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.

Posted by: kewhite | April 7, 2015

TOTAL SURRENDER by Rebecca Zanetti

Available now from Hachette Audio.bc60f6ee3bea53957d971af0c357f3f5

From the Publisher:

A fight he must win . . .

Piper Oliver knows she can’t trust him. They warned her that the tall, dark, and sexy black-ops soldier Jory Dean would try to win her over with his steel-gray eyes and deadly charm, but she won’t be conned by this man they call a traitor. All she has to do is figure out the science necessary to save his life, and she’s done. Something isn’t adding up, though, and she won’t rest until she uncovers the truth-even if it’s buried in his deep, dangerous kiss.

A passion she can’t resist . . .

Jory will do anything to reunite with and save his brothers-even kidnap the gorgeous woman who’s working to deactivate the deadly chip in their spines. But the forces determined to destroy his family won’t let them go so easily. Keeping Piper alive is more than he bargained for-and so is his burning desire for her. But with every second bringing him closer to certain death, can he afford to lose himself in her hot and willing embrace?”

From the review at Rabid Reads (which includes an interview of Rebecca & myself):

“The blame for my newly found heart condition doesn’t rest solely on the author’s shoulders because even though she brought the grenade, it was Karen White who pulled the pin with her narration. There were so many voices in this audiobook because all of the characters were in it, and yet the reader conquered every single one of them as though it were child’s play.”

From the review at Hot Listens:

Karen White nails the narration of this series. There are a bunch of characters in this final book of the series. Zanetti gives all the characters we’ve met at least a little page time, so White had to keep all the characters straight and clearly defined with each having their own voices. The emotion that is delivered throughout the series is great, but it is ratcheted up several notches in this final story.”

From the joint review at The Book Nympho:

Jonetta: She made all the characters distinctive. I particularly liked her interpretation of Pippa and Mommie Dearest.

Jennifer: Karen brought her A game again. She knows the right amount of sassy to bring to the heroines and roughness for the Dean boys.”

My recording experience:

Although I was very sad to have this series come to an end (I literally cried in the last scene) it was an amazing ride.  The push and pull between romance and a ticking clock kept the tension high, I was in and out of battle scenes constantly – it was exhausting! but glorious!  Piper was yet another fun and feisty heroine and Jory. Oh Jory.  Even with my expectations high, he was such a great character.  His emotional journey in the book is fascinating, his place in the family structure unexpected.  I would truly be bereft after finishing this book.  If I weren’t already immersed in recording Zanetti’s entire Dark Protectors series!  Talk about a ride…

Listen to a sample here:

Posted by: kewhite | April 5, 2015

STILL THE ONE by Jill Shalvis plus GIVEAWAY

Book 6 in the Animal Magnetism Series. Available April 7 from Tantor Audio.

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From the Publisher:

“Darcy Stone is game for anything—except sexy Navy vet and physical therapist AJ Colten, the guy who’d rejected her when she’d needed him most. Now the shoe is on the other foot and he needs her to play nice and help him secure grants for his patients. She needs the money to fund her passion project: rescuing S&R dogs and placing them with emotionally wounded soldiers.

AJ admits it—Darcy is irresistible. But he’s already been battle-scarred by a strong-willed, vivacious, adventurous woman like Darcy, and he’s not making the same mistake twice—until he and Darcy are forced to fake a relationship. Growing closer than they’d ever imagined possible, Darcy and AJ have to ask themselves: how much between them is pretend? What’s the real thing? And where does it go from here?”

From the review at AudioGals:

“Karen White brought her usual smart and sassy narration to this book – she has wonderful comic timing as well as all the emotions necessary for voicing the wisecracks and witty banter that Shalvis gives her characters. Although she doesn’t have an extremely low register, she conveys male-ness well in dialogue with more than just pitch, and all her characters are easily differentiated by attitude, timbre, register, accent and other vocal attributes. That of course includes Peanut the Parrot, who livens up the scenes with salty and inappropriate phrases, as well as the occasional dog and cat contribution to the dialogue. I paid special attention to the way she reads intimate scenes this time, after a recent listen to a different narrator where I felt the narrator took it a little farther than my comfort zone. White passed the test of conveying the emotions without making me feel like a voyeur.”

And you might also want to check out AudioGals’ Chat with Jill, Lea and myself!

From the review at Fangs, Wands & Fairy Dust:

“I also listened to the audio narrated by Karen White with just the right delivery of emotion and great voices for the characters of both genders. The production value was also excellent!”

My recording experience:

I was really looking forward to recording the next book in Jill’s Animal Magnetism series, for a variety of reasons.  One, it’d been a year since the last one (she usually does one every six months).

IMG_1559Two, I got to meet Jill this summer when I went to RWA 2014 to speak on an audiobook panel, and she was every bit as funny and kind in person as I’d imagined.

And three, I am very proud to be an Audie Finalist this year for another book in the AM oeuvre, RUMOR HAS IT.  This is like the Oscars for audiobooks, so it’s a big deal!

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And finally, I just love recording Jill’s books.  This one really impressed me in particular because it addressed some heavy subjects (PTSD, chronic pain, and animal rescue, of course) while maintaining the snappy humor Jill’s so good at.  I’ve been speaking on a variety of audiobook panels this year, and one thing I realized about my work in particular is that I bring emotion, of all kinds, to the narrative as well as the dialogue.  I think that I’ve developed this style, in part, because of great narrative writing like Jill’s.  The characters’ inner monologues are so full of funny angst that I have to ride that roller coaster of emotion to squeeze all the humor out of it (and it’s more fun that way).  The sample below reflects that, as well as a wee chance I took with the main characters’ voices.  Darcy starts out this book in a pretty negative space and AJ has his emotions buried.  So their voices reflect that (and aren’t “pretty sounding”). But as they grow and learn to trust each other and themselves, their voices grow to reflect that, too.  I don’t know if it’s anything that listeners will even notice, but it was a big part of the journey for me.

As was spending a good 15 minutes perfecting the intention behind one, “Woof!”.

Listen to a sample here:

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Monique 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 | March 18, 2015

THE KIND WORTH KILLING by Peter Swanson

Available now from Blackstone Audio.bjaw-square-400-1

From the Publisher:

“From the author of the acclaimed Girl with a Clock for a Heart—hailed by the Washington Post as crime fiction’s best first novel of 2014—comes a devious tale of psychological suspense involving sex, deception, and an accidental encounter that leads to murder that is a modern reimagining of Patricia Highsmith’s classic Strangers on a Train.

On a night flight from London to Boston, Ted Severson meets the stunning and mysterious Lily Kintner. Sharing one too many martinis, the strangers begin to play a game of truth, revealing very intimate details about themselves. Ted talks about his marriage that’s going stale and his wife, Miranda, who he’s sure is cheating on him. Ted and his wife were a mismatch from the start—he the rich businessman, she the artistic free spirit—a contrast that once inflamed their passion but has now become a cliché.

But their game turns a little darker when Ted jokes that he could kill Miranda for what she’s done. Lily, without missing a beat, says calmly, “I’d like to help.” After all, some people are the kind worth killing, like a lying, stinking, cheating spouse.

Back in Boston, Ted and Lily’s twisted bond grows stronger as they begin to plot Miranda’s demise. But there are a few things about Lily’s past that she hasn’t shared with Ted, namely her experience in the art and craft of murder, a journey that began in her very precocious youth.

Suddenly these coconspirators are embroiled in a chilling game of cat and mouse, one they both cannot survive … with a shrewd and very determined detective on their tail.

My recording experience:

One thing that’s fun about audiobooks and other voice acting work is that one can play characters that one would NEVER get to play on screen, or on stage (though I have played a 70 year old man on stage).  Miranda, the character I recorded in Swanson’s twisty twisted crime novel, is, I am pretty sure, the most gorgeous woman I’ve ever had the pleasure of voicing (so there’s that ego boost thing going on).  She’s not the nicest, but that was the fun challenge.  Getting to tell the story solely from within her mind, I could immerse myself in her way of seeing things and fall deeper into her own (admittedly skewed and somewhat sociopathic) justifications of her behavior.  When I narrate in 3rd person I do my best to invest fully in each character and play from their perspective, but here, I didn’t have to worry about that.  Even when it didn’t jive with how others see things.  But enough, or I’ll be giving away too many spoilers!

Finally, I was honored to work with such a great pack of narrators: Johnny Heller, Kathleen Early and Keith Szarabajka (thank goodness I didn’t have to pronounce his name!) all bring broad talent to the table so I knew this book would be fabulous.  Enjoy.

Listen to a sample here:

Posted by: kewhite | February 11, 2015

BLIND FAITH by Rebecca Zanetti plus GIVEAWAY

Available now from Hachette Audio.bh3z-square-400

From the Publisher:

“A betrayal he couldn’t forget . . .

For Nate Dean, love is a four-letter word. As part of a secret black-ops military unit, he and his brothers were genetically engineered by the government to be ruthless soldiers with an expiration date. They were loyal only to one another . . . until Nate laid eyes on the woman who stole his heart and blew his world apart. Now, years later, his family is still paying the price for his mistake. But as time runs out, there’s only one person who can save his family: the very woman Nate swore he’d never trust again.

A love she couldn’t deny . . .

The moment Audrey Madison spies Nate across a crowded ballroom, she can barely breathe. He’s just as undeniably sexy as she remembers, yet there’s an edge to him now that’s as irresistible as it is dangerous. When he asks for her help, Audrey can’t refuse. But she has secrets of her own–secrets that, if Nate ever discovers them, may cost them both their lives . . . “

From the review at Rabid Reads:

“Karen White rocked the narration for a third time…I’m now unequivocally under Karen White’s spell after listening to BLIND FAITH. Her male voices are one of the best in the industry, and I had no trouble discerning which member of the Dean family was talking because her inflections promptly brought me back to books 1 and 2 when Shane and Matt were the dominant POVs. Her breakneck pacing transforms an already suspenseful audio into a Formula One worthy performance that’ll have you double checking to see if you pressed the playback speed option by accident.”

From the review at Hot Listens:

“This is the first series that I’ve listened to by Karen White. I’ve heard about her a lot, but she doesn’t do many, PNR or UF books, which is my main genre.

I’ve seen her name come up a bunch on contemporary romances, but they are not high on my list, though I do some here and there. She did a great job with the Sin Brothers series. She did a great job with both male and female characters. I hope to find more books with Karen White as the narrator. I really enjoyed her portrayal of Blind Faith and the other Sin Brothers books.”

You just have to go read the review at The Book Nympho.  Jennifer and Jonetta give it four stars and their dialogue about the book to too funny to miss!

My recording experience:

Although I’ve loved the adventure of recording all of Zanetti’s SIN BROTHERS series (and am now having a blast recording her DARK PROTECTORS series) I have to admit that Nate is my favorite brother.  Something about his wounded heart and the way he protects his brother’s hearts.  And the fact that he has thumbed his nose the most at the directive to lose his Tennessee accent, gives him a special corner in my heart and imagination.

Listen to a sample here:

AND, the Giveaway:

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. Mary C. 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 | February 5, 2015

JUST THE WAY YOU ARE by Beverly Barton plus GIVEAWAY

Available now from Tantor Audio.F0594_JustWay-238x238

From the Publisher:

“Mary Beth Caine has always been the good girl in her small Mississippi town. But when a big, protective, shamelessly sexy stranger offers to console her on the night of her disastrous engagement party, Mary Beth lets him—only to discover that Parr Weston also happens to be the older brother of her fiancé, Bobby Joe.

Parr left Mississippi after spending years holding his family together. Now that he’s back, he can’t steal Bobby Joe’s woman, and he sure can’t offer Mary Beth the tidy happily-ever-after she deserves. But everything about the petite beauty—from her flame-gold hair to her artless sensuality—makes him crave her more. Love or lust, right or wrong, all he knows is that nothing has ever felt like this before, and walking away will be the hardest thing he’s ever had to do.”

My recording experience:

I was pleasantly surprised to find JUST THE WAY YOU ARE to be a good old fashioned contemporary romance.  I’ve recorded a few of Barton’s romantic thrillers, including the DEAD BY…series as well as DON’T CRY and DON’T SAY A WORD.  All well-crafted suspenseful books (and all set in the south, like this one) but a bit grisly for recording over the holidays!  And boy do they give me nightmares.  This sweet book was about as different as it could be and is sure to please anyone looking for an HEA, as well as an alpha male just tryin’ to do the right thing.

Listen to a Sample here:

AND the Giveaway:

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Donna 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.

Available now from Tantor Audio.F0624_UnrequitedRomantic-238x238

From the Publisher:

“The summer Lisa A. Phillips turned thirty, she fell in love with someone who didn’t return her feelings. She soon became obsessed. She followed him around, called him compulsively, and talked about him endlessly. One desperate morning, after she snuck into his apartment building, he picked up a baseball bat to protect himself and began to dial 911. Her unrequited love had changed her from a sane, conscientious college teacher and radio reporter into someone she barely recognized—someone who was taking her yearning much too far.

In Unrequited, Phillips explores the tremendous force of obsessive love in women’s lives. Interweaving her own story with frank interviews and in-depth research in science, psychology, cultural history, and literature, Phillips describes how romantic obsession takes root, grows, and strongly influences our thoughts and behaviors.

As she illuminates this mysterious psychological experience, placing it in a rich and nuanced context, Phillips offers compelling insights to help any woman who has experienced unrequited obsessive love and been mystified and troubled by its grip.”

My recording experience:

I honestly had no idea what to expect when I set out to read this book, and I have to say that I think it’s one of the most unique books I’ve ever read, and it totally works.  Phillips has skillfully woven together her own life experience with that of other women who’ve done surprising things while in the throes of unrequited love, put them in perspective using the sciences and history and myth to create a very readable (and hopefully listen-able!) final product.  It had me thinking about some of the crazy things I’ve done in the name of love (endless letters to that director from London, making my friends ride by the house of that boy I was obsessed with in 8th grade, etc.).  The most important thing Phillips does is challenge us to find the deeper drive behind the obsession – what in ourselves are we trying to create, find or heal, that we have projected onto this man? Fascinating stuff!

Listen to a sample here:

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Joan 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 | January 14, 2015

ONLY IN VEGAS by Lindsey Brookes plus GIVEAWAY!

Available now at Audible.com.619bIzeidML._SL300_

From the Publisher:

“Being Italian and being sexy is supposed to go hand in hand, but somewhere along the line twenty-six-year-old Angelina Rossi’s genes forgot their Italian love goddess heritage. And now everyone at her work knows what a failure she is as a woman thanks to her ex-boyfriend and co-worker at Sunset Travel who has given Angie the nickname of ‘Ice Princess’, claiming no man will ever thaw her.

Thirty-year-old business executive Trey Landers isn’t surprised by much his best friend and neighbor, Angelina Rossi, throws his way. But this time she throws him one hell of a curve ball. She not only wants him to accompany her on a business trip to Las Vegas, pretending to be her lover in front of her ex-boyfriend, she wants Trey to give her pointers on what it takes to seduce a man.

A man of his word, Trey’s fevered kisses in front of her ex has the ass regretting his decision to break up with Angie. Not that she’d ever consider going back to Rick. Especially after discovering true passion in Trey’s arms. With that passion comes the realization they’re no longer pretending as the lines of their longstanding friendship and newfound love begin to blur. If only what happened didn’t have to stay in Vegas.”

My recording experience:

To me, this book is a great example of a straight up contemporary romance.  No vampires, no urban grit, not even really a workplace romance, its simply about two people falling in love, with a few bumps and obstacles along the way.  I think Brookes combines well trope #1, guy pretending to be the date and – oops! he finds he really wants to be the date with trope #2, two childhood friends who at first have weirdness because they grew up together.  I also liked that these two characters are good friends who wend their way to great chemistry.  Lots to love!

Listen to a sample here:

AND the GIVEAWAY!

The author has very graciously given me 5 free copies to give to listeners willing to post an honest review on Audible after listening, hopefully within a few weeks of accepting.  If you’re interested, just make a comment below and I will email the first five with a gift code and instructions.  This has mature content, so 21+ listeners only, please!

Posted by: kewhite | December 21, 2014

MURDEROUS MUFFINS by Lois Lavrisa plus GIVEAWAY!

Available now from Lois Marie Lavrisa at Audible.com.618p+dRTqNL._SL300_

From the Publisher:

“Bezu is a beautiful southern belle with genteel manners. But her problems are anything but. Deep in debt, she’s illegally taken in a few lodgers. A sweet stripper and her bodybuilder boyfriend, an Asian man loudly learning English through pop music, and a mysterious stranger with the most amazing blue-green eyes – and a secret. When one of them mysteriously dies and it looks like her muffins were the murder weapon, Bezu and her fellow Chubby Chicks Club member, Cat, must discover who the killer is before she ends up in jail…or worse. Will they succeed? Find out in Murderous Muffins, book two in the Chubby Chicks Club cozy mystery series.”

From the review at Audiothing:

“Karen White could not, in my opinion, have done a better job than this wonderful narration, she simply tells a story so well. I loved the Southern accents, and all the characters are so clearly defined that one is never left to puzzle “who’s that again?”
Karen never gives cause to detract the listener from the story, it all flows beautifully without interruption. Tip top job!”

My recording experience:

Although this book is number two in a series, I think it would work well as a standalone, as that’s how I experienced it.  Each book in the series is from the first person POV of a different character, so Lavrisa is wisely using a different narrator for each one.  I know that listeners like to have a consistent narrator through a series (and most narrators like it, too, as we really get to know the characters and the writer’s style) but in this case it makes a lot of sense to switch it up.

I had a lot of fun with all the characters in this one, from Bezu, the belle beset with problems, to each of the smaller wacky characters (par for the course I am finding in a successful cozy mystery).  It was the first time I’d done an entire book in an accent, but since it is from Bezu’s POV it demanded it, and hopefully, surrounded as I am these days by a wide range of southern accents, I was able to deliver!

Listen to a sample here:

AND the GIVEAWAY:

This is a little different from my usual giveaways.  Thanks to the generosity of Lois Lavrisa, who also published the book, I have 25 digital download copies of this book to give away!  We just ask that if you take a copy you agree to give an honest review on Audible.com.  So, if you’re interested, just make a comment below and then I will email you with the download code.  You’ll need an Audible account to use it, which is free.  The first 25 people that comment or contact me on goodreads or Facebook or Twitter will receive a code.  Enjoy!

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:

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