I’m back again. I missed a couple of reviews from my previous post today, which you can read here. I didn’t want to leave anyone out so please check out these links.
Paws.Read.Repeat said ‘The stories in the book are from a variety of genres, which I loved. The diversity was eclectic and kept me engaged from start to finish.’
ebookaddicts ‘I really enjoyed listening to this collection from Susanne Rogerson. The anthology is narrated by Sandie Keane and she did a wonderful job bringing these short stories life.‘
Girls who hike and read posted ‘I adore short stories and this collection of 10 beautifully written stories about love and loss completely met the brief for me…’
And that’s it, a full house of reviews for the tour which is brilliant. I’ve loved sharing my short story collection and reading such lovely reviews. Sandie did an excellent job narrating the book for me and I hope you get the chance to check it out.
Here’s a sample if you want to have a listen.
Thanks for reading and listening.
Next time I’ll be back with a reading and writing update.
Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic fantasy, heart-warming romance and short stories
I can’t believe how time has flown and I haven’t posted anything for a month and a half! Yesterday was the blog tour for my newest audiobook, Love, Loss and Life In Between – a short listen perfect for those who like to dip in and out of audiobooks.
Thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for organising the tour and of course thank you to all the bloggers who listened to the collection and have been posting their reviews over the last few weeks.
It’s great how everyone connects with different stories for different reasons and I just love to read their reviews. Of course I also like to share them with you, so here’s a round up with my review highlights. Here goes…
Lara Maynard gives listeners a taste of the stories in this collection in her post on Instagram. ‘The stories include “Garden Therapy” (to which gardeners like me will relate), “A Cat-Shaped Hole” (which might make pet lovers misty-eyed), a story around domestic abuse, and a second chance romance. Most of the stories are broadly in the domestic fiction realm, with flavours of romance or thriller, but a couple veer into the paranormal.’
The Bookish Hermit says ‘…a selection of very emotionally charged stories that have been written with care, respect and love. The audible version is narrated perfectly by Sandie Keane who does a fantastic job of bringing the author’s (Suzanne Rogerson) words to life.’
Just Katherine Blog says ‘…A quick-paced collection of wonderful little stories that are all so different and capture the difficult task of moving on after loss and tragedy. There’s a message that runs through them all: whatever happens, you have to do your best to move on and be strong…’
Bookworm86 shared mini reviews for each story. ‘A beautiful collection of 10 short stories filled with emotion from heartbreak to love, sadness to new beginnings… 📱 ‘The Phone Call’: This story is definitely my favourite one!! It is one of those stories that hit you straight in the gut and will stay witjh me for a long time!’
Jessica’s reading room shared her review ‘Several of the stories deal with death and moving on. Rogerson did a great job with capturing the emotions of a story in just a few words!’
Lis Carey’s Library shared ‘”A Cat-Shaped Hole” is a sweet story of a cat who makes someone’s day brighter, while “Not Just For Christmas” is a story of a family grieving their departed dog deciding it’s time to welcome a new dog into their family. Both brightened my day.’
Niki Preston says ‘I found Suzanne’s writing style was wonderfully creative and really lent itself to this anthology. You really get drawn in and each story feels complete even though they are all short. She definitely gets to the heart of each one with a precision that makes you wonder how on earth she managed to create each differing story with such honesty. A great listen all round.’
Romance that’s out of this world also shared a review saying ‘An eclectic and delightful selection of short stories, which are perfect for listening to when you fancy a few minutes relaxation, or you just want to dip in and out. They range from the slightly eerie to the ‘feelgood’ and ‘cosy’ tale, so there is something for everyone…’
Juliereadzintherockies shared an Instagram post ‘The narrator was lovely as she read through these deep, dark, and passionate stories. I love thrillers but it’s nice to step away and sample something meaningful and touching once in a while.’
A review from MJ Porter says ‘Garden Therapy, with its slight otherworldliness was delightful, and A Mermaid’s Tale was a beautiful account of a young girl coming to terms with the loss of her mother, whereas Catalyst was quite edgy. Not Just for Christmas is a tale many pet owners with feel resonates with them.’
Books we’ve read and loved say ‘I really enjoyed each story. They were like little windows in to different worlds – whole stories in their right but that let you build a world for the characters all of your own. I found myself creating pasts or futures for the characters.’
Storied Conversation was impressed with the narration ‘Sandie Keane did a wonderful job of narrating these stories. I loved her voice and was able to get lost in the stories without having her voice over power them.’
The final review is from Seaside Book Nook. ‘Suzanne Rogerson did a great job pulling me into the story very quickly while telling very touching stories. The stories cover the three Ls: Life, Love, and Loss. After each story, I was able to reflect on the meaning of the story and how it was connected to one of the three Ls. ‘
Wow, that was quite a list to go through. A big thank you to everyone who took part, I hope I haven’t missed anyone off.
If you’ve been inspired to check out the audiobook by these wonderful reviews, here’s the link for Audible. Also available on Amazon as ebook, paperback, audio and hardback.
Don’t forget if you purchase the ebook you can get the audiobook for a discounted price.
Alternatively, I’m looking for reviewers to share their thoughts on the audiobook and have free audio codes to give away. Please get in touch to request this by leaving a comment or using the contact form.
Whether you plan to read or listen to Love, Loss and Life In Between, I hope you enjoy the collection. Do let me know what you think, just like these reviewers did.
Amazon Reviewer – ‘This is a lovely collection of short stories, you can have heart-breaking, heart-warming and shocking moments all in one collection.’
Amazon reviewer – ‘A quick-paced collection of wonderful little stories that are all so different and capture the difficult task of moving on after loss and tragedy…’
Thanks for reading.
Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic fantasy, heart-warming romance and short stories. All social media links can be found onLinktree
The complete Silent Sea Chronicles trilogy is out now in audio. That’s over 39 hours!
“…Tolkien meets Ursula le Guin. A hidden gem that I highly recommend for all fans of classic “sword and sorcery” Audible Reviewer
I love seeing the covers all lined up looking so beautiful.
I’ve been waiting for the whisper sync of each book in the trilogy to become active before posting this promo post. Whisper sync means if you own the eBook, you can buy the audiobook for a huge discount and can switch between the two versions without losing your place. I appreciate that audiobooks can be expense, so this is a great option I have used a few times myself.
“…The unique spin on fantasy and magic is wonderful. There are several events and storylines beautifully woven together. Absolutely brilliant, I cannot wait for more.” Audible reviewer.
Another option open to you is to become an Audible subscriber. I believe you can get one or two free books within your free month trial period. You can cancel at any time, but if you find you love audiobooks and start your subscription using the link below, both myself and the narrator will be given a bonus from Audible at not extra cost to you. Check the relevant link for more information.
“I love how Susan Rogerson always has you on the edge of your seat and threw out three books of more than 30 hours long it never ceases to be dull boring and the ending is so worth the wait. I loved this book and I love George Ellington’s narration…”Audible reviewer
Here’s a trailer of book 1 to give you a taste of George’s narrator style
“…oh my goodness, I must gush about this voice! George Ellington’s smooth Scottish accent gave the story a medieval highland feel that I think suited it very well…” Audible reviewer
Thanks for reading and please do get in touch. Do you enjoy audiobooks? Have you read or listened to Silent Sea Chronicles? If you’ve enjoyed them would you consider leaving reviews? I love reading reviews and picking out snippets to share with my readers. Maybe next time I’ll be using one of your quotes!
Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic fantasy and heart-warming romance
Here is something a little different. Guy Barnes, the narrator of my standalone fantasy Visions of Zarua, has done a live recording of a scene from the book. Check it out on YouTube (https://youtu.be/olzxocUjNFo)
It looks and sounds great, doesn’t it!
And whilst I’m in a sharing mood, here’s an audio sample.
‘…the narration was excellent! Guy Barnes does a great job of creating distinct, believable voices for each character, with fine pacing and emotive enough to evoke more detailed imagery and experiences in the thoughts of listener while following along in this grand tale.’ Reviewer quote on Audible.
Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic and heroic fantasy
Yesterday was the one day blog blitz for The Lost Sentinel and I missed a couple of great reviews that came in after I posted last night. I didn’t want to miss sharing these so here are my favourite snippets and links to the full reviews.
‘…It was the accent, it gave the narrative such an extra beauty, and it transported me to the world that the author created, with such ease.‘ Jess Bookish Life
‘A story in which the author’s world-building is exceptional, I was immersed in Tei’s story from beginning to end and the characters were fantastically developed. I thought Rike and Garrick were great! The fantasy world with the quest for Tei kept me gripped…’ Sharon beyond the books
I hope you’ve enjoyed these snippets. Here’s a sample of George Ellington’s narration and the prologue of The Lost Sentinel.
If these review snippets have you eager to learn more you can listen to Silent Sea Chronicles book 1 and 2 on Audible UKAudible US, Amazon and iTunes. And book 3 with be out very soon.
I’ll leave you with the blurb, thanks for reading.
The magical island of Kalaya is dying, along with its Sentinel.
The Assembly controls Kalaya. Originally set up to govern, they now persecute those with magic and exile them to the Turrak Mountains.
Tei, a tailor’s daughter, has always hidden her magic, but when her father’s old friend visits and warns them to flee to the mountains, she must leave her old life behind.
On the journey, an attack leaves her father mortally wounded. He entrusts her into the care of the exiles and on his deathbed makes a shocking confession.
Struggling with self-doubt, Tei joins the exiles search for their new Sentinel who is the only person capable of restoring the fading magic. But mysterious Masked Riders are hunting the Sentinel too, and time, as well as hope, is running out.
Against mounting odds it will take friendship, heartache, and sacrifice for the exiles to succeed, but is Tei willing to risk everything to save the island magic?
If you like character-based fantasy, then you’ll love The Lost Sentinel – book one in the Silent Sea Chronicles trilogy.
As promised here’s part two of the blog tour blitz with a few more review snippets. First though, I would like to thank everyone who has taken part and of course Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for organising everything.
‘…the story is well told, and the characters are an interesting lot, with vivid descriptions of the people and scenery…’ Colin Garrow
‘…The narrator was very good, his changes in tone really gave the characters individuality and personality. it’s very poetic in places…’ Rosie Writes
‘…The author has done a great job at world building. It was interesting learning about Kalaya and its people…’ Bound4Escape
‘Fans of classic “sword and sorcery” will find a lot to love about Rogerson’s work. What is particularly delightful is that she manages to put a fresh spin on a classic genre. Her imaginative storytelling and creative world building combine to put a unique spin on the comfortingly familiar quest formula. I enjoyed getting lost in this immersive listening experience.’ Rev Rebecca Writes
If these review snippets have you eager to learn more you can listen to Silent Sea Chronicles book 1 and 2 on Audible UKAudible US, Amazon and iTunes. And book 3 with be out very soon.
Thanks for joining me on the blog blitz, I hope you enjoy visiting the other blogs. There may be a couple more reviews coming in and if so I will share them very soon.
Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic and heroic fantasy
Today I am excited to say the The Lost Sentinel Audiobook is being shown some love on the one day blog blitz arranged by Rachel’s Random Resources.
Some great reviews have already come in, here are some snippets.
‘…George Ellington as narrator for The Lost Sentinel is absolutely wonderful. His narration brings the authors writing to life and immerses listeners in the story…’ Lamon Reviews
‘…I found Rogerson to be adept at taking the reader along different character arcs without causing confusion, as each made an impression on me. I savoured my journey to the island of Kalaya as the rich description had me visualising the scenes with ease…’ Booky Charm
‘…The plot for this book was interesting and well thought out. It was well written and reminded me why I love underrated fantasy novels so much. There is some great world building…’ The Pufflekitteh Reads
‘…I love the concept of a Sentinel and Confidant pairing, and that these people are so important in keeping their magical home alive. I love the idea that mystics who die in battle can choose to stay in the astral in-between and continue to defend their island home, as several characters end up doing throughout the story…’ Westveil Publishing
Please click on the links to read the full reviews and check out the reviewers blogs.
I’ll be back with the rest later, but for now I’d just like to thank everyone who has read / listened to my books and reviewed them. It really means a lot that people enjoy my books.
Work on the third audiobook (The Sentinel’s Alliance) in my Silent Sea Chronicles trilogy is coming on really well so today I thought I would do something to celebrate all the hard work of my narrator, George Ellington. He has done an amazing job on the books and I could not be happier with the end results.
Back in Nov 2020 he gave an interview on Audiobookworms blog tour for The Lost Sentinel. I’ve been looking for an opportunity to share it, so here it is.
First there are a couple of quotes from reviewers on Audible that I’d love you to read. I’ll share a couple more after the interview.
‘…oh my goodness, I must gush about this voice! George Ellington’s smooth Scottish accent gave the story a medieval highland feel that I think suited it very well…’
‘…Narrator was Superb, with excellent vocal pressure, and the perfect voice narration of this audiobook. The vocal pressure used gives the listener the sensation of sitting by a campfire listening to a Master Storyteller!‘
‘This author and narrator pairing is great. The narrator really brought the characters to life and made you feel the tone of the story. He has a great voice, good vocal range and fantastic pacing…’
Interview with George Ellington
How did you wind up narrating audiobooks? Was it always your goal or was it something you stumbled into by chance?
Narrating audiobooks was not something I was looking to do, although for quite a while I was attracted to the notion of voice acting. I’m a language teacher; I’ve been teaching English in colleges and universities in the United States, Turkey, and Japan for several decades now. So I love language and voice and accents, but it was my wife who guided me to the ACX platform where I found Suzanne Rogerson’s novel The Lost Sentinel and for which I subsequently auditioned. My wife, Laya V Smith, is an author herself, and she has always tried to help me find the work that would be most fulfilling for me. When she guided me to audiobook narration, I immediately took to it. I loved it! And I am very grateful to her as well for having chosen me to narrate her own novel, The Lumbermill. That was the biggest challenge I had faced—narrating my wife’s novel. I think you should always work closely with your authors, but to have the author there in the recording booth with you is a different matter. Especially if you’re married to her! Which is not to say that she was micromanaging; she was performing all the female and children’s roles in the story, so she had a very good reason for being in the booth. And fortunately for me, The Lumbermill is a fantastic novel, and Laya was very good at guiding me and inspiring me to find the right voices. The Lumbermill is a neo-noir thriller, and Laya knows that I am a huge fan of Dashiell Hammett’s work and Humphrey Bogart’s performance in The Maltese Falcon, so when I was struggling with voicing for her novel, she suggested I “channel your inner Bogie.” And it worked. I am very happy with my performance in her audiobook, and have heard people who know my normal speaking voice, remarking how unbelievable it was to find out that, yes, that really was me performing The Lumbermill.
A lot of narrators seem to have a background in theatre. Is that something you think is essential to a successful narration career?
I can absolutely see the benefit of having a background in theatre. I wish I had had such a background. In a way, what eventually brought me to audiobook narrating was the fact that I had always been too shy to endeavor performing on stage. For some of us, voice acting and audiobook narration is a chance to act, but in a safer environment where no one can see us. But yes, it is still acting. In fact, with Suzanne’s audiobooks, for the first time I found the courage to change my audiobook credits from “narrated by” to “performed by.” It’s not presumptuous to think of ourselves in this way. In fact, to some extent I have been acting throughout my profession as a college teacher. But with audiobooks—and in particular with Suzanne’s stories and my wife’s novel and Zach Abrams’ mysteries—I have been given a chance to really indulge that desire in me to perform. I listen to many audiobooks, and at least in the realm of fiction, those I am most likely to stop listening to early on are those audiobooks in which the narrator—for whatever reason—chose not to perform, chose instead to deliver a multi-character story with essentially one voice for everyone and very little alteration in the style of speech.
What would you say are your strongest narration abilities?
With my background in languages, not only teaching language, but also working closely with students from all over the world, and by virtue of the fact that I am the product of generations of immigrants, I feel most confident in my ability to empathize with characters in stories, to convey the emotional experiences they are engaged in, and to provide authentic voices for each one. I was born in the United States, and a California accent comes natural to me, but most of my audiobook narration has been closer to my mother’s background, whose family came here from Scotland, while my father immigrated to the US from Germany. Throughout the day, without even meaning to do so, I dialect switch, changing my pronunciation and lexicon depending on the situation and on whom I am speaking with, so it is not much of a struggle in narration to create new voices and to perform them in distinct dialects. In fact, it’s one of the things I love so much about audiobook narration—playing with different voices. I can’t imagine any other job that would allow me to have so much fun with my own voice, modified to become many different people. I do the same thing at night, reading stories to my weans before bed—lately I’ve been performing a lot of Winnie the Pooh for my four-year-old son. But with audiobook narration, I actually get paid to do it. Brilliant!
What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
I have spent my life reading quite voraciously, and only in recent years discovered and fell in love with listening to audiobooks. And there does seem to be some confusion about perhaps the intention of audiobook production. Reading a book is a completely personal experience that calls upon ones own experiences and expectations and imagination to make a book—in particular, a novel—come to life. And that is a wonderful experience. Nothing can supplant that, including audiobooks. But you see, that’s just the thing—audiobook listening should not be seen as replacing the experience of reading for yourself. With an audiobook, you’re trusting in someone else to help bring that story and those characters to life. Listening to an audiobook is a different kind of experience—an experience in which the work of the author is enhanced by the skills of the narrator or performer. I see nothing odd about a reader, having read a book for themselves—and having thoroughly enjoyed it—deciding to then listen to the audiobook for a very different experience. I sincerely hope not only to attract new listeners to Suzanne Rogerson’s novels, but also to entice those who have already read her novels to come back and listen to my interpretation of them—to relax and let me bring the stories to life for them in my own way.
What about this title compelled you to audition as narrator?
My first real love as a reader were fantasy tales. I recall well how enthralled I was back in high school reading Tolkien’s works. If this fantasy realm was populated by warriors and wizards, by elves and dwarves, then I had to read it. But then I went to university, majoring in literature, and suddenly had no time to read fantasies any longer. It was all Dickens and Shakespeare and Hemingway and Joyce, all of whom I still love, but I think I never quite stopped longing for a good fantasy. When I saw book one in Suzanne’s Silent Sea Chronicles open for auditions, I couldn’t believe it. Not that I ever thought she would choose me, but I had to give it a go. There was no way I could pass up the opportunity to narrate such a fantastic trilogy. The Silent Sea Chronicles has everything in it I love about fantasies: a keen understanding of characters populating these tales, including those you love and those you hate, and all of them are compelling. I love to see how magic in Suzanne’s tales is not just some supernatural element dropped into an otherwise unrelated environment, but that in fact—comparable perhaps to Native American or Celtic beliefs—the world is animated by magic. There is a strong sense of respect for the world in Suzanne’s writing, and for how what we do impacts the world around us.
How closely do you prefer to work with authors?
I feel much more confident with the work I do when I can work closely with the author. Yes, the narrator brings their own interpretations into the performance, and that is as it should be, but I also need to know what the author wishes to hear from all of the work I do, including voicing, characterizations, pacing. When an author can say, these three characters mean a lot to me, and I want them to sound like this and this and this, then that makes my job all the easier. It helps a narrator no end to know up front the parameters within which the author foresees an audiobook sounding like. From what I gather reading feedback from other narrators, it is still an unfortunately common occurrence that a narrator continues on with a work, even unto its completion, only then to discover that a character or, even worse, the narrator does not meet the author’s expectations. Narrators should always work closely with authors. Suzanne has been a joy to work with, giving me such useful feedback every step of the way, even helping me with finish editing, catching things I might otherwise have missed, and still otherwise, giving me a great deal of free reign to interpret and perform as I choose. Zach Abrams was like that as well, for whom I narrated three books in a police procedural series set in Scotland, always encouraging and helpful in guiding and polishing his audiobooks. I’ve been very fortunate with the authors I’ve worked with.
Have there been any characters that you really connected with?
In Suzanne’s novels, characters are so well developed and so sympathetic that I find myself caring about many of them. My first real connections was with Rike and Garrick, perhaps because they were primary characters in my audition for the work, but more so because they are just very good men, striving to help others, seeking to overcome their own failings and face the incredibly daunting threats that surround them in these stories. They have fine hearts and struggle with love, and possess those very same talents that make for a great fantasy: one the keen, sensitive mystic, the other the big warm-hearted bear of a warrior/protector taking care of the mystic. There are great relationships in these stories, and characters like Rike and Garrick made me love the series from the start.
Do you read reviews for your audiobooks? If so, which ones stand out to you most, positive or negative?
I’ve been warned a number of times to not pay too much attention to reviews, but I can’t help it. Of course I look. Sometimes daily! I’m not sure how many readers and listeners out there understand how crucial it is for the success of authors and narrators that they actually take the time to rate and review the works they read and listen to. Especially within the online medium that we depend on more and more to choose our next read or listen, and how search results are generated—reviews are critical. (No pun intended.) So yes, I look, and negative reviews hurt, and fortunately for me, most of the reviews that have been written about my performances have been very good. What still surprises me—and makes me blush—is that the greatest number of positive reviews I have received have been for romance performances. One novel in particular, Storm the Castle by Jolie Vines—another great author to work with!—has evoked some rather gushing praise that pleases me so very much of course, although I wonder how much of that is due to the popularity of a deep-voiced Scottish accent in a romantic lead. One reviewer talked about my performance melting her clothes off. Who wouldn’t blush at that? So yes, I love reading positive reviews. I’m sure we all do.
Who is your “dream author” that you would like to record for?
I have already had the glorious good fortune to work with authors whose works I have enjoyed and whose talents I have deeply admired. As I have said, Suzanne Rogerson has been a joy to work with. Because I have spent so much of my life reading, I know many authors whose works I wish I had had the chance to narrate: JRR Tolkien, AA Milne, Ernest Hemingway, Raymond Carver, Graham Greene, Val McDermid. The list goes on and on, really. A couple of authors whose works I truly love and would have given anything for the chance to narrate are John Le Carré and Ian Rankin. Deeply intriguing stories, wonderfully constructed characters. Just brilliant. As a listener, I am grateful that narrator James Macpherson was brought on to continue narrating the Rebus stories; he does a fantastic job of it! But yes, I do wish I could have had a chance at narrating something from Ian Rankin. Dream author, indeed!
Disclaimer – These questions were thought up by Justine at Audiobookworm and were part of the tour she ran for me in November 2020 (see a summary here). If you’re looking to to spread the word about your audiobook check out her website.
Here is a sample of George’s narration.
At the weekend The Lost Sentinel is having a blog blitz run by Rachel’s Random Resources, so I hope to have some more review snippets to share with you then.
If you fancy a listen to Silent Sea Chronicles book 1 and 2 are out now on Audible UKAudible US, Amazon and iTunes. Book 3 is close to completion and we hope with be out very soon.
I’ll leave you with a couple more reviewers quotes from Audible.
‘…told by narrator George Ellington who I found I could easily listen to for hours.’
‘…amazing book made better by the narrater George Ellington…’
‘…I can only hope the narrator is going to do Second book in this series. He has an awesome voice and this is an awesome story.’
Suzanne Rogerson – Author of epic and heroic fantasy