Posted by: Karen | October 27, 2017

NEVERTHELESS, WE PERSISTED

Tales of Loss, Love, and Finding Your Own Power.21949774_1644467735627638_2454907516442949877_o

Available now from Blunderwoman Productions at Audiobooks.com and Amazon.

From the Publisher:

Nevertheless We Persisted is a special audio-first anthology of poems, essays, and stories that explores themes of loss, love, and finding your own power. It’s an astonishing collection filled with heart, tears, laughter, and ultimately hope. This collection was created from writers across the United States and also in Australia, England, India, and New Zealand. Each piece is performed by a talented narrator. Music by Jennie Knaggs and Nick Shillace of Lac La Belle.

Pieces include:

A woman’s journey fleeing Iraq with her children and how it made her stronger.

A man recovering from his experience in Vietnam and learning empathy.

A journey with cancer as posted on Facebook that ends not with a prayer…but a blessing.

A 25-year-old talking about being a millennial and feelings of gratitude.

A mother getting through Taco Night at her home without drinking. For once.

A mother losing her husband whose children become the thread that pulls her through.

Poems that are sensual and beautiful.

Words on faith and hope.

A first kiss, a chance encounter on an airplane, letting go of a loved one, the sense of loss in losing a parent. The hope and joy and madness of being a mom.

An woman talking about how she’s judged for her brown skin.

A poem about dancing in the rain.

A poem about ordinary objects and thoughts of love.

Finding joy in making love with a partner as the years pass and their bodies age.

Looking for the silver lining, conquering white water rapids and fear, a young woman and her relationship with a gambling addict that made her question love and find her strength.

A middle-aged woman who falls in love with another woman and the struggle she has to embrace her true self, honor her husband, and live an authentic life.

A call for women to rise up and speak.

And my piece is included that is dark and tough and deals with sexual violence by giving voice to the young woman in Lolita.

I’m sure I’ve forgotten some, but it’s a really beautiful and strong collection from everyday people.

This is a piece to listen to, to discuss, to share. Ebook is coming out soon.

Writers include: Amy Oestreicher, Cat Gould, Charlotte McKinnon, Christa Lewis, Christina St Clair, Danielle Daney, Deepti Gupta, Echo Aspnes, Gina Dawe Weaver, Gracie Greenbaum, Jack Arkel, Jacqueline Pick, Janina Edwards, Jerrianne Hayslett, Karen Randall, Karen White, Kass Hillard, Laura Schmidt, Lauren Ezzo, Lily Schmidt, Mark Blickley, Martha McSweeney Brower, Nancy Wagner, Rodney Vaccaro, Sandy Logan, Shahana Kumar, Sue Pitkin, Tanya Eby, Tamara Hansen, Tammy Scott, Tricia Lowther, and Viiji Chary

Narrators include: Amy Landon, Amy McFadden, Bailey Carr, Cat Gould, Christa Lewis, Deepti Gupta, Emily Beresford, Emily Sutton-Smith, Erin Bennett, Erin Mallon, Gina Dawe Weaver, Gracie Greenbaum, Julie McKay, Lauren Ezzo, Lauri Jo Daniels, James Patrick Cronin, Janina Edwards, Karen White, Kate Rudd, Nancy Wagner, Nicol Zanzarella, Mark Kamish, Paul Heitsch, Sarah Mollo-Christensen, and Sue Pitkin

 25% of the proceeds (after publication costs) will be donated to Planned Parenthood.

From the review in AudioFile Magazine:

“This powerful volume of life-affirming poetry and prose is narrated by a variety of feminist voices. As the narrators perform their own pieces and, at times, those written by others, the quality of the delivery remains constant. The variety of narrators works together as a sort of contemporary Greek chorus, encouraging listeners to give voice to their experiences of triumph and trauma. It’s a volume you might want to start and stop at various places throughout the week. The sweetly somber tone of the works is especially suitable for a morning walk or an evening soak in the tub. For those in need of an uplifting listen, this will become a fast favorite.”

For my recording experience, check out my post on it.

Listen to a sample here:

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Mary and Sally are the randomly selected 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!

 

 

Posted by: Karen | October 16, 2017

I won!

Woke up this morning waaay earlier than usual to fly home from a family wedding – which, by the way, was much more affirming than the one that my main character attends in this book – to learn that I was the winner of the Put Your Heart in a Book Contest in the Contemporary Romance Series category!

Thanks for all the good luck y’all sent my way!

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I will eventually be starting a new site for my writing adventures, but for now, your support here is so appreciated.

Right now, I’m seeking representation and/or a publisher, and am happy to say that a few agents and editors have already asked to read the manuscript.

The Way You Make Me Feel is set in 1988 in Boston and is the first of a trio (that’s the plan right now, anyway). Each book will feature a different couple; the connection is a fictional theater company called Shakespeare Boston.

I’d love to hear what you think of the setting and time period!

 

Posted by: Karen | October 9, 2017

Wish me luck?

I’ve been dropping hints about my new writing path, which has slowly but surely been gaining momentum. Right now I’m nervously awaiting the results of the New Jersey Romance Writers’ Put Your Heart in a Book Contest, where my first (not yet published) romance is a Finalist in the Contemporary Series category.

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Since we’ll be at a family wedding Saturday, October 14 – the day of the conference where the results will be announced, I’m not sure exactly how I’ll find out the news, but I’ll be sure to share it as soon as I know.

Meanwhile, please keep your fingers crossed for me on this, and as I travel the road toward getting this baby published!

 

Posted by: Karen | October 6, 2017

NOMADLAND by Jessica Bruder

Available now from Highbridge Audio.61UZVE2F9+L._SY498_BO1,204,203,200_

From the Publisher:

“From the beet fields of North Dakota to the wilderness campgrounds of California to an Amazon warehouse in Texas, people who once might have kicked back to enjoy their sunset years are hard at work. Underwater on mortgages or finding that Social Security comes up short, they’re hitting the road in astonishing numbers, forming a new community of nomads: RV and van-dwelling migrant laborers, or “workampers.”

Building on her groundbreaking Harper’s cover story, “The End of Retirement,” which brought attention to these formerly settled members of the middle class, Jessica Bruder follows one such RVer, Linda, between physically taxing seasonal jobs and reunions of her new van-dweller family, or “vanily.” Bruder tells a compelling, eye-opening tale of both the economy’s dark underbelly and the extraordinary resilience, creativity, and hope of these hardworking, quintessential Americans―many of them single women―who have traded rootedness for the dream of a better life.”

From the Library Journal Starred Review:

“Karen White’s clearly enunciated, steady-paced narration nicely relates this densely packed information that is essential for all public libraries, especially those in communities experiencing this phenomenon.”

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

“I listened to Nomadland on audio. It was narrated by my friend Karen White, who gave it just the gravity it needed. Her precise delivery, verging on alarmed, conveyed the substance and urgency of the topic, yet she handled the book’s wry and humorous moments just as well.”

My recording experience:

This is one of those books that will stick with you, despite the barrage of news that fills the airwaves and interwebs daily. At least it did for me. Bruder’s writing based on immersive reporting experience opened my eyes to a new reality for so many Americans. A reality that’s both inspiring and scarily dystopian.

For an example of what I’m talking about, check out this video I found when I was trying to find out the correct pronunciation of “Kiva”:

Or, if you want the other side of the coin, here’s a link to CheapRVLiving.com where you can find out how to make this lifestyle your own.

Listen to a sample here:

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Johanna 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!

Posted by: Karen | October 1, 2017

CHASING CHRISTMAS EVE by Jill Shalvis

A Heartbreaker Bay Novel.61Kt3+R0NjL._AA300_

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 experience:

This series just keeps getting better! All I can say is that if the cooler weather is beginning to make you think about the holidays, then this book will get you in the Christmas spirit! Also want to share that last year’s holiday Heartbreaker Bay novel, The Trouble with Mistletoe, is getting the red carpet treatment and will soon be available on romance’s new streaming platform Passionflix. You can check out the film’s stars on Jill’s blog.

Back to Spence and Colbie, they are the best wounded geeky couple ever, so don’t miss their story.

Listen to a sample here:

Posted by: Karen | October 1, 2017

TURKEY TROT MURDER by Leslie Meier

A Lucy Stone Mystery.51SNbh6bofL._AA300_

Available now from Dreamscape Audio.

From the Publisher:

“Besides the annual Turkey Trot 5K on Thanksgiving Day, Lucy expects the approaching holiday to be a relatively uneventful one – until she finds beautiful Alison Franklin dead and frozen in Blueberry Pond. No one knows much about Alison, except that she was the daughter of the wealthy investor Ed Franklin and struggled quietly with drug addiction. Police blame her death on an accidental overdose, but Lucy can’t understand what terrible forces could have led the privileged woman to her watery ruin.

Alison’s funeral service is just as puzzling. Many believe Ed’s young – and very pregnant – new wife, Mireille, divided the family, leaving Alison to wither on the vine. Did Mireille truly adore her stepchild as Ed claims, or did she pit father against daughter for personal gain?

As a state of unrest descends on Tinker’s Cove, Lucy is thrown into a full-scale investigation. Now, in a race against time, Lucy must beat the killer to the finish line – or she can forget about stuffing and cranberry sauce.”

My recording experience:

I always love how Leslie Meier incorporates social justice issues into her stories. She dives right into our current political climate with this book. In fact, violence was erupting in Charlottesville as I was recording it, making real life echo the plot in a chilling way. Parallels are drawn clearly between reality and fiction but as always, Lucy observes the dilemmas with empathy and complexity. And there’s a difficult-to-solve mystery thrown in to boot!

Listen to a sample here:

Posted by: Karen | August 29, 2017

YOUNG JANE YOUNG by Gabrielle Zevin plus Giveaway

Available now from Highbridge Audio.
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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 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 characters into life. VERDICT Given Zevin’s substantial fan base, libraries should be prepared to offer this skillfully crafted novel in all formats.”

From the review at AudioFile Magazine:

“Narrator Karen White animates five perspectives in this story of Aviva, a young intern who has a disastrous affair with a congressman. The story is told by three generations of women, with their narratives advancing the story over 13 years. White excels at using accents, intonations, and emotions to create believable portrayals of primary and secondary characters. With equal aplomb, she portrays Aviva’s protective Jewish mother, Aviva herself after she’s reinvented herself as the witty Jane Young, Jane’s 13-year-old smart yet innocent daughter, and beleaguered Embeth, the congressman’s wife. Just as smoothly White transitions between the novel’s various literary devices, which include Ruby’s emails and a second-person “choose your own adventure” format. White captures relationship dynamics and irony with a light touch that reveals darker themes of sexism and the unforgiving nature of the Internet.”

My recording experience:

Besides the fact that I got to voice yet another parrot (you know I’m always up for that and am thankful to Jill Shalvis and the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books for providing prior experience) this book was full of interesting narration challenges, from the variety of characters to the nature of each voice, as described in the review above. On top of that, the issues the book tackles resonated with me as a woman. A couple of quotes that really had me ruminating: “to take care of something is to love it” and “a bad marriage was one that hadn’t had enough time to get good again”. Zevin‘s writing is smart and emotional – Young Jane Young would be a fantastic book club read as she gives us lots to think and talk about.

Listen to a sample here:

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Ila 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!

Posted by: Karen | August 22, 2017

Podcast at Scandalicious Book Reviews

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

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

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

Proud to be an honorary member of the Nerd Herd!

Posted by: Karen | August 20, 2017

A New Challenge

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

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

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

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

And then I had to eat crow.

Because, I have to make a confession here:

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

And then, I read my own words aloud.

And had to rewrite on the fly.

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

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

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

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

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

Talk about bass-ackwards.

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

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

Posted by: Karen | July 31, 2017

#RWA2017

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

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

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

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

 

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

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