Posted by: Karen | May 21, 2018

TWO SOCIAL JUSTICE TITLES

In the past few month I feel lucky to have recorded several non-fiction titles that have given me new insights into today’s troubled times.

Two of these books, The Middle of Nowhere by Mary Pipher and Witnessing Whiteness by Shelly Tochluk, were actually published years ago but have received increased interest due to what’s happening in our country right now and are thus getting published in audiobook form for the first time (both from Tantor Audio).

Both are usefully, but somewhat sadly, even more relevant now than when they were first written. If you, like me, want to have a deeper understanding of the cultural currents in our society, I highly recommend them both.

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Over the past decade, Mary Pipher has been a great source of wisdom, helping us to better understand our family members. Now she connects us with the newest members of the American family—refugees.

In cities all over the country, refugees arrive daily. Lost Boys from Sudan, survivors from Kosovo, families fleeing Afghanistan and Vietnam: they come with nothing but the desire to experience the American dream. Their endurance in the face of tragedy and their ability to hold on to the virtues of family, love, and joy are a lesson for Americans.

Their stories will make you laugh and weep—and give you a deeper understanding of the wider world in which we live.

The Middle of Everywhere moves beyond the headlines into the homes of refugees from around the world. Working as a cultural broker, teacher, and therapist, Mary Pipher has once again opened our eyes—and our hearts—to those with whom we share the future.

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Witnessing Whiteness invites listeners to consider what it means to be white, describes and critiques strategies used to avoid race issues, and identifies the detrimental effect of avoiding race on cross-race collaborations. The author illustrates how racial discomfort leads white people toward poor relationships with people of color. Questioning the implications our history has for personal lives and social institutions, the book considers political, economic, socio-cultural, and legal histories that shaped the meanings associated with whiteness. Drawing on dialogue with well-known figures within education, race, and multicultural work, the book offers intimate, personal stories of cross-race friendships that address both how a deep understanding of whiteness supports cross-race collaboration and the long-term nature of the work of excising racism from the deep psyche. Concluding chapters offer practical information on building knowledge, skills, capacities, and communities that support anti-racism practices, a hopeful look at our collective future, and a discussion of how to create a culture of witnesses who support allies for social and racial justice.

FLASH GIVEAWAY:

I have one copy of each of the CD version of these books to give away.  To be entered into this random drawing, just make a comment below, letting me know if you are interested in both or just one of them.  Entrants must be 18+ years of age, and residents of the continental US only please.  Entries will be taken up until 5pm EST on Friday, May 25.  The randomly selected winner will be contacted by email and then I’ll need your mailing address to get the CDs to you, but I don’t keep or share any contact info.  Good luck and thanks for listening!

Posted by: Karen | May 10, 2018

Vintage Love Stories

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I am beyond thrilled to announce that my short story, Can’t Get Used to Losing You, has been accepted in Blunderwoman Productions’ next collection, Vintage Love Stories.

This is my first work of fiction to be published, and it just happens to be the pre-quel to one of the books in my hopefully-published-soon romance series set in Boston in the 1980’s.

I’m proud to have a story in this collection, but especially happy to see that fellow narrator and longtime friend Cassandra Campbell will also have a story included.

I’ll keep you posted on release dates. It will be published in audio as well as ebook formats and I don’t think I’ll be narrating, so I’ll be announcing the narrators as soon as I know who they’ll be as well.

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Posted by: Karen | April 29, 2018

Supper Club Mysteries by Ellery Adams

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Stiffs and Swine, Supper Club #4

“James Henry and the Flab Five are invited to serve as judges at Hog Fest, a celebrated barbecue festival in the Virginia mountains. But when one of the “pit masters” is found dead and a member of the supper club is accused of the murder, James and his friends have to lick the sauce off their fingers and get to work catching a killer.

Amid a fairground filled with colorful people and tempting food, The Flab Five are sure to fall off the diet wagon. But James Henry has more to worry about than his expanding waistline. His bookmobile is dead, suspicious activities are taking place in his beloved library, and his relationship with Murphy Alistair is on the rocks.

James needs to focus less on brisket and fried pickles and more on solving problems because Hog Fest is clearly no picnic.”

From the review at Fan Girl Nation:

“The audiobook of Stiffs and Swine is performed aptly by Karen White, who has narrated the previous books in the series as well. She uses great expression without over-emoting as well as good timing. I really like the way she makes the book come alive.

Stiffs and Swine is a really good book that I enjoyed listening to. I appreciated all the aspects of this book, whether the major plot point, the more minor plot points, or the characters. I strongly recommend this book to other readers and give it five stars.”

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The Battered Body, Supper Club #5

“There’s big trouble in Quincy’s Gap when the “Diva of Dough” arrives to bake the wedding cake for Milla and Jackson’s Christmas Eve wedding. The Diva, a celebrity television chef and cookbook author, is Milla’s younger sister. And while her cakes are delectably sweet and incredibly beautiful, the Diva makes enemies wherever she goes. When one of the Diva’s enemies decides to take her out, and Deputy Lucy Hanover finds the famous chef’s body covered in cake batter, the Supper Club members find themselves up to their necks in suspects.”

Warning! While many listeners have rightfully noted that these books are a realistic portrayal of the trials of taking off pounds and keeping them off, Adams’s descriptions of food can make you really hungry. I just had to bake a pie after reading Chapter 11 of Stiffs and Swine. And eat it of course.

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Photo from an real-life Hog Beauty Contest

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Mary 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 | March 19, 2018

Just have to share this

I just finished recording this novella for Harper Audio last week. The clip below includes one of my favorite lines to record of all time.

I know it’s sometimes tough to use a credit on a shorter book, but if you’re a fan of comedy and romance, I highly recommend The Good Luck Sister by the “go to read for humor and heart” novelist Jill Shalvis. The final chapter builds on this particular brand of emotional/word choice humor and it alone is worth the price IMHO!

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p.s. you can listen to this title without reading Lost and Found Sisters first, but I think it’ll be a sweeter experience if you do.

Available for pre-order now for a May 1, 2018 delivery.

 

Posted by: Karen | February 21, 2018

CHILI CON CORPSES by Ellery Adams

Book 3 in the Supper Club Mysteries series. J1526_ChiliCorpses-238x238

Available now from Tantor Audio.

From the Publisher:

“In this savory third mystery featuring the Flab Five, James Henry is looking to add a little more spice to his life. Despite his trimmer waistline, his girlfriend Lucy’s affections for him seem to have inexplicably cooled. So when Lindy suggests the supper club members join a Mexican cooking class, James leaps at the chance to try something new. The Flab Five’s classmates include Shenandoah Star Ledger editor Murphy Alistair and twin sisters with supermodel physiques. When one of the sisters is murdered during a school field trip to Luray Caverns, the amateur sleuths set out to catch the killer. The Flab Five has to work fast because the evidence points toward Lindy. Between his sleuthing, and his attempts to reduce his salt intake, improve his relationship with his father, and find the owner of a winning lottery ticket left in the library’s book drop, James’s winter is really heating up.”

From the review at Fan Girl Nation:

“Karen White performs the audio version of this book. She creates strong voices for each character and effective inflections as she reads the book. My one complaint is that her voicing of Gary, a New Yorker, does not sound like the New York accents I am familiar with, though I admit not to having spent time in New York or with very many New Yorkers. But Gary does not speak many lines, so this was not a significant issue. Other than this, I liked the performance of White in this book.”

My recording experience:

I’ve been having a great time recording this series – so many interesting characters. The fun thing about this one was that I recorded the Thanksgiving scene the day after Turkey Day!

Listen to a sample here:

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Mary 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 | February 14, 2018

What Does Passion Sound Like?

If you haven’t yet read Ron Charles‘ cheeky and chatty Washington Post article, “What Does Passion Sound Like?”, don’t miss it! Charles, whose video book reviews are also not to be missed, interviews a lineup of romance narrators (including Adenrele Ojo, Amanda Ronconi, Andi Arndt, Jim Frangione and me)  on the topic of narrating romance audiobooks.

“This Valentine’s Day, you might whisper into your lover’s ear for a few minutes.

Pity the poor audiobook narrator who has to keep that up for hours.

It’s a challenge, particularly for the voice actors who record romance novels. Perhaps no group of people has thought more deeply about the complicated sound of passion than these narrators who speak the words that romance authors set down on paper. They literally sing the body electric.”

And if you’re looking for a few listening suggestions for this holiday of love, here are a few suggestions from my backlist.

Animal Magnetism Shalvis

Animal Magnetism by Jill Shalvis is a bargain if you pick up the Kindle edition and then add the audiobook. This is the first book of Jill’s that I narrated (thankfully, the covers improved over the years.) I was delighted to discover her humorous approach to the genre and continue to love recording her books.

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Something About You by Julie James, the first book in her FBI/US Attorney series, is another one to check out. The Kindle edition is more expensive, but the audiobook add-on is less, so it comes out about the same. Another series full of humor as well as sizzling romance!

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One more bargain series starter full of humor: Blissed by Jamie Farrell. Again, get the Kindle and add the audio – it’s a steal.

Tear-You-Apart

Finally, if you’re in the mood for something completely different on this holiday, which can be overwhelming in its focus on the HEA, check out Tear You Apart by Megan Hart. It’s beautifully written, quite steamy and delivers on its title’s promise.

 

Posted by: Karen | January 31, 2018

ABOUT THAT KISS by Jill Shalvis

A Heartbreaker Bay novel.AboutThatKiss da c

Available now from Harper Audio.

From the Publisher:

When love drives you crazy….

When sexy Joe Malone never calls after their explosive kiss, Kylie shoves him out of her mind. Until she needs a favor, and it’s a doozy. Something precious to her has been stolen, and there’s only one person with unique finder-and-fixer skills that can help – Joe. It means swallowing her pride and somehow trying to avoid the temptation to throttle him – or seduce him.

the best thing to do….

No, Joe didn’t call after the kiss. He’s the fun-time guy, not the forever guy. And Kylie, after all she’s been through, deserves a good man who will stay. But everything about Kylie makes it damned hard to focus, and though his brain knows what he has to do, his heart isn’t getting the memo.

is enjoy the ride.

As Kylie and Joe go on the scavenger hunt of their lives, they discover surprising things about each other. Now, the best way for them to get over “that kiss” might just be to replace it with a hundred more.

From the review in AudioFile Magazine:

“White brings the spunky Kylie to life. The listener will chuckle as Kylie and Joe argue about her joining the investigation. White allows the listener to envision Kylie in her variety of disguises and brings out the sorrow she feels at the loss of her penguin. Listeners will especially fall in love with Kylie’s dog, Vinnie.”

From the review at Books of My Heart:

“Karen White was most enjoyable in this narration. I felt Kylie’s frustration at not being included and Joe’s total cluelessness as to having a relationship. She really does well with the male voices, better than one would expect.”

From the review at Geeky Blogger’s Book Blog:

“I love the Heartbreaker Bay series and was really happy with Joe/Kylie story. The great thing about this series is it balances humor and serious very well. Karen as always did a great job with the narration!”

My recording experience:

Kylie and Joe were such a lovable pair – both vulnerable because of life’s damages but still kicking ass and taking names, each in their own way. The “crime caper” element of this story was a lot of fun, too. Elderly Mrs. Winslow gets one of the best lines, per usual: “It’s all fun and games until somebody loses the handcuffs” but my favorite line was Kylie’s, “And I’m not a pretty puker, either.” Listen for these! Pretty sure I edited out my laughter…

Listen to a sample here:

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Teresa 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. Oftentimes, you can also enter there!

Posted by: Karen | December 26, 2017

Ellery Adams’ Supper Club Mysteries Giveaway

Carbs & Cadavers, Book One

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Fit to Die, Book Two

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Ellery Adams‘ Supper Club cozy mystery series is set in one of my favorite places, the Shenandoah Valley. James Henry is the hero and the series begins soon after he returns to his tiny fictional hometown Quincy’s Gap. He’s had to give up a beloved job – teaching English at William & Mary College in Virginia – to return home to live with his father, a recent widower. Divorced, overweight and working as the town librarian, James finds a new lease on life, new friends and solves a few murders through the weight-loss supper club he joins, the “Flab Five”.

From the review of Carbs and Cadavers in FanGirl Nation:

“Karen White reprises her role as narrator of Adams’ Books by the Bay series in narrating this audiobook. She does a good job of making the book interesting to listen to, drawing me to it. She keeps the book moving.”

From the review of Carbs and Cadavers at Books, Movies, Reviews, Oh My!

“Karen White narrates this one and she is one of my favorites so it was a delight to have her voice in my ear again. 🙂 Though I thought it was weird the main character is a man and it has a female narrator. I guess it’s cause most the other characters are females…lol.”

From the review of Fit to Die at FanGirlNation:

“Karen White does a notable job in performing the audio edition of this book. She does an effective job of pacing and expressing herself as she articulates the book. She really does make this book all the more effective as I listen to it.”

From the review of Fit to Die at Book, Movies Reviews, Oh My!

“I thought this was another well done mystery and I am really enjoying this series. The characters are easy to get to know and like and since I am one who struggles with a weight problem they are very relatable to me and very realistic. I sure could feel for James when he was in that exercise class and felt like he was about to die…lol.

If you love cozies check this series out! Karen White does a great job narrating this as always!”

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Sharon 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 | December 23, 2017

Happy Jólabókaflóð!

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One of my favorite holiday traditions is to give my kids and nieces and nephews books on Christmas Eve. I had no idea it was an Icelandic tradition but I’m happy to be celebrating this holiday, especially since “Iceland publishes more books per capita than any other country in the world except the U.K.” according to Mother Nature Network.

When the kids were younger, I gave them books about Christmas and Hannukah and other Winter Holiday traditions. Now that they’re a bit older, I keep my eyes open for all kinds of books I think they’ll like (this year I had to include my dad in the list, too). I’m jealous of Icelanders, whose prep is made easy. According to Tor.com, “To prepare for the Jólabókaflóð, one must first get a Bókatíðindi. The “Journal of Books” is an annual catalog that shows up in the mailbox of every single Icelandic citizen.”

I don’t really mind, though. It’s fun to choose books for them. And when I’m the mean aunt/mommy that confiscates their smart phones, at least they’ll have something to do…

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Do you have a bookish holiday tradition?

Posted by: Karen | December 19, 2017

VOTE

Friends and fans, I need your help.

As you may know, I have written my first novel and am in the process of getting it published. It’s a nostalgic story about love and career set in Boston in 1988. I’m hoping you’ll all read and/or listen to it!

Before we get to that point, have a problem that I need to solve and I’m requesting your assistance.

Here’s a symptom of the problem:

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This was uploaded by a listener to Twitter. It’s a screenshot of my bio page on Hoopla (one of the services that lets listeners borrow digital audiobooks from public libraries). The photo is of author Karen White, who writes mysteries and women’s fiction while the words are about me. She I are often mixed up already on Twitter and Facebook. If I publish using the name Karen White, things will only get more confusing.

So, I’m going to change my name.

Just kidding. I’m going to adopt a pseudonym.

Here’s where you come in. Below is a list of names I’m considering. The first two are variations on my name (Mase is my husband’s last name.) The following six are combinations of roles I’ve played in Shakespeare’s plays and places I’ve lived and/or locations in Boston. (One main character in each book is a member of a fictional Shakespeare theater company not at all based on any of the companies I worked with in the 1980s in Boston, of course.)

K. E. White

Karen Mase

Elizabeth Charles

Celia Ratcliffe

Lucy Richmond

Diana Grey

Julia Lenox

Helena Somerville

I’ve checked that none of these names are already in use by other authors – you are welcome to suggest variations if you like but I can only consider them if they aren’t already taken.

In the comments below, please vote for your favorite. Or favorites, if you really can’t choose.

On my birthday, December 31, I will tally up the votes and make a decision. Everyone who has commented will be entered into a random drawing and the winner will get to name one of the characters in the first book – your name or one you make up.

Thanks for your help and Happy Holidays!

Update: K.E. White was a clear winner if I tally up the votes. While you all made some good arguments, pro and con, for choosing a name that connects to Karen White, I think keeping a connection to my real name will be more useful than trying to distance myself from the other author. I will have to figure out how I’ll be addressed when I go on those talk shows, though! 🙂

Thank you to you all for your thoughts and support. I will keep you posted as things develop. Happy New Year!

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