Tag Archives: audiobook

The Iron Crown by L.L. MacRae Audiobook Tour

Author: L.L. MacRae Narrator: RJ Bayley Length: 17 hours 7 minutes Producer: Audiobook Empire Publisher: L.L. MacRae Genre: High Fantasy Released: July 22, 2022


Fenn’s first and only memory is finding himself in the middle of a forest, face to face with a dragon spirit mocking him, all knowledge gone apart from his own name. Lost and confused, his only hope for answers is Calidra—a woman living on the edge of the world with her partner. Forced to return home when her father dies, Calidra has put off facing her estranged mother for seven years, and she begrudgingly helps Fenn, forging papers for him so he can avoid the Queen’s Inquisitors. But her mother is the least of her worries when they discover an ancient enemy is rising again. It should be impossible with the Iron Crown in power—and Fenn is terrified he might unwittingly be playing a part in the war’s resurgence. Surrounded by vengeful spirits and powerful magic, Fenn’s desperate attempt to find his way home might well alter the fate of Tassar, and every power in it. A new high-fantasy series bursts into life with the Dragon Spirits who reign supreme in the magic-drenched world of Tassar.
L.L. MacRae is a fantasy author of character-driven stories and epic adventure. Her books usually contain dragons, bucket-loads of magic, and are typically fun and hopeful. She lives in a tiny village in the English countryside, has a degree in Psychology, and was a professional copywriter before going full-time as an author—swapping corporate copy for magic and dragons! An accomplished full-time voice actor and audiobook narrator with 4 years of experience. RJ’s voice has been described by peers as a ‘well-weighted baritone, balanced & deep at the same time.’ Natually he’s got a mild Yorkshire lilt that’s trustworthy and relatable. He’s extremely adaptable however and capable of many convincing accents, or anything you throw at him really. RJ’s broadcast quality studio consists of a fully acoustically treated room, RØDE NT-1A microphone, Reaper digital audio workstation and Izotope RX7 for clean-up and mastering for that high end sound. So far he’s narrated over 30 audiobooks with more currently in production. As a VO he’s been the voice of brands such as Nickelodeon, Johnson and Johnson, Network Rail, Aegon, Accord and more. He’s friendly, reliable, professional, takes direction well and always makes sure you’re happy with your narration. He maintains he’s not trying to ruin his own career by deafening himself with heavy metal on his dog walks. At Audiobook Empire, audio reigns supreme, narrators are hailed as heroes, and headphones are worn with pride. Marrying pomp and circumstance with quality you can count on, Audiobook Empire is a full-service production house that produces and promotes audiobooks with gusto. Give your audiobook the imperial treatment by producing it with Audiobook Empire.
Q&A with Author L.L. MacRae
  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
    • I listen to a lot of audiobooks, so I always have audio versions created of my own novels. It was never a question, really. Accessibility is incredibly important, and having books available in multiple formats is a huge part of that. People who are visually impaired, dylexic, or simply prefer audio shouldn’t have to miss out! So yes, I was always aware there would be an audiobook recording to happen once the novel was complete, but nothing I wrote was changed or affected by the idea it would be narrated, if that makes sense? I did worry about too much alliteration or something like that which might throw off a potential narrator, but that was about the most I was conscious of!
  • How did you select your narrator?
    • It was a bit of a strange process finding the narrator for The Iron Crown! Originally I’d started creating the audiobook with a narrator, but after almost a year without much progress, we decided to part ways. It was a shame, but it happens. It also meant I had a lot of people who’d already been waiting for the audiobook for a year, so I needed to get everything rolling again super quickly. I posted on my social media apologising to everyone waiting for the audio and explained what had happened. I also said (because I try to be transparent with people who follow me) that I’d be opening for auditions shortly. RJ Bayley, who has narrated other superb fantasy including Thirteenth Hour and We Men Of Ash And Shadow reached out to be notified when these auditions opened. We ended up in conversation and I sent him an audition script early. He sent back his audition very quickly and absolutely nailed every single line. He seemed to instinctively “get” my writing – both style and the characters .RJ was so good, in fact, that I would have felt bad opening to auditions because after hearing his version, I doubted I’d hear anyone who fit better. So we decided to move forward together, he did an AMAZING job, and the rest is history!
  • 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?
    • Honestly, other than a handful of discussions beforehand, there was no working together at all! RJ Bayley is a consummate professional and has a whole “welcome pack” for authors that he narrates for. It makes everything so much easier! He wants to know more about the characters rather than “this specific voice” which allows him the creative freedom to breathe life into the characters. For example, I’d provide information on characters ages, personalities, their level of confidence, where in the world they live (and in relation to each other), which gives RJ everything he needs to build a picture of who they are as a person. The voices he gives to the characters in The Iron Crown are nothing short of spectacular, so I’m very happy with this process! I gave a few pronunciation tips – when it comes to epic fantasy, so many words/names/places are made-up! – so he knew how I’d like them to be said. Of course I was always open in case anything came up that he wasn’t sure about. I heard the first 15 minutes and then nothing until the whole book was complete! It was a lovely surprise when he told me he was done – i was just as excited waiting for it as readers who’d been asking for the audio! Having a more hands-off approach was great. As an indie author, you have to do everything yourself, so leaving the production in capable hands is always a bonus!
  • What are the fantasy influences behind your writing?
    • The Final Fantasy video game series was my first experience of epic narratives, grey characters with incredible backstories, and superb worldbuilding. I return to a number of the titles in this series again and again – like a comfort blanket! But at around eight years old, it was incredibly significant on my psyche!
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
    • Music helps, and so do video games! Getting outside and allowing my mind to wander, or simply doing/watching something totally unrelated sometimes helps inspiration grow. Sometimes just going to bed and getting comfy is when my brain throws all the good ideas at me! I try and put trust in my subconscious that it’ll figure out a plot hole or create a new, fun idea that can be incorporated (if not into my current book, then a future project). More tangibly, brainstorming with other creatives – especially if they have totally different writing styles! I’ve had brilliant feedback and ideas generated from being part of a writing group, or just discussing a plot with another author. Their objectivity often allows them to comment on things that I hadn’t considered before, and then a snowball of inspiration begins!
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • I’d say close to 80% of my reading is through audiobooks! It’s a fantastic format and can really bring a story to life like nothing else. I always have an audiobook on the go when I’m driving, cooking, cleaning etc. Sometimes I just want to chill out with a jigsaw puzzle and I’ll throw on a chapter or two of my current audiobook! It’s a huge part of reading (we’re told stories as children) and an aspect that I think sometimes receives unfair stigma. If I have the time to do “immersive reading” – where I listen to the audiobook while reading along with a physical copy or eBook – it can heighten the experience to a whole new level! Highly recommend it 😀
  • If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
    • I think I would! As long as I could only observe safely, and not have to actually BE in the new place! I am super curious about the future – a short way ahead, say 50 or 100 years in the future, and also the far future, like 500, 1000, 2000 years in the future! I wonder what happens to humanity and the planet, if we’re okay in the end or if the apocalyptic science fiction becomes reality! But on balance, I’d probably go back to prehistoric times and see dinosaurs! I’m a huuuuge fan of dragons and dinosaurs are basically the next closest thing! So seeing what they really looked like, their behaviour etc. would be what I’d love to see if I could time travel! Ideally I’d be able to come back to the present after a whirlwind tour and hopefully have tonnes of inspiration!
  • Have any of your characters ever appeared in your dreams?
    • Oh yes! All the time! In fact it’s very rare that they DON’T appear in my dreams! It isn’t just characters, either, it’s places and plot points, too. Thankfully, my subconscious is pretty active and many scenes and ideas in my books come from my dreams. Dreams are pretty good at solving plot holes too! It’s a bit strange, but I feel like a lot of creativity comes from the subconscious. Your brain piecing together ideas without you consciously realising, and often the fruits of those appear in dreams. I day dream quite a lot (or at least, I used to!), and I have notebooks and note apps on my phone/laptop full of all these little half-ideas and concepts that often go on to be included in existing series, or even become the foundation for new series! Dreaming and allowing the mind to wander is super important to creativity for me, and I’m always pleased when they appear in my dreams! It’s kind of like visiting old friends that you didn’t know you had!
  • What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
    • Keep writing. Follow the new, shiny ideas until you can write one to the end. Writing a novel is a slog, so keeping motivated as often as possible will help get chunks of it written! Also thinking what you have written is terrible rubbish that should be burned is entirely normal and part of the process. It will pass.
  • What’s next for you?
    • I’m currently writing the sequel to The Iron Crown, called The Shadow Gate. I’m hoping it’ll be released at the end of 2022, but it may be very early 2023. And of course, the audiobook version won’t be far behind! RJ is interested in returning to narrate the sequel, which is great for consistency, so watch this space!
L.L. MacRae’s Top 10 Books Read Last Year
  1. Burn Red Skies – Kerstin Espinosa Rosero (epic fantasy with dragons, elemental magic, and airship smugglers)
  2. Jade Legacy – Fonda Lee (final book in the Green Bone Saga – urban fantasy, crazy family dynamics, mafia-style characters with great martial arts)
  3. Reaper Man – Sir Terry Pratchett (the second of the “Death” books)
  4. Underlord/Uncrowned – Will Wight (some of my favourites in the Cradle series!)
  5. Legends & Lattes – Traveis Baldee (great slice of life, cosy epic fantasy!)
  6. The Thirteenth Hour – Trudie Skies (gaslamp/steampunk fantasy that’s quintessentially British! Feels very epic)
  7. Wolfeater – Anthony Mitchell (standalone fantasy set in a freezing landscape where survival is never guaranteed)
  8. Orconomics – J. Zachary Pike (satirical fantasy/D&D style adventuring with a very grumpy protagonist!)
  9. Iron Truth – S.A. Tholin (sci-fi – two people try and find a way off a ravaged planet where no one can be trusted, everyone haunted by demons…)
  10. Last Gifts Of The Universe – Rory August (cosy sci-fi about loss, family, and adventure)
Pronunciation Guide (Unlisted video) from the author – also gives a description of POV characters and other major characters, as well as some of the dragons in the book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkUBHodz_jQ   I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Audiobook Empire. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Make Your Own Break: How to Record & Publish Your Audiobook in 7 Simple Steps by Jennifer Lieberman Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Author Jennifer Lieberman helps readers and aspiring authors alike learn how to create a stellar audiobook based on their recently published novels in her book, “Make Your Own Break: How to Record & Publish Your Audiobook in 7 Simple Steps”.

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The Synopsis

“Make Your Own Break: How to Record & Publish Your Audiobook in Seven Simple Steps” is a simple and straightforward ‘how to’ guide for self-published authors and explains how to record and publish a manuscript as an audiobook.

Award-winning writer, actor and producer Jennifer Lieberman developed this seven step guide based on her background in filmmaking & film production, acting and performance coaching while stumbling through the process of recording her own audiobook.

This resource walks you through what to expect in the process by breaking it down into seven steps from time management, necessary equipment as well as tips on preparation, recording and editing.

The Review

This was a unique, educational, and thoughtful read. The short yet interesting read was the perfect companion read to any upcoming or published authors who are on a budget and seeking a way of bringing their book to the audiobook format. The attention to detail and personable way the author writes will set readers at ease and keep them invested throughout the book.

The book was absolutely engaging on so many levels, but what really struck a chord with this reader was the step-by-step process that the author detailed in the book. The way the author explores everything from mental and psychological hangups about publishing your own audiobook, to the almost physical therapy style of education on vocal exercises, and does it in such a short amount of time, made this book such an important and engaging one for indie and published authors alike to have in their library.

The Verdict

Gripping, enlightening, and thought-provoking, author Jennifer Lieberman’s “Make Your Own Break: How to Record & Publish Your Audiobook in 7 Simple Steps” is a must-read nonfiction book for authors looking to delve into the audiobook game. The way the author is able to highlight the current audiobook trends going on in our world and the simple yet important steps one can take to create their own audiobook made this a truly unique and insightful read. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Jennifer Lieberman is from Maple, Ontario, Canada and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from York University in Toronto. Jennifer has appeared in over thirty stage productions in Toronto, New York City, Los Angeles, Europe and Australia; including her Award-Winning Solo Show Year of the Slut, which was adapted into to novel “Year of the What?” In addition to her performance career she has penned a number of screen and stage plays including the wacky web-series “Dumpwater Divas” and the short films “Leash” and “Details” which both screened at the Festival De Cannes’ Court Métrage among other international film festivals. Other books by Jennifer include “Make Your Own Break: How To Master Your Virtual Meeting in Seven Simple Steps” and “Make Your Own Break: How To Record & Publish Your Audiobook In Seven Simple Steps.”

https://www.jenniferliebermanactor.com/

One Must Tell the Bees: Abraham Lincoln and the Final Education of Sherlock Holmes by J. Lawrence Matthews Audiobook Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

The secret history of the infamous detective of Baker Street comes to center stage as his first case centers around the assassination of a US President, the protection of his son, and the hunt for a ruthless assassin in author J. Lawrence Matthew’s audiobook, “One Must Tell the Bees: Abraham Lincoln and the Finale Education of Sherlock Holmes”. 

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The Synopsis

“What do you get when you cross Abraham Lincoln with Sherlock Holmes? The alchemy of creative genius. Matthews brings us to the intersection of history and fiction in this beautifully written epic full of unfathomable twists and turns. It’s elementary: this book is sensational.” (Jim Campbell, syndicated radio host and author of Madoff Talks: Uncovering the Untold Story Behind the Most Notorious Ponzi Scheme in History)

“President Lincoln is assassinated in his private box at Ford’s!”

When those harrowing words ring out during a children’s entertainment in Washington on the evening of April 14, 1865, a quick-thinking young chemist from England named Johnnie Holmes grabs the 12-year-old son of the dying president, races the boy to safety, and soon finds himself enlisted in the most infamous manhunt in history.

One Must Tell the Bees is the untold story of Sherlock Holmes’ journey from the streets of London to the White House of Abraham Lincoln and, in company with a freed slave named after the dead president, their breathtaking pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth. It is the very first case of the man who would become known to the world as Sherlock Holmes, and as listeners will discover, it will haunt him until his very last.

At a time when Western history is being reexamined and retold, old heroes cast aside and statues torn down, and even the legacy of Abraham Lincoln, “the Great Emancipator”, is questioned, One Must Tell the Bees is a timely reminder that our history deserves to be understood before it is entirely undone.

©2021 J. Lawrence Matthews (P)2021 J. Lawrence Matthews

The Review

Such an incredible story! The combination of the author’s ability to capture the tone and writing style of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the narrator’s fluid and thematic speaking voice helped to draw the reader into the narrative. It was incredible how the author was able to bring to life the style of the original Sherlock Holmes novels that made him such an iconic literary figure. The amount of detail and precision that the author put not only in the narrative but into the dialogue of Sherlock Holmes himself was fascinating to read and watch unfold. The narrator was superb, really bringing that nineteenth-century English accent into the story and capturing the emotions and nostalgia that these characters and stories held for so many over the years.

The narrative itself was such a great story. The author found the perfect way to pay tribute to the original Sherlock Holmes stories through tone and atmosphere while shaking things up by exploring a young Sherlock Holmes and giving an alternate history that shows the famed London Detective taking to the streets of Washington DC and more. The addition of the detective’s hero being revealed as a Pinkerton agent was fascinating as well and allowed readers to get a glimpse into the formation of who Holmes would become known as in his future career. 

The Verdict

Nostalgic, entertaining, and thought-provoking, author J. Lawrence Matthews’s “One Must Tell the Bees” is a must-read historical fiction mystery novel! The audiobook version really created the theatrical nature of the setting and the narrative harnessed that classic literature style that really made this feel like an authentic Sherlock Holmes read. The captivating addition of this time period and the era of American History being so influential on the foundation of Holmes and his career in the future was brilliantly told, and if you haven’t yet, you need to grab your copy of this incredible audiobook today!

Rating: 10/10

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Author: J. Lawrence Matthews

Narrator: Thomas Judd

Length: 19 hours 13 minutes

Publisher: East Dean Press

Released: Oct. 1, 2021

Genre: Mystery

Add on Goodreads Continue reading

Interview with Narrator Jeremy Olivier

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am originally from Minnesota and presently live in Korea as an ESL Teacher. I served in the US ARMY and served in Korea for one year which is what encouraged me to move there. My wife is Korean and we live pretty comfortably, but we have plans to move back to the states in the near future. I presently do Voice Over as a side gig, but I hope to develop it into my full-time work. My hobbies are martial arts (gotta stay in shape), playing video games, and sitting down to some good ol’ Dungeons and Dragons with my friends. 

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How did you get into narration?

This is a fun story. I was working as an English teacher for a nuclear power plant here in Korea (KHNP) and they have E-Learning modules on their website to help them with their English. So, we had a project to record the worker’s scripts in a studio. Here in the city of Busan, the local university has a building that is supported by the government that has a complete recording studio. This studio can be rented out to the public and the sound engineer students work there to help whoever wants to do the recording. After that experience, I had so much fun that I was hooked. I got “bit by the VO bug”. So I did some research and found that the first website that most people recommended was ACX (this is the audiobook creation website for Audible.com). I got my microphone, setup, and started auditioning. 

Which character did you connect to the most in this book?

It was, at first, a hard decision between Jericho Caine and Tom Padilla. However, I have to go with the same character that I know Dee chose. That is, of course, Jericho Caine. The reason I connect with him is that he has the same characteristics as me. I’m not as impulsive as he is, but I am direct and interested in just getting the job done. I also like his “run in and figure things out as they go” method. He is also quite optimistic about coming out on top. I also rely on the help and trust of my friends to make it through anything!

What is your process like when trying to tap into the individual characters when recording the dialogue?

I will always reference to playing Dungeons and Dragons on this one. We always use the phrase “theater of the mind” in our quests and when the Dungeon Master creates the world through their words. I use that exact idea to voice each character. Thanks to Dee’s great explanation of each character in detail, I am able to lock in a solid mental picture of the character. With the words that the character says, I try to feel out how they would speak and the mentality that would come with it. Once you’re able to lock in the mental picture, speaking style, and the character’s motivation in the story; the rest just flows. 

What are some of your favorite genres to work on as a narrator? 

I have to easily start with science fiction. The stories can span from a small town to the edges of the galaxy. I have also been fascinated with the supernatural (and it shows with Dee Rose’s novels). Westerns are quite fun to do because the voices come through quite naturally. I am still extremely interested in anything in the fantasy RPG realm as well with my love for all things D&D. 

What advice would you give to aspiring voice actors or narrators looking to get into narrating audiobooks? 

I can’t stress this enough. DO YOUR RESEARCH! As voice actors, we have to wear many hats. We have to learn a lot about sound engineering with the use of DAW’s (Digital Audio Workstations); knowing which mic to use; and how to treat a space to make sure our sound is the best it can be. Start with Youtube. Oh, and prepare yourself for LOTS of rejection. I always live by the phrase “fail forward”. If you didn’t get the part, there’s always tomorrow. However, this direction has limitless educational opportunities. No one in the industry learns it all. Whatever your initial goal or dream is in voice over, buckle up, you’re gonna get pulled in many directions. Don’t worry, this is a good thing. Finally, connect with voice over communities such as ones on Facebook. The support they offer is there to lift each other up and help you through this crazy audio jungle. Everyone’s voice has a place. I hope that helps a little.   

What does the future hold in store for you? 

Right now, just working at building up my Voice Over business and grinding away to build a successful brand. I want to get myself out there and help whoever I can with my voice. I’d like to get that that eventual point where I can wake up in the morning excited and ready to record something fun for someone. I truly want to add enjoyment to people’s lives, no matter how corny that sounds. 

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Any new projects on the horizon?

I am still in close contact with Dee Rose and kicking around the idea of rounding out and taking the rest of his Hangman Universe into the audiobook realm. Other than that, I am working at building up my presence on freelance websites like Fiverr and Upwork. I am also keeping my eyes open for any fun character auditions out there in the aether. 

https://www.acx.com/narrator?p=A3VR8LH4COF79I

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeremy-olivier79/?originalSubdomain=kr

Interview with Author Dee Rose

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

I got into writing when I was a senior in high school. I entered a poetry contest, and even though I didn’t win, I received great reviews. From then on, I only wanted to write poetry. 

I went to the Navy two weeks after high school decided to turn poems into raps. I wasn’t bad, but obviously I wasn’t good enough to make a dent in the music industry. I called my style of rap, psycho rap, and made a song called The Hangman. 

When I got out of the Navy, four and a half years later, the writing bug hit me again. I wondered how I could make the Hangman into a novel. However, I wrote two other books before the Hangman, called Cloning Around and Forbidden Love. The love story was dedicated to my sister because she died of cancer, and I wanted to make sure it was the first book I published even though I’d finished Cloning Around first. 

I moved to Denver, Colorado and went to college to study creative writing. I got married and had two beautiful daughters, Nadia, and Nicole. I then wrote The Hangman but developed a serious case of writers bloc soon after. It lasted for years. Tragedy struck again when I was shot in the Aurora Theater Shooting. I was shot in the shoulder, which required a metal plate, and in the back, which caused nerve damage and I developed drop foot syndrome. 

I thought my life was over until I met a young man named Panhnha Tran and offered to write a book, based off his idea, Then I thought, “I want to finish my own books”. So, with his help, we developed a follow-up book to the Hangman called The Grand Librarian: Life of an Immortal. It was a standalone book, but I tied it to the Hangman story, and the Hangman Universe (HMU) was born. I couldn’t stop writing either. Eight books later, on March 21st, I published The Hangman: Vengeance, book ten, and ended the series. I had a blast.

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What inspired you to write your book?

Susan Taki: The New Coven is the eighth book in the HMU series. I didn’t promote it as much as I should have. I always thought of it as just a gateway book between The Death Brothers: A Supernatural Awakening and The Hangman Vengeance. However, a brilliant voice actor named Jeremy Olivier narrated The Death Brothers book. I thought he did an amazing job! He convinced me to continue the audiobook story of the HMU and I agreed. So, Susan Taki lived through his words.

What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

The message I want people to take away from the book is that good can triumph over evil. Love doesn’t require specific genders. And hang the rules. Fantasy is just that…fantasy. If you have a good story to tell, then tell it the way you envisioned.

What drew you into this particular genre?

I’ve always loved fantasy with supernatural elements my whole life. I’m a huge comic book fan. Anyone with abilities or powers… I’m hooked.

If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

If I could sit down with any character in my book, it would Jericho Caine, the vampire slayer. I think he is badass. And I would ask them, why are you such a badass? I think he has the coolest one-liners, and his wit is unmatched.

What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

Facebook has been the social media site that has been most helpful in developing my audience. I think it’s because the readers from India and Columbia are the ones that contacted me first about my writing.

What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

My advice to aspiring or just starting authors would be to just get the story out of your head and on paper. Editing is important but save it for later. I can’t count how many times I got caught up so much into a scene I was writing that I smiled the entire time. That let’s me know that it’s a good scene.

What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

I believe my future is bright. Right now, I have just released a space opera on Kindle Vella entitled, Hut-Yo Cull: The Hunt Begins. I’m almost finished with the follow-up to Cloning Around called, Special Agent Robert Bassett: Accepting Commonology. I’m also working on another book about people with abilities called, The Bad Guys about a group of villains.

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About the Author

Dee Rose was born on July 5th and resides in Denver, CO. He is the father of two daughters. “They are my life.” He says. He attended Metro State University of Denver, where he majored in Political Science. The Hangman is his third published novel and he plans to make it into a series. “Novels like the Hangman are the reason I started writing in the eleventh grade. I love taking readers on an incredible journey.”

https://www.facebook.com/DeeRoseBooks

Susan Taki: The New Coven: The Hangman Universe (HMU), Book 9 by Dee Rose (Narrated by Jeremy Olivier) Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

After awakening from a magically-induced coma, Susan Taki returns to San Diego after helping her demon-hunter boyfriend, and after patrolling the streets at night as a supernatural police officer, she finds herself facing her old coven in author Dee Rose’s “Susan Taki: The New Coven”, the ninth book in The Hangman Universe.

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The Synopsis

Susan Taki awoke from a magic-induced coma in the events of The Death Brothers: A Supernatural Awakening. After helping her boyfriend, the demon hunter, Father Tom Padilla in New York, she has now returned home to San Diego. She is weighing an offer from the vampire slayer, Jericho Caine, to be his partner, while she patrols the streets as a supernatural policeman at night.

However, her old witches coven has returned with a new and powerful leader, Tatiana. They intend to make Susie stand trial for her role in the death of one of their former leaders. The punishment is death. The underworld also has an interest in the outcome of the trial as they know Susie is an ally of their enemies, the Death Brothers, the Grand Librarian, and the Hangman. 

The Review

A fun, thrill-ride of a supernatural fantasy and action novel, author Dee Rose has done a fantastic job of world-building in this narrative. Admittedly, this is my first foray in The Hangman Universe, but the author’s writing and the narrator really do a great job of implementing a cinematic quality to the writing, bringing to mind shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Wynona Earp. 

The vast array of characters and mythology that the author implements into this narrative is engaging to say the least. The story implements a wide array of classic and iconic paranormal elements, from vampires and witches to demons and angels. The author breathes new life into the classic theme of good vs evil, crafting a series of complex characters that both define these two sides and at times stride the line between both. 

The Verdict

A masterful, action-fueled, and entertaining read (and listen!), author Dee Rose’s “Susan Taki: The New Coven” is a great new supernatural thriller. The author does a good job of complimenting the series that has preceded this novel while also giving newcomers a chance to really sink their teeth into the story. Great dialogue and cinematic imagery really craft a fantastic read that fans of the genre won’t be able to get enough of, so be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Dee Rose was born on July 5th and resides in Denver, CO. He is the father of two daughters. “They are my life.” He says. He attended Metro State University of Denver, where he majored in Political Science. The Hangman is his third published novel and he plans to make it into a series. “Novels like the Hangman are the reason I started writing in the eleventh grade. I love taking readers on an incredible journey.”

https://www.facebook.com/DeeRoseBooks

Skin Curse (The Gate Cycle #2) by Kristin Jacques Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A young woman searching for her brother in a city of monsters must navigate her growing power and the inner workings of the city of Avergard’s politics in order to save her family and friends in author Kristin Jacques’s “Skin Curse”, the second book in The Gate Cycle series. 

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The Synopsis 

The Children of the Gate wait for the call to Rise.

Azzy Brimvine knows her brother is in the vast city of Avergard. She must find him, but time is not on their side.

In the House of Seven Smiles, Azzy struggles to understand the constraints and limits of her power. She finds the whispering voices that guided her for so long, suddenly silent. The enigmatic Lord Wallach is both a frustrating ally and a dangerous mystery, and a strange entity lurks among the household servants. The haven Azzy sought may not be as safe as she thought…but is anywhere truly safe in the Above? 

The city of Avergard is full of monsters and secrets, and a dark history festers at its root. A yawning pit nestles in the house of a scheming lord, who will use Armin’s dangerous gifts to raise history, and raze the city to the ground. As Azzy finds herself and her brother pulled into these machinations, she must navigate the politics and society of Avergard’s brutal ruling class to save her family and friends before the Gate consumes them all.

©2020 Machovi Productions Inc (P)2021 Machovi Productions Inc

The Review

This was a gripping and engaging story, blending everything from fantasy and horror to sci-fi and dystopian themes. While I am new to this series, I found the author did a great job of implementing enough of the first book’s story into this novel to make it feel both fresh and well-understood. 

The pacing and haunting atmosphere played a big role in establishing this fantasy world. The blend of chilling imagery that really brought Avergard to life in the reader’s mind and the narrator (Amie Lyn Hornick) really did a great job of voicing this story, establishing the mix of wonder and terror the protagonist endures throughout the novel while capturing the raw emotions and action that Azzy must overcome to save those closest to her. 

The Verdict

A brilliant, entertaining, and mesmerizing fusion of gothic horror and sci-fi dystopian elements, author Kristen Jacques’s “Skin Curse” is the perfect fantasy read for both new and established fans alike of this series. As a fan of history, I loved the backstory the author established of using one of history’s greatest villains, the Third Reich, and showed their involvement in opening the fabled Gate that let the magic and monsters into this dystopian world, as I know it is well established that one of Hitler’s mad machinations was to harness the power of the occult into his hatred and war machines. Add to this a great story with both haunting and engaging characters and a heart-pounding narrative that readers won’t be able to get enough of, this is a brilliant audiobook that can’t be missed. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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Author: Kristin Jacques

Narrator: Amie Lyn Hornick

Length: 9 hours 13 minutes

Series: The Gate Cycle, Book 2

Publisher: The Parliament House

Released: Apr. 21, 2021

Genre: YA Fantasy

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The Longblood (The Longblood Series Book 1) by Charmin Blazier Audiobook Tour and Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A promising young musician getting ready to the life he’s always dreamed of finds his world turned upside down as he discovers another life he never knew he lived, and soon he is drawn to Ainsley Fairfax, who works in the shadows to discover the truth behind both their fates in author Charmin Blazier’s “The Longblood”, the first in the Longblood series. 

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The Synopsis

Love will make him a better man. If it doesn’t kill him first.

Nineteen-year-old Daniel Marco is about to start the life he’s always wanted. But when he blacks out and etches a mysterious code on his arm, it changes his plans in ways he never imagined.

The code leads him to the grounds of an ancient British asylum housing a secret society where he learns the unthinkable – he’s lived before. As his past life begins to resurface in unpredictable and terrifying ways, Daniel seeks answers and learns his life is in danger.

And he’s not alone.

When he meets bold Ainsley Fairfax, who is working in the shadows to solve a mystery tied to both their fates, Daniel is intensely drawn to her in ways he can’t explain. Ainsley believes Daniel is the key to solving the mystery and keeping them alive. But the more time Daniel spends with Ainsley, the deeper he’s drawn into danger. And the more he begins to lose control…

Together, they must solve the mystery before it’s too late. Will he prevail? Or will all he cares for be destroyed?

Be on the lookout for the second audiobook in this paranormal new adult romance – Lost Longblood: The Longblood Series, Book 2 (coming soon).

The Review

The author does a great job of balancing a blooming romance with the mystery and suspense of the novel’s narrative. Perfectly capturing the New Adult genre in this story, the plot is both creative and original, giving readers a new paranormal romance series to dive deeply into. 

The narrator does a great job of bringing these characters and their story to life. Readers instantly feel connected to Daniel and Ainsley, as both come at this mystery from two very different points of view but soon find themselves drawn together. The novel jumpstarts immediately with shock and awe with Daniel’s introduction into this dangerous world and the mystery within, giving readers an instant connection to the overall narrative. 

As someone with a keen interest in the past life theory and the paranormal, I found myself drawn to the narrative immediately, and the narrator himself does a great job of capturing the amazing cast of characters that fill out this large plot and mystery.

The Verdict

A memorable, entertaining and engaging audiobook, author Charmin Blazier’s “The Longblood” is the perfect start to a brand new paranormal romance New Adult series. The characters are engaging and the story adapts perfectly to the audiobook format, creating a narrative that lends itself to some cinematic style imagery within each chapter. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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Author: Charmin Blazier

Narrator: Alex Black

Length: 12 hours 1 minutes

Series: The Longblood Series, Book 1

Publisher: Charmin Blazier

Released: Feb. 12, 2021

Genre: Paranormal Romance

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Love will make him a better man. If it doesn’t kill him first. Nineteen-year-old Daniel Marco is about to start the life he’s always wanted. But when he blacks out and etches a mysterious code on his arm, it changes his plans in ways he never imagined. The code leads him to the grounds of an ancient British asylum housing a secret society where he learns the unthinkable – he’s lived before. As his past life begins to resurface in unpredictable and terrifying ways, Daniel seeks answers and learns his life is in danger. And he’s not alone. When he meets bold Ainsley Fairfax, who is working in the shadows to solve a mystery tied to both their fates, Daniel is intensely drawn to her in ways he can’t explain. Ainsley believes Daniel is the key to solving the mystery and keeping them alive. But the more time Daniel spends with Ainsley, the deeper he’s drawn into danger. And the more he begins to lose control… Together, they must solve the mystery before it’s too late. Will he prevail? Or will all he cares for be destroyed? Be on the lookout for the second audiobook in this paranormal new adult romance – Lost Longblood: The Longblood Series, Book 2 (coming soon).
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Charmin Blazier is a writer of paranormal romance and a mother of chihuahuas. She lives in Northern Virginia with the most amazing sister and blue-eyed pup on earth. Her poetry was published in the Heart 11 Poetry Journal, and she holds a Master of Arts degree in Philosophy from George Mason University. Additionally, she’s currently working on the next installment in The Longblood Series. Be on the lookout for Lost Longblood: The Longblood Series Book Two (coming soon)!
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Narrator Bio

Alex Black is a professional audiobook narrator who has performed and produced over 75 audiobooks. Many of his audiobooks have made the top 20 Amazon best sellers list within their category. He has received hundreds of 5 star reviews across various genres. Audible listeners have this to say: “Fantastic narration! The narrator weaves a spell reading this book!” “I felt all the emotions these characters experienced through his voice and I was totally pulled into this story!” Location: Vermont, United States
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Author Charmin Blazier’s Reasons Why You Should Give Audiobooks a Listen
You deserve to hear a great story. And how long has it been? For some, far too long. As we grow up, we often leave great joys behind. We forget to play, lose interest in drawing for the fun of it, and no longer ask those in our lives to crack open a book and read us a story. I mean, why would we do that? We can read it ourselves, right? Yes, but in our quest to be silently independent in the presence of books, we’ve lost something vital. We’ve lost a realm of creativity, a place like no other, a place that belongs to us. It doesn’t have to be this way. The realms we leave behind might be forgotten for a while, but they don’t disappear. And though we have tight schedules, bills to pay, and doings to do, we also have a way to reclaim long-forgotten joys even as we speed through our over-tasked lives. Enter audiobooks. Glorious, magical, irresistible audiobooks. For me, they’ve done the impossible—made otherwise hideous commutes enjoyable. And that’s just the beginning of their talents. Audiobooks change our relations to stories; they expand our creative collaborations. After all, when you engage with fiction, you become a creator of worlds. When you read, you and the writer come together to craft something utterly unique in your mind. And when you listen, you, the writer, and the narrator come together. Voice brings another layer to the collaboration, another soul to the story, another existential form via external sound. The jump from book to audiobook is more subtle than the one from book to movie. It’s a mid-way point—a zone of twilight that retains intimacy and imaginative engagement yet draws the inward nature of reading ever so slightly outward. And all this is done with just a bit of breath and sound. People sometimes ask whether listening to a book is as good as reading it. Some even suggest that listening equates to “cheating.” Such notions miss the larger point. It’s not about what’s as good or better. It’s about you as a creator and what a different artistic collaboration can bring to your life and imagination. It’s about fun, expansion, and learning that in the best possible way, you and I are not so different than we used to be. So, go ahead. Give an audiobook a listen and reclaim your forgotten creative realm. Your collaborators are waiting. Happy listening. -Charmin Blazier Top 10 List
Author Charmin Blazier’s Top Ten Perks of Being an Author
 
  1. The possibility that your story might bring a little lightness and joy into a reader’s vacation/rainy day/train ride/life in general. There’s nothing better than that.
  2. Being able to collaborate with other creative people such as cover artists, narrators, and bloggers.
  3. Being able to dedicate your work to all the people who’ve supported you along the way.
  4. That moment when you hold your paperback book for the first time.
  5. That moment when you hear your audiobook for the first time.
  6. Creating story worlds where the impossible becomes possible.
  7. The sense of accomplishment when you learn a new writing skill (and there’s always more to learn!).
  8. Being able to connect with your audience in so many ways.
  9. The joy of creating characters out of your imagination.
  10. Having an excuse to spend countless hours in Starbucks.
  I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Charmin Blazier. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.
VIEW THE FULL Tour SCHEDULE HERE!

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Ever Alice by H.J. Ramsay (Narrated by Caroline Holmes) Audiobook Tour and Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A now 15-year old Alice finds herself desperate to escape an asylum her tales of Wonderland landed her in, but upon deciding against an experimental experiment at the last minute, Alice escapes back into Wonderland, only to land in the court of the Queen of Hearts in author H.J. Ramsay’s “Ever Alice”. 

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The Synopsis

Alice’s stories of Wonderland did more than raise a few eyebrows – it landed her in an asylum. Now at 15 years of age, she’s willing to do anything to leave, which includes agreeing to an experimental procedure. When Alice decides at the last minute not to go through with it, she escapes with the White Rabbit to Wonderland and trades one mad house for another: The court of the Queen of Hearts. Only this time, she is under orders to take out the Queen. When love, scandal, and intrigue begin to muddle her mission, Alice finds herself on the wrong side of the chopping block.

The Review

A fantastic deep dive into the aftermath of author Lewis Carrols classic tale, Ever Alice does an amazing job of standing on its own feet while still paying tribute to such an iconic story. The narrator brought a sense of classic English literature to the retelling of this novel, capturing the elegance and grace that the themes of royalty and the setting of the 1800s in her delivery. 

The thing that really stood out to me while reading this book was the way the author mirrored real-life tales of royalty and betrayal. The spiraling nature of the Queen of Hearts and her capturing of the Queen of Spades reminded me of Mary, Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth I, which as a history buff was a great addition to the fantasy element of the narrative. The way the author delves into both Alice and the Queen of Hearts stories was interesting to see, the complexity of their journeys layered perfectly.

The Verdict

A fascinating, entertaining and engaging journey through Wonderland, author H.J. Ramsay’s “Ever Alice” is a fantastic audiobook. The story is magical and the characters both old and new highly complex and thrilling in their depictions. The surprise ending has me as a reader hooked on this particular fantasy world, and everyone should check out this book for themselves. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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Author: H.J. Ramsay

Narrator: Caroline Holmes

Length: 11 hours 2 minutes

Publisher: Red Rogue Press

Released: January 19, 2021

Genre: Fantasy; YA

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