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

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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

13 May 2014

OUT NOW: Fatal Liaison the Audiobook

I'm thrilled to announce the release of Fatal Liaison the AUDIOBOOK, narrated by the very talented Larissa Gallagher

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?

21 April 2014

SPECIAL: Thin Blood audio (unabridged) $2.99

Amazon/Audible have THIN BLOOD [UNABRIDGED] [AUDIBLE AUDIO EDITION] on special for the bargain price of $2.99. Listen on your Kindle Fire or with the free Audible app on Apple, Android, and Windows devices.

Narrated by Basil Sands (listen to sample)
Running time: 7 hours, 38 minutes | Unabridged
Produced by Perfect Voices

Craig Edmonds, a successful stockbroker, reports the disappearance of his wife, Kirsty. What starts as a typical missing person's case soon evolves into a full-blown homicide investigation when forensics uncover blood traces and dark-blonde hairs in the boot of the missing woman's car. Added to this, is Craig's adulterous affair with the victim's younger sister, Narelle Croswell, compounded further by a recently acquired $1,000,000 insurance policy on his wife's life. He is charged with murder but, with no body and only circumstantial evidence, he walks free when two trials resulting in hung juries fail to convict him.

Ten years later, Jacinta Deller, a newspaper journalist is retrenched. Working on a freelance story about missing persons, she comes across the all but forgotten Edmonds case. When she discovers her boyfriend, Brett Rhodes, works with Narelle Croswell, who is not only the victim's sister but is now married to the prime suspect, her sister's husband, she thinks she has found the perfect angle for her article. Instead, her life is turned upside down, as befriending the woman, she becomes embroiled in a warped game of delusion and murder.

With Whispersync for Voice
switch between reading and listening
without losing your place

21 March 2014

NEW RELEASE: Miami Mummies by Barbara Silkstone

MIAMI MUMMIES ~ Book Four in the Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider collection

The legendary mastermind criminal and mummy thief, Kyzer Saucy, strikes again. Part-time tomb raider and full-time real estate broker, Wendy Darlin joins her lover, archaeologist Roger Jolley as they struggle to save a rare Miami mummy from the clutches of this evil genius. Can Saucy be stopped before he kills again? Meanwhile can Wendy keep her promise to Alfred Hiccup as he attempts to transmigrate from the afterlife? Or has Wendy finally made one promise too many?

This book is an homage to the great Alfred Hitchcock… who is probably turning over in his grave.

BITTER NOTHINGS Best Mystery 2014

I'm thrilled and honoured to announce that Bitter Nothings won the mystery category in Big Al's Books and Pals Readers' Awards.

Thank you to Big Al and his pals, and especially my readers. To say I'm overwhelmed that so many people voted for Bitter Nothings is an understatement. It certainly makes all the hard work worth it.

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees.

10 March 2014

NEW RELEASE: Play the Piper: Tonight's performance by Timothy Frost

Classical musician Matthew Colman, rising star of the virtuoso Greenwich Sinfonia, is separated from his wife, under financial pressure, and sees his ten year old daughter Emily only once a week. He arrives home late one night to discover from the TV news that he is wanted for the murder of a Dutch student he has never heard of.

The young lady in question turns up, very much alive. Anna is the fiancée of the young millionaire hedge fund manager who is also the principal sponsor of Matt’s orchestra. When Matt embarks on a reckless affair with Anna, he puts more than his career at risk. Passionate, liberal and unworldly, he is no match for the shadowy forces ranged against him. It seems that the events of the news item must come true as Matt, Anna and Emily are drawn into a sinister conspiracy that threatens them all.

This suspenseful psychological mystery thriller, set in the clashing worlds of the London professional music scene and international investment business, crackles with relentless action that will leave you gasping. Play the Piper is recommended for ages sixteen and above due to adult themes.


NEW RELEASE: Deadly Crossing by R.E. McDermott

A phone call. A common enough event, sometimes welcome, sometimes annoying, but seldom life changing. Or so we assume. But assumptions are dangerous things, and the reality is we all live one phone call away from disaster. One cheerful ring away from news of a tragic accident. One muted buzz from learning a lifetime of memories have disappeared in a raging house fire.

And so it is for Tom Dugan, rolling though the London night, the woman he loves in the taxi beside him. Life is good by any measure — until his phone rings, alerting him to the arrival of two old Russian friends with a very big problem.

Dugan’s attempts to help his friends rescue an innocent girl from the Russian mob plunge him into a world he’d scarcely imagined, endangering him and everyone he holds dear. A world of modern day slavery and unspeakable cruelty, from which no one will escape, unless Dugan can weather a Deadly Crossing.


05 March 2014

Bitter Nothings nominated for Best Mystery in Readers’ Choice Awards

I'm thrilled to announce that Bitter Nothings has been nominated for Best Mystery in BigAl's Books and Pals 2014 Readers' Choice Awards.
Voting has started and is open for the next 8 days. If you have time, I’d love to have your vote.


While you’re there, please check out the other categories. For each category you vote in you'll receive one entry in the giveaway raffle.

Thanks for your support!

07 February 2014

Mysteries in Paradise: Review of Thin Blood

"If you are looking for a light but satisfying read, then this might hit the spot."

Many thanks to Kerrie of Mysteries in Paradise (paradise being Australia) for her review of Thin Blood. Read full review here

Kerrie is also a contributor to Fair Dinkum Crime, another Aussie crime readers blog I follow.

10 January 2014

On My Bookshelf: DEAD BY FRIDAY by Derek Pedley

Dead by Friday

Dead by Friday by Derek Pedley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Adelaide is no virgin when it comes to bizarre murders.”

Dead by Friday is a well-crafted and in-depth account of the cruel and brutal slaying of South Australian mother-of-three Carolyn Matthews, a woman whose only crime was to be married to the wrong man.

There is nothing simple about this case. Dead by Friday reads like a far-fetched crime novel, but then truth is often stranger than fiction. The more the story unfolded, the sicker I felt and the more I wished it were fiction.

My admiration has to go to the detectives who somehow pieced together this complex and warped tale of lust and manipulation.

Highly recommended for lovers of true crime.

He was once a bronzed lifesaver but is now a balding, overweight tyre-shop manager nearing 40, an ambitious man with desires his marriage cannot satisfy. She is 29, the wife of one of his employees; a serial cheater and manipulator, she can curl her lips into a knowing smile and bat bedroom eyes at any man who cares to take a second look. Kevin Matthews and Michelle Burgess are made for each other.

The affair begins with furtive sex in parks and offices, moving on to whiskey-fuelled trysts in motels. Their marriages crumble, his career and finances suffer and the obsession deepens. The pillow talk turns sinister. She issues ultimatums. Drastic action is needed if they are to start a new life together.

At the front gate of a suburban primary school, in between mothers' small talk, two murder plots are hatched. Contracts - complete with photographs of Matthews' wife and Burgess' husband - are issued. Enter amateur hitman David Key, who says he'll do both for $50,000. It is the perfect plan: Kevin and Michelle will escape their marriages, claim the $100,000 life insurance policy on Matthews' wife, Carolyn, and live happily ever after.

But their lust and greed is infectious; Key is instantly infatuated with Michelle, the "high-class sheila" who has hired him, and a second, parallel affair begins. When she tips over the edge into a manic and delusional state, the situation spins out of control, leading to a shocking and brutal crime.

It is recounted through the eyes of detectives, witnesses, families, friends, lovers and one of the intended victims, Michelle's husband Darren Burgess.

On the surface, it is a random and horrific crime without a motive. Who would kill a much-loved wife, mother and respected lifesaver? DEAD BY FRIDAY draws on the meticulous investigation and puts readers at the detectives' sides as they hunt the killers. It seeks the disturbing truth about Michelle Burgess - how did a schoolgirl who told extravagant lies to get attention grow up to be a serial sex-predator-turned-killer? The truth is revealed in a forensic profile that reaches conclusions that shock even the eminent forensic psychologist who compiled it.

Discover how the conspiracy and crime unfolded, leading to an inexplicable third affair, and the seduction of prison officers behind bars. Should authorities fear Michelle Burgess may try to strike again?

Available on Kindle from Amazon

View all my reviews