Tag Archives: All About Audiobook

Double Crossing The Bridge Audiobook Blog Tour

Author: Sarah J. Sover

Narrator: Christopher J. Dusky

Length: 9 hours 10 minutes

Publisher: The Parliament House

Released: May 26, 2020

Genre: Fantasy; Humor

Rent in New Metta is through the cavern ceiling. When Granu barely survives her first gig teaching students who attempt to fillet her for lunch, the baby-eating troll ends up unemployed and facing eviction. Granu’s only prospect for income is grueling work in the tar pits. That is, until her playboy best friend devises a perfect, if suicidal, scheme — a heist! The Covered Bridge, the largest source of income for the city, has New Metta well under hoof. In a week, TCB Corporation pulls in enough cash to buy a small country. It’s the ideal target, but security is top-notch. Granu needs three things to survive this heist: a crew of specialists, impenetrable sun protection, and gallons of grog.There’s just one thing Granu doesn’t plan for — those damn meddling billy goats.

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Sarah J Sover’s debut novel, Double-Crossing the Bridge, released in 2019 by The Parliament House, became an Amazon Best Seller in humorous fantasy. Her short fiction was published in Jordan Con’s first exclusive anthology and has been accepted for the second, releasing in 2021. Sarah was featured in September 2019’s issue of Writer’s Digest in the “Breaking In” column and subsequently wrote a guest post about leaning into your weird side for WritersDigest.com. Additionally, Sarah’s background in ecology aided her in crafting multiple articles for Dan Koboldt’s Science in Science Fiction, Fact in Fantasy blog series. Sarah lives in John’s Creek, GA with her husband, two demanding little people, seemingly immortal snake, and rescue pup Gandalf the Grey. She enjoys blues dancing and a good IPA.

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Narrator Bio

Christopher is 32 years old and living just outside of Seattle, WA. By day he works in telecommunications construction, and by evening he reads to a microphone in a padded room. In his spare time he writes adventures for D&D, plays games, and paints miniatures.  

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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 Sarah J. Sover. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

The Crew:

Granu Scoria—Small and not classically attractive for a troll with bright green eyes and a slight frame. She graduated from Vinkle U with a degree in Early Trollhood Education at the top of her class. After an unfortunate incident when two young trolls attempted to fillet her for lunch, she became unemployed and is now facing eviction if she can’t come up some cash fast. Her love life is non-existent, in part because she never believes that anyone finds her attractive.Fillig Schist—A troll of average size and attractiveness with dark hair and eyes. All he wants is a nice mate to settle down with, which he would have no problem attracting if he weren’t so clingy. He holds a Masters of Destruction in Demolition from Vinkle U, where he met Granu, and works at the quarry hauling boulders.Kradduk Chert—A hulking hunk of a troll with a bankroll to match and Granu’s oldest friend. He’s a consummate playboy, but he has hidden depths. When he’s not pursuing new conquests, he works an executive level job at The Covered Bridge, the shining jewel of the cavern city of New Metta.Len Dirtwater—A small, unattractive troll who pines after Granu. He’s a tech whiz and considers himself a “nice guy” who always finishes last. He harbors feelings of superiority and ambitions beyond what life has dealt him. Lyssa Tuff—A smoking hot troll who is probably smarter than all the others combined if they could see beyond her boulder breasts and tree trunk thighs. She works at The Covered Bridge on the demo team and her looks and brains make her the perfect grifter to add to the ensemble cast.

The Goron’s Staff:

Kell—A molent bartender whose small, pink body is covered in tattoos. He’s gentle and quiet but a badass when the situation arises. Dreatte—A grawback (upright, bird-like underling) cocktail server with a sharp tongue and a kind heart.

Top 10 List
Sarah J. Sover’s Top 10 Classic Heist Flicks Referenced in Double-Crossing the Bridge

One of my favorite parts of writing Double-Crossing the Bridge was binging classic heist flicks with a good beer and my husband. For my own entertainment, I hid over 20 easter eggs throughout the book, but I lost my master list! I’ve only been able to rediscover 13 of them, and nobody ever took me up on a competition to find the others. Here are my favorites.10) Ocean’s ElevenThis fun gateway had to make the list considering the way it opens up so many conversations about my book.9) The Bank JobIt may not technically be a classic, but it’s based on a true story, and that makes it awesome.8) The Usual SuspectsSo many questions, such great visual story-telling! This movie provided inspiration for the cover of Double-Crossing the Bridge.7) The Asphalt JungleOh, the noir. It speaks to my heart.6) The Hot RockI must confess, I enjoyed the Westlake book more than the movie. But this story was integral to the development of the pacing for Double-Crossing the Bridge.5) Reservoir DogsTarantino heist. I don’t need to say more.4) Lock, Stock and Two Smoking BarrelsI’m a sucker for all things dark and funny, so of course this gem made the list.3) The StingThis beauty helped cement the concept of the great caper for me. “I don’t know enough about killing to kill him.” Freaking fantastic.2) SnatchSnatch was a family favorite long before our binge sessions and was part of what hooked me on the heist genre. My husband and I quote it all the time, and the kids have no idea what we’re talking about.1) Hudson HawkSo many people missed the brilliance of this masterpiece. It’s everything I want in a heist flick: Action, Intrigue, and Hilarity. I’m dumbfounded at the low rating on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB. What is wrong with you people?!

Q&A with Author Sarah J. Sover
  • Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
    • I hit the narrator lottery! Double-Crossing the Bridge is published through The Parliament House, a small, indie press, so we went through ACX. At first, my publisher had it listed for a female narrator only, and that makes sense since my main troll Granu is female, but that didn’t fit with what I heard in my head for this book. My publisher is always supportive of authors’ visions, so when I asked them to open it up to both male and female voices, they agreed. The next morning, we had Christopher James’ audition, and it was PERFECT! I didn’t think this book could make me laugh again after the number of revisions I did, but I was in stitches! ACX took their sweet time at the QA stage, but CJ was awesome throughout the process, and I couldn’t be happier with the result.
  • 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?
    • So, this is a funny story. The audition was amazing, and I was beyond excited about the audiobook when the first section came in. My publisher sent it over to me, and there was that perfect voice again, only this time, the pronunciations were different. I didn’t want to reject the sample because everything else was so perfect, but the main character’s name and a couple others were not pronounced the way I’d intended. So, I stressed over making a pronunciation video. It was really awkward and took about 5,000 takes. My publisher sent it over to the narrator. As it turns out, there was a misplaced email from him in my publisher’s inbox asking about those specific words. Thankfully, CJ was really cool about re-recording, and we communicated directly after that point.
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
    • I sometimes call Double-Crossing the Bridge a cross between How I Met Your Mother and Oceans Eleven with a cast of trolls. Fun fact: there are so many classic heist flick references in Double-Crossing the Bridge, even I can’t find them all! I misplaced the master list some time ago and have only discovered 13 of the over 20 I know are hidden in there. Aside from the artistic inspirations, I’ve got loads of social commentary layered into the Double-Crossing the Bridge world. It’s always interesting to me when readers identify with a character I wrote to be awful.
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
    • I write in bursts of superhuman productivity sandwiched between dry spells. It’s that ADHD hyper-focus, I suppose. When I’m in the right headspace, all I want to do is get the story out, but I’ve got young children, so my writing is shoved into stolen little pockets of time. I frequently burn out, but then I reignite.
  • Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
    • Some of the graphic scenes are fantastic in audio format, in my opinion. There’s nothing that brings the visceral yuck more than hearing it described in intricate detail by a voice like CJ’s.
  • If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
    • Nope. Too many paradoxes to avoid and unintended consequences with going backwards, and forwards has the possibility of tainting the now. I think I’ll just take on each new horror as it comes, thank you.
  • In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of writing a stand-alone novel vs. writing a series?
    • I honestly can’t tell you. I’ve written three books so far, and they are all firsts in potential series. I write fantasy, and when you’ve built an entire world, there’s always more than one story lurking in it. I think it might be nice to do a one-and-done, but that’s just not my style. Even though none of the sequels are written yet, those stories are still bouncing around my already cluttered head.
  • What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
    • Don’t listen to everyone’s shitty advice. Do whatever you have to do to get the words down with whatever strategies work for you, and tune out all the noise. A community is necessary at the publication stage, but when it comes to writing process, only you know how to get the best out of yourself.
  • Do you have any tips for authors going through the process of turning their books into audiobooks?
    • Control what you can and then let the rest go. And definitely work with the narrator directly if you can, especially if you’re writing speculative fiction with unfamiliar pronunciations.
  • What’s next for you?
    • I’m currently querying my noir fantasy Fairy GodMurder, about a fairy godmother who goes rogue to hunt down the serial killer who slaughtered her first princess. I’m also working on the sequel, making appearances at conventions (COVID allowing), and working on a few side projects. If you follow @Comedic_SFF on Twitter, you’re supporting one of them!
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The Red Dress Audiobook Tour

Author: Aidée Jaimes

Narrator: Felicia Palmer

Length: 5 hours 50 minutes

Series: The Affair, Book 2

Publisher: Aidée Jaimes

Released: May 5, 2020

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Giving Cris a ticket for a one night stand with anyone she wanted saved their marriage. Or so Owen thought.But Bo was no random choice, and when Cris gave him her body, he gave her his heart.Neither Owen or Bo want to give her up. With two men that love her, and two men she loves, the time has now come to make the decision that will change all of their lives.Who will it be?

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When Mexican-American author Aidèe Jaimes isn’t chasing after her energetic daughter and spending time with her happily ever after husband in their Florida home, she’s living other lives through her characters. As her writing evolved into darker, sexier, no holds-barred stories, she transitioned from the pen name Haden Hudson, to the author she is today!

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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 Aidèe Jaimes. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

It’s very easy to follow. The characters are really connectable. I just feel like there are some parts in the story that could use a bit more to it. I feel like they got skimmed over a bit.

Q&A with Narrator Felicia Palmer
  • How did you wind up narrating audiobooks? Was it always your goal or was it something you stumbled into by chance?
    • It was something I stumbled on. A good friend started doing it and it just sounded like fun to me..
  • A lot of narrators seem to have a background in theatre. Is that something you think is essential to a successful narration career?
    • I do think that having some acting training is vital if you intend to do fiction but the very most important quality is the ability to tell a story well.
  • What type of training have you undergone?
    • I have a degree in Theatre. 🙂
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • I do love audiobooks. I think the ability to multi-task to a certain extent is great. It’s hard to read a book and walk at the same time so being able to listen and move around is great.
  • What would you say are your strongest narration abilities?
    • I think I’m a really good storyteller.
  • How did you decide how each character should sound in this title?
    • Like my other titles, I think about who I could see playing them in a movie or a play and then I picture that person as I’m reading their part.
  • How does audiobook narration differ from other types of voiceover work you’ve done?
    • Audiobook Narration is it’s own thing. You’re playing all the characters. Some of whom you would never be cast to play in a show which makes it a lot of fun. It also means you’re working on it for a lot more time than you would, say, a commercial spot.
  • Do you read reviews for your audiobooks?
    • Not anymore.
  • If so, which ones stand out to you most, positive or negative?
    • The Negative unfortunately.
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • To each her own. I don’t think it’s cheating but I get the desire to read it yourself. As long as you keep reading, in whatever form, I’m all for it.
  • What’s next for you?
    • I’m currently working on two projects including another one in this series.
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Beneath The Surface Audiobook Blog Tour

Audio Tour: Beneath the Surface by Mike Martin

Author: Mike Martin

Narrator: Francis G. Kearney

Length: 10 hours and 22 minutes

Series: Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series, Book 3

Publisher: Mike Martin

Released: May 14, 2020

Genre: Modern Detective

Beneath the Surface is the third book in the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series set in Newfoundland on the East Coast of Canada.Sgt. Windflower is back, and as usual, he’s loving life on the East Coast. He may be a long way from his home in Northern Alberta, but he has been adopted by the locals as almost one of their own.He has a good life, good work with the RCMP, and a good woman that he has grown closer to in his years on the southeast coast of Newfoundland.But trouble is brewing just beneath the surface of this calm and charm-filled existence.

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Mike Martin was born in Newfoundland on the East Coast of Canada and now lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. He is a long-time freelance writer and his articles and essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines and online across Canada as well as in the United States and New Zealand. He is the author of Change the Things You Can: Dealing with Difficult People and has written a number of short stories that have published in various publications including Canadian Stories and Downhome magazine. The Walker on the Cape was his first full fiction book and the premiere of the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series. Other books in the series include The Body on the T, Beneath the Surface, A Twist of Fortune and A Long Ways from Home, which was shortlisted for the Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award as the best light mystery of the year. A Tangled Web was released in 2017 and the newest book in the series.is Darkest Before the Dawn which won the Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award as the best light mystery of the year.Mike is currently Chair of the Board of Crime Writers of Canada, a national organization promoting Canadian crime and mystery writers.

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Narrator Bio

Following college and many years as a local entertainer and actor I eventually entered the business world and a career of building and selling multiple successful enterprises.In 1985, I purchased an aviation business and while building a very successful business also earned multiple movie credits as a helicopter camera ship pilot – among other services, and flew the camera helicopter for London Weekend Television’s mini series “Piece of Cake” in 1988. I have an extensive aviation background from helicopters through turboprop and jet aircraft, and a deep knowledge of all things aviation.I have always been an insatiable reader with a love of history – the ultimate story, and anything military – especially if it flies. My evolution into narration and the joy of storytelling is the culmination of many years of a life fully lived, and is reflected in a voice of experience.

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

Q&A with Author Mike Martin
  • Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook
    • It was quite easy, actually. Audible through ACX is simple to find and simpler to access. I found a great narrator and voila! Beneath the Surface audiobook was created.
  • Do you believe certain types of writing translate better into audiobook format?
    • I believe that mystery writing is a great type of writing to move to an audiobook because it has plot and character and almost always a great twist near the end.
  • How did you select your narrator?
    • I put out bids for my narrator and found someone who was actually from Newfoundland where Beneath the Surface is set.
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
    • I pace myself when I’m writing, but I don’t let up either. I set a goal of 1000 to 1500 words a day and strive to meet it.
  • If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
    • I would definitely go back in time. But I would want to be very wealthy so that I wouldn’t have the burden of being poor in Charles Dickens’ world, for example.
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • Audiobooks add another dimension to the enjoyment of a book. Like dreaming in colour.
  • How did you celebrate after finishing this novel?
    • I had a cake with a picture of the cover on it and shared it with all my friends.
  • What gets you out of a writing slump? What about a reading slump?
    • Reading something old helps me get out of both. I am inspired to read and write more when I read a great book from the past.
  • In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of writing a stand-alone novel vs. writing a series?
    • A book of literary fiction might work best as a standalone. But a mystery needs a series to be complete.
  • What’s your favorite:
    • Food: Pizza
    • Song: Stairway to Heaven
    • Book: The Hobbit
    • Television show: The Sopranos
    • Movie: Tin Man
    • Band: Jethro Tull
    • Sports team: Toronto Raptors
    • City: NYC
Guest Post
Keep on Writing!
By Mike Martin

Some people say that I just make stuff up, but I choose to say that I have a vivid imagination. That imagination and creativity was stifled through the regimens of school and work, but somehow it still managed to get out. At first it was little, funny stories that I would make up for my friends. Later, it was bedtime stories for my own little prince and princess.I have always been writing, but about twenty years ago I took the plunge as a freelance writer. The waters were very deep and very cold. It is tough trying to make a living as a freelance writer, especially tough if you expect to eat on a regular basis. But what I learned from freelance writing is two things. First, rejection happens. Get over it. Second, keep writing. No matter what, keep writing. I did, and the result is the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series which is now available all over the world.My takeaway is this: The most important thing is to get the book written. Do the best you can with it and then get it out into the world. You do what you gotta’ do to make that happen. So if you’re struggling, keep on struggling. If you are a writer, keep on writing. And remember what Stephen King says about writing “The scariest moment is always just before you start.”Mike Martin is the author of the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series, set in small communities on the east coast of Canada.

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Kingdom Of Darkness Audiobook Blog Tour

Author: Tricia Copeland

Narrator: Amy Deuchler

Length: 8 hours 37 minutes

Series: Kingdom Journals, Book 2

Publisher: True Bird Publishing LLC

Released: TBD

Genre: Fantasy; YA

They told her she was sick. But her visions are much more than mental illness…Seventeen-year-old Camille worries her mind will never be normal. Diagnosed schizophrenic, she hopes a month-long teen treatment program at an Icelandic camp could be the cure she needs. But far from being ill, Camille is stunned to find out she has supernatural abilities…As she and a new friend learn to harness their powers, she’s disturbed by sinister behaviors among the teaching staff. So when their fathers mysteriously vanish, she fears her magical initiation could end up as a battle for survival.Will Camille unlock her extraordinary gifts in time to rescue her dad?Kingdom of Darkness is the second book in the engrossing Kingdom Journals YA urban fantasy series. If you like strong heroines, powerful witchcraft, and treacherous quests, then you’ll love Tricia Copeland’s twisted tale.Buy Kingdom of Darkness to expose a phenomenal world today!

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Tricia Copeland grew up in a hot, sticky, rural south Georgia town where pine trees and alligators ruled the landscape. Since then she’s moved west to the purple mountain majesties of Colorado. Her books span from the dystopian, paranormal, and fantasy, to coming-of-age and new adult romance genres. You can find more about her and all her books at triciacopeland.com. Sign up for her audiobook newsletter here: https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/wsbKeeX/audiobooksplease

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Amy is a Chicago-based voice artist and actor specializing in audiobook narration, e-learning, and radio or TV commercials. Amy is professionally trained in commercial and narration voiceover and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre from Marquette University and a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In her spare time, Amy also enjoys reading, painting, designing lights and scenery for theatre, and biking. She lives with her boyfriend and their three cats just north of Chicago.

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  • Alena (pronounced Uh-LEE-nuh) – Alena tells the story of how she, a seventeen year-old vampire-witch hybrid, must hide her identity from everyone, human, witch, and vampire alike because creatures like her are forbidden by vampire and witch laws. She is desperate to figure out what her mother is looking for and in the process meets Hunter, an imaginary friend from age four. Hunter and she embark on a mission to discover how they knew they interacted as children. They find they are the key to releasing a curse on witch souls damning them to purgatory.
  • Hunter – Seventeen year-old Hunter has no clue he is a witch, but there is no doubt in his mind that he knew Alena as a child. Once she reveals that witches do exist and helps him awaken his powers, he commits to figuring out what his purpose is and why they were able to interact as preschoolers.
  • Theron – Seventeen year-old vampire-witch hybrid, Theron, may be the only other being like Alena. He is wild and reckless and Alena is drawn to his energy. But there is also something dark and sinister about him. Questions arise as Alena learns Theron is Hunter’s half-brother.
  • Thanatos – A centuries old witch and High Priest of the Witch Lines, he is father to Hunter and Theron.
  • Anne – Alena’s vampire mother and Vampire Chancellor, she will do everything in her power to protect her daughter.
Q&A with Author Tricia Copeland
  • Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
    • I search for two years to find the right narrator for this story. Frustrated, I’d almost given up. Last fall at a book con, Amy stopped by my table and introduced herself. I spoke with her for a few minutes and afterwards looked up her work. I loved what I heard and contacted her immediately to talk about starting the narration. After the gave her the manuscript and character list, she sent me a six minute clip. I was hooked! I wanted more! I loved listening to my words come to live. I also thrive on learning new things so while daunting, I feel so empowered by all I’m learning about the audiobook industry.
  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
    • In the future I think I will be more conscious of names and pronunciations. I will be more clear on how a name is pronounced to ensure ease of transition between ebook or paper copies and the audio versions.
  • 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?
    • My narrator read the manuscript and gave me a list of questions. I also provided her with a character bio sheet with a bit of history as to age, ethnicity, gender, etc. of my characters.
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
    • Interacting with readers and authors keep me excited and motivated. I love chatting about books, characters, plot, and hearing feedback and future ideas for my work.
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • I love that I can listen to an audiobook almost anywhere. Listening to books and podcasts helps me get through mundane chores like laundry and cleaning, dishes and cooking.
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • I don’t feel like audiobooks are cheating at all. I love the technology because I can listen in the car, on a run, or while doing chores.
  • In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of writing a stand-alone novel vs. writing a series?
    • I love both stand alones and series. I try to wrap up each of my series books so it can act as a stand alone as well as add a little bit of a OMG, what’s next! If I fall in love with characters and a storyline it’s hard to let them go. I’m always sad when I finish writing a book because I miss my characters.
  • What’s your favorite:
    • Food – pizza
    • Song – there are so many, anything with a good beat and inspiring lyrics keeps me grooving
    • Book – Twilight, Cassandra Clare, Kristin & P.C. Cast, The Crystal Cave, Gone with the Wind, I love paranormal fantasy, light sci-fi, and dystopian, and when I’m feeling tired a good sweet romance
    • Television show – The Vampire Diaries, Reign, The Originals, iZombie
    • Movie – love rom com The Holiday, Love Actually, Twilight movies
    • Band – Bastille, The Fray, Imagine Dragons, Twenty-One Pilots
    • Sports team – not a huge sports fan but always go back to my roots, GT Jackets
    • City – Wow! Hard one – I loved NYC when I visited with friends and plan on visiting New Orleans this year, love Savannah, and Denver

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

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This book is so good! I reread the first one before reading this! It was good as well! It’s intriguing that Ivy is the main character in this one. I wonder if Hunter will be the main character of the third!

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Good Mr. King Audiobook Blog Tour

Author: Aidée James

Narrators: Ada Sinclair, Logan McAllister

Length: 6 hours 54 minutes

Publisher: Aidée James

Released: May 8, 2020

Genre: Erotic Romance

No one dominates me. Not the supermodels I’ve slept with, not the rich women whose necks I’ve dressed in diamonds. So, imagine my surprise when I get a drunken e-mail from an employee I’ve never met, containing not one, but dozens of erotic stories, all starring yours truly. And in every one of them, I’m a submissive. I should let it go, but I can’t. This woman needs to learn that John King gets spanked by no one.

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When Mexican-American author Aidèe Jaimes isn’t chasing after her energetic daughter and spending time with her happily ever after husband in their Florida home, she’s living other lives through her characters. As her writing evolved into darker, sexier, no holds-barred stories, she transitioned from the pen name Haden Hudson, to the author she is today!

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Q&A with Narrator Ada Sinclair
  • When did you know you wanted to be an audiobook narrator?
    • I’ve been acting for over 20 years professionally and working all sorts of day jobs in between. While doing a show three years ago, a friend of mine announced he had quit all his other part-time work and was exclusively getting paid to act and narrate. I was so intrigued I immediately started YouTubing and researching everything I could about it. I got some professional coaching, created a recording booth out of my closet in our spare bedroom, and haven’t looked back since.
  • How did you wind up narrating audiobooks? Was it always your goal or was it something you stumbled into by chance?
    • Once I started researching narration, things like story arc, multiple character development, timing, and breath control all fit the bill for the numerous classes and workshops I had been going to as an actor. It seemed like everything I had been learning could be applied to books. Plus, I LOVED to read and was insatiable when it came to consuming stories. It was an absolutely perfect fit.
  • Did you find it difficult to break into” audiobook narration? What skill/tool helped you the most when getting started?
    • The hardest part for me was learning the technical aspects of audio. How to best use the microphone, record and re-record so everything is seamless and do it for hours on end. There was definitely a learning curve and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without some juggernauts in the community like Don Baarns. Now I’m really well versed in not only recording but also editing and mastering and I have him to thank.
  • A lot of narrators seem to have a background in theatre. Is that something you think is essential to a successful narration career?
    • I definitely think that my background has helped me. In school, we studied things like pacing and how alliteration and other word choices can clue you into the personalities and traits of a character. We delved very deeply into actions, motivations, and power struggles in various characters and I use all of it daily in my craft. I do think you can learn all of those things through coaching strictly for narration, but it helps me that I already have a foundation and years of experience to draw from.
  • What type of training have you undergone?
    • I began singing in choirs and doing solos when I was 6. I started taking acting classes when I was 12 and went to college for acting at Florida State University and went on to study musical theater performance in New York at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. I lived and acted in New York for 5 years before settling in Chicago with my husband and going through iO’s improv conservatory in the process. I’m currently a part of two professional theater companies here in Chicago and perform several times a year.
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for narrating?
    • I truly enjoy the performance aspect of recording, so it’s not hard to get me into the booth. To avoid burnout for stories or genres that might be a little more difficult for me, I tend to keep myself on a schedule to record 1 to 2 finished hours several days a week, making sure to leave in vocal rest days and times to decompress. It’s the ideal, and sometimes I’ve been caught recording for hours on end to make a deadline, but overall it’s a strategy and balance that really works for me.
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • Prior to narration, I hadn’t listened to many audiobooks. I didn’t particularly like the first few I had tried (I thought the voices in my own head made better choices, lol) but after starting on my own journey, I found some incredible narrators that I go back to again and again. I love listening to audiobooks while I’m driving and tend to like narrative stories then. For mundane tasks like laundry and/or cleaning, I’ll go for motivational self-help books.
  • What are your favorite and least favorite parts of narrating an audiobook?
    • My favorite part has to be when I find each character’s voice and have them “checked in.” It’s a little like body switching when they are in a conversation, but if I can channel them both then it gets really fun to do arguments or flirty conversations. It’s like playing chess with yourself. My least favorite thing is definitely the pick ups. I am slightly dyslexic and often have small flubs like switched words. It makes it a process for both me and my very gracious proofer.
  • What would you say are your strongest narration abilities?
    • I’ve been told that I can really embody the characters and create very distinctive voices. I tend to use a lot of variance in my vocal performance. My goal is always to allow the listener to recognize who is speaking without them having to be announced.
  • Is there a particular genre you feel unsuited for? Have you ever declined a project because you didn’t think you were right for it?
    • I love narrating in quite a few genres. But I did turn down a book after I found out that the main character was African American and had a very distinct dialect. I love stretching myself as an actor, but I also believe that there are many other people better suited to tell stories with main characters that are people of color, and I believe they should be the ones cast.
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The Isle Of Gold Audiobook Blog Tour

Audio Blog Tour: The Isle of Gold by Seven Jane

Author: Seven Jane

Narrator: Nicole B. Dolen

Length: 7 hours 43 minutes

Series: Daughters Jones Trilogy, Book 1

Publisher: Black Spot Books

Released: May 4, 2020

Genre: Historical Fantasy

The year is 1716 – the Golden Age of the Pirates. An orphan who sleeps in the dusty kitchens of a quayside brothel, Merrin Smith is desperate to unravel the secrets of her past and find the truth about the events that brought her to Isla Perla as a child. Disguised as a sailor, she joins the crew of the pirate ship Riptide, helmed by the notorious Captain Erik Winters. Tenacious and rumored to be a madman, Winters is known as much for his ruthlessness as for his connection to the enigmatic and beautiful proprietress of The Goodnight Mermaid, Evangeline Dahl, who vanished from the island two summers before.This book is an epic, emotional adventure of two women – one desperate to save herself, and the other determined to be rescued – and the secret which binds them together.

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Seven Jane is a bestselling author of dark fantasy and speculative fiction. Her debut novel, The Isle of Gold, was published by Black Spot Books in October 2018. Currently, Seven is collaborating as the lead author on a franchise project with a top veteran Hollywood director and an award-winning screenwriter. Seven is a regular contributor to The Nerd Daily and Suspense Magazine. She is represented by Gandolfo Helin & Fountain Literary Management and supported by Smith Publicity.

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Narrator Bio

Nicole Dolen has always been fascinated with accents. As a child growing up in a Navy family, she spent most of her childhood overseas in various countries such as Italy, Spain, England, and Germany. She is fluent in English and Italian. Nicole has a B.A. in Art and Communications and a Masters in Education. When she is not spending her time with her family or narrating, she is teaching, and practicing accents by reading to her young students.

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I’ve always been a fan of pirate stories and ocean folklore. When I started writing THE ISLE OF GOLD, I wanted the series to both fit in with classic tales, like Treasure Island, and stand apart from them—and to not get lost in the sensationalism of Hollywood pirate dramas that retell mythology on their own terms. In writing a historical fantasy of the pirate era the main thing I wanted the story to do was avoid tropes of peg legs, talking parrots, and buried treasure while making use of real mythology and actual ocean phenomenon while abiding by rigorously researched historical truths on the people who sailed, the ships they sailed on, and the lives they lived at sea. In addition to these, this story served as an opportunity to touch on some of today’s most pressing societal issues of diversity and inclusion, from women’s rights, to racism, to romance and love outside of the heteronormative.In terms of the natural world, two uncommon real phenomena that were mentioned in the story were frost flowers and the green flash of light on the ocean (no, Hollywood didn’t make that up for Pirates of the Caribbean!). Frost flowers are delicate ice structures that “bloom” on the surface of the polar oceans in the dead of winter. Likewise, green flashes are most often seen at sunset, last only a second or two, and are essentially a result of light refraction and visual trickery as the sun suddenly and briefly changes colors. Here’s a cool article on the green flashes, which, because they are so unusual, have provided much fodder for paranormal speculation by sailors over the years!Legends of the mystical islandBracile and the red-sailed ghost shipCaleuche are just as steeped in ocean folklore as the cursed goddess turned sea monster Charybdisand sirens…especially the not so beautiful kind. I wanted to bring in one iconic pirate name, and while I drew from several real pirates in building Winters and Merrin’s characters, Davy Jones came directly from legend—(both as a real man and an idiom for the bottom of this sea). Jökulsárlón, and its neighboring Diamond Beach in Iceland became the perfect setting for a real-world embodiment of Bracile.The ships, their rigging, and their weaponry was all brought from historical research on 17th-century sailing culture. As I began to research these in earnest, a few interesting facts rose to the top, particularly in the lack of diversity on these vessels. While we tend to think of pirates as ragtag crews of every nation and color, it wasn’t necessarily true. In fact, even white men pirates still practiced the normal racism and biases of the time, often trading and profiting from the slave trade themselves. It was rare to see a person of color in a position of power onboard a pirate vessel, much less one who was beloved and respected. For this role, Jomo was introduced. Likewise, with the exception of a very few and very famous female pirates (Anne Bonney, Mary Read, etc.) women were not allowed to sail. In fact, in the pirate code written by Bartholomew Roberts, women were not only forbidden to sail, but to bring one aboard was punishable by death. This alone gave Merrin an incentive to keep her identity and sex a secret from the men on the ship. Lastly, a profession as a whore was just as taboo as sexual empowerment by women of the time (or empowerment of any kind, really) and this norm was challenged by Claudette, Mrs. Emery, and even Evangeline herself. There are subtle hints throughout the story to a more romantic than platonic love between Merrin and Claudette, too, proving the currents of love run according to their own desire, regardless of race or gender—and this also affected the budding romance between Merrin and Tom Birch, was remained understated as falling in love was never Merrin’s goal when she set out to sea.Writing THE ISLE OF GOLD was as fantastic an adventure as the story itself. Part history, part mythology, and part imagination, this story drew as much from real sea phenomenon as it did from some of the oldest sea legends on record, told by a strong protagonist who acts as a lens of crystallization for deeper diversity issues that linger just below the surface of a fantastical pirate adventure.Stay tuned for Book Two in the Daughters Jones series, THE SEA OF GLASS, coming soon!

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Innocence On Trial Audiobook Blog Tour

Audio Blog Tour: Innocence on Trial by Rick Bowers

Author: Rick Bowers

Narrator: Eleanor Caudill

Length: 7 hours and 31 minutes

Released: Feb. 5, 2020

Publisher: Rick Bowers

Genre: Legal Thriller

Seeking a high profile case to jet-fuel her career and striving to strike a blow for justice, attorney Laura Tobias sets out to clear a man she believes was wrongfully imprisoned for murder, ten years before. The young lawyer, a rising star with the Council Against Wrongful Convictions, is the last hope for inmate Eddie Nash, serving life without parole at the infamous Attica Correctional Facility in upstate New York. Attica, one of the last of the classic “big houses”, is still haunted by the 1971 inmate revolt and police siege that left dozens of prisoners and hostages dead. Appealing the cast in federal court and unraveling the facts, Laura uncovers evidence that Eddie was framed by the police for murder – the brutal hanging of a troubled young woman in the remote upstate town of Eden.Realizing that the real “hangman of Eden” may still be at large, Laura also finds herself being stalked. Are the police out to stop her from exposing their frame-up? Is the real killer seeking to keep her from reopening the investigation? Teaming up with noted innocence investigator Charles Steel, she gets a lead on evidence that could clear her client and point to the real killer. With a new trial moving forward, Laura must find the truth and prevail in court, without becoming the next victim.

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Rick Bowers is an award-winning author and journalist specializing in the quest for social justice and equal rights. Rick has written three books, penned a PBS documentary and directed an oral history project that gathered thousands of first-hand accounts of the civil rights movement. Rick’s work has also been honored with the prestigious Peabody Award, Emmy Award and Webby Award. Rick recently debuted as a fiction writer with the release Innocence on Trial — a legal thriller about an idealistic young lawyer seeking to exonerate a wrongfully convicted man. Finding that her client was framed by the police, attorney Laura Tobias also finds herself being stalked. Are the police seeking to keep her from exposing their frame-up? Or is the real killer trying to stop her from re-opening the case? Bowers’ non-fiction book Spies of Mississippi (National Geographic, 2010) exposed the secret, state-run spy network dedicated to preserving segregation in 1950s and ’60s. Spies of Mississippi transported readers into a world of infiltrators and informants working to undercut civil rights organizations in the deep South at the height of the civil rights movement. The state spies framed civil rights leaders, jailed activists, threatened sympathizers and funded white supremacist organizations with tax dollars. Working with filmaker Dawn Porter, Bowers also penned the PBS/Independent Lens documentary version of Spies of Mississippi, which won numerous awards for its hard hitting treatment of the topic. Bowers’ book Superman vs. the Ku Klux Klan (National Geographic 2012) revealed how the Man of Steel exposed the men of hate to a generation of children. The book details how the producers of the Adventures of Superman radio serial pitted the iconic superhero against a thinly veiled version of the KKK to five million children radio listeners in 1946, winning widespread praise from civic leaders and the press and humiliating the actual Klan. Superman vs. the KKK is now in development as a feature film by Paper Chase Films in L.A. In addition to writing books and making films, Bowers also conceptualized and directed “Voices of Civil Rights,” a ground-breaking oral-history project that collected thousands of first-hand accounts of the small acts of courage that powered the civil rights movement. This priceless treasure trove of 21,000 recollections, letters, essays, audio tracks, videos and photographs is now archived at the Library of Congress and the Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. A collaboration of AARP, the Library of Congress, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and History Channel, Voices produced best-selling books and award-winning documentaries. The Voices of Civil Rights documentary won the prestigious Emmy and Peabody awards. He has also appeared on a wide range of media outlets, including PBS, NPR, CBS, the History Channel and Discovery Network. Prior to working on books, films and multi-media projects, Bowers worked as a newspaper reporter and editor for more than 15 years, reporting for the “Patriot Ledger “of Quincy, Massachusetts, the “Miami Herald, “and “USA Today.” His articles have been published in many of the most prestigious publications in the country, including the “Washington Post,” “Chicago Tribune,” ” Philadelphia Inquirer,” and “TIME.” He also worked as a director/vice president of creative initiatives for AARP, conceptualizing and directing far-reaching projects on important social issues.

Narrator Bio

I am a voice over, theatre, and commercial actress. I have a strong and confident speaking voice and a penchant for identifying the subtleties and nuance within varying reading materials. I have a passion for reading and that passion is multiplied when sharing a story with others. It would be my honor to tell your story.

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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 Rick Bowers. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Q&A with Author Rick Bowers
  • How did you come up with the idea for Innocence on Trial?
    • I had taken my brown-and-white spotted mixed breed hound (Luke) to our friendly neighborhood dog park. A young woman was there with fast and feisty three-legged border collie named Bo Bo. After telling me about her dog, she told me about herself. She was a student at Georgetown studying innocence law. That is, she was preparing to become an attorney specializing in exonerating the wrongfully convicted. I was surprised that there was an entire specialty based on exoneration. I studied the issue and found out what a huge problem it is. And I set out to write a book on this critical social justice issue. But I wanted to write a compelling piece of fiction that would be fun to read.
  • Did the woman in the dog park inspire your main character?
    • Yes. I created the character of Laura Tobias. She is an idealistic — and ambitious – young attorney with the Counsel Against Wrongful Conviction in New York. She also owns a three-legged border collie who I renamed “Tripod.” Laura sets out to exonerate a man she believes was wrongfully convicted of a brutal murder 10 years before. Laura is the last hope for inmate Eddie Nash, whose serving life without parol at the infamous Attica Correctional Facility in remote New York State. Laura uncovers evidence that her client was framed by the police and that the real killer is still out there. She also finds herself being stalked.
  • Cool. Did you set out to write a murder mystery with an important social theme?
    • Yes. The book is a fun read. Areal who-done-it. It also raises the issues of wrongful conviction. Wrongful convictions have reached epidemic proportions in the United States.
  • How so?
    • Just consider these three points:
    • There are more than 2.2 million incarcerated people in the U.S.
    • Studies show that 2.3 to 5 percent are innocent.
    • That means there are over 115,000 innocent people locked in our jails and prison.
    • We know that several death row inmates have been executed only to have evidence of their innocence surface after their deaths.
    • This is unacceptable. Just imagine the horror.
  • Who is trying to change this? To stop wrongful convictions?
    • The Innocence Project has spawned a new movement to exonerate the wrongfully convicted and redress the causes of wrongful conviction. For the past 25 years the Innocence Project has intervened in hundreds of cases, forcing the courts to release hundreds of inmates by proving their innocence. The use of DNA evidence to prove an inmate’s innocence has been key to this. Today, The Innocence Network is comprised of 67 organizations worldwide that fight for there wrongfully convicted.
  • What are the causes of wrongful conviction?
    • There has been a great deal of research on this and the causes are well known.
    • Bad eye witness testimony and misidentification.
    • Police misconduct — lying on the stand… planting evidence, tampering with evidence, etc.
    • Bad forensic science: Everything from misidentifying to faking evidence and DNA test results.
    • False Confessions: Police tricking or coercing suspects to confess to crimes they did not commit.
    • Snitch Testimony: Jailhouse snitches fingering a suspect in exchange for early release or other favors.
    • Bad defense attorneys.
  • Are there things that can be done?
    • Yes. The fixes are fairly straight forward:
    • REFORM LINEUPS AND PHOTO ARARYS
    • VIDEO TAPE ENTIRE CONFESSIONS
    • PRESERVE DNA EVIDENCE
    • IMPROVE FORENSIC OVERSIGHT
    • ESTABLISH INNOCENCE COMMISSIONS
    • ASSURE EXONEREE COMPENSATION
    • LIMIT SNITCH TESTIMONY
    • REFORM PLEA DEALS
  • What do you hope listeners get from your audiobook?
    • First of all, I hope listeners enjoy it. I hope they are entertained. I hope listeners get lost in the story. The narration of the book is fantastic. The performer brings each characters to life and keeps the story moving toward the surprise ending. I hope listeners try to guess who committed the crime. Few have succeeded. After enjoying the book I hope listeners get a sense of the enmity of problem of wrongful conviction. Who knows? Maybe a few will even join in to help make things better.
Guest Post
Who Listens to Audiobooks?
By Author Rick Bowers

The slow-rolling drawl of a Southern sherif.The hardcore cockiness of a Boston thug.The guttural moan of an unsuspecting stabbing victim. The eerie squeal of a morgue drawer rolling open — slowly. These are just a few of the captivating voices and compelling sounds created by the talented narrators of audiobooks. These skilled performers voice more than 40,000 titles per year, including literary classics, fascinating biographies, perplexing mysteries, fast-paced thrillers and scorching romance novels. Across the genres, these gifted artists give us unforgettable characters, intense dialog, dramatic soliloquies and tell-tale background noises that make great stories even greater. Their storytelling prowess stimulates our audio sensations the same way our ancestors captured our imagination around the campfire eons ago. No wonder so many of us love listening to a great book. But the question remains. Who listens?The Audiobook Publishers Association conducts an annual survey to gauge the state of the industry. The most recent study tells the story of a booming industry, fueled by high listener satisfaction and soaring demand.“The research confirms that audio publishing continues its upward trajectory. Seven consecutive years of double-digit growth is truly extraordinary,” said Chris Lynch, co-chair of the APA’s Research Committee and President and Publisher of Simon & Schuster Audio. “More audiobooks are being produced and more people are listening than ever.”Highlights follow:Total units produced: 44,685. Up 5.8 percent. Total receipts: $940 million. Up 24 percentListener ages: 55 percent were under 45. Where they listen: 74 percent listen in their cars. 68 percent listen at home. “The most popular audiobook genres sold in the U.S. are general fiction, mysteries/thrillers/suspense, and science fiction/fantasy. However, non-fiction sales are close behind these top categories and represented 32.7% of unit sales… General non-fiction, history/biography/memoir, and self-help posting the biggest numbers.Audiobooks for adults made up 91.2% of revenue, roughly unchanged from prior years. Sales of Adult and Young Adult titles each increased double digits… while titles targeted at children grew more moderately.”As for me, I love listening to a great audiobook on a long car trip. There’s nothing like getting lost in an intriguing mystery that keeps me guessing to the big reveal. I must confess: after hours of driving I often slow down to make sure I finish the book before reaching my destination. Like many of those surveyed, I also enjoy listening at home. I love to stretch out on the coach and close my eyes, listening to a great story unfold in my mind. Or to simply fade off to sleep with the voice of a great narrator sparking my dreams.

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Fighting For Faith Audiobook Blog Tour

Audiobook Blog Tour: Fighting For Faith by Aria Cole & Mila Crawford

Authors: Aria Cole and Mila Crawford

Narrators: Rachel Woods and Luke Parker

Length: 1 hours and 58 minutes

Series: Worth the Fight, Book 3

Released: Apr. 21, 2020

Publisher: Aria Cole

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Now a Top 100 Best Seller on Amazon!Being infatuated with my childhood best friend was a beautiful curse. Our lives were an uphill struggle against every odd, but as long as we had each other…we had everything. Then it was all gone. Now I’ve built my life to perfection yet still yearning for that boy I used to know. Then one night, through a chance encounter, I see him. Riot James. He’s an MMA fighter with a beastly body, roped and corded with muscle and gleaming with sweat. His nose, reminiscent of a Roman gladiator, was bent a little like it’s been broken. A few times. It rattles me the way his intensely dark gaze lingers with mine. He’s familiar, determined, damaged, and there’s no escaping him. But with Riot, nothing is what it seems, and in the span of a single heartbeat, my perfect life is turned inside out. Again.

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Aria Cole is the pen name of an Amazon Top 20 and USA Today bestselling author who published her first book in 2012 and began writing contemporary romance long before that. Her books always feature possessive alpha men and the sassy, curvy, nerdy heroines who love them, along with a healthy dose of irresistible insta-love and happily-ever-afters sweet enough to make your teeth ache. Follow Aria on Amazon for new release updates, or stalk her on social to see which daring book boyfriend she’s writing next!

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Mila Crawford loves romance, especially dirty short stories that are safe and have a happy ending. So she decided to start writing her own. What can you expect form her books? No cheating, no OW/OM drama, always celibate or virgin characters, and of course a HEA … An all around SAFE book!

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

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This book has so much potential in my eyes. It would have served better as longer book. It wasn’t even a hundred pages. It was badly rushed through. I also don’t feel there was a need for four epilogues.

Q&A with Narrators Rachel Woods and Luke Parker
  • How did you wind up narrating audiobooks? Was it always your goal or was it something you stumbled into by chance?
    • Luke: When my son was a brand new infant, his mom and I would find free audiobooks from Librivox.org to play for him to lull him to sleep. Listening to some of the books there that are, to put as diplomatically as I can, not of marketable quality, I wondered how I would fare doing the same thing. Librivox is a site where volunteers read public domain works and is a very accessible, free and friendly way to get schooled in the basics of producing audio for audiobooks. I already was working as a media producer, putting together ads for radio and TV, and that meant I had access to equipment, a studio, and experience in the technical side of things. When I found that some of the more skilled readers on Librivox were getting projects published on Audible through ACX, I started auditioning and picking up paid projects there, and now I have a fun side career producing audiobooks to supplement my ad work.
    • Rachel: I’ve always loved to read aloud and thought a “books on tape” job would be amazing. (I might be showing my age a bit here…!) I have a theatre degree and had planned on heading out to one of the coasts to pursue professional stage and/or screen work, but life doesn’t always go according to plan, does it? Honestly, I’m grateful that I didn’t ultimately choose that path and found my way into audio instead. I didn’t seriously start looking into it until 2012 when I discovered ACX as an offshoot to my volunteer work at Librivox.
  • How closely do you prefer to work with authors?
    • Rachel: A close working relationship with my authors is absolutely essential. Communication and honesty is the most important thing to me. In fact, I oftentimes become friends with my authors and the repeat work just kind of flows in. Fostering that relationship and being able to provide my best performance while working hand in hand is incredibly special to me. I may be bringing it to life, but they created it first. It’s a huge privilege to breathe life into someone else’s characters.
  • What are your favorite and least favorite parts of narrating an audiobook?
    • Luke: My favorite part of narrating audiobooks is creating a diverse cast of characters and getting attached to them as they go through their stories.
    • My least favorite part is becoming hyper-aware of every little noise around my booth, every noisy engine that passes on the road, every heavy step or outside conversation that bleeds through the walls, followed closely by the millions of breaths and little mouth noises that need to be edited out when creating clean audio.
  • A lot of narrators seem to have a background in theatre. Is that something you think is essential to a successful narration career?
    • Luke: It undoubtedly helps! There’s a reason the trend in audiobooks is going towards well-known actors doing the reading and not an artificial text-to-speech program, and that is that narration is acting! Theatre trains you to look at stories and events through perspectives outside of your own. You learn how to play a character as they are interpreting the events unfolding in front of them and imagine what they do as someone who comes out what they have experienced. The way you yourself would behave in regards to events in a story probably differ from any given character’s, and through Theatre you gain the experience of living in another space as someone else, and behaving as they would. A good narrator knows how to deliver the words of a story and the dialogue between characters in a way that conveys the emotions and motivations behind the words naturally, just as a good author knows how to choose and formulate the words on the page towards the same emotional and tonal effect. I would advise anyone who wants to do narration, voice acting, or even announcing to take acting and theatre classes, or even better: get involved in your local community theatre program. It trains your voice, your presence and your emotional insight, and it has the added bonus of getting you around people after being isolated in your booth all day!
    • Rachel: Speaking as someone who has a theatre degree, I think it’s definitely an advantage. It can be easier to place yourself in another’s shoes and really get yourself to the place of feeling what they feel, thinking how they think and all that comes across in your performance. I do think it’s less “essential” in nonfiction work as one generally does not do character voices for those particular pieces, but any training you have to connect to the words being spoken is beneficial.
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for narrating?
    • Rachel: I’m a bit of a workaholic so burn-out is always a challenge personally. Aside from attempting to force my type A personality to take a day off, I do work with another organization producing dramatic works as full cast recordings and that’s always a wonderful break from long form narration. It seems to boost up the thrusters on the narration rocket and gives me enough of a breather that I can dive back into the work.
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • Luke: I am an audiobook and podcast listener. Podcasts when I feel lonely and miss conversation, and audiobooks when I need an escape. What I enjoy about audiobooks is that it gives my mind something to be occupied by when doing tedious things like dishes, laundry, cooking, working out or commuting. Also, I have never been able to just sit and read quietly without falling asleep after like ten minutes! (I don’t know how I got through college!) Reading aloud, being my own audiobook, has always been my means of staying engaged in a book.
    • Rachel: My favorite audiobooks are full cast recordings. The Online Stage does beautiful work of public domain classics and some living author works as well and all as full cast recordings. In the romance genre, however, hands down duet is my favorite format. It brings consistent characterizations and less awkward love scenes.
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • Luke: I wish I had the same kind of time to just sit there as you do. 😉
    • Rachel: I think a book is a book. Our society is so hustle and bustle and go-go-go that any opportunity someone has to get lost inside a story is a wonderful one.
  • If you could narrate one book from your youth what would it be and why?
    • Luke: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; it’s highly imaginative and has a great range of characters in its cast.
    • Rachel: The book that stands out the most to me would be Beyond the Attic Wall by Sylvia Cassedy. I read that ghost story countless times growing up (and usually providing the voices for all the characters each time!).
  • What bits of advice would you give to aspiring audiobook narrators?
    • Luke:
    • Stay hydrated
    • Find what your unique voice is best suited for and provides the most success and pursue that with most of your attention, but leave a little room for branching out
    • If you have small children, be prepared for a CHALLENGE
    • Become a mimic when you hear a unique voice and practice building a character based on that voice. You never know when it could come in handy. Just don’t let the source person hear you, they’ll think you’re mocking them.
    • Rachel: It is not a get rich quick kind of job. It requires hustle and dedication and putting yourself out there. If you have a family, prepare them for the patience required. If you have a young child, it’s incredibly challenging but not impossible. Everyone is not going to like you or your narration style. You cannot please everybody. If you are happy with it and the author is happy with it, be proud. Be prepared to put in the hours, choose stories that you enjoy, keep the lines of communication open and honest with your authors and don’t give up. You won’t book every project and that’s okay. There will always be another one.
  • What’s next for you?
    • Luke: Rachel and I are getting set to record “Pile Driver”, also written by Aria and Mila, as well as a couple other steamy and downright naughty titles down the road, so be sure to check those out as well!
    • Rachel: Luke Parker and I are working on Pile Driver and Taming the Mountain Man, both by Aria Cole & Mila Crawford. We also just started work on Book 3 in the Rosewood High series for Tracy Lorraine. I am also finishing up the Hot Daddy series for Angel Devlin and Tracy Lorraine before diving into more projects with other authors. See? Workaholic.
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Deep Series Book 3 Audiobook Blog Tour

The Deep Series

Author: Nick Sullivan

Narrator: Nick Sullivan

Length: 7 hours 11 minutes

Series: Caribbean Dive Adventures, Book 3

Publisher: Wild Yonder Press

Released: May 12, 2020

Genre: Action-Adventure

In the mangroves of Belize, something ancient lies hidden beneath the roots. And when it surfaces, so too will one of man’s baser inclinations. The root of all evil: greed.Boone Fischer and Emily Durand have enjoyed months of quiet on the tiny island of Caye Caulker. After surviving Hurricane Irma and a mountaintop madman, the two divemasters have finally begun to relax. Big mistake.Following on the fins of the best-selling thrillers Deep Shadow and Deep Cut, this third Caribbean action-adventure thriller in The Deep Series takes the listener on a whirlwind tour of Belize. From the offshore cayes to distant lagoons, from tropical rivers to jungle ruins lost in time, Boone and Emily race to untangle themselves from a deadly plot that threatens to shatter their lives.

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.

Boone Fischer

Boone Fischer was born into two cultures, his mother a country girl from Tennessee, and his father a sailor in the Royal Netherlands Navy. They’d met when his mother was vacationing in Aruba and Boone had been born a year later. Boone was blessed with dual citizenship and spent several vacations in the Dutch Caribbean. His father had engendered a fascination of all things aquatic in the young Boone, teaching him to snorkel when he was quite young; he became a certified diver when he turned ten. When he was twelve, his parents had separated, his father returning to the Netherlands. His mother continued to raise him in Kingston, Tennessee and while they couldn’t afford to travel to the islands, she often took him to aquariums in Chattanooga and Gatlinburg. After high school, Boone went to work as a presentation diver at the Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg, raising money for college. Heading to the University of Miami for a degree in Marine Science, Boone was fortunate enough to arrange a semester abroad in Bonaire. Within a month, he knew what he wanted to do. After graduating in Miami, he returned to the ABC islands, working for a dive op in Curaçao for three years before landing his gig at Rock Beauty Dives in Bonaire. Boone has a nomadic mindset, always looking for the next adventure; but Bonaire was special, because after working there nearly three years, he met Emily Durand.Physical Description: Boone’s nickname through much of high school and college was “Bean Pole”. He is exceptionally tall and lanky, but enjoys intense exercise. Lean and wiry, his body is sculpted, his arms and legs corded with ropy muscle. His hair is brown with sun-kissed highlights. His eye color has never been revealed.Hobbies: Aside from scuba diving, Boone is an amateur bird watcher, and professional-level freediver. A powerful swimmer, his “Michael Phelps” frame can propel him at impressive speeds. He is highly skilled in the martial arts of capoeira and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Boone is mechanically inclined, and an expert in marine engine repair.

Emily Durand

Emily hails from the United Kingdom. She was born and bred in South London and spent most of her early life in Greenwich, a few blocks from the border of Deptford. Going to university in England, she supplemented her studies with a Phys Ed elective class in scuba diving. Upon graduation, Emily decided to travel; her dive training led her to work as a divemaster and she soon found herself on the Dutch island of Bonaire where she met Boone. “Em” is a free spirit with a fast wit and devil-may-care outlook on life. There is little she enjoys more than running verbal rings around the taciturn Boone.Physical Description: At 4’11” tall, Emily definitely qualifies as “petite.” Her hair is blonde and past her shoulders, and she frequently puts it up in braids or a ponytail. If you spot Emily before sundown, there is very little chance she won’t be with her ever-present sunglasses. And there’s a good chance they’ll be lime green, the vibrant color being her favorite. And if you catch her without her shades, you’ll see her sparkling, green eyes. Emily is in exceptionally good shape, and she’s able to hold her own with Boone in the water, no mean feat given their respective builds.Hobbies: Emily is an able skipper behind the wheel of any boat, and is a far better driver than Boone (and she never hesitates to remind him of this). Her underwater specialties include photography and fish identification, and she’s quite the artist. Impressed with Boone’s martial arts skills, she wonders about learning a discipline herself (and in Deep Cut, she does).

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Sellsword’s Oath Audiobook Blog Tour

Audiobook Blog Tour: Sellsword’s Oath by Gail Z. Martin

Author: Gail Z. Martin

Narrator: Samuel Roukin

Length: 5 hours 59 minutes

Series: Assassins of Landria, Book 2

Publisher: Recorded Books

Released: Jan. 20, 2020

Genre: Fantasy

Buddy flick epic fantasy! The second in the Assassins of Landria series from the award-winning, best-selling author of Scourge: A Novel of Darkhurst, and The Chronicles of the Necromancer books! Wandering mystic Yefim Makary, known to his followers as the “Witch Lord”, disappeared before he could be accused of inciting dissent against King Kristoph. His supporters among the disenchanted aristocrats who weren’t arrested have fled or died by their own hand. The king is happy to put the matter behind him. Yet Burke, the commander of the elite King’s Shadows, doesn’t believe the threat is over, and he assigns his two most troublesome, rule-breaking – and successful – assassins to ferret out the real threat and put a stop to Makary’s plots. Joel “Ridge” Breckinridge and Garrett “Rett” Kennard rose through the ranks of the Landrian army together, from teenaged conscripts to seasoned fighters. Together, they became the most feared team of assassins in Landria, surviving longer that most in their profession by virtue of excellent fighting skills, legendary bravado, peerless strategy, and an uncanny synchronicity. As the threads of a new plot come together revealing disloyalty among the priests and generals, Ridge and Rett once again find themselves on the run, hoping they and their allies can figure out the Witch Lord’s latest scheme before it costs them their lives – and the king his throne.

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Gail Z. Martin writes urban fantasy, epic fantasy and steampunk for Solaris Books, Orbit Books, Falstaff Books, SOL Publishing and Darkwind Press. Urban fantasy series include Deadly Curiosities and the Night Vigil (Sons of Darkness). Epic fantasy series include Darkhurst, the Chronicles Of The Necromancer, the Fallen Kings Cycle, the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, and the Assassins of Landria. Together with Larry N. Martin, she is the co-author of Iron & Blood, Storm & Fury (both Steampunk/alternate history), and the Spells Salt and Steel comedic horror series. Newest titles include Tangled Web, Vengeance, The Dark Road, and Assassin’s Honor. As Morgan Brice, she writes urban fantasy MM paranormal romance, with her Witchbane and Badlands series.

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Guest Post
Epic Fantasy for Busy People
By Gail Z. Martin

“I used to love reading epic fantasy, but I just don’t have the time anymore.”I hear that comment from so many people at book signings and conventions. They tell me how much they loved reading the big sweeping sagas at a different time in their lives, how much those books meant to them, but…now their lives are busier and they don’t get as much time to read or listen to books. They don’t want to start listening to a thick book and not finish for a month…or more. TV and movies just aren’t the same, they say. That’s when I decided to write the Assassins of Landria series—which has the feel of epic fantasy, without the epic length.I’ve written plenty of ‘big fat fantasy’. My three other epic fantasy series—Chronicles of the Necromancer, Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, the Darkhurst series—all tip the scales at about 600 pages a book. I know how to do the high stakes, multiple viewpoint, multiple interwoven plot thread kind of book. And it’s fun to write and fun to read that kind of book. It’s like taking a long vacation, where you can go to a new place and settle in for a while. That’s nice, BUT…Sometimes, you just want a long weekend. And that’s what Assassin’s Honor (the first book in the Landria series), is—an epic fantasy weekend trip. Lots of action and adventure, high stakes, excitement and magic, but in a smaller package. Something that you can listen to in a few days, instead of a few weeks. So kick back, grab a beverage, and curl up with the kind of fantasy you love to listen to—in a format that suits your busy life!

Dream Cast
  • Joel ‘Ridge’ Breckenridge—Liam Hemsworth
  • Garrett ‘Rett’ Kinnard—Hale Appleman
  • Henri—Richard Speight, Jr.
  • Burke—Mark Sheppard

Ridge—He’s the older and taller of the two, and met Rett at the orphanage where they were both taken as children. He has vague memories of his family, who died from fever. Ridge stepped in to even the odds in a playground fight when Rett was outnumbered, and the two men have been best friends, close as brothers, ever since. Ridge was conscripted into the military two years ahead of Rett. When his partner was killed in action saving the king’s life, the king offered Ridge anything he wanted. Ridge asked for Rett as his new partner. They rose through the ranks quickly to become assassins, and their penchant for taking crazy risks and making it work has made them the most successful assassins in the King’s Shadows.Rett—He’s younger and shorter than Ridge, but quick and a good shot. Rett doesn’t remember his family, and got by on the street being a thief and pickpocket until the monks caught him and brought him to the orphanage, where he met Ridge. Ridge taught him to read, and Rett taught Ridge to pick locks. Both Ridge and Rett have the Sight—the psychic ability to see whether a person has sold their soul to a dark mage. Rett also has visions, premonitions of what might happen. They keep their magic a secret, because only the priests are supposed to have those abilities.

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