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.

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

 

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. 

 

Wonder Dogs: True Stories of Extraordinary Assistance Dogs – Releases on Audio!

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“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” – Albert Einstein

Meet Tucker.  Not only is he adorable, but he is also one of the many extraordinary Wonder Dogs in this beautiful and inspiring new book – Wonder Dogs: True Stories of Extraordinary Assistance Dogs written by Maureen Maurer, with Jenna Benton.

We first meet Tucker when he arrives at the Kahului Airport in Maui, just in time for Christmas. Tucker is the newest addition to the ohana (family) of “heroes in training” at the Assistance Dogs of Hawaii.  At this point in Wonder Dogs, it has been five years since Maureen took a leap of faith and sold her CPA practice, in order to follow her childhood dream of training dogs to assist people with disabilities.  

As we move through each chapter of Wonder Dogs, Mo introduces us to a new “hero in training” along with the incredible individual, that they will be paired with.  The person in need of an assistance dog, may be a child, or an adult and their disabilities range from limited mobility to severe.  As we learn about each of these incredible dogs and their courageous partners, we see lives change, a newfound quality of life emerging that had never before been dreamed possible, and a bond of friendship formed, that will last a lifetime. The journeys that both of these heroes embark upon, is not only extraordinary – but will leave your heart forever changed, and so full.

This book has truly been one of the most encouraging, uplifting and moving books that I have ever had the pleasure of narrating.  Heartfelt thanks to the wonderful team at christianaudio for inviting me along on this extraordinary journey. I couldn’t be more grateful. 

If you, or someone you know, is in need of a special assistance dog, or you would like to help make it possible for more Wonder Dogs to help children and adults with disabilities, and other special needs, please visit ADH/ADNW’s websites at assistancedogshawaii.org or assistancedogsnorthwest.org.

Wonder Dogs: True Stories of Extraordinary Assistance Dogs is now available across all platforms, and can be found on Audible and at Amazon.com

Help Your Kids Learn & Love the BIBLE – Releasing today on Audio & in Print!

helpyourkidsReleasing today on Audio and in Print is Danika Cooley’s wonderful and warm new book, Help Your Kids Learn & Love the BIBLE, published by Christianaudio.  It was such a pleasure and joy to narrate this helpful, down-to-earth, fun and insightful book that is woven with so much love.  Cooley keeps it real from the very first page, where we catch a glimpse of a busy mom, answering her three year old’s question, that’s being called from the back seat of the minivan, as to “Why … the Bible calls Jonah a prophet and not a missionary?” Cooley expertly navigates the road, as well as the question, as we learn that this is one of many conversations about the bible that this smart and savvy mom has with her young children, while en route “in a minivan littered with toys, raisins and an odd shoe.” 

Throughout Help Your Kids Learn & Love the BIBLE, Cooley keeps smiles on our faces as she shows us plenty of ways that helping our kids learn & love the bible can be interactive, loads of fun and engaging.  Imparting God’s word, love and wisdom into our kid’s lives doesn’t have to be difficult, dull or feel unattainable to include, in our already busy schedules. 

In one example, Cooley shows us how, in as little as 5 minutes every morning, we can teach our kids how to “put on the full armor of God” (see Ephesians 6:10-18) with a playacting memory game.  In her example, Cooley and her boys begin the day with Cooley shouting (as if in battle) –  “Be strong in the Lord!”  followed by  “Who do we fight?”  Her boys would eagerly yell back, in unison “Not against flesh and blood” Mom would then shout over the battlefield to them “What do we wear?” Enthusiastically, the boys would cheer back  “The full armor of God.” The family would then proceed to act out verses 10 through 18 from Ephesians Chapter 6, ending by victoriously jabbing the air with their “sword of the spirit”.  This is just one, of many examples, that Cooley shares with her audience, as to how we can communicate God’s word to our kids in an interactive and delightful way. This playful, but meaningful exercise, helped her boys to understand, not only the importance of putting on the full armor of God at the start of each day, but it also taught them about each action, what it meant, and why it was important, while at the same time committing the scripture to memory – all in about 5 minutes!

Throughout this book, Cooley shows us that even with a full schedule and littles in tow, each of us can find creative, engaging ways to help our kids embark on an amazing and exciting adventure through the Bible. An adventure, that will not only teach them about the love of God and His Word, but will also create lasting memories and teachable moments, that will stay with them for all of their days to come.  

Help Your Kids Learn & Love the Bible is now available at christianaudio.com, Amazon, Audible and across all platforms. 

Excuse Me, Your Life is Waiting – Now on Audio!

031921-slider-yourlifeiswaiting-1000x391_crop (1)“To everyone one of us who finally … maybe… possibly … believes they have the right to perpetual happiness, beginning now.” – Lynn Grabhorn. 

Releasing today on audio is Lynn Grabhorn’s insightful book, Excuse Me, Your Life is Waiting: The Astonishing Power of Positive Feelings. 

I had the pleasure of narrating this profound book for Dreamscape Media, and to say it changed the way I now think … or rather feel … would be putting it mildly.  In Excuse Me, Your Life is Waiting, Grabhorn outlines practical, clear steps to help us tap into our feelings, so that we can begin living the abundant life that was truly meant to be ours. 

In our day to day lives, it’s easy to get bogged down in the weeds by negative or worrisome thoughts. In Excuse Me, Your Life is Waiting, Grabhorn invites us to start paying attention to how we’re feeling on a day to day basis, sharing that, it is only once we get in touch with our feelings, that we can then begin to see how our feelings have either, positively or negatively, been affecting our everyday life. 

The first step that Grabhorn encourages us to take, is to identify what we are currently thinking about and the things that we don’t want.  From here, step two inspires us to identify what we DO want.  In step three, we begin to get into the feeeeeling place of what we DO want.  Step four, motivates us to expect, listen and allow it to happen.  Grabhorn shares that once we actively take these four steps, we begin to live our lives in a happier, higher vibration of energy. Because we are now operating from that higher place, we soon notice our “worries, concerns, doubts and fears slowly start to move from a constant ever-present little hum to an uncommon occurrence in a matter of weeks.”   We begin to feel more encouraged, we start to dream again, we go through our day feeling more optimistic, and ultimately we become more connected to our inner being and the world around us. From here, we begin to move into that happier, more content place – the place, that we were always meant to live in.   

Excuse Me Your Life is Waiting is available in both the Expanded Study Edition, as well as the regular edition, and can be found on Audible, Amazon and across all platforms.  

Jody Hedlund’s A COWBOY FOR KEEPS Releases in Print & on Audio!

Colorado Territory. August 1862. Horses. Romance. A Stagecoach Robbery. A Mail-Order Bride. A Handsome Cowboy. Whoa.

I couldn’t be more excited to celebrate the print and audiobook release of Jody Hedlund’s new book – A Cowboy For Keeps: Colorado Cowboys, Book 1.

Already a fan of Hedlund’s wonderful writing, it was such an incredible joy and honor to narrate A Cowboy For Keeps, published by the amazing team at Tantor Audio

A Cowboy For Keeps begins with a bang . . .  pun intended! We dive in from the get-go with a stagecoach robbery in progress, where we are introduced to the beautiful and strong-willed heroine, Greta Nilsson, who is traveling to Colorado as a mail-order bride.  Greta did not become a mail-order bride on a whim. This wasn’t a romantic notion. She has thought long and hard about this, has saved and planned. Greta’s eight year old sister, Astrid, suffers from consumption, and it was thought, during this time in history, that wide open spaces in the country could offer relief, and possibly extend the lives, of those who were struck with this illness. The only way Greta can think of, to help Astrid, is to offer herself as a mail-order bride to a wealthy man, who could provide for her and Astrid. However, things do not go as planned. At the hands of bandits, Greta loses every penny of her savings, only to then discover, that the man she’s come west to marry . . . is dead.  Jobless, penniless, with an ill sister, and knowing no one, Greta has to make a decision and quickly.

Enter Wyatt McQuaid. A handsome cowboy.  Wyatt wants to start a cattle ranch but he doesn’t have the money needed to get the ranch up and running.  The mayor, who has promised to help Greta, offers Wyatt the most unlikely of bargains. He will invest in the cattle Wyatt needs for his ranch. . . on one condition – that Wyatt help the town become more respectable, by getting married. And the mayor just happens to have the perfect bride in mind . . .

A Cowboy for Keeps is now available at Audible or on Amazon.

New YA Fantasy DIVIDED FIRE Releases Today on Audio & in Print!

Song of Fire, Strength of Love! I couldn’t be more excited to celebrate the audiobook and print release today of DIVIDED FIRE written by Jennifer San Filippo. I had so much fun co-narrating this exciting new YA Fantasy, alongside the awesome Brittany Pressley and published by the wonderful team at HMH Audio.

In this rich fantasy world, magic expresses itself through song. One of the many things I love about this book is the use of sign language. In Divided Fire, the gift of song appears in a person at a young age, and if they are deemed a singer, they are no longer able to use their voice to speak, and instead must sign in order to communicate.  With this gift, their voice is used through song to control the world around them with magical ability over one of the elements, either – fire, water, air or earth. 

In Divided Fire, I play Miren, who is separated unexpectedly from her younger sister Kesia when pirates invade their small fishing town. Because Kesia is one of a few remaining Fire Singers left, she is taken against her will. Miren, who doesn’t have the gift of song, but has a sharp mind and unrelenting spirit, vows to find Kesia and bring her home. Throughout Divided Fire, these two sisters journey through a war-torn world, across sea and land, amidst unexpected friends & enemies alike, and learn just how strong their bond of sisterly love truly is, as they fight against all odds to find their way back to each other. 

Divided Fire is now available on Audible and at Amazon.com.