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The Audiobookworm

Let’s Chat with Jess the Audiobookworm

Before we begin, I have to thank Terri (my fellow “Carolina girl”) for the opportunity to be featured on #CarolinaReads!

First and foremost I have to ask why audiobooks? What draws you to this format?

Primarily, the convenience. I grew up with a voracious appetite for reading, but as I got older, it dwindled. Life got in the way. I became busier and began to accept that reading was a luxury I didn’t have time for anymore. I’m sure this is something a lot of folks can relate to.

My seemingly incidental introduction to audiobooks re-opened a door I thought had been shut forever. I’m not being dramatic, I genuinely thought that part of becoming an adult meant that I wouldn’t have time for a luxury such as reading. Audiobooks not only allow me to fit reading into my schedule but now I’m able to consume more books than ever!

Do you think every book lends itself to the audio format? Why or why not?

No, I don’t. Most do, but some still translate better than others. That’s not to say, however, that I don’t think all books should be translated into audiobooks. Every book deserves an audiobook!

But a lot of times, audiobooks are afterthoughts for authors. Something they don’t even think about until the book is well underway, if not already finished. That’s completely understandable because writing a book and getting published are hard.

Sometimes, a book is written in a manner that’s just meant to work best on paper.

Two popular examples come to mind: Rainbow Rowell’s Attachments and Taherah Mafi’s Shatter Me. Both are excellent novels but seem (to me) to work better when visualized rather than heard. Attachments is written as a series of emails between coworkers. The novel was formatted in a very unique way to resemble email attachments. In audio, the novelty of this formatting doesn’t come across as well as it should. In Shatter Me,  the protagonist constantly strikes through her words as she writes journal entries. Again, I love this idea, but the only way to convey it in audio was to use a scratching sound effect to mimic the protagonist’s writing utensil striking through a word. It took me a good portion of the novel to understand what was happening there.

How do you fit listening to audiobooks into your schedule?

Listening has become a habit to me now.  I always have an audiobook playing.  Luckily, I work from home, so I’m able to listen continuously and at whatever volume I want!

There are so many daily opportunities to listen. Think about all the times you have music playing.  That’s when I play an audiobook.  

  • In the car
  • Exercising
  • Working in the yard
  • Falling asleep at night
  • Doing housework
  • At the beach or swimming pool

Anytime I’m performing a mindless task (something that doesn’t require a lot of concentration), I listen to an audiobook.

When I listen to a book, I find it even easier to picture the whole story in my head. How does listening to the story enhance the experience for you?

Oh, absolutely. I love relaxing in bed at night when listening to an audiobook.  I can close my eyes and see the story play out in my mind. It’s effortless.

It’s also fun to create mental images of the characters.  I love casting the characters of the audiobooks I hear. I ask myself  “If this story were being made into a movie or television series, who would I want to play the parts?”. That takes the visualization to another level.

Tell us a little about your company. How did it start? What services do you offer?

It all happened in a very kismet sort of way.  I began looking for blog tour companies to work with as an audiobook blogger.  After applying to several of them, I was politely told that there likely wouldn’t be many opportunities for me to participate because audiobook blog tours weren’t very popular.

I thought that was odd because I was getting several review requests a week from authors, narrators, and publishers. Why weren’t these people approaching tour companies about promoting audiobooks? This felt like a gap in the book marketing world that needed to be filled.

Shortly after that,  I was approached by an author about coordinating an audiobook blog tour for his audiobook that I had previously reviewed. My first instinct was to say “No, I can’t do that.”,  but then I thought “Hey, maybe I could do that…” , which eventually turned into “ I can do that!”.

A little over a month later,  Audiobookworm Promotions was born. I explicitly cater to the audiobook community, of which I am proud to be a part. I believe that, with a little creativity, audiobooks can be marketed just as effectively as traditional books.

Audiobookworm  Promotions seemed like a natural progression from The Audiobookworm.  I’m excited to be unveiling a new website for Audiobookworm  Promotions in a couple of weeks. I’ll also be gradually expanding my services. Right now,  I offer blog tours, review tours, graphic design and web design services, as well as a number of other brand management and marketing services.

I  organize virtual tours for all genres and I’m always looking for tour hosts. Anyone interested can sign up here! There are also a number of audiobooks available for “adoption” on my Adopt-An-Audiobook page.

What is the first book you remember reading?

That’s tough because I’ve been reading from a very young age. Like most of my generation, Harry Potter was my childhood.

It’s much easier to recall my first audiobook.  The first audiobook I heard was Stephen King’s 9/22/63 and it remains my favorite to this day.

What are you listening to right now?

I’ve gotten to the point now where I can’t just listen to one audiobook at a time. Maybe it’s a commitment thing. I like having several options available to me because of my listening mood changes with the wind.

I currently have about 30 minutes left in Night Broken, the 8th installment in Patricia Briggs’  Mercy Thompson series. That series is a must-listen for paranormal fans.  Lorelei King (the narrator) is doing an amazing job.  

I’m also listening to  Mary Roach’s  Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers and it’s every bit of what it sounds. Although, I’m having to hear it in stages and never while eating.

Why did you choose that story?

I started the Mercy Thompson series after it was recommended by too many people to ignore. I love the paranormal genre and this series (as well as its spinoff) has become one of my all-time favorites.

Whenever I’m in a listening slump,  I temporarily switch over to podcasts for a day or so. That’s how I came across Mary Roach’s TED Talk, which sparked my interest in her writing. I highly recommend her work (and her TED Talk), but not to those with weak stomachs!

Who is an author or book character you would like to meet one day and why?

I feel like Stephen King and George R.R. Martin are the obvious answers here, but they’re also pretty far-fetched (probably). Now that I’m thinking about it, I’d love to have a conversation with Mary Roach. After hearing her TED Talk, I immediately searched for more of her interviews because I found her work so fascinating. She seems very down-to-earth and to have a great sense of humor,  which is evident in her writing. Dinner with her would be fun and informative, although we’d probably have to set some parameters about what could be discussed at the table (for my sake!).

You can only have five books on your bookshelf. What would they be and why?

I believe you can tell a lot about a person by what’s on their bookshelf. Physical book are pretty scarce around my house,  but I have hung on to a few:

What Is My Cat Thinking? This is probably my most referenced book (unfortunately). I have three cats and anyone who follows me on Instagram knows which one of them makes me pour over these pages.

The Lady of the Rivers– It’s about Jacquetta of Luxembourg (my 18th-great grandmother). I love doing genealogy and having such a popular book written about one of my ancestors excites me. This will be neat to pass down a future generation one day!

The Everything Dreams Book: What Your Dreams Mean And How They Affect Your Everyday Life– I’ve had this since I was 12. It may be the oldest book I own.

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Ed.– From my grad school days. I still reference it occasionally and it’s handy to have around.

Gone with the Wind– I read this every summer between 8th and 12th grade. Even though time has significantly changed my view of the story, I can’t bear to give up my tattered copy.

 

Heartborn by Terry Maggert

I read Mr. Maggert’s series, Halfway Witchy. I couldn’t read those books fast enough. This series has a completely different type of characters so I wanted to see if he could do it again. I was not disappointed. This book deals with a heavenly war between the angels. That alone fascinated me. He created an angelic world which felt like a complete universe inhabited by ancient beings. So many stories I read with angles create an illusion of differentness. I really liked that these angles felt like people capable of a wide range of emotions and very human actions. Just as in his other series, the plot drew me in fast and I couldn’t get through the book fast enough. Unlike the other series, this book switches back and forth between points of view. Well, not really pov more like it switches back and forth between realities. His reason for doing this makes complete sense by the end of the book. My only complaint is he destroys the stereotypical happily ever after ending. I’m a huge sucker for those. It makes sense, and I don’t want to give away any of this great story, but I’m having a hard time being patient for book two. Moonborn will be out at the end of June. 

The narrator of this book absolutely nailed it. She was so easy to understand and did a fantastic job going back and forth between the characters.

About the Audiobook 

Author: Terry Maggert

Narrator: Julia Whelan

Length: 6 hours 20 minutes

Publisher: Terry Maggert⎮2016

Genre: Fantasy

Series: Heartborn, Book One

Release date: Oct. 3, 2016

Synopsis: Her guardian angel was pushed.
Keiron was never meant to be anything other than a hero. Born high above in a place of war and deception, he is Heartborn, a being of purity and goodness in a place where violence and deceit are just around every corner.
His disappearance will spark a war he cannot see, for Keiron has pierced the light of days to save a girl he has never met, for reasons he cannot understand. Livvy Foster is seventeen, brave, and broken. With half a heart, she bears the scars of a lifetime of pain and little hope of survival.
Until Keiron arrives.
In the middle of a brewing war and Livvy’s failing heart, Keiron will risk everything for Livvy, because a Heartborn’s life can only end in one way: Sacrifice.
Fall with Livvy and Keiron as they seek the truth about her heart, and his power, and what it means to love someone who will give their very life to save you.

Buy Links

Buy on Audible/Amazon

About the Author: Terry Maggert

Born in 1968, I discovered fishing shortly after walking, a boon, considering I lived in South Florida. After a brief move to Kentucky, my family trekked back to the Sunshine State. I had the good fortune to attend high school in idyllic upstate New York, where I learned about a mythical substance known as “Seasons”. After two or three failed attempts at college, I bought a bar. That was fun because I love beer, but, then, I eventually met someone smarter than me (a common event), and, in this case, she married me and convinced me to go back to school–which I did, with enthusiasm. I earned a Master’s Degree in History and rediscovered my love for writing. My novels explore dark fantasy, immortality, and the nature of love as we know it. I live near Nashville, Tennessee, with the aforementioned wife, son, and herd, and, when I’m not writing, I teach history, grow wildly enthusiastic tomato plants, and restore my 1967 Mustang.

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About the Narrator: Julia Whelan

Julia Whelan is an actor, writer, and audiobook narrator. She is perhaps most well known for her acting work on ABC’s Once and Again and her award-winning narration of over 200 audiobooks (including Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl). Her debut novel is forthcoming.

After a healthy career as a child actor, Whelan attended Middlebury College and Oxford University, graduating with a degree in English and Creative Writing.

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**I received a copy of this audiobook in exchange for a review**

 

Tears of Glass by David Lake

Author: David Lake

Narrator: Fred Filbrich

Length: 11h 27m

Publisher: Alwyn Darrol Edwards⎮2017

Genre: Science Fiction/Thriller

Release date: Jan. 6, 2017

Synopsis: A failed quarterback, failed husband and failed human being, finds redemption through the music of a failed songwriter.
This darkly humorous thriller is based on real events, including the ‘ Accidental ‘ deaths of twenty two UK scientists all working on US missile systems.
Morgan, a drinking, smoking, womaniser, is drawn to the iconic music of the seventies – Dylan, Carole King, Neil Young, Led Zep – but when he acquires a rejected demo tape by a bluesy pianist, his friends start to meet with bizarre, ‘ Accidental ‘ deaths. It eventually dawns that HE is the target . Running to the Californian desert, picking up the inevitable girl en-route, he has no idea that he has stumbled. literally, upon the biggest conspiracy the Intelligence Services have tried to hide since The Wall came down.
The contrast between those who rule our lives and those who try to live by the rules, is brought into sharp focus through a collection of disparate characters, all having their own agenda. The underlying darkness of the message is almost totally masked by the nature of the ‘ Ripping Yarn.’ The reader rides a wave of action, humour, pathos, passion, violence and even enlightenment.

 

 

 

David Lake has a background in Science and the Record Industry.

Both facets are represented in Tears Of Glass which was first published in 1994 and re-published as an eBook in 2015
“The World’s First Interactive Book” according to Publishing News as this is the first book ever to have its own soundtrack as part of the narrative.
A number of other ‘Firsts ‘include the promotion of rock music in English Cathedrals and of launching Vangelis at the Royal Albert Hall.
He lives with his family near London.

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Fred is a freelance voice talent located in Rochester, New York. With over 25 years experience in broadcasting and 12 years as an independent voice artist, Fred brings a professional touch to clients’ productions locally and worldwide. His voice is compelling and highly listenable, and can hold a listener’s interest for narrations long and short.

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Guest Post from 

BOOKS CAN SHAPE THE WORLD

By David Lake

We are, all of us, born rough diamonds. Everyone a potential for brilliance, but only after acquiring  many facets.

The initial rough-cuts are a result of family, geography and peer group,  moving to finer facets as we are taught through our local education systems and additional facets added as we progress into young adulthood. Sometimes the cutting tools are not as sharp as we would like and there are many areas on our life interface which remain clouded or slightly obscure.

BOOKS and all that they contain can provide an endless source of additional facets and even the final polish. The more facets, the more the stone shines. Every page, every sentence and every author is adding to our sub-conscious fenestrations, providing more windows out of which we see the world in different lights and also allowing the world an access into our soul.

Thus we build a collective consciousness, the world starting to move as one and hopefully in a positive direction for all inhabitants.

We are never the complete, multifaceted, perfectly polished article, but BOOKS and their multiple insights into countries, cultures, politics, geography and individual trains of thought, are the tools by which we fashion a setting capable of holding the individual we become.

I have always told my children to never go through life without touching the sides. Do not be afraid to make your mark, even if it is a dirty one. Make mistakes, chip the diamond, but always hold up to the light that which is still left. Someone may be grateful for the little glint in the dark.

As an individual I have always tried to follow this advice, not always successfully, but always with conviction. From Cancer Research to the Record Business to Design, then Writing, I have always tried to break new ground. Tears of Glass was the world’s first Interactive Book [ Publishing News ]  – this then became the first digital book to have a soundtrack as a part on the narrative and now the final work has found its natural home as an Audiobook, the songs woven seamlessly into the storyline. I have found this development, or journey, a cathartic experience in that as I was trying to provide the reader with ‘ facets ‘ of the human condition. I was also being chipped and polished, although I am a pretty hopeless case, in that the original stone has not been so much finely- cut, as dropped and smashed. Hopefully a few splinters will add a little sparkle within the glorious and infinite jewelry box of BOOKS.

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Interested in reviewing audiobooks? Contact Jess at TheAudioBookWorm

The Secret Life of Anna Blanc by Jennifer Kincheloe

** I received an audio of this book in exchange for a review**

Listening to this story was a little different for me. I liked it when I first started it. Then I didn’t like it because Anna Blanc is a spoiled brat. But then the more I listened the more I realized the author did such a great job developing the character of Anna that to me she felt real. I’ve known people like her. They think of themselves before anyone else. Yet, when they are faced with a life-changing event, they wake up and use their personal determination to right all the wrongs in the world.

The world building was even stronger than the character developmental. Even though this is not a make-believe world, it is from so long ago it seems make-believe. I was transferred to turn of the century, Los Angeles. There were so many times I just stopped what I was doing so I could listen to the story. It made me wonder if this is what it was like for people listening to dramas on the radio so long ago.

I can only imagine how hard it is for a narrator to remember how different characters sound, but to remember characters with different accents seems almost impossible. Moira Quirk does a fantastic job. Her voice creations add to the story and enrich the story. It makes for an even better experience.

It’s 1907 Los Angeles. Mischievous socialite Anna Blanc is the kind of young woman who devours purloined crime novels, but must disguise them behind covers of more domestically-appropriate reading. She could match wits with Sherlock Holmes, but in her world women are not allowed to hunt criminals. Determined to break free of the era’s rigid social roles, Anna buys off the chaperone assigned by her domineering father and, using an alias, takes a job as a police matron with the Los Angeles Police Department. There she discovers a string of brothel murders, which the cops are unwilling to investigate. Seizing her one chance to solve a crime, she takes on the investigation herself. If the police find out, she’ll get fired; if her father finds out, he’ll disown her; and if her fiancé finds out, he’ll cancel the wedding. Midway into her investigation, the police chief’s son, Joe Singer, learns her true identity, and shortly thereafter she learns about blackmail. Anna must choose – either hunt the villain and risk losing her father, fiancé, and wealth, or abandon her dream and leave the killer on the loose.


Jennifer has been a block layer, a nurse’s aid, a fragrance model, and on the research faculty at UCLA, where she spent 11 years conducting studies to inform health policy. A native of Southern California, she now lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband and two teenagers. She’s currently writing book three in the Anna Blanc Mystery series. Book two, THE WOMAN IN THE CAMPHOR TRUNK, is coming out in Fall of 2017 from Seventh Street Books.

 

 

 

 

 

Moira grew up in teeny-tiny Rutland, England’s smallest county, which is fitting as she never managed to make it past five feet herself.  Moira’s work spans the pantheon of the voiceover world: plays for BBC radio, plays for NPR, video games, commercials, television promos, podcasts, cartoons, movies and award winning audiobooks. She’s won Multiple Audie Awards, Earphone Awards, as well as Audible’s prestigious Book-of-the-Year Award. She has lately set foot in front of the camera again, appearing in “Pretty: the Series” and the Emmy-winning “Dirty Work.”

 

 

 

If I were to cast characters for this book, I would

Anna Blanc- Katherine Watson

Joe Singer- Chris Hemsworth

Wolf- Ryan Reynolds

Madame Lulu- Kate McKinnon

Christopher Blanc- Collin Farrell

Edgar Wright- Benedict Cumberbatch

 

Shadows of Tomorrow by Jessica Meats- narrated by Jake Urry

18869641Earth is at war. Portals are opening across the planet and bringing creatures known as Outsiders. Their only desire is to eat, leaving a trail of destruction in their path. The only people who can stop them are the Defenders – led by Gareth Walker – who can open portals of their own to target the Outsiders in minutes. Gareth’s only advantage is an ability to see glimpses of his future.

For the past decade the Defenders have held back the incursion, but now a new portal opens, bringing something that Gareth did not see coming. As he must find a way to stop this new threat, he starts a quest for answers. He must learn how the war began and find a way to stop them once and for all.

About the Audiobook

Audiobook Title: Shadows of Tomorrow

Author: Jessica Meats

Narrator: Jake Urry

Publisher: Pegasus Elliot Mackenzie Publishers Ltd

Length: 10 hours and 30 minutes (unabridged)

Audio Release Date: October 3, 2016

Buy Links

Buy on AudibleAmazoniTunes

About the Author: Jessica Meats

Jessica Meats is a graduate of the University of York and works in the IT industry. She draws on her experiences as a technology specialist and martial arts student to create a unique and interesting fictional community of combat experts and computer geeks.

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About the Narrator: Jake Urry

Jake Urry is a British actor and audiobook narrator, and also co-founder of Just Some Theatre. Since graduating from an Acting degree course in 2012 he’s toured with Just Some Theatre as an actor and producer, worked on a number of commercial voice over projects and most recently started producing Audiobooks. Jake has produced over 10 titles since March 2016 and has rapidly found himself at home narrating Thriller, Horror, Mystery and Suspense titles. His audiobook work includes dark psychological thrillers White is the Coldest Colour and Portraits of the Dead by John Nicholl, occult mystery series The Ulrich Files by Ambrose Ibsen, and gritty Sci-Fi novel Shadows of Tomorrow by Jessica Meats.

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