Audiobook Blog Tour: A Bloody Good Cruise by Diana Rubino

Author: Diana Rubino

Narrator: Anthony Lee

Length: 8 hours and 26 minutes

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Released: June 7, 2019

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Romance writer Mona Rossi’s book sales are slipping. She needs new ideas and fast! Her vampire love, Fausto Silvius is a doctor aboard the Romanza, a luxury cruise ship. Holding a “Motion on the Ocean” writer’s cruise sounds like a great idea. What better way to combine a career boost with romance?

But they soon discover hunters on board who give chase to Fausto and his fellow vampires. While he longs to bring Mona into his world, how can he convince her to join him with fringe lunatics on the hunt? In the prime of her life she’s not sticking her neck out for a shot at eternity.

Setting goals is a key to success. Sacrifice helps, too. In 1999 I signed with my first publisher Domhan Books of the UK. I spent several summers in England writing, researching, and revising my 4-book Yorkist saga. A dedicated history buff and Anglophile, I’m a member of the Richard III Society, a fascinating group of learned historians, some of whom claim to have met Richard.

My husband Chris and I own CostPro Inc., a construction cost consulting company in New England. I’m indulging another longtime interest, archaeology, for which I’m working on a Master’s Degree. We also love to travel. The Mediterranean cruise “Cradles of Civilization” aboard the Rotterdam included a visit to the Pyramids of Egypt. I was fortunate to visit Poland, my grandmother’s native land, and Chopin’s birthplace as well as the resting place of his heart, Warsaw.

I have a Real Estate license and since 1994 I’ve owned rental condos in Myrtle Beach and New England.

My stories are romances set against a backdrop of political upheaval, court intrigue, poverty, general drama of the surroundings, and sometimes a splash of the paranormal. What I’m trying to convey is that love can prevail no matter what the conflicts and obstacles, earthly or not.

I recently began writing biographical novels with no fictional characters.

I enjoy living in the most beautiful spot on Earth, my beloved Cape Cod.

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Narrator Bio

Anthony Lee has been told that his voice is deep, resonant, smooth, and clear. Yet, it would be years before he would finally embrace that gift and start using it artistically.

A native of California, Anthony grew up with an equal fascination for knowledge and leisure. He would enjoy studying various subjects in school as well as doing fun things in his spare time. His motivation for success and happiness helped him achieve a solid education, a successful job, and a new life to live as his reward for years of hard work.

His decision to try voice acting came after receiving plenty of compliments about his vocal quality over a short amount of time. Whether those words came from friends or strangers, he could no longer deny the possibility that there may be something special about his voice. Hence, from October 2015 to June 2016, Anthony enrolled in night and weekend classes at Elaine Clark’s Voice One academy in San Francisco, where he trained in the art of voiceover for narrations, commercials, and characters. He thoroughly enjoyed honing his voice for things like audiobooks, technical materials, corporate narrations, e-learning modules, documentaries, commercials, promos, animations, video games, and talking products. Overall, he considers his journey into voiceover to be very rewarding, not just for what he learned but also for the great instructors and classmates he met along the way.

Now with professional voice training, Anthony is stepping out into the world to lend his voice. He loves to take virtually any kind of script and work to deliver the message in a suitable way. His enthusiasm for voiceover makes him strive to be a versatile actor in the craft. Every time he is given an opportunity to provide a voice, he hopes to leave a lasting positive impact.

When he is not doing voice work, Anthony enjoys playing chess, ice hockey, pool, Sudoku, and video games, as well as watching movies, reading about random topics on the Internet, and traveling. He lives in Northern California.

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Mona glanced at her watch again. Five minutes to five. She itched to spill all to Tessie, but they’d be pulling out at five, and Fausto should be here any minute. No doubt he’d be in one of his tacky disguises. He knew he’d have enemies aboard, and to throw them off the scent, he’d plod around like a typical American tourist on his first cruise, schlocky enough to blend right in, the exact opposite of what his nemeses expected. So she kept her eyes peeled for a gaudy Hawaiian print shirt, a droopy straw hat, baggy Bermuda shorts, and flip flops. That would be the real test for Tessie—could she consider marriage with a vampire without freaking? Her finding out would pack a double whammy-her best-selling authors wrote vampire romances, and they were on this cruise, giving workshops on the sexy, mysterious, sexy, elusive, sexy, lascivious creatures. Mona smiled, her toes curling in anticipation of Fausto’s kisses, his licks, his caresses—and the ship-rocking organisms they shared.

If you had a vampire boyfriend who wanted nothing more than for you to share the rest of your life with him, would that mean that he would be okay with spending the rest of your human life or would he want you to become a vampire as well? What would be so terrible about living forever? Time is the most precious resource that we always want more of and Rubino is offering her characters just that…a way to capitalize on this want and desire. Of course, with immortality comes other consequences like seeing your loved ones die—family, friends, colleagues—it may become a bit unbearable and not worth the additional time to some. Join Mona and Tessie as they explore the wonders of the vampire world—which is not at all what the movies and books make it out to be.

Mona knows that her boyfriend—Fausto—is a vampire, but her friend Tessie doesn’t know anything about this world. When they decide to hop on a romantic cruise, Mona plans on telling Tessie what she is getting into with her lover. After all, not everyone thinks the same way, right?! So what if she isn’t ready to make the commitment to become a forever vampire to be with Fausto? That doesn’t mean Tessie isn’t ready to make that leap. Before Tessie gets the chance to make that decision, they run into a band of vampire hunters. With their main target being to rid the world of vampires under the preconceived notion that all vampires are destructive blood suckers that want to do nothing more than cause chaos, Mona and Tessie can only hope to change the head vampire hunter’s view before it is too late, and in doing so…will Mona change her own mind in the process?

Rubino’s story is a bit rushed and the character development is not as solid as it could be. Upon listening to Lee’s narration, the story feels like it should be a soap opera because the drama is highly elaborated, meaning the emotions are embellished and the plot appears to be unfinished. Lee’s vocal relay is very spotty—his narration is articulated, slow, and unentertaining. We typically do not recommend stories that do not meet all or most of our criteria and our suggestion would be to rework this story and slow the scenes down, while cutting the embellishment and outlandishness down a bit since readers want to have a little credibility in the world that they are being wrapped up into. In most of the story, there was a lot of backtracking due to newly introduced concepts for vampires which detracts from the storyline. Another suggestion is to have the narrator quicken his pace of reading so that this story doesn’t sound condescending or portrayed in a joking manner. The title is also misleading. The first assumption that we made was that it would have British characters going on a cruise. Then, when we figured out that it didn’t appear to have British characters, we thought that it would be a bit gory, which that isn’t the case either. It was quite clean and romantic which a little hint of suspense.

A copy of this audiobook was provided to Turning Another Page by Audiobookworm Promotions and in no way affects the honesty of this review. We provide a two-star rating to A Bloody Good Cruise by Diana Rubino.

AUTHOR INTERVIEW
  1. If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go? Ancient Rome or Pompeii.
  1. What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors? Keep writing. Keep practicing. Most of all, don’t ever give up on your dream. Just having a dream makes you very special. If you get impatient because it’s taking so long, just ask yourself this: Why does 16-year Scotch take 16 years? Some things are worth waiting for.
  1. What inspires you to write? I love history and meeting people from the past and how they fit into major events in the past. Writing novels about real people puts me into the past, but keeps me grounded in reality.
  1. Tell us about your writing process. I use Donald Maass’s THE BREAKOUT NOVEL WORKBOOK, which has many probing questions about characters and the story. I then write a detailed outline, which I don’t always follow when writing. My daily goal is 2500 words a day. I do everything in Word on my computer, but sometimes I write in longhand; it helps me connect to the characters more closely.
  1. Do you listen or talk to your characters? They actually talk to me, and sometimes they tell me what THEY want to do, rather than what really happened in history!
  1. Let us know what influenced you to publish with a publisher or self-publish your book. What would you advise new authors to explore? I preferred a publisher rather than self-publishing. My first books came out in 1999, when Ebooks first hit the scene; they came out in print and Ebook format. I did self-publish one of my books, and I learned from it, but probably wouldn’t self-publish again. New authors should explore both paths, don’t leave any stone unturned.
  1. What do you think about the future of book publishing? I believe Ebooks will continue to grow as more people read on their tablets and phones. That’s a great boon to publishing; back in the day, there was only print, and not as much of a selection as we have now. People will always want to read, despite all the other forms of entertainment available. Nothing can take the place of getting lost in a good book. I’m very glad that audio books have become so popular.
  1. If you have 2 hours free time tonight, what would you rather do? Why? Re-read some of my favorite books of all time, such as the trilogy by Lynne Reid Banks, beginning with The L-Shaped Room, and books I saved from grade school, such as MR. AND MRS. BO JO JONES and TUNED OUT.
  1. What kind of books do you love to read? Why? History, biographies, and books about astronomy or the supernatural. History is a big passion of mine, and I’m fascinated with the infinity of space and the theories about space and time travel.
  1. What’s next for you?I’m working on a biographical novel about Edith Roosevelt, Theodore’s wife. I’m focusing on the years they lived in New York City when he was Police Commissioner, and some of my characters from my 1894 New York City romance FROM HERE TO FOURTEENTH STREET are going to make an appearance, because Theodore appeared in that book!

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