A Witch’s Journey. Audiobook tour spotlight and review.

Author: Tena Stetler

Narrators: Kate Tyler

Series: Lobster Cove, Book 1

Length: 9 hours 47 minutes

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Released: Oct. 19, 2017

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Pepper McKay comes from a long line of powerful witches. Unfortunately, magic brings her nothing but trouble. She learned the love of wildlife rescue and rehab from her Aunt Ashling. After graduating from college, Pepper works for Salem Wildlife Sanctuary and lives from paycheck to paycheck until she inherits the McKay property in Lobster Cove. With the family land and resources, she dares to dream of starting her own wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center.

Lathen Quartz, a former Navy SEAL turned handyman maintains the enchanted McKay property for the McKay estate. But someone is trying to steal the McKay magic. Lathen offers to help Pepper achieve her life-long dream of building a wildlife center. During the long hours spent together on the project, their mutual attraction can’t be denied. But each harbors a deep, dark secret. Will they overcome their demons and give love a chance?

Best-selling author, Tena Stetler, has an over-active imagination and writes award-winning paranormal romance novels. She wrote her first vampire romance as a tween, to the chagrin of her mother and the delight of her friends. Colorado is home; shared with her husband of many moons, a brilliant Chow, a spoiled parrot and a forty-five-year-old box turtle.

Her books tell stories of magical kick-ass women and mystical alpha males that dare to love them. Well, okay there are a few companion animals to round out the tales. Travel and adventure flourish in her novels. Any summer evening, you can find her curled up in front of a crackling fire with a good book, a glass of raspberry iced tea and a bowl of popcorn.

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Narrator Bio

Kate Tyler is an audiobook narrator and producer with several published audiobooks available on Audible, iTunes and Amazon. A background in drama and a successful career in voiceover, Kate lives with her family in San Diego and enjoys swimming, running, cycling and stand up paddleboard.

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Overall Rate 4 stars

Performance Rate 5 stars

Story Rate 4 stars

First of all let me get my gripe out of the way. I am not loving this book cover. It is too dark and moody and while there are dark moments, this audiobook is not a dark story, I found it a delight.

This book is told in the third person multiple style which for this tale works really well.  If you are looking for a sweet, easy enjoyable story with some fabulous characters, a supernatural suspense running quietly throughout the story, a few smouldering sex scenes, then this is a book for you.

Pepper is such a fabulous character, a strong woman, white witch, animal lover and gentle soul who still knows how to look after herself and those she cares about. She is a thoroughly likeable female protagonist.

Lathen is a former Navy seal and a werewolf with a darkly troubled past. He is a handyman initially doing jobs for the residents of Lobster Cove. In a different way he is every bit as likeable as Pepper. He is strong minded, protective and reliable. He and Pepper compliment each other as the main protagonists.

I thoroughly enjoyed the narration, Kate Tyler has consistent and easily differentiated character voices and a pleasing reading pace and voice. She conveys emotions, intensity of situations while maintaining a pleasant, clear enjoyable to listen to pace.

This book is not fast paced with one aim in sight. The story has several aspects that are running alongside each other, some are addressed as the story unfolds so there are quiet a few ‘How will this go?’ moments. I never felt it dragged and actually could have happily listened a lot longer.

I really hope further Lobster Cove books make their way onto Audible because I would definitely be buying it.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Kate Tyler. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

  • How did you wind up narrating audiobooks? Was it always your goal or was it something you stumbled into by chance?
    • Great question! My son, Drew, was 15 and ½ last summer. That’s a tough age for a kid entering summer because it’s a little too young for a summer job, and a little too old for a summer camp. We wanted to come up with something that we could do together during the summer to keep him busy, that would be fun and interactive, where he could earn a little side-money and something that might look good on a college resume! We searched Google for something he could do and among the suggestions we found narrating audiobooks. Since he and I both have a background in stage theater and improv, we thought it might be fun. I’m an avid audiobook listener and thought it would be fun! We ordered some equipment online and it came on a Saturday from Amazon. Drew had everything set up that night and we were off and running the next day, auditioning for books!
  • A lot of narrators seem to have a background in theatre. Is that something you think is essential to a successful narration career?
    • Yeah, that’s what most people think. Yes, I’m in theater and so is my son. It definitely helps, but it’s absolutely not essential. Since I’ve been in this world, I’ve gotten to know a lot of narrators and many of them would describe themselves as introverts. I’m an extrovert so I found that funny. But when you think about it, you’re all alone in a small room when you work, so it works well for people who are naturally introverted. Kind of cool, right?
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • Oh yes. I love audiobooks. I listen every week if not every day to something awesome on audio. I re-listen to stuff. I even follow a few narrators when I really like their voice. If I love a voice, I’ll check out everything they’ve done and if it appeals to me, I’ll grab it. I travel a lot for business and pleasure and I listen in the car, on trains, on airplanes and so on. I definitely listen when I’m working out. Nothing can make five miles go faster than a few good chapters of a zombie thriller!
  • Is there a particular genre you feel unsuited for? Have you ever declined a project because you didn’t think you were right for it?
    • So, yes. I’ve declined projects. Most people think it’s all acting, but there are some things I just don’t want to narrate because I just don’t believe in them. If there is a self-help book that gives advice I just disagree with, I’d turn it down. Narrating self-help is different from acting in that it’s your voice trying to convince someone of something. If you don’t believe it yourself, you’ve got two problems. One, you won’t like saying it. Two, it will come through as fake to the listener. All bad outcomes. So it’s best they find someone else. That could be true for other narrators with other touchy subjects like politics or religion too.
  • How closely do you prefer to work with authors?
    • I like to get to know the authors and what they are looking for. It’s the dream in their head we’re trying to make happen, so I want to try to get as close to that as possible. And, selfishly, I’m a sucker for applause and encouragement. So if my author loves my voice and they are telling me how much they enjoy how I’m doing a certain character, that’s a huge bonus for me. I love working with an author who is not shy in telling me when they are loving what I bring to the book!
  • Has anyone ever recognized you from your voice?
    • Um. No. A big no on that one. I guess it could happen, but I’ve actually gifted some of my audiobooks to friends and family and they’re like: “Are you sure that’s really you?” I think they mean it as a compliment, but with family you never can tell!
  • Have there been any characters that you really connected with?
    • Oh sure! You spend a lot of time with a book and voicing the characters. So a lot of what you bring to it is your own personality. It happens more often than not that you are feeling the emotions right along with the character. In Witchs’ Journey there were some exciting parts and some scary parts and some dreamy parts. You end up feeling all of those as you bring voices alive.
  • Do you read reviews for your audiobooks?
    • Absolutely! Reviews can be very important for the success of an audiobook. I encourage listeners to leave reviews. Whenever I see a book with one or two reviews I check out the reviewers page. Does it have one review or many? If there’s only one review, I tend to wonder if it was just the author’s mom who wrote something nice. Reviews from reviewers who read 30+ books a year are key. They really know what they like and the reviews are more deep than “I liked it a lot.” It’s been fun to get reviews that say things like: “I will definitely listen to Kate Tyler again!” That way I know I’ve done my job right.
  • What type of the review comments do you find most constructive?
    • I like reading reviews that give a taste of the story. Some sort of recap of what they thought the book was about. Once they’ve done that, then I want to see their impressions about how well the story was put together, and how well the narrator did the voices or characterizations.
  • Who is your “dream author” that you would like to record for?
    • Well, gee, I’d say Brene Brown, because I love her, but she usually does her own stuff which makes a lot of sense. If you know her, you know you want to hear her voice reading her material. And she’s very captivating to listen to. Not all authors can read their own material, but she is very talented and makes the book come alive.
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • Oh, no. I think listening is equally as valuable as page turning. In fact, there are statistics that show that people who buy a book has about a 10% chance of reading it cover to cover. Audiobook listeners generally listen end to end about 80% of the time. If your goal is to get your story or message into a person, audiobook wins hands down. Not only that, page-turners are usually different people than listeners. If you want to reach a larger audience, you have to consider that. Making it available in different formats makes it accessible to a larger group of people. And after all, isn’t that the point?

Top 10 List

Narrator Kate Tyler’s Top 10 Books She Heard Last Year

1. Rejection Proof​ by Jia Jang, Narrated by Mike Chamberlain

In a few words​: A business-focused book with a happy ending

2. A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms​ by George R R Martin, Narrated by Harry Lloyd

In a few words:​ Harry has an AMAZING voice!!

3. The Power of Full Engagement​, by Tony Schwartz and Jim Loehr. Narrated by the same.

In a few words: ​Awesome insights, but not all Authors should read their own books.

4. Earning Without Being Employed​, by Jeff Evarts, Narrated by Luke Rounda

In a few words:​ Wow! Great ideas! Include “Audiobook Narrator” in the next edition!

5. How to Win Friends and Influence People​ by Dale Carnegie, narrated by Andrew MacMillan In a few words:​ A classic that is as true today as it was when it was written

6. Daring Greatly​ by Brene’ Brown. Narrated by the same.

In a few words:​Heart, tears, practical advice. Beautifully performed by Brene’.

7. Castle of Wisardry​ by David Eddings, Narrated by Cameron Beierly

In a few words:​ Read this series when I was a kid. Listened to it with my kids this year. They ate it up and begged for more.

8. A Week in Winter​ by Maeve Binchy, Narrated by Rosalyn Landor

In a few words:​ Who doesn’t love the intertwining vignettes of Maeve Binchy??

9. Cannery Row​ by John Steinbeck, Narrated by Jerry Farden

In a few words: ​A classic that doesn’t feel like a classic. Brought to life in audio.

10. Wishful Drinking​ by Carrie Fisher, Narrated by the same

In a few words:​ One of the few I read first and then listened to. Laugh out loud funny. My sides hurt just remembering.

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Bridget Jones’s Diary – an audiobook review.

ScreenHunter_285 May. 16 18.09It’s hard to believe there’s a single woman on the planet who can’t relate to Bridget Jones. Brought to life here by Imogen Church’s playful narration, Bridget is as hopelessly irresistible – and just plain hopeless – as ever.

A dazzling urban satire of modern human relations? An ironic, tragic insight into the demise of the nuclear family? Or the confused ramblings of a pissed thirty-something?

 

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Review

Overall 3.5 stars

Story  4.5 stars

Performance 3 stars

 

I have to start off by saying that I have read Bridget Jones’s Diary countless times since it’s release and seen the movie both in the cinema and at home oodles of times!

Helen Fielding is hilariously witty and Bridget is a fabulous, funny, intelligent 30 something who is having a bit of a mid-life crisis. Ultimately she wants love and to be one of the ‘smug married’s’ that she and her singleton buddies are quick to criticise. This book follows Bridget as she stumbles from one hilarious situation to another.

Helen Fielding brought us the 2nd literary Mr Darcy that I would love in my life.  For that I am eternally grateful.

So I loved the book, and loved the movie pretty much in equal measure and thought that I was onto a winner when I purchased the audiobook for myself. Alas I did not enjoy it as much as I had hoped. The narration is fine and I cannot put my finger precisely on what I do not enjoy about this version but it just hasn’t worked for me in the way that the paperback or the movie did. There is a level of Bridget’s wit and sass missing from the narration and some of the phrasing does not work for me in audiobook form. For example: Bridget’s diary entries often contain phrasings like V good or VV bad. This works in book form, however it felt like the audiobook should have said ‘Very Good’ or ‘Very, Very bad’ for me this kind of got lost in translation.

I have Bridget Jones’s Baby to listen to too and I have never actually read this book (adored the movie)  so I will be approaching it from a different viewpoint. (Review to follow)

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Audible Link

https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Fiction/Bridget-Joness-Diary-Audiobook/B00FLXX4SQ

Every Rose Book 4 in the Take A Chance Series by Nancy Warren (Audiobook review)

Author: Nancy Warren

Narrator: Teri Schnaubelt

Length: 4 hours 42 minutes

Publisher: Ambleside Publishing⎮2015

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Series: Take A Chance, Book 4

Release date: Jun. 18, 2015

Every Rose has its thorns….

Rose Chance is a dedicated Portland physician who loves shoes, clothes, and the finer things in life. Her colleagues call her Dr. Vogue, and she won’t even look at a man unless he’s rich. And preferably titled.

Her colleague, Matt Vasilopolous, is a Greek immigrant made good. He dresses like a schlep, always needs a shave, and doesn’t seem to own a comb.

Rose can’t stand a man who looks like a tramp. Matt loathes a woman who looks down at him. But when they’re thrown together to save a life one day, and find themselves in the same wedding party the next, Rose and Matt can no longer deny the attraction between them.

With an English baronet and his stately home in the offing, though, will Rose choose the man she’s dreamed of her whole life or the one her heart craves?

This is the fourth novel in the Take a Chance series of romantic comedies. All the books can be heard independently, but are also connected.

To stay updated on all things Nancy including new releases, recipes and bonus extras please sign up for Nancy Warren’s newsletter at nancywarren.net. Nancy’s a USA today bestselling author of more than 60 novels. Nancy’s originally from Vancouver, Canada but she tends to wander. She currently lives in an 18th century house in Bath, England where she loves to pretend she’s Jane Austen, or at least a character in a Jane Austen novel. When she’s not writing, she’s hiking, skiing, traveling or sipping wine. She’s appeared on the front page of the New York Times (when her book, Speed Dating launched Harlequin’s NASCAR series), has been a clue in a crossword puzzle (National Post, Canada) and she’s been a finalist for the RITA award three times, honored by Romantic Times Magazine and often shares her love of writing in her popular workshops.

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Narrator Bio

Teri Schnaubelt is an award-winning audiobook narrator and actor who has voiced nearly 200 audiobooks as well as many commercials and corporate videos. She mainly works from her home studio in the north Chicago suburbs and keeps in touch with the rest of the world via

Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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Overall Rate 5 stars

Performance Rate 5 stars

Story Rate 5 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed everything about Every Rose Book 4 in Nancy Warren’s Take A Chance Series. As with the other books in this series, there were cameo’s from the other wonderful members of the Chance family.

Jack pays Rose a visit and is taken ill. Rose’s colleague Matt Vasilopolous has always seemed scruffy and unkempt to perfectionist Rose, but when Jack needs surgery Rose knows that Matt is the best doctor to perform the procedure. From this moment friendship blossoms and Rose sees more to Matt.

Coincidentally they are organising the Hen and Stag do’s for their friends, who happen to be a couple. After spending more time together they start to view each other in a different light. You will have to take a chance on this book to see whether this is enough once Rose encounters the man of her dreams. Will dream or heart win out?

This is my final stop on this tour and I have fallen more in love with the Chance Family with every book. Teri Schnaubelt is an outstanding voice actor who maintains a pleasing flow throughout. Her transitions into the different voices of the various characters are seamless. I have found her voice acting to be extremely strong and a pleasure to listen to.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Nancy Warren. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

 

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Deep Shadow by Nick Sullivan. Audiobook review.

Author: Nick Sullivan

Narrator: Nick Sullivan

Length: 8 hours 10 minutes

Publisher: Wild Yonder Press

Released: May 1, 2018

Genre: Action-Adventure

In the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, something lethal is on the move.

Scuba divers travel from all over the world to visit the little island of Bonaire, with its crystal-clear waters and a host of beautiful marine life. After three years in the “Diver’s Paradise”, divemaster Boone Fischer thought he’d seen it all; but on a routine afternoon dive, he spots something that will turn his tranquil life upside down.

From the arid shores of the ABC Islands to the tropical jungles of Venezuela—from the ocean depths of the Southern Caribbean, to the lush islands of the Northern Leewards, Deep Shadow takes Boone and the reader on an action-packed adventure filled with danger and suspense.

“The age-old adage of ‘write what you know’ becomes very important when you write about a technical subject like scuba diving. When you get all the details right, and throw in just the right amounts of action, humor, romance, and suspense, you have a novel like this.” – Wayne Stinnett, bestselling author of “Fallen Out”.

Born in East Tennessee, NICK SULLIVAN has spent most of his adult life as an actor in New York City, working in theater, television, film, and audiobooks. After narrating hundreds of books over the last twenty years, he decided to write his own. Nick has been an avid scuba diver for many years and his travels to numerous Caribbean islands have inspired this series. His first novel, “Zombie Bigfoot”, hit #1 in Horror Comedy on Amazon.

NICK SULLIVAN has been narrating audiobooks for over twenty years, recording over four hundred titles and receiving numerous AudioFile Earphones and Audie nominations and awards. He has worked extensively on Broadway and at many U.S. theaters. His TV credits include The Good Wife, The Affair, Divorce, Younger, Bull, Madam Secretary, Boardwalk Empire, 30 Rock, Elementary, and all three Law and Order series. Film credits include Our Idiot Brother and Private Life. Proud member of SAG-AFTRA

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Overall Rate 4 stars

Performance Rate 4 stars

Story Rate 4.5 stars

Nick Sullivan is both author and narrator in this tropical thriller however I will focus on both roles separately.

The setting for this story is paradise and the scene setting is done beautifully. Predominantly we see things through the viewpoint of Boone Fischer, a dive-master on the little island of Bonaire who, while on a dive with his work colleague, Emily sees something that takes them on a wild journey both on and off land.

This is a well written, gripping adventure that will have fans of crime thrillers on the edge of their seats. The tension is well built and strongly crafted. There are enough twists to keep you guessing what will happen next and it ends as strongly as it starts. Good stuff!

The narration on the whole is outstanding, Nick Sullivan has consistent and clear differences between the characters, he builds the tension amazingly well and is pleasant to listen to. I have one criticism, about one of the voices. There is a female British character (Emily) who does not sound at all British. (I am English so maybe people who are not used to the different British accents wouldn’t notice as much ) Don’t let that put you off of this book because Nick Sullivan brings more to his reading than narration, it really is vocal acting and because he wrote the book he knows exactly what he want’s to achieve in the scenes.

 

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Nick Sullivan. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Q&A with Author/Narrator Nick Sullivan
  • Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
    • The interesting thing about my process, having narrated over 400 titles over more than twenty years, is I’ve learned how effective a narrator is at catching typos, clunky sentences, and even plot inconsistencies. My final polishing on the writing occurs in the booth as I record. I have a separate document open where I make notes about what I have decided to change as I narrate; then I go back to the manuscript and apply what I learned in front of the microphone before finalizing it.
  • How did you wind up narrating audiobooks? Was it always your goal or was it something you stumbled into by chance?
    • I was at an audition and saw a notice on a cork board, asking from actors to narrate books for the blind for charity, for the Jewish Braille Institute. I put the number in my pocket. The next week I was shooting an NYU film, and the actress who was playing my wife said she recorded for Talking Books. I took their number. On lunch break I went to this device that used to exist, a “pay phone” and made two calls. First, to Jewish Braille, offering to narrate that week. Then to Talking Books… letting them know I “had experience narrating audiobooks… although I wasn’t available until the following week. I taught voice and speech at Rutgers and was good at accents, so I was able to convince them to see me. By the end of that next week, I’d made my first money as a narrator, with “A Day No Pigs Would Die”.
  • How did you decide how each character should sound in this title?
    • I create a “VoiceScape” for everyone in the book, noting every single thing the author gives me about where a character is from, their physical appearance, personality, speech quirks. Then I just let the information form the voice… though I always go through and make sure I don’t have characters that are going to be too similar side by side.
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
    • Yes. I’ve been diving for twenty years, visiting numerous Caribbean islands. Many things in this book were loosely based on things I experienced (or heard about). I reached out to some folks I’ve dived with, and some authors I’ve narrated for who know the ocean well, for additional inspiration.
  • Do you read reviews for your audiobooks?
    • Sometimes. It’s interesting, I know so many narrators who have declared “I stopped reading reviews”; and then I narrated a book by a mindfulness guru who sited a psychological study that a “negative occurrence” has about four times the weight as a positive one. And I think that’s true! We all want to be liked… so when you see a negative review, you want to say “Why don’t they like me?” One of the biggest names in the biz (I won’t say who) got all wound up by this incredibly tiny amount of bad reviews. It’s really like everywhere else in life, you can’t please everyone. I just do my best to please the author! I always appreciate “author approval” auditions for title assignment. It’s a good start to know that they chose your voice and performance.
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • I feel like I hear that less and less every year. It IS a different experience, I’ll give you that. The narrator IS going to influence how you experience the book… and that’s not always going to be a good thing.
  • What’s next for you?
    • Nick the Writer is 30,000 words into “Zombie Bigfoot” sequel… but first I have to narrate a space opera sci-fi, three short romance double headers, and Wayne Stinnett’s upcoming thriller, “Enduring Charity”!
  • Bonus question: Any funny anecdotes from inside the recording studio?
    • The engineers at Talking Books made a “mix tape”: they collected years of actors laughing uncontrollably, narrating extremely steamy sentences, belching impressively, going on a rant about run on sentences. We had no idea they were saving these snippets and it was HYSTERICAL.

Top 10 List

Nick Sullivan’s Top 10 Perks of Being an Author AND Narrator.
  1. Narrators make the best copy editors. I always find typos when narrating, even in big front-list titles from major publishers.
  2. If I find a clunky sentence, I can change it! I always narrate the book before sending it to the formatter. With “Deep Shadow” I ended up with a couple pages of tweaks.
  3. I get to choose characters with the audio in mind. Some accents are my kryptonite. You will find no people from Chicago in my books because I sound like that SNL “Da bearz” sketch.
  4. I get to try out NEW accents. In my first book, Zombie Bigfoot, I wanted an Afrikaner. That accent was tricky but I finally got it locked in and absolutely loved it.
  5. No back and forth during edits… the person who reads is the person who greenlights the project.
  6. I know the emotional intent of particular scenes and can color the performance accordingly.
  7. I know how to pronounce most of what I put in the book ahead of time. While writing the book, I will look up how to say locations as I add them.
  8. I get to submit myself for reviews on two different levels.
  9. It increases my fan base for purchases—those that like my narration… and those that like my writing.
  10. I get to keep ALL the royalties! Mwahahahahaha! Well… “all” of the portion the distribution companies let me have.

 

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Forever and Always. Two Hearts, One Soul Duet, Book 2. London Saint James. Audiobook Review.

Author: London Saint James

Narrators: Tor Thom, Charley Ongel

Length: 12 hours 27 minutes

Series: Two Hearts, One Soul Duet, Book 2

Publisher: LSJ Romance

Released: Mar. 1, 2018

Genre: Contemporary Romance

From international best-selling author London Saint James comes the final installment of Two Hearts, One Soul, a breathtaking story of two people who have always been connected, forever tied together by fate, by destiny, by unbreakable love.

With the media hell-bent on exposing Winter’s once private life, Cayden will do anything to protect her. But there’s more than just the voracious paparazzi conspiring against them.

Involved in an unprecedented web of strange events, and wound in a string of lies about to break with devastating consequences, Winter must battle ghosts from her past that threaten to harm the man she loves.

Faced with a choice she always knew would be inevitable, and a secret of her own, can the fairy tale Winter’s been living with Cayden beat the odds of their reality and really come true?

Please note: This audiobook continues where book one left off. This duet must be listened to in order.

London Saint James has lived in many places, but never felt “at home” until she met the real-life man of her dreams and settled down in the beautiful Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. London lives with her husband and their fat cat who thinks he owns them.

As an award-winning, international bestselling author, London is living her childhood dream. She knew all the scribbling she did, that big imagination of hers, and all those clamoring characters running around in her head would pay off someday.

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Narrator Bio

Tor Thom and Charley Ongel are a happily married couple who have been narrating and producing audiobooks for the past year and a half.

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Overall Rate 4 stars

Performance Rate 4 stars

Story Rate 4 stars

This book picks up where book 1, Always, ended. This is not a book that can be read as a standalone.

Austin and Winters romance was relatively uncomplicated (once Austin had saved Winter from Dane’s attempted rape.) their relationship was private, sweet and their planned fairy-tale wedding would have taken place before Austin started his Hollywood acting career. The opposite is true of the relationship between Cayden and Winter. He is a famous actor adored by his fans and the paparazzi  and she is a romance novelist whose pen name kept her out of the public eye and who is 12 years his senior.

This is the tip of the iceberg of the challenges and threats that Winter and Cayden face throughout this book. It is more exciting and intense than the first book in this duet and I preferred this second part out of the two.

The narration by Tor Thom and Charley Ongel maintained the high level of voice acting that they both exhibited in the first part of this duet. The intensity of the romance and the drama were consistently well expressed by both Tor and Charley.

London Saint James’ writing and the narration by Tor and Charley compliment each other well.

I received these audiobooks as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by London Saint James. The gifting of these audiobooks did not affect my opinion of them.

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Man’s Ruin by Nicola R. White. Audiobook review.

Author: Nicola R. White

Narrator: Carol Ayon

Length: 7 hours 25 minutes

Series: Original Sin, Book 1

Publisher: Strange Roads Press

Released: Oct. 31, 2017

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Magdalene is a mob-connected madam. Tommy Flynn is the hitman who loves her. And when they’re framed for the murder of a rival crime boss’s favorite son, Magdalene fears the sins of her past have come back to haunt her.

After spending half a lifetime in a seamy underworld where love is for sale and men worship at the altar of sex and greed, claiming sanctuary in a cathedral is the last thing she wants to do – and the only chance she has to find out who set her up. With all clues pointing to Magdalene’s ex-lover, a working girl called Lola, the legendary madam is reluctant to trust Tommy, a smooth-talking hired gun, and risk being burned again.

But as time grows short and secrets are revealed, Magdalene will have to look into the dark places inside herself if she is to catch a killer and survive with body and soul intact. In the corrupt city of Crawley, Massachusetts, passion, crime, and religion collide in this steamy, neo-noir romantic thriller.

 

Nicola R. White comes from a small city on the east coast of Canada where ghost stories and superstitions abound. Although she is a lawyer by profession, her passion is reading and writing fiction. In 2016, Nicola’s debut novel, Fury’s Kiss, won the $10,000 Kobo Emerging Writer Prize in Romance. She is currently producing her first graphic novel.

Nicola is a member of Romance Writers of America and Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada. She is a frequent guest and speaker at literary events such as Word on the Street and Hal-Con, the largest sci fi/fantasy convention east of Montreal.

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Narrator Bio

I may not be your typical audiobook narrator, but then again maybe I am. I have a passion for acting and received my undergraduate degree in Theatre Arts. I went on to pursue a graduate degree in Elementary Education and found that my favorite part of the day was during Read Aloud time. It was during that time that I could bring stories to life for my students and help them get caught up in a story. I loved to hear them say, “Keep going!” when it was time to stop. I continue to act in local stage productions but hope to begin a long career in audio book narration.

Q&A with Author Nicola R. White

  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
    • Definitely! When I write, I try to keep in mind how the story would work in audio or adapted for film or television. Since I write plot-driven stories (as opposed to character-driven), that approach helps me keep the action moving. If a scene would be boring when read or acted out by a narrator or actor, it’s probably boring to read, too!
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • I love listening to audiobooks while I drive, whether I’m going a short distance or on a road trip. Listening to a good book helps pass the time and actually makes me look forward to getting in the car, even though I usually hate commuting or driving long distances. If the book has really drawn me in, sometimes I’m sorry when I reach my destination!
  • Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
    • Carol’s (the narrator) performance is spot-on, especially the way she voices the heroine, Magdalene. I was amazed when I heard how closely her version of the character matched the vision I had when I was writing Man’s Ruin.
  • If this title were being made into a TV series or movie, who would you cast to play the primary roles?
    • When I’m writing a book, I actually choose actors to play the characters and refer to photos for reference and inspiration. For Magdalene, I would cast Charisma Carpenter (from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel). For Tommy, I would cast a young Val Kilmer (assuming time travel is an option).
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • I can’t believe people still feel this way. Audiobooks have been around forever! Firstly, I would remind people that not everyone has the ability to “read” in the same way. Secondly, I would ask them if watching a movie adaptation or reading an ebook is also cheating.
  • In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of writing a stand-alone novel vs. writing a series?
    • I prefer writing series because I always want to know what happens next. I don’t tend to be a heavy plotter, so writing the books is the only way I’ll find out! As a reader, I also prefer series because when I find something I like, I can’t get enough of it. As a writer, the downside of writing a series (for me, at least) is that I work on so many different projects at any given time, my release schedule isn’t as consistent as I’d like it to be. I sometimes feel guilty for writing a couple series at once when I know fans are waiting for the next book in one series or another. That being said, I am committed to finishing any series I start, so readers don’t have to worry that they won’t get to find out how it ends.
  • What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
    • Never give up.
    • Consider self-publishing.
    • If you do self-publish, hire a good editor and cover designer.
    • Learn about the business side of being an author. I’ve seen too many authors and artists sign awful contracts.
  • What’s next for you?
    • Right now, I’m working on the sequel to Man’s Ruin as well as the next book in my paranormal romance series, the New England Furies. I am also currently producing a comic book based on the Irish folktale of Eliza Day and I am writing my first game for Choice of Games, a company that produces text-based, multiple-choice games.

Overall Rate 5 stars

Performance Rate 5 stars

Story Rate 5 stars

This audiobook had me on the edge of my seat. I didn’t listen to it in the way I usually listen to audiobooks. I usually pace myself and listen when I am alone or at the gym, in this case I was antisocial. I binge listened because I had to know what happened next. If my usual reading tipple is a cup of tea this was a straight up Vodka!

Let’s talk characters. Our focus throughout is on Magdalene and Tommy, they are not, on paper, character’s that you could like. She is the Madam at a high end, mob controlled brothel and Tommy is a hit man and the guard at that brothel. I liked them both despite their none-too-small flaws. Why? That is hard to answer. When the story opens they are mob controlled and there are things from their past and their careers that have made them incredibly strong, frightening and on the surface cold characters. As the book progresses we get to know Magdalene and Tommy and find there is so much more to them than being a Madam and a Hit man. Tommy is a warm, caring and in some ways gentle character. Magdalene while openly strong, has been let down and used by men her whole life. She is broken in many ways but her inner strength becomes clear as the book develops.

Now to the story.  Narrated by Carol Ayon and told through Magdalene’s point of view the book begins with Magdalene on her day off with her girlfriend Lola when she receives the telephone call from Tommy that sets the story in motion. A rival and infinitely more powerful gang boss’ son and a prostitute have been murdered at the brothel. Both were shot in the method known to be Tommy’s signature and Tommy was the one in charge of guarding the room at the time of the murder. They are both in deep trouble! Magdalene will be held accountable because she is in charge of everything that happens on the site and all evidence seems to point at Tommy being the shooter.

This book is a race against time, Magdalene and Tommy must find out who was ultimately responsible for the murders and the clock is ticking because while they are hunting the killers they are also being hunted.

Nicola R. White has penned an extremely fast paced, sexy thriller and it really delivers in intensity and shocks. If I was a nail biter I would have no nails left! I cannot wait to dive into more of her work. Dive in is the perfect phrase to use because I became completely immersed and invested in this story.

Carol Ayon is one very talented narrator! I felt the voice acting was incredible, she maintained the intensity, emotion  and innate sexiness of Magdalene throughout the book and the other characterisations were equally well done, well defined and expressive. The voices assigned to the characters (especially Tommy as there is plenty of narrative involving him) were consistent and believable. The different characters had different accents and those accents were equally well done.

Consider me now a fan of both Nicola R. White and Carol Ayon

 

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Nicola R. White. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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Blueprint for a Kiss, a Take A Chance story by Nancy Warren (audiobook review)

Author: Nancy Warren

Narrator: Teri Schnaubelt

Length: 5 hours 23 minutes

Publisher: Ambleside Publishing⎮2015

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Series: Take A Chance, Book 3

Release date: Apr. 30, 2015

You can design a perfect life, then a woman comes along and messes it all up!

Prescott Chance is the go-to architect for the wealthy and famous, which has made him more wealthy and famous than he’s ever wanted to be. He turns down more commissions than he accepts and is extremely private.

Holly Legere is barely making ends meet between rent and student loans. As an assistant to Alistair Rupert, the notoriously difficult industrialist, she works night and day for slave wages, hanging on in hopes of a promised promotion in his huge organization. When Alistair Rupert’s wife decides she wants a Prescott Chance-designed house, and Prescott turns her down, it’s Holly’s job to make the choosy architect change his mind. And Holly is a very determined woman. In this modern romantic comedy, she’ll go to any lengths to get him to design her boss a house, including pulling in his huge family for support.

This is the third book in the Take a Chance series, though the books stand alone.

To stay updated on all things Nancy including new releases, recipes and bonus extras please sign up for Nancy Warren’s newsletter at nancywarren.net. Nancy’s a USA today bestselling author of more than 60 novels. Nancy’s originally from Vancouver, Canada but she tends to wander. She currently lives in an 18th century house in Bath, England where she loves to pretend she’s Jane Austen, or at least a character in a Jane Austen novel. When she’s not writing, she’s hiking, skiing, traveling or sipping wine. She’s appeared on the front page of the New York Times (when her book, Speed Dating launched Harlequin’s NASCAR series), has been a clue in a crossword puzzle (National Post, Canada) and she’s been a finalist for the RITA award three times, honored by Romantic Times Magazine and often shares her love of writing in her popular workshops.

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Narrator Bio

Teri Schnaubelt is an award-winning audiobook narrator and actor who has voiced nearly 200 audiobooks as well as many commercials and corporate videos. She mainly works from her home studio in the north Chicago suburbs and keeps in touch with the rest of the world via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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Overall Rate 5 stars

Performance Rate 5 stars

Story Rate 5 stars

This is my 3rd book about Daphne and Jack Chance’s adult children and while I enjoyed the first two, I think that this is my favourite.

While I liked Ethan (Kiss a Girl in The Rain) and Iris (Iris in Bloom) right from the start, it wasn’t the case with Prescott. I found him to be irritating and cold, however a short way into the book he started to grow on me and that continued through the book.

Holly was someone that I liked right from the start, though I wanted her to be tougher with some people and got a little frustrated. This doesn’t mean that I enjoyed those parts of the book any less. I was invested in the story and the lives of the characters and felt protective over Holly. I think that when a character is believable and relatable to the point that you  feel you want to protect them, you know it’s a good book.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and the opportunity to ‘meet’ more of the Chance family, and see more of the characters introduced in previous books.

While the Chance families stories can be read as standalone novels, you do glean information on the previous books in the series.

Teri Schnaubelt does another wonderful job with the voice acting. Once again she has  managed to give each character a recognisable voice and also show their individual personalities and feelings.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Nancy Warren. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

 

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