March 2018 Audiobook Giveaway Walking the Americas

Read by Barnaby Edwards

Levison Wood’s famous walking expeditions have taken him from the length of the Nile River to the peaks of the Himalayas, and in Walking the Americas, Wood chronicles his latest exhilarating adventure: a 1,800-mile trek across the spine of the Americas, through eight countries, from Mexico to Colombia. Read the full description

“So often books on great treks seem to relish recounting only maladies, sexcapades, or drunken capers. Not so with Wood; he focuses on the people and places he and Alberto encounter, which makes for great reading.”Library Journal, Starred Review

How to Win This MP3-CD Audiobook

  1. Send an email to
  2. Put the word “America” in the subject line.

Entries must be received by March 31, 2018. Open to US only.


Congratulations to Linda Townsend, Tantor winner of last month’s giveaway of Heart Berries. Thank you to all that entered


Interview & Giveaway with the Narrator of the Aegis of Merlin Series, Joe Hempel


With the upcoming release of The Chimera Jar, book 3 in the Aegis of Merlin series written by James E. Wisher, we wanted to get to know its narrator, Joe Hempel. How did he prepare for the role beginning with book one, The Impossible Wizard?

What was it about the book that originally peaked your interest?

The Impossible Wizard and the entire Aegis of Merlin series peaked my interest due to its genre.  I love Urban Fantasy and this seemed to be just a bit different to not be pigeonholed into a typical Urban Fantasy standard. You still had the young sarcastic hero, but it seemed to have a bit of a darker edge surrounding what might be considered typical YA Urban Fantasy fare. That was my initial impression anyway, and I think I was right on that.

How do you prep before recording? Do you research the book/series or just dive in?

I prep the books just simply by reading them to get a feel for the story, how characters develop and also to mark any special character accents.  You don’t want to go in cold and find out on page 200 that your main character had an accent all along!  When it’s a series, and I know I’m doing more than the first book or so, I try to look at the descriptions of the other books in the series to see what’s being set up and see where the “overall” story arc is going.

How do you get into character and create character voices?

When getting into a character I tend not to just go “oh this character voice will work great”.  I don’t tend to think in those terms.  How does the character act, what could the speech patterns be like? Those are more of what I look for.  I mean, if it’s written in the text the guy has a deep foreboding voice, I don’t make him have a soprano voice, that wouldn’t work, but for the most part, I try to only slightly differentiate and “cast” the book based on how they are presented in the titles.

Is there a character that you enjoyed most in the book?

I think I enjoy, oddly enough, Lin Chang, one of the secondary characters, that actually has a bigger part in this particular book than the main character.  I relate a bit more to him I think.  He’s the guy that has zero magical ability that has to work side by side with women who DO and has to figure out how he can contribute, because he, for the first time really has nothing to offer.  So he’s trying to make himself useful in pretty much any way he possibly can.  This comes more into play as you move into books 2 and 3.

What can people look forward to in book one of the series?

I think the first thing people should know is that this book actually doesn’t take place around the main character of the series Conryu.  Most of it revolves around Lin Chang and his partner Terra.  Once the story is set up and you find out that Conryu Koda is the first male to have magical ability, everything hits the fan and people who don’t like that are out to kill him, so it follows them in trying to protect him.  You will find out more about Conryu though as the series goes on.

Describe this book [Impossible Wizard] in three words to prospective readers?

Fast, Fun, Sarcastic

How did you get started in narration/know you wanted to narrate?

Before I started, I was a book reviewer, I read and listened voraciously.  Having friends in the podcasting industry, doing podcast novels I always wanted to give this a shot.  It wasn’t until I wrote a review for an audiobook in an unfavorable light, and then got a response from the editor or author or narrator (I don’t really remember), that said “Well if you think you can do better, then you do it”,” that I decided to take the plunge.  I found that it suited me. I really enjoyed it.  And for the next 18 months, I threw myself into the work, getting coaching, going to workshops, getting into the author communities and making connections, etc.  And now, another 18 months later and this is my full-time job and I wouldn’t want it any other way.  I get to work with so many wonderful people and great authors. I get to go not be myself for hours on end.  It’s an acting job, and it’s still kind of a marvel that I can do this for a living, I’m very grateful.

Do you only narrate books that you personally like or have read?

When I started out I would only do books that I liked. I mean, if I was going to do this part time I wanted to “enjoy” the books that I got.  As I moved into my career, I do take books that might not be as entertaining or books that I “personally” don’t connect with, because this is a job.  At the end of the day, you have to use your acting ability to connect with those moments that maybe you personally don’t agree with.  That’s okay!  To be 100% honest though, I haven’t done a book that I haven’t liked by the time I started in the booth and recording.  There is always “something” to connect to, and I think that only helps the listener connect to the material.


And with the release of Book three, we want to give 2 winners a digital copy of book 1 and one grand-0prize winner will receive a digital copy of books 1, 2 and 3.

Send an email to with the word “Wizard” in the subject line. Last day for entries is Friday, March 2nd.

Congratulations to our grand-prize winner Rich Miller, and our book one winner’s Mandy LaMountain and Zib!

February 2018 Audiobook Giveaway Heart Berries

 Read by Rainy Fields

Heart Berries is a powerful, poetic memoir of a woman’s coming of age on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in the Pacific Northwest. Read the full description.

“I am so grateful to Terese Marie Mailhot, a fiery new voice, whose words devoured my heart.” —Kyo Maclear, bestselling author of Birds Art Life



How to Win This MP3-CD Audiobook

  1. Send an email to
  2. Put the word “Berries” in the subject line.

Entries must be received by Feb 28, 2018. Open to US only.


Congratulations to JB Aldrich Tantor, winner of last month’s giveaway of The Outcasts of Time. Thank you to all that entered.

Around the World in Eighty Wines

By Kaleigh Lawson

My love affair with wine started out  just because I really enjoyed drinking wine. At the time I couldn’t tell you much about the stuff. It wasn’t until I started blogging about fermented grapes that I started to realize how complex and quite fascinating wine really is.

My interest in wine has only continued to blossom, and to this day I continue my journey to learn more about wine and try different varietals. Did you know that a grape from one country can and does taste different from a grape grown in another country due to the climate and soil?  Naturally, when I came across Around the World in Eighty Wines I had to listen to discover more about wine and which wines that Mike Veseth sampled along his adventures.

The book is exactly what you think it is. It’s a detailed account of wine from different parts of the world with some fascinating facts and stories about wine—80 to be exact. While Veseth obviously wasn’t able to taste every single wine from the regions he visited (as cool as that would be) he was able to sip on varieties many of us will never have the opportunity to try. I guess I will have to just live vicariously through his description of Venissa wine produced in a lagoon in Venice, Italy and the Domaine de Bargylus made in Syria.

As far as the audio goes, I thought Eric Michael Summerer’s narration was very clear and easy to follow along. This is definitely something I recommend adding to your listening list!

January 2018 Audiobook Giveaway of The Outcasts of Time

Read by James Cameron Stewart

From the author described by the London Times as “the most remarkable historian of our time” comes a stunning, high-concept time-travel adventure that is perfect for fans of S. J. Parris and Kate Mosse. Read full description.

“The period immersion in this unusual tale of time travel and redemption comes close in detail and tone to Jack Finney’s Time and Again and From Time to Time, as well as Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. Highly recommended.” —Library Journal, Starred Review

How to Win This MP3-CD Audiobook

  1. Send an email to
  2. Put the word “Mortimer” in the subject line.

Entries must be received by Jan 31, 2018. Open to US only.


Congratulations to Theresa Govette, winner of last month’s giveaway of Mad Hatters and March of Hares. Thank you to all that entered.


By Kaleigh Lawson

Book Written by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

Narrated by Christina Delaine

Raise your hand if you are one of those people that quote Seinfeld regularly, or finds yourself saying things like, “This is definitely something that would have happened on Seinfeld.” Guilty! For me, Seinfeld has always been one of those shows that I can watch the episodes over and over. They never get old, and I always laugh out loud at the very real-life situations.

It is hard to find someone who hasn’t experienced a “Close Talker” or a “Siedler” at some point in their lives. To this day I often find myself saying “Yada Yada,” “Serenity Now,” and “Not that there is anything wrong with that.” Seinfeld created an “inside joke” and a not so secret club for everyone in who has watched the show. Maybe it is just the people I find myself around, but it seems that everyone I know is in on it too.

A really great thing about the show is how timeless it is. Many years have passed, yet it is still something that my family, friends, and I mention almost daily. The situations are still so relevant to “real-life”—because they were inspired by real situations that happened to the writers on the set—even people who watch it for the first time in today’s decade will be able to relate to it.

Even if you think you know everything about Seinfeld, I suggest you listen to this book, you’ll undoubtedly learn more than you thought there was to know. Did you know that Joe Devola is a real person? Yeah, me neither. And that isn’t the only thing that you’ll discover. I can safely say I am more of an expert now that I was before listening to this book.

December 2017 Audiobook Giveaway of Mad Hatters and March Hares

Read by C.S.E Cooney and Eric Michael Summerer

From master anthologist Ellen Datlow comes an all-original of weird tales inspired by the strangeness of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There. Read the full description.




How to Win This MP3-CD Audiobook

  1. Send an email to
  2. Put the word “hatter” in the subject line.

Entries must be received by Dec 31, 2017. Open to US only.


Congratulations to William Arnold, winner of last month’s giveaway of Around the World in Eighty Wines. Thank you to all that entered.

Shake, Stir. . .”Imbibe!”

By Kaleigh Lawson

Before it was trendy to use the word “crafted” in reference to our beer, wine, and cocktails, it was the only way drinks were made. When you wanted a drink you didn’t walk down the grocery store aisle and grab a plastic bottle of pre-made margarita or Bloody Mary mix— everything was made from scratch.

Yes, making a cocktail from scratch is more work. You will definitely need more ingredients, BUT with a little luck, skill, and patience you are likely to be sipping on a cocktail that tastes 10x times better than your quicker, artificial version.

I am guilty of taking the easy way out when it comes to my cocktails, but I have also sipped on a truly crafted cocktail. On one of my adventures, I found myself in a dimly lit speakeasy in the wild west of South Dakota imbibing on cocktails mixed with ice chipped and carved from a large block of ice. And while absinthe cotton candy dissolving atop a finely aged whiskey might seem more innovative than classic, it definitely made me a believer in taking the time to create an artistic beverage my taste buds will thank me for.

David Wondrich perfectly captures the vibrant history that surrounds the beginning of cocktails in America. In this book, you’ll find yourself being taken on a journey through the history of popular drinks Jerry Thomas made and how to make them, and a little bit about the life of mixologist, Thomas.  I paid close attention to the drink called the Knickerbocker. Knickerbocker is in my blood—not the drink, just yet—the actual New York Knickerbocker family.  Naturally, I was curious to learn more about the drink named for my ancestors. As it turns out, it was a popular drink all the way through the civil war, but the last record of it seems to be in the early 1880s.  This once popular cocktail is definitely one I’ve added to my “Must Try” list along with several others that caught my attention like the Champagne Cobbler, Apple Toddy and a Port Wine Sangaree.

As for the question of shaken or stirred? Well, that is up to you and the drink. You don’t always have to side with James Bond on this one. Some drinks require one versus the other, and in every other case, that depends on if you care if your drink is cloudy or clear.

Imbibe! has definitely stirred up some mixology excitement inside of me. I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves start creating and, of course, sampling some of the classic cocktails that Thomas developed and Wondrich breathed life back into.

The Knickerbocker

Cool with shaved ice; shake up well, and ornament with berries in
season. if this is not sweet enough, put in a little more raspberry
NOTES ON INGREDIENTS: Choose the lime over the lemon. Some
find this recipe too tart. Rather than adding more raspberry syrup
(which can be purchased in larger organic markets or easily made by
macerating raspberries in rich simple syrup), I prefer to increase the
curaçao to 2 teaspoons. Raspberries, blackberries, orange pieces,
even pineapple can be part of the garnish. The only difference
between Thomas’s Knickerbocker and his White Lion is that the latter
replaces three- quarters of the raspberry syrup with pulverized
sugar. I’ll take the knee pants.
In his 1863 book, Thomas offers a “Knickerbocker Punch” that’s
half brandy and half port, with pieces of orange and pineapple in the
glass; delicious, but no Knickerbocker.

NOTES ON EXECUTION: This drink should be built and shaken in
the glass for authenticity. But if you don’t have a shaker small enough
to cover a 6‑ to 8‑ounce tumbler and would prefer not to pour it back
and forth between glasses, the floor, your shirt, and the boss’s wife,
g’ahead and cheat and make it in the big shaker. It really doesn’t
make a damn bit of difference to the final drink. Just don’t shake the
lime rind in with everything else; it can make the drink bitter.

November 2017 Audiobook Giveaway of Around the World in Eighty Wines

Read by Eric Michael Summerer

Inspired by Jules Verne’s classic adventure tale, Mike Veseth takes listeners “around the world in eighty wines.” Read the full description.

“Reading his [Veseth] book is rather like attending a swanky cocktail party: it contains a vast and varied buffet, with loads of interesting conversational tidbits.”—Publishers Weekly



How to Win This MP3-CD Audiobook

  1. Send an email to
  2. Put the word “Verne” in the subject line.

Entries must be received by Nov 30, 2017. Open to US only.


Congratulations to Heather Reed, winner of last month’s giveaway of The Fury. Thank you to all that entered.

The Three Faces of Mick Foley’s Tag Team Career

By Dan Totten

Every wrestling fan knows the Three Faces of Mick Foley; Cactus Jack, Mankind, and Dude Love.  Each character brings a unique personality and style to the ring.  Like Foley himself, each has made its mark in singles competition, but also in the tag team ranks.  Foley’s tag team legacy is often overlooked, but each character had success with many different partners.  The top combos for each character:

  1. Cactus Jack and Mikey Whipwreck (Extreme Championship Wrestling) – By the time Foley debuted in ECW in 1994, he was a 10 year veteran well-known for his hardcore, risk-taking, style. Mikey Whipwreck was a 21 year old rookie who had been trained by Foley.  The team came together when Whipwreck substituted for Foley’s regular partner, Terry Funk.  From there, the duo won the ECW Tag Team Championship.  At this point the team became a reluctant partnership, predicated on Foley taking Whipwreck under his wing and teaching him, and toughening him up to, the hardcore style of wrestling ECW was known for.  Foley as the slightly unhinged, but knowledgable, veteran and Whipwreck as the scared rookie really clicked and they would go on the have two reigns as ECW Tag Champs.

Continue reading The Three Faces of Mick Foley’s Tag Team Career