Stormbreaker Audiobook Blog Tour

Audiobook Blog Tour: Stormbreaker by Matt Sconce

Author: Matt Sconce

Narrator: Clinton Herigstad

Length: 9 hours 19 minutes

Publisher: Movie Heroes Studios

Released: Mar. 26, 2020

Genre: Fantasy

Young Mackinsi Wrighton has always been a dreamer. After he accidentally uncovers a hidden world around him, he discovers he is a Stormbreaker…a warrior of light destined to face an ancient evil called “Destroyer”. Possessing supernatural powers and weapons he has no idea how to use, Mackinsi must unite the other Stormbreakers against Destroyer’s fiends before Destroyer pulls our dimension into a relic of evil called the Heartstone. Along his quest, Mackinsi will find love, loss, and adventure as well as a secret that will shake the very foundation of reality itself. From sword fights on the skyscrapers of New York City to the underwater grottoes of prophecy, Stormbreaker will take you on an action-packed thrill ride of imagination and modern-day magic and leave you breathless. Described as a combination of The Matrix, Constantine, and the Lord of the Rings, Stormbreaker is a modern fantasy brimming with originality.

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Matt Sconce is a filmmaker, writer, theater owner, husband, father and the author of the novel Stormbreaker. He has written stories since he could hold a pencil. Matt began writing Stormbreaker in college where he achieved a Bachelor’s degree in Communication.He has spent the last decade writing and directing feature films, seeking to inspire audiences with new stories and moments that will surprise and entertain them. Matt wrote Stormbreaker to read like a movie, to zip along and carry the reader through the story as fast as they can visualize it. A master of martial arts, Matt wrote detailed battle sequences he hopes the reader can see, hear, and feel.He is excited to take you on this action packed thrill ride full of twists and turns, battles and blood, light and darkness.

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Matt Sconce’s Casting Picks


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Secret Supers Audiobook Tour

Author: Andy Zach

Narrator: Luke Castle

Length: 3 hours 3 minutes

Publisher: Jule Inc.

Released: Jan. 6, 2020

Genre: Middle Grade; Science Fiction

Jeremy Gentle fell flat on his face at therapy. That was normal since he had cerebral palsy. But his new superpower wasn’t normal. Then, things got weirder when his best friend Dan Elanga got a different superpower. But Dan was still blind. Kayla Verdera and Aubrey Wilcosky, two girls in their middle-school special ed class, discovered they too had new superpowers. Kayla was mute and needed a walker. Aubrey lost two legs and used crutches. But they were as powerful as the boys. What should the four friends do? Jeremy knew if the word got out, it’d be a media circus. Then, they started fighting crime as the Secret Supers. Who knew a disability could be a perfect disguise? No one would ever think of disabled kids as superheroes. But they ran into problems they never expected.

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Andy Zach was born Anastasius Zacharias, in Greece. His parents were both zombies. Growing up, he loved animals of all kinds. After moving to the United States as a child, in high school, he won a science fair by bringing toads back from suspended animation. Before turning to fiction, Andy published his Ph.D. thesis “Methods of Revivification for Various Species of the Kingdom Animalia” in the prestigious JAPM, Journal of Paranormal Medicine. Andy, in addition to being the foremost expert on paranormal animals, enjoys breeding phoenixes. He lives in Illinois with his five phoenixes.With his first book, “Zombie Turkeys” Andy blazed new ground in paranormal humor. The second book in his Life After Life Chronicles, “My Undead Mother-in-law” expands the zombie plague from turkeys to humans, with hilarious results. You can find both volumes on Amazon Kindle, Createspace print, and Audible audiobook editions.Not content to keep in zombies earthbound, Andy puts them afloat in his third book, “Paranormal Privateers”. Just when you thought every funny zombie trope had been explored, new humorous horizons open up. You can get “Paranormal Privateers” in Kindle and print formats. The audiobook is available now on Audible.Having conquered paranormal animal humor in his first series, Andy Zach launches into middle school superhero genre with Secret Supers. Four disabled seventh graders all get superpowers. Who knew a disability could be so useful for hiding a superpower? But the four friends, Jeremy, Dan, Kayla, and Aubrey confront problems that can’t be solved by superpowers.


I’m just your average nerd living out in the heart of Texas. (Actually, more to the side but heart sounds way cooler) As the only 17-year-old narrator I know of I hope to be part of putting God’s messages in people’s everyday lives, and also to show other youth that we are capable of taking on thing that might be deemed as ”only for adults”. If I finish my homework on time you can normally find me reading, writing a new debate case, cooking up a new recipe that I just have to try, or taking a nice long walk.

Q&A with Author Andy Zach
  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
    • No. I focus on telling the best story I can while writing. I assume a good story will always translate well into audio format.
  • How did you select your narrator?
    • I wanted a good, youthful narrator since my main characters are all in seventh grade.
  • 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?
    • Yes. I have a complete character sketch on all my characters which I shared with my narrator. I describe their regional accents and their overall personality: shy or outgoing, intellectual, or sports minded.
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
    • I always try to bring my real experiences into my writing. I remember bullies from middle-school, and what it felt like going to middle-school and relating to the opposite sex.
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
    • Variety! I write novels and short stories, blogs, and non-fiction. I imagine writing in different genres: fairy tales and romances, steam punk and space opera, as well as satiric and parodic stories.
  • Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
    • Nuances of conversation and dialogue come out best in audio format. Humor, irony, scorn, and satire can all be sharper in audio format.
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • It’s a different media. You cannot say one’s ears are inferior to one’s eyes. They both can tell a story.
  • What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
    • Start writing your favorite stories and don’t stop. Figure out publishing after you’ve completed something.
  • What’s next for you?
    • I’m writing the sequel to Secret Supers and the audiobook should be out this year! Villain’s Vacation
Q&A with Narrator Luke Castle
  • A lot of narrators seem to have a background in theatre. Is that something you think is essential to a successful narration career?
    • Absolutely…..NOT. I am a 17yr old, with no formal training, and I have landed 9 contracts in just over two years. While it is super helpful I am sure to have that formal training it is by no means necessary. What is needed is that you have the love of acting, and pretending.
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • Oh yeah! If you catch me during my walks and I take the headphones off by choice, you know that you mean something to me. I think that I love hearing a book from someone else’s perspective. Listening to an audiobook lets you be floated along on someone else’s thoughts. And that is a wonderful experience!
  • Do you read reviews for your audiobooks?
    • Yes! I am always looking for ways to improve, so I read every single one. It can be hard sometimes to hear the critiques, but listening and making changes based on that is how you continue to improve.
  • If so, which ones stand out to you most, positive or negative?
    • Neither, I like the ones that tell it like it is. Tell me what you liked, and what you didn’t, I hope that you don’t have a bad enough experience that the whole book was ruined! Likewise, I doubt that I was perfect, tell how you truthfully feel and that solves a lot of issues.
  • Who is your “dream author” that you would like to record for?
    • I would love to land a contract by Chuck Black, his work has always really inspired me. There is also Dickens, but he’s pretty these days being…… well…… dead.
  • Bonus question: Any funny anecdotes from inside the recording studio?
    • Oh yes! So I record out in a tiny little booth, under the stairs to the attic. It’s a GREAT little homemade iso booth in my opinion, HOWEVER, it’s still in the garage… One day I had just wrapped up the second chapter of Secret Supers and I look down, on my knee is the biggest spider I have ever seen in my life. I was out of that booth faster than you can say jack robinson, and let me tell you, that both underwent a thorough cleaning, and pest treatment before I settled back it.

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The Girl From Whitfield Hall Audiobook Blog Tour And Review

Audiobook Blog Tour: The Girl from Whitfield Hall by Pete Harrison

Author: Pete Harrison

Narrator: Christine Rendel

Length: 5 hours 14 minutes

Publisher: Pete Harrison

Released: Nov. 14, 2019

Genre: Mystery

Emily stood in front of a full length mirror in her well-appointed Camberwell apartment. She turned sideways on and looked over her shoulder before doing the same the other side.“Anna, do you think I could pass for a man?”Emily was nearly six feet tall; she wasn’t fat but was definitely solidly built. Her small breasts and wide hips showed her to definitely be a woman.“Whatever do you mean miss?”“Well if I bound my chest, padded my stomach a little and wore a man’s suit, with all my hair cut off, do you think I would look like a man?”“Why ever would you want to do that miss?”Anna was never surprised by anything her mistress said, she was always unpredictable and had some very funny notions.“I’m going to dress as a man and pass myself off as a detective in the London police force. I’m never going to get anywhere as a woman”.

One time Telecoms engineer with a second career as a Racecourse Bookmaker, now retired and pursuing his love of the Theatre by becoming involved as a theatre technician he now heads up the sound department at the Loft Theatre, a highly regarded semi professional theatre in Leamington Spa. Varied interests include horse racing and all sports, WW1, music and theatre. The girl from Whitfield Hall, his first novel has ignited a passion for storytelling.

Narrator Bio

Christine Rendel is a British-born freelance audiobook narrator/producer and voice talent. She has narrated and produced over 40 fiction and non-fiction audiobooks. Genres include mystery, romance, children, young adult, science fiction, humor, history, biography, training and educational manuals and medical narration. Extensive medical background.Represented as a voice actor by CESD Talent Agency NYCOver 13 years experience in radio and broadcast production.As an actor, performed in her native Britain, internationally and in New York Off and Off-Off-Broadway, on film and TV, and has numerous TV, radio, multi-media and industrial credits.Founding member of the Anglo-American theater company Mind The Gap Theatre, and a member of SAG-AFTRA, APA and AEA.


I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Pete Harrison. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I really loved how unique this book was! I feel like I would have done the same thing in Emily’s shoes! I would totally be Emily! And I totally love the romance in the book! The narrator was fantastic as well!


Q&A with Author Pete Harrison
  • How did you select your narrator?
    • Because of the ‘Englishness’ of the book I had a very specific voice in mind. That being said the narrator had to be capable of doing a number of accents, particularly French. After listening to a number of audition tapes I knew within the first ten seconds that Christine was what I was looking for.
  • 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?
    • Christine’s first five minute sample made it very clear that she had thoroughly read and re read the book. She asked if I wanted her to check with me continuously but I was happy to leave her to it.
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
    • Many of the locations visited in the book are places that I visited when I was much younger. In particular I stayed in the Pera Palace Hotel many years ago when English travellers were still something of a rarity.
  • How did you celebrate after finishing this novel?
    • I didn’t, I don’t think the novel is finished; the writing is done but actually getting people to read it takes a lot of effort.
  • What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
    • Keep writing, even if you don’t think it’s any good, write till you run out of ideas at then start something new.
  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
    • No. It never occurred to me until I came across ATX while doing some research for marketing.
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • I love audio books. I find that the format can be more theatrical as it tends to be the narrators interpretation of the book.
  • If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
    • I would like to be able to time travel back in time within my own lifetime, I have such wonderful memories that I would like to be able to re live.
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • Listening to audio books is a completely different experience from reading; it changes the feel of the whole thing as when you read you conjure up your own images. Audio books tend to conjure up those images for you.
  • What’s next for you?
    • I’m writing a one act play for a competition. First prize is a public reading.
Dream Cast
By Author Pete Harrison
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Einstein’s Compass Audiobook Blog Tour

Author: Grace Blair & Laren Bright

Narrator: Curt Bonnem

Length: 9 hours 13 minutes

Publisher: Grace Blair & Modern Mystic Media, LLC

Released: Mar. 26, 2019

Genre: Science Fiction; Young Adult

How did Albert Einstein come up with his wondrous theories of light and time? In Einstein’s Compass: A YA Time Traveler Adventure, a young Albert is gifted a supernatural compass that allows him to travel through time and space. He finds wisdom in other dimensions, like the lost city of Atlantis, but evil forces seek the power of the compass, including a monstrous, shape-shifting dragon from a different age. Can the compass protect Albert from such villainy?

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Grace Blair, Award-Winning AuthorThroughout her adult life, Grace became a serious student of the spiritual. She found that, often, psychological principles and practices were incomplete, but could be filled out by adding the missing spiritual component. Her approach was always to see practical applications for what she uncovered in the mystical. It was through immersing herself in this field of study and experience that she came up with her idea for her book, Einstein’s Compass.

Narrator Bio

Versatile, authentic & engaging with a hint of wry edge.I am a professional, union (SAG-AFTRA/Actor’s Equity) multi-media performer with over 35 years of experience.I provide voiceover reads that range from conversational to enthusiastic, young, quirky and hip, to smooth, resonant and sexy. Ask me about my character voices and accents!Audiobooks have become a true passion, making excellent use of all of my acting skills developed over decades. I mean, what actor doesn’t love to play all the parts!?Hailing from the Windy City (neutral American accent included) I spent the past 30 years in sunny Los Angeles, developing my skills and working on stage, screen and in the booth. I’ve now ventured Southeast to Atlanta, where I’m settling in and re-adjusting to weather I haven’t had since I was a kid. And bugs. Happily, my newly built professional VO studio keeps me safe from both!


I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Grace Blair. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This is an absolute amazing book! It made me think of quite a few things in a brand new light! I’ll never look at Einstein’s legacy the same! I’ll have a more detailed review soon! I absolutely recommend.


Q&A with Author Grace Blair
  • Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
    • I found the process of choosing the best audiobook company to assist me to create the narrated version difficult. How much do I want to spend for the narrator? Do I go exclusive with Audible or choose worldwide rights? Do I split the royalites with the narrator or pay the person upfront while I receive all royalities. I found Audioflow who assisted me with finding the perfect narrator and stage actor Curt Bonnem. Curt took four weeks to narrate my novel. I paid Curt his full fee while I receive all royalities. Curt owned the story and created voices for each character. Audioflow assisted with the audiobook launch with a podcast interview and social media.
  • Do you believe certain types of writing translate better into audiobook format?
    • Stories with conflict and detailed scenes. Colorful characters with personalities you can empathize with. Keep moving the story forward with action and adventure.
  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
    • Yes, I knew there was going to be an audiobook. I wrote each chapter like a scene from a movie. Each character had their distinct voice. A good narrator could bring the story to life.
  • 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?
    • To assist Curt with character development I created character postcards. Each postcard had a photo of the person and a short phrase from the book of their motivation in the story. I instructed Curt to not hurry rather record the story like he was taking a walk in the park. Slow, deliberate with emphasis on time, place and the characters interaction.
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
    • Einstein’s Compass was inspired by my spiritual/mystical life journey. The characters are composites of people I have known. The mystical part of the story came from more than forty years of spiritual training.
  • If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
    • I would travel to Atlantis, the time period in Einstein’s Compass.
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • I enjoy reading books too. However, I find my attention span wanes when I read a book. Listening to a story keeps me in the story. And, I find with a good narrator an audiobook is more satisfying. Audiobooks bring stories to life.
  • What gets you out of a writing slump? What about a reading slump?
    • I do not believe there is a writing slump. There is a creative place inside that fills up with story and ideas. When you convey the story to paper or computer that part of the story has been emptied from the creative place.The next part of the story will come. It may take a few hours, a day or month or more. Patience and listening to where the story is coming from is important. A book or story is born when it is ready. Trying to force it will create a lot of editing and rewrites.
  • Have any of your characters ever appeared in your dreams?
    • Early in the morning just before waking I would receive pictures of what was next in the story.
  • What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
    • Writing is one of the many hats authors need to wear today. With a saturated book market authors need to learn to participate in social media, marketing and self publishing.
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Deadly Enterprise Audiobook Blog Tour

Audiobook Blog Tour: Deadly Enterprise by Kevin G. Chapman

Author: Kevin G. Chapman

Narrator: Kevin G. Chapman

Length: 10 hours 10 minutes

Series: Mike Stoneman, Book 2

Publisher: First Legacy Productions

Released: Feb. 14, 2020

Genre: Thriller

“Championing the forgotten turns deadly in this pulse-pounding edge-of-your-seat crime thriller.” Bruce Perrin, author of Killer in the Retroscape.“Unique and twisted. Another home run by Kevin Chapman!” — Michelle files, author of The Many Lives of Ivy Wells.THE DEAD GIRL THEY FISHED OUT OF THE EAST RIVER WAS A DRUG ADDICTED HOOKER, SO NOBODY CARES. Except that M.E. Michelle McNeill thinks it’s a murder. When NYPD Homicide detectives Mike Stoneman and Jason Dickson start investigating, they encounter unexpected obstacles that point in a disturbing direction.Every death is a tragedy, and every murderer should be exposed, even when nobody wants to hear about it. In order to uncover the truth, Mike and Jason have to go outside the lines, and risk their own reputations, jobs – and lives. This case is one that Mike can’t walk away from, no matter how much he wants to.Harry Bosch fans will love this fast-paced police thriller, from award-winning author Kevin G. Chapman. Book #1 in the Mike Stoneman Thriller series, Righteous Assassin, was named one of the top 20 Mystery/Thrillers of 2019 by the Kindle Book Review. The series continues here.

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Kevin G. Chapman is, by profession, an attorney specializing in labor and employment law. He is the most recent past Chair of the Labor & Employment Law Network of the Association of Corporate Counsel, leading a group of 6800 in-house employment lawyers. Kevin is a frequent speaker at Continuing Legal Education seminars and enjoys teaching management training courses.Kevin’s passion (aside from playing tournament poker) is writing fiction. Kevin’s first Novel: “Identity Crisis: A Rick LaBlonde, P.I. Mystery,” was self-published through Xlibris in 2003, and is now available via as a Kindle e-book. His second novel, A Legacy of One, published in 2016 and was a finalist (short list) for the Chanticleer Book Reviews’ Somerset Award for Literary Fiction. A Legacy of One is a serious book, filled with political and social commentary and a plot involving personal identity, self-determination, and the struggle to make the right life decisions. Kevin’s next novel, Righteous Assassin (A Mike Stoneman Thriller), was a much more “fun” read — it’s a page-turner. It has some serious sub-themes, but it’s a serial killer chase and it’s intended to be enjoyable and easy to read. It was named one of the top 20 Mystery/Thrillers of 2019 by the Kindle Book Review! Kevin has just recently finished book #2 in the Mike Stoneman Thriller series, Deadly Enterprise, which was published on December 2, 2019. He has recently completed the narration of books 1 and 2 in the Mike Stoneman Thriller series for audiobook release in 2020.Kevin has also written several short stories, including “Fool Me Twice,” the winner of the New Jersey Corporate Counsel Association’s 2010 Legal Fiction Writing Competition, which was the genesis of the character Mike Stoneman, the protagonist in Righteous Assassin. He has also written one complete screenplay (unproduced so far) and has another screenplay and two more novels currently in the works, one of which is a sci-fi space opera epic.Kevin is a resident of West Windsor, New Jersey and is a a graduate of Columbia College (‘83), where he was a classmate of Barack Obama, and Boston University School of Law (magna cum laude ’86). Readers can contact Kevin via his website at


I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Kevin G. Chapman. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This book is way better than the first book! I didn’t find nearly so many issues with the characters as I did in the first book. I enjoyed it quite a bit.


Guest Post
My Self-Narrating Journey
By Author Kevin G. Chapman

As an independent author trying to talk up the first two books in my crime-thriller series to potential buyers, I frequently heard the same question: “Is it available as an audiobook?” (OK, mostly it was, “Is it available on Audible,” but I’m trying to be more inclusive here.) I would have to sigh and say, “No, not yet.” This was my hopeful way of telling myself that it could happen someday. Among the hundreds of marketing advice columns I have read over the past three years, a consistent theme is that getting into the audiobook market is a good idea. There are fewer titles available (relatively speaking), giving your book a chance to stand out more.But, without a traditional publisher to front the costs and make the arrangements for a professional narrator and a professional studio, is that investment (and it’s going to be around $4000) worth it when it comes out of your own pocket? Lord knows I’ve seen it work. My father-in-law is an avid listener to books on CD, and he routinely spends $25-30 per title. I take his audiobooks when he’s done for listening in my car. Some are pretty good. Many are just awful – and yet they are “best sellers,” even when the narrator is not particularly good – and even when the story is lousy. So – it’s a good idea to have an audiobook, but is the Return On Investment going to be there?Well, I was not quite ready to sink that much cost into the process on the speculative idea that I would then be able to sell thousands of audiobook copies. The next option was to consider self-producing the audiobook, just as I had self-published the paperback and ebook versions. (Of course, I had help from a professional cover designer and a professional editor during that process.) ACX (Audible’s production arm) tries to make it relatively easy, and there are on-line tutorials about how to narrate and edit your own audiobook. So, I asked my wonderful wife, Sharon, to buy me a home studio kit for the holidays (under $250) and in December I set up a studio in my basement (following the advice from all the blogs and You-tube video tutorials) to start narrating my own books.Fortunately, I have a basement at home that is pretty quiet (as long as nobody is walking across the floor directly above my work table). I set up the studio, although I did not initially put up sound barriers, which was mistake #1. By the time I was recording book #2, I had blankets hanging from the ceiling all around the recording area to dull any echoes. I fired up the software, plugged in the microphone, did some sound checks, and then launched into Righteous Assassin. As I went along, I discovered that there are aspects to the process that you don’t think about, can’t really prepare well for, and just have to learn by trial and error. Oh, there were so many errors.The biggest error was that I did not realize that the audio software interface that connected my microphone to my laptop computer had an input setting. I was happily narrating my book into the professional-grade microphone, listening to myself speak through my high-quality over-the-ear headphones (that came with the recording kit), and it sounded great. Then, somehow, the final audio files had a lot of echo. Why? The answer was that the software (Audacity) has a setting for the microphone interface, which should have been set to match the mic and the amp/processer (Focusrite). But, the software interface was set to “Microsoft sound Card” (or something like that). When I switched the interface input to Focusrite, the sound quality improved dramatically. Why? Because now the Audacity software was getting my voice through the professional microphone! What was happening before? The software was receiving my voice through the microphone built into the laptop. Yes, the same one that picks up your voice if you’re doing a video chat without a headphone. The crappy mic with the echo and the low fidelity. Arrrggh! I had recorded the whole book essentially without using my professional microphone – as if I had done the whole thing just reading into the laptop’s built-in mic. (What an idiot, right?) So, now what to do? Could I scrap the whole finished audiobook and start over? No. I did not. I recorded book #2 (using the correct interface setting), edited and mastered it, and got both books up for sale. My listeners will have to just live with the lower quality audio for book #1. It’s the same book – same words, same voices – just not quite at a professional audiobook production quality. To my listeners, I apologize and hope that you can overlook that small issue and still enjoy Righteous Assassin. In any case, anyone who listens to Deadly Enterprise will appreciate how much better the audio quality is.Were there other mistakes? Sure. too many to list here. Look for another blog post from me on this subject, and if you need any tips on how to avoid the mistakes I made in my self-narrating journey, feel free to drop me a line via my website at I took down the blankets I had hung from the ceiling around my poker table to serve as noise-absorption barriers, coiled up my microphone cords, dismantled my boom stand, and put away all the equipment that I had been living with daily for the past two months, I had a real sense of accomplishment. I was also fearful that all the effort had been (maybe) wasted since I had no idea whether anyone outside my friends & family circle would buy the audiobook. But, I also knew that, someday, my great grandchildren would be able to listen to me read my books to them. That’s a nice thought. Sure, they can also read the books, but having the personal connection of my voice reading my stories to future generations is something that I now realize has great value to me, whether the audiobooks sell or not.I’m glad I did it. I made a ton of mistakes. Hopefully the narration of book #3 will go much more smoothly. Now, it’s up to my readers and reviewers to judge how well I did on my first attempt.

An Interview with Mike Stoneman (questions by Dexter Peacock, City reporter, The New York Times)
  • NYT: Detective Stoneman, you have spent the last 17 years chasing down criminals in New York. What has been your biggest challenge?
    • Stoneman: Dealing with the changes at City Hall. It’s tough to be a cop in this City, but it gets tougher when you’re not sure whether the mayor and the police commissioner has your back. When the politics change after an election, it’s like you have to get your bearings all over again. The criminals are at least consistent.
  • NYT: You received extensive coverage in the media after you and your partner headed up the team that tracked down the Righteous Assassin. Was that your most challenging case?
    • Stoneman: No. It may have been the most high-profile case, but I’ve had many more that were harder to solve.
  • NYT: Can you describe what happened that night in Queens when Ronald Randal died and the City was freed from the terror of the Righteous Assassin?
    • Stoneman: No. I’d rather not talk about it. I know everyone wants to make it out like I was a hero, but I’ll tell you that I’m no hero. I was just trying to stay alive, and I was fortunate enough to do so.
  • NYT: What do you love most about your job?
    • Stoneman: I enjoy teaching the younger cops, and the cadets. I get to determine what the facts are, so it’s much easier than figuring out what really happened at a crime scene.
  • NYT: Do you have any regrets about your career?
    • Stoneman: Many. I’ve screwed up plenty. I’m not going to talk about them.
  • NYT: Well, why don’t we try something a bit lighter. What do you like to do in your off time?
    • Stoneman: I enjoy going out to Citi Field to watch the Mets. I’ve been a fan my whole life. I had the pleasure of attending a World Series game in 2015, and I’d like to see another very soon.
  • NYT: What’s your favorite Broadway show?
    • Stoneman: Avenue Q. I love the sick sense of humor.
  • NYT: If you could do one thing in New York City that you’ve never done before, what would it be?
    • Stoneman: I would love to get into a boat and sail around Manhattan.
  • NYT: Do you sail?
    • Stoneman: No. Never. No idea how. But I’d like to do it.
  • NYT: What’s your favorite restaurant?
    • Stoneman: The Nam Wah Tea House on Doyer street in Chinatown. My cousin Louie used to take me there years ago. It was just a hole in the wall then. I guess it still kinda is. It’s the kind of place that the tourists don’t go, which makes me like it. It’s also cheap and the food is good, so what more can you want?
  • NYT: This spring you were seen at the Hero’s ball in the company of the county medical examiner, Dr. Michelle McNeill. Are you and the ME seeing each other?
    • Stoneman: I’m afraid that my personal life is not something that I feel comfortable talking about.
  • NYT: Fair enough, Detective. Last question. Aside from Ronald Randall, have you ever had to kill anyone?
    • Stoneman: Yes. But again, it’s not something I want to talk about.
Top 10 List
Author Kevin G. Chapman’s Top 10 Literary Inspirations
  1. Michael Connelly — the master of my genre — the middle-aged crusty police detective who’s not really as hard-nosed as he wants people to think he is.
  2. Sara Paretsky — Her characters are so vivid. She wraps her mysteries and conspiracies around them so well that you overlook the deficiencies in the plots because you love the characters.
  3. Robert Heinlein — Stranger in a Strange Land is perhaps the best book ever, and in an odd way made me want to be a lawyer.
  4. Edgar Rice Burroughs — so many nights spent looking up at Barsoom as a kid (Mars). My brother and I built a Martian chess set. His stories are so bad in many ways, but so wonderful in the ways that really matter.
  5. Ayn Rand — the ability to build philosophical construct within an entertaining story is just brilliant. Tell me a great story, and make me think at the same time.
  6. Isaac Azimov — yes, a lot of sci fi on the list, but that’s what I grew up reading. Azimov could tell a hundred different types of stories and do them all well.
  7. Wallace Stevens — you probably don’t know him, but he was a poet from the early 20th Century. He was also an insurance company executive who wrote his poems in the car while commuting to and from work. Reminds me of me sometimes. I studied him in college and his words are simply perfect.
  8. Linda Barnes — Another great mystery/suspense author with a long series of wonderful stories with wonderful characters and a very personal setting. Read her stuff!
  9. JRR Tolkien — well, it’s true. I read the Hobbit when I was 10 and never looked back. Fantasy is sometimes overlooked, but the complexity of the story arc and the richness of the characters makes him special.
  10. Greg Prince — you probably don’t know him either because he writes sports, but his writing and his book publishing has inspired me and he always makes me remember why it matters to write well.

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Lineage Audiobook Blog Tour

Audiobook Blog Tour: Lineage by C. Vonzale Lewis

Author: C. Vonzale Lewis

Narrator: Taylor Barton

Length: 11 hours 17 minutes

Publisher: The Parliament House

Released: Mar. 19, 2020

Genre: Contemporary Fantasy

Smart-mouthed Nicole Fontane has a way of getting herself into trouble. She’s been fired from every job she’s had but still refuses to work in her father’s apothecary shop because of his practice of Earth Magick. On Tulare Island where Nicole grew up, Magick has always been a way of life – one she’s determined to avoid at all costs. With less than 200 dollars in the bank and rent due, Nicole is forced to take a job at Tribec Insurance as a last resort. Little does she realize, the moment she sets foot inside the building, she becomes a pawn. A sinister force has set its sights on her and will stop at nothing to use her in a sadistic game. Tribec’s proprietors, the Stewart family, are curiously preoccupied with the Naqada, the mysterious pre-dynastic Egyptian society. Nicole finds it creepy, but on the bright side, the job reconnects her with her estranged friend, Marta. Yet the eerie atmosphere, disappearing Magick wards, and the smell of blood inside Tribec bring Nicole to a startling conclusion – the Stewarts are practicing Blood Magick, the deadliest of the Five Principles. By the time Nicole uncovers the truth, Marta and her four children have gone missing, and all signs implicate the Stewarts and an archaic blood ritual to an Old One, a Naqada god imprisoned on Tulare Island. Battling the evil of Blood Magick will demand Nicole to confront a hidden past and unlock the Magick buried within. But can she set aside her deep-rooted fears to work with a team of vigilante Mages? Or will the clock run out on Marta and her children – and on Nicole?

Carla Vonzale Lewis (C. Vonzale Lewis) likes her martini’s shaken…never stirred. Though she was born in Georgia, please don’t mistake her for a Georgia peach. She’s more like a prickly pear. Speaking of being born, someone asked her recently if she remembered her birth, and all she had to say was, “Yes, I do remember that handsy doctor pulling me out into the cold. Right Bastard!!!”Despite being born in the South, she grew up in the North. California to be exact. And every once in a great while, she gets to experience all four seasons. But mostly, it’s just heat.She published her first short story, MONSTERS, after winning a contest with Filles Vertes Publishing. You should have heard her scream in BJ’s when they announced the winners. Third place, but it was still something! Not long after that, her debut novel, LINEAGE, was released on July 16, 2019 with Parliament House. And she fully intends to ride that joy for the rest of her life.When she’s not concocting her next contemporary fantasy story, she enjoys reading, binge watching shows on Netflix, and trying to convince her husband that getting a dog is a wonderful idea.


Taylor Barton is an introverted Aquarius living out her days just outside of Houston, Texas. Born in Texas but raised in Louisiana she went to college at Louisiana State University and graduated with a BA in Theatre then returned to Texas.About nine months ago, she was looking for something to do outside of her day job that would combine her love of reading while also using her theatre skills and stumbled into audiobook narration. Thus, a beautiful side hustle was born. She hopes to have this one day be a decent income and ditch her day job to work at home.Fell in love with reading thanks to Harry Potter. Since then it’s been a lovely relationship with books. She’s drawn to all things fantasy and supernatural. These books give her life and devours them.When she’s not working on audiobooks or reading in general she’s watching Netflix, playing video games, arts and crafts, and spending time with her family.

Q&A with Protagonist Nicole Fontane
  • Interviewer: Can you tell us a little about yourself?
    • Nicole: Really? You don’t know who I am?
  • Interviewer: Ummm…*stares down at notes* Well, for the reader of course!
    • Nicole: *giving the side-eye* Sure. My name is Nicole Fontane and I live on Tulare Island. I have an unhealthy love for cheeseburgers and extra crispy French fries and beer. I also loathe customer service. I believe some evil spirit animal invented that profession. My love life is full of wonder and, well, that may be a little TMI.
  • Interviewer: I understand you practice magick.
    • Nicole: Who the hell told you that?
  • Interviewer: *sweating* I didn’t realize it was a secret.
    • Nicole: *looking down* This is a little painful for me to talk about. Next question please.
  • Interviewer: Do you have a significant other?
    • Nicole: Define significant.
  • Interviewer: Is this off limits, too?
    • Nicole: *sighing* No. I just. Okay look. I just found out some pretty disturbing things about myself. I don’t have a boyfriend. I didn’t realize I wanted one. Or, no, that’s not right. Anyway. It’s not important. I’m just not in the right headspace for this interview. You want to know about me, read LINEAGE. I’m all over the pages of that book! Like the author dug into my soul and pulled out all the bad parts. No, that’s not right. *Get’s up* I have to go.
  • Interviewer: *stares at Nicole as she walks away* Well, that was… weird.
Q&A with Author C. Vonzale Lewis
  • What was the inspiration for this book?
    • I used to work in a call center. I don’t recommend this job for ANYONE! Once in a blue moon, the major players would come to our center for a center wide meeting. I use to wonder what they did all day. Like what exactly was their job. So in answer to that question, I wrote my first book based on a woman getting a job in a call center and learning her employers were sacrificing people. Morbid, I know. But I did warn you NOT to work in a call center.
  • Do you have a favorite character in your book? Who and why?
    • Yes, while I do LOVE my main character, Nicole. I am in awe of my side character, Rachel. She is just the right mix of crazy and sane and it was fun writing about her.
  • Do you usually outline or just go with it?
    • I just go with it! But I do find that in the midst of writing, scenes come to me. I keep a notepad near me so I can jot these gems down. So, no, I don’t outline, but I do follow some bullet points.
  • What do you find to be the hardest thing about writing?
    • Sitting down and getting in the groove. If I spend my time thinking about writing and never take the step toward putting words on paper, then I will never do it. But once I do sit down, and take those first awkward steps, I can get into a real nice rhythm.
  • The best thing?
    • Creating characters! I love laughing with them, crying with them, and just going on adventures with them. I love digging into their stories and finding the roots of their existence.
  • When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
    • When my mother bought me a typewriter when I was eight. I think I was amazed at how I could put words on paper. And, of course, I loved reading stories and having stories read to me. All those wonderful adventures in one book! I thought, I can do that!
  • What’s your favorite book you’ve read this year?
    • Circle of the Moon—by Faith Hunter. There is just something wonderful about her characters and the depth in which she writes them. And, of course, her plots are rich with history and lore. Mythology is my jam. I can get behind any fantasy story that has a really interesting backstory behind it.
  • And what’s your favorite book ever?
    • A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness is the first book that came to mind when I read this question. But seriously, I’d have to say I have MANY favorite books. And this interview would turn into a thesis statement if I listed them all. LOL!
  • What future books do you have planned next?
    • I have seven books to write in my Blood and Sacrifice Chronicles series and I want to finish three others that are right there ready to be polished. So, the answer is…A LOT!
  • Do you have any advice for other writers out there?
    • Never listen to advice that tells you how and what to write! Sit down, tell your story, and then go through it. Make sure you read in your genre and others as well. You never know what ideas you might come up with. Writing is an evolving process. You will stumble but it’s when you do stumble that you learn the most. I have found that most writing advice is really just another person’s pet peeves dressed up to look like law. IGNORE IT ALL AND WRITE!
  I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by C. Vonzale Lewis. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I really feel like this book had a lot of great potential. I enjoyed reading it for the witty characters. With the exception of the main character.

You can find my full review here: LINEAGE BY C. VONZALE LEWIS BOOK REVIEW


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Blood Lies Audiobook Blog Tour

Audiobook Blog Tour: Blood Lies by Andrew Cunningham

Author: Andrew Cunningham

Narrator: Greg Hernandez

Length: 6 hours 12 minutes

Series: Lies Mystery Thriller Series, Book 5

Publisher: Andrew Cunningham

Released: Mar. 17, 2020

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

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Gunned down on a busy Boston street, bestselling mystery author Sabrina Spencer is left clinging to life. Media speculation suggests a deranged fan as the shooter. But was Sabrina really the intended target? For Del Honeycutt, a chilling link emerges between Sabrina’s shooting and that of his father’s murder three years earlier. Discovering that his father was leading a secret life, he digs deeper, and the clues lead Del down a dangerous and deadly path.

I’m the author of novels in several genres, including, mystery, thriller, and post-apocalyptic science fiction. Under the name A.R. Cunningham, I’ve also written the Arthur MacArthur series of mysteries for children.I was born in England, but have spent most of my life living in the U.S.—including 25 years on Cape Cod before moving to Florida. A former interpreter for the deaf and long-time independent bookseller, I’ve been a full-time freelance writer and copy editor for many years. A 4th-degree Master Black belt in Tang Soo Do, I finally retired from active training when my body said, “Enough already! Why are you doing this to yourself?” I’m married, with two grown children and two awesome grandsons. My wife and I spend as much time traveling as we can, and are especially fond of cruising the Caribbean.​I have been gratified by the response to my books. When I published Eden Rising back in the spring of 2013, I had no idea what to expect. When I sold my first few copies, I was excited beyond belief that someone was willing to take a chance on it. Numerous books and thousands of copies later, I am still humbled by the emails I get from readers telling me that my books kept them up late into the night.In October of 2014, Wisdom Spring made me an official Amazon Bestselling author, a thrill I never thought would happen. But it still comes down to being able to bring a few hours of escape to a reader. That’s what it’s all about for me.I hope you will try my books. Please feel free to email me with your comments.

Narrator Bio

Author-preferred Narrator of Mysteries & ThrillersNarrating audiobooks is highly gratifying. I immerse myself into an author’s story in order to bring it to life for the listener. I’ve enjoyed working with Andrew Cunningham for several years. His books are filled with rich characters, and the stories keep me turning the pages.I also work as a background actor in movies and TV shows.For more than 20 years, I worked as a radio news reporter and news writer. I spent half of my broadcasting career at ABC News Radio in the Washington, D.C., bureau. I covered all the federal agencies as well as Congress and the White House. I reported on a wide range of stories during my career, including financial and entertainment industry news.For nearly 24 years, I worked as a federal government spokesman at three separate agencies—National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Mint and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

Q&A with Narrator Greg Hernandez
  • When did you know you wanted to be an audiobook narrator?
    • In 2014 I was looking down the road toward retirement from my federal government job. I knew I wanted to do something with voice over, but I didn’t want to go to an office. I read the book, “More Than Just A Voice: The REAL Secret to Voiceover Success” by Dave Courvoisier. The chapter on audiobooks was very intriguing. I did some research and auditioned in late 2014. I was ecstatic that I was selected quickly. It’s been a great adventure and learning experience ever since that fateful day.
  • Did you find it difficult to “break into” audiobook narration? What skill/tool helped you the most when getting started?
    • I was a radio news reporter in my first career. Being in front of a microphone was my comfort zone. I was very glad that I got my first audiobook a few days after my audition. It helped a lot that I worked with digital audio in 1987 when it was first introduced at ABC Radio News. Those skills have worked in my favor as an independent narrator not working with a publisher. Plus, I was an audio engineer when I was a student at Syracuse University working with analog audio.
  • A lot of narrators seem to have a background in theatre. Is that something you think is essential to a successful narration career?
    • I believe it’s necessary to know a little about acting because that’s what narrating mysteries and thrillers is all about. Through my first reviews, I learned that listeners want distinct character voices so that they know who’s speaking. They don’t want to keep rewinding to keep up with character dialogue. I’ve studied acting and taken acting classes in order to make the dialogue sound like a movie soundtrack.
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for narrating?
    • Audiobook narration is like running a marathon. You have to keep your voice in shape, and you have to maintain your energy level high throughout the whole book. In my early narrations I’d sometimes have to re-record sections because the energy was flagging. Now, I make it a point to maintain a constant energy just like a runner trying to keep up a steady pace.
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • I listen to hundreds of hours of audiobooks each year. My favorites are biographies narrated by the author. There’s nothing like hearing someone’s story as told by them. I also love mysteries and thrillers. I also am very picky about narrators.
  • What are your favorite and least favorite parts of narrating an audiobook?
    • I enjoy the whole process from narrating, editing and processing the audio for final production. Since I edit my own narrations, it’s my goal to make certain the audio is the best quality to give the listener a terrific experience. The only frustrating part of narrating is when I get a cold. That shuts down the whole process behind the microphone. That’s when I go into editing mode.
  • What would you say are your strongest narration abilities?
    • Over the past five years, I’ve made it a point to come up with distinct character voices. I don’t want them to sound over the top. I want them to sound like every day people and believable. Some voices come naturally from the author’s words, and others take a little time to get the right cadence and inflection.
  • What about this title compelled you to audition as narrator?
    • I have narrated six books by Andrew Cunningham. I haven’t auditioned for a book since 2015. Andrew and I have a great collaboration. I call him my director because he’ll let me know if I’ve gotten a character’s voice the way he envisioned it when he wrote the story. There are about four more books that Andrew wants me to narrate. This latest series allows me continue voicing the two main characters, Del and Sabrina, that I now consider my alter egos.
  • How closely do you prefer to work with authors?
    • I enjoy authors that listen closely to my narration and provide feedback. I’ve been fortunate to work with Andrew Cunningham on several books because he provides valuable input that makes my narration all the more real sounding. I get great satisfaction when an author says I’ve brought their book to life.
  • What bits of advice would you give to aspiring audiobook narrators?
    • I advise aspiring audiobook narrators to do their research. Narrating an audiobook is time consuming. When starting out, it takes about three hours to narrate and produce a finished hour of an audiobook. With time and experience, you can cut that down but not by much. You have to be prepared mentally and vocally for the long haul. It takes even longer if you edit and produce your own narrations.
  • Bonus question: Any funny anecdotes from inside the recording studio?
    • There are some words and long sentences that sometimes pose a challenge. I’ll get half way through a long sentence and then blow the next part or run out of breath. It’s amazing how some words come out that are not on the page. When I hear the playback, I’ll have a laugh. Take two, please!
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Come Back To The Swamp Audiobook Blog Tour

Audiobook Blog Tour: Come Back to the Swamp by Laura Morrison

Author: Laura Morrison

Narrator: Chelsea Stephens

Length: 3 hours 37 minutes

Publisher: Black Spot Books

Released: Mar. 26, 2020

Genre: Fantasy

Working on completing her ecology graduate degree, Bernice is doing invasive species research in Cleary Swamp when she is confronted by a mysterious hag who says she is the swamp’s caretaker. When Bernice discovers that the hag is actually a woman named Rebecca Hallett who disappeared in the swamp decades before she attempts to remove the strange old woman from Cleary Swamp, but little does Bernice know that Rebecca has a mystical bond to the area – one that possesses a human host and bonds them to it. One magical hallucinogenic powder cocktail and a space opera spirit journey later, Bernice’s life has changed forever. The swamp wants her for its new caretaker, and it won’t take no for an answer.

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Laura Morrison lives in the Metro Detroit area. She has a B.S. in applied ecology and environmental science from Michigan Technological University. Before she was a writer and stay-at-home mom, she battled invasive species and researched turtles.

Narrator Bio

Chelsea Stephens has a long time love and appreciation for the performing arts, with experience in on-stage acting, singing and voice over. Her love for reading books and the pursuit of the story led her to narration. She enjoys unfolding characters and bringing listeners into new worlds. Chelsea is an award-winning voice actor with a talent for mystery, sci-fi, romance and YA novels. She’s a mom to a gaggle of young ones living in the Midwest.

Top 10 List
  1. Margaret Atwood: Everything she writes is magic. I want to be her. Except, I’d miss writing humor after a while.
  2. Terry Pratchett: I adore how he created Discworld, this endlessly complex and layered universe with so many fun and distinct characters, and he was fortunate enough to be able to just keep writing and writing within that world. That is my dream for my fantasy series I’m working on–for it to be successful enough that I can stay with that world and those characters for my whole writing career.
  3. William Goldman: When I read Princess Bride as a kid, it basically changed my life. I had had no idea that you could do that with a book, have a story within a story in the way that he did it. It opened up my mind to all sorts of possibilities, since even back in middle school I was already thinking in terms of being a writer.
  4. Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket): A adore dark humor, and the way Daniel Handler does it (both in the Lemony Snicket books and in the stuff he’s written under his real name) connects so perfectly with me.
  5. Barbara Kingsolver: Generally, I gravitate toward speculative fiction and/or things with a surreal tone, but whenever I feel like reading fiction that is about people in a real life, Earth setting doing real life, regular things, I gravitate to Barbara Kingsolver. She creates such deep characters, and her stories are amazing.
  6. Douglas Adams: His books are perfect. It’s one of my biggest regrets that I didn’t go to see him when did a talk at my university. It was one of the last public appearances (possibly the last?) he ever did.
  7. Paulo Coelho: I love him for the philosophical and spiritual undertones in his books. They have a very mystical vibe, and I can’t pin down how exactly he manages it how he does.
  8. Philip Pullman: His Dark Materials is one of my favorite series of all time. He’s so thoughtful and creative, and the worlds he creates are so vibrant. I love the way he approaches the concept of evil, and how his good characters deal with the evils. My husband and I randomly walked into a bookstore in London on our honeymoon, and he was there doing a signing. Total coincidence. I was so shocked by it that I didn’t fully realize it had happened until it was over.
  9. Gideon Defoe: He’s one of the funniest writers I have ever come across, and when I read his books, I get the distinct feeling that he does not care one iota about the stuffy “rules of writing” and is just having fun. It’s very freeing to see an approach like that, and always reminds me to stop worrying too much about perceptions of book snobs.
  10. Ann Patchett: Her books are dead serious, which is not usually my thing. But she does it so beautifully. Her books destroy me. State of Wonder, specifically, ripped my heart out and stomped on it, and I can never, ever read it again, but I loved it. If a writer can make me feel like that, that writer is amazing.
Music Playlist
Compiled by Author Laura Morrison

This is my playlist for Come Back to the Swamp. All these songs are either about swamps or have a very “swampy” feel to them.

  1. All the songs on the album Locked Down – Dr. John. Probably any Dr. John album would be good for a Come Back to the Swamp soundtrack. He’s got a very swampy vibe.
  2. Lynyrd Skynyrd – Swamp Music
  3. Charlie Daniels – The Legend of Wooley Swamp
  4. Josephine of the Swamps – Grant Lee Phillips
  5. Out in the Woods – Leon Russell
  6. Swamp Witch – Jim Stafford
  7. Hungry Planet – The Byrds
  8. Never Turn Your Back on Mother Earth – Sparks

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Black Spot Books. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I really enjoyed this book. I found it quite disturbing. But I did find it very unique. I’m going to think over my review fully before writing a more extensive review.



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French Illusions Audiobook Blog Tour

Audiobook Blog Tour: French Illusions by Linda Kovic-Skow
My Story as an American Au Pair in the Loire Valley

Author: Linda Kovic-Skow

Narrator: Lucy Floyd

Length: 8 hours 57 minutes

Series: French Illusions, Book 1

Publisher: Dreamland Press, LLC

Released: Oct. 26, 2016

Genre: Memoir

French Illusions: My Story as an American Au Pair in the Loire Valley is the first of two books based on my diaries from 1979 and 1980. Twenty-one-year-old Linda Kovic needs to learn a language fast in order to fulfill her dream of becoming a flight attendant, so she contracts to become an au pair for a wealthy family in the Loire Valley. In order to secure the nanny position, she lies on her application and pretends to speak French, confident she’ll be forgiven once she arrives at her destination. This book captures Linda’s real-life story inside and outside the Chateau de Montclair, detailing her challenges and triumphs as she tries to adjust to her new life with the hard-to-please Madame Dubois, her husband, and their two incomprehensible children. When Linda attends language classes at a local university, she encounters, Adam, a handsome young student, and her life with the family becomes more complicated, adding fuel to her internal battle for independence. Join Linda on her adventure of discovery and romance in an extraordinary part of the world.

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Originally from Seattle, Linda Kovic-Skow currently resides in Saint Petersburg, Florida. She has been married for 35 years and has two daughters and two grandsons. An enthusiastic traveler, Linda also enjoys hiking, boating, gardening and socializing with friends. “French Illusions: My Story as an American Au Pair in the Loire Valley,” was her debut memoir. The sequel, “French Illusions: From Tours to Paris,” recounts the rest of her adventure in France.


I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Linda Kovic-Skow. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Before I realized what time frame this book took place in and that it was a memoir, I was a little annoyed with the pace and the attitude of the people in the book. I’m glad I kept reading and gave it a chance. It’s a wonderful story full of emotion.


Q&A with Author Linda Kovic-Skow
  • Can you give us a short description of your memoir, French Illusions: My Story as an American Au Pair in the Loire Valley?
    • An impulsive young American pretends to speak French to acquire an au pair job in the Loire Valley and her unforgiving employer’s demands escalate to the breaking point when she attends classes and discovers romance in a nearby town.
  • Can you tell us about some of the difficulties you experienced writing your memoir?
    • I have to admit writing my memoir was more complex than I initially imagined it would be. My diary offered a great outline, but I realized early on that I would have to change the names of people and places in my story to protect identities. This was especially true with regard to my host au pair family. Acquiring permission from them was out of the question. If you read my book or listen to my audiobook, you’ll understand. Other decisions haunted me along the way. How would I deal with the French sprinkled throughout the book? Should I translate the French along the way? Oh, and I really struggled with how much detail to include in my own love scenes. Wiping the sweat off my brow, I wrote and then rewrote these parts until I could read them aloud without squirming in my seat.
  • Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
    • My memoir is based on my diaries from 1979, when I was twenty-one-years-old, and I knew that I could not narrate my own audiobook. I needed a younger voice. I also needed someone who could speak French fluently and mimic French accents. Quite a challenge, I’ll admit. ACX was the perfect marketplace to connect with narrators who could fulfill my requirements. After placing my project up at ACX, several women swooped in and asked for auditions. One of the women sounded like a Disney Princess and another one could speak French, but the accent was off. When I heard Lucy Floyd’s audition (The Voice Maven), with her perfect French and authentic accent, I knew I had found my narrator.
  • Do you believe certain types of writing translate better into audiobook format?
    • Yes, I believe books filled with compelling dialog and action scenes will make the best audiobooks. When I wrote my memoir, I avoided long, drawn-out descriptions of scenes and feelings. I wanted my audience to get to know the characters in my book through conversations and interactions. I also tried to compliment the dialog with cues, such as “eyes widening” or “stomach clenching,” so that the audience understood the emotional state of the characters without me stating the obvious.
  • How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process?
    • Lucy Floyd and I spoke often during the recording process. Especially in the beginning. She sent me her recordings and I would critique her performance, pointing out areas for improvement, such as asking her to speed up or slow down the recording. She was so intuitive, so easy to work with. She retained her French accent even with the male voices in my book! The only accent she had trouble with, was my mother’s Croation accent. I sent Lucy some video of my mother and this helped her master this accent as well.
  • What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
    • Hire a professional editor. I mean it. You can’t edit your own book. You won’t see the mistakes because you are too close to the writing. It will cost you a few hundred dollars for a line editor, a bit more if you need some in-depth editing, but it’s the best money you will ever spend. I cringe every time I read a negative review where the main complaint is formatting, spelling or punctuation. You want readers to judge you solely on the content of your story.
  • Do you have a favorite chapter in French Illusions?
    • Yes! My memoir is divided into four distinct parts – The Dubois Family, Venturing Out of Songais, Romance and Escape. My favorite chapters to write came in the last part of my memoir. Throughout most of my story, circumstances required me to internalize my discontent and unhappiness with my life at the chateau. Within these last chapters in my book, I finally had the opportunity to expose my true feelings in vivid scenes filled with passion and drama. It was a thrilling, rewarding experience.
  • If you were to describe yourself as a particular fruit or vegetable, what would it be?
    • I think I would be a Kiwi fruit. Not an everyday fruit, a little exotic, both sweet and tart.
  • I understand there’s a sequel: French Illusions: From Tours to Paris.
    • Yes, my coming-of-age adventure in France broke into two distinct parts. The first book, as I’ve discussed, is about my time as an au pair in the Loire Valley. The second book, also based on my diaries from 1979 and 1980, recounts the rest of my story after I left the Château de Montclair. This second book is more personal and a bit more gritty. Oh… the things we do for love.
  • Does your book have a hidden message for readers?
    • The most important thing I hope people take away from my French Illusions Series, is to take some risks in life even though there may be consequences. My experience when I was twenty-one shaped me into the person I am today. I learned some hard lessons about love, life and the importance of honesty. It’s not too late to create your own memories, so go out and explore the world. Life’s for living, after all.

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The Every stone audiobook blog tour

Audiobook Blog Tour: The Every Stone by E.A. Sandrose

Author: E.A. Sandrose

Narrator: Ulka S. Mohanty

Length: 13 hours 44 minutes

Series: The Gempendium, Book 1

Publisher: E.A. Sandrose

Released: Mar. 5, 2020

Genre: Fantasy; Young Adult

On the planet Precios, gemstones can cure everything from heartache to heartburn, unless you’re one of the children doomed to Devil’s Crown to mine them. All Yrund wants is to get back to her beloved home in the Sky Country, but escaping the powerful Mining Wield will take more than just courage. Especially when Yrund accidentally steals the only living gem found in centuries.Journey into a rich new world where wonder and peril are never far apart – a tale of poetry-loving pirates, rebel bands of herders, invisible forest creatures, and a mysterious gemstone with a mind all her own.By turns heartwarming and harrowing, The Every Stone is about friendship, survival, and finding your power where you least expect it.

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E.A. Sandrose lives in the mountains with her husband and many animals. She’s an expert at cloud watching and picking up rocks. Tools of the trade include a library card, a squat brown teapot and wooden pencils. The Every Stone is her first novel.

Narrator Bio

Actor, voice actor, dancer, choreographer and chef, Ulka S. Mohanty has voiced numerous video games and audiobooks, is the recurring voice of Dr. Kapur on NBC Universal’s Nina’s World, Echo in Crackdown 3, and the voice of multiple live shows throughout Disney World’s Animal Kingdom theme park. Film/TV credits include: The Moodys (FOX); Doggoned (Arshad Khan); Closure (JFA Productions); SEAM (Rajeev & Elan Dassani); Rearranged (Shawn Parikh); Cutthroat Kitchen (Food Network); and a supporting role in the upcoming sci-fi film Needle in a Timestack (John Ridley). She has choreographed multiple dance works for Disney World, including Up! A Great Bird Adventure and Rivers of Light. Latest dance/theatre credits include: House of Joy (San Diego Rep); Women Beyond Borders (Rubicon Theatre); Monkey Love (Sacred Fools Theatre); In|Expiration (Sheetal Gandhi); Indian Mythology And Me (Dancing Storytellers); Pray To Ball (Skylight Theatre); Sherlock Through the Looking-Glass (Porters of Hellsgate); The Mid-life Crisis of Dionysus (Mainline Theatre); and Amazone: A Very Violent Love Story (Vangarde Productions).


I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by E.A. Sandrose. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I really enjoyed this book very much, but I feel like it could have used a lot more to the story than there was.


Q&A with Author E.A. Sandrose
  • How did you pick Ulka S. Mohanty, the narrator for The Every Stone?
    • Altogether, 108 auditions came in from all over the globe, which just blew me away. Some I’d reached out to, like Ulka, and some found the project through ACX or
    • There were incredibly talented voices we got to hear, with such wonderfully different takes on the characters, but Ulka S. Mohanty was the only one who made it into the top two for all the judges. Her take on Yrund seemed so effortless, while at the same time she was able to capture entirely opposite characters like a booming mercenary pirate, and a sentient gemstone with a real mischievous streak.
    • There were a few times in the audio where I was convinced Ulka actually was one of the Lumi. Her rendition of the Haya sisters squabbling was so realistic…or capturing Tana’s motherly tenderness. Wow. Just wow. Her range is really incredible. And that’s not even getting to the villains—it was like hiring a dozen different actors in one narrator.
    • To be able to work with Ulka was a total dream. From the start I could tell how responsive and professional she was. And how organized and tech-savvy. That sense of having such an expert on the other side of the project was an immense gift. As a new author, you’re really giving your child away to someone else to care for, and this story was in such good hands.
  • Are you a fan of audiobooks yourself? If so, what do you like to listen to?
    • Yes! I love audiobooks and always have a few in rotation. If I’m cooking and need to pay more attention to the task at hand, I like to have a subject-heavy, non-fiction book going in the background. It might seem counterintuitive, but I don’t feel so panicked missing a sentence about the dense history of soup spoons because I’m watching something on the stove. I’ll often go back and replay an especially interesting part again later, like the section about chopsticks from Consider the Fork by Bee Wilson. Another cooking favorite is An Edible History of Humanity by Tom Standage.
    • If I’ve got a migraine (something I deal with chronically), I can’t read in another format, so audiobooks are total lifesavers. They combat the loneliness and depression of being stuck in bed so often. Of course, I try to pick titles on the cheerier side for when I’m feeling the ickiest. A recent favorite is Joyful—The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness by Ingrid Fetell Lee. I’ve also got the entire Harry Potter series in my Audible library.
  • Did you ever consider narrating the book yourself?
    • Oof, never. I know many of us don’t enjoy the sound of our own voices, but I’m probably at the extreme end. I wouldn’t call myself shy, but I’m introverted for sure. This is something I’m really trying to work on because as the author, it’s a good practice to read the entire book out loud before you send it on for editing. And even being a little self-conscious means you can’t hear mistakes. Listening to Ulka has given me so much more courage. I’ll never have the natural talent for voices or years of experience at the craft that she does, but her fearless performance has really inspired me. She just totally gets out of the way and becomes the messenger for the story—it’s such an act of love for the listener.
  • How has your writing changed since hearing the audio version of The Every Stone?
    • Overall, I’m much more aware of the pacing of different scenes and how the presence (or absence) of dialogue affects the emotional tone. The protagonist, Yrund, is by herself a lot in the beginning. Which totally fits, since she’s been imprisoned, but hearing that section out loud really drove home how much extra work the narrator is doing. To keep the listener right there with Yrund’s emotions when there aren’t many other characters or spoken lines on the page to drive the momentum, that’s a challenge that not every narrator would have been up to.
    • Ulka is just entirely present for every line, and in that presence I think is a real gift for the listener, that sense of connection even in the hardest of times. That’s one of the best things about audiobooks—hearing another human beside us, telling us a story. It’s such a deep comfort.
    • It’s also a reminder to make sure I’m giving the writing my very best too. The narrator doesn’t get to skip a boring part like a reader can.
    • On a more technical note, I’m definitely using dialogue tags more sparingly in book two. Your eye doesn’t even notice them on the page, but they can really get in the way for the narration.
  • What does a writing day look like?
    • Well, that really depends on what stage I’m in, but the day always starts with hot tea—sometimes spicy chai, sometimes Lady Londonderry, sometimes a green tea with toasted rice and popcorn… Then, after a few chores and possibly some unnecessary news perusing, I look at my big chalkboard to see where I’m at with my to-dos. I like having the big picture in one glance.
    • My favorite days are working on a rough draft where the story can meander off the outline a bit, and I can sneak over to the internet to research ice caves or airships or gem-related science news. For instance, there is an actual bacteria here on earth that feeds on gems. I mean, come on—that is totally going in a future book. I love the information gathering and can be overly obsessive about research, partly as its own fun tangent and partly because I want to get the details right, even in a fantasy world.
    • There are lots of snacks and breaks too. If I’m writing outside, I get distracted by birds and chipmunks a lot. If I’m inside, it means I’m probably at the table in the kitchen, which is very close to the refrigerator, which needs regular investigation.
  • What do you like to eat while you’re writing?
    • If it’s first (or second) breakfast time, then it could be some thick toast with peanut or almond butter and berries or an egg from our hens fried in butter. If I’m in a big hurry to get going, I’ll “drink” dry cereal and nuts from a glass, which other people seem to find quite odd.
    • For lunch, I rummage around for leftovers. We love to cook, so you never know what might be in the fridge—some cold Vietnamese noodles, preserved lemon and lentil salad. My husband is a chef, so it’s pretty good pickings around here.
    • If I’m still working when dinner rolls around, which happened for nearly an entire year straight while I was revising book one, my husband feeds me. Hence the book dedication to him. “Can I make you a bowl?” is one of my favorite sentences in the English language as it always precedes a delivery of something tasty, be it homemade sauerkraut with sautéed greens over brown rice or a spicy pineapple and fish soup.
  • The other book dedication is to your family. How influential were they in your becoming an author?
    • Very. One of my earliest memories is of my dad reading The Fellowship of the Ring to us. Books were everywhere in our house. Both my parents loved to read and my mother, a teacher, took us regularly to the library. We didn’t have a television until I was eight or so, which meant either playing outside or hiding away with a book, lest my mother remember we hadn’t cleaned our rooms or done the dishes. My brother, who’s older than I am by several years, is also a bookworm and got me even further into science fiction and fantasy when I was a young adult. One of our favorite things to do on a trip, then and now, was toodle around the local bookshops. At the peak of my parents’ collection, there were as many books in their house as some small stores—with shelves lining most of the walls. I took it for granted at the time, but now I realize how lucky I was, and, with the shift to ebooks, how increasingly rare an upbringing that will be.
    • As important as surrounding me with stories was my family’s encouragement to follow my creative pursuits. They were extraordinarily supportive when I was writing The Every Stone and read many, many revisions over the years. I could never have gotten this far without them.
  • In The Every Stone, the people in Asteria are born into wields that determine their livelihood and career for them. What wield would you want to be born into if you had to pick one?
    • Oh man, this is a tough question. I’m such a stubborn person, I’m afraid I would always want to go explore my own interests, which would definitely get me in trouble in Asteria, where each wields’ secrets are so carefully guarded.
    • If I had to pick, though, I think I’d like to be in the Merchants’ Wield, like Trader Ansyn. At least I could travel then and get to do business with all the other wields whose goods I sold, which would get me a little expertise in a lot of different areas—from how to pick the best glow pearl to who had the most potent dream elixirs to how to tune a finger harp. And maybe I’d finally find out what was in alat!
  • Which leads to the next question—what’s your favorite gem on Precios?
    • I won’t cheat by saying an allstone, but I will pick two. For everyday use, I’d dearly love to have a wello. I had a really bad mountain biking accident when I was in college with a traumatic brain injury and the whole works. Luckily the treatments and medical advances have really improved over the years, but it’s still tough being out in the sun for long or being around strong smells or loud sounds. If I had a wello, I could go to one of those bright, noisy outdoor concerts and spend the entire day dancing and listening to ear-blasting music in the sunlight.
    • My special-occasion choice would probably be a rubily, which is rather vain I know. But I just adore makeup—the joy of playing with the bright colors, the instant boost to my mood. Then again, I wouldn’t get to spend all that time looking for the perfect berry or red lip stain if I had a jewel that could do it all… Hmmm, maybe a canary diamond would be a better choice. Then I could finally sing. Or scat, like Ella Fitzgerald!
  • What are you working on right now?
    • Book two of The Gempendium series is in progress! For those that haven’t finished book one yet, I won’t give too much away, but there are more gems, more travels and many new characters. Hoping to have a rough draft for beta readers in early summer and final copy for ARC readers by late summer. Folks can stay posted by signing up for my newsletter at, where they can also get access to the extra bonus chapters from The Every Stone. I’m also slowly putting together an actual gempendium for readers to keep track of all the fantastical stones on the planet Precios as the series goes on.
Guest Post
How to Not Hate Your Voice (And Other Lessons Learned From Listening to My First Audiobook)
By Author E.A. Sandrose

Like many people, I tend to cringe at the sound of my own voice in a recording, so I’m always surprised when people ask if I narrated the book myself. Um, no. Obviously. Though if it was obvious, they clearly wouldn’t have asked. The truth is that it never occurred to me not to hire a professional to narrate The Every Stone. (Interesting tangent—according to a TED talk I watched, our voice sounds deeper and more musical to us live than played back because of the acoustics inside our skull.) Being mildly tone deaf and an introvert, I recognize my limitations in the performance department. During high school I enjoyed hanging out with the artsy kids in the drama crowd, but preferred to be behind the heavy green velvet curtain, helping with villain mustaches and stage sets. Which turned out to be good training for world building, now that I look back.However, when it actually came time to pick a narrator for my first-ever book, I was pretty apprehensive. How in the world to find someone who could convey all the wildly different characters—an imprisoned, thirteen-year-old herding girl, a big burly pirate, a sentient gemstone? Magically, it turns out that this is what actors do, especially the really good ones.Enter Ulka S. Mohanty, an experienced audiobook narrator, voiceover actor and screen and stage performer. Out of over a hundred contenders, many of whom were excellent in their own right, Ulka matched all the nitpicky criteria I’d set. Non-western accent, check. Able to embody a philosophical forest monster with big feet in one scene and arguing sisters in the next, check. Farting gemstone, check. I’d found my match.My job was to provide her the manuscript, some notes on pronunciation, a few character sketches and a glossary…then wait. There might have been some agony involved. What if I loved the auditions but was disappointed with the final performance? Worse, what if I was disappointed with the book I’d written? The what-ifs were endless.And then the day finally came when the audiobook was done. I steeled myself for the torture of hearing my own words read back to me. All I had to do, all I really could do this late in the process, was listen for syncing errors or sound issues. The first few minutes, all I could hear was the quality of the writing—that paragraph should have been longer, that adjective was used twice… Slowly though, Ulka’s voice broke through. Not just Ulka’s narrator voice, which was so beautifully soothing, but Yrund’s voice too—angry, defiant, despairing. Then the memory of her mother’s voice—calm and chiding. Next came the villain, whose cruel deceit made my skin crawl. I put down the manuscript and my pencil, and lay down on the floor with my eyes closed, listening to Gem Beard thump Yrund on the head, growling in his Douarrian accent. At the end of the chapter, I was stunned. I wanted to hear the next one—author mistakes and all.Remember, I know how this ends. I wrote the book.But there are a few things the narrator can do that the author alone can’t, apart from entertaining accents and impeccable timing. First, they give us their voice, a sound that we crave, not just out of nostalgia for our sleepy parents reading to us when we were children, but as an entire species. The first written language didn’t occur until sometime around 3000BC, while the first printing press wasn’t invented until the 1400s. Generation after generation passed on their history, their knowledge and their experience through their voices. Even now, in the era of news at a glance, our brains are wired to listen, whether to a murder mystery set in a scone shop or an adventure fantasy set on a planet with life-altering gems.The next element the narrator adds is themself. When Ulka reads the story out loud, she imbues it with her own personality and insight, her own experience and imagination. It’s like adding an extra pinch of spice to the pot. So even though I knew all these characters inside and out, I only knew them from my perspective. One of the odd things about writing is just what you include without realizing it. You also become so familiar with the overall story, you can’t really see the parts. Listening to the characters speak was a jolt, like hearing a penpal on the phone after so many years writing letters.The last thing that struck me was how fully the narrator became one with the story. There’s no self-consciousness in Ulka’s performance, no distancing, no holding back. She’s not on her phone or thinking about her unanswered email. She is Yrund. Stuck in a dark, damp mine with her enemies, facing certain death. My fists are balled up along with hers. Ulka has brought Yrund to life. This is what it sounds like to be brave. To be afraid. To be human. To be a hero. It’s everything I want the girl inside me to hear. It’s everything I want the girls (and boys) out there to hear.What I thought would be torture for me turned out to be a revelation. When we listen to a story out loud, it creates a sound memory separate from our own inner voices. We identify with the characters. We become them. And we carry that memory around inside us—that time we stood up for ourselves, that time we spoke our truth, that time we were tender.I might always hire a professional to narrate my books, but the next time I have to read out loud, whether it’s to a small gathering at a bookstore or to myself as I edit, I’ll try to remember—we don’t have to love the sound of our voice to love having a voice. And our voices have power.

View the full schedule here

Plugging you into the audio community since 2016.

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Thank you for Reading!

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You can leave a tip for me on Paypal and Ko-Fi. All contributions are welcome, but not expected.