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Thursday, February 28, 2019

Audiobookworm Presents: Evil's Unlikely Assassin by Jenn Windrow; #AudiobookTour, #NowAvailable, #OutNow, #Review

Author: Jenn Windrow
Narrator: Chelsea Stephens
Length: 8 hours 49 minutes
Series: Alexis Black, Book 1
Publisher: Irreverent Publishing
Released: Jan. 23, 2019
Genre: Urban Fantasy
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 Jenn Windrow. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

"Evil's Unlikely Assassin is a promising urban fantasy debut that features all that's great about the genre--action, attitude, and ass-kicking." -Jaye Wells, USA Today bestselling author of The Sabina Kane and Prospero's War series

Vampire Alexis Black is on a mission - to rejoin the human race.

Coerced into signing an ironclad contract by an Angel-with-attitude, Alexis must hunt down and assassinate at least one vampire, werewolf, or creepy crawly every night for fifty years to become human again. Too bad the contract didn’t mention the badass vampire who now rides shotgun in her brain, insatiable bloodlust, or her new I-hate-everything-with-fangs sidekick. If she can fulfill her end of the bargain, her humanity is restored, if not she will be destroyed.

But when a revenge-seeking bloodsucker threatens her city, Alexis must risk everything to ensure there’s a humanity to return to. Since her vampire nature is her greatest weapon to defeat the monsters that threaten her friends and future, Alexis must choose to accept her inner beast or watch those she loves die.

When I started listening to this story, I wasn't sure that I was going to like it. I wasn't sure if Ms. Stephens was a good choice to tell me Alexis Black's story. Then as I continued to listen, I came to the conclusion that she was the perfect choice. Since this story is from Alexis' point of view, it would be strange to hear a man tell the story. And eventually I came to form, in my mind, what Alexis might look and act like. Hher weapon of choice seemed to have a life of its own which I don't think I would feel if I went and read the book instead.

Ms. Windrow had me thinking of possibilities. It's possible that there's an Alexis Black out there somewhere. She has challenges both internal and the world around her. Now she doesn't fight evil on her own - she has a partner. There were times that I couldn't decide whether I liked him or not. That just shows how good the author is at her job. There's a lot going on here since Alexis has a really tough job. She's a strong female character and not worried about damaging a fingernail.  

Once I finally got into the story, I had to listen every chance I got. I even got to enjoy most of the secondary characters. They all helped move the story along. Nothing felt out of place - that it didn't fit the scene. Does it make me mean that I actually started rooting for the enemy of the piece? Make no mistake, I didn't like him but knowing he was still around meant that my adventure with this author, maybe this narrator, and one kick a** woman isn't over yet.

Jenn Windrow is an award winning author of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. Vampires, Greek gods, and a bit of Freak Show fun for everyone.

She loves characters who have a pinch of spunk, a dash of attitude, and a large dollop of sex appeal. Top it all off with a huge heaping helping of snark, and you’ve got the ingredients for the kind of fast paced stories she loves to read and write. Home is a suburb of it’s-so-hot-my-shoes-have-melted-to-the-pavement Phoenix. Where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and a slew of animals that seem to keep following her home, at least that’s what she claims.


  • Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook. 
    • I really didn’t anticipate doing an audio book, not that I didn’t want to, I just didn’t realize that it was something Indie’s could do and when I was with my publisher it wasn’t an option. One day I volunteered to do a podcast, and next thing I knew he was convincing me that audio was the next big thing and I needed to get it done. Then I am being introduced to Chelsea and we are agreeing to work together. The moment I heard her, I knew she was Alexis, it all just seemed so perfect. She had to hold my hand and help this audiobook virgin through all the steps, I don’t think I annoyed her too much. So, far I love the whole process. It is strange not to have control over certain aspects of a product with your name on it, such as price and release date, but it’s worth it to hear my characters come to life.
  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing? 
    • NO. In fact it’s funny, I never really thought about what my characters sounded like. But I knew when I started listening to different narrators exactly what they DIDN’T sound like.
  • 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?  
    • We did quite a bit of prep work to narrow down the accents for the all the characters. I never realized what a diverse cast I had until Chelsea had to figure out what they all sounded like. She did short clips before she even started recording to nail everyone before she even started recording, In fact, we just finished that process for book two. I keep a series bible, and in it, I have all the character details, so I copied everything I had and sent them to her. Plus, added in a link to my Pinterest page so she could see who I thought they looked like.
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing? 
    • I write what I want to read. I will admit that when I was working with a publisher to drive had disappeared, but now that I am my own boss, I love creating new characters and stories again. I do take my weekends off though to recharge and let my mind rest.
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • I’d say that reading is reading, whether the book is paper, on a screen, or coming through a set of headphones.
    • Who cares how you are receiving the information, a a story is a story. You’re hopefully enjoying something someone has written. Just because I read on a kindle, it doesn't make me dislike paper books, I love them, I just ran out of room to store them years ago. Audio books give readers a chance to enjoy a story while they are doing everyday things like driving or doing the dishes.
  • How did you celebrate after finishing this novel? 
    • I take a much needed nap and force my husband to take me out for Mexican food!
  • What's your favorite:
    • Food - Anything mexican
    • Song - 21 Pilots - Run and Go
    • Book - Anne Bishop’s The Black Jewels Trilogy
    • Television show - Lucifer
    • Movie - Oh man this one is tough. Juno or 10 Things I Hate About You
    • Band - Panic at the Disco
    • Sports team - My husband would kill me if I didn’t say Seattle Seahawks.
    • City - San Diego
  • Are any of those things referenced in appearance in your work? 
    • San Diego is the main city for my Redeeming Cupid Series.
  • Do you have any tips for authors going through the process of turning their books into audiobooks?
    • Take the time to find the narrator that fits the voice of your character. I think that really is the most important part of this whole process.
  • What’s next for you? 
    • I’m working on the third Alexis Black Novel, Evil’s Avenging Angel and starting the process of turing Evil’s Ultimate Huntress into an audiobook with Chelsea as the narrator again.

Narrator Bio

Chelsea Stephens has a long time love and appreciation for the performing arts, with experience in on-stage acting, singing and voice over. Her love for reading books and the pursuit of the story led her to narration. She enjoys unfolding characters and bringing listeners into new worlds. Chelsea is an experienced voice actor with a talent for mystery, fantasy and YA novels. She's a mom to a gaggle of young ones living in the Midwest with her lumbersexual husband.


Top 10 List

Author Jenn Windrow's Top 10 Books She Read in 2018
  1. Jennifer Estep - Elemental Series. All 17 books
  2. Sarah J Mass - Kingdom Of Ash
  3. Jennifer Estep - Kill the Queen
  4. Jenny Han - To All the Boys I’ve Loved before - The whole series actually
  5. Ilona Andrews - Magic Triumphs
  6. Karen Marie Moning - High Voltage
  7. Anne Bishop - Lake Silence
  8. Kresley Cole - The Dark Calling
  9. Sarah J Maas - Court of Frost and Starlight
  10. Chloe Neill - Some Girls Bite

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