Author: N.E. Conneely
Narrator: Jeff Hays, Laurie Catherine Winkel
Series: A Witch’s Path, Book 4
Length: 7 hours 25 minutes
Publisher: N.E. Conneely
Released: Jan. 16, 2018
Genre: Paranormal, Supernatural
Michelle has been figuring out what her life is like now that the demon has been killed, and Sylvia and Varro are dead. Even the clans of witches trying to attract her to their way of life have backed off and given her a chance to grieve. Her relationship with Elron is stronger than ever, but there are things left unsaid.
On the way to her parents’ wedding, the delicate calm she’d been living in is broken. Witches are out for her blood, her family is caught in the crossfire, and friendships are threatened. Work doesn’t let up either, and she partners up with Elron to deal with magic gone wild. Michelle finds that her problems are larger than one clan of witches, and is forced to choose between the people she holds dear and the way of life she loves.
This is the fourth book in a series, following A Witch’s Trial. It is a standalone novel, however, your experience will be greatly enhanced if you’ve heard the previous books.
N.E. Conneely lives in northern Georgia with her dog and a mountain of books. They sweat through the summer and freeze through the winter, and life as they know it comes to an end when so much as a single snowflake falls out of the sky. For fun, N.E. plays with her dog, reads, knits, crochets, paints, and does tie-dyeing and origami. She makes a great pizza and is currently negotiating with her husband about raising sea monkeys and growing a vegetable garden.
Jeff Hays has made a name for himself in the audio book world by creating immersive experiences out of his productions. His versatility and authenticity in voicing characters, expressive low-impact narration, and dedication to offering the highest quality audio possible has earned him a loyal following of listeners. Having been fascinated with sound since he can remember, Jeff takes his background of composing and producing music, and his continual consumption of the avalanche of fictional media we all experience in these modern times, and uses it to inform his style of story telling in the audiobook realm.
And now, having produced more than 80 audio books and perfecting his craft, using the namesake of his live streaming narration show, the Soundbooth Theater shingle has been hung. Soundbooth Theater is dedicated to applying Jeff’s production methods to new audio books with other budding narrator talent, and expanding his scope from audio books, to voicing and producing animation.
Laurie got into voiceover by studying with the legendary dialect expert Paul Meier and hosting the teen program for a nonprofit for the blind, Kansas Audio Reader. She speaks French fluently and, before diving into audiobooks, lived and performed for some time in France. She’s racking up some bizarre credits, playing a range of characters onscreen from Disney princesses to horror scream queens, and proving her audio versatility by narrating everything from cowboy romances to action-packed GameLit fantasy trolls. You can also catch her in a few VR video games. Her favorite is playing confident, power-hungry, whip-smart anti-heroines.
Like Jeff Hays, she hails from the Kansas City area but currently lives in Atlanta.
“That’s a lovely offer, but I don’t need the help.” My voice was firm, but it didn’t have any impact on the lady. She waved her hand and Josh started my way. “Please leave.” Somehow, I didn’t think they were going to listen to me. Her smile faltered, and she ducked into the car for a moment. When she returned, there was a wand in her hand and the two ladies from the backseat were getting out. On the side of the highway with my car on three wheels wasn’t the best spot for us to face off. Considering how quickly Josh was covering the ground between us, I didn’t have much time to come up with a plan.
Know any witches who would be willing to join the police force to keep back the evil and vile supernatural creatures from the light of day? What about any vampires, werewolves, unicorns, or trolls? This supernaturally charged fourth installment is highly entertaining, mysterious, and growing in paranormal suspense! Conneely has written a series, filled with humans and magical creatures who can both live simultaneously in the same place and still know who each other really is. That is very original and unlike the typical “keep it a secret from humankind”. In this fourth installment, the reader learns more about the history of clans and Michelle’s birthright in a long line of ministry bloodlines.
Michelle gets a flat tire and pulls off of the road to assess the damage. When she sees the complex nature of the flat, she knows that something is not right. Once another car pulls over to aide her, she not only doesn’t want their assistance, but she also suspects foul play. She was right. Previous claims against Michelle being clan-less has risen to a top priority for some people…including her grandmother, a clan minister of the Wapiti Clan. With Michelle’s power, any clan would be crazy not to want her on their side. Once desperation kicks in, things start to look ugly and danger begins to follow Michelle along with her family and friends. Can Michelle learn to always look behind her for the next attack or can she put things to rest for good?
Conneely has a superb story-line and wonderful character development in this fourth installment. The continuation flows perfectly from the previous installments. The characters are snarky, mysterious, humorous, and most importantly magically-inclined. The pace is very fast and provides a sense of thrill and urgency to the story, but not in a bad or harsh way. Since this was an audiobook that was provided, the flow of the story was terrific and the story seems to be well-written in order to flow as well as it does. Hays and Winkel are virtually impeccable with their dual audio relay talent. These narrators makes this story come to life, more so than imagery that the readers can come up with through description alone.
A copy of this book was provided to Turning Another Page by the Audiobookworm Promotions, but this in no way affects our honest opinion of the book or the review that has been written. We provide a five-star rating for A Witch’s Path by N.E. Conneely.
Q&A with Laurie Catherine Winkel
- How did you wind up narrating audiobooks? Was it always your goal or was it something you stumbled into by chance?
- Well, I was encouraged to do so by my professor, Paul Meier, who I had no idea was a big name in the audiobook world for his dialect coaching and founding the IDEA archives. I kind of stumbled into it later when I was asked to audition for a program called Kansas Audio Reader in college, which was a specialized radio broadcast for the blind. For three years I ran a program reading YA books for blind teens. I had no idea it was going to be so relevant to my life.
- Did you find it difficult to “break into” audiobook narration? What skill/tool helped you the most when getting started?
- Because I had unknowingly gained all that experience in nonprofit, and training in my acting work, I found the performance pretty accessible. What was throw-your-headphones-at-the-wall infuriating was all the tech! I am not a tech-savvy person, and learning even the basic specs of audio recording was a huge struggle. When troubleshooting one of my first home-recorded books, I spent so much time on internet forums that my eyes dried out and I got a twitch. But there’s a lot of help available on the internet if you ask the right questions.
- A lot of narrators seem to have a background in theatre. Is that something you think is essential to a successful narration career?
- I think a theatre background is an excellent addition to any performance-based career. You simply won’t get the same depth from acting into a vacuum all the time. Speaking into a microphone feels like that to me — we are our own directors, coaches, and engineers.
- What type of training have you undergone?
- I studied with Paul Meier, one of the top dialect coaches in the world. I have a BA in theatre from the University of Kansas. And I’m always taking acting classes. Any serious actor should never stop learning and coaching.
- How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for narrating?
- Honestly, I get burned out vocally before mentally. I have to take breaks and rotate with other projects.
- Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
- Absolutely. I have to drive a lot, so I cycle between about a dozen audiobooks and podcasts at any given time.
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