Audible members may have noticed that there’s a feature running on the Audible website at the moment: THE BEST BOOK I EVER NARRATED. Tons of Audible’s hard working narrators took time to record a short audio or video clip talking about books they’ve loved. If you haven’t seen it, go check it out! But before you go, be sure to enter my giveaway.
To be entered into this random drawing, just make a comment below and share what you think makes for a great audiobook. The winner will receive his or her choice of any one of my audiobooks now available on Audible. (For suggestions, be sure to check out my videos on pages 2, 3 &4 !) If you don’t already follow my blog, you can enter twice by becoming a new follower – just fill in the info in the box to the right of this post.
Entrants must be 18+ years of age, and residents of the continental US only please. Entries will be taken up until 5pm EST on Sunday, March 16. The winner will be contacted by the email you use to leave your comment (but I don’t keep any contact info or share it in any way). Good luck and thanks for listening!
I’m giving away one digital copy via Audible of this beautiful book by Sarah Cornwell. Just make a comment below before Saturday, February 1 at 5pm EST to be entered in a random drawing. Entrants only inside the U.S. and 18+. The winner will be contacted by email, but I don’t keep or share any contact info. Good luck and thanks for listening!
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. Molly is the randomly selected winner and I will be getting her the book via email. Thanks to all for entering! I give away lots of books – to find out about them in the future, please consider following this blog, or my Facebook page, or on Twitter.
Written in radiant prose and with stunning psychological acuity, award-winning author Sarah Cornwell’s What I Had Before I Had You is a deeply poignant story that captures the joys and sorrows of growing up and learning to let go.
Olivia Reed was fifteen when she left her hometown of Ocean Vista on the Jersey Shore. Two decades later, divorced and unstrung, she returns with her teenage daughter, Carrie, and nine-year-old son, Daniel, recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Distracted by thoughts of the past, Olivia fails to notice when Daniel disappears from her side. Her frantic search for him sparks memories of the summer of 1987, when she exploded out of the cocoon of her mother’s fierce, smothering love and into a sudden, full-throttle adolescence, complete with dangerous new friends, first love, and a rebellion so intense that it utterly recharted the course of her life.
Olivia’s mother, Myla, was a practicing psychic whose powers waxed and waned along with her mercurial moods. Myla raised Olivia to be a guarded child, and also to believe in the ever-present infant ghosts of her twin sisters, whom Myla took care of as if they were alive—diapers, baby food, an empty nursery kept like a shrine. At fifteen, Olivia saw her sisters for the first time, not as ghostly infants but as teenagers on the beach. But when Myla denied her vision, Olivia set out to learn the truth—a journey that led to shattering discoveries about herself and her family.
Sarah Cornwell seamlessly weaves together the past and the present in this riveting debut novel, as she examines the relationships between mothers and daughters, and the powerful forces of loss, family history, and magical thinking.
My recording experience:
I’ve been very lucky to have worked on some books with beautiful language use recently –though I’ve also had three books in three months involving mothers who have bipolar disorder which makes me a wee bit paranoid :). Cornwell’s book is in both categories. The story has its disturbing and heart wrenching elements for sure, but in the end is a testament to the enormity of a mother’s love, for better or for worse. Olivia’s journey was not easy to go on, but it was truthful in its own way and written with startling imagery that is still resonating with me.
“Its very real seductiveness lies in its ironic description of issues that are secondary to the investigation.” – Le Monde. On vacation with her husband in an idyllic Italian valley, Police Inspector Simona Tavianello stops at the local beekeeper’s shop to buy some honey, where she finds a body lying in the entrance. Simona tries to avoid involvement – she is, after all, off-duty. But when she realizes that the murder weapon is her own gun, what can she do but take charge?
The victim was an engineer at the controversial agricultural research center for Sacropiano, a biotechnology company accused of developing pesticides that are making the bees in the region disappear. At the same time Simona found the body, the local beekeepers were nearby organizing a militant sit-in to protest the company’s practices. And found on the floor near the corpse was a tract entitled, “The Bee Revolution.”
Simona Tavianello’s investigation gets her caught between the radical environmentalists and the powerful industrialists who are allied with the police. That would be complication enough, but she also needs to deal with the wounded ego of Cacabonda, the local police officer, who is officially in charge of the investigation. With her sharp humor and spot-on observations of current events in Italy, can Tavianello not only solve the murder, but also discover the intriguing reason behind the disappearance of the bees?
My recording experience:
This is a wacky, wacky book and I recommend it to any and all fans of quirky murder mysteries. Quadruppani’s heroine Simona is a huge hit in Italy (though he’s a Frenchman writing about an Italian woman) and I’m so glad I was asked to narrate this book – the first to be translated into English. After a bit of discussion with the publishers and polling my colleagues, we decided that it would make the most sense to skip giving the characters Italian accents. I likened it to speaking in a Russian accent when you’re in a play by Chekhov that has been translated into English. The characters aren’t speaking to each other in a foreign language, so they don’t hear an accent in each others’ speech. Unless that is a regional accent. And I did try to incorporate different rhythms and sounds to define regionalisms a bit here. In any case, Simona is an iconic character – a hard-boiled detective who is also a sensual experienced woman who loves to make love to her husband and eat good food (though she does have a few issues with both – you’ll see!) I hope you enjoy this unique detective tale as much as I did.
The Ultimate Experts Explain Common Dog Behaviors and Reveal How to Prevent or Change Unwanted Ones
by the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. Vic is the randomly selected winner and the CDs will be mailed out to her as soon as I get her address. Thanks to all for entering! I give away lots of books – to find out about them in the future, please consider following this blog, or my Facebook page, or on Twitter.
More than ninety percent of dog owners consider their pets to be members of their family. But often, despite our best intentions, we are letting our dogs down by not giving them the guidance and direction they need. Unwanted behavior is the number-one reason dogs are relinquished to shelters and rescue groups.
The key to training dogs effectively is first to understand why our dogs do what they do. And no one can address this more authoritatively than the diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Behavior, whose work, the culmination of years of rigorous training, takes them deep into the minds of dogs in an effort to decode how they think, how they communicate, and how they learn.
In Decoding Your Dog, these experts analyze problem behaviors, decipher the latest studies, and correct common misconceptions and outmoded theories. The book includes:
Effective, veterinary-approved positive training methods
Expert advice on socialization, house-training, diet, and exercise
Remedies for behavior problems such as OCD and aggression
With Decoding Your Dog, the experts’ experts deliver a must-have dog behavior guide that ultimately challenges the way we think about our dogs.
My recording experience:
Well, let me sum up my experience with these before and after photos. Here is my lovable, but fiercely protective 75 lb. mutt Elsa attacking the front door when she hears someone approaching:
In the past, I’d followed older conventional wisdom and kept Elsa away from visitors by spraying her in the face with water. After reading this book, I decided to try the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists more positive approach and train her to sit “in her spot” when we answered the door. At first, I gave her favored treats every time, but here you see her “gambling” that she’ll get a treat and offering the preferred behavior.
(Listen to the sample below to get what I am talking about.)
An award-winning social scientist uses the tools of economics to debunk myths about pregnancy and to empower women to make better decisions while they’re expecting.
Pregnancy is full of rules. Pregnant women are often treated as if they were children, given long lists of items to avoid—alcohol, caffeine, sushi—without any real explanation from their doctors about why. They hear frightening and contradictory myths from friends and pregnancy books about everything from weight gain to sleeping on your back to bed rest. Economist Emily Oster believes there is a better way. In Expecting Better, she shows that the information given to pregnant women is sometimes wrong and almost always oversimplified, and she debunks a host of standard recommendations on everything from drinking to fetal testing.
…Expecting Better overturns standard recommendations for alcohol, caffeine, sushi, bed rest, and induction while putting in context the blanket guidelines for fetal testing, weight gain, risks of pregnancy over the age of thirty-five, nausea, and more. Oster offers the real-world advice one would never get at the doctor’s office. The health of your baby is paramount, and with this practical guide readers can know more and worry less. Having the numbers is a tremendous relief—and so is the occasional glass of wine.
My recording experience:
As I read and re-read this book, I couldn’t help but think over and over again, “Dang! I wish this book were around when I was pregnant!” I understand that Oster’s book has been somewhat controversial, as she challenges a great deal of conventional wisdom about pregnancy and, shudder to think, encourages women to think for themselves. But having been one of those women whose husband’s literally threw away the ubiquitous What to Expect When You’re Expecting because it was freaking me out so much, the balance of Oster’s commonsense and logical approach would have been welcome in my household. While I patted myself on the back for many of the decisions I made during my pregnancy, reading the book made me feel sad for my friend who may have endured seemingly endless bedrest for no good reason. And I found that had I known that flying cross country in the 8th month of pregnancy was not as dangerous as I thought it was , I may have been able to attend my brother’s wedding, which I’ve often regretted missing.
When Miranda Shaw, rich and recently widowed, and Grady Keaton, the head lifeguard at the Penguin Beach Club, drop out of sight at the same time, rumors begin to circulate among the other members and employees of the club. And when Miranda’s jewels are spotted in an estate auction, the rumors turn ugly, and Tom Aragon is called in to search for the missing couple.
Tom Aragon. The engaging young Chicano lawyer who solved the bizarre mystery in Ask for Me Tomorrow has to take an even stranger case with the highly dubious assistance of a nine-year-old monster named Frederic Quinn, who claims he has Mafia connections at his exclusive private school.
Award-winning novelist Margaret Millar is at her daffiest and deadliest in The Murder of Miranda.
A New York family rents a house in California hoping for tranquil summer. Mark Banner is a young, successful publisher, and his wife Evelyn is afraid of losing him. When the owner of the house returns, Evelyn recognizes the enemy at first sight.
High Magic has been lost to Valdemar centuries ago when the last Herald-Mage gave his life to save the kingdom from destruction by dark sorceries. Yet now the realm is at risk again. And Elspeth, Herald and heir to the throne, must take up the challenge, abandoning her home to find a mentor who can awaken her untrained mage abilities. But others, too, are being caught up in a war against sorcerous evil.
The Tayledras scout Darkwind is the first to stumble across the menace creeping forth from the “Uncleansed Lands.” And as sorcery begins to take its toll, Darkwind may be forced to call upon powers he has sworn never to use again if he and his people are to survive an enemy able to wreak greater devastation with spells of destruction than with swords….
Courtesy of the folks at Dreamscape Audiobooks and Blackstone Audiobooks, I have one copy each of the CD versions of these books to give away. To be entered into this random drawing, just make a comment below. Entrants must be 18+ years of age, and residents of the continental US only please. Entries will be taken up until 5pm EST on Friday, December 6. The winner will be contacted by email and then I’ll need your mailing address to get the CDs to you, but I don’t keep or share any contact info. Good luck and thanks for listening!
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. Kimberly is the randomly selected winner and the CDs will be mailed out to her as soon as I get her address. Thanks to all for entering! I give away lots of books – to find out about them in the future, please consider following this blog, or my Facebook page, or on Twitter.