Author: Michaela James
Narrator: Kimberly M. Wetherell
Length: 12 hours 230 minutes
Series: Scarlet Oaks Cozy Mystery Series, Book 2
Publisher: LW Media Group Ltd.
Released: Feb. 6, 2020
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Something sinister is going on at Bay Radio. Is it possible there’s a connection between the mafia-type men who show up after dark, the terrified young women they have in tow, and the ominous commune Scarlet’s sister calls home? A troubled caller’s cryptic clues point to a man from Scarlet’s past. Could he be the key to breaking her sister Violet out of a seemingly impenetrable commune? Scarlet’s new boyfriend gets a crash course on the life and times of Violet, as they enter a world of shadows, sex, and secrets. With more than her own life on the line, Scarlet fights to save her sister. Can Scarlet and friends, armed with only a harebrained scheme and spy store gadgets, solve this mystery? All roads lead back to the cryptic caller. Expose the photographer from Scarlet’s past, and the thick, scandalous web starts to unravel. Jump on this speeding cable car with Scarlet and hold on for dear life. This fast-paced, clever mystery will have you laughing one minute and gasping the next. Spend time with the characters you’ve grown to love and make room in your heart for more. If you grew up reading or listening to Nancy Drew, you’ll love Scarlet Oaks. This is the second book in the Scarlet Oaks series. Continue the adventure – buy Scarlet Oaks and the Exposed Photographer today!
Michaela lives near Reno, Nevada, where there are lovely walking trails and lots of sun. She was born and grew up in Hampshire, England, where there is less sun, but better chocolate! A professional voice over artist and the voice of a local radio station, Michaela enjoys watching great movies with her husband and grown sons, playing tennis and and drinking lots of tea.
A bright, versatile, broad-next-door type, Kimberly M. Wetherell is rapidly becoming a sought-after talent in the voiceover market, specializing in audiobooks, commercials, and animation. Kimberly has worn multiple hats in the entertainment industry for over 30 years. A graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University, Kimberly has been an actor, a singer of musical theatre, director of both opera and film, and producer of opera, film, and most recently, commercials. She speaks French, Italian, and German (all thanks to her 15-year career in opera), and, as a lifelong lover of language, has a large catalogue of dialects and accents from around the world at the tip of her tongue. Equally active in the literary world, Kimberly is a published essayist and contributing editor of The Nervous Breakdown. She founded and hosted DISH, a monthly food & drink reading series at SoHo’s Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, as well as having hosted other reading series around NYC, such as NPR’s Dime Stories at Brooklyn’s Barbès and TNB’s Literary Experience at Chinatown’s Happy Endings. Voiceover artistry is the perfect marriage of her life’s two passions, and she couldn’t be happier with this new career pursuit.
At 12 hours and 30 minutes long, this was definitely a story within a story within a story. Following on from where book one finished, Scarlet and Sylvia now have a new, larger studio to match their larger audience. Their show, Mending Men, has changed and now includes experts to give advice to men on legal and family matters – from divorce and alimony to grief counselling.
When Scarlet gets a call warning her that she needs to look into a matter concerning someone she knows, thoughts immediately turn to her sister Violet who is living in a “commune” that doesn’t allow visitors from family members. Convinced Violet is in danger, Scarlet and her friends (boyfriend James, plus Tom & Niles) check out the place …and don’t like what they see.
A further clue leads her to a photographer, who she knows from her childhood days as a beauty queen contestant with her sister. All clues point to the commune, so the friends make a visit to their local spy gadget shop and virtually empty the shelves. These scenes resemble those when James Bond visited Q to see all the gadgetry available. Tom’s excitement here is hilarious.
While all this is going on, Scarlet’s brother has disappeared. His wife, Lisa, is unperturbed, as she agrees with her “pastor” that things in her marriage need to change.
From here, the story splits into yet more subplots, all of which come together by the end. But who would have known that a homeless man by the dumpster, a baker, and a man dressed as a cleaning lady would have anything in common in this story? The plot ideas are wild, and funny, poignant and crazy. As before, the story is slow to get going, but once it does it is a wild race to the finish.
Is Violet in danger? Where is Trent? Is there a cult at large? And why does the commune need a photographer?
All will be explained in this cosy mystery tale, where stories of family members and friends mingle with the crime solving capers.
The narrator keeps the story buzzing, injecting life into every character, and keeping them distinct and therefore making it easy to follow.
A little on the long side, but an enjoyable story and a fun and endearing cast of characters.
I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Michaela James. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.
- Emilia Clarke as Scarlet Oaks
- Dan Stevens as James Attwood
- Oscar Isaac as Tom Blythe
- Domhnall Gleeson as Niles Remmy
- Abigail Breslin as Sylvia Danico
Q&A with Author Michaela James
- Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
- My novels are heavy in dialogue, so an audiobook is absolutely in the back of my mind while writing.
- How did you select your narrator?
- I found a sample of Kimberly’s talents on ACX.com and contacted her right away. Fortunately, she was in between assignments and available.
- How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process?
- Kimberly requested to read the book prior to agreeing to narrate. She then sent a very in depth questionnaire regarding how I envisioned the characters. This helped her to voice them to match my vision.
- Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
- Marilyn Oaks is a modern day Mrs. Bennet.
- Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
- Absolutely. I have an Audible account and listen to audiobooks every evening and on long car journeys.
- Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
- I feel that Kimberly brings my characters to life, which is to me the true beauty of an audiobook.
- If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
- I would use it to go back to Jane Austen’s time. It would be fascinating to witness the manners and customs. I love the formality and politeness of the correspondence in that era.
- Do you have any tips for authors going through the process of turning their books into audiobooks?
- Really try to find the right narrator. A weak narrator can hurt your book. A good one may cost you more, but it’s so worth it in the long run. Be patient, it’s not an overnight process.
- What’s next for you?
- Kimberly Wetherell is in the process of narrating Book 3 in the series, Scarlet Oaks and the Banished Witness. I’m writing Book 4, Scarlet Oaks and the Hollow Man.
Giveaway: $50 Amazon Gift Card
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