Sunday, March 31, 2019

Trifles and Folly book 1 by Gail Z. Martin

Author: Gail Z. Martin

Narrator: Amanda Ronconi

Length: 19 hours 58 minutes

Series: Deadly Curiosities Collection, Book 1

Publisher: Tantor Audio

Released: Dec. 4, 2018

Genre: Paranormal Fantasy

A collection of nine adventures: "Buttons", "The Restless Dead", "Retribution", "Coffin Box", "Wicked Dreams", "Collector", "Bad Memories", "Shadow Garden", and "Spook House."
Cassidy Kincaide runs Trifles & Folly in modern-day Charleston, an antiques and curios shop with a dangerous secret. Cassidy can read the history of objects by touching them and along with her business partners Teag, who has Weaver magic, and Sorren, a 600-year-old vampire, they get rid of cursed objects and keep Charleston and the world safe from supernatural threats.
An extension of the Deadly Curiosities book series.

Gail Z. Martin writes urban fantasy, epic fantasy and steampunk for Solaris Books, Orbit Books, Falstaff Books, SOL Publishing and Darkwind Press. Urban fantasy series include Deadly Curiosities and the Night Vigil (Sons of Darkness). Epic fantasy series include Darkhurst, the Chronicles Of The Necromancer, the Fallen Kings Cycle, the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, and the Assassins of Landria. Together with Larry N. Martin, she is the co-author of Iron & Blood, Storm & Fury (both Steampunk/alternate history), and the Spells Salt and Steel comedic horror series. Newest titles include Tangled Web, Vengeance, The Dark Road, and Assassin’s Honor. As Morgan Brice, she writes urban fantasy MM paranormal romance, with her Witchbane and Badlands series.
Narrator Bio

Amanda is an actress and narrator who divides her time between New York City and Upstate New York. She has a BFA from NYU where she studied at the Stella Adler Conservatory. She has performed in theaters around New York City and regionally at The Alley, Capital Rep and many productions at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.

Her Off-Broadway solo comedy, Shirley at the Tropicana, received critical acclaim and was subsequently featured in The New York Times. Film and TV credits include Daydream Believer (Slamdance 2001’s Best Dramatic Feature winner), The Understudy, Deadly Sins (ID Discovery), IFC’s Get Hit and Chasing Paradise. National network and regional commercials include Chase Bank, Sony and Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Her voiceover work encompasses over 100 audiobooks available on She is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA and Actors’ Equity.

Trifles and Folly is a book of novellas and short stories. And so far this is my favorite book I have read this year. I love how Gail Martin not only brings a book filled with haunted artifacts, but there is also history. The history is real the people in the history are not but she tells a great story with both fiction and non fiction intertwined. This book is a clean read, there is no strong language and no sex. One of the stories does mention a rape but no details at all. There are 9 stories in this book, and 3 bonus stories where you learn more or Sorren's Story.

Amanda Ronconi narrates the audiobook. I have to admit I love her. I have listened to several books she has narrated and she is amazing. She brings so much to this book. I would of enjoyed this book no matter who narrated it but with Amanda narrating it it was a huge bonus.

Cassidy Kincaide owns her families 350 year old business which to the world looks like a Antique shop.  But it is actually a shop where they take in haunted and cursed objects and either make them safe for resale or do away with them so no harm can come to anyone else.

Along with Cassidy is her business partner Teag Logan who is also has Weaver magic and Sorren a 600 year old Vampire. Cassidy is a psychometric, which means she can read objects. Together the 3 do their best to gather haunted objects and then "unhaunt" them.

I have to say my favorite story in this book is The Restless Dead. A piece of on old sewing machine comes to the shop. The story is about the flood and hurricane that hit in the late 1800's. A group of Irish indentured women work in a Sewing factory to pay off their debt. When the hurricane hits the everyone in the building dies due to the doors being locked and no one having a key to open it. The story may be made up but even the made up parts of the story brings a lot of history and I do love history as well as "ghosty" things.

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

Top 10 List
Top 10 Reasons to Read These Books
  1. Charleston, SC is one of the most haunted cities in the US, so there are ghosts everywhere!
  2. Ghosts need somewhere to go, so there are lots of haunted houses, churches, restaurants and bars!
  3. Pirates! Charleston was a hive of scum and villainy back in the day, so plenty of scandalous tales to tell.
  4. Lots of magic. Witches, cursed objects, and dangerous spells.
  5. Spooky supernatural stuff. Main character Cassidy Kincaide can read the history of objects by touching them. Her job is to get haunted and cursed objects out of the wrong hands and save the world from supernatural threats.
  6. Monsters and things that go bump in the night. Charleston is chock full of vampires, shifters, zombies, gnomes and restless spirits.
  7. Voodoo, Hoodoo and old Norse magic are real, and they’re used for good and bad, so watch your step!
  8. Charleston itself becomes almost a character in the books, because the stories couldn’t happen the same way anywhere else.
  9. There’s plenty of action, adventure, and spooky suspense, plus a cast of supporting characters who quickly feel like old friends.
  10. Who doesn’t love a good ghost or monster story? Trifles and Folly 1&2 have it all!
Q&A with Narrator Amanda Ronconi
  • A lot of narrators seem to have a background in theater. Is that something you think is essential to a successful narration career?
    • Yep. You pretty much need to be an actor or have an acting background to narrate audiobooks. It is an acting job. You need acting skills to do it. You need the vocal ability to not lose your voice and to have your voice stay elastic and under your control through a whole six-hour recording session. And then be able to come back and do it again the next day and the next until the book is done. Like theater, audiobooks are a concentration and acting marathon.
  • What type of training have you undergone?
    • I have a BFA in acting. After college, I studied acting in New York and Los Angeles. I’ve studied acting Chekov, acting for film, acting Shakespeare. I worked my way up to being a company member of a prestigious Shakespeare Festival, more like on-the-job training. I have taken tons of improv classes. Improv keeps me alive and in the moment (even when I don’t get to make up the dialogue, but have to use the author’s words) and helps me feel free to take risks with character voices. I’ve worked with dialect coaches to keep the many accents demanded in books as real as possible. I am studying the Alexander technique to help keep my body engaged even when I have to sit pretty still so the mic doesn’t pick up my clothing rustles. I’ve studied with a mime and a clown. Do those skills translate to audiobook narration? Not sure, but it probably shows up somewhere.
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • I love audiobooks. I listen to them all the time. I read so much for my work that it is such a treat to have someone read to me. It’s like when I used to wait tables, my favorite thing after a shift was to go to another restaurant and have someone wait on me. I love how portable and eyes- and hands-free audiobooks are. They make driving, cleaning – and any chore I would normally avoid -- so much more bearable. I look forward to going to the gym, because I get to listen to an audiobook on the way there and back.
  • How does audiobook narration differ from other types of voiceover work you’ve done? 
    • I’ll take this question and go one step further and say how it’s different from ANY other acting work I’ve done, not just voiceover. It’s the only time I get to play so many emotional arcs, to portray the villain and the hero and everyone in between. That can be such a satisfying enterprise. I don’t think any other acting work offers the opportunity to have such a complete experience, following many characters through their journeys as far as the story touches them.
  • What are your favorite and least favorite parts of being an audiobook narrator?
    • My favorite part is getting to be the voice of an author and hopefully taking the reader on a fabulous listening adventure that helps them escape a hum drum or a really difficult day, to make the listener feel inspired or lighten their mood or just keep them entertained. Books are such powerful things and it is really exhilarating to be able to wield that power if only for a few hours.
    • My least favorite part: As with most actors I do not get to choose the projects I work on. I can, of course, turn something down if for some reason it is really not my cup of tea, but the job (in the form of the author or publisher or producer) chooses me. So sometimes I spend a lot of time with a book that I would never choose to read for pleasure. That said, while occasionally that makes the process feel really laborious, other times I learn things I never would have if I were in charge choosing the projects I work on. This career often forces me out of my comfortable reading cocoon. And that is a good thing.
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