Giveaways, Rhys Ford

Cover Reveal, Video Excerpt and Giveaway – Dirty Heart by Rhys Ford – Narrated by Greg Tremblay

STATE OF THE RHYS

In July 2011, my life changed.

Okay, to be fair, we’ll have to back that date up about six months when I opened an email from Elizabeth North, the Executive Director of Dreamspinner Press. It was an offer to contract a book I’d submitted. That book was Dirty Kiss. So, that was kind of a pinpoint spot in my life.

But in July 2011, I got another email from a blogger named Lisa Horan. I don’t exactly remember what it said. In retrospect I should have saved it but how do you know after the fact about things one should save? In that email, Lisa told me she liked Dirty Kiss and reached out to me to say she was having a good time reading it.

Little did I know, in July 2011, I would gain a sister. And I did because of a single book.

Dirty Kiss marked a turning point in my life. A divergence in my every day activities and my interactions with the world. It changed the way I saw myself and how I needed to see others. Most of my experiences have been great. Some…not so great but those are easily shoved aside because there are always new people to meet.

And so many people to thank.

I owe a fuck ton of people a hell of a lot of thank yous.

Long story short—very long six book story—we’ve now come to the end. What was started in July 2011 will come to an end in March 2016.

For you see, Cole McGinnis will finally learn why Ben shot him.

I knew all along there was an arc to this series. In little ways we were always taking steps to the last FIN. And Lisa has kept my secret the entire time. So, smooches, Pookie. I honestly couldn’t have gotten here without you. A huge thank you to everyone at Dreamspinner, especially my editor Grace. Poor Grace. She puts up with so much. The Crewe, Greg Tremblay for giving Cole his voice, my beta readers and of course, Mary Calmes who I apparently will be handing Cole over to in March. But most of all, a heartfelt thank you to everyone who’s read the books, enjoyed them and were with me for the ride.

Thank you.

Hopefully by the time you read this I’ll have sent off Absinthe of Malice to Dreamspinner. AoM is the transition book between the band forming and the final book in the series, Sin and Tonic. It’s a bit larger than I’d expected and should be out mid-next year.

After that, it’ll be Kai 2 which I’m really looking forward to writing and then I’m going back to Murder and Mayhem or Hellsingers. It’ll be a flip to either one then the other. Then Half Moon Bay. There’s other stuff on the horizon and seriously, I wish I had more time to write. And more coffee. One cannot have too much coffee.

But that’s the sketchy future…

So… in our first step towards that March horizon, I’ll drop a cover reveal and blurb for Dirty Heart at the end of this post along with something special from Greg Tremblay. I hope you enjoy the book. It’s an odd feeling putting a series to bed. I’ve promised to do Cole and Jae one-offs in the distant future but the series—this arc—has come to a close. So thank you. Again. Still.

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Dirty Heart: Former LAPD detective Cole McGinnis’s life nearly ended the day his police partner and best friend Ben Pirelli emptied his service weapon into Cole and his then-lover, Rick. Since Ben turned his gun on himself, Cole thought he’d never find out why Ben tried to destroy him.

Years later, Cole has stitched himself back together. Now a private investigator and in love with Jae-Min Kim, a Korean-American photographer he met on a previous case, Cole’s life is back on track—until he discovers Jeff Rollins, a disgraced cop and his first partner, has resurfaced and appears to be working on the wrong side of the law.

As much as Cole’s fought to put the past behind him, he’s soon tangled up in a web of lies, violence, and death. Jeff Rollins is not only trying to kill Cole’s loved ones, he is also scraping open old wounds and long-forgotten memories of the two men Cole loved and lost. Cole is sure Rollins knows why Ben ruined all their lives, but he isn’t looking for answers. Now Cole is caught in a cat-and-mouse game with a cold-blooded killer with the key to not only his past but his future.

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And now, a brief word from Greg Tremblay as well as an excerpt reading from Dirty Heart.

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!rhys_ford_headshotAbout Rhys Ford: Rhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.

Rhys  admits to sharing the house with two cats of varying degrees of black fur, and a ginger cairn terrorist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and a red Hamilton Beach coffee maker.

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THE GIVEAWAY

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5 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Holiday Romance, Mary Calmes, Narration Rating - 5 Stars, Reviewed by Jules

Audio Review: Where You Lead by Mary Calmes – Narrated by Greg Tremblay

Audio Gem

Amazon

Amazon

Title: Where You Lead

Author: Mary Calmes

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Narrator: Greg Tremblay

Run Time: 1 hour and 41 minutes

At a Glance: You should definitely add this one to your collection of holiday feel-good romances!

Reviewed By: Jules

Blurb: ATF agent Peter Lomax isn’t a hearts and flowers kind of guy, but he can be possessive, and it caused problems until Carver Fleming. Carver may be part of the art world, but he gets Peter, loves belonging to the man, and Peter treasures the way Carver understands them together.

Carver loves Peter, but he’s fully aware that six months doth not a commitment make. Carver wants to make the relationship last forever, but he’ll have to leave their life in Chicago to take care of the family he loves. He wants to do it with Peter by his side, but going from the city of Chicago to tiny Colt, Kentucky is a big change.

Carver has only one Christmas wish: Please, oh please, let Peter fall enough in love with Carver’s family to follow Carver home.

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Review: Listening to this audio was such a treat; I had forgotten how much I loved this little Christmas story. Coming in at under two hours – just 68 pages for the novella – it’s not a huge time investment but packs a lot of punch. To create a good short story, the author must hook the reader almost immediately, and Mary Calmes is a master at this. In Where You Lead the opening sequence is hilarious and is instrumental in getting you invested in the characters.

Pete is your typical “man’s man”. As an ATF agent who isn’t afraid of throwing himself in front of a gun to save a hostage, some might find his pairing with mild-mannered gallery owner Carver Fleming unlikely. Six months into the relationship, however, things definitely seem like they are for real – at least, that’s what Carver is counting on, Pete also feeling this way as they head to his family’s home in rural Kentucky for the holidays.

The story is fabulous and the narration is equally so. Greg Tremblay’s performance is perfect in its simplicity. His voice is so rich and has such a great tone, I could honestly listen to him for hours! He does an incredible job at keeping the voices distinct, and with the dialogue. The whole thing is just so understated and classy and flows so well. I loved it!!! You should definitely add this one to your collection of holiday feel-good romances!

TNA_Signature_Jules

 

 

 

 

You can buy Where You Lead here:

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5 Stars, Audio Book, DSP Publications, Narration Rating - 5 Stars, Reviewed by Sammy, Rhys Ford, Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

Audio Review: Black Dog Blues by Rhys Ford – Narrated by Greg Tremblay

Audio Gem

Amazon

Amazon

Title: Black Dog Blues (The Kai Gracen Series: Book One)

Author: Rhys Ford

Narrator: Greg Tremblay

Publisher: DSP Publications

Run Time: 8 hours and 50 minutes

At a Glance: The audio version of this novel was well done and hooked me immediately, drenching me in the mood and pathos of the story.

Reviewed By: Sammy

Blurb: Ever since being part of the pot in a high-stakes poker game, elfin outcast Kai Gracen figures he used up his good karma when Dempsey, a human Stalker, won the hand and took him in.

Following the violent merge of Earth and Underhill, the human and elfin races are left with a messy, monster-ridden world, and Stalkers are the only cavalry willing to ride to someone’s rescue when something shadowy appears.

It’s a hard life but one Kai likes—filled with bounty, a few friends, and most importantly, no other elfin around to remind him of his past. And killing monsters is easy. Especially since he’s one himself.

But when a sidhe lord named Ryder arrives in San Diego, Kai is conscripted to do a job for Ryder’s fledgling Dawn Court. It’s supposed to be a simple run up the coast during dragon-mating season to retrieve a pregnant human woman seeking sanctuary. Easy, quick, and best of all, profitable. But Kai ends up in the middle of a deadly bloodline feud he has no hope of escaping.

No one ever got rich being a Stalker. But then few of them got old either and it doesn’t look like Kai will be the exception.

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Review: If you are approaching Rhys Ford’s novel Black Dog Blues looking for a traditional romance or even a sci-fi classic, think again. This is no typical anything. Instead, author Rhys Ford creates a world that has both human and fey, magic and monsters and everything in between, and places them inside a story that is so rich in character and long in plot that you are nearly breathless by novel’s end.

The main story centers on the Sidhe and Unsidhe—those who are elfin and those who are…something evil altogether. They coexist next to humans and multiple creatures of every species, from dragons to the elfin shadow dogs and many other mutant forms of different species. In this new society there are stalkers—those who go hunting our worst nightmares and deliver their hides for payment. One such stalker is the mysterious Kai Gracen, a young elfin who has been humanized to the point of virtually becoming a loner, neither cohabitating with his own kind nor humans. Kai was raised by Dempsey, a stalker who won him in a poker game. At that time, Kai was barely recognizable as any kind of boy, more animal than human or elfin. As this story evolves we come to find out about his past and are mystified as to how Kai not only managed to survive the horrors of his former life but rise above them to be the compassionate man he has become.

He is commissioned to retrieve a pregnant human from the chief city of the sidhe (the good elves, in essence). Accompanying him will be the prince of that dynasty who has come to Kai’s neck of the words to establish a “dawn court” for the disenfranchised sidhe who live in the city. This mission will challenge Kai in many ways and unlock the mystery of who he is and just what stalks his own nightmares. He will be confronted by the horrors of his past and feel himself slipping into love with a man who wields much power for good. The question remains, though, will Kai survive this mission intact, and can he really love another person—especially when he is unsure that love can ever really be his at all.

The brief and admittedly shallow synopsis above touches only the bones of this story. There is one mystery after another in this novel, and Rhys Ford unravels each one, even while intertwining them into the most intricate of plots I have ever read. However, by virtue of her excellent storytelling abilities, I was never lost in the weaving of this tale. Kai is a conundrum whose story just begins in this novel. While he is on every page, his past is slowly and carefully alluded to over and over, with the startling revelation of who and what he is being revealed finally near the end of the novel. Even then, you know there is a wealth of background information just waiting to surface, which becomes the springboard for future novels about this brave young elf.

Speaking of elves—these are not your waif-like forest creatures. No, this author not only makes her elf-kind cunning and smart but strong and determined as well. I was so impressed by the way that the supernatural creatures in this story were three-dimensional and fully fleshed out. The result was that I cared for them, was drawn into their story and captured by their troubles. The story itself was captivating, with so many twists and turns that I found myself trying to solve the many mysteries and was delightfully surprised when the answers turned out to be ones that I would have never thought of in a million years.

Greg Tremblay did a great job with Kai’s sarcasm—that weary ennui that the character wears like a mantle. The variation of voices was quite good—including Dempsey’s lilting brogue that was so reminiscent of those turn of the century New York City Irish cops. Every once in a while Mr. Tremblay would allow the brogue to bleed into the beginning of another character or the narration but overall, the delineation between voices and their cadence was spot on. The narrator’s gravelly tones really added to the gritty feel of the novel as well. Quite frankly, his pitch, speed of delivery and variation in voices enriched the overall mood of the story. Black Dog Blues is a dark tale and the narrator’s approach added to the mysterious feel to this story.

All in all, Black Dog Blues was a compelling mystery with a touch of romance and excellent supernatural shadings thrown in. The audio version of this novel was well done and hooked me immediately, drenching me in the mood and pathos of the story. I enjoyed this narrator immensely and would highly recommend this audiobook.

TNA_Signature_Sammy

 

 

 

 

You can buy Black Dog Blues here:

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5 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Mary Calmes, Narration Rating - 5 Stars, Reviewed by Kim

Audio Review: Just Desserts by Mary Calmes — Narrated by Greg Tremblay

Audio Gem

Amazon US

Amazon US

Title: Just Desserts

Author: Mary Calmes

Narrator:: Greg Tremblay

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 2 hours and 54 minutes

At a Glance: What made Just Desserts such an enjoyable listen, and maybe just a bit more emotional, was how well Greg Tremblay narrated the story.

Reviewed By: Kim

Blurb: Boone Walton has tried hard to create some distance between himself and his past. He’s invested in his new life, his New Orleans art gallery, and his friendship with Scott Wren. Things finally seem to be settling down to normal, and Boone couldn’t be happier.

Chef Scott Wren wants much more than normal with Boone. He wants to raise things to the next level, but Boone is terrified—and not because of the ghost in Scott’s apartment or Scott’s relatives. No, Boone’s past is about to pay him a visit, and the only thing that can get between Boone, Scott, and a hinky recipe for chocolate mousse found in a curious cookbook is the river of pain Boone had to swim across to get to this side of The Big Easy. There’s a secret behind the ingredients, though—one that might reveal the trust and love that have been missing from Boone’s life.

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Review: Boone didn’t see Scott coming when he entered his gallery, not until it was too late to run from his heart’s destiny. Scott just wasn’t afraid of Boone and his boorish ways! And it didn’t take long for the two to become very good friends. Even though Boone would love to bed Scott, it’s just something Boone would rather not risk if it means the possibility of losing Scott as a friend.

It took moving a dinosaur of a stove with a couple of friends, who ganged up on Boone afterwards, to tell him how much he was in love with Scott. But by the time Boone worked up the nerve to do something about it…someone else had made a move on his man. It then took a recipe from Granny B’s cookbook to bring these two together and oh, how much fun was that? I loved it when Scott finally made his feelings clear.

And it was a bit of a tearjerker when Boone had to finally face his tragic past. He finally let go of it. Old loves are like that, though.

What made Just Desserts such an enjoyable listen, and maybe just a bit more emotional, was how well Greg Tremblay narrated the story. As usual, this man turns in an awesome performance! Tremblay keeps my commute a safe one because there’s no chance of me falling asleep behind the wheel when I’m listening to him narrate a story. Big hugs to Mary Calmes for finding such a great narrator for her stories! I’d also like to mention that our lovely Jules wrote a fantastic review of the ebook version of Just Desserts, if you need a little extra to convince you to give this one a try.

TNA_Signature_Kim

 

 

 

You can buy Just Desserts here:

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4 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Mary Calmes, Narration Rating - 5 Stars, Reviewed by Sadonna

Audio Review: Sultry Sunset by Mary Calmes – Narrated by Greg Tremblay

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Amazon US

Amazon US

Title: Sultry Sunset

Author: Mary Calmes

Narrator: Greg Tremblay

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 1 hour and 57 minutes

At a Glance: My favorite installment of the Mangrove stories so far, which the narrator perfectly brought to life – a sweet and poignant story on many levels.

Reviewed By: Sadonna

Blurb: Hutch Crowley is well-liked in the small resort town of Mangrove—he’s got friends in his new neighbors, he’s the owner of the town grocery, and he’s building a community center—but he’s still unlucky at love. Every man he’s attracted to is either taken or simply not interested, including his best friend, Mike Rojas.

When Mike came to Mangrove two years ago, Hutch gave him a job and a place to stay in his guesthouse, where Mike has remained ever since. Despite the rumors circulating about them, Hutch knows Mike is straight and looking for the right woman. But his friends disagree, and after some hints to the contrary, even Hutch finally has to admit that maybe the rest of the town sees something he’s been missing. If Hutch wants to spend each sultry sunset with the man of his dreams, it might be time to figure out what’s going on with his best friend’s heart.

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Review: Hutch has been my favorite character in this series. I loved him in Blue Days, when he gets owned by Takeo and called off Dwyer. I loved him in Quiet Nights, with his almost date with Cosimo and his conversation/confrontation with Kelly. But I am so happy he gets his own story in Sultry Sunset. :)

Hutch Crowley is the owner of a local grocery – but it’s not your average grocery. He’s not your average guy either. One morning he wakes to hear someone crying on the porch of the house next door. He discovers it’s a young girl (his new neighbor, Ivy Dodd), and she is dejectedly sitting on the porch, locked out of her house by a thoughtless relative who has taken off and left her alone—with her father out of the town, her mother recently deceased, and, oh yeah, she’s just gotten her first period. To quote Eugene Levy from Splashed!, her reaction should have been “What a day I’m having!”

Luckily, Hutch is a very easy going guy, who was raised with lots of sisters, so he is in the know about what to do for Ivy and her issues. He helps her get back in her house, takes her to his store to get supplies, introduces her to Mike Rojas, his best friend and assistant manager, buys her a coffee, takes her to the local Wiccan store, and gets her lunch. Then, her dad calls. Seems her dad is the new Fire Chief, and he’s moving from Miami to Mangrove. He’s quite upset that his young daughter is running around town with a stranger, but once he hears her laugh, he’s okay with Hutch looking after her.

Hutch and Mike are best friends, but lot of people assume they are a couple since they are always together. We get the backstory on Mike’s up-to-now hetero life and the loss of his wife, his subsequent depression, and Takeo’s plotting to get him to stay in Mangrove by enlisting Hutch’s cooperation. I loved this part of the story – the “how they got to be such good friends” story.

There are so many perfect little moments in Sultry Sunset that really give the flavor of small town living. My mom grew up in a town of about 700 people, and my grandma continued to live there the rest of her life. She never lived more than 15 miles from the place she was born, and this is what it was like. I would love to visit this place. :)

Ivy’s father, Essien, returns to Mangrove and becomes friends with Hutch and Mike. He’s a good guy and he’s a good fit for the town. There is, however, some drama over Hutch’s pet project, the community center. This leads to a confrontation, and Hutch is briefly in a bit of hot water with the local constabulary. But, of course, Mike comes to his rescue – at the police station and beyond.

I seriously loved this story – just everything about it. There are appearances by characters from the previous books as well as some new characters that will hopefully be fodder for further stories in this world. I thoroughly enjoyed the narration of this story and look forward to more from this talented voice artist. I thought Mr. Tremblay did a perfect job of bringing this story to life.

Note: While this is the third in a series, it’s not absolutely necessary to have read the other stories, but it might add some context.

 

 

 

You can buy Sultry Sunset here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

Audible.com

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5 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Narration Rating - 5 Stars, Reviewed by Karen, Rhys Ford

Audio Review: Murder and Mayhem by Rhys Ford – Narrated by Greg Tremblay

Audio Gem

Title:  Murder and Mayhem

Author:  Rhys Ford

Narrator: Greg Tremblay

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press

Run Time:  7 hours and 44 minutes

At a Glance:  I am a huge fan of both Rhys Ford and Greg Tremblay, and when you put them together, the end product is nothing short of amazing.

Reviewed By:  Karen

Blurb:  Dead women tell no tales.

Former cat burglar Rook Stevens stole many a priceless thing in the past, but he’s never been accused of taking a life – until now. It was one thing to find a former associate inside Potter’s Field, his pop culture memorabilia shop, but quite another to stumble across her dead body.

Detective Dante Montoya thought he’d never see Rook Stevens again – not after his former partner falsified evidence to entrap the jewelry thief and Stevens walked off scot-free. So when he tackled a fleeing murder suspect, Dante was shocked to discover the blood-covered man was none other than the thief he’d fought to put in prison and who still makes his blood sing.

Rook is determined to shake loose the murder charge against him, even if it means putting distance between him and the rugged Cuban-Mexican detective who brought him down. If one dead con artist wasn’t bad enough, others soon follow, and as the bodies pile up around Rook’s feet, he’s forced to reach out to the last man he’d expect to believe in his innocence – and the only man who’s ever gotten under Rook’s skin.

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Review:  Once I started doing reviews, and had access to audiobooks opened up to me, I learned pretty quickly that the narrator can make or break the story.  I have had instances where a story that wasn’t a favorite became one because of the way the narrator delivered it, and had the reverse happen–a story that I loved being performed by a narrator that made it almost impossible to get through the book.  Then, there are audiobooks like this one, where the story is amazing all by itself, but read by a fantastic narrator elevates it even more.  I am a huge fan of both Rhys Ford and Greg Tremblay, and when you put them together, the end product is nothing short of amazing.

There are a few narrators that I have listened to who have an amazing talent for bringing a story to life and reeling you in. Greg Tremblay is one of them.  It blows me away how these narrators are able to bring to life so many different characters, and give them a voice, and, in this case, every one of them so distinct you have no trouble following who’s talking. It’s easy to forget that it is one person doing this, and then I sit back in amazement when the realization hits.

When I first read Murder and Mayhem, it became one of my favorite books by Rhys Ford, which, in and of itself, says something since I adore every one of her books I’ve read, but the narration by Greg Tremblay made me love the story that much more.

TNA_Signature_Karen

 

 

 

You can buy Murder and Mayhem here:

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4 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Mary Calmes, Narration Rating - 5 Stars, Reviewed by Kathie

Audio Review: Heart of the Race by Mary Calmes – Narrated by Greg Tremblay

Title: Heart of the Race

Author: Mary Calmes

Narrator:: Greg Tremblay

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 2 Hours and 5 Minutes

At a Glance: I have to give *high fives* to Greg Trembly. The accents he was able to come up with, and the names he was able to pronounce, were unbelievable.

Reviewed By: Kathie

Blurb: Varro Dacien spends his life riding toward the next adventure. Brian Christie, his best friend and touchstone, the one person who’s always truly seen him, plays sidekick on these madcap adventures and subsequent trips to the hospital until he can’t take it anymore. While Brian can see Varro, Varro has never caught on that he’s breaking his best friend’s heart.

Without Varro, Brian builds himself a life that’s all about just getting by, doing his best to ignore the hole in his heart and his life. Without Brian to balance him, Varro pushes harder and takes more risks to reach that ultimate high. His job racing high-octane bikes on suicide-level courses makes it easy to get that rush…until it’s no longer enough, and Varro realizes it’s not the race but who’s waiting at the finish line that truly matters. Now he just has to convince Brian to be there.

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Review: Who can resist a Mary Calmes audiobook, especially one narrated by Greg Tremblay? Not I, that’s for sure. But, I don’t like short stories in any form—too short and not enough depth is my main reasoning. But…it’s a Mary Calmes story, so again, there was no resisting.

Brian Christie and Varro Dacien… Brian has been described by others in reviews as sweet and laid back. I would describe Brian as a sarcastic fool, and Varro Dacien as a superficial, narcissistic fool—the fool description for both of them—Brian for being in love with Varro for so many years and not telling him, and Varro continuing to race after being put back together too many times, and for denying his attraction to Brian behind a trail of females.

The racing descriptions in Heart of the Race were crazy. One benefit to reading is learning about different realities, and this was sure a reality that I had never been exposed to. And I have to give *high fives* to Greg Trembly. The accents he was able to come up with, and the names he was able to pronounce, were unbelievable. No, they were very believable. Such a great job! Tremblay has a talent for storytelling and for developing a voice for each character that adds another dimension to the story.

Mary Calmes is always worth taking a chance on, even if it’s a short story, e-book or audio. Her writing is colorful and characters deep, always an adventure. Heart of the Race is worth a listen.

TNA_Signature_Kathie

 

 

 

You can buy Heart of the Race here:

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5 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Mary Calmes, Narration Rating - 5 Stars, Reviewed by Amy

Audio Review: Quiet Nights by Mary Calmes – Narrated by Greg Tremblay

Title: Quiet Nights (Mangrove Stories)

Author: Mary Calmes

Narrator:: Greg Tremblay

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 2 Hours and 11 Minutes

At a Glance: I have listened to Greg many times, and no matter how many times I hear his narrations, it always sounds like a fresh and new story with a new voice.

Reviewed By: Amy

Blurb: It’s a lovely little life Kelly Seaton leads. He’s got his own landscaping business, a nice little house, and his best friend, Cosimo Renaldi, and Coz’s goofball family who have adopted Kelly as their own. Sure, it’s a little lonely at night, but it’s a sweet deal, and Kelly can’t chance ruining it by letting on that he wants more – has always wanted more – with Coz.

Then Kelly’s past comes to town, bringing bad memories and hurt feelings that start to break Kelly down, and Coz just doesn’t understand why Kelly won’t let him be the support and strength that Kelly’s always been for him. They’ve already been through war, Coz’s devastating injury, and starting new careers in Mangrove, Florida. Why shouldn’t they face their chaotic pasts and build their future of quiet nights… together?

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Review: As soon as I saw a Mary Calmes book on the review list, I snatched it up. I have read every one of her books, and here is why she moves me so much: Mary writes real people. She doesn’t just create a great love between two characters. She creates a universe of loveable characters that I couldn’t live without. Her books never lack in depth, even in a shorter story.

Coz’s family was one of my favorite parts of this story. They made me laugh and cry and wish for this book to never finish. The scene when Coz’s mother introduces her kids to her new boyfriend had me crying I was laughing so hard. Coz and Kelly’s relationship was the driving force of this story, and it was fun to see them realize that they belonged together. I did want the Britton situation to conclude earlier, but that is just a personal preference. I hope I get to visit Mangrove again soon.

Narration: Greg Tremblay. I mean, there is really nothing else to say. This seasoned narrator does what he does best: he gives life to a wonderfully told story with his brilliant performance. I have listened to Greg many times, and no matter how many times I hear his narrations, it always sounds like a fresh and new story with a new voice. He is one of the most talented in the bunch.

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You can buy Quiet Nights here:

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5 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Karen, Rhys Ford

Audio Review: Down and Dirty by Rhys Ford – Narrated by Greg Tremblay

Audio Gem

Title: Down and Dirty (A Cole McGinnis Mystery Spinoff)

Author: Rhys Ford

Narrator: Greg Tremblay

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 6 Hours, 43 Minutes

At a Glance: I don’t have a vast collection of audiobooks, but I can say this may be one of the best narrators I have listened to.

Reviewed By: Karen

Blurb: From the moment former LAPD detective Bobby Dawson spots Ichiro Tokugawa, he knows the man is trouble. And not just because the much younger Japanese inker is hot, complicated, and pushes every one of Bobby’s buttons. No, Ichi is trouble because he’s Cole McGinnis’ younger brother and off-limits in every possible way. And Bobby knows that even before Cole threatens to kill him for looking Ichi’s way. But despite his gut telling him Ichi is bad news, Bobby can’t stop looking…or wanting.

Ichi was never one to play by the rules. Growing up in Japan as his father’s heir, he’d been bound by every rule imaginable until he had enough and walked away from everything to become his own man. Los Angeles was supposed to be a brief pitstop before he moved on, but after connecting with his American half brothers, it looks like a good city to call home for a while–if it weren’t for Bobby Dawson.

Bobby is definitely a love-them-and-leave-them type, a philosophy with which Ichi wholeheartedly agrees. Family was as much of a relationship as Ichi was looking for, but something about the gruff and handsome Bobby Dawson makes him want more.

Much, much more.

Dividers

Review: So…I love Rhys Ford! Her books are an auto-buy for me. I recently started listening to audiobooks and, of course, added hers to my wish-list right off the top. Unfortunately I am not able to get audiobooks often, so this is the first book in the Cole McGinnis series that I have listened to. (I know…gasp!) I usually don’t like reading or listening to a series out of order, I am kind of OCD about it, but this was one of my favorite books in the series, and I couldn’t pass up the chance to listen to and review it. This book is kind of different from the others in the series. Besides the fact it focuses on Bobby and Ichi, it also doesn’t have the mystery/murder aspect in it, which I think is alright since that is more Cole and Jae’s story, and this one isn’t about Cole and Jae. This is just a story about a couple falling in love, and that is perfectly fine with me. Sometime you want/need that little breather in a story, a little sidebar that makes you love the other characters as much as the main characters, and gives you a minute to breathe. That’s how I see this story, and I love it!

Now, the narration….OMG, Greg Tremblay is amazing! His narration made me love the characters even more than I did when I read the books. Bobby is all grumbly and almost just like I heard him in my head when I was reading. I think his accents were awesome, and a couple of times I found it hard to believe that it was only one person doing everyone’s voices. My favorite part of the audio was probably Bobby telling Cole about him and Ichi, and everything that followed…too funny! The characters kind of fumbling their words, the inflections in the voices…I was cracking up!

Now to help control my OCD, I have moved the first four in the series up to the top of my wish-list because I can’t wait to listen to the rest of this series (like I want to listen RIGHT NOW! LOL!) . I will also be checking out the other audios Greg Tremblay has done ASAP. As I said, I don’t have a vast collection of audiobooks, but I can say that this may be one of the best narrators I have listened to.

TNA_Signature_Karen






You can buy Down and Dirty here:

Audible.com

Audible.com

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4.5 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Mary Calmes, Reviewed by Kim

Audio Review: Blue Days by Mary Calmes – Narrated by Greg Tremblay

Audio Gem

Title: Blue Days

Author: Mary Calmes

Narrator: Greg Tremblay

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 2 Hours, 49 Minutes

At a Glance: I’m definitely recommending Blue Days in audio!

Reviewed By: Kim

Blurb: Falling for a coworker is rarely a good idea, especially for a man getting a last chance at salvaging his career. But from the moment Dwyer Knolls sees the beautiful but socially awkward Takeo Hiroyuki, he seems destined to make bad decisions.
Takeo’s life is a string of failed attempts to please his traditional Japanese father. Unfortunately, succeeding in business turns out to be just as difficult for Takeo as changing from gay to straight. In fact, the only thing Takeo seems to truly excel at is taking notice of Dwyer Knolls.

When Dwyer and Takeo head to Mangrove, Florida on a real estate buying trip, their tentative friendship combusts and becomes much more. Is their sudden connection real enough to bank their futures on, or should they chalk the whole thing up to the daze inspired by the blue ocean breeze?

Dividers

Review: I skipped buying Blue Days, the e-book, once I saw who the narrator of the audiobook was. Greg Tremblay is one of my absolute favorite narrators, and I have yet to hesitate to listen to any of his audio performances. I know that if I’d tried to read the e-book first, I would have taken my time with it, but once I heard Greg start his narration, my ears stayed well in tune to the story as it was being told. The man is a genius when it comes to bringing his characters to life, and Dwyer and Takeo took shape with Greg’s very talented voice.

The reason Blue Days is a book I would have taken my time reading was because the story started off a bit slow for me. But, once the business Dwyer was working for finished with all the layoffs and introductions to the new people hired, it really picked up. The two MCs begin their slow building friendship, which eventually ripens into something more than just friends. There’s no insta-love here for these two.

I know not many people liked Takeo in the story, but seeing him through Dwyer’s eyes, and Greg’s narration, he just grew on me to the point I wanted to hug him and squeeze him and take him home with me. Once again, Mary Calmes has succeeded in giving me that warm fuzzy feeling in my chest, not to mention a few laugh out loud moments too.

I’m definitely recommending Blue Days in audio!






You can buy Blue Days here:

Audible.com

Audible.com

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Dreamspinner Press, Giveaways, Rhys Ford

Dirty Ringtones Make For A Dirty Cell Phone

Dirty_Ring_Banner

So a funny thing happened on the way to a tweet, Greg Tremblay, the fantastic narrator of my Dirty series, texted me and said… hey, you should give away a custom ringtone. Or something to that effect. There was some discussion. A few emails and then well, long story short—there may have been some pixilated shots of whiskey and banter, but a plan was formed. A plan so cunning I could have stuck a tail on it and called it a weasel.

Mostly, it involved Greg. And your phone. But it was still a plan!

After a furious, intense process of queries, eliminations, debating on who said what, we came up with a set of phrases from Cole, Bobby, Jae, Claudia, Scarlet and one from Maddy then Greg went to work. And returned to me with a brilliant sound bites forged by a narrative master—in the style of the characters’ voices.

So dear reader, as a thank you for everything you’ve done for Greg and me, I’d like to present the entire set of ringtones—twenty one in total—FREE, as a gift to you.

Available in Android (MP3) and iPhone (formats for Android and Apple phones, Greg has also graciously included the WAV files if that’s your thing. Download links to the zipped files are provided below.*

A great humongous thank you to all of the blogs who helped me with this guerilla gifting. This swirled up on Tuesday and Greg just MADE it happen. He is the voice of the series and I am forever grateful for his talent.

Love you all, and really, Thank You.

Rhys Ford

Dividers

Download .zip files here:

Dirty Rings Android MP3

Dirty Rings Apple M4a

Dirty Rings Apple M4r

Dirty Rings Wav

If you’ve not tried out Greg Tremblay’s narrations, please do so. He makes audiobooks fun and damn, he brings Cole and the others to life.

Greg Tremblay’s body of work can be found here—and yes, the Dirty series is there but so are many other lovely audio books. I highly recommend one of Greg’s audiobooks, a comfy chair, a pair of headphones and a nice hot cup of coffee… or tea… with or without whisky.

* These are copyrighted and available free for individual use. The files included in the zip cannot be sold by third parties nor can they be altered in anyway as to destroy the integrity of the original work. Animals were test subjects for these sound files and while the cat could not have given less of a shit, the dog seemed mighty interested. Please note, neither own nor use a phone or a computer so results may vary.

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Giveaways, The Year In Reviews

Simply The Best 2014: Round Four – The Year In Reviews and a Giveaway

2014

Hi, everyone!

We are thisclose to the end of our best of the best selections for this year. In case you missed the earlier selections, Sammy’s and Tina’s can be found HERE, Jackie’s, Lana’s, and Jules’ can be found HERE, and Lynn’s and Chris’s HERE.

Since Kim and Kathie are the audio connoisseurs in our group, today’s feature are their top picks in the audiobook category, and guess what? TNA is going to give you the chance to win TWO of the listed titles. And guess what else? If you’re selected as the winner, you get to choose which titles you’d like in either audio or e-book format. Continue reading

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5 Stars, Audio Book, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Kim, Rhys Ford

Greg Tremblay’s Narration Scores Another Hit With Rhys Ford’s Dirty Laundry

Title: Dirty Laundry

Author: Rhys Ford

Narrator:: Greg Tremblay

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 8 Hours, 56 Minutes

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: For ex-cop turned private investigator Cole McGinnis, each day brings a new challenge. Too bad most of them involve pain and death. Claudia, his office manager and surrogate mother, is still recovering from a gunshot, and Cole’s closeted boyfriend, Kim Jae-Min, suddenly finds his teenaged sister dumped in his lap. Meanwhile, Cole has his own sibling problems—most notably, a mysterious half brother from Japan whom his older brother, Mike, is determined they welcome with open arms. Continue reading

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5 Stars, Audio Book, Drama, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Kim, Rhys Ford

Greg Tremblay’s Narration Garners Rhys Ford’s “Dirty Secret” A Recommended Listen

Title: Dirty Secret

Author: Rhys Ford

Narrator:: Greg Tremblay

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 8 Hours, 4 Minutes

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Loving Kim Jae-Min isn’t always easy: Jae is gun-shy about being openly homosexual. Ex-cop turned private investigator Cole McGinnis doesn’t know any other way to be. Still, he understands where Jae is coming from. Traditional Korean men aren’t gay-at least not usually where people can see them. Continue reading

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5 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Reviewed by Kim, Rhys Ford

Kim Says The Narration Is Top Notch In Rhys Ford’s “Dirty Kiss”


“It’s like a bad joke over here: a black woman, a Filipino transvestite, and a Korean ex-stripper walk into a gay man’s house. All that’s missing is a priest and a talking dog.” ― Rhys Ford


Title: Dirty Kiss

Author: Rhys Ford

Narrator: Greg Tremblay

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 8 hours, 21 minutes

Rating: 5 Stars

Blurb: Cole Kenjiro McGinnis, ex-cop and PI, is trying to get over the shooting death of his lover when a supposedly routine investigation lands in his lap. Investigating the apparent suicide of a prominent Korean businessman’s son proves to be anything but ordinary, especially when it introduces Cole to the dead man’s handsome cousin, Kim Jae-Min.
Continue reading

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