Lauren Carr’s Audiobook-a-palooza and Giveaway – Also includes my review of THE MURDERS AT ASTAIRE CASTLE Audiobook and an interview with Narrator Dan Lawson. 

  1. Welcome to Lauren Carr’s Audiobook-a-palooza Blog Tour! To celebrate the release of Lauren Carr’s mysteries in audiobook format, we have 14 books from her three series on tour!


To follow the tour and to read reviews, please visit Lauren Carr’s page on iRead Book Tours.

The Mac Faraday Mystery Series: Book Five


Buy the Audiobook ~ Book


Book Description:   

Never tell Mac Faraday not to do something.


Spencer’s police chief, David O’Callaghan, learns this lesson the hard way when he orders Mac Faraday to stay away from the south end of Spencer’s mountaintop – even though he owns the property. It doesn’t take long for Mac to find out what lies on the other side of the stone wall and locked gate, on which hangs a sign warning visitors to Keep Out!

Topping the list of the 10 top haunted places in America, Astaire Castle is associated with two suicides, three mysterious disappearances, and four murders since it was built almost a century ago – and Mac Faraday owns it!

In spite of David’s warning, Mac can’t resist unlocking the gate to see the castle that supposedly hasn’t seen a living soul since his late mother had ordered it closed up after the double homicide and disappearance of Damian Wagner, a world-famous master of horror novels.

What starts out as a quick tour of a dusty old castle turns into another Mac Faraday adventure when Astaire Castle becomes the scene of even more murders. Mac is going to need to put all of his investigative talents to work to sort out this case that involves the strangest characters he has run into yet – including a wolf man. No, we’re not talking about Gnarly.

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband and three dogs (including the real Gnarly’s klutzy nephew Sterling) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.


MY REVIEW: Listening to the audiobook of THE MURDERS AT ASTAIRE CASTLE was an entertaining treat. 

The narrator for this audiobook is Dan Lawson. His voice is perfect for the Mac Faraday books. He is able to modulate his voice so that there is never a doubt which character is speaking. I am impressed with his enunciation and was able to understand every word he said.

The story itself is a well written mystery that spans several decades. I have not read, or listened to the second, third or fourth book in this series and yet I never felt like I was missing pieces of the story. This audiobook would even work well as a stand-alone thriller.

The only issue I had with THE MURDERS AT ASTAIRE CASTLE was that when the story was nearing its completion, DNA was sent for analysis and seemed to be returned almost immediately. This is a fantasy. In reality, obtaining DNA results can take anywhere from a few days to several months before the results are returned to the investigating officers. It is exceedingly rare for small town police offices to have their own lab and most biological samplesď would have to be outsourced. I understand that the DNA results were important to the plot which is why the author chose to speed up the results, but it did stand out to me as inaccurate and unbelievable.

Despite the minor hiccup I just mentioned, I enjoyed listening to this audiobook. There are so many different threads to this story and yet Lauren Carr was able to weave them all together to create a tapestry that readers will not soon forget.

My favorite character in this book is the “Wolf-Man.

I rate MURDER AT ASTAIRE CASTLE as 4 out of 5 Stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

Meet the Author:

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband and three dogs (including the real Gnarly’s klutzy nephew Sterling) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV. 

Connect with Lauren: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook


Meet the Narrators:

​Over the past several years Dan Lawson has appeared in numerous spots for radio, television and the internet. He has worked with All-State, Sprint PCS, Mountain Dew and many more. His unique ability to mimic existing characters and celebrities has landed him diverse voice match work ranging from Charlie Sheen to Morgan Freeman.

In 2008 Dan was cast as the first American voice actor for the Korean video game company, Nexon. Over the next several years Dan was the flagship voice of the company, appearing in such titles as Mabinogi, Maple Story, Vindictus, Dragon Nest, Dungeon Fighter Online and Atlantica. In total he has voiced nearly 100 characters for Nexon.

In late 2012 Dan’s voice over career took an unexpected turn into book narration. His first audition landed him the job of narrating The Psychology of Twilight, a psychological look at the wide-spread obsession of the Twilight saga created by Stephanie Meyer. Eighteen more audiobook narrations have followed and show no signs of slowing down.

Enter the Giveaway!

Ends July 22

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INTERVIEW WITH NARRATOR DAN LAWSON: 

How long have you been narrating audiobooks?

I narrated my first audiobook in 2012. I hadn’t actually auditioned for the audiobook. One of my agents thought that I had a good sound for the material and submitted me. That started a narration spree that continues today.


Do you have a favorite character from any of the books you’ve narrated? 

Robert Cook in Antidote is one of my favorites. I connected to the character almost immediately. He and I are very similar as  far as thought process, humor and how we view the world.  It made the whole narration process very comfortable.


Do you work with the author to select a tone and narration style for the audiobook? 

It varies, but getting a chance to speak with the author is one of my favorite parts of the narrating process.   There are so many different ways to approach an audiobook. Having the authors insight really helps to connect the story to the listener. My goal as a narrator is to fulfill, to the best of my ability, the vision the author has for the book.


How do you keep all the characters voices straight when narrating an audiobook?

Great question! It can be challenging if the cast of characters is large or if there are multiple characters with similar characteristics. for example, if the story centers around a group of young soldiers.   One of my techniques is to model the speaking style of a character after known actors and celebrities.  I have actually printed pictures of actors and written the name of the character from the novel below them. Then aligned the pictures on a piece of cardboard and placed it just beyond my music stand. That way I’m able to reference who is speaking with a quick glance.


If it is not clear from the writing, how much freedom do you have as a narrator in deciding if a character has an accent or a unique way of speaking?

It depends entirely on how much the author is involved. A great many authors are not familiar with audiobooks so they will leave the bulk of the choices up to the narrator. Making the characters unique without detracting from the overall story is one of the greatest thrills about the narration process.

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5 Stars for WORMWOOD DAWN 2 by Edward Crae – AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

WORMWOOD DAWN 2 COVER PIC

Title: WORMWOOD DAWN: Episode Two

Author: Edward Crae

Type of Book: Audiobook – Unabridged

Narrator: Clifford Edwards

Length: 3 hours and 6 minutes

Genre: Horror, Science Fiction

Release Date:  January 13, 2016

Publisher: Edward Crae

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

 

This audiobook is a Heart pounding, Pulse raising, Nail biting, goose-bump inducing story of monsters and mayhem with a apocalyptic twist.

I had completely forgotten how much I LOVED the first book in the Wormwood Dawn audiobook serial until I started listening to Book Two.

A few minutes into this audiobook and I was hooked once again. This is NOT a zombie fiction book. This book is Science Fiction/Horror and it is AWESOME. Now I want to kick myself for not listening to this book as soon as I downloaded it. I WILL NOT make that mistake with this series ever again.

Dan and Drew are two regular guys. Well, I guess they are definitely slackers, but they are loveable slackers. In the first book we find out that Dan is an alcoholic and Drew likes his marijuana a bit too much.

But neither of their addictions seem to matter when people around them start turning into rabid psychos.

The two friends hole up at Dan’s house. But, when their cat ends up encased in a cocoon and then emerges as a horrific mutation, the two friends know that something very strange is going on and that the world has changed – and that change is NOT good.

In Book Two, Dan and Drew have gained both knowledge and weapons. They know that they will need to prepare for winter which is fast-approaching.

As they check out the other homes in the area, they make a few discoveries.

They are no longer alone…

I LOVED THIS AUDIOBOOK.

The first book in the series had a plethora of production quality issues. Those glitches have been reduced in Book Two and are no longer a factor. This is wonderful since it made the listening experience even better than I expected.

Dan and Drew are not the type of people that you would normally equate with the title of “hero.” But that is exactly what makes them so compelling.

The action never stops in this audiobook and narrator, Clifford Edwards is an absolute pleasure to listen to. It is almost unbelievable that only one person narrates this book because Cliff is just that good. I have listened to hundreds of audiobooks over the years and I cannot remember any other narrator who was able to voice so many different characters with so much variation and still be able to keep the overall story flowing with apparent ease. The narrator deserves 5 Stars all his own.

I have seen some reviews of this audiobook that mention the “echo-y” sound in parts of the story. I thought the use of this “echo-y” technique was perfect. It is used when Dan and Drew are watching and listening to online news reports and it adds authenticity to the story.

The action begins right away and like a car whose gas pedal is stuck, the action is unending. I LOVED IT!

This horror audiobook serial is an absolute MUST LISTEN for all horror fans.

Thankfully I already have Book Three because I don’t just want to listen to it, I NEED TO listen to it right away.

I rate WORMWOOD DAWN: Episode Two as 5 out of 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and it has earned every single star.

* I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

 

WORMWOOD DAWN HAS IT’S OWN FACEBOOK PAGE.

CLICK ON PIC BELOW:

wormwood dawn banner 2

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

wormwood dawn author edward crae

 

(Description from Amazon Author Page)

Edward was born in Zanesville, OH, where he did absolutely nothing worthwhile with his life. Having drank himself into a permanent stupor, he finally moved to Indiana. Years and years of alcoholism and drug abuse kept him from exploring his intellectual interests; including astronomy, quantum physics, biology, and weird things like UFOs, mythology, and inter-dimensional or astral travel.

Throughout the years, Ed’s constant binge drinking and pot smoking had polarized his brain into the realm of the deranged. Pill popping aside, he now contemplates battles against massive hordes of undead mutants, and has barricaded himself in his deep woods home; prepared for the inevitable apocalypse.

Having an extensive collection of high powered rifles, Ed constantly stares out his window to catch the first glimpse of the stumbling horde. If and when that happens, he WILL fire the first shot.

Don’t bother talking to Ed. He won’t listen. He’s crazy. Just read the filth that he spews out into MS Word, and be happy. It’s all you’ll ever get.

To learn more about this author visit him online:

FACEBOOK     AMAZON      GOODREADS     TWITTER

 

ABOUT THE NARRATOR:

wormwood dawn narrator clifford edwards

To learn more about this narrator visit him online:

TWITTER    LINKEDIN  

4 Stars for DEATH’S DRIVER by Jack Larson – AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

Deaths Driver Audiobook Cover

Title: DEATH’S DRIVER: The Life of a Body Transporter

Author: JACK LARSON

Type of Book: AUDIOBOOK – Unabridged

Narrator: J. SCOTT BENNETT

Length: 1 hour and 49 minutes

Genre: NON-FICTION, MEMOIR

Release Date: December 18, 2015

Publisher: ZA Productions

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars ****

~ I received a free copy of this book through AudioBookBlast in exchange for an honest review.

PUBLISHER’S SYNOPSIS:

My career in the death care profession spanned a decade but encompassed the industry from several perspectives. What tied all these together was my role as a driver for the dead.

Sometimes I was a funeral driver, other times I picked up from morgues, and in another capacity I picked up the deceased from the scenes of car accidents, shootings, hit and runs, and worse. Finally, I cleaned up after homicides, accidents, and suicides as a side business.

I could have organized it in a logical, linear fashion, but that’s not how I remember it. My experiences varied widely and the pacing of the job was frenetic, fascinating, heartbreaking, and strangely edifying. Like death itself, it was always unpredictable.

MY REVIEW:

This audiobook is just under two hours in length and in it, Jack Larson relates short anecdotes about his time as “Death’s Driver.” Most of his anecdotes are about picking up bodies at accident or crime scenes and at times he goes into gory detail about the condition the body was in when he arrived to transport it to the morgue.

This audiobook is definitely not suitable for listeners under the age of 18 as I believe it would give children nightmares. It may even give some adults nightmares, but at least adults know what to expect when they read the synopsis, so, if it causes them nightmares, that is their own fault.

All of the anecdotes in this audiobook are very short. I found this frustrating at times. I guess I wanted a bit more of the backstory for each anecdote. Without the backstory I never really felt connected to the stories. But, I assume that author Jack Larson had to stay unattached and dispassionate to be able to do his job, so I guess this detachment is to be expected.

I really liked the narrator. He did a great job of describing some horrific situations with just the right mix of reverence for the dead and clinical dispassion. He never allowed his own personal feelings about any of the situations to show in his voice and if you choose to listen to this audiobook, you will realize just how difficult that must have been for him. I rate the narration as 5 out of 5 stars. *****

Overall, I found some of the anecdotes interesting and I found some of them just ridiculous. I just wish there was more personal detail so that I would have felt some connection to the author.

I rate this audiobook as 4 out of 5 stars. ****

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jack Larson is an artist based out of Albuquerque, New Mexico. His work is displayed in private collections around the world.

Several of his paintings have been published as book covers and one has been featured as an “Easter Egg” within Android smartphones. His work has been excoriated in reviews, exorcised by fundamentalist preachers, and appreciated by art collectors since he started painting zombies in 2009.

Click here to visit Jack Larson’s blog.

Follow him at: Instagram @zombiemarketing  

Click here to visit his Facebook Page.

 

ABOUT THE NARRATOR:

1a1 J Scott Bennett narrator pic

Scott was a Minister for twenty years, and also served in the United States Airforce as a Spanish translator before becoming a Middle School English and Language teacher. He is fairly new to the world of audiobook narration since he only began narrating audiobooks in July of 2015. However, in that short length of time he has narrated over 40 audiobooks

In high school and college he was active in drama and forensics even competing at the state and national level. He has years of public speaking experience, especially since he is a sixth grade reading teacher. He loves to do “read-alouds” with his students on a daily basis.

Visit Scott’s Narrator page on Goodreads

Visit Scott’s Page on Audible

4 Stars for BENEATH THE BAMBOO by Jonathan Jones – AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

  
Title: BENEATH THE BAMBOO: A Vietnam War Story

Author: Jonathan Jones

Type of Book: Audiobook – Unabridged 

Narrator: Michael Driggs 

Length: 4 hours and 22 minutes 

Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir, Militaria 

Release Date: January 15, 2015

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

~ I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review. 

“This is the story, from point A to B, of my life and times in the midst of hell on Earth.”

This audiobook was written by the author late in life and published by his son, Jonathan. When Stan returned from Vietnam, he chose to not speak of or even think of, his experiences during the Vietnam War. In fact, he was so adamant in his avoidance of the topic that he even avoided all movies and books on the subject. 

Because of this, BENEATH THE BAMBOO may have some flaws. The author is not a historian nor is he a professional writer. He is just an average guy who survived some not-so-average experiences after fighting in the Vietnam War. 

  
I actually found this audiobook fascinating. I liked the fact that it was not the story of some famous battle or told by a famous soldier. Because it was told by a regular guy and not a career soldier, I found that I could more easily relate to the story.

The narrator, Michael Driggs has the perfect voice for this story. In fact, his narration is so convincing that I had to check to see if he was also the author. His pacing is terrific and he is a master of inflection. He seems to instinctively know when to speed up and when to slow down as well as which words need to be emphasized. I give the narration 5 out of 5 Stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

This audiobook conveyed the horror and dangerousness of the vast network of Vietcong tunnels that the infantry had to contend with.

  
I read some of the other reviews of this book and saw that some negative comments were made regarding inconsistencies with what other Vietnam War veterans experienced. I have to point out that this book was written by Stan Jones’ son and not by Stan himself. It is for that reason that I am fully willing to forgive and forget about these errors. Any memoir, especially one written by a non-professional writer will contain “errors”. We must also take into account that people’s memories are fallible at the best of times and it is to be expected that a memoir written about events that took place around 50 years ago will not be completely accurate. 

 

Stan Jones is the soldier on the far right

 
The story is about how the Vietnam War turned a boy into a man in a very short amount of time. 

 

Stan is the shirtless soldier in the front row on the left

 
I think this is an important story and one that needs to be told and retold so that no one ever forgets about the Vietnam War and the soldiers who fought and died during it. 

I rate this audiobook as 4 out of 5 stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

Purchase this audiobook on Audible 

   

 Check out a preview of BENEATH THE BAMBOO at 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=7_OwQlaz0Kw 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

  

For more information visit: 

Check out the official webpage of BENEATH THE BAMBOO and also visit the Facebook page. 

*** All photos were obtained from the author’s Facebook page **