Category: Reviews of my Narration

On Creativity with Erin Nicholas

Author Interview and Giveaway Books 1 & 2 of the Just Everyday Heroes, Day Shift series by Erin Nicholas from Tantor Audio ON CREATIVITY with Erin Nicholas A big thank you to Erin for her willingness to kick off my new series on the creative process. As someone who spends a great deal of time living in imaginary worlds (of my own and others’), I’m intensely curious about how creative minds behave, evolve and thrive. For these interviews, the victim, er, subject, had a long list of thirty questions to choose from regarding his or her process. I hope you find the answers as inspiring as I do. Me: What drives you to tell stories? Erin: I’ve been a story teller as long as I can remember. My parents tell stories of me making up elaborate pretend games for my friends and sister and I was writing stories long hand in notebooks from the time I could write. My dad tells about me being on family vacation road trips and missing all of the scenery because my head was bent over a notebook. I can’t imagine not telling stories. It’s a part of who I am and when I feel the most me. Me: What’s the part of your process that you savor? Erin:  I love when I find myself thinking about my characters and their story as if they are real and I’m waiting to hear the latest from their love story. Many of my heroines end up feeling like “friends” that I want to call and ask “How’s it going with that guy?” 🙂  That’s when I know I’m on the right track with the story! Me: What’s your favorite way to consume stories? (books – audio or print? podcasts? movies? TV?) Is that different from how you end up consuming most of the time? Erin: All of the above! 🙂 I read a lot and love audiobooks. I’m also a TV and movie junkie. I use podcasts mostly for “real life”… business and news…but I tell people that I love to hear/ read other people’s stories after spending my days telling my own. Me: Do you read books in the genre in which you write? if so, is there a part of your process when you avoid doing so? Erin: I absolutely do! And I never have to avoid it. I’m very good at switching between being a writer and a reader. I read to be entertained and have no trouble not over-thinking or analyzing or editing! 🙂 Me: What’s your earliest or favorite reading memory? Was it someone reading to you or you reading by yourself? Erin: My dad reading to me. Every night we read a chapter . . .

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Stud in the Stacks by Pippa Grant

Available now from Tantor Audio. From the Publisher: When it comes to women, I know what they want. And all day long, I give it to them. Dark, broody, and sexy? You got it. Need to laugh? I’m your guy. Desperate for something to put you in the mood? You’ve come to the right place, kitten. Every morning when my library opens, there’s a line around the block, the ladies flocking to me in need of their next book boyfriend. I’m that dude. The one who knows his way around the romance section. And if you think that hasn’t gotten me plenty of action over the years, you’d be wrong. But I made a slight miscalculation at work, and now my reputation has my job in danger. If I can’t prove to my boss that I’m more than a playboy who recommends romance in the hopes of getting some hanky panky in the stacks, I’m headed for the unemployment line. Enter Parker Elliott. She rocks a mean guitar, she has no idea how sexy she is, and she’s in need of a temporary fake boyfriend. Best of all? She doesn’t have a library card. I couldn’t have found a better fake fiancée if I’d written her myself. Contains mature themes. From the review at Geeky Bloggers Book Blog: “Karen and Joe—what to say other than they both brought the sassy sexy. Yes I said that right cause both of these characters were super snarky, sassy, sexy, and tons of fun. I highly recommend this on audio.” From the review at Books of My Heart: “Karen White is well familiar to me. I enjoy her so much as she nails this type of heroine who has some insecurities.   Joe Arden was new to me but I liked his kind of raspy voice – oh yeah, perfect for sexy.    I listened at my usual 1.25 speed. The performance really brought out all the feels.” From the review at That’s What I’m Talking About: “The narration for this story is nearly perfect. Right from start I love both narrators. Joe Arden captures the cocky, f-u attitude of Knox. Karen White hits the frantic/panicky neuroses of Parker. They nail the main characters. I enjoyed Joe’s supporting characters a bit more than Karen’s, but both do a good job of providing unique, well-suited voices for the side characters. The narration added to the overall ambiance of the tale.” My recording experience: Loved working with both Pippa Grant and Joe Arden for the first time – hope y’all find it a winning combo and that we get to do it again! Listen to a sample here: THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Christine is the randomly selected winner.  Thanks to . . .

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CHILI CON CORPSES by Ellery Adams

Book 3 in the Supper Club Mysteries series.  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!

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ABOUT THAT KISS by Jill Shalvis

A Heartbreaker Bay novel. 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 . . .

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The Last Ballad by Wiley Cash

AudioFile Earphones Award Winner. Available now from Harper Audio.  From the Publisher: “The New York Times bestselling author of the celebrated A Land More Kind Than Home and This Dark Road to Mercy returns with this eagerly awaited new novel, set in the Appalachian foothills of North Carolina in 1929 and inspired by actual events. The chronicle of an ordinary woman’s struggle for dignity and her rights in a textile mill, The Last Ballad is a moving tale of courage in the face of oppression and injustice, with the emotional power of Ron Rash’s Serena, Dennis Lehane’s The Given Day, and the unforgettable films Norma Rae and Silkwood. Twelve times a week, twenty-eight-year-old Ella May Wiggins makes the two-mile trek to and from her job on the night shift at American Mill No. 2 in Bessemer City, North Carolina. The insular community considers the mill’s owners—the newly arrived Goldberg brothers—white but not American and expects them to pay Ella May and other workers less because they toil alongside African Americans like Violet, Ella May’s best friend. While the dirty, hazardous job at the mill earns Ella May a paltry nine dollars for seventy-two hours of work each week, it’s the only opportunity she has. Her no-good husband, John, has run off again, and she must keep her four young children alive with whatever work she can find. When the union leaflets begin circulating, Ella May has a taste of hope, a yearning for the better life the organizers promise. But the mill owners, backed by other nefarious forces, claim the union is nothing but a front for the Bolshevik menace sweeping across Europe. To maintain their control, the owners will use every means in their power, including bloodshed, to prevent workers from banding together. On the night of the county’s biggest rally, Ella May, weighing the costs of her choice, makes up her mind to join the movement—a decision that will have lasting consequences for her children, her friends, her town—indeed all that she loves.” From the review in AudioFile Magazine: “Narrators Karen White and Elizabeth Wylie use pacing and tone to bring characters to life in this novel about Ella Mae Wiggins, a forgotten heroine of history. For the bulk of the story White’s capable voice projects desperation and hope as Ella Mae struggles to support her family amid deplorable working conditions that lead, finally, to her commitment to strive for fair treatment. White gives unique voices to mill owners, union organizers, and Ella’s fellow workers. Wylie is the believable elderly voice of her daughter Lilly, who writes a letter to Ella’s grandson 79 years later to share the heroism and tragic consequences of those efforts. A powerful look at a dark chapter in our history when desperate people fought for equity and respect.” . . .

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CHASING CHRISTMAS EVE by Jill Shalvis

A Heartbreaker Bay Novel. Available now from Harper Audio. From the Publisher: Meet cute… Run for the hills-temporarily. That’s Colbie Albright’s plan when she flees New York for San Francisco. Wrangling her crazy family by day and writing a bestselling YA fantasy series by night has taken its toll. In short, Colbie’s so over it that she’s under it. She’s also under the waters of a historic San Francisco fountain within an hour of arrival. Fortunately, the guy who fishes Colbie out has her looking forward to Christmas among strangers. But she’s pretty sure Spencer Baldwin won’t be a stranger for long. Make merry… Spence’s commitment to hiding from the Ghosts of Relationships Past means he doesn’t have to worry about the powerful-okay, crazy hot-chemistry he’s got with Colbie. Just because she can laugh at anything, especially herself… just because she’s gorgeous and a great listener…just because she “gets” Spence immediately doesn’t mean he won’t be able to let Colbie go. Does it? …and hope for a miracle. Now the clock’s ticking for Colbie and Spence: Two weeks to cut loose. Two weeks to fall hard. Two weeks to figure out how to make this Christmas last a lifetime From the review at AudioFile Magazine: “Colbie Albright is running away from her demanding family and, by mere chance, ends up on a plane heading to San Francisco. Once there, she gets caught up in a romance with Spencer Baldwin. Narrator Karen White provides distinctive voices for the cast of characters. Although San Francisco is a large city, the close-knit community created by Spencer and his friends gives the story a small-town feel. White conveys the mixed emotions that Colbie feels when trying to deal with her family from a long distance. Colbie has promised to return to them by Christmas Eve, and White builds the tension as the deadline approaches. One one can almost see the lights twinkling in the courtyard of Spencer’s building.” From The Geeky Blogger’s 30 Days of Thanks post: “Today (Day 27) I am spotlighting Chasing Christmas Eve by Jill Shalvis/Narrated by Karen White. Anybody who is a fan of this series has been looking forward to Spence’s story and Jill did not disappoint us. I liked Colbie and felt she was such a good fit for him. The romance was fun and sweet and HOT!” My recording experience: Featured in Tease: Holiday Listening: “In CHASING CHRISTMAS EVE, White introduces listeners to Colbie Albright, who heads to San Francisco to avoid her own family drama and ends up with Spencer Baldwin — did I mention that he rescues her from an unfortunate encounter with a fountain? White creates Shalvis’s close-knit community in this holiday countdown romance.” My recording . . .

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YOUNG JANE YOUNG by Gabrielle Zevin plus Giveaway

Available now from Highbridge Audio. From the Publisher: “Young Jane Young’s heroine is Aviva Grossman, an ambitious Congressional intern in Florida who makes the life-changing mistake of having an affair with her boss—who is beloved, admired, successful, and very married—and blogging about it. When the affair comes to light, the Congressman doesn’t take the fall, but Aviva does, and her life is over before it hardly begins. She becomes a late night talk show punchline; she is slut shamed and considered a blight on politics in general. How does one go on after this? In Aviva’s case, she sees no way out but to change her name and move to a remote town in Maine. She tries to start over as a wedding planner, to be smarter about her life, and to raise her daughter to be strong and confident. But when, at the urging of others, she decides to run for public office herself, that long ago mistake trails her via the Internet like a scarlet A. For in our age, Google guarantees that the past is never, ever, truly past, that everything you’ve done will live on for everyone to know about for all eternity. And it’s only a matter of time until Aviva’s daughter, Ruby, finds out who her mother was, and is, and must decide whether she can still respect her.” From the Booklist review: “Narrator White captures the indignation, resignation, and resilience of each character perfectly. She is as sympathetic and delightful recounting divorcée Rachel Grossman’s introduction to the senior dating scene as she is when she’s reading 13-year-old Ruby’s emails to an Indonesian pen pal. Ruby’s voice is little higher, a little faster. When White reads Rachel’s parts, her voice is slightly craggier, and Rachel’s sprinkling of Yiddish sounds natural.” From the Library Journal Starred Review: “That Aviva Grossman became infamous as “Florida’s answer to Monica Lewinsky” provides a quick snapshot of why she’s now living in small-town Maine as Jane Young. As a 20-year-old intern to Miami Congressman Aaron Levin, she not only had that affair with the married, older politician but was “young and dumb” enough to blog about their trysts for the whole world to read. At 33, Jane is now an events planner with an eight-year-old daughter, Ruby. And then fragile, lonely Franny walks into Jane’s office, engaged to marry Wes, who’s more bully than beau. His political intentions eventually morph into threats against Jane, who’s forced to realize how her past continues to threaten her future. Zevin (The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry) gleefully exposes the media, male privilege, hypocrisy, and more, finding her ideal collaborator in narrator Karen White, who wheedles, weeps, snaps, cajoles, questions, and demands Zevin’s unforgettable . . .

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KILLER CHARACTERS by Ellery Adams plus GIVEAWAY

Books By the Bay #8 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 . . .

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ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE by Jill Shalvis

Available now from Harper Audio. From the Publisher: There’s no such thing as a little in love… Elle Wheaten’s priorities: friends, career, and kick-ass shoes. Then there’s the muscular wall of stubbornness that’s security expert Archer Hunt—who comes before everything else. No point in telling Mr. “Feels-Free Zone” that, though. Elle will just see other men until she gets over Archer . . . which should only take a lifetime . . . There’s no such thing as a little in lust… Archer’s wanted the best for Elle ever since he sacrificed his law-enforcement career to save her. But now that she’s earned happiness and success, Archer just wants Elle 24/7. Their chemistry could start the next San Francisco Earthquake, and Archer doesn’t want to be responsible for the damage. The alternative? Watch her go out with guys who aren’t him . . . There is such a thing as… As far as Archer’s concerned, nobody is good enough for Elle. But when he sets out to prove it by sabotaging her dates, she gets mad—and things get hot as hell. Now Archer has a new mission: prove to Elle that her perfect man has been here all along… From the review at AudioFile Magazine: “Two more friends find romance in Shalvis’s next audiobook in the Heartbreaker Bay series. Elle Wheaton and Archer Hunt share a past and are hesitant to deepen their relationship. Narrator Karen White expresses Elle’s take-charge attitude and Archer’s equally strong personality. Characters from the previous books add to the listener’s enjoyment, with White pleasantly voicing each of them. White successfully expresses the many humorous interactions between the characters. For those who are familiar with the series, it’s a visit with old friends. But those new to the series will enjoy the audiobook as well.” From the review at The Book Nympho: “Anytime I’m in the mood for a fun, sexy romance with yummy alpha-type guys and strong women I look to Jill Shalvis. Then pair that story with Karen White’s narrations and you have a good time waiting to happen.  These two ladies are one of my favorite teams when it comes to contemporary romances on audio.” From the review at Reading Between the Wines Book Club: “Karen White returns to narrate Accidentally on Purpose. She never fails to deliver a polished production and bring Jill’s wonderful characters to life. She aces all the voices – male, female and animal. Anytime I see that Karen has narrated a book that I want to read, I always elect to listen rather than read as I know that Karen will enhance my enjoyment of the story.” From The Geeky Blogger’s 30 Days of Thanks post: “Today (Day . . .

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DEADLY SILENCE by Rebecca Zanetti plus GIVEAWAY

Blood Brothers, #1. Available October 4, 2016 from Hachette Audio. From the Publisher: “DON’T LOOK BACK Under siege. That’s how Ryker Jones feels. The Lost Bastards Investigative Agency he opened up with his blood brothers has lost a client in a brutal way. The past he can’t outrun is resurfacing, threatening to drag him down in the undertow. And the beautiful woman he’s been trying to keep at arm’s length is in danger…and he’ll destroy anything and anyone to keep her safe. Paralegal Zara Remington is in over her head. She’s making risky moves at work by day and indulging in an affair with a darkly dangerous PI by night. There’s a lot Ryker isn’t telling her and the more she uncovers, the less she wants to know. But when all hell breaks loose, Ryker may be the only one to save her. If his past doesn’t catch up to them first… Full of twists and turns you won’t see coming, DEADLY SILENCE is New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Zanetti at her suspenseful best.” From the review in AudioFile Magazine: “Karen White narrates this fast-paced romantic suspense with nonstop energy. Paralegal Zara Remington finds herself drawn into mystery and danger as her job and her personal life, particularly her relationship with the mysterious Ryker Jones, intersect. The story has lots of twists and turns as Zara and Ryker deepen their relationship while at the same time dealing with murder, kidnapping, and Ryker’s past. White maintains the energy and emotion of the story through variations in the pacing and intensity of her reading. Zara is unused to the situations she finds herself in, and White portrays her with a lot of emotion. She gives Ryker a deeper pitch and calmer tone that provide an engaging rhythm to the story’s narration.” From the review at The Book Nympho: “Having Karen White return as the narrator for this world was only natural. White brought Zanetti’s Sin Brothers to life and she does the same great job with the Blood Brothers. I also love the fact that White gets to reprise her role as the doctor that spans both series.” From the review at Hot Listens: “4.5 Hearts: I’m so glad that they got Karen White to do this series. After listening to her narrate the Sin Brothers, it was great to have her back to take us on this journey with Blood Brothers. I like her ability to voice alpha male characters and women characters. The real unique voice in this series is the voice of the “good doctor”. She sounds exactly how I would expect a person like this woman would sound. If you haven’t tried Karen White, I highly recommend her.” . . .

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