Author: Nicola R. White
Narrator: Carol Ayon
Length: 7 hours 25 minutes
Series: Original Sin, Book 1
Publisher: Strange Roads Press
Released: Oct. 31, 2017
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Magdalene is a mob-connected madam. Tommy Flynn is the hitman who loves her. And when they're framed for the murder of a rival crime boss's favorite son, Magdalene fears the sins of her past have come back to haunt her. After spending half a lifetime in a seamy underworld where love is for sale and men worship at the altar of sex and greed, claiming sanctuary in a cathedral is the last thing she wants to do - and the only chance she has to find out who set her up. With all clues pointing to Magdalene's ex-lover, a working girl called Lola, the legendary madam is reluctant to trust Tommy, a smooth-talking hired gun, and risk being burned again. But as time grows short and secrets are revealed, Magdalene will have to look into the dark places inside herself if she is to catch a killer and survive with body and soul intact. In the corrupt city of Crawley, Massachusetts, passion, crime, and religion collide in this steamy, neo-noir romantic thriller.
Nicola R. White comes from a small city on the east coast of Canada where ghost stories and superstitions abound. Although she is a lawyer by profession, her passion is reading and writing fiction. In 2016, Nicola's debut novel, Fury's Kiss, won the $10,000 Kobo Emerging Writer Prize in Romance. She is currently producing her first graphic novel. Nicola is a member of Romance Writers of America and Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada. She is a frequent guest and speaker at literary events such as Word on the Street and Hal-Con, the largest sci fi/fantasy convention east of Montreal.
I may not be your typical audiobook narrator, but then again maybe I am. I have a passion for acting and received my undergraduate degree in Theatre Arts. I went on to pursue a graduate degree in Elementary Education and found that my favorite part of the day was during Read Aloud time. It was during that time that I could bring stories to life for my students and help them get caught up in a story. I loved to hear them say, "Keep going!" when it was time to stop. I continue to act in local stage productions but hope to begin a long career in audio book narration.
Q&A with Author Nicola R. White
- Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
- Definitely! When I write, I try to keep in mind how the story would work in audio or adapted for film or television. Since I write plot-driven stories (as opposed to character-driven), that approach helps me keep the action moving. If a scene would be boring when read or acted out by a narrator or actor, it’s probably boring to read, too!
- Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
- I love listening to audiobooks while I drive, whether I’m going a short distance or on a road trip. Listening to a good book helps pass the time and actually makes me look forward to getting in the car, even though I usually hate commuting or driving long distances. If the book has really drawn me in, sometimes I’m sorry when I reach my destination!
- Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
- Carol’s (the narrator) performance is spot-on, especially the way she voices the heroine, Magdalene. I was amazed when I heard how closely her version of the character matched the vision I had when I was writing Man’s Ruin.
- If this title were being made into a TV series or movie, who would you cast to play the primary roles?
- When I’m writing a book, I actually choose actors to play the characters and refer to photos for reference and inspiration. For Magdalene, I would cast Charisma Carpenter (from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel). For Tommy, I would cast a young Val Kilmer (assuming time travel is an option).
- What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
- I can’t believe people still feel this way. Audiobooks have been around forever! Firstly, I would remind people that not everyone has the ability to “read” in the same way. Secondly, I would ask them if watching a movie adaptation or reading an ebook is also cheating.
- In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of writing a stand-alone novel vs. writing a series?
- I prefer writing series because I always want to know what happens next. I don’t tend to be a heavy plotter, so writing the books is the only way I’ll find out! As a reader, I also prefer series because when I find something I like, I can’t get enough of it. As a writer, the downside of writing a series (for me, at least) is that I work on so many different projects at any given time, my release schedule isn’t as consistent as I’d like it to be. I sometimes feel guilty for writing a couple series at once when I know fans are waiting for the next book in one series or another. That being said, I am committed to finishing any series I start, so readers don’t have to worry that they won’t get to find out how it ends.
- What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
- Never give up.
- Consider self-publishing.
- If you do self-publish, hire a good editor and cover designer.
- Learn about the business side of being an author. I’ve seen too many authors and artists sign awful contracts.
- What’s next for you?
- Right now, I’m working on the sequel to Man’s Ruin as well as the next book in my paranormal romance series, the New England Furies. I am also currently producing a comic book based on the Irish folktale of Eliza Day and I am writing my first game for Choice of Games, a company that produces text-based, multiple-choice games.
Audible Rating: Performance: 3.5/5 stars
Story: 3.5/5 stars
Overall: 3.5/5 stars
Goodreads Rating: 3.5/5 stars
In Patti's Imagination Rating: 7/10 stars
This is my first book by this author and narrator. Romantic suspense is my favorite genre so I was looking forward to listening to this book. While there were elements in the story that I found intriguing and suspenseful, this listener struggled with the book at times. Overall I find that I am giving this book a 3.5 rating. There were times when I felt like the author just wasn't clear enough as to what was happening in the story, or maybe it was with the narration and not being able to follow well enough because I didn’t feel the narrator changed her voice enough to know who was who in a scene. Knowing who all the players were, was that one thing that was really missing in this story and maybe if I had read the book I could give it a higher rating or maybe if it was done in dual narration it would have been easier. With many scenes having multiple people talking, not knowing exactly knowing who was who caused me to struggle. Yet even with those struggles, I was able to predict things so that also took away from my enjoyment. There was a surprise or two a few times that and the narrator doing a better job in changing her voice for the various characters helped with the 3.5 rating. I had no issues with the sound quality and enjoyed the occasional background noise that went with the story to give it a more real feel.
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