Synopsis: Los Angeles, 1908. Anna Blanc is a former so-so socialite, a flailing police matron, and a killer detective.
Ex-heiress Anna Blanc is precariously employed by the Los Angeles Police Department, reforming delinquent children and minding lady jailbirds. What she really wants is to hunt criminals and be alone with Detective Joe Singer – both no-nos that could get her fired.
On a lover’s tryst in Griffith Park, Anna and Joe discover the body of a young gambler. Anna can’t resist. She’s on the case. As her murder investigation stalls, and her police matron duties start piling up, strange floral arrangements begin arriving from an unknown admirer.
Following the petals leads Anna to another crime, one close to home. Suddenly pitted against Joe, Anna must examine her loyalties and solve the crimes, even if it means losing the man she loves.
I absolutely adore what Jennifer Kincheloe has created with the Anna Blanc mystery series. It’s the most entertaining historical fiction in my opinion! Just when you think you’re up for a little romance with detective Joe Singer…a body is suddenly found in Griffith park. I know, shocker right? I loved how this mystery plays out when Anna’s family gets involved in the case. She’s forced into an impossible dilemma between Joe, defending a family member, and solving the case. Great plotting. Laughed out loud several times!
Narrator Moira Quirk is the perfect voice of Anna Blanc. I couldn’t imagine picking another person. Her characterization of Anna Blanc is spot on. When I’m listening to it I feel like I’m transported back in time. Moira Quirk is the best!
About the Author: Jennifer Kincheloe
Jennifer has been a block layer, a nurse’s aid, a fragrance model, and on the research faculty at UCLA, where she spent 11 years conducting studies to inform health policy. A native of Southern California, she now lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband and two teenagers. She’s currently writing book three in the Anna Blanc Mystery series. Book two, THE WOMAN IN THE CAMPHOR TRUNK, is coming out in Fall of 2017 from Seventh Street Books.
Moira grew up in teeny-tiny Rutland, England’s smallest county, which is fitting as she never managed to make it past five feet herself. Moira’s work spans the pantheon of the voiceover world: plays for BBC radio, plays for NPR, video games, commercials, television promos, podcasts, cartoons, movies and award winning audiobooks. She’s won Multiple Audie Awards, Earphone Awards, as well as Audible’s prestigious Book-of-the-Year Award. She has lately set foot in front of the camera again, appearing in “Pretty: the Series” and the Emmy-winning “Dirty Work.”
Synopsis: Reid has spent her whole life pretending to be a man so she can inherit her father’s estate, but when a chance encounter threatens to expose her lie, she is forced to risk everything.
In the kingdom of Marsden, women are subservient to men, and land can only pass from father to son. So, when Reid Ellington is born, the fifth daughter to one of the wealthiest landholders in the kingdom, it’s announced that Reid is a boy.
Eighteen years later, Reid struggles to conceal the fact she’s actually a young woman. Every day, her secret becomes harder to keep. When one of Marsden’s princes sees her sparring with a sword, she is forced to accept his offer and lead her father’s soldiers to the border. Along the way, she discovers a covert organization within the army known as the Knights of the Realm.
If Reid wants to save her family from being arrested for treason and robbed of their inheritance, she will have to join the knights and become a weapon for the crown.
To protect her family, Reid must fight like a man. To do that, she’ll need the courage of a woman.
This is the first book in a new fantasy series from best-selling author Jennifer Anne Davis
***The first book in a new fantasy series from best-selling author Jennifer Anne Davis.***
The Realm of Knights is a gem! I was very delighted to find this book via Audiobookwormpromotions.com. The premise, plotting, characterization is excellent. Reid Ellington is faced with a dilemma at every turn that forces her to comply and keep her family secret. I thought the writing was brilliant. It kept me turning the pages!
How often do you write?
I write five days a week, 8-10 hours a day. I usually set a goal for myself, and I’ll work until I reach that goal. When I’m writing a first draft, I try and write 5,000 words a day. Then when I’m editing, I usually try and edit 10 pages a day.
Tell us a little bit about the characters in Realm of Knights.
Realm of Knights is centered around Reid Ellington. She’s an 18 year old young woman, and the fifth daughter of Duke Ellington. Since land and title can only pass from father to son, the duke tells everyone Reid is a boy when she’s born. So Reid has grown up wearing boy clothing and playing with boys. It has made her fiercely independent and she views the world differently than those around her. There are a few other characters of importance in the book. Her best friend, Harlan, helps her out. He’s the sort of guy that’s always there, fiercely loyal, and he respects Reid even when he learns she’s a woman. Then there’s the princes—Ackley and Gordon. They’re brothers and best friends. Ackley is tall and lean. There’s a fierceness to him that he manages to keep hidden. Gordon is the commander of the army. He’s shorter and stockier than Ackley, he’s fairly quiet, and he’s a little stubborn.
How do you balance other aspects of your life with your writing?
It’s hard to balance everything. I treat writing as my full-time job (because it is). It allows me the freedom to be there for my kids when they need me. However, when I’m on a deadline, it can be rough revising when I need everything to be quiet around me. Thankfully, my family is very supportive and we make it work.
What makes a great story line?
Interesting characters that the reader can connect with, an obstacle the main character has to overcome, a fantastic villain, and a unique love interest.
What is the hardest thing about writing a book?
Revising. Writing the first draft is the fun part. Revising—which is basically rewriting the entire story—is difficult for me. I want to make sure that everything I’m thinking and feeling in my head is exposed on the page. It usually takes me about 25 min to revise one page.
Do you have any people who help you with your story lines as well beta reading and such?
Yes. I have two people that read everything I write. They’ve both been with me for years, and I couldn’t write without them. One started out as my biggest critic and now is my biggest cheerleader. The other is a pro at finding plot holes and inconsistencies.
How did you choose your narrator?
For Realm of Knights, I wanted a female voice with a British accent. It was important to me that the narrator have a youthful voice since Reid is only 18. However, I also wanted her to have a maturity to her that hints at the hardships Reid has faced over the years. When I was listening to auditions, the second I heard Kim’s voice, I knew I’d found the perfect narrator. I was so excited when she agreed to take on the project, that I had her sign for all three books in the series. She is the perfect person for these books, and I couldn’t be happier.
About the Author: Jennifer Anne Davis
Jennifer Anne Davis graduated from the University of San Diego with a degree in English and a teaching credential. She is currently a full-time writer and mother of three kids, one weimaraner, and a tortoise. She is happily married to her high school sweetheart and lives in the San Diego area.
Jennifer is the recipient of the San Diego Book Awards Best Published Young Adult Novel (2013), winner of the Kindle Book Awards (2018), a finalist in the USA Best Book Awards (2014), and a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards (2014).
Publishers Marketplace listed Jennifer as one of the best-selling indie authors in June 2017. She has also been ranked among the top 100 best-selling authors on Amazon.
Kim is an accomplished and award winning actress and director with West End/Broadway theatre credits. Kim has narrated over 35 audiobooks and counting. She is also an in demand voice over talent in the commercial and corporate arena and owns her own class A recording studio in Nashville. Kim is from the UK but has lived in NYC, L.A. and now Nashville TN. She continues to work in Theatre, Film and TV as an actress and a director alongside narrating audiobooks and commercial voice overs.
Synopsis: From award-winning mystery writer Mindy Quigley comes a hilarious tale of small-town intrigue and big-time crime.
For hospital chaplain Lindsay Harding, facing death is part of the job. After all she spends her working days comforting sick and dying patients. But when the annual Civil War reenactment in her hometown of Mount Moriah, North Carolina, produces a real casualty, the Grim Reaper suddenly gets a little too close for comfort. With the clock ticking, the police struggle to unravel how and why a beloved local reenactor was shot in front of hundreds of onlookers. As fingers point and tempers flare, another victim ends up laid out on Lindsay’s front porch.
Lindsay’s life is in danger, but her efforts to expose the century-old sins that lie at the heart of the mystery are undermined by her disastrous love life, her no-good mother, and a ninja-like squirrel – not to mention the small matter of a dangerous killer who’ll stop at nothing to keep a sinister secret. Will courage, curiosity, and Lindsay’s irreverent brand of religion be enough to catch the killer before she becomes the next victim?
The first book in the Lindsay Harding series is quite a romp! Lindsay is such an adorable and likeable character. From beginning to end, reading this felt like being in an adventure. Mindy Quigley couldn’t have picked a better narrator than Holly Adams. Quigley’s humor matched with the narration of Adams was a perfect fit. That’s why I love audiobooks! The voice creation brought so much more depth to the story than just reading it. There were several remarkable characters that had hilariously distinct accents. I loved it.
Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
Not remotely. Audible was still a fairly young company when I started writing the first book, and it wasn’t really on my radar screen. For a while, Amazon had a program where they offered to cover the costs for authors to have their books made into audiobooks using professional actors and production staff. I was lucky enough to be selected for that program.
Can I admit something terrible? As an author, you face so much rejection, so it was pretty great to have the tables turned. I got to audition narrators, negotiate terms, and make the ultimate decisions. It was an awesome experience to have the buck stop with me for a change!
How did you select your narrator?
I received dozens of audition tapes and had started to make a short list of possible narrators. When I heard Holly Adams’ audition, however, it went right to the top of the list. Her command of her voice–tone, accent, humor, diction–just blew away the competition.
Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
The fact that my main characters are ministers and chaplains was drawn from real life. Two of my college roommates went on to become ministers, which was strange given that we didn’t go to a religious college and neither of them had particularly religious upbringings. My two roommates now provide wonderful, heartfelt pastoral care, all while taking irreverence to new and hilarious heights—traits I stole for Lindsay.
Having been young women in our late teens and early twenties together helped me to see that ministers really are just humans, prone to all the same flaws and worries as anybody else. When you’ve seen someone eating dry pancake mix straight out of the box with a spoon, it really takes them off their pedestal.
For the sake of my poor mother, I should take this opportunity to clarify that my main character’s mother, a no-good criminal sleazebag, is NOT based on her.
About the Author: Mindy Quigley
Mindy Quigley is the author of the Mount Moriah cozy mystery series, which is based in part on her time working with the chaplains at Duke University Medical Center. Her short stories have won awards including the 2013 Bloody Scotland Short Story Competition and the 2018 Artemis Journal/Lightbringer Prize. Her non-writing career has been stranger than fiction, taking her from the US to the UK, where she worked as the personal assistant to the scientist who cloned Dolly the sheep, and as project manager for a research clinic founded by the author J.K. Rowling.
She now lives in Blacksburg, Virginia, with her Civil War history professor husband, their children, and their idiosyncratic miniature Schnauzer.
An actress and physical theatre performer for many years before becoming a Voice Actor, Holly continues to divide her time between stage, screen, circus, and audiobook narration.
Holly began her VO career doing radioplays and audiobook characters with the amazing Full Cast Audio company. Since then, Holly has voiced radio and web commercials, various e-learning projects, documentary shorts. . . and of course, audiobooks! She has been nominated for Best Fiction and Best Female Narrator. Holly has conservatory training; her attention to tone, energy and rhythm make her work personal and dynamic. Holly’s performance projects abroad (Italy, Afghanistan, Haiti, Russia, the UK, France, and the Middle East!) support her training and skill with dialects and languages.
Holly records for Audible, Deyan Audio, Christian Audiobooks, Tantor, and more. Holly loves telling stories!
When she’s not in the recording studio, she is on stage or screen; favorite projects include Richard II, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It, the films “Here Alone”, “Gotham Blue” and “Your Loving, Virginia”, working with girls in Kabul for the Afghan Children’s Circus and with performers in Balan, Haiti, as well as with her ‘home circus’ Circus Culture. Holly is a SAG-AFTRA performer, a graduate of the International Dell ‘Arte School, and holds a Master’s in Theatre, Education and Social Change. Https://shearwaterproductions.com/voice-actor and on IMDb as Holly Adams III.
While on a well-deserved holiday in the Lake District to get away from the toils and troubles of London, Holmes and Watson find no respite. As soon as they exit the train, they hear news of a grisly murder making its way around the murmuring commuters. A local aristocrat, Mr. Darcy, has been found missing his head!
And that very night, the wealthy widow finds a stranger in her home who, upon seeing her, abandons his plans and quickly leaves. She believes the intruder to be the murderer of her husband who is now after a large sum of cash she keeps in the house safe.
Unsure if the would-be thief is the murderer or an opportunistic burglar, Holmes devises a plan to catch the burglar, all the while investigating the murder of Mr. Darcy. Follow Holmes, Watson, and the local constable Mr. Wickham as they untangle the mystery surrounding a Murder in Keswick.
The great Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson attempt a holiday and a bit of respite on a train to Keswick, but little do they know what awaits them. Holmes’ brain craves stimulation of every sort when not actively “solving crimes”. Well, he’s delighted what they stumble across in Keswick. This should please many fans of of Holmes.
Narrator Ben Werling does a great job portraying Watson and Holmes throughout the book. His pacing is a bit fast for my taste, but I thought it appropriate given the characters especially Holmes. Sound production was pretty decent with a nice touch of cinematic sound effects. Very entertaining!
*I received this audiobook at no-cost from Audiobookworm Promotions. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.
Synopsis: Book 1 of the award-winning historical fiction series The Troubadours Quartet Historical Novel Society Editor’s Choice Winner of the Global Ebooks Award for Best Historical Fiction Finalist in the Wishing Shelf Awards and the Chaucer Awards “Believable, page-turning and memorable.” (Lela Michael, S.P. Review)
1150: Provence On the run from abuse, Estela wakes in a ditch with only her lute, her amazing voice, and a dagger hidden in her underskirt. Her talent finds a patron in Aliénor of Aquitaine and more than a music tutor in the queen’s finest troubadour and commander of the Guard, Dragonetz los Pros. Weary of war, Dragonetz uses Jewish money and Moorish expertise to build that most modern of inventions, a papermill, arousing the wrath of the church. Their enemies gather, ready to light the political and religious powder keg of medieval Narbonne. Set in the period following the Second Crusade, Jean Gill’s spellbinding romantic thrillers evoke medieval France with breathtaking accuracy. The characters soar and include amazing women like Eleanor of Aquitaine and Ermengarda of Narbonne, who shaped history in battles and in bedchambers. “Historical fiction at its best.” (Karen Charlton, author of the Detective Lavender Mysteries)
The complex narrative of Song at Dawn is breathtaking. This, combined with the narration by Jake Urry make this a compelling read. I’m always in awe how Urry adds an eery, seductive quality to the characters. It brings the story into another dimension that’s hard to put into words. The sound quality and production of the audiobook was excellent. The background music added virtue and an authentic feel throughout the book.
About the Author: Jean Gill
Jean Gill is a Welsh writer and photographer living in the south of France with two scruffy dogs, a beehive named ‘Endeavour’, a Nikon D750 and a man. For many years, she taught English and was the first woman to be a secondary headteacher in Wales. She is mother or stepmother to five children so life was hectic.
Publications are varied, including prize-winning poetry and novels, military history, translated books on dog training, and a cookery book on goat cheese. With Scottish parents, an English birthplace and French residence, she can usually support the winning team on most sporting occasions.
Sign up to Jean special readers’ group at http://www.jeangill.com for exclusive news, offers and a free book. If you review one of Jean’s books you can add a dog to Jean’s Readers Dogs Hall of Fame on her website. Contact Jean at firstname.lastname@example.org with comments or questions. She loves to hear from readers.
Jake Urry has been narrating and producing Audiobooks since February 2016, and in that time has released 28 titles, including The Cryptic Lines by Richard Storry, White is the Coldest Colour and A Mind to Kill by John Nicholl, the PI Harlan Ulrich series by Ambrose Ibsen, The Tesla Gate by John D. Mimms, and The Dragon Apocalypse Series by James Maxey. In 2018 Jake will be working on a wide range of Audiobooks across the genres of Mystery, Thriller, Fantasy, Horror and Sci-Fi.
Synopsis: A tale of arms, of death, of love, and of honor. Set against the turbulent backdrop of the Hundred Years’ War, I Serve chronicles the story of Sir John Potenhale. A young Englishman of lowly birth, Potenhale wins his way to knighthood on the fields of France. He enters the service of Edward, the Black Prince of Wales, and immerses himself in a stormy world of war, politics, and romantic intrigue. While campaigning in France, Potenhale develops an interest in Margery, a spirited lady-in-waiting with a close-kept secret. He soon learns that Sir Thomas Holland, a crass and calculating baron, holds the key to unlock Margery’s mystery and possesses the power to overturn all of his hopes. When the Black Death strikes Europe, however, Potenhale realizes that the fiercest enemy does not always appear in human form. Seeing the pestilence as a punishment for the sins of his generation, he questions his calling as a knight and considers entering the cloister. Margery or the monastery? Torn between losing his soul and losing the love of his life, he finds friendship with a French knight who might – just possibly – help him save both.
I like the historic backdrop of this book and the story of Sir John Potenhale. It was eye-opening to see the effects of the Black plague upon London and its inhabitants. This book is very rich in its historical detail, settings and dialogue giving it an authentic feel. I only wish his point of view were deeper. That would’ve made the book a lot better in my opinion. The narrative was rich and informative, but tend to get lost at times. At any rate, it was fascinating and kept me listening to find out what happens.
Narrator James Young is fully enveloped within the story and characters. This is one of his strong points. Believe me, it makes a huge difference!
Voice Creation/Switch Over: 7/10
The only thing to note here is the difficulty switching from narrative voice to the voice of the french characters. French can be a difficult language to speak, let alone toggling back and forth English and French. Some of the guttural parts are hard on the ear, but not bad.
The pace of the narrator is a bit fast for my taste which forced me to concentrate more than I normally would. A small but significant aspect of the performance. I could’ve slowed the pace in the app but I don’t normally like to adjust the original performance.
The narrator has good emphasis at certain spots, but somewhat monotone. This could be due to the heavy narrative, less dialogue and depth of character.
Reader-Story Connection 6/10
I did have some difficulty following the story due to the aforementioned aspects. This probably would’ve been remedied by slower pace, more emphasis and characterization.
Narrator James Young actually had a good performance and is a worthy medium, but some aspects hindered me entering fully into the story. He has a rich British accent and fully grasps the breadth of the entire book. I would listen to him again.
***The Widow’s Redeemer was a finalist in the 2012 RONE Awards (Reward of Novel Excellence) hosted by InD’Tale Magazine.***
About the Audiobook
Author: Philippa Jane Keyworth
Narrator: Alex Lee
Length: 9 hours 35 minutes
Publisher: Madison Street Publishing⎮2018
Genre: Historical Romance
Release date: April 19, 2018
Synopsis: A penniless young widow with an indomitable spirit. A wealthy viscount with an unsavory reputation. London, 1815: After her husband’s untimely death, Letty Burton comes up from the country with her domineering mother-in-law. Hiding a past she wishes to forget and facing an uncertain future, all she wants is to navigate London Society as a silent companion. A chance meeting with London’s most eligible bachelor sets in motion a series of events that will bring her quiet life under the unfriendly scrutiny of the ton. With the net of scandal, debts, and rivals closing in, will she let her dark past dictate her life forever? Will she learn to trust again? And most importantly, will she allow herself to love? The Widow’s Redeemer was a finalist in the 2012 RONE Awards (Reward of Novel Excellence) hosted by InD’Tale Magazine.
This book was so entertaining I spent a large amount of time smiling and grinning. Definitely worth an award. The characters were so lovable with their formal dialogue and personality quirks. Letty Burton is quite the lady trying to survive at a time where status and social status were so prominent. I’m glad I didn’t grow up in the 1800’s! The banter between her and the Viscount is highly amusing to say the least.
The narration was wonderful. Alex Lee made the story that much better with great character voices and accents. Too bad this isn’t a series!
About the Author: Philippa Jane Keyworth
Philippa Jane Keyworth, known to her friends as Pip, has been writing since she was twelve in every notebook she could find. Originally trained as a horse-riding instructor, Philippa went on to become a copywriter before beginning a degree in History and graduating with First Class Honours. She now works in Digital Marketing and part-time as an author. Philippa has always written stories and believes that, since it is one of her loves and passions, she always will. She has dabbled in a variety of genres, and has settled for the time being in both fantasy and historical romance. An interesting combination of research and imagination Philippa believes it is important to escape into a world you want to be in. This is why she writes stories that will draw you into the characters’ joys and heartaches in a world apart from our own. Philippa has three historical romance novels out, each a standalone with indomitable heroines and lovable heroes.
Alex Lee has been singing, acting and dancing since the age of two and whilst growing up on outskirts of London indulged her love of acting and performing in several ballet productions and plays at school, where she added to her skills by having her speaking and singing voice trained thereafter in productions of The Secretary Bird, Oh What a lovely War, The Norman Conquests, Ten Times Table, Chicago (playing Velma), playing Dick in Dick Whittington, and many others. Narrating audiobooks is a relatively new venture for Alex and she has narrated 10 books in the last year in genres covering Regency romance, historical fiction, comedy adventure, romantic thriller, children’s fiction, biography and murder mystery. Alex lives in a cottage in the beautiful village of East Coker in Somerset, where she lives with her husband Mark who is a skilful editor. “I was thrilled to audition and be given the opportunity to narrate The Widow’s Redeemer and also Fool me Twice both written by Philippa Jane Keyworth for Madison Street Publishing. I loved the Georgette Heyer Regency romances which I read when younger and love the genre. Pip’s books transport you back to that wonderful era and I have loved narrating these stories.”