Wednesday, December 13, 2017

0 Penguin Classics has released a deluxe edition of Anne of Green Gables and it's EVERYTHING!


Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition | 416 pages | 9780143131854

The beloved coming-of-age tale of a spunky heroine named Anne "with an E," now for the first time in Penguin Classics and packaged in a Deluxe edition. 

L. M. Montgomery's novel Anne of Green Gables recounts the adventures of Anne Shirley, an 11-year-old orphan mistakenly sent to a pair of siblings who intended to adopt a boy to help work on their farm in Prince Edward Island. Yet Anne's quirky personality and good-natured spirit causes the siblings to grow to love her anyway, and soon the entire town falls for the precocious little girl with bright red hair. 
Cherished by both children and adults, Anne of Green Gables is a celebration of fierce individualism, and the families we create, rather than the ones we are born into. This Deluxe edition is enhanced with a foreword by bestselling author J. Courtney Sullivan, and an introduction and suggestions for further reading by Benjamin Lefebvre, as well as reviews and a selection of early writing by L. M. Montgomery about the process of writing Anne

My Thoughts

I fell in love with Anne of Green Gables at an early age. So early, I can't remember a time in my life where I wasn't a fan. In fact, I wanted to be Anne. Gilbert Blythe was my first crush. I wanted to move to Prince Edward Island and live happily ever after. I know I'm not the only one though. Anne of Green Gables has sold over 50 million copies, and I'm not ashamed to say I've bought more than a few. It's been made into films, television movies, and plays. My favorite is the 1985 television adaptation starring Megan Follows and Colleen Dewhurst. I've watched to so many times, I know it by heart.

From the first sentence--
Mrs. Rachel Lynde lived just where the Avonlea main road dipped down into a little hollow, fringed with alders and ladies' eardrops and trasversed by a brook that had its source away back in the woods of the old Cuthbert place; it was reputed to be intricate, headlong brook in its earlier course through the woods, with dark secrets of pool and cascade, but by the time it reached Lynde's Hollow it was quiet, well-conducted little stream, for not even a brook could run past Mrs. Rachel Lynde's door without due regard for the decency and decorum; it probably was conscious that Mrs. Rachel was sitting at her window, keeping a sharp eye on everything that passed, from brooks and children up, and that if she noticed anything odd or out of place she would never rest until she had ferreted out the whys and wherefores therof.

 --to the last, Lucy Maud Montgomery spellbinds you with her prose. The Cuthberts, the town, the people will make you fall in love. The main character, Anne Shirley, steals your heart and carves her initials on it. I was able in the past few years to share with my daughter my love for this author and for Anne. It did not surprise me in the least that she took to Anne as I had. Because who doesn't love an intelligent, curious, imaginative, precious little girl who isn't afraid to be herself.

This brand new deluxe edition is perfect for the Anne enthusiasts out there. It has a beautiful cover and an foreword by J. Courtney Sullivan and an introduction by Benjamin Lefebvre. Also, I loved the suggestions for further reading page. I've added a few things to my wish list. If you've not yet had the pleasure of reading this beloved classic, now is the time. If you have, you might consider buying this book for yourself or someone you love, or like, or maybe just a vague acquaintance. Because everyone deserves Anne. And although this isn't scientifically proven, I believe reading this book can cure depression, boost the economy, and maybe even bring about world peace.



Monday, December 11, 2017

1 Interview: Jamie Jo Wright


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4)


About the Book: 


Kaine Prescott is no stranger to death. When her husband died two years ago, her pleas for further investigation into his suspicious death fell on deaf ears. In desperate need of a fresh start, Kaine purchases an old house sight unseen in her grandfather's Wisconsin hometown. But one look at the eerie, abandoned house immediately leaves her questioning her rash decision. And when the house's dark history comes back with a vengeance, Kaine is forced to face the terrifying realization she has nowhere left to hide. 

A century earlier, the house on Foster Hill holds nothing but painful memories for Ivy Thorpe. When an unidentified woman is found dead on the property, Ivy is compelled to discover her identity. Ivy's search leads her into dangerous waters and, even as she works together with a man from her past, can she unravel the mystery before any other lives--

including her own--are lost?



Interview



1. Describe this book in three words. Haunting, Relevant, Hopeful


2. What is Kaine Prescott's state of mind at the beginning of The House on Foster Hill 

What a great question! Kaine is troubled and frightened and also frustrated with her somewhat irrational self. She has the innate ability to see things from a very common sense, logic standpoint, but her emotions are so overwhelming and so consuming it wars with that clinical element of her mind. A the beginning of the book, she’s exhausted and wants to escape.

3. I love that the house has a dark history. Is that aspect of the novel inspired by anything in real life?

It is. Two things, actually. The first being my love for old abandoned houses, sheds, even asylums (which I’ve explored). I’ve always wondered if walls could talk, and sometimes, I almost think they can. 😉 The second, I have to be cautious of so I don’t give any spoilers, but there is a very old but current issue the characters of THOFH must face and I believe emphatically it is one we cannot ignore. 

4. What was the most difficult part of writing this book?

There is a scene toward the end of the book where a lot of the backstory of one of the characters comes out. It was difficult because I wanted to do this character justice, but also the circumstances she’d experience needed to be explained carefully and delicately. It was difficult to write because sometimes life doesn’t provide the resolutions we’d like. Not everyone can have a fairy tale ending…. That’s all I’ll say. 😊


5. What is one thing you hope readers will take away from reading this book?

I want them to take away hope. Every day we’re bombarded with news that can really shake us, stir us up, or even frighten us. But we need hope. We need that element in our life that help will come, that there is something beyond what we can see, and that the world isn’t spiraling out of control.

6. Who are some of your literary inspirations?

You’re really gonna get me started on this? Lol! I’ll try to keep it short. I am inspired by the classics! Contrary to my character Kaine, who is not a Dicken’s fan, I love Charles Dickens. I love that his words string into page-long sentences and his descriptions defy our current to-the-point English structure. I’m also a massive Edgar Allan Poe fan. His words have so many twists and elements and I really wish I could see inside his thoughts as he wrote them to see what inspired them and what he really meant. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The House of Seven Gables was my favorite classic as a young teenager and still is. I bet, subtly, that influenced THOFH.


7. How do you take your coffee?

Any way I can!! LOL I’m a coffee snob—a nice snob—but a snob. I love a good strong roast, that’s been freshly roasted and ideally, on an open fire pit. (don’t ask lol) If I add cream, it’s a bit of heavy whipping cream for that texture that is delectable. I rarely add syrups unless I’m doing the Starbucks coffee drive thru, in which case, syrups and doctoring is necessary to help their blends. Ok. I’ll stop now. LOL


8. What is your favorite Christmas carol?

This is a difficult one. I had a massive crush on Bing Crosby when I was a kid (yes, old soul here). So “White Christmas” was always the go-to carol for me. However, my faith is central to who I am, so I also gravitate to the traditional carols referencing the nativity. In which case, “Oh Holy Night” slays me and gives me shivers (especially when Josh Groban sings it)

9. What was the last book you've read?

The last book I read? I finished two at the same time! (One audio and one actually read). The audio book was The Haunting of Maddy Clare by Simone St. James. It’s eery and delicious and the paranormal elements done in a more literary fashion are totally killer. The other I finished, is 12 Days at Bleakly Manor by Michelle Griep. It’s a delightful mysterious Christmas regency novel that is soooooo good. 


10. What are you looking forward to in 2018?

Well, on the book side of things, I have another novel coming out, The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond. I’m excited about its release in July. On the personal side, I’m looking forward to just another year with my family. We’re “country folk” and live in the woods, so I love just being home when I’m not at my day job, writing while the kids play spies in the woods. It’s always so relaxing. 


About The Author


Professional coffee drinker & ECPA/Publisher's Weekly best-selling author, Jaime Jo Wright resides in the hills of Wisconsin writing spirited romantic suspense stained with the shadows of history. Coffee fuels her snarky personality. She lives in Neverland with her Cap’n Hook who stole her heart and will not give it back, their little fairy Tinkerbell, and a very mischievous Peter Pan. The foursome embark on scores of adventure that only make her fall more wildly in love with romance and intrigue. Jaime lives in dreamland, exists in reality, and invites you to join her adventures at jaimejowright.com



Friday, December 8, 2017

0 12 Christmas Books To Get You Into The Holiday Spirit

Just in time for the holidays, New York Times bestselling author and artist Mary Engelbreit has expanded her collection of coloring books with this assortment of black-and-white Christmas postcards, ornaments, and gift tags—perfect for adding your own pop of color!

With the Color ME Christmas Book of Postcards, Mary Engelbreit fans can deck the halls, the tree, and their gifts with 10 postcards, 15 cut-out gift tags, and 10 cut-out ornaments. Each item is printed in black and white—the perfect canvas to get creative! This festive book from the New York Times bestselling queen of Christmas makes it easy to put an original and heartfelt touch on the holiday season.








Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas Stories

Join the original pioneer girl in this Little House chapter book, adapted for younger readers from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beloved classics.

Illustrated with beautiful new black-and-white artwork, this repackaged edition includes bonus material such as games, activities, and more!

For Laura Ingalls, Christmas means good things to eat, visits from friends, and special gifts to give and receive. As Laura grows up, every Christmas is better than the one before.









Santa's Moose by Syd Hoff

A holiday classic by the author of Danny and the Dinosaur, available again—and now with full-color art!

Milton the moose wants to help pull Santa’s sleigh. “I have never used a moose before,” says Santa, “but I’m willing if you are.” At first, clumsy Milton is not very good at landing on roofs. But when Santa’s sleigh becomes too heavy for the tired reindeer, Milton comes to the rescue. This reissued edition is a funny holiday twist on Santa and his reindeer by Syd Hoff, celebrated author of Danny and the Dinosaur.

Santa’s Moose is a Level One I Can Read book, which means it’s perfect for children learning to sound out words and sentences.







Danny’s friend the dinosaur has never experienced Christmas before, so he and Danny decide to celebrate—dino-style! But what will happen when the museum director isn’t so happy with the new museum decorations?

Find out in this Danny and the Dinosaur 8x8 adventure, complete with 8 holiday cards, a poster, and stickers. This brand-new story is based on Syd Hoff’s beloved classic.

P.S. This book comes with stickers! 








This hardcover, full-color treasury includes six picture book stories adapted from the classic Little House books.
The Little House series introduced generations of readers to Laura Ingalls Wilder’s life on the frontier. Now with this illustrated storybook collection, the youngest readers can share in her world as well.
Laura Ingalls lives in a snug little log cabin with her ma, her pa, her sisters, Mary and Carrie, and their dog, Jack. Almanzo Wilder lives on a farm with his family and lots of animals. These pioneer children have all sorts of adventures, including trips to town, county fairs, cozy winter days, and holidays with family.
The six stories included in this treasury were originally published as stand-alone picture books: A Little Prairie HouseGoing to TownCounty FairSugar SnowWinter Days in the Big Woods, and Christmas in the Big Woods.





Dashing through the snow, in a one-horse open sleigh

O’er the fields we go, laughing all the way…

Ride along with a girl, a boy, their pony, and a mischievous dog as they travel to Grandma’s house. With playful animals in their path, their journey gets a bit sidetracked. But soon enough they arrive at Grandma’s—where an unexpected visitor fills them with holiday cheer!











If you’re searching for Where’s Waldo? for the next generation, this holiday seek-and-find from internet sensation Gergely Dudás will have you—and your kids—busy for hours.

Bear loves the holidays, and this year he's throwing a party for all his animal friends. But there's so much to do to get ready—and he is only one very little bear! Can you help Bear find all the secret treasures he needs for his party? 

Readers of all ages will find this lush, charming illustrated wonderland irresistible—and irresistibly challenging—and will return to it again and again.








The Nutcracker in Harlem by T.E. McMorrow

This jazz-inspired reinvention of The Nutcracker is a worthy tribute to the dreamlike wonder and magic of the Christmas season.


In this original retelling, set in New York City during the height of the Harlem Renaissance, one little girl finds her voice as a musician thanks to her enchanting adventures with a magical toy.


This quintessential holiday tale is brought to vivid life by debut picture book author T. E. McMorrow and Coretta Scott King Award-winning illustrator James Ransome. An author’s note at the end provides additional information about the history of the Harlem Renaissance, and about the author’s inspiration for this musical retelling.




Prepare to be swept away by the gorgeous gowns and breathless romance of Kiera Cass’s #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series—now brought to life in this beautifully illustrated coloring book.

Features original black-and-white line drawings of favorite characters and moments from the world of Illéa, as well as stunningly designed hand-lettered quotes from all five Selection books, all on perforated pages that can easily be removed and displayed. The Selection Coloring Book is the perfect companion for fans of the Selection series and a captivating journey for any reader who loves a happily ever after.

by Lisa Kleypas , Lorraine Heath, Megan Frampton , Vivienne Lorret 
Romance stars Lisa Kleypas, Lorraine Heath, Megan Frampton, and Vivienne Lorret prove in this collection of stories that love is the most magical during Christmas…
I Will by Lisa Kleypas
To be reinstated into his father’s will, Andrew, Lord Drake, must court a respectable woman-his friend’s spinster sister, Miss Caroline Hargreaves. After he blackmails Caroline into helping him, the charade begins-but is it really a charade once love takes hold of their hearts…?
Deck the Halls With Love by Lorraine Heath
Alistair Wakefield, the Marquess of Chetwyn, devastated Lady Meredith Hargreaves when he proposed to another. But when he becomes free to pursue her, it’s too late for she’s on her way to the altar….. As Christmas approaches, Chetwyn vows to lure Lady Meredith back into his arms.
No Groom at the Inn by Megan Frampton
James Archer detests his mother’s matchmaking ways. When ordered to attend a Christmastime house party filled with simpering maidens, he produces a fiancée-Lady Sophronia Bettesford. James and Sophronia pretend to be in love for one month. But their pact soon turns into love.
The Duke’s Christmas Wish by Vivienne Lorret
To the Duke of Vale, science solves everything-even marriage. When the impulsive Ivy Sutherland makes him question all of his data, he realizes that he’s overlooked a vital component in his search for the perfect match: love.

A friend who brings light at the darkest of times... 
Oliver the cat is a timid little thing, and rarely ventures from his home in the Foresters’ Arms.
Then his life changes dramatically when a fire breaks out in the pub kitchen and he is left homeless and afraid. But, with the kindness of the humans around him, he soon learns to trust again. And, in his own special way, he helps to heal those around him.
However, it isn’t until he meets a little girl in desperate need of a friend that he realises this village needs a Christmas miracle...




Hughes will fill your heart with the sights, sounds, and flavors of new love, glamorous fashion, and decadent holiday cuisine.
Isabel Lawson is standing on the balcony of her suite at the Hotel Crillon as she gazes at the twinkling lights of the Champs Elysee and wonders if she’s made a terrible mistake. She was supposed to be visiting the Christmas tree in the Place de la Concorde, and eating escargots and macaroons with her new husband on their honeymoon. But a week before the wedding, she called it off. Isabel is an ambitious Philadelphia finance woman, and Neil suddenly decided to take over his grandparents’ farm. Isabel wasn’t ready to trade her briefcase for a pair of rubber boots and a saddle.
When Neil suggested she use their honeymoon tickets for herself, she thought it would give her a chance to clear her head. That is until she locks herself out on the balcony in the middle of winter. Thankfully her neighbor Alec, a French children’s illustrator, comes to her rescue. He too is nursing a broken heart at the Crillon for the holidays. With a new friend by her side, Isabel is determined to use her time in the city of lights wisely. After a chance encounter with a fortune teller and a close call with a taxi, she starts to question everything she thought was important.
Christmas in Paris is a moving and heartwarming story about love, trust, and self-discovery. Set during the most magical week of the year, the glorious foods and fashions of the most romantic city in the world are sure to take your breath away.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

0 Review: The Faerie Handbook


Harper Design
November 14, 2017 | 9780062668110 | 240 pages

Summary

In this exquisite anthology, Editor in Chief Carolyn Turgeon and the editors of Faerie Magazine welcome you into an enchanted realm rich with myth, mystery, romance, and abundant natural beauty. Organized into four sections—Flora and Fauna, Fashion and Beauty,  Arts and Culture, and Home, Food, and Entertaining—this gorgeous volume offers an array of exquisite vintage and contemporary fine art and photography, literature, essays, do-it-yourself projects, and recipes that provide hours of reading, viewing, and dreaming pleasure, along with a multitude of ideas for modern-day living and entertaining with a distinctive fairy touch.

With an inset image on the front cover, ornate silver foil patterning on the front, spine, back, and edges, and a satin bookmark, The Faerie Handbook is an eye-catching volume for fairy fans of all ages. 

My Thoughts

A few weeks ago, a beautiful book was delivered to my mailbox: The Faerie Handbook: An Enchanting Compendium of Literature, Lore, Art, Recipes, and Projects by Carolyn Turgeon, the editor-in-chief of Faerie Magazine. From its beautiful purple cloth-bound cover to the silver fore edge of the book, this book is a visual delight. And that was just the outside! Then I opened the book and was immediately awed by the contents.

The book is divided into four sections: Flora & Fauna; Fashion & Beauty; Art & Culture; Food & Entertaining. The art work, the poetry, the crafts, the history make up a fantastic book. I was particularly interested to read about faeries from all over the world, the different types of faeries, and the herbs and flower almanac. It seems these magical creatures have invaded every culture with their unique and whimsical traits. You can tell from the work the editors from Faerie Magazine have put into this book that this was a labor of love.

The Faerie Handbook would make a great gift for someone or a treat for yourself. You'll feel as if the fair folk have bewitched you as you get lost in the pages. 




I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

0 Audiobook Review: Jane Eyre



A few months ago I announced my To Walk Invisible Reading Challenge. The first book I read, or I should say re-read, was Jane Eyre. I still have my copy that I obtained in high school. It's worn from its well-read status. I love re-reading my favorite books because I seem to discover something new each time. In my latest read, I discovered how much I dislike St. John Rivers. He is so cold toward Jane. And so unwavering in his pursuits that he comes across as an arrogant asshole. And while I prefer Mr. Rochester over St. John, I don't have a lot of love for him either. He's abusive at times toward Jane. I'm glad she left him after she found out about his wife. That makes me love Jane all the more.

After I finished reading, I realized I had not listened to Jane Eyre on audiobook before now. I had an audible credit at hand and decided to give it a go. I listened to several excerpts and decided on the audible exclusive read by Thandie Newton. The English actress seemed perfect fit for my listening pleasure, and listening to this book had me discovering facets of Jane Eyre that I had not before uncovered. The length of this book was 19 hours and 10 minutes, but it didn't feel that long. I found myself lost in this book for hours. Newton gave each character their own voice. She seemed to understand the complexities of the characters making them shine through her readings.

I highly recommend re-reading books that you love, but re-reading by listening to them as an audiobook has a different impact altogether. Thandie Newton does an amazing job, and I highly recommend this audiobook.


Thursday, November 30, 2017

0 From Writing Advice to The Literary Dating Show. Check out these clips!

Advice for aspiring writers 




Julie Klam presents THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER 




Patrick Bateman (AMERICAN PSYCHO) & Amy Dunne (GONE GIRL) | BOUND, the literary dating show




Jamie Ford (author of Love and Other Consolation Prizes) | What I'm Reading




The writing tools authors can't live without



Author Christopher Rice (RAMSES THE DAMNED) on the ideal writing space and taking risks




Author Erin Chack (THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING) on simple words and bookmarks




Monday, November 27, 2017

0 Review: Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe by Melissa De La Cruz


Hardcover, 240 pages
Published October 17th 2017 by St. Martin's Press
ISBN 1250141397
Available @ Amazon

Summary


Darcy Fitzwilliam is 29, beautiful, successful, and brilliant. She dates hedge funders and basketball stars and is never without her three cellphones—one for work, one for play, and one to throw at her assistant (just kidding). Darcy’s never fallen in love, never has time for anyone else’s drama, and never goes home for Christmas if she can help it. But when her mother falls ill, she comes home to Pemberley, Ohio, to spend the season with her dad and little brother.

Her parents throw their annual Christmas bash, where she meets one Luke Bennet, the smart, sardonic slacker son of their neighbor. Luke is 32 and has never left home. He’s a carpenter and makes beautiful furniture, and is content with his simple life. He comes from a family of five brothers, each one less ambitious than the other. When Darcy and Luke fall into bed after too many eggnogs, Darcy thinks it’s just another one night stand. But why can’t she stop thinking of Luke? What is it about him? And can she fall in love, or will her pride and his prejudice against big-city girls stand in their way? 

My Thoughts

Pride and Prejudice plus mistletoe plus Melissa De La Cruz equals holiday bliss. I picked up Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe one night to read a chapter or two and ended up practically reading the whole book in one sitting. De La Cruz is a master at creating novels that are hard to put down. In this book, she re-imagines Pride and Prejudice in a modern-day setting with characters you'll fall in love with.

Darcy Fitzwilliam left home to make a name for herself. And she did. She wanted to get as far away from Pemberley, Ohio as possible. She hasn't come home in years, but when her mother falls ill, she hops on a plane and goes back to her old stomping ground just in time for her parents annual Christmas party. With a few drinks under her belt, Darcy kisses Luke Bennet. Someone she definitely does not want to end up with. But she can't stop thinking about the carpenter. She's a big city gal and he's a small town furniture designer. Is it just a one night stand, or could this be exactly what Darcy needs.

I love that De La Cruz swapped genders for the main characters. I've read many Pride and Prejudice variations, and this small detail really made it fresh. She managed to capture the essence of Jane Austen's character while making them her own. I highly recommend this book for cozy winter reading. This is a fun novel that will keep you warm through the holidays! 


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

0 Happy Thanksgiving!


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

0 Soul Bound Excerpt and Narrator Interview

Author: Jas T. Ward

Narrator: Edward Mittelstedt

Length: 8 hours 46 minutes

Series: Soul Bound, Book 1

Publisher: JTW Publishing

Released: Oct. 6, 2017

Genre: Paranormal Romance


Death May Be The End...
But Love Doesn't Give A @&%#.



Murderer...
Jace Camden is haunted by his past. One that has many believing he got away with murder. He's run from it, trying to start a new life in a new town. But his past hasn't let him escape and it's determined that his future will not be a long one.
Death will demand it's due.
And his late wife will make sure that debt is paid.
Kitt Thomas' life is in a rut but that changed when she looked into the sad, haunted eyes of Jace Camden. Something about his wounded soul called to her--like a flicker in a very dark cave she should have had the sense not to step into.
But his past will make sure she is no more part of Jace's future than life is.
Because he's soul bound.
And that's a bind that can only be broken by death.
His.



It's not about the Happily Ever After...
It's about surviving the read.






Jas T. Ward has always used writing as a necessary escape. With a past that is marred with a difficult childhood and domestic violence as well as being homeless as an adult, Ward lost her creative voice when she lost her soul mate to suicide.

Finding that creative voice once again in writing in social media via blogs and creative writing groups, it was the fans that encouraged her to put her literary weavings to paper for them to enjoy.

Ward lives in Texas with her dog and cat- Author Dog Pumkin and Writer Kitty Orleans and is the proud parent of three independent children.

WebsiteFacebookTwitterGoodreadsInstagram


Narrator Bio


Eddie was born and raised in California. At a young age, he loved to create cartoon-like caricature voices and perform them to anyone who would listen. His friends and family told him he should be in the voice-over industry when he grew up.

He currently works at Oceaneering International near Baltimore, creating software control systems for both remotely-operated and autonomous underwater vehicles.

His dream of being a voice actor was forgotten until recently he came across a friend who is a narrator for Audible. The possibility of being in the voice-over industry was rekindled, and after harassing his friend incessantly on the details of becoming an Audible narrator, you find Eddie's story here today.

WebsiteFacebookTwitterSoundCloud


Soul Bound: The Warrior is currently available on the Adopt-An-Audiobook page for interested reviewers!








Q&A with Narrator Eddie Mittelstedt
  • How did you wind up narrating audiobooks? Was it always your goal or was it something you stumbled into by chance?
    • About a year ago I was in this online boardgaming community and played against a gentleman named Christopher Meyer. At one point during an online game, he casually mentioned that he should have been editing his audio book that he was narrating instead of playing games. My ears immediately went into prairie dog mode, and started asking him a bajillion questions about it. It took me a few months after that to set up some rudimentary recording equipment and narrate my first book. It was terrible and I will claim it unless you force me.
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • I am a rabid audiobook listener. I have a two-hour commute each day in the car, so that provides a lot of dead time. I focus on listening to books with narrators that fit my style and voice, and try to pick out small things that each narrator does wrong or does right. This makes me hyperfocus on my own performance and reading style, and allows me to pick up new things that I think are really cool that the narrator has done.
  • What are your favorite and least favorite parts of narrating an audiobook?
    • By far my favorite aspect is recording. This is the easiest part of the process, and the most fun. I dread editing, where you have to listen to every sentence and get the timing between them just right, listen for errant breaths, etc. It’s tedious, boring, long, did I say boring? Many established narrators farm out this work to editors, thereby allowing them to concentrate on simply the recording. Someday I’ll be in that position, and when that happens I’ll know I have hit my stride.
  • What would you say are your strongest narration abilities?
    • Character voices. I can do a multitude of voices, from Gizmo the Gremlin to Kermit the Frog, to a lot of things in between. I think being able to do character voices add a level of complexity to the listen, as you can create memorable secondary characters to support the plot.
  • What about this title compelled you to audition as narrator?
    • The audition script blew me away. I had just finished narrating a dark fantasy romance under a pseudonym and I was still in a “romance narrator” mode. So I started looking for other romance titles that caught my eye. The premise of Soul Bound itself is fascinating - I lived in a haunted house for about 5 years so anything paranormal or supernatural catches my eye. So after reading the audition script and seeing how dark and broody the main character was, I had to audition for it.
  • Have there been any characters that you really connected with?
    • I really connected with Jace. We’ve been through similar situations (I won’t tell what aspects) so I really felt for the guy, and felt I could read his story with all the suppressed emotions that I have to give.
  • What type of the review comments do you find most constructive?
    • I read all of my reviews. I like the positive ones of course, but I really look for the negative reviews that provide constructive criticism. The ones that say, “Narrator sucked” sucks as reviews. Why did I suck? What did I do that caused you to hate it? Let me try to improve it for the next time. I have one review where the writer literally compared my voice to Tattoo of Fantasy Island. While I disagree with that to some degree, there’s not much I can do about it. Those types of reviews bother me. Was it a compliment or an insult?
  • Who is your “dream author” that you would like to record for?
    • Stephen King. I grew up with his books. I bought “It” the week it was released in hardback and read it from cover to cover in 5 days. Also, Joe Abercrombie. His “The Blade Itself” series is an amazing read. I love his writing style.
  • If you could narrate one book from your youth what would it be and why?
    • The Gunslinger by Stephen King. It’s already been done by the amazing George Guidall, but that book blew me away when I read it in my first year of college. That opening line: “The man in black fled across the desert, and The Gunslinger followed.” Such a brilliant statement. So much packed in there.
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • I can see some people thinking that way, but for those of us with long commutes and therefore long periods of pointless non-productive dead time, audiobooks are a godsend. When you drive, you enter a trance-like state anyway. Getting sucked into the story being read to you in this state, you are like a sponge to the story, the action, the emotions. I love it.

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Monday, November 20, 2017

0 Review: Ready Player One



 June 5th 2012 | Broadway Books | 9780307887443

Summary

It's the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. 

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune — and remarkable power — to whoever can unlock them. 

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday's riddles are based in the pop culture he loved — that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday's icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes's oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig. 

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle. 

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt — among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life — and love — in the real world he's always been so desperate to escape. 

A world at stake. 
A quest for the ultimate prize. 
Are you ready?

Steve's Thoughts


I am a child of the Eighties. I graduated High School in 1986 and grew up on the pop culture of that era. Michael J. Fox, the Brat Pack, Duran Duran, and Atari is where I wiled away hours upon hours. And that is why I loved Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. If you are a child of the Eighties, a gamer, or a dystopian, sci-fi nerd like me then get this book. It is a super fun read.

The plot is simple. The world is a mess. There is a mega rich dude that dies with no heir. He created “The Oasis,” a virtual world where most everything happens now. He has placed an “Easter egg” in that world and whoever finds it gets his fortune and control of his company. USA Today called this book “Willy Wonka meets The Matrix” and that is pretty accurate. Wade Watts is the main character, an eighteen-year-old, high school senior by day and a “gunter” (person who devotes themselves to locating the egg) the rest of the time. He is poor, parentless, and lives with his aunt in the “stacks”, the area where they have literally stacked mobile homes on top of each other to make room for the increased population in the cities. Wade, Parzival as his Oasis character is called finds the first key to Halliday’s egg and that’s when the fun and adventure begin.

This book was a jaunt down memory lane for me. It contains so many late 70’s and 80’s references that it would fill up the whole review to mention them all. Suffice it to say that it was a lot of fun to have my trivia knowledge tested many times throughout the book. If any of the above strikes a chord with you, go get this book.


 

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