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Showing posts with label audiobooks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label audiobooks. Show all posts

Sunday, September 15, 2019

The New York Saga BOOK 1: FROM HERE TO FOURTEENTH STREET by Diana Rubino

Audiobook Series Tour: The New York Saga by Diana Rubino

Author: Diana Rubino

Narrator: Nina Price

Length: 11 hours 19 minutes

Series: The New York Saga, Book 1

Release date: Feb. 6, 2019

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Genre: Historical Romance


It's 1894 in New York's Lower East Side. Irish cop Tom McGlory and Italian immigrant Vita Caputo fall in love despite their different upbringings. Vita goes from sweatshop laborer to respected bank clerk to reformer, helping elect a mayor to beat the Tammany machine. While Tom works undercover to help Ted Roosevelt purge police corruption, Vita's father arranges a marriage between her and a man she despises. When Tom’s cousin is murdered, Vita’s father and brother languish in jail, charged with the crime. Can Vita and Tom’s love survive poverty, hatred, and corruption?
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Toiling over the mind-numbing work, Vita conjured up her favorite daydream: an elegant brownstone with lacy iron gates, bay windows, polished floors, marble fireplaces. No trash flung down air shafts, no shared toilets, no backyard privies...above Fourteenth Street.

Diana Rubino writes about folks through history who shook things up. Her passion for history and travel has taken her to every locale of her books, set in Medieval and Renaissance England, Egypt, the Mediterranean, colonial Virginia, New England, and New York. Her urban fantasy romance, FAKIN’ IT, won a Top Pick award from Romantic Times. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, the Richard III Society, and the Aaron Burr Association. When not writing, she owns CostPro, Inc., an engineering business, with her husband Chris. In her spare time, Diana bicycles, golfs, does yoga, plays her piano, devours books, and lives the dream on her beloved Cape Cod.
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Narrator Bio


Nina Price is a Renaissance woman: a conservatory trained musician, a Silicon Valley businesswoman, a radio personality, a licensed acupuncturist and master herbalist, and a voice actor/storyteller. She especially loves books with an element of history in them: historical novels, memoirs, biographies, although she’s narrated books in many genres. Born and raised in New York, the characters and places in the New York Saga are very familiar to her, and dear to her heart. She loves to travel the world and listen to the way people speak English.
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Q&A with Author Diana Rubino
  • Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook. 
    • My publisher, The Wild Rose Press, auditioned some narrators and sent me samples. When Nina finished narrating it, Wild Rose released it and put it on sale with retailers.
  • Do you believe certain types of writing translate better into audiobook format? 
    • Adventure and suspense translate well, as long as the narrator has an animated voice. My books, with characters who have different actors, came out really well, because Nina does great accents and different voice inflections.
  • How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters? 
    • We spoke on the phone a few times, and discussed the characters and their backgrounds. When she had a question about the pronunciation of a word, I either spelled it out phonetically or sent her a video of someone saying the word or phrase.
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing? 
    • Yes, FROM HERE TO FOURTEENTH STREET’s heroine Vita is based on my great-grandmother, a businesswoman, wife and mother. She was way ahead of her time. I always have historical events as backdrops for my books. BOOTLEG BROADWAY is set during ProhibitIon, and THE END OF CAMELOT is centered around the John F. Kennedy assassination.
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
    • I pace myself, I write 2500 words a day and sometimes more if I’m on a roll. My enthusiasm never wanes, because I’m a huge history buff, I love doing the research, and my passion for it comes out in my stories.
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you? 
    • I listen to audiobooks on long car trips. It’s convenient to listen to books while doing something else, driving, as a passenger in a car, doing chores, etc.
  • Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format? 
    • The dialogue is very animated and authentic throughout all three books. Nina does great New York and ‘wiseguy’ accents.
  • How did you celebrate after finishing this novel? 
    • I always celebrate by recharging my batteries—usually by reading my favorite genres, biographies, mysteries, and paranormal novels.
  • What gets you out of a writing slump? What about a reading slump? 
    • I’ve never been a slump; I make sure I reach my 2500-word goal every day, even if it’s not my best output. I can always go back and rewrite.
  • In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of writing a stand-alone novel vs. writing a series? 
    • A series allows the reader to get to know the characters and become familiar with them. Stand-alones don’t have that advantage.
  • What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors? 
    • Keep writing. Keep practicing. Most of all, don’t ever give up on your dream. Just having a dream makes you very special. If you get impatient because it’s taking so long, just ask yourself this: Why does 16-year Scotch take 16 years? Some things are worth waiting for.
  • What’s next for you?
    • I’m writing my next biographical novel, about Edith (Mrs. Theodore) Roosevelt.
"Songs of the Day" for FROM HERE TO FOURTEENTH STREET (1894-5)
  • The Band Played On – Dan Quinn
  • The Sidewalks of New York – Dan Quinn
  • The Liberty Bell – U.S. Marine Band
  • My Pearl is a Bowery Girl – Dan Quinn
  • My Best Girl’s a New Yorker – Edward M. Favor
Dream Cast
Diana Rubino's Picks for FROM HERE TO FOURTEENTH STREET

VIEW THE FULL 21-DAY SCHEDULE HERE!
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Saturday, September 14, 2019

The Body on the T by Mike Martin

Audiobook Tour: The Body on the T by Mike Martin

Author: Mike Martin

Narrator: Francis G. Kearney

Length: 6 hours and 56 minutes

Series: Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series, Book 2

Publisher: Mike Martin

Released: Jul. 1, 2019

Genre: Modern Detective


The Body on the T is the second book in the Windflower mystery series and it follows up on the highly acclaimed premiere, The Walker on the Cape. The story begins when a body washes up on a beach near Grand Bank, Newfoundland. There is no identification on the body and few clues to identify who the person was or where they came from. The case becomes the responsibility of Sgt. Winston Windflower of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and his trusted side-kick, Corporal Eddie Tizzard.

But this is just the beginning. There is also a devastating accident on the highway and another suspicious death to deal with. Throw in a rogue police officer and an international drug ring operating in the waters off the coast and Windflower’s peaceful world is turned upside down. This time Windflower’s adventures take him to the scenic town of Burin where Captain Cook once patrolled the waters looking for French mercenaries. And to historic St. John’s where he faces down an armed suspect on a parking garage rooftop in the midst of a busy downtown evening.

Along the way Windflower also continues to enjoy the food and home-style hospitality of this part of the world. Cod tongues, pan seared scallops and even figgy duff become part of his diet, and his long list of favorite foods. Windflower may be a long way from his Cree home in Northern Alberta but he has found a new place to love in the fog and mist of Newfoundland.
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Mike Martin was born in Newfoundland on the East Coast of Canada and now lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. He is a long-time freelance writer and his articles and essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines and online across Canada as well as in the United States and New Zealand. He is the author of Change the Things You Can: Dealing with Difficult People and has written a number of short stories that have published in various publications including Canadian Stories and Downhome magazine.

The Walker on the Cape was his first full fiction book and the premiere of the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series. Other books in the series include The Body on the T, Beneath the Surface, A Twist of Fortune and A Long Ways from Home, which was shortlisted for the Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award as the best light mystery of the year. A Tangled Web was released in 2017 and the newest book in the series.is Darkest Before the Dawn which won the Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award as the best light mystery of the year.

Mike is currently Chair of the Board of Crime Writers of Canada, a national organization promoting Canadian crime and mystery writers.
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Narrator Bio

Following college and many years as a local entertainer and actor I eventually entered the business world and a career of building and selling multiple successful enterprises.

In 1985, I purchased an aviation business and while building a very successful business also earned multiple movie credits as a helicopter camera ship pilot - among other services, and flew the camera helicopter for London Weekend Television's mini series "Piece of Cake" in 1988. I have an extensive aviation background from helicopters through turboprop and jet aircraft, and a deep knowledge of all things aviation.

I have always been an insatiable reader with a love of history - the ultimate story, and anything military - especially if it flies. My evolution into narration and the joy of storytelling is the culmination of many years of a life fully lived, and is reflected in a voice of experience.


Q&A with Sgt. Windflower
  • How old are you and what do you do for a living?
    • I am an RCMP officer, a Canadian Mountie. I’m a Cree from Northern Alberta who is stationed in a small fishing community on the east coast of Canada, called Grand Bank.
  • What would I love the most about you?
    • I think you would love my honesty and basic decency. I try and treat everyone and everything with respect. Somebody once called me the ‘nicest Mountie’ in Canada.
  • What makes you laugh out loud?
    • Eddie Tizzard, my long-time friend and side-kick always makes me laugh. He has these funny sayings that all Newfoundlanders use that make no sense at all, and he is a true innocent in the world. That makes him a joy to be around. I smile every time I see him, and as soon as he opens his mouth, I almost always start laughing.
  • What is your most treasured possession?
    • My most treasured possession is an eagle feather than once belonged to my grandfather who was the chief of my nation. I use it to smudge in the morning. Smudging is part of my spiritual traditions. You light a bowl of sacred herbs and medicines and then use the feather to pass the smoke over your heart, your head and your body.
  • Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?
    • I think so. Sometimes he screws up and gets things a bit wrong, but then I give him a gentle nudge to help him get back on track. I wish he wouldn’t always be pointing out my faults, especially to the love of my life, my wife, Sheila Hillier. She loves that.
  • What is your idea of a perfect day?
    • A perfect day for me would be a run with Lady, my dog, in the morning. Then breakfast with my daughter, Amelia Louise and my wife, Sheila, followed by an afternoon spent picking blueberries. I love the quiet, meditative act of picking berries. Plus, Sheila might make a blueberry buckle for dessert later. The perfect ending would be an evening in with Sheila and some special time together, if you know what I mean.
  • What are three must haves when shopping at the grocery store?
    • Bread, home-made or a fresh baquette. Cheese, several varieties including hard and soft and if they have it, a Stilton with mango pieces. I could eat the whole thing in one sitting. And some fresh fruit, whatever is in season is the best.
  • Who is your best friend?
    • I have three best friends. Eddie Tizzard who I describe above. My wife and confidant, Sheila Hillier who I trust with my life. And Lady, my collie who truly is this Mountie’s best friend.
  • Do you like to cook? If so, what is your favorite thing to cook?
    • I love to eat. But I also love to cook. My specialty since I came to Grand Bank is pan-fried cod with something called scrunchions. They are small pieces of fat-back pork that are fried to a crisp and sprinkled over the top of the perfectly browned cod fish. I’m hungry just thinking about it. Aren’t you?
  • Will you ever leave Grand Bank?
    • You’ll have to keep reading the books in the Sgt. Windflower Mystery series to find out. I love it here, but Mounties often get transferred and I’m not sure Sheila like the idea of being married to a policeman forever. So, changes will come, but for now I love the salt breeze in my hair and the sun rising and setting over the ocean.
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Friday, September 6, 2019

Rational Creatures by Various Authors

Audiobook Tour: Rational Creatures by Various Authors

Editor: Christina Boyd

Narrator: Victoria Riley

Length: 18 hours and 3 minutes

Series: The Quill Collective, Book 3

Publisher: The Quill Ink, LLC

Released: Jul. 18, 2019

Genre: Anthologies


“But I hate to hear you talking so, like a fine gentleman, and as if women were all fine ladies, instead of rational creatures. We none of us expect to be in smooth water all our days.” (Persuasion, Jane Austen)

Jane Austen: True romantic or rational creature? Her novels transport us back to the Regency, a time when well-mannered gentlemen and finely-bred ladies fell in love as they danced at balls and rode in carriages. Yet her heroines, such as Elizabeth Bennet, Anne Elliot, and Elinor Dashwood, were no swooning, fainthearted damsels in distress. Austen’s novels are timeless classics because of their biting wit, honest social commentary - because she wrote of strong women who were ahead of their day. True to their principles and beliefs, they fought through hypocrisy and broke social boundaries to find their happily-ever-after.

In the third romance anthology of The Quill Collective series, 16 celebrated Austenesque authors write the untold histories of Austen’s heroines, brave adventuresses, shy maidens, talkative spinsters, and naughty matrons. Peek around the curtain and discover what made Lady Susan so wicked, Mary Crawford so capricious, and Hettie Bates so in need of Emma Woodhouse’s pity.

Rational Creatures is a collection of humorous, poignant, and engaging short stories set in Georgian England that complement and pay homage to Austen’s great works and great ladies who were, perhaps, the first feminists in an era that was not quite ready for feminism.

“Make women rational creatures, and free citizens, and they will become good wives; - that is, if men do not neglect the duties of husbands and fathers.” (Mary Wollstonecraft)

Stories by: Elizabeth Adams, Nicole Clarkston, Karen M Cox, J. Marie Croft, Amy D’Orazio, Jenetta James, Jessie Lewis, KaraLynne Mackrory, Lona Manning, Christina Morland, Beau North, Sophia Rose, Anngela Schroeder, Joana Starnes, Brooke West, and Caitlin Williams

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CHRISTINA BOYD wears many hats as she is an editor under her own banner, The Quill Ink, a contributor to Austenprose, and a commercial ceramicist. A life member of Jane Austen Society of North America, Christina lives in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with her dear Mr. B, two busy teenagers, and a retriever named BiBi. Visiting Jane Austen’s England was made possible by actor Henry Cavill when she won the Omaze experience to meet him in the spring of 2017 on the London Eye. True story. You can Google it.
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Narrator Bio


Victoria Riley is a British voiceover artist and audiobook narrator. Originally trained as a theatre actor, she gradually moved into voice work and is now happiest behind the mic. She loves classic literature and travelling the world. If she isn't recording, she's probably lying in a hammock in some far-flung place, reading book after book after book.
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Guest Post
Feminism in the Hearts of Austen’s Most Beloved Females?
By Christina Boyd, editor, “Quill Collective” anthology series
Jane Austen’s novels evoke romantic imaginings of gallant gentlemen and gently-bred ladies. Achieving social, economic, and political equality amongst the sexes isn’t a concept one would imagine in a novel from the 1800’s, especially if the novelist was Jane Austen, whose characters are in pursuit of good matches and whose novels all end in weddings. How could a woman who was poor, never married, and lived with her mother and sister in a cottage on her brother’s estate authentically write about equality? Yet through her veiled wit, honest social commentary, and cleverly constructed prose in a style ahead of her day, Austen’s heroines manage to thwart strict mores—and even the debauchery of Regency England—to reach their fairytale endings.

Have you never wondered about her other colorful characters like Mary Crawford, Penelope Clay, Charlotte Lucas, et al.—and how they came to be? In Persuasion, Mrs. Croft says, “But I hate to hear you talking so, like a fine gentleman, and as if women were all fine ladies, instead of rational creatures. We none of us expect to be in smooth water all our days.” Those words have always struck me as terribly modern and I have wondered what Mrs. Croft might have been thinking of when she said those very words to her brother Captain Frederick Wentworth. It is not a reach that several of Jane Austen’s characters might have had feminist sensibilities, even if they yielded to the expectations of their sphere. Further, I like to speculate that Austen was cleverly revealing her own feminist discourse using “her fine brush” on her “little bit (two inches wide) of ivory.”

When choosing authors for the soon-to-be released anthology Rational Creatures, I wanted strong women, not just strong writers. Like several of my Rational Creatures authors, Brooke West believes, “There is no singular way to be a feminist. Feminism, to me, is about the ability to choose. To choose whether to have children, to marry, to pursue a career, to wear a suit and tie or a frilly pink dress. It’s that choice that is so often taken from women and rigid expectations put in choice’s place. A woman deciding for herself is the simplest—and best—expression of feminism, to my mind.”

West goes on to say about Mansfield Park’s quiet heroine, “Many readers find Fanny weak and boring. I’ll admit—I did, too. At first. But after another read, I found Fanny’s feminist spirit. She won my respect by showing a quiet and enviable strength. She was the victim of everyone’s expectations, but she stood firm in her principles, rejecting Henry’s offer because she knew it would not bring her happiness. Though her ultimate decision to marry Edmund seems predictable—exactly what one would expect of a young woman of her time and exactly the opposite of what one might expect from a tale with a feminist twist—I saw bravery behind her choice. Her choice to marry up when she’d always been told she’s lesser. Her choice to marry at all when it’s perceived she missed her only chance to avoid spinsterhood. Her choice to accept a man who overlooked her.”

“The reserved inner strength of Fanny appears to be in counterpoint to that other memorable female character of Mansfield Park, Mary Crawford,” says author Jenetta James. “Where Miss Price is muted and seemingly beholden to others, Miss Crawford is outspoken, charismatic, and independent. Mary Crawford gets all the best lines, but there is more to her character than moral bravado. She is after all a discerning and mostly kindly critic who speaks plainly and lives honestly. The candor which Edmund reviles has about it the stamp of the modern, and in depicting it, Austen was considerably ahead of her time.”

Moreover, it seems as unlikely that Austen’s least beloved heroine would forward or embrace any cause besides her own. “With societal conventions thrown aside to make way for a seemingly pampered heroine who, although innately good, appears oblivious to the problems of the world, we have Miss Woodhouse,” says author Anngela Schroeder. “Emma, willing to leg-shackle every other single creature in Highbury to another, refuses to do so for herself. ‘And I am not only, not going to be married, at present, but have very little intention of ever marrying at all.’ And why should she? She has all that is needed by a woman, or a man for that matter. She has fortune, connections, the adoration of her father, and management of his house where she knows that most women are ‘half as much mistress of their husband’s house as [she is] of Hartfield.’” In modern day translation: I don’t need a man or marriage to be happy.

Author Lona Manning says, “Penelope Clay, the artful, designing young widow in Persuasion, tries to wheedle her way into Sir Walter Elliot’s heart. She has the ‘art of pleasing,’ and hopes he’ll overlook her low birth, her crooked tooth, and even her freckles. A ‘good’ woman was supposed to sit back and accept the extremely limited choices which restricted her life. Mrs. Clay, left with two children, was supposed to live under her father’s roof, and hope for some other offer of marriage to come along. But Penelope Clay does not sit back and accept this dismal fate. She is active; she smiles, talks, and charms her way into the household of the vain baronet. And why not! The opportunity is there, and it’s the rational thing to do!”

In Pride and Prejudice,Charlotte Collins née Lucas seems the Queen of Compromise,” says author Joana Starnes, “because what can her marriage to a self-absorbed fool be but a compromise? She seems the archetypal Regency female who sees marriage as her only object in life, however unappealing the partner and however small the chances of happiness.

“Yet should she be censured for her choices or applauded for having the courage to grab any weapon at her disposal and fight the system from within? What can she do with herself if she refuses Mr. Collins other than become a figure of pity to her friends and family, someone taken for granted and expected to keep house or help raise other people’s children for the ‘privilege’ of being tolerated in their home?

“ ‘Not Charlotte!’ says Starnes. “She seizes the one chance that comes her way. And if that means indulging Lady Catherine with smiles and nods and playing the part of the model wife while she adroitly coaxes her weak-minded husband into doing her bidding, then so be it! Her envisaged reward is financial security and the privileges that come with being the actual head of her household. And there is always the promise of becoming the mistress of Longbourn someday…”

Although the idea of “feminism” was coined long after Austen’s time, the contributing authors to Rational Creatures wrote backstories or parallel tales off-stage of canon, remaining true to the ladies we recognize in Austen’s great works—whilst stirring feminism in the hearts of some of her beloved characters. Surely that is why so many adore Elizabeth Bennet best: her moral strength to reject not one but two advantageous proposals, choosing love and respect over wealth and social status. West proclaims the project’s intent best: “I wanted to show Fanny as a part of the beginning [of feminism]—as a young woman who sticks to her morals and does not let anyone else tell her what her happily-ever-after must be. A woman who would think for and choose for herself.” Isn’t that one of the reasons millions have loved Austen’s novels and her rational creatures these last two-hundred years? I daresay, it’s those little bits that will endure another two hundred. “Make women rational creatures, and free citizens, and they will become good wives; that is, if men do not neglect the duties of husbands and fathers.” Mary Wollstonecraft


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