Audiobook Blog Tour: Realm of Knights by Jennifer Anne Davis

About the Audiobook

Author: Jennifer Anne Davis

Narrator: Kim Bretton

Length: hours minutes

Publisher: Reign Publishing⎮2019

Genre: Fantasy

Series: Knights of the Realm, Book 1

Release date: Oct. 11, 2019

 

 

 

 

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

 

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***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.

 

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About the Narrator: Kim Bretton

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. 

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Audiobook Blog Tour: Cradle to Grave Kay Hunter Book #8 by Rachel Amphlett

About the Audiobook

Author: Rachel Amphlett

Narrator: Alison Campbell

Length: 7 hours 56 minutes

Publisher: Saxon Publishing⎮2019

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

Series: Detective Kay Hunter, Book 8

Release date: Oct. 15, 2019

Synopsis: When a faceless body is found floating in the river on a summer’s morning, Detective Kay Hunter and her team are tasked with finding out the man’s identity and where he came from.

The investigation takes a sinister turn when an abandoned boat is found, covered in blood stains and containing a child’s belongings.

Under mounting pressure from a distraught family and an unforgiving media, the police are in a race against time – but they have no leads and no motive for the events that have taken place.

Will Kay be able to find a ruthless killer and a missing child before it’s too late?

Cradle to Grave is the eighth book in the Detective Kay Hunter series by USA Today best-selling author Rachel Amphlett and perfect for listeners who love fast-paced murder mysteries.

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Coming back to book #8 in the Kay Hunter series was like meeting up again with old time friends. I always enjoy a good crime thriller, or police procedural, especially one based in the UK.  Author Rachel Amphlett writes a tight plot that’ll keep you guessing until the very end. 

 

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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About the Narrator: Allison Campbell

Alison Campbell is an actress based in Bristol, U.K. She has lent her voice to 50+ audiobooks, cartoons, documentaries and dramas. She can be found treading the boards across the country, in everything from Shakespeare to hip hop kids adventures. On screen she has appeared in dramas and science documentaries, her most recent co star was a CGI elephant. She can also be found performing the Natural Theatre Company’s award-winning surreal brand of interactive comedy around the globe.

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Audiobook Review: The King of Plagues by Jonathan Maberry



Saturday 09:11 Hours: A blast rocks a London hospital and thousands are dead or injured… 10:09 Hours: Joe Ledger arrives on scene to investigate. The horror is unlike anything he has ever seen. Compelled by grief and rage, Joe rejoins the DMS and within hours is attacked by a hit-team of assassins and sent on a suicide mission into a viral hot zone during an Ebola outbreak. Soon Joe Ledger and the Department of Military Sciences begin tearing down the veils of deception to uncover a vast and powerful secret society using weaponized versions of the Ten Plagues of Egypt to destabilize world economies and profit from the resulting chaos. Millions will die unless Joe Ledger meets the this powerful new enemy on their own terms as he fights terror with terror. 

 

Audible 

 


Review Concept


One of the best and most entertaining books I’ve ever read…er, listened to. First, the dynamic duo of Jonathan Maberry and Ray Porter is match made in heaven. Second, the characters are AWESOME. Ray Porter do an amazing job of bringing each one to life. Of course, the point of view character and overall cool dude, is Joe ledger. But there’s so much more. The entire Echo team as part of the DMS (Dept. of Military Sciences) is pretty unique. Top, Bunny, Jon Smith, Rudy. Then there’s the ever-mysterious Mr. Church. I love his underlying mystique behind in each book. It keeps you guessing and wondering…Exactly…Who is he? Even Joe Ledger is scratching his head wondering who he is. 

 

I don’t know about you but I love a great antagonist, or group of them. Makes the story ten times better. One thing Maberry shines at is creating GREAT BAD GUYS. The plot for King of Plagues was amazing. Creepy, quirky, unique, and formidable. They’re all just great characters who believe in their motivations just as much as the good guys. Sebastian Gault, Toyz, the King of Fear, Raphael Santoro, Nicodemus, the goddess. Their plot for destruction was epic. 

 

Ray Porter is exceptional narrator to the third power on steroids. He is the true voice of Joe Ledger. I couldn’t imagine another. Not to mention Church and Rudy. These are my favorite three character voices. However, they were a number of impressive accents in this one. Scottish, Irish, British, etc. They were not only great accents, but they actually sounded like different people!!! That is insanely difficult, but the good narrators know how to do it well.  

 

 



Audiobook Review: Aries Red Sky by James Young

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About the Audiobook

Author: James Young

Narrator: Jennifer Jill Araya

Length: 16 hours 21 minutes

Publisher: James L. Young Jr.⎮2018

Genre: Science Fiction; Space Opera

Series: Vergassy Chronicles, Book 1

Release date: Aug. 27, 2018

 

Synopsis: “[S]pace opera that plays out on a grand scale, and Young conduct[s] it with aplomb.”-Pop Cults, the website of Geek and Alternative Culture

For over seven hundred years, the Spartan Republic’s citizens have known one truth: Terra is coming. Descendants of exiles who dared to defy an emperor, the star nation’s 70 billion citizens spent the centuries training, arming…and waiting.

In 3035, Lt. Ian Campbell, Spartan Defense Forces (SDF), discovers a strange anomaly on his corvette’s sensors…and realizes the wait is over. The Spartans must convince the Terrans of the cost of subduing their nation. If they succeed, the Republic survives. If not, the SDF will be forced to paint the stars red with their enemies’ blood.

The Confederation of Man was born in the terror of the Harran Empire’s death throes. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, humanity now spreads from its cradle on Earth to hundreds of stars across the Milky Way, and seeks out new worlds to add.

Captain Marcy Cochran was hoping to find a habitable planet; she didn’t expect the system to already have hostile humans. Now a captive, Cochran must contend with a crew proving to be as dangerous as their enemies, and prevent what has started out as a misunderstanding from becoming a full-fledged interstellar war.  For Terran law is quite clear: All humanity will answer to the Confederation.  For the Spartans, that makes the government on Earth no different than the empire it supplanted…and they would rather die on their feet than subjugate themselves once more.

Aries’ Red Sky is the newest novel in James Young’s Vergassy Chronicles universe. A prequel to An Unproven Concept, it is the first in the Spartan Trilogy. If you like space opera with compelling characters, military sci-fi with high body counts, and capital ship battles on a galactic scale, pick up the the latest work in a series whose previous entry was recommended Amazing Stories, Pop Cults, and The Midwest Book Review.

 

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The worldbuilding in this book was amazing. Weapons, military hierarchy and dynamics of character relationships were impressive. Had some trouble grasping the overall concept, or staying with the storyline though. There was so much information I think better use of the narrative could’ve been used to ground, or acclimate the reader into the book. Besides that, very creative and impressive.

 

 

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About the Author: James Young

 

James Young is a Missouri native who left small town life to attend a small, well-known Federal institution in upstate New York. After obtaining a degree in military history from West Point, Dr. Young spent six years repaying his education via military service in various locations (both foreign and domestic). Along the way he collected a loving, patient, and beautiful spouse (Anita C. Young)…and various animals that only fit those descriptions when it suited them.

Upon leaving the Army, James returned to the Midwest to obtain his Ph.D. in U.S. History from Kansas State. When not tormenting his characters, Dr. Young spends his spare time reading Anita’s first drafts, finishing that pesky dissertation, and trying to figure out how book eating shelter animals keep ending up in his office. Outside of Amazon, he can be found at conventions throughout the Midwest selling books and merchandise as James Young, Slinger of Tales.

In addition to his positive fiction reviews, Dr. Young is also the winner of the United States Naval Institute’s 2016 Cyberwarfare Essay Contest and runner up in the 2011 Adams Center Cold War Essay Contest. He has also had multiple articles published in Proceedings and the Journal of Military History since 2010.

 

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About the Narrator: Jennifer Jill Araya

 

Jennifer Jill Araya has been listening to audiobooks since she was a young child, and the fact that she now gets to narrate audiobooks for a living is a dream come true. Jennifer’s training as an opera singer and orchestral cellist lend a musicality and depth of understanding to her narration that help bring her authors’ stories to life. She loves nothing more than giving life and breath to the printed word.
When she’s not narrating, Jennifer can be found hiking, biking, running, or generally exploring her home city of Cincinnati with her husband Arturo (aka “Partner in Crime”) and their two children.

 

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Audiobook Review: The Enigma Factor by Charles V. Breakfield, Roxanne E Burkey

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The Enigma Factor book one

 

About Audiobook #1

Author: Charles V Breakfield, Roxanne E Burkey

Narrator: Steven Jay Cohen

Length: 12 hours 15 minutes

Publisher: Enigma Series LLC⎮2017

Genre: Science Fiction; Technothriller

Series: The Enigma Series, Book 1

Release date: Jun. 9, 2017

 

Synopsis: Rogue cyber-criminals want Jacob Michaels, a brilliant young programmer, to join them. He just doesn’t know it yet. Jacob has the brains, expertise, and programming methods to get them what they want without discovery. With his best friend, Buzz, and a distractingly beautiful encryptionist in tow, Jacob enters the world of the Dark Internet here in the 21st century where the computer is the weapon of choice! With the cyber criminals engaged in international hacking, it’s easy to have your identity slip through your fingers. No one, including Jacob, believes it when he learns he has been targeted. Jacob finds the space between cyber good and cyber evil difficult to navigate as well as highly deadly.

Jacob has settled into a quiet routine of a techno geek after his mother dies. The plans he made are disrupted when he discovers his life is in danger. He sets off on a mission that takes him into new technology views and exposes to him the inner-workings of unknown global technologists. Jacob learns that safeguards for technology are always evolving and being exploited. His challenge becomes how to keep ahead of the criminals and identify who to trust.

Book one of The Enigma Series brings relevant technology elements of programming, encryption, crypto-currency, identity theft, and hacking to highlight the professional excellence of Jacob, more so perhaps due to his sheltered upbringing. Explore the horrific damage cyber criminals can inflict as the award-winning authors, Breakfield and Burkey, weave a complex tale of danger, intrigue, and international cyber combat in their debut thriller, The Enigma Factor.

 

Buy Links for Audiobook #1

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Review

 

 

This book was quite interesting in its scope of computers, programming and cyber security. I understood some of the technical jargon, but definitely not all of it. However, it did fascinate me as I tried to wrap my head around the overall plot of the book. Jacob, young programmer and his relationship with a mysterious European encryptionist named Petra was one of the highlights. Jacob’s life is turned upside down when he’s caught in the middle of an international game of rogue hackers.

 

 

NARRATOR PERFORMANCE:

 

  • Narrator-Story Connection:  8/10

I give the narrator high marks here. He seems to completely embody the story in his performance.

 

  • Voice Creation/Switch Over:  7/10

There were a number of good voice creations in this one. Russian, English (southern), European. I think the voices of Otto, Petra, Andrew, and of course Jacob were my favs. Accents were good.

  • Pacing 6/10

I think this was one of the downfalls of the book overall. The tone seemed a bit slow for some reason; almost dull, which makes it hard on the listener.

 

  • Emphasis 6/10

This was another weak point in the performance. The Emphasis wasn’t poor, but lacked in a way that took away from the overall impact of the book.

 

  • Reader-Story Connection  7/10

Due to the pacing and emphasis issues I rated this a bit lower. It wasn’t terrible, but I did struggle overall.

 

  • Sound Quality: 9/10

Publisher:    Enigma Series LLC

 

  • Overall Performance: 7/10 

I know that this narrator is skilled based upon the performance. I’d listen to Steven Jay Cohen again in other titles. The voice creation with the various accents, personalities were actually pretty good. I also think the something in the story structure made it more difficult but not impossible to enjoy. Overall The Enigma Rising is a fascinating beginning to the technothriller series. I’m curious to see where the following books will lead.

 

 

About the Author: Charles V. Breakfield & Roxanne E. Burkey

Breakfield is a renowned technology solutions architect with 25+ years of experience in security, hybrid data/telecom environments, and unified communications enjoys leveraging his professional skills in these contemporary TechnoThriller stories. His love of World War II history from multiple viewpoints, extensive world travel, and cultural exchanges are a part of his DNA. Charles’ love of wine tastings, cooking, and Harley riding has found ways into the nine books of The Enigma Series. Being the son of a military father allowed early exposure to various outposts, which has positively contributed to Charles contributions to many characters and the various character perspectives explored.


Burkey is a renowned customer experience professional, she is adept at initiating business solutions optimizing existing technology architecture to positively impact business outcomes. Her 25+ years in technology and business has allowed her to be a featured speaker on customer experience, subject matter expert, interviewer, instructor, and author of technology documents, as well as creator of the award winning stories within The Enigma Series. She recognized a few years ago, after several white papers and non-fictional technology books that writing fiction is a lot more fun, creative, and yet leverages relevant technology. As a child she helped to lead the other kids with exciting new adventures built on make believe characters which she brings to the stories in a grown up manner. Rox enjoys family, listening to people, any kind of travel, sewing, gourmet cooking, and imagining the possibilities.


Breakfield & Burkey – Combining their professional expertise, knowledge of the world from both business and personal travels, many characters whom have crossed their paths and are now a foundation for the 150+ characters which are a part of their series. They find it interesting to use aspects of today’s technology that people are actually incorporate into their daily lives. They will openly claim this experience and knowledge of people is a perfect way to create these adult good guy/bad guy stories. Relevant technology is combined with travel, romance, intrigue, mystery, and humor design for each book to be enjoyed alone or in sequence. Reviewers have positively compared Breakfield and Burkey to the works of Tom Clancy and Clive Custer which are some of their influencers.


The nine books currently in the series include The Enigma Factor, Rising, Ignite, Wraith, Stolen, Always, Gamers, Broker, and Dragon have received awards individually as a series, and audio books. They have also created some award winning short stories including one for The Enigma Chronicles focused on how one of the founding family was fractured due to the greed for information superiority.

 

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The Enigma Series Teaser

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audiobook Review: Conquest by R.M. Mulder

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An ancient continent is missing from Earth.
A primeval darkness threatens mankind.
A modern woman discovers her destiny.

When undercover agent Lily Thatcher is ordered to undergo a dangerous medical mind-wipe procedure prior to re-assignment, she avoids arrest and becomes a rogue agent. She quickly learns that there are much greater forces at work that are far beyond her comprehension.

Timur Demyan, formerly known as the feared Tamerlane of the ancient Tumurid Empire, has forged an alliance with a loathsome creature called the Leviathan. This beast’s insatiable hunger is currently being fed by another world’s few remaining souls.

For now.

Their paths meet at a showdown, but Lily knows that there’s far more at stake than just her mortality. A morbid question looms in the back of her mind:

Can she prevent Earth’s Apocalyptic Fate?

 

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NARRATOR PERFORMANCE: 9/10

 

 

  • Narrator-Story Connection: 10/10

Kudos to narrator Andrea Emmes who always does an excellent job embodying the scope of the story with all its characters. Believe me, the scope was pretty broad in this one!

 

  • Voice Creation/Switch Over:  9/10

The voices were spot on for the protagonists and antagonist. What helps make it more believable is the narrators ability to infuse emotion into their character. Andrea Emmes is very skilled in this area.

 

  • Pacing 9/10

Great pacing employed throughout the story. I’m sure this is a lot harder than it sounds. The story flowed well from beginning to end.

 

  • Emphasis 10/10

Excellent. The emotional quality of each main character is key, as well as emphasizing the quirks of each personality. No easy feat to accomplish!

 

  • Reader-Story Connection  8/10

Only the skill of the narrator kept in the story of this book. There’s a lot of different elements in the plot line that made it challenging for me.

 

  • Sound Quality: 10/10

Publisher:   R. M. Mulder

Perfect.

 

  • Overall Performance: 9/10 

The narration was a big reason why I choose this title. I can’t emphasize enough having a good narrator for an audiobook. If it were in any other format I wouldn’t have read this at all, but because of good narration I could appreciate the story.

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

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  • 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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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: Deep Shadow by Nick Sullivan

Deep Shadow Cover

About the Audiobook

Author: Nick Sullivan

Narrator: Nick Sullivan

Length: 8 hours 10 minutes

Publisher: Wild Yonder Press⎮2018

Series: Caribbean Dive Adventure, Volume 1

Genre: Action-Adventure

Release date: May 1, 2018

Synopsis: In the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, something lethal is on the move.

Scuba divers travel from all over the world to visit the little island of Bonaire, with its crystal-clear waters and a host of beautiful marine life. After three years in the “Diver’s Paradise”, divemaster Boone Fischer thought he’d seen it all; but on a routine afternoon dive, he spots something that will turn his tranquil life upside down.

From the arid shores of the ABC Islands to the tropical jungles of Venezuela—from the ocean depths of the Southern Caribbean, to the lush islands of the Northern Leewards, Deep Shadow takes Boone and the reader on an action-packed adventure filled with danger and suspense.

“The age-old adage of ‘write what you know’ becomes very important when you write about a technical subject like scuba diving. When you get all the details right, and throw in just the right amounts of action, humor, romance, and suspense, you have a novel like this.” – Wayne Stinnett, bestselling author of “Fallen Out”.

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Book Review

This book was much better than I expected. Narrator and author Nick Sullivan skillfully brings to life the very characters he created. First off, Sullivan has a rich depth to his voice that emanates through every word he pronounces. Second, the type of voices, accents he commanded were exceptional. Russian, Venezuelan, American, British, Jamaican-like accent. When you have a narrator with a great voice, and the skills to match, the book is a winner.

The book itself was very entertaining, adventurous, with an underlying tone of humor that made me laugh out loud.

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

The interesting thing about my process, having narrated over 400 titles over more than twenty years, is I’ve learned how effective a narrator is at catching typos, clunky sentences, and even plot inconsistencies. My final polishing on the writing occurs in the booth as I record. I have a separate document open where I make notes about what I have decided to change as I narrate; then I go back to the manuscript and apply what I learned in front of the microphone before finalizing it.

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

Oh yes. From the very beginning. And in my last book, “Zombie Bigfoot”, I tailored a few characters’ backgrounds to dialects I’m quite good at. Although I had to learn Afrikaner, lol.

How did you select your narrator?

Looked in the mirror. I needed a shave, but after I was presentable, I offered myself the gig.

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Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?

Yes. I’ve been diving for twenty years, visiting numerous Caribbean islands. Many things in this book were loosely based on things I experienced (or heard about). I reached out to some folks I’ve dived with, and some authors I’ve narrated for who know the ocean well, for additional inspiration.

How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?

Well, I keep getting interrupted to record other author’s books! That keeps me from burning out on my own writing. But getting back in the swing can be tricky. I usually have a “wasted day” while I get rolling again.

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About the Author/Narrator: Nick Sullivan

Born in East Tennessee, NICK SULLIVAN has spent most of his adult life as an actor in New York City, working in theater, television, film, and audiobooks. After narrating hundreds of books over the last twenty years, he decided to write his own. Nick has been an avid scuba diver for many years and his travels to numerous Caribbean islands have inspired this series. His first novel, “Zombie Bigfoot”, hit #1 in Horror Comedy on Amazon.

NICK SULLIVAN has been narrating audiobooks for over twenty years, recording over four hundred titles and receiving numerous AudioFile Earphones and Audie nominations and awards. He has worked extensively on Broadway and at many U.S. theaters. His TV credits include The Good Wife, The Affair, Divorce, Younger, Bull, Madam Secretary, Boardwalk Empire, 30 Rock, Elementary, and all three Law and Order series. Film credits include Our Idiot Brother and Private Life. Proud member of SAG-AFTRA.

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