#AtoZChallenge2019 #Audiobooks ‘B’ is for Shalini Boland @ShaliniBoland @Audible #TuesdayBookBlog

I’m thrilled to continue my AtoZ Blogging challenge with another of my favourite contemporary suspense writers, Shalini Boland author of six psychological thrillers.

Shalini Boland

I’ve read The Secret Mother and The Silent Sister on my kindle, but today I’m going to tell you about the two audiobooks I’ve listened to recently, The Child Next Door and The Girl From The Sea.

The Girl From The Sea: A gripping psychological thriller with a heart-pounding twist by [Boland, Shalini]

Mia is found on the beach, disoriented and not knowing who she is or why she’s there. She’s finally discharged from hospital and allowed to go home when her boyfriend recognises her.

But, who is Mia? She doesn’t even recognise her reflection in the mirror. Although there are some disjointed flashbacks, her memory doesn’t improve until the last few chapters, so throughout most of the novel, Mia is forced to gradually decipher her life with the help of her boyfriend, friends and family, but can she trust them? Why are they lying to her?

The novel is narrated in the first person by Mia. The audio version is brilliant, because as most of the novel is written in the present tense, it is like watching a suspense film. All the events are vividly portrayed, making it a thrilling read, with plenty of twists and turns, right to the last page.

The Child Next Door: An unputdownable psychological thriller with a brilliant twist by [Boland, Shalini]

The Child Next Door is gripping from the first line to the final chapter. It’s fast-paced and very well written domestic thriller about a group of neighbours with plenty of secrets.

Kristie is a teacher who is on maternity leave and is overly worried about her infant’s safety after hearing a strange voice on her baby monitor who wants to ‘take the child and go.’

The novel is narrated in the present tense in the first person from Kristie’s point of view. The events happen over a short period of time, so once more the suspenseful narration leads to an intense listening experience.

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Especially for lovers of fast paced, psychological thrillers set in the UK.

Shalini Boland’s Audible Author Page

What? You’ve never read an Audiobook? Here are my 34 reasons why you should be reading audiobooks! 

I’ll be reviewing an audiobook a day throughout April, so come back tomorrow!

Would you like to read about the other authors and audiobooks I’ve posted about during the challenge, which started on 1st April? Here they are!

Find out more about this blogging challenge here!

 

#AtoZChallenge2019 #Audiobooks ‘A’ is for Rachel Abbott @RachelAbbott @Audible

I’m thrilled to start my AtoZ Blogging challenge this year with one of my favourite contemporary writers, Rachel Abbott author of a crime fiction series of eight novels featuring DCI Tom Douglas as well as a standalone psychological thriller, And So it Begins.

Rachel Abbot is a fascinating writer who was one of the first to decide to take the self-publishing route on Amazon in 2011. By March 2016, she had sold two million books and had been named Amazon’s most popular independently published author in the UK. Find out more on Wikipedia and on her webpage and blog

I’ve read and enjoyed all of her DCI To Douglas books, except book 8, The Shape of Lies, which I’ve preordered on my audible credit because it won’t be available until 16th April

Stranger Child: the emotional thriller that keeps you guessing (Tom Douglas Thrillers Book 4) by [Abbott, Rachel]

I didn’t start with book 1, Only the Innocent, which I read later, and it’s the only one I haven’t read as an audiobook.

I started listening to Stranger Child, which blew me away with her writing style, the suspense and intricate plot.

All her novels are unique, but I loved her complex and likeable main characters as well as the very evil and realistic villains in Stranger Child. Her novels are brilliantly narrated, well plotted thrillers with plenty of killer twists and turns, which are mostly set in and around Manchester, UK. Lisa Coleman, who also narrates Kill me Again, and Come a Little Closer, really brought the story to life.

The Back Road is a takes place in an English village, in the north of England. Lots of suspects, intricate personal relationships, lies, a touch of romance and plenty of red herrings to keep the reader guessing till the end!

The Sixth Window is another complex case for Tom and his team, including his sidekick, DI Becky Robinson, this time related to child / adolescent pornography. A disturbing, but not explicit, look at how young girls are lured, seduced and tricked by unscrupulous adults. The audio version by Rachel Atkins really brought the story to life.

The Sixth Window: The unbearably tense psychological thriller (Tom Douglas Thrillers Book 6) by [Abbott, Rachel]

Come a Little Closer is another brilliant crime thrillers which DCI Tom Douglas and his team solve. This one is dark and creepy with plenty of twists and surprises. Highly recommended for lovers of intense, crime thrillers.

Kill Me Again is a twisted thriller which brings up many moral dilemmas, right up to the shocking ending. Terrifying, sad and realistic portrayal of the creation of serial killers and psychopaths. This one reminded me of Harlan Coben’s suspenseful thrillers. She’s a genius!

Sleep Tight (Tom Douglas Thrillers Book 3) by [Abbott, Rachel]

One of my favourites is Sleep Tight, which is book 3, perhaps it’s because there are two narrators and first and third POV, which I appreciate. Andrew Wincott reads the third person narration, mainly the police procedural part, and Melody Grove reads Olivia Brooke’s the first person account of the disappearance of her children.

Here’s the blurb of Sleep Tight:

How far would you go to hold on to the people you love?

When Olivia Brookes calls the police to report that her husband and children are missing, she believes she will never see them again. She has reason to fear the worst; this isn’t the first tragedy that Olivia has experienced.

Now, two years later, Detective Chief Inspector Tom Douglas is called in to investigate this family again, but this time it’s Olivia who has disappeared. All the evidence suggests that she was here, in the family home, that morning. But her car is in the garage, and her purse is on the kitchen table.

The police want to issue a national appeal, but every single picture of this family has been removed from albums, from phones, from computers.

And then they find the blood…

Has the past caught up with Olivia?

Sleep Tight – if you can. You never know who’s watching.

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You can start reading Rachel Abbott’s novels wherever you like, they’re all fabulous! Once you start, I bet you’ll read them all! Especially for lovers of contemporary crime fiction set in the UK.

Rachel Abbott’s Audible Author Page

What? You’ve never read an Audiobook? Here are my 34 reasons why you should be reading audiobooks! 

I’ll be reviewing an audiobook a day throughout April, so come back tomorrow!

Would you like to read about the other authors and audiobooks I’ve posted about during the challenge, which started on 1st April? Here they are!

Find out more about this blogging challenge here!

 

Thirty-four reasons to listen to #Audiobooks #ThemeReveal #AtoZchallenge @Audible @Scribd

I almost always review the books I read wherever I’ve downloaded them, usually that’s Audible, Amazon or Scribd, but I don’t always post all my reviews on my blog, and as I have a backlog of audiobooks to review, I’ve decided to post an audiobook review every day during this years’ April AtoZBloggingChallenge.

According to Audible, I’m an expert listener because I’ve read and reviewed 120 audiobooks, and spent one month, twelve days and ten hours listening to audiobooks over the last three years. That’s a lot of books and a long time listening, so now I’m going to tell you why I love reading audiobooks and give you 34 reasons why should try them, too!

1. The first reason is that it makes housework appealing. Not many people enjoy doing housework, but sooner or later, one way or another, it needs to be done. Imagine looking forward to ironing, clearing cupboards and wardrobes, washing up, cooking, doing the laundry!

Listening to audiobooks while I’m doing daily chores, actually makes me look forward to the alone time they provide. Imagine reading a heartbreaking romance with a happy ending while you iron, or an action-packed crime thriller while loading the dishwasher and clearing up your kitchen! Priceless moments….

2. The second reason is that audiobooks help me lose weight and keep fit. I love my exercise bike, because I listen to my favourite novels, and it helps me shed those extra pounds, or allows me that occasional extra glass of wine, or piece of cake, because I know I’ll work it off tomorrow.

3. My third reason is that audiobooks make those long journeys more interesting. I can listen in the car, bus, train or plane when I travel or on my daily commute to work. You could read at least a book a week on your commute to work! Wouldn’t that make a book lover happy?

4. You can listen when you’re too tired to read your paperback or screen. Sometimes your eyesight is tired, and although you’d love to read, you don’t feel up to another screen, or you’re just too tired to sit up straight, hold your book and read, so you can lie down and listen to your audiobook. Isn’t that a treat? You can read alternate reading and listening the same book, you’ll always be on the right page!

5. Number five is that the characters and the story come to life, as if you’re watching a film. Audiobook readers are professional. They know how to give the characters the perfect voices so that you can almost see them. It’s another completely new dimension to reading. Although audiobook readers are experts who can do several different voices, I especially love books with different narrators for each character.

6. You can listen on any electronic device, anywhere, anytime. You can download the books you’ve bought onto your device, so that you can read offline. It’s much lighter than carrying several books, and you don’t need a Tablet, you can listen on your mobile.

You can listen when you’re sunbathing, relaxing in the garden, going for a walk, or sitting comfortably anywhere in the world!

7. You can control every aspect of the listening experience. You can control speed, volume, go backwards, forwards, listen to and read the same book alternately, relisten…

8. You can listen to an enormous selection of books, classic novels, contemporary, new releases, all languages. The next book you want to read is probably available as an audiobook, check it out!

Do you need any more reasons to read audiobooks?

Just in case you do, during the month of April, I’m going to give you 26 more reasons, one for each great audiobook I’ve listened to! So there you have my 34 reasons to read audiobooks!

But don’t take my word for it, visit audible and/or Scribd listen to samples, it’s a whole new experience for readers.

What’s your experience as an audiobook reader?

Are you joining in the AtoZ Challenge this year?

If so, what’s your theme?

#CarrotRanch #FlashFiction Challenge: The Exam

Here’s my ‘sun silly’ story in response to Charli Mills Carrot Ranch flash fiction weekly 99-word challenge. Drop by and join this supportive community of writers!

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The Exam  

“Come outside and watch our dance!” Beth called waving her arms in the air.   

Sister Mary looked out of her open, classroom window, squinting at the blaring midday sun. “Play in the shade, the sun will make you frisky.”

“We’ve been rehearsing a dance!” They shouted in unison, twisting and turning rhythmically.

“You’d better study for this afternoon’s biology exam.”

“Please, sister, just five minutes!”

She sighed. “Very well, but afterwards you’ll sit in the shade and revise.” They nodded.

As their teacher walked out, Susan crept inside, opened her drawer, snapped a photo of the exam and grinned.

****

I went to a convent school, many years ago, when there were no mobile phones, but the events described in my flash could have happened, the old-fashioned way, memorizing or jotting down the exam questions! Perhaps something similar even did happen… My schooldays are a blur.

What is true is that my teachers, mainly nuns, would say ‘the sun made us frisky,’ so they tried to convince us to sit in the shade. The school was in North London, so every single ray of sun, and believe me there were very few, was sought after and cherished. We would never sit in the shade, much to our teachers’ dismay! 

 

#AtoZChallenge ‘F is for Flowers’ #Haiku #NaPoWriMo #PoetryMonth

Vivacious flowers,

Spring breeze tickles soft petals,

Colourful music.

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This year is my fourth AtoZ Challenge. My theme this year is poetry once again. I’ll be writing a haiku a day, but I’m also adding a new hobby to the posts, photography. I will post one of my photos, or a donated photo, every day to accompany my haiku.

This April, I’ll also be sharing my poems and joining another group of poets at National Poetry Writing Month, organised since 2003 by Maureen Thorsonn. Write 30 poems in 30 days. I’m in! What about you?

#AtoZChallenge ‘D is for Dew’ #Haiku #NaPoWriMo #PoetryMonth

Photo by Aurora Serrano, friend, colleague and enthusiastic teacher of Spanish Language and Literature.

Dew

Dew gathers on grass,

Sliding over joyful blades,

One drop at a time.

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This year is my fourth AtoZ Challenge. My theme this year is poetry once again. I’ll be writing a haiku a day, but I’m also adding a new hobby to the posts, photography. I will post one of my photos, or a donated photo, every day to accompany my haiku.

This April, I’ll also be sharing my poems and joining another group of poets at National Poetry Writing Month, organised since 2003 by Maureen Thorson. Write 30 poems in 30 days.

I’m in! What about you?

#AtoZChallenge ‘B is for Birds’ #Haiku #NaPoWriMo

Birds descend on sea-shore
Screeching and searching for food
Fast fish will survive

This year is my fourth AtoZ Challenge. My theme this year is poetry once again. I’ll be writing a haiku a day, but I’m also adding a new hobby to the posts, photography. I will post one of my photos, or a donated photo, every day to accompany my haiku.

This April, I’ll also be sharing my poems and joining another group of poets at National Poetry Writing Month, organised since 2003 by Maureen Thorsonn. Write 30 poems in 30 days. I’m in! What about you?

Blogging From A to Z April 2015

What is Blogging A to Z April Challenge?

Basically the idea is: 26 posts. 26 days. 26 letters of the alphabet, one post beginning with each letter, in April. Any theme, or no theme. Sign up and make sure you read at least 5 other blogs every day, too! Remember to pay it forward! You can’t expect anyone to read yours if you don’t read anyone else’s…

Here’s this year’s calendar.

APRIL-CALENDAR [2015]

I found out about this challenge last year, but I was new to blogging, so I didn’t take part actively, although I wandered around participating blogs to get the feel of the activity, and I enjoyed it very much. I met some wonderful bloggers, and I promised myself I’d take part the following year, so here I am.

The first week’s going to be a struggle because I’ll be away from home (and country), and although I’m already preparing my first posts, taking my laptop, and I’ll be in London with Internet connection, I’m still worried about getting my posts out on time. I’m crossing my fingers.

Blogging A-Z Badge 2015

If you want to know more about it, Arlee Bird tells us how he set up Blogging A-Z in 2010

And if you’d like to sign up follow this link

Don’t forget there’s a Theme Reveal on 23rd March.

atoz-theme-reveal-2015-125
You don’t have to have a theme, but I’m sure it helps focus and turn out 28 posts for the month! I’ve already planned mine.

There’s still time, but I suggest you start preparing if you’re thinking of taking part. Your blog will be on view to many potential and new visitors, and we’d all like our visitors to leave with a good impression.

So, are you joining in?