Fury’s Kiss written by Nicola R. White – Audiobook tour and review.

Author: Nicola R. White

Narrator: Elizabeth Tebb

Length: 9 hours 2 minutes

Series: New England Furies, Book 1

Publisher: Strange Roads Press

Released: Sep. 18, 2017

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Tara Walker dreams of more excitement than slinging plates of seafood for Cape Cod tourists, but as she learns when she is attacked and forced to fight for her life, fate sometimes has a funny way of giving you exactly what you wish for. Faced with strange new powers and embroiled in a murder investigation, Tara must now race to uncover the secrets of the ancient Fury that has woken inside of her – and of the evil that stalks her.

As if Tara’s life hasn’t gotten complicated enough, she is forced to ally herself with Jackson Byrne, witness to her assault and uncle to a pint-sized oracle whose fate is intertwined with hers. Skeptical, stubborn, and oh-so-sexy, Jackson wrestles with demons of his own. He is determined to ignore the attraction rising between them even faster than the body count, but like it or not, he and Tara need each other if they are to unravel the mysteries that surround them.

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 am a literacy specialist with experience performing in a number of roles. Having spent a great deal of time speaking publicly as both an educator and an administrator, I have accrued a varied skill set that I feel confident I can use to advance and advertise bodies of work. My passion for literature drives me to bring the voices within it to life.

  • Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
    • Fury’s Kiss was the first audiobook I produced. Since I self-published this book, I wanted to do the same with the audiobook. I used a marketplace service offered by Audible.com for authors and narrators to connect and produce audiobooks that will be distributed through the site. Potential narrators submitted auditions and I selected the wonderful Elizabeth Tebb!
  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
    • Absolutely! I always think about the possibility of my books being adapted into all sorts of different mediums, whether audio, film, graphic novel, or something else I haven’t thought of yet.
  • How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?
    • Elizabeth and I kept in contact by email and touched base every month or so, but I don’t like to micromanage anyone so I trusted her to let me know if she needed support from me. I provided her with a character sheet and notes about accents and pronunciation of some unusual names, but that was pretty much it! When she was done recording the book, I listened to the chapters and provided feedback for minor revisions.
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
    • My problem tends to be the opposite of burnout – I always have more enthusiasm than time! I usually have several projects on the go at one time so that I don’t get bored with any one project in particular. Right now I am working on a comic book and a game script in addition to my usual romance writing schedule. For me, burnout is more of a problem in relation to my day job, so I have taken steps to make sure I have enough energy for my work as a writer (which is my real passion).
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • Of course! I love the way a good narrator can make you feel as if the story is coming to life. I also like the convenience of being able to multitask while listening to a good book. My favorite place to listen to audiobooks is in the car.
  • How did you celebrate after finishing this novel?
    • I don’t know that I did actually celebrate at the time. I am a lawyer by profession and I finished the first draft while I was studying for the bar exam. I started writing this book as a way to de-stress while I was in law school and didn’t start seriously thinking about publishing it until I had re-written most of it several times over. The real celebration happened when I published Fury’s Kiss and it won the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize a few years later.
  • In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of writing a stand-alone novel vs. writing a series?
    • As a reader and an author, I prefer a series to a stand-alone. From a reader perspective, if I like a book, I want more! From an author perspective, books in a series are easier to sell and readers seem to prefer them. It’s fun to create and explore a world in detail, although the con is that it can get hard to keep track of everything (especially if the series is based on mythology, like in the New England Furies series!).
  • What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
    • Don’t give up! Even if it seems like things aren’t working out the way you hoped, writing is really just a numbers game. If you keep working at it long enough, you will eventually enjoy some degree of success, whatever that looks like for you. Learn as much as you can about the business side of publishing and never sign a contract you don’t fully understand. Finally, don’t compare yourself to other people. Roosevelt was right when he said that comparison is the thief of joy.

Reviewed by Tasha

Overall Rate 5 stars

Performance Rate 5 stars

Story Rate 5 stars

Wowzers! Nicola R White has completely impressed me for the second time! This book really couldn’t be more different than Man’s Ruin yet it has an author in common and she is an incredible talent!

I absolutely loved this brilliantly, well written, paranormal romance that started out crazy wild and maintained that level of surprise and intensity throughout. The characters are outstanding and all so well developed and each is interesting in their own way.

I don’t want to give any more away than you can glean from the synopsis because this book really deserves to deliver every punch that it packs. With shocks, surprises and Tara’s fabulous dry sarcasm in the face of everything she has to face, this audiobook really is the gift that keeps giving!

Elizabeth Tebb is an outstanding voice actor. While maintaining individual and recognisable voices that suited each character, Elizabeth draws us into the excitement of the story that Nicola has written. She brings attitude, intensity and completely drew me into this brilliant story.

I truly did not want this audiobook to end and I hope that Audible don’t hang around and that the rest of this series is available a.s.a.p! I will be the first in the queue when they become available.

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.


Also available from Nicola R. White

Man’s Ruin is available for adoption on the Adopt-An-Audiobook page!

You can check out Tasha’s review for Man’s Ruin Here:

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Power of Five- by Alex Lidell- Audiobook Tour Stop and Review

Author: Alex Lidell

Narrator: Victoria Mei

Length: 5 hours and 27 minutes

Serie: Power of Five Book Series, Book 1

Publisher: Alex Lidell

Released: Apr. 29, 2018

Genre: Contemporary Fantasy

Four elite fae warriors. One mortal female. A magical bond they can’t allow – or resist.

Orphaned and sold to a harsh master, Lera’s life is about mucking stalls, avoiding her master’s advances, and steering clear of the mystical forest separating the mortal and fae worlds. Only fools venture into the immortal realms, and only dark rumors come out… Until four powerful fae warriors appear at Lera’s barn.

River, Coal, Tye, and Shade have waited a decade for their new fifth to be chosen, the wounds from their quint brother’s loss still raw. But the magic has played a cruel trick, bonding the four immortal warriors to… a female. A mortal female.

Distractingly beautiful and dangerously frail, Lera can only be one thing – a mistake. Yet as the males bring Lera back to the fae lands to sever the bond, they discover that she holds more power over their souls than is safe for anyone… especially for Lera herself.

Power of Five is a full-length reverse-harem fantasy novel.

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Alex Lidell is the author of Amazon best sellers AIR AND ASH and WAR AND WIND (Danger Bearing Press, 2017) and an Amazon Breakout Novel Awards finalist author of THE CADET OF TILDOR (Penguin, 2013). She is an avid horseback rider, a (bad) hockey player, and an ice-cream addict. Born in Russia, Alex learned English in elementary school, where a thoughtful librarian placed a copy of Tamora Pierce’s ALANNA in Alex’s hands. In addition to becoming the first English book Alex read for fun, ALANNA started Alex’s life long love for YA fantasy books.

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Story: 4

Narration: 3

Overall: 3.5

Naturally for a reverse harem this book was steamy, but it had more going for it than that. The characters are well developed and the narration for each is clear and definable.

I really did enjoy the story but while I felt the characters were well rounded and well developed I did feel that the story required something (I cannot put my finger in what was missing for me, I think it just needed tweaking)

I do think that this is still worth a listen, it just didn’t quiet fully work for me.

Initially I admit, I was not a fan of the narration however I feel this is more down to personal taste, it did grow on me a bit, but I did not love it. I cannot fault the narration, there was nothing wrong with it. I just didn’t like some of the characters voices (though as I said, they were clear and definable.) I do wonder if I would enjoy the story more with different narration as I always feel that for an audiobook to completely be enjoyable the listener has to appreciate both the voice acting and the writing.

 

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

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Oshun Rising. Trinity Forest Series, Book 2. Audiobook Review

Author: Jennifer Alsever

Narrator: Moira Todd

Series: Trinity Forest Series, Book 2

Publisher: Sawatch Publishing

Released: May 30, 2018

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal

OSHUN has everything a young pop star could ever want—fame, fortune, and beauty to spare. But there’s something dark inside of her, rising like the tide, fighting to be heard. Something that terrifies her. Because once she lets it out, she knows there’s no going back.

EMBER is drowning. Fighting for consciousness, struggling to make sense of the strange dreams she’s been having—prophecies of murder, deception, and blackmail. But once she begins to untangle them, she realizes that they might not be dreams at all…and if she doesn’t find a way to stop what she’s seeing, more people will die.

MADDIE is barely staying afloat. How can she be expected to care about school when her best friend Ember is still missing, presumed dead? So when Ember’s brother calls and tells her about his theory about a pop star who may be involved in Ember’s disappearance, she rallies him to take a road trip to check it out.

A teenager still lives inside author Jennifer Alsever. She spent two decades as a professional journalist, contributing to such publications as Fortune Magazine, the New York Times, Inc Magazine and the Wall Street Journal, before letting her imagination run wild in 2016. The result is Ember’s story told in the three-book Trinity Forest Series, her first published fiction work.
When not absorbed in writing, Alsever enjoys a good hike, doing some yoga, hanging with her boys, some moguls on skis, a rigorous mountain bike ride or indulging in the simple pleasures of life. Her favorites: untouched snow, frozen chocolate chips, savasina on a yoga mat and yes, bowls of pan fried brussels sprouts. Jennifer is working on her upcoming novel, Psychic Monkeys, to be released in 2019.

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Narrator Bio

Moira Todd is a Washington, DC-based actor. She originally hales from Mt. Hood, Oregon where the trees are always green, the mountain is always pointy, and the weather is usually rainy. It was there that she learned the secret arts of alpine skiing and whistling at the same time as you hum. While neither has proved useful in her theatre career, she remains hopeful. These days she spends most of her free time swimming, baking bread, and watching whale documentaries.

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Story: 5

Narration: 4

Overall: 4.5

This is the second book in the Trinity Forest series by Jennifer Alsever and was every bit as good as Ember Burning.

I would certainly say that these books need to be read in order because they will make little sense if read out of order.

This story picks up where book 1 leaves off and switches between the Trinity world and the everyday world. We spend a lot of time with Embers brother Jarrod and Maddy, her best friend. Jarrod is obsessed with finding his missing sister who has been missing for 3 years and makes the connection between her and Oshun. This is a really difficult book to explain, as it is very involved. Major things are happening in the Trinity world but again, I don’t want to give any spoilers.

This is a very cleverly written and hugely imaginative story and I am so eager for the third book in this trilogy.

My opinion on Moira Todd’s narration in Oshun Rising is every bit as impressive as her vocal acting in Ember Rising. The narration is clear and crips, she sounds age appropriate, her performance captures the characters personalities and emotions with every word spoken. Both Male and female voices are well acted and easily recognisable.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would happily curl up with more work by Jennifer Alsever. I would also like to listen to more work by Moira Todd.

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

  • How did you get into performing for audiobooks?
    • I auditioned for an audiobook production company and they pointed me toward ACX, where I can be my own producer, which is really great.
  • How many audiobooks have you produced?
    • I’ve produced 8 now, including Playing with Fire: A #Hacker Novel by Sherry Ficklin, and Why Can’t My Life Be a Romance Novel by Melinda R. Cordell. I also have three in various stages of production.
  • Why did you choose to work on Ember Burning?
    • I love working on books with Female protagonists and I think Ember has a really fun voice.
  • What was your favorite part of the book?
    • My favorite is the end when everything really comes to a head and the suspense is at its highest.
  • What was the hardest part of working on the novel?
    • The hardest part is actually scheduling. I have to balance audiobooks with acting and teaching. So if I get a cold or something, and can’t record for a few days it can really mess up my production schedule.
  • What’s involved in the process?
    • Well is starts with reading the book. I like to read it once just as an audience and write down my thought on the story as a whole so that I can remember that experience when I’m listening to myself read one sentence over and over. I then read it again and make notes of character descriptions, words I don’t know how to pronounce, and any major tone or pacing shifts in the story. Then I’ll take a chapter or so at a time, and mark it up. This means writing in the best way to make the story clear, like which words to emphasize and when to breath. I take my marked up section into the studio and record it. Any time I mess up, I just go back and read it again. So what I’m left with is a big long recording with lost of repeated sections. I have to use editing software to delete the mess ups, and any big long breathes that sound weird, and make sure the pacing is effective. This then gets given to the author to approve, and eventually put on sale on audible.com
  • How long does it take to create a chapter?
    • Typically it takes me 10 hours to produce one hour of finished narration.
  • What is your favorite part of being an audiobook narrator/producer?
    • My family is pretty spread out, so I love being able to share audiobooks with them, and it’s like we’re back at home and I’m reading a book to everyone in the living room around the fire.
  • What’s been the hardest part?
    • Keeping myself on track to meet deadlines is the hardest part. Because it’s just me, I have to hold myself accountable so that I don’t end up with a week left and half the book to finish.
  • What’s your favorite audiobook you’ve listen to? Why?
    • The Lord of the Rings Trilogy narrated by Rob Inglis. I listed to all three on a road trip across the country last year, so it just brings me back to those awesome memories.
  • What is ahead/next for you? Are you working on any interesting projects? Do you have anything planned or in the works now? (Other books you might recommend?)
    • Yeah, I’ve got a few projects in the works. Right now I’m recording Killing Her Softly, a romantic suspense novel by Barb Warner Deane. And in the new year I’ll begin production on the next book in Jennifer Alsever’s Trinity Forest series, Oshun Rising.
  • What do you do when you’re not working on audiobooks?
    • I’m in rehearsal for a show, or teaching theatre classes, or maybe going on a hike in the Potomac valley.
  • What do you expect to happen in the audiobook market?
    • I’m not sure. Podcasts have certainly exploded in recent years. Audiobooks seem like the perfect medium for commuting. People spend so much time in cars or trains or buses these days, why not be listening to a story at the same time.

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Clutch- Audiobook Tour Stop and Review

Clutch-Audiobook-Cover-e1527285351975

Author: Lisa Becker

Narrator: Suzanne Barbetta

Length: 8 hours 11 minutes

Publisher: Lisa Willet Becker

Released: May 30, 2018

Genre: Contemporary Romance

clutch: a novel is the laugh-out-loud, chick lit romance chronicling the dating misadventures of Caroline Johnson, a single purse designer who compares her unsuccessful romantic relationships to styles of handbags – the “Hobo” starving artist, the “Diaper Bag” single dad, the “Briefcase” intense businessman, etc. With her best friend, bar owner Mike by her side, the overly-accommodating Caroline drinks a lot of Chardonnay, puts her heart on the line, endures her share of unworthy suitors and finds the courage to discover the “Clutch” or someone she wants to hold onto.

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Lisa Becker is a romance writer who spends her time like she spends her money – on books and margaritas. In addition to Clutch: a novel, she is the author of the Click trilogy, a contemporary romance series about online dating and Links, a standalone, second chance romance readers call light, fun, sexy and smart. As Lisa’s grandmother used to say, “For every chair, there’s a tush.” Lisa is now happily married to a wonderful man she met online and lives in Manhattan Beach, California with him and their two daughters. So, if it happened for her, there’s hope for anyone! You can share your love stories with her at www.lisawbecker.com.

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Narrator Bio

Suzanne Barbetta became a voracious reader when she realized the magic of books allowed her to become anyone, anywhere, and in any world. A storyteller and performer since age 5, she later apprenticed at 2 regional theaters and earned her Actor’s Equity card. She’s also a proud member of SAG-AFTRA, the Audio Publishers Association and the League of Professional Theatre Women. Audiobooks are a way to satisfy her pathological addiction to reading. Now based in NYC, she is also the voice of the Fierce, Funny, Fab Fangirls of the series Geek Actually for Serial Box Publishing.

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Story: 4

Narration: 3

Overall: 4

Clutch is an amusing journey through, friendship, life, dating and handbags.
Caroline’s Aunt Mimi inspired her love of all things handbag and encouraged her to chase her dream of making wonderful but affordable handbags. She encouraged her to go to Harvard in order to pursue her dream.
Probably my favourite character in this story is Mike, he is sweet, supportive, funny and he owns a bar so keeps our leading lady, Caroline topped up with wine as she stumbles from one disastrous man to another.
I found Caroline initially annoying, but her wittiness and intelligence had me really liking her after that initial irritation.
The plot was not one that we haven’t seen before but the technique of chapters being named after bags that are associated with the men is unique and fun. I would class this as an enjoyable summer listen that will keep you amused but be warned about probable laughter. (if reading in a public place with headphones on)
Suzanne Barbetta didn’t do a bad job with the vocal acting but she didn’t blow me away. I found her to be consistent and clear in her voice acting and I think that on other books she could be outstanding but for me this wasn’t a great match between book and narrator. That is the only criticism that I really have. For me it just wasn’t the best pairing.

 

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

Q&A with Author Lisa Becker

  • Were there any real-life inspirations behind your writing?
    • When I was writing the Click trilogy, (Click: An Online Love Story, Double Click, and Right Click), I was obsessed with NCIS re-runs and would have the show on in the background as I wrote. There was an episode where a character refers to a man as a “handbag husband,” or something useless you carry on your arm. I started thinking about that, and the idea for Clutch grew from there. I believe that everyone deserves a happily ever after and would like to think there’s a “clutch,” or someone worth holding onto, out there for everyone.
  • If this title were being made into a TV series or movie, who would you cast to play the primary roles?
    • I think Eloise Mumford, who played Kate in Fifty Shades of Grey, would make an outstanding Caroline. She has the right mixture of warmth, gumption, vulnerability, and beauty to bring this character to life. I still can’t decide who would play Mike, although I know I’d love to sit in on those casting sessions. 😉
  • How did you celebrate after finishing this novel?
    • In the past, when I’ve typed the final “the end” on a manuscript, I celebrate with a box of my favorite chocolates. However, with Clutch, I thought it fitting to buy myself a new purse – a Michael Kors shoulder bag that I use every day.
  • How did you select your narrator?
    • When searching for a narrator, it was important for me to find someone who really understood not only the individuality of each character but the unique dynamic between the two main leads. I needed someone who could make Caroline relatable and showcase her intelligence, ambition, vulnerability and hopefulness in finding true love. And at the same time, the narrator needed to bring to life Mike’s irreverence, sense of humor, loyalty and drive. Early on in my search, I was lucky to find the very talented Suzanne Barbetta who was able to capture all of this effortlessly.
  • Do you have any tips for authors going through the process of turning their books into audiobooks?
    • Spend the time and money necessary to find the right partner who is professional, personable and truly gets the material. There’s a magic that happens when the connection is right, and you’ll reap the benefits from that to more than compensate for your initial investment.
  • Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
    • There are quite a number of a quick-witted exchanges between Caroline and Mike including the use of clever puns and rapid-fire jokes back and forth. I think an audiobook is a great way for those to come across and bring out the humor in the story, as long as you have a talented narrator with comedic timing and an understanding of the dynamics between characters. Again, I feel so lucky to be working with the talented Suzanne Barbetta as she was able to capture the chemistry between these two characters, which is the heart of the story.
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • I love the idea of audiobooks and giving people the opportunity to enjoy amazing storytelling in a convenient and accessible way. So, whether you want to read a book in a traditional manner or listen to a story while exercising, making dinner, lounging around or doing a myriad of other things, the important point is that you are enjoying the escapism and the beauty of the written word.
  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
    • Clutch actually started out as a screenplay that had been optioned by a production company at Sony Studios. The movie didn’t progress past the initial stages, so I turned it into a novel to bring this light and breezy story about love and handbags to the public. It was only after I received so many positive reviews of the story, its characters, humor and heart, did I think to turn it into an audiobook. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to expand the reach of this story that hopefully will inspire people to seek out their own happily ever after.
  • What gets you out of a writing slump? What about a reading slump?
    • Like all writers, I’ve encountered my share of writer’s block. My solution: Chocolate! No joke, I eat chocolate. If I’m stuck on a certain section or not feeling motivated to write, I give myself little chocolate incentives to get past the blockage. Judging by my thighs, I had some serious problems writing this book. 😉 I’m not sure I’ve ever been in a reading slump, though. If anything, I need to find ways to stop reading so much, as it sometimes affects time with my family or work.
  • What’s next for you?
    • Included in Clutch is a preview of my next book, Starfish, a new adult story of unexpected love, the redemptive power of music and hogging the bed. Starfish is expected to be released in spring 2019.

Giveaway

Clutch Giveaway: Holly A. Jones Oversized Clutch

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Ember Burning -Trinity Forest book 1- Audiobook Tour Stop & Review

Author: Jennifer Alsever

Narrator: Moira Todd

Series: Trinity Forest Series, Book 1

Publisher: Sawatch Publishing

Released: Sep. 7, 2017

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal

Author Jennifer Alsever delivers an addictive story ideal for fans of The Uglies, We Were Liars, and Before I Fall about a teen grieving over her parent’s tragic death who becomes entangled with a mysterious forest teeming with urban legends of strange disappearances and witchcraft.

Ember Trouve used to be alive, driven to become a musician and on a path to college. That was before her parents died. One day, after venturing into the fabled Trinity Forest, she goes missing. Now, Ember must confront the truth behind her parents’ death – or lose herself to the forest forever.

In this fresh and compelling novel, Jennifer Alsever creates a paranormal world of loss, mystery, love, and survival as Ember searches for escape – and a path back to herself. Ember Burning is the first installment of the three-book Trinity Forest series.

A teenager still lives inside author Jennifer Alsever. She spent two decades as a professional journalist, contributing to such publications as Fortune Magazine, the New York Times, Inc Magazine and the Wall Street Journal, before letting her imagination run wild in 2016. The result is Ember’s story told in the three-book Trinity Forest Series, her first published fiction work.
When not absorbed in writing, Alsever enjoys a good hike, doing some yoga, hanging with her boys, some moguls on skis, a rigorous mountain bike ride or indulging in the simple pleasures of life. Her favorites: untouched snow, frozen chocolate chips, savasina on a yoga mat and yes, bowls of pan fried brussels sprouts. Jennifer is working on her upcoming novel, Psychic Monkeys, to be released in 2019.

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Narrator Bio

Moira Todd is a Washington, DC-based actor. She originally hales from Mt. Hood, Oregon where the trees are always green, the mountain is always pointy, and the weather is usually rainy. It was there that she learned the secret arts of alpine skiing and whistling at the same time as you hum. While neither has proved useful in her theatre career, she remains hopeful. These days she spends most of her free time swimming, baking bread, and watching whale documentarie

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Story: 4

Narration: 4

Overall: 4

Ember is completely lost after the tragic death of her beloved parents, then Ember is just lost! Will Ember face her painful truths straight on or will Trinity Forest become her forever?

I don’t often listen to books in the Young Adult Genre but I am a huge fan of the Paranormal genre so I figured that I would give this trilogy a go. Jennifer Alsever has made me so happy that I decided to step out of my comfort zone.

I am so glad that I chose to listen to Ember Burning and I cannot wait to dive into book 2. The writing is intense and engaging, the story has fantastic flow and makes you want to binge listen! This is such a well written and fantastically envisioned plot and I do think that it could be enjoyed by people that wouldn’t usually go for a book in the Young Adult genre.

Moira Todd has done a wonderful job of narrating an emotional, challenging, tense story. Her characterisation is spot on, the voices suit the characters so well and really draw you in. Her vocal talents are such that you feel the tension, fear, emotion while she still maintains the recognisable voices for the stories characters. I cannot wait to start listening to Trinity Forest Book two- Oshun Rising.

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

  • Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
    • As an avid audiobook fan, I knew when I finished my trilogy that I wanted my books to be an audiobook. But finding the right voice was going to be key. I went into ACX, Audible’s back-end system for authors, and I listened to dozens of sample narrators until I found Moira Todd, an actress in Oregon. I wrote her an email and said, ‘You are Ember!’ She had a gorgeous voice, youthful with the perfect amount of snark and authenticity plus, I didn’t know it at the time, but she could sing. Working with Moira has been a dream, as she sent me samples along the way, and I ate the chapters up as we went.
  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
    • No. While I was writing, I was conscious only of the voice on the page. I was fully engrossed in the logistics of the writing and pacing and ensuring readers could see what I saw in my mind’s eye.
  • How did you select your narrator?
    • I listened to Moira’s sample on ACX, the backend of Audible, and loved her voice. She had a youthful voice that exhibited the kind of intellect, angst, snark, strength and sweetness of my main character Ember. When I heard her audition, I emailed her saying “You are Ember!”
  • How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process?
    • Moira gave me periodic updates on her editing and chapters as she finished them. We collaborated, but really, Moira just nailed it with no revision requests on my part.
  • Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?
    • I didn’t give her insight into characters– nothing more than what was on the page. I gave her some pronunciation tips when asked, places and names and some weird Egyptian words.
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
    • I drew on my experiences walking around the real-life town of Leadville and the scenery of the Colorado mountains where I live, plus took nuggets of scenery from my past visits to Utah, California and L.A. I also peppered in small bits and pieces of real stories from people gathered and heard over the years. To get into the teen head, I invited a group of seniors at a local high school for pizza when I was writing the book, and I listened to them talk. I got a lot of good perspective and a few nuggets of stories from them. They were so generous with their stories and time. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them. The general plot, too, is taken from real-life theories from crazy websites about the Annunaki, energy vortexes and Egyptian mysticism. I did a lot of research and drew on interviews with people who had experienced what Ember did– mainly a friend who lost her parents as a teen.
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
    • When I get stuck, I give myself time and space to do something else. I hike, read, ski, watch smart TV shows or I write other things. I don’t feel like I honestly can get burned from writing. I was obsessed with my story and it just flowed out of my fingers. It’s my most favorite thing, outside of my family and friends.
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • I am an audiobook listener for sure. As a slow reader, I love listening to a book while I get other things done, whether it’s chores around the house, a long drive or a hike. I am very picky about the narrator of the books I consume, and the voice can make it or break it for me. I’d listened to enough YA books that had similar voices or tones I liked, and I knew Moira would be perfect for my series. She had a voice I personally could enjoy hearing for hours.
  • Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
    • Ember is a singer-song writer, and so that was a challenge for me to write lyrics to songs. Some of the lyrics had a loose tune in my head but not really. It was so fun to hear Moira take the lyrics, make a song and then sing it in the audio recording. She has a beautiful singing voice.
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • I say a story is a story, heard or read. People say they don’t have time to read. So if listening is an easier way to dive into a imaginary story without sitting in front a screen, then go for it.
  • In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of writing a stand-alone novel vs. writing a series?
    • Pros of a series: You have more time to develop a storyline and a character, and you can fall more deeply into that world. People can binge your books just like they can binge watch TV.
    • Pros of standalone: You’re done with one and can dig into another entirely new idea next.
    • Cons of a series: Some people hate series and so maybe they read one book and may grumble about having to read another two to find out all the answers. It’s harder to market the other books in the series because they’re a continuation of the story so you end up having to tout your first book over and over, when you really might be proud of the writing or the story in the second and third too.
    • Cons of standalone: Sometimes, it can be hard to get everything you want in the book and it feels rushed. As a reader and an author, you’re sad to leave those characters behind and close the book to move on to the next idea.
  • Have any of your characters ever appeared in your dreams?
    • The genesis of my book came from a dream. I was running through a forest, but I wasn’t myself. I was someone else. I came to a gate, went inside and met three of my characters, Tre, Lilly and Zoe, and after spending time there, they whispered how I could never go home, despite the world spinning forward on the outside.
    • When I woke up, I told my son about the dream because it was so vivid and striking to me, and he told me to turn it into a novel. So I did.

with Author Jennifer Alsever

  • Waffle fries or curly fries?
    • Curly fries for sure. They were my downfall in college.
  • GIF with a hard g or soft g?
    • Hard G. Though it’s enough of a conundrum I try to avoid saying the word out loud.
  • Fantasy or science-fiction?
    • Sci-fi. I don’t like reading about queens and goblins, and must prefer to consider aliens and future tech worlds. I actually love contemporary with a little twist of magic.
  • Superman or Batman?
    • Batman for sure. Though he would probably get on my nerves after awhile with that voice.
  • Text message or call?
    • I unfortunately prefer text messages because I like to get to the point quickly.
  • Pancakes or waffles?
    • Waffles because they’re not something I’d make at home. Making me hungry as I answer this.
  • Doctor Who or the Walking Dead?
    • Meh to both. Walking Dead is beloved by so many people but it’s too gruesome for me and a little depressing. Dr. Who is a little too old-school.
  • TV Shows or movies?
    • Depends. I’m loving some Netflix and Amazon originals right now, and I appreciate the thoughtful character development you can do with a show. But I am always a fan of a good movie.
  • Facebook or Twitter?
    • Facebook. Twitter feels very impersonal to me.
  • Alice in Wonderland or Robinson Crusoe?
    • Alice in Wonderland! One fantasy I do like.
  • Being too warm or too cold?
    • I am always too cold. Hands, feet. I wear a puffy coat when I work during the winter. Isn’t that weird?
  • Netflix or Hulu?
    • Netflix. I’ve been a loyal Netflixer since the days of DVDs 15 years ago. They almost lost me with their crappy online offerings– until they started developing their own killer content.
  • Work Hard or Play Hard?
    • I like both. I love what I do, so it doesn’t feel like work. But you got to get out and enjoy life since it’s flying by too fast.
  • Passenger or Driver?
    • Passenger for sure. I love writing in the car while my husband drives. Naps. Those are good too.
  • Amusement Park or Day at the Beach?
    • Beach. Gotta get your nature.
  • Honesty or Other’s Feelings?
    • Not sure I get this one, but I’m all about honesty. I’m an open book.
  • Movie at Home or Movie at the Theater?
    • I love the theater. Popcorn. Gotta get my popcorn.

BOOK ONE

Jun. 24th:

Once Upon a Twilight

The Book Junkie Reads . . .

Jun. 25th:

The Layaway Dragon

Jazzy Book Reviews

Jun. 26th:

Happily Ever BookWorm

Bound 4 Escape

Jun. 27th:

Chapter Break

Lomeraniel

Jun. 28th:

A Page to Turn

Guilty Indulgence Book Club

Jun. 29th:

Notes from ‘Round the Bend

Lilly’s Book World

Jun. 30th:

Bookworms Corner Blog Spot

The Book Addict’s Reviews

Here’s to Happy Endings

BOOK TWO

Jul. 1st:

Writers and Authors

The Book Junkie Reads . . .

Jul. 2nd:

The Layaway Dragon

Jul. 3rd:

Happily Ever BookWorm

Bound 4 Escape

Lilly’s Book World

Jul. 4th:

Lomeraniel

Jul. 5th:

A Page to Turn

Guilty Indulgence Book Club

Jul. 6th:

Notes from ‘Round the Bend

Chapter Break

Jul. 7th:

Bookworms Corner Blog Spot

The Book Addict’s Reviews

Here’s to Happy Endings

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The Tribulations of August Barton by Jennifer LeBlanc – Audiobook Review and Spotlight.

Author: Jennifer LeBlanc

Narrator: James Oliva

Length: 4 hours 28 minutes

Series: August Barton, Book 1

Publisher: Jennifer LeBlanc

Released: Apr. 20, 2018

Genre: Humor

August Barton could never have mentally prepared himself for his freshman year of college: not only has his anxiety increased, but his parents are divorcing, his new roommate thinks Augie is the biggest nerd in existence, and his grandma, a retired prostitute named Gertie, has taken to running away from her nursing home. Augie just wants to hole up in his dorm room with his Star Wars collectables and textbooks, but Gertie is not about to let that happen. What ensues is a crazy ride including naked trespassing, befriending a local biker gang, and maybe-just maybe-with Augie defeating his anxiety and actually getting the girl.

Jennifer LeBlanc was born and raised in South Dakota and has always had a knack for story-telling. When not slaying zombies in the gaming world or writing, she can be found getting lost in a good book, doing something crafty, indulging in photography, or relaxing with her husband, two cats, and chihuahua. Jennifer loves animals and supports saving species on the verge of extinction. She currently works in merchant banking and credit services while writing her next project.

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Narrator Bio

James Oliva is the creator/writer/director of the audio drama podcast What’s The Frequency? He’s also the voice of Michael Tate on audio podcast drama Greater Boston, Willard on Oak Podcast. James has also had guest appearances on ars Paradoxica, The Strange Case of Starship Iris, Seminar, Big Data, Jim Robbie and the Wanderers, The Haven Chronicles, and Radiation World. He was a finalist for a 2016 and 2017 Audio Verse Award in the acting category.

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  • Do you believe certain types of writing translate better into audiobook format?
    • It really depends on the writing style. Having it read out loud and brought to life is an amazing thing. Your characters become more real and the reader gets to become more immersed in your story. With that said, if the writing isn’t something that sounds good when read aloud it might not translate as well into audiobook format. This is why choosing the right narrator is so important because translating what’s in your mind and your story the way you see it in your head is difficult. Details and certain things like character quirks and the tone need to match what you are trying to convey to the reader in your story. If the writing is flat and has no life or is too bland, it will be bland and flat when read aloud. I have listened to several audiobooks with the same old monotone narrators that try to make the story interesting, but don’t, because the writing isn’t interesting or the story isn’t written in an interesting way. On the flip side of that though I have also heard ones where the narrator works wonders for even the most boring and flat writing so it goes both ways.
  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
    • Yes, I definitely anticipated getting my book made into an audiobook early on in the process. Because of this, I wrote the story the way I would want to hear it. It was like I was watching a movie in my head and when writing, I wrote how I would want the movie to play out. I thought about what reactions people would have if a character said or did something more interesting. This helped give my characters more individuality and spunk. They weren’t just people put together as a means to an end in the book. They became so much more and it’s definitely something you can hear in the audiobook.
  • How did you select your narrator?
    • This part was scary because I knew what I wanted for the characters and how I wanted them to sound, but to find someone who could do them, and the story justice seemed really daunting. I did a search on the audiobook production platform and came across James Oliva’s profile. He conveniently had samples of his previous work available to listen to. I listened to each one several times and I just couldn’t believe the range he had as a voice actor. I was hooked and just knew he was the one. From there I sent an offer and he gladly accepted. I feel like it was just meant to be because I found who I believed was the perfect narrator on the first try. That never seems to happen and I feel so blessed to have worked with and to continue working with him.
  • How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?
    • For some of the lines yes, but for Augie he just had it. He sounded young and skittish and weird and that’s exactly what I wanted. It was the same with Gertie and for the most part all the others aside from a few things here and there that were easy to fix.
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
    • Yes, I have always been socially awkward and at times never really felt like I was confident or even comfortable in my own skin. This is a characteristic that I gave to my main character Augie because it stems from me and how I was at that age. I have also always had a special relationship with my grandmother and she’s been one of the most influential people in my life. I wanted to write a story that portrayed that relationship even though my grandmother is the complete opposite of Augie’s in many ways.
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
    • I work a regular full-time job and write on the side when I have time. Most of the time my day job is so brain draining that I don’t have the mental energy to write afterwords. To remedy this, I try to wake up as early as I can and write before work. Before my brain is completely fried for the day. This isn’t always achievable, sometimes I don’t write very much, but a little at a time goes a long way. I also try to take advantage of long weekends and any time I have away from work. I like to walk my dog when it’s nice out to clear my head and get back into the right headspace for writing. I also try to write when I am feeling the most inspired, because I am one hundred percent in the moment with that thought or idea. I feel like this is when I do my best writing because I am completely consumed by the story playing out in my mind. Most of the time I get inspired by music and can sit for hours and hours and listen to song after song as I am writing. I write as much as I can as often as I can and while it may be sporadic or unscheduled it works for me.
  • Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
    • All of it, in my opinion the whole experience of listening to it brought so much more emotion out and so much more appeal for the characters. They become more real and relatable and I can’t thank James enough for the work he put into making my audiobook so great.
  • What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • I really loved audio books as a kid because they essentially taught to me how to read better and how to pronounce words that I didn’t know how to. They helped me understand the tone and get into the story better. I would always get the cassette tapes from the library and then follow along with the physical book. I still listen to them here and there on occasion without the physical books. Some of them are great and others don’t grab my attention as well. It really depends on the narrator. I don’t listen to audiobooks very much anymore, but I do like them.
  • What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
    • Talk to other authors if you can and connect with the writing community, whether it be local or reaching out online. Having the support of other people in the same boat helped me immensely through this process. The knowledge and advice of other readers, writers, and authors is invaluable whether it’s good or bad. Everything helps. Learn as much as you can. Do research on self-publishing and traditional publishing and most importantly READ! To become a good writer, you must first become a good reader.
  • Do you have any tips for authors going through the process of turning their books into audiobooks?
    • Be diligent in selecting your narrator and make sure they will be a good fit for your book. Also be patient with your narrator, once you have chosen one, because they have a lot more work they have to do behind the scenes than we see or know about. There’s a lot that goes into recording and editing the content in your book. It’s a process and it takes time. It’s not an easy feat by any means and is more than worth it in the end.
  • What’s next for you?
    • Publishing book two in the August Barton Novella Series titled, The Revelations of August Barton. Once the paperback and ebook are out, James has graciously accepted the task of narrating the audiobook for this one as well. I can’t wait to dig in and get it out there for all the readers and listeners. Once Revelations is released, I plan on doing more author events around where I live and doing some more marketing.

Story: 4

Narration: 4

Overall: 4

This story was certainly not what I was expecting! I was expecting it to be a little bit crazy, awkward and funny. What I actually got was all that and much, much more. I thoroughly enjoyed this book which at one point had me laughing and ugly crying.

For a relatively short audiobook it certainly contained a full, well penned, funny and emotional story.

Augie starts college and is absolutely dreading it. Especially when he meets his jock room mate. Augie likes Star Wars and has anxiety and panic attacks Isaac is loud and loves to party.

Things take a turn when Augie’s retirement home escaping, proudly ex-prostitute grandmother insists that she and Augie attend one of the college parties where Augie encounters the girl of his dreams and finds out that his gran is really pretty cool (and embarrassing)

While Augie planned to spend college keeping to himself, thanks to his growing relationships (especially with his wonderful grandmother) he actually finds himself, learns coping strategies to deal with anxiety and finds a determination to get the girl.

Throughout this wonderful audiobook we meet Augie’s mum Diane, his grandmothers best friend who is another ex-prostitute called Auntie Toons, a biker gang, and an elite restaurateur amongst other fantastic characters. He finds that first impressions are indeed not reliable and which is highlighted early on when he get to know Isaac a  bit better.

This is a funny journey through college life but what ultimately shines through is that it is a story of love, friendship, support and learning to take risks.

I have 1 criticism- sound effects. I hate them in audiobooks and James Oliva is perfectly vesatile enough to not need them. Thankfully there were not too many and I still thoroughly enjoyed Jennifer LeBlanc’s charmingly and skilfully penned, journey.

The narration was brilliantly done with consistent voice characterisation, expressions of mood and situation and along with the hugely talented writing of Jennifer LeBlanc a wonderful talent for bringing the funny and the emotional together seamlessly.

‘Rock on Toons’

(Trust me, if you take the time to listen to this and find out what those three words mean and why they are a wonderful sign off for this review then you will not regret it.)

 

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

Jun. 17th:

Dirty Bad Bloggers

Lomeraniel

Jun. 18th:

Blogger Nicole Reviews

Jun. 19th:

Jazzy Book Reviews

Jun. 20th:

Buried Under Books

What Is That Book About

Jun. 21st:

Haddie’s Haven

Sefina Hawke’s Books

Jun. 22nd:

Simply Kelina

Jun. 23rd:

The Book Addict’s Reviews

Bookworms Corner Blog Spot

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Gull Harbour by Kathryn Knight. Audiobook Tour.

Author: Kathryn Knight

Narrator: Kristin James

Length: 7 hours 46 minutes

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Released: Feb 14, 2018

Genre: Paranormal Romance

When Claire Linden’s job sends her to the sleepy town of Gull Harbor, she never expects to encounter her ex-boyfriend. As a medium, the prospect of tackling a haunted house is less daunting than seeing Max Baron again. Throughout their passionate college relationship, he promised to love her forever. Then, without explanation, he abandoned her on graduation day.

Max never intended to break Claire’s heart – a cruel ultimatum forced him to disappear from her life. While he’s shocked to find her in Gull Harbor, he isn’t surprised by the bitter resentment she feels for him…or the fiery attraction that remains between them.

Claire is determined to rid her temporary home of its aggressive ghost, but Max soon realizes she’s facing a danger beyond the paranormal. When Claire risks everything to help a desperate spirit, Max must race to save her – before another tragedy tears them apart forever.

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Kathryn Knight spends a great deal of time in her fictional world, where mundane chores don’t exist and daily life involves steamy romance, dangerous secrets, and spooky suspense. Kathryn writes contemporary romance spiked with mysterious hauntings as well as YA paranormal romance filled with forbidden love. Her novels are award-winning #1 Amazon and Barnes & Noble Bestsellers and RomCon Reader-Rated picks. When she’s not reading or writing, Kathryn spends her time catching up on those mundane chores, driving kids around, and teaching fitness classes. She lives on beautiful Cape Cod with her husband, their two sons, and a number of rescued pets.

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Narrator Bio

Kristin “KJ” James was born and raised in the Nashville, TN area. Acting has always been a passion of hers. Starting on the stage as early as preschool, KJ pursued her passion into college where she received a BA in Communication with a double emphasis in Theatre and Public Relations from Mississippi State University. After college she found herself more and more drawn to voice overs. Several classes, coaching sessions, seminars, research, and a closet-turned-studio later, and she now records and produces audiobooks on a regular basis. She has also done several radio commercials for clients such as Advance Financial, TriStar Health, and GAC. Her ultimate dream is to work in video games and animation, so hopefully in the not-too-distant future you’ll hear her in an RPG or cartoon. When she’s not in her booth, you can find her crocheting, playing video games, or running agility with her dog, Phoenix.

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Reviewed by Tasha

 

Story: 4

Narration: 4

Overall: 4

This story is listed as Paranormal Romance and it certainly fits that category but I would also say that it could be listed as a thriller and it is a strong contender in all three of those categories!

The romance falls under the category of second chance romance and our main protagonists have an interesting history which we learn more about throughout the book.

Claire Linden is a Medium and is in Gull Harbour as she has been hired to investigate disturbing happenings at a house there. Claire had no idea that it is the hometown of her college love and is in complete shock when he is one of the first people that she encounters in the town.

The house has an extremely disturbed presence and it is less than happy to have Claire in house however as the story develops we discover that the entity is not the biggest threat to Claire’s well-being.

This book kept me on the edge of my seat and I sacrificed a fingernail from nibbling when things got really intense! It really is a good story. It’s not overly gory or frightening. (more nerve wracking than keep you up at night fear inspiring.) The story is both sad and happy at times and while some bits are predictable it wasn’t too predictable and it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the story.

Kristin James does a good job with the voice acting within this story. There are times when strong emotion is described and Kristin manages to convey that with her narration. When the story becomes intense Kristen gets that across with her vocal talents all the while maintaining clearly identifiable voices for the various characters.

At 7 hours 46 minutes long this story is not an overwhelming listen for those new to audiobooks.

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

Jun. 10th:
Happily Ever BookWorm
The Book Junkie Reads . . .
Page Princess
Jun. 11th:
Audiobook Romance
Authors’ Secrets Blog
Jun. 12th:
Lilly’s Book World
Jazzy Book Reviews
Jun. 13th:
T’s Stuff
2 Girls and A Book
Jun. 14th:
Notes from ‘Round the Bend
Bookworms Corner Blog Spot
Jun. 15th:
Wall-to-Wall Books
Angel’s Guilty Pleasures
Jun. 16th:
The Book Addict’s Reviews
Smada’s Book Smack

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