Dreamscape released Linda Howard’s Diamond Bay, Book 2 in the Kell Sabin series, earlier this month in audio format. It’s another one of those titles that has been on our Wish List for years now! Brenda and I were quite impressed with their release of Midnight Rainbow (Book 1) in late 2013 and Dreamscape’s choice of Brenda Sweeney as narrator. Ms. Sweeney returns to narrate Diamond Bay and the two of us are even more impressed this time around. She’s chosen to lower her voice for heroine Rachel Jones and her portrayal of hero Kell Sabin is just as we think it should be.
We’re celebrating the release of Diamond Bay with a giveaway and using this opportunity to visit with Dreamscape Media and Brenda Sweeney. We’re also featuring two sound clips chosen just for today’s feature. Dreamscape also has some breaking Linda Howard audio news that we’re excited to share.
We’re giving away SIX autographed copies of Linda Howard’s Diamond Bay (CDs) courtesy of Dreamscape Media. And you saw that right – Ms. Howard has signed the covers of each set of Diamond Bay CDs!
The first winner drawn out of the hat will also receive their choice of an additional four Dreamscape Media audiobooks. Diamond Bay will be mailed to all winners upon confirmation of their win. The first place winner will have 30 days to choose their four bonus Dreamscape audiobooks.
Entry is simple. Just complete the entry form found at the bottom of the page by midnight (CST) Thursday, May 22nd. No comments are necessary although we’d love to hear your thoughts in our discussion area. You may only enter once. We’ll contact the winners the morning of May 23rd so watch your email as we must have acknowledgement of your win within 24 hours. If we don’t hear from you, we’ll select another winner. Bloggers and reviewers, we welcome your entry. Due to the cost of shipping and audio geographical restrictions, the giveaway is limited to those living in the U.S.
The Sound Clips
Talking with Dreamscape Audio
Lea: Please tell us about Dreamscape. How long have you all been around?
Dreamscape: Dreamscape Media launched in 2010 as an audiobook publisher. A lot has changed since then. Dreamscape now has offices in New York, Chicago, and Toledo. We produce audiobooks, animated children’s read-along videos, and recently started distributing documentary films. We’ve been nominated for three Audie Awards and now release over 20 new audio and video titles per month!
Lea: I see Dreamscape has added more romance titles to their monthly releases over the past few months. What was behind your decision to do so?
Dreamscape: Romance is a very popular genre in print and on audio. In the library space, where audiobooks thrive, we’ve seen strong demand for titles from bestselling romance authors. Not only have we found success with classic titles such as Linda Howard’s The Cutting Edge, but we’ve also in new releases from authors such as Claire Cook.
Lea: Can we continue to expect romance releases on a monthly basis?
Dreamscape: Certainly! Dreamscape will continue to publish romance audiobooks.
Lea: Why do you all tend towards the older titles (1980s)?
Dreamscape: Most of our audio titles coincide with the release of a book counterpart, even our backlist romance titles. For example, Diamond Bay was recently reissued in hardcover. Our audio edition is timed to the new print edition’s release. Obviously Diamond Bay is a Howard classic and we were lucky enough to acquire rights, and the same could be said with out recent Barbara Delinsky, Fern Michaels, and Elizabeth Lowell releases. That said, our focus is on obtaining the best titles from the best author regardless of when it was published.
Lea: There are many Linda Howard fans at AudioGals and we have had both Diamond Bay and Midnight Rainbow on our Wish List since the launch of our site. Can you tell us what went into obtaining the audio rights to these books?
Dreamscape: We look for great authors and great romance stories. We spend a lot of time working with our publishing partners looking for the best titles available. After the success of The Cutting Edge, we saw an opportunity with other Linda Howard titles that were not available on audio.
Lea: Will we also be seeing the other two in this series, Heartbreaker and White Lies?
Dreamscape: I can officially confirm that we do have the rights to both Heartbreaker and White Lies! Release dates are to be determined. Stay tuned!
Lea: We are officially placing our wish for Howard’s Duncan’s Bride as well!
Dreamscape: Well then, I have a surprise for you. I can also confirm that Dreamscape will also be releasing Duncan’s Bride!
Lea: That’s fantastic news!
Talking with Narrator Brenda Sweeney
Brenda Sweeney’s first narration was Linda Howard’s Midnight Rainbow in late 2013 and Diamond Bay is only her second but she sounds like a seasoned narrator. That’s probably due to her extensive acting background.
We welcome Brenda today as our newest Narrator Friend! She now has an AudioGals page complete with her bio and romance titles.
Lea: Welcome Brenda! How long have you been recording audiobooks?
Brenda: Actually, Midnight Rainbow was my maiden attempt, and I LOVE it.
Lea: Can you give us a look into your background? Have you acted in the past?
Brenda: Now, acting is something I have been doing for many, many years. I have been Eliza in My Fair Lady, Luisa in The Fantasticks, Marian in Music Man, and performed a one-woman show about the life of Edith Piaf as well as about 20 other plays. In addition, I have taught Drama, Speech and English for many years, so words and accents and language have been the main subjects of my life.
Lea: How did you get started narrating audiobooks? Is it now a full time career for you?
Brenda: I received notification that Dreamscape was holding auditions and I auditioned for them. It isn’t full-time, but it IS fun-time.
Lea: I see then that your first narration was a romance. We obviously think you started with the genre. What did you think of Linda Howard as your starting point?
Brenda: Yes, and I am rather ashamed to admit that it was the first time I had read a Linda Howard book, at all. I have been reading mysteries for my entertainment, but now she has me hooked! I love her writing. The scenes are so vividly described, and the action so non-stop, and the “romance” so hot, that I have become a real fan.
Lea: Brenda and I were completely impressed with your portrayal of Grant in Midnight Rainbow. What went into your decision to voice him as you did?
Brenda: I try to imagine which actor I would like to see in the role and try to channel their voice. For Grant, I was imagining a young Clint Eastwood with a slightly Southern accent.
Lea: That works! How did you go about preparing for your narration of Diamond Bay, especially Kell Sabin who is such a tough hero?
Brenda: Again, I thought of the actor whose voice seemed most appropriate, and I settled on Humphrey Bogart…. not necessarily his exact voice (who could do that???), but his clench-jawed way of speaking, and that deadpan delivery he used in Casa Blanca. And I read what my critics had to say about the female voice in Midnight Rainbow and tried to pitch my voice lower.
Lea: Well, I must say that your characterization of the heroine Rachel in Diamond Bay is beautifully performed.
What are some of your current or upcoming projects?
Brenda: Nothing on the horizon as of today, but we’ll keep you informed as the books come out. And thanks so much for the encouragement. I hope to live up to your expectations. Keep listening!
Time to Enter
Enter for your chance to win one of six copies of Diamond Bay autographed by Linda Howard. First place also wins four additional Dreamscape titles. Our giveaway is sponsored by Dreamscape Media.
Contest is closed.
Our many thanks to Dreamscape and Brenda Sweeney for joining us today. We hope you are as excited as we are about Dreamscape’s upcoming Linda Howard releases!