Category: 21st Century

Audiobook Review | “Gone to Ground” (Book Six: the Kay Hunter Detective series) by Rachel Amphlett, narrated by Alison Campbell

Posted Friday, 7 September, 2018 by jorielov , , , , 2 Comments

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

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 and knitting agreeable companions to listening to audiobooks, I have 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 the Audiobookworm 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 (ie. AudioShelf and Talking Audiobooks; see my sidebar). Meanwhile, I am also curating my own wanderings in audio via my local library who uses Overdrive for their digital audiobook catalogue whilst making purchase requests for audio CDs. It is a wonderful new journey and one I enjoy sharing – I am hoping to expand the percentage of how many audios I listen to per year starting in 2018.

I jumped at the chance to become a part of the sixth audiobook tour featuring the #KayHunter series by Rachel Amphlett so quickly, I had overlooked a critical piece of the blog tour: the copies for review on this tour were not going to be provided through Audible! Having an extra credit I hadn’t had the chance to use I purchased my own copy of “Gone to Ground” rather than being provided with a complimentary copy of the story. Thereby, I am choosing to participate on the audiobook tour, sharing my ruminations with my readers for my own edification but also, as a continuation of a reader’s love for a dramatic crime serial. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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What held me in the throes of “Call to Arms” and why I was itching for the next novel:

One of the things I enjoy most about Ms Amphlett’s style of detective novels is how she gives you a seemingly one dimensional plot point and expounds upon it to encompass more layers of intrigue than you would originally feel could be pinned to a situation which by all fronts, appeared to be routine or having nothing more serious than the surface details of what was noted or observed. This is what I love about the series, because even as your keeping your toes at there ready to hear something which will be need to be re-pulled forward further inside the installment – you don’t always know which details are most pertinent to remember and which ones might not be as keenly important in the end.

This installment turnt back to the situational bantering between Kay and her colleagues – where we get to be observing their work hours closely – the funny bit is how they like to work off each other – they each compliment the other quite well, but due to the long hours and the winding ways in which a case can unnerve the detectives, they have to re-group themselves somehow and humour is one of the best equalisers! When they weren’t rubbing my funny-bone, I enjoyed listening to how they worked out their theories – each of them making suggestions and following where the evidence and interviews were yielding them to head next in an attempt to resolve the case at long last!

Kay Hunter follows her instincts to pursue a case she knew in her heart was important to solve – however, she never would have suspected how close it would come to affecting her relationship with Sharpe nor of how the case itself would become insidious in regards to the callus nature of someone who could only be referred to as self-conceited past the point of reason! Adam definitely understands his wife to such a degree it’s heart-warming whereas Kay sometimes struggles with the confidence of embracing her truer nature as a cop. She seems to be seeking approval at different intervals to where her internal sense of self falters against the tides of where her job takes her in a neverending battle for personal sanity.

Amphlett keeps us grounded on the personal journey of Kay Hunter – through all facets of her life, from what she’s feeling, thinking and how she sorts through every choice she makes both personally and professionally. One kind thing for her is having a husband (Adam) who not only believes in his wife but allows her the leeway she needs to make hard choices at times where an easier route might have been his preference. He also encourages her to do things she at first might feel she wants to recoil from accepting – such as her recent temporary elevation in status. Adam has a calming sense of knowing just what to say to help Kay settle her thoughts – all of this is part of the foundation of the series I have loved watching built. As Amphlett doesn’t sacrifice Kay’s personal life for the profession – it’s a healthy way of seeing how detectives must decide how to live a well-balanced life, without allowing the job to supersede their own humanity. All of which is vocalised by the impressively brilliant narrator Alison Campbell who immerses us directly into the heart of Kay!

-quoted from my review of Call to Arms

At the time I had finished listening to Call to Arms – I almost felt I needed to take a proper break from listening to the next installment. Each story in the series becomes increasingly difficult to listen to due to the increasing Suspense Ms Amphlett knits into the background of the stories. Not to mention the crimes themselves are on the upper edge of what I can handle listening to as they are rather difficult to read on that note.

I hadn’t foreseen another blog tour this year, as I was so dearly thankful to be a part of the first five novels which went on blog tours – finding out Gone to Ground was available to listen to after Summer, felt rather fitting – as this would be the story-line which was fully removed from the anguish Kay had gone through at work and the grief she had shared with Adam. I was definitely keen on seeing where the story would continue to shift forward and how Kay would handle moving forward after such a strong sea of adversity which had sought to undo her sanity.

When I first read the premise, however, I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to be able to get into the story itself as it is a rather gruesome plotting. The only thing I was holding onto is the fact that Ms Campbell’s narration in combination with Ms Amphlett’s muse – might be the best partnership to where I could handle a story-line like this one as otherwise, had it been another series altogether I simply would have bypassed it.

I also knew, having heard the five books prior to this sixth one – Amphlett spends a lot of time developing her characters, of inserting her readers & listeners into the background of her world – giving us a proper threading of what is going on in the lives of her lead and supporting characters whilst their fully committed to solving the case at hand. It is due to this structure of how she pulls us back into the Kay Hunter series, I had a strong feeling I could get through this installment, as I knew the main focus points were not on the crimes but rather on the people who solve them.

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Audiobook Review | “Gone to Ground” (Book Six: the Kay Hunter Detective series) by Rachel Amphlett, narrated by Alison CampbellGone to Ground
Subtitle: A Detective Kay Hunter novel
by Rachel Amphlett
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Alison Campbell

While attending a crime scene on the outskirts of Maidstone, DI Kay Hunter makes a shocking discovery.

The victim has been brutally cut to pieces, his identity unknown.

When more body parts start turning up in the Kentish countryside, Kay realises the disturbing truth – a serial killer is at large and must be stopped at all costs.

With no motive for the murders and a killer who has gone undetected until now, Kay and her team of detectives must work fast to calm a terrified local population and a scornful media.

When a third victim is found, her investigation grows even more complicated.

As she begins to expose a dark underbelly to the county town, Kay and her team are pulled into a web of jealousy and intrigue that, if left unchecked, will soon claim another life.

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B07F7FHYTT

Also by this author: Scared to Death, Will to Live, One to Watch, Hell to Pay, Call to Arms, Author Inteview: Rachel Amphlett (Gone to Ground)

Also in this series: Scared to Death, Will to Live, One to Watch, Hell to Pay, Call to Arms


Genres: Crime Fiction, Hard-Boiled Mystery, Police Procedural, Thriller


Published by Saxon Publishing

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 6 hours, 36 minutes (unabridged)

Published by: Saxon Publishing

Order of the Kay Hunter Detective series:
Scared to Death | Book One (see also Review)
Will to Live | Book Two (see also Review)
One to Watch | Book Three (see also Review)
Hell to Pay | Book Four (see also Review)
Call to Arms | Book Five (see also Review)
Gone to Ground | Book Six

About Rachel Amphlett

Rachel Amphlettt

Before turning to writing, Rachel Amphlett played guitar in bands, worked as a TV and film extra, dabbled in radio as a presenter and freelance producer for the BBC, and worked in publishing as a sub-editor and editorial assistant.

She now wields a pen instead of a plectrum and writes crime fiction and spy novels, including the Dan Taylor espionage novels and the Detective Kay Hunter series.

Originally from the UK and currently based in Brisbane, Australia, Rachel cites her writing influences as Michael Connelly, Lee Child, and Robert Ludlum. She’s also a huge fan of Peter James, Val McDermid, Robert Crais, Stuart MacBride, and many more.

She’s a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold sold to Fanucci Editore's TIMECrime imprint, and the first four books in the Dan Taylor espionage series contracted to Germany’s Luzifer Verlag.

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Posted Friday, 7 September, 2018 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Review (non-blog tour), British Literature, Crime Fiction, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Detective Fiction, England, Good vs. Evil, Hard-Boiled Mystery, Indie Author, Lady Detective Fiction, Mental Health, Modern Day, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Psychological Suspense, Realistic Fiction, Sociological Behavior, True Crime

Book Spotlight with Extract | A series I have enjoyed reading as Ms Rock draws us closer into the Cade family within her Rocky Mountain Cowboy series! This spotlight focuses on the fourth novel “A Cowboy’s Pride”!

Posted Wednesday, 5 September, 2018 by jorielov , , , , , , , 6 Comments

Stories in the Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

You might remember my fondness for reading the prequel of the Rocky Mountain Cowboys – ‘A Cowboy to Keep’? I was overjoyed I could borrow this novel through my local library’s ILL services (inter-library loan) whilst I celebrated the publication of the first novel ‘Christmas at Cade Ranch’?! Since I hosted my interview with Ms Rock last year, the series has experienced quite a bit of growth – as there are now *five!* novels released!

As I eagerly anticipate reading ‘A Cowboy’s Pride’ I will have happily read four of the stories – isn’t that grand?! The first thing you realise when your reading this series is how lush & vivid the scenery is as the Cade Ranch is set in Carbondale, Colorado – nestled in a lovely area of the Rocky Mountains on the Western range where you are quite literally surrounded by the beauty of the mountains and the wildlife who calls the place home. This is the country of wide open ranges, tall mountain peaks, small townes & communities and a lifestyle that is both relaxed and celebrating either ranching or cultural art.

Ms Rock has a lovely niche of depositing you into this family saga through the different eyes of perspective she lends her readers – it is not your typically set series either – as despite the largeness of the Cade clan, you would generally believe each installment would funnel itself exclusively through the ‘men’ of the series but thankfully Ms Rock switched things up quite a bit and has gone a different route completely! Mind you, there is a female Cade amongst the brothers – of whom I am itching to have her own day in the spotlight but for now, what impressed me most is how there are other women whose lives bear remembering as they each have sought redemption & second chances in Carbondale amongst the Cades! A bit like the film ‘Mrs Winterbourne’ where Ricki Lake’s character learnt a hard truth about how if life is going to get a bit rougher and more complicated, it is best to ride out the uncertainties with a family who adopts you into their fold than to bear it all on the harsher side of the streets!

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Reflections on ‘A Cowboy to Keep’:

What I thought was so keen about this series is how it harkens back to yesteryear – where the open range and ranches were relying on the law – through bounty hunters, lawmen and the courage of the ranchers themselves to seek justice when needed. The West has a lot of History in this regard and to even get a slice of it within a Contemporary Western playing homage felt ‘right’ to me! I was most encouraged to see how Ms Rock would shape the series whilst owning to the heart of what implores us about the life of living in the West nestled against the Rocky Mountains! Part of the allure for me to read Westerns (both Historical & Contemporary) has been the appeal of the mountains which in of themselves are part of the character and charm which define the Western culture and influences the topography of the settings.

The area of the mountains they were riding in whilst on horse-back is the stuff of envy for any horse girl because they were right in the thick of the wild country – where the mountains were endless, the skies were enriched by the crispness of the climate and there were no trails except the ones you choose to carve for yourself as you rode. The horses could feel the vibe, too, as there is a certain freedom attached to riding on a ranch whose acres are half of 1,000!

The worst thing to be left with when your alone are your thoughts – such as how Dani is finding she’s not nearly as strong as she first perceived she had become ever since Jackson took up residence on the Ranch. It’s hard to shake the restlessness you feel being around someone you know could alter the course of your life – which is why Dani is betwixt and between knowing how she could proceed. She has as job to do – that’s true – but at what cost to herself and to those she’s considered her friends? As you watch her counter-weigh her own mistakes against the (supposed) mistakes of those she knows under her employ, you start to see her wrestling with her own guilt and the line of conscience recrimination which is overtaking her mind and heart.

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Reflections on ‘Christmas at Cade Ranch’:

One of the beautiful things about this series is how redemption and second chances permeate through the stories. Erstwhile, you are becoming closer in acquaintance with the Cade family themselves – the ranch they live on becomes the anchour to their lives, the place where they gather and they grow; where love nurtures their present and where it breathes hope into the future. Each installment of this series builds on the last story in sequence – thereby, by the time you start at A Cowboy to Keep whilst reading each new story thereafter, you are given a wonderful portrait of a resilient family. A family whose honest about the hardships in life and where good or bad, this is a family who remains evermore true of themselves.

Ms Rock does a great job of taking you into the heart of addiction – first through the opinions of family who feel they are being helpful but in reality their falling a bit short with a few good observations. Secondly, she takes you into an NA meeting to hear the stories of other addicts who are struggling just like Sofia to quash their innermost doubts and to remain above the pains of addiction whilst re-setting their lives free of the substance of their choice. It was in one of those meetings where Sofia felt both ashamed to be present and rather awkwardly at first, comfortable amongst those who she could relate too.

Ms Rock also highlights what it is like to have a controlling personality – someone who is unable to yield or bend – this was spoken about in regards to Sofia’s father but in the present time-line of the series it is mostly directed towards James who has a definitive way of ‘taking over’ and claiming roles he was not meant to lead because doing so would jeopardise another person’s sense of self.

One of my favourite parts of the story is how closely Sofia and Joy (the Cade siblings mother) bonded over being in such close quarters whilst she was recuperating. Joy still had quite a bit of spunk left in her and she had a right to want to keep living her life to the fullest she could. Sofia inspired her in equal measure of Joy inspiring Sofia to take new risks and to keep bettering herself for her future and her son’s (Javi). Javi was an impressionable child but he also understood what was important in his young life. I can see why Sofia stressed about how he might react around James and why being around James for both of them was proving to be a bit too difficult.

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Posted Wednesday, 5 September, 2018 by jorielov in 21st Century, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Contemporary Romance, Farm and Ranching on the Frontier, Indie Author, Life Shift, Modern Day, Prism Book Tours, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Small Towne Fiction, Small Towne USA, West Coast USA, Western Fiction, Western Romance

Book Blitz with Notes and Extras | “Twelve Months of Awkward” by Lisa Acerbo a new Digital First Contemporary Romantic Suspense which caught my eye!

Posted Monday, 3 September, 2018 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

Books in the Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I have an announcement – I decided to start hosting for Xpresso Book Tours for showcasing new books which interest me to be #amreading, such as this spotlight blitz post and/or hosting guest features for authors on behalf of the stories I want to be reading! They mostly feature digital releases on their blog tours, which is why I am not expecting to be hosting review tours for them but I do like to find new Indie published authors and from what I can gather from their list of tours, they have the tendency of featuring quite a lovely variety of Indie writers!

As you know, my search for new Contemporary authors has had its fair share of ups and downs over the past few years, yet when I first read the premise behind this one it felt like it stepped out a bit from what I would usually expect to find inside a Contemporary plot. Especially since this is a story which is anchoured to someone who is trying to not just overcome a particular moment of their life but to find distance and peace from it as well.

Romantic Suspense threads of intrigue are becoming my jam lately – as you well know, I am over the moon in *love!* with #LoveInspired Suspense novels – each of those lovelies is a #RomSusp knitted taut and tight out of high emotions, dramatic passageways and the eclipse of a Thriller you are never fully sure if your prepared to handle but you *keep turning the pages!* all the same! Meanwhile, outside of my INSPY readings – I still love to see out these sorts of stories on the mainstream side of the ledger!

What set this particular book apart in my mind is the fact it’s #NewAdult – a tricky category of interest for me as I rarely if ever find an NA I can soak into and find myself enthused. Ms Acerbo held my attention in the extracts provided on this Blitz tour and that in of itself was a happy surprise! I am truly hopeful as I ever am this Digital First will one day be released into print or audio – thereby allowing me to read it.

What do you currently find yourself drawn into when it comes to Rom Suspense plot threads & especially when it comes to New Adult!? What are you personally seeking when you try to find stories which fit inside these particular categories of interest!?

As an aside, when I first saw the publisher was ‘Torrid’ – it brought back fond memories of a clothing store heralding the same name – you know, from the 90s and early 2000s before it was ‘altered’ out of its funkified state of loveliness to be just another ‘lemming’ of bland!?

Book Blitz with Notes and Extras | “Twelve Months of Awkward” by Lisa Acerbo a new Digital First Contemporary Romantic Suspense which caught my eye!Twelve Months of Awkward Moments
by Lisa Acerbo

Dani can’t wait for senior year at college. A straight-A scholar whose anxiety is a daily struggle, being awkward, introverted, and studious has become a way of life. She vows this year will be different. It’s time to move beyond her comfort zone, but that’s not easy.

Dani’s wild roommate and handsome best friend hate each other; her crazy family won’t leave her alone; and a new job forces her to be social. Unfortunately, when college romance finally calls, Dani is unable to answer thanks to a stalker who has her all tied up.

Can she stay alive long enough to find love and graduate?

Places to find the book:

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781682992937

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance Fiction, Romantic Suspense


on 30th August, 2018

Format: eBook

Published By: Torrid Books (@torridbooks)

Available Formats: this is a Digital First release into ebook

*I am hoping this goes into print or POD eventually so I can read it!

Converse on Twitter via: #Contemporary #RomSusp

About Lisa Acerbo

Lisa Acerbo

Lisa Acerbo is a high school teacher and adjunct instructor at a local community college. Her previous novels have been published through a variety of indie presses. She has a short story “Carnivorous” coming out in October as part of an anthology titled Carnival of Nightmares. When not writing or teaching, she spends time with her family, friends and pets. She also fosters dogs to help them find their forever homes.

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Posted Monday, 3 September, 2018 by jorielov in 21st Century, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, College & University Years, Coming-Of Age, Contemporary Romance, Domestic Violence, Indie Author, Modern Day, New Adult Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Romance Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Singletons & Commitment, Upper YA Fiction

Blog Book Tour | “Finding Hope in the Darkness of Grief: Spiritual Insights Expressed Through Art, Poetry and Prose” by Diamante Lavendar #poetry collection

Posted Monday, 20 August, 2018 by jorielov , , 3 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By:

I have been hosting for Poetic Book Tours for a few years now, where I am finding myself encouraged to seek out collections of poetry or incredible fiction being published through Small Trade publishers and presses. I have an Indie spirit and mentality as a writer and I appreciate finding authors who are writing creative works through Indie resources as I find Indies have a special spirit about them. It is a joy to work with Poetic Book Tours for their resilience in seeking out voices in Literature which others might overlook and thereby, increasing my own awareness of these beautiful lyrical voices in the craft.

I received a complimentary copy of “Finding Hope in the Darkness of Grief” direct from the author Diamante Lavendar in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Blog Book Tour | “Finding Hope in the Darkness of Grief: Spiritual Insights Expressed Through Art, Poetry and Prose” by Diamante Lavendar #poetry collectionFinding Hope in the Darkness of Grief
Subtitle: Spiritual Insights Expressed Through Art, Poetry and Prose
by Diamante Lavendar
Source: Publisher via Poetic Book Tours

This earthly plane offers much for us to learn: happiness, wisdom, loss, heartbreak, and enlightenment. It is a Pandora’s box of emotions, situations, opportunities, and failures, all wrapped into a package we call life. Nobody is immune, but everyone has the opportunity to grow tall or wither like a flower in harsh light. It’s completely up to us how we choose to respond.

Finding Hope in the Darkness of Grief is a gleaning of insights from artist Diamante Lavender. For her, life has been a long, difficult road, but it has taught many poignant lessons. Her poetry collection is an exploration of the human soul, a traversing of situations that life throws at us. Diamante has always been intrigued by the ability to overcome and move on to bigger and better things.

She writes to encourage hope and possibility in those who read her stories. If she can help others heal, as she has, then Diamante’s work as an author and artist will have been well spent. She believes that everyone should try to leave a positive mark on the world, to make it a better place for all. Writing is the way that she is attempting to leave her mark—one story at a time.

Places to find the book:

ISBN: 9781982205683

Also by this author: Finding Hope in the Darkness of Grief

Genres: Poetry & Drama


Published by Balboa Press

on 16th June, 2018

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 74

Published By: Balboa Press (@BalboaPress)

an imprint of Hay House (@hayhouse)

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #Poetry

About Diamante Lavendar

Finding Hope in the Darkness of Grief by Diamante Lavendar (full cover)

Diamante Lavendar began writing in college and published poetry in anthologies. Most of her writing is personal and stems from her experiences and those of her family and friends. She also creates visual art with colored pencils, acrylic paints, and various mixed media. Diamante is also the author of Breaking the Silence and Poetry and Ponderings: A Journey of Abuse and Healing through Poetry.

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Posted Monday, 20 August, 2018 by jorielov in 21st Century, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Indie Author, Modern Day, Poetic Book Tours, Poetry