Posted by: kewhite | December 5, 2014

MOTHERHOOD SMOTHERHOOD by JJ Keith

Fighting Back Against the Lactivists, Mompetitions, Germophobes, and So-Called Experts Who Are Driving Us Crazy

Available now from Audible. com 51YgN7yC7lL._SL300_

From the Publisher:

“What’s the first thing a woman does when she thinks she might be pregnant? She Googles. And it goes downhill from there. While the internet is full of calming and cheerily supportive articles, it’s also littered with hyper-judgmental message boards and heaps of contradictory and scolding information.Motherhood Smotherhood takes parents through the trenches of new parenting, warning listeners of the pleasures and perils of mommy blogs, new parent groups, self-described “lactivists”, sleep fascists, incessant trend pieces on working versus non-working mothers, and the place where free time and self-esteem goes to die: Pinterest (back away from the hand-made flower headbands for baby!).

JJ Keith interweaves discussions of what “it takes a village” really means (hint: a lot of unwanted advice from elderly strangers who may have grown up in actual villages) and a take-down of the rising “make your own baby food” movement (just mush a banana with a fork!) with laugh-out-loud observations about the many mistakes she made as a frantic new mother with too much access to high speed internet and a lot of questions. Keith cuts to the truth – whether it’s about “perfect” births, parenting gurus, the growing tide of vaccine rejecters, the joy of blanketing Facebook with baby pics, or germophobia – to move conversations about parenting away from experts espousing blanket truths to amateurs relishing in what a big, messy pile of delight and trauma having a baby is.”

My recording experience:

Oh, this book made me laugh.  And wish that it had been around when I was pregnant/parenting babies and toddlers.  And think of a list of people that I wanted to give it to.  Granted, Keith’s sense of humor is on the irreverent side, and she’s not shy with her use of, shall we say, colorful language.  So it’s not for every brand of new mom.  But if you’re like me, and your parenting experience was full of both anxiety and hilarity, then you’d be on board.  The following quote describing one such moment kind of summed up Keith’s writing style to me: “That right there is a vomit sundae.”  Enjoy.

Listen to a sample here:

Posted by: kewhite | December 5, 2014

THE KILLING OF KAREN SILKWOOD by Richard Rashke

Available now from Audible.com51HhjSEzn2L._SL300_

From the Publisher:

“Karen Silkwood, an employee of the Kerr-McGee plutonium processing plant, was killed in a car crash on her way to deliver important documents to a newspaper reporter in 1974. Silkwood was a union activist concerned about health and safety issues at the plant, and her death at age 28 was considered by many to be highly suspicious. Was it Kerr-McGee’s revenge on a troublesome whistle-blower? Or was it part of a much larger conspiracy reaching from the Atomic Energy Commission to the FBI and the CIA?

Richard Rashke leads us through the myriad of charges and countercharges, theories and facts, and reaches conclusions based solely on the evidence in hand. Originally published in 1981, his audiobook offers a vivid, edgy picture of the tensions that racked this country in the 1970s. However, the volume is not only an important historical document. Complex, fascinating characters populate this compelling insider’s view of the nuclear industry. The issues it explores – whistle-blowers, worker safety, the environment, and nuclear vulnerability – have not lost relevance today, 26 years after Silkwood’s white Honda Civic was found trapped in a concrete culvert near Oklahoma City. For this second edition, Rashke has added a preface and three short chapters that explore what has been learned about Silkwood since the book’s original publication, explain what happened to the various actors in the drama, and discuss the long-term effects of the events around Silkwood’s death.”

My recording experience:

Although I remember vaguely hearing about Karen Silkwood, and I think I saw the movie, I didn’t know 90% of the history of both Silkwood’s life (and death) and the nuclear power industry in general that are covered in this book.  It was frightening to learn how much the industry got away with in terms of pollution and worker exposure to radiation.  Not to mention the CIA and FBI’s involvement.  The passion from those who defended Silkwood after her death, lawyers and activists who never knew her personally, was inspiring.

Listen to a sample here:

Posted by: kewhite | December 2, 2014

COVER YOUR EYES by Mary Burton

Available now from Audible.com.61THcpdCmOL._SL300_

From the Publisher:

Don’t Look. At first, they struggle to escape. Then a torrent of blows rains down upon their bodies until their eyes cloud over in final agony. The killer shows no remorse – just a twisted need to witness each victim’s last terrified moments.

Don’t Speak. Public defender Rachel Wainwright is struggling to reopen a decades-old case, convinced that the wrong man is in prison. Homicide detective Deke Morgan doesn’t want to agree. But if Rachel’s hunch is correct, whoever fatally bludgeoned young, beautiful Annie Dawson 30 years ago could be the source of a new string of brutal slayings.

Just Prepare To Die. Rachel’s investigation is about to reveal answers – but at a price she never thought to pay. Now she’s become the target of a rage honed by years of jealousy and madness. And a murderer is ready to show her just how vicious the truth can be…”

My recording experience:

Y’all know I am not a fan of excessively violent stories, and I have to admit that I was a little worried about this one from its description.  But I have to say that while there are some grisly details, Burton spins a mystery so well that the psychological details trumped the violence.  The puzzle pieces come together slowly as you’re getting to know the two main characters (and there is some romance between them, but it leans more heavily toward the suspense end of things) as well as the very large cast of other characters, and it took me a long while to sort out the good and bad guys.  My husband spent some time working in Nashville and we got to visit, so I loved the Nashville setting.  Its a fascinating town and Burton uses it well.  Hoping there will be more in this locale from her (I can definitely see future tales based around the siblings in the crime fighting Morgan family).  Finally, having learned about the Innocence Project from recording the memoir PICKING COTTON, the fact that fictional character Rachel volunteers for this real world organization was a detail that I loved.  So lots of personal connections for me in this one!  I highly recommend it for romance suspense fans.

Listen to a sample here:

Posted by: kewhite | December 1, 2014

HOLIDAY GIFT IDEA – THE AKASHIC NOIRS

Audible.com has recently released a slew eclectic collections from Akashic press and I was lucky enough to be included in two of them:

BOSTON NOIR

51FHFYbHGcL._SL300_

and

PHILADELPHIA NOIR

51BKV5dBRgL._SL300_

Each collection features an accomplished group of writers and a fantastic group of narrators, including: Andy Caploe, William Dufris, Therese Plummer, Kevin T. Collins, Bronson PinchotScott Aiello, Stephen Hoye, Jason Culp, Jeri Silverman, Suzanne Toren,Marc Vietor, and Scott Brick.  The stories are diverse and take you on an audible tour through these two storied cities, with characters both stock and surprising.  Any fan of the noir genre or the cities themselves would appreciate the gift of one or both of these collections!

Posted by: kewhite | October 28, 2014

FRENCH PASTRY MURDER by Leslie Meier

A Lucy Stone Mystery.French-Pastry-Murder

Available now from Dreamscape Audio.

From the Publisher:

“Tinker’s Cove is abuzz with excitement when Norah, the queen of daytime TV, comes to town and selects Lucy and her pals to be featured in her “Women Who Make a Difference” episode. In recognition for their charitable work, the ladies and their husbands are awarded a dream vacation in Paris, complete with classes at Le Cooking School with renowned pastry chef Larry Bruneau. But their bon voyage is cut short when Lucy discovers the chef in a pool of blood on the second day of class… If she’s going to enjoy her vacation, she’ll have to unpack her sleuthing skills and clear her name. But will she be able to track down a killer more elusive than the perfect macaron?”

My recording experience:

This could have been a narrator’s nightmare: say yes to recording a title, a beloved series where you know all the characters, but when you go to read the book – WHAT?!  The action has moved from Maine to PARIS?!!  That is what happened to me on this one, but luckily I studied French in college, and perhaps even better (since college was a really long time ago), there was a proofer on staff at Tantor Audio (who produced this audio for Dreamscape) with an excellent grasp of the language and its pronunciations.  Thus, she was able to catch me when I fell into the morass of having only a remedial knowledge of a second language.

I’m a little jealous, because I think Leslie Meier had more fun researching this book than I had recording it (I’d leave the recording booth craving cafe au lait and piping hot croissants, or a big glass of red wine) but I did enjoy my imaginary trip to Paris all the same.  It’s always fun to go on Lucy Stone’s adventures as she inadvertently finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation, but I always enjoy Meier’s explorations of moral dilemmas through Lucy’s compassionate eye as much as the sleuthing.  Who knew ruminations on the effect the Arab Spring revolutions are having on Europe as well as the pros and cons of socialism vs. capitalism would be a part of a cozy mystery?

Listen to a sample here:

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Maria and Lisa are the randomly selected winners and the CDs will be mailed out to her as soon as I get their addresses.  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 | October 27, 2014

SWEET REVENGE by Rebecca Zanetti

#2 in the Sin Brothers Series.

Available now from Hachette Audio.media.hdp.hbgusa

From the Publisher:

“The One Man She Can’t Have
Matt Dean was born to fight . . . and kill. A member of a secret black-ops military unit, he and his brothers were genetically engineered by the government to be the perfect soldiers with an expiration date. Now, with time running out, he’s gone rogue in a relentless quest for the one person who can save them. His mission leads him to Charmed, Idaho . . . and to a beautiful woman with eyes like emeralds and a body made for pleasure.

The One Woman He Can’t Resist
Laney Jacobs knows the mysterious, handsome stranger is trouble from the moment he walks into her bar, looking for a job. She’s spent years running from her own past-the last thing she needs is a romantic entanglement. But Matt’s strong arms offer her protection and his gentle touch promises passion unlike anything she’s ever known. As lethal forces surround them, revealing explosive secrets about Matt’s past and putting everything-and everyone-he holds dear in danger, can he save them all before time runs out?”

From the review at Rabid Reads:

“Karen White continues to work her way up my list of favourite narrators, and with over 150 audiobooks under her belt, it’s easy to understand why. In this series she excels at keeping up with Zanetti’s quick paced writing style, her character voices are consistent from book-to-book, and she’s not afraid to pull out her Southern twang when the need arises. It’s hard to say for sure what I would have rated this novel has I read it instead, but I strongly suspect that White’s narration helped curtail some of the issues that I had with Matt.”

My recording experience:

Rebecca Zanetti’s writing makes my job easy.  Her dialogue flows so well that I can zip right through and let the emotions of the scene drive it.  I think I may have personally identified more with Matt than Shane, being a first child myself.  Though I never trained my younger brother to kill, we did have some memorable wrestling matches when in elementary school, officiated by a particularly wacky babysitter.  Laney’s journey was a surprise to me, and I hope it will be to listeners as well.  And this one is as action packed as the first.  I’ve just finished recording #3, Blind Faith, which comes out in early 2015 along with the print version, and I can’t wait to read the final chapter, Total Surrender. (and a quick check of Zanetti’s website shows that print, ebook and audio of this will release March 2015 – yay!)

Listen to a sample here:

p.s.  I got to meet Rebecca at RWA this summer, and had such a fun talk with her.  We chatted about kids and sports just like regular moms, as well as her writing process.  It blows my mind that such down to earth nice woman can come up with stories like these!

IMG_1568

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.

Older Posts »

Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,305 other followers