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Hearts Set Free Audiobook Blog Tour

Audio Blog Tour: Hearts Set Free by Jess Lederman

Author: Jess Lederman

Narrator: Alison Maglaughlin

Length: 12 hours and 24 minutes

Released: January 06, 2020

Publisher: Jess Lederman

Genre: Literary Fiction; Christian

“Readers of inspirational fiction will love this moving story that affirms the power of God’s mercy.” (Publisher’s Weekly)The Alaska Territory, 1925: Thirteen-year-old Luke couldn’t be prouder of his father, whose heroic efforts have just saved thousands of lives. but his world turns upside down when dad abandons his family for a beautiful reporter from New York. Luke’s mother, Yura, vows to win back her husband and kill the woman who stole his heart, and she and Luke embark on an epic cross-country quest that will lead them to the Nevada desert, and to truths – and terrors – of which they’d never dreamed.Reno, Nevada, 1930: Boxer David Gold, a Bible-school dropout who fights as the Pummelin’ Preacher, is nearing the end of his career and feeling hopelessly far from God. Then one day, a former call girl who hails from a railway stop called Las Vegas shows up at his door. She’s part of a rag-tag congregation whose pastor has been murdered; the killer is still at large, they haven’t a cent to pay David, but they need a fighting man to shepherd the tiny Church of the Heart Set Free. Her proposal seems sheer madness – after all, he’s not really a preacher, how can he possibly do these people any good? But the Spirit is at work; it’s already brought a mother and son from Alaska into his life, and now it’s telling him to say yes….Las Vegas, 2011: Science Cable T.V. big-wig Tim Faber is an arrogant narcissist determined to prove that mankind has no need of God, while his producer, Joan Reed, is trying to regain the faith of her youth. They’ve come to Vegas to meet with 99-year-old Luke and David Gold’s grandson, Daniel, two men who hold the key to a mystery they must solve – and answers that will forever change their lives.“Bold and forthright writing that would set any heart on fire.” (Christian blogger Miranda A. Uyeh)

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After I graduated with a degree in music from Columbia University, a lust for expensive pianos drew me into an unexpected career in finance. It turned out that I had a knack for business; I gained much that the world had to offer and became a hedonist, a gambler who haunted the poker rooms of Las Vegas, and an arrogant atheist. I’ve written fiction for most of my life, and at one point I quit work to devote myself to writing a novel. During that time, my late first wife, Teri, and I lived in Paris, down the street from where Hemingway once lived, and later in the mountains of Idaho. But the novel was never published, for my soul had not yet awakened, and I did not yet have anything important to say. So I went back to the business world. One day, when we were living in Dallas, Teri heard a radio interview with Francis Collins, an eminent scientist who wrote The Language of God, which tells the story of his journey from atheism to becoming a disciple of Christ. Collins’ book led us to the writings of C.S. Lewis and George MacDonald*, who became the midwives of our rebirth from above. There’s no hiding from the Hound of Heaven, once He’s on your trail! Several years later, Teri was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and we left Dallas and the business world behind and moved to a small town in Alaska. There we looked out on the glory of God’s creation and read to our heart’s content during the last two years of her life. Faced with tragedy, we learned to trust utterly in Him, and He blessed us with the peace that surpasses all understanding. It was after Teri’s death, while I was still living in the far north, that the idea for Hearts Set Free—which opens in the Alaska Territory in 1925was born. People who know that the novel contains autobiographical elements (and several historical characters) sometimes ask me, “How much of the story is true?’ And I answer, “Perhaps twenty percent—and the rest is even more true!” What drives my writing is the desire to convey truths that transform lives. Truths of the heart. In 2013, I met a wonderful woman—my current wife, Ling—and soon we began talking about having children. “Impossible!” said our doctors. “According to your test results, there’s no chance at all, even using the latest techniques.” Of course, within two months of that pronouncement, Ling was pregnant with little David, who just turned three, and we subsequently adopted Daniel, who’s now twelve. After David’s birth, we moved to southwest Washington. I’m currently at work on a novel set in Las Vegas in 1955, and, when I’m not writing or chasing my sons around, can usually be found at the piano playing Chopin nocturnes for Ling.

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Narrator Bio

Alison Maglaughlin is a narrator, blogger, artist, lover and learner of languages from rural USA. Her hobbies include skateboarding, traveling, collecting trinkets and calling home. She lives in Amsterdam with her sister and travel companion, Maciah. The two of them are having a silly goose time in a hostel somewhere.

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

Q&A with Author Jess Lederman
  • 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?
    • I worked very closely with my narrator, Ali Maglaughlin. I knew Hearts Set Free would be a challenging book to narrate, because it’s got a long cast of characters, and many of them talk with distinctive accents. For example, among the real-world characters, heavyweight champ Jack Johnson was a black man from Galveston, Texas; physicist Georges Lemaitre, Belgian; Albert Einstein, German; while Bugsy Siegel grew up in New York. Then there are fictional characters who speak with Cajun and Southern accents. And two of the primary characters are native Alaskans, so I had to research the pronunciation of some Inuit words as well.
    • Any given narrator is going to have a greater or lesser natural affinity with certain characters. So of course there were times when I would ask Ali to take a different approach with certain lines. And in other cases I was very pleased when she voiced a character in a way I hadn’t anticipated but which worked very well.
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
    • People who know that Hearts Set Free has such elements, and that it also features a number of historical characters, sometimes ask me, “How much of the story is true?” I answer, about twenty percent–and the rest is even more true. I like to write about truths that change people’s lives, truths of the heart. I put aspects of myself into several of the characters; for example, I was an arrogant atheist for much of my life, before coming to Christ, much like the character of TV producer Tim Faber. Much of the novel takes place in Las Vegas–half back when it was only a small town, and the Hoover Dam was just being built, and half the way it is today–and back in my pagan days, I haunted the poker tables of the Vegas casinos, so I know it well.
    • Also, there are several historical characters who play an important role in Hearts Set Free. One of the most important is Jack Johnson, the first black, heavyweight champion of the world. He was a fascinating figure, a self-educated man, a fighter familiar with Shakespeare and who could perform Bach on his bass viol. He was an arrogant narcissist–that was his fatal flaw–but at the same time had a big heart. Needless to say, he was much maligned by the racist culture which prevailed in the U.S. during his lifetime. Georges Lemaitre is one of my favorite characters, and one of my personal heroes. He was one of the greatest scientists of all time, yet most people have never heard of him! Lemaitre was a Belgian who became both a physicist and a Roman Catholic priest. As a young man, fresh off the battlefields of WWI, he challenged Einstein’s view of the universe, and though at first Einstein called his ideas nonsense, within ten years he acknowledged that the young priest had been right! Other historical characters include Amelia Earhart and gangster Bugsy Siegel.
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
    • When I take breaks from writing, it’s usually to chase after my four-year-old son or play the piano. I’m especially a fan of Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms, and the Blues. And for me, music is often an inspiration for my writing. Sometimes I’ll hear a melody or harmony and think, yes, that is just what I want to express, if only I can find the right words!
  • If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
    • Sure, who wouldn’t! Assuming I could first master first-century Aramaic, I’d go back to ancient Israel around 30 AD and hang out with Jesus and the disciples.
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • To say that listening to an audiobook, as opposed to reading, is “cheating,” is just silly. For the first few millennia after people first began to compose stories–often in the form of epic odes–most people could not read at all. For most of human history, stories were spoken aloud and listened to. In fact, to truly be appreciated, a well-written novel should be read aloud, just as all poetry ought to be read aloud. It’s not all that different from music, really; sure, a gifted musician can look at a score and imagine the music in his or her head, but that’s not the same from hearing it performed.
  • What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
    • First and most important: write, write, write. Get lots of words on paper. Then, don’t fall in love with what you’ve written, no matter the blood, sweat, and tears; rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. Join a critique group. Go to writing conferences and network with as many people as possible. That’s not only for getting advice and making contacts with agents and publishers; writing can be a long, lonely journey. Become integrated into the writing community.
  • Do you have any tips for authors going through the process of turning their books into audiobooks?
    • Take the time to make sure you are as sympatico as possible with your narrator and that he or she will be comfortable with multiple “takes” until you’re completely satisfied. That might sound obvious, but it can be a long and sometimes painful process, so you need a tight working relationship. Make sure you’re allocating the necessary time to listen and critique each chapter as it’s recorded.
  • What’s next for you?
    • I’m eager to get my next novel published. The working title is Fire. Like Hearts Set Free, it’s set in Las Vegas, but in 1955, a time when the Mob ran the casinos and above-ground nuclear bomb tests not far from the city were a tourist attraction.
  • Who is the author you most admire in your genre?
    • Among writers of what I would call Christian literary fiction, George MacDonald would be at the top of the list. He was a Victorian-era minister, novelist, and poet and the great inspiration to C.S. Lewis, who referred to him as his “master.” MacDonald was also a great influence on G.K. Chesterton, Madeleine L’Engle, and countless others. Reading his novels is one of the best ways of discovering what it means to follow Christ.
  • What is the best thing writing makes you feel?
    • I love my own sense of emotional connection with my characters and what they are going through. There have been quite a few times when I find myself laughing or crying at my writing desk! And of course there’s a wonderful feeling of accomplishment when I feel I’ve expressed something in just the right way. But perhaps the very best feeling is when a reader—someone I don’t know, who just happened to buy my book—provides feedback, and lets me know that they, too, were moved by the same things that moved me. That sense of connection—and most especially of inspiring people in their faith—is just wonderful!
  • What inspired the story?
    • When my late first wife was diagnosed with ALS, we moved from Dallas to a small town in Alaska so that we could spend her remaining time in peace, looking out at the beauty of God’s creation. She was the inspiration for one of the main characters in the book. We were living not far from the headquarters of the Iditarod, the iconic thousand-mile dog sled race that takes place each year. The Iditarod was inspired by an amazing race against time which occurred in the frozen darkness of an Alaskan winter in 1925, when dogsled was the only way to get diphtheria serum to remote town of Nome, to save ten thousand lives. The novel begins with that dramatic event. One of the other main characters—David Gold, a Bible-school dropout turned boxer who is led by the Lord to become a heroic pastor—was inspired by the studies that two pastors in Alaska encouraged me to undertake to better understand the Pauline epistles. Paul became one of my all-time heroes, and at one point I toyed with the idea of writing a novel about him. That eventually led to Hearts Set Free.
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Rogue Reaper Audiobook Blog Tour

Audio Blog Tour: Rogue Reaper by Riley Archer

Author: Riley Archer

Narrator: Stephanie Nemeth-Parker

Length: 5 hours and 33 minutes

Series: Reaper Collective, Book 1

Released: Apr. 23, 2020

Publisher: M. R. Pilot

Genre: Urban Fantasy

I, Ellis Rosabell Kennicot, was murdered. I’ve been tortured ever since, and not just by the frustratingly beautiful Grim that recruited me into Reaper Collective. A little drool and pining won’t stop my supernaturally beating heart. It’s been three years and my persistent death nightmares have become a total snooze-fest, but the who and why gnaws on my nerves at night. If I can keep kicking soul-collecting ass and keep my mouth on a tight leash, I just might get the answers I’m dying to know. The problem? Souls have been extra ornery lately, morphing into Glitches (picture truck-sized black holes) that make my job a lot harder. While on a routine assignment, I hear an otherworldly siren cry that transforms my tamed objective into a carnivorous Glitch. Turns out I’m the only one who can hear the devil’s sound. So, I’m handed everything I’ve been wanting on a silver platter: A sweet undercover gig with free reign in the physical world, and an even sweeter apartment in the big city. But no sweet thing comes without its cost. I’ve already lost my life. The price this time might be my soul.

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Riley Archer is a paranormal and urban fantasy-loving writer who firmly believes snark, scheming, magical beings, and disaster is a recipe for delicious adventure. Everything she writes is sure to dabble with this formula, and it may or may not get explosive. When she’s not buried in bookish things, she’s probably lost outside somewhere or being smothered by her two furry beasts.

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Narrator Bio

Stephanie is a SAG-AFTRA/Equity UK audiobook narrator, voiceover artist and actress with 30+ years acting experience. With a voice that has been described as Smart, Soothing and Luxurious, her versatility and adeptness with accents has enabled her to work in many different areas of the voiceover community – from commercials to corporate narration, animation to audiobooks. She was the voice of Omega Watches for over 5 years and has done over a hundred voiceovers with clients including IKEA, Audi, Novartis, Roche, and Swiss Airlines to name a few.

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Dream Cast
with Author Riley Archer
  1. Waffle fries or curly fries? Curly
  2. GIF with a hard g or soft g? I’m not going to lie. I don’t know what this means. Don’t judge me!
  3. Fantasy or science-fiction? I lean toward fantasy but I can dive into some SFF from time to time
  4. Superman or Batman? I have to go with Batman. If you dive into Rogue Reaper, you’ll know why
  5. Text message or call? If there’s bluetooth, call. If not, text. So, mostly text
  6. Pancakes or waffles? Pancakes
  7. Doctor Who or the Walking Dead? … please don’t make me admit I watch neither
  8. TV Shows or movies? Love both, but I’ve gotta go with TV Shows
  9. Facebook or Twitter? Facebook
  10. Alice in Wonderland or Robinson Crusoe? Alice
  11. Being too warm or too cold? Too warm. Do I like super soft blankets and puppy cuddles? Yes. But … cold feet are the worst
  12. Netflix or Hulu? Hulu gives me anime, but Netflix gives me anime with no commercials
  13. Work Hard or Play Hard? Working hard makes the playing hard even better
  14. Passenger or Driver? Ooh, driver.
  15. Amusement Park or Day at the Beach? I like rollercoasters and playing in the water. Hmm … I’ll go with a day at the beach because that’s rarer for me.
  16. Honesty or Other’s Feelings? I truly believe honesty is best, but I think there’s a way to be honest without all the sharp edges. But that’s me, not necessarily some of the characters I tend to write. They can be a tad … pointy
  17. Movie at Home or Movie at the Theater? Home. But if there’s a theater that allows dogs, someone please send me the deets.
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Deep Series Book 2 Audiobook Blog Tour

The Deep Series

Author: Nick Sullivan

Narrator: Nick Sullivan

Length: 7 hours 35 minutes

Series: Caribbean Dive Adventures, Book 2

Publisher: Wild Yonder Press

Released: April 30, 2019

Genre: Action-Adventure

Sometimes, the brightest corners of the world can hold the darkest shadows.Rising steeply from the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, the Dutch island of Saba is a sleepy paradise, the mountainous slopes dotted with little red-and-white cottages and the seas teeming with life. But this little oasis has a less tranquil history, many of its inhabitants having descended from smugglers and pirates. Boone Fischer and Emily Durand are eager to explore their new home, but their peaceful lives are about to be shattered, as one of history’s most powerful hurricanes begins to form – and, as if that weren’t enough, a savage evil has made its way ashore. In this sequel to the best seller Deep Shadow, Nick Sullivan brings listeners to another fascinating corner of the world and sends them into a swirl of action and adventure.

Born in East Tennessee, Nick has spent most of his adult life as an actor in New York City, working in theater, television, film, and audiobooks. After recording hundreds of books over the last twenty years he decided to write his own. Decades of scuba diving and travel inspired the Caribbean Dive Adventures. The first book in this series, the best-selling Deep Shadow, is set in the island of Bonaire. Deep Cut picks up on the little Dutch island of Saba. For more information on this series, visit http://www.deepnovels.comAnd for something completely different, visit zombiebigfoot.com to learn about his first novel, Zombie Bigfoot, which was #1 in Horror Comedy on Amazon.Nick has been recording audiobooks since 1994 (starting on reel-to-reel) and has been listening to them even longer. He has narrated over four hundred fifty titles in nearly every genre.

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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 Nick Sullivan, Author and Narrator of Deep Cut
  • Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
    • I’ve been narrating for so long, I think and write in a manner that is conducive to the audiobook format… much to the chagrin of my editor, as I often would opt for a sentence structure that was more in line with how a person would actually say the sentence. The Chicago Manual of Style would not always concur with my decisions!
  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
    • Since I came into writing by-way-of narrating, I absolutely have the audiobook in mind throughout the writing process. I will make character choices based on what dialects I can comfortable with. You’ll likely never have a Bostonian in my books. That’s my kryptonite.
  • How did you wind up narrating audiobooks? Was it always your goal or was it something you stumbled into by chance?
    • It was a random stroke of luck. I was doing a film shoot and the woman playing my wife had been narrating for Talking Books in New York City. And just a few days before, I happened to have taken an ad from a bulletin board: the Jewish Braille Institute was looking for actors to narrate books for the blind for free. I called them… set up a time… then called Talking Books and let them know I had experience recording books (or would, by the time I showed up!)
  • A lot of narrators seem to have a background in theatre. Is that something you think is essential to a successful narration career?
    • I used to think so… but there are some truly excellent narrators who don’t have an acting background, so I stand corrected. In general, I DO think a person who has made their living as an actor is going to be better suited to delivering dialogue… but that doesn’t mean they will always be a better storyteller!
  • What type of training have you undergone?
    • I studied theater in undergrad and grad school, and went to London to train at the British American Dramatic Academy. I had the good fortune to work with a number of teachers who specialized in dialects.
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
    • I set the books of my Deep Series in places I’ve dived, so there are numerous occasions when I will base plot points on things I’ve experienced, or create characters who are inspired by the people I’ve met in the islands. Emily is based on one such person… and that individual was even goofier than my fictional recreation.
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • It’s not “cheating”, it’s just different. I don’t think people should replace reading with audiobooks, since reading for yourself allows you to put your own mental interpretation on the book… and that’s a magical thing. But sometimes, sitting back and letting a storyteller spin the tale for you is the way to go. Plus, you can multitask!
  • Do you read reviews for your audiobooks? If so, which ones stand out to you most, positive or negative? What type of the review comments do you find most constructive?
    • Amusingly enough, I read a self-help book on mindfulness and meditation. It quoted a study that a negative event will carry about four times the weight as an equivalent positive event. Makes sense, in my experience. Yes, I read reviews. A lot of negative reviews are “trolly”, and most narrators know to dismiss those, but some will have some little nugget that you read and go “Oh… um… yeah. I see that.” For instance, I based my Emily character on an actual Brit I met and decided to pump her up to a full South London accent. Well, after reading some reviews from some Brits, I decided to pull her back a bit in Deep Cut. She’s still a bit more “street” than your usual Thames dialect, but I figured I might’ve picked an overly strong dialect for her.
  • What’s next for you?
    • I have to decide where to set the next book! And maybe take a trip there. I also have the sequel to my horror comedy, Zombie Bigfoot, to finish. And, in the immediate future, I’ve got six books to narrate for other authors.
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In Sight Of The Mountain Audiobook Blog Tour

Audio Blog Tour: In Sight of the Mountain by Jamie McGillen

Author: Jamie McGillen

Narrator: Sarah Brands

Length: 9 hours 34 minutes

Released: Apr. 24, 2020

Publisher: The Evergreen Bookshelf

Genre: Young Adult; Historical Fiction

“An engaging escapade with a feisty female lead.” (Kirkus Reviews)“A beautifully written story. A must-read for those who are striving to fulfill their dreams…” (Seattle Book Review)“An epic and gripping work of historical fiction… the perfect historical read for fans of pioneering heroes and tales of triumph over discrimination.” (Reader’s Favorite 5-Star Review) In the devastating aftermath of the 1889 Great Seattle Fire, 19-year-old Anna Gallagher faces considerable pressure to marry well and soon. But she has no intention of giving up her freedom to keep house. She wants to be the first woman to summit Mount Rainier.Anna’s grandfather couldn’t disapprove more. And after he discovers that she’s befriended a Duwamish woman in the forest, he threatens to disown her completely. Still, her resolve to summit doesn’t waver until she meets a fisherman who seems to love adventure as much as she does. He’s not the kind of high society gentleman who could save their family’s finances after the fire, but he adores her and treats her like an equal. Mountaineering through glaciers, avalanches, and frozen temperatures might cause Anna’s family to disown her forever. It might even ruin any future marriage prospects. But if she succeeds in reaching the icy peak, she could pioneer the way for women mountaineers, and create a new identify for herself, something she’s been longing for her whole life. Inspired by the trailblazing women of the 19th century who dared to summit Mount Rainier, In Sight of the Mountain is a charming coming-of-age story, but it also casts the reader’s gaze upon issues of colonialism, class, and women’s far-too-narrow options.

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Jamie McGillen lives in the shadow of Mount Rainier, and no matter how many times she moves away, it draws her home. Everything about large evergreen trees delights her, except how poky they are, and the sap. Her poems and essays have been published in numerous literary journals, and she teaches English Composition at Highline College. When she’s not teaching or cutting strawberries for her starving children, she enjoys writing rhyming poetry, but it’s simply not as popular as it used to be. You can find out more about her at http://www.jamiemcgillen.com.

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Narrator Bio

Sarah has had a long love affair with audiobooks. She first fell in love with Little Dragon and Orange Cheeks by Jay O’Callahan at age 5 and has been listening ever since. Back then, of course, they were books on tape. Her dream of becoming an audiobook narrator started to become a reality when she began volunteering at Learning Ally as a reader. Outside of reading and narrating, she enjoys baking (when there’s not a flour shortage due to a pandemic), hiking, and dabbling in writing and drawing. Sarah finds herself interested in many things, reflected by her work history: waitress, retail associate, licensed forklift driver, salesperson, special education teacher, reading therapist, and professional learning facilitator… Currently she daylights in ed tech sales and moonlights in her recording booth. She lives in Virginia, grew up in Oklahoma, and a piece of her heart will always be in Colorado.

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Q&A with Author Jamie McGillen
  • 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?
    • Sarah and I had a phone call at the very beginning, and we were able to talk about the overall story tone, different character accents, and other regional tidbits. I also wanted to give her space to be creative with her narrating, so I wasn’t suuuuper picky about everything (I hope she agrees)! There were definitely some pronunciations we had to discuss, but I think we worked really well together. Couldn’t have asked for a better partner on this audiobook journey!
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
    • The story is inspired by Fay Fuller and other trailblazing women of the nineteenth century. Like Isabella Bird who traveled around the Rocky Mountains, and climbed Longs Peak in 1873. And Lucy Walker, a British woman who summited the Matterhorn in the Alps in 1871. I really wanted to tell the story of a woman in the late nineteenth century who was struggling for agency. It was a really interesting time period in American history, when people just weren’t sure what to think of women. Should we let them help chop down trees and build houses because we don’t have enough men? Should they be able to get a university education, but not be allowed to vote? The logical answers to these questions were starting to emerge, even though it challenged the social norms.
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • I’m a huge fan of audiobooks. I can’t imagine NOT having my own book available as an audiobook!
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • Don’t. Be. Ridiculous.
  • What gets you out of a writing slump? What about a reading slump?
    • I’m an all-or-nothing kind of person, so I go through times of intense writing and then long breaks. I guess it’s similar with my reading habits. I always find audiobooks are easier to get back into after a break from reading.
  • What’s your favorite:
    • Food: Chocolate, popcorn, and peanuts
    • Book: Anna Karenina
    • Television show: LOST
    • Sports team: Seahawks!
    • City: Seattle
  • Are any of those things referenced in appearance in your work?
    • Yes! Anna Karenina is featured quite prominently. The characters in my book also eat a solid amount of chocolate, including my fave Christmas cookies: chocolate crinkles. And of course the whole story is set in Seattle when the town was just getting started!
  • What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
    • I think the best advice is that it takes a million words to write a good one. I’m not even close to a million… yet! So I’ll keep working on the craft until I get there.
  • Do you have any tips for authors going through the process of turning their books into audiobooks?
    • Use Sarah Brands as your narrator!
  • What’s next for you?
    • I’d like to write the sequel to IN SIGHT OF THE MOUNTAIN in the next year or so.
Top 10 List
Jamie McGillen’s Top Ten Food Moments of IN SIGHT OF THE MOUNTAIN
  1. Chocolate Crinkles- “Peppermint hot cocoa is finished!” she chimed. “And chocolate crinkles too. I just dusted them with powdered sugar” (153).

Peppermint hot chocolate and my mom’s chocolate crinkle cookies are my favorite foods of Christmas, so I really wanted to include them in my first Christmas scene!

  1. Salmon with Hollandaise- “Not only did the salmon with hollandaise come on the fanciest glass plates Anna had ever seen, it also melted in her mouth” (148).

This meal is shared with Anna’s friend Emily and her husband (with a guest suitor) and it’s quite the treat compared with what she had been eating over the winter.

  1. The Jar of Jam- “I broke a jar of jam, lassie. Go back upstairs—don’t want you stepping on broken glass in the dark” (108).

This is said by Anna’s grandfather Oscar. I can’t say anymore without spoilers!

  1. Blueberries from the Market- “Her mouth watered as she browsed the stands, making her long for better days. Luckily, Ben bought blueberries, which he shared on the walk back” (99).

The Gallaghers have a difficult winter when it comes to food, so anything fresh that they didn’t grow or make themselves is a small luxury.

  1. Halibut from Alaska- “Her grandfather brought a new wine from the cellar, and Greta roasted halibut and potatoes for dinner” (322).

Anna’s brother Levi goes halibut fishing every spring and always brings back a feast for days. My dad used to go halibut fishing in Alaska, and I remember eating deep fried halibut with ketchup when I was little.

  1. All the Apples- “He cleared his throat and nodded before pulling a chair up to the table and grabbing an apple to peel. “Gosh, applesauce simmering on the stove, a pie in the oven, winter pies and sauces coming. I’m a lucky old man” (113).

The Gallaghers have a few apple trees so they attempt to keep as many apples as possible through canning, baking, preserving, etc.

  1. Lussekatts with Saffron- “Have you ever had lussekatts?” Greta asked. “It’s a Swedish pastry in the shape of an ‘S’ with raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg…and saffron!” (165).

I’ve never had the pleasure of trying this pastry, but I kind of want to try and bake it now!

  1. Wild Berries- “By the first week of September, they’d collected twenty buckets of wild blackberries and three buckets of the last of the raspberries. All over the house, berries hung from the ceiling to dry in mosquito nets; they planned to make jam next” (102).

Preserving berries wasn’t something Anna had always done, but Greta taught her how.

  1. Fishing for Salmon with the Duwamish- “Salmon souls never die. It’s important to treat each one with respect, because each year they return in new bodies, to feed us.” Heather peered wistfully upriver. “If we don’t treat them with dignity, they won’t return” (257).

Anna really enjoys learning about Duwamish traditions from her friend Heather!

  1. Belgian Chocolate in the Woods- “To celebrate her success, she and Ben plopped down again against the log. Then, to her surprise, Ben pulled out a chocolate bar. ‘It’s from Belgium, and I’ll only share if you fully appreciate the luxuriousness’” (128).

Luckily, they didn’t have to share with her brother Levi—he hates chocolate… (weirdo)!

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Caldwell’s Homestead Audiobook Blog Tour

Audiobook Blog Tour: Caldwell’s Homestead by Millie Copper

Author: Millie Copper

Narrators: Angela Church; Nick Sullivan

Length: 9 hours 32 minutes

Series: Havoc in Wyoming, Book 1

Released: Apr. 21, 2020

Publisher: CU Publishing LLC

Genre: Christian Fiction; Post-Apocalyptic

At the edge of the wilderness, far away from the big city, nothing bad could ever happen in such a protected place…or could it?Jake and Mollie Caldwell started their small farm and homestead to be able to provide for an uncertain future for their family, friends, and community. They have tried to plan for everything, but they never imagined this would happen.In this chaotic new world, where nothing is normal, easy, or safe, will Jake and Mollie’s family be able to make it to the safe haven they have provided? Will the Caldwells’ planning, provisions, and faith be enough?Caldwell’s Homestead is the first installment of the Havoc in Wyoming Christian Futuristic series. If you like mysterious apocalyptic events, fast-paced adventure, and plausible situations, then you’ll love this pause-resisting series.Download today and discover why listeners love this twist on the post-apocalyptic genre!The Havoc in Wyoming series has been described as “cozy” apocalypse and contains no profanity, gratuitous sex scenes, or overly detailed gruesome death scenes. However, it does contain conservative family values and references to God, prayer, scripture, and Christianity.

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Author Bio

Millie Copper was born in Nebraska but never lived there. Her parents fully embraced wanderlust and moved around a lot, giving her an advantage of being from nowhere and everywhere. As an adult, Millie is fully rooted in a solar-powered home in the wilds of Wyoming with her husband and young son, while four adult daughters are grown and living on their own. Since 2009, Millie has written articles on traditional foods, alternative health, and preparedness—many times all within the same piece. Millie has penned three nonfiction, traditional food focused books, sharing how, with a little creativity, anyone can transition to a real foods diet without overwhelming their food budget. Her food storage book, Stock the Real Food Pantry, was the number one new Amazon Kindle release in its genre when it debuted in January of 2019. The Havoc in Wyoming series is her first foray into writing fiction, using her homesteading, off-the-grid, and preparedness lifestyle as a guide. While this is her first time putting a story into print, the stories have been rattling around in her head for years. What a relief to finally let the stories out!

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Narrator Bio

A native of Tennessee, Angela trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London, and specializes in accents and character voices. She has worked in film, theater, and voice-overs, and is conversant in French. Proud member of both SAG-AFTRA and Actors Equity Association.

Narrator Bio

Nick has been recording audiobooks since 1994 (starting on reel-to-reel) and has been listening to them even longer. He has narrated over four hundred fifty titles in nearly every genre.

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

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I liked the beginning. It had a really strong beginning. The rest I just felt really uncomfortable about. I think that’s more personal preferences than the book itself. I’m sure that others will enjoy it very much.

  • Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
    • Once I got past the part of “should I or shouldn’t I” and moved on to finding my narration team, it was completely painless! Angela Church was very professional, and the co-narrator, Nick Sullivan, has been doing this for a decade. I never worried about how it was going or what was going on.
  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
    • I didn’t even plan to publish the stories I was writing, let alone think of audio. Quite honestly, if I would have thought that far ahead, I would have done things very differently. Caldwell’s Homestead is written in first person POV from 10-year-old Malcolm and his dad Jake’s perspective. This resulted in needing a dual narration, so Nick Sullivan guest narrates as Jake. The next books in the series were written from a female perspective and will be performed solely by Angela Church, to maintain continuity. If I would have known what I was doing from the beginning, all books would be written from a single female perspective.
  • How did you select your narrator?
    • My friend Cap Daniels (author of the Chase Fulton series), knew Nick and Angela. He referred them to me. I chatted with them, listened to their demos, and knew they were perfect.
  • 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?
    • We talked early on about the history of the people in the story. And there were some pronunciation tips, mainly cities and towns. My team did the QC, so Angela and Nick would record several chapters and send it over for approval. It was really very easy. I highly recommend both Angela Church and Nick Sullivan.
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
    • The Havoc in Wyoming series is what some people refer to as Prepper Fiction. It was inspired by real-life prepper activities and, with the latest worldwide events, has turned out to be very timely. I can definitely say, though, while I did mention the importance of purchasing toilet paper, I didn’t give it the focus it received in real life!
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • We listen primarily while driving. And living in the wide-open spaces of Wyoming we drive a lot! When it’s over half an hour to the grocery store, it’s nice to have a way to pass the time. My son and I also have audiobooks playing during the daytime as part of his homeschool curriculum. My husband especially loves the audio format and will often listen to a book while working around our small farm.
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • This is a huge topic of conversation in the homeschool community, with many agreeing it’s cheating. Not for us! When we added audiobooks to our curriculum, our son’s reading skills drastically improved and he developed a love of stories. Truthfully, he’d still rather listen to a book than read it, but so would his dad. 😉
  • How did you celebrate after finishing this novel?
    • I wrote a second novel. 🙂
  • What’s next for you?
    • Part 5 in the Havoc in Wyoming series was recently released, and I’ve just sent a standalone side story (set in the same world) off for beta reading. Angela Church and I are looking at when the second book in the series, Katie’s Journey, can be converted to audio. I’m finishing up my outline for Part 6 of the series and will start writing it in a couple of weeks. Right now, I’m enjoying spending time with my new grandson.

Jake Caldwell: 51-year-old Jake is six foot tall and has hazel eyes and a dimple on his left cheek. A bachelor until age thirty-seven, he married Mollie and suddenly became a dad to four girls. A couple of years later they added a son. Jake juggles work, a farm, and family life—sometimes it’s a struggle. He loves being outdoors, especially when he’s hiking, hunting, or fishing.Mollie Caldwell: 50-year-old Mollie has a petite figure, green eyes, and dark brown hair cut short in a pixie style. She enjoys backpacking, homemaking, and shooting–and she collects holsters like most women collect jewelry. Mollie is Jake’s wife and mom to Sarah, Angela, Calley, Katie, and Malcolm. With a full-time work-from-home job, homeschooling, and their small farm, she keeps busy. A few times a year she works out of state for a week. This is one of those weeks.Malcolm Caldwell: Malcolm is Jake and Mollie’s youngest child and is the only kid still living at home. He’s almost eleven and is Jake’s right-hand man. Malcolm looks like a younger version of Jake, with the same hair and a dimple on his left cheek, although he is short for his age and has Mollie’s green eyes. Malcolm loves anything NINJAGO or sword related.Sarah Garrett: Sarah is Mollie’s oldest child. She has brown eyes, stick-straight brown hair, and is always dressed to impress in her 50s-era fashion style. Sarah is a big fan of recycling and helping the environment, and she chooses to “vote with her dollars” by only shopping at certain stores. She is married to Tate, and they recently moved from Oregon to Billings, Montana. Tate Garrett: Tate is married to Sarah. Unlike Sarah, he prefers to dress casually, usually in sweats and a T-shirt. He’s a few inches shorter than six feet and keeps his hair and beard trimmed short and neat. Tate is a couple of years older than Sarah, and he loves to hug everyone. His parents, Keith and Lois, and his sister, Karen, are visiting from Oklahoma, where he grew up.Alvin and Dodie Caldwell: Jake’s parents, Alvin and Dodie, have been married for 56 years and live in the nearby town of Prospect. They are both in their seventies and are fiercely independent. They enjoy a simple life, with daily walks and spending as much time outdoors as possible–usually fishing or hunting. Alvin has a full head of mostly gray hair, big bushy eyebrows, and brown eyes. He’s sharp as a tack and keeps everyone on their toes. Dodie is on the shy side, and while she doesn’t talk that often, she does offer friendly smiles to those she knows. She keeps her fully gray, waist-length hair pulled up in a loose bun, and her skin still maintains much of its rosy glow from her youth.Doris and Evan Snyder: The Snyders are neighbors and good friends of the Caldwells. Evan is a retired deputy sheriff, having been part of the county’s Specialized Services Division. He’s slightly shorter than Doris, with a solid, sturdy stature, and is never without his sidearm. Doris is retired from both the Navy and a government job. She insists she wasn’t a spy or anything, but she doesn’t talk about the work she used to do. She’s tall, around 5’9”, with blond hair and an athletic build. They are enjoying their retirement by running a gun training school and living the country life.

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Whip Smart Audiobook Blog Tour

Audiobook Blog Tour: Whip Smart by Siena Noble

Author: Siena Noble

Narrators: Meg Sylvan, Everett Hwang

Length: 12 hours 40 minutes

Series: The Loft, Book 1

Publisher: Siena Noble

Released: Apr. 20, 2020

Genre: Erotic Romance

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Escaping her past is hard. Falling in love is even harder… Teresa Bodnar is desperate for a fresh start. Scarred by her relationship with her cruel, controlling, and so-called “dominant” ex, she escapes to her hometown of Pittsburgh. Determined to move forward, Tera makes a bold move: Founding the first club in the city to act as a safe haven where her most secret desires can be fulfilled. But acting on those desires in the wake of the nightmare she left behind is something else entirely, especially when unexpected romantic entanglements complicate matters of business. Since the moment they met, the chemistry between Tera and easy-going Dominant Eric Yun has been undeniably scorching, yet Tera finds herself denying it at every turn. She has baggage to spare, and the high-strung submissive can’t afford to take any chances where her budding friendship with the sweet and dangerously seductive Eric is concerned. Yet Eric has baggage of his own, and the more he chips away at her walls, the more Tera realizes it’s not just the drugging allure of his dominance that calls to her. She’s falling for him hard and fast, but if life’s taught her anything, it’s that the harder the fall, the worse the pain – a pain she’d do anything to save Eric from. But the harder she resists their magnetic attraction, the faster her resistance seems to crumble… Note: This is the first book in The Loft Series and ends on a cliffhanger to be resolved in book two. Content Warning: This audiobook deals with issues of anxiety, depression, and healing from past abuse. It contains mentions of emotional/sexual abuse and suicide.

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A proud Pittsburgher, Siena Noble has explored and inhabited all kinds of fictional worlds through her writing since age ten. When she’s not busy reading, writing, or re-watching Battlestar Galactica, Siena enjoys traveling, archery, and getting lost in the woods (also known as “hiking”). She and her better half/writing buddy live together in Pittsburgh.

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

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is not a book I would have normally picked for myself. However, I’m glad that I was blessed to have the chance to read it. I’ll have a more detailed review later. I thought it would be cheesy at first. I’m glad I was wrong.

Dream Cast
Siena Noble’s Casting Picks

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Deep Series Book One Audiobook Blog Tour

The Deep Series

Author: Nick Sullivan

Narrator: Nick Sullivan

Length: 8 hours 9 minutes

Series: Caribbean Dive Adventures, Book 1

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 “Divers 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 has spent most of his adult life as an actor in New York City, working in theater, television, film, and audiobooks. After recording hundreds of books over the last twenty years he decided to write his own. Decades of scuba diving and travel inspired the Caribbean Dive Adventures. The first book in this series, the best-selling Deep Shadow, is set in the island of Bonaire. Deep Cut picks up on the little Dutch island of Saba. For more information on this series, visit http://www.deepnovels.comAnd for something completely different, visit zombiebigfoot.com to learn about his first novel, Zombie Bigfoot, which was #1 in Horror Comedy on Amazon.Nick has been recording audiobooks since 1994 (starting on reel-to-reel) and has been listening to them even longer. He has narrated over four hundred fifty titles in nearly every genre.

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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.

Top 10 List
Top Ten Perks of being the author and the 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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History Village: The Crossover Audiobook Blog Tour

Audiobook Blog Tour: History Village by Jo Elliott

Author: Jo Elliott

Narrator: Luke Castle

Length: 4 hours 21 minutes

Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing

Released: Oct. 21, 2019

Genre: Historical Fiction

Ally, Josh and Brendan are half-siblings living in Melbourne, Australia, whose family life is anything but ideal. During a chance family outing, the children discover a sacred scroll which offers them a solution to their problems…. Without forewarning, the children mysteriously find themselves in first century Palestine where they are compelled to live in a strange fishing village. In their desperate quest to get back home, the children learn about family relationships and God’s amazing love for them. Thrilling adventures will ensue as the children embark on the ride of their lives! This time-travelling tale allows Jesus to boldly speak to today’s youth on contemporary problems, encouraging the listener to “get into” the Bible and look to Jesus for help in times of trouble.

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Jo Elliott was born in Melbourne, Australia to Greek parents and has resided in the world’s greatest city all her life. She turned her back on her industrial relations career to pursue her greatest love which is introducing children to God. Jo is married to Phillip Elliott, a devoted writer of fiction, and together they have travelled the world, opening their minds and their hearts to new peoples and languages. They also make time to sit and savour a cup of the best brewed coffee in the world, an experience in itself…“History Village: The Cross Over” is Jo Elliott’s first published novel. Jo loved the writing experience so much that she published a sequel, called “History Village: Break It Up” and is currently working on the third installment in the series.

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Narrator Bio

I’m just your average nerd living out in the heart of Texas. (Actually, more to the side, but heart sounds way cooler) As the only 17yr old narrator I know of I hope to be part of putting God’s messages in people’s everyday lives, and also to show other youth that we are capable of taking on things that might be deemed as ”only for adults”. If I finish my homework on time you can normally find me reading, writing a new debate case, cooking up a new recipe that I just have to try, or taking a nice long walk.

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

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This is a really adorable children’s novel that is wholesome and religious. The narrator was perfect as well!

Q&A with Author Jo Elliott
  • Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
    • I worked with a 16 year old energetic and engaging narrator who could relate to the storyline, and gave the book life. My publisher emailed me one day (out of the blue) to let me know that a young man would be contacting me about turning my book into an audiobook.
    • Luke Castle was extremely professional and hardworking and would submit audio transcripts in sections which allowed me to listen and check for errors, omissions etc. Listening to Luke’s vocal interpretation put a smile on my face each time!
  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
    • Not at all. The only voices I could hear were all in my head (with girl tones!). I can understand the attraction of the audiobook, however, as there is so much emotion and urgency in the spoken word.
  • 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?
    • As the narrator and I were both living in two different hemispheres, we worked closely together in a virtual sense, but I have yet to (physically) meet my narrator! Luke speaks with passion and enthusiasm and so it was easy to trust him with my book.
    • Some words were not initially clear in the transcripts Luke sent, and there were small mispronunciations, as the language was probably unfamiliar to a 16 yo and perhaps even to an American. (Remember, I am Australian and our pronunciation is slightly different, HAHA!) Luke did, however, handle the Hebrew dialogue seriously well (as far as I know).
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
    • Absolutely! The two main characters of the book are my niece (Ally) and my nephew (Josh). They are both ok with me describing their personality traits and chronicling some of the highlights and challenges they have experienced in their young lives. The stories in the book are mostly based on truth and inspired by real-life events, although Ally insists that she never liked eating olives as depicted in the book!.
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
    • Pre Covid19, I would usually travel overseas and visit different countries for inspiration. For instance, there is a cafe I frequented in the centre of Prague called “History Village” which immediately grabbed my attention. The proprietor had a passion for history and had decorated his interior walls accordingly. I, too, have a yearning for the past and this cafe name inevitably stuck in my head, and ultimately inspired me to commence writing my first novel.
  • If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
    • I would definitely travel to first century Palestine in order to track down Jesus and his companions. I would love to hear Jesus’ voice as he taught the “beatitudes” to the locals and see him in action, healing and restoring people. I might even get a glimpse of the actual boy (a central character in my book) that offered his five barley loaves and two fish to Jesus, who then handed it out to the crowd and miraculously fed 5000 people.
  • If this title were being made into a TV series or movie, who would you cast to play the primary roles?
    • Iain Armitage who plays Young Sheldon actually looks like Josh and is also 10 yo.
    • Zach Sulzbach who plays Charlie in Hawaii 50 is certainly cute enough to play Brendan, but perhaps not as naughty!
    • Selena Gomez would make a wonderful Ally as she has an understated beauty and loves to dance.
    • Ryan Gosling would make a wonderful suitor for Ally’s affections (i.e. Aaron) as he wears a beard well, is romantic, and can also resemble a wounded puppy when his advances are rejected.
    • Angelina Jolie would make a great Cassie, the stepmother, as she is also a glamorous-looking mother who appears to have exacting standards for her children.
    • Elizabeth McGovern (minus the trappings of wealth) would do very well as Imma, as she was a wonderful mother figure in Downton Abbey: gentle; kind; caring; and putting her family’s interests before her own.
  • How did you celebrate after finishing this novel?
    • My husband and I were in Majorca when the novel was published and we celebrated in a crowded tapas bar around the corner from our hotel. It was perfect!
  • Have any of your characters ever appeared in your dreams?
    • Yes, my second book describes the exploits of a historical figure called Rahab who lived in Jericho in 1210 BC. Her words and actions were constantly in my thoughts so it was inevitable that she should enter my dreams. Incidentally, Rahab was seriously friendly and down to earth!
  • What’s next for you?
    • I’m currently working on the third adventure for Ally, Josh and Brendan as they travel back in time to the oldest continuously-inhabited city in the world, Damascus. Syria was no less dangerous in the first century, as it is today. Back then, Jewish Christians were facing eviction from their homes, imprisonment and possibly death simply because of their faith, until a certain government official had a radical conversion on the road to Damascus…
Music Playlist
By Author Jo Elliott

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Life Is Short Death Is Forever Audiobook Blog Tour

Audiobook Blog Tour: Life Is Short/Death Is Forever by S.A. Hartman
Finding joy and pleasure in each day without hurting anyone along the way

Author: S.A. Hartman, PhD

Narrator: Marc Louis Mintz

Length: 7 hours 45 minutes

Publisher: Steve A. Hartman

Released: Jan. 10, 2020

Genre: Self-Help; Memoir

Steve Hartman’s inspirational and motivational memoir is peppered with research-based observations, pointed questions, hilarious anecdotes, delicious – and terrifying – sexual escapades, and genuine concern for his fellow humans, indeed for all creatures great and small. His periodic Socratic approach often challenges acceptable norms and beliefs. Looking at life through the lens of his uniquely personal experiences and thoughts, Hartman shares valuable lessons on how to live a joyful pleasure filled life without lecturing to the listener.

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S.A. Hartman has written and produced two award winning short films, “Home from War,” depicting the impact of war on returning vets, and “Before it’s Too Late,” which stars twoAcademy Award Nominees, Robert Loggia and Eric Roberts. This film illuminates the danger of driving beyond one’s ability as skills and reflexes diminish. In North Hollywood, he produced a new original theatrical musical comedy, “Reunion,” to mostly full houses during its six-week run to excellent reviews. He also published a sci-fi novel, “Sorry, it’s a Boy.” Steve has written several other feature scripts, one of which, “Charioteer,” was optioned for a TV series. The production company’s option expired permitting the renewed search for another production opportunity.His latest project, a non-fiction book, “Life is Short/Death is Forever,” now on Amazon, is best described as an autobiographical self-help book based on his unusual experiences and skills. Contrary to the title, many have commented that it is truly “a fun read.” He was a consultant for many years helping international and domestic companies manage and grow their businesses in a variety of industries including; int’l finance, robotics, aerospace, textiles, computer technology, hospitality, and served as an investment banker for Vanguard, a New York firm. Steve earned a Master’s Degree in Oceanography and Marine Biology at Long Island University, and has a Ph.D. in Biophysics from NYU in New York City. He was an adjunct faculty member of Columbia University- appointed by the president of Columbia University to the International Seminar on Pollution and Water Resources, and served there as an advisor to the World Bank as a representative of the Columbia University Faculty.

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Narrator Bio

Marc Louis Mintz is a baritone voice artist, actor, and audio engineer.Marc took the long way back to his professional home. Building on his roots in the LA area as a clinical therapist, Marc produced motivational workshops, served in AT&T Management Development and Computer Operations, and started I/Opening Productions to bring desktop computer animation to advertising and movies. Marc also founded one of NM’s longest-lived IT training and consulting groups while publishing 13 cybersecurity books. Now Marc operates his own Voice Over Artist and Sound Studio in Santa Fe, where his voice can be heard in commercials, eLearning, and audiobooks. Marc can be reached at marc@marclmintz.com

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

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was a very well written book that inspired me to contemplate many of my thoughts I’ve thrown out due to society’s standards. I loved the narration as well. I will be doing a more in-depth read through before giving it a full review.

Q&A with Author S.A. Hartman from BGE Presents
Top 10 List
S.A. Hartman’s Top 10 Reasons to Listen to Life Is Short/Death Is Forever
  1. It will make you laugh at least a couple of times per chapter, and this is really good for your immune system
  2. You will learn new things you probably never cared about; yet you’d be surprised when you repeat them to friends.
  3. Find out curious and surprising facts and beliefs about the human connection to religions as they developed over the past million years.
  4. Take a moment to wonder and appreciate the amazing diversity and complexity of life all around us on Earth.
  5. Understand why sexuality is so essential in human development and interpersonal relationships like never before, including little known facts.
  6. Put into perspective aging and why it’s so critical to find joy and pleasure in each day.
  7. Reduce any fear you may have about death by taking more control of those things that contribute to this anxiety.
  8. Experience what’s it’s like having a loaded gun pointed at you without being at risk of being shot.
  9. Check out why women are superior to men.
  10. Discover how you probably face a horrendous death daily and can help avoid it from happening; it’s not a virus.
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West From The Cradle Audiobook Blog Tour

Audiobook Blog Tour: West from the Cradle by Brigid Amos

Author: Brigid Amos

Narrator: James G Charron

Length: 6 hours 40 minutes

Publisher: Clean Reads

Released: Jun. 26, 2019

Genre: Historical Fiction

Travis Cooper was never meant to be a prospector. But when shopkeeper Raymond Hillerman shows him a copy of the California Star in the fall of 1848, one shining word jumps off the page: gold! That one word changes everything. Undersized and bookish, Travis isn’t the sort who would leave his home in Missouri to make the perilous journey west to California. Not much help on the farm, he’s certainly not likely to take up the backbreaking work of a gold miner. Besides, it’s his older brother Jonas that Mr. Hiller-man has hired as his partner in the diggings. But when their father is injured, Jonas must stay be-hind to work the farm, and Travis sets out on the trail in his brother’s place. Along with adventure comes danger, and Travis discovers that staying alive is more difficult than he ever imagined. Keeping his partner from getting himself killed may be downright im-possible….

Brigid Amos’ fiction has appeared in The MacGuffin, The Storyteller, Wilderness House Literary Review, and Words of Wisdom. Her historical novels are set in the old California mining towns of the nineteenth century and include A Fence Around Her and West from the Cradle (Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Award Finalist). A produced playwright, she co-founded Angels Playwriting Collective and serves on the board of Angels Theatre Company. Although Brigid left a nugget of her heart behind in the California Gold Country, most of it is in Lincoln, Nebraska where she currently lives with her husband.

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Narrator Bio

I am a Civil engineering technologist by trade, however I have been a voice actor for the last 3 years, narrating 5 audiobooks, radio commercials, and now producer of The Interview Dudes Podcast hosted by 3 eleven yr old boys (one of which is my son). The podcast has interviewed 2 Oscar winners, an Emmy nominee, a NYT bestselling author/illustrator, Canada’s first astronaut in space, NASA research engineer on the Cassini project, a oceanographer from NOAA, a volcanologist from NASA and many more!

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

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This is a very unique story. I am glad that I was able to read and review it. I loved the main character. Some sensitive topics are thrown in this book.

My Full Review: WEST FROM THE CRADLE BY BRIGID AMOS BOOK REVIEW

Q&A with Protagonist Travis Cooper
  • Interviewer: So Travis, aren’t you a little young to be a prospector? You must be around…well let me guess. Twelve years old?
    • Travis: I’m seventeen!
  • Interviewer: Ok, don’t get riled up! But you’ve got to admit, you’re a bit small for your age, so naturally…anyway…let me see. Now what made you set out for California from Missouri?
    • Travis: Well, actually, it was my older brother Jonas who was supposed to go, but just as he and Mr. Hillerman, oh, I have to tell you about Mr. Hillerman. He’s the local shopkeeper in Larksville, that’s our town in Missouri, and he’d hired Jonas to be his driver on the trail and his partner in the diggings. Anyway, just as Jonas and Mr. Hillerman were about to set out for St. Joe, our pa fell down the stairs and broke his arm and well…I try to help out on the farm but…
  • Interviewer: It’s really your brother that does all the work? And he had to stay behind and help on the farm when your father was injured?
    • Travis: Well yes. But I figured I could pick up gold nuggets as well as anybody.
  • Interviewer: Oh you thought it was going to be that easy, did you? That you would have this nice trip out to California with a wagon train and pick up gold out of a river?
    • Travis: No I didn’t think– You have no idea. You couldn’t know…
  • Interviewer: What’s the matter?
    • Travis: The trip out to California wasn’t what you think. I mean, I had some amazing experiences that I wouldn’t trade for the world, but there were some others that were just…
  • Interviewer: Do you want to talk about it?
    • Travis: No. You can read my journal.
  • Interviewer: Oh you kept a journal? Well that’s good. If you’re willing to share it with me, I’d love to read it. Ok, so you had an eventful trip out to California, and then you started to pick up gold nuggets out of the river.
    • Travis: No, you know it’s not that easy. First I learned to pan for gold on the American River by watching the other prospectors. Then I learned to use a rocker to extract more gold from the gravel. And then I went up to the Yuba River and staked my claim. And you know what? I might not have been a good farmer back in Missouri, but I’m a really good prospector.
  • Interviewer: I’m sure you are. Now tell me about this Joaquin de la Rosa. How did you get involved with that lowdown scoundrel?
    • Travis: He’s my best friend! You have no right to talk about him that way!
  • Interviewer: Ok, ok! Calm yourself. I’m only repeating what I’ve heard others say about him, that he’s a professional gambler and that he cheats at cards.
    • Travis: That’s a lie! Joaquin may not take prospecting too seriously, but he takes Spanish Monte very seriously. He’s played that card game since he was a child in Monterrey, and he’s very good at it. He would never cheat. What happened at Dillard’s Bar was not his fault, I’m telling you.
  • Interviewer: You’re a good friend to him, aren’t you?
    • Travis: I hope I have the courage to be. He’s in a lot of trouble right now. I just don’t want to let him down.
Top 10 List
Brigid Amos’ Top Ten Literary Inspirations
  1. Thomas Hardy, because he combines story and style so beautifully.
  2. Flannery O’Connor, because she always gives me something to ponder.
  3. Carson McCullers, for the way she gets into a character’s head.
  4. Shirley Jackson, for both her chilling short stories and her hilarious essays.
  5. Larry McMurtry, for making me realize I wanted to write historical fiction.
  6. Thomas Wolfe, for his crazy gorgeous language and letting us into his life.
  7. Edith Wharton, for her mastery of structure.
  8. George Eliot, who could hold her own among the male writers of her day.
  9. Charlotte Bronte, because I read Jane Eyre when I was too young but still got it.
  10. Emily Bronte, who was an incredibly brave writer and had so much more to give.
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