Posted by: Karen | June 11, 2016

FATHER’S DAY MURDER by Leslie Meier plus GIVEAWAY

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

From the Publisher:

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

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

My recording experience:

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

Listen to a sample here:

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Lisa B. is the randomly selected winner and the CDs will be mailed out to her as soon as I get her address.  Thanks to all for entering!  I give away lots of books – to find out about them in the future, please consider following this blog, or my Facebook page, or on Twitter.

Posted by: Karen | June 4, 2016

Diane Chamberlain Giveaway

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

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Karen E. is the randomly selected winner and the CDs will be mailed out to her as soon as I get her address.  Thanks to all for entering!  I give away lots of books – to find out about them in the future, please consider following this blog, or my Facebook page, or on Twitter.

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Posted by: Karen | June 3, 2016

June is Audiobook Month 2016

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

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

2016 Audio Book Lovin Banner - Participants v7

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

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

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

Posted by: Karen | May 7, 2016

SALT MAGAZINE interview

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

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

Posted by: Karen | April 30, 2016

FIRST WOMEN by Kate Andersen Brower plus GIVEAWAY

Available now from Harper Audio:y648-1

From the Publisher:

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

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

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

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

My recording experience:

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

p.s. Don’t you love this cover art?!

Listen to a sample here:

And the Giveaway:

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Mary C. is the randomly selected winner and I’ll be contacting her via email to arrange the download code handoff.  Thanks to all for entering!  I give away lots of books – to find out about them in the future, please consider following this blog, or my Facebook page, or on Twitter.

 

Posted by: Karen | April 21, 2016

LIVE HAPPY by Deborah K. Heisz plus GIVEAWAY

Available now from Harper Audio.y648.png

From the Publisher:

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

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

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

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

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

Review from AudioFile Magazine:

“Karen White narrates this clear-headed review of happiness psychology, unfolding her syllables so deliberately that the book’s message seems at first to be weighed down by formality and intensity. But once listeners adapt, White’s otherwise likable performance works well because her vocal character ultimately fits the author, a high-flying former tech executive who now leads a happiness magazine. After a succinct survey of the happiness literature, the author describes 10 practices that can improve our sense of fulfillment and satisfaction with life. Our attitudes, health habits, relationships, spiritual mindset, resilience, and generosity are addressed, and all are subject to our control. The thoroughness of this writing, combined with the author’s obvious dedication to her work, should make LIVE HAPPY a seminal audio in anyone’s personal growth library.”

My recording experience:

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

Listen to a sample here:

And, the Giveaway:

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. Becky is the randomly selected winner.  Thanks to all for entering! I give away lots of books – to find out about them in the future, please consider following this blog, or my Facebook page, or on Twitter.

Posted by: Karen | April 21, 2016

NOBODY BUT YOU by Jill Shalvis plus GIVEAWAY

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

Available now from Hachette Audio.

From the Publisher:

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

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

From the review at AudioGals:

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

From the review at I Am, Indeed:

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

My recording experience:

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

Listen to a sample here:

And, the Giveaway:

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Susan V, Mary C. Sally C, KV and Darlene R are the randomly selected winners and I will be contacting them via email to get them their Downpour codes.  Thanks to all for entering! I give away lots of books – to find out about them in the future, please consider following this blog, or my Facebook page, or on Twitter.

 

Posted by: Karen | April 19, 2016

FORTIFY YOUR LIFE by Tieraona Low Dog plus GIVEAWAY

Available now from Blackstone Audiobtat-square-400

From the Publisher:

“Readily find your way to better health with this guide to nutritional supplements and holistic health

Health-conscious consumers read nutritional labels, but it’s nearly impossible to get the nutrients we need with diet alone. To get the USDA-recommended daily quota of vitamin D, for example, you need to eat 15 eggs or 26 sardines; of iron, 414 almonds or 15 cups of broccoli. So we rely on nutritional supplements—vitamins and minerals, probiotics and enzymes—but the variety of pills, products, and elixirs on the market today is overwhelming. And, as we have seen in recent news, some of these products are downright fakes. Trusted natural health physician and bestselling author Tieraona Low Dog, MD, provides a personalized approach to using nutritional supplements for your specific health needs, helping you navigate the complex and often confusing landscape of vitamins, minerals, and more.

Dr. Low Dog explains the basics about every essential nutritional supplement and guides the listener in creating a personalized supplement plan, tailored to individual genetics, age, gender, and lifestyle. Low Dog evaluates current research, explains the relationship between food and supplements, describes how medications cause chemical imbalances in the body, and advises on how to judge brands and read labels.

Low Dog engages and encourages listeners to take charge of their own health and provides guidance to finding the right combination of nutritional supplements to improve mood, strength, energy, and overall well-being.”

As with Dr. Low Dog’s previous book, Healthy at Home, I found this book to be very useful. You’ll want to check out the PDFs included because the charts are very helpful.  I have been taking a new set of vitamins and other supplements since recording this book in December, and I haven’t been sick once! (Despite my inability to address the stress issues in my life, but that’s another book, I guess.)

Listen to a sample here:

And, the Giveaway:

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Connie, who entered on Twitter, is the randomly selected winner and the CDs will be mailed out to her as soon as I get her address.  Thanks to all for entering! I give away lots of books – to find out about them in the future, please consider following this blog, or my Facebook page, or on Twitter.

Posted by: Karen | March 6, 2016

THE COLOR OF LIGHT by Emilie Richards plus GIVEAWAY

Book #4 in the Goddesses Anonymous series.br9k-square-400

Available now from Blackstone Audio.

From the Publisher:

The deeper the darkness, the brighter the light

For more than a decade, minister Analiese Wagner has felt privileged to lead her parishioners along a well-lit path. Her commitment has never been seriously tested until the frigid night she encounters a homeless family huddling in the churchyard. Offering them shelter in a vacant parish house apartment and taking teenage Shiloh Fowler—a girl desperate to rescue her parents—under her wing, she tests the loyalty and faith of her congregation.

Isaiah Colburn, the Catholic priest who was her first mentor and the man for whom she secretly longed, understands her struggles only too well. At a crossroads, he has suddenly reappeared in her life, torn between his priesthood and his growing desire for a future with Analiese.

Divided between love and the vows they’ve taken, both must face the possibilities of living very different lives or continuing to serve their communities. With a defeated family’s trust and her own happiness on the line, Analiese must define for herself where darkness ends and light begins.”

My recording experience:

I was really looking forward to Analiese’s story in this series.  She’s a character I wanted to get to know better – some prickly elements to her, a protective outer shell – but it’s obvious that she has a good heart. This book puts her through all kinds of challenges, and like the others in the series brings us characters struggling with current social issues, primarily homelessness involving a family which is handled in a wonderfully complex way.  I like how the series has touched on spirituality and faith without being dogmatic about religion, and that continues here.  Though it’d probably be best to listen to these in order, Richards does a great job of writing each so it stands on its own well, too. Like the rest of the series, Richards sets this one in Asheville, NC, which is almost a character unto itself.

Listen to a sample here:

And the Giveaway:

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Cathy A. is the randomly selected winner and the CDs will be mailed out to her as soon as I get her address.  Thanks to all for entering! I give away lots of books – to find out about them in the future, please consider following this blog, or my Facebook page, or on Twitter.

 

Posted by: Karen | February 25, 2016

TURN YOUR MATE INTO YOUR SOULMATE by Arielle Ford

A Practical Guide to Happily Ever Aftery648.png

Available now at Harper Audio.

From the Publisher:

“Internationally bestselling author and relationship expert Arielle Ford offers the keys to re-discovering love, passion, respect, and renewed commitment, years after the simple act of falling in love and getting married.

It’s one thing to fall in love and get married. It is quite another thing to have a marriage you love. This is the true purpose of Turn Your Mate Into Your Soulmate.

Author of the international bestseller The Soulmate Secret, Arielle Ford unlocks the wisdom learned in her own marriage along with expertise gleaned from friends and experts such as Harville Hendrix, John Gray, Dr. Helen Fisher, Neale Donald Walsch, and Marianne Williamson, to help readers find a happy middle ground between the rare, precious, and unattainable romantic notion of love, and the reality that happens when restlessness, anger, or disappointment set in and act as a stubborn barrier to happiness and fulfillment.”

My recording experience:

I loved the balance between the spiritual and practical in this book and I definitely found some ideas to apply to my own marriage.  One of my favorites was using special nicknames when you are annoyed with your spouse, so that “Sheila” can signal to “Wayne” in a playful way that the annoyance is probably not personal. (Still haven’t figured out what our nicknames should be.) This is one of those books you can read in pieces, or again and again to remind yourself of what’s really important.

Listen to a sample here:

 

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