Posted by: kewhite | July 5, 2015

THE RESIDENCE by Kate Anderson Brower

Available now from Harper Audio.9780062373892

From the Publisher:

“A remarkable history with elements of both In the President’s Secret Service and The Butler, The Residence offers an intimate account of the service staff of the White House, from the Kennedys to the Obamas.

America’s First Families are unknowable in many ways. No one has insight into their true character like the people who serve their meals and make their beds every day. Full of stories and details by turns dramatic, humorous, and heartwarming, The Residence reveals daily life in the White House as it is really lived through the voices of the maids, butlers, cooks, florists, doormen, engineers, and others who tend to the needs of the President and First Family.

These dedicated professionals maintain the six-floor mansion’s 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms, 28 fireplaces, three elevators, and eight staircases, and prepare everything from hors d’oeuvres for intimate gatherings to meals served at elaborate state dinners. Over the course of the day, they gather in the lower level’s basement kitchen to share stories, trade secrets, forge lifelong friendships, and sometimes even fall in love.

Combining incredible first-person anecdotes from extensive interviews with scores of White House staff members—many speaking for the first time—with archival research, Kate Andersen Brower tells their story. She reveals the intimacy between the First Family and the people who serve them, as well as tension that has shaken the staff over the decades. From the housekeeper and engineer who fell in love while serving President Reagan to Jackie Kennedy’s private moment of grief with a beloved staffer after her husband’s assassination to the tumultuous days surrounding President Nixon’s resignation and President Clinton’s impeachment battle, The Residence is full of surprising and moving details that illuminate day-to-day life at the White House.”

My recording experience:

This book has some hilarious accounts in it – my favorite story comes from the beleaguered plumber who can’t get the shower pressure high enough or the water temperature hot enough for President Johnson – but what I truly loved was that Brower was able to get to know her interviewees well enough that she, and then I, really cared about them.  I found myself tearing up at the passing of one of these elderly gentlemen, who served the White House with incredible wisdom, grace and loyalty.  A unique book and I hope an engaging listen!

Listen to a sample here:

Posted by: kewhite | July 3, 2015

Patricia Cornwell’s ANDY BRAZIL series

Available now from Harper Audio:

9780062376213“In this first title of a new mystery series, Cornwell introduces us to a dynamic trio of crime-solver in Charlotte, North Carolina: Andy Brazil, an eager young reporter; Judy Hammer, the city’s police chief; and Virginia West. Hammer’s deputy and a genuine head-turner. They’re after a serial killer who pulls male out-of-towners from their rental cars, then mutilates, spray paints and shoots them, in that order. What the trio uncovers jolts them like the sting of the hornet—Charlotte’s symbol.”

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“Richmond, Virginia, is a city rich in Southern history, yet overrun by such modern-day problems as drug trafficking and escalating juvenile crime. Former Charlotte police chief Judy Hammer is brought in to clean up the police force—the most difficult assignment of her career. Now, in the face of overwhelming public scrutiny, she must navigate through local politics and prejudices to solve a brutal murder that springs straight from the rotting core of Richmond’s heart…”

9780062376244“Newly installed superintendent of the Virginia State Police, Judy Hammer, and her right hand and confidant, Andy Brazil, are at their wits’ end trying to protect the public from the politicians – and vice versa.

And amid the mayhem, an island off the coast of Virginia declares UDI – claiming its independence lies in the history of America’s first settlers, those who set sail from London’s Isle of Dogs in 1607.”

My recording experience:

I had a blast recording this series by Patricia Cornwell.  When these books first came out in the late 90’s, many readers seemed frustrated that it wasn’t like her Kay Scarpetta series.  Knowing this actually helped open my mind to what I think Cornwell was going for – part wry homage to her previous hometown of Charlotte, NC and part wickedly funny view of law enforcement, racism, sexism and all other forms of bigotry in the south.  In my narration, I mined it for humor as much as possible, while taking seriously the struggles of the three main characters.  A very satisfying challenge! (Including the very odd Tangier Island accents in ISLE OF DOGS, which, luckily I have heard with my own ears.)

Listen to samples here:

HORNET’S NEST

SOUTHERN CROSS

ISLE OF DOGS

Posted by: kewhite | June 30, 2015

THE SECRETS OF SUCCESSFULL AUDIOBOOK NARRATION

Very excited to have been asked to write about audiobook narration for one of my favorite online magazines, READERLY.

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A wonderful wrap up for June is Audiobook Month for me personally, and I hope you find my thoughts useful, whether you’re a listener, author or aspiring or new narrator.

Here’s a snippet, but I hope you’ll check out the whole thing here, and subscribe to Readerly for excellent reviews and news about books.

“We seek to honor the author’s words. We achieve this by being “present” while recording every single word.”

Posted by: kewhite | June 26, 2015

Audiobook Lovin’ Interview

Audio Book Loving Participants Banner V2 UPDATED

In celebration of #Audiomonth, the ladies at Books-n-Kisses and Enchantress of Books have been interviewing authors and narrators about their audiobook experiences.  My Audiobook Lovin’ interview is up today!

They’re also hosting a huge giveaway of all kinds of audiobooks and swag so be sure to enter.

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Thanks to Kelly and Viviana for including me in what I hope will be a yearly event.

Posted by: kewhite | June 25, 2015

FATED by Rebecca Zanetti

Dark Protectors, Book 1.

Available now from Audible.com.51d2ER3QZoL._SL300_

From the Publisher:

“Marry Me

Cara Paulsen does not give up easily. A scientist and a single mother, she’s used to fighting for what she wants, keeping a cool head, and doing whatever it takes to protect her daughter Janie. But “whatever it takes” has never before included a shotgun wedding to a dangerous-looking stranger with an attitude problem….

Or Else.

Sure, the mysterious Talen says that he’s there to protect Cara and Janie. He also says that he’s a 300-year-old vampire. Of course, the way he touches her, Cara might actually believe he’s had that long to practice….”

From the review at I Am, Indeed:

“Narration is provided by Karen White and after this listen, I would follow her anywhere. She deftly uses her voice to create characters, detail action and emotion, and present the story with cleverly inserted pauses and breathy insets that clearly indicate tension, hesitation, action and confusion. Never missing a beat, each character has their own tone, delivery and cadence that builds to become their character in conjunction with the development in the book.  A polished yet not overly ‘slick’ performance and production that kept me engaged and listening, loathe to put the book down.”

My recording experience:

I had such a blast recording Rebecca Zanetti’s Sin Brothers series over the past year, so I was super excited to be asked to record the Dark Protectors as well.  Rebecca and I had a great chat at RWA 2014 and I guess somehow our chat about kids and family made her think I’d do a good job with this series ;)  Since Audible acquired the entire series at once, I got to record the whole thing over just a few months – 7 full length books and 3 novellas!  It was a challenge in some ways and a joy in others.  It was tough to keep my voice healthy recording all these alpha males (and demons with mangled vocal chords!) but so fulfilling as an actor to live with these characters over many years of their lives.

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Listen to a sample here:

Posted by: kewhite | June 24, 2015

A FATAL CHAPTER by Lorna Barrett plus GIVEAWAY

Book 9 in the Booktown Mystery Series.F0796_FatalChapter-238x238

Available now from Tantor Audio.

From the Publisher:

“While out walking Sarge, her sister’s bichon frise, Tricia is led by the agitated dog to a man lying in a gazebo. She’s startled when she recognizes Pete Renquist, the president of the Stoneham Historical Society, who appears to be suffering from cardiac arrest. When Pete later dies in the hospital, the discovery of a suspicious bruise and a puncture mark on his arm suggests he may have been murdered.

Haunted by Pete’s enigmatic last words to her, Tricia begins to consider who had a motive to kill her friend. Did Pete take his flirting too far, only to have a jealous husband teach him a lesson? Or did he discover something in the town’s historical records that his killer wanted kept secret? Tricia is determined to get to the bottom of things before someone else becomes history . . .”

My recording experience:

Poor Tricia is haunted by the loss of her bookstore to fire in the previous book, but the kooky characters that populate in Stoneham, aka Booktown, plus stumbling on yet another dead body keep her from dwelling too much on her woes.  This book delves more deeply into her relationship with her sister, Angie, and it was fun to find out more of her backstory.  Narrating another book in this series had me wondering – are there really towns filled with bookstores? And I found out that there are enough that they have their own International Organization!  Who knew?

Listen to a sample here:

And the Giveaway!

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  JoAnne 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 | June 2, 2015

SUDDENLY ONE SUMMER by Julie James

Available now from Tantor Audio.F0366_SuddenlySummer-238x238

From the Publisher:

“Divorce lawyer Victoria Slade has seen enough unhappy endings to swear off marriage forever. That doesn’t mean she’s opposed to casual dating—just not with her cocky new neighbor, who is as gorgeous and tempting as he is off-limits. But once she agrees to take on his sister’s case, she’s as determined to win as ever—even if that means teaming up with Ford…

Investigative journalist Ford Dixon is bent on finding the man who got his sister pregnant and left her high and dry. He’s willing to partner with Victoria, despite the fact that the beautiful brunette gets under his skin like no other woman. Still, the more time he spends with Victoria, the more he realizes that the one woman as skeptical about love as he is might be the only woman he could really fall for…”

From the AudioGals review:

“Karen White’s narration embodies all of the characters perfectly, as usual, giving distinct voice to both men and women, so that it’s easy to distinguish all the characters and follow the story. Her pacing is so natural that she could be making up the story as she goes – very relaxed and clear. OK, there was one time near the end that she said “Ryan” when I thought it should have been Victoria’s best friend Rachel, but I don’t have the print book so I’m not sure what she meant – was that Rachel’s last name? A typo? Other than that, her narration was as wonderful as ever, catching and delivering the dry humor as well as the pathos perfectly. She evokes the male characters with a slightly lower pitch, but also uses timbre and accents to differentiate them not just from the females but from each other, as there are several scenes with Ford and his two male best friends. And she delivers the love scenes with enough emotion that you sense the heat – but not so much that you feel like a voyeur!”

From the review at The Book Nympho:

“I really liked the story, Ford and Victoria, the romance, the secondary storyline and the audio performance. It reminded me of a well done romantic comedy that was perfectly cast. I’m also glad that I chose to listen to it versus reading the eBook as it just iced a really nice book experience.”

My recording experience:

As many of you know, Julie‘s book JUST THE SEXIEST MAN ALIVE was my very first romance audiobook, and I’ve been lucky enough to record every one of her books since then.  So I was so excited to meet Julie last summer at RWA, where we had a lovely lunch and chatted about all kinds of things, but that was when I learned that Ford was going to be the hero of the next book. (He’s Brooke of LOVE, IRRESISTIBLY‘s best friend.)  I’d had such a blast with him and his two sidekicks Charlie and Tucker that I was looking forward to this one even more than usual. And I wasn’t disappointed.  Julie has managed to take on some serious backstory subjects for both leads without losing her sense of humor.  I was all over the map emotionally with this one, and I hope listeners will be, too!

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Listen to a sample here:

And the Giveaway!

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  KV 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 | June 1, 2015

A NATION IN PAIN by Judy Foreman

Available from Audible.com.41Z51fnYfOL._SL300_

From the Publisher:

“Out of 238 million American adults, 100 million live in chronic pain. And yet the press has paid more attention to the abuses of pain medications than the astoundingly widespread conditions they are intended to treat. Ethically the failure to manage pain better is tantamount to torture. When chronic pain is inadequately treated, it undermines the body and mind. Indeed the risk of suicide for people in chronic pain is twice that of other people. Far more than just a symptom, writes author Judy Foreman, chronic pain can be a disease in its own right–the biggest health problem facing America today.

Published in partnership with the International Association for the Study of Pain, A Nation in Pain offers a sweeping, deeply researched account of the chronic pain crisis, from neurobiology to public policy, and presents practical solutions that are within our grasp today. Drawing on both her personal experience with chronic pain and her background as an award-winning health journalist, she guides us through recent scientific discoveries, including genetic susceptibility to pain; gender disparities in pain conditions and treatments, perhaps linked to estrogen; the problem of undertreated pain in children; the emerging role of the immune system in pain; advances in traditional treatments such as surgery and drugs; and fair-minded assessments of the effectiveness of alternative remedies, including marijuana, acupuncture, massage, and chiropractic care.

For many people the real magic bullet, Foreman writes, is exercise. Though many patients fear it will increase their discomfort, studies show it consistently produces improvement, often dramatic. She also explores the destructive “opioid wars”, which have led to a misguided demonization of prescription painkillers.

Foreman presents a far-reaching but sensible plan of action, ranging from enhancing pain education in medical schools to reforms of federal policies across the board.”

My recording experience:  Maybe it’s just me, but even when I’m narrating non-fiction titles, I immerse myself into the subject.  Perhaps too much sometimes.  Reading this book had me convinced that every ache and pain was going to become chronic and I’d never get rid of it!

Seriously, though, having recently recorded WE SELL DRUGS, Foreman’s book was a fascinating look at the patients who suffer as a result of the politics of the pharmaceutical industry and the complications of enforcing world-wide drug laws, which keep researchers from even studying the efficacy of marijuana as a pain reliever, to give one example.

Finally, after reading this, the movie CAKE resonated so deeply with me.  A surprisingly affective performance by Jennifer Aniston, playing a woman in chronic pain brought the subject home even more deeply.

Listen to a sample here:

Posted by: kewhite | June 1, 2015

WE SELL DRUGS by Susanna Reiss

Available from Audible.com.51RAoRwJqYL._SL300_

From the Publisher:

We Sell Drugs is a study grounded in the transnational geography and political economy of the coca-leaf and coca-derived commodities market stretching from Peru and Bolivia into the United States. More than a narrow biography of one famous plant and its equally famous derivative products – Coca-Cola and cocaine – this audiobook situates these commodities within the larger landscape of drug production and consumption. Examining efforts to control the circuits through which coca traveled, Suzanna Reiss provides a geographic and legal basis for considering the historical construction of designations of legality and illegality.

The book also argues that the legal status of any given drug is largely premised on who grew, manufactured, distributed, and consumed it and not on the qualities of the drug itself. Drug control is a powerful tool for ordering international trade, national economies, and society’s habits and daily lives. In a historical landscape animated by struggles over political economy, national autonomy, hegemony, and racial equality, We Sell Drugs insists on the socio-historical underpinnings of designations of legality to explore how drug control became a major weapon in asserting control of domestic and international affairs.”

My recording experience:

This is one of those books where I didn’t even know what I didn’t know about the subject.  Who knew there were connections between poor farmers in Bolivia, Germany’s loss of WWII and Coca-Cola? And that connection is the pharmaceutical industry, of course.  Fascinating stuff if you’re into world history.

Listen to a sample here:

Posted by: kewhite | April 21, 2015

THE BURMA SPRING by Rena Pederson plus GIVEAWAY

Available now from Blackstone Audio.bg0v-square-400

From the Publisher:

“Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma’s “woman of destiny” and one of the most admired voices for freedom in the world today, comes alive through this brilliant rendering of Burma’s tumultuous history.

Award-winning journalist and former State Department speechwriter Rena Pederson brings to light fresh details about the charismatic Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi: the inspiration for Burma’s (now Myanmar) first steps towards democracy. Suu Kyi’s party will be a major contender in the 2015 elections, a revolutionary breakthrough after years of military dictatorship. Using exclusive interviews with Suu Kyi since her release from fifteen years of house arrest, as well as recently disclosed diplomatic cables, Pederson uncovers new facets to Suu Kyi’s extraordinary story.

The Burma Spring also reveals the extraordinary steps taken by First Lady Laura Bush to help Suu Kyi, as well as how former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton injected new momentum into Burma’s democratic rebirth. Pederson provides a never-before-seen view of the harrowing hardships the people of Burma have endured and the fiery political atmosphere in which Suu Kyi has fought a life-and-death struggle for liberty in this fascinating part of the world.”

My recording experience:

This was a very challenging book to record.  Not simply because of it’s length or because it is filled with words and names from all over Asia (including Aung San Suu Kyi, a name notoriously difficult to get right, and I’m sure I got it wrong, too).  But mostly because of how sad it made me.  I am embarrassed to say that my knowledge of the grievous situation in Myanmar/Burma before reading this book was nonexistent.  Pederson has done exhaustive research for this book and I don’t think she missed detailing much of the suffering endured, not just by Suu Kyi, but by the millions of people she has valiantly tried to represent.  I’d highly recommend the book to anyone curious about this inspirational woman or the country of Myanmar, still on a shaky road toward democracy as the book was published.

Listen to a sample here:

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  The randomly selected winner has been contacted 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.

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