My Chat with Aura

Hello and welcome!

Since the book is coming out in audio format, I was thinking it would be perfect to ask one of my fave book girlfriends, Aura, to come for a chat. But how will I do that? How can I contact her? She is back in time, somewhere in the 10th century, reunited with her love, Thorn. Remember him? He was my guest here a few years back. If you missed it, check it out here.

Turns out that if wished hard enough, they do come true 😀

Read on to see what happened earlier today…

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As I walk towards my office, I can see someone knocking at my door.  She is covered in a deep, dark red, full-length cape with fur trim that is totally out of sync with our time.  It is also something I think is absolutely gorgeous.

Excuse me, I call out, as I approach the lady, can I help you?

The lady turns, looks at me enquiringly for a moment, and then smiles.  I don’t know who she is, but I smile back, mainly because the expression on her face is so filled with happiness.  I am a little surprised when she seems to know of me, calling my name.

Eniko, I am Aura, and I would like to thank you for the time you spent interviewing my husband, Thorn.  He was quite impressed with you at the time.  He says you are a real lady.  Aura spoke.

Oh Do I remember Thorn!!! 😉

I am honoured he would think so.  Please come into the studio where it is warm, I will make some tea, or would you rather have coffee?  It is cold outside.

Tea would be fine. Aura smiles wider.

I unlock the door and we enter.  The first thing I do is take her cape to hang it up… I know, but it is red, and I have to at least have an excuse to touch it.  I also find it heavy, and find that it is lined with fur, no wonder the cold wasn’t bothering her.

Aura watches me and laughs, as she admits, I did the same thing when Thorn gave it to me, it is so soft and warm.  He says he has to take care of me so I won’t try to disappear on him again, as if I would.

I want that dress! I blurt out, even as I slap my hand over my mouth to stop myself from saying the words.  Too late.

Aura is wearing a dress to match the colour of the cape.  The collar is slightly scooped from shoulder to shoulder, the sleeves are belled, there is a braided belt in black leather that winds loosely around her waist to tie in front and fall to the hem of her belled skirt.  The edges of the gown are embroidered in black thread, and it looks heavenly on her.

You have come a long way. I comment.

I can’t stay long, Thorn will miss me if I do, and he definitely won’t take kindly to my coming back to this time, but I had to at least meet you and let you know that you are thought of fondly in our home.  Aura spoke.  You would be surprised how many people take Thorn for granted amongst those that live in our time.  He is so well known for his fairness and leadership ability that he is in constant demand.  When he is gone, my world is empty, so I understand why he hates it when he arrives to find me missing, even if I am on the grounds collecting herbs for the kitchen, or teaching the children.

You are happy then? I ask, as I place a cup of tea before her.

I have never known happiness like I have with Thorn.  I would never have believed it existed before him.  He is everything I could ever want or need.  Aura admits.

What is it like to live in the time you do, after having known the luxuries of the modern world?  I wonder out loud.

You get used to it.  Sure, there are things I would like to have, but I have learned to do without. Aura states.  There are also things that I don’t miss at all, and before you think of luxuries, those I don’t miss at all.  It is a simple life, but it is ours and as long as Thorn is there for me, that is what is important to me.

There is silence for a while, and I feel the yearning building in my heart.  She looks so happy, so pleased with her lot in life.  She is also gorgeous, more than I imagined she would be, despite the callouses on her hands.  It gives me the feeling that despite the hard work, she feels she has the best of both worlds. 

As a thought runs through my mind, I grin and ask, You don’t think you could find a way to take me back with you, please?  You sound so content, so happy with your lot in life.  I think I might like to experience this too.

Aura smiles and shakes her head, even as she answers, It is not possible, nor is the life I am living for everyone.  The only thing that binds me to that time is my family, and the love of the man that prayed for it to happen to make his wish come true.  I have to admit, there are still times I have trouble with that, but I have learned to accept it.

As Aura stands to leave, I have to know one question about that gorgeous hunk of hers, Is Thorn ticklish?

Aura smiles and winks, then after donning her cape, she walks out the door.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I wish I could have gone with her. Would you?

As I mentioned earlier, the audiobook format of Aura by M. A. Abraham was released today and I hope you will give it a chance. It is my fave standalone from Ms. Abraham’s books. Narrated by Paul Woodson, one of my fave voices I listen to with delight every chance I get, I am sure it will provide many hours of listening enjoyment. If you missed my chat with Mr. Woodson, you can check it out here.

Aura_AudioBook_cover

Aura is her mother’s love child, a living memory of the biggest mistake she ever made, and she never lets Aura forget it. Shunned by her mother, dismissed by her stepsisters, Aura drifts through life. She has little to sustain her miserable existence but her dreams. Until fate takes a hand and tosses her far into the past, a past she must learn to survive in. Alone with nothing but a couple of pets Aura learns what it is like to be on her own. She learns how to make a life for herself in a time where she does not belong. Or maybe she does.

Thorn is the right hand man of the Duke Vernon. He is a warlord, a great warrior and leader. He also has a belief that somewhere in the world his soul mate waits for him. Each day he prays for the guidance that will bring her to his attention, but when it does, will he know her? Will he accept that she is the one who is meant for him?

Aura finds a knight beaten and left for dead and she nurses him back to health. It is the first time Thorn meets her, but not the last. A year later they meet again, by then she is a favorite of the Duke Vernon because of her knowledge. Vernon wants to keep her close because of what she knows. Thorn wants to keep her closer but for other reasons. Here is the woman he has searched for, his soul mate. Can he hold on to her, or does fate have other plans?

My review of the book from 2013

5 stars loves transcends time and place

I really enjoyed M.A. Abraham’s story, Aura. It is very powerful and deep tale of a young woman, Aura, who is very unhappy due to the lack of love she craves from her mother which is never freely given. This has repercussions in her dealings with facing her soul mate. She finds him in the distant past where she is transported back in time from the cave she takes refuge from the hurt heaped on her yet again by her Mother. She adapts and grows as she did all her life, she is strong, witty, but afraid to believe that love does exist.
Thorn is a highly respected warlord, a very strong and proud warrior, also very warm and caring. He has dreamed about his soul mate for some time and those dreams come true when he meets Aura. Despite the rough beginning, their relationship blossoms into love. Makes us believe that you have to really believe in something, never let go of the hope you hold strong, and only then it will become reality.
I strongly recommend this book, it is a journey of two people who complement each other and together they are whole. A story showing that loves transcends time and place.

Here is a short clip from the audiobook

Buy link: Amazon •  Audible US • Audible CA • Audible AU • (iTunes is not live yet)

Sign up to Ms. Abraham’s blog and follow her on Facebook and Twitter. To keep up with the series or check out the other books by M. A. Abraham, you can also check the links below.

• website • Amazon • Barnes & Noble • Goodreads •

To celebrate the release, Ms. Abraham is giving away one copy of Aura audiobook. Comment on this post if you believe in soulmates and love capable of transcending time and you are entered. Sexy Mr. Random will pick winners sometime on Thursday, March 15, 2018.

Until next time read a book, listen to a book and don’t forget to show your love by leaving a review!

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My Chat with Paul Woodson

Hello and welcome!

Today my guest is one who gave life to many books I loved thru his narrations, so far all were in the Highlander Romance genre and his deep voice, full of passion and the Scottish brogue makes my heart melt.

Please welcome Paul Woodson!

PaulWoodson-2

Do you have a nickname?
I do, but only between me and my wife! I also have a pseudonym in the narration world, but I won’t spill it here, although it’s easy enough to find with a little searching. And my alter ego is nearly overtaking the REAL me in the narration world!

What is one word best describes you?
Curious. In both senses. 😉

What makes you laugh out loud?
Something really unexpected. I’ve seen so much, hopefully I’m not jaded, but it takes a lot these days to surprise me.

What is your favourite smell? What does it remind you of?
A tin of dark coffee. It makes me think of a brisk morning, ready to tackle the day.

Favourite place to spend time in.
In my free time, I enjoy backpacking. I’ve section-hiked over 700 miles of the Appalachian Trail, and every year I try to put in another 100+ miles, usually in the warm months. I’ve done Northern Virginia all the way up to New Hampshire, with a couple gaps here and there.

Is there a genre that you refuse to read?
I’ve done just about all of them. And I’m not averse to sexual content whatsoever (though sometimes I’ll record it under a pseudonym). The only thing to which I really take exception is anything that a) is too stupid to merit an audiobook, and by that I mean non-intellectual, unenlightening, perhaps even insultingly bad; or b) promotes a violent or malicious agenda in real life.

Audiobooks! What started them?
It was a natural progression, especially as standard acting work had been slow for me and I needed to make some money. I’d been primarily a stage actor in musicals in my 20s and early 30s, doing some great projects both in and outside of New York, but I never cracked that Broadway nut. I toured with Robert Goulet, played opposite Debby Boone & Robert Cuccioli, but only got so far. Then as I needed to make more money, I gravitated more and more toward Union Film & TV work, which pays a decent rate if you can get the work.

But because I’ve never really meshed well with agents, (and I have had several over the years), I never got past doing Background and Stand-In work on most professional Film/TV projects. Some days were good; Standing in for Philip Seymour Hoffman for a couple months, making Jane Krakowski laugh on the set of 30 Rock– you remember those standout great moments. But usually, I’d be standing on set among other extras who had NO acting experience, thinking, “I have a BFA in theater. I’ve done Shakespeare, Opera, performed with Broadway stars. What in the hell am I doing here?”

So, since I’d always been an avid reader, fond of language, with a good command of character voices and dialects, I dipped my toe into audiobooks and immediately started booking paid jobs. I’d say it was sudden, except that really, I’d been training for it my whole life.

Is there a genre that you would not narrate?
That’s the same as Question #6, no? 😉
No! That question was about books you would not READ, but I guess we could joined them. Logically, if you would not read them, you would not narrate them either 😉

If you could choose another career what would it be?
Well, ideally I would be getting paid for both my face AND my voice, traveling to Europe, Asia, around North America and getting paid to sing musical theater. And maybe I will again. I love to travel, and so does my wife. But right now, it’s kind of nice to set my own hours, frequently work in my pajamas, and have direct access to clients.

I would also be happy working as a screenwriter in LA, of TV or films. I feel that was always the road not taken, which may have proven the better choice had I picked it.

Does your work convey a specific emotion or message?
I just try to convey the character and mood of the piece as the author envisioned it. That may be romantic, idealistic, fantastical, brooding, etc. My voice must serve the story. In a sense, I hope I can convey ALL emotions at different points in the narrative.

Who is your intended audience and why should they listen to your audiobooks?
I wouldn’t say I have a target audience; I hope my YA novels entertain and educate and get young folks into reading or listening to stories; I hope my Highland Romances deliver a nice ripping yarn with plenty of manly men and sassy lassies; and that my more “Adult” work (wink) can make the ladies a bit weak in the knees.

I’ve actually done a fair bit of erotica under a pseudonym, but although it’s sexual, the titles I’ve picked have always felt very classy – more sensual, always by female authors. I’m on my fifth for the same bestselling author in that genre and it’s great that we connect, that she finds me the ideal voice for her work. I’ve gotten great reviews like “The gentleman that reads it for you will make you melt!” and “Breathtaking! A sexy Scottish accent… Swoon…. “. It’s pretty gratifying knowing my voice may be alluring to some stranger thousands of miles away.

I’ve worked on darkening my timbre a bit since the beginning of my audiobook career, so I’m pretty sure it’s sexier now than when I started. And this comes in handy for the standard Romance novels as well, which get pretty steamy in their own right.

And I’ve gotten some great compliments that I do female characters equally as well as the male ones– I don’t get cartoony, but women and men have different tones to their voices, different words they stress, and different subtexts they play in speech. It’s not necessarily a higher pitch for women’s voices– in fact, in some scenes the woman may be speaking at a technically lower pitch than the man– but the tone quality and the intention create the characters. I truly enjoy playing those subtle differences between the sexes.

However, I also want to emphasize that everything I do vocally is in service of each particular story, so if the book is a light children’s adventure, the throaty, husky Scotsman’s brogue disappears for awhile.

What is next in your narrating work?
Well, a wide variety of things. Under the pseudonym, I have another erotica for my bestselling friend. I’ve just released 2 wonderful adventure stories under my own name. And I’m hoping to book some more Highland and Regency romances, to be honest. They have really become my staple this last year, and I have been told I do them quite well. They also have a humongous fan base, and I would love to reach as many listeners as possible that way, and perhaps entice them to listen to some of my other genres as well.

Also, I’ve just released a Nathaniel Hawthorne short story, THE BIRTHMARK, which was a bit of an in-between project for me, entirely for my own gratification, because it made an impression on me when I read it in school. I feel that too many readings of Hawthorne are a bit dry and crusty, but his language and characters are really very soaring and romantic, so I wanted to deliver that kind of Shakespearean lift to the language. I think I did quite well!

I’ve also just applied to some major publishers, as I’m hoping to do some larger-scale narration work. 2015 will be my first APAC, the big Narrator/Publisher conference in New York City, so I’m hoping to meet a lot of great people and figure out how to take my narration to the next level.

Thank you Paul for taking the time for a chat in my little space of the blogging world. Looking forward to listening to more of your narrations. Wishing you much success in the future. Next I will hunt down your alter ego 😉

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hope you enjoyed today’s chat and you will give a chance to Paul Woodson’s audiobooks. I agree with the reviewers he mentioned… ” The gentleman that reads it for you will make you melt!” and “Breathtaking! A sexy Scottish accent… “.

The one I am listening to at the moment is CAPTURED BY THE PIRATE LAIRD by Amy Jarecki and love what I heard so far.

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Here is my review of one of my fave books by Ceci CiltenanHighland Courage: Duncurra, Book 2, narrated by Mr. Woodson :

HighlandCourage

“another great listen”

Overall all 5 stars – Performance 5 stars – Story 5 stars

“This story so wonderfully written. I fell in love with Tadhg in the first book and Mairead is a wonderful choice to be his wife. Their story is a true love story, the way it should be. Despite many obstacles, they stayed true and believed in each other and the end was a welcome surprise, it left me smiling. I highly recommend to buy and read the books by Ceci Giltenan, she is a great storyteller. Congrats on your choice of narrators, Ms. Giltenan!
Listening to Tadhg come alive thru Paul Woodson’s voice made me fall in love with him even more. Thank you Mr. Woodson for another great audio experience. Looking forward to more.”

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Here are links to find out more and keep up to date with Mr. Woodson and his work:

websiteAudibleTwitterSoundCloudACX

To start you on your listening journey, Mr. Woodson is giving away 5 copies of HIS NOT SO SENSIBLE MISS by Jane Charles (a Regency Romance with a bit of sexy stuff).

HisNotSoSensibleMiss-cover

Emily Frasier has lived as the ward of Duke Ellings since her father died when she was 15. She also knows that soon it will be time to leave his household and make her way on her own. When she discovers a cottage while visiting her aunt and uncle, she knows this is where she wants to live and become a teacher, as her father once was.

Dillon Chambers must find a wife this season in order to please his mother. If she didn’t have control over something more precious than his freedom and life, he would not have made the promise to marry a lady with high connections at the end of the season. When he comes across Emily at his cottage and learns she is the ward of a duke, he feels his luck has finally changed. He could please his mother and settle with a lady he would actually want to have as his wife.

When the truth becomes known in London that Emily is only a professor’s daughter, Dillon knows his parents will never approve. Will he risk everything to have her? Will Emily do the sensible thing or risk her reputation and heart so that Dillon doesn’t destroy all he holds dear?

Winners will be chosen by Sexy Mr. Random and posted after 3pm EST on Monday, May 25, 2015. GOOD LUCK!

Until next time read a book, listen to a book and don’t forget to show your love by leaving a review!

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