Tag Archive: whispersynch-for-voice



How to Write a Novel: Advice and Tips from a Full-Time NovelistHow to Write a Novel: Advice and Tips from a Full-Time Novelist by Simon Haynes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was quite informative and not only ways to help write a novel more efficiently, but also great hints on how to use yWriter better.

It is fun to hear Simon Hayes’s voice. After reading a lot of his Hal Spacejock stories and enjoying them to the max, it is fun to hear the rhythm of how he speaks matches the cadence of his fiction.

I have written quite a few novels myself, mostly for NaNoWriMo (17?) so I highly recommend Simon’s methods to write. I am learning some things from this book, that I wish I could have had in my writing wheelhouse all along. It is a very helpful book.

I plan to buy the Kindle and perhaps paper version too so I can refer back to the books often. I highly recommend this book!

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The Hot ZoneThe Hot Zone by Richard Preston

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Do I say “Research?” It is due to the fact that I am writing a fictional ‘zombie’ book for NaNoWriMo that I picked up the Kindle and Audible versions of this book. My zombies are merely sick people. I am not a medical person so I needed some input on how it all starts and how contagious it all is. As it turns out it isn’t as bad as Ebola, but the gore of my book might evolve due to this book.

Meanwhile, this is a book I put off for decades. I remember a guy named Jason at the school I worked at that came up to me with the paperback. He was so excited about it. But the more he talked the squirmier I got. “And it’s a true story!” He exclaimed. I started watching shows like Outbreak. We saw it in the theater. Remember that sneeze? I nearly ran out of there when someone coughed.

I grew–good or bad, I guess that’s for others to judge. But lately, I can watch a disaster movie, or The Walking Dead and notice only the social reaction to the monsters or the disease or the overwhelming snow. So I thought I could now face this book.

Reading happens at bedtime. Bet you can guess how this book blended into dreams. And since I listened as I read the Kindle with the Audible, that voice! Richard M. Davidson’s voice. What a deep bass and excellent for the genre! Creepy and authoritative! Wow!

What I learned is that my characters in my book were dressed properly to deal with their strains of disease. And I learned I never want to be anywhere near someone coughing! If I was a germaphobe before… well, let’s just say there isn’t enough hand sanitizer in the world for me!

Knowing this is nonfiction made this even more frightening. It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago there was an Ebola scare. What a horrid disease! And this author did a poetic job of helping the reader to see it and feel it. If you haven’t read it yet, climb out of your hiding place and give it a try. Forewarned is forearmed as they say. Might as well get the Audible version to make it even more real. I will try to read more of his books now. Time for more vitamin C and Airborne!

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The Witch's Vacuum CleanerThe Witch’s Vacuum Cleaner by Terry Pratchett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you are looking for a light, funny read, this is your book. It was like watching cartoons or Monty Python. Very bad for a bedtime book for me. I found it hard to stop reading, well, actually, listening to this one. 3:00 came too quickly. So, sorry if this sounds more disjointed than my usual reviews.

Oh, I listened to the Audible using the whispersynch. Julian Rhind-Tutt (Narrator) is facinating! His voice changes with every character. He tells the story with so much gusto that sometimes I think I missed story for enthusiastic energy. Even still, at the end of each story I had that sigh of fulfillment.

The stories themselves are sadly, mostly, male. In fact, the very first one ended with the main character marrying the witch with us hardly knowing a thing about the witch except that she was a witch. I wanted more about her and that parrot. Please forget that you just read the last two sentences if they seem spoilers. After all, the title of the book is The Witch’s Vacuum. Seems like there should be a lot more witch and vacuums than men in the form of police or gnomes. But hey, Mr. Pratchett wrote this when he was a teen and the adage says ‘write what you know’. Sadly, Mr. Pratchett knew nothing about the other half of society then. Later he did write some fun books that did have fems but mostly they are witches. Is it any wonder how the world is now if this is all anyone has read most of their lives?

Still, I have loved Terry Pratchett’s writing, so creative! Magick exists, but sadly without fems. Even colors we have never heard of exists. Don’t get me started! YET, I love his writing. Fun, fun stories!

So take it with a grain of salt that in male authors’ worlds, fems hardly exist. We will try to change that with our own writings and making sure they see us as the other humans. After all the whole language system leaves us behind. Even human. We could be called hu.

But it is for this teeny-tiny problem that I am giving the book four stars instead of five. If you can get the audio version you are in for the best story telling around–save for girls, fe=iron.

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You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)You’re Never Weird on the Internet by Felicia Day

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have always admired Felicia Day. It was great to see a smart female actress playing smart female characters on the shows I’ve seen her on.

This book gave me insight to the person and her history. It was fun to know that we shared a similar history. No, I’m old enough to be her mother. But my children shared her history and I through them. We learned the computer from way back with CompuServe, Prodigy (where I met my husband) and various video games and bulletin boards. Her ultimate game was WoW whereas my kids got into EQ. It was fun reading about how it was physically meeting the friends she made online. That experience the kids and I shared. But it was fun to watch the computer evolving with the generation who came of age at the same time.

My children were homeschooled, too. It was interesting to see her thoughts on it. I find that we who were schooled who wasted so many years with more time dedicated to kids with bad behaviors or teachers who bored us to sleep and were still quite socially shy and experienced depression tried to save our children of that. Instead, they blame their very anxiety on not having to school. They don’t realize the opportunity they had without all the wasted time. Felicia became a professional violinist. And all these skills she acquired that makes her unique are a direct result from not being squeezed into a mold that schools force children into.

Anyway, I loved being able to listen to Felicia read her own story. It gave, even more, credence to autobiography. I knew I wanted to listen to her read it. But I found that there was no Text-to-Speech. That made me sad because had I not been able to afford the Audible version to whispersynch I would have had no way to enjoy this book. Still, it was delightful to listen to her voice. I wish her the very best in life. She deserves it!

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Open Minds (Mindjack Trilogy, #1)Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This had a brilliant concept. But I am disappointed. What ruined it most? The Audible narrator: Kelli Shane. Her voice sounded like she was on the last story to ADHD kids at bedtime. How do I know that? Yep, been there had that voice. It works well at putting the reader to sleep. ADHD kid just laughs and takes the book to read to themselves as mom falls to sleep.

I would have been better off just using the text-to-speech. But chose to continue. The story line was interesting. I even sort of liked the main character.

On the other hand, really, if a person can read another’s mind and be read what is to stop intrusion? And possible mind jacking? I don’t see how the jacker can’t read first and the reader not jack. After all, we are talking teens. They are already in each others’ heads. So a lot of this seemed to not ring true.

It was a nice diversion. But I just wasn’t that into it, and I really wanted to be. Maybe others will love it. I hope so. I doubt I will seek out the next in the series. I do have the German version so I might try it again just to practice my German reading skills.

By the way, the Kindle version is free right now. I hope you enjoy it.

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Review: Room by Emma Donoghue


RoomRoom by Emma Donoghue

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! I think this has been the best book I’ve read in a long time! And though I’m sure the writing was spectacular, I believe that Michal Friedman (Narrator), Ellen Archer (Narrator), Robert Petkoff (Narrator), and Suzanne Toren (Narrator) made this story come to life. It was nice to have an actor for each character. No male straining his voice to sound like a woman nor a woman attempting to beat out a bass voice. I do see that Michal Friedman, a woman, played the sweet child, Jack. But she sounded so natural that I think it was a good fit. Just an aside, and I hope it is in error I say this, but I read on the internets in this quick research that Michal Friedman has passed while giving birth to twins. Please let me know if you find out otherwise. I just wanted to finish my review tonight and not get caught up in yet another ‘shiny chicken’ (ADD distraction) moment.

Before you become afraid of sinking into a story about kidnapping and sexual abuse, realize that this book is from the viewpoint of the 5-year-old child who is quite happy in this room with his mother. So he doesn’t see the bad that is happening to his mother. He gives us light to what most children would love to have, their mother’s full-time attention and love. But don’t think this is a child’s book either. This boy is very grown up and super intelligent. Through this boy’s eyes, the author moves the story quickly. In fact, though I thought this was going to be a boring read so as to quickly go to sleep at night, I was still reading at 3 in the morning. And it took me a few days to finish. Lots of story here!

I can’t wait to watch the movie, but I have a feeling this version will be my favorite. Please give it a try, especially if you can get the audio to go with it.

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Black BeautyBlack Beauty by Anna Sewell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Yes, I did go through that phase as a pre-teen, when I read every book about horses possible. Black Beauty was an important part of that literary diet. I loved it then. But how would that translate to my old-lady brain? It was better!

The Amazon page says it is for kids 9-12. That may have been so a generation ago, but now the vocabulary and historical references don’t play out quite as well. In a well-structured class program, it could be a great lesson plan anchor to cover history, equines, medicine, weather and many other subject-matter for an all inclusive study. The best is the lessons of kindness. This is a lesson that covers all generations and all religions or philosophies. And we here it all from the horse’s mouth. Animals understand kindness.

Peter Batchelor was the narrator in this version of the story. I was lucky to pick up the Kindle version from Kindle Unlimited and for a tiny fee I got the Whispersync Audible narration. He did a marvelous job bringing all the characters to life. I highly recommend that everyone read this classic!

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Fever 1793Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I finished this masterpiece a couple of days ago. It was part of my anti-depression about my husband being in the hospital while I was home with fibro-flare. In this case, I would say misery loves company. Or… at least things aren’t as bad as it was then.

This was a birthday present from me–to me! I had picked up the whispersync for voice also so I was able to listen to Emily Bergl’s narration. I have to admit she is not my favorite narrator. But once she was into the story I felt drawn in and forgot that there was a narrator.

Laurie Halse Anderson always amazes me with her works. This book is no exception. Wow! The amount of research that she dug through to write this fiction is overwhelming! This is based on a real epidemic that happened just a few years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Yellow Fever takes over. But no one knows yet that it is due to the mosquitoes. Medicine was still in its infancy. Through Ms. Anderson, we get to see what could have happened to a young girl, her family and her community.

Okay. Confession time. I have never been a history buff. I did have a fabulous professor in college that made me appreciate it a bit. That class was when I was in my forties. So imagine how long it was that I hated history. I think with books like this I might have been able to relate to historical events as a middle grader on. This younger generation is so lucky to have such writers as Laurie Halse Anderson!

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Lizz Free Or DieLizz Free Or Die by Lizz Winstead

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Like Rachel Maddow and Jon Steward? Read/listen to Lizz Free or Die to find out how they all relate.

I remember seeing Lizz on Rachel’s show and on Melissa Harris-Perry when she was promoting her book. But I remember seeing her stand up for feminism and abortion and rights for everyone. I loved her point of view. I couldn’t wait to read her book. Sadly, now I am finished. I hope she decides to write more. It was fun, bittersweet, sad, maddening, and back around to laugh out loud. Um, not so great to read when your partner is asleep next to you. The LOL moments got me in trouble a few times.

This book is written in essays. Sort of in chronological order, but not. I like that it strays as her mind does which fits perfectly with mine. I wish I would have had a book like this as I was a teen or early twenties. Following her own path made her the strong wonderful person she is today.

Try it! I loved it!

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Shadow of Night (All Souls Trilogy, #2)Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After a bit of research I realized that I read the first book, A Discovery of Witches, in 2011. That reading was a result of a recommendation by my cousin. I loved that book. Yet, I just took the quiz and found I only got 3 questions right out of 10. So maybe I should have read it again before reading this second book, Shadow of Night. I did feel lost at times, but the story kept me engaged and I didn’t want to leave the past to review the first book. Also, on my research I found that I didn’t have the Kindle version of the first book. I must have borrowed the hardback from the library. But I do have the Audible version of the book that I had listened to alongside the hardback.

With both books of the series, I was delighted by the narrator, Jennifer Ikeda. Her voice is exquisite, I love the way she can vary according to each character. I feel she could read the phonebook and make it exciting. But Deborah Harkness’s writing needs no help. Several times I’d have a sleepless night and want to read. I hated donning my headset just for a few minutes of reading. Those few moments lasted for sometimes hours. So yes, I know how well the writing is. With the duo of writer and narrator this story comes to life. And that is when Elizabeth I is queen.

I love time travel stories, but this was different in that it was due to witchcraft that made it happened. And that by a witch who doesn’t understand her craft. Okay, I won’t tell you any more about the story. Needless to say, it is worth the read. The characters alone can grab you. They are well developed, as is the plot. So much so that I couldn’t wait to get the next book and get involved. I highly recommend this series.

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