Audiobook Blog Tour: 15 Minutes by Larissa Reinhart



About the Audiobook

Author: Larissa Reinhart

Narrator: Joan Dukore

Length: 10 hours 26 minutes

Publisher: 1969⎮2020

Genre: Mystery; Amateur Detective

Series

Release date: May 28, 2020

 

 

 

 

Synopsis: She played a detective on TV, but now that her life depends on it, can Maizie Albright play a detective for real?

For fans of romantic comedy mysteries like Meg Cabot’s Size 12 Is Not Fat and Stephanie Bond’s Body Movers, The Wall Street Journal best-selling author Larissa Reinhart brings her listeners the first in the Maizie Albright Star Detective series, Hot Mystery Reviews’ “Top 10 Mysteries for Book Clubs”.

”Child star and hilarious hot mess Maizie Albright trades Hollywood for the backwoods of Georgia and pure delight ensues. Maizie’s my new favorite escape from reality.” (Gretchen Archer, USA Today best-selling author of the Davis Way Crime Caper series)

Three Teen Choice Awards, one Emmy nomination, and several Maxim covers later, Maizie Albright was an ex-teen star, stuck in reality show hell, and standing before a California judge. She has one chance for a new life: return home to Black Pine, Georgia, and get a job that has nothing to do with show business. So why not become a private detective – the person she played during the happiest days of her life?

Maybe because…

First: She’s got 10 days to get and keep the job. 

Second: She has to convince the only private investigator in town to hire her. 

Third: She lost the client’s wife on the first day. (And the woman may be dead…) 

Fourth: She just might be falling in love with her new boss. And she just might have lost him his business. 

But what has she got to lose, other than imprisonment, her dignity, and possibly, her life?

Start the Wall Street Journal best-selling series and download 15 Minutes today! 

“Sassy, sexy, and fun, 15 Minutes is hours of enjoyment.” (Phoebe Fox, author of the Breakup Doctor series)

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The first book in the Maizie Albright Star Detective Mystery series is quite a riot! Never a dull moment; 15 Minutes is brimming with excitement and nervous energy.  Maizie Albright and the rest of the characters are full of personality, humor, and their own unique set of quirks. I thought narrator Joan Dukore was a great fit and did a great job nailing the story. Her voice matched the youthful, frenetic pace of the book, including capturing several eccentric personalities! An absolute riot.



AUTHOR INTERVIEW

 

Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.

I was really nervous about making the Maizie Albright series into audiobooks for some reason. My previous audiobooks were done by my publisher and I had no input, so I was worried about the amount of time needed (juggling writing, work, and kids is always a challenge) and worried about the end product since I’m a writer who “hears” their characters more than “sees” them, if that makes sense. But after Joan Dukore auditioned, my fears disappeared. 

Joan’s amazing, easy to work with, and very professional. I loved her audition. After that, I gave her the book and some character notes. I listened to the first 15 minutes of 15 MINUTES (ha), gave her a few more suggestions, and she did all the work. I had to listen to the entire book while reading it but found little to correct. It’s been an amazing experience and went a lot more quickly than I thought. 

 

Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing? 

I never thought about the audiobook while writing 15 MINUTES because I was more focused on getting to know my new characters and trekking through the story. However, for the subsequent books in the Maizie Albright series, I thought about audio, mainly because the books are so heavy in dialogue.

 

How did you select your narrator?

Joan Dukore auditioned and I loved her as Maizie immediately! She has such a fresh, bubbly voice and great comedic timing. The comedic timing was more important to me than just about anything else and she nailed it. I’m thrilled she’s narrating the entire series.

 

How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters? 

 

We worked closely through the first fifteen-minute read and the character samples, then I let Joan do her thing. She’d occasionally ask me questions during the recording. I listened to the entire book, of course, when she was finished for a final edit. 

In the beginning, I was pretty uptight about accents, since many of my characters are southern. A bad southern accent or over-the-top southern accent is like nails on a chalkboard to me. I live in Georgia and we don’t sound like we’re on Hee-Haw. I made a character list and gave suggestions of actors in certain movies. I think the initial listen is hard for the author because we’ve been hearing the voices (in our head) since the conception of the book. But Joan’s a professional actress and I knew I had to trust her. And I’m so glad I did!

 



About the Author: Larissa Reinhart

The Wall Street Journal bestselling author Larissa Reinhart writes the award-winning Cherry Tucker Mystery, Maizie Albright Star Detective, and Finley Goodhart Crime Caper series. She loves to tell funny stories about women, looking for love (and sometimes dead bodies) in all the wrong places.

Larissa, her family, and Cairn Terrier, Biscuit, lived in Nagoya, Japan, but have returned to Peachtree City, Georgia. You can see them on HGTV’s House Hunters International “Living for the Weekend in Nagoya” episode. Larissa loves books, food, and traveling with her family. You can often see her adventures on Instagram (and her little dog, too).

Visit Larissa’s website to join her VIP Readers email group and get the free prequel to The Cupid Caper plus other exclusive bonus content! http://www.larissareinhart.com

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About the Narrator: Joan Dukore

Born in Honolulu, HI, Joan DuKore began her performing career as a ballet dancer, and attended Virginia School of the Arts to continue her education. Her hobby of magic later became her profession, and she continues to perform in Las Vegas and around the world. Her love of reading eventually led to voice acting. She has produced over 30 audiobooks in numerous genres such as thrillers, romances, memoirs, mysteries and fantasies. She loves locking herself in her booth and living in the worlds that authors create.

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Audiobook Series Blog Tour: Against The Tide by Stephen Puleston

About Audiobook #3

 

Author: Stephen Puleston

Narrator: Richard Elfyn

Length: 10 hours 1 minute

Publisher: Stephen Puleston⎮2019

Genre: Modern Detective

Series: Inspector Drake Mysteries, Book 3

Release date: May 29, 2019

 

Synopsis: A small village is shocked when a fisherman is impaled by his own fork. And when a young girl is killed, Inspector Drake has to find what connects them.

The small rural community of the villages of the island of Anglesey have a secret to protect. The dead man owns land connected to the development of a nuclear power station, so somebody wants him dead very badly.

Is the young girl’s death connected to the fisherman’s murder? 

Is it simply money at stake? Or are there more complex motives involved? And with the proposed nuclear power station causing massive controversy, the local community is reluctant to share its secrets. 

And how far will people go to protect their way of life and language?

Grab your copy of Against the Tide today because we all love a fast-paced mystery.

 

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The crimes that Inspector Drake has to solve in this series are utterly complex and leaves me scratching my head every time. Crime writer Stephen Puleston weaves a tight plot in every book for the reader’s journey. I was secretly hoping that Drake’s marriage would be salvaged at some point, but to no avail. I could feel the deep seated tension between the two. Good book. 

About the Author: Stephen Puleston

I write crime fiction based in Wales and about Wales. The rural landscape of north Wales provides the backdrop to the Inspector Drake novels. And Cardiff, the capital of Wales, provides the setting for the Inspector Marco novels set in a modern urban environment.

I love the novels of Raymond Chandler, Ian Rankin, Mark Billingham, Henning Mankell, Val McDermid – the list could go on! And I enjoy watching detective series on the television the recent Hinterland series based near Aberystwyth in Wales was great. One of my favourites is the French series Spiral but The Bridge and Broadchurch and the Rebus series with Ken Stott and Kenneth Branagh in Wallander are great too.

I was born in Anglesey an island off the north Wales coast and after leaving school in Holyhead I went to University in London before training as a solicitor/lawyer. I practised in a small family business doing criminal work in the magistrates and crown courts, divorce and family work.

I still live on Anglesey, North Wales near the beach and the mountains of Snowdonia.

 

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About the Narrator: Richard Elfyn

Richard Elfyn is a hugely experienced and talented actor with film credits including APOSTLE, MARIAH MUNDI AND THE MIDAS BOX, THE KILLER ELITE and THE DARK. TV credits include THE CROWN, KEEPING FAITH, HINTERLAND, EMMERDALE and STELLA and numerous leading regular roles for S4C including political drama BYW CELWYDD. Richard is regularly heard on BBC Radio 4 dramas and is a highly skilled voice over artist. He has re-voiced many Welsh language versions of popular animations including FIREMAN SAM, BEN 10 and SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS.

Audiobook Blog Tour: The Stiff in the Study by Shea Macleod

About Audiobook #2

 

Author: Shéa MacLeod

Narrator: Yvette Keller

Length: 4 hours 20 minutes

Publisher: Shéa MacLeod⎮2017

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Series: The Viola Roberts Cozy Mysteries, Book 2

Release date: May 17, 2017

 

Synopsis: Viola Roberts is at it again! The sleepy seaside town of Astoria, Oregon is the last place you’d expect to find a dead body. That is until the director of the local museum turns up dead in the study and Viola’s friend, Portia, is accused of the crime. Viola ignores her looming deadline and bout of writer’s block and sets out with her best friend, Cheryl, to solve the murder. From starting riots at local dive bars to breaking into crime scenes, Viola will stop at nothing to prove Portia innocent even if it means putting herself in the cross-hairs of the killer.

 

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I’ve come to love the hilarious adventures of Viola Roberts and her sidekick Cheryl. Listening to this audiobook reminded me of the Golden Girls, or Laverne and Shirley from the old days of television. They feed off one another, complement each other. Narrator Yvette Keller plays the part perfectly. Her voice characterizations are on the money and color each personality just enough draw you into the story. 

 

 

 

About the Author: Shéa MacLeod

 

Shéa MacLeod writes urban fantasy post-apocalyptic sci-fi paranormal romances with a twist of steampunk.  Mostly because she can’t make up her mind which genre she likes best so she decided to write them all.

After six years living in an Edwardian town house in London just a stone’s throw from the local cemetery, Shéa headed back to her hometown of Portland, Oregon. She plans to live out her days eating mushroom pizza, drinking too many caramel lattes, exploring exotic locales, and avoiding spiders.

Shéa is the author of the Viola Roberts Cozy Mysteries and the bestselling Lady Rample Mysteries.

 

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About the Narrator: Yvette Keller

 

Yvette Keller’s first job as a narrator was reading aloud to keep her little brother out of trouble. Her favorite party trick is reading words upside down. Little kids need to see the pictures. Yvette lives in her beloved home town of Santa Barbara, using a lifetime of vocal stamina in her home studio. She produces technical VO industrials for Mesa Steps Consulting clients in addition to audiobooks. A lifetime of reading and speaking has proven one thing: Yvette loves stories. She is thrilled to be making books accessible and engaging through her narration work.

 

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Audiobook Review: Hit Me: A Killer Mystery Thriller

About the Audiobook

Author: Peter Thompson

Narrator: Gary Tiedemann

Length: 7 hours 30 minutes

Publisher: Peter J. Thompson⎮2019

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Release date: Mar. 15, 2019

Synopsis: Hitman. Husband. Daddy. Dead man?



Charley Fieldner appears to have the perfect life: a well-paying job, a loving wife, two great kids, and a beautiful home.
He also has a big secret.

Charley is a hitman with a huge complication—he is his own next target.

The background file contains the sort of details only someone very close to him could know. The suspect list is short but devastating: his wife, father, sister, and best friend. Charley always thought he could have it all, but the secrets, lies, and betrayals are piling up.

Charley needs time to unravel the mystery behind who wants him dead and why, but time is in short supply. Another killer has the contract. He now has a choice—roll over and die, or fight for his life.

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Great psychological suspense in this one! Peter J. Thompson does a great job with the point of view character Charley Fieldner. Raised to be a hitman by his father and eventually takes over the “business.” His life slow begins to unravel when he finds out that his own name is on the list! Great blurb and execution. Narrator Gary Tiedemann does an excellent job playing Charley and characterizations of other characters. Very entertaining read. 

About the Author: Peter Thompson

Peter Thompson grew up on the east side of Chicago, in the shadow of the steel mills where the air was sooty and smelled of sulfur. His life wasn’t always so gritty, but the grit and realism finds its way into his thrillers. He has always loved stories of every kind, and one of his joys is finding a way to get inside character’s heads, seeing the world as they see it and feeling their triumphs, pain, and fear. He visualizes his characters when he writes, and they are larger than life in the big screen of his imagination.

Before pursuing his passion and becoming a full-time author, he tried his hand at everything from factory work, breaking cement in a construction crew, running his own pizza shop, and he was a well-regarded presence in the mortgage industry for nearly thirty years. When he isn’t writing, Peter loves, spicy food, live music, and exciting and thought-provoking books and movies. He is a fitness buff who loves to spend time with his grown sons and is looking forward to traveling the world and seeking adventures with his lovely partner.

To get in touch, find out more about future projects, please stop by http://www.authorpeterthompson.com. Sign up for his reading list to find out about new releases and receive free perks.

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About the Narrator: Gary Tiedemann

Gary Tiedemann is a full-time voice-actor and narrator of audiobooks, with over 60 unabridged titles narrated and counting. He has voiced countless commercials and multimedia productions in addition to spending over 10 years on stage performing improv, sketch comedy and original works of theatre. Gary is a graduate of Tulane University in New Orleans. He currently splits his time between Florida and Chicago. See more at http://www.garytiedemann.com

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Audiobook Review: Murder in Keswick by William Todd

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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.

©2018 William Todd (P)2018 William Todd.

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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.

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Audiobook Review: Borderline by Joseph Badal

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About the Audiobook

Author: Joseph Badal

Narrator: Pamela Almand

Length: 8 hours 40 minutes

Publisher: Suspense Publishing⎮2016

Genre: Police Procedural; Mystery

Series: Lassiter/Martinez Case Files # 1

Release date: May 17, 2016

 

Synopsis: Barbara Lassiter and Susan Martinez, two New Mexico homicide detectives, are assigned to investigate the murder of a wealthy Albuquerque socialite. They soon discover that the victim, a narcissistic borderline personality, played a lifetime game of destroying people’s lives. As a result, the list of suspects in her murder is extensive.

The detectives find themselves enmeshed in a helix of possible perpetrators with opportunity, means, and motive – and soon question giving their best efforts to solve the case the more they learn about the victim’s hideous past.

Their job gets tougher when the victim’s psychiatrist is murdered and DVDs turn up that show the doctor had serial sexual relationships with a large number of his female patients, including the murder victim.

 

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It’s been a while since I’ve heard a police procedural and I absolutely loved this one. Having two well written female lead detectives was a breath of fresh air. Creative, fascinating characters you like to get know better if they were real. The story itself was a powerful one given the subject material; and the way that Joseph Badal tells it only leaves you wanting to more.

 

 

NARRATOR PERFORMANCE:

 

  • Narrator-Story Connection:  

The way that Pamela Almand narrates makes it easy to enter right into the story. I think those who narrate books have an extremely difficulty task. They not only have to read and portray a cast of characters with distinct voices, accents, but also learn how to tell the story in the process. Pamela Almand has done just that.  When she narrates you have the sense she’s completely enveloped in the story.

 

  • Voice Creation/Switch Over:  

The list of accents was superb. The voices of Barbara and Susan were quite entertaining!

 

  • Pacing 

Almand is a pleasure to listen to.  The pacing is spot on.

 

  • Emphasis 

Exceptional.  It was almost like watching a hit TV series from the 90’s. I’m still not sure how all the good narrators do it.

 

  • Reader-Story Connection  

I was completely sucked into this book. Hook, line, and sinker.

 

  • Sound Quality: 

Publisher:   Suspense Publishing

The recording volume was great as opposed to some other audiobooks. Almands voice fills up the sound booth very well.

 

  • Overall Performance: 

I’ve never heard of Pamela Almand before this—but now I’m a fan. She has a great voice worthy listening to and her skill is clearly evident.

 

 

 

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About the Author: Joseph Badal

Joseph Badal is the author of 13 suspense novels: Borderline & Dark Angel (Lassiter/Martinez Case Files series); Evil Deeds, Terror Cell, The Nostradamus Secret, The Lone Wolf Agenda, Death Ship, & Sins of the Fathers (The Danforth Saga); The Motive & Obsessed (The Curtis Chronicles); and stand-alones The Pythagorean Solution, Shell Game, & Ultimate Betrayal.


All of his books draw on personal experiences and historical events. Joe has been judged “One of the 50 Authors You Should Be Reading” and has received 3 Gold Medals and 2 Silver Medals from the Military Writers Society of America, and The Tony Hillerman Award for Best Fiction Book of the Year in 2014 and 2016. He also writes a blog titled Everyday Heroes. See past postings at www.josephbadalbooks.com


You can read more about Joe at www.josephbadalbooks.com and email him at josephbadalbooks@aol.com

 

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About the Narrator: Pamela Almand

The daughter of a cattle rancher, Pam Almand grew up in the tiny town of Brush, Colorado. Her dad, a former Air Force fighter pilot, sparked her interest in flying, and after graduating Colorado State University in 2 1/2 years with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, Pam took a flying lesson “just for fun.”

That first lesson turned into a lifelong passion, and one month later she had her Private Pilot’s License. Though there were no female pilots in the airline industry at that time, she set that as her career goal. In 1976, Pam started a small aircraft ferry service to build flight time and in that capacity, delivered new and used aircraft all over the world, including two-seat Cessna 150s she flew solo across the Atlantic!

Pam was the first woman flight test pilot for Cessna Aircraft Company’s multi-engine turbo-prop and jet division and eventually became the company’s national spokeswoman for their Learn To Fly programs.

Her dream was finally realized when she was hired by Northwest Airlines and began a career which spanned the globe, on aircraft from the Convair 580 all the way to captain of the Boeing 747 flying Asia and Europe routes. Pam had over 25,000 hours of flight time at retirement two years ago.

She is a past director of the International Society of Women Airline Pilots and organized conferences for that group in Bangkok and Fort Worth. She is a member of the Ninety-Nines, Experimental Aircraft Association, and the Air Line Pilots Association.

When arthritis and multiple joint replacements curtailed her flying, she started a company as a professional voice actor. Appearing in a national Tylenol commercial in 1995 sparked her interest and The Captain’s Voice was the result. She is now an award-winning SAG/AFTRA narrator and voiceover talent and has done commercials, videogames, e-learning, audiobooks, and phone messaging for clients including Microsoft, Brilliance Audio, Johnson & Johnson, Audible, La Costa Resort, Jet Blue, Delta Airlines, Dell, Blackstone Publishing, the American Red Cross, Canadian Realtors…all the way to being the English voice for The Hotels and Casinos of Monte Carlo!

She was nominated for an Audie Award for her 5th audiobook narration (Come To Me Alive, by Leah Atwood) and went on to also earn a Voice Arts Award for non-fiction for In Movement There Is Peace, by Elaine and Joseph Foster; another Voice Arts nomination for Cyber Crisis: It’s Personal Now, by William Kieper; and recently was awarded an Earphones Award by AudioFile Magazine for Husbands and Other Sharp Objects, by Marilyn Simon Rothstein for Brilliance Audio.

She has served on the board of several charities, including Patrons of the HeArts and local Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministries (BEAM) and lives with her husband Amos in Atlantic Beach. Pam plays piano for her local church, still returns to Telluride, Colorado every summer, loves biking, golf, hiking, and-though she’s been all over the globe!- she still counts world travel among her most-loved hobbies.

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Audiobook Review: Rituals of the Dead by Jennifer S. Alderson

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About Audiobook #2

 

Rituals of the Dead: An Artifact Mystery

 

Author: Jennifer S. Alderson

Narrator: Chelsea Stephens

Length: 8 hours 23 minutes

Publisher: Jennifer S. Alderson⎮2018

Genre: Mystery

Series: The Adventures of Zelda Richardson, Book 3

Release date: Jun. 25, 2018

 

Synopsis: Stolen artifacts, a missing anthropologist, and a pesky amateur sleuth.

Art-history student Zelda Richardson is working at the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam on an exhibition of bis poles from the Asmat region of Papua – the same area where a famous American anthropologist disappeared in 1962. When his journal is found inside one of the bis poles, Zelda is tasked with finding out more about the man’s last days and his connection to these ritual objects.  

Zelda is pulled into a world of shady anthropologists, headhunters, missionaries, art collectors, and smugglers – where the only certainty is that sins of the past are never fully erased.  

Join Zelda as she grapples with the anthropologist’s mysterious disappearance 50 years earlier and a present-day murderer who will do anything to prevent her from discovering the truth.  

All four mysteries in the Adventures of Zelda Richardson series are stand-alone novels, and they can be listened to in any order.

 

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Another great adventure with art student Zelda Richardson, an inquisitive young sleuth who won’t stop until she finds the truth. Rituals of the Dead is a very fascinating mystery full of suspense, history, intrigue dealing with stolen artifacts, homicides and a missing anthropologist. Everything from the setting, the characters and circumstances make this a compelling mystery. If you like amateur sleuths don’t miss this series. Join up with Zelda Richardson!

 

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About the Author: Jennifer S. Alderson

 

Jennifer S. Alderson was born in San Francisco, raised in Seattle, and currently lives in Amsterdam. Her love of travel, art, and culture inspires her ongoing mystery series, the Adventures of Zelda Richardson. Her background in journalism, multimedia development, and art history enriches her novels. When not writing, Jennifer can be found in a museum, biking around Amsterdam, or enjoying a coffee along the canal while planning her next research trip.

There are currently four books in the stand-alone series following the adventures of traveler and culture lover Zelda Richardson. In Down and Out in Kathmandu, Zelda gets entangled with a gang of smugglers whose Thai leader believes she’s stolen his diamonds. The Lover’s Portrait is a suspenseful “whodunit?” about Nazi-looted artwork that transports readers to wartime and present-day Amsterdam. Art, religion, and anthropology collide in Rituals of the Dead, a thrilling artifact mystery set in Dutch New Guinea (Papua) and the Netherlands. Her short story set in Panama and Costa Rica, Holiday Gone Wrong, will help fans better understand this unintentional amateur sleuth’s decision to study art history and give new readers a taste of her tantalizing misadventures.
The Lover’s Portrait was Chill With A Book’s January 2018 Book of the Month and won the Silver Cup in Rosie’s Book Review Team 2017 Awards, Mystery category. TripFiction recently named it one of their 10 Favorite Books set in Amsterdam. It also won a Chill With A Book Readers’ Award, Readers’ Favorite 5 star medal, was one of The Displaced Nation magazine’s Top 36 Expat Fiction Picks of 2016, and came in at 14 in BookLife’s 2016 Prize for Fiction in the Mystery category. The Lover’s Portrait was also one of Women Writers, Women’s Books magazine’s Recommended Reads for April 2017.

Her travelogue, Notes of a Naive Traveler, is a must read for those interested in learning more about—or wishing to—travel to Nepal and Thailand. It was also awarded a Readers’ Favorite 5 star medal.

 

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About the Narrator: Chelsea Stephens

 

Chelsea Stephens has a long time love and appreciation for the performing arts, with experience in on-stage acting, signing and voice over. Her love for consuming books and the pursuit of the story led her to narration. She loves unfolding characters and bringing listeners into new worlds. She is an experienced voice actor with a talent and love for mystery, fantasy and YA novels.
She’s a mom to a gaggle of young ones living in the Midwest with her lumbersexual husband.

 

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Audiobook Blog Tour: Venetian Blood: Murder in a Sensuous City

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About the Audiobook

Author: Christine Evelyn Volker

Narrator: Gabrielle de Cuir

Length: 12 hours 6 minutes

Publisher: Christine Evelyn Volker⎮2018

Genre: Mystery

Release date: Mar. 27, 2018

 

 

 

 

Synopsis: Struggling to forget a crumbling marriage, 40-year-old Anna Lucia Lottol comes to Venice to visit an old friend – but instead of finding solace, she is dragged into the police station and accused of murdering a money-laundering count with whom she had a brief affair. A US Treasury officer with brains and athleticism, Anna fights to clear her name in a seductive city full of watery illusions. As she works to pry information from a cast of recalcitrant characters sometimes denying what she sees and hears, she succeeds in unleashing a powerful foe bent on destroying her. Will she save herself and vanquish her enemies, including her darkest fears?

A captivating tapestry of murder, betrayal, and family, Venetian Blood is a story of one woman’s brave quest for the truth – before it’s too late.

“A riveting whodunit that makes full use of its dramatic setting.” (Kirkus Reviews)

 

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This novel was quite an Italian treat. Taking place in the city of Venice, the flavor of this story is exquisitely Italian. The names, places, idioms all displayed an authenticity in the setting of this mystery. Anna Lucia Lottol is a memorable character trying to cope with a bad marriage, a murder mystery, Venetian romance,  while dealing with her own demons. This was more a like a literary murder mystery full of red herrings. Excellent.

 

 

 

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NARRATOR PERFORMANCE: 9/10

 

  • Narrator-Story Connection:  10/10

 

Gabriella de Cuir is completely enveloped in the story which make for a great book. Excellent.

 

  • Voice Creation/Switch Over:  10/10

Great character voices in this one! The Italian was off the charts and loved every bit of it.

  1. Anna Lucia Lottol is such a memorable character with an innocent personality. She reminds me of some of the old school actresses from the 60’s.
  2. Roberto’s voice and character were also memorable. A player and womanizer who has all the finesse to fully employ his lustful nature.
  3. Detective Niccolo Biondi. Not sure if I’m spelling his name correctly, but he also was a memorable character. You’ll see this often in detective mysteries, or even crime fiction. A law enforcement official hell-bent on uncovering the truth- one way or the other.

There were a slew of characters but these were some who stood out. The narrator does a flawless job of switching voices/characters throughout the book.

 

  • Pacing 9/10

The pacing throughout was spot on.

  • Emphasis 9/10

Knowing when and how much to emphasize with each character was great. I think this distinguishes an ordinary narrator and the better ones. It really brings out the personality of the character and makes them more believable. Anna was so adorable!

 

  • Reader-Story Connection  8/10

Initially I had a harder time locking into the story for some reason. By this I mean, focus. Some stories are easier than other for different reasons. But once I zeroed in on the form of storytelling and narrative voice, it was sensational.

 

  • Sound Quality: 10/10

Publisher: Christine Evelyn Volker – Excellent sound quality.

 

  • Overall Performance: 9/10 

Gabriella de Cuir is a pleasure to listen to. She has great skill in many areas and I’d definitely listen to her again! Highly recommended.

 

 

 

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A few questions with author Christine Evelyn Volker

 

 

  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?

 

Yes. But it didn’t enter the choices that I made. If you’re a writer doing your job, you’re already making decisions based on the cadence of words, their sounds, how realistic your dialog is and how it would be spoken. All of these factors are critical for a good audiobook. After the first few drafts, I read the book out loud to hear how the words sounded and made changes if they didn’t work well together.

 

 

  • How did you select your narrator?

 

Gabrielle de Cuir auditioned, and I loved her voice – its pitch and expressiveness. She brought out the characters’ emotions while also creating interest in paragraphs of pure description. Once I heard her Italian pronunciation (I also speak it), I knew she could handle the super-challenging text I had written: lots of Italian and Spanish words, plus six types of accents in English. I checked her background. She had won awards, and was highly experienced. She didn’t have to learn the craft via my book. I used Audiobook Creation Exchange (acx). Despite the audition and the first fifteen minutes where the author listens to the narrator’s recording and provides feedback, going forward there’s a lot riding on faith. Faith that the rest of the voice actor’s work holds up to the standard of the first part. Given the linguistic and emotional complexity of my book it would have been easy for someone with less talent and experience to go astray.

 

 

Audiobook w Summary 1

 

  • How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?  

 

We worked together very smoothly. I spent a lot of time at the beginning by preparing six pages of written character descriptions, including minor ones. I boiled the key characters down, their attitudes, what made them tick, and where important, how I thought their voices could sound. This allowed her to reflect before she started, to figure out how she’d breathe life into their words. Since Gabrielle grew up in Rome, I didn’t need to give her Italian pronunciation tips. That was a huge boost. We did have a back and forth, surprisingly to me, about the first name of the main character, Anna. I didn’t have to consider this at all when writing the book. But Anna’s name would sound different when pronounced by Italians or Americans (“Ah-na” vs. “Anna.”) This could confuse listeners. Gabrielle needed to nail it down. We decided on the “Ah-na” pronunciation, no matter which character was saying it.

 

 

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  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?

 

Certainly there’s my visceral love for Venice which becomes a character in the novel. I tried to bring out the city’s rich and storied past, its faded glory and its contradictions. Venice still exists, against all odds. Then there are bits of my own life hidden away in the pages. In 1992, I went to Italy for work but also to seek space from a troubled first marriage, so I fused pain with my love of Venice and the desire to create. The time period for the book is the same. Also, wildlife is a sub-theme in the book; nature and the future of the earth are important to me.

 

 

  • Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?

 

Definitely when there are two characters engaged in a suspenseful or moving dialog, like Anna being grilled by Detective Biondi, Anna and Pablo confiding in her about Sergio – the dead man, Anna, Margo and Agatha together later in the book when Agatha reveals shocking secrets. I’ve listened to my audiobook three times now, and its emotional punch is greater throughout. Whether it’s the fact that language is meant to be spoken, or that in our history, the spoken word came before the written one, or that many of us had the pleasure of hearing our parents tell us stories before we learned to read, or that listening is a more elemental pleasure than following dots across a page, or that hearing is something we engaged in before we were even born, or that it’s all of the above—I can’t say. But a well-narrated story is more gripping than the written one.

 

 

  • “If this title were being turned into a movie or television series, who should be cast as its characters?”.

 

Anna Lucia Lottol: Rachel Weisz

Detective Niccolo Biondi: Daniel Craig

Margo Fruhling: Jennifer Connelly

Count Alessandro Favier: Giancarlo Giannini

Pablo Morales: Javier Bardem or Edward James Olmos

Dudley Filbert: Gary Oldham

Agatha Filbert: Helen Mirren

Roberto Cavallin: Raoul Bova

 

 

 

 

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About the Author: Christine Evelyn Volker

Christine Evelyn Volker became intrigued by foreign cultures at an early age, which propelled her to study Spanish, German, and Italian. After securing a BA in Spanish and an MLS at University at Albany – SUNY, followed by an MBA at UC Berkeley, she was drawn to international banking and became a senior vice president at a global financial institution. Her career brought her to Italy, where she immersed herself in the language and made frequent visits to Venice. Venetian Blood marks a return to her roots in the humanities, and just won the Sarton Women’s Book Award for contemporary fiction.

She is currently at work on her second international mystery, this one set in the rainforest of Peru.

 

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Gabrielle de Cuir

 

 

About the Narrator: Gabrielle de Cuir

Gabrielle has narrated over 400 hundred titles specializing in fantasy, humor, and titles requiring extensive foreign language and accent skills. Her “velvet touch” as an actors’ director has earned her a special place in the audiobook world as the foremost choice for best-selling authors and celebrities. Short list of those directed: Anne Hathaway, Emilio Estevez, Wil Wheaton, Dr. Daniel G. Amen, Elijah Wood, Deepak Chopra, Eric Idle, Nancy Cartwright, Michael York, Ed Herrmann, and Joe Mantegna. She is the writer and director of the Award winning short film THE DELIVERY, which deals with an Alice-in-Wonderland version of audio books. She spent her childhood in Rome growing up with her wildly artistic and cinematic father, John de Cuir, four-time Academy Award winning Production Designer, an upbringing that her to be fluent in Romance languages and to have an unusual appetite for visual delights.)

 

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Audiobook Blog Tour: Detective Hunter Series Book 4 – Hell To Pay

Detective Kay Hunter

 

 

Detective Kay Hunter #4 – Hell to Pay

 

 

Hell to Pay Cover AUDIO

 

 

About Audiobook #4

Author: Rachel Amphlett

Narrator: Alison Campbell

Length: 7 hours 14 minutes

Publisher: Saxon Publishing⎮2018

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

Series: Detective Kay Hunter, Book 4

Release date: Jan. 01, 2018

 

 

 

 

Synopsis: When a road traffic accident on a dark autumn night uncovers a disturbing conspiracy, Detective Sergeant Kay Hunter’s investigation exposes a ruthless serial killer exploiting vulnerable young women.

With her enemies unmasked and her career spiraling out of control, Kay’s determination to seek vengeance for the victims brings her dangerously close to those who want to silence her.


Undeterred, she uncovers the real reason behind a plot to destroy her career and sets in motion a terrifying chain of events.

 

Buy Links for Audiobook #4

Buy on RachelAmphlett.com

 

Rachel Amphlett does it again in book 4 of the series, Hell to Pay. Crafting a sinister plot that Detective Kay Hunter will find all to personal. This series has become on of my favorites of the year in crime fiction. And for good reason–They’re awesome! Kay comes across an old adversary when she come across a traffic accident with links to a ruthless serial killer. Brewing at the same time is a mysterious drama related to Kay. Another great one!

Narrator Alison Campbell is a pleasure to listen to in every book. Very professional and skilled at conveying the emotions of the characters. She delivers an exceptional performance in every book. Way to Alison!

 

 

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About the Author: Rachel Amphlett

Before turning to writing, Rachel Amphlett played guitar in bands, worked as a TV and film extra, dabbled in radio as a presenter and freelance producer for the BBC, and worked in publishing as a sub-editor and editorial assistant.

She now wields a pen instead of a plectrum and writes crime fiction and spy novels, including the Dan Taylor espionage novels and the Detective Kay Hunter series.

Originally from the UK and currently based in Brisbane, Australia, Rachel cites her writing influences as Michael Connelly, Lee Child, and Robert Ludlum. She’s also a huge fan of Peter James, Val McDermid, Robert Crais, Stuart MacBride, and many more.

She’s a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold sold to Fanucci Editore’s TIMECrime imprint, and the first four books in the Dan Taylor espionage series contracted to Germany’s Luzifer Verlag.

 

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Alison Campbell photo by Libby Christenson

 

 

Narrator Alison Campbell

 

 

 

retro radio audio spy

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