Posted by: Karen | August 22, 2017

Podcast at Scandalicious Book Reviews

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Last Friday night I sat down in my studio with a glass of wine and my laptop to record an interview with the five women who blog together at Scandalicious Book Reviews. I’d met these fun-loving ladies standing in a line at RT2017 in Atlanta and happily did an interview for their blog in June. When I commented on Twitter that I wanted to be a member of the Nerd Herd, as they call themselves, they invited me to join them for a podcast. They are a testament to the interconnectivity of our times as their friendship stretches from Australia to Canada to Georgia and North Carolina.

They not only welcomed me into their tribe, but each one very bravely read a sample of a book for me AND requested my honest feedback! They all did a great job, and I think their choices highlight how complex a craft audiobook narration can be.

They’re also giving away two copies of Lost & Found Sisters by Jill Shalvis, provided by Harper Audio, so go have a listen here and check out their features and reviews.

Proud to be an honorary member of the Nerd Herd!

Posted by: Karen | August 20, 2017

A New Challenge

Although I’ve always been a person who has enjoyed expressing myself using the written word in a variety of situations and formats, in the past couple of years I’ve started writing more purposefully.

I hope to have news soon on some fiction writing I’ve been up to, but I’m so happy to share that two pieces I’ve written will be included in Blunder Woman Productions’ audiobook Nevertheless We Persisted: Tales of Loss, Love and Finding Your Own Power. One is a poem called The Box, which explores my feelings around life’s missed opportunities and roads not taken. The other is an essay called Faith which is about…faith. I’m real subtle with my titles.

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I’m honored to be included in the collection and it was a no brainer that I’d be recording my pieces. Since I’m a narrator and all. These were pieces that I’d written in a workshop several years ago; before submitting them I looked them over and did a little rewriting. I didn’t do any prep to narrate them, however. I figured: I wrote them, I don’t need to read them again.

So I warmed up as usual and hopped into the studio to record them.

And then I had to eat crow.

Because, I have to make a confession here:

I’ve been all judgey for years about what I’ve seen as an erosion in the quality of copyediting in publishing (backed up, to be fair, by complaints I’d heard from writers). It just seemed like I was encountering more and more typos every book. And it wasn’t just grammatical or spelling errors I was on my high horse about: I’d roll my eyes every time I encountered a word that was repeated frequently. I’d sigh when a sentence was confusing or transitions were non-existent.

And then, I read my own words aloud.

And had to rewrite on the fly.

I was making notes, propping them up on my iPad and re-reading whole sections. Reading it aloud and rewriting it again.

See, since I hear words inside my head when I read, I thought that was the same as actually reading it aloud. I didn’t think I needed to do that. Reading one’s writing aloud was something that other people needed to do. Boy was I wrong.

After I re-recorded and re-edited and re-listened to what I’d done multiple times, I was reasonably happy with what I’d created.

And then I realized that the person editing and proofing the audiobook was going to need a written copy that they could refer to that would have something to do with what I’d recorded.

So I had to listen again, laptop on lap, and type in the changes to the text. And then email that to the editor and publisher and confess that I’d made a few changes.

Talk about bass-ackwards.

All upstream-without-a-paddle learning experiences aside, I’m still very excited to be a part of Nevertheless We Persisted. Every day the world gets a little crazier. Which for me means its even more important that the words I’m putting out there are healing in some way, lightening in some way, or make someone laugh. Hoping that this book does all three.

Keep your ears open, and you can hear it soon! If you want to support the production, or find out more about it, check out Blunder Woman Productions’ website. Or it’s blog, where the writers and narrators are being featured.

Posted by: Karen | July 31, 2017

#RWA2017

Thanks to the folks at Harper Audio and Avon for including me in their booksigning at RWA last week in Orlando! It was an honor to sit next to Jill Shalvis and help promote Lost & Found Sisters (with Susan Elizabeth Phillips on the other side!) and talk to audiobook fans and fans-to-be, all of whom were excited to receive copies of the book.

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It was also great to see Rebecca Zanetti again! I’ve loved recording her Dark Protectors, Sin Brothers and Blood Brothers series.

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RWA was a fun-filled week and I’m already looking forward to next year’s in Denver. The group of authors who attended the audiobook panel I was on (Audiobook Strategy for Indie Authors) as well as authors I met all week seemed eager for information on publishing in audio.

If you’re a romance author, blogger or fan, what kind of audiobook panels would you be interested in attending at RWA next year? The members of RomanceNarrators.com plan to be there in force and we want to propose events that you’ll love!

 

Finally, here’s a shot of a beautiful evening at Epcot. Thanks to authors Jen Malone and Vivi Barnes who let me tag along with them.

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Posted by: Karen | July 5, 2017

#LoveAudiobooks Wrap-up: Thank you bloggers!

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Audiobook month would not be what it is without the participation of Book Bloggers – from those new to audiobooks to the old hands.

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I’m wrapping up this month of celebrating how much we narrators, publishers and listeners #LoveAudiobooks with a thank you to all the bloggers who help spread the word with their features, reviews and interviews. Of course I’ll start with the winners of the Audiobook Publisher Association’s Audiobook Bloggers of the Year.

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2017: The Geeky Blogger

2016: Beth Fish Reads

2015: Literate Housewife

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Then there are other old favorites of mine:

Books-n-Kisses and Viviana, Enchantress of Books with their Audiobook Lovin’ series

Nicole and Gayle at the Readerly Report

AudioGals

The Book Nympho

I Am, Indeed

Hot Listens

Book, Movies, Reviews, Oh My!

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And newer-to-me blogs who are covering audiobooks:

Heroes & Heartbreakers

Scandalicious Book Reviews and their series The Audible Experience

Fangirl Nation

Elsie’s Audiobook Reviews

Reading in Winter

Caffeinated Book Reviewer

The Audio Flow

 

Do you have favorite Audiobook bloggers that I missed?

 

Posted by: Karen | June 26, 2017

Audiobooks.com #LoveAudiobooks Giveaway

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This Giveaway is now closed. But if you haven’t tried Audiobooks.com, every new subscriber gets a free listen, so it’s worth checking them out. Click here to sign up.

 

For my final #LoveAudiobooks 2017 post, I have a 6-month subscription to Audiobooks.com to give away.

To be entered, just check out Audiobooks.com and then comment below sharing a little bit about your audiobook listening. For instance, where do you typically get your audiobooks? What’s your favorite genre? Where you listen most? And/or when did you first start listening?

A winner will be chosen at random at 5pm EST on Friday, June 30. I’ll contact the winner via email with the giveaway codes.

Good luck and, as always, thanks for listening!

Karen

Posted by: Karen | June 26, 2017

A Just Clause by Lorna Barrett plus #Giveaway

Book 11 in the Booktown Mystery Series.61HEJl8DbWL._AA300_

Available now from Tantor Audio.

From the Publisher:

“Tricia Miles, mystery bookstore owner and amateur sleuth, is in for a surprise when her ne’er-do-well father, John, comes to town—and promptly becomes a prime suspect in the murder of a woman with her own scandalous past. Even Tricia’s faith in the old man is shaken when the Stoneham police break the news that her father is a known con man who has done jail time.

But what about bestselling thriller author Steven Richardson? Is it a coincidence that he arrived for a book signing just before the crime or that the victim was found with a signed copy of his latest bestseller?

From merlot to murder, Tricia is determined to clear the family name before another body shows up and ruins Stoneham’s first—and highly anticipated—wine and jazz festival.”

My recording experience:

I find that the pricklier cozy mystery heroines tend to mellow and mature as a series progresses, and Tricia Miles is no exception. In this installment, we delve further into Tricia’s upbringing and family dynamics, which gives context to her character. That, along with the quirky cast of Booktown characters made this a fun read!

Listen to a sample here:

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Lisa 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!

 (If you’d like to buy a copy, using this link, I’ll receive a small percentage from Amazon through their Associates program.)

Narrated with Henrietta Meire.9781538429693

Available now from Blackstone Audio.

From the Publisher:

“The secret to raising the happiest kids in the world? Whatever it is, it’s somewhere in the Netherlands.

Would parents rather their children be successful or happy? Kids in the US face lots of pressure to excel – often at the expense of happiness. But does it have to be this way? Not in the Netherlands! In The Happiest Kids in the World, expats Rina Mae Acosta and Michele Hutchison – both married to Dutchmen and bringing up their kids in the Netherlands – examine the unique environment that enables the Dutch to turn out such well-adjusted, independent children. With heaps of good humor, and no shortage of amazement, the authors are delighted to find that babies get an average of 15 hours of sleep per day, children learn bike safety and proficiency in school, teenagers are less likely to get pregnant than their counterparts in almost every other nation, and parents really do serve chocolate sprinkles for breakfast!

Along the way, they discover that the most commonly strived-for grade is just passing (6 points out of 10), how to achieve the perfect work-life balance, and that being normal is crazy enough.”

From the review in AudioFile Magazine:

“Authors Rina Mae Acosta, an American, and Michele Hutchison, a Briton, both moved to the Netherlands to be with their Dutch husbands and to start their families. Taking turns, Acosta and Hutchison describe their experiences with child-rearing in the Netherlands. Their respective sections alternate between American narrator Karen White and British narrator Henrietta Meire, a production choice that helps to clearly delineate each author’s perceptions. In sharp contrast to life in the U.S. and Britain, the authors paint a picture of a country that emphasizes the happiness and emotional well-being of both children and their parents, while at the same time delivering outstanding educational results. Narrators Meire and White both deliver clear and engaging performances, letting the authors’ interesting observations about Dutch culture speak for themselves.”

My recording experience:

First, THIS VIDEO:

But all hagelslag aside, I found this book to be wonderfully thought provoking, on subjects from work-life balance to helping my teen approach her college applications. Whether you’re a new parent or you’ve been doing it a few years, I recommend this book! Also, many thanks to my good friend Cisca Brouwer, who talked me through all the Dutch pronunciations. All errors are on me!

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!

(If you’d like to buy a copy, using this link, I’ll receive a small percentage from Amazon through their Associates program.)

Posted by: Karen | June 19, 2017

LOST & FOUND SISTERS by Jill Shalvis

Available now from Harper Audio.y648

From the Publisher:

“From New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis comes her first women’s fiction novel—an unforgettable story of friendship, love, family, and sisterhood—perfect for fans of Colleen Hoover, Susan Mallery, and Kristan Higgins.

They say life can change in an instant…

After losing her sister in a devastating car accident, chef Quinn Weller is finally getting her life back on track. She appears to have it all: a loving family, a dream job in one of L.A.’s hottest eateries, and a gorgeous boyfriend dying to slip an engagement ring on her finger. So why does she feel so empty, like she’s looking for a missing piece she can’t find?

The answer comes when a lawyer tracks down Quinn and reveals a bombshell secret and a mysterious inheritance that only she can claim. This shocking revelation washes over Quinn like a tidal wave. Her whole life has been a lie.

On impulse, Quinn gives up her job, home, and boyfriend. She heads up the coast to the small hometown of Wildstone, California, which is just a few hours north, but feels worlds apart from Los Angeles. Though she doesn’t quite fit in right away, she can’t help but be drawn to the town’s simple pleasures…and the handsome, dark-haired stranger who offers friendship with no questions asked.

As Quinn settles into Wildstone, she discovers there’s another surprise in store for her. The inheritance isn’t a house or money, but rather something earthshattering, something that will make her question everything she thought she knew about herself, about her family. Now with a world of possibilities opening up to Quinn, she must decide if this new life is the one she was always meant to have—and the one that could finally give her the fulfillment she’s searched so long for.

From the review at AudioFile Magazine:

“Quinn Weller receives the shock of her life when she finds out that she is adopted AND that she has a 15-year-old sister named Tilly. Another revelation is that she has inherited a café in the small town of Wildstone, California. Narrator Karen White takes the listener on Quinn’s journey as she explores life in Wildstone. Also in town coping with family situations is Mick Hennessy. White has the listener falling in love with Mick and the wonderful way he treats Quinn, who is still dealing with the loss of her adoptive sister two years earlier. White also does an excellent job voicing the snarky teenaged Tilly and the various townsfolk of Wildstone.”

From the review at Fangs, Wands and Fairy Dust:

“… but, of course, there’s more to like, including Karen’s White awesome narration!”

 

My recording experience: 

All I can say is, if you’re a Jill Shalvis fan, you should read this book. (And if you’re not, WTH not?) Besides all the usual good stuff you’d find in one of Shalvis’ books, here we’ve got more complex family dynamics, especially between sisters. And she is brilliant at getting inside the mind of a teenage girl, IMHO. Here’s one of my favorite quotes from Tilly’s journal, which gives you a good idea of her special bittersweet humor: “I miss when my mom would come in my room and ask why everything was on the floor and I’d say gravity.”

Listen to a sample here:

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Jonetta and Debbie are the randomly selected winners and the CDs will be mailed out to them as soon as I get their addresses.  Thanks to all for entering!  I give away lots of books – to find out about them in the future, please consider following this blog, or my Facebook page, or on Twitter. Oftentimes, you can also enter there!

I have another copy being given away at RomanceNarrators.com as part of their #LoveAudiobooks giveaway. Definitely check that out until June 30. 

(If you’d like to buy a copy, using this link, I’ll receive a small percentage from Amazon through their Associates program.)

 

Posted by: Karen | June 16, 2017

#LoveAudiobooks Blooper

I’ll admit I’ve never made an in-booth video before – so please forgive my lack of camera, editing and lighting skills. But when I hit this phrase in the Heartbreaker Bay title I am recording right now, I knew it was going to be one of those situations where a familiar word becomes completely foreign as the narrator attempts to pronounce it.

Here are five words that I have an inordinately difficult time recording for Chasing Christmas Eve by Jill Shalvis for Harper Audio (which ironically I’m sweating through in my sauna/studio this warm week in June).

See for yourself…

 

 

Available now from Blackstone Audio.c2eq-square-400

From the Publisher:

From USA Today bestselling author Emilie Richards comes an emotional story about love, loyalty, and the deep bonds of sisterhood.

While love and loyalty made them sisters, secrets could still destroy them.

As children in foster care, Cecilia and Robin vowed they would be the sisters each had never had. Cecelia, now a superstar singer-songwriter, is living life on the edge.

Robin set aside her career as a successful photojournalist to create the loving family she always yearned for. But gazing through a wide-angle lens at both past and future, she sees that her marriage is disintegrating. Her attorney husband is rarely home. She and the children need Kris’ love and attention, but does Kris need them?

For Cecilia, a lifetime of lies has finally caught up with her, and she wants a chance to tell the real story of their childhood and free herself from the nightmares that still haunt her. When she asks Robin to be the still photographer for a documentary on foster care, Robin agrees, even though Kris will be forced to take charge for the months she’s away. She gambles that he’ll prove to them both that their children—and their marriage—are a priority in his life.

As the documentary unfolds, memories will be tested and the meaning of family redefined, but the love two young girls forged into bonds of sisterhood will help them move forward as the women they were always meant to be.

From the review at Literati Literature Lovers:

“Narrators Elijah Alexander as Kris, Karen White as Robin, and Rachel Fulginiti as Cecelia give excellent performances. There couldn’t be a more effective way of telling the story than with the voices of these three people.

I recommend While We Were Sisters to anyone who enjoys stories about strong women, especially those who have overcome obstacles in life to achieve success.  It is evocative, educational, and well-written. I look forward to more from Emilie Richards.”

My recording experience:

I just loved recording Emilie Richards Goddesses Anonymous series, so when I heard that she had a new standalone coming out, I really hoped I’d get to read it, too. But when I saw that the book was written in first person from the POV of three different characters (one a man), I knew that it would be best served by three narrators. This means more work for less money for us narrators – as we have to coordinate our character voices and pronunciations, and we are recording less of the book, so we earn less. But I knew I couldn’t make a three POV book work on my own and that Rachel Fulginiti and Elijah Alexander would do a great job bringing Richards’ work to life with me.

As for the book itself, I was not disappointed. Richards writes stories that explore difficult and emotional subjects – the kind of thing that makes for a wonderful challenge for an audiobook narrator. Just make sure you have your tissues ready for this one!

Finally, here’s a link to Emilie Richards’ thoughts on the making of this audiobook.

Listen to a sample here:

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  “rook” 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! Also, since it is Audiobook Month, search for #LoveAudiobooks for posts and giveaways on Facebook and Twitter.

(If you’d like to buy a copy, using this link, I’ll receive a small percentage from Amazon through their Associates program. Narrators don’t earn royalties, so this is a way I can be compensated for marketing the book.)

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