Angel has this week's Stuff We Like with a little of something old, something new...
When I was little, my parents would take us to the library and encourage us to pick out not only books, but also records to borrow. Our library had a wonderful section of vinyl narrations, you see, people with wonderful voices reading stories. The expressiveness of these narrators captivated me, allowing me to hear dialogue in different ways, to paint mind pictures I wouldn't have on my own.
We don't outgrow the desire to have stories read to us. You just have to look at audio book sales these days. But I have to be honest - a bad narrator can just kill a story and sometimes you just can't get past the first five minutes because of a flat, uninflected reading. Recommendations and reviews of narrators have become just as important as the reviews of the books themselves.
When you find a good narrator? Holy crumbs and crusts, it's almost better than Death by Chocolate. Or sex. Or sex with Death by Chocolate. In my rambling way, this is me saying that I like good narration and finding the perfect narrator for a story. For Shax? That person turned out to be Vance Bastian, our amazing narrator for Hell For The Company. Vance not only manages an incredibly fun range of voices for the characters, he gets the voices right for the scene. Shax - sometimes vain and roguish, sometimes a bit freaked out. Verin - from vaguely irritated to really pissed off. Ivana - from snark to sweet. Ness - from completely flummoxed to finding his feet. Heck, Vance even managed the perfect voice for Benny, which makes me want more Benny scenes so he can read them.
Look for Vance's work on Hell For The Company on audible and ACX, and here's hoping he agrees to do more. 'Cause we do like being read to and we most assuredly like Vance.
Vance Bastian can be found at: http://www.vancebastian.com/
Hell For The Company: Brimstone 1
Audio edition narrated by Vance Bastian
Welcome to a special Stuff We Like. This week isn't brought to you by the usual Mischiefers. Nope. No Toni, Freddy, or Angel. This week happens to feature someone near and dear to Toni, so you could say it's indirectly related to her if you want. We guess. But this special guest is also familiar to the Mischiefers. We met him when Toni came to the US the first time. He was at the writer's retreat where the Mischiefer crew was born.
Toni's brother, Jonathan, had joined her for her cross country USA trip for moral support. When he showed up in the cabin, we stared at him (and her too). They were HUGE! Also, was this straight, Aussie brother of a gay mm romance writer going to fit in with a bunch of other MM writers?
It was a stupid question really. Jonathan was a blast. Perfectly fitting in with the rest of us. Laughs, good times, and fun were to be had. No one could ask for a better straight ally.
We also discovered he had a beautiful speaking voice. One day we woke up one of our roommates with him reading a book through the door to her. We died. It was awesome.
Toni recently visited Jonathan. On this trip, she finished up her latest Holland Brother book (A Very Holland Valentine), but she also managed to get him to read for her. As in, read an excerpt from her books so all of you can hear her wolves in an authentic Aussie accent.
(He really is a nice brother).
So, without further ado, Jonathan reading from the new, bigger, better version of Forbidden Mate: Holland Brothers 4.
Can you see why we adore him? Jonathan is most definitely Stuff (People) We Like.
You can find Forbidden Mate here on MCB and other third party outlets like Amazon, ARe, and B&N. (And, if you weren't aware of Toni's re-edited, expanded version of her Holland Brothers, here is the updated blurb for FM.)
Finding his mate should have been Patrick Holland's greatest day, instead it turned into a nightmare with one phone call. His mate didn't want him. His heart broke, but at sixteen he was too young to do anything. The next ten years—ten long years— of Patrick's life are spent at odds with his mate. Split by forces he can't comprehend and a long line of misunderstandings, Patrick doubts he'll ever get the man he's both loved and hated.
Jake Richmond never expected to come home from Uni to find the youngest Holland brother was his mate. Knowing the news might uplift his still grieving father, Jake shares the news only to have his young mate threatened. Jake does the only thing he can think of, protect Patrick. The next ten years are nothing but torture for Jake as he watches his mate grow into a remarkable young man.
They say time heals all wounds, but how much time?
Please note: FM has been reedited, and expanded by about 50,000 words.