Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

Books With Buzz: My Kind of Christmas by Robyn Carr

Monday, October 15th, 2012

A new release by Robyn Carr is a fabulous reason to celebrate. When you add into the equation that her latest is a new Christmas release plus it features hunky Patrick Riordan, then it is triple the delight as far as I’m concerned. I had the opportunity to interview one of my favorite authors about her writing career, and her very successful Virgin River series. In addition to some great insights into Ms. Carr’s varied writing history, her publisher Harlequin MIRA is providing copies of Carr’s November 2012 release, My Kind of Christmas for some lucky winners. The details on that are listed at the end of the interview. But enough from me. Let’s get to the good stuff.

Leigh: I am very excited to have you here today, as I’ve been reading your books since the late 1990s. You have been writing a long time, first starting out with historicals like Chelynne published in 1980. Was it the change in the industry that made you switch from historicals to contemporary books or just your own internal voice?
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Speaking of Audiobooks: Tavia Gilbert Interview and New Releases

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Tavia GilbertThe 2012 Favorite Romance Audiobooks Poll is up and running.  It’s your chance to tell the audio industry what you like best about romance audio.  It’s a different type of poll this year and you will find few of the same categories as our 2011 Poll.  The poll ends Monday, July 2nd at midnight.  So go cast your ballot!

We’re continuing to celebrate June Is Audiobook Month with our fourth special event – an interview with Tavia Gilbert.  Tavia was a finalist for an Audie Award this year and attended the ceremony earlier this month.  She’s giving us an inside look at the Audies and the Audio Publishers Association and sharing a little about her career.  There’s another event that has Tavia’s name on it this month and that is the release of Jeaniene Frost’s Once Burned.  Tavia is once again in the narrator’s seat with Vlad’s book – something that Night Huntress fans have been waiting for.

We also have our New Releases for July and a number of reviews.  Up for review today are Kristan Higgins’ Catch of the Day, J.R. Ward’s The Player, Shiloh Walker’s Ash trilogy, and Nora Roberts’ The Last Boyfriend.

Talking with Tavia Gilbert

Welcome to Speaking of Audiobooks Tavia and thanks for joining us today in this last of our special events celebrating June Is Audiobook Month (JIAM). It’s been exciting to watch all that is going on in the audio industry this month as well as looking from the outside in at the 2012 Audio Publishers Association (APA) Conference and the Audie Awards.  I see that you have been an Audie finalist three times including the 2012 Audies for your narration of The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball.  Can you tell us about the Audie Awards and what being a finalist means to a narrator?

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Books with Buzz: Nalini Singh Interview and Five-Book Giveaway (Contest Closed)

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

tangleThe minute I read Nalini Singh’s Slave of Sensation, I knew we had something special in our hands.  In the intervening six, short years, Nalini has published fifteen stories in her thought-provoking Psy/Changeling series, each of them gritty, passionate, and loads of fun.

With this month’s release of Tangle of Need, we took the opportunity to ask Nalini a few questions, and she’s coming along with some free books in tow.  Five lucky readers will have their pick of any one book from the previous 10 books in the Psy/Changeling series (not including Tangle of Need – sorry), and all you have to do to enter is comment on this post by Friday, June 8, 11:59 p.m. EST.  We will notify winners by email on Saturday morning, and they will have 24 hours to respond.  If we don’t hear from a winner within that time, a new winner will be selected.  If you review for another Web site or blog, please don’t enter.  Unfortunately, only residents of the U.S. and Canada are eligible to enter.

Now, on to Nalini!

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Speaking of Audiobooks: Giveaway Plus Author and Narrator Interviews (Giveaway Closed)

Monday, March 19th, 2012

The Madness of I MacWhen I discovered that Tantor was set to release Jennifer Ashley’s The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie on March 26th, I enthusiastically shared the news far and wide.  Published in 2009, it’s a favorite among romance readers winning Best Romance of 2009 in AAR’s Annual Reader Poll and ranking #10 in AAR’s 2010 Top 100 Romance Poll.  In print, we were mesmerized by hero Ian Mackenzie and, in audio, we hope to move the entire experience up a notch by actually hearing him interact in his matter-of-fact manner as he determinedly pursues Beth.

Today, we are celebrating the release of this much loved book with a giveaway and interviews with both author Jennifer Ashley and narrator Angela Dawe.

The Giveaway

We are giving away FIVE MP3 CD copies of The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie courtesy of Tantor Audio.  Place your name in the hat by commenting on this column by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on Thursday, March 22nd. Due to the cost of postage, the giveaway is open only to listeners in the U.S. and Canada.  We encourage multiple comments in our discussion, but you will only be entered in the contest once.  If you review for another Web site or blog, please don’t enter.  The winner will be notified by email on Friday morning and will have 24 hours to respond.  Another winner will be selected on Saturday morning if the winner has not responded.  Audiobooks will be mailed to the winners upon release of The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie.

Talking with Jennifer Ashley

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Books with Buzz: Lisa Kleypas Interview and 10-Book Giveaway (Contest Closed)

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

RainshadowAt long, long last after a draught of one solid year without a book from Lisa Kleypas, her loyal readers catch a break at last when Rainshadow Road is finally released on Tuesday, February 28th.   To celebrate, we’ve got Lisa herself to answer a few questions and she doesn’t come empty handed.  Lisa has 10 books donated by her publisher to give away to 10 lucky winners.  To enter, all you need to do is comment to this blog by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, February 24th.  Winners will be notified by email on Saturday morning and will have 24 hours to respond.  If we don’t hear from a winner within that time, a new winner will be selected.  This contest is designed for readers, so please don’t enter if you review for another Web site or blog.  Due to the high cost of international postage, entries are open only to those from the U.S. and Canada.

Now, let’s hear from Lisa!

Lisa, thanks so much for joining us today.  Could you please tell our readers a bit about Rainshadow Road?

Sandy,  thank you so much for inviting me!  Rainshadow Road is the first in a series of contemporary romances set in Friday Harbor,  Washington.  It’s about a young glass artist,  Lucy Marinn,  who is dumped by her boyfriend at the beginning of the story–and if that’s not bad enough,  she discovers that he’s dumped her for her younger sister!  So about fifteen minutes after this happens,  she sees this handsome stranger on the beach,  who happens to be Sam Nolan,  a local vineyard owner.

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Author Interviews: Who’d You Like to Hear From?

Friday, January 13th, 2012

I’m busy planning ahead in this month of January.  (Yes, actually planning.  Not flying by the seat of my pants or anything.)  I’d like to deliver some of the interviews you’re looking for this year.

In the past, we’ve focused on established authors and would like to stay primarily in that vein.  Newbies or debut author interviews are extremely rare.  I’ve been rebuffed only once in all the years I’ve been doing interviews for AAR – Kresley Cole had her assistant turn me down and I won’t ask again – so most everyone will respond favorably to an AAR interview request.  The sky is (almost) the limit.

We’ve got an interview with Lisa Kleypas coming shortly, but that’s all I’ve got formally scheduled for the year.  So, here’s my question:  Who would you like to see interviewed at AAR?

- Sandy AAR

Interview and Giveaway with Author Heather Killough-Walden (Giveaway Closed)

Monday, November 28th, 2011

Heather Killough-Walden is about to publish her first paperback book, Avenger’s Angel. I’m a fan not only of Heather’s work but of the extraordinary path she forged to get this book published. Several years ago, Heather began publishing for free on several Internet sites and was struck by how positively readers responded to her work. It occurred to her that perhaps she could get paid to do what she loved, so she began self publishing her eBooks on Amazon. When one of her books hit number one on Amazon in the vampire category, her career took off. An agent sought her out, signed her, and now she has just published her first non-eBook with Signet, Avenger’s Angel.

I’m excited to say that Heather is giving five lucky readers each an autographed copy of her new book, Avenger’s Angel. Want one? Just comment on this post by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on Thursday, December 1st.  And, although we’d love for you to comment many times, you will only be entered in the contest once.  If you review for another Web site or blog, please abstain from entering. The winners will be notified by email on Friday morning and will have 24 hours to respond. Another winner will be selected on Saturday morning if the winner has not responded. Books will be mailed to the winner the following week.

Heather, thanks for taking the time to talk with AAR.

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Books with Buzz: Connie Brockway Interview and Giveaway (Giveaway Closed)

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

tgobWe’ve been following Connie Brockway’s Adventures in Publishing for some months now and – ta da! – the wait is almost over.  One week from today The Other Guy’s Bride, her eBook of the sequel to As You Desire will be available from Amazon, with the print edition following one month later.

But, for five lucky readers the wait might not be that long.  AAR and Amazon are giving away five copies of The Other Guy’s Bride.  And, just to make sure everybody is happy, winners can choose whether or not they want the eBook edition or a print copy.  Those who choose the eBook will get their prize right away.  Winners who choose the print book will have to wait until early December to receive their copy.

To enter for your chance to win, simply leave a comment to this post by Thursday, November 17th at 11:59 p.m., eastern time. Since this giveaway is designed to get early books into the hands of those who might not otherwise have access, if you review for another Web site or blog, please don’t enter.  Also, due to high postage costs and geographical restrictions, this giveaway is open only to those who live in the U.S. or Canada.

Ready for the next chapter in Connie’s Adventures?  Let’s hear from her:

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Speaking of Audiobooks: Narrators Forum

Monday, November 14th, 2011

Today at Speaking of Audiobooks, we are hosting our first live Narrators Forum.  It’s an event structured for narrators to come together and discuss pertinent issues in their industry as well as provide listeners with a glimpse into their world of bringing multiple characters to life.  Once the live portion of the forum is over, those involved want to hear from you.  Your feedback is important to them.

When I first started writing about audiobooks, I envisioned those reading to me in a studio surrounded by a director, producer, and recording technician.  My mind saw the director instructing a narrator to stop occasionally and try a line again or explain a needed change.  I guess I imagined something similar to a movie set with only one actor sitting in a sound booth performing all of the characters.  However, after visiting with a number of narrators this past year, I understand just how inaccurate that vision was.  Now that home studios are becoming more commonplace, narrators often operate alone and in somewhat of a vacuum.  There just aren’t that many opportunities to get together and talk about what they do day in and day out.

Meet the Narrators

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Speaking of Audiobooks: Anne Flosnik Interview and Six Audiobook Giveaway

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Anne FlosnikAnne Flosnik – in my mind she’s the queen of historical romance audio.  Narrating for romance greats such as Mary Balogh, Elizabeth Hoyt, Julie Garwood, Amanda Quick, Julia London, Catherine Coulter, Elizabeth Lowell, and Jo Beverley (and that’s not all), she’s once again proving her reigning status by narrating Laura Lee Guhrke’s first books in audio, the Abandoned at the Altar trilogy.  Releases are scheduled for October, November, and December of 2011 by Tantor Audio and, as a big Guhrke fan, I’ll be listening to each one.

Anne is known well throughout the audiobook industry for her performances in a multitude of genres.  Although her recordings now average 75% in the romance genre, she has received numerous awards in other genres and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a few of those awards – the Library Journal Top 40 Audiobooks of 2009, Earphones Awards in 2008 and 2009, AudioFile’s Best Audiobooks of the Year 2009, American Libraries Association Special Services for Children Award 2000, and the Audie Finalist performances (Audie awards can be likened to the Oscars for audiobooks) in 2005, 2008, and 2010.

Although Anne’s romance narrations have consistently received their share of praise from listeners, my thoughts on Anne’s work can best be compared to a journey.  My first listen, Elizabeth Lowell’s Untamed in 2008, made the first steps a challenge.  In my early days of reading romance, I had given Untamed my highest grade but listening in audio made me wonder about my love for the hero, Dominique.  He seemed uncaring and brutish.  What had I been thinking when I read in print?  But after listening to two more Flosnik narrated romances, I realized that all three heroes had sounded gruff and emotionless and concluded that rather than unlikeable heroes, it was the narrator’s interpretation of those heroes that affected me negatively.  I became hesitant to listen to more.

Fortunately, that didn’t mean I quit listening to Flosnik narrations as I later found Mary Balogh’s First Comes Marriage to be a success – first in print and then in audio.  I expected Elliott to be unfeeling and superior and that’s just how he sounded.  I have relistened to First Comes Marriage twice.

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