Posted by: Karen | August 5, 2016

TITLE WAVE by Lorna Barrett plus GIVEAWAY

Book 10 in the Booktown Mystery Series.

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Available now from Tantor Audio.

From the Publisher:

“While her bookstore, Haven’t Got a Clue, is rebuilt following a devastating fire, Tricia Miles and her sister, Angelica, decide to book a cruise for some much-needed R&R. Naturally they choose a Mystery Lovers cruise, where they can ponder whodunnit in deck chairs while sipping colorful drinks and soaking up some rays.

But the fun is cut short when a fellow passenger is murdered for real. Is the killer a famous mystery author, one of his fans, or a member of the ship’s crew? As Tricia tries to find the killer before they reach port, she may be cruising for a bruising . . .”

My recording experience:

What was really fun to me about this title was pondering how much of it was based on author Lorna Barrett’s real life as a writer.  Hopefully not the murder, but did she go on a literary-themed cruise and get the idea to write a book about one, or did she have the idea and go on a cruise to gather the details? Also, Barrett does belong to a group of fellow Cozy writers called The Cozy Chicks which made me wonder if the “Lethal Ladies” in this story are based at all on them. I haven’t asked her, so we’ll have to keep pondering.

Perhaps more important, Tricia goes through a huge shift toward the end of this story. She’s been through a lot in her fictional life in the past few books, and without giving away too much, I’ll just say it was great to go through a change toward positive thinking with her.

Listen to a sample here:

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. Oftentimes, you can also enter there!

 

Posted by: Karen | June 28, 2016

SWEET LITTLE LIES by Jill Shalvis plus GIVEAWAY

Heartbreaker Bay #1 y648

Available now from Harper Audio.

From the Publisher:

“Choose the one guy you can’t have . . .

As captain of a San Francisco Bay tour boat, Pru can handle rough seas—the hard part is life on dry land. Pru loves her new apartment and her neighbors; problem is, she’s in danger of stumbling into love with Mr. Right for Anybody But Her.

Fall for him—hard . . .

Pub owner Finn O’Riley is six-foot-plus of hard-working hottie who always makes time for his friends. When Pru becomes one of them, she discovers how amazing it feels to be on the receiving end of that deep green gaze. But when a freak accident involving darts (don’t ask) leads to shirtless first aid, things rush way past the friend zone. Fast.

And then tell him the truth.

Pru only wants Finn to be happy; it’s what she wishes for at the historic fountain that’s supposed to grant her heart’s desire. But wanting him for herself is a different story—because Pru’s been keeping a secret that could change everything. . . .”

From the review at AudioGals:

“How many ways can I say that Karen White is a terrific narrator for contemporary romance? Let me count the ways! Her tone is conversational and the pacing is completely natural. She has comic timing that matches Shalvis’ prose to perfection, and hey – she gets to voice another cute animal! Her character voices are well-developed, with differentiation in many ways, including timbre, range and acting/attitude, and it’s always clear which one is speaking. It always sounds like she’s having fun reading! I left the book feeling happy (that’s always my goal) – it was a great opening to a new series and the perfect summer listen!”

From the review at Reading Between the Wines Bookclub:

“SWEET LITTLE LIES is narrated by Karen White. She is hands-down one of my very favorite narrators. I’ve gotten to where I’ll try just about anything she voices and I’ve discovered new favorite authors because she narrated their works. The pairing of Jill Shalvis and Karen White is nothing short of exquisiteness. Karen’s voice is clear. She seamlessly differentiates between characters. Her pacing is right on and her tones and inflections are perfection! She really nails the humor, charm and sassiness that are inherent in Jill’s writing. If you haven’t listened to one of Karen’s performances, I highly recommend that you do… soon!”

From the review at Bookfan:

“Karen White did a fine job with the narration. I liked how she voiced each character and I had no trouble determining who was speaking. One particular scene involving a character who experienced possible food-poisoning had me laughing – all thanks to White’s delivery and Shalvis’s words, of course.”

From the review at Books, Movies, Reviews Oh My:

“Karen White as become one of my favorite narrators this year and so I will pretty much give anything she narrates a try. 🙂

From the review at The Book Nympho:

“Karen White delivered another noteworthy performance with Sweet Little Lies. Karen does a fine job with the pacing of the story, delivers the characters with distinctions and adding just the right inflections and tones where they are needed.”

From the review at The Geeky Blogger:

“Karen and Jill make a fantastic team. I think she really nails the humor and quirk that Jill has in her writing. She brings out a character’s charm and sass which are staples in Jill’s stories. I highly recommend this on audio!”

My recording experience:

Many people love Jill Shalvis’ books because they make you laugh.  Her books do make me laugh, a lot.  Her descriptions of situations, or the way she puts words together are often something you’d never think of while knowing exactly what she’s talking about at the same time.  Phrases like “her mouth really needed to meet her brain sometime” or “he was her unicorn” make me laugh, and totally understand where this character is coming from.  But Jill also makes me feel deeply for her characters, and I am so excited about this series because not only did I fall for Pru and Finn, but for their collection of friends.  Which of course makes it hard to wait for the next books in the series…

Listen to a sample here:

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Celine B. is the randomly selected winner and I will be getting the download to her ASAP.  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. Oftentimes, you can also enter there!

Posted by: Karen | June 17, 2016

BLISSED by Jamie Farrell plus Giveaway

Available now at Audible.comBlissed1800x2700-768x1152

From the Publisher:

“Welcome to Bliss, the bridal capital of the Midwest!

Natalie Castellano practically has it all – beauty, brains, and a stellar reputation. Because childbearing hips and exhaustion lines are totally sexy. And knowing when to let go of her family’s failing bridal boutique is smart…right? Plus, who doesn’t want to be that divorced mother in Bliss?

With all she has going for her, it would be selfish to secretly wish for love too. Who needs it? Definitely not Nat. But perhaps she does need to take her wedding dress-obsessed little boy somewhere else for a fresh start.

CJ Blue is on top of the world. At least, he was last week when he stood on the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Now, he’s in an empty confessional, hiding from the hullabaloo of a family wedding. a.k.a. the depths of hell.

His meddling relatives want to poke at the deep psychological wounds he supposedly bears from being a 20-something widower. But he doesn’t want to talk, he doesn’t want to be fussed over, and he certainly doesn’t want another chance to fail at love. He just wants to get through this wedding and back to his adventurous life.

But when a dark-haired, wounded-eyed beauty invades his sanctuary and whispers a secret he was never supposed to know, he gets swept up in her life. Is he brave enough to tackle the adventure of life in Bliss, or will he walk away from the only woman in the world who could offer him love, forgiveness, and a second chance?”

From the review at Reading Between the Wines Book Club:

BLISSED is fabulously performed by Karen White, one of my very favorite narrators. I’ve gotten to where I’ll pick up just about anything that Karen narrates. Yes, she’s that fabulous! I’ve found many new favorite authors via Karen – Jamie is one of them! Not surprisingly, Karen’s narration of BLISSED is excellent as she voices a variety of characters from little boys, to old men to autocratic queen generals. Her voice is clear, her delivery is natural and her pacing is perfect. You simply can’t go wrong with anything that Karen narrates!

From the review at Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my!

“Karen White is a favorite and I always enjoy her narration. 🙂

From the review at AudioGals:

“Of course, when you write a romance with humor, who else should narrate but Karen White, who has done such great work with some of the best romantic comedies in audio? Her wonderful comedic timing and dry wit accentuate the antics, and her natural, talking-to-your-BFF pacing makes every book she reads a pleasure. She differentiates well among all the characters, giving each one a specific, recognizable sound, placing men in her lower register, creating believable children’s dialogue and delivering just the right note to her villain.”

My recording experience:

I “met” Jamie Farrell online after reading a review at Dee’s Book Blog of Jamie’s book Southern Fried Blues.  That title spoke to me as a Southern girl re-acquainting myself with my roots and I devoured it. Jamie and I talked about possibly recording it, but she came back with an offer to record her Misfit Brides series first.  I am in love with the kooky residents of Bliss and so happy to be recording this series! When I complimented her on her wacky sense of humor in a book that also had me in tears a few times, she said “I’m an old soul hiding under a goofball exterior”. If that speaks to you like it does to me, you’ll love these books.

Listen to a sample here:

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Jess, Rhonda G, Millie S, D Blaser and Cindy are the randomly selected winners and Jamie will be sending you the download codes shortly.  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: Karen | June 11, 2016

FATHER’S DAY MURDER by Leslie Meier plus GIVEAWAY

Available now from Dreamscape Audio.fathers-day-murder-614x1024

From the Publisher:

“When her part-time reporting gig gives Lucy the opportunity to attend a Boston newspaper conference, she looks forward to the vacation from domestic bliss. But upon leaving Tinker’s Cove, she quickly discovers that alone time can be kind of. . .lonely. And in between libel workshops and panel discussions, Lucy takes a guilt trip. She feels terrible that she won’t be home to help her husband celebrate Father’s Day.

But when Luther Read—head of a nearly bankrupt newspaper dynasty—suddenly drops dead, Lucy has other things to think about. Murder, for instance. She’s not buying the theory that Luther died of an asthma attack. The man just had too many enemies. Always the intrepid snoop, Lucy vows to investigate. But she can’t help wondering if her name will end up on a byline—or in an obit. . .”

My recording experience:

I really enjoy reading this series by Leslie Meier.  I think it’s because Lucy Stone is such a lovely lady to be around.  She’s flawed, but a genuinely nice person and I like how her mind works.  She’s got a refreshing blend of optimism and cynicism and curiosity that organically brings her to progressive political thinking.  This is an earlier book in the series; we’ve only recorded books 18 – 22 and now this is book 10.  And sadly, I missed one last year due to scheduling conflicts.  Even though out of order, it was fun to learn a bit more about Lucy and her backstory, both personally and professionally.  Her conference in Boston allows Meier to bring in some nice details about Boston: the Public Garden and the Swan boats, Trinity Church and the Isabella Gardner museum (all definitely worth visiting if you’re ever there.) Although it’s always fun to listen to a series in order, I don’t think you miss anything if you haven’t read the preceding titles, nor is anything spoiled for future books.

Listen to a sample here:

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Lisa B. 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: Karen | June 4, 2016

Diane Chamberlain Giveaway

Oftentimes I become a fan of an author in the process of recording her books, but every once in a while I’m a longtime fan and then I get to record a person’s books.  This is the case with Diane Chamberlain.  I am pretty sure that The Midwife’s Confession was the first Chamberlain book read (since I’m obsessed with books about midwives and will pick them up whenever I find them), and it was followed by many more.  Shortly after we moved to Wilmington, she came to town on her book tour for Necessary Lies, which remains a favorite.  So when Tantor asked if I’d like to be considered to record her very first book, Private Relations as well as another early title, Fire and Rain, I sent back an enthusiastic, “OF COURSE!”.  I’m honored to have been chosen by Ms. Chamberlain to narrate these two, and I think you’ll find both stand the test of time.  There are things like the ubiquity of the internet and cell phones which might have made the plots run differently, and the fact that single motherhood wouldn’t feel quite as socially uncomfortable to a professional woman these days.  But the ways that relationships are strained, stretched, and often made stronger by the challenges that tragedies bring are universal, and as always well delivered by this writer.  I hope you’ll agree!

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Karen E. 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.

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Posted by: Karen | June 3, 2016

June is Audiobook Month 2016

It’s the time of year to celebrate audiobooks, and there are all sorts of virtual events going on. I’ll be doing a few giveaways, so keep an eye out for them, but here are some things to look out for this month:

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The Audiobook Publisher’s Association is sponsoring this series of interviews with authors. So far we’ve heard from Whoopi Goldberg, Chelsea ClintonJames Patterson, Stephen King and Tyler Oakley.  Check out the APA’s YouTube channel to see them.  The APA is also holding a huge giveaway on the Audiobook Community Facebook page.  The prize is a $250 AMEX card, swanky headphones and a YEAR’S SUPPLY OF AUDIOBOOKS. Definitely worth an entry, I’d say.

2016 Audio Book Lovin Banner - Participants v7

Another month-long event is Audiobook Lovin’, hosted by Books-n-Kisses and Viviana, Enchantress of Books.  Check them out for author and narrator interviews, as well as a big giveaway.

Keep your eyes peeled for a fun month of posts at Book Journey, too, where Sheila will be hosting a big lineup of guest posts from Narrators.  She’s got a beautiful post today about the power of books.

Do you have a plan for Audiobook Month? I’m sure there are events I missed, so please share them, or whatever ways you’ll be showing how you #LoveAudiobooks.

Posted by: Karen | May 7, 2016

SALT MAGAZINE interview

Not only did I get to chat for an hour about one of my favorite topics, but I got to hang out with Wilmington author Dana Sachs, and sample stuff from all over the menu at Fork-n-Cork, one of those restaurants you can never get into on a weekend night.  That drink in the picture is a virgin Bloody Mary, by the way, as I had to go back and do some more recording after lunch, but it was still tasty.  Props to photographer James Stefiuk for catching me before I had food all over my face, too.  Finally, I highly recommend checking out Dana’s book, The Secret of the Nightingale Palace. It’s a fun read.

Here’s a link to the interview at Salt (it’s on p.27):

Posted by: Karen | April 30, 2016

FIRST WOMEN by Kate Andersen Brower plus GIVEAWAY

Available now from Harper Audio:y648-1

From the Publisher:

“From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the groundbreaking backstairs look at the White House,The Residence, comes an intimate, news-making look at the true modern power brokers at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue: the First Ladies, from Jackie Kennedy to Michelle Obama.

One of the most underestimated—and challenging—positions in the world, the First Lady of the United States must be many things: an inspiring leader with a forward-thinking agenda of her own; a savvy politician, skilled at navigating the treacherous rapids of Washington; a wife and mother operating under constant scrutiny; and an able CEO responsible for the smooth operation of countless services and special events at the White House. Now, as she did in her smash #1 bestseller The Residence, former White House correspondent Kate Andersen Brower draws on a wide array of untapped, candid sources—from residence staff and social secretaries to friends and political advisers—to tell the stories of the ten remarkable women who have defined that role since 1960.

Brower offers new insights into this privileged group of remarkable women, including Jacqueline Kennedy, Lady Bird Johnson, Patricia Nixon, Betty Ford, Rosalynn Carter, Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, and Michelle Obama. The stories she shares range from the heartwarming to the shocking and tragic, exploring everything from the first ladies’ political crusades to their rivalries with Washington figures; from their friendships with other first ladies to their public and private relationships with their husbands. She also offers a detailed and insightful new portrait of one of the most-watched first ladies of all time, Hillary Clinton, asking what her tumultuous years in the White House may tell us about her own historic presidential run . . . and what life could be like with the nation’s first First Husband.

Candid and illuminating, this first group biography of the modern first ladies provides a revealing look at life upstairs and downstairs at the world’s most powerful address.”

My recording experience:

As much as I enjoyed Brower’s first book, The Residence, I think FIRST WOMEN topped it.  Reading about the experience these women had while witnessing the circus of the current presidential campaign was fascinating.  I know I could never handle the stress of being President of this country, but I think being it’s First Lady would be even tougher.  Great stories and a great Mother’s Day gift for politicos!

p.s. Don’t you love this cover art?!

Listen to a sample here:

And the Giveaway:

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Mary C. is the randomly selected winner and I’ll be contacting her via email to arrange the download code handoff.  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: Karen | April 21, 2016

LIVE HAPPY by Deborah K. Heisz plus GIVEAWAY

Available now from Harper Audio.y648.png

From the Publisher:

“An eye-opening shift of perspective on the secret of authentic happiness: how surprisingly simple, everyday acts lead to lifelong joy and fulfillment, from the experts at Live Happy magazine.

We are all increasingly hungry for soul-deep happiness. All over the globe, from the hallways of Harvard, where the university’s most popular course is a class on positive psychology, to the United Nations’ resolution naming March 20th the International Day of Happiness, the question of how to be authentically happy concerns millions of lives today.

But what if the secret of lasting happiness is actually . . . simple? Now, in Live Happy, the editors of Live Happy magazine, the first lifestyle publication dedicated to the timeless quest to achieve authentic happiness, reveal that true happiness is all about the big impact of small acts of everyday happiness.

Organized around the key components of a happy life, from gratitude to attitude and play to purpose, Live Happy brings together illuminating real-life happiness stories, eye-opening examinations on the science of happiness, and simple and inspiring everyday “happy acts” to empower readers to achieve big happiness breakthroughs.

Authentic happiness is within reach—and Live Happy shows readers how they can manifest it not only in their own lives but also make a positive and lasting difference in the world.”

My recording experience:

This was the first book I recorded in 2016, and it was such a wonderful way to start my year.  I’d already been keeping a journal, but I’ve added some things to it as a result of reading this book and I restarted a meditation practice. It’s truly one of those books that has something for everyone in it, so I encourage you to check it and/or Live Happy magazine out.

Listen to a sample here:

And, the Giveaway:

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. Becky is the randomly selected winner.  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: Karen | April 21, 2016

NOBODY BUT YOU by Jill Shalvis plus GIVEAWAY

#3 in the Cedar Ridge Series.bs4t-square-400

Available now from Hachette Audio.

From the Publisher:

“SOMETIMES YOU CAN GO HOME AGAIN . . .
After an overseas mission goes wrong, Army Special Forces officer Jacob Kincaid knows where he must go to make things right: back home to the tiny town of Cedar Ridge, Colorado. All he needs to scrub away his painful past is fresh mountain air, a lakeside cabin, and quiet solitude. But what he discovers is a gorgeous woman living on a boat at his dock.

Sophie Marren has nowhere else to go. She’s broke, intermittently seasick, and fighting a serious attraction to the brooding, dishy, I’m-too-sexy-for-myself guy who’s now claiming her dock. Something about Jacob’s dark intensity makes her want to tease-and tempt-him beyond measure. Neither one wants to give any ground . . . until they realize the only true home they have is with each other.”

From the review at AudioGals:

“Karen White is truly one of the top contemporary romance narrators today. She has been the voice of Shalvis’ Animal Magnetism and Cedar Ridge series, delivering these stories in her own inimitable way – which is to say, perfectly! She uses pacing well to indicate the emotions, both light and dark. She placed Sophie’s voice a little higher and gave her just the slightest Texas twang, since Sophie is from Dallas, while recreating the Kincaid siblings from earlier books and giving Jacob a slightly deeper although quieter voice. (Those Kincaids are kinda boisterous!) I have always appreciated how White’s tone comes across as though she were just telling you the story herself – there’s never any indication that she’s sitting in front of a mic reading the text from a tablet. She sounds as if she knows the Kincaids personally, and is bringing you – her BFF – up to speed on all the gossip. Hmm, actually, if I take this metaphor too far, you might start to wonder how she knows what goes on behind closed doors!! Let’s just say it’s a very relaxed and natural delivery, well suited to Shalvis’ writing, and made for a few entertaining hours of audiobook enjoyment.”

From the review at I Am, Indeed:

“Narration for this story is provided by Karen White, and she just transforms the written words with her inflections, pacing and obvious enjoyment of the story.  The second of this series that I’ve reviewed, both featured her as the narrator, and I have yet to not find her performance enhancing anything she presents.  Both characters were clearly presented and distinct, and there were plenty of moments and situations that were simply laugh-out-loud.  Shalvis writes a story that will transport you away, and White’s narration is the icing on the cake.”

My recording experience:

In the AudioGals review of the second book in this series, I got some interesting feedback about the characters yelling too much.  I try to take in constructive criticism when it might be warranted, and I could see Melinda’s point.  So I kept that in mind when recording this one – they are a passionate bunch, the Kincaids.  Nevertheless, I did my best to make some alternative choices other than “yelling”.  Other than that I had a blast playing these two leads: Jacob finding his way back to allowing people in again and Sophie regaining her confidence.  It was also a challenge to find differentiated voices for identical twins.  Hopefully I made that work…

Listen to a sample here:

And, the Giveaway:

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Susan V, Mary C. Sally C, KV and Darlene R are the randomly selected winners and I will be contacting them via email to get them their Downpour codes.  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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