An Audiobook Spotlight | “Donn’s Hill” (Book One: The Soul Searchers Mysteries) by Caryn Larrinaga, narrated by Jessica McEvoy

Posted Wednesday, 1 April, 2020 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Audiobook By: I started to listen to audiobooks in [2016] as a way to offset my readings of print books whilst noting there was a rumour about how audiobooks could help curb chronic migraines as you are switching up how your reading rather than allowing only one format to be your bookish choice. As I found colouring, knitting and playing solitaire agreeable companions to listening to audiobooks, I embarked on a new chapter of my reading life where I spend time outside of print editions of the stories I love reading and exchange them for audio versions.

Through hosting for Audiobookworm Promotions, I’ve expanded my knowledge of authors who are producing audio versions of their stories whilst finding podcasters who are sharing their bookish lives through pods. Meanwhile, I am also curating my own wanderings in audio via my local library who uses Overdrive for their digital audiobook catalogue wherein I can also request new digital audiobooks to become added to their OverDrive selections. Aside from OverDrive I also enjoy having Audible & Scribd memberships as my budget allows. It is a wonderful new journey and one I enjoy sharing – I have been able to expand the percentage of how many audios I listen to per year since 2018.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “Donn’s Hill” via Audiobookworm Promotion who is working with Caryn Larrinaga on this blog tour in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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A bit of background on what was happening in my life during this blog tour:

Initially, I had planned to host an interview with the narrator Jessica McEvoy – however, time seemed to not be on my side in regards to this audiobook blog tour! I took ill the last two weeks of February with a bad Winter’s cold and whilst I had hopes March would go a bit easier on my family, it sort of took a few left turns especially with the recent issues in getting groceries & supplies whilst Dad also had a brief stay in the ER as we suspected he might be having a heart attack (a week before my first tour stop). Thankfully, it wasn’t a heart attack and we thankfully were able to see his doctor to confirm he is doing better.

In the midst of all of that – I was still trying to stay current with my reading queues but at some point those fell a bit by the wayside. I had intended to begin listening to my audiobooks and start reading the stories on my shelves – however, things started to continue to put a strain on my hours – to where I honestly could not focus on reading or listening to the audiobooks I had slated to be read or heard throughout March.

Earlier on the tour I decided to run an interview Audiobookworm Promotions put together with the narrator whilst also spotlighting the series itself in case someone who follows my blog is looking for a new Cosy Paranormal Mystery series to begin listening to via audiobook! I know all of us right now are trying to find stories which can hold our attention and be enjoyable reads whilst the world is a bit off-balance due to the growing health crisis affecting all of us at once. Hence why I’ve started to find ways to use the tag #InThisTogether as a bit of a lift of spirits and sign of solidarity that we’ll all find our way through these difficult times.

I still look forward to hearing from you, dear hearts, if you love these kinds of Mysteries and if you have an authors, stories and series you think I should have my eye on as well?

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An Audiobook Spotlight | “Donn’s Hill” (Book One: The Soul Searchers Mysteries) by Caryn Larrinaga, narrated by Jessica McEvoyDonn's Hill
by Caryn Larrinaga
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Jessica McEvoy

"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.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-0692836507

ASIN: B074CJC2DK

Also by this author: Donn's Hill (Spotlight and Interview)

Also in this series: Donn's Hill (Spotlight and Interview)


Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Crime Fiction, Cosy Mystery, Ghost Story, Paranormal Suspense


Published by Twisted Tree Press

on 1st August, 2017

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 9 hours and 54 minutes (unabridged)

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The Soul Searchers Mysteries:

Donn's Hill by Caryn LarrinagaDonn's Shadow by Caryn Larrinaga

Donn’s Hill (Book One)

Donn’s Shadow (Book Two) → forthcoming release in *audiobook!

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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Formats Available: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

Converse via: #AudioReads, #Audiobook

as well as #CosyMystery, #Mystery or #Mysteries

About Caryn Larrinaga

Caryn Larrinaga

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 www.carynlarrinaga.com for free short stories and audiobooks.

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Why I am spotlighting this audiobook today:

Last weekend, whilst I was carving out some space to begin re-aligning back into reading and getting back into my audiobooks – I hadn’t quite foreseen what would happen on Sunday. My Mum ended up having a medical emergency of her own and had a brief stay in the ER as a result. Since Sunday, my mind, heart and focus hasn’t been on my blog – my readings or even the fact that yesterday marked my 7th Blogoversary – as the posts I had slated to share that bit of joy still haven’t been released either.

I haven’t found this year to be the easiest one – both as a book blogger or as a reader – as we move into April and the latter half of Spring, I am hoping perhaps, life will settle down a bit and allow me the grace of being able to enjoy reading once again. Despite the concerns regarding the world’s health crisis right now, I’ve found there have been so many things going on personally at the moment that staying isolated and a step removed from society hasn’t really affected me nearly as much as the events of everyday life which bring about its own set of emergencies. Perhaps others have found the same true for themselves and/or their families.

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I did want to share a few thoughts about what I found in the beginning chapters of “Donn’s Hill” – even though this won’t be a traditional review per se, I wanted to talk about the story and how the author was setting down the bones of what would become the Mystery which becomes the background of ‘Donn’s Hill’.

You had to appreciate her moxie – for hitching a ride and taking a chance on grabbing a ride with someone she didn’t know very well. She had a bit of a worldly edge to her as she had just about the right amount of spunk to keep her edgy but with a solid head on her shoulders. She doesn’t quite have the best taste when it comes to roadside motels – as from the moment she walks through the office door to check into this dilapidated ruin of a temporary residence – you can’t help but notice how the entire place seems to be falling apart.

Nothing was quite as it seemed in this story – as there was a high level of uncertainty threading throughout the opening chapters – including why anyone would want to place themselves in such a derelict motel where you had to question her sanity for choosing the one motel which wouldn’t be safe for solitary travellers. Soon after she reached her room, there was an ominous presence in her motel room – the kind which can give you shivers for how the Larrinaga set the ambiance of how the scene started to unfold. The darkness has a murkiness of its own – a way of revealling nothing and still giving the sense that something or someone might have been in the room.

Mac is a bit of a hard character to get to know – as she’s very assertive when she wants to share something with you but at other moments, she holds quite a bit to herself. She’s a woman whose trying to pull the pieces of her life together – to sort out what she wants out of life and where she wants to live her life as well. As you follow her footsteps, you gather the sense she’s still coming into realising what it is she wants to do with her life but also a sombering solitude of seeing a woman re-peer into her past and glimpsing the memories from the years of her youth. It was here at Donn’s Hill where her past and her present consistently interlace with one another – where her memories of being here start to affect how she’s seeing the towne in the present.

I was not surprised Donn’s Hill hadn’t given Mac a warm reception – it was the kind of small towne which had fallen on harder times or it had become more inverted against itself where people were cautiously suspicious of outsiders which is where Mac was finding herself questioning why she felt she should return. Donn’s Hill was not the kind of towne you’d want to stumble across and walk through if you weren’t familiar with the towne – as even Mac realised the more time you spend here the more the townesfolk seem willing to question your motives. You did feel bad for Mac in one regard – where someone wants to revisit their past and finds a cold shoulder on return. Although that is perhaps why they advocate that once you’ve left you can’t always return – as not every place is going to be friendly or welcoming on your return.

What left me a bit curious is how the towne is set round the paranormal festival and Mac has yet to disclose her own curious talents – though you suspect she might have a few paranormal inclinations because of how strange things seem to follow her even when she’s not trying to seek them out. What was curious about this is that for a towne which embraces the paranormal – you’d have thought they might have been a bit more open to new residents & visitors alike. However, something seemed to be more haunting about Donn’s Hill than it was allowing a visitor to see on their first impression of the towne.

By the time the cat came into Mac’s life, I knew the story was going to get more entertaining and interesting – mostly because whenever I am reading or listening to a Cosy Mystery and/or a Paranormal Cosy Mystery and there is a cat – the story itself starts to take on its own delightful pacing. I also felt the cat in “Donn’s Hill” had a purpose to seek out Mac and perhaps, Mac herself would find a new reason to give Donn’s Hill a chance to feel a bit more homespun and welcoming than the way she initially entered the towne. I also thought the best way to endear yourself to a new community was to have a cat or a dog, because it makes you a bit more relatable when you try to strike up a random conversation and find other cat/dog owners are about in the towne.

I wish I could have had a bit more time listening to this story – at first, I admit, I wasn’t sure if I was going to adjust to “Donn’s Hill” as the opening chapters were a bit hit/miss with me as a listener as the details of the towne itself were a bit more off-putting than they were curious or intriuging. The kind of towne if you drove into it or were dropped off by a bus might have you consider reconnecting with passage out of the towne rather than trying to attempt to stay as Mac has herself. As you work past those initial encounters Mac is finding with the townespeople, she starts to communicate with other members of the towne who give you the impression that there are thankfully some nice people still left who embrace new residents. It will be interesting to find out what happens after she gets the cat situated and when the height of the parapsychological bits start to overtake her life now that she’s chosen to settle into Donn’s Hill.

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In regards to the audiobook, directly:

About Jessica McEvoy

Jessica McEvoy

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.

I am appreciative of Ms Jess providing a cursory outline of how best to articulate my listening hours on behalf of this audiobook and the others I shall be blogging about or reviewing in future. I’ve modified the suggestions to what I felt were pertinent to respond too on my own behalf as well as keeping to the questions I felt were relevant to share.

Number of Times I’ve heard the Narrator(s):

This is the first time I’ve listened to an audiobook narrated by Jessica McEvoy.

Regards to Articulation & Performance of the story:

McEvoy approaches this as spoken narrative with a bit of theatrical performance – she has the same kind of rhythm of delivery I appreciated in Erin Spencer when I was listening to the Halfway Witchy series. There was this purring sound which erupts when a cat came into view and it was quite unexpected but fit well with the transition from the character being alone to being in company of the cat.

Performance of individual characters:

Mac (lead character): She was self-assuring and self-resilent in being able to forge her own path. Despite the unease of returning to Donn’s Hill, she tried to keep her mind open and keep her doubts in check. She had the kind of personality which adapts easily to her circumstances and gave the impression that she was prepared for just about anything to happen.

The townespeople: The Mayor was the typical standoffish first person you’d expect to meet when you first get into a new towne whereas with Brian, the barista at the coffehouse is the kind of bloke you’d hope to meet who has a way of disarming your self-doubts about the choices you’re making in your life. He had a cheerful personality and was a good barometer of how to know what to disclose to Mac about the towne and the expectations of what the towne could yield.

Notes on the Quality of Sound & the Background Ambiance:

I loved there were no interruptions or distractions in the quality of the sound for this audiobook. There weren’t any inclusions for background ambiance either – which can either work or hinder how an audiobook is delivered from my own listening experiences. Instead, there is a clean copy of the audiobook where you can focus on the narrator’s voice, listen to the story and contemplate the fuller parapyschological elements which are slowly moving into scene as she walks through this new setting we’re discovering together which is known as Donn’s Hill.

Preference after listening to re-Listen or pick up the book in Print?

Even though I haven’t heard the entire audiobook – what I am enjoying about listening to the audiobook itself is the performance by McEvoy. She has a captivating way of pulling you further into the story – of wanting to hear what she’s going to say and how she’s going to interpret the story the author has written. In this way, I’d rather not re-attempt to read this story in print because I think it would miss out the benefits of what Jessica McEvoy brings to her performance. She has this innate ability to become her character and to transform how the story is being understood by the reader. I truly loved her instincts for how she narrated the story and I wanted to continue to take that journey with her rather than to take it without her with just a book in hand.

In closing, would I seek out another Jessica McEvoy audiobook?

I definitely would seek out more stories narrated by Ms McEvoy – she has a wonderful quality to her narrating style – where she gives you a reason to sit up and take notice of the story she’s bringing to life. I liked how she approached narrating Donn’s Hill which is why I’d like to seek out other titles by other stories she’s narrated which I think would equally good to listen too.

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 This blog tour is courtesy of Audiobookworm Promotions:

Audiobookworm Promotions Event Host badge provided by Audiobookworm Promotions

Be sure to follow the blog tour route to see what else awaits you!

The Soul Searchers Mysteries audiobook blog tour banner provided by Audiobookworm Promotions and is used with permission.Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Earlier on the tour I shared an interview with the narrator.Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

NOTE: Similar to blog tours wherein I feature book reviews, book spotlights (with or without extracts), book announcements (or Cover Reveals) – I may elect to feature an author, editor, narrator, publisher or other creative person connected to the book, audiobook, Indie film project or otherwise creative publishing medium being featured wherein the supplemental content on my blog is never compensated monetarily nor am I ever obligated to feature this kind of content. I provide (98.5%) of all questions and guest topics regularly featured on Jorie Loves A Story. I receive direct responses back to those enquiries by publicists, literary agents, authors, blog tour companies, etc of whom I am working with to bring these supplemental features and showcases to my blog. I am naturally curious about the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of stories and the writers who pen them: I have a heap of joy bringing this content to my readers. Whenever there is a conflict of connection I do disclose those connections per post and disclose the connection as it applies.

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{SOURCES: Book Covers for “Donn’s Hill” and “Donn’s Shadow”, the biography of Caryn Larrinaga and the narrator, Jessica McEvoy as well as the blog tour banner, the audiobook promo banner and the host badge were provided by Audiobookworm Promotions and are used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Audiobook Narrator Interview banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2020.

I’m a social reader | I tweet my reading life

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

read more >> | Visit my Story Vault of Book Reviews | Policies & Review Requests | Contact Jorie

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Posted Wednesday, 1 April, 2020 by jorielov in Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Indie Author




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