Author: Errin Stevens
Narrator: Sean Posvistak
Publisher: Errin Stevens
Released: Apr. 20, 2017
Series: The Mer Chronicles, Book 1
Length: 8 hours 37 minutes
Genre: Romantic Fantasy
For Kate Sweeting, love isn’t in the air. It’s in the water.
Since her father died, Kate Sweeting’s home life has been in the pits, her well-being on life support. Her future looks desolate until she and her mother, Cara, make another plan: abandon their shriveled existence for more promising prospects on the coast, where Cara can play small-town librarian-bachelorette and Kate can figure out what’s up with that secretive Blake family from the beach.
Everyone is eerily captivated with Kate and her mother, and Cara is the first to figure out why when the man of her dreams arrives all dripping and devoted and closed-mouthed about what he intends. Kate is willing to go along with their subterfuge for a while, but eventually makes a charge for the water to learn what her mother is hiding. Gabe Blake is there waiting for her…and so is someone considerably less friendly. By the time Kate navigates her way home, everything will have changed for her—what she feels, what she wants, and what she’ll risk to be with the man she loves.
Errin Stevens writes paranormal romantic suspense stories from her home in Minnesota. When not wrestling with unruly narrative – or reading literary and commercial fiction like a fiend – you’ll find her poring over seed catalogues (winter) or gardening (the other three days of the year).
Sean is an aspiring game developer who’s used his years of work on Youtube to excel at audiobook narration.
I enjoyed the narration of this story a lot. Sean did a great job with each character and making them feel distinct from each other. He has good pacing and tone, and an excellent audio performance like this will keep me listening to a story! I hope he continues on with these books and I can’t wait to hear him elsewhere in the audio book world. 5/5 stars.
Book wise I enjoyed it for the most part. The romance was cute and the story was intriguing. I like mermaid stories, and don’t get to read too many of them funnily enough. Stevens does a great job of making this feel believable and that’s a big important thing for fantasy novels. One note is that I felt the characters were a bit too traditional in their gender roles for my enjoyment. So it all depends on whether you enjoy reading a story where the man expects a woman to stay at home and there’s not much of a discussion there. I don’t think it distracts from the story, just putting it out there as a potential deal breaker if you dislike a traditional take on relationship/marriage. I would rate the novel a 4.5/5 stars.
I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Errin Stevens. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.
Q&A with Author Errin Stevens
- Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
- Well, I went to the ACX web site and did a LOT of internet research while I considered how to best approach my projects. I decided I don’t much like how often we all get asked to create on the if-come, so even though it was expensive for me, I carved out a section of Updrift for use as a script and put the project up as a paid gig through the ACX production system. I got such wonderful responses from some truly talented narrators and was so agitated about choosing the right one. I co-opted the opinion of a longtime friend and actress to listen with me to help me figure it out! She told me to go with the one that pulled the “right” emotional response as I felt it… and since she and I both thought Sean’s read was the most compelling, I made him an offer. Thankfully, he accepted.Sean was an amazing professional to work with. He made every edit I requested, did everything smoothly and beautifully, and the second I could amass my next pile of cash to produce the sequel, I contacted him to see if he’d be interested, and he jumped all over it. I’m really grateful for the care Sean took with my stories and can’t recommend him highly enough.
- Do you believe certain types of writing translate better into audiobook format?
- My short answer to this is ‘yes,’ although with the caveat that I still prefer reading on paper because that process blurs a certain divide between my conscious and unconscious and results in the experience I’m seeking when I read. But. I’ve listened to a few audiobooks – it saved my sanity on two cross-country drives! – and I think the experience was similar enough to “reading” that I’d do it again. I think any nonfiction would play well (I adored “In a Sunburned Country” by Bill Bryson); and I think a good narrator will know how to bring a story across as the writer intended.
- How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
- I don’t! Lol, no, really, I do write every day, although I’ve taken a few weeks off on occasion to let a piece rest or get a translation going or, ahem, audiobook produced. I also read a lot, and that always gives me ideas on how to storytell, too.
- Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
- Oh my goodness, yes. Sean’s voice is just this terrific blend of compelling goodies, prompts for the listener to envision the story as well as hear it, and to feel more viscerally the tension the characters feel. And then I think his rich, resonant delivery does a much better job bringing both my hero and my antagonist to life.
- If this title were being made into a TV series or movie, who would you cast to play the primary roles?
- Oooo, that’s a hard one. I think I’d cast Mads Mikkelsen as Peter, Colton Haynes as Gabe, and Saoirse Ronan as Kate.
- Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
- Although my stories are not at all retellings, the inspiration for Updrift was The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen. The little reflection of it I hope people see/enjoy is in the form of a character twist, since I modeled my bad guy after the original heroine. I.e., he was the one who risked everything and suffered the most for what he wanted.
- What gets you out of a writing slump? What about a reading slump?
- The questions are a bit funny to me because each is an answer to the other – reading makes me want to write and vice versa. But with what I do, writing is a job and I make myself do it every day, shooting for 500 words, which I sometimes don’t quite get to and sometimes surpass. Exercise is important to me because my walks are where I dream through some of my writing problems… and you just have to stay with it. Not very exciting, I know, but the real answer is to keep at it.
- Do you have any tips for authors going through the process of turning their books into audiobooks?
- If you can, pay your narrator rather than offer a royalty share. It’s a cleaner deal, it gives creatives just like you a little income, and you’ll get more response for your audition. Plus you’ll hear a ton of good options, capable professionals you’d want working on your baby.
- What’s next for you?
- I’m going to finish a fourth for this series, Crosstide, if it kills me. And it might. Seriously, I think my brain got broke last year… 😉
Errin Stevens’ “Mer” Top 10
- “Rise Up” (song) by Thomas Jack & Jasmine Thompson. Addictive and hypnotic – give it a listen!
- “Splash” (movie) is still as funny and adorable as ever.
- “Mermaid” (book) by Carolyn Turgeon is a lovely reinterpretation of mermaid mythology, all adulted up.
- “Robinson Crusoe” (book) by Daniel Dafoe is a revered classic for a reason. There are no merfolk but lots of ocean and it’s yummy and you should read it.
- “Gift from the Sea” (poetry anthology) by Ann Morrow Lindbergh is dreamy and thoughtful and just right.
- “Calypso” (song) by Suzanne Vega combines ocean nymphs, a Greek hero, and folk rock music in the cleverest of ways. What’s not to love?
- “The Little Mermaid” (animated movie) will have you singing ‘undah da see’ for the rest of your natural born life.
- “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” (movie) has the BEST, most convincing mermaids the movie world has ever given us.
- “The Mermaid” (poem) by Alfred Lord Tennyson is a warm bath of beauty you can take anytime you want.
- “Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything” (song/video) by Veggietales is HILARIOUS. Charming for grown-ups and little ones alike.
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