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.

 

Posted by: Karen | October 6, 2015

THE LAST WORD by Ellery Adams plus GIVEAWAY

Books by the Bay Mystery Series, Book 3.F1624_LastWord-238x238

Available now from Tantor Audio.

From the Publisher:

“Olivia Limoges and the Bayside Book Writers are excited about Oyster Bay’s newest resident: bestselling novelist Nick Plumley, who’s come to work on his next book. But when Olivia stops by Plumley’s rental she finds that he’s been strangled to death. Her instincts tell her that something from the past came back to haunt him, but she never expects that the investigation could spell doom for one of her dearest friends . . .”

My recording experience:

What I’m loving about this series is Olivia’s personal growth.  The sample below refers to her reputation for being an Ice Queen in this small town, but book by book the layers are getting peeled away and she’s letting her new friends and family in.  It feels good to go on that journey with her (full confession: it’s a bit of a familiar one for me).  And the NC connection continues; in this book she actually goes to the town where I spent half my childhood, Chapel Hill, AND she listens to an audiobook on the drive.  Not one of mine, sadly, but I guess I can forgive her that😉

This is #3 in the series and I think it would be most rewarding to listen to them in order, but don’t let that stop you from entering the giveaway.  Adams does a good job of catching the reader up without big spoilers on the previous books (which is tricky!).

Listen to a sample here:

And, the Giveaway:

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

Posted by: Karen | October 3, 2015

ALL I WANT by Jill Shalvis PLUS GIVEAWAY

Animal Magnetism series, Book 7.

Available now from Tantor Audio.B1893_AllWant-238x238

From the Publisher:

“Pilot-for-hire Zoe Stone is happy to call Sunshine, Idaho, her home base. But her quiet life is thrown for a loop when her brother’s friend Parker comes to stay with her for a week. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife special agent is a handsome flirt with a gift for getting under her skin. And the situation only escalates when Parker hires her to fly him around the area while he collects evidence on a suspected smuggler.

Now she has to live and work with the guy. But when they’re in the air, she sees another side of him. He’s driven, focused, and sharp. And while he enjoys giving commentary on her blind dates, she quickly realizes that it’s Parker who gets her engines going . . .”

From the review at Reading Between the Wines:

“The audio was excellently narrated by Karen White. She delivered both female and male genuine-sounding voices differentiating between each, so I could always tell who was talking. She even voiced the animals – the silly dog, two cute and playful kittens, and the wacky parrot, Peanut- perfectly. Her performance was well-paced with proper pauses and expression of emotions and feelings. There was nothing that fell short with Karen’s rendering and I look forward to listening to more audios she has narrated.”

From the review at AudioGals:

“Once again, Karen White’s narration was really, truly wonderful. Her delivery is natural, pacing perfect, as if she’s just telling you a story. She creates all the characters with enough differentiation to keep them all straight, using a lower, huskier range for Parker and a voice pitched slightly higher than the narrative for Zoe. And yes, she got to voice Peanut the Parrot again – “Boner!” – as well as the kittens and some great sounds from Notable Rescue Pet Oreo, Zoe’s Bernese Mountain dog. She takes even the animals on with great gusto! It was a lot of fun.”

My recording experience:

I cannot believe that this is the 7th book in this series! I hope I’ve done it justice as I think that each book just gets better. Having met Jill in person and following her online, I can imagine that the rescue angle gives her a particular investment in the animal loving folks of Sunshine, Idaho.  From her posts about her dogs and her daughters’ rescue kittens, I’m guessing that some of the scenes between Oreo and the kittens in ALL I WANT are taken directly from real life.  At least I hope so.:) And I happen to have a dog who is surprised by her own farts, so I know she’s truth talking there.

But animal hijinks aside, what I really love about Jill’s books most of all is her take on hilariously neurotic women in love with guys who adore them but don’t always get them, at least at first.  The inner monologues she writes for these women are SO fun to perform. (Example in the listening sample below!)

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Linda 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.

Listen to a sample here:

And, the GIVEAWAY:

Posted by: Karen | September 20, 2015

BOOKS BY THE BAY SERIES by Ellery Adams plus GIVEAWAY

Books by the Bay Mysteries 1 & 2.

Available now from Tantor Audio.

From the Publisher:

F1622_KillerPlot-238x238

“A KILLER PLOT:  In the small coastal town of Oyster Bay, North Carolina, you’ll find plenty of characters, ne’er-do-wells, and even a few celebs trying to duck the paparazzi. But when murder joins this curious community, the Bayside Book Writers are there to get the story . . .”

F1623_DeadlyCliche-238x238

“A DEADLY CLICHE: While walking her poodle, Olivia Limoges discovers a dead body buried in the sand. Could it be connected to the bizarre burglaries plaguing Oyster Bay, North Carolina? At every crime scene, the thieves set up odd tableaus: a stick of butter with a knife through it, dolls with silver spoons in their mouths, a deck of cards with a missing queen. Olivia realizes that each setup represents a cliché. And who better to decode the cliché clues than her Bayside Book Writers group?”

From the review at Geeky Bloggers Book Blog:

“Karen did an excellent job. I started reading then switched to audio, I found out I was pronouncing names again. However, I loved Karen’s Olivia and Rawlings. She just really drew me into the story :) So glad I have the next on audio!”

From the review at Books, Movies, Reviews, Oh My:

“I wasn’t sure about Karen White at first when I listened to book one but she has grown on me along with Olivia and I think she has the right voice for Olivia.”

My recording experience:

What could be better than recording a cozy mystery set in a fictional coastal town over the summer?  Recording a cozy series set in a coastal town that would be only a few hours from one’s home!  Yes, Oyster Bay is a fictional town, but it’s on North Carolina’s gorgeous Outer Banks and real life places like New Bern and Okracoke are in the books, so I can figure out pretty much where it would be.  It’s always fun to populate the town of a cozy series, but it’s been especially fun to use the dialects I hear every day.  Living here, I know that not everyone who lives in NC sounds like a hick – we have a variety of local accents, based on education and social class as well as location.  Add to that the number of transplants to the state from other regions, and many kids these days grow up without much of an accent.  I’ve done my best to include these realities, while telling some good stories, I hope.  Olivia Limoges, like many cozy leading ladies, is a bit of a prickly character.  But by the end of Book 2, she herself acknowledges that the scars on her heart are beginning to heal.  It’s been an engaging journey for me as she breaks out of her shell, and lets in friends and even love.  I hope listeners will enjoy it, too!

Listen to samples here:

A KILLER PLOT

A DEADLY CLICHE

And the GIVEAWAY!

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  Sue and Lisa 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 | September 11, 2015

MARKED by Rebecca Zanetti

Dark Protectors, Book 7.51W5YTvMrTL._SL300_

Available now from Audible.com

From the Publisher:

“Janie Kayrs has known Zane almost her whole life. He was her friend in the dream world. She trusted him. But that was before he kidnapped her, spiriting her away to an isolated cabin to learn what her dreams never told her. Like how dangerous he looks. How he got on the wrong side of the negotiating table. And how much sexier he is in real life….

Zane is a battle-hardened warrior, used to command and solitude. But Janie has drawn him from the minute they met. His need for her could destroy everything he’s worked for, but the risk is too sweet not to take it.

They call her the Chosen One. But when it comes down to the questions of peace or war, life or death, safety or passion, it will be Janie who makes the choice….

Love is about to start conquering….”

From the review at I Am, Indeed:

“Karen White has provided the narration for this series, and the continuity did help this series as a listener.  Her ability to maintain character voices, delivery, accent and tone, as well as appropriately age Janie from young girl to young woman, gives listeners an instant reference that brings each character to mind.  Throughout the series, White has nailed each emotional moment, taking her time to deliver the punch without overdramatizing or adding elements that would be too much. Dialogue, action and even silence are delivered to put the words on the page front and center, allowing listeners to disappear into the world where they can visualize and feel every moment. You’d be hard pressed to find a better narrative performance for a series than White. Having experienced her work in other genres, I know that she is certainly a must listen for me. In what had to be a formidable project, there were no moments that distracted, the listen was easy and the performance felt effortless, a great trick. This is a favorite series of mine, and one that will get lots of “relistens” when I want to escape and just enjoy.”

My recording experience:

I had such mixed feelings going into this one!  I was vocally exhausted from voicing all these Kurjans and Demons and Vampires but I was really going to miss these people that I felt like I’d been through all these intense experiences with.  And Janie – I’d “known” her since she was four and now she’s all grown up and about to have sex – GULP.  That was pretty weird, I have to say.  But, seriously, especially as a mom of two girls, I really appreciated how thoughtful Zanetti was in writing Janie’s approach to losing her virginity.  Janie has wonderful self awareness about it all, and there’s a hilarious scene with her mom and her aunt.  Finally, throughout the war, Janie has represented hope in this series, and she doesn’t disappoint here. AND she gets to be pretty kick-ass on her way to finding a happy ending.

Listen to a sample here:

Posted by: Karen | September 11, 2015

SHADOWED by Rebecca Zanetti

Dark Protectors, Book 6.51m+vIKqYHL._SL300_

Available now at Audible.com

From the Publisher:

“Danger signs rise off Jase Kayrs like steam – the scars, the secrets, the strength. He’s got a mission, and he’s not interested in much outside of it. Except Brenna Dunne.

Brenna was an ass-kicking, name-taking witch – before the poison that’s killing her sapped her powers too. She knows there’s more to Jase than a handsome face and an ugly history. But there’s no time to find out what. Taking him as her mate might save her life. But once she unleashes the force of his desire, there will be no turning back….

Ready or not, here they come….”

From the review at I Am, Indeed:

“Narration for this series is more than capably handled by Karen White. She’s taken this series from beginning to end, each character has a unique voice and delivery which instantly brings the character to mind. With the story taking place over several years, characters have grown and aged, and White deftly navigates the maturation without losing touch with the earliest introductions. Honestly, her work in this series is unforgettable, and perfectly suited to the story. She embodies the tension, the weariness with the long-term war and even the joy that every character tries to find in much needed moments away from the worries.  Emotions are rapid fire in this series, and moments of tension ebb and flow, while White deftly handles these changes in intensity, pacing the delivery in a way that brings the emotion to the listener.”

From the review at Hot Listens:

“Once again, Karen White does an amazing job. Brenna has this great Irish brogue. I don’t like it as much as Moira’s, who also has a large part in this book, but Brenna’s voice was wonderful. She also did a great job with gravelly demon voices, which I’m sure were tough to do. She continues to do a great job with men and female voices. I did listen at an increased speed, but that is normal for me.”

 

My recording experience:

There’s a lot of dark vs. light in this book.  Jase fears he’s lost himself to the darkness; Brenna seems lighter than she really is.  Janie’s grown up to look like a beach volleyball player, but she’s got the weight of the world on her shoulders and darkness from both Zane and Kalin dragging her down.  But of course everyone’s more complex than even they know themselves to be (and I did love that Jase actually ends up doing some talk therapy with the prophet Lily Sotheby).  Lots of heart stopping action in this one, to boot!

Listen to a sample here:

Posted by: Karen | September 11, 2015

PROVOKED by Rebecca Zanetti

Dark Protectors, Book 5.51099OjYOJL._SL300_

Available now from Audible.com

From the Publisher:

“A Time for War….A casualty of the war between the demons and the vampires, Jase Kayrs has been missing for six long years. His older brothers want answers – but they’re going to have to get them from an unlikely source. For when Kane Kayrs tracks down Amber Freebird, what he finds is a blonde, vegan pacifist who has no intention of using her skills in his war….

A Time for Love….Amber enjoys her life of chaotic freedom and has no intention of falling in line just because a sexy-as-sin vampire insists on order. Unfortunately he discovers she may be the only hope they have of finding his brother, and there’s no way he’s going to let her go – even if it means mating her to gain her cooperation. The two are as different as can be, yet when the dominant Kane and the untamed Amber finally unite to rescue Jase, they just may find that opposites really do attract….”

From the review at I Am, Indeed:

“Narration in the entire series is provided by Karen White, and I don’t think I have anything new to say…her work is terrific.  Characters from earlier books that pop in here are instantly recognizable with distinct voices, delivery patterns and tiny quirks.  Amber and Kane have clearly been imbued with overriding personality traits (Kane’s struggle for a logical explanation with a touch of puzzlement is wonderfully done) and emotional moments made clearer and more impactful with pauses, hesitations and tone variations.  The moments that build tension are vocally presented with rushed or hushed moments, forcing the listener to sit up and pay attention – something big is happening.  The dictionary would take on new meaning if White were to narrate it – she adds greatly to the don’t miss this series statement.”

My recording experience:

In some of these middle books, I feel like Zanetti started to feel more comfortable bringing humor to the genre.  There’s a lot of fun here with Amber (and the other humans she lives with) resisting the reality of vampires.  Zanetti’s also skillful with her female characters’ inner monologues, and I had a great time finding the humor in those, including the sex scenes!

Listen to a sample here:

Posted by: Karen | September 11, 2015

CONSUMED by Rebecca Zanetti

Dark Protectors, Book 4.5149rUCerrL._SL300_

Available now at Audible.com

From the Publisher:

“Sometimes You Mate for Life:  Katie Smith is the best of her class, part of an elite hunting force trained to eliminate werewolves from the hills of Western Virginia. She’s good at it because she has the kind of focus and drive that won’t back down no matter how steep the odds. Call it Southern sass. Whatever it is, there’s no denying her willingness to risk everything for the only man she’s ever cared about – a man on the verge of losing his very humanity….

Sometimes You Mate to Stay Alive:  For the past 10 years, Jordan Pride has dedicated his life to protecting his people from a deadly shifter virus. But in a rare moment of distraction, Jordan’s guard drops just long enough for his fate to take an irreversible twist. Unless the woman he loves surrenders everything to him again and again, under a full moon rising….”

From the review at I Am, Indeed:

“Karen White has again surpassed expectation in narrating this story: characters are instantly recognizable, connecting voice to person before their identity is presented. New characters (there are a few) come forward with their own presentation and emotional connotations that instantly place them as good or bad, and Janey, who has aged 10 years still has those qualities that keep her newer more mature voice familiar and known to readers. I can honestly say that this series has firmly planted her in the “grab anything she has narrated’ pile for me, and the combination of story and performance are in perfect harmony.  Unsure about audiobooks but are a fan of epic vampire / shifter stories ?– this series in audio should be on your list to buy.”

From the review at Hot Listens:

“Karen White did a great job with the narration of this book. While there was nothing in this book that stood out, like in the previous book with a ton of the Irish brogue, I can’t downplay how much I enjoy listening to her narration of this series. I will mention that I did notice a difference in Janie’s voice. She did take into account the 10 year difference in the girl’s voice. She still had a sweetness to it, but not that of a toddler, but that of teenager that has that really sweet girly voice. I thought it fit the description that was given to the ultra petite Janie.”

My recording experience:

The cool thing about this book (especially since I recorded all of them so close together) is that it jumped forward ten years.  This allowed the frantic pace of the first three to slow just a bit, and we get that the characters are all into the slog of fighting this draining war.  Katie and Jordan are the only shifters to have their own full length book, so that added to its change in tone – none of the Kayrs brothers are in the spotlight.  Janie’s grown up a bit, too, and her storyline with Zane and Kalin builds nicely in this installment.

Listen to a sample here:

Posted by: Karen | September 11, 2015

HUNTED by Rebecca Zanetti

Dark Protectors, Book 3.51xZQIFO+LL._SL300_

Available from Audible.com.

From the Publisher:

“Ready or Not:  Moira Dunne is a witch – the quantum physics kind. Time and space are her playthings. Which might explain why her one-night stand from a hundred years ago has turned up to “claim” her – and request her family’s assistance with the war he’s brewing. But the more she learns about Connlan Kayrs, the more she comes to think this is normal behavior for him….

There’s Nowhere to Hide:  When Conn and Moira tumbled on the moonlit grass, Conn hadn’t meant to mark her as his mate for all time. She was only 20! But it wasn’t easy to wait for her. It was even harder to forget her. So when he finally returns for his wicked-hot witch, he’s ready to let the sparks flying. Even if he burns up in flames…..”

From the review at I Am, Indeed:

“Karen White has gone above and beyond in this story: Moira’s Irish lilt and Conn’s decidedly alpha-warrior male, struggling to not appear smug in his “I Told You So”s are both spot on and never miss.  This series and her performance are what each listener should demand of their audio: clear, concise, decidedly unique to the characters AND their personalities, with subtle inflection changes, pauses and insets, including one that I can only describe as a ‘verbal eyeroll” (parents of teens will know this one) that enhance and present the emotional elements, add to tension and provide readers with an “I’m there” feeling.

Hands down, one of the best combinations of action-packed engaging story and narrative performance that I have encountered, this is a series that is solidly setting itself into my favorites list.”

From the review at Hot Listens:

“Karen White nails it again. Moira has an Irish brogue and she did a great job with it. She does really well with the males and female voices. I love the voice that she does for Janie, the five year old. I can always tell who is talking based on the voice she is using. She is one of my favorite narrators and she continues to prove that she is fit for that title for me. I highly recommend her narration if you haven’t tried her yet.”

My recording experience:

There was something about Moira that I loved from the very first moment I got to voice her (which was in the previous book, actually).  She just came out of my mouth effortlessly.  And I so loved Zanetti’s logic about the witchcraft in this book – that its’ all quantum physics that we humans just don’t quite yet understand.  Though my ninth grader was studying plasma while I was recording this so maybe some humans are closer than others.  And then I’ll have to credit Zanetti for giving me my first labor scene to narrate!  Luckily I was awake for mine so I had a clue as to what might be going on.  Thankfully, my own personal labor scenes were not quite so violent..

Listen to a sample here:

Posted by: Karen | July 31, 2015

SECOND CHANCE SUMMER by Jill Shalvis plus GIVEAWAY

Cedar Ridge series, Book #1.8325048c7db527a390cf103661f0880a

Available now from Hachette Audio.

From the Publisher:
“Cedar Ridge, Colorado, is famous for crisp mountain air, clear blue skies, and pine-scented breezes. And it’s the last place Lily Danville wants to be. But she needs a job, and there’s an opening at the hottest resort in her hometown. What has her concerned is the other hot property in Cedar Ridge: Aidan Kincaid-firefighter, rescue worker, and heartbreaker. She never could resist that devastating smile . .

The Kincaid brothers are as rough and rugged as the Rocky Mountains they call home. Aidan has always done things his own way, by his own rules. And never has he regretted anything more than letting Lily walk out of his life ten years ago. If anyone has ever been in need of rescuing, she has. What she needs more than anything are long hikes, slow dances, and sizzling kisses. But that can only happen if he can get her to give Cedar Ridge-and this bad boy-a second chance . . .”

From the review in AudioFile Magazine:

“Narrator Karen White enlivens the Rocky Mountain town of Cedar Ridge, Colorado. In the first of a new series, White portrays the heroine’s anxiety as she returns home to face a tragic past and the man she left years ago. The hero, Aidan Kincaid, is a search-and- rescue fireman, and the heroine is a disgraced hair stylist. White especially entertains the listener with the playful repartee between members of Aidan’s family. The listener can look forward to more adventures with the Kincaid family.”

From the review at BookFan:

“As always, Karen White’s narration is perfect for this genre and especially books by Jill Shalvis.”

My recording experience:

I was so excited and honored when Jill made the effort to ask for me as a narrator for this new series. I’ve loved recording her ANIMAL ATTRACTION series, but have also read her books for pleasure. Her brand of contemporary romance blends humor so well with real emotion, and I’ve been able to connect with every single heroine. Vulnerable but tough, quirky but shy, Lily was no exception in this book.  Then Aidan and his brothers, plus the adrenaline rushes of the rescue scenes, were a great balance to the romance.  I can’t wait for the next one!

Listen to a sample here:

And, the Giveaway:

FullSizeRender

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.  The randomly selected winners have been contacted and the cards will be mailed out to them as soon as I get 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.

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