Mountain Man by Robert E Howard Narrated by John McLain

           June is Audiobook Month

This June, the audiobook community is giving back! Spoken Freely, a group of 30+
professional narrators, has teamed with the Going Public Project to celebrate June is
Audiobook Month (JIAM) 2013 by offering a serialized audio story collection: Going
Public...in Shorts. Each narrator has recorded a short piece from the public domain,
including the work of Chekhov, Twain, Chopin, Poe, Lovecraft, Fitzgerald, Joyce, Wilde
and many others, even Lincoln's pivotal Second Inaugural Address. All proceeds will go
to the Reach Out and Read literacy advocacy organization.

Throughout June, 1-2 stories will be released online each day via the Going Public blog
as well as on various author and book blogs, with each participating narrator hosted by a
different blog. As a "Thank you!" to listeners, stories will be available to listen to online
for free for one week following their release. The full schedule of story release dates and
narrator appearances is available at Going Public.

Spoken Freely presents Going Public in Shorts

In collaboration with Blackstone Audio, stories will also be available for download
purchase starting on their day of release, with the full compilation available beginning
June 30th. All sales proceeds go directly to Reach Out and Read, an innovative literacy
advocacy organization serving more than 4 million children and their families across the
nation, with an emphasis on serving those in low-income communities.

Going Public...in Shorts is made possible by the efforts of the Spoken Freely narrators
and many others who donated their time and energy to bring it to fruition. Engineering
and mastering provided by Jeffrey Kafer and SpringBrook Audio. Graphic design
provided by f power design. Published by Blackstone Audio. Project coordination and
executive production provided by Xe Sands.

Mountain Man, by Robert Ervin Howard

Narrator John McLain

Mountain Man, by Robert Ervin Howard

John McLain, is a professional voice actor who has performed over 60 audiobook titles from thrillers to
non-fiction, westerns to mysteries, and more. Highlights include Before The Night, The Dark
Lady, The Test, The Judge, The Vow and Home Run. John was nominated for an Audie Award in
2012 for his performance in the historical fiction novel, The Resurrection of Nat Turner, Part 1:
The Witnesses. John has also appeared on the musical theatre stage in Dallas and Phoenix.

John has a wonderful way of reading that makes the characters burst with life. McLain, has a smooth mellow voice, deep and masculine, and rather sexy sounding. There's just something about the tenor of John's voice that makes you think he could sell anything to anyone, and easily talk you into whatever he wanted. Nice trait to have, I guess for him. A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down, when McLain speaks.

I'd like to have heard a bit more punch with the female characters McLain gets the gist of the emotion or
what they are saying extremely well, lots of good emotion comes through but there is not enough change
in the voice to differentiate female or which female is speaking. I give him credit for trying, but he just does
not sound comfortable taking on a female voice. All mans, man, for you I guess. It does mean I have to pay closer attention to maintain the thread of the story. Overall, McLain, is a skilled and talented reader.

Please listen to this excerpt and enjoy a bit of McLain, once you've heard it you will want more.

Author Robert Ervin Howard, brought the world, Conan the Barbarian, which everyone knows by now was made into a movie. Howard, wrote many short stories and was popular in the Pulp books industry. Robert Howard still has an impressive fan base today. Inexpensive pulp books always had imaginative covers with great artwork and stories that always were appealing to the masses. Men and boys loved the adventure and the Mountain Man, was a favorite.

Mountain Man was first in the series of Howard's, outdoorsman type serial stories. Breckenridge Elkins, is sent to Perdition the nearest town to pick up a letter for his father "Pap" he calls him. A series of unusual, or maybe not so unusual in the era it takes place, events happen to Breckenridge, all of them funny and you just have to feel for this guy that just wants to pick up a letter. So off to perdition he goes on Alexander, his Pap's mule.

When he stops on the way to bathe in a stream, his clothes are stolen, he's left naked. What a predicament to be in. Lucky for him he had the sense to hang his gun belt over a long reaching tree limb. As a robber snuck up on him and hit him on the head with a club and was shimmying down the branch trying to grab his gun belt. Breckenridge grabbed his gun and shot at the robber, but missed as he was running off, with his clothes.

Naked with just Alexander and his gun, he heads to towards town but stays off the main road. After awhile he hears someone coming and see's it has to be a citified man, because no one but city folk, would dress as this man is dressed. He positions himself on the road ahead of him and when the poor guy reaches him, he robs him of his clothes. Being a decent guy, Breckenridge lets the man take the mule and says they can swap back clothes once in town where he can find something else to wear. When the mule turns around to see who's on his back, he's scared witless and takes off like a shot, with the stranger hanging on for dear life.

To further his amusing problems, he runs into a posse of men out looking for a crook and see Breckenridge, and immediately set upon him, shouting, 'there he is' but, Breckenridge thinks that the man he robbed reported him and a posse was sent out to find him. He soon sorts out that problem and they ride him back to town. As it turns out, he is mistaken again, as he finds out when they reach town, they give him boxing shorts and put him in a ring to fight. They've mistaken him for a prize fighter that didn't arrive on the coach the previous day and they were not out looking for a crook but for the prize fighter.

I found his amazement and awe at his first sight of a city, very interesting. This is an excellent and funny story that I highly recommend and John McLain does an outstanding narration for it. Please click the audio link to give a listen to his wonderful voice and purchase a copy for yourself. Proceeds are going to Reach Out and Read literacy advocacy organization. 

Visit The Oddiophile and listen to a live interview with Xe Sands and her posts for Xe Sands reading, The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and Jump over to Emily's Reading Room for her interview with Kyle Munley, and listen to an audio clip for An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce.
Tomorrow Dion Graham will be reviewed for Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address, at The Literate Housewife.


Saving Savvy: Smart and Easy Ways to Cut Your Spending, written & narrated by Kelly Hancock

Saving Savvy: Smart and Easy Ways to Cut Your Spending
Author: Kelly Hancock
Narrator: Kelly Hancock
Oasis Audio
5 hours 34 mins

Kelly Hancock Author of Saving Savvy and blogger
Kelly Hancock, Narrator and Author 

Kelly Hancock, author and narrator of her wildly popular couponing blog, faithfulprovisions.com is an extremely multi-talented woman that  "Can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan" as the old song goes. Kelly does an excellent job keeping her blog updated, it is a useful site for thousands of women who want to save money on their grocery bills. She is lovely to look at and has a lovely voice to match, making the narration of her own book a very pleasant listening experience. Her voice is well modulated, with clear enunciation, and an outstanding pacing. It's rare that an author can do a good narration of their own work but like everything it seems that Kelly does, narration is one more item to add to her pool of talents. I usually groan when I see the author has done their own narration but Kelly Hancock did not disappoint. Kelly Hancock is quality in every way.

In the down economy we have been experiencing for a number of years now, Kelly Hancock has beaten the system by couponing and stacking coupons. She certainly has it down to a science and generously shared with everyone how she managed to reduce her grocery bills to fifty dollars a week. I'm not sure if this is just food or if she is including the other necessities like soap, tissue, cleaners and the rest of the long list that also eats into everyone's budget. She says she does not include baby items in her food budget. Kelly has a husband and two children, so managing fifty dollars a week to feed a family of four sounds pretty impossible, but she manages it and still is able to give to food banks and others in need.

I enjoyed her tips on cleaning out the freezer, how to store frozen food and how to flash freeze food. I personally, as she mentions of many others, don't like eating frozen meat as it always taste funny. Kelly, points out that it's best to use plastic bags that say, for frozen foods. I also liked her tip on putting as much as possible into plastic bags so you can store more food. She gives sensible information that should be helpful to anyone, like downloading store coupons to your Iphone and Loyalty card, with the pros and cons of doing this. Preparing your meal plans in advance, how to make space for stocking basic's when they come on sale.

It is a full time job, all this saving money, so it might not work to the same degree for a mother that is working full time, yet, when you follow her lead you will be able to save money and have more time for yourself. I highly recommend Saving Savy for not just how to finesse coupons but for the many other helpful tips to give you a viable plan for shopping, cooking, and arranging your kitchen for optimal performance. Who doesn't need to save money on groceries, have more time for family and even time to sit back and relax.

Saving Savvy written and narrated by Kelly Hancock
Saving Saving by Kelly Hancock


Spiggot by Craig Saunders, Narrator Wayne Farrell

Spiggot: A Depraved Comedy
Author: Craig Saunders
Narrator: Wayne Farrell
Grand Mal Press 
8 hours 11 minutes

Craig Saunders Author of Spiggot
Author, Craig Saunders

Wayne Farrell Narrator
          Narrator: Wayne Farrell

If you have followed my reviews, you can obviously tell I'm a fan of Wayne Farrell, and his narration of Spiggot is just a jaw dropper. Mr. Farrell not only has a very clear voice that is melodic and so very expressive. He does not read the book, he is the book. His range of character voices is expansive and creative and will delight even the hardest to please listener.

His own enjoyment of the story comes through in the way he is able to make the least to the greatest character jump off the pages and into your mind. Unlike, many narrators he is able to carry his enthusiasm into the text portions of the book. This creates a lovely flow so you do not lose any connection between the characters and the background that the author has created.

It even may be that he gives more to the story than the author could have envisioned or hoped for. I must also mention that he does excellent foreign accents making it even more enjoyable when an Irishman sounds like an Irishman, and a cockney sounds like a cockney. An all around excellent narrator that is versatile and a pleasure to listen to. I also loved the added sound effects. Farrell really knows how to create a mood and keep your attention at peak levels.

Spiggot, written by Craig Saunders, is witty and laugh out loud funny. I really enjoyed the concept of the body swapping. Police partners Spiggot and Trout, are assigned a big case to catch the person who has been stealing ancient artifacts, predominately religious and extremely rare. Trout, seems somewhat repressed and tries to ignore the blatant sexism, and so politically incorrect comments spewing frequently and often unexpectedly from Spiggot.

Overriding convention or even decency the team manages to track down their suspect and plot how they will capture her. With only the vaguest idea of what she looks like, they piece together the few facts they have and with no back up and technology tools not working they try to take her down. Spiggot, has her in hand but the villainous thief is stronger and smarter and gets away. Spiggot, is left with the broken artifact that he would not release, even though she broke his hand. Beaten into unconsciousness Spiggot, goes into a coma. Yet, Spiggot, awakens in another hospital and in another persons body while his own body lies in a coma. Most frightening of all is he's in the body of a mass murderer, and it's a hospital for the insane. He escapes and the only safe place he decides he can go is to Trout's apartment.

Trout has already heard on the news that the insane ax killer has escaped but doesn't expect to find him in her apartment. Spiggot, has a comical and somewhat painful time trying to convince her that he is not the ax murderer but himself, Spiggot. Once she is persuaded, they work out how the body transfer happened and why the  thief steals artifacts. If you like off the wall humor you will like this book, if you are offended by ism's then you probably won't. I found it very funny except the bathroom humor was a bit school boyish. Overall, I think it was much funnier and enjoyable because of the outstanding and stellar narration by Wayne Farrell and the sound effects were the icing on the cake.