An Interview with Narrator Lauren Ezzo – and a Giveaway!

Lauren Ezzo, NarratorShannon: I’m here today with narrator Lauren Ezzo. Lauren is an award-winning narrator of nearly 100 titles for authors including Mylene Dressler, Dot Hutchison, and Rachel Cohen. She sat down to talk with me today about herself as well as a new book she’s excited to introduce to the world, releasing Tuesday October 17 – The Last to See Me by M Dressler. And in celebration of this new book, we have a giveaway! Check out the details after the interview.

Shannon: Lauren, welcome to AudioGals.

Lauren: Thanks for having me. I feel like I’m finally at the cool kids table.

Shannon: Can you tell us a little about what got you interested in audiobook narration?

Lauren: I’m an actor first and foremost. I’ve always loved literature and storytelling. A friend of mine was working at Brilliance Audio, and suggested I come in and audition. I did, and I’ve been narrating since 2015.

Shannon: It sounds like the perfect combination of things you love. When I looked you up on Audible, I saw you have nearly sixty books to your credit. That’s quite an accomplishment.

Lauren: Yes. Counting the books I’ve recorded under my pseudonym as well as those that are still in production, I think the total is actually closer to eighty-five.

Shannon: You work under a pseudonym? Do you want to tell readers more about that?

Lauren: I think there’s value in every book, every story I read, but I also know every book isn’t for every person. I want to be mindful of who is shopping for what. I use the other name for more of my intensely romantic work. I try to keep my two identities very separate, so I’d rather not give the other name I record under.

Shannon: Of course. That makes a lot of sense. You’ve recorded a wide variety of genres. Does one speak to you more than any other?

Lauren: I love anything with a good story, and I find a range of young adult work so thought-provoking and respectful. It’s so honest.

Shannon: I love young adult literature too. The genre has changed so much since I was a teenager. We at AudioGals review primarily romance audiobooks. As someone who has narrated some romances, what do you think is unique about bringing romances to life in an audiobook?

Lauren: Every book is different, as is every romance and relationship. Romance novels require a different type of attention to detail. It’s a lot about the build-up and the pacing. What kind of insight does the text give me? Romances feel a lot more intimate to me.

Shannon: I agree. The genre as a whole is so very intimate. I think that’s one of the thingThe Last to See Me by M Dresslers I like most about it. Let’s talk a bit about The Last to See Me by M. Dressler, which is released October 17. How did you prepare to record it?

Lauren: I read the book and try not to put too much on to it. I go through again, looking at the characters, who they are, and then the detail (accents, speech patterns), place names, etc. I like to do it one more time, skim with everything I know. The word choice was so deliberate here, and I marked emphasis and pauses. Then, I started to record.

Shannon: Did you have any contact with the author while you were preparing to record the book?

Lauren: I try not to be the first to contact authors. It’s a professional relationship, and I don’t want to step on any toes, but I saw her mention the audiobook on social media, so I invited her to get in touch if she’d like. We didn’t communicate about the creative process behind the narration, though. We didn’t really have to because the book was so well-written. I felt the text provided the information I needed to bring the story to life.

Shannon: I’m glad to hear it wasn’t a struggle for you. The Last to See Me is a complicated story that crosses quite a few genre lines. If you could tell potential listeners something about the story, what would it be?

Lauren: That’s for sure. When I first read the synopsis, it had something like five genre tag lines. Anyway, I want listeners to know that nothing in the novel is left to chance. I really feel that Emma’s voice guided us through her story. It reflects back to a lot of attitudes that are going on today in our world, what with all the racial tension and the like. At the same time, it feels like a sort of love letter to a time and place that no longer exists.

Shannon: I found her writing so lyrical. Her way with words was so moving.

Lauren: Lyrical is a great word. Sometimes, I feel like it’s the new catch-phrase when we talk about books, but it’s so true in this case.

Shannon: I want to thank you so much for talking with me today. I enjoyed getting to know you.

Lauren: It was a real pleasure. AudioGals is one of the premiere audiobook review sites, and I’m honored to talk with you.

Shannon


The publisher’s summary of The Last to See Me, available October 17 – Audible linkAmazon link

In a small logging town in northern California, young Emma Rose Finnis was born and died. Now, no one remembers her hardworking life and her grand dreams – but she remembers. She remembers everything. Emma Rose is still here, one hundred years after her death…and she doesn’t plan on leaving.

But when a determined hunter arrives with instructions to “clean” Emma Rose out of her haunt, the stately Lambry mansion, death suddenly isn’t the worst fate imaginable. Emma Rose refuses to be hounded from the only place she’s ever found peace, even if it means waging a war on the living…and the dead.

Lyrical and haunting, this spellbinding American ghost story alternates between Emma Rose’s life and afterlife as the past and present become entwined in a compelling tale of loss, love and tenacity over a century in the making.

AudioGals earns commissions on purchases made through links to Amazon.com in this post.


THE GIVEAWAY!

And now for the GIVEAWAY! Four lucky winners will get the audio CD of THE LAST TO SEE ME by M Dressler, narrated by Lauren Ezzo! Because it’s being mailed, only US addresses please. Just click below to enter for a chance to win – ends midnight Sunday October 22 Central Daylight Time (US).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

No purchase is necessary. The giveaway is open from 12 am CDT Monday 16 October 2017 through 12:00 am CDT Monday 23 October 2017 (which is midnight Sunday).
Four winners will be chosen. The prize is an audio CD for The Last to See Me by M Dressler (value: US$14.99), therefore, winners will need to provide a US mailing address in order to receive the prize. Anyone with a US address is eligible to enter, with the exception that the reviewers at AudioGals and their immediate family members are not eligible. :)
One entry per person, please. Winners will be chosen at random by Rafflecopter software. Winners will be notified by email used for entry by 11:59 pm Monday 23 October 2017, and will have 48 hours to respond with the mailing address. If no response is received, another winner will be chosen.

Come Sundown by Nora Roberts

Narrated by Elisabeth Rodgers

Lovers of romantic suspense and western-styled romances are the perfect audience for Come Sundown. Nora Roberts has been such a prolific writer for such a long time, and as Come Sundown proves, her ability to captivate an audience is still as strong as ever. Further enhancing the entertainment value of this audiobook is the talented narration by Elisabeth Rodgers which really helped bring the story to life.

Spanning numerous decades, Come Sundown is truly a family saga that tells the story of several people spanning three generations in the lives of a family that owns a ranch in western Montana. Read the rest of this entry »

The Royal Conquest by Stacy Reid

The Royal Conquest by Stacy ReidNarrated by Anna Parker-Naples

I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that Stacy Reid’s The Royal Conquest is far and away the front runner for the title of “Worst Audiobook I Have Listened to This Year”. I’ve listened to mediocre stories performed by excellent narrators and excellent stories ruined by poor narrators, but this one has it all – a mediocre story performed by an inept narrator. It rarely gets worse than this.

But such is the reviewer’s lot. Sometimes when looking for titles to review, I think – “oh, I’ve not listened to that author/narrator before, so let’s give it a go”, and sometimes I’m lucky Read the rest of this entry »

Currently Playing for the Gals, 13th October 2017

Woman listening

It’s that time of the week when the Gals get together to natter about what we’re listening to, what’s working, what isn’t. what we never want to listen to again and what we might be listening to next! Being nosey, we like to know what you’re all listening to as well, so stop by and tell us in the comments :)

BJ

The Angel by Tiffany Reisz

Narrated by Lilly Rhodes

 

Caz

Narrated by James Langton

 

Kaetrin

The Ruin of a Rake by Cat Sebastian

Narrated by Gary Furlong

 

Melinda

Rookie Move by Sarina BowenNarrated by Nicol Zanzarella and Rock Engle

 

Shannon

The Opposite of Everyone by Joshilyn Jackson

Narrated by Joshilyn Jackson

AudioGals earns commissions on purchases made through links to Amazon.com in this post.

Tell us in the comments what’s in YOUR ears this week!

Our October 2017 Picks

It’s hard to believe we’re heading into the back end of the year, but here we are, wondering where the last month or three went, and how soon it will be before we can go on holiday again! (Or maybe that’s just me…) Whatever your thoughts about Autumn, here at AudioGals, we’re looking forward to some great listens in October, which brings us a bumper crop of great historicals from a number of favourite authors and narrators that look set to be guaranteed winners. Throw in some contemporaries, romantic suspense, women’s fiction and mysteries, and we’ve got another eclectic mix of choices, looking at author, narrator or just going by plain old gut instinct as usual.

Don’t forget to drop by to tell us what YOU’RE looking forward to listening to in October. With so many new audiobooks being published each month (and often without any warning they’re coming out!) it’s quite possible we’ve missed something good – so please let us know if you think we’re missing out!


The Scot Beds His Wife by Kerrigan Byrne

Narrated by Derek Perkins

I have thoroughly enjoyed both the writing and the narration of the previouis Victorian Rebels series books, so I’m really looking forward to this latest release. – BJ

This fifth book in the author’s Victorian Rebels series tells the story of Gavin St. James, half-brother of The Highlander and his gun-totin’, breeches-wearing (and, apparently, foul-mouthed!) American wife. I wasn’t wild about the last instalment in the series (The Duke) so I’m hoping for a return to form from Ms. Byrne, and with Derek Perkins narrating, it’s sure to be a good listen. – Caz

Cold Evidence/Poison Evidence by Rachel Grant

Narrated by Nicol Zanzarella

I was really pleased to see books six and seven of Ms. Grant’s excellent Evidence series have finally made it into audio. I’m a big fan of this author’s tightly-written, fast-paced and sexy romantic suspense titles, and really enjoyed Ms. Zanzaralla’s performances in the books I’ve listened to already. I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into these two new ones. – Caz

I have been planning on trying this series for a while now and I plan to take the plunge with Poison Evidence. Both the author and narrator are highly rated by my fellow AudioGals reviewers. – Kaetrin

Duke of Desire by Elizabeth Hoyt

Narrated by Ashford MacNab

What a month for historical romance audiobook releases!  Duke of Desire, the twelfth and final full length book in the Maiden Lane Series, is out this month, and with Ashford McNab narrating, it’s sure to be a solid pick for an audiobook as well! – BJ

I’ve enjoyed all of Elizabeth Hoyt’s Maiden Lane books, whether in print or audio, and am sad to be saying goodbye to a series that has been so consistently entertaining over the course of twelve full-length novels and a handful of novellas. Ashford MacNab is at the helm once again, and fans are sure to enjoy this final collaboration. – Caz

The Wicked Cousin by Stella RileyThe Wicked Cousin by Stella Riley

Narrated by Alex Wyndham

Stella Riley and Alex Wyndham are another example of a winning combination of historical romance writing and narration! This month they release the fourth book in the Rockcliffe series and I for one will be looking forward to listening to it! – BJ

It will come as no surprise to anyone that The Wicked Cousin is at the top of my list of picks this month. I’ve been a fan of the authors for … ahem… more years than I care to remember and Alex Wyndham is a truly outstanding narrator, so I’m really excited about this story of a man who wants to shed an unwanted and rather colourful reputation and the young woman who captures his heart.  – Caz

A Daring Arrangement by Joanna ShupeA Daring Arrangement by Joanna Shupe

Narrated by Roxy Isles

Set in New York’s Gilded Age, this fake-betrothal story of an English heiress and an American scoundrel sounds fabulous. I’m not familiar with the narrator and can find only two titles to her name at Audible… but the sample of another book I’ve listened to bodes well. – Caz

I haven’t listened to all of Joanna Shupe’s current works, but they’re on my list of things to devour in the not-too-distant future. The synopsis of A Daring Arrangement, her latest novel and first in a new series, looks fabulous. The narrator is someone I’ve not heard of before now, but I’m hoping she does a good job here. – Shannon

Hard WoodHard Wood by Lauren Blakely

Narrated by Sebastian York

Lauren Blakely books are always reliably entertaining and so are Sebastian York’s narrations. As a hero-centric listener, I do enjoy a male POV romance. – Kaetrin

I love that York is featured on the cover for publicity – he’s a terrific reason to buy an audiobook, and paired with Lauren Blakely, I’m expecting greatness! – Melinda

 

The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain

Narrated by Susan Bennett

I was lucky enough to get my hands on an early copy of The Stolen Marriage in print, and it’s utterly fabulous. I’m eager for Ms. Chamberlain’s fans to immerse themselves in this rich, multi-faceted novel set against the backdrop of the Second World War. I’ve listened to Susan Bennett in the past, and I’m certain she’ll do the story justice. – Shannon

 

The Silent Fountain by Victoria Fox

Narrated by Laurence Bouvard and Helen Keeley

The Silent Fountain is a dual timeline novel set in Italy, and I can’t wait for it to come out. It looks utterly engrossing.  I’m unfamiliar with both narrators, but I’m crossing my fingers for good things. – Shannon

 

 

 

Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb

Narrated by Alex Wyndham, Billie Fulford-Brown, Morag Sims, Gary Furlong, Greg Wagland, Antony Ferguson, Derek Perkins, Mary Jane Wells

All I know about this is that it’s an epistolary novel  – and I LOVE epistolary novels – but even if I didn’t, with Alex Wyndham, Mary Jane Wells, Derek Perkins and Gary Furlong listed among the narrators, there’s no way I’m not going to be listening to this! – Caz

 

Without Merit: A Novel by Colleen Hoover

Narrated by Candace Thaxton

When Colleen Hoover releases a new book, it automatically makes my list.  She is one of a handful of authors who I can always count on for an emotional and yet powerful and believable romance that always hits the right spot.  – BJ

 

 

The Sea King by C.L. Wilson

Narrated by Heather Wilds

This is the long-awaited second instalment in Ms. Wilson’s Weathermages of Mystral series. I can hardly wait! – Kaetrin

I loved The Winter King, book one in Ms. Wilson’s Weathermages of Mystral series, and was over the moon when I learned the sequel was coming out this month. It promises to be full of romance, great worldbuilding, and a healthy dose of magic, making it a book I absolutely must listen to this autumn. Heather Wilds is a skilled narrator, and I was pleased to see her listed here. – Shannon

AudioGals earns commissions on purchases made through links to Amazon.com in this post.


So drop by and tell us – what are YOU looking forward to listening to this October?

Too Scot to Handle by Grace Burrowes

Too Scot to Handle by Grace BurrowesNarrated by James Langton

Grace Burrowes has returned to her popular Windham family for her latest series, the Windham Brides, which follows the romantic fortunes of four sisters, the nieces of the Duke and Duchess of Moreland. The ladies are in London for the Season and are residing with their uncle and aunt while their parents – the duke’s brother and sister-in-law – have taken an extended holiday-cum-second honeymoon in Wales. As is the case with all Ms. Burrowes’ books, regular readers and listeners will welcome cameo appearances from other characters from both this series and some of her other books, but newcomers need not be too worried, Read the rest of this entry »

Kings Rising by C.S. Pacat

Kings Rising by C.S. PacatNarrated by Stephen Bel Davies

Please note this is the third installment of a story that must be read in sequential order. If you have not yet started the Captive Prince series, please see the AudioGals review for book 1, Captive Prince, as the below review contains spoilers for the prior books. Additionally, for the general background of this fantasy, medieval like story, please also see the review for the first book.

Kings Rising is a fantastic conclusion to a memorable and unique M/M, fantasy-based trilogy. Even during a difficult time, evacuating from Hurricane Irma, when most other books couldn’t hold my attention, Kings Rising was one of the few books Read the rest of this entry »

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