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 Suzanna 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.

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.

B1892_StillOne-238x238

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!”

From the review at The Geeky Blogger:

“Karen nails this series! I have listened to all of these on audio and wouldn’t do it any other way. Karen has a way of bringing Jill Shalvis’ voice alive and her characters that extra Umph!”

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!

10959806_10153079221603536_5122531288539943327_n

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

Winner of an AudioFile Magazine Earphones Award.

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 re-imagining 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.  © 2015 by Peter Swanson”

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!

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