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:

 

Posted by: Karen | January 14, 2016

MY KIND OF WONDERFUL by Jill Shalvis plus GIVEAWAY

Book #2 in the Cedar Ridge series. Available now from Hachette Audio.c25b47bf1628f4cd91e0181893f39ef9

From the Publisher:

UNEXPECTED AND UNDENIABLE . . .Bailey Moore has an agenda: skiing in the Rockies, exploring castles in Europe, ballroom dancing in Argentina. Now that she has a second lease on life, she’s determined not to miss a thing. What she doesn’t realize is that item #1 comes with a six-foot-one ski god hot enough to melt a polar ice cap. She doesn’t want to miss out on him either, but Hudson Kincaid isn’t the type of guy to love and let go. And as gorgeous as Cedar Ridge is, she’s not planning to stick around.

As head of ski patrol at his family’s resort, Hud thinks he’s seen it all. But never has he run into someone like Bailey. She might look delicate, but her attitude is all firecracker. And her infectious joy touches something deep within him that he’s been missing far too long. Now he’ll just have to convince Bailey to take a chance on her biggest adventure yet . . . something rare and all kinds of wonderful.”

From the review in AudioFile Magazine:

“Narrator Karen White once again brings to life this contemporary romance set at the Kincaid family’s ski resort in Cedar Ridge, Colorado. Bailey Moore, having been declared cancer free, is determined to check items off her bucket list. This includes learning to ski and painting a mural. Hudson Kincaid rescues Bailey when she accidentally gets trapped on a black diamond slope. Unbeknownst to Hudson, Bailey has been hired by his family to paint a mural at the resort. Listeners will enjoy White’s narration, especially the banter between Hudson and his family. White expertly voices Shalvis’s humor. Listeners can look forward to returning to Cedar Ridge in Shalvis’s next book.”

From the review at AudioGals:

“There’s not much more I can say that is new or unique about the wonderful that is Karen White’s narrating talent. She tackles the story as if it’s her own, with a natural pace that sounds like she’s just telling the story off the top of her head. She’s completely consistent with the various character voices. She has developed a certain blend of range/pitch/timbre to imply men’s voices, so that it’s clear who is talking, although the brothers did sound alike. Her delivery of emotional moments is genuine. Most of the time, those skills manage to become submersed in the story (this is a good thing) so that you are not aware of anything except the characters and the plot.”

From the review at I Am, Indeed:

“Narration in this story is from Karen White, and she is one of my all-time favorites for her ability to present the subtle nuances that often are missed in audio performances. Each character was presented with a unique voice that had a particular delivery and pitch, fitting to the character description and story. Bailey’s near-manic ‘grab the gusto now for tomorrow is not promised’ attitude is clear, and there is a decided change in that emotional subtext as she starts to find and develop the connection with Hud and then his family. Hudson’s stoic and occasionally grumpy nature isn’t wholly ingrained, and we see a decided lightening in his approach and delivery as he is able to come to terms with his own fears and as he opens up to Bailey. Fast paced conversations flow neatly, as do the quiet and more reflective moments for these two: alone and together. White’s performance allows a listener to understand the characters and easily understand and follow the story, and provides a wonderful listen.”

My recording experience:

Y’all know I love me some Jill Shalvis.  She is one of the funniest authors out there and I love how she balances the goofy, silly scenes (yes, I may have had a little too much fun with the girls’ drinking scene) with characters facing challenges that move me to tears. Her stories are my kind of wonderful Emotional Rollercoasters!  What I’m wondering now after working on books one and two of this series is just where Jill is doing her research.  She has got some ski patrol and search and rescue stories that are so unbelievable they have to be true. For instance, I cannot imagine spending a night combing a mountain, working your butt off in the cold trying to find two lost skiers, only to find they’d gone drinking after a day on the slopes and passed out without letting anyone know where they were.  Suffice to say I don’t have the constitution or patience to work ski patrol.  But I am looking forward to Jacob’s story in Nobody But You!

Listen to a sample here:

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Sally, Jane and Lori are the randomly selected winners and I will be contacting them via email to get them their Downpour.com download 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 | December 17, 2015

FLASH GIVEAWAY: WRITING ALL WRONGS by Ellery Adams

The second half of my joint post with author Ellery Adams goes up at the Tantor Audio blog today, and FedEx dropped off my copy of the audiobook this morning, so I’m doing a quick giveaway.

Check out the interview at the Tantor blog, where I answer Ellery’s readers’ questions about how we make audiobooks.  Come back here and tell me something you learned in a comment below and you’ll be entered into a random drawing to win the CD version of the most recent Books by the Bay mystery, WRITING ALL WRONGS.

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I’ll choose a winner tomorrow, Friday December 18 at 12 noon (which will give me time to brave the post office to send it out to you!)

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Kate 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.

Here’s a sample:

Posted by: Karen | December 13, 2015

CHRISTMAS ROMANCE GIVEAWAY

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Thanks to the folks at Harlequin Audio (a brand new division of Harper Audio – in fact this book and two others by Debbie Macomber that I recorded last spring were the first to be finished) I have two copies of THE CHRISTMAS BASKET by Debbie Macomber to give away. I think this sweet tale will warm the hearts of anyone who enjoys a feel good, PG-rated Holiday Romance!

Here’s a description from the Publisher:

“That summer—more than ten years ago, while they were still in high school—Noelle McDowell and Thomas Sutton fell secretly in love. Secretly, because their mothers had been locked in a bitter feud for decades. But despite the animosity between Sarah McDowell and Mary Sutton, Noelle planned to elope with Thom. Until he jilted her.

This Christmas Noelle McDowell is home to celebrate the holidays with her family. After all, December 25 is also her birthday. Unfortunately, Noelle’s feelings about home—or rather, her hometown of Rose, Oregon—were changed forever the day Thomas Sutton broke her heart.

This Christmas the feuding mothers find themselves working together to fill Christmas baskets for charity. What irony! And what an opportunity for reconciliation … if only they could see it.

This Christmas Noelle and Thom discover they’re still in love. Regardless of their mothers’ reactions, they want to be together. Is that possible? Can old rivalries be set aside? Will Sarah’s Christmas daughter have a second chance with Mary’s charming son?

Maybe she will … this Christmas!”

Here’s an audio sample:

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Maria D. and Deb 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.

 

Posted by: Karen | December 12, 2015

UNFINISHED BUSINESS by Anne-Marie Slaughter

Available now from Penguin Random House Audio.9780385367905

From the Publisher:

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST AND NPR • “An eye-opening call to action from someone who rethought the whole notion of ‘having it all,’ Unfinished Business could change how many of us approach our most important business: living.”—People

When Anne-Marie Slaughter accepted her dream job as the first female director of policy planning at the U.S. State Department in 2009, she was confident she could juggle the demands of her position in Washington, D.C., with the responsibilities of her family life in suburban New Jersey. Her husband and two young sons encouraged her to pursue the job; she had a tremendously supportive boss, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; and she had been moving up on a high-profile career track since law school. But then life intervened. Parenting needs caused her to make a decision to leave the State Department and return to an academic career that gave her more time for her family.

The reactions to her choice to leave Washington because of her kids led her to question the feminist narrative she grew up with. Her subsequent article for The Atlantic, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” created a firestorm, sparked intense national debate, and became one of the most-read pieces in the magazine’s history.

Since that time, Anne-Marie Slaughter has pushed forward, breaking free of her long-standing assumptions about work, life, and family. Though many solutions have been proposed for how women can continue to break the glass ceiling or rise above the “motherhood penalty,” women at the top and the bottom of the income scale are further and further apart.

Now, in her refreshing and forthright voice, Anne-Marie Slaughter returns with her vision for what true equality between men and women really means, and how we can get there. She uncovers the missing piece of the puzzle, presenting a new focus that can reunite the women’s movement and provide a common banner under which both men and women can advance and thrive.

With moving personal stories, individual action plans, and a broad outline for change, Anne-Marie Slaughter reveals a future in which all of us can finally finish the business of equality for women and men, work and family.”

From the review in AudioFile Magazine:

“Anne-Marie Slaughter, professor at Princeton University and former director of policy planning at the U.S. State Department, looks at work, family, and the myth of having it all. The introduction and the coda are both read by the author and provide an authentic voice for the discussion that follows, a combination of Slaughter’s own experiences and her expertise in looking at policy issues to see where progress can be made. The remainder of the book is narrated by Karen White, whose no-nonsense tone and thoughtful pauses convey the same tone as Slaughter’s reading. White navigates Slaughter’s anecdotes and exposition in an immensely listenable way, changing her inflection to deliver pertinent points and delivering a great listening experience.”

My recording experience:

There was so much that resonated with me in this book. I love that Slaughter has some hopeful and practical ideas for change, and I do hope that by the time my daughters are parents, we will have found a better balance between caretaking and work.  And for those who are not parents, Slaughter’s writing is pertinent to you as well, for in her definition of caretaking, she wisely includes the caretaking of our own parents as well as others in our variously organized families and, perhaps even more importantly, caretaking of the self.

Here’s a link to a sample.

 

 

Posted by: Karen | December 8, 2015

BOOKS BY THE BAY Giveaway

I’ve been recording Ellery Adams’ Books by the Bay series for Tantor Audio over the past several months, and have finally caught up with her!  To celebrate, the author and I did interviews for the Tantor Audio blog.  I was curious about a number of things after recording the series (as written so far) and Ellery was kind enough to answer my questions.  Next week, Tantor will post my answers to questions that Ellery’s fans put up on her Facebook page, asking about my narration process.

I have THREE books from the series to give away this week.  These are numbers 4 – 6 in the series, but don’t worry, they all work quite well as standalones.

 

 

 

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Sue S. 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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