Audiobooks After Dark: Author Tom Abrahams & Narrator Kevin Pierce

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Audioboooks After Dark Episode 20 – Author Tom Abrahams & Narrator Kevin Pierce

 

 

 

This podcast originally appears on Audiobooks After Dark.

Dec. 6, 2018. Duration: 1 hr 10 min.

 

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Tom has traveled places most people would avoid.

He’s braved the stinging winds of a category four hurricane as it pounded The Gulf of Mexico, living and working without power for days.

He’s picked his way through the Amazon jungle, trekked across the irradiated exclusion zone of Chernobyl, Ukraine, and climbed the crumbling, high-altitude stone steps leading from the barrio Tacubaya, Miguel Hildalgo, in Mexico City.

He’s been evacuated in an ambulance from the barren Badlands of western Canada.

Tom is a veteran television journalist and author who’s spent the last 20-plus years telling the biggest stories of our time.

He’s reported from the East Room of White House and Capitol Hill, interviewed Presidents and presidential candidates, and was at the Pentagon while smoke still rose in the hours after 9/11.

He’s writes post-apocalyptic thrillers, action adventure, and political conspiracies.

Tom lives in the Houston suburbs with his wife, Courtney, and their two children.

 

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Kevin Pierce narrator image

 

I had a career path of radio and TV in the 70s, 80s and 90s and full-time voiceover work after that. Near the end of 2012, I read a blog post that mentioned ACX and I checked it out. Armed with confidence in my related narration and production experience and a copy of the ACX production guidelines, I accepted my first offer, completed the production and got rights-holder and ACX approval. I, Kevin Pierce, was officially an audiobook narrator and producer. For the next 100 days straight (weekends and holidays included), I was in my studio auditioning, reading and producing audiobooks, managing as many as 10 at a time. My Thanksgiving Day schedule was to put two 24-pound turkeys in the oven, read and produce two one-hour chapters, then serve dinner for 50. On Christmas Day, my kids, wife and I opened presents before I started opening audio files. I was the ideal designated driver on New Year’s Eve, because I would be having a Happy New Year’s morning in the audio booth. Best of all is what’s in the amazing books I’ve read: the history of Spain and the military history of Iran, how to give a TED Talk and how to keep a beehive, why filibusters belong in the U.S. Senate and why the American economy might need to stop growing. I’ve channeled a fictional voodoo priest, UFO experiencers and a science fiction protagonist with multiple personality disorder (who had voices in his head, just like me!). I doubt I’ll ever have the chance to test my knowledge against Ken Jennings on Jeopardy! but I will never run out of material at a cocktail party. I’ve had the pleasure of repeat business from publishers like Berrett-Koehler, University Press Audiobooks, Crossroad Press and Callisto Media, as well as a number of authors both self-published and those who have regained audio rights to their previously published works. All the recording was done my own state of the art, room-within-a-room studio, the audio from which, one delighted outside producer called “pristine.” More important, I’ve done enough business (and see enough ahead of me) to be able to move into audiobook narration and production full-time (which provides an answer for the wife and kids to the question, “What exactly does your husband/father do?”). So now, as an Audible-Approved Producer and narrator (a recognition I inquired about and received after I pressed “I’m Done” on number 50), I’m looking forward to the second 50 and the second hundred and the hours and hours of fascinating storytelling in the months and years ahead.

 

Audio Samples | Website | Audible

 

 

BEHIND THE SCENES WITH THE VOICE OF THE APOCALYPSE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audiobook Blog Tour: The Widow’s Redeemer by Philippa Jane Keyworth

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***The Widow’s Redeemer was a finalist in the 2012 RONE Awards (Reward of Novel Excellence) hosted by InD’Tale Magazine.***

 

 

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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

 

 

 

Joint Audio Excerpt

 

 

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.

 

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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!

 

 

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Philippa Jane Keyworth

 

 

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.

 

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About the Narrator: Alex Lee

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.”

 

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Audiobook Blog Tour: The Woman in the Camphor Trunk

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About the Audiobook

Author: Jennifer Kincheloe

Narrator: Moira Quirk

Length: 10 hours 50 minutes

Publisher: Jennifer Kincheloe⎮20

Genre: Historical Fiction Mystery

Series: Anna Blanc Mysteries, Book 2

Release date: Nov. 14, 2017

 

Synopsis: Los Angeles, 1908. In Chinatown, the most dangerous beat in Los Angeles, police matron Anna Blanc and her former sweetheart, Detective Joe Singer, discover the body of a white missionary woman, stuffed in a trunk in the apartment of her Chinese lover. Her lover has fled. If news gets out that a white woman was murdered in Chinatown, there will be a violent backlash against the Chinese. Joe and Anna plan to solve the crime quietly and keep the death a secret. So does good-looking Mr. Jones, a prominent Chinese leader who has mixed feelings about helping the LAPD and about Anna.

Meanwhile, the Hop Sing tong has kidnapped two slave girls from the Bing Kong tong, fuelling existing tensions. They are poised on the verge of a bloody tong war that would put all Chinatown residents in danger.

Joe orders Anna out of Chinatown to keep her safe, but to atone for her own family’s sins, Anna must stay to solve the crime before news of the murder is leaked and Chinatown explodes.

 

 

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Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?

Yes. I got my storylines straight from the 1900s newspapers. A 19-year-old white missionary woman was found dead and stuffed in the trunk in her Chinese American lover’s apartment in New York’s Chinatown. I moved the story to Los Angeles, but lots of things are the same, right down to tiny details. After you’ve listened to the audiobook, Google Elsie Sigel and Leon Ling. The B plot in the novel is about two singsong girls–Chinese sex slaves–who were stolen away from their “owner,” a tong president. It almost led to a gang war. The LAPD were hunting the singsong girls to give them back to their “owner” so the LAPD could collect a $1,000 reward and avert violence.

 

 

 

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Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?

I LOVE audiobooks. I listen to 20 audiobooks for every one paper book I read. The narrator is everything to me, which is why I’m so thrilled with Moira Quirk.

 

 

 

 

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If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?

Definitely 1900s Los Angeles! I’d go everywhere that Anna would go–fancy hotels, cheap brothels, Joe Singer’s apartment.

 

 

 

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How did you celebrate after finishing this novel?

I need to work on that celebration thing.

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

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About the Narrator: Moira Quirk

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.”

 

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Audioblog Tour: Timeless by Michelle Madow

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A WONDERFUL SERIES

 

Remembrance

Vengeance

Timeless

 

 

 

Get the boxset!

 

Transcend time saga

 

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About the Audiobook

Author: Michelle Madow

Narrator: Andrea Emmes

Length: 12 hours 57 minutes (Box set)

Publisher: Dreamscape Publishing⎮2017

Genre: Clean Romance

Series: The Transcend Time Saga, Books 1-2

Release date: Aug. 25, 2017

Synopsis: Lizzie Davenport has been reincarnated from 1815, England… but she doesn’t realize it until she meets her soul mate from the past and he triggers her memories to gradually return.
The series began with Remembrance, was followed by the short story Vengeance, and concluded with Timeless. The series has sold a significant number of copies, and has received much praise from reviewers. Read all three parts together in this special box set!

 

*This post is a review for the last book, Timeless. So here’s the specs for the individual audiobook on Audible.com*

 

 

TIMELESS

The Transcend Time Saga, Book 2

 

Timeless

 

Timeless

 

 

 

My Review

Great writing combined with a great narrator make for a wonderful series. The idea for this book was so intriguing, the characters, plot and unraveling of a mystery made for a excellent read. Very engaging throughout. The level of tension and dilemma were delectable. Narrator Andrea Emmes is such a pro, I picked this series largely because of her. if there were an all star team for Narrators she’d be on it.

Hats off to author Michelle Madow. She does a great job delving into the character personalities, their intrinsic worldview, and weaving together an excellent plot.

 

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NARRATOR PERFORMANCE

ANDREA EMMES

 

  • Narrator-Story Connection: 10/10

Stellar performance again by Andrea. When it comes to narrating a story there needs to be a transparent medium for the listener. They also need to enveloped within the story themselves in order to convey it properly. A+.

 

  • Voice Quality: 10/10

This is purely a subjective matter as it should be for every listener. I love Andrea’s voice! They couldn’t have picked a better person for the role. Literally. Her enthusiastic, youthful, innocent, energetic voice was perfect.

 

  • Voice Switch Over:  10/10

This is one of my favorites skills of the narrator, and I still don’t know how they’re able to pull it off so flawlessly. During this particular audiobook they’re several things to note.

 

  1. The male voice of Drew Carmichael- Enjoyed his matter-of-fact personality throughout the book.
  2. Lizzie – Of course was awesome. Deep sea diving into her subjective worldview was very entertaining.
  3. British accents of Lizzie, Andrew, Misty, Lady Givens and Brooks were not only believable but excellent.
  4. I learned something new through this performance that’s worthy of note. In addition to having a believable accent, or rather more importantly, you need to embody the character properly. Now I know why having an acting background is critical. It separates a typical narration to properly stepping into the character’s shoes to portray them in the story. I finally get it, it’s acting! Superb.
  5. Having to keep all the voices in your head, speak with clarity, and then switch back to the narrative voice is hardest job of the narrator in my opinion. Andrea did it with flying colors.

 

  • Pacing 10/10

Every listener has their preference for the pace of the story. Now with modern technology you change switch the speed of the narration at will. But I never do that. I enjoy listening at the normal pace of things. Andrea Emmes brings a lot of passion to her work, especially in emotions. It also shows up in the pacing of the story which compels you to pay attention more.

 

  • Emphasis 9/10

The emphasis was great. One of my pet peeves are monotone narrators without much deviance. I’d never pick up an audiobook with that kind of narrator. I wouldn’t last five minutes let alone several hours. But Andrea has great variation in her voice for each character. It definitely helps to bring them alive.

 

  • Reader-Story Connection 10/10

This is how well the narrator brings me into the center of the story without becoming a distraction. This might even be a result of the aforementioned items. A summation of the skills of the narrator, if you will. A+.

 

  • Sound Quality: 10/10

Publisher: Dreamscape Publishing. Excellent.

 

  • Overall Performance: 10/10

Off the charts. Very professional job. I walk away with an impression of great characterization and the ability to bring a story to life.  Where the characters leap off the page and compel you to know them deeply. If the story has impacted the narrator, then through their skill, they in turn impact the reader.

 

 

 

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About the Author: Michelle Madow

Michelle Madow is a USA Today bestselling author of fast paced fantasy novels that will leave you turning the pages wanting more!
She grew up in Maryland and now lives in Florida. Some of her favorite things are: reading, traveling, pizza, time travel, Broadway musicals, and spending time with friends and family. Someday, she hopes to travel the world for a year on a cruise ship.

 

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ABOUT THE NARRATOR: ANDREA EMMES

Audible Best Selling Narrator, Andrea Emmes was born in Hollywood, FL and grew up in both Tennessee and Rhode Island, started her career in musical theater. Cutting her teeth at The Trinity Arts Center in Rhode Island, Andrea eventually made her way to Orlando and began her eclectic career singing/dancing in various shows at Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Pirates’ Dinner Adventure, performing as a magician’s assistant, headlining on the Las Vegas Strip and touring Los Angeles as an L.A. Award winning artist with her album,”I’m On My Way”. Having worked in tv, film and video games, Andrea, a total Book Nerd, now enjoys narrating audiobooks at her home studio in San Jose, California. Her wide range of character voices and dynamic/emotionally invested performances has reviewers and listeners alike commenting on how she effortlessly pulls listeners in, and has versatility and charisma.

 

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Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

www.thewritingtrain.com

Audiobook Review: Seeing Red by Sandra Brown

Seeing Red

 

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Seeing Red

 

 

 

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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Sandra Brown delivers her trademark nonstop suspense and supercharged sexual tension in this thriller about tainted heroism, cold fury, and vengeance without mercy.

Kerra Bailey is a television journalist on the rise, and she’s hot on the trail of a story guaranteed to skyrocket her career to even greater heights: an interview with the legendary Major Trapper. Twenty-five years ago, the Major emerged a hero from the bombing of the Pegasus Hotel in downtown Dallas when he was photographed leading a handful of survivors out of the collapsing building. The iconic picture transformed him into a beloved national icon, in constant demand for speeches and interviews–until he suddenly dropped out of the public eye, shunning all members of the media. However, Kerra is willing to use any means necessary to get to the Major–even if she has to wrangle an introduction from his estranged son, former ATF agent John Trapper.

Still seething over his break with both the ATF and his father, John Trapper wants no association with the hotel bombing or his hero father, and spurns the meddling reporters determined to drag them back into the limelight. Yet Kerra’s sheer audacity and tantalizing hints that there’s more to the story rouse Trapper’s interest despite himself. And when her interview of a lifetime goes catastrophically awry–with unknown assailants targeting not only the Major, but also Kerra–Trapper realizes he needs her under wraps if he’s going to track down the gunmen before they strike again . . . as well as discover, finally, who was responsible for the Pegasus bombing.

Kerra is wary of a man so charming one moment and dangerous the next, and she knows Trapper is withholding evidence collected during his ATF investigation into the bombing. But having no one else to trust and enemies lurking closer than they know, Kerra and Trapper join forces and risk their very lives to expose a sinuous network of lies and conspiracy running deep through Texas–and uncover who would want a national hero dead.

 

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Photo Credit: Andrew Eccles

 

 

MY REVIEW

 

This was actually my first book by Sandra Brown and she didn’t disappoint! She unraveled this mystery with the skill of an experienced thriller master. I’m very impressed in every regard.

The characters leap off of the page, grab you by the collar and compel you to be invested in them. It’s that good. Former ATF agent John Trapper is quite an interesting character to say the least. The relationship between him and famed television journalist Kerra Bailey is potent throughout the book. If you love crime fiction, mystery, romantic suspense, then you’ll love this one. It’s sure to win some kind of award.

Sandra strings you along the plot line like a master fisherman and the patience of a master strategist. Once you’re hooked there’s no escape until the last page is consumed. The story is absolutely genius.

 

 

 

MY RATING

 

 

 

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NARRATOR PERFORMANCE

Victor Slezak

 

 

  • Narrator-Story Connection: 10/10

Narrator Victor Slezak absolutely nails this performance. Dude was completely in the zone in this one. The best narrators let you see the story through them as a medium. Excellent work.

 

  • Voice Switch Over:  10/10

From Character to character, male or female, then back to the narrative voice was superb. The southern accent of John trapper, his father (the Major), Glenn the Sherriff, and Pastor Hank were memorable.  Slezak’s female voice of Kerra isn’t bad either.

 

  • Pacing 8/10

This one is hard to judge because is does match the southern drawl spoken by the characters. I think the ability to control the narrative flow or pace of the story speaks to the skill of the narrator.

 

  • Emphasis 10/10

Victor Slezak really steps into the shoes of each character and delivers every time. Most notably, one of the main characters, John Trapper was quite memorable.  One of the best performances I’ve seen of any character portrayal.

 

  • Reader-Story Connection 10/10

This is where I judge how well the narrator draws you into the story based upon their skill. Excellent! Not everyone does this well, but Slezak knocks it out of the park. I kept coming back for more.

 

Sound Quality: 10/10

Publisher: Hachette Audio. No problem here. Very professional.

 

Overall Performance: 10/10

I wouldn’t be surprised if this won an award. Hats off to Hachette Audio.

 

 

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