BBC’s CBeebies Radio and has worked as an audiobook producer on behalf of MacMillan Audio, Audible and Harper Collins. He launched Wombat and Jones Audio in 2019 with the aim of writing children’s novels to be released exclusively in audiobook format.

The audiobooks for the Daisy May’s Daydream Parade and Wombat & Jones series were released last summer with further books in the series and standalone titles being scheduled for publication in 2020.

Follow @wombatandjones on Twitteron Goodreadson Facebookon Instagram, Buy Wombat and Jones – The Great Banana Mystery

About the book

Wombat and Jones are excited to attend the famous Boris Beaker’s banana bread baking class and like many other friends in town they can’t wait to get to work on making scrumptious banana bread. However, there’s just one problem — before class gets underway, Boris discovers that all of the bananas have gone missing!

Boris Beaker and his disappointed students know there is no chance they can make banana bread without this key ingredient, but Wombat isn’t willing to give up that easily. Putting her investigative skills to the test, she gets help from her trusty sidekick — Furlock Jones — and together they attempt to solve The Great Banana Mystery.

Written by author Arran Francis, creator of multiple series for BBC’s CBeebies Radio, Wombat & Jones: The Great Banana Mystery is a funny tale about friendship, problem-solving, and teamwork. Simple mistakes and jumping to conclusions can happen after all, but Wombat & Jones try their best to put it right and learn from them.

Review

The famous sleuth Wombat and his sidekick Furlock are on the case when all the bananas go missing. bananas that are desperately needed for the baking class run by Boris Beaker. No bananas means no banana bread! It’s a difficult job looking for elusive yellow fruit, but someone has to do it.

I have said this before and I can’t say it enough – audiobooks really are a forgotten art of storytelling. They make me think of the way tales, folklore and legends were passed on throughout history. Audiobooks give listeners the opportunity to experience stories without having to read and it also conjures up a whole new world of imagination.

Experiencing sounds, noises, different voices without the all encompassing visual aids stories usually come with, is something I highly recommend for children. Learning to take a moment and enjoy is something I think society has lost in general.

It’s a shame that the children who listen to this audiobook won’t really be able to appreciate the tongue-in-cheek humour when it comes to the character names. Wombat and Furlock Jones, Boris Beaker – I love it. Although I have to say Wombat is clearly the one in charge when it comes to the investigations or mystery, despite him being the Watson to the Sherlock – Furlock. And Boris Beaker just happens to be a duck with a German accent. Luckily the narration absolutely matches the humour the author has infused this story with.

Buy Wombat and Jones – The Great Banana Mystery  or go to Goodreads. It can be streamed or borrowed from libraries too.

Read my review of Daisy May’s Daydream Parade: Treasure Island Adventure by Arran Francis.

#BlogTour #Audiobook Little Whispers by K.L. Slater

Today it’s my turn on the Blogtour Little Whispers by K.L. Slater.

Released in audio on 21st May 2020, Little Whispers will be narrated by prolific audio narrator, Lucy Price-Lewis, who has narrated ten of Slater’s previous novels on Audible, in addition to voicing over 100 audiobooks, including thrillers by Lynda La Plante, Leigh Russell and Malorie Blackman. Little Whispers is published in print on the same date by Bookouture, and the audiobook is available to order on Audible here: Little Whispers at Audible Uk

Little Whispers follows the release of Slater’s audio-first novel, The Apartment, on Audible in 2019.

About the Author

For many years, Kim sent her work out to literary agents and collected an impressive stack of rejection slips. At the age of 40 she went back to Nottingham Trent University and now has an MA in Creative Writing.

Before graduating in 2012, she gained literary agent representation and a book deal. As Kim says, ‘it was a fairytale … at the end of a very long road!’ Kim is a full-time writer and lives in Nottinghamshire with her husband.

Follow @KimLSlater on Twitteron Goodreads,  Visit klslaterauthor.comBuy Little Whispers

About the book

When Janey Markham moves to the smartest address in a suburban town, full of gossipy local mothers, she’s delighted when she meets Tanya, the kind of woman Janey has always looked up to. As Janey and Tanya grow closer, Janey feels she can finally leave her troubled past behind. But then everything changes…

In a weak moment over a bottle of wine, Janey finds herself telling Tanya her most shocking secret. And when Janey witnesses something that makes her suspect Tanya’s daughter, Angel, of being involved in a murder, Tanya threatens to make sure that her Janey’s dark secret gets out. Janey faces an impossible choice. Stay quiet about what she saw. Or speak up, and destroy the family she has worked so hard to protect…

Review

Janey is two sheets to the wind when she tells Tanya her secret. She doesn’t expect to end up in a situation where she uses it as an effective way to silence her. She might have been more careful, but hey the booze and the fact she feels vulnerable and in over her head in her new neighbourhood. She feels like the poor relative in a community full of rich people.

It’s a nice little moral dilemma. You tell someone your darkest secret in a vulnerable moment, perhaps in an attempt to bond with that person. Then you see the daughter of your friend potentially take part in a crime, but can’t say anything, because your secret has made you a target for blackmail. What do you do? Risk your secret coming out or keep stumm about the potential criminal? What say you?

It’s a domestic thriller with an intriguing premise. Questioning the loyalty of people in general and whether you ever really should trust anyone with your most treasured secrets. There will always be a possibility that someone will reveal it. As sad as it is I always tell my kids to only ever tell people things they would be happy to hear about themselves through the grapevine of the gossip mill, because people who keep secrets forever is a bit like finding a unicorn. Someone always tells and deathbed confessions are very popular.

Slater takes a common scenario of anxiety and trying to fit in, and turns it into the kind of read you can both relate to and find yourself shaking your head at whilst reading.

Buy Little Whispers at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Bookouture; pub date 21 May 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

Listening Length – 9 hours and 18 minutes, Author – K. L. Slater, Narrator – Lucy Price-Lewis, Whispersync for Voice – Ready, Audible.co.uk Release Date – 21 May 2020, Publisher –Audible Studios, Program Type – Audiobook, Version – Unabridged, Language – English,

#BlogTour Audiobook: Unbroken by Madeleine Black

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Unbroken: One Woman’s Journey to Rebuild a Life Shattered by Violence. A True Story of Survival and Hope by Madeleine Black. I reviewed the Audiobook version of Unbroken.

About the Author

The sharing of her story on The Forgiveness Project’s website in September 2014, opened many doors for Madeleine in ways she never imagined and the invitations started to pour in.

She has taken part in both TV and radio interviews and has been invited to share her story at conferences, events and schools.

She recognises that she was a victim of a crime that left her silent for many years, but has now found her voice and intends to use it. Not just for her, but for so many who can’t find theirs yet.

She is married and lives in Glasgow with her husband, three daughters, her cat, Suki, and dog, Alfie.

Follow @madblack65 on Twitteron Amazonon Goodreads, Visit madeleineblack.co.ukBuy Unbroken

About the book

For many years after that night, my memories of what happened after he held the blade to my throat and threatened my life were fragmented… difficult to piece together. It was too extreme, too violent for me to understand.

Violently gang-raped when she was thirteen years old, and raped three more times before the age of eighteen, Madeleine has experienced more trauma in her life than most ever will.

Living in a state of shock and self-loathing, it took her years of struggle to confront the buried memories of that first attack and begin to undo the damage it wrought, as men continued to take advantage of her fragility in the worst possible way.

Yet, after growing up with a burden no teenager should ever have to shoulder, she found the heart to carry out the best revenge plan of all: leading a fulfilling and happy life. But the road to piecing her life back together was long and painful. For Madeleine, forgiveness was the key. True forgiveness takes genuine effort. It takes a real desire to understand those who have done us so much harm. It is the ultimate act of courage.

In Unbroken, Madeleine tells her deeply moving and empowering story, as she discovers that life is about how a person chooses to recover from adversity. We are not defined by what knocks us down – we are defined by how we get back up.

Review

This is an autobiographical account of Madeleine Black’s path to reveal a secret so traumatic it determined the way she acted and felt about herself, which in turn made others react differently to her. That’s not counting the many who were influenced by the malicious rumour mill started in an attempt to discredit a victim who could potentially come forward and tell everyone the truth.

Gang rape becomes a consensual rough sexual experience with a girl who has no moral compass. See how that works when the perpetrator is given a voice.

Although it’s at the very beginning of the audiobook for me one of the most poignant parts of this story is the way Madeleine has given a voice to so many by being courageous enough to break those heavy walls of silence she built around herself. The elderly woman in her eighties who heard her story and finally found the strength to tell her own daughter what had happened to her. That is the true power of this story.

By opening a door and starting a dialogue, despite the possible negative reactions she could have received, unfortunately the world of social media can be a jaded and cruel minefield, she opens doors for others too.

Given the era of #MeToo many victims have come forward to tell their tales of sexual abuse, assault, molestation, harassment and rape, because they feel it’s safer to do so and that it is time for change. Imagine all the stories that remain untold. The secrets that will go to the grave with many who are unable to penetrate the wall built with shame, guilt and fear. This is exactly why stories like this are so important and women like Madeleine are too – they pave the way for others.

I think it’s also important to note her involvement in the Forgiveness Project – a charity that helps victims and perpetrators explore forgiveness in relation to crime and violence. If it helps people to move beyond their trauma and be at peace with themselves or others then it’s a positive thing. It won’t be the path everyone chooses though.

It’s a brutally honest account. Black doesn’t pull any punches or make it warm and fluffy for the more sensitive, and that’s a good thing. Some things need to be presented and told exactly they way they are and they way they were experienced.

Buy Unbroken at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: John Blake Publishing Ltd; pub date 4 April 2017. Buy at Amazon com.

Listening Length – 7 hours and 13 minutes, Author – Madeleine Black, Narrator – Madeleine Black, Henrietta Meire, Whispersync for Voice – Ready, Audible.co.uk Release Date – 17 April 2020, Publisher – Dreamscape Media LLC, Program Type – Audiobook, Version – Unabridged,  Language – English.