New Beginnings for Joana Starnes

Hello everyone,

Precisely a month ago I published a post called “All Roads Lead to…” where Joana Starnes announced that she would soon share some news with you. We asked you to try to guess what could be under her sleeve, and many of you have guessed it! Joana Starnes has now released one of her books in audio format, and there is another one coming up really soon!

Today she returns to From Pemberley to Milton to explain to you how this project came to life, and she brings with her some gifts I believe you will appreciate 🙂

 

 

 

Thank you, Rita, for welcoming me here today to start the blog tour for the launch of my first audio-book, and extra-special thanks for all your help in making it happen! To me, this is a lovely story of JAFF friendships and I’d love to share it with your readers.

 

* * *

 

It all started a few months ago, when Rita asked me if I’d ever thought about releasing my books in Audio. My answer was that yes, over the last couple of years I had thought about it repeatedly, but never quite got round to do anything about it. There was always something else, some urgent deadline or some chatty and helpful muse putting her hand up to call for my undivided time and attention 🙂 .

Somehow, Rita’s question came at the best moment, when I was thinking it really was the time to do something about it. A long string of messages followed and she generously shared lots of tips on audio-books, for which I can’t thank her enough! I also can’t thank her enough for introducing me to the delightful world of Stevie Zimmerman’s narrations and for suggesting that I get in touch with Nicole Clarkston, whose books Stevie has narrated, and who might be able to advise me further.

“I’m sure Nicole wouldn’t mind giving you some tips,” Rita wrote in her message, “she is a wonderful wonderful person!”

At that time I hadn’t messaged much with Nicole. We ‘met’ on Rita’s blog and on Facebook now and then, but the main thing I knew was that I loved her books and that I couldn’t have enough of her Mr Darcy and her Mr Thornton. When I did get in touch I discovered that Rita was absolutely right! Nicole was wonderful beyond words and she generously shared her experience and advice.

So did Elizabeth Adams, just as generously and warmly. Those amazing ladies kindly guided me through the intricacies of releasing audio-books, and Nicole had the highest praise for Stevie Zimmerman, who had produced three of her novels in Audio.

I could easily understand why. When Rita first mentioned Stevie, whom she had interviewed a while ago, I looked for books narrated by her, listened to some audio samples – and fell in love. Stevie’s Elizabeth and Mr Darcy sounded just like the voices in my head! To say that her Mr Darcy is 100% swoon-worthy is a serious understatement. He’s in turns dreamy and softly-spoken – or his icy disdain cuts like a knife when some poor fool (like Mr Collins) managed to anger him. Elizabeth’s voice rings and shimmers like a bell and dear oh dear, you’ve got to hear Stevie’s Mrs Bennet and her Lady Catherine! Every character comes alive and speaks to you, enticing you further into the story.

Needless to say I was over the moon when Stevie agreed to produce some of my books. Working with her has been an absolute delight from start to finish, and it was such a joy to listen to my books read out by her as we were going through the approval process. If you follow the links you’ll see why.

 

The Falmouth Connection Audible version on Amazon.com

The Falmouth Connection Audible version on Amazon.co.uk

 

You can listen to ‘The Falmouth Connection’FREE with a 30-day Audible trial, or you can leave a comment for a chance to win one of the five audio codes included in the giveaway. ‘Mr Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter’ will also be available as an audio-book very soon, and some of my other books will eventually follow.

If you’re not too sure about audio-books and you prefer your Kindle, the giveaway also includes 2 e-copies of any of my books (and if you’re on Kindle Unlimited you can find three of them there: ‘Miss Darcy’s Companion’ ‘The Unthinkable Triangle’ and ‘The Falmouth Connection.’)

But I can’t help urging you to give audio-books a try. I used to think I’d rather devour a book at my own pace and flick real quick through those real or virtual pages, but a couple of long car-journeys changed all that. When you’re sorry you’ve reached your destination because the story isn’t over yet you’ll know that audio-books have totally become your cup of tea. Let Stevie Zimmerman keep you company on the journey and I think you’d be willing to drive for 12 hrs+, with the odd stop for snooze, snack or coffee. Or just close your eyes and journey with her to Cornwall from the comfort of your own living-room.

All the best, thanks for stopping by to read the post and thanks again Rita, Nicole, Elizabeth and Stevie for all your wonderful help!

 


 

And now, to celebrate this new beginning, Joana would like to offer five audio codes from The Falmouth Connection, plus 2 e-copies of any of her books. This means 7 lucky winners will be able to spend some time with Joana’s intense characters 🙂

To enter this giveaway please comment this post and let us know if you would prefer the audiobook or ebook. The giveaway is international and is open until the 5th of June.

If you don’t know which one of Joana’s books to choose, you can find the links to Amazon and to my reviews below:

From This Day Forward

Amazon.com

The Second Chance

Amazon.com

The Subsequent Proposal

Amazon.com    My Review

The Falmouth Connection

Amazon.com    My Review

The Unthinkable Triangle

Amazon.com    My Review

Miss Darcy’s Companion

Amazon.com    My Review

Mr. Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter

Amazon.com    My Review

.

Good Luck everyone!

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54 Comments

Filed under JAFF, Joana Starnes

54 responses to “New Beginnings for Joana Starnes

  1. Glynis

    Congratulations Joana. I know a lot of people have audio books and really enjoy them. I hope they do really well.
    What an amazing giveaway! I don’t have audio books but I would love an ebook of The Falmouth Connection as I have the paperback only.
    For the moment I prefer to read books at my own pace as I often flick back to ‘re read something.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Glynis! I know the feeling about flicking pages – I’m such a flicker too 🙂 But I was totally sold on audio books after a particularly memorable journey. I could have happily driven to Land’s End! All the best, thanks for the lovely wishes and have a really nice weekend!

      Like

  2. Congrats on the audio release, I’m so happy my guess was right. Thanks for this giveaway, if I should win I would prefer an ebook.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am fangirling so hard over here! Love love love Joana’s books, and I’m over the moon to see such a dynamic duo teaming up to make theses gorgeous audiobooks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fangirling right back, Nicole!! Love your takes on P&P and N&S. ‘Rumours’ was such fun and ‘The courtship’ sooo sweet! IMO your Margaret & John are even better than the originals and he’s totally swoon-worthy. Can’t wait for your next! And Stevie is – wow! Such a wonderful voice & style, and so much emotion! Perfection! Huge thanks again to you and Rita for introducing me to the magic of her audio-books!

      Like

  4. Sheila L. Majczan

    I have read and loved all of Joana’s books and posted reviews. I have listened to audio books while on long trips, even listening to a children’s book to keep my children from saying, “Are we there yet?” while traveling to Niagara Falls in Canada. Even my husband commented on enjoying the book I chose that time. I rarely listen to audio now that I am retired as I have also given up long distance driving. When we travel to visit grandchildren my husband usually as a sports event or talk show on. But I am sure if I won a chance here I would chose the audio as your endorsement of the voices by this reader make me curious to hear her. Thanks for the chance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks ever so much, Sheila, for all the wonderful reviews and the support you’ve so kindly given me and my books!

      Oh, the ‘Are we there yet?’ phase 😀 Sadly I haven’t thought about kiddies’ audio-books when we needed them most, so we had hours and hours of ‘The wheels on the bus go round and round….’ Still, it was fun to join in.

      So kind of you to stop by and leave this lovely message, much appreciated! Best of luck, I do hope you win and that you’ll like Stevie’s narration as much as I did. Take care and have a lovely weekend 🙂

      Like

  5. Congratulations Joana! I know some friends who like audio books but personally I don’t focus as well hearing than I do reading – I’m very much a visual/action learner. Thanks for the giveaway!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Priscilla! I know what you mean, about the visual part & focusing. I tend to read fast to see what’s happening next, so the audio helps me slow down and take it all in. Best of luck and thanks for stopping by!

      Like

  6. Congratulations, Joana! I love audio books! Thanks for the giveaway. I would prefer to have one of her e-books because I haven’t got all of them yet but I do have The Falmouth Connection.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pam Hunter

    Congratulations, Joana! The audiobook sounds wonderful! I’d love to win a copy, since I already have all of your lovely books on my kindle. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh, Joana! I’m thrilled to hear you are doing audiobooks! As you know, I adore your writing, your story-telling, well, everything your books, period! It’s the best news that you are now doing them in audio. I love listening when I draw so this gives me much to anticipate! I think Stevie is awesome too. This is quite a pairing! Congratulations on this new step forward!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks ever so much, Janet, for the wonderful support, you’re always so kind!! What a lovely image, you listening to audio-books as you create your gorgeous art. I didn’t know that, so glad I know now 🙂

      Oh, Stevie is truly awesome, isn’t she!! I’m over the moon to have them produced by her.

      Hugs and have a lovely weekend.

      Like

  9. Jami Dragan

    Joana! So pumped for this! You know you’re my absolutely fave, so I won’t wear you out with more of that, but I am truly excited for you! Five people are about to have their worlds rocked. If I’m one of them, so much the better! Would adore an audio book!!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Yay! A chance to win the giveaway for The Falmouth Connection audio book is amazing for me. Let me count the ways.
    1. The Falmouth Connection has been at the top of my to-read list for a while, because I read the synopsis and interview here on this blog and knew then that it had that hint of Gothic (they’re in Cornwall, so clIffs and coves and the sea) that I so love, and to have that injected into P&P sounds delicious.
    2. As some of you know, I can’t read ebooks because of my head and neck issues, so I prefer hard copies or audio books. And since I’m laid up in the hospital at present, I would love (LOVE) to raise my spirits by getting lost on the journey with Darcy and Elizabeth.
    3. I’ll finally be able to to click “read” instead of “wish to read” on Goodreads.
    4. It’s a book by Joanna Starnes.
    5. Also I think the name of the book sounds classic and intriguing. You can tell a lot about a book from its title and the cover, abd on both counts it’s a win.
    Really, really hoping to win The Falmouth Connection audio book. Fingers crossed.
    Apala

    Liked by 1 person

    • So sorry to hear you’re in hospital now, Apala!!! I hope you’re better soon. Thanks ever so much for taking the time to leave this wonderful message, much appreciated! I’m so happy that ‘Falmouth’ intrigued you and I hope you’ll like it 🙂

      All the best and get well soon. Hugs.
      Joana

      Like

  11. I already purchased the audiobook of The Falmouth Connection. It is next on my to be listened to list. I enjoy Stevie Zimmerman’s narrations. She makes you feel as if you are a fly on the wall listening to the scene. And The Falmouth Connection is now if my favorites. I also thought I would never like audio books but when my commute became 3x it’s original length I had become frustrated with the wasted reading time so I delves into audio books and love them when doing housework and gardening as well. So glad your books are being turned into audio books. Looking forward to the next released.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Debbie! Yes, I remember you saying a while back that you listen to JAFF audio-books on the long commute. So happy to know that ‘Falmouth’ is now keeping you company on the way. And what a wonderful way to make housework more fun 😀

      Hope you’re well. Take care, all the best and chat soon,
      Joana

      Like

  12. Leah Pruett

    I would love an ebook! I have never read the Subsequent Proposal. Would love a copy of that!!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Congratulations!
    denise

    Liked by 1 person

  14. What synchronicity! I *just* finished reading “The Falmouth Connection” today…reading on my breaks at work. Hated that I had to stop in the middle of the final boat scene and get back to work! But I finished it as soon as I got home. What a lovely, lovely read. I loved how in the beginning they each saw the same incidences in completely different ways! Lovely. Darcy…utterly swoonworthy! I would be willing to try an audiobook if I win!

    Liked by 1 person

    • What great timing! SO happy you liked it so much, missjamieann!! Oh, the early scenes, they were such fun to write. Poor, clueless Darcy, so full of himself 😀 . Thanks for stopping by to leave this wonderful comment and best of luck in the giveaway. If you liked the story, you’ll love Stevie’s narration! Take care and have a lovely weekend.

      Like

  15. Charlotte

    Would love the chance to read this ebook. I’m a little weird about a strangers voice reading a story. But I wish you all the best with it!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Rita – many congratulations on getting Joana to venture into audio publishing. Joana – well done on taking the plunge into a new format. You’ll always have a ready listener in me. Many’s the time I’ve been listening to one of my JAFF audios on the way to work and haven’t wanted to get out of the car when I got there. It even happens when I get back home, sometimes (yes really, even after a long, hard day), especially if I’ve reached a crucial stage in the plot.

    My history with audiobooks goes back a long way; back to the days of the cassette tape – remember those? We bought the first four Harry Potter books, narrated by Stephen Fry, for our son when he was a child. Like Sheila, we found that they were great for long car journeys and preventing the “Are we there yet?” question coming up too often. But cassette tapes break or get chewed by the tape machine eventually and the CD versions were really expensive, so it wasn’t until some years later, when I discovered Audible, that my real love affair with audiobooks blossomed. Firstly, it was all of my favourite sci-fi novels and the Sharpe series and then I stumbled upon Pamela Aidan’s Fitzwilliam Darcy: Gentleman trilogy.

    Now, the majority of my audio library consists of Austen/JAFF/N&S and I have all of Abigail Reynolds’, Maria Grace’s, Pam Dixon’s, Joy King’s, Jennifer Joy’s and Nicole’s books that are available in that format, plus of course all of Jane Austen’s own works – Juliet Stevenson does those particularly well. I’ve long been wishing that your books were available there too, Joana.

    Stevie Zimmerman is in my top three favourite historical fiction narrators (along with Pearl Hewitt and Elizabeth Klett) and she does male voices particularly well (John Thornton, Darcy) without sounding weird, which must be a challenge for a female narrator. To hear that you’ve teamed up with her to produce The Falmouth Connection is just fantastic news! It still remains one of my favourites, up there with The Unthinkable Triangle and Mr. Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter.

    I already have all of your books in ebook or paperback, or both, so to have a chance to win an audio of one of them is lovely, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sheila L. Majczan

      Anji, here is the states you can rent audio books from the library, both children’s and adults and you can make suggestions/requests for which books the library should buy. That is how I used to have audio cassettes for our trips. Maybe, I’ll bet they do, libraries in GB have the same.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Sheila. I know we can rent audiobooks on CD from the library over here, for a fee, and I have done in the past, but the state of them is sometimes quite appalling. I once rented Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows for a long car journey and one of the discs was so badly scratched that we couldn’t listen to it at all and the others in that set had sustained some damage, too. At least the library refunded me some of my rental fee, but not all of it! That’s why I now prefer my Audible subscription. I believe it’s possible to rent digital downloads now but I haven’t explore that avenue yet.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, Anji!!!!!! Thanks SO much for the wonderful message and all your support, you’re amazing!
      I know the feeling, not wanting to get out of the car when I get there, or when I get home 😀 . And so happy to hear you’re a Sharpe addict too!! We really have to find a way to meet and chat, by the sound of it we could go on for days.
      I’m so happy that Stevie is producing the audio-books, her Darcy & Thornton are out of this world, and SO glad that The Falmouth Connection, The Unthinkable Triangle & Dutiful Daughter are among your favourites. I hope you win a copy, Stevie’s narration is simply magical.
      All the best and have a lovely weekend.

      Like

  17. evamedmonds

    I have read and truly loved all of your books. I am trying to resume my daily walking and listen to audio books on my iphone. I would love, love to win a copy of The Falmouth Connection. I will feel like Elizabeth on her rambles as my feet hit the asphalt. Walking relieves stress for me. Thank you for this wonderful giveaway.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Isn’t that a great form of exercise, Eva? That, and Regency dancing 😀
      Thanks ever so much for the kind words about my books, it makes me so happy to hear you loved them! I hope you win, it would be wonderful to think that ‘Falmouth’ is keeping you company in your rambles and making you feel like Elizabeth Bennet.

      Like

  18. Audiobooks sound great for if you’re on the road. But I think that I wil miss actually reading a book myself, instead of listening to one. Therefor I’d love to be included for the ebook, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Congratulations Joanna on your new venue. Best Wishes. Jen Red

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Audrey Reed

    Congratulations! I love to listen to audio books once I have read it. I can listen while I work, walk, or work out and not worry about losing my place in the story. Best of luck! (and if I win, I would prefer the audio, I already own all the ebooks!)

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Mary

    Hi Rita and Joana,

    What a lovely post! 😌

    Isn’t it heartwarming to see what springs forth from a little encouragement from a dear and trusted friend??
    Amazing that we can now sit back and relax and let the dulcet tones of Stevie’s voice transform us into another world,inhabited by those characters we hold dear!!!

    Heartiest congrats,Joana,on this,your first audiobook!
    I know it will be just as well received as your paper/kindle versions,and may very well lead to legions of fans clamouring for more of the same,from both you and Stevie!

    I’ve read all Joana’s books,except for From This Day Forward,which,for some strange reason,has slipped through my reading net! (Note to self-this must be remedied in the very near future!).

    Needless to say I’ve loved each and every one and have posted my meandering thoughts on GR!!

    Thanks for the great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks ever so much, Mary, for the kind words, the wonderful support and the fabulous reviews!

      Oh yes, Rita’s encouragement made all the difference! If it wasn’t for her I’d still be thinking it would be nice to release my books in audio while doing precious little about it 🙂

      And wow, Stevie’s voice and her interpretation of characters, especially Elizabeth and Mr Darcy! Wonderful beyond words!! I’m so happy to hear you love her narrations too, they’re awesome! All the best and thanks again 🙂

      Like

  22. BeckyC

    Congratulations! What wonderful news. I have finally found the value of audio books and am thrilled your books will be available. I have read most of your books so would love a chance to win either the audiobook or the ebook.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. alp1788

    Congrats. I’ve just started listening to audiobooks and really enjoy hearing some of my favorite stories come to life.

    Like

  24. It’s so interesting to hear how you moved over to audio, Joana. And I’m so glad you did, because in recent times I have embraced audio reads too! I never thought I’d be able to manage them because I am quite distactable so reading a paper or ebook is good because it keeps my hands and eyes occupied! For this reason I never thought I’d manage an audio read. Anji’s praise for audio in conjunction with a lack of reading time encouraged me to try them, and now I have audio books in the car on my commute, with headphones if I go for a walk at lunchtime, and when doing chores at home. I am converted, and in fact, I have read more in audio than in text this year. The only thing I struggle with is the confidence to listen to a new book in audio rather than a reread, as I am not giving my full concentration to the book. I am looking forward to revisiting Falmouth, and listening to Stevie’s narration, because I have heard such high praise of her work.

    Please don’t enter me for the lovely giveaway, Rita because I am a lucky person who already has all the prizes!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve only recently discovered the joy of audiobooks too, Ceri, and wish I discovered it sooner! Reading with your ears – such a perfect turn of phrase! I’ve learned it yesterday from Claudine and loved it. All those times when we can’t read the old-fashioned way – audiobooks are the perfect answer and it’s great! I end up wishing long journeys were even longer, all those jobs around the house might actually get done and exercise becomes a treat rather than a chore. So glad you’ve become such a fan of reading with your ears and I hope you’ll love Stevie’s style as much as I do. Have a really good week and thanks for this lovely message and all your support!

      Like

  25. KateB

    Joana, congratulations on the release of your first audiobook. 🙂 And with Stevie, no less. Rita, big hugs for bringing Joana on board, I was hoping she would do that.
    Thanks for the giveaway, ladies. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Kate!! I’m ever so grateful to those awesome ladies and so lucky to know them! Rita, Nicole, Elizabeth and Stevie, THANK YOU, you rock!!
      Good luck, Kate, I hope you win and have fun with the virtual trip to Cornwall. Take care and all the best!

      Like

  26. Kim P.

    How exciting! I’m not one to choose audio over print but you might just change my mind. Still, I think I’d prefer an Ebook since I still haven’t read Mr. Bennet’s Dutiful Daughter or Miss Darcy’s Companion and they’ve been on my list for ages. Thanks for the giveaway and congrats on your new venture.

    Like

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