Author: Diane Moat
Narrator: Barbara Goldie
Series: The Magic Thief, Book One
Length: 4 hours 3 minutes
Publisher: Diane Moat
Released: Aug. 3, 2017
Genre: Middle-Grade Fantasy
Every animal can talk to you. You just have to know how to listen.
Pepper Neely is better at this than most, especially because she is in charge of pet sitting all the familiars in her neighborhood. A familiar is a pet magically linked to a witch or warlock. As a gnome, Pepper is no stranger to spells and sorcery. She also knows that, despite their special name, familiars aren’t all that different from regular animals. They get anxious when separated from their people, so Pepper uses her special gnome powers to calm them down. She watches Cranky the high-strung ferret, Frank the laid-back parrot, King Arthur the elderly tortoise, and many others.
Then, something terrible begins happening to the familiars. Someone is stealing their magic! It not only prevents Pepper from communicating with them but breaks their magical connection with their people. When King Arthur’s magic is stolen, his owner’s powers stop working too. Pepper can sense that the tortoise is very scared.
In order to protect the animal’s magic, Pepper decides to track down the culprit. With the help of her best friend, Luna, and her brother, Jax, Pepper fights to protect all of the special pets.
Diane Moat lives in Tennessee and works as a nurse and legal professional. When not at work, she fosters Chihuahuas. Her six rescues inspired her to write The Supernatural Pet Sitter children’s series, which features a gnome who can communicate with animals.
Barbara Goldie grew up in Northern Kentucky, and then moved to Texas for several years, before deciding to pursue her dreams and follow her heart to the other side of this great planet we call Earth! Now living in Auckland, New Zealand, she is married to her soulmate and is loving her new life. Already a very devoted full-time voice actress, she has just recently started adding audiobooks to her resume of voiceover projects.
Walking downstairs now, Pepper thought about the rest of the story. Several local witches had gathered to figure out how the magic vanished. No one could explain why (or how) Frank’s magic had disappeared. Luna said later that something like this had never happened before. At first, the witches considered some mysterious virus, but that idea died down after weeks went by without another incident. Until now.
To be anything supernatural would be exciting, terrifying, and completely new! If you were born with it, it may not feel like such an incredible thing…but what if someone was taking it away? Would you reevaluate what you’ve been given? Would you want it gone? Most importantly, when someone tells you not to go searching out trouble on your own—would you listen? Pepper and Luna are the best of friends, a gnome and a witch—a friendship that is frowned upon by both communities. Can both girls figure out what is happening with their magic before they get into a lot of trouble for working together against their parents’ wishes?
Pepper is magic-born because a gnome will always have the capability of using magic. A witch on the other hand, is not magic-born—instead, they learn to channel magic from an early age through spells. Pepper gets a pet-sitting job in the neighborhood and learns that she can understand the familiars that she takes care of. A familiar is a magic pet of sorts, one that guides witches and warlocks. Pepper and Luna start feeling like they are being watched after a few of the familiars suddenly lose their magic. When that starts happening, not only do the familiars no longer have magic, but their owners lose theirs as well. After visiting with a few of her regulars, Pepper begins to figure out that someone may be steeling their magic, but who would want to hurt them by doing that?
Moat has a superb story-line and exceptional character development. All of her characters are fun and entertaining with personalities that are enigmatic. This review is complimenting the audiobook. The pace was absolutely terrific; it was fast-paced and the narrator was highly entertaining. She changed pitch and vocalization for every character and added sounds for special effect. Goldie’s representation of each character seemed to be spot-on! If you are a reader of paranormal mystery and middle grade fantasy, you may want to pick this one up. Since this is the first installment in the Supernatural Pet Sitter series, the reader can jump right in.
A copy of this audiobook was provided to Turning Another Page by 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 The Magic Thief by Diane Moat, narrated by Barbara Goldie.
Q&A with Author Diane Moat
- Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook. I researched ACX, and found good reviews for them. When I posted for applicants through ACX, on a lark, I had a dozen great voices with 15 minute trials posted within a day. It was actually the applicants who helped me learn what I needed. It became obvious who had the correct experience and equipment, and I was very lucky to find a great person who has narrated many books previously. We talked through what was needed and voila!
- Do you believe certain types of writing translate better into audiobook format? Adventures and suspense, definitely!
- Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing? No, but it is now something I am thinking about as I write the third installment of this series.
- How did you select your narrator? ACX allows you to have multiple applicants, who all leave a 15 minute reading of the book. I loved how this narrator portrayed my main character.
- How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? We talked a bit after the 15 minute application, and otherwise the narrator has done great without a lot of direction. Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters? There were a few location and character names I had pronounced a certain way in my head, and we discussed that.
- Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing? When I was twelve, my grandfather died, which devastated me. I spent the summer at the library, living through books. I want to give kids who need an escape (or who are just bored) that same chance.
- How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing? After each book I give myself a month of not writing (even notes) at all. By the end of the month I am usually chomping at the bit to write something – anything!
- Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you? Yes, I love listening to audiobooks as I am driving/travelling. It makes the time pass much more quickly.
- Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format? I feel as if you might miss something in a book format, and it feels as if you “catch” a lot more with an audiobook.
- What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”? I would say they haven’t really tried it. If they have really tried several genres and still believe that, then that’s okay, but they shouldn’t look down on people who love audiobooks.
- How did you celebrate after finishing this novel? Pizza with my Chihuahuas.
- What gets you out of a writing slump? What about a reading slump? I do a lot of dog rescue. For either slump, I get out and volunteer. There is something about helping others (especially dogs) which clears out my head and let’s me get focused.
- In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of writing a stand-alone novel vs. writing a series? Good question, I am struggling with that right now. A series is a lot more pressure. You need to be consistent with your characters and storyline. A series gives you more time to develop your story, with layers over time. A stand-alone novel though, lets you wrap everything up at once.
- What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors? Start somewhere, then try again and don’t give up. With all the ‘free’ advice out there, you don’t need training or classes to write.
- What’s next for you? I would like to have book #2 of The Supernatural Pet Sitter also turned into an audiobook.
with Author Diane Moat
- Waffle fries or curly fries? Curly fries
- GIF with a hard g or soft g? Soft
- Fantasy or science-fiction? Fantasy
- Superman or Batman? Batman
- Text message or call? It depends on if we are friends. Friends call.
- Pancakes or waffles? Pancakes
- Doctor Who or the Walking Dead? Walking Dead
- TV Shows or movies? TV shows
- Facebook or Twitter? Facebook
- Alice in Wonderland or Robinson Crusoe? Robinson Crusoe
- Being too warm or too cold? Too cold
- Netflix or Hulu? Netflix
- Work Hard or Play Hard? Work hard
- Passenger or Driver? Driver!!
- Amusement Park or Day at the Beach? Beach
- Honesty or Other’s Feelings? Honesty
- Movie at Home or Movie at the Theater? Home
- ➜Sign up as a host here