Category Archives: Audio Giveaway

Audio Book Month Giveaway!

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If you read me here at Book Journey you are probably well aware that I love audio books.  Often, I listen to more audio than I read books because I can listen to audio while doing other things:

cook

clean

mow the lawn

work in the flower garden

sit on my deck

painting a room

Normally I make a big deal out of audio book month trying to talk my non audio book friends into trying an audio, offering up giveaways, narrator interviews….  Of course, I am searching to find a new normal so here we are the 17th of June and this is my first mention of audio book month.  When it was offered for me to give away a couple of audio books here at Book Journey I though I can do this much.

So….

Those who wish me dead, Michael Koryta, Book Journey, audio book, audio book month, giveaway

When fourteen-year-old Jace Wilson witnesses a brutal murder, he’s plunged into a new life, issued a false identity, and hidden in a wilderness-skills program for troubled teens. The plan is to get Jace off the grid while police find the two killers. The result is the start of a nightmare.

The killers, known as the Blackwell Brothers, are slaughtering anyone who gets in their way in a methodical quest to reach him. Now all that remains between them and the boy are Ethan and Allison Serbin, who run the wilderness-survival program; Hannah Faber, who occupies a lonely fire lookout tower; and endless miles of desolate Montana mountains.

The clock is ticking, the mountains are burning, and those who wish Jace Wilson dead are no longer far behind.

 

 

  • Listening Length: 10 hours and 30 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio

 

This giveaway is open to US addresses only.  To enter please leave in the comments an audio book that you would highly recommend and why.  (I am always looking for great audio). If you are not an audio book listener, please tell me in the comments what you would consider listening to if you were to try audio (ie.  a memoir, comedy, favorite author, genre…)  For an additional entry please subscribe to Book Journey by signing up to receive my posts by email (upper right side bar).  If you are already a subscriber that is a free entry.  Share link to this post on Twitter using the hashtag #audiomonth and/or #audies2015 for a third entry.

I am working my way back towards this site.  I love my bookish on line friends and while my posts are more sporadic right now, I am still here.  Still trying.

Like Audiobook Community on Facebook

Check Them out on Twitter  (hashtag #audiomonth)

 

Winner will be announced here on Sunday June 21st.

 

 

 

Best Audio Book of 2014 Blog Hop!

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When Felicity at The Geeky Bloggers Book Blog mentioned she was helping to host an audio book hop, I had to get involved.  If you read my here – you know I love me some audio!  Of course, then I went ona 17 day trip to Australia and New Zealand and forgot all about it. 😳

My bad and I am late posting this.

Here are a few of my favorites of 2014 AND at the end of this post… a giveaway as well as info to the other blogs participating.

 

1Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer

Listening Length: 8 hours and 6 minutes

High school student Jam Gallahue is still recovering from the tragic loss of her boyfriend, Reeve Maxfield, the adorable exchange student from Britain. It has been over a year since Reeve died and Jam is still stuck in her thoughts of kissing him in the library, or watching a funny movie together.  Her depression and inability to move on is so deep, her parents feel they have no choice when they send her to The Wooden Barn, a therapeutic boarding school in Vermont for youth of similar struggles.

Jam is selected along with four other students to be in a class called Special Topics.  An English class that turns out to be all about the works of Sylvia Plath.  When the teacher hands each of the students a beautiful leather bond journal and encourages them to try to write something in them once or twice a week, Jam is certain that she will NOT be writing in a journal.

Yet one evening, Jam does decide to try to write a few lines in the book and when she does she finds herself whisked away, back to a time when she is with Reeve once again.  While she fears she may be dreaming, his arms around her are all to real and when she comes back to the present, she finds she has written 5 pages in the journal.  What is even more odd, Jam discovers that the other students in the Special Topics class had similar experiences, each going back to a time when things were right before their personal tragedy happened; and each coming back to find that 5 pages in their journal have been filled.

As the group begins to meet outside of class time to discuss their secret; they all wonder what will happen when they get to the end of the journal… and will that close the door to the past even if they are not ready to let go?

Gush Thoughts:  It is YA meets a little magical “what if” and toss in Sylvia Plath for a mix of fun and mystery and well… LOVED IT!

 

 

 

1The Martian by Andy Weir

Listening Length:  10 hours and 53 minutes

Mark Watney was part of an epic win for mankind.  He was one of a group of astronauts that were the first to land on the planet Mars.  Congratulations were short-lived when a dust storm comes up flinging the crew about like sheets of paper.  Mark was struck hard by debris and the team makes an emergency evacuation of Mars feeling certain that Mark is dead.

But Mark is not dead.

He is however left on a planet with no way to communicate to earth that he is alive, and left with a hab that will possibly keep him alive for a month or so, a tent that was left behind, a land rover that may or may nor work and no plans for another team to come to Mars for about 4 years.

Mark is screwed.

For his own sanity he starts a log of what he is doing with his time and how he is making do with what he has for someone many years from now to find and hopefully learn from…. or at least know how Mark lived his last days… or how he died…

whatever.

Gush thoughts:  This one had me from the first sentence.  Loved the narration and Mark’s “Macgyver” type dealings with his unique situation.  If you missed this one you will want to go back and listen!  Trust me 🙂

 

 

 

1We Were Liars by E Lockhart

Listening Length:  6 hours and 27 minutes

Tall, blond Cadance Sinclair Eastman is the apple of her grandfather Harris’ eye as the oldest granddaughter. The Sinclair family come from money and each summer the Aunts (Cadance’s mother and her two sisters) gather with their children off a private Island in Massachusetts owned by Harris.  The children, or really teens (all around 15) fondly refer to themselves as “The Liars” and consist of Cadance, Johnny, Mirren, and Gat, who is a friend of the family. 

During that 15th summer, Cadance finds she has a crush of Gat; and really – he on her as well.  It is a summer of new love until an accident leave Cadance with a concussion and no memory as to what happened.  She misses the next summer at the Island but returns her 17th year still knowing little of what happened.  Her cousins had not responded to her emails over the past year, and even Gat seems to have been avoiding her; no one wanting to tell her the details of what happened those two summers ago as her doctor has said it was best if she remembered on her own. 

As Cadance slowly begins to remember snippets of what happened she starts to piece together a horrible truth.

Gush thoughts:  OOH!  Twisty turny and honestly blew my mind in the end (yes that is a good thing!)

 

 

 

1Delicious by Ruth Reichl

Listening Length:  12 hours and 58 minutes

Billie Breslin is excited when she lands a job at Delicious, the cream of the crop magazine of New York.  She is young and feels unqualified to be playing in the big league, but Billie has something that is rare, she has a refined palate that can identify even the toughest of ingredients within a dish. While Billie loves to be a part of the behind the scenes of the magazine, even with much prompting she has no desire to actually cook for reasons she chooses not to say.  Then suddenly, while it looks as though all of Billie’s dreams are coming true, the magazine is shut down, leaving long-term employees stunned and Billie in shock as her dreams seem to tumble broken to the ground.

When Billie is asked to stay on as the sole employee of Delicious to continue to respond to letters to uphold the Delicious guarantee (if any recipe is not to your satisfaction you will be refunded the cost of your ingredients), she reluctantly agrees as she has no other immediate plans.  While exploring the abandoned Delicious library before it goes on the market, she discovers a series of letters hidden in a secret room off the buildings library.  These letters dating back to WWII, written by Lucy Swan, an intelligent 12-year-old open up a part of Billie that she did not know existed, and may finally help her to release the secret she has held on to tightly for way too long.

Gush thoughts:  Oh my!  This story is BRILLIANT!  I also learned after seeing Ruth Reichl in New York this past June that it is not all fiction.  Good stuff!  Seriously try this audio!!!

 

 

1The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain

Listening Length:  11 hours and 39 minutes

Riley MacPherson was only two years only when her older teenage sister Lisa committed suicide.  Although Riley was too young to really remember Lisa, who was on her way to Julliard as a very gifted musician, Riley does know this was about the time her family fell apart.  Her mother battled with depression and eventually cancer takes her from them.  Her father acts as though nothing has happened at all and refuses to discuss it.  Riley’s older brother Danny begins to pull away from the family and continues to be estranged even into his adult life.

Riley, now in her 20’s returns to her childhood home after her father’s passing to take care of the family properties.  Through encounters with different local people and finding in her father’s home – evidence leads to the fact that Lisa may not have committed suicide after all…

and if that is true….

What happened?  And where is she now?  Is she alive?

Gush thoughts:  What an amazing listen!  What an amazing author!  This audio sent me on a binge of other audio by this author.  Fantastic!!!

 

These are the 5 audio books I am putting forward for this post.  If you love audio these are do not miss listens.  If you are new to audio or skeptical… these listens can turn you into an audio book listener.  AND before you non audio peeps tell me how you can not focus or do not have time for audio let me give you a few suggestions of when is a great time to listen:

  • while cooking or cleaning
  • while scrapbooking or working on other projects (painting, knitting, crocheting)
  • while mowing the lawn
  • while in your car

 

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For my giveaway – I am giving away an Audiobook of your choice from Audible or a $15 Amazon gift card that I hope you will use towards an audio book 🙂

To enter – leave a comment here telling me either of an audio book you have really enjoyed and would recommend, or tell me which of these audio books appeals most to you. 

For an additional entry, please sign up to receive my posts by email (link is on right sidebar).  If you already receive my posts by email let me know in a comment and it will be a free entry. 

I will choose a winner using random.org and announce the winner on Tuesday January 27th

 

Trips and projects can be much more enjoyable when listening to audio. Here is a list of others on this hop for more great audio and giveaways:

1. Hot Listens 20. Ashley @ Wholly Books
2. Jennifer @ The Book Nympho 21. Alysia @My Little Pocketbooks
3. The Geeky Blogger’s Book Blog 22. Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun
4. Book Journey 23. Kym @ Tea and a Book
5. Kathryn – Book Date 24. Eargasms Audiobook Reviews
6. Marcela aka The Bookaholic Cat 25. Urban Girl Reader
7. Jonetta (Ejaygirl) 26. Kate @ MidnightBookGirl
8. Holly @ ListenUp Audiobooks 27. Bookswagger
9. The Reading Date 28. Books,Chocolate and Lipgloss
10. Anya @ On Starships and Dragonwings 29. Lisa @ Captivated Reader
11. Cat @ Addicted 2 Heroines 30. Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer
12. Mary Matthews 31. LilyElement
13. Tanya @ Rantings of a Reading Addict 32. Angy
14. Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed 33. The Ladies @ CK2S Kwips and Kritiques
15. Rainy Day Ramblings 34. Nice Girls Don’t Read Naughty Books
16. Diana @ Book of Secrets 35. Grace @ My Book Snack
17. Judy @ Musings and Ramblings 36. Holly @ ListenUp Audiobooks
18. Tabitha @ Not Yet Read 37. Liza @ Classy Cat Books
19. Literate Houswife

How To Become A Narrator by Narrator Robert Fass (included in the June Audio Month Giveaway)

Audio month

Yes, yes… I know it is July.  If you read my morning post you will know that I inadvertently missed posting one of our awesome narrators responses for the June Audio Book Month features.  Robert Fass was also one of the narrators that was at the Narrator Luncheon in New York in May.  I had the pleasure of meeting him, but did not have enough time to really chat much with him.  Now, Robert has graced Book Journey with his thoughts on Narrating – a question that seemed to pop up frequently throughout the comments last month.  How does one become a narrator?  Please welcome, Robert Fass.

 

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I’m Robert Fass, and I started narrating professionally in 2005, though it took a number of years before I started making a living at it.

I have completed around 80 titles at this point, across just about every genre, including:
  • THE UNWINDING by George Packer (2013 National Book Award winner for nonfiction)

  • DOUBLE DOWN: GAME CHANGE 2012 by Mark Halperin & John Heilemann

  • SNOW WHITE MUST DIE by Nele Neuhaus (bestselling German crime thriller)

  • SAY HER NAME by Francisco Goldman (fictionalized memoir – listed in AudioFile Magazine’s Top Ten

  • Audiobooks of 2011, Earphones award winner)

  • IT’S KIND OF A FUNNY STORY by Ned Vizzini (YA)

  • THE LIEBERMANN PAPERS series of historical mysteries by Frank Tallis

  • EMPIRE OF LIBERTY by Gordon S. Wood (Audie winner for history, 2011)

I am one of only two narrators approved by the authors’ estate to narrate the Ellery Queen mysteries (I’ve narrated 10 so far), plus works by John Steinbeck, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Joyce Carol Oates, Carlos Fuentes, Jeffery Deaver and more.  Along the way, I’ve had 7 Audie nominations and won twice.
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I have been a professional actor for over 30 years – a longtime member of the performers’ unions, trained in the classics, studied for many years with the great Uta Hagen – and I have always loved the spoken word. My mother was a librarian and my dad was a volunteer narrator for the blind for over 25 years. When my dad passed away in 1997, I began volunteering in his honor at a local radio reading service for the visually impaired here in NYC. I lucked out the first week I showed up: one of the readers for THE NEW YORKER magazine was out and I was asked to step in. It became permanent and I spent nearly every Wednesday for the next 11 years reading the best fiction, journalism, criticism, and poetry around to a national audience. It was the best training ground anyone could wish for.

My mother was a librarian and my dad was a volunteer narrator for the blind for over 25 years.

Around 2005, a fellow volunteer offered me her invitation to a seminar given by the Audio Publishers Association (APA). They were at that time seeking to bring more theatrically trained performers into the narrator community. I went and was given the opportunity to record a sample and send it to the senior producer at Brilliance Audio, which is a large producer in the mid west (now owned by Amazon). His response was that while I didn’t have the richest voice in the world, he thought I was a very good reader and might expect to find a small amount of work in this field. That was enough encouragement for me to create a professional demo CD – and I sent it to every single producer and publisher in the APA member directory.  A handful of producers were impressed enough with it that they wanted to give me an opportunity to narrate for them. I was lucky to get to narrate works by some major authors right out of the gate, my first couple of titles got reviews (positive ones) and I started to make fans within the producing community. That put me firmly on the path and I chose to pursue it from there.

So… You Want To Become A narrator…

1. Know that narrating audiobooks is a craft. If you’re serious about it and you aren’t a trained actor, start taking classes in acting and vocal production.
2. Don’t think you can be a narrator simply because people tell you that you have a nice voice.
3. Get good before you cut a demo.
4. Join SAG-AFTRA so that if you are fortunate enough to find work in this field, you can begin receiving pension and health benefits.
5. Be prepared to spend long periods of time alone working your ass off in a little box. And loving it.
6. Unless you are in one of the major markets, you will very likely need to invest in a home studio which – even if you do it on the cheap – ain’t cheap.
7. Be aware that any narrator starting out today also has to be an engineer and a director, because it’s just you in the booth doing everything.
8. Know that you rarely have a choice in the material you are offered.
9. Be patient and tenacious.
10. There are many versions of this next basic piece of advice, but if you think you would like to be an audiobook narrator, the first thing you should do is to take a book off the shelf at random, open it to a random page, take it into the closet and read the entire page aloud. Then go back to the top of the page and read it again. Then do it two or three more times. If that’s your idea of a good time, you might think about taking a first step into narration. There is a more comprehensive version of this point in a video by narrator/instructor Sean Allen Pratt.

 

Amazing Narrator Happening… oh yes…. IT HAPPENED

 

An illustration of the need to be patient when starting out: when I sent my original demo around, a very senior, highly respected producer responded with tremendous enthusiasm. “You’re on my A-list! You can obviously do everything! I can’t wait to work with you!” She was quite sincere about it. But at least a year went by before a project came along that she felt was a good fit for me to audition. It was going to be a big deal, a new series that was hoping to be the next Harry Potter. We worked in the studio for a long time together, but in the end I didn’t get it. And I didn’t hear from her again for months. But one day, I got a call from her out of the blue. Unbeknownst to me, she had been circulating an excerpt from that audition as a voice sample for consideration in various projects, and it turned out that Ray Bradbury had selected me to narrate what turned out to be the last book published in his lifetime, FAREWELL, SUMMER (which was the sequel, 50 years in the making, to his beloved classic DANDELION WINE). That was the second book I ever narrated.

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This is the final audio book month post.  For every post you comment on in June (and this one on July 1st) that has this audio book symbol:

Audio month, Book Journey, Sheila DeChantalI will put you into a drawing for a $25 book certificate for each comment (Barnes and Noble or Amazon – your choice).  Winner will be drawn this week!

Audio Book Month – The Wrap Up and YOUR Thoughts w/ Giveaway!

Audio month

Is it  wrong that now that we are at the end of June and audio month sadly draws to a close that I want to take this above picture and cross out the word June and put July?  *sigh*  All good things must come to an end.

It seems like audio book month went so fast!  I had a blast being such an active part of it this year and I hope that you enjoyed the posts here from audio book discussions, audio book reviews, and the amazing narrators who chimed in with their thoughts and experiences with audio.  Special thanks to our narrators who hung out here:

Johnny Heller

Therese Plummer

Allyson Johnson

Tavia Gilbert

Xe Sands

Karen White

Patrick Lawlor

Ellen Archer

Khristine Hvam

Good times people… good times. 🙂

And now as I wrap this up I would love to hear some feedback from you on these posts. This posts comments also go into the giveaway that has been running all month for commenting on Audio Book related posts..

Here is what I would love to know:

1.  Did any of the posts from this month encourage you to try an audiobook?  (New or a long time listen of audio, which audio, and which post?

1a.  If you did try an audiobook how was it?

2.  Was there a particular post that you enjoyed out of all the audio posts.  If so, which one?  Why that one?

3.  Did you learn anything from the posts by the Narrators?

4.  What would you like to know more of about audio books?

 

 

As a refresher – here are the posts once again for the last time:

Intro to Audiobook Month

The Acting Of Narration with Johnny Heller

Delicious by Ruth Reichl

A Day In The Life Of Narrating by Narrator Therese Plummer

The Beginning of Narration by Narrator Allyson Johnson

The BEST audiobooks according to the listeners

If I Can’t Have You by Gregg Olsen and Rebecca Morris

Top 5 audiobooks according to narrator Tavia Gilbert

Look Ma!  NO hands!  Audiobooks MY Way!

Things To Look For When Picking Your Next Audio by Narrator Xe Sands

Then and Always by Dani Atkins

Beyond Books by Narrator Karen White

The Other Story by Tatiana De Rosnay

The Narrating Life by Narrator Patrick Lawlor

Mrs. Hemingway by Naomi Woods

The Art Of Secrets by James Klise

The Best Part Of Narrating By Narrator Ellen Archer

That’s Narrating!  By Narrator Khristine Hvam

 

Please watch this site for June audio book related posts like this one.  For every post you comment on in June that has this audio book symbol:

Audio month, Book Journey, Sheila DeChantalI will put you into a drawing for a $25 book certificate for each comment (Barnes and Noble or Amazon – your choice).  Winner will be drawn in July.

Morning Meanderings… My Equivelent To A Candy Store… New Books!

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Happy Sunday!  Sky is looking cloud free here today and the sun is shining!  YAY!!!

For the past two days I have been on the North Shore checking on our cabin, chatting with the neighbors… and reading … GLORIOUS READING.  It is amazing how much time I can make for reading when I drive out of cell phone and internet range.  I finally finished The Three and read two more books – Little Mercies by Heather Gudenkauf, and The Young World by Chris Weitz.    I finished Essentialism by Greg McKeown and have two hours left on my audible audio on my phone, The Weight Of Silence also by Heather Gudenkauf.  (That’s what 8 hours in the car will get me 🙂 )

 

Here is what came into my home this week:

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Uncaged by John Sanford and Michele Cook  (Random House audio)

And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard (Random House audio)

January Thaw by Jess Lourey (I purchased this one at the Brown Bag Author event last week)

Sweet Water by Christina Baker Kline ( William Morrow – Harper Collins)

Help For The Haunted by John Searles (William Morrow – Harper Collins)

Benjamin Franklin’s Bastard by Sally Cabot (William Morrow – Harper Collins)

Getting Life by Michael Morton (Simon and Schuster)

The Matchmaker by Elin Hilderbrand (Little Brown – Hachette Book Group)

 

It is crazy to believe that we are at the end of June already and thus, at the end of audio book month!  As tomorrow is Monday and is usually dominated by It’s Monday What Are You Reading, I will more than likely put up a wrap up post tonight.  All comments from the audio book posts in June will go into a drawling for a $25 gift card.  I will be drawing that winner in the next few days as we start to roll out July and I have a whole other theme for that…. 😉

If you have missed any of the audio book related posts – it is not too late to put in your two cents:

 

 

Please watch this site for June audio book related posts.  For every post you comment on in June that has this audio book symbol:

Audio month, Book Journey, Sheila DeChantalI will put you into a drawing for a $25 book certificate for each comment (Barnes and Noble or Amazon – your choice).  Winner will be drawn in July.

 

 

Intro to Audiobook Month

The Acting Of Narration with Johnny Heller

Delicious by Ruth Reichl

A Day In The Life Of Narrating by Narrator Therese Plummer

The Beginning of Narration by Narrator Allyson Johnson

The BEST audiobooks according to the listeners

If I Can’t Have You by Gregg Olsen and Rebecca Morris

Top 5 audiobooks according to narrator Tavia Gilbert

Look Ma!  NO hands!  Audiobooks MY Way!

Things To Look For When Picking Your Next Audio by Narrator Xe Sands

Then and Always by Dani Atkins

Beyond Books by Narrator Karen White

The Other Story by Tatiana De Rosnay

The Narrating Life by Narrator Patrick Lawlor

Mrs. Hemingway by Naomi Woods

The Art Of Secrets by James Klise

The Best Part Of Narrating By Narrator Ellen Archer

That’s Narrating!  By Narrator Khristine Hvam

That’s Narrating! By Narrator Khristine Hvam

Audio month

Welcome again to another fun chat with a Narrator.  Today I would love to introduce the talented Khristine Hvam!

 

Khristine

 

Well hello! I’m Khristine Hvam. Audibook narrator and voice over actress. I started narrating audiobooks in 2008.  To name a few of the books I have narrated:

Frog Music by Emma Donoghue,
Astray by Emma Donoghue
The Daughter of Smoke and Bone Series by Laini Taylor
The Jane Yellowrock Series by Faith Hunter
The Pure trilogy by Julianna Baggot
The Graveyard Queen series by Amanda Stevens
The Cast in Shadow series by Michelle Sagara
The Iron Daughter series by Julie Kagawa

 

How did you begin narrating?

I always say, I sort of tripped and fell and landed (perfectly) in narration. I started as a voice over actor. I was working on some dubbing work and the director thought I would be a good fit for audiobook narration. He set up an audition for me with Audible and the rest is history.

Narration and other voice over work are my full time job. However, being mommy to an eleven month old is my latest full time job. Both are dreams come true.

 

That first narration….

My first book was a steamy sexy romance novel. WOW was that awkward! Not only had I never recorded a book before (the recording of a book takes place over several hours a day for several days) but the name of the steamy sexy male character was the same name as the engineer recording for me. That was kind of humiliating. “Oh Rick, OH RICK!!” … I was several shades of red. “Rick” of course, wasn’t bothered at all.

In the few years I’ve been doing this amazing work things have changed a bit within the inner workings and politics of the business. More and more home studio recording requests come my way and I’m fortunate that I have a home studio and can accommodate. However, it’s challenging to record at home alone and it can be isolating at times. I have to play the role of narrator, engineer, and director, and I think that can sometimes have a negative effect on the narration. I miss the comradery of working with a producer/director and engineer. But the work is still the same. My approach to the work hasn’t changed. I still go into every new project excited and ready for the adventure.

More and more home studio recording requests come my way and I’m fortunate that I have a home studio and can accommodate. However, it’s challenging to record at home alone and it can be isolating at times.

I’ve grown up quite a bit in these last six years. I have more confidence in my choices as a narrator now. I think that translates into being able to branch out into new genres of work. And I’m really looking forward to that!

Favorite Narrations…..

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I think all narrators have a favorite and I have several. My latest is “Frog Music” by Emma Donoghue because it kicked my butt. It was the HARDEST book I’ve ever worked on. And because of how much it pushed me to grow as a narrator IT is one of my favorites. The “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” series by Laini Taylor was just a blast to record. Its filled with incredible characters, it’s written well, and it gave me an opportunity to explore new “voices”… I basically showed up and played all day while recording it. And that’s why I got into this biz in the first place!

 

Please watch this site for June audio book related posts like this one.  For every post you comment on in June that has this audio book symbol:

Audio month, Book Journey, Sheila DeChantalI will put you into a drawing for a $25 book certificate for each comment (Barnes and Noble or Amazon – your choice).  Winner will be drawn in July.

 

Morning Meanderings… Get In Sync! Two Free Audiobooks a Week! Don’t Miss Out!

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Mmmmmm Morning.  Mmmmmmm COFFEE.

I can not believe it is almost the end of June.  I just took my bike in yesterday for it’s spring tune up.  What the….  I feel…. behind.

June is audio book month.  Did you know?  If you have been around here, you knew.

SHOCK

Anyhoo…

I actually feel bad that I did not mention something earlier this month… I just found out myself a couple weeks ago… but still I should have share….

 

Sheila!  Get on with it already!

 

Right.  Have you heard of Sync Audio?  They are giving away two free YA audiobook downloads a week from May 15th – August 13th.  I know… I know… we both have missed out on a lot – HOWEVER it is SUPER EASY to do because I did it.  And they worked beautifully!

First…

I downloaded OverDrive® Media Console™ (available for every major desktop and mobile platform) on to my Kindle Fire.  (As you see here you can also download it on your phone, your laptop…)  Then from my Kindle Fire I popped over to the Sync website, logged in and downloaded the two audio books they were offering this week.

Super EASY!

Super COOL!

The audiobooks are only available for one week, but once downloaded onto your device they are yours to keep.  This week I downloaded:

 

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Give them a try – they are free and it is a great way to either try audio books or grab a few great titles for us audiobook lovers.

 

I am on my way to the cabin this morning.  Meeting some people to look at our roof.  It is a long drive – 3 1/2 hours but I am excited for a few audio book choices I will be taking with me.  I shall be back late tomorrow afternoon.

In the meantime, be sure and check out the audio book posts from this month – commenters are going into a drawing for a $25 gift card:

 

Please watch this site for June audio book related posts like this one.  For every post you comment on in June that has this audio book symbol:

Audio month, Book Journey, Sheila DeChantalI will put you into a drawing for a $25 book certificate for each comment (Barnes and Noble or Amazon – your choice).  Winner will be drawn in July.

 

Intro to Audiobook Month

The Acting Of Narration with Johnny Heller

Delicious by Ruth Reichl

A Day In The Life Of Narrating by Narrator Therese Plummer

The Beginning of Narration by Narrator Allyson Johnson

The BEST audiobooks according to the listeners

If I Can’t Have You by Gregg Olsen and Rebecca Morris

Top 5 audiobooks according to narrator Tavia Gilbert

Look Ma!  NO hands!  Audiobooks MY Way!

Things To Look For When Picking Your Next Audio by Narrator Xe Sands

Then and Always by Dani Atkins

Beyond Books by Narrator Karen White

The Other Story by Tatiana De Rosnay

The Narrating Life by Narrator Patrick Lawlor

Mrs. Hemingway by Naomi Woods

The Art Of Secrets by James Klise

The Best Part Of Narrating By Narrator Ellen Archer

 

 

 

The BEST Part Of Narrating, by Narrator Ellen Archer

Audio month

Ellen Archer was also at the luncheon we had in New York In May.  Audio book listeners may know here from her work on audiobooks such as ROOM by Emma Donoghue, Sunday’s At Tiffany’s by James Patterson, The Penny by Joyce Meyers, and more.  Please welcome Ellen to Book Journey.

 

Ellen Archer, Book Journey

My name is Ellen Archer.  I am a New York City based actor and voice – over artist.  I’ve been narrating books for over 12 years and have recorded somewhere around 175 titles.  I say “somewhere” because I used an alias for some of my earlier raunchy titles and I’ve “forgotten” what the alias is.  Now I’m on the straight and narrow and use my own name.  I recently finished MIRROR SIGHT, the latest book in the GREEN RIDER series by Kristen Britain. These fantasy books are seriously good.  She’s a wonderful writer.  ROOM by Emma Donoghue and WHEN WILL THERE BE GOOD NEWS by Kate Atkinson are also great books, and I loved recording them.

 

How are the books chosen? 

About half the time, my agent sends me auditions for specific titles that I have requested to audition for by the publisher or the producer.  These days, more often than not, the author chooses the narrator from the auditions submitted to him or her. Other times, publishers call my agent and offer me a book or series without my having to audition.  I think I’ve only turned down 3 books in 12 years.  That either reeks of desperation or is a testament to how well publishers and producers know me.  

These days, more often than not, the author chooses the narrator from the auditions submitted to him or her.

 

When I am given a copy of a book, usually it is in a downloadable PDF so I can save a tree and work off my iPad.  It took me a while to get the hang of not having the actual hard copy in my hands, as I like to write little notes in my horrible handwriting, replete with scribbles and arrows and different colored highlighting. I also like to write “to do” lists and funny things my kids says.  I’ve found that the iAnnotate app, is not the enemy – now I can actually read the notes I make. Bonus!
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This pic is just a silly one of the various drinks, lip balm and candies I have in the booth with me

 
I always read the book before recording.  I try to read it as I would a book for pleasure. I don’t stop to make a slew of notes in a separate notebook or stop to look stuff up – I just read.  I’ll underline passages that I think are important, put a question mark next to something for which I need clarification, make a quick note about a character to jog my memory later (maybe underline a particular line they speak). After I finish the book, I’ll go back through and look over all the pages on which I made notes and (try to) decipher what I meant.  I’ll make a list of the characters and something to describe them/their accent or voice/their story. If they remind me of someone I know, or a celebrity or even another character I’ve done, I’ll make a note of that.  Then, for that gem of a book for which I get a director, I make a list of questions for him or her (usually pronunciations for character names, but sometimes for regular every day words that big time smarty pants use, and I don’t know how to say).  The director calls the author to get pronunciations on character names or places they’ve made up and then looks up the rest of the stuff.   When I don’t have a director, (which is more than half the time) I do all that stuff myself.  The more complicated the book is, the longer the process.  Non fiction is way easier to prep, while a 27 hour-long fantasy book with 73 characters takes a bit more work.  I also do a fair number of books that have long passages in other languages.  Fortunately, the fine folks at the Boston Conservatory of Music required I take French, Italian and German to complete my degree in Opera and Vocal performance.  I’ve been tempted to write the alumni committee a check more than once.  They must know that somehow, because they send me a donation envelope every year.
ellen archer
What I enjoy most about narrating a book is getting lost in it. It is such a great feeling.  I love the excitement of finding a character’s voice and it feeling completely right.   I know I’ve gotten it right when I’m sad to read the last few lines and it’s over.  I remember reading an amazing and deeply personal memoir called THE ORCHARD by Theresa Weir.  It was beautifully written in first person.  The director, Suzanne Torn, the editor, Tommy Harron and I called the author to ask her a few questions before we got started.   It was a lovely two-minute conversation.  When we finished the book four days later, I had the strongest urge to call Theresa and talk about what happened to “us”  — ask how everyone was doing, how she was doing.  I nearly picked up the phone before I realized that I actually don’t know Theresa. At all.  I knew it would be completely inappropriate to ask her such intimate questions…but after reading her story for four days, it felt like we were friends.  I was that invested.  I did “like” her page on Facebook so, I guess we’re kinda friends now, right?
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While recording my very first audiobook, I kept stumbling over a word. This was a very easy and unfunny word that I couldn’t say – something like “donut.”   I’d get as far as “Let’s go grab a coffee and”  (wait for it….) “BWHAHAHAH.”   Then the engineer, Kay Ells, started laughing.  It was that same feeling you get when you start to laugh in church and it just gets worse and worse. I simply could not get through the sentence without hysterical laughter.  This went on for several minutes, as I, red-faced and gasping for air, tried to explain to the director why “donut” is so damn funny. She was unmoved.  In the end, I had to read the line with my eyes closed so I couldn’t see Katy’s shoulder’s shaking.  And, hey,  they hired me back! 
You can check out more about Ellen Archer at her website:  ellenarcher.com

Please watch this site for June audio book related posts like this one.  For every post you comment on in June that has this audio book symbol:

Audio month, Book Journey, Sheila DeChantalI will put you into a drawing for a $25 book certificate for each comment (Barnes and Noble or Amazon – your choice).  Winner will be drawn in July.

Morning Meanderings Reading Reading Reading… NOT

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Good morning!  Poo weather here the last couple of days which makes me a little disgruntled.  Not like I have had a lot of extra time this week with a Wine and Words meeting, a City Board meeting, and Monday’s second dose of The Fault In Our Stars (glutton for punishment I am….) but… I want to mow the lawn before I leave for the cabin probably early in the am now because I will not be ready to go tonight unless I stress myself out – and I am going to try to not stress myself out.

About the reading…

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Right?  I am sad to admit that I am reading the SAME BOOK that I was reading on the plane on my way back from New York a month ago.

shocked-smiley-emoticonIt’s true.  It is that time of year of gardening, lawn care, house cleaning, being outside, walking, running, biking, cabin, projects, grilling…

However – this weekend with a couple days at the cabin that is about to change 🙂  I will of course be finishing up on The Three by Sarah Lotz (yes yes yes I have been reading a book about three plane crashes while I myself was on a plane).  It is good, the formatting is interesting….  and hopefully next week I will be telling you more about it 🙂

Then… I will be looking at Little Mercies by Heather Gunderkauf (LOVE her books!) and The Young World by Chris Weitz.  Yes – BOOKS.  Glorious BOOKS.

 

The Three, Little Mercies, The Young World, Heather Gunderkauf, Sarah Lotz, Chris Weitz, Sheila DeChantal, Book Journey

Of course, as you know, its not that I have not been talking books.  I have been doing a LOT of audio, a lot of REALLY GOOD audio.  We still have a few days of audio month left….

Have you tried audio yet?  If so what are you listening to?

If not, Why not read some of the audio posts here suggesting books and give one a try? 

 

 

Please watch this site for June audio book related posts.  For every post you comment on in June that has this audio book symbol:

Audio month, Book Journey, Sheila DeChantalI will put you into a drawing for a $25 book certificate for each comment (Barnes and Noble or Amazon – your choice).  Winner will be drawn in July.

 

To help you out – here are the posts that qualify for this Audio Month Giveaway:

 

Intro to Audiobook Month

The Acting Of Narration with Johnny Heller

Delicious by Ruth Reichl

A Day In The Life Of Narrating by Narrator Therese Plummer

The Beginning of Narration by Narrator Allyson Johnson

The BEST audiobooks according to the listeners

If I Can’t Have You by Gregg Olsen and Rebecca Morris

Top 5 audiobooks according to narrator Tavia Gilbert

Look Ma!  NO hands!  Audiobooks MY Way!

Things To Look For When Picking Your Next Audio by Narrator Xe Sands

Then and Always by Dani Atkins

Beyond Books by Narrator Karen White

The Other Story by Tatiana De Rosnay

The Narrating Life by Narrator Patrick Lawlor

Mrs. Hemingway by Naomi Woods

The Art Of Secrets by James Klise

 

 

The Art Of Secrets by James Klise

The art of secrets, James Klise, Sheila DeChantal, Book Journey

 

When the Khan’s family home burns to the ground, Saba Khan’s high school teachers and classmates come to the rescue by planning a fund-raiser to help the family get back on their feet from this devastating loss.  When a piece of art is found abandoned in an alley way and donated to the fund-raiser, later to be found out to be rare and worth thousands, battles begin…

who should receive the money raised from the art piece?

The finders of the piece?

The school?

Or does it go to the Khan’s?

 

When the art turns up missing from the gym where it was being stored, fingers are pointed and tongues accuse.

 

 

 

Written at a middle grade perspective, Saba Khan, our main protagonist goes through all emotions while in the midst of the fire crisis including hurt and including love when a popular boy turns his attention to her.

With the story being told from different perspectives including the Principal of the school, Saba’s boyfriend, and classmates this book in audio format is a delight to the ears.

I didn’t love this story, but I did enjoy it.

 

 

 

Please watch this site for June audio book related posts like this one.  For every post you comment on in June that has this audio book symbol:

Audio month, Book Journey, Sheila DeChantalI will put you into a drawing for a $25 book certificate for each comment (Barnes and Noble or Amazon – your choice).  Winner will be drawn in July.