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Monday, August 21, 2017

Audio bookworm Presents: A Building Passion by Sandra Kyle; #AudioBlogTour, #OutNow, #Review

Author: Sandra Kyle
Narrator: Kelley Hazen
Series: DIY, Book One
Length: 8h 14m
Publisher: Sandra Kyle
Released: June 27, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Rating:  4 Stars

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Sandra Kyle. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Vanessa moves to Savannah to pick up the pieces of her once very certain existence after her fiancĂ© cheats on her. An independent and self-sufficient accountant, Vanessa also has a knack for DIY. When she purchases a ramshackle property in need of repair, she crosses paths with Daniel, a sexy and skillful carpenter. Daniel is a ladies’ man who plays the field and has his own romantic issues to conquer. As Vanessa embarks on a journey to embrace her new community and rehab her new home, she enlists Daniel’s help. Tackling the house is the easy part, but can two do-it-yourselfers find a way to work together to fix their love lives as well?

Born to Italian parents, Sandra is a “first generation” American. Her parents came to America in search of a better life. Along with their dreams they brought with them wonderful tales that Sandra recalls told time and time again around the kitchen table.

Though not sure where her love of writing originated, she can admit to having penned stories (i.e., fanfic) about New Kids on the Block back in the late 80s – scribbling pages and pages in notebooks shared before school by lockers and passed in between classes. It was fiction that included classmates and heartbreaking romance only a teenage girl filled with unbearable angst could summon.

An avid movie lover and introvert, she reads anything from Austen to King. She is an east coast gal and currently resides (when not immersed in the fictional worlds that occupy her headspace) with her husband and bipolar feline.
Narrator Bio
Kelley Hazen is an actress, blogger and audiobook narrator living in Los Angeles with her husband and their two awesome dogs. The Los Angeles Times describes Kelley’s work - "...listen to Kelley Hazen, so poised and well spoken, so in command of this room full of strangers you wonder why she isn't off winning Oscars...." Kelley received recognition from as ‘Best New Audiobook Talent’. She twice received the Audiofile Magazine ‘Earphones Award’ for her narration. She holds an MFA from The Asolo Conservatory for Professional Actor Training. Kelley isa lecturer in astronomy for the world-renowned Griffith Observatory. She was recently invited to participate in “A Celebration of Mark Twain” as part of the annual HEAR NOW Festival in her hometown of Kansas City, MO. Kelley owns and operates Storyteller Productions, an intimate, boutique, recording studio carved into a San Gabriel Mountain hillside.

What made the experience of listening to A Building Passion the most enjoyable?

The book had me wanting a DIY project and find a Daniel in my area to help me with it.

What other book might you compare A Building Passion to and why?

I've not read a book like this recently. Would not compare to another book if I did. It's not right to make a comparison. Not fair to either author. You could try and compare narrators but that's not fair to either of them.

Which character – as performed by Kelley Hazen – was your favorite?

I may surprise some but my favorite character was Nate. I wouldn't mind him as a neighbor. He's an experience. He had me wanting to take a trip to Savannah and look for his establishment. I want to try his special root beer.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I didn't have an extreme reaction but there were times that I had to laugh. Since I was in the car at the time I'm sure onlookers may have wondered what I was doing. It was a great way to make a long trip more enjoyable.

Any additional comments?

This was an audio version where I probably would have enjoyed the book itself better. Ms. Hazen was ok as a narrator but felt that she did a greater job when she was in character. I loved those moments. But at other times it almost felt as if she was reading in a monotone voice and that made it hard to concentrate on the story she was telling.

The author has written characters that are very believable. You can see Vanessa working on her home, especially with all the DIY shows out there, while having an interesting tenant next door. Then there's Daniel. He's a man that was in the right town at the right time when Vanessa moves there. His job just happens to be perfect for what she needs in order to improve her new home. Daniel certainly had me wondering if he had a friend who could help me around my house.

Besides giving her readers characters that are thoroughly likable, Ms. Kyle gives us a character to hate. I came to like Vanessa - could picture her as a friend. As such you don't like to see a friend hurt because of a failed relationship. Every once-in-a-while her ex makes an appearance that may have you wanting to be there the next time he makes an appearance.

It would be interesting to see if this is going to have a second book in the series. The toss up becomes whether I read the book or if there's an audible edition available would I listen. It might depend on who the narrator is. This book was a great introduction to this author and I would read more of her work.

Guest Post
Literary Inspirations for “A Building Passion”
  1. My husband’s interest in DIY projects around the house is what sparked the idea for my DIY series. There was literally a bunch of stuff around my house I pulled from in terms of hardware and terms being thrown about. He was a great source of inspiration and my own little DIY library of wealth. It sometimes makes me want to pick up a tool and try my hand at it. And then I realize why I don’t do it.
  2. I enjoy escaping from the monotony of my day with thoughts of chance encounters and romantic fate. My daydreams are a constant inspiration.
  3. Savannah, Georgia - I’ve only had the pleasure of visiting this historical city during an overnight stay years ago. The short amount of time made an impression. With its eclectic mix of architecture, old-world style and southern hospitality, I can’t wait to visit Savannah again and do more research for some upcoming stories.
  4. The hero, Daniel, epitomizes charm and oozes sensuality. I don’t want to spoil any readers own imaginings with who I was inspired by, at least in this post. That can be saved for another time.
  5. There have been a lot of inspirations for the heroine, Vanessa, in my real life. She’s doing the best she can with what she’s got to work with. I think being fine with the surface of your existence and not wanting to push the envelope or see what’s really going on with your significant partner - which is what leads Vanessa to Savannah to begin with in the story - scrapes at the wounds of life lessons I’ve personally gone through. You do come out stronger at the end of it all - changed, but stronger.

Top 10 List
Reasons to listen to this book- from Sandra Kyle
  1. You want to listen in on the lives of characters that are fun and a little angsty without a high level of drama (mostly, anyway).
  2. You want a hero that’s good with his hands. ;-)
  3. You want a heroine that’s pretty darn good with her hands, too.
  4. You want to listen to a great storyteller (Kelley Hazen did an amazing job with the characters!)
  5. You want to laugh out loud.
  6. You want to daydream about a sexy carpenter on your drive into work, during your mundane chores, (insert random activity here).
  7. You want to be in the middle of a public location, listening to an audiobook on your headphones and blushing incessantly when the two main characters finally kiss.
  8. You want to visit Savannah, Georgia. (Warning: You may plan a trip there immediately after listening.)
  9. You enjoy romances where the ladies man finally meets his love match.
  10. We all need a happily ever after every once in awhile.

With Sandra Kyle
  1. Waffle fries or curly fries? Waffle
  2. GIF with a hard g or soft g? Soft (I’m also an ETHERNET with short e gal *shrugs*)
  3. Fantasy or science-fiction? Fantasy (Have you seen “The Dark Crystal” or “Legend”?)
  4. Superman or Batman? Superman - Reeves and his little curly que made quite an impression on me when I was younger.
  5. Text message or call? Text for information dissemination. Call for true connection.
  6. Pancakes or waffles? Waffles - perfect balance of crispy exterior and fluffy interior.
  7. Doctor Who or the Walking Dead? Neither at the moment.
  8. TV Shows or movies? Hm, tough one. Television production has really raised the bar in terms of entertainment value over the past decade. I guess just for binge-watching potential I’d have to go with TV Shows.
  9. Facebook or Twitter? I find Facebook easier to use.
  10. Alice in Wonderland or Robinson Crusoe? Crusoe
  11. Being too warm or too cold? I’d rather be too cold.
  12. Netflix or Hulu? Netflix
  13. Work Hard or Play Hard? Work Hard
  14. Passenger or Driver? I selfishly enjoy being the passenger and taking in the view
  15. Amusement Park or Day at the Beach? Either one if it can be at night and at my leisure - any place with too many people is too much stimulation and stress.
  16. Honesty or Other’s Feelings? It can be tough to hold to, but I value honesty.
  17. Movie at Home or Movie at the Theater? Movie at home - air popped popcorn and pausing for bathroom breaks.

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