Guest post by Kae Denino, narrator of the Dreamland audiobook

Today we have a guest post by Kae Denino, the wonderful narrator who did such a fantastic job with my audiobook. I’ve learned some things I didn’t know about her either! Thank you, Kae!

You can read my posts about my audiobook journey here:

My audiobook journey, part one
My audiobook journey, part two


So, I’m a voice actor. I came to this life after many other jobs, because this is the simplest thing I can do—just talk, just be a voice for someone else. I’ve been a cook, a farmer, a teacher, a probation officer and in my heart and my life I have fought for freedom for many years, including starting a business for survivors of sex trafficking, so they can learn to be in the legal workforce.

But the talking is the thing I do now, because I am a single mama raising twins in middle America, and that takes my whole soul to do well.  It’s probably not wise to get wildly political here, but America is in a hefty spot of trouble, there’s hate and fear buzzing around, so people who propagate love and kindness have our work laid out for us. So I am raising two shining lights of compassion, humor and acceptance.

Every day I audition for work, and do work on commercials, e-learning videos, video games, voice mail systems and of course audiobooks. I’m just starting to narrate a book called The Loudest Meow that features a dozen cats! I stop working when the children come home or I’m too tired to press correct buttons in my studio.


This is a selfie in my studio.

Dreamland is the best book I ever got to narrate, thus far. I am grateful for my silly romance novels and really love my sweet children’s stories, especially the Pack-n-Go Girls series, which is about little girls having international adventures, the kind of book I loved as a child.

But Dreamland is a different kind of dragon, one that refuses to be funneled into the realm of simplified morality tales or excesses of drama. The characters are smart, thoughtful and focused. They stick to their goals and show great vulnerability, which may be the only real way to stick to one’s goals. When struck or scared they scream. Nobody keeps it in, develops resentments, talks out of both sides of their mouths. They leave their comfort zones, rely on kindness and refuse to give up.

Dreamland audiobook cover

Narrating this book was like having a ticket to Dreamland. I got lost in the carnival, on the dragon’s back, swooping over the villages. I wanted the cavemen to show up at the end—it would have been great to see them vs. Stregona, vs. Fear and Death.

On a very basic level, I had all manner of technical worries when I was narrating it, and in some awful way I found myself working on it with three other books simultaneously and a cat who almost died of cancer and ate up our entire savings account. She is fine, thank you. But I could not concentrate on this book the way I wanted to. I hope I did well by it, and I certainly learned a lot.

Here are a few links to some media about my work. If you want to learn about voiceover work or fighting slavery, please just holler! I sure love both.



My audiobook journey, part two

Back in July, I wrote part one of my journey into creating an audiobook version of my children’s book, Dreamland, written under the pen name, Julia E. Clements. It’s taken a while, but here’s part two!

Kae Denino, my narrator, worked hard on the audiobook over the summer. We spoke a couple of times on Skype, and she told me how hot her recording studio gets – obviously there’s no air con or even a fan in there, and it’s very tiny!

She uploaded each chapter to Findaway as she finished it, so I could listen and point out any errors, missing words, etc. And here’s where the problems started. Without going into too much detail, there were some technical problems which meant the files had a lot of errors that needed correcting. I had to listen to each file several times, write a note with the times the errors occurred, then listen to the updated file again to make sure the errors had been corrected.

We spent a lot of time going backwards and forwards over the files – I listened to each one so many times that I knew them off by heart! One chapter had so many problems it had to be re-recorded. I’d like to point out that none of this was Kae’s fault, and she was as upset about it as I was.

Eventually, Kae managed to sort everything out. I had one last listen to all the files, just to make sure, then I could finally click the ‘approve’ button. By then it was the end of September! The audiobook started uploading to all the online retailers and libraries, and now it’s available everywhere. The links are below.

Dreamland audiobook cover

Even though it was a long, frustrating journey, I’m really pleased with the end product. Kae is a fantastic narrator, and came up with lots of different voices for all the different characters. She throws herself into each part and narrates with energy, which comes across in the recording.

Tomorrow there’ll be a guest post from Kae Denino, the narrator of Dreamland, where she talks about her work and her experiences narrating my book. Don’t miss it!

Links for the audiobook version of Dreamland:


If your library uses Bibliotheca, Odilo, Overdrive, or hoopla you can
now borrow Dreamland and listen to the audiobook completely free.

#BookReview for Mavis and Dot by Angela Petch

My review for Mavis and Dot by Angela Petch, 5/5 stars.

I loved this book so much! Mavis and Dot are complete opposites, but so alike in their quirky ways and outspoken points of view. Mavis is wonderful, open to trying out new things (and men!) but always ending up in hilarious situations. Dot is more reserved, but as we find out more about her past, she worms her way into your heart.

The author has also created some fantastic secondary characters, who are a colourful accompaniment to Mavis and Dot. From a family of immigrants to Mal the dog, they will work their way into your heart and become good friends.

The story makes you laugh out loud at the characters’ antics and feel their pain as they reveal past events, carrying you along to the end and leaving you wanting more. I highly recommend this book, and I can’t wait for more adventures with Mavis and Dot!

The book is also set near to where I used to live in the UK, which made it extra special for me, and Mavis and Dot also take a trip to Tuscany, with hilarious results. I live in Italy, and Angela is spot on with her observations of Italian life!

Angela wrote Mavis and Dot in memory of a dear friend who passed away from cancer recently, and all proceeds will go to cancer research. So, not only do you get to read a wonderful book, but your money also goes towards this worthy cause. 

Amazon US

Amazon UK

#BookReview for The Roland Sink Hour by Brian O’Gorman

My review for The Roland Sink Hour by Brian O’Gorman, 5/5 stars.

I’ve read several of Brian O’Gorman’s books, and he’s an expert at creating in-depth characters and intriguing stories. This book is no different!

When Matty and his wife start having problems, he thinks it would be a great idea to go on the Roland Sink show and try to solve their problems on air. Obviously, things don’t go as he planned, and the reader gets to witness Matty’s spectacular downfall into the depths of misery.

We also find out about Roland Sink, and how he got to become a national TV star with his daytime show (think of a Jeremy Kyle-type program!). Again, the reader becomes embroiled in his rise from nerdy teenager to TV star.

A great read, with a solid ending, that delves into the fragility of human relationships and makes you aware of how easily this could happen to anyone.

I gave it 5/5 stars for the great story, even though there are a few typos – but I’ve seen that the author is sorting those out. They definitely don’t detract from your enjoyment of the story, so it’s still a top read for me!

Amazon US
Amazon UK

#BookReview for Kids Who Kill: Eric Smith, Book 2, by Kathryn McMaster

My review for Kids Who Kill: Eric Smith by Kathryn McMaster, 5/5 stars.

This is the second book in Kathryn McMaster’s series (you can see my review for the first book here). Although the subject matter is unpleasant, the stories are so well written that they draw you in and keep you turning the pages.

While the first book concentrated more on the aftermath and the effect on both the victim’s and the murderer’s families, this book goes into more detail on the actual crime and sets the scene beforehand.

As usual, McMaster gives a completely neutral point of view, relaying the facts in a way that is easy to read and understand, while leaving the reader to make up their mind. Although it is not a question of whether Eric Smith murdered his victim but whether the court was right to try and convict him as an adult, rather than a juvenile.

This is a well-written series that keeps you glued to the pages right from the start, and I look forward to reading the next one.

Amazon US
Amazon UK

Free middle-grade ebooks!

Eleven children’s authors have got together, and are giving away their books for free via Bookfunnel until the 7th November. So why not go and check them out, you could find your child’s favourite new book (and you might enjoy reading them too!).

Click here to see them all.



#BookReview for Kids Who Kill: Joshua Phillips by Kathryn McMaster

My review for Kids Who Kill: Joshua Phillips by Kathryn McMaster, 5/5 stars.

Despite the subject matter, I found this a very interesting read. The author has taken the facts and laid them out in this book so that the reader can make up their own mind. She takes on the role of neutral spectator and presents the events in the present tense, as if they were happening now.

As well as talking about the murder and the murderer, she also gives both mothers’ stories after the awful events, and shows how their lives have changed since. The story is told from all points of view, in a way that makes you feel compassionate for everyone who suffered from this terrible crime.

The book isn’t about whether Joshua is guilty or innocent – he committed murder. He killed an 8-year-old girl and hid her body under his bed for a week, until his mother found it. Instead, it concentrates on how the police and courts carried out their investigations and trials, and whether his sentence was justified or not. The reader is left to decide for themselves, and I’m sure the book will evoke different reactions in every reader.

There are more books in the series, which I look forward to reading! I’ve just finished an ARC of the next book, and it’s even better!

Amazon US
Amazon UK

#BookReview for Time Shifters: A Long Way From Home by Kate Frost

My review for Time Shifters: A Long Way From Home (Book 2) by Kate Frost, 5/5 stars.

Having read the first book, I was delighted to get an ARC of book 2 in the Time Shifters series. I was intrigued to see where the story was going, and what would happen next to Danny, Maisie and Lizzie.

I wasn’t disappointed. I was hooked within the first few pages, as Danny and Maisie discover that Lizzie has gone missing and decide to travel in time to find her. Their first adventure begins in ancient Rome, and the author describes the setting so well that you can believe they’re actually there!

A crazy adventure of travelling backwards and forwards in time ensues, taking Danny and Maisie from ancient Rome to the future, while meeting some old friends along the way. There’s a bit of a twist towards the end, when they find out that one of them is not what they seem!

Without giving away any spoilers, this a fun, exciting adventure story for older children and young adults that will take them on a journey through history and ignite their imagination! I highly recommend both books.

Amazon US
Amazon UK

This is my review for Time Shifters: Into the Past (Book 1), again 5/5 stars!

A great book for children and adults alike! I loved the relationship between Maisie and Lizzie – sworn enemies at school, they have no option but to try and get along when they are thrown back in time to the 1400s and have to find Danny.

They find themselves in an unknown world, being chased by time shifters who are determined to catch them. The story keeps you turning the pages as they travel to different time periods, fighting to survive and find their way home.

The book doesn’t end on a cliff hanger, and I’m interested to see where they will go on their next adventure!


Newsletters are a great way for authors and their readers to get to know each other better. We, the authors, can write about little snippets of our lives, or about our writing process, or even about our life failures, that we wouldn’t necessarily write about anywhere else, and you, the readers, can ask questions about our books, lifestyles, or anything really (within reason!).

I’ve now created two newsletters for my different author names, Helen Pryke and Julia E. Clements, where I’ll tell you what it’s really like to live in Italy, give you some behind the scenes info about my books and writing, and let you know if there are any great offers on books I’ve read and enjoyed in the same genre.

As you can see from the photo, if you sign up to the newsletter for Helen Pryke within the 31st October, you’ll be entered in a prize draw for paperback copies of both The Healer’s Secret and The Dragonfly Grove! But don’t worry, if you miss the deadline or don’t win, there’ll be more giveaways in the future.

If you sign up to the newsletter for Julia E. Clements, you’ll get a free ebook of Dreamland, which you can download after subscribing. Again, I’ll give some fun facts about my children’s books, what inspires me to write, and promos on other children’s books.

You won’t get inundated with newsletters – I’ll only send them out about once a month or so, unless I have some really exciting news to share! This is a) because I’m lazy, and b) because I have so many books I still need to write!!

You can sign up for Helen Pryke here.

And for Julia E. Clements here.

I look forward to hearing from you soon!


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