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Broken Branches

Narrated by: Eliza Wethers
Length: 5 hrs and 13 mins
5 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)
Regular price: $19.95
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Publisher's Summary

The death of her grandmother brings artist and gallery owner Megan Calloway to Salem. She is rescued by a tall, dark stranger from a careless driver. Was it an accident, or something more sinister? After another death, Megan and her rescuer, Jake, investigate the strange occurrences in her grandmother's house. Everything revolves around a ring she inherited and riddles she must solve. Visions of the past lead Megan to find her future and a treasure lost in time.

©2016 Brenda M. Spalding (P)2018 Brenda M. Spalding

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Engaging story line with plot twists

Overall, I enjoyed this book and would like to read the other books in the series. It is written like an edgy cozy mystery – a little stronger on the suspense and the romance than the norm. One thing that was a distraction for me was how quickly the attraction between Megan and Jake progressed. For example, after only three days, Jake proposes to Megan AND schedules the wedding for that same week. The romance felt “instant,” instead of a natural progression of emotions and feelings. Other than that, I fell in love with the story. The character development was good, and I enjoyed the personalities of each of the main characters.

Megan is an artist with a gallery in New York but has come home to her grandmother’s old house after her unexpected death. Megan receives a Claddagh ring in her grandmother’s will, complete with instructions of how the ring is worn and what each part of it means. The mystery of the ring reveals itself as the story develops. At first, authorities believed that Megan’s grandmother’s death is an accident, but it soon, becomes apparent that it is much more. Spalding has created several suspects that keep you in suspense; a frustrating policeman who is less than helpful; all making an engaging storyline.

One obvious suspect could have been Jake. The fact that he was there to “save” her, how fast he “fell in love” with her, and the fact that he was very successful (and not already taken) was not part of the storyline but it could’ve made an interesting plot twist and provided a little vinegar for a too-sugary romance.

At the beginning of the book when Eliza Wethers, the audiobook narrator, is reading as the story’s narrator, the reading is a little stilted and over-enunciated. My initial reaction was that I wouldn’t make it through the whole book. However, when she switched into the voices of the characters, she rocked it. The only other thing was when she read “lobster roll” she pronounced it as “lobster ROLL” – emphasis on ROLL, a couple of times. It was a little distracting, but the further into the reading, I became immersed in the characters and didn’t even notice her as “the reader” – she blended into the background as the characters came alive. So, for anyone listening to this audiobook – don’t let the first minute or two divert you – it just gets better and better.

This story has everything I like in a book: an old house, possible paranormal activity, a mystery, suspense, and romance.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Broken Branches

This mystery thriller is worth your time listening.. When Megan Calloway's grandma passes away, Megan is headed to Salem to say good-bye to the grandmother who was so special to her. I don't want to give up the story but this is really a mystery thriller.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Mystery, Romance and Family Roots

Normally I am not a listener of mystery novels, but this one sounded interesting so I gave it a try. Glad I did, it was so compelling I started and finished it within 24 hours. This story contains romance and mystery with a small supernatural twist in just the right proportions. Megan came to Salem to take care of her Grandma's affairs after her unfortunate death. While in Salem, she meets Mr. Right, discovers her family history, befriends several locals and finds herself trying to put the clues together to figure out who might have killed her Gram.

The book was well-written, the mystery well plotted out and the characters were believable. The narrator did a fantastic job bringing the characters to life with just the right pacing and voices. Looking forward to listening to book number 2.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Unique story with wonderful twists, danger

I totally fell in love with this book and the characters that are between the pages. The start is sad and brings a tear to your eye, it doesn’t take long for the danger to come with noises in the dark, accidents that happen it makes you start to believe in ghost. There is rumor of a treasure to be found inside the walls of this old house. It seems someone is willing to kill to get it. As the author took me on a journey of danger I found myself holding my breath and at one time my phone rang I about jumped out of my skin. The plot thickens more characters are added to it making you wonder who could be behind it all. I kept guessing what the treasure was but I couldn’t have been more wrong. It is a delightful listen that held my attention and captive me from the start.

I have not listened to anything by this narrator I thought she did a great job, loved her character voices and the emotion she gives them. Her normal voice is pleasant as well as each character she brings to life. She truly made me believe in the danger, excitement, and even gave me a few chills. The audio was clear, no background noises, there were two places words were repeated, I think that is when she took a break. It did not take away from the audio at all, and she had no trouble pulling me back in. There was one male character I wasn’t too crazy about his voice but I did grow to love it as the story went long. The rest of them I loved from the start, she really put emoition into the characters, pausing when she needed to. Her tones were right even her old voices were delightful. I had no trouble believing what I was listening to. I thought her performance was outstanding.

I loved the twists and turns the author gives us, she had me fooled almost until the end. There were things I didn’t see coming and a lot of surprises that were exciting, thrilling and dangerous. In all honesty the author had me in the palm of her hand almost from the first page. I loved how she captive my attention and held it. I really didn’t want the story to end. A very believable and honest story that pulls you in making you believe what you are listening to. I just could not put it down and listened to this almost at one setting. I loved the characters and the romance between the two main ones. The cat is adorable and I do feel it is there for a reason. The mystery grabs you and keep a hold of you throughout the story. It truly was a delightful listen I can’t wait to listen to more of this author work.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Murder in Salem

Megan has returned to Salem to bury her grandmother and take care of her estate. She plans to return to NY and her art gallery in a couple of weeks. That all derails when strange noises & unlocked doors leads her to agree with her grandmother's bff, that someone is searching for something and murdered her gmother. A chance incident leads her to Jake...and the immediate attraction. The pair became inseparable and begin to investigate the strange occurrences. When Jake interrupts a burglar in the attic, grandmother's bff is murdered and the neighbor is assaulted, the duo intensify their search. Why would someone kill Megan's grandmother and her friend? Is it the land developer, who wants to buy the historic house or is it something more sinister? If you are looking for a fast paced romantic suspense, you are in for a treat with this book. There are some smexy times but nothing too over the top. Kept me guessing until the end. Great HEA!
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Finding your roots

This story is based on a mystery and finding where you came from.I loved the story. They were looking for a hidden treasure and several were murdered. I highly recommend listening to this story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • norman
  • burlington, nc, United States
  • 07-25-18

Fast paced romantic mystery

Although a bit heavy on the romance for my tastes, I found Broken Branches to be an entertaining, fast paced mystery.The narrator, Eliza Wethers, was a perfect fit for Megan, the main character. A good audiobook for anyone who likes fast paced romantic mysteries.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Nice book

Broken Branches, By Brenda M. Spalding, Narrated by Eliza Wethers

The book is about women and intriguing events happening around her. The story is full of mystery paranormal. It engages the listener in the story. Eliza Wethers did an excellent job as narrator, bringing character to the life. Nice tempo, voice and tone. I would recommend the book to the lovers of intrigue, horror stories. The book has 5 hrs and 13 mins, so it would be possible to listen in one go or in several parts.

My hope is that this review helps in your decision to obtain this book.
*This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Fabulous Cozy Mystery!

If you could sum up Broken Branches in three words, what would they be?

Mystery, Romance, Paranormal

What was one of the most memorable moments of Broken Branches?

The beginning telephone conversation between Megan and her Gran totally drew me into the story. Quickly we see our protagonist as a loving young woman who cherishes her family. We also realize Megan is ambitious and struggling to find a balance between love of family and love of her career.
Lastly, the scene established a sense of worry, fear and urgency. Megan must go to visit her grandmother to find out what's going on. Most readers will feel the same need and read on.

Which character – as performed by Eliza Wethers – was your favorite?

Megan, of course. Ms. Wethers did a great job of bringing her to life.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Visiting Salem, Massachusetts near Halloween? BEWARE!

Any additional comments?

I am hoping to find the next two books in this series on Audible!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Nice Fantacy mystery/ Romance

I personally do not care for Romance novels and though I enjoyed this story, I have trouble with the way the main characters are Sooo perfect for each other and compliment each other. Life is Never like this except in Fantasies and stories.