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SciFi/Fantasy I’ve Narrated: With Narrator’s Opinions!


Mayhem Wave Series
By Edward Aubry

Narrator’s Opinion: What I Like About This Series

This was the first series I’d done wherein a fellow author heard me read some of my own work at a convention and, understanding that I narrated for Tantor Audio, specifically requested me to read his work when Tantor bought the audio rights to his books. What an amazing boost to my confidence! I will always be grateful. These are big, sprawling, unpredictable adventures with everything from dinosaurs to fairies to high tech trains to cannibal houses to dragons to laser guns. Okay, maybe not laser guns. But maybe not NOT laser guns too. It’s an interesting world full of colorful characters. This was also the first instance that, after a few weeks in the recording booth, I happened to glance in the mirror, and was surprised by the sight of my own face. I’d been so immersed in Aubry’s world for so long that I’d forgotten what I looked like, and expected to see a different character’s face instead of my own. Time in the “Whisper Room” can be very strange!

1. Prelude to Mayhem
2. Static Mayhem
3. Mayhem’s Children

Fate Weaver Series
By ReGina Welling, Erin Lynn

Narrator’s Opinion: What I Like About This Series

After I recorded the first book in this series I got a note back requesting me to be a little more “funny.” This was such a challenge; how to be vocally funny? They are indeed funny, fast books, full of witches and wisecracks, gods and gallivanting. I wanted to do them justice. One of the things I tried was really “activating my cheekbones”–basically, smiling while talking. Relax, have fun, but also concentrate on varying the vocal levels, so as to help the jokes land better and more naturally. And there were many jokes! These are glib, sassy books–even occasionally steamy! Sort of a mash-up of a mystery, a matchmaking rom-com, mythology and good ol’ fashioned MAGICK.

1. Match Made in Spell
2. All Spell is Breaking Loose
3. To Spell and Back

Grimm Agency Series
By J.C. Nelson

Narrator’s Opinion: What I Like About This Series

This is one of your put-upon protagonist must-save-the-world series, with a lot of interference from those who wish to invade, rule, and/or destroy it. It’s in the vein of, say, Buffy or Supernatural–taking place in a world like ours, except . . . paranormal. Now, I recorded these a while ago, but I remember I had SO MUCH FUN with the voice of one of the main villainnesses in particular: I believe, the Faerie Queen. She was French. Plenty of action, some romance, some friendships made through rescue and then through work, and MANY monsters to fight!

1. Free Agent
2. Armageddon Rules
3. Wish Bound

Cat’s Eye Chronicles
By T.L. Shreffler

Narrator’s Opinion: What I Like About This Series

First of all, the author of these books was just so sweet to work with, very communicative. I rarely have a chance to interact with the author, and for fantasy books especially, I really crave contact! Since I write fantasy, and since so much of the language of fantasy is invented, I want to make sure I am interpreting the writer’s vision as close to correctly as, well, an interpreter can! Second of all, I really enjoyed voicing the Harpies. You heard me: there are are harpies. Third, I started getting a little crush on Crash/Viper, and let me tell you, there’s nothing quite like living in the voice of your latest crush.

1. Sora’s Quest
2. Viper’s Creed
3. Volcrian’s Hunt
4. Ferran’s Map
5. Krait’s Redemption


Inherit the Stars
By Tony Peak

Narrator’s Opinion: What I Like About This Book

This, again, was pretty early on in my narration career, but I do remember that author Tony Peak was SO AWESOMELY PROMPT and COMMUNICATIVE in his response to my request for pronunciations. I mean, I think he overnighted them to me via email. That was extremely helpful, because this is a sci-fi novel, with many kinds of planets and peoples. I remember this book had many female characters, including the protagonist–there was, in particular, a soldier (a captain? a general?) whom I particularly liked, and loved every time I got to voice her. I also remember noticing the strong colors of this book: lurid, alien, beautiful neons, like a favorite weird movie remembered from a 1980’s childhood. Also, I recall the sensation of being slightly cold the whole time I was recording: since the cryosleep chamber plays an enormous role in the plot!

The Rattled Bones
By S. M. Parker

Narrator’s Opinion: What I Like About This Book

Now, this was a really interesting read–and one I’d’ve read on my own had I just picked it up at random to read for pleasure. It’s YA and it’s a mystery–and it’s also a ghost story. There are horrific elements: historical racism (really awful stuff, and sensitively researched, I thought) and vengeful spirits. This is also a book about grieving. The teenaged protagonist Rilla Brae is QUITE powerful: a young lobster-boat captain. I’ve never read a protagonist like her before. I really loved her, and her grandmother, and her strange, wild, maritime adventure. I remember there was a complicated friendship, a realistically unsatisfying relationship–followed by a much better one. And so many cool things about MAINE!

By Jo Walton

Narrator’s Opinion: What I Like About This Book

Ah. Ah! I have already blogged separately about narrating Starlings, because it was SUCH an experience! If you are interested, please read it at this link.

Suffice to say, this book was an HONOR and a HOOT to narrate, and I was SO EXCITED to have the chance! Not only did I get to do a good bulk of the stories (with my co-narrator Rudy Sanda doing the others), but I got to narrate the poetry. AND A WHOLE ONE-ACT PLAY! WITH ALL THE VOICES! I never felt so much like Mel Blanc in a Looney Tunes cartoon in my whole life!

Here is my favorite Audiofile Magazine review I ever got for anything I’ve done:

Beginning with a rousing introduction, C.S.E. Cooney offers an enthusiastic narration of Walton’s first collection of short fiction and poetry. All told, there are 20 stories, a one-act play, and 15 poems, many of which are populated by memorable characters and marked by sly humor. The challenge for the narrator of a collection like this is allowing for each piece to have a life of its own, rather than disappearing among so many others. A second narrator, Rudy Sanda, delivers a couple of stories, but the strength of the audiobook comes from Cooney. With Cooney’s deft narration, playful energy, and ease with accents, listeners have the opportunity to lose themselves in each fantastical story. A.S. © AudioFile 2019.

Mad Hatters and March Hares
By Ellen Datlow (editor)

Narrator’s Opinion: What I Like About This Book

If you stan Lewis Carroll, I think the stories in this book will both feed your obsession and challenge it.

As with the above-mentioned book, Mad Hatters and March Hares was another of those rare works that blew my skull apart at the sutures to try and voice. (Co-voice, actually, with the fabulous Eric Michael Summerer.) In addition to being an audiobook narrator, I also write fantasy; I even had a story in this particular anthology, my first work published under Editor Ellen Datlow, another scion of the genre! Also as with Starlings, I was so anxious about doing right by these stories–not least because I either knew or held in high esteem most of the authors–that it was one of the most difficult books I’ve ever narrated. Nothing shows me my own limitations as a voice actor so ruthlessly as being given something so beautiful and varied and brilliant to narrate that I almost can’t bear it. But I was the one on the ground, and I did my absolute best–sweating the entire time!–and I will forever be humbled to have had the chance.

Bone Swans and Desdemona and the Deep
By C. S. E. Cooney

Narrator’s Opinion: What I Like About These Books

Well, these two books are my own works–which sold to Tantor Audio and Recorded Books respectively. Bone Swans: Stories is my collection, and won the World Fantasy Award in 2016. Desdemona and the Deep was just released in July of this year (2019). The collection, comprising five novellas/novelettes, runs a gamut of flavors: from sword and sorcery, to a couple re-told fairy tales, to a fantastical murder mystery, to . . . something that’s just plain nightmarish carnival weird. The second is a standalone work juuuuuust longer than a novella (word count-wise) but meant to be one nonetheless.

They both are full fantasy books, all of the stories taking place in different secondary worlds. Although: HINT–the story called “How the Milkmaid Struck a Bargain with the Crooked One” in Bone Swans takes place in the same land as Desdemona and the Deep, only the latter is several hundred years in the future, in the equivalent of our “Gilded Age.”

I wish I were a full-cast of Academy Award-winning actors, each with their impeccable timing and distinctive voices and emotional surprises. I wish I could match in the air what these works sound like in my head. But I have to say, I also love, love, love, love, love narrating my own work. I have read aloud from my stories my whole life to anyone who would sit still long enough to listen: my mother, my brothers, my best friends, and now–my husband–and the idea that I am also reading my own work aloud to people I may never meet is deeply satisfying and warming.

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Mystery Series I’ve Narrated, with NARRATOR OPINIONS

by Carol J. Perry

Narrator’s Opinion: What I Like About This Series

The first book in this series was the first book I’d ever narrated, and so it will always be very special to me. I love Lee Barrett in all her guises: real psychic disguised as fake psychic, teacher at an arts’ school, investigative reporter. I like how much she likes (and knows!) her cars. And I really like all the Salem history woven in. Plus: CATS! Plus: WITCHES! 

1 Caught Dead Handed (2014)
2 Tails, You Lose (2015)
3 Look Both Ways (2015)
4 Murder Go Round (2017)
5 Grave Errors (2017)
6 It Takes a Coven (2018)
7 Bells, Spells, and Murders (2018)
8 Final Exam (2019)
9 Late Checkout (2019)

Charmed Pie Shoppe Mysteries
By Ellery Adams

Narrator’s Opinion: What I Like About This Series

This is one of those slipstreamy, multi-genre books. It’s a mystery, yes–but there is also MAGIC! I love a good magical food book, and this one has plenty of that, plus a horde of fabulous aunties always sticking their noses in. And fairies. And sirens. And firefighters. So. Yeah! Warning: you will want to eat pie more than you ever have in your life if you read these. I MADE SO MANY PIES WHEN I WAS RECORDING THESE! Savory and sweet! My favorite was a bacon, onion, apple, cheddar pie!

1. Pies and Prejudice (2012)
2. Peach Pies and Alibis (2013)
3. Pecan Pies and Homicides (2014)
4. Lemon Pies and Little White Lies (2015)
5. Breach of Crust (2016)

Webb’s Glass Shop Mysteries
by Cheryl Hollon

Narrator’s Opinion: What I Like About This Series

I love learning more about different kinds of glass-making and glass-blowing techniques in each book. The main character, Savannah Webb, is a patient teacher–and her wide array of students are always getting into scrapes. My favorites are the elderly twins, though: Rachel and Faith. They’re in every book, and grow more goofy and lovable every time we meet. I really love the community in this book as well, the close friendships across different ages, artists, and neurotypes. Plus! An adorable Weimaraner! (For you dog lovers.)

1. Pane and Suffering (2015)
2. Shards of Murder (2016)
3. Cracked to Death (2016)
4. Etched in Tears (2017)
5. Shattered at Sea (2018)
6. Down in Flames (2019)

Margot Durand Cozy Mysteries
by Danielle Collins

Narrator’s Opinion: What I Like About This Series

Another series that is bound to make you hungry–and to want to go on a cruise. These are desserty-books, with dreamy, dreamy pastries, and with a no-nonsense protagonist who makes room in her life for the unexpected–and opens her heart and home to family, even when they’re being a bit troublesome.

1. Croissants and Corruption (2017)
2. Desserts and Deception (2017)
3. Pastries and Pilfering (2017)
4. Muffins and Murder (2017)

Cat Latimer Mysteries
By Lynn Cahoon

Narrator’s Opinion: What I Like About This Series

These books are awfully fun because the protagonist, Cat, is a writer and an introvert–but she runs a writers’ retreat in Colorado–where she’s forced to interact with people! Her best friend does all the extravert meet & greet stuff, and the food–so, like any good cozy, droolworthy recipes abound–but Cat still has to step up and be social from time to time. She gets better at this as the series continues. She’s constantly under deadline, and constantly finding dead bodies. Animal interactions include (eventually) a very fine horse, some kittens, and a hot handyman.

1. A Story to Kill (2016)
2. Fatality by Firelight (2017)
3. Of Murder and Men (2017)
4. Slay in Character (2018)
5. Sconed to Death (2019)

Stormy Day Mysteries
By Angela Pepper

Narrator’s Opinion: What I Like About This Series

Stormy Day just kept making me laugh! Unusually for the cozy mysteries I’ve done so far, she has a great relationship with her father (mostly the parents in cozies are deceased or absent or hard to get along with, with a few exceptions), who is a retired police officer. She’s also a small business owner and an entrepreneur. Her problem is not clumsiness or reckless behavior; her hamartia is an overabundance of efficiency! Interestingly complicated friendships as well. I quite enjoyed these books, and would have read them on my own had I just randomly picked them up.

1. Death of a Dapper Snowman (2014)
2. Death of a Crafty Knitter (2015)
3. Death of a Batty Genius (2015)
4. Death of a Modern King (2015)

Tara Holloway Mysteries
By Diane Kelly

Narrator’s Opinion: What I Like About This Series

What I liked best about this series was that they weren’t primarily about murders–the mysteries are primarily TAX FRAUD! This is so refreshing and interesting–and makes for a nice change. They aren’t bloodless, though–but they are rompy, and full of shenanigans, and Texas, and some great partnerships, business relationships, friendships, and romances!

1. Death, Taxes and a French Manicure (2011)
2. Death, Taxes, and a Skinny No-whip Latte (2012)
3. Death, Taxes, and Extra-hold Hairspray (2012)

Daisy’s Tea Garden Mysteries
By Karen Rose Smith

Narrator’s Opinion: What I Like About This Series

Another delicious series. And I mean, the soups! The sandwiches! The muffins! AND OH THE TEAS! I always come off narrating one of these books with a strong urge to go to Alice’s Tea Cup in New York, where I live; they serve fancy teas there. SO MANY LITTLE SANDWICHES! Anyway, a great cast of characters, takes place in Amish country so there are friendships across cultures, and I like that the protagonist is middle aged, widowed, with two daughters. She is extremely thoughtful and sensible, but also just about to begin a new and beautiful chapter in her life: as a businesswoman, yes, but also as a woman whose daughters are all but grown, and who is only now growing past her grief. If only people would stop dying in her vicinity!

1. Murder with Lemon Tea Cakes (2017)
2. Murder with Cinnamon Scones (2018)
3. Murder with Cucumber Sandwiches (2019)

Purr N Bark Pet Shop Mysteries
By T. C. LoTempio

Narrator’s Opinion: What I Like About This Series

This is the most recent book I’ve narrated (in fact, I just got back yesterday from the studio), and the best thing about it are the two cats: Purrday and Kahlua. But also: small town Connecticut as a sort of updated old-fashioned noir comedy backdrop. And two out of work actors back from Hollywood who decide to take the latest murder investigation into their own hands. My favorite character is the protagonist’s sidekick, Gary. I HAD SO MUCH FUN DOING HIS VOICE! I love him. Large cast of friends, huge gossip network, and too many motives abound!

1. The Time for Murder is Meow (2019)

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