Monday, October 29, 2018


Author: Nathan Van Coops

Narrator: Neil Hellegers

Series: In Times Like These, Book 2

Publisher: Skylighter Press

Released: Oct. 23, 2015

Length: 19 hours 43 minutes

Genre: Science Fiction; Time Travel

Run from the past. Run from the future. Run for your lives. He's a novice time traveler in a big universe. Ben just wants time with the scientist's daughter who got him into this, but when he's rooked into competing in a chronothon - an Amazing Race through time - getting the girl means he'll need to make the finish line. When he finds out this competition is more than just a sprint through history, winning takes a back seat to surviving. To save the people he loves, he'll have to conquer the real dangers hidden in the shadows of the chronothon. The world of time travelers expands in this next installment of the In Times Like These series. Fans of book one will find more to love, but new listeners can jump right in and enjoy this stand-alone story. Expect action, adventure, and romance on this journey through past and future. Fresh dangers will arise for Ben and company in a quest for the finish line, where failure to keep up will cost more than just a shot at glory - it could mean the end for them all.
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Nathan Van Coops lives in St. Petersburg Florida on a diet comprised mainly of tacos. He enjoys old planes, motorcycles, and Volkswagens; and contends that there is such a thing as “dressy” flip-flops. He is the author of three time travel adventure novels: In Times Like These, The Chronothon, and The Day After Never. You can also check out his sci-fi sky pirate adventure, Faster Than Falling.
Narrator Bio
Neil hails from the green hills and not-so-busy streets of River Vale, NJ, where he divided his time between theatre, literature, percussion, and policy debate. He is happy to note that he has managed to maintain this balance for the entirety of his adult life. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, PA, with a B.A. in Theatre Arts and a Minor in Psychology, Neil acquired a M.F.A in Acting from the Trinity Rep Conservatory, in Providence, RI. He returned to NYC in 2003, and, since then, has made a career of theatrical performance, percussion, theatre education, and audiobook narration, and is currently living in Brooklyn, NY, with his wife, rambunctious son, and their mutt! Starting his professional acting career working at festivals and and international tours performing Shakespeare opened his mind to the sweeping potential of theatre in performance to inspire and delight, a sensibility he has carried into contemporary theatre, new play workshops, film, TV and commercial work, and audiobook narration. Neil also has sought and developed educational opportunities, considering teaching as a means of advancing the craft of both student and teacher, and also a vehicle for social and political change. Neil has played drums in a wide variety of bands and musical groups, from punk, to prog, to jazz, to folk, and in theatrical performance, most notably for the Philly-based-90s-progressive-instrumental-rock-band, Lexicon. As an audiobook narrator, Neil specializes in fiction, genre and non. A voracious reader of science fiction and fantasy, Neil strives to bring the same thrill of the possible to the actual, with non-fiction ranging from self-help both spiritual and practical, history, and cultural studies. Recording at home from a Studiobricks One Plus, he is an Audible Approved Producer, and has worked for numerous publishers, including Tantor Media, Penguin Random House Audio, Blackstone Audio, Audible Studios, Deyan Audio, Spoken Realms, and more. He is a proud member of SAG AFTRA.
  I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Nathan Van Coops. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.


This is one of those books that captures your attention from page one.  I love that it is in, Ben, the main character's point of view.  It added to the mystery surrounding the whole of the group of best friend's experiences, because Ben only knew part of the story and we find out as he does what next.  It is the narrator's talent that brings Ben to life with true emotions including guilt.  The under lining message of sticking to a friend and helping others shines through as the plot unfolds.  I like that the author talks about string theory and the multiverse and timelines but doesn't make the book dry.   I loved the adventure and the action.  It was the saying goodbye that was the bitter sweet of story.  The characters are plausible and relatable.  The plot flows effortlessly between each plausible timeline event.  The other friends seem to all interact so well with each other. and the author is very good at showing not telling the story.  With is being an audible the narrator's voice changes and pauses and infliction added to heighten the suspense surrounding these star-crossed travelers.  I enjoyed the banter and trust they share.  Ben,who somehow feels responsible for their fate ets out to correct everything.  The story has a great bad guy, too, so sadistic and cruel.  The story mostly takes place in es place in  St Pete, Florida area which I could picture it in my mind.  The telling of the story, by this talented narrator, added to the emotions and the excitement of this excellent plot.  It would be a great way to introduce string theory and multiverse and time travel concepts. 

Q&A with Narrator Neil Hellegers
  • When did you know you wanted to be an audiobook narrator?
    • You know those puzzles where you first only see the very up-close details, and the image starts to zoom out, and you’re supposed to guess what it’s a picture of, and it's usually a picture of Abraham Lincoln? It’s something like that; I had all the small pieces in my life, with my love of books, my theatre training, and general geekiness, and it slowly came into focus that narrating is what I should be doing. Also, it’s Abraham Lincoln.
  • How did you wind up narrating audiobooks? Was it always your goal or was it something you stumbled into by chance?
    • In the process of starting a family, I came to see that my vagabond, stage-actor life was unsustainable. In focusing on other options with my skill-set, I managed some more local work, particularly a fair number of on-camera commercials, at a time where the ‘goofy dad’ archetype was very prevalent. And while I had some success there, it wasn’t scratching the deeper itches creatively, and was also, in many ways, just as transient.
    • I had been pushing into commercial VO a bit as well, with not as much success, but it occured to me that I maybe wasn’t matching the specific demands of Comm VO as well as I would have liked. Yet I had always listened to audiobooks, especially on lots of long drives between Providence, RI and the New York area in the summers I was working at Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival. It slowly dawned on me that narration could be a much better fit. There wasn’t like a flash of inspiration, more like a slow dawning, then I was like, oh it’s sunny!
  • Did you find it difficult to “break into” audiobook narration? What skill/tool helped you the most when getting started?
    • Ha, have I broken in? I’m like 40% joking; “imposter syndrome” seems to dwell heavily in more than a few narrators, including this one. But, procedurally: One thing to note is that the audiobook industry is considerably smaller than most other major entertainment industries. So after years of Film and TV meet-and-greets and Equity open-calls and the like, finding a far more intimate and immediate set-up was a pleasant surprise. There were also meet-and-greets and conventions, but the relationships were direct with the publishers and producers, so just by being present you could start meeting them, so when one was ready with the appropriate skills, it’s possible to move forward, bit by bit. As mentioned, I had thorough theater training, but there is narration-specific technique to learn, coaches to work with, and workshops to take. Not to mention, since I was starting by working at home, producing audiobooks independently, there were some technical hurdles to leap. Thank goodness everything is on the internet.
    • I should also note here that the narration community is tremendously generous, and from the first friend I asked to “pick your brain about narration” (which I now fully understand how kind and helpful she was by permitting this, as it is something narrators get asked quite a bit) to the FB members willing to answer any questions, we all really have each others’ backs. It’s a lovely aspect of this job, but also very helpful in getting started.
  • A lot of narrators seem to have a background in theatre. Is that something you think is essential to a successful narration career?
    • I won’t say it’s 100% essential but certainly, as the basic tasks of emotional empathy, directed action, and developing character is the same as in any kind of theatre, it is very helpful training. But also the technical training, especially vocally, is of great benefit for maintaining one’s instrument during hours and hours and hours of talking.
  • What type of training have you undergone?
    • I have a BA in Theater Arts (acting, directing, and design) from The University of Pennsylvania, with some time spent abroad in a London conservatory, and an MFA in Acting from Trinity Rep Conservatory in Providence RI. Add to that various acting classes and coaching, both in acting and narration, and that’s my foundation. The work itself is the training built on top of that.
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for narrating?
    • Well, the books always change, so that helps. And, in a given day, I always try to find the thing about the book that excites me, or is a valuable social lesson to convey, or is fun. At this point, though the hours are long, I’m so grateful to be doing what I’m doing, that if I start to feel weary, I slap myself in the face and get the heck back in the game. Aside from that, I try to sleep well, get some exercise, and drinks lots and lots and lots and lots of water.
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • I certainly am! I have to be? But I would be anyway. What I like about it is the pleasure of the narrator’s creativity in synthesis with the author. If the story is good, it can only get better. And if the narrator is good, then the story can be great.
  • What are your favorite and least favorite parts of narrating an audiobook?
    • My favorite is playing all the parts. BY WHICH I MEAN: really being able to get inside these all these heads, find what makes them tick, or how the main characters revelations build the story, how he or she changes. I can learn so many things, in non-fiction in particular, but also generally. Any book is a rich opportunity for exploration. Least favorite is probably feeling the pressure of deadlines, which is of course necessary and often times a motivator, but still.
  • What would you say are your strongest narration abilities?
    • I like to think I have a good handle on emotional life, and investing into the emotional lives of the characters. I’m a fair hand at dialects, which does help a lot (and is also lots of fun, especially learning a new one). I also like to consider the big picture, the author’s overall objective, and actualize that in all sorts of moment-to-moment choices along the way.
  • Is there a particular genre you feel unsuited for? Have you ever declined a project because you didn’t think you were right for it?
    • Genre, hm, I dunno...I think it’s more about a certain book. After all, as is often said, the characters in each book don’t know what genre they are in, so why should I? I have only declined being considered for a project for...political reasons. I told them “you’re going to find a narrator better suited for this project than I am”.
  • What about this title compelled you to audition as narrator?
    • So, I’ve been narrating Nathan’s books, and this series in particular, for quite some time, basically tracking over my entire “career” as a narrator. At the time that I saw THE CHRONOTHON (Book 2 of the IN TIMES LIKE THESE series, but the first one we did), I was intrigued by a time travel series that had a legitimate explanation for multiverse time travel and yet also was rooted in the characters’ human relationships. This was evident just in the audition materials and what I could read about the book online. And it was also a *long* title, and I wanted to really see how I could build a story in long form. Then later, we went back to producing IN TIMES LIKE THESE (which I had already read as preparation for TC), which, really, is all about Ben’s foundation, his friends, and establishing the sci fi basis for everything else. Then came THE DAY AFTER NEVER, yet another evolution, this time reaching deeper into the past and future, expanding possibilities and deepening the characters and their relationships. (Is it clear yet that working on his series is a metaphor for my work as a narrator?) When Nathan let me know that THE WARP CLOCK was a thing, I was so grateful that I could reapply all that I had learned to these people I knew so well, whose plight with which I was so familiar.

Author Nathan Van Coops
  • Waffle fries or curly fries? Nope. Tacos.
  • GIF with a hard g or soft g? G is for graphics so I pronounce it that way. I’m not a barbarian.
  • Fantasy or science-fiction? I love both but tend to imagine things in terms of science fiction. Favorite books from childhood were fantasy though. The Neverending Story made my life.
  • Superman or Batman? Christopher Nolan’s Batman. Otherwise send me to the MCU.
  • Text message or call? Call. Let’s chat.
  • Pancakes or waffles? Waffles all the way. But you can hold the whipped cream.
  • Doctor Who or the Walking Dead? I already have a crossbow, I want a T.A.R.D.I.S.
  • TV Shows or movies? Movies. Opening credits make me happy knowing I’m about to be told a complete story. I can only commit to a TV show if it’s ten episodes or less and bingeable. Gotta get back to the writing!
  • Facebook or Twitter? Facebook Live!
  • Alice in Wonderland or Robinson Crusoe? Wonderland. Though I would relish a desert island experience too, assuming I don’t a Tom Hanks toothache.
  • Being too warm or too cold? I hate being cold. Bring on the heat!
  • Netflix or Hulu? Netflix originals have been outstanding lately.
  • Work Hard or Play Hard? My work is a lot like play, so both?
  • Passenger or Driver? Driver. Stick-shift. Preferably something from the ‘70s.
  • Amusement Park or Day at the Beach? Beach day!
  • Honesty or Other’s Feelings? Honesty, though if I were clever I would learn to empathize better too.
  • Movie at Home or Movie at the Theater? Theater! I love a good big-screen experience assuming the movie deserves that treatment. Better check Rotten Tomatoes first...

Oct. 25th: Dab of Darkness Book Reviews Oct. 26th: T's Stuff Oct. 27th: Lynn's Romance Enthusiasm Oct. 28th: Writers N Authors Oct. 29th: Jazzy Book Reviews In Pattis Imagination Oct. 30th: Lilly's Book World Oct. 31st: Lomeraniel The Book Addict's Reviews
Nov. 1st: Dab of Darkness Book Reviews Nov. 2nd: T's Stuff In Pattis Imagination Nov. 3rd: Lynn's Romance Enthusiasm Nov. 4th: Jazzy Book Reviews Nov. 5th: Writers N Authors Nov. 6th: Lilly's Book World The Book Addict's Reviews Nov. 7th: Lomeraniel
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Saturday, October 27, 2018


Title: Waiting For Autumn
Author: J.A. DeRouen
Genre: Contemporary Romance Release Date: October 25, 2018 
“Race me for it.” 
Four simple words. Five desolate years.
Sebastian Kelly believes he isn’t worthy of redemption, of a chance to right his wrongs. But an unexpected trip home, the place he dreads most, calls in question everything he’s come to believe. And who knows, he may find exactly what he’s been waiting for. 
One broken promise. Two pink lines.
Autumn Norris knew in an instant her life would never be the same. Years have flown by in a flurry of sparkles and dress up, and Autumn has refused to let the anchor of regret pull her under. 
Until she lays eyes on Sebastian, and the wave of why, where, and how could you flood her every thought.
Old hurt and new betrayal twist first love into a reluctant partnership, and theirs may be a bond even pigtails and butterfly kisses can’t mend. But the past five years have felt like a lifetime, and Seb is willing to wait as long as it takes.
Because the truth is, he’s always been waiting for Autumn.
“This author again floors me. She brings together a Story about love, loss, and a forever that nobody can touch.” - Books and Bandanas

“My Lord, this book was the most uplifting thing I’ve ever read.” - Little Red Reading Hood

“...J.A. DeRouen's exquisitely beautiful writing to all of that and you have the makings of this 5-Star read…” - Bewitched Reader
J.A. Derouen lives in South Louisiana with her husband, son (aptly nicknamed "The Professor"), and her furry friend, Scout. She has a bachelor’s degrees in psychology and nursing. When she's not writing or inhaling romance novels by the stack, she works as a women's health nurse. She’s been an avid reader and daydreamer since childhood, and she's never stopped turning the page to get to the next happily ever after.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018


Author: Jessica Gunn

Narrator: Shannon Condon

Length: 6 hours and 42 minutes

Series: Hunter Circle, Book 1

Publisher: Jessica Gunn

Released: Aug. 16, 2018

Genre: Urban Fantasy

I'm Krystin Blackwood, and I've only ever been good at one thing: killing demons of Darkness. But at 24, I'm about to face my toughest challenge yet: shifting from working alone to joining a team of three other Hunters. Newbie Hunters. They don't know their magik, they barely know their place in the world, and when they find out the secrets I've been carrying, they'll definitely decide it's safer if they don't know me. But unfortunately for them - and me - Darkness has other plans. Lady Azar, Darkness's heir, stole my new team leader's kid two years ago. Now, she and her lackeys are rallying to exchange Ben's kid for me because of the power I wield. I'm one half of a prophecy to save an ancient city the Powers of Good lost centuries ago. And if I fail or die before that happens, the destruction of that city will be felt across all planes of existence. If we can't find Ben's son before All Hallows' Eve and somehow save him without putting my life at risk, that existential explosion will absolutely happen. But it'll be nothing compared to the destruction wrought if Lady Azar changes Ben's son into a demon...and her minion Because the only thing more dangerous than me with a blade is a father's wrath.
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Jessica Gunn is a New Adult author and avid science-fiction and fantasy fan. Her favorite stories are those that transport the reader to other, more exciting worlds. When not working or writing, she can be found binge-watching Firefly and Stargate, or feeding her fascination of the ancient world’s many mysteries. Jessica also holds a degree in Anthropology.


Narrator Bio
Shannon Condon is a New York City based Actor, Voice Actor, Improviser and Filmmaker. Shannon is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA, and is recognized by her unique voice and quick-witted humor. When not recording, she can be found playing with her dog/best friend, Maple. For more updates visit
  I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Jessica Gunn. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.


Really great story of learning to trust each other and work together.  A wonderful bunch of characters with mysterious backgrounds.  I love the way the author changed the point of view between Krystin and Ben.  I wish we could get into the head of the Hunters Circle leader and Krystin's mom.  I was very interested in this story after reading the synopsis.  I love when there is a strong female main character who can hold her own. This one can kick butt.  I think is would be good for high school grade or older.  The message of learning to work together and trust each other is very well intertwined in a plot full of action and adventure.  The characters are relatable and you find yourself on the edge of your seat routing for the good guys?  The author has created a dark world right under the noses of the people living in Boston.  I love that the idea that everyone is not what they seem and not a straight forward good vs evil.   I found it hard to stop listening to this story and the narrator just added to my temptation to stay up all night and listen straight through.  The narrator used different voices for each character and did a great job of conveying the emotion and fire of this story.  I love that it is a series as I am just not finished learning more about these characters. 

Amazon/Goodreads rating: 4/5
In Patti's Imagination rating: 7/10

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