Monday, October 23, 2017

TOUR w/INTERVIEW - YA FANTASY - Air and Ash (Tides, #1) by Alex Lidell Narrator: Kaitlin Bellamy

Air and Ash
Tides, #1
by Alex Lidell
Narrator: Kaitlin Bellamy
Length: 6 hours and 57 minutes
Publisher: Danger Bearing Press
Released: September 8th 2017
Genre: YA Fantasy

 The Book Junkie Reads . . . Review of . . . AIR AND ASH (Tides, #1) . . . One wonderful adventure with fantastic and exciting magic, action, spirit, determination and romance. Nile was more than her title. She was more than the failure in her past. She was more than anyone knew. She had to keep that hidden from everyone, except one. One knew who she was and maybe a bit more about her than she was willing to share. That was until she was needed to do more, be more than anyone average person could do. Nile was anything but average. She was more than the most competent of humans.

Nile was young, innocent, strong, determined, and willing to work hard to prove she was more than a princess, a pawn, a push-over. She wanted to be more than everyone thought a young princess could be. She wanted to show everyone including her father, the king, she could do it. Nile wanted to be fist officer. She was willing to do what it took to show her strengths. There was just a small problem. Jana.

Jana was an arrogant, annoying, aggravating, ruthless, cutthroat male and he was fist officer on the ship that Nile was currently serving on as a crew member. She comes to the ship to escape a marriage, gain independence, respect, and along the way she gets more. Friendship. Strength. Family. Respect. Understanding. Adventure. Nile was the backbone of this read. Jana was the added bonus. The other characters makes the read feel like a true adventure in life. Along the way lessons are learned and failures are utilized as learning tools. For the first installment this was a great start to kick off an epic adventure for Nile.

I have added the next one to my TBR. . . I have to get on this adventure as they come along. The children loved it. We listens as a family during the evenings. It was great bonding time.

Narrator Review of . . . AIR AND ASH (Tides, #1) . . . Kaitlyn Bellamy did her job very well. She gave me a world that was filled with action, drama, adventure, a touch of romance, and a bit of suspense and opened up various possibilities with her voice alone. The diction, cadence, and pitch were entrancing. I could just sit back close my eyes and visualize it all as it occurred. The distinction in the various characters was very good. I was not stuck wondering which character was talking or part of the action. Kaitlyn allowed me to feel a part of the adventure while seated comfortably in my home. The cadence was perfect for the children to follow along as we listened. Then when I wanted to just enjoy it for myself the change in speed transferred just perfectly. The pacing of things felt faster, smoother. I found the audio to be just what we needed to enjoy a family adventure together.

 I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Andrea Emmes. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Master and Commander meets Sarah J Maas in a seafaring adventure of duty, love, magic, and a princess’s quest to protect her kingdom on her own terms. 

After a lifetime of training, 17-year-old Princess Nile Greysik, a lieutenant on the prestigious Ashing navy flagship, sails into battle with one vital mission – and fails.

Barred from the sea and facing a political marriage, Nile masquerades as a common sailor on the first ship she can find. With a cowardly captain, incompetent crew, and a cruel, too-handsome first officer intent on making her life a living hell, Nile must hide her identity while trying to turn the sorry frigate battle worthy. Worse, a terrifying and forbidden magic now tingles in Nile’s blood. If anyone catches wind of who Nile is or what she can do, her life is over.

But when disaster threatens the ship, Nile may have no choice but to unleash the truth that will curse her future. 

Air and Ash is the thrilling first installment of the TIDES series. Recommended for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Tamora Pierce, and David Weber.

Alex Lidell is the author of Amazon best sellers AIR AND ASH and WAR AND WIND (Danger Bearing Press, 2017) and an Amazon Breakout Novel Awards finalist author of THE CADET OF TILDOR (Penguin, 2013). She is an avid horseback rider, a (bad) hockey player, and an ice-cream addict. Born in Russia, Alex learned English in elementary school, where a thoughtful librarian placed a copy of Tamora Pierce’s ALANNA in Alex’s hands. In addition to becoming the first English book Alex read for fun, ALANNA started Alex’s life long love for YA fantasy books.
Author Links:

Narrator Bio
Kaitlin Bellamy is a freelance performer and acting coach residing in Central Florida, with a theatrical history spanning more than twenty-five years. Since relocating to Orlando in 2012, she has worked at multiple theme parks and various theatrical venues, in a career style she calls “Buffet Performing:” or, the idea of keeping several jobs active at any given time, so she may pick and choose where to work, and life never gets boring. Her specialties include Shakespeare, Voice Acting, and Puppetry. But above all, she is passionate about the performing arts, and all they stand for.
Narrator Links:

Q&A with Author Alex Lidell
Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
At the time I was writing AIR AND ASH, no. But now that I am on the third book in the series, having heard Kaitlin narrate AIR AND ASH, I do hear the characters speaking in her voice as I write.

How did you select your narrator?
I listed to sample reels of many narrators and then invited Kaitlin to audition. I really like the range of emotions and undertones she has within each character’s voice.

How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?
Very closely! I was really shy about sending her an audio file of my voice pronouncing some words, but it worked :) We also have a shared google doc with character descriptions and we spent some time on the phone “auditioning” character voices. It was one of my favorite parts of the process and the reason I SO love working with Kaitlin.

How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
Often by listening to audiobooks or watching some TV shows with the right atmosphere, and then analyzing the story/plot. What did I like about it? Why did I keep watching and listening? How can I apply that fun thing that got me excited to my own writing?

Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
I’m a HUGE listener. I fell in love with audiobooks listening to Master and Commander, where the narrator helped me understand some of the technical seamanship. My favorite narrator (aside from Kaitlin of course!) is Jennifer Ikeda

What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
I say Safety First! When I get into a book, I can’t pull away from it - so I end up walking down the street, reading my phone (yeah, i’m one of those horrible people). With audiobooks I can walk and listen!

How did you celebrate after finishing this novel?
I have a habit of traveling to meet people who I’ve e-met during the writing process. After finishing WAR AND WIND (TIDES book 2), I went to see Rachel E Carter in CA.  And in October I’m going to go see Kaitlin to celebrate AIR AND ASH audio.

In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of writing a stand-alone novel vs. writing a series?
I think YA fantasy fans are often comfortable with a series - I know I am - and expect it. Other genres have different fan bases. From an author perspective, a series lets me tell more complex overall stories, but makes logistics difficult. IE in book one, the distance between A and B might not matter so I say “umm, half a day by horse, sure, why not”. And then in book 3 it becomes vitally important that it take a WEEK to get from A to B,... and I have to somehow deal :)

Do you have any tips for authors going through the process of turning their books into audiobooks?
Talk to your narrator and make sure you click as professionals. I really lucked out with Kaitlin because of her excitement level and flexibility - but some people prefer to have more “distance”. It was a match with Kaitlin herself, not just her voice, that finally closed the deal for me

What’s next for you?
WAR AND WIND (Tides 2) comes out in audio in December. SEA AND SAND (Tides 3) comes out in print/ebook in January!


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