Posted by: kewhite | October 23, 2014

THE WEDDING VOW by Cara Connelly

Available now from Harper Audio.9780062359599

From the Publisher:

“Cara Connelly’s second Save the Date novel proves that opposites do attract…

The playboy:
Sexy billionaire Adam LeCroix has a mission: hunt down the sultry spitfire he blames for his troubles, demand her help, and exact revenge while he’s at it. Maddie St. Clair will help him . . . or else.

The prosecutor:
Former prosecutor Maddie damn near nailed Adam for stealing, but the lucky bastard walked. Now, five years later, he’s back, arrogant as ever, giving her an ultimatum—work for him to collect the insurance money, or she’ll never work again.

The problem:
Maddie’s all about right and wrong. Adam’s shades of gray. So when he uncovers the hot body under her hard-ass veneer and she finds he’s a thief with a heart, can the law-and-order lawyer and the fast-and-loose felon put their prickly past behind them?”

My recording experience:

This was a fun romance.  Maddie is so lovable for a prickly character (understandable once you learn her background).  Both hero and heroines are alphas which makes for great scenes with push and pull dialog (and some lively sex to boot!).  Adam’s accent was a challenge – he grew up all over the world, adapting to all kinds of environments.  He ends up mostly commuting between New York and Italy as an adult, so I gave him a Euro sound, heavy on the Italian, and hopefully heavy on the sexy :)  A fun romp with a conscience, I would call this one.

Listen to a sample here:

Posted by: kewhite | October 23, 2014

LIAR, TEMPTRESS, SOLDIER, SPY by Karen Abbott

Available now from Harper Audio.9780062332165

From the Publisher:

“In Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy, bestselling author Karen Abbott tells the spellbinding true story of four women who risked everything—their homes, their families, and their very lives—during the Civil War.

Seventeen-year-old Belle Boyd, an avowed rebel with a dangerous temper, shot a Union soldier in her home and became a courier and spy for the Confederate army, using her considerable charms to seduce men on both sides. Emma Edmonds disguised herself as a man to enlist as a Union private named Frank Thompson, witnessing the bloodiest battles of the war and infiltrating enemy lines, all the while fearing that her past would catch up with her. The beautiful widow Rose O’Neal Greenhow engaged in affairs with powerful Northern politicians, used her young daughter to send information to Southern generals, and sailed abroad to lobby for the Confederacy, a journey that cost her more than she ever imagined. Elizabeth Van Lew, a wealthy Richmond abolitionist, hid behind her proper Southern manners as she orchestrated a far-reaching espionage ring—even placing a former slave inside the Confederate White House—right under the noses of increasingly suspicious rebel detectives.

Abbott’s pulse-quickening narrative weaves the adventures of these four forgotten daredevils into the tumultuous landscape of a broken America, evoking a secret world that will surprise even the most avid enthusiasts of Civil War–era history. With a cast of real-life characters, including Nathaniel Hawthorne, General Stonewall Jackson, Detective Allan Pinkerton, Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, and Emperor Napoléon III, Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy shines a dramatic new light on these daring—and, until now, unsung—heroines.”

From the review at Chronicles:

“I highly recommend the audiobook version of Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy. I traveled back in time with Karen White, who inflects great feeling into her charming accents. There is a lot of historical fact in these pages, but Karen Abbott’s account reads like an entertaining work of fiction.

Whether or not you’re a history buff, Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy is a must read for everyone interested in remembering the forgotten history of the brave women who fought with passion and perseverance for what they believed in during the Civil War.”

My recording experience:

I think this was the most fun history book I’ve ever recorded.  Typically in narrating non-fiction, it’s wise to avoid utilizing character voices or accents.  But this book just demanded to be brought to life as fully as possible.   I could hear these vibrant women speaking so clearly in my head with their accents and manners and quirks so that’s what came out of my mouth!

Karen Abbott, or Abbott as she is called by her friends was delightful to work with. Some of the many figures mentioned in the book were somewhat obscure historically, but she helped out enormously by hooking me up with her own sources who were the best hope for finding out how these people, now long gone, pronounced their names.  She also writes prose that reads aloud well, not always the case in scholarly works.  In my humble opinion, Abbott straddles the line well between scholarship that should be taken seriously and a piece of writing that can be digested by readers without a Phd in the subject.  I hope y’all will agree.

Listen to a sample here:

 

Posted by: kewhite | October 22, 2014

THE 200 BOOK MILESTONE

Reaching the 200 book milestone**, I thought it might be a good time to take a pause and share all the things I’m grateful for after fifteen years working as a narrator.

1) I’m so thankful that I’ve been able to balance a career that I love with being an involved and present parent. I pretty much started narrating when I was pregnant with my first child (and have memories of almost fainting while recording my first book in a very warm studio in Los Angeles while battling morning sickness).  I was lucky enough to get to narrate and direct books in the studioand do quality control work at home on my own time on an very part-time basis while staying at home with my kids until they started school. Then, for the past five years, I’ve gradually moved almost all my work to my home studio, so I can run my tween and teen all over town to their various activities.

2) I’m grateful that my in first ten years of working as a narrator, I learned this craft by working with professional directors and editors in a studio, and also by editing, directing and proofing other narrators’ work. By the time I moved to working on my own, I was ready for it.

3) I’m incredibly inspired by the community of professional working narrators that I’ve gotten to know over the years. Friends and colleagues that I can turn to when I need advice on how to approach a title, exchange ideas with about equipment, or just gripe to when I need it.

4) I’m also inspired by all the authors I’ve worked with. Thankful that they’ve trusted me with bringing their words to listeners’ ears as well as awed by the stories they tell.

5) I’m thankful for all the folks in audiobook production and publishing that keep me busy and challenged. And for our union reps who help us keep wages and working conditions reasonable and sustainable!

6) I’m grateful that I get to work in a variety of genres. Each has its own demands and rewards and they balance each other by using different parts of my brain, imagination and emotional range.

7) I’m so thankful that having trained as an actress, and worked in everthing from improv to Shakespeare to radio plays to TV to film, I found my way to acting work that uses all my gifts at once – my director/producer mind, my playful imagination and my rollercoaster of emotions. And my love of reading.

8) Every day, even on days when I am frustrated with the state of the industry, or moments when I can’t get a specific sentence out of my mouth after 20 takes, all I have to remember is, “I get paid to read books”, and it’s all OK. Reading has been a particular joy and escape for me since I was four and I hope that my eyes and/or ears will allow me to enjoy it for the rest of my life.

9) I am incredibly grateful that I can read. Today, I met with my first literacy student. I trained with the Cape Fear Literacy Council to work as a reading tutor earlier this year. Finding time in my schedule to commit to working with a student twice a week was challenging, but after reading SOMEWHERE BETWEEN LUCK AND TRUST by Emilie Richards this summer, I knew I had to just make it work. A couple of weeks ago, I was assigned a student. When we talked for the first time on the phone, she explained her goals. When she confessed that no one in her family or at work knew that she couldn’t read, and that she just wanted to be able to read to her grandchildren, we both choked up. Reading is a gift I am honored to give to her, and I hope we’ll have success.

10) Finally, I am of course thankful for all the people out there who love to listen to audiobooks and for the technology that allows people to buy, borrow and listen to books in such a variety of convenient formats. Without you all, I wouldn’t have this amazing career, so I bow to you.

Thank you.

** I wish I could share which book was my 200th, but it’s very hard to keep track!  I finish recording one that releases weeks later, and another that doesn’t come out for months and months.  And of course some books I did years ago are no longer available.  But I’m pretty sure that I’ve hit the milestone in the past month or so.

Posted by: kewhite | September 15, 2014

GODDESSES ANONYMOUS series GIVEAWAY

Courtesy of Blackstone Audiobooks, I have one CD copy of each of the first 3 audiobooks in this series to give away:

One Mountain Away

9736-square-400

Somewhere Between Luck and Trust

9737-square-400

No River Too Wide

9735-square-400

Author Emilie Richards explains the name of the series:

“The friends decide to call themselves the Goddesses Anonymous to honor Kuan Yin, the bodhisattva of compassion, a powerful figure to Buddhists and Taoists, with many different names and representations in Eastern Asia. Kuan Yin turned back on her journey to heaven when she heard the cries of the suffering on earth and asked to stay and minister to them anonymously until no more suffering remained.”

To be entered into this random drawing, just make a comment below and tell us about the “Goddesses” in your life.

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Christine M. 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.

Posted by: kewhite | September 15, 2014

NO RIVER TOO WIDE by Emilie Richards

#3 in the Goddesses Anonymous series.9735-square-400

Available now from Blackstone Audio.

From the Publisher:

“Some betrayals are like rivers, so deep, so wide, they can’t be crossed. But—for those with enough courage—forgiveness, redemption, and love may be found on the other side.

On the night her home is consumed by fire, Janine Stoddard finally resolves to leave her abusive husband. While she is reluctant to involve her estranged daughter, she can’t resist a chance to see Harmony and baby Lottie before she disappears forever.

Harmony’s friend Taylor Martin realizes how much the reunited mother and daughter yearn to stay together, and she sees in Jan a chance to continue her own mother’s legacy of helping women in need of a fresh start. She opens her home, even as she’s opening her heart to another newcomer, Adam Pryor. But enigmatic Adam has a secret that could destroy Taylor’s trust—and cost Jan her hard-won freedom.”

From the review at I Am, Indeed:

“Karen White provides the narration for this story, and as always her performance does justice to the words on the page. Small nuanced variations in pitch, tone and delivery present each character with a unique sound, and she uses inflection appropriately to present emotion, without overreaching or overacting.

Emilie Richards isn’t presenting a story that says domestic violence is bad – everyone is aware of that. What is less talked about, however, is the resilience of the human spirit and the hopeful tone in healing.  The supportive friends, the strong friendships and the story of healing make this a not to be missed book.”

My recording experience:

Although this Goddesses Anonymous book does deal seriously with the issue of domestic abuse, and highlights how the group of women who have come together as “Goddesses” support Jan (the victim) and Harmony (her daughter), there are also strong elements of romance and mystery as well, all wrapped up in the character of  Adam Pryor.  It’s great to see how Taylor has matured since the first book, though she’s still got a ways to go to be able to let anyone into her heart, and how helping Jan escape her horrific past is a part of that.  Now I can’t wait for the next one, but I’m afraid it’ll be awhile!

Listen to a sample here:

Posted by: kewhite | September 15, 2014

SOMEWHERE BETWEEN LUCK AND TRUST by Emilie Richards

#2 in the Goddesses Anonymous Series.9737-square-400

Available now from Blackstone Audio.

From the Publisher:

“Where luck meets trust, miracles can happen.

Cristy Haviland served eight months in prison, where she gave birth to the child of the man who put her there and might yet destroy her. Now she’s free again, but what does that mean? As smart as she is, a learning disability has kept her from learning to read—and that’s the least of her hurdles.

Georgia Ferguson, a talented educator, receives a mysterious charm bracelet that may help her find the mother who abandoned her at birth. Does she want to follow the clues? And if she does, can reticent Georgia reach out for help along the way?

Both women are at a crossroads where unlikely unions can be formed, where two very different women might bridge the gap between generations and education and together make tough choices.

Somewhere between the townships called Luck and Trust, at a mountain cabin known as the Goddess House, two very different women may even, if they dare, find common ground and friendship.”

My recording experience:

Another tale from Ms. Richards’ Goddesses Anonymous series that warmly combines the themes of friendship, family and life challenges, again taking place in the unique city of Asheville, NC.  I loved both heroines featured in this one, Cristy and Georgia, and how their stories intertwine.  I completed training to work as a tutor this year for our local literacy council, and Ms. Richards’ experience in this area is evident.  She lets us in on Cristy’s world – both her amazing ability to get around her inability to read as well as the huge obstacles it puts in her way.  I also loved how Richards included audiobooks as a way to bridge some gaps for adults learning  to read!  Ms. Richards includes resources on her website for those interested in finding out more about issues addressed in each of the Goddesses Anonymous books, including a link to ProLiteracy.  And it just so happens that a group of narrators (including myself) under the name Spoken Freely, has created a collection of short stories and poetry to benefit ProLiteracy called Summer Shorts ’14.  Sometimes its amazing how things are connected!

Listen to a sample here:

 

Posted by: kewhite | September 3, 2014

THE PRICE OF SILENCE by Liza Long plus GIVEAWAY

Available now from Blackstone Audio at Downpour.com9802-square-400

From the Publisher:

Liza Long is the mother of a child with an undiagnosed mental disorder. When she heard about the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, her first thought was, “What if my son does that someday?” She wrote an emotional response to the tragedy, which the Boise State University online journal posted as “I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother.” The post went viral, receiving 1.2 million Facebook likes, nearly 17,000 tweets, and 30,000 emails.

Now, in The Price of Silence she takes a devastating look at how we address mental illness, especially in children, who are funneled through a system of education, mental health care, and juvenile detention that leads far too often to prison. In the end she asks one central question: If there’s a poster child for cancer, why can’t there be one for mental illness? The answer: the stigma. Liza Long is speaking in a way that we cannot help but hear, and she won’t stop until something changes.”

My recording experience:

This is a powerful book and a must read for all parents, really for all of us, whether or not we have someone in our lives who suffers from mental illness or a developmental disability.  Though from Long‘s research, it seems as though it’d be unlikely that any of us live lives untouched by either.  I hope that this is the beginning of a conversation in this country that leads to positive change.  As with many of our current social ills, leaving things as they are is likely to spell disaster.

Listen to a sample here:

THE GIVEAWAY:

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Miss Susie 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.

 

Posted by: kewhite | August 18, 2014

VINTAGE: A NOVEL by Susan Gloss

Available now from Harper Audio.  9780062308979

From the Publisher:

“At Hourglass Vintage in Madison, Wisconsin, every item in the boutique has a story to tell . . . and so do the women whose lives the store touches.

Yellow Samsonite suitcase with ivory, quilted lining, 1950s

A small-town girl with a flair for fashion, Violet Turner had always dreamed of owning a shop like Hourglass Vintage. But while she values the personal history behind each beautiful item she sells, Violet is running from her own past. Faced with the possibility of losing the store to an unscrupulous developer, she realizes that despite her usual self-reliance she cannot save it alone.

Taffeta tea-length wedding gown with scooped neckline and cap sleeves, 1952

Eighteen-year-old April Morgan is nearly five months along in an unplanned pregnancy when her hasty engagement is broken. When she returns the perfect vintage wedding dress to Violet’s shop, she discovers a world of new possibilities, and an unexpected sisterhood with women who won’t let her give up on her dreams.

Orange silk sari with gold paisley design, 1968

Betrayed by her husband, Amithi Singh begins selling off her vibrant Indian dresses, remnants of a life she’s determined to leave behind her. After decades of housekeeping and parenting a daughter who rejects her traditional ways, she fears her best days are behind her . . . until she discovers an outlet for her creativity and skills with a needle and thread.

An engaging story that beautifully captures the essence of friendship and style, Vintage is a charming tale of possibility, of finding renewal, love, and hope when we least expect it.”

Listen to a sample here:

Posted by: kewhite | August 18, 2014

A DANGEROUS AGE: A NOVEL by Ellen Gilchrist

Available now from Audible.com. 51O7H1JgVPL._SL300_

From the Publisher:

“A Dangerous Age tells the story of the women of the Hand family, three cousins in a Southern dynasty rich with history and tradition who are no strangers to either controversy or sadness. By turns humorous and heartbreaking, the novel is a celebration of the strength of these women, and of others like them. In her characteristically clear and direct prose, with its wry, no-nonsense approach to the world and the people who inhabit it, Gilchrist gives voice to women on a collision course with a distant war that, in truth, is never more than a breath away.”

Listen to a sample here:

Posted by: kewhite | August 1, 2014

THIS IS THE WATER by Yannick Murphy

Available now from Harper Audio.9780062356840

From the Publisher:

“At a swim meet in their quiet New England town, Annie watches as her daughters glide through the water. Her thoughts drift lazily from whether she fed her daughters enough carbs that morning to why her husband doesn’t kiss her anymore, to Paul, a swim-team parent, who’s taken notice of her and seems to embody everything she’s beginning to think her life is missing.

When a girl on the team is murdered at a nearby highway rest stop—the same spot where Paul made a gruesome discovery years ago—Annie and her fellow swim-parents find themselves adrift. With a serial killer too close for comfort, they must make choices about where their loyalties lie. And as a series of shocking events unfolds, Annie must discover what it means to follow her intuition—even if love, as well as lives, could be lost.”

From the review at Beth Fish Reads:

“As much as I loved This Is the Water, it’s hard to imagine the challenge narrator Karen White faced when she sat down to record it (Harper Audio; 10 hr, 22 min). And yet her performance was nearly perfect. She avoided every easy way out — no singsong tempo, no leading the listener, no overly dramatic, no judgment. But still her reading had emotion and tension and personality. White slipped as easily into Yannick Murphy’s prose as swimmers enter a pool. An excellent listening experience.”

My recording experience:

This was one I worried about, honestly, because Murphy employs a unique 2nd person POV which employs the phrase “this is the…” over and over again.  But (and I hope this worked!) I kinda just went with the flow (pun intended) and I think what it does is suck you to a place where you feel what everyone and everything is feeling.  At least I did.  The swimmers, their parents, the killer, the air, the buildings, yes, the water, but especially Annie.  Going through her struggles as a woman and a parent in this uncomfortable and eventually dangerous point in her life was quite the journey.

Listen to a sample here:

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