The McQuaid family saga continues as FALLING FOR THE COWGIRL releases on audio!

cowboy4-WPFeature-300x224Colorado Territory.  June 1869.  A young woman disguised as a man.  A bounty hunter hiding his identity.  A dangerous war criminal pretending to be one of South Park’s own.  A love that will no longer be denied.  This ain’t no ordinary rodeo, folks – this is Colorado Cowboys, Book Four.  So excited to celebrate the audiobook release of Falling For The Cowgirl written by Jody Hedlund and published by Tantor Audio!

This fourth installment in the McQuaid family saga was so much fun to narrate!  I have adored the character of Ivy McQuaid since we first met her in book one,  and Falling For The Cowgirl centers squarely on the romance between Ivy McQuaid and Jericho Bliss, a romance that has been steadily gaining speed until it can no longer be contained.

Ivy McQuaid is no ordinary heroine … she’s a tomboy through and through, peppered with a whole lot of sass, and known as foolish, and impulsive and wild.  Paired with handsome, no-nonsense Jericho Bliss, a cowhand turned bounty hunter, sparks fly whenever these two get around each other.

Book four opens with Ivy, now almost nineteen, disguised as a man, in the middle of a cowhand competition – or what would be known today, as a rodeo. The problem is, it’s 1869 and women are not allowed to participate in this type of competition.  Never one to let a little detail like this stop her, Ivy disguises herself as a young school teacher, under the alias of Buster Bliss.  So far so good. This plan is working great.  That is … it was – until she spots her childhood infatuation, Jericho Bliss, at the competition.  Holy Saint Peter.  Ivy hasn’t seen Jericho for almost two years, not since he left town and took her heart with him … again.

Meanwhile, Jericho is also pretending to be someone he’s not.  Currently undercover as a bounty hunter, he’s tracking a dangerous war criminal, whom he suspects is hiding in South Park.  Things heat up a might when Jericho and Ivy’s eyes meet after she almost plunges to her death in a Roman-style riding competition!  Realizing he’s recognized her, and unable to take the risk of Jericho blowing her cover, Ivy quickly exits stage left, grabs her horse and hightails it out of there, hoping to escape a meeting with Jericho.  There is never any escaping, where Jericho is concerned, however … probably why he’s such a great bounty hunter!  He’s fuming at what almost happened to Ivy and chases after her with the intent of giving her a piece of his mind for putting herself in such danger.  But that’s the funny thing about the mind … it can quickly be overtaken by the heart.  And this love – a love that has been vehemently denied by both parties for years – well … it might finally, and ultimately, have its way …

Falling For The Cowgirl is now available on audio at Audible and Amazon.

Five-Part Invention Wins an Earphones Award!

5-part-invention-WPFeature-300x224Earlier this year one of the most beautiful, moving, and heart-stirring books came across my desk.  A book that I couldn’t put down, one that moved me to the core, and one that I was so happy to be a part of, as one of five narrators for Dreamscape Media.  This book is Five-Part Invention, and it is the debut novel of extraordinary writer,  Andrea J. Buchanan.  This morning, happy news started the day when I learned that this exquisite book, has just won an Earphones award!

Thank you so much, AudioFile Magazine for taking the time to listen to, review and for awarding Five-Part Invention with the wonderful honor of receiving an Earphones Award.  Huge congratulations to Andrea J. Buchanan, Erick Black and Dreamscape Media, and to my immensely talented co-narrators, Elizabeth Wiley, Jayme Mattler, Jackie Meloche and Jane Oppenheimer.  It’s an honor and joy to be in your company!  Heartfelt thanks to Erick Black for casting me as Anna – a character that will forever remain in my heart.

I have included the text of the review below, as well as included a link to AudioFile Magazine’s review, here –  incase you prefer to check out the review on line.  Also – please do check out this book – either on Audio, or in print.  You can find Five-Part Invention on Audible or at Amazon. com.

Here’s the review!

FIVE-PART INVENTION

Earphones Award Winner

by Andrea J. Buchanan | Read by Elizabeth Wiley, Jayme Mattler, Susan Hanfield, Jackie Meloche, Jane Oppenheimer

Fiction • 14.25 hrs. • Unabridged • © 2022

Buchanan’s debut novel unfolds like a symphony as it examines the impact of trauma on five generations of women. Five talented narrators breathe life into these complicated survivors. Elizabeth Wiley, as Lise, the matriarch, has an immigrant’s accent as she reveals her traumatic truth to her adult daughter, Anna, through a letter that weaves through the stories of her descendants. Susan Hanfield’s Anna mourns the mothering she missed in her childhood while mothering Pauline, the girl she is raising as her own. Jane Oppenheimer portrays Pauline’s neediness as she struggles to feel connected. Jayme Mattler spotlights Hope’s curiosity and insightfulness as she spends spring break with the grandfather she never knew. Jackie Meloche delivers Zoey’s self-acceptance as love triumphs over trauma. N.E.M. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2022, Portland, Maine [Published: SEPTEMBER 2022]

Trade Ed. • Dreamscape • 2022

https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/reviews/Read/218472

Five-Part Invention 🎼🎼🎼🎼🎼 New Audiobook Release From Dreamscape!

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In music, the word invention (n.) is defined as:  a short keyboard composition featuring two- or three-part counterpoint.  

Five-Part Invention, is the gripping debut novel from New York Times bestselling author, Andrea J. Buchanan, that is now available for listening on Audible.  I’m so grateful to have been a part of this incredibly beautiful project!  I had the honor and privilege of voicing Anna, one of the five protagonists, in this exquisite saga spanning five generations of women that “wrestles with the question – if trauma echoes through generations, can love echo, too? Is the love we transmit enough to undo the trauma of the past that we unwittingly carry with us and often re-enact in the present?” (Publisher Summary) 

Five-Part Invention begins with Lise, in the form of a letter written to her daughter Anna, in an attempt to explain, and to try to undo, the estrangement that she has had with her daughter, from the moment Anna was born.  This first invention sets the stage for this riveting multigenerational story.  Buchanan then skillfully shifts the lens to shine a light on each of her five protagonists’ lives, told from their perspectives.  Here we are introduced to Lise, Anna, Pauline, Hope and Zoey, all written so exquisitely and vividly, and in such a way, that is not only immediately captivating, but all at once, immersive.  Buchanan places each of these five extraordinary women in their specific eras, allowing each counterpoint to ring out clearly in their own unique voice, as they transparently share their story, their struggles, their search for identity, and their ultimate journey to self-love, all the while answering the question …

Is the love we transmit enough to undo the trauma of the past?  

Heartfelt thank you to Dreamscape Media, for casting me as Anna, and for inviting me to be a part of this truly special project.  To my incredibly talented co-narrators –  Elizabeth Wiley (Lise), Jane Oppenheimer (Pauline), Jamie Mattler (Hope), and Jackie Meloche (Zoey) –  what an honor and joy it is to be in your company. 

Five-Part Invention is now available in print and on Audio at audible.com and amazon.com.

Brody is back! Book Three – Colorado Cowboys: To Tame A Cowboy – Releases on Audio

cowboy3-WPFeature-300x224Front Range, Colorado Territory.  May 1867.  A run-away bride. A soldier returning from war.  A woman who dreams of being a veterinarian.  A man who kept his life, but lost his soul.  One brother’s plea, another brother lost.  Fists wanting to fly.  Bullets begging to bite.  Memories wrapped in darkness.  Love beckoning in the light.  Wild horses straining to be free.  Giddyap. This is book three … and Brody is back.

Happy release day to Book Three – Colorado Cowboys: To Tame A Cowboy, written by Jody Hedlund, and available now from Tantor Audio!  In a rich world full of heart, grit and soul, the opportunity to voice this incredibly special cast of characters, in this beautiful book, was not only so much fun, but truly such an honor.

So let’s recap, shall we?  When we first met Brody McQuaid, it was briefly – at the end of Book One: A Cowboy For Keeps.  The year was 1862 and Brody had just turned eighteen and had been itching to join the Union army, so that he could help in the war efforts.  Despite the animosity between Wyatt and Flynn,  Flynn reluctantly decides that if moving west would save Brody, and prevent him from enlisting, then no matter what his estrangement with Wyatt was, he’d do it.  Unfortunately the move west comes a little too late, and at the top of Book Two: The Heart Of A Cowboy, we learn that even the best laid plans … can sometimes go awry.  The night before the McQuaid family is set to head west,  Brody sneaks off in the middle of the night to enlist.  We don’t see him again until eighteen months later, at the end of Book Two.  The chapter opens in a federal hospital in Philadelphia.  Brody has been wounded and is unrecognizable, having become a mere shell of the man he once was. Emaciated.  A heap of skin and bones.  His humanity, all but gone.  If it weren’t for the tiny hand of his infant niece, Flora, reaching out to him and holding on to him tight, he would have just allowed himself to slip further into the abyss that wouldn’t stop calling to him.  The next time we see Brody, in Book Three: To Tame A Cowboy, we learn that while he has healed physically, he might never heal emotionally.  Brody has tried to take his life, he is full of haunted memories and remorse.  Guilt and anger fuel his days – and now he lets his fists do all his talking.  Only two things keep him going – his love for his niece, and the love and companionship that he feels for the untamed wild horses that are currently being hunted on the land.  He longs to set them free, just as much as he longs to be free himself …

To Tame A Cowboy  sets the stage for this gripping historical romance, by opening on the night before Savannah Marshall’s fancy wedding.  Where, instead of pre-wedding bliss, the bride-to-be is feeling more and more like a corralled mustang by the minute.  Savannah has wanted her whole life to be a veterinarian, and to one day have her own practice.  If she agrees to this marriage of convenience that her father is pushing for, she knows that her days as a veterinarian are as good as numbered.  She just needs time to think . . . but the clock is ticking.   If she is going to flee – it needs to be now!  In the darkness of predawn, Savannah makes a life altering decision.  Pushing down her guilt, and hiding her traveling clothes and pack, she saddles up and rides out into the high country, while everyone on the plantation sleeps.  While she might not have all of this figured out quite yet, one thing she’s sure of, is that she can’t give up on the only thing she has ever wanted to do – heal and care for animals.  As she leads her horse out into the chill of the morning, she has no idea that a whole new life is about to open up to her.  One that not only includes the animals, she so desperately wants to help, but also perhaps, an untamed cowboy … who could surely use a whole lot of love and care, as well.

To Tame A Cowboy is now available at Audible or Amazon.

Undo the Tech Trance … Digital Detox Releases on Audio!

41BBL+j5KeL._SL500_In today’s fast moving, tech saturated world, screens are everywhere, and there seems to be an app now for almost anything you can imagine.  While I love technology, and all that it has to offer, I also find myself longing more and more for those moments where I can just unplug, and give my mind a necessary brain break.  When I was offered the opportunity to narrate Molly DeFrank’s wonderful new book, Digital Detox: The Two-Week Tech Reset For Kids, by christianaudio, I was both intrigued and excited.  I couldn’t wait to find out what this digital detox was all about.

First, let me preface by saying that DeFrank is not against tech –  far from it – but she and her husband had started noticing significant behavioral changes in their kids – they were no longer their spunky selves. They were grumpy, dazed and slowly “morphing … into swamp creatures.”  One day, upon returning home after hours of being away, DeFrank noticed that she wasn’t greeted with a loving “Hi Mommy!” or  “I missed you.”  Instead, she was asked a rather irksome question, “can I play on your phone?” – something DeFrank describes in her book – as sounding more akin to “Hey, gatekeeper of electronics? Gimme a fix.”  This clarifying moment, prompted her and her hubby to take action, in what would soon become – a two-week tech reset for their kids –  cold turkey.

So what exactly is a tech reset?  And how do we undo this tech trance? Well, basically a tech reset, or digital detox, is the unplugging from ALL screens and electronics for a given amount of time. To undo the tech trance, DeFrank provides us with this helpful acronym:

Unplug cold turkey.

Notice your kid’s interests, talents, opportunities for growth.

Develop a list of screen-free fun together

Open the books!

In a book that is both warm, relatable and funny, DeFrank also weaves in facts, research, personal stories and studies that showcase, without a doubt, the negative impact that too much tech is having on our kids … and on us.  Of the families that Molly DeFrank later coached through this two week digital detox, 100% of families had positive results.

Our approach to tech media doesn’t have to be one way or the highway, it just needs to be on our terms.  In its right place, technology can be productive, helpful, relaxing and fun.  We just need to make sure that we, and not technology, remain in the driver’s seat.

Digital Detox is now available on Audible, Amazon and across all platforms.

Slow Communication – New Fiction Story Podcast Releases on Fantasy Magazine

slow communication

Releasing today on Fantasy Magazine’s story podcast is Dominique Dickey’s unique and prolific short fiction, Slow CommunicationI so enjoyed narrating this captivating story that travels from generation to generation. It’s a story shared amongst a long line of women, women who have come into contact at one moment in their lifetime, with an otherworldly being. Women who are given one chance to ask the question of a lifetime.  

Slow Communication follows the life of 17 year old Darla Revere.  Darla is a part of this conversation, this continuum, so to speak.  Each of the Revere women, have in their lifetime, been visited by this alien – this leviathan.  As a child, Darla had heard over and over again, that one day the leviathan would come for her, and that it would come for her when she least expected it.  The leviathan’s contact would evoke immense joy and pain, simultaneously.  All words, all ideas – would be knocked out of your mind by the sheer intensity of the contact, so you had better have your question ready; you needed to have it down pat. You had to know it better than you knew anything else in your life.  And if you changed yourself too much, if you did not bear a resemblance to the women in your family line, the leviathan may not be able to find you when it was your time.  Generation upon generation, questions from the Revere line, along with the leviathan’s answers, were documented, recorded, and passed down to the eldest Revere daughter in the family.  Each daughter waited for this moment.  Their moment.  And thus far, only one daughter had lived to hear the answer to her question.  Darla wanted to change all that. 

One question.

One question to last a lifetime. 

What would your question be?

To listen to Slow Communication, come on over to Fantasy Magazine, Issue 76 of the February offering, where you can listen free of charge here.  This podcast was produced by Skyboat Media

 

The Heart of a Cowboy – Colorado Cowboys, Book 2 – is now on Audio!

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Council Grove, Kansas.  May 1863. An icy cold river. A near drowning. Bandits. Horses. Wagons. A brilliant Botanist.  A brave Cowboy. A Bodyguard.  Get ready – this new historical romance literally starts off with a splash!  As in the rushing water splash … of the unforgiving Neosho River.

I couldn’t be more thrilled to celebrate the audiobook release of Book 2 of the Colorado Cowboys: The Heart of A Cowboy, written by the extraordinary Jody Hedlund, and published by the wonderful team at Tantor Audio

We first meet botanist Linnea Newberry in the river. Drowning. Literally. She’d been perched on the back of a covered wagon headed for Colorado Territory, completely immersed in her study of a southern cattail, Typha domingensis.  In the midst of her analysis, her wagon hits a large stone in the river bed and she is unceremoniously thrown into the rushing water of the Neosho River.  The current is strong from recent rains, and the muddy water immediately drags her under, aided by the weight of her heavy muslin skirt and petticoats.  Luckily for her, a lone rider is nearby and he and his sorrel horse waste no time, plunging into the river, in an attempt to pluck her from the river’s cold claws.  

The lone rider is a cowboy by the name of Flynn McQuaid.  We’ve met Flynn before. He made his first entrance at the end of Colorado Cowboys, Book 1:  A Cowboy for Keeps, when he receives a letter from our hero in the first book, Wyatt McQuaid, pleading for his brother to come out west with their younger siblings, to where Wyatt promises them a new life.  

Back at the river, once Linnea is rescued from the brink of death by Flynn, Linnea’s grandfather, who is lead scientist, hires Flynn to act as his granddaughter’s bodyguard, unbeknownst to Linnea, for the rest of their botanical expedition in order to ensure her safety.  Flynn is on his own expedition, albeit begrudgingly, driving Wyatt’s cattle across the Sante Fe trail.  He is desperate to provide a better life for his younger siblings and even though the last thing he wants is Wyatt’s help, he knows he needs to do something to start over and maybe, hopefully, he can finally start to dislodge the oppressive load of guilt that hangs heavy on his shoulders. He needs to get his life together and the last thing he wants, or has any time for, is romance. 

But hey, that’s perfectly fine because Linnea doesn’t have romance on her mind, either! Not in the least.  Linnea is desperately trying to make a name for herself as a respected and revered botanist, in a time where women were still not being taken seriously in the science world. The last thing she wants to do is get sent back home, or worse – fall in love and get off track. Oh no.  Her career is the only thing on her mind. 

However, sometimes our minds and our hearts aren’t always in agreement and when Flynn reluctantly accepts the charge to become Linnea’s bodyguard, an entirely new expedition … of the heart, ensues.

The Heart of a Cowboy is now available on Audible and Amazon

 

The Athlete Inside – Now on Audio!

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“Anything is possible when you have the courage to start a journey – whatever that journey may be.” – Sue Reynolds

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of courage is: “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.”  When I look back on Sue Reynolds’ journey from 335 pounds to world-class triathlon in 4 short years, courage is definitely a word that comes to mind.  I can’t help but be overcome by the incredible amount of fortitude it took for Sue Reynolds to one day say “enough” to her then obese body and begin to take those first few steps that ultimately would lead her to a whole new life.  The Athlete Inside: The Transforming Power of Hope, Tenacity, and Faith is Reynolds’ inspiring true story, a story that has stayed with me long after I finished narrating this incredibly powerful book. 

The Athlete Inside, begins with Reynolds providing us with a bird’s eye view of a race that is about to happen at Worlds (the International Triathlon Union’s Age Group Triathlon World Championship) in Cozumel, Mexico.  As she readies herself to jump into the Gulf of Mexico, and begin the first leg of the race, Sue is struck by the thought that four years earlier she was considered morbidly obese at 335 pounds.  She couldn’t tie her own shoes, couldn’t fit into a restaurant booth, couldn’t walk a block, or much less stand, without gasping for breath – and now … here she was  – a member of Team USA, and one of 113 of the fastest women in the world in her age group.  Inconceivable.  She reflects on the many people that believed in her and cheered her on, from family and friends, to her coach, to complete strangers who came into her life at just the right moment to offer a word of encouragement when she needed it the most.  At the sound of the air horn, the race begins and we are transported back to how it all began and how Sue ultimately finds the strength to say no to fear, doubt, exhaustion, pain and unbelief and to ultimately say YES to herself, to a new way of living, to a spiritual journey that she never expected, and to the athlete inside … that she never knew was there.  

The Athlete Inside is now available in print and on Audio and can be found at Audible and on Amazon.  Heartfelt thanks to the wonderful team at christianaudio for inviting me along on this extraordinary journey.  

 

New Fiction Story Podcast – I WOULD – Releases On Fantasy Magazine

Step out and fly away … with a new fantasy from Fantasy Magazine

I had so much fun narrating this captivating new fiction –  I WOULD by Benjamin C. Kinney releasing this week in the July issue of Fantasy Magazine.  
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Kinney creates a world of magic in this bewitching story that is filled with rich characters and endless possibilities. Endless possibilities, that is … if you happen to be a seer

A seer is a person who prophesies future events, and in I WOULD, Knira, is one such person.  She receives her visions through the constellations in the sky.  Knira however, is currently being held captive in a jeweled castle, by robber Queen, Iroda, Warden of the Tollgate. Queen Iroda wants to know what Knira sees in the constellations, and she will stop at nothing to get a glimpse of these visions. Two visitors soon arrive at the castle, Atyce Dragon-Slayer and her traveling companion, Despina – who is dressed in full mail regalia, with sword ready.  The evening begins with a feast to welcome the visitors, … although these visitors are not really welcome. Each person in this intimate party, has their own feast in mind.  As the tension mounts, Knira needs to find a way to cast her eye to the sky, so she can hatch a plan of escape. In one quick moment, she gets away from the guard with just enough time to throw open the shuttered windows.  She stares into the sliver of night, and her visions immediately begin to unfold.  She wonders “what would our lives be if we failed to strive for something glittering beyond our grasp?”  If Knira decides to takes one of the paths that is indeed, glittering beyond her grasp … just how would it play out?  As she is dragged away from the window, we soon learn, that there are many ways … to interpret a vision.
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I WOULD can be found in Issue 69 of Fantasy Magazine.  If you’d like to listen to to this story, please visit Fantasy Magazine here where you can listen or read the story, free of charge. 

Big thank you to the always incredible team at Skyboat Media, for inviting me on the magic carpet ride into this  enchanted world.