Audiobook Review Tour: MURDER IN KESWICK by WILLIAM TODD, Narrated Ben Werling!

 

Author: William Todd

Narrator: Ben Werling

Length: 2 hours 38 muntes

Publisher: William Todd

Released: Oct. 16, 2018

Genre: Mystery

While on a well-deserved holiday in the Lake District to get away from the toils and troubles of London, Holmes and Watson find no respite. As soon as they exit the train, they hear news of a grisly murder making its way around the murmuring commuters. A local aristocrat, Mr. Darcy, has been found missing his head!

And that very night, the wealthy widow finds a stranger in her home who, upon seeing her, abandons his plans and quickly leaves. She believes the intruder to be the murderer of her husband who is now after a large sum of cash she keeps in the house safe.

Unsure if the would-be thief is the murderer or an opportunistic burglar, Holmes devises a plan to catch the burglar, all the while investigating the murder of Mr. Darcy. Follow Holmes, Watson, and the local constable Mr. Wickham as they untangle the mystery surrounding a Murder in Keswick.

I have been writing online since the early 2000’s, primarily writing horror stories in the style of Poe and Lovecraft. I was the 2nd most popular author on the website storiesbyemail.com for two years before moving on. I had my first book, a Victorian era horror compilation called Bumps in the Night, published by Mystic Moon Press just a week before they closed their website and never saw my hard work pay off. Afterwards I took publishing into my own hands, became an Indie author and haven’t looked back. My first self-published book was Dead of Night, another compilation of Victorian horror stories, published September 2016 by Createspace and on Kindle by KDP. After its publication I left my comfort zone for mystery and wrote a short story about Sherlock Holmes in the Conan Doyle style. I loved it so much I then did a longer story A Reflection of Evil, both published in 2017 through Createspace and KDP. I have just release Beyond the Gossamer Veil, another compilation of both Victorian and modern supernatural/horror stories and am in the beginning stages of my third Sherlock Holmes installment.

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Narrator Bio

Ben is an award winning actor and voice over professional, who has performed all across the United States. From Shakespeare to Neil Simon, he has displayed a versatility and diversity in the characters and dialects he has portrayed. Ben received the Joseph Jefferson Award for Leading Actor as abusive talk show host Barry Champlain in Eric Bogosian’s TALK RADIO, and was nominated for Best Supporting Actor as Prosecutor Villeforte in Alexander Dumas’ THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO, also in Chicago. He has worked with an extensive list of theaters in Chicago over the last three decades: Steppenwolf, Bailiwick, Famous Door, Next, A Red Orchid, Raven Theater, First Folio, Writer’s Theater, Buffalo Theater Ensemble, as well as Utah Shakespeare Festival, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Indiana Repertory, Madison Repertory, and Allenberry Playhouse in Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania. He is an Ensemble member of Shattered Globe Theater in Chicago. For almost a decade he was the voice of the Adler Planetarium, hosting live shows and pointing out the stars, planets and constellations on the big dome. Ben has an eponymous weekly vlog on YouTube, that he films, produces, edits and narrates. He lives in Chicago with his wife Amy, two dogs and three cats.

Well William Todd certainly has managed to recreate the feel of a Sherlock Holmes story. This being an audiobook of only 2hrs 38mins it’s a step into Victorian England with Holmes arriving in Keswick for a restful stay with Dr Watson. On arriving a murder has been committed, a headless corpse gives his holiday a bonus. Ben Werling narrates as Dr Watson and does a fine job holding my attention with this slice of life in Victorian England with a Sherlock Holmes Mystery.
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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 William Todd. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Q&A with Author William Todd

  • Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
    • I never used to even think about how a book would sound as an audiobook…until I finally had one done. Now, I do. The story is most important, whether read or heard. I a bad story is a bad story. But I am more cognizant now when I write with how a phrase might sound read aloud. I think my audiobooks now are much easier on the ear then my first ones because of that. And my narrator, Ben Werling, I’ve used on every story. He’s great and has a wide vocal range. He makes turning a book into audio so much easier on me. I think we’re a good team. I basically give him my manuscript with some simple directions as to accents, maybe weird words that might pop up, since I write typically late Victorian era material, and he does the rest. He does a chapter at a time and sends them to me to okay. We rarely have to redo anything. I am truly lucky because the process, at least for me, is very simple with Ben at the helm.
  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
    • Because audiobooks are so prevalent and getting more and more popular by the day, I think you have to be conscious of it becoming an audiobook while writing, especially if you plan on using that format. And I think an author is selling himself short if he doesn’t at least consider putting his creations on audiobook. It is another channel to garner readers and followers…and revenue.
  • How did you select your narrator?
    • I put up three pages of my book for narrators to “audition”. I listen to each audition and pick the best one. But because Ben and I have such a good working relationship, ultimately, he gets my jobs. It is not only because he is such a good narrator. I write Sherlock Holmes and gothic horror. At least for the Holmes stories, I prefer having the same Holmes and Watson in each of my stories. Ben has been hands down the best Holmes and Watson I have found so why would I switch? I don’t think my readers would like that, and I know they would hear the difference.
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • I am. Until I land on the best-sellers list or get a movie deal, I have a job to pay bills and raise my family. I drive 45 minutes one way. Sometimes, that hour and a half is the only time I have to myself, and the perfect way to spend that time is listening to audiobooks. There are just times in this hustle and bustle life where cracking open a paperback is not possible. But your ears are always available to listen.
  • Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
    • I might have to say all of it, but there’s a reason. Well, okay I’ll narrow it down to the final scenes of the book during a storm. But the reason I say all of it is because Ben employs subtle sound effects in the background much like the old radio stories. There is one part of the story where there is a storm, and the thunder and lightning in the background of the narrations lends itself perfectly to the feel of the scene.
  • If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
    • Oh absolutely. I would love to go back to say anytime between 1880 – 1915. The late Victorian era/ Gilded Age fascinates me. It was a time of extreme change, and those changes caused fear. I play off those fears in my horror stories, and Sherlock Holmes was the penultimate player in those times.
  • What gets you out of a writing slump? What about a reading slump?
    • For both it is the same–just do it. It is very easy for life to get in the way of writing. And it’s also very easy to fall out of the habit of writing. Mowing, cleaning, doing things with family, work, prepare for holidays, just plain being lazy (guilty as charged), etc. You have to make the time. This just happened to me where I wrote nothing for over two weeks, and I have deadline to have a Holmes story written by the end of the year for a publication next year. I had been under the weather and busy with life on top of that. There were times where I could have written but didn’t. The good habit of writing almost daily had been broken. But for me, all it took was forcing myself to sit at the lap top and writing a few sentences. Those few sentences ended at ten pages. Same with reading. Even if you have to force yourself, do it. If you love to read and love to write, just the mere act will set you right again. At least it does for me.
  • Have any of your characters ever appeared in your dreams?
    • That is where I usually get impetus for my stories, so yeah. Many characters I’ve come up with have appeared in my dreams. The trick is finding the story in which they will appear, especially when I might be working on more than one story at a time.
  • Do you have any tips for authors going through the process of turning their books into audiobooks?
    • Be picky in who you choose. The narrator is 50 percent of the audiobook, the other 50 percent being the story itself. I have heard many good stories butchered by bad narration.
  • What’s next for you?
    • I was approached by the editor of the MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes stories and asked if I would contribute a story to Volume XIII due out next summer, so I am honored to be one of the authors selected to add to that volume. It will be the first time that I am published with a traditional publisher but hopefully not my last.

Dream Cast

Author William Todd’s Picks For Murder in Keswick

  • Holmes: Benedict Cumberbatch
  • Watson: Martin Freeman
  • Constable Wickham: Rupert Grint (AKA Ron Weasley of Harry Potter)
  • Mrs. Darcy: Catherine Bell (Hallmark’s The Good Witch)
  • Morwenna McGlinn: Emilia Clark (GOT)

Giveaway

Prize: $20 PayPal Cash

Murder in Keswick Giveaway: $20 PayPal Cash

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Audiobook Review Tour: A TIME AND A PLACE, Written and Narrated JOE MAHONEY! @ilanderz @AudiobookwormPromotions

Author: Joe Mahoney

Narrator: Joe Mahoney

Length: 10 hours and 33 minutes

Publisher: Five Rivers Publishing

Released: Sep. 21, 2018

Genre: Science Fiction; Time Travel

Barnabus’ nephew is behaving oddly.

Calling upon Doctor Humphrey for assistance has not been particularly helpful because the good doctor’s diagnosis of demonic possession is clearly preposterous. Even the demon currently ensconced on the front-room couch agrees it’s preposterous. But then, how else to explain the portal to another world through which his nephew and Humphrey have just now disappeared?

Barnabus knows their only chance of rescue is for Barnabus J. Wildebear himself to step up and go through that portal.

Thus begins an existential romp across space and time, trampling on Barnabus’ assumptions about causality, free will, identity, good, and evil. Can Barnabus save his nephew – and incidentally, all of humanity?

Joe Mahoney is a writer/broadcaster currently working full-time for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.  His first novel, A Time and a Place, was published in October 2017 by Five Rivers Press. His short fiction has been published in Canada, Australia and Greece, and he’s been nominated twice for an Aurora Award, one of Canada’s top awards for science fiction and fantasy, for his work on CBC Radio. He lives in Whitby, Ontario with his wife and two daughters, and their golden retriever and Siberian forest cat.

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After being immersed in this audiobook and the plethora of worlds and adventures that Barnabas J. Wildebeast a school teacher on his summer break gets embroiled in an adventure so fantastic it can’t help but carry you along for the ride. What a ride this audio was when Barnabas comes  home to find out that nephew who he has looked after for the last couple of years due to his sister’s death. Ridley has been recruited by a jinn to fight in a war on another world.
This is the start of an adventure so spectacular and imaginative Joe Mahoney sends the reader on such incredible journeys  you don’t want to go home, even if there are some that are weird .
Joe Mahoney also the narrator, I have to say with a voice like that I would listen to anything he narrated. I loved this mesmerising audiobook with its non stop action and adventure.

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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 Joe Mahoney. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Top 10 List

Author Joe Mahoney’s Top 10 Favorite Works of Science Fiction

  1. The Annubis Gates by Tim Powers

I like anything by Tim Powers, but this is my favourite. Just a hugely enjoyable read with some spectacular scenes and terrific ideas.

  1. The Forever War by Joe Haldeman

I’ve read this book at least three times and I love it each time. I even have a signed copy from Joe himself. Informed by his experiences in Vietnam, he really hit this one out of the park

  1. The Man Who Folded Himself by David Gerrold

Okay, a funny story about this book. I’d heard about The Man Who Folded Himself but had a hard time getting my hands on a copy (this was before the age of Amazon.com).  I was at a science fiction convention in Toronto and decided to check out the Dealer’s Room, thinking maybe I’d find a copy in there. I asked one vendor if he happened to have a copy of The Man Who Folded Himself by David Gerrold. The vendor said, “not only do I have a copy of The Man Who Folded Himself, but the author himself is standing right next to you right now.” I turned around, and sure enough, David Gerrold was standing right there. We chatted and he signed my copy.  David Gerrold, for those who might not know, wrote the famous classic Star Trek episode The Trouble With Tribbles. It was a great pleasure to meet him. Oh, the the book is terrific, mind-bending time travel fiction.

  1. 11/22/63 Stephen King

I prefer Stephen King’s lighter, less horrific fare, and this book qualifies. Just a highly enjoyable romp through time to the era of Kennedy’s presidency.  

  1. Replay by Ken Grimwood

This is where my ranking system here isn’t doing proper justice. All of these books should actually be tied for the number one spot. Especially this one!  I’ve read this book probably ten times at least. Every read is as enjoyable as the last. I discovered it on a book rack at a subway stop in the early 90s with no idea what a gem I was picking up.  It’s one of only three books I’ve read cover to cover in a single day without stopping, it’s that good. (The other two are Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card and The Postman by David Brin).

  1. Time and Again by Jack Finney

A tour de force by Jack Finney.  Back in time to visit New York City in the 19th century. Detailed historical, time travel fiction by a master.

  1. The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Catherine Webb (writing as Claire North)

The ease with which Catherine Webb writes absorbing fiction astonishes and intimidates me.  Would that I could write like that. The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August was a classic the instant it was released. A wondrous book.

  1. Lightning by Dean Koontz

My wife and I both love this one by Dean Koontz. One of his best.  Gripping time travel fiction.

9. Shadow of Ashland Terence M. Green

Gentle, meditative time travel fiction from Canadian author Terence M. Green, who used to take a year off every now and then (from his day job as a teacher) to write books. I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Terence for my day job at the time. One of the books we discussed was Shadow of Ashland, which I purchased immediately after our conversation, and I was not disappointed.      

  1. The Second Gate by Brian Wyvill

Full disclosure: Brian Wyvill is my brother-in-law. But I would not have included this, his first novel, if I did not enjoy and appreciate it.  It’s a rollicking good time travel and sea-faring adventure, with a bit of rock climbing thrown in for good measure.

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Audiobook Review Tour: DEADLY SHADOW ( The Assassin Chronicles Book 1 ) by KIM CRESSWELL, Narrated by Robin Siegerman @kimcresswell @RobinSiegerman

Author: Kim Cresswell

Narrator: Robin Siegerman

Length: 6 hours and 17 minutes

Series: The Assassin Chronicles, Book 1

Publisher: Kim Cresswell

Released: Aug. 7, 2018

Genre: Thriller; Paranormal

The Assassin Chronicles TV series is in development with Council Tree Productions.

Two recent murders. Two serial killers. A conspiracy that reaches beyond the physical world.

Consumed with grief over the tragic death of her husband, FBI agent Victory McClane is obsessed with finding Ohio’s serial killer, “The Wrapper”.

When another young woman turns up dead and the victim is linked to Derrick Lynn, son of the Secretary of Defense, Victory finds Derrick has all the right answers and is a little too helpful.

Derrick has a secret: He’s a government assassin who uses his unusual paranormal skills to eliminate targets. Determined to keep his own secrets buried, he offers to help find The Wrapper.

But can Victory trust him?

As the body count rises, Victory must cross a dangerous line—into a world of government cover-ups, murder, and betrayal—a decision that will test her limits. And everything she believes in.

Kim Cresswell resides in Ontario, Canada and is the bestselling and award-winning author of the action-packed WHITNEY STEEL series. Kim recently signed a 3-book German translation deal with LUZIFER Verlag for the first three books in the series: Reflection, Retribution and Resurrect. The popular series will be published in German beginning in 2018/2019.

Her romantic thriller, Reflection (A Whitney Steel Novel – Book One), has won numerous awards: RomCon®’s 2014 Readers’ Crown Finalist (Romantic Suspense), InD’tale Magazine 2014 Rone Award Finalist (Suspense/Thriller), UP Authors Fiction Challenge Winner (2013), Silicon Valley’s Romance Writers of America (RWA) “Gotcha!” Romantic Suspense Winner (2004), Honourable Mention in Calgary’s (RWA) The Writer’s Voice Contest (2006).

Lethal Jouney won RomCon®’s 2014 Readers’ Crown (Thriller) and was a finalist in From the Heart Romance Writers (FTHRW) Golden Gate Contest.

The Assassin Chronicles TV series is in development with Council Tree Productions, a feature film and TV production company located in Los Angeles, California. The TV series: THE ASSASSIN CHRONICLES is based on Kim’s upcoming 4-book paranormal/supernatural suspense thriller series: Deadly Shadow (published May 2018), Invisible Truth, Assassin’s Prophecy, and Vision of Fire.

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Narrator Bio

Robin Siegerman was trained as an actor by the acclaimed William Esper in New York, vocally trained by Albert Hague, a Tony award-winning, Broadway composer, and trained in speech and dialects by dialect coach to the stars, Timothy Monich.

Robin has a wide range of voices, accents, dialects and characters to give voice work color. Noteably, in the spring of 2018, she was nominated for the narration of the WWII documentary Harry’s Story in the Best International Performance category at the One Voice Awards in England.

Robin also has extensive on-camera experience as a spokes-person for a series of corporate training videos; a decor expert on various TV and radio broadcasts; a frequently requested keynote speaker at home and consumer trade shows, libraries and private industry events; has hosted her own internet radio show; wrote and voiced a daily home renovation information series for radio;  and wrote and voiced a regular feature on green living radio.

Currently Robin writes & produce promo videos with VO for small to medium size businesses, along with narrating audiobooks from her broadcast-quality home studio.

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Wow this looks like its going to be a great series Victory MacLaine is chasing two serial killers. This starts as a crime who done it, as we follow the Victory and Ryan as they look for clues. Things start to get more exciting, as its starts getting Paranormal. This had all my favorite ingredients serial killers, crime, paranormal and government corruption.
This kept me glued my earphones and I can’t wait to get book two. I not saying anymore on the plot. I let you find out for yourself.
The narration is excellent, great production, great touches that made it more real.

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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 Kim Cresswell. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Dream Cast

By Author Kim Cresswell

  • FBI Agent Victory McClane played by Mireille Enos
  • Government Assassin Derrick Lynn played by Gino Anthony Pesi
  • President Burke played by Ray Liotta
  • Ryan Slater (Victory’s partner) played by – Chad Michael Murray
  • Jeremy Elder played by Jason Ritter

Q&A with Narrator Robin Siegman

  • How did you wind up narrating audiobooks? Was it always your goal or was it something you stumbled into by chance?
    • I’ve been performing for most of my life and trained as an actor in NYC. Life took me in many different directions, but I ended up in voice acting a few years ago when I was asked to perform in a radio documentary and play a well-known and beloved children’s book character on a national radio broadcast. Then I was hooked on voice acting! I moved into audio books because it is the ideal medium for an actor: I can do it from home in my broadcast-quality recording studio and I get to play all the parts!
  • A lot of narrators seem to have a background in theatre. Is that something you think is essential to a successful narration career?
    • I don’t think one has to have a specific theatre background, but an audiobook narrator must have had acting training. Really, it should be called an audiobook performer. Because that’s what happens when we narrate. We are telling the story, but we are acting out all the parts, and even the narrator is a character, so all the acting principles of preparing and analyzing a script, preparing characters, story arc, emotional build and peak apply.
  • What type of training have you undergone?
    • I was so lucky to study acting with William Esper in NYC. Some of his notable alumni are Amy Shumer, Kathy Bates, Mary Steenburgen, Jeff Goldblum, John Malkovich and others. I studied voice with Albert Hague, a Tony award-winning Broadway composer (who also wrote the music for the Classic animated film The Grinch Who Stole Christmas), and speech with Timothy Monich, who is the go-to dialect coach of Hollywood Stars.
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • I LOVE listening to audiobooks! Not only do I love it as a pass time, but it is essential for every narrator to listen to them on a regular basis. It’s important to hear what some of the best narrators in the business are doing and listen and learn from their techniques. I do quite a bit of driving, so I love to listen while I drive or do other chores that are time consuming, like gardening.
  • What are your favorite and least favorite parts of narrating an audiobook?
    • My favorite part is the actual narration. But there are a lot of other responsibilities a narrator has that a listener doesn’t usually know about: proofing the recording, editing and correcting mistakes, and mastering, which is the technical process to make the sound consistent and free of extraneous noises. All of that is very painstaking and not as much fun for me as narrating. One finished hour of recording can take up to 8-10 hours to produce. It’s not as easy as I hope we make it sound!
  • 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 have turned down a memoir and there are very few of them that I would consider. The ease with which anyone can self-publish a book means that sometimes, those that write their own memoirs, really are not that compelling to me, so I wouldn’t be able to do it justice. I have to love the story to narrate it effectively.
  • What about this title compelled you to audition as narrator?
    • The story of Deadly Shadow sounded exciting and urgent, and it is!  Both of those qualities in a book make it stimulating for me to narrate. And at the end of the day, I want to be proud of the book I am associated with.
  • How closely do you prefer to work with authors?
    • I view the relationship between author and narrator as a collaboration. The author writes the story and I, as the narrator interprets that story and brings another dimension and richness to the story and characters with my voice and emotions. Sometimes in a book there are people’s names, place names or historical/geographical references that I’m not familiar with, so I have to do some research before I start narrating. In some cases, I can’t find what I’m looking for, so I have to send a list to the author to get their help.  Also, I find it helpful if the author lets me know if there is something specific they have in mind for the interpretation of a character, so I can weave that in to the performance. I want to fulfill their vision and intent, but ultimately, I bring my own artistic vision to complete the circle.
  • How does audiobook narration differ from other types of voiceover work you’ve done?
    • Audiobook narration is far more physically demanding than most other types of voiceover work because you sit alone in a recording booth, which is a very confined space, and read out loud for many hours every single day. It’s hard on the vocal chords and on the body, because although I’m sitting (some narrators stand, which would be very tiring), I have to be physically expressive to convey the emotions of the character, without making any sound whatsoever other than speaking, so the movements have to be extremely controlled. A narrator becomes hyper aware of their own stomach grumbles, mouth noise, clothing noise and chair shuffles or squeaks, which must not intrude into the recording. It’s very tiring.
  • Do you read reviews for your audiobooks?
    • Yes I do. Fortunately, I haven’t had many negative reviews, but they can be very instructive, if they are constructive and not destructive. A listener who is just mean, doesn’t help me at all, and of course it’s hurtful. I think a lot of people who leave a negative review never realize there is a real person with feelings on the other side of the screen. I’d like to think that if they were telling me what they thought to my face, they would be honest, but diplomatic. We seem to have lost the art of diplomacy in typing.  And of course it’s wonderful to know when a listener has really enjoyed the story and the narration. It helps me with future books to know what connects with listeners and what doesn’t.

Giveaway

Prize: The Whitney Steel Trilogy On Audiobook

Deadly Shadow Giveaway: The Whitney Steel Trilogy Audiobooks

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Dab of Darkness Book Reviews

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Audiobook Review Tour: FEVER RISING by K.M. RILEY, Narrated by Audra Cook! @thespirit_riley

Author: K.M. Riley

Narrator: Audra Cook

Length: 6 hours and 5 minutes

Publisher: Trifecta Publishing House

Released: Sep. 14, 2018

Genre: Science Fiction; Dystopian

“I don’t save, I kill. I don’t build, I break. I don’t run, I chase. And I won’t rest until a new society is built on the System’s ashes.” (Cassidy Havok)

Kaden Valens’ world is kill or be killed. Such is the life of a Challenger, the property of a Citizen. Fight or die. When Kaden is ordered to face his sole family member, his sister, Nix, he chooses a different battle – one against the Federacy that owns him.

Rebel Cassidy Havok is the Federacy’s worst nightmare. Her only goal is to bring down the government, doing whatever it takes to eradicate the slave-based society. When Kaden defies the Federacy publicly, she hopes to make an ally out of him, turning the tide in the resistance’s favor.

Cassidy helps Kaden escape the clutches of the Citizenry, and they flee to the Wilds, the world outside the Federacy’s reach. There they plan for the fight of a lifetime. Can they take on a nation, or is their cause a lost one?

 

 

K.M. Riley is not only a lover of stories, but she’s a game designer, artist, and fan of all things imaginative. If she’s not writing, she’s daydreaming or doodling about more worlds and characters that will make great tales. With a background in Creative Writing, she’s always busy creating new adventures, or taking part in them.

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Fever Rising is an action-packed dystopian novel that had me on the edge of my seat! The main character, Kaden, is a lovable giant with a good heart and plenty of brawn. The opening scene had me overcome with anticipation and sets the tone for the rest of the book.
At first, I was confused, especially with the narration. I really had to concentrate so I could get the world building clear in my head.
Cassidy Havok rescues Kaden and together they set out to help the to bring the system down. In a world that owns you and can do what it wants with you. Make family members kill each other. Cassidy well, let’s just say she is the most resilient character I have come across.
Her fearless attitude is enough to inspire even the timidity person. Once I understood what was going on, I really enjoyed the adventure Cassidy pulls Kaden into.
The narration felt just like someone reading the story , which was why you had to concentrate so hard at the beginning.

4 star review

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

Q&A with Author K.M. Riley

  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
    • To be honest, no. When I’m writing a book I focus on the story itself, having fun with what I’m envisioning. Characters are my favorite part to shape. Can they compel a reader to the world, the plot, to keep reading at all?
  • How did you select your narrator?
    • I had the auditioning narrators read one of the most compelling scenes from the book. To me, if they could capture that moment, that intensity between the characters, they could nail the rest of the narration.
  • How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?
    • For the most part, I trusted my narrator to run with the story after a brief breakdown of pronunciation and descriptions. What mattered most to me was her portrayal of the characters. I wanted them to not only sound different, but they needed to feel as impassioned as the words they’re speaking aloud to the listener.
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
    • Burnout is common everywhere. I work in video games, so I recognize when to stop and take a break. It’s the same with writing. Sometimes I’ll read a new series, draw a character I’m thinking of, or play excessive amounts of D&D. I let my imagination stay alive until get inspired again, keeping that enthusiasm alive in other forms.
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • Of course I’m a listener, that’s the best part about my commute. Audiobooks make it easy to do other things while listening to a story. Exercising, long drives, you name it. Whenever I can’t hold a book in my hands but crave a tale, that’s what they are there for.
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • Nonsense. Some avid “readers” have actual impairments. Audiobooks are a fantastic way to help those with disabilities, sharing a story regardless of obstacles. For those without impairments, it’s just another way to cram more books in. Either way, getting through a book is an achievement to be praised, not condemned based on method.
  • In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of writing a stand-alone novel vs. writing a series?
    • Having done both, there’s something freeing about a stand-alone. For me, I had a single vision in mind, and all I wanted was to get that across, but not drag it out per se. Having a series means considering aspects beyond your first hook, a story that needs unfolding over more hurdles, thicker plots or complex character development. There’s no right or wrong, good or bad, it’s just a matter of what the author wants to write.
  • Have any of your characters ever appeared in your dreams?
    • All the time. They reenact scenes with more complexity than I could have remembered to write down when I woke up. Sometimes, and without giving too much away, some of the characters have made it a point to romance since there was only alluding in the book.
  • What’s next for you?
    • Currently, I’m working on a narrative project at Hangar 13 that I’m incredibly excited about. Unfortunately, I can’t talk about it. Hopefully one day it’s something I can share. That said, I’m not done writing books; the next one is just beginning to take root in my imagination.

Dream Cast

Author K.M. Riley’s Dream Cast for Fever Rising

Cassidy Havok – Chloe Bennet

Kaden Valens – Chris Evans

Nixandra Valens – Daisy Ridley

Hunter Cath – Javier Bardem

Liam Mercer – Tahj Mowry

Sly Simmonds – Jeff Bridges

Giveaway

Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card

Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card

Fever Rising Giveaway: $50 Amazon Gift Card

Nov. 13th:

Dab of Darkness Book Reviews

The Book Junkie Reads . . .

Nov. 14th:

In Patti’s Imagination

Nov. 15th:

Lilly’s Book World

Nov. 16th:

Guilty Indulgence Bookclub

Nov. 17th:

Book Addict

T’s Stuff

Nov. 18th:

Jazzy Book Reviews

Nov. 19th:

Lomeraniel

The Book Addict’s Reviews

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Audiobook Review Tour: DAMAGED by USA Today Bestselling Author JEANNE ST JAMES, Narrated by B.B Franklin! @JeanneStJames

Author: Jeanne St. James

Narrator: B.B. Franklin

Length: 5 hour and 41 minutes

Publisher: Jeanne St. James

Released: Mar. 22, 2018

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Two scarred souls: one physically, one mentally. Both on the mend, hiding from their pasts…

Mace Walker can’t wait to get home.

Being buried deep undercover for the past two years, on the most complex case of his career, has torn him down physically and mentally. Now the FBI agent has come home to recover after having his leg badly injured from a gunshot wound. Arriving home late one night, his relief is short-lived as he’s faced with a stranger pointing a gun to his head, acting like he is the one who doesn’t belong there!

Colby Parks, a biochemist at the local university, had come to town a year earlier to escape an abusive relationship. She vows never to put herself in that situation again.

Then the perfect opportunity comes along: housesitting for Mace’s sister while making the house she purchased habitable. But she couldn’t anticipate this big snag: the one wearing the tight Levi’s and worn leather jacket, looking like he had just escaped prison.

Being forced to share a house creates sparks between them in more ways than one. However, things take a turn when their pasts catch up to them, threatening to pull them apart forever.

JEANNE ST. JAMES is a USA Today bestselling romance author who loves an alpha male (or two). She was only thirteen when she started writing. Her first paid published piece was an erotic story in Playgirl magazine. Her first erotic romance novel, Banged Up, was published in 2009. She is happily owned by farting French bulldogs. She writes M/F, M/M, and M/M/F ménages. Want to read a sample of her work? Download a sampler book here: BookHip.com/MTQQKK

To keep up with her busy release schedule check her website at http://www.jeannestjames.com or sign up for her newsletter: http://www.jeannestjames.com/newsletter signup

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This is a great story of Colby Parks and Mace Walker. While housesitting for a friend Colby is
woken up one night when a handsome hunk FBI Undercover agent lets himself in. Mace had been injured and had come home to recuperate.
This book has everything Suspense, plenty of Hot Sex, and Romance. A great story that has plenty to keep you entertained. We also have dual narration hearing from both Colby and Mace. The Damaged in the title refers to both Colby and Mace, being together they finally start to heal each other. Colby is a great character which keeps Mace on his toes.
We only have one narrator who manages to keep me attached to my earphones.

 

gold-stargold-stargold-stargold-star

 

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

Giveaway

Prize: Damaged eBook & Audiobook

Damaged Giveaway: Damaged eBook & Audiobook

Nov. 8th:

The Book Junkie Reads . . .

Nov. 9th:

The Bookworm Lodge

Nov. 10th:

T’s Stuff

Nov. 11th:

Bookworms Corner Blog Spot

Nov. 12th:

Lilly’s Book World

Book Addict

Nov. 13th:

Jazzy Book Reviews

Nov. 14th:

The Book Addict’s Reviews

Nerdy Dirty and Flirty

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Audiobook Review Tour: HONOR KILLS (The Angelina Bonaparte Mysteries Book Three ) by NANCI RATHBUN, Narrated by Kieren Calland Metts! @NanciRathbun

Author: Nanci Rathbun

Narrator: Kieren Calland Metts

Series: Angelina Bonaparte Mysteries, Book 3

Publisher: Dark Chocolate Press LLC

Released: Aug. 27, 2018

Length: 7 hours 35 minutes

Genre: Modern Detective; Mystery

A missing husband. A suspicious obituary. She’s not the only one hunting down a dead man’s footsteps.

As a divorcee, Angelina Bonaparte knows firsthand the lengths some men will go to escape responsibility. When a worried mother wants the private investigator to track down her missing husband, she’s eager to bring the deadbeat dad to justice. But even after she discovers the man’s obituary, she refuses to believe it until she sees the body. Tracking down the nurse who last saw him alive could be the missing puzzle piece to her client’s broken family.

But as she digs deeper, she realizes there’s something darker at play than dodging child-support payments. And she may not be the only one hunting the man down. To close the case and reunite her client’s family, she must track down the missing husband without falling prey to the same ruthless hunter.

Honor Kills is the third audiobook in the captivating Angelina Bonaparte Mysteries series. If you like bold female detectives, edge-of-your-seat suspense, and unexpected twists, then you’ll love Nanci Rathbun’s gripping novel.

Buy Honor Kills to track down a fast-paced missing persons mystery today!

Buy Links

Nanci Rathbun is a lifelong reader of mysteries – historical, contemporary, futuristic, paranormal, hard-boiled, cozy … you can find them all on her bookshelves. She brings logic and planning to her writing from a background as an IT project manager, and attention to characters and dialog from her second career as a Congregationalist minister.
Nanci grew up an Army brat, living in Germany, France and Korea, as well as several states in the U.S. After her dad retired from the service, the family settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There, Nanci raised her daughter and son, while working at AT&T. She never expected to move, but when her second grandchild was on the way, she wanted to be closer. One of her greatest joys is hearing her three granddaughters shout ‘Nana’ when she comes in their front door in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Nanci’s Maltipoo, Teeny, and she now live in Wellington, Colorado. No matter where she makes her home, she will always be a Green Bay Packers fan.

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Narrator Bio

 

Kieren Calland Metts is addicted to audiobooks. She has almost 1,000 in her Audible.com library and has listened to most of them! She tends toward mysteries of all kinds, especially cozies, and YA dystopia.

She grew up a diplomat brat, traveling to tours in Baghdad, Iraq; and Kabul, Afghanistan. After several more moves in the U.S., the family settled in Ohio.

Kieren has a background in copy editing, book & newspaper design, and web production; adores arts and crafts; and has a weakness for fluffy orange kitties.

Well I am in mourning after finishing the third audiobook chronicling the adventures Angelina Bonaparte private Detective, and heroine to this woman of a certain age. Book three starts innocuous enough with Bobbie doing a check on the Marcy Wagner case and finding an obituary in a newspaper. Angelina has been searching for any trace of Hank of over 5 years when he walked out on his wife and family. This case is mentioned in first two books in passing
Nothing is what it seems, and before we know it Angie is in the middle of a murder and betrayal. As usual Angie and friends and family connections all rally around to help Marcy get the answer she had been waiting for. I’m now in mourning until book four comes out.
gold-stargold-stargold-stargold-star

 

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

Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card

Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card

The Angelina Bonaparte Mysteries Giveaway: $25 Amazon Gift Card

BOOK ONE

Oct. 16th:
Bound 4 Escape

The Book Junkie Reads . . .

Oct. 17th:
Dab of Darkness Book Reviews

A Page to Turn
Hall Ways Blog

Oct. 18th:
Turning Another Page
Sefina Hawke’s Books

Oct. 19th:
2 Girls and A Book

Lynn’s Romance Enthusiasm
T’s Stuff

Oct. 20th:
Writers N Authors

The Book Addict’s Reviews
Page Princess

Oct. 21st:
Book Addict

Jazzy Book Reviews

Oct. 22nd:
Lilly’s Book World

Blätterflüstern

BOOK TWO

Oct. 23rd:
The Book Junkie Reads . . .

Lynn’s Romance Enthusiasm

Oct. 24th:
Dab of Darkness Book Reviews

A Page to Turn

Oct. 25th:
Bound 4 Escape

Blätterflüstern

Oct. 26th:
Jazzy Book Reviews

Oct. 27th:
2 Girls and A Book

Turning Another Page
Page Princess

Oct. 28th:
Writers N Authors

Book Addict
T’s Stuff

Oct. 29th:
Lilly’s Book World

The Book Addict’s Reviews
Hall Ways Blog

BOOK THREE

Oct. 30th:
Dab of Darkness Book Reviews

The Book Junkie Reads . . .

Oct. 31st:
Jazzy Book Reviews

A Page to Turn

Nov. 1st:
Turning Another Page

Nov. 2nd:
2 Girls and A Book

Nov. 3rd:
Writers N Authors

Book Addict
Page Princess
T’s Stuff

Nov. 4th:
Bound 4 Escape

Lynn’s Romance Enthusiasm

Nov. 5th:
Lilly’s Book World

The Book Addict’s Reviews
Blätterflüstern
Hall Ways Blog

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Audiobook Series Review: CASH KILLS (A Angelina Bonaparte Mysteries #2 ) by NANCI RATHBUN, Narrated by Kieran Calland Metts @NanciRathbun

 

Author: Nanci Rathbun

Narrator: Kieren Calland Metts

Series: Angelina Bonaparte Mysteries, Book 2

Publisher: Dark Chocolate Press LLC

Released: Apr. 24, 2018

Length: 9 hours 40 minutes

Genre: Modern Detective; Mystery

A double murder. A mysterious inheritance. One PI is about to follow the money all the way into a den of thieves…

After surviving a bullet, Angelina Bonaparte was certain she could handle any case that came her way. But when her next client walks through the door with an unexplainable seven-figure inheritance after the death of her parents, the private investigator wonders if she’s in over her head. After all, when she visits her client’s family attorney, Angelina discovers yet another bloody crime scene.

With the help of her new flame, Angelina follows the clues into an underworld of war-plundered artifacts, stolen treasures, and deadly consequences. As their last lead grows colder, the PI must catch the killer before an endless cycle of murderous greed gets her client killed.

Cash Kills is the second book in the suspenseful Angelina Bonaparte Mysteries series. If you like hard-as-painted-nails female detectives, historical mysteries, and twists and turns you won’t see coming, then you’ll love Nanci Rathbun’s loaded crime thriller.

Buy Cash Kills to follow the money trail to a sassy, suspenseful mystery today!

Buy Links

Nanci Rathbun is a lifelong reader of mysteries – historical, contemporary, futuristic, paranormal, hard-boiled, cozy … you can find them all on her bookshelves. She brings logic and planning to her writing from a background as an IT project manager, and attention to characters and dialog from her second career as a Congregationalist minister.
Nanci grew up an Army brat, living in Germany, France and Korea, as well as several states in the U.S. After her dad retired from the service, the family settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There, Nanci raised her daughter and son, while working at AT&T. She never expected to move, but when her second grandchild was on the way, she wanted to be closer. One of her greatest joys is hearing her three granddaughters shout ‘Nana’ when she comes in their front door in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Nanci’s Maltipoo, Teeny, and she now live in Wellington, Colorado. No matter where she makes her home, she will always be a Green Bay Packers fan.

WebsiteTwitterFacebookGoodreads

Narrator Bio

 

Kieren Calland Metts is addicted to audiobooks. She has almost 1,000 in her Audible.com library and has listened to most of them! She tends toward mysteries of all kinds, especially cozies, and YA dystopia.

She grew up a diplomat brat, traveling to tours in Baghdad, Iraq; and Kabul, Afghanistan. After several more moves in the U.S., the family settled in Ohio.

Kieren has a background in copy editing, book & newspaper design, and web production; adores arts and crafts; and has a weakness for fluffy orange kitties.

We get to know Angelina so much more in this book, she almost feels like an old friend. What starts as an investigation into a young woman’s inheritance, becomes one of the biggest cases she has ever had to deal with.
We still have some of the same people that were in the first book. Angelina is still seeing Ted as their relationship becomes much deeper. Her Sicilian family is celebrating Thanksgiving with a mix of family and new friends.
This book I enjoyed even more than the last as we are familiar with all the players. This is a complex and upsetting case for every one involved. This investigation uncovers a massive conspiracy that brings danger to all those involved. I am now addicted to the adventures of Angelina Bonaparte and can’t wait for the next one.
The narration is up to the normal high quality , keeping me glued to this complex adventure.

gold-stargold-stargold-stargold-star

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

Q&A With Narrator Kieren Calland Metts

  • A lot of narrators seem to have a background in theatre. Is that something you think is essential to a successful narration career?
    • No, I don’t think it’s essential. But then that might be because I don’t have a background in theatre, hah. I have had vocal training and sang for many years, so I understand how important it is to breathe properly and take care of my voice. All that aside, the most important thing is to be able to tell an engaging tale.
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?  
    • Oh yes! I’m edging toward 1,000 titles in my Audible account and I’ve even listened to most of them! I enjoy the freedom to do other things while listening to a book — gardening, cleaning and, especially, heading out on a road trip.
  • What about this title compelled you to audition as narrator?
    • I was drawn immediately to the main character, Angelina Bonaparte. She’s feisty 50-something private investigator who has great taste in clothes and cars — and a sexy boyfriend, too. I kinda want to BE Angie.
  • How closely do you prefer to work with authors?
    • I love to work with authors — the book is their baby, after all, and I want to make sure my performance reflects their thinking when they wrote it.
  • Who are your “accent inspirations”?
    • I have a list of narrators who I think do great accents and sometimes I listen to excerpts of their work several times, absorbing the effect. Interestingly, the best accents to my ear are very light — mostly just a hint to highlight a character’s personality and distinguish them from other characters.
  • How did you decide how each character should sound in this title?
    • Angie is closest to my natural voice. I chose a low but slightly intense voice for Wukowski because he’s a taciturn, troubled guy. His partner tends to be a little hyper, so I went with a higher, faster tone for him. Angie’s aunt is a little older and pious, so I gave her softer, slightly shaky voice.
  • Do you read reviews for your audiobooks?
    • I do read them. So far, I’ve found most of them very helpful and have made changes in my performances after reading criticisms of things such as my character voices or pacing.
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • First, I tell them to think about folks who have limited or no sight. Are they cheating or not “really” reading? Besides, the performance simply adds another layer to the experience.

Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card

Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card

The Angelina Bonaparte Mysteries Giveaway: $25 Amazon Gift Card

BOOK ONE

Oct. 16th:
Bound 4 Escape

The Book Junkie Reads . . .

Oct. 17th:
Dab of Darkness Book Reviews

A Page to Turn
Hall Ways Blog

Oct. 18th:
Turning Another Page
Sefina Hawke’s Books

Oct. 19th:
2 Girls and A Book

Lynn’s Romance Enthusiasm
T’s Stuff

Oct. 20th:
Writers N Authors

The Book Addict’s Reviews
Page Princess

Oct. 21st:
Book Addict

Jazzy Book Reviews

Oct. 22nd:
Lilly’s Book World

Blätterflüstern

BOOK TWO

Oct. 23rd:
The Book Junkie Reads . . .

Lynn’s Romance Enthusiasm

Oct. 24th:
Dab of Darkness Book Reviews

A Page to Turn

Oct. 25th:
Bound 4 Escape

Blätterflüstern

Oct. 26th:
Jazzy Book Reviews

Oct. 27th:
2 Girls and A Book

Turning Another Page
Page Princess

Oct. 28th:
Writers N Authors

Book Addict
T’s Stuff

Oct. 29th:
Lilly’s Book World

The Book Addict’s Reviews
Hall Ways Blog

BOOK THREE

Oct. 30th:
Dab of Darkness Book Reviews

The Book Junkie Reads . . .

Oct. 31st:
Jazzy Book Reviews

A Page to Turn

Nov. 1st:
Turning Another Page

Nov. 2nd:
2 Girls and A Book

Nov. 3rd:
Writers N Authors

Book Addict
Page Princess
T’s Stuff

Nov. 4th:
Bound 4 Escape

Lynn’s Romance Enthusiasm

Nov. 5th:
Lilly’s Book World

The Book Addict’s Reviews
Blätterflüstern
Hall Ways Blog

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Audiobook Blog Tour + Review: ARIES RED SKY ( Vergassy Chronicles Book 1 ) by JAMES YOUNG ,Narrated by Jennifer Jill Araya! @youngblai @JenniferJAraya

Author: James Young

Narrator: Jennifer Jill Araya

Length: 16 hours and 21 minutes

Series: Vergassy Chronicles, Book 1

Publisher: James L. Young Jr.

Released: Aug. 27, 2018

Genre: Science Fiction; Space Opera

“[S]pace opera that plays out on a grand scale, and Young conduct[s] it with aplomb.”–Pop Cults, the website of Geek and Alternative Culture

For over seven hundred years, theSpartan Republic’s citizens have known one truth: Terra is coming. Descendants of exiles who dared to defy an emperor,the star nation’s 70 billion citizens spent the centuries training, arming…and waiting.

In 3035, Lt. Ian Campbell, Spartan Defense Forces (SDF), discovers a strange anomaly on his corvette’s sensors…and realizes the wait is over. The Spartans must convince the Terrans of the cost of subduing their nation. If they succeed, the Republic survives. If not, the SDF will be forced to paint the stars red with their enemies’ blood.

The Confederation of Man was born in the terror of the Harran Empire’s death throes. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, humanity now spreads from its cradle on Earth to hundreds of stars across the Milky Way, and seeks out new worlds to add.

Captain Marcy Cochran was hoping to find a habitable planet; she didn’t expect the system to already have hostile humans. Now a captive, Cochran must contend with a crew proving to be as dangerous as their enemies, and prevent what has started out as a misunderstanding from becoming a full-fledged interstellar war.  For Terran law is quite clear: All humanity will answer to the Confederation. For the Spartans, that makes the government on Earth no different than the empire it supplanted…and they would rather die on their feet than subjugate themselves once more.

Aries’ Red Sky is the newest novel in James Young’s Vergassy Chronicles universe. A prequel to An Unproven Concept, it is the first in the Spartan Trilogy. If you like space opera with compelling characters, military sci-fi with high body counts, and capital ship battles on a galactic scale, pick up the the latest work in a series whose previous entry was recommended Amazing Stories, Pop Cults, and The MidwestBook Review.

Buy Links

James Young is a Missouri native who left small town life to attend a small, well-known Federal institution in upstate New York. After obtaining a degree in military history from West Point, Dr. Young spent six years repaying his education via military service in various locations (both foreign and domestic). Along the way he collected a loving, patient, and beautiful spouse (Anita C. Young)…and various animals that only fit those descriptions when it suited them.

Upon leaving the Army, James returned to the Midwest to obtain his Ph.D. in U.S. History from Kansas State. When not tormenting his characters, Dr. Young spends his spare time reading Anita’s first drafts, finishing that pesky dissertation, and trying to figure out how book eating shelter animals keep ending up in his office. Outside of Amazon, he can be found at conventions throughout the Midwest selling books and merchandise as James Young, Slinger of Tales.

In addition to his positive fiction reviews, Dr. Young is also the winner of the United States Naval Institute’s 2016 Cyberwar fare Essay Contest and runner up in the 2011 Adams Center Cold War Essay Contest. He has also had multiple articles published in Proceedings and the Journal of Military History since 2010.

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Narrator Bio

Jennifer Jill Araya has been listening to audiobooks since she was a young child, and the fact that she now gets to narrate audiobooks for a living is a dream come true. Jennifer’s training as an opera singer and orchestral cellist lend a musicality and depth of understanding to her narration that help bring her authors’ stories to life. She loves nothing more than giving life and breath to the printed word.
When she’s not narrating, Jennifer can be found hiking, biking, running, or generally exploring her home city of Cincinnati with her husband Arturo (aka “Partner in Crime”) and their two children.

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I have to say this a long audiobook, and at first you must concentrate to make sure you don’t get names and ships in a muddle. The human world as we know is now Known as The Confederation as we have planets in many systems.
We also have the Spartan Empire who left earth 700years before to escape a dictatorship called the Harran Empire, as they wanted to have religious freedoms. All this time they have been preparing for a war with the Terran Empire.
All this wonderful space opera is the good and the bad on both sides. How a like normal people and terrible war crimes committed by both sides. This is a long Audiobook, but you begin to know the characters involved, and you begin to root for them.
The narration is superb when you consider all the different voices. When I was listening, I was on the deck of a spaceship listening to what was going on. I was lucky as I was on many ships and planets. When I’m really in the action I don’t like to be pulled out of the action. That is the mark of great narrator, and this narrator really sent me on a wondrous journey

gold-stargold-stargold-stargold-stargold-star

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

Top 10 List

Author James Young’s Top 10 Literary Inspirations

#1 Alas, Babylon

I read this book as a child and it’s always stuck with me.  Frank does a very good job of dealing with disaster without sinking into the proverbial “grimdark” of later works.

#2 Dies the Fire

Another disaster book.  This one really highlights S.M. Stirling’s writing style and his ability to make ordinary people into heroes.  If I won the lottery and never had to work again in my life, this would be a series I would catch up on with my newfound spare time.

#3 Red Storm Rising

Another influence when I was young.  I’ve always liked Clancy’s decision to go with the omniscient third person when necessary to convey the chaos that is unfolding across an entire engagement.

#4 Robotech Series

When I’m doing my elevator pitch for the Vergassy series, I tell people it’s like “Battlestar Galactica, Aliens, and Robotech thrown into a blender.”  A small, niche fandom, the novelizations were written by multiple people under the pseudonym “Jack McKinney.” Regardless of who was doing things, this was a huge influence on me with regards to how I conceptualize space combat.

#5 The Big E

Although Barrett Tillman’s Enterprise takes advantage of a broader interview base on scholarship, this is a book that I consider the “gold standard” for recounting a vessel’s history.  As with all my books, there are elements of it that interweave individual ship’s actions and discussion of their crews.

#6 The Girl With the Silver Eyes

I liked this one for the way that Willo Roberts got us into the character’s mind and motivation.  A good example of an outsider feeling so different…then realizing it’s a big world out there and that means there’s lots of other folks like oneself.

#7 Bridge to Teribithia

This was one of the first books I remember ever making me cry.  In that way, it taught me the proper method for conducting a character’s demise, i.e., it serves the plot and cuts the reader.

#8 The Impending Crisis, 1848-1861

A grim, somber walk through as to how the United States went from a nation with minor friction to folks actively shooting at one another in less than a decade.  Does a very good job of showing how the majority of the country did not want a no kidding Civil War…yet the nation got one just the same. This helps to understand how people can so demonize and mischaracterize the other sides’ actions that it’s almost impossible to reconcile without a major defeat.

#9 This Kind of War

This book lays out the price of unpreparedness versus having a combat mindset.  With regards to Aries’ Red Sky, I do model some of the Confederation Fleet’s unpreparedness off of the same issues the United States Army had in 1950.  Preparedness is a mindset.

#10 Team Yankee

This is another “World War Three” novel.  Unlike Red Storm Rising, it is very focused at the small unit level.  I loved it in high school before I even left to join the Army. After I became an officer, I realized Harold Coyle really did have a good grip on small unit interactions and craziness.

Honorable Mention– When Worlds Collide / After Worlds Collide  (Toss up so I just added both)

This is the go to book for “The world is ending.”  While it’s somewhat dated (from the 1930s), it’s somewhat prescient in how it foresees the horrors that the “European fascists” are capable of.  While it’s down the road, one of the prequel novellas for my series will have several homages to these two books.

Author James Young’s Playlist for Aries’ Red Sky

So I have different playlists for different needs.  Aries’ Red Sky is a pretty gritty work, so my playlist for it was pretty dark.  Without further ado:

  1. “Bottle of Pain”–Combichrist

This is basically a “Things are hopeless, we’re all about to die, but we want some company crossing the Styx”-song.  In some ways, it sums up the Spartan Republic’s desire to die fighting rather than submit to expected tyranny.

  1. Look Up! The Sky is Falling”-Michael Bradley

I’m not afraid to let me geek flag fly, and Robotech is a guilty pleasure.  I always thought the grimness of this song also applies to a sci-fi setting.

  1. “Barbarian”–The Darkness

In addition to being a huge geek, I’m also a historian.  The tempo and lyrics of this song just suit well to writing fight scenes, especially those involving boarding actions in space.

  1. Hear Me Now”–Bad Wolves (feat. Diamante)

There are a couple of relationships that develop during Aries Red Sky.  In addition to being another good tempo song, this one discusses two people who are gradually falling in love.

  1. “The World Is Not Enough”-Garbage

I’m not saying this is the Du family theme song…but I’m not saying it isn’t either.

  1. Resurrection Hub”–Bear McCreary

This song will pretty much serve as a stand in for the numerous Battlestar Galactica original soundtrack recordings I listened to while crafting Aries’ Red Sky’s combat scenes.  The reboot version of this series, as well as David Weber’s Honorverse, are two huge influence on how I envision space combat in most of my books.

  1. “I Am The Hammer.”–Eternal Champion

Written from the perspective of a leader whose land is being beset on all sides by enemies, this song has just the right mix of confidence, malice, and declared intent in its lyrics.  

  1. “Angels of Death (Space Marine Theme)”–Doyle W. Donehoo

Although I’m more “familiar” with the 40k universe than a fan, this is a stirring song where one can imagine a sci-fi military parade passing in review.

  1. “No Leaf Clover”–Metallica

Another old standby that I’ve always said, “If I had to fly the trench run in Star Wars, this is the song I want playing over the speakers.”

  1. “Even In Death”–Evanescence

Without spoiling anything, there’s a lot of loss in Aries’ Red Sky.  This song and what is says about mourning has always resonated with me since I first heard it back in ‘03.

Bonus Songs:

Light of the Seven”–331 Erock Metal Cover /  Ramin Djawadi

Rains of Castamere” Serj Tankian / Ramin Djawadi

For those occasions where I needed to capture the utter savagery and hopelessness of carnage being inflicted upon characters, these were two of my go to YouTube selections.  Fans of Game of Thrones will understand the reasoning for this, and I think these two versions are especially compelling.

Star by Star–The Kovenant

In listening to the lyrics, I think the reasons for my listing this as a bonus song will become clear.  

Giveaway

Prize: Print of “Death Comes to Bluewater”

Aries’ Red Sky Giveaway: Print of “Death Comes to Bluewater”

Oct. 21st:

Dab of Darkness Book Reviews

The Book Junkie Reads . . .

Oct. 22nd:

Lynn’s Romance Enthusiasm

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Jazzy Book Reviews

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Lilly’s Book World

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AudioSpy

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Book Addict

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Lomeraniel

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Audiobook Review Blog Tour: TRUTH KILLS ( The Angelina Bonaparte #2 ) by NANCI RATHBUN, Narrated by Kieren Calland Metts @NanciRathbun

Author: Nanci Rathbun

Narrator: Kieren Calland Metts

Series: Angelina Bonaparte Mysteries, Book 1

Publisher: Dark Chocolate Press LLC

Released: Nov. 17, 2017

Length: 9 hours 17 minutes

Genre: Modern Detective; Mystery

A murdered mistress. An accused mob boss. Can two detectives put their differences aside to find the real killer?

Angelina Bonaparte is starting from square one. After a messy divorce, the middle-aged librarian put down her books and picked up a new gig as a private investigator. When a mob boss heads to jail for his mistress’ murder, she has no issue with the womanizing scumbag rotting in prison. But when the suspect’s pregnant wife swears his innocence, Angelina can’t find it in her heart to refuse the case.

Already reluctant to get involved, her frustration grows when she’s forced to work alongside Ted Wukowski, a homicide detective who thinks a crime scene is no place for a woman. In the search for clues along the mistress’ long record of broken hearts and promises, Angelina’s natural charm is the perfect complement to her temporary partner’s take-no-prisoners interrogation style. And before long, she and Ted can feel their grudging respect transform into an undeniable attraction.

To solve the case and catch the murderer, the PI and the cop must learn to trust each other completely before an innocent man goes to jail for a crime he didn’t commit…

Truth Kills is the first book in the suspenseful Angelina Bonaparte Mysteries series. If you like fierce female detectives, unlikely partners, and nail-biting whodunits, then you’ll love Nanci Rathbun’s gripping crime thriller.

Buy Truth Kills today, and ride along with a hard-hitting detective who’s not afraid to reinvent herself!

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Nanci Rathbun is a lifelong reader of mysteries – historical, contemporary, futuristic, paranormal, hard-boiled, cozy … you can find them all on her bookshelves. She brings logic and planning to her writing from a background as an IT project manager, and attention to characters and dialog from her second career as a Congregationalist minister.
Nanci grew up an Army brat, living in Germany, France and Korea, as well as several states in the U.S. After her dad retired from the service, the family settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There, Nanci raised her daughter and son, while working at AT&T. She never expected to move, but when her second grandchild was on the way, she wanted to be closer. One of her greatest joys is hearing her three granddaughters shout ‘Nana’ when she comes in their front door in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Nanci’s Maltipoo, Teeny, and she now live in Wellington, Colorado. No matter where she makes her home, she will always be a Green Bay Packers fan.

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Narrator Bio

Kieren Calland Metts is addicted to audiobooks. She has almost 1,000 in her Audible.com library and has listened to most of them! She tends toward mysteries of all kinds, especially cozies, and YA dystopia.

She grew up a diplomat brat, traveling to tours in Baghdad, Iraq; and Kabul, Afghanistan. After several more moves in the U.S., the family settled in Ohio.

Kieren has a background in copy editing, book & newspaper design, and web production; adores arts and crafts; and has a weakness for fluffy orange kitties.

Truth Kills in the first book in a new Series
About a 50 something divorced mother and grandmother who is a Private Investigator. We are introduced to Angie when she gets involved in a case where she is trying to find evidence in a murder case. It felt great to follow the mindset of a more mature kickass heroine. We also have a peep into the goings on in the 3rd generation Sicilian community.
We follow Angie’s day to day investigation, and dealing with her over protective Papa. This is a great intro to Angie’s live and attitude to her life, work with romance thrown in. We see how her ability to read people and situation which you only learn from life.
A great start to a new series, as Angie gets more than she bargained for when to discover the truth Angie has to work with a hard nosed cop Ted Wukowski. This gripping book makes this addictive listening as the conclusion to this case brings new opportunities for Angie.

gold-stargold-stargold-stargold-stargold-star

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

Guest Post

From Author Nanci Rathbun

Even Fictional Characters Need a Home

Have you heard the old joke about the husband who comes home late one night, opens the bedroom closet and finds a half-dressed man hiding there? “What are you doing in my closet?” the husband asks. “Everybody’s gotta be somewhere,” the man answers.

It’s a groaner, but its silliness holds a kernel of truth. Everybody does have to be somewhere, even fictional characters. I find it hard to relate to a character, unless I can place him or her in a setting. Consider Miss Marple ambling along the village streets of St. Mary Mead, Dr. Zhivago riding across the frozen Russian landscape, or Jane Eyre scuttling through the dark and dreary rooms of Thornfield Hall. Would they be as alive, as compelling, if their environments were not compellingly described? Not to me. So when I decided to set the first Angelina Bonaparte mystery, Truth Kills, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (I qualify this with the state because a taxi driver in the deep South once wondered if that was in Hawaii!), I found it natural to include local landmarks in the story.

Every private investigator relies on sources for information. Angie schedules a meeting with a possible insider informant at Blu, the cocktail lounge at the top of a landmark downtown hotel. She tells the reader: “The Pfister is an old Milwaukee gem, an 1890s Victorian built of local stone and graced with bright red awnings on the sidewalk level.  Inside, a permanent art display decorates the walls of the five-star hotel. The builder, Guido Pfister, was a German immigrant who envisioned a ‘palace for the people.’ Guido died before the building was completed, but his son Charles finished the father’s dream. Even today, guests claim they can see the portly, well-dressed Charles patrolling the halls.”

And what’s a good PI mystery without a homicide cop insisting that there’s no place in a murder investigation for an amateur – especially a female. When Angie and Detective Wukowski get into an argument while sharing a cup of coffee at Ma Fischer’s the owner, George, pockets their bill and asks them to leave. “As I walked out, embarrassed by the attention and longing to get to the car, I heard George pull Wukowski aside.  ‘Women, they can be very irritating, no? But it does no good to lose your temper. You are the man, you must be in control of yourself. No?’ I smiled all the way to the car.

When there are murders, there are bodies that require last rites. Angie gets ready for Elisa Morano’s funeral in Truth Kills: “The service was slated for eleven at the Church of the Gesu.  Known locally simply as Gesu, the 1890s French Gothic stone structure sits in the midst of the Marquette University campus on Wisconsin Avenue. Parking is fierce there, so I slid the Miata into a paid lot and walked five blocks to the church.  The day was fine, and during the short stroll, I tried to reassure myself that it would be years before people would be walking to my funeral. Of course, Elisa’s age denied the security of that belief.”

The people in my mystery series inhabit a place and time that I take great care to make real in the stories because, without that, the narrative seems flat and the characters without substance. P.D. James, whose iconic Adam Dalgliesh series sets a very high standard, wrote this in Talking About Detective Fiction: “Place, after all, is where the characters play out their tragicomedies, and it is only if the action is firmly rooted in a physical reality that we can enter fully into their world.” Welcome to the world of Angelina Bonaparte!

Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card

Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card

The Angelina Bonaparte Mysteries Giveaway: $25 Amazon Gift Card

BOOK ONE

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BOOK THREE

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AudioBook Review Blog Tour: BENEATH ( Beneath Book 1 ) by USA Today Bestselling Author MAUREEN A. MILLER, Narrated by Brandy Skelly @MaureenAMiller

Author: Maureen A. Miller

Narrator: Brandy Skelly

Length: 8 hours and 12 minutes

Series: Beneath, Book 1

Publisher: Maureen A. Miller

Released: Aug. 17, 2018

Genre: Fantasy; Young Adult

From USA Today best-selling author Maureen A. Miller comes this young adult adventure that will plunge you deep into the Atlantic Ocean.

It was Stella Gullaksen’s final break before starting her freshman year at college. Joining her best friend Jill and Jill’s family aboard the Starkissed, Stella wakes up to a violent storm that capsizes the boat over a hundred miles off the New Jersey shore.

As the waves pull her under, Stella knows that she is going to die. Instead, an unusual current drags her deep into the underwater canyons of the Atlantic Ocean. Powerless against the raging waters, she is suddenly sucked into a ventilated cave. One by one, Jill and her family also emerge in the sunken cavern. With only a faulty diving flashlight to keep oblivion at bay, Stella and her best friend’s brother Colin search the cave in hope of finding a way back to the surface. What they discover, however, is that they are not alone. There are other survivors in this subterranean grotto – survivors spanning decades of maritime disasters.

Will this discovery prove salvation, or have they all been condemned to the same fate? A grim finale at the bottom of the sea? On an alliance forged by friendship and attraction, Stella and Colin battle to escape the danger that lies beneath.

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USA TODAY bestselling author, Maureen A. Miller worked in the software industry for fifteen years. She crawled around plant floors in a hard hat and safety glasses hooking up computers to behemoth manufacturing machines. The job required extensive travel. The best form of escapism during those lengthy airport layovers became writing.

Maureen’s first novel, WIDOW’S TALE, earned her a Golden Heart nomination in Romantic Suspense. After that she became hooked to the genre. In fact, she was so hooked she is the founder of the JUST ROMANTIC SUSPENSE website.

Recently, Maureen branched out into the Young Adult Science Fiction market with the popular BEYOND Series. To her it was still Romantic Suspense…just on another planet!

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Narrator Bio

I studied theatre in college, and even participated in storytelling festivals when I was growing up. I’m a practicing attorney, and love to participate in ACX projects to keep my creative side happy and fulfilled. I can perform fiction and non-fiction, in neutral-American or Southern-American accents.

I live in North Carolina with my husband, toddler, and pound puppy. I have a soft spot for romance and I love a good laugh!

Great story told in a plausible way. 
Stella goes sailing with her best friend and her family, a sail which has happened so many times over the years. Unfortunately they encounter  a strange weather condition, and they capsize and the next thing Stella knows is she comes up into a strange pool of water in a cave.
Beneath is a frightening tale of what happens to a family that is lost at sea, and instead of dying they end up in an underwater cavern. Where nothing is as it seems. They meet people from different eras and you don’t seem to have aged very much.
What they discover when Colin and Stella go investigating is both frightening and encouraging. They have to try to merge into the community to stay alive.
This was such a gripping and eerie story, and everything seemed so real. A great spooky read, and I loved it. I can’t recommend this enough as everything seemed so real, I know I was there.

gold-stargold-stargold-stargold-stargold-star

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

Q&A with Author Maureen A. Miller

  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
    • No. If I went into thinking about an audiobook I might have written something resembling a screenplay versus a novel. But a strong narrator has the magic to take any tale and captivate the reader’s ears.
  • How did you select your narrator?
    • I had several auditions, most with seasoned narrators. Yet, listening through the auditions one voice stood out. Brandy Skelly. The main character, Stella, is young and is thrown into a surreal and dangerous situation. Brandy Skelly delivered the drama and incredulity in that initial audition, captivating me.
  • 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?
    • In this whole big country of ours, what are the odds of learning that your narrator lives in the next town? We discussed pronunciations and dialect. For the most part, all characters were from the New York/New Jersey area. Brandy nailed the Long Island accent!
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
    • My characters always borrow upon people from my past, as remote as the connection my be. Stella Gullaksen, the main character was named after a Swedish girl I went to middle school with.
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
    • I’m an early morning writer. I can conquer the universe between 6am and 10am. After that my conquests taper off, until sometime around 9pm I am reduced to structured sentences that sound like “Run Spot run.”
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • Audiobooks are the only way I can manage a long drive. If I have to travel far for a book signing or conference, I devour audiobooks along the way. And if the book is not finished by the time I get there, I will circle around a block ten or twenty times until it is complete!
  • Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
    • The opening sequence. Brandy captures the desperation of the scene perfectly.
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • When I was a kid our local radio station used to read a scary story every Wednesday night long after my bedtime. I would sneak the radio under my covers and stick the speaker up against my ear so that my parents wouldn’t hear. I loved hearing those Wednesday night stories! Was that cheating, or was I just enjoying being told a tale?
  • How did you celebrate after finishing this novel?
    • I started the sequel! Although this book has a certain closure, there is room for more to be told.
  • In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of writing a stand-alone novel vs. writing a series?
    • With a standalone you can pour your heart and soul into one story and not have to worry about leaving anything leftover for the next. There is as much satisfaction for the author to tie up strings as there is for the reader. However, a series lets an author hold on to characters that are near and dear to her heart.

Giveaway

Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card

Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card

Beneath Giveaway: $25 Amazon Gift Card

Oct. 2nd:

Lynn’s Romance Enthusiasm

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