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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Audiobookworm Presents: Beast by Measha Stone; #Audiobook #BlogTour, #NowAvailable, #OutNow, #TBR, #Live, #Review

Author: Measha Stone
Narrator: Smokey St. Clair
Length: 7 hours 31 minutes
Series: Ever After, Book 1
Publisher: Measha Stone
Released: June 28, 2018
Genre: Romance
Rating:  4.5 Stars

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

Wouldn't you give up everything for the one you love?

When Ellie's father is taken by a group of thugs planning to take his life in exchange for his debts, it's no surprise she goes running straight into the beast's lair. After all, Ellie Stevens has been her father's keeper for as long as she can remember.

However, Ashland Titon isn't a man of mercy. If you owe, you pay. End of story. His unrelenting control has built his empire, and he's not going to give over that power now. But when Ellie charges into his life with her demands and possibilities of sweet surrender, her offer proves too tempting to pass up.

Yet there's more at play here than just working off a debt. There are secrets buried in the shadows and dangerous desires to be explored. While the two of them dance to a sensual beat, outside forces threaten Ashland's empire, and Ellie must decide where her heart truly lies - and what she's truly willing to risk for love.

This is a very adult spin on a classic fairy tale.  There are different ways to identify a beast and Mr. St. Clair does a great job in showing Ash's side of that.  I wasn't too sure in the beginning if I was going to enjoy listening to him but as the story went on, he made me both a fan of his and of this series.  Whenever I want my fairy tale fix, the adult version, I will make sure that this is at the top of my list.

The author has done a great job of getting me to forget the Disney version of this tale.  After listening to her take, I'm not so sure that I'll ever think of the Beast as anything else.  She's turned Ellie's story around as well - not the white as snow woman that you might normally think of.  But that doesn't mean that she's not a little naive about some things.  Once she meets Ash, she seems to blossom.

Depending on how much hot you like in your story, this may just short your earbuds out.  It's a longer story than some but once I really got into what Mr. St. Clair was telling me, everything seemed to disappear and time meant nothing.  That also shows how well the author did on putting her spin on these characters.  Even Ellie's father is not what you expect and that shows that the author has made this her own - not trying to copy the original.  The author doesn't include smut for smut's sake.  Her scenes flow nicely and everything seems plausible.  I could picture any of her characters living in any of the big cities.  Could see myself walking around that city listening to this book and picturing the scenes as I go by buildings and some of the fancier homes.

Would I listen to this book again?  Yes, I would.  Would I read the book?  That I'm on the fence about since I enjoyed listening to this so much.  I also have the next two books on my wish list - especially since they're told by one of my favorite narrators.  Would I follow the narrator and author?  Yes to both.  So, if you like a dark retelling of Beauty and the Beast you just might enjoy it too.

USA Today Bestselling Author Measha Stone is a lover of all things erotic and fun who writes kinky romantic suspense and dark romance novels. She won the 2018 Golden Flogger award in two categories, Best Advanced BDSM and Best Anthology. She's hit #1 on Amazon in multiple categories in the U.S. and the U.K. When she's not typing away on her computer, she can be found nestled up with a cup of tea and her kindle.

Q&A with Author Measha Stone
  • Do you believe certain types of writing translate better into audiobook format?
    • Personally, I prefer audiobooks with a lot of dialogue. Books with long narrative passages just don’t keep my attention when listening. I start to mentally wander off.
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
    • I do get burned out occasionally. Especially if I’ve been working on several projects in a row without much of a break between. The best way I combat it once it’s happened is to step away from all things writing. I take a few days vacation from business and craft. To keep it from happening, I usually take a week off from any sort of writing other than administrative stuff between the ending of one book and getting started on the thought process of the next.
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • I love audiobooks! It’s why I finally made the jump and started to publish my books in audio. I listen to an audio on my morning walks; it makes the time fly away. In fact, I’ve actually extended walks just so I can listen to the next chapter of a book. I love the narration and acting in an audiobook. The characters really come alive especially if the book has a character with an accent.
  • Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format? 
    • I think the main character’s, Ashland Titon, tone comes across much more clearly in audio. He’s an alpha male who’s very stern, and hearing the voice mirror the words really brings him to life.
  • If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go?
    • Absolutely, I would use it. So long as it was just to visit, and not to remain, I’d visit England and Scotland during the 1500’s.
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • I would say they are dead wrong. Hearing words and reading words aren’t all that different. And when you listen to them, you actually hear them pronounced properly. Even when a story is being read to you— like in an audiobook— your mind is still absorbing the scene. You still get to envision the characteristics of the character, the setting, the time of the story. You’re still making inferences. The same things you do while reading, you do while listening.
  • What gets you out of a writing slump? What about a reading slump? 
    • Reading gets me out of a writing slump better than anything else. Often I’ve found that if I hit a wall with my writing, it’s because I haven’t been reading as much or at all recently. Once I dive back into a book or two, my writing comes back full force. I’ve never been in a reading slump before, thankfully.
  • Have any of your characters ever appeared in your dreams?
    • Not that I recall, but I wish they would, and often! It might make writing their story a bit easier on me.
  • What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
    • Keep writing, no matter what. Don’t stop. Once you’ve finished writing the first book, write the second and continue on that path. Don’t let anyone or anything get in your way.
  • What’s next for you?
    • I’m currently working on a romantic thriller. I’m still at the early stages of writing it, and I can’t wait to discover the villain. 

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