MOURNING DOVE AUDIOBOOK BLOG TOUR, REVIEW, GIVEAWAY and MORE

Title: MOURNING DOVE

Author: Claire Fullerton

Narrator: Claire Fullerton

Length: 9 hours and 13 minutes

Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas

Released: June 25, 2018

Genre: Southern Fiction

“An accurate and heart-wrenching picture of the sensibilities of the American South.” (Kirkus Book Reviews)

The heart has a home when it has an ally. If Millie Crossan doesn’t know anything else, she knows this one truth simply because her brother Finley grew up beside her. Charismatic Finley, 18 months her senior, becomes Millie’s guide when their mother Posey leaves their father and moves her children from Minnesota to Memphis shortly after Millie’s 10th birthday.

Memphis is a world foreign to Millie and Finley. This is the 1970s Memphis, the genteel world of their mother’s upbringing and vastly different from anything they’ve ever known. Here they are the outsiders. Here, they only have each other. And here, as the years fold over themselves, they mature in a manicured Southern culture where they learn firsthand that much of what glitters isn’t gold.

Nuance, tradition, and Southern eccentrics flavor Millie and Finley’s world, as they find their way to belonging. But what hidden variables take their shared history to leave both brother and sister at such disparate ends?

Claire Fullerton grew up in Memphis, TN and now lives in Malibu, CA.

She is the author of contemporary fiction, “Dancing to an Irish Reel,” set in Connemara, Ireland, where she once lived.

Dancing to an Irish Reel is a finalist in the 2016 Kindle Book Review Awards, and a 2016 Readers’ Favorite.

Claire is the author of “A Portal in Time,” a paranormal mystery that unfolds in two time periods, set on California’s hauntingly beautiful Monterey Peninsula, in a village called Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Both of Claire’s novels are published by Vinspire Publishing.

Her third novel, Mourning Dove, is a Southern family saga, published in June, 2018 by Firefly Southern Fiction.

She is one of four contributors to the book, Southern Seasons, with her novella, Through an Autumn Window, to be published in November 2018 by Firefly Southern Fiction.

Claire is represented by Julie Gwinn, of The Seymour Literary Agency.

To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

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Readers’ Favorite awarded Mourning Dove the 2018 bronze medal in the Southern Fiction category.

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MOURNING DOVE is a work of Historical Fiction set in the American South. The version I read was an Audiobook narrated by the author.

Mourning Dove by Claire Fullerton is a family saga. The book starts in the 1960s and follows the lives of Posey and her two children, Millie and Finley.

Posey grew up in Memphis, but left the South and lived in Minnesota. Returning to her childhood home is easy for Posey. She grew up immersed in the strange (at least it is strange if you did not grow up there) customs and lingo of Memphis. For her, it is like putting on a favorite dress that is pure comfort.

However, Millie and Finley do not fit in immediately. They find all the obscure social customs and rules bewildering at first. The children learn by watching their mother, but never really feel at home.

MOURNING DOVE draws the reader (or listener in my case) into a world of old, moneyed families during a time in American history when those things were considered of upmost importance to the elite of Memphis society.

The descriptions are exceedingly well written and readers are able to picture the time and place easily in their minds.

The author shows that no matter how much money or social status a family has, it will not insulate them completely from tragedy and misfortune.

I particularly liked the fact that the author did not shy away from the truth of the racism that was so abundant during the timeframe of this story.

This book is a coming-of-age story not only for the characters, but also for the nation. Anyone interested in Historic and/or Southern Fiction will enjoy this audiobook.

The narrator has the perfect accent for this audiobook and I give her full credit for increasing my enjoyment of this novel.

I rate MOURNING DOVE as 4 out of 5 Stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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

Q&A with Author & Narrator:

Claire Fullerton

  • Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
    • I am the author and narrator of coming of age, Southern family saga, Mourning Dove. As I wrote Mourning Dove, I could literally hear the narration in my mind’s ears! I am attuned to sound, in that I enjoyed a nine year career in music radio. And growing up in Memphis will make anyone an aficionado of music. After I gained permission from my publisher to narrate Mourning Dove, I spent four weeks narrating in a recording studio, acting out the characters in the book. The Southern accent wasn’t as important as the inflections. Southerns have a specific way of turning a phrase, especially those in the Delta, so I aimed for accuracy. Mourning Dove’s audiobook is nine hours, and I loved every minute of the recording process.
  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
    • No. As I wrote the book, I paid attention to the arc of the story. I had faith that if I wrote the book as best I could then an audiobook would be an off-shoot.
  • How did you wind up narrating this audiobook?
    • In the case of how I came to narrate the coming of age, Southern family saga, Mourning Dove, I had to audition with my publisher, who was not in the practice of having their authors narrate their own books. But Mourning Dove is written in the first person, and it takes place in the South, so I wanted to give it the authentic, Memphis accent.
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
    • Yes, but the characters in Mourning Dove came from impressions I had of Southerners as a whole, while growing up in Memphis. Some mannerisms I included were specific to certain people I knew in my youth. This isn’t to say I put people I knew in the books as characters, but I did steal from some engaging mannerisms.
  • How did you decide how each character should sound in this title?
    • After I knew the frame of mind of the characters, as well as their personalities, I let the characteristics be my guide. I asked myself if they were each confident or self-conscious, if they were fearful, anxious, or easy going. I let the scene’s urgency or lack thereof dictate the voice.
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
    • I discovered long ago to let the story breathe. I write in scenes, and when I get to the end of a scene, sometimes it takes a day to arrive at where the story goes next. All along, I know the point I want to make in writing a novel. The task is to illuminate the path to my point, in scenes that illustrate the way to the point, if you will, and for this to happen, sometimes it’s good to pause while the next scene comes into focus.
  • If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
    • I would head straight to 1797 and visit George Washington. I worked for several years as a historical interpreter on his estate and would love to pop in and see it in its prime. Not to mention catch some time alone with the General to talk to him.
  • Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
    • I think the gift in Mourning Dove’s audiobook is that the listener will literally hear how the characters sound to me, as the author. Again, the nuances are all in the Southern inflections.
  • What’s next for you?
    • I have a novella coming out titled Through an Autumn Window, to be published as one of four novellas in a book called A Southern Season, by Firefly Southern Fiction. I also have a full manuscript in the hands of my literary agent, Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Literary Agency.

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BLUEBELL by Roma Gray AUDIOBOOK REVIEW – 5 Stars richly deserved – This will scare your pants off, especially if you don’t like clowns

Title: BLUE BELL

Author: ROMA GRAY

Narrator: TERRY F. SELF

Genre: FICTION, HORROR

Length: 23 MINUTES

Publisher: ROMA GRAY

Price: $2.77 USD on AUDIBLE

Type of Book: AUDIOBOOK

Received From: THE NARRATOR

Release Date: FEBRUARY 16, 2018

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

Jasper is having a very, very bad day. However, after he meets an unusual clown by the name of Blue Bell, he soon realizes his day is about to do something he never imagined possible – it’s about to get worse.

MY REVIEW:

This short audiobook only lasts for 23 minutes, yet those few minutes are enough to hook any listener.

Firstly, the clown, Bluebell, on the cover of this audiobook is enough to have potential readers freaked out even before the story begins.

Readers are introduced to Jasper, a regular guy. Someone normal. With normal problems. Out of desperation to help his ailing father, he does something he normally never would.

This leads (somehow) to him discovering a clown doll named BlueBell. This doll will change his life…forever.

It is a difficult task to create characters and a storyline that will
grab and hold a reader’s attention in only 23 minutes, yet author Roma Gray accomplishes this with ease.

I did not want this story to end and am thrilled that the story continues with her full length novel HAUNTED HOUSE HARBOR.

Bluebell is narrated by Terry F. Self whose enunciation and pacing are perfect for this creepy tale.

I rate BLUEBELL as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and I am very much looking forward to reading the rest of this series.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Roma Gray began writing at the age of 8 and wrote her first novel when she was 13.

Besides writing, she is also a project manager in the IT field. Her other interests include painting, hiking, archeology, and physics.

She lives in Oregon with her two cats, dog, and parrot.

To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

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ABOUT THE NARRATOR:

Terry F. Self has been narrating audiobooks for Audible for over a year, but he’s been talking for a living for more than twenty years.

Terry is a Traffic & Weather anchor/reporter for iHeartMedia, responsible for weather & traffic reports for over 30 radio stations in the Southeast United States.

When not sitting behind a microphone, Terry can usually be found watching or playing sports, reading, or learning life lessons from his dog, Moses.

Terry lives in the Charlotte, North Carolina area.

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WAITING FOR AEGINA AUDIOBOOK BLOG TOUR, REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

Author: Effie Kammenou

Narrators: Emily Lawrence

Length: 11 hours 2 minutes

Series: The Gift Saga, Book 2

Publisher: Effie Kammenou

Released: Feb. 16, 2018

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Book two in the Gift Saga: the continuation of Evanthia’s Gift….

In 1961, five little girls moved into a suburban neighborhood and became inseparable, lifelong friends. They called themselves the Honey Hill Girls, named after the street on which they lived. As teenagers, they shared one another’s ambitions and dreams, secrets and heartaches. Now, more than 30 years later, they remain devoted and loyal, supporting each other through triumphs and sorrows.

Evanthia’s Gift follows the life of Sophia Giannakos. In Waiting for Aegina, the saga continues from the perspectives of Sophia and her friends as the story drifts back and forth in time, filling in the gaps as the women grow to adulthood.

Naive teenage ideals are later challenged by harsh realities, as each of their lives takes unexpected turns. Now nearing their 50th year, Sophia, Demi, Amy, Mindy, and Donna stand together through life-altering obstacles while they try to regain the lighthearted optimism of their youth.

Effie Kammenou is a first generation Greek-American who lives on Long Island with her husband and two daughters. When she’s not writing, or posting recipes on her food blog, cheffieskitchen.wordpress.com, you can find her entertaining family and friends.
Evanthia’s Gift: Book One in The Gift Saga was a 2016 Readers Favorite Awards finalist in the women’s fiction category. Waiting for Aegina: Book Two in The Gift Saga is Kammenou’s latest release. For updates on the release of Book Three, the conclusion of The Gift Saga, follow Effie on Twitter, Facebook or Amazon.

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Narrator Bio

Emily is an actor and writer passionate about bringing stories to life. Her greatest strength as a performer is her ability to bring herself to the role, creating a wide range of emotionally resonant performances that leap off the page, stage, or screen. Her favorite characters are complicated, conflicted, and still searching for their inner truths. Emily’s passion for her work is complimented by her persistence, resilience, and inexhaustible work ethic. She’s narrated more than 160 audiobooks, half of which were USA Today or New York Times bestsellers, and has also worked in film, television, and theater. Born and raised in New York, Emily moved to Los Angeles shortly after receiving her BFA in drama from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She also had the privilege of living in London while studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).
Emily’s greatest loves are acting and reading, so narrating audiobooks is a dream come true. Her other passions include traveling, LARPing, aerial circus, and chocolate.

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This book is the second in a series, however, it can easily be read as a standalone novel (which is exactly what I did.)

The author, Effie Kammenou, has created a story that is compelling, believable, and entertaining.

The character building is terrific and the storyline will hold a reader’s attention with ease.

Narrator Emily Lawrence proves that she is a professional Narrator with her flawless voice and her impeccable timing.

I thoroughly enjoyed this Audiobook and I rate it as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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

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REVOLVER by Michael Patrick Hicks AUDIOBOOK REVIEW – This is one of the most terrifyingly eerily plausible future scenarios I Have EVER Read. 5 Massive Stars!

Title: REVOLVER

Author: MICHAEL PATRICK HICKS

Narrator: PATRICIA SANTOMASSO

Genre: FICTION, SPECULATIVE FICTION, SCIENCE FICTION

Length: 1 HOUR, 14 MINUTES

Type of Book: AUDIOBOOK

Release Date: 2016

Price: $1.99 on AUDIBLE.COM

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

Cara Stone is a broken woman: penniless, homeless, and hopeless. When given the chance to appear on television, she jumps at the opportunity to win a minimum of $5,000 for her family.

The state-run, crowdfunded series, Revolver, has been established by the nation’s moneyed elite to combat the increasing plight of class warfare.

There’s never been a Revolver contestant quite like Cara before. The corporate states of America are hungry for blood, and she promises to deliver.

MY REVIEW:

Although this Audiobook is not long in the length of time it will take a reader to listen to, it’s storyline and content will remain on a person’s mind for a very long time.

The thing that struck me most about this story was it’s terrifying plausibility.

The story is set in the future United States where it is law to carry a gun openly. It is illegal to not carry a gun. Some people may scoff at this notion, but you only have to turn on the news to realize that this type of thing may come about all too soon.

Although this story was written in 2016, it seems like it was written this past month. Within the last few weeks there have been TWO school shootings and when discussing solutions, President Trump actually offered up the idea that maybe teachers should carry guns.

It is a short step from this to the dissolution of the United States, as happened in the book. They become instead, the Corporate States of America. Scary!

In the audiobook, Cara, who has struggled with depression is labeled “lower class.” These citizens have no rights and horrible things can be done to them without fear of retribution.

The television show REVOLVER offered desperate people a way to help their families and would earn each participant a minimum of $5000. What do they have to do on the show? You need to listen to this audiobook to find out. I will say that it is Reality TV taken to the extreme.

From the very first minute, listeners will be drawn into the story. This book is so enthralling that you will find yourself tuning out the rest of the world and becoming completely immersed in this terrifying tale.

In an audiobook whose length is just over one hour, I did not expect much in the way of world-building. I was WRONG. The world-building in REVOLVER is top-notch. In fact, I am hoping that author Michael Patrick Hicks has since written a full length novel, or at least more short stories about this same dystopian future.

I am rating this audiobook as highly as possible. The narration was quite simply PERFECTION. Narrator PATRICIA SANTOMASSO’s voice and the emotion she is somehow able to instill in that voice, make the story seem even more realistic. Listeners will feel as if they are living in the story itself. I admit to being extremely impressed by both the author and the narrator.

I rate REVOLVER as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

MICHAEL PATRICK HICKS is the author of a number of speculative fiction titles. His debut novel, Convergence, was an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2013 Quarter-Finalist. His most recent work is the horror novel, Mass Hysteria.

He has written for the Audiobook Reviewer and Graphic Novel Reporter websites, in addition to working as a freelance journalist and news photographer.

In between compulsively buying books and adding titles that he does not have time for to his Netflix queue, he is hard at work on his next story.

To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

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ABOUT THE NARRATOR
(COPIED FROM HER WEBSITE):

I grew up in CT, a child obsessed with scary stories. I was so horrified by Camilla by Sheridan Le Fanu that I slept with garlic on my windowsills for a year when I was 10. I’m mostly over it now, but I order a New Haven clam pie light on the garlic. You may think that incident would have stopped me from reading every Stephen King novel I could get my hands on. Spoiler: it didn’t.

I got my BA in English Lit because I love reading, and then moved to NY because I love the MTA. Who doesn’t? After graduating from acting conservatory, I spent a number of years traveling across the country doing plays, until I realized I could make a living talking to myself in a padded room – and here we are!
When I’m not reading, I’m baking, organizing things (I’m sick, I know), riding around on my razor scooter, and finding any excuse at all not to go to the gym.

To learn more about this Narrator, visit the following links:

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BLUE MOON LUCK by Linda Collison AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

Title: BLUE MOON LUCK

Author: LINDA COLLISON

Narrator: JOSEPH JOHN RAYMOND ROCCA

Genre: FICTION

Length: 4 HOURS, 26 MINUTES

Publisher: FICTION HOUSE, LTD.

Type of Book: AUDIOBOOK

Received From: THE AUTHOR

Release Date: FEBRUARY 19, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

For his entire life, twenty-two-year-old Chance Lee has been dreaming of greatness — something far beyond getting high in his mother’s old farmhouse, and much more prestigious than playing in a twangy West Virginia country band on the weekends. Unlike many other small-town boys with lofty dreams, Chance see his future of musical greatness, with his best friend Tollie by his side, as an undeniable fact. And when a reading from a local fortune-teller seems to affirm his unstoppable luck, it’s not long before he’s ready to break out of Falling Waters and put his plans in motion. But when creative differences and the undeniable pull of home begin to get in the way, Chance is finally given reason to doubt his lucky star — at least, until he finally hits the road alongside an unexpected companion.

MY REVIEW:

Sometime in the 1980s, Chance and his best friend and band mate, Tully, visit a fortune teller on the night of the full moon. That night changes everything. Of course, they were unaware of the changes at the time.

Young men, a bit of weed, raging hormones, a lot of music, women, sex, rock’n’roll, friendship and a desire for something more all come together in the mish-mash of indecision which faces all youth.

Witty and engaging, this fictional memoir will have readers reminiscing about their own youth.

The narrator for this audiobook may be new to the profession, but he did an commendable job and his accent made the scenes come alive. The only issue with the narration was that at one point you hear him grunt which actually provided a bit of comic relief. Also, the pauses between chapters are a bit too long for my taste.

I rate the book itself as 5 out of 5 Stars, but the Audiobook as 4 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Linda Collison’s fiction, nonfiction, and articles have appeared in a variety of publications. Her debut novel, “Star-Crossed,” was chosen by the New York Public Library as a Book for the Teen Age-and her writing has received awards from the “Literary Fiction Review,” “Foreword Reviews,” “Honolulu Magazine,” and more.

In addition to her career as an author and freelance writer, Collison has worn many other hats-including mother, registered nurse, volunteer firefighter, skydiving instructor, and restauranteur.

Born and raised in Maryland, she lived in Hawaii for many years with her husband Bob Russell. Currently, the couple resides in Colorado.

To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

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