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.”

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:

And, the Giveaway:

Thanks to the folks at Blackstone Audio, I have one copy of the CD version of this book to give away.  To be entered into this random drawing, just make a comment below.  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, June 30.  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 | June 19, 2017

LOST & FOUND SISTERS by Jill Shalvis plus Giveaway

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.

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.

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.)

Posted by: Karen | June 6, 2017

HIDDEN LIVES OF OWLS by Leigh Calvez plus Giveaway

Available now from Tantor Audio.616zsJc6WRL._AA300_

From the Publisher:

In this New York Times bestseller, a naturalist probes the forest to comprehend the secret lives of owls. Leigh Calvez takes listeners on an adventure into the world of owls: owl-watching, avian science, and the deep forest—often in the dead of night. These birds are a bit mysterious, and that’s part of what makes them so fascinating. Calvez makes the science entertaining and accessible while exploring the questions about the human-animal connection, owl obsession, habitat, owl calls, social behavior, and mythology.

My recording experience:

Leigh Calvez does a beautiful job of bringing the reader along on her experience of learning all about the owls she encounters. Recording this book, so many of my own owl-related memories bubbled up: dissecting owl pellets at my kids’ elementary school Science Night, the very scary owl in Beatrix Potter’s book The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin, the owl that mysteriously lived on our very urban street in Sherman Oaks, and best of all, the board book Owl Babies that my babies loved as much as I loved reading it to them. I had a great time listening to the different owl calls on the Cornell ornithology site, and doing my best to voice them, too! There is something magical about owls, and Calvez does a great job of exploring what it is that draws us to them as well as raising awareness about their threatened existence. A great gift for anyone who is interested in the environment, birds or naturalist writing.

Listen to a sample here:

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Sally 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. Narrators don’t earn royalties, so this is a way I can be compensated for marketing the book.)

 

Posted by: Karen | May 11, 2017

KILLER CHARACTERS by Ellery Adams plus GIVEAWAY

Books By the Bay #8G0990_KillerCharacters-238x238

Available now from Tantor Audio.

From the Publisher:

“Restaurant owner and aspiring novelist Olivia Limoges is happily enjoying her new marriage. Sadly, the same doesn’t hold true for Laurel, a fellow Bayside Book Writer. While struggling with a demanding job, twin boys, and a terminally ill mother-in-law, Laurel learns that her perfect marriage is mostly fictional. When she catches her husband fooling around with his mother’s hospice nurse, she issues impassioned threats that will later come back to haunt her.

After the nurse meets a deadly denouement, Chief Rawlings is forced to take Laurel into custody. While Olivia protests the arrest, the rest of the Bayside Book Writers become a group divided, with Rawlings and Harris on one side and Olivia and Millay on the other. Now the women must race against the clock to prove that Laurel’s not the sort for murder, before her story ends in tragedy . . .”

From the review at Fan Girl Nation:

“Karen White performs the audio edition of the book and really brings this book to life. With such excellent material to work with, White just adds to the strength of the book. I’m so glad that they have such a strong reader for this series, making it all the more powerful. She gives great voices for the characters and is expressive without being overly dramatic.”

From the review at I Am, Indeed:

“Narration for this story is provided by Karen White, one of my favorites, and her ability to present each character with a voice, a personality and even an undercurrent of emotion that relates to their moment in the spotlight keeps readers wondering, and thinking. Easy to visualize moments are tinted with White’s presentation that helps to stack those subliminal messages into your understanding of the story, with builds and releases to follow the story’s trajectory. A wonderful listen and a great introduction for me to this series. A bold set of choices made by Adams made this one of the more intriguing cozies I’ve encountered this year, and I’ve already ordered earlier titles in this series to start from the beginning.”

 

My recording experience:

It’s really hard to talk about this one without spoilers, so all I’ll say is: if you’ve enjoyed getting to know Olivia and her buddies, you must read (and/or listen) to this one!

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.

Posted by: Karen | April 26, 2017

THE THING ABOUT LOVE by Julie James plus GIVEAWAY

Available now from Tantor Audio.F0367_ThingLove-238x238

From the Publisher:

“FBI agents Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd have a past. The former lawyer and cocky Army Ranger clashed during their training at Quantico and gladly went their separate ways after graduating from the Academy. Six years later, the last thing either of them expects is to be assigned to work as partners in a high-profile undercover sting.

For both of them, being paired with a former rival couldn’t come at a worse time. Recently divorced from a Hollywood producer and looking for a fresh start, Jessica is eager to prove herself at her new field office. And John is just one case away from his dream assignment to the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team. In order to nail a corrupt Florida politician, they’ll have to find a way to work together—a task that becomes even trickier when they’re forced to hole up at a romantic beachfront resort as part of the investigation. Suddenly, the heat behind their nonstop sparring threatens to make the job a whole lot more complicated . . .”

From the review at AudioGals:

“Of course, I can always count on Karen White to deliver – her natural pacing, where it’s like she’s sitting next to you, just spinning a good yarn, makes listening to this a pleasure. She gives the Jacksonville mayor a good-old-boy Southern sound, without turning him into a cartoon, while both John and Jessica, as well as their parents, siblings, and friends, have no noticeable regional accents. She still manages to differentiate well without accents, so that it’s clear who is speaking when John and his buddies are talking together, and she has a believable contrast between the male and female characters. She also conveys a lot of emotion with her tone, in the bedroom as well as in the tense scenes with the Jacksonville mayor.”

My recording experience: I could go on and on ad nauseum about how much I missed getting to record one of Julie’s books last year – seriously, it’s a rite of spring for me at this point! And about how much I loved both these characters – Jessica because she was a badass in heels and John, because, well duh…but I think pictures speak louder than words sometimes (am I putting myself out of a job here?) because I just want to share the character inspirations Julie shared with me:

noticing

And check out the video I stumbled upon trying to find out how to say Ponte Vedra Inn correctly. Which made me jealous of Jessica and John’s working vacation in a very big way. Can’t we all just go hang out in that place…?

Listen to a sample here:

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Janie M. 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. Narrators don’t earn royalties, so this is a way I can be compensated for marketing the book.)

Posted by: Karen | April 19, 2017

IT TAKES ONE TO TANGO by Winifred M. Reilly

Available now from Tantor Audio.ItTakesOne cover

From the Publisher:

“Conventional wisdom says that “it takes two” to turn a troubled marriage around and that both partners must have a shared commitment to change. So when couples can’t agree on how—or whether—to make their marriage better, many give up or settle for a less-than-satisfying marriage (or think the only way out is divorce).

Fortunately, there is an alternative.

It Takes One to Tango is a groundbreaking guide that shows how one determined partner—acting alone—can spark lasting, significant change in a marriage, often accomplishing change that cannot be made any other way. It doesn’t matter how short-fused, argumentative, or seemingly impossible your partner can be—or how long you’ve been stuck.

Marriage and family therapist Winifred Reilly has this message for struggling partners: Take the lead. Doing so is effective—and powerful.”

My recording experience: I find that I can take something of use from most self-help books, and this one was no exception. Reilly draws on her own experience as well as that of her patients and the often self-deprecating tone of her writing makes the work seem do-able and practical. Highly recommended if you’re feeling stuck in a relationship!

Listen to a sample here:

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.

Posted by: Karen | April 4, 2017

HER REBEL HEART by Jamie Farrell plus GIVEAWAY

The Officers’ Ex-Wives Club, Book 1.

61PiSn8EcvL._SL300_Available now at Audible.com

From the Publisher:

This sexy military pilot is about to meet his match in an unpredictable physics professor!

Kaci Boudreaux is every Southern mama’s nightmare, including her own. This former Miss Grits would rather tromp around in boots shooting off potato guns – and her mouth – than dress pretty and play nice with the boys. Especially her chauvinistic fellow professors, her ex-husband, and those military cargo pilots she accidentally started a war with.

Lance Wheeler is every Southern belle’s dream, except his ex-fiancée’s. After being left at the altar, he’d love to take his C-130 and fly far, far away. But since his bird technically belongs to Uncle Sam (as does he), a distraction in the form of a feisty fireball of a physics professor will do while he’s waiting for his next deployment with the Air Force.

He’s into her for the fun. She’s into him for the challenge. But when their secrets and fears start slipping out, their hearts – and even her job – will be on the line. She needs roots. He wants to see the world. What will they do about needing each other?

My recording experience:

Before recording any of the Misfit Brides series for Jamie, I read Southern Fried Blues (after reading a review at Dee’s Book Blog) and fell in love with Jamie’s writing, especially the way she captures the south.  This series has a complicated ordering, though, which Jamie explains in a blog post.  I hope you’ll check it out – it’s a completely different world from Blissed. The characters and scenario aren’t quite as quirky, but there’s still a good deal of humor. And quirk. But the real life challenges of being a military spouse as well as those faced by women working in a man’s world are both addressed, in mostly serious ways. With a grumpy cat thrown in for fun…

Listen to a sample here:

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Janie M, KTBee, Jackie W., Dawn F. and E. Robbins are the randomly selected winners. I will be emailing Audible download codes to the winners.  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. Narrators don’t earn royalties, so this is a way I can be compensated for marketing the book.)

Posted by: Karen | March 12, 2017

OUR SHORT HISTORY by Lauren Grodstein plus GIVEAWAY

Available now from Highbridge Audio.61Eb0FWXUVL._AA300_

From the Publisher:

“Karen Neulander, a successful New York political consultant, has always been fiercely protective of her son, Jacob, now six. She’s had to be: when Jacob’s father, Dave, found out Karen was pregnant and made it clear that fatherhood wasn’t in his plans, Karen walked out of the relationship, never telling Dave her intention was to raise their child alone.

But now Jake is asking to meet his dad, and with good reason: Karen is dying. Worried that he’ll break Jake’s heart, Karen finally makes the call, and is shocked to find Dave ecstatic about the news. First, he can’t meet Jake fast enough, and then, he can’t seem to leave him alone. As she tries to play out her last days in the “right” way, Karen struggles with knowing that the only thing she cannot bring herself to do for her son—let his father become a permanent part of his life—is the thing he needs from her the most.

With heart-wrenching poignancy, unexpected wit, and mordant humor, Lauren Grodstein has created an unforgettable story about parenthood, sacrifice, and life itself.”

From the review at Every Day I Write the Book Blog:

“I listened to Our Short History on audio. It was performed by accomplished narrator and EDIWTB friend Karen White, who did a great job with this one. She conveyed (fictional) Karen’s desperation and anger as persuasively as she did Karen’s pride and pettiness. I wonder how hard it was to keep her composure when she got to some of the more difficult scenes in the novel. Overall, excellent audiobook.”

My recording experience:

With this book, Lauren Grodstein took me on a journey. I hope my performance will take listeners on it as well. It’s not a pleasant journey but one that was thought-provoking and moving, making me consider everything from my parenting and my family relationships to my own end of life. First time I’ve narrated a first person character with my own name, and first time I’ve recorded a book for Algonquin Press (I’m a fan; it was started in my hometown), but the real reward was in helping to bring to life a character that is so complicated, honest, flawed and fierce.

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!

(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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