Closer Than You Think

Closer Than You Think

 

Summary

From the New York Times bestselling author of Watch Your Back and Did You Miss Me  comes the newest novel by “the queen of romantic suspense” (Crime and Punishment).

Psychologist Faith Corcoran is desperate to escape the stalker who’s made her life a nightmare for the past year—desperate enough to run to the one place that has been her nightmare far longer. Both boon and bane, her recent inheritance of her grandmother’s old house in Cincinnati offers a sanctuary in which she can start her life anew, but requires that she face dark memories that resonate to this day.

She has no idea, however, just how close to home her fears still are …

Two college girls have gone missing in the area, and FBI special agent Deacon Novak is called to work on the case. When his inquiry unexpectedly leads him to Faith, he finds a beautiful and brave woman he can’t help but fall for. Soon they’ll discover that this seemingly simple investigation is anything but. Reaching back decades into Faith’s own past, it will shatter everything she believes to be true and will give terrifying new meaning to “flesh and blood.”

Author Biography

Karen Rose is a RITA Award–winning author of romantic suspense. A former chemical engineer and high school chemistry and physics teacher, she lives in Florida with her family and their cat and dog, Bella and Loki.

Reader Biography

Hillary Huber, a Los Angeles–based voice talent with hundreds of commercials and promos under her belt, was bitten by the audiobook bug in 2005. She now records books on a regular basis and has been nominated for several Audie Awards. Her recent recordings for Blackstone include Skinny Bastard, The Art of Social War, and The Cheater.

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My Review ~ ★★★★★ ~ 5 Stars

 Closer Than You Think

“Closer Than You Think” was an outstanding audiobook.  The first interests I had to this book were that Hillary Huber was reading it AND it was a romantic suspense/thriller.  While listening, I also discovered another wonderful author in Karen Rose.  For me, this audiobook was like winning the trifecta.

I did note the length of the book, however it was so well done the time flew by.  It was filled with brilliant twists all the way.  Not only was it a great thriller, it had a smoldering hot sub plot as well.  I’m excited that this will be a series and I look forward to book 2.

Faith Frye, now Faith Corcoran counsels sex offenders and is in hiding from a former patient who’s stalking her.  A man she’d counseled named Peter Combs had attacked her and nearly killed her four years earlier and now he was back and stalking her.  In an attempt to evade him, she changed her last name and left Miami to return to the house her grandmother had left her, the O’Bannion Estate filled with dark memories that still haunt her.  What she didn’t know was that the house had a guest who was watching her as she stood in the back looking at the family cemetery.  And the guest had secrets of his own.

“Twelve steps and a basement.”

Deacon Novak, the larger than life FBI agent with white hair and brown and light blue flecked eyes, who wore a black coat and smelled like cedar and leather had been fighting with his brother when he was called out on an emergency.  He’d arrived at the scene where a woman had swerved to avoid hitting a girl who was lying in the road unconscious and barely alive.  She’d been shot, stabbed, and beaten.  It had been Faith who had swerved to avoid hitting the girl and had climbed back up the embankment to call 911.  This is when Agent Novak first saw Faith’s beautiful hair that looked like dark red wine.  And she noticed him.

The girl lying in the road was Arianna Escobar who had been dumped there and left for dead.  She and her friend Corrine Longstreet were college students who had been abducted and were being held hostage, but Corrine was still missing and her time was running out.  And then there was Roza.  The subservient child who’s never seen the light of day.

I like the way this audiobook shifted from the different locations of Cincinnati and Mt. Carmel, Ohio to Miami and Eastern Kentucky along with the characters points of view.  The main characters were very well-developed with an almost three-dimensionality to them.  Even the supporting characters were excellent.  It was very well put together and I absolutely loved it.  I definitely recommend giving this audiobook a listen.  And here’s another reason why.  While the book was fantastic and I’m happy that I found another great author, the narration was simply perfect.

About the narrator:  Hillary Huber is the coolest voice actor ever.  She does an AMAZING job with this audiobook.  It was flawless.  Her voice inflections are spot on perfect and she has the ability to put the listener right there with the characters.  Every character has their own voice AND personality.  She’s an extremely talented narrator and she makes this story UNforgettable!

Review copy of this audiobook received from:  http://audiobookjukebox.squarespace.com/solid-gold-reviewer/

© 2015 crystalzen © Teresa W.

 

Strange Mutants of the Twenty First Century

Strange Mutants

 

 

Publisher’s Summary

John A. Keel is considered by many to have been a significant influence within ufology and Forteana. He died on July 3, 2009, in New York City, at the age of 79. At the height of his career, he was interviewed by luminaries such as David Letterman, Johnny Carson, and Merv Griffin.

The Mothman Prophecies, perhaps Keel’s most famous book, was an account of his investigation into sightings in West Virginia of a huge, winged creature called the “Mothman”.

Strange Mutants of the Twenty-First Century contains Keel’s very first ruminations on Mothman, as well as a variety of strange reports on black “demon” dogs, phantom cats, Bigfoot and other North American giants, flying humanoids, flying saucers, flying snakes, and even stranger mutants that Keel believed reside with us on Earth.

This book was originally printed in very small quantities over 30 years ago, and became extremely rare and expensive. Finally, it has been available to the general public.

Strange Mutants is a classic listen that provides an entertaining glimpse into John Keel’s bizarre world of the unknown.

©2014 Andrew B. Colvin (P)2014 Andrew B. Colvin

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My Review ~ ★★★★★ ~ 5 Stars

“Strange Mutants” was an interesting listen. I enjoy the different stories from the U.S. and around the world of sightings of the Yeti, Bigfoot, Mothman, UFO’s, demon dogs, vampire bats and other strange creatures. Disappearing cattle, flying snakes, and other elusive animals make for great listening. I love the subject therefore I can never get enough of the stories.

I watch TV shows with similar content and there have been legendary sightings and some proven evidence of these creatures.  I grew up with the story of the Goatman at Greer Island and the Aurora incident so nope, these stories never get old.   I’ve been to Greer Island numerous times and it is somewhat spooky.  The Aurora site will also give one reason to pause.

I enjoy John Keel’s work. I find it all fascinating and sometimes a bit frightening. There are too many claims for there not to be something out there. This would also be a great listen while sitting around a campfire.

About the narrator:  Jack Chekijian does an excellent job with Keel’s work. I like his narrating style and I always look forward to him voicing these audiobooks. Another great job!

Audiobook gifted in exchange for review.

© 2014 crystalzen © Teresa W.

Most Likely To Murder: A Susan Lombardi Mystery

Most Likely to Murder

 

 

Publisher’s Summary

What high school class has a 32 year reunion? A class whose president has left the country, whose vice president is dead, and whose treasurer is in the Witness Protection program – in fact, Professor Susan Lombardi’s class from Count Basie High School. Susan has misgivings about revisiting her hometown: she’s leery of seeing her former high school sweetheart, now a high tech millionaire, and reluctant to get involved in a battle between her squabbling brothers. But when she does go, one of her “old gang” ends up dead, and Susan and her friends team up to find the classmate Most Likely to Murder.

©2012 Carole B. Shmurak (P)2014 Carole B. Shmurak

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My Review ~ ★★★★★ ~ 5 Stars

Most Likely To Murder: A Susan Lombardi Mystery

“Most Likely to Murder” was my favorite in the series.  It keeps getting better and better.  In this story, Susan is on sabbatical and she and her cousin Judy are planning a 32 year high school reunion at William James Basie HS.  While going over the guest list they discover that one of their classmates had disappeared and was rumored to be in the Witness Protection program.  They found several other friends, including Susan’s old boyfriend Richard, and Toby the pretty girl who had become a popular news reporter on a major network.

After using social media to locate the rest of their old friends, Susan receives a random email from someone named Xander Drake who claims to have been in their class and is planning to attend the reunion.  They don’t recall ever knowing anyone with that name which draws some suspicion.

Susan’s best friend Elaine is still there and good ole Swash surprised me by not attending the reunion with Susan.  Swash is Susan’s husband and a great supporting character.

The story was fun and exciting, and the characters are like old friends or family you haven’t seen in a while.  It’s always fun catching up with them.  Overall, I really enjoyed this adventure.

About the narrator:  Barbara Benjamin-Creel  did an EXCEPTIONAL job voicing this audiobook.  There were several new characters with their own personalities through Barbara’s voice.  To me, she was half the story.  She kept the story moving along at a good pace along with giving everyone their own identity.  It was all very well done and thus far my favorite.

Audiobook gifted in exchange for review.

© 2014 crystalzen © Teresa W.

 

A Thirty-Something Girl

A Thirty-Something Girl

 

 

Publisher’s Summary

Life has been anything but kind, and everything that can go wrong has. At an age when life should be coming together and questions should start to be answered, Hope finds herself feeling very alone and very confused. As her life spirals out of control, she realizes she needs help. And she needs it quickly. With the love and support of some very dear friends, Hope slowly begins to find her true self, and along the way, she meets someone. Someone who makes her feel like living to see another day might just be worth it. But with happiness, comes pain. Pain from a past that simply won’t be forgotten. Walking a dangerously fine line between joy and utter despair, Hope wonders if happy endings really do exist. And if they do, is there one waiting for her?

©2011 Black Kettle Publishing (P)2014 L.M. Stull

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My Review ~ ★★★★ ~ 4 Stars

A Thirty-Something Girl

“A Thirty-Something Girl” is an interesting story.  It’s about a young woman named Hope who finds herself in a failed relationship that her and her husband had both participated in.  With the help of her friends, she slowly begins to think she can overcome the seemingly difficult situation.

She eventually lands a new job as a free-lance editor and meets a man named Sam.  The only thing is, when she first met him, she didn’t catch  his name and while writing in her journal later she coincidentally gave him the very same imaginary name.

I felt this was a good listen.  It was sobering with a depressing feel at first but it goes along with the territory of breaking up.  What I took away from it was the importance of keeping a journal and having close friends and giving oneself time to heal, especially when a situation such as this arises.

Overall, I had mixed feelings about this story but with a little Faith, it had a bittersweet ending.

About the narrator:  Lori Faiella has a beautiful soft voice.  She has good control and tone and stayed consistent throughout the story.  She also has good character differentiation.  I always knew who was speaking.

 Audiobook gifted in exchange for review

© 2014 crystalzen © Teresa W.

 

Jane and Austen

Jane and Austen

 

 

Publisher’s Summary

Meet Jane and Austen. First there’s Jane – an impractical, starry-eyed wedding planner; if love can’t match what she’s read in a book, she doesn’t want it. And then there’s Austen – a pragmatic, logical-to-a-fault financial consultant; even if he were interested in someone, he wouldn’t know. The two have one thing in common: they can’t leave each other alone. Jane believes that if Austen could just experience a fairy tale romance, he would secretly love it. And Austen’s pretty sure that if one of Jane’s beloved heroes escaped from the pages of her dog-eared novels, she’d run and hide. Both are about to be proven right. When the rivals are called on to help a friend plan the biggest wedding of the year, an entire resort full of colorful wedding guests descends upon them – many sharing uncanny similarities to characters in a Jane Austen novel. It doesn’t take long before Jane gets everything she thinks she wants. After all, too much of a good thing can’t be all that bad, right? But when Jane’s life turns upside down, the only one she can turn to is Austen; though he’s got his own troubles of the heart… and she’s afraid that he’s enjoying them more than he should.

©2014 Stephanie Fowers (P)2014 Stephanie Fowers

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My Review ~ ★★★★ ~ 4 Stars

Jane and Austen

My first impressions of this audiobook was that I liked it.  It’s a YA comedy romance story with references to Jane Austen novels.  Whimsical, cute, and fun.  Jane, a budding wedding organizer who wants to have a Jane Austen romance meets her leading man Austen, a slightly stuffy financial planner, and the rest is history.

It was interesting that the term ‘meet cute’ was referred to in the story.  That is a fitting description.  It was a light listen, nothing heavy.  It was lengthy and possibly could have used a little more refining.

Aunt approved because I couldn’t help thinking about how much my niece would like this audiobook.  Overall, it was a cute story with a wink towards Jane Austen.

About the narrator: Andrea Emmes did a wonderful job voicing this audiobook.  She has a wide range of dialects that sounded perfect with the characters.  All in all it was a great match.

Audiobook gifted in exchange for review.

© 2014 crystalzen © Teresa W.

 

The Depths

The Depths

 

 

Publisher’s Summary

When Jen Adams’ son is kidnapped and her boss is brutally murdered, she and her husband are thrown into a hunt to find out why. The mystery takes her and a team of soldiers and scientists deep beneath the Atlantic Ocean – to a research station lying under five miles of water one of the deepest oceanic trenches on the planet. The station has been abandoned for over thirty years, and no one knows what to expect when they get there. As they begin to learn more about the station, however, they find out there’s something the base is trying to hide – something that could prove devastating for the rest of the world…

©2014 Nick Thacker (P)2014 Nick Thacker

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My Review ~ ★★★★★~ 5 Stars

The Depths

“The Depths” was an adventuresome listen that I really enjoyed.  I felt it had somewhat of a science fiction feel to it also with them being 5 miles under water and inside an old bunker or bio-dome.  They determine it to be some type of old power plant that’s still active.

This story was suspenseful right out of the gate with the simultaneous incidents that occurred.  Jen and Mark’s son Reese has been kidnapped and they’re taken to the underwater research station where there’s a deeper plot than anyone ever expected to find.

In the physical book there’s a diagram of the Agartha Base with a schematic of the levels which gives you an idea of where they’re at under water.  This makes it much more interesting and understandable.

This is another book I would recommend and definitely listen to again.  It has a good plot with great twists.  The author, Nick Thacker really pays attention to detail.

About the narrator:  Mike Vendetti is a great voice actor in this story.  He has a deep voice that fits perfectly with all the characters and he manages to keep them all separate, including Jen.  Another thing I liked was that he spoke very clearly with good audio quality.  I look forward to listening to more from him in the future.

Audiobook gifted in exchange for review

© 2014 crystalzen © Teresa W.

 

 

Exploring American Folk Music

Exploring American Folk Music

 

 

Publisher’s Summary

Exploring American Folk Music: Ethnic, Grassroots, and Regional Traditions in the United States reflects the fascinating diversity of regional and grassroots music in the United States. The book covers the diverse strains of American folk music – Latin, Native American, African, French-Canadian, British, and Cajun – and offers a chronology of the development of folk music in the United States. A chapter includes detailed information about the roots of hip hop. Exploring American Folk Music also introduces you to such important figures in American music as Bob Wills, Lydia Mendoza, Bob Dylan, and Muddy Waters, who helped shape what America sounds like in the 21st century.

©2012 University Press of Mississippi (P)2014 Redwood Audiobooks

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My Review ~ ★★★★★ ~ 5 Stars

Exploring American Folk Music

I first have to say that this was simply a treat to listen to.  This book not only laid out the groundwork for American folk music from it’s very foundation or roots, it put in the cornerstone as well.  This was an incredibly detailed look at the origins of our musical culture as it is to this day.

Kip Lornell provided extensive research drawing from numerous examples along with at least three subsequent examples of the origins, styles, and evolution of each genre of American folk music.  I was utterly impressed and learned a lot of nifty things about folk music and music in general that I didn’t know before.

There were several musicians who may have easily been put to the back burner and been forgotten about during folk music’s evolution or the Folk Revival.  A few of my favorite subtopics in the book were about the Native-American music and the border stations where Wolfman Jack became a DJ.   From hymns, blues, gospel, zydeco, family and community gatherings, military songs, working songs, campfires, and traveling songs; it’s all covered in this great audiobook.

“Exploring American Folk Music” was a wonderful listen and a great audiobook for music lovers, and more specifically American folk music lovers.  I think it’s safe to say that American folk music is a melting pot of wonderful and diverse musical influence from all over the world.

Overall, this audiobook was superb.  I would definitely recommend listening to this one.

About the narrator:  Michael Rene Zuzel did an outstanding job narrating this book.  It was just right.  Not too fast or too slow.  He spoke clearly with a steady pace and he showed interest in the subject with his own upbeat cadence which was suitable for the content.  I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook.

Audiobook gifted in exchange for review.

© 2014 crystalzen © Teresa W.

 

These Gentle Wounds

These Gentle Wounds

 

 

Publisher’s Summary

Sometimes I wish I’d lost a leg or something. Everyone can understand that. They never get it when what’s been broken is inside your head.

Five years after an unspeakable tragedy that changed him forever, Gordie Allen has made a new home with his half-brother Kevin. Their arrangement works since Kevin is the only person who can protect Gordie at school and keep him focused on getting his life back on track.

But just when it seems like things are becoming normal, Gordie’s biological father comes back into the picture, demanding a place in his life. Now there’s nothing to stop Gordie from falling into a tailspin that could cost him everything – including his relationship with Sarah, the first girl he’s trusted with the truth. With his world spinning out of control, the only one who can help Gordie is himself – if he can find the strength to confront the past and take back his future.

©2014 Helene Dunbar (P)2014 Helene Dunbar

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My Review ~ ★★★★★~ 5 Stars

These Gentle Wounds

This is a moving story about Gordie.  Gordie is a teenaged boy who suffers deep emotional scars due to a traumatic event that happened when he was younger.  I don’t feel that this is a spoiler to say that his mother tried to drown him because the story is more about how he’s forced to cope with the after effects of such an unspeakable act.

Told in first person and with a great voice actor, this is a sad but good story.  He lives with constant panic attacks and fear and he learns some coping skills.  He tries to have as much of a normal life as he can with the help of his brother, even having a girlfriend, but his abusive dad looms in the background threatening to enter his life again.

I listened to “These Gentle Wounds” written by Helene Dunbar and would recommend this audiobook for a good study in how the selfish and cruel actions of some can affect a person’s entire being.

About the narrator:  Brian Rollins did an excellent job portraying Gordie.   He spoke in a quick and clear style that made me believe the story.  He’s a great voice actor in the teen YA genre and I look forward to hearing more from him in the future.

Audiobook gifted in exchange for review

© 2014 crystalzen © Teresa W.

 

Dust

Dust

 

Publisher’s Summary

In the 1870’s, Jacob and Sarah Wade travel with their three children in a covered wagon to lay claim to land in Kansas to call their own and scratch out a living. The book follows three generations of the Wade family although it concentrates mostly on the relationship between Martin Wade, the oldest son of Jacob and Sarah, and the woman he chooses to marry, Rose. The hard existence of farm life takes a toll on all involved and affects each person differently. This novel was a best seller when it was published in 1921 by the husband and wife writing team of Emanuel Haldeman-Julius and Anna Marcet Haldeman-Julius. It was considered an example of the new writing of naturalism and realism being published at the time. “Painfully gloomy as it is,” the New York Times noted, “Dust must be classed among the ‘big’ novels of the year.”

Public Domain (P)2014 Lee Ann Howlett

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My Review ~ ★★★★ ~ 4 Stars

Dust

The opening line did it again.  Knowing what this story was about and hearing the title of the first chapter “The Dust is Stirred” was intriguing to me as it takes place on the Kansas Prairie where the tallgrass grows.

Three generations survive and thrive on their farm through the ages.  This story was somewhat of a surprise with an unexpected twist of fate with Martin and Rose.  I would like to think that the earlier pioneers would have been in more of a state of content than the story portrays, although I know times were hard.  The story was somewhat sad but worth a listen.

My curiosity lead me to look up the authors of this book and I found their story to be really neat as well.  I found them listed in the Kansas Historical Society.

About the narrator:  Lee Ann Howlett told this story the way it was meant to be.  The times were hard and people were haggard and worn.  She portrayed this perfectly.   She added the element that portrayed the lives of the early pioneers as they moved west. Great work!

Audiobook gifted in exchange for review

© 2014 crystalzen © Teresa W.

 

The Bundy Murders: A Comprehensive History

The Bundy Murders

 

 

Publisher’s Summary

Theodore Bundy was one of the more infamous, and flamboyant, American serial killers on record, and his story is a complex mix of psychopathology, criminal investigation, and the U.S. legal system. This in-depth examination of Bundy’s life and his killing spree that totaled dozens of victims is drawn from legal transcripts, correspondence, and interviews with detectives and prosecutors. Using these sources, new information on several murders is unveiled. The biography follows Bundy from his broken family background to his execution in the electric chair.

©2009- McFarland (P)2014 Kevin M. Sullivan

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My Review ~ ★★★★★ ~ 5 Stars

The Bundy Murders: A Comprehensive History

This is quite an interesting and comprehensive look at Ted Bundy and his life.  It’s good because along with the content of the story being told, it’s also being read in an appropriate manner.  There was nothing, and I mean nothing good about Ted Bundy.  He was a sicko with a “fractured” personality.

As much as I don’t want to give Ted Bundy a five-star review, I do have to give the story a well-deserved five-stars.  The stories of the women whose lives he took need to be told.  Who would they be today?  What would they be doing?  We can never know because of this man, an emotionless serial killer without a conscious who took away their  futures.  Because of this, the story does bear its weight of sadness.

This was a good story that I listened to by Kevin M. Sullivan.  This wasn’t a story that I was able to listen to all in one sitting though.  It does do a good job in telling the listener who Ted Bundy was and what he did without being overly detailed about the gruesome acts he committed.

About the narrator:  Kevin Pierce did a nice job narrating this biography.  He did so in a somber way and that was the only way it could or should be read.  He made it sound story-like along with a good amount of reporting style narration.  He gave it a good balance.

Audiobook gifted in exchange for review

© 2014 crystalzen © Teresa W.