Author: N.E. Conneely

Narrator: Jeff Hays, Soundbooth Theater

Series: A Witch’s Path, Book 1

Length: 7 hours 14 minutes

Publisher: N.E. Conneely

Released: Feb. 11, 2015

Genre: Paranormal, Supernatural


Most witches don’t work for police departments, but Michelle isn’t your average witch. She’s clanless, looking for a wizard who isn’t offended by her lack of family connections, and in danger of losing her job if she can’t find the escaped trolls before they start eating the local residents.
Trolls, angry police, and misbehaving spells are the least of her problems. Statues attacking homeowners might be problematic for your average witch, but to Michelle it’s another day at the office. Her real concern is the wizard suddenly interested in dating her and an old elf set on pestering her. When her happy family is rocked by a long kept secret her stable life falls apart faster than she can pick up the pieces.





N.E. Conneely lives in northern Georgia with her dog and a mountain of books. They sweat through the summer and freeze through the winter, and life as they know it comes to an end when so much as a single snowflake falls out of the sky. For fun, N.E. plays with her dog, reads, knits, crochets, paints, and does tie-dyeing and origami. She makes a great pizza and is currently negotiating with her husband about raising sea monkeys and growing a vegetable garden.

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Narrator Bio

Jeff Hays has made a name for himself in the audio book world by creating immersive experiences out of his productions. His versatility and authenticity in voicing characters, expressive low-impact narration, and dedication to offering the highest quality audio possible has earned him a loyal following of listeners. Having been fascinated with sound since he can remember, Jeff takes his background of composing and producing music, and his continual consumption of the avalanche of fictional media we all experience in these modern times, and uses it to inform his style of story telling in the audiobook realm.

And now, having produced more than 80 audio books and perfecting his craft, using the namesake of his live streaming narration show, the Soundbooth Theater shingle has been hung. Soundbooth Theater is dedicated to applying Jeff’s production methods to new audio books with other budding narrator talent, and expanding his scope from audio books, to voicing and producing animation.

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Conneely has written a very interesting story! It reminds me of a cozy version of the Dresden Files. She’s a witch working with the police to help solve crime, except that magic is known to the world and she has a much better relationship with Georgia police than Dresden does with Chicago. I thought Michelle was a cool and fun character to listen about. She was very smart and adventurous. I’d love to meet a person like her in real life! I do wish the story had been better about POV though. It was tricky to listen to sometimes as I would say most of the Book is from Michelle’s first person POV, by then some is in Elron’s First person POV which is bizarre to me because there’s not much indication it has switched. Maybe if they spoke: Elron or Michelle before a section it would have caught me less off-guard. I’d give the story a 4/5 Stars. It was very enjoyable and fast paced, but had some issues with POV.

Narration wise I enjoyed Hays’ work except for Michelle. She just didn’t sound like I think she should. Everyone else he has done a great job with though. It shows how good of a narrator he is, just probably there should have been a Woman to narrate Michelle or perhaps someone who’s better at the young woman vocal range. His pacing is great and the studio production is smooth. I’d give it a 3/5 for the POV issues and Michelle being voiced oddly.

Overall I would give it a 3.5/5 Stars.
I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Jeff Hays. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Q&A with Author N.E. Conneely
  • Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
    • As an author the process is rather easy. Once Jeff was onboard with the project all I had to do were some pronunciation recordings, listen to the book, and give it the go ahead. The Jeff and Soundbooth have done all the heavy lifting.
  • Do you believe certain types of writing translate better into audiobook format?
    • I think my experiences in working with Soudbooth Theater and Jeff have been different from most author’s because of how Jeff approaches the narration. He really wants to bring the story to life and make it as immersive as possible for the reader rather than simply read it
  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
    • Not even a little. Witch for Hire started out as a combination of writing exercise and National Novel Writing Month project way back in 2009. It wasn’t until 2013 that I got motivated to publish the book and write the rest of the series.
  • How did you select your narrator?
    • A put a smale of the book up for audition. Jeff was the only narrator who could do a male and female voice, which was rather necessary for the story as it has multiple first person points of view, so I picked him.
  • How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?
    • Yes and no. Jeff read through the books before starting the narration so he had a pretty good feel for the characters. The pronunciation of some of the names and terms have been trickier. Since the books take place in north Georgia there are a lot of names that can be traced back to the Cherokee tribes who originally lived here. Ellijay, Etowah, Cohuttah, Dahlonega, and other names are a little tricky to figure out just from the spelling.
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
    • I always heard the saying, “Write what you know.” That sounded great until I wanted to write fantasy. No one really knows magic, but I did know north Georgia. I grew up there, went to college, and worked my first job in the area so I picked that for the setting. It was what I knew.
  • Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
    • It’s not really a single part, but I love how the narration brings out the snark and sarcasm that are in the books! It can be difficult to make that show through in text, but it’s so vivid the audiobook!
  • If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
    • No. I think we experience time as a linear constant to give us motivation to stay in the present and make the most of it. We only get one try at the here and now, which to me is part of what defines the human experience.
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • No. Not everyone can physically read. Audiobooks give the deaf access to thousands of books they wouldn’t otherwise be able to experience. Even lifelong print readers can find themselves transition to audio. My grandmother loves to read, but she had tremors that make it very difficult for her to hold a book steady enough to read it or easily turn pages. Audiobooks are how she continues to read.
  • How did you celebrate after finishing each novel this series?
    • Oh, well, it depends on the book. When I finished Witch for Hire I celebrated by starting A Witch’s Path. When I finished A Witch’s Path I went out to dinner with my family and had a margarita. I think for A Witch’s Trial I had two glasses of wine and bought myself a tiny glass flying pig. Upon completing A Witch’s Concern, I went on a date with the man who became my husband. I didn’t celebrate finishing A Witch’s Rite because I was sick. For A Witch’s Demons, I went out to dinner and had a margarita.
  • What gets you out of a writing slump? What about a reading slump?
    • When I’m in a writing slump I try to read more and sometimes I switch projects until I find something that sparks my imagination. As for a reading slump, well, I tend to go in cycles of reading a lot and not reading much.
  • Have any of your characters ever appeared in your dreams?
    • Yup! Michelle first showed up in a dream. While the dream has nothing in common with the books, it did spark the idea and I’ve really loved writing Michelle’s adventures.
  • What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
    • Read, write, repeat. Write new things, read news books, reread books, read your own work, and write something new. Then do it all over again. There’s no substitute for reading and writing.
  • Do you have any tips for authors going through the process of turning their books into audiobooks?
    • Enjoy it. Enjoy hearing the characters come to life and know that even if audio isn’t your favorite format, you’re making some readers very happy.
  • What’s next for you?
    • Write another book! I have a story arc for three more Michelle books as well as lots of other worlds that are begging to be explored so I have a lot of work to do!


Giveaway
A Witch’s Path Series Giveaway: 3-Month Audible Membership

Book 1

Jan. 28th:
Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews
Jazzy Book Reviews
TheHufflepuffNerdette
T’s Stuff
Jan. 29th:
Bean’s Bookshelf and Coffee Break
Turning Another Page
Booktalk with Eileen
Jan. 30th:
Chapter Break
Bookworms Corner
Audiobook Romance
Jan. 31st:
Working Mommy Journal
Notes from ‘Round the Bend
Feb. 1st:
Lilly’s Book World
Two Girls and a Book
Feb. 2nd:
Bound 4 Escape
Holed Up In A Book
Feb. 3rd:
The Book Addict’s Reviews
Up ‘Til Dawn Book Blog

Book 2

Feb. 4th:
Bean’s Bookshelf and Coffee Break
Feb. 5th:
Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews
Turning Another Page
T’s Stuff
Feb. 6th:
Chapter Break
Bookworms Corner
Audiobook Romance
Feb. 7th:
Lilly’s Book World
Feb. 8th:
Working Mommy Journal
Jazzy Book Reviews
Booktalk with Eileen
Feb. 9th:
Bound 4 Escape
Holed Up In A Book
Feb. 10th:
The Book Addict’s Reviews
Two Girls and a Book

Book 3

Feb. 11th:
Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews
T’s Stuff
Feb. 12th:
Bean’s Bookshelf and Coffee Break
Turning Another Page
Feb. 13th:
Chapter Break
Audiobook Romance
Feb. 14th:
Bookworms Corner
Lilly’s Book World
Feb. 15th:
Working Mommy Journal
Booktalk with Eileen
Feb. 16th:
Bound 4 Escape
Jazzy Book Reviews
Holed Up In A Book
Feb. 17th:
The Book Addict’s Reviews
Two Girls and a Book

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