10 June 2015

The Books Machine

Have you checked out The Books Machine yet? The Book Machine emails its subscribers a daily selection of free and discounted ebook titles. What makes the site a bit different, though, is you as a reader can also request free copies of any books you're interested in, with your only commitment being a brief review when you've finished reading. For more information, visit www.thebooksmachine.com.

 The Books Machine

15 November 2014

On My Bookshelf: THE HUNTER'S PREY by Marie E Gorman

The Hunter's PreyThe Hunter's Prey by Marie E Gorman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"Hunting is not a sport. In a sport, both sides should know they are in the game." -Paul Rodriguez

Chilling, easy reading (if easy is a term that can ever be applied to true crime) accounts of murder from around the world. It’s almost inconceivable what happened to these women. But I think what resonated with me most about all these cases is the ordinariness of the victims, women who did nothing wrong, women who happened in many cases to simply be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Women who could be anyone of us.

Jill Meagher’s case in particular hit home. Jill, a 29-year-old Melbourne woman, was raped and murdered while walking home from a night out with workmates. It was a walk she’d done many times before. When Adrian Bayley decided to go hunting, however, she didn’t stand a chance.

I, like many women, have walked that same street Jill Meagher did, oblivious to the evil lurking in the shadows. A timely reminder that we need to remain vigilant at all times.

The Hunter's Prey is a True Crime book featuring true stories of women who met violent deaths at the hands of a male. These men managed to blend into society making it impossible for the victims to predict how violent and dangerous they could be. Some of the women in this book encountered everyday violence while others experienced crimes that were so extraordinary and random that they are almost inconceivable. By reading their stories, it forces us to become more aware of our surroundings and we may have second thoughts about doing things that we once believed posed no risk at all. Stories include: 

  • Jill Meagher 
  • Jennifer Levin 
  • Imette St Guillen and Jennifer Moore 
  • Rachel O’Reilly and Celine Cawley 
  • Patricia O’Toole, Raechel Betts and Jasmine Fiore 
  • Lisa Harnum 
  • Denise Amber Lee and Brianna Denison 
  • Cynthia Osokoga and Nona Belomesoff 
  • John Edward Robinson and Paul Denyer 
  • Lucie Blackman and Lindsay Hawker 
  • Laura Garza and Nicola Furlong 
  • Sonja McCaskie and Sharon Siermans 

Available on Kindle from Amazon

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12 September 2014

Audiobook Monthly Magazine September issue out now

Audiobook Monthly Magazine is an innovative online magazine that showcases authors, illustrators, narrators, producers, and studios. (Disclaimer: I am one of the six authors featured in this month’s issue.)

Check out the September issue of Audiobook Monthly Magazine HERE

Audiobook Monthly wants to hear from you:

Tell Audiobook Monthly Magazine what you think?
Do you have a review you’d like to submit?
What’s your favourite audiobook?
Do you have an audiobook related article you would like to submit?

Want your audiobook reviewed?
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Be seen – place an advertisement in ABM’s Narrators Section. 

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Email Susan at abm2014@aol.com

11 September 2014

On My Bookshelf: UNFORGIVABLE by Sharon Robards

UnforgivableUnforgivable by Sharon Robards
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Nuns walked across the wooden floor, not speaking, accustomed to the screams as much as to the smell of ammonia. Business as usual. Except for the girl crying out and the swish-swish of black or white habits, the scene resembled a silent movie—quiet and without colour.”Unforgivable

Powerful and poignant, Unforgivable has an authenticity about it that goes way beyond mere historical fact. The people are real, the emotions complex and deep. The standout character for me was Sister Gregory, a nun with both empathy and conviction. A nun who didn’t always agree with the Catholic doctrine.

The story summons up conflicting emotions. Sadness, because even though it’s fiction, it’s what actually happened in 1960s Australia. Admiration for those same teenage girls, who despite being forced to give away their babies sight unseen, never forgot. Or forgave.

Highly recommended. If you enjoyed Love Child, the Australian TV series, you’ll love Unforgivable.

Unforgivable is the story of a teenage girl and a young nun caught up in the great religious and social upheaval brought on by Vatican II, and a thriving adoption industry driven by society’s fierce disapproval of unmarried mothers. 

Seventeen-year-old Sylvia, like many unmarried teenage mothers across Australia in 1966, is forced to wait for the birth of her child in one of the homes and hospitals run by the Catholic Church. St Joseph’s Hospital, managed by the Sisters of St Anthony, has never had a girl walk out the front gate without first leaving behind her baby. But the sisters had never met Sylvia, defiant and headstrong and determined to keep her child.

Available on Kindle from Amazon

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17 July 2014

Fatal Liaison Audiobook Giveaway Winners

Thank you to everyone who entered the Fatal Liaison Audiobook Giveaway.

The winners are:

Ben P.
Larry F.

Congratulations, Ben and Larry, and happy listening.

26 June 2014

WIN Fatal Liaison AUDIOBOOK (Value $19.95)

Great news... Crossroad Press is giving away 2 copies of
 Fatal Liaison the AUDIOBOOK from Audible.com

Running time: 8 hours and 22 minutes | Unabridged
Produced by Crossroad Press

The lives of two strangers, Greg Jenkins and Megan Brighton, become inextricably entangled when they each sign up for a dinner dating agency. Greg's reason for joining has nothing to do with looking for love. His recently divorced sister, Sam, has disappeared and Greg is convinced that Dinner for Twelve, or at least one of its clients, may be responsible.

Neither is Megan looking for love. Although single, she only joined at her best friend Brenda De Luca's insistence. When a client of the dating agency is murdered, suspicion falls on several of the members. Then Megan's friend Brenda disappears without trace, and Megan and Greg join forces. Will they find Sam and Brenda? Or are they about to step into the same inescapable snare?

Enter below for your chance to win. Simply sign in with either your Facebook account or email address and follow the instructions. Once you've completed a task that's listed on the widget, you'll receive entries into the promotion. The more tasks you complete, the more chances you have. Winners will be drawn by Rafflecopter and results published here. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

25 June 2014

Holiday reading...

I’m an avid reader but haven’t had a lot of time of late to indulge. That is until I unplugged and escaped to The Grampians for a whole glorious month. Curled up in front of the wood fire, I read more books than I’ve read all year. I’ve selected a true crime and a thriller – both Australian – to share, both of which I highly recommend. Dark Horse goes to the top of my favourite reads for the year.


Dark HorseDark Horse by Honey Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“After witnessing last year’s fifty-metre-high rolling fireballs, she’d wondered if the treetops were truly Satan’s home. And God resided in the water. Everything about that fire had smacked of hell.”Dark Horse

This is my second Honey Brown book. And while I enjoyed After the Darkness, this has to be my favourite read of the year so far. I literally couldn’t put it down.

Dark Horse delivers on all fronts. There is not a moment when something isn't happening. Brown somehow manages to imbue every setting and every exchange with suspense, which is all the more surprising given the small cast of characters – one woman, one man, a horse and the weather. Simply masterful.

I also love it when a twist catches you by surprise – especially when all the clues are there.

Days after I finished reading Dark Horse, I found myself still thinking about the story. It is a rare book that stays with me like that.

A must-read.

Murder in Suburbia: Disturbing Stories from Australia's Dark HeartMurder in Suburbia: Disturbing Stories from Australia's Dark Heart by Emily Webb
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“The suburbs are where we live.” – Murder in Suburbia: Disturbing Stories from Australia's Dark Heart

Murder in Suburbia makes a refreshing change to most crime collections I’ve read that simply rehash the same high-profile cases. The focus of this collection is on those murders much closer to home, those in our own backyard.

Having lived in Melbourne, many of these shocking and senseless murders were too close for comfort. They certainly drove home how wrong the it-can’t-happen-to-me mindset can be.

Emily Webb also manages to keep the tension high without sensationalising the crimes.

Highly recommended.

View all my reviews