REAL LIFE EVIL by KIM CRESSWELL – AUDIOBOOK REVIEW – Fascinating and Apalling in equal measure.

Title: REAL LIFE EVIL

Series: A TRUE CRIME QUICKIE:BOOK ONE

Author: KIM CRESSWELL

Narrator: JASON FELLA

Genre: NON-FICTION, TRUE CRIME

Length: 52 MINUTES

Type of Book: AUDIOBOOK

Received From: THE AUTHOR

Release Date: JULY 14, 2017

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

Many serial murders go unsolved, others take decades to unravel but one thing is certain…serial killers walk among us—hiding in plain sight. Real Life Evil is a compelling collection of two true crime short stories:

“Hiding in Plain Sight” is the chilling account of serial killer Jack Unterweger, one of the most clever, manipulative predators of the twentieth century…and the most dangerous.

“A Message from the Grave” examines the events surrounding the unsolved Gilgo Beach murders, a case which would spawn the largest murder investigation in Long Island, New York’s history as an elusive serial killer continues to elude authorities.

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MY REVIEW:

The details are in the subtitle. This is a True Crime Quickie. This Audiobook is only 52 minutes long and can easily be listened to during a person’s commute to work or even on your lunch hour. Well…maybe not during your lunch hour since you might just lose your appetite.

There are two stories about serial killers contained in this audiobook, one I had never heard of before and one that I had.

The first story details the crimes of Jack Unterweger whose crimes took place in Europe during the time that everyone in North America was fixated on the OJ murder trial. This man, Jack Unterweger was a true sicko and listeners will be shocked at the failure of the justice system in his case. It is actually fascinating and well written.

The second serial killer highlighted in this audiobook is possibly scarier than the first one. Why? He (or she – but statistically probably a he) has never been caught. This is about the Gilgo Beach Murders, also known as the “Long Island Killer.”

This audiobook will both fascinate and apal reads in equal measure. Be forewarned that this book is not for the faint of heart.

I rate this audiobook as 4 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐. The book itself deserves a 5 Star rating, however, the reason I did not give this a five star rating has to do with the narration. It was good, but I believe it could have been better. When detailing the deaths of the women involved, the narrator’s voice was flat. It did not seem to radiate the empathy one would expect to hear.

With that said, I do recommend this book to anyone interested in true crime and in serial killers in general.

***Thank you to the author for providing me with a free copy of this Audiobook.***

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

To keep up-to-date with all the author’s releases, subscribe to her quarterly newsletter HERE.

Kim Cresswell resides in Ontario, Canada and is the bestselling and award-winning author of the action-packed WHITNEY STEEL series. Kim recently signed a 3-book German translation deal with LUZIFER Verlag for the first three books in the series: Reflection, Retribution and Resurrect. The popular series will be published in German beginning in 2018.

Her debut romantic suspense, REFLECTION (A Whitney Steel Novel – Book One), has won numerous awards: RomCon®’s 2014 Readers’ Crown Finalist (Romantic Suspense), InD’tale Magazine 2014 Rone Award Finalist (Suspense/Thriller), UP Authors Fiction Challenge Winner (2013), Silicon Valley’s Romance Writers of America (RWA) “Gotcha!” Romantic Suspense Winner (2004), Honourable Mention in Calgary’s (RWA) The Writer’s Voice Contest (2006).

LETHAL JOURNEY won RomCon®’s 2014 Readers’ Crown (Thriller) and was a finalist in From the Heart Romance Writers (FTHRW) Golden Gate Contest (2003).

She also published two Kindle Worlds novellas (Jet: Oblivion and Jet: Duplicity) featuring characters from her Whitney Steel series and JET from Russell Blake’s New York Times bestselling JET action thriller series. You can read Russell Blake’s interview with Kim HERE.

The Assassin Chronicles TV series is in development with Council Tree Productions, a feature film and TV production company located in Los Angeles, California. The TV series: THE ASSASSIN CHRONICLES is based on Kim’s upcoming 4-book paranormal/supernatural suspense thriller series: Deadly Shadow (May 2018), Assassin’s Prophecy, Invisible Truth, and Vision of Fire.

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

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ABOUT THE NARRATOR:

Jason Fella worked for several years providing a wide range of audio materials for students of English. Dialogue, narration, whatever is needed. According to his bio, he is hungry, eager, and ready to really get into this seriously. I’m ready to work! My “normal” voice is clear, distinct, and professional, ideal for documentaries, audiobooks, etc. Comfortable with medical terminology and the Japanese language

Languages
English (North American), Japanese

Accent
North American

Ages
Middle Aged, Young Adult

Special Skills
Audiobooks, Business, Cartoons, Documentaries, Educational, Internet, Movie Trailers, Podcasting, Radio, Telephone, Television

Experience
Narrating stories and articles for Japanese students of English.

CREDENTIALS
Education
Private voice lessons with Anthony Reece.

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

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WATCH A VIDEO OF THE AUTHOR:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlrLo_ZFzqY

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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.

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

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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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AUDIOBOOK BLOG TOUR, GIVEAWAY and REVIEW of UPDRIFT – The Mer Chronicles BOOK ONE – 4 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Author: Errin Stevens

Narrator: Sean Posvistak

Length: 8 hours and 37 minutes

Publisher: Errin Stevens⎮2017

Genre: Romantic Fantasy

Series: The Mer Chronicles, Book 1

Release date: Apr. 20, 2017

Synopsis: For Kate Sweeting, love isn’t in the air. It’s in the water.
Since her father died, Kate Sweeting’s home life has been in the pits, her well-being on life support. Her future looks desolate until she and her mother, Cara, make another plan: abandon their shriveled existence for more promising prospects on the coast, where Cara can play small-town librarian-bachelorette and Kate can figure out what’s up with that secretive Blake family from the beach.
Everyone is eerily captivated with Kate and her mother, and Cara is the first to figure out why when the man of her dreams arrives all dripping and devoted and closed-mouthed about what he intends. Kate is willing to go along with their subterfuge for a while, but eventually makes a charge for the water to learn what her mother is hiding. Gabe Blake is there waiting for her…and so is someone considerably less friendly. By the time Kate navigates her way home, everything will have changed for her—what she feels, what she wants, and what she’ll risk to be with the man she loves.

Buy Links for Audiobook #1

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MY REVIEW:

Firstly I would like to say thank you to AudiobookWorm for providing me with a free copy of this audiobook.

UPDRIFT is the first book in a series called THE MER CHRONICLES. There are literally thousands of books on mermaids on the market today and most have been written for a Young Adult readership, this is not so for UPDRIFT.

This audiobook drew me in right away and held my attention for the entirety of the eight and a half hours.

I was pleasantly surprised by the storyline – there is no Disney princess in this book. The Mermaids and Mermen in this book are also called Sirens and it even gives a bit of history and explains how and why ancient sailors got their information wrong.

The story centers on two “people.” One is human (Kate) and one is a siren (Gabe). They meet at age five and the story follows the paths of their separate lives right up to the age of twenty-one. I don’t want to give too much away with my review, so, suffice it to say that the waiting is worth it.

But of course, someone is always out to stomp on another’s happiness.

There are several themes included in this audiobook that are taken very seriously by the characters. These themes persist throughout the book and I think they should also be important to listeners.

The first theme is FAMILY.

At the very beginning of the book we learn that Kate who is a toddler at that time, has lost her father to a farming accident. Kate’s mother, who is only in her twenties when she becomes a widow, decides to answer an advertisement for a small-town librarian. Her older sister, Dana, laments Kate’s choice and cannot understand why she wouldn’t pursue a higher paying and more prestigious career. Kate’s reasons are both simple and admirable. She wants a job that she can enjoy and that offers her flexibility and working hours that allow her to spend as much time with her daughter as possible.
There are many more examples of the importance of family throughout this book. There is also an example of what the lack of a loving family can do to a person.

Theme #2 is COMMUNITY.

This Audiobook does a wonderful job of relaying the importance of community, not only for children, but also for adults.

Theme #3 is THE ENVIRONMENT.

In one scene, Carmen (Gabe’s Mother) is reading a magazine article regarding the effects of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and she becomes so upset that she has to stop reading.

All of the Mer wear belts that hold knives while they are in the water. The reason for this is so that if they become entangled in a fisherman’s net, they can cut themselves free. They can escape unlike whales and dolphins who often drown from being stuck in a net and unable to surface and take a breath.

There are several other themes in this audiobook and I encourage potential readers/listeners to return to my blog after finishing the book and to post the themes they have discovered.

The narration was terrific and even though it was a male Narrator, he did an excellent job of voicing characters of both sexes.

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

About the Author:

Errin Stevens writes paranormal romantic suspense stories from her home in Minnesota. When not wrestling with unruly narrative – or reading literary and commercial fiction like a fiend – you’ll find her poring over seed catalogues (winter) or gardening (the other three days of the year).

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About the Narrator: Sean Posvistak

Sean is an aspiring game developer who’s used his years of work on Youtube to excel at audiobook narration.

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AUDIOBOOK REVIEW of THE REPATRIATION OF HENRY CHIN Written by Isaac Ho and Narrated by Anthony Lee – 5 Stars – Speculative Fiction at its finest. MUST READ!!!

Title: THE REPATRIATION OF HENRY CHIN

Author: ISAAC HO

Narrator: ANTHONY LEE

Genre: FICTION, DYSTOPIAN FICTION, SCIENCE FICTION

Length: 7 HOURS and 41 MINUTES

Publisher: DIGITAL FABULISTS

Type of Book: AUDIOBOOK

Received From: THE NARRATOR

Release Date: JANUARY 19, 2018

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Watch the trailer for this book HERE.

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DESCRIPTION:

Amid the growing hostility between the United States and China, an executive order authorizes the creation of repatriation camps to safely secure Chinese Americans. Mild-mannered pharmacist Henry Chin goes on the run with his mixed-race teenage daughter and is relentlessly pursued by an ICE agent who will stop at nothing to capture these potential domestic terrorists.

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MY REVIEW:

THE REPATRIATION OF HENRY CHIN is terrifying in its possibility, especially with someone like Donald Trump in the Whitehouse. Plus, America has already forced one ethnic group into internment camps in the past. Don’t think so? All a person needs to do is look back in American history to WWII when all Japanese Americans, despite where and when they were born, endured “…forced relocation and incarceration in camps in the western interior of the country of between 110,000 and 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry, most of whom lived on the Pacific coast. 62 percent of the internees were United States citizens. These actions were ordered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt shortly after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor…Those who were as little as 1/16 Japanese and orphaned infants with “one drop of Japanese blood” were placed in internment camps.”

(Click here to learn more about this subject)

So, if it has happened once, with a President who was much less volatile and elitist than the current President, why couldn’t it happen again? I don’t think it will take long for the current American racial tinderbox to explode. What that will look like? We have no idea, but Isaac Ho has obviously thought the issue through.

Tackling important issues such as racism and domestic terrorism, this audiobook should be required listening.

Henry Chin is an ordinary guy, in fact, his life would be considered boring by most people. He has Chinese blood, but he is an American and always has been. In fact, eight generations of his family have lived in the United States. Eight generations in America is more than many white people can claim.

With The United States and China on the brink of war, racial divides in America begin to focus on an “Us vs. Them” mentality. On one side of that divide is anyone with even a single drop of Chinese blood and on the other side is the rest of the American citizens. The President decides to place all Chinese people into camps “to keep them safe.”

Henry Chin wants no part of those camps and he and his daughter break out in spectacular fashion.

One gung-ho Immigration Agent decides that Henry must be a terrorist and fixates on capturing the father/daughter team.

Meanwhile, Henry is struggling to bond with his teenage daughter and hiking through a National Park is probably not the best way to do it.

This audiobook takes off like a rocket and the story gets more and more tense until listeners are literally on the edge of their seats.

Narrator, Anthony Lee was a superb choice for this story. His pacing is 100% perfect and his ability to voice different characters with varying accents is unparalleled. It is easy for the listener to distinguish between characters since each voice is unique and distinctive.

I rate this audiobook as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and I will be recommending it to my friends and followers.

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** I received this audiobook at no-cost from the narrator. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion in any way.**

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Isaac Ho (何亭) is a graduate of the UCLA MFA Screenwriting program.

Awards include: Winner Asian American International Film Festival Screenplay Competition, Stephen N. Gershenson Scholarship in Screenwriting, ABC/Disney Fellowship semi-finalist, SF Weekly Black Box Award for Best Play and the Asian American Arts Foundation Theater Grant.

Isaac is also a CAPE Foundation New Writers Award Finalist for Television.

Isaac is the writer and producer of the indie film 1,001 Ways to Enjoy the Missionary Position starring Amanda Plummer.

Isaac’s debut novel The Repatriation of Henry Chin tells the story of an Asian American pharmacist and his daughter who go on the run to escape pursuit from the government as terrorists.

He is also the author of Death in Chinatown, a contemporary thriller about a brewing fictional Chinatown gang war.

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

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ABOUT THE NARRATOR:

Anthony Lee has been told that his voice is deep, resonant, smooth, and clear. Yet, it would be years before he would finally embrace that gift and start using it artistically.

A native of California, Anthony grew up with an equal fascination for knowledge and leisure. He would enjoy studying various subjects in school as well as doing fun things in his spare time. His motivation for success and happiness helped him achieve a solid education, a successful job, and a new life to live as his reward for years of hard work.

His decision to try voice acting came after receiving plenty of compliments about his vocal quality over a short amount of time. Whether those words came from friends or strangers, he could no longer deny the possibility that there may be something special about his voice. Hence, from October 2015 to June 2016, Anthony enrolled in night and weekend classes at Elaine Clark’s Voice One Academy in San Francisco, where he trained in the art of voiceover for narrations, commercials, and characters. He thoroughly enjoyed honing his voice for things like audiobooks, technical materials, corporate narrations, e-learning modules, documentaries, commercials, promos, animations, video games, and talking products. Overall, he considers his journey into voiceover to be very rewarding, not just for what he learned but also for the great instructors and classmates he met along the way.

Now with professional voice training, Anthony is stepping out into the world to lend his voice. He loves to take virtually any kind of script and work to deliver the message in a suitable way. His enthusiasm for voiceover makes him strive to be a versatile actor in the craft. Every time he is given an opportunity to provide a voice, he hopes to leave a lasting positive impact.

When he is not doing voice work, Anthony enjoys playing chess, ice hockey, pool, Sudoku, and video games, as well as watching movies, reading about random topics on the Internet, and traveling. He lives in Northern California.

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

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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.

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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.

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 **