Category: Audiobook

Audiobook Series Spotlight and Mini-Review | “Cradle to Grave” (Book Eight: the Kay Hunter Detective series) by Rachel Amphlett, narrated by Alison Campbell

Posted Wednesday, 6 November, 2019 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 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.

Similar to the blog tour for the sixth novel of the #KayHunter series, the blog tour review copies are being provided directly by the author off-site from Audible. The key reason I decided to not accept the review copies from “Gone to Ground”, “Bridge to Burn” and “Cradle to Grave” is because the new format is mostly directed for mobile listeners and I do not listen to audiobooks in that style of format. Eventually as I want to have a full set of all the Kay Hunter installments – I will be purchasing the ones I am missing from Audible to house them all in one place unless I find them available on mp3 CD – until then, I was able to join this lovely blog tour because the audiobooks are readily available via Scribd! For which, I am especially grateful as I can continue to listen to one of my beloved and favourite Crime Drama series!

Thereby my copy of “Cradle to Grave” is self-provided through my subscription to Scribd 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 “Bridge to Burn” and why I was itching for the next novel:

As soon as Kay walked onto the crime scene, I felt like it was old home week again – being treated to seeing another view of her life and to catch-up with the friends I’ve found along the way of peering into her world. In classic Kay Hunter fashion, she quite assessed what was happening with the investigation – whilst her team was close at hand, doing their bit and at the ready to give her the details of what they’d come to understand in the initial analysis of the scene. There were a few changes in their designations – as Kay herself was recently promoted but it was the announcement that Barnes had followed her suit of promoting himself which was quite the lovely news. I still remember how anguished he was over making that choice and why he was hesitating to do it. Seems like between then and now, he’s resolved that this would not only be a good choice for himself but it would allow the close cohesiveness of the team to remain intact. On that level, I was relieved as sometimes if you upset the apple cart, you simply can’t re-establish what you’ve lost.

Harriet never fails to make me smile – then again, I have a soft spot for Medical Examiners and Crime Scene Investigators as that is what originally drew me into NCIS (x3) outside of the fact I simply find Mark Harmon charmingly engaging! She has such a keen sense of self about her and she knows how to keep the scene at hand serious but with a calming bit of levity as well – something I love to see as their lives are stressful enough without having to find some way of alleviating the difficult things they’re having to witness.

Amphlett never fails to knit her continuity tightly anchoured to the previous installments – it is one of the wicked best reasons why I love listening to to this series, as she honestly never lets you forget the moments in her characters’ lives which are intimately important to remember. Herein, when she was having Kay reminisce about her miscarriage you felt immediately drawn back to the installments which discussed this and how it was such an upheaval for Kay and Adam. Of how they drew closer together, how they tried not to let their family try their patience and how putting the pieces together to move forward was one small step at a time. Still, like any tragic loss – her grief lingers, even years on as there are small reminders everywhere about how others can enjoy the blessings of motherhood whilst she cannot. It was a simple inclusion right in the midst of the workday but it was important because it owned the truth of who Kay Hunter is and of how intricately connected this series becomes to her sense of self, her psychological state of mind and how she emotionally processes her job.

It wasn’t until lateron when Adam was brought into scene where we pulled back the layers of Kay’s healing and recovery (as it wasn’t simply a miscarriage which affected her heart, soul and mind) – where we peer into how hard it has been for her to continue to transition beyond what afflicted their lives. They were both emotionally distraught not just to the loss of a child but due to everything during that period of time which not only frayed their nerves but nearly overtook their ability to survive. Adam and Kay have a very strong marriage but even a strong marriage can have a breaking point – Amphlett has never shied away from honing in on the honesty of their marriage and for showing the realistic ways in which a couple comes back from the loss of their child.

If this is the first installment someone wanted to listen to they would be dearly impressed because it held within it a recapture of all the key moments and timeline of the series thus far along. They would find out within one installment why I’ve become so dearly attached to this cast and the drama behind their lives inasmuch as how much they support one another like all families do who work together. I am fond of the ‘family’ knitted together like this – where its a found family story and it speaks to why all the crime dramas I watch on television are of the same kinship of closeness.

What I loved about this installment were the interactions between Kay, Barnes, Sharpe, Gaven and the rest of the team – they keep drawing closer together, re-forming the bonds they share as a ‘found family’ and prove that despite the high risks associated with their job, they truly care about one another. There are lovely details towards exploring this bond they have – such as the pizza party, the breakfast food runs and the ways in which they look out for Kay, understanding her emotional traumas and how as a family unit they never leave anyone behind.

Bridge to Burn also focused more intuitively on Kay’s Mum, Dad and sister – there was a family emergency which took Adam and Kay outside their routines over a weekend to where they had to travel over six hours to reach the family. During this sequence, Amphlett re-highlights the strain Kay has with her mother, the closeness she shares with her sister and how her father gives her unconditional support. A lot of what was fracturing the relationship with Kay and her mother are explored more in-depth as well – a lot of which surprised me, as I never thought Kay’s Mum would be open to meditation but you find out why she came to that new stage of reconciliation as something pushed her towards that goal with Kay. They’re not entirely on solid footing – as they have a chasm as wide as the Grand Canyon between them but ooh! You don’t want to miss their exchanges of dialogue — listening to how Ms Campbell approached their scenes nearly makes you want to reach for the tissues!

-quoted from my review of Bridge to Burn

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Audiobook Series Spotlight and Mini-Review | “Cradle to Grave” (Book Eight: the Kay Hunter Detective series) by Rachel Amphlett, narrated by Alison CampbellCradle to Grave
Subtitle: A Detective Kay Hunter novel
by Rachel Amphlett
Source: Scribd | Subscription
Narrator: Alison Campbell

When a faceless body is found floating in the river on a summer's morning, Detective Kay Hunter and her team are tasked with finding out the man's identity and where he came from.

The investigation takes a sinister turn when an abandoned boat is found, covered in blood stains and containing a child's belongings. Under mounting pressure from a distraught family and an unforgiving media, the police are in a race against time - but they have no leads and no motive for the events that have taken place.

Will Kay be able to find a ruthless killer and a missing child before it's too late?

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781916098817

ASIN: B07YZ63BBV

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), Gone to Ground, Bridge to Burn

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


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


Published by Saxon Publishing

on 15th October, 2019

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 7 hours, 56 minutes (unabridged)

Published by: Saxon Publishing

Audiobooks by: Audiobook Factory (@audiofactoryuk)

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 (see also Review)
Bridge to Burn | Book Seven (see also Review)
Cradle to Grave | Book Eight

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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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Wednesday, 6 November, 2019 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

#SpooktasticReads Audiobook Review | “A Nest of Vipers” (Ruritanian Rogues series, No.2) by Richard Storry, narrated by Jake Urry [an audiobook I began during #FraterfestRAT]

Posted Thursday, 24 October, 2019 by jorielov , , , , 1 Comment

#SpooktasticReads Book Review badge created 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.

By 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 (ie. AudioShelf and Talking Audiobooks in particular). Meanwhile, I am also curating my own wanderings in audio via my local library via 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 began to expand the percentage of how many audios I listen to per year starting in 2018.

Through hosting with Audiobookworm Promotions, I crossed paths with Mr Urry, as my first audiobook review was for “The Cryptic Lines” – a story I listened to at least four times, as I was simply captivated by both the story and the narrator! This was back in [2016] and in this small frame of time, Mr Urry has remained my favourite narrator of Suspense – although my short-list now includes Moira Quirk (of Anna Blanc series) and Alison Campbell (of Kay Hunter series) – as well as the other lovely narrators I mentioned in this tweet s/o of narrator appreciation!

In early 2018, Mr Urry approached me about considering his titles for review – I was able to select which titles interested me, even though I think he knew I was keen on hearing the next installment of this particular series (Ruritanian Rogues) as I enjoyed the first story and was interested in seeing what the next chapter would reveal. In regards to my second choice, I wanted to try a different kind of Suspense story which was slightly unique in concept and plot direction which is why I selected “The Tesla Gate”. This marks my first review working directly with Mr Urry – as I have three planned to be featured during #SpooktasticReads Year II with a fourth following suit in early November.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “A Nest of Vipers” from the narrator Jake Urry in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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What I loved about ‘A Looming of Vultures’:

aside from my obvious appreciation of: Storry & Urry!

It surprises me not, this story begins with a dash of prose – of poetic insinuation to set the tone of the story yet to be told. Storry has a curiously instinctive way of placing you exactly where you need to be at the beginning of his stories – of enveloping you in the ominously unknown setting you’ve not yet had a proper glimpse of but one you can feel is lurking there – slightly shadowed and held back from your direct observation; lingering a bit to give you a fuller breadth of why this story needs to be one you must hear. He builds the curiosity by slowly shifting your perspective into his world-view – combined with the gentle nudging by Urry, to guide you within these realms, whose voice is as alluring and addictive as your favourite actor whose transformation confirms the role he’s taken on – the stage is magnificently set for your immersion.

There is a metaphoric overlay about vultures – of their creature specific personalities and how they appear in the sky, as their flights are of particular choosing – where only their motivations for going where they go is not as well known to those who observe them. They seek their own way, of choosing to visit certain places for specific reasons – whether to eat what was left behind for them to consume (as they were scavengers; part of the team of the nature’s world band of undertakers) or whether their presence was needed for something else entirely. They had keen minds, nothing escaped their attention, where their olfactory senses were intensively attuned to their environment.

With reasons to avoid human encampments – it was curious to find one such creature was more daringly moving in circles of closeness to where the humans were already gathered. His patience was part of his fortitude, his mannerisms held their own truths but his eyes drank in everything moving in front of him; to be dissected for what it would yield for his own means of enjoyment.

There are a lot of layers to this story – as you peer into each of them, you start to see things differently than what you first hear the first time round. However, having said this – one of the joys is observing the thief – the gull this person has at keeping their promises to carry out their plans, but also, how passionate they are in being able to carry off whatever they deem is worthy of their time. One of my favourite scenes was actually a moment where the thief was nearly found out – because it showed the other side of thieving – of how close one can become to being caught! Mind you, this person is so blinded by their pursuit of what they want – they can’t process any other observation on their actions!

I truly loved how Storry makes this an immersive experience for the reader – you get to feel guided a bit by how he’s setting everything up to be followed in direct pursuit of his characters, but there are moments where even the characters themselves are not as certain about where they are going – as they have to move through their setting as if visiting it for the first time, to navigate themselves out of it. There is a particular moment where you felt most intrigued for how little elements are knitted into the background each step of the way, as there are remnants of the historical era of this story here and there; little touches of grounding you in a time-line which makes sense for the general awareness of ‘when’ we’ve been transported.

And, in regards to Mr Urry’s narration:

This is dearly theatrical because you get caught up in the height of how each character is presented – they are so very well attuned to their distinct personalities, you can listen to how they are dimensionally being portrayed. In this kind of performance it is easier to alight inside the narrative because you can see each of the characters in turn, their voices altering between each other and this never sounds like a novel being voiced by one narrator. The joyful bit is unravelling the plot through what your listening too – as Mr Urry gives such depth to everyone he’s portraying as it automatically thickens the plot because your feeling your way through the story the same way you do as your reading a book in print. This is why I love listening to how he narrates his stories!

-quoted from my review of A Looming of Vultures

I still lament: I’m addictive to listening to Urry’s voice and I am musefully happy to see what Mr Storry is going to write next because his stories are a brilliant match to Urry’s narration.

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#SpooktasticReads Audiobook Review | “A Nest of Vipers” (Ruritanian Rogues series, No.2) by Richard Storry, narrated by Jake Urry [an audiobook I began during #FraterfestRAT]A Nest of Vipers
Subtitle: Ruritanian Rogues, Volume Two
by Richard Storry
Source: Direct from narrator
Narrator: Jake Urry

A string of unexplained, gruesome deaths brings fear and uncertainty to the streets of Ruritania’s capital.

And it could not have happened at a worse time. The planned visit by the Vice Chancellor of Jermania to commence peace talks is thrown into jeopardy. Will all the preparation for the negotiations come to nothing? Will the brutal war between the two nations escalate once again?

Meanwhile, the spate of thefts from wealthy homes continues. Who is responsible? And how can they be stopped?

And who is the mysterious figure who continually gains illegal access to the city apothecary?

With many conflicting and intertwining agendas, this proud and noble city faces the very real danger of becoming a nest of vipers.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B078WXYG4G

Also by this author: The Cryptic Lines, A Looming of Vultures

Also in this series: A Looming of Vultures


Genres: Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, Suspense


Published by Self Published Author

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 5 hours 5 minutes (unabridged)

Published By: Cryptic Publications

Ruritanian Rogues series:

A Looming of Vultures by Richard Storry (audiobook)A Nest of Vipers by Richard Storry (audiobook version)A Shroud of Darkness by Richard Storry, narrated by Jake Urry (audiobook)

A Looming of Vultures | Book One
(see also Review)

A Nest of Vipers | Book Two

A Shroud of Darkness | Book Three

A Betrayal Of Trust | Book Four

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Thursday, 24 October, 2019 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, Audiobook, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, Historical Thriller Suspense, Indie Author, Self-Published Author

#SpooktasticReads Audiobook Review | “Death on the River” (Book Two: Tara Thorpe Mysteries) by Clare Chase, narrated by Lucy Brownhill [an audiobook I began listening to during #FraterfestRAT 2019]

Posted Wednesday, 23 October, 2019 by jorielov , , , , , 1 Comment

#SpooktasticReads Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Audiobook By: In the months since August 2018, I decided to switch memberships to Scribd due to the reduction in cost for a subscription based service for audiobooks – however, I still have an active account on Audible and still use it to listen to audiobooks – either those I’ve purchased (past/ present), the complimentary ones I receive for review and/or the ones I’m either gifted or have won in giveaways. I took a brief hiatus in my subscription services for Scribd – especially from June-October 2019; resuming the service on 24th October during the #SpooktasticReads readathon.

I previously placed a pre-order for the first audiobook in this series “Murder on the Marshes” whilst I submitted a purchase request (for the print edition) at my local library for the third novel “Death Comes to Call”; which they accepted and the book is being added to their card catalogue this Autumn 2019.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “Death on the River” direct from the publisher Bookouture in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

It should be noted: I did host an interview with the author, Clare Chase and she provided the Press Materials for this series to use on both the interview and on my review if I elected to share one. She was a guest via my chat on Twitter showcasing Romance & Women’s Fiction (inclusive of all sub-genres) @SatBookChat on the 27th of October, 2018 to discuss this series and her character Tara Thorpe.

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Why I was thankful to begin “Death on the River” during #FraterfestRAT 2019 and how it has become a tradition of mine to read a Claire Chase Thriller:

Unfortunately, due to my health afflictions throughout [2018] and the increased frequencies of my chronic migraines – I had a lot of trouble shifting back into reading and/or listening to the audiobooks I had planned to focus on for review considerations. This is one of the audiobooks I had to push forward until I could give it my full attention. Due to the distance from acquiring it and when I could honestly listen to it – the series has evolved rather quickly! As I noticed each of the individual installments of this series released quite frequently back-to-back without too much delay between them.

Since my review of “Murder on the Marshes” this series has grown and has become a complete set of four stories which are the following: Murder on the Marshes, Death on the River, Death Comes to Call and Murder in the Fens.

One observation did sadden me – I cannot find the release dates for the next two audiobooks as the previous two installments were released shortly after the ebook and paperbacks. I was hoping Ms Brownhill was commissioned to narrate the third and fourth novels given how attached I’ve become in hearing her embrace the characters – giving us a wholly organic evolution of their essences and placing us directly in an emotionally complex series which you honestly don’t want to beg off for sleep! I’ll simply have to remain hopeful further announcements will eventually be made if and when the series resumes to be released into audio.

The reason I was wicked thrilled for a bit of a nudge during #FraterfestRAT 2019 – which has apparently become my ‘tradition’ to read a Clare Chase Thriller during the readathon – now two years strong here on Jorie Loves A Story – is I needed a segue back into reading Thrillers! I have struggled with my focus as foresaid and this readathon gave me the best [block] of time to just re-settle my heart into the stories themselves. I happily populated a *thread of tweets on Twitter and had the most joy in re-discovering where I would be picking up the story-line next to #TaraThorpe!

This is why readathons are a reader’s delight – they allow us the chance to rediscover why we love reading and they tend to take the pressure off the guilt whenever we cannot attach into the series we desire to be reading straight-away!

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Why I am enjoying engaging with Tara Thorpe & her series:

When you first start to listen to Murder on the Marshes, you don’t have too much time to consider what is being disclosed to you – the somberness is there, along with the tension of discovery – but to better understand the scene and what is happening – those moments are placed on hold. You are only giving a short glimpse of what is there – a flickering of an image if this were a film reel before it fades out and the impression of that moment, of that incomplete scene lingers as you enter the next chapter. This was a unique POV to be placed inside right before moving straight into present day – I love a good flashback sequence like the next person but this one felt honestly unique by how Chase gave only “just enough” to keep us curious before moving forward with a keenly taut & tight delivery of current events in Tara and Blake’s timelines.

As we shifted into present day, we arrive inside Tara Thrope’s life where the nightmares of her past are never far outside the shadows lingering outside her residence. Though those shadows were more ominous now – as someone could very well be lying in wait to return and to cause her duress. It was this uncertainty – of sensing something she couldn’t chase down herself which pinned her on edge and gave her the unease of realising she was as vulnerable now as she had been previously; she could not control all situations nor of someone who felt they could harass her into a panic. Part of this was due to how she arrived home but the other half of it stemmed from receiving a parcel in the post – a parcel which held such a curiously normal object but which was sent with malice and not a kindness of heart.

I thoroughly enjoyed observing DI Blake on scene – where Professor Seabrook is first discovered and where his investigation begins – ahead of meeting Tara where he is pulled into investigating how what happened to Tara might or might not interconnect with the Seabrook case. During this scene, there was a lovely piece of juxtaposition where Art History and crime investigation merged into a beautiful symmetry of insight – as Blake started to talk about Millais’s Ophelia. This was also a small gesture of introducing us into the reserved and private DI Blake – a bloke who did not readily disclose bits about himself unless he was in company he trusted.

It was around this time I had already noticed another series was being hinted at in the back of my mind: as the case itself was being discussed, it brought back memories of Scott and Bailey: Season One as this involved a roundtable approach to discussing the details and potential leads. I love Police Procedurals for this one reason – you get to tuck close to different opinions, different attitudes and personalities and different approaches in sleuthing out the truth. Everyone has to work together and everyone has a different role to place in the pursuit of justice. I think this is why I read a lot of mysteries and why I enjoy watching them as well – the percolation of personalities against the background of working together to solve a case.

When it comes to secondary characters and characters of whom I would love to see more often in future installments would be the pathologist Agneta Lawson. The reason Chase’s pathologist held my eye is because she had a unique POV on Blake whilst she was aces at her job; the added benefit truly being the narrator brought her to life, gave her a unique voicing which allowed me to consider her position and her character a bit more than if she hadn’t been presented in this unique way to a reader. This is one reason I love listening to audiobooks as you sometimes find yourself able to discern certain aspects of stories which might be lost or left unseen if your reading a story in print. And, vice versa of course! I also have a personal interest in pathologists as evidenced by the fact I love Abby from NCIS who makes a brill job at highlighting how hard their jobs really are outside of the work of Duckie (from the same series) equally brings forward.

Despite all the advancements Tara and Blake had made towards being a unified front, Tara was a civilian and Blake was having more trouble separating them as a ‘duo’ and respecting the fact she was on the outside. It was becoming especially difficult if you factored in his own personal strife and adversities affecting his mind and heart whilst he was working – as no matter how tough one appears to become for a high risk job where lives were on the line, being human was the one element which left everything subjective and challenging. Blake couldn’t resolve his personal life fast enough in order to have a less stressed professional life. You felt for Blake and you understood why Tara was approaching Blake the way she had been – as this is where it all felt a bit murky where two people who might never have meet were suddenly entwined due to circumstances.

Chase had a segue of interest outside of the main threads of interests wherein we tuck into the personal life of Tara Thrope – where we get to become better acquainted with her mother, an actress and of how Tara’s relationship with her Mum is sometimes a bit rockier than most daughters would prefer. Still, her family might have their quirks and their troubles but they were still approachable which I enjoyed seeing as it meant that they still cared about each other and were still an important part of Tara’s life. I felt from the very beginning her personal life with her family might be strained or close to it due to what originally occurred – referencing here how Kemp entered her life and why. Yet, the curious bit is how her Mum helped her pin down quite a few clues she couldn’t have sorted without her help. I had to smile there – as despite everything, Tara’s Mum held answers she couldn’t have found elsewhere!

One observation I was making was how this is like one giant chess board – where the players you’re not expecting to be the most evasive are in Academia & the ones who surprise you are outside of it; everyone moving towards each other & then away – great drama that! I would imagine it is hard to juggle the backstory against the current day cases whilst giving each equal measure of importance; plus having the believability of solid continuity about the setting (Cambridge) and the protocols associated with both police work and journalism. Nothing was sacrificed to convince you of the other things taking place – uniting you in a lovely puzzle of a crime drama where even the pieces you might feel you should overlook could prove to be the one piece you need to pull the whole picture together!

-quoted from my review of Murder on the Marshes

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A notation about Bookouture & Hachette Books:

In [2016] I created a series of interviews featuring #Bookouture authors: Teresa Driscoll (feat. ‘Last Kiss Goodnight’); Natalie Meg Evans (feat. ‘A Gown of Thorns’); Renita D’ Silva (feat. ‘A Mother’ Secret’); Debbie Rix (feat. ‘Daughters of the Silk Road’); Kerry Fisher (feat. ‘After the Lie’); Helen Pollard (feat. ‘The Little French Guesthouse’) and Tom Bale (feat. ‘See How They Run’). I’ve been striving to collect all of these stories for my personal library whilst intending to share my ruminative thoughts – as I personally love to showcase a guest feature ahead of reading the stories which intrigue my bookish heart! Of this list, as of Thanksgiving 2017 – I have happily acquired the audiobook version of ‘The Little French Guesthouse’ which is a next listen of mine this year! I have more to share about how I acquired this audiobook when I share my ruminations!

Whilst for the past few years I’ve been a book blogger reading INSPY (faith-based) and Motivational stories (of fiction and Non-Fiction) from Hachette Books (USA) imprints: FaithWords and Center Street. At the time of coordinating this interview with Ms Chase, I had missed the fact ‘Bookouture’ was acquired by Hachette UK. This marks my first guest feature and showcased story for Hachette UK : Bookouture! (see also the announcement of the acquisition)

Meanwhile, as per my announcement recently featured on The Sunday Post, No. 6 – I purchased a copy of the digital audiobook version of ‘Murder on the Marshes’ which I am looking forward to listening too. My ruminations are forthcoming on behalf of this first installment of the Tara Thrope series as being this is my own purchase I am not obliged to post my reflections on this novel, I am choosing to showcase my reactions as Ms Chase is an author I personally love reading! (see also my review of ‘You Think You Know Me’)

Previously, you will remember, I crossed paths with Ms Chase through my readings of ChocLitUK (of which I am a reviewer) whilst I have had the pleasure of getting to know her personally through my chat @SatBookChat (previously known as @ChocLitSaturday).

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On my connection to Clare Chase: When I started a chat in [2014] my path crossed with Ms Chase as she was a regular chatter of what is now known as @SatBookChat. Ms Chase and I started to notice our reading habits were aligning with each other, and her conversations were happy editions to my week as I liked finding someone else who liked the same types of stories I was gravitating towards myself. We continued to ‘chat’ about our reading habits even outside of #ChocLitSaturday (the previous name of the chat), which was a blessed joy for me.

I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with Ms Chase through our respective love & passion of reading inside the twitterverse whilst I host #SatBookChat and privately as well. I treat each book as a ‘new experience’, whether I personally know the author OR whether I am reading a book by them for the first time or continuing to read their releases as they are available. This also applies to hosting a guest feature by the author I share a connection.

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#SpooktasticReads Audiobook Review | “Death on the River” (Book Two: Tara Thorpe Mysteries) by Clare Chase, narrated by Lucy Brownhill [an audiobook I began listening to during #FraterfestRAT 2019]Death on the River
Subtitle: A gripping and unputdownable English Murder Mystery
by Clare Chase
Source: Direct from Publisher
Narrator: Lucy Brownhill

Meet Tara Thorpe – she’s Cambridge Police’s newest recruit… but her dark past is never far behind her.

When a body is pulled from the dank and dangerous fens on the outskirts of town, everybody assumes it was a tragic accident. But Detective Tara Thorpe, newly joined and determined to prove herself, suspects there’s more to the story.

Tara is desperate to investigate further, but her supervisor Patrick Wilkins has other ideas. He would rather die than let this ambitious upstart show him up – even if it means some digging in Tara’s secret past to keep her under his thumb. After all, it’s not like he can report her – everyone knows that his boss Detective Garstin Blake and Tara have a history…

When another body is found, it becomes clear that there’s a killer on the loose. Could the murders be linked to the secrets that Tara has been keeping from her team… and can she solve the case before another innocent dies?

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781786817402

ASIN: B07JFT6DSG

Also by this author: You Think You Know Me

Also in this series: Murder on the Marshes


Genres: Amateur Detective, Crime Fiction, Police Procedural, Thriller


Published by Bookouture, Hachette UK

on 22nd October, 2018

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 10 hours and 3 minutes (unabridged)

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The Tara Thrope Mysteries:

Published by: Bookouture (@bookouture)

an imprint of HachetteUK (@HachetteUK)

Murder on the Marshes by Clare ChaseDeath on the River by Clare ChaseDeath Comes to Call by Clare ChaseMurder on the Fens by Clare Chase

Murder on the Marshes (book one) | (see also Review)

Death on the River (book two)

Death Comes to Call (book three) ← local library purchased!

Murder on the Fens (book four)

More insights & ruminations forthcoming on this series to Jorie Loves A Story!

Converse via: #TaraThorpe, #Thriller and #Bookouture

About Ms Clare Chase

Clare Chase

Clare Chase writes mysteries set in her home city of Cambridge and is fascinated by the location’s contrasts and contradictions. She’s worked in diverse settings – from the 800-year-old University to one of the local prisons – and lived everywhere from the house of a Lord to a slug-infested flat. The terrace she now occupies presents a good happy medium.

As well as writing, Clare loves family time, art and architecture, cooking, and of course, reading other people’s books. She lives with her husband and teenage children, and currently works at the Royal Society of Chemistry.

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Wednesday, 23 October, 2019 by jorielov in 21st Century, Amateur Detective, Audiobook, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookouture, Crime Fiction, England, Hard-Boiled Mystery, Indie Author, Investigative Reporter | Journalist, Modern Day, Psychological Suspense, Vulgarity in Literature

Ahead of #WyrdAndWonder, an Audiobook Spotlight | “The Choosing” (The Forest People, book two) by Maggie Lynch (narrated by Rachel Jacobs)

Posted Saturday, 20 April, 2019 by jorielov , , , 5 Comments

Audiobook Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

On my connection to this blog tour: I am a blog tour hostess with Audiobookworm Promotions wherein I have the opportunity to receive audiobooks for review or adoption (reviews outside of organised blog tours) and host guest features on behalf of authors and narrators alike. I have been hosting for nearly a year now and I appreciate the diversity of genre selections and styles of stories to choose from whilst I navigate the audiobook realms!

Why I wanted to listen to this story:

When I first learnt of this series, my first instincts were this could be a brilliant way of getting my feet wet back into Speculative Fiction on the Fantasy side of the ledger. However, what truly rooted me in wanting to tackle a trilogy before #WyrdAndWonder is the fact that it isn’t often I find a Fantasy series which intrigues me to read – at least not on the YA side of things. I’ve been spoilt dearly on the #LelandDragons series and thus, I thought it would be a keen idea to take a chance on a #newtomeauthor and see if this particular series could win me over as much as Jackie Gamber’s!

What I have enjoyed thus far along in The Forest People series:

One of the more gutting openings I’ve listened to in an audiobook were within the first sequences of The Awakening and yet it was also the most beautiful. A selfless act of love and the purity of that choice to bring a child into the world bridging two different species together and ultimately uniting the world to reveal an ancient prophecy their species do not wish to see brought to fruition is how this story first begins.

The parents of Camryn (Wynbune to her people, the forest people as they are known in their unity) are both Quatcho (a furry species of tall stature) and Mazikeen (a sub-species of the fey). Not since I’ve started to read short stories of Speculative origins have I seen such an achingly beautiful origin story etched into a Fantasy – this origin of how Camryn came to be bourne and the sacrifices of her parents is singularly one of my favourite opening bridges which anchours her past to her present. Her mother’s release from the forest reminded me dearly of a beloved scene from Avatar but also from the passages of those short stories wherein Earthly magic and native beliefs were the backbone of the mythologies explored in those previous stories I loved reading. They felt larger than their short lengths and they inspired my mind to re-consider the plausibilities of where Fantasy can take you through a character’s journey. In a continued sense of awareness, I loved the instincts Lynch had for giving us Camryn’s rite of birth.

Nakani and Kia shared a special love and their short love story is memorable because of how they had bonded to each other whilst choosing this path to bring a daughter into a world who would not readily accept her but find her disagreeable to the ordered path their species felt was natural. What is so terribly gutting about this love story is how tragic it ends and how the prophecy they nurtured into existence is what foretold their own fates as much as their daughter’s. It was this humbled origin which sprung forth the uniqueness of having a daughter adopted out of both their species and placed into the human world. It was there where Camryn felt her differences the most – if you cross-relate this story to a very well-known series, you’ll immediately spy out the similarities of a child ‘cast-out’ of their kinship and kind only to be re-discovered lateron. However, despite this wrinkle of curious overlay and familiarity there are a few distinct differences – especially because of how Camryn starts to evolve and transmorph as she rises into her sixteenth year.

I wasn’t a bit surprised how this story was tracking through the psychological effects of Camryn coming to terms with how different she was from her adoptive family nor how they had loved her unconditionally. I think if Lynch had taken this to a different level of realisation on both their behalf’s – if her adoptive family had had any conditions placed on their daughter OR if Camryn herself hadn’t been as authentically raw and real in the opening chapters to describe her own afflictions and emotional anguish – I might not have felt as connected to her journey as I had.

When the story grew a bit more  interesting is when Ohar and Camryn are in the forest – where the overlays of the world are stronger and where we gleam more about Lynch’s vision for The Forest People. The struggle of will inside Ohar isn’t overly examined – it was almost as if that one scene with his Mum was the deciding moment of where he chose to go against her wishes and to do what was right – not for himself but his species, for the sake of their existence and the perservation of their beliefs. His strength is rooted in how he views his purpose and how he chooses to accept his destiny. And, yet, I felt part of his character was a bit under-developed as it was very much matter of fact without contest or argument. I thought for sure there would be more to say about how he would determine his own path outside of his mother’s will – even though she did threaten him, I felt this part of the ominous bits of the world we were entering were left undone or rather unresolved. They simply became a non-issue – as you readily observe once Ohar and Camyrn return to the forest.

Whilst their in the forest, I couldn’t sort out why Lynch was radically changing our perception about Camryn – as she felt older in the chapters leading into this one – although, part of me questioned if her descending age or behaviour patterns had to do with the effect of her crossing into the realm where she was bourne vs the world in which she was raised. There is a difference in place and time, and when your dealing with the fey in most stories, there is a uniqueness of ‘where’ you are vs how you are in other places – almost as if your behaviour, mannerisms and natural essence are influenced by your setting. Or rather, I suppose I ought to say, perhaps by going back to the forest, this newer version of Camryn was her original self trying to come back into her skin? It just felt a bit muddled even though it was quite the compelling quest for Ohar to take-on as a lot was brokering on his success.

Lynch has a knack for developing the world within The Forest People which reminds me of why I personally have become attached to the stylings of Urban Fantasy. She has co-anchoured this journey of Camryn firmly between the world in which she was raised (ie. amongst humans) and the ethereally enchanting forest which in of itself is dimensionally greater than it appears. Like most Urban Fantasies which take us on the journey through the conventions of dimensional time and the conceptional awareness of our world as it is viewed on the surface and not between what is veiled from human sight – Lynch endeavours us to take this journey with her characters; to seek what is beyond.

Part of Lynch’s world-building is to prepositional us into how her world is set to a rhythm of belief where all of life is connected to each other and the difference truly lies in the perception of what is understood. Meaning, for the Forest People themselves – their awareness is more acute rather than the humans’ perception is stunted and limited. It is a perceptional novel in many regards – how you choose to perceive yourself, how others perceive you (outside of your own image) and how the perception of our time within our lives can alter what we can accomplish if we’re hindered by this crippling sense of ‘otherness’ which isn’t our truest sense of self.

One interesting thing to note is how I felt she was written Camryn in a descension of age – meaning, the more time Camryn spent in the forest after her imprisonment and confinement, the more she seemed to regress and age progressively ‘backwards’ rather than forwards. And, then rather suddenly she would be increasingly moving towards a maturity for her species – caught between being a girl and a woman with all the confusing emotions interspersed with the changes in her mood, attitude and emotional balance.

-quoted from my review of Chameleon: The Awakening

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Ahead of #WyrdAndWonder, an Audiobook Spotlight | “The Choosing” (The Forest People, book two) by Maggie Lynch (narrated by Rachel Jacobs)The Choosing (Audiobook Spotlight)
Subtitle: Book Two of the Forest People
by Maggie Lynch
Source: Scribd | Audiobook Subscription
Narrator: Rachel Jacobs

A human chameleon. An endangered mythical forest. Can she bond with a dragon in time to save her new family?

Camryn Painter has enough identity issues without discovering a deadly new magic coursing through her veins. Though her chameleon-like abilities herald her as the forest people’s savior, she’s terrified by the growing dark power within her. And it only gets worse when she realizes that to control this new magic she’ll have to bond with a deadly Thunder Dragon…

As Camryn embarks on her dangerous quest, she discovers that the same human tyrants who experimented on her are behind multiple grisly murders as well. To fulfill her destiny, she may just have to infiltrate her former prison.

Can Camryn master her new abilities to stave off more death, or will power-hungry humans destroy her magical home for good?

Chameleon: The Choosing is the second book in The Forest People YA paranormal fantasy series. If you like heroic challenges, original creatures, and frightening battles between dark and light, then you'll love Maggie Lynch's rousing adventure.

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B07D4RJ7RD

Also by this author: The Awakening (Audiobook Spotlight), The Awakening

Also in this series: The Awakening (Audiobook Spotlight), The Awakening


Genres: Fantasy Fiction, YA Fantasy, YA Paranormal Suspense, Young Adult Fiction


Published by Windtree Press

on 8th May, 2018

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 5 hours and 23 minutes (unabridged)

Published by: Windtree Press

The Forest People series:

Formats Available: Paperback, Ebook and Audiobook

About Maggie Lynch

Maggie Lynch

Maggie Lynch is the author of 20+ published books, as well as numerous short stories and non-fiction articles. Her fiction tells stories of men and women making heroic choices one messy moment at a time. Maggie is also the founder of Windtree Press, an independent publishing cooperative with over 200 titles among 20 authors.

Her love of lifelong-learning has garnered degrees in psychology, counseling, computer science, and education; and led to opportunities to consult in Europe, Australia, and the Middle East. Since 2013, Maggie and her musician husband have settled in the beautiful Pacific Northwest where she now enjoys the luxury of writing full-time. Her fiction spans romance, suspense, science fiction and fantasy titles. Her current non-fiction titles are focused on helping career authors succeed in the business side of writing and publishing.

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Posted Saturday, 20 April, 2019 by jorielov in Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Spotlight & Announcement, Fantasy Fiction, Indie Author, Scribd, Self-Published Author, YA Paranormal &/or Paranormal Romance