Audiobook Review | “Halfway Dead: Halfway Witchy, No.1” by Terry Maggert, narrated by Erin Spencer

Posted Wednesday, 11 January, 2017 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Digital Audiobook by: I am a new blog tour hostess with Audiobookworm Promotions wherein I have the opportunity to receive audiobooks for review or adoption (reviews outside of organised blog tours) and host guest features on behalf of authors and narrators alike. I started hosting for Audiobookworm Promotions at the end of [2016] during “The Cryptic Lines” tour wherein I became quite happily surprised how much I am now keen on listening to books in lieu of reading them in print. My journey into audiobooks was prompted by a return of my chronic migraines wherein I want to offset my readings with listening to the audio versions.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “Halfway Dead” via the publicist at Audiobookworm Promotions (of whom was working directly with the author Terry Maggert) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I am so wicked happy about tucking into a Paranormal Suspense:

I have the tendency to appreciate certain Paranormal Suspense, Mystery and Thrillers which are just this side of Cosy Horror but occasionally push the envelope to take me straight out of my personal comfort zones. This began when I was a teenager who would try to blink away the grittier scenes attached to The X-Files, smiled at the irony of enjoying Buffy the Vampire Slayer and happily enjoyed most of the Charmed series before the serial took off into a tangent of nonsense that truly was utterly pointless.

As a reader, it’s quite a hard needle to thread – which Paranormal novelists are curating stories I can handle or even find  pleasure in reading when my bookish heart is quite sensitive to most overtly horrific and grisly scenes too oft found inside the genre itself!? This is why I have the tendency to lean more towards PNR (or Paranormal Romance) but even then, I am quite particularly particular; seeking out the stories where the relationships and the paranormal elements can walk hand in hand without giving me that jolt of something quite horrific or a nightmaric ghoulish feast that would leave me wrecked for dreamscapes afterwards.

The balance of course, is one part world-building to where setting, texture and sound of a narrative can fully immerse me into an ‘other place’ for the spell I send inside it but not overtly dark or without light, because I am not entirely the kind of reader who can cosy up into a Dystopian-esque world either. I like sophisticated layers and humour that is not in the gutter whilst the scenes where something quite fowl takes place can have the ability to pull-back and off-set the reality of that moment with either compassion, mercy or a somberness that befits the scene. Strong characters and a cheeky inclusion of wit or banterment would be most ideal; but I also, happen to love the ‘unexpected’. The moments you cannot foresee coming ahead of time and how the psychological suspenseful bits also can encourage you to get properly lost in the story.

Whatever it is I’m seeking as it depends on the sub-genre, the premise and the overall conjecture of what a story could elude to including – I like to seek out unique voices in fiction. I prefer to find the writers who have something intrinsically their own and a way of crafting a story that is both informative (for whichever sub-focus they include) and wicked entertaining on the other end! I like to rally behind characters who are in the middle of their journey and of whom interact with an eclectic supporting cast of people or creatures you might never suspect would become such a crucial point of the story itself.

Thus, I decided to take a chance on the Halfway Witchy series; as the author originally found me on Twitter whilst he was promoting another novel of his (Heartborn) which I was on the fence about for nearly the duration of it’s blog tour. It was only after following the tour route and reading a few incredibly personal reviews of it’s contents, I realised I was most intrigued by this author! I ended up adopting a copy of the audiobook (of which I will be featuring in a few short weeks) for review consideration and found myself pulled into the orbit of this universe – the Witchy world of Carlie.

I originally began listening to this audiobook soon after I received it and a few moments whilst my Dad was first brought home recovering from his stroke. As I mentioned on Twitter to the author, finding this series was a lovely blessing of joy; and as I move through the series, I look forward to exploring what I like about this curious section of literature which continues to draw my eye. As sometimes what appeals to me to read (or listen too) isn’t quite what you might think would be on my palette of stories but has something contained within it’s chapters that is wholly original and happily consumed. Sometimes we all have to embrace our quirky natures and as readers, I think we’re naturally quirky!

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Audiobook Review | “Halfway Dead: Halfway Witchy, No.1” by Terry Maggert, narrated by Erin SpencerHalfway Dead
Subtitle: Come for the waffles, stay for the magic
by Terry Maggert
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Erin Spencer

Carlie McEwan loves many things. She loves being a witch. She loves her town of Halfway, NY - a tourist destination nestled on the shores of an Adirondack lake. Carlie loves her enormous familiar, Gus, who is 25 pounds of judgmental Maine Coon cat, and she positively worships her grandmother, a witch of incredible power and wisdom. Carlie spends her days cooking at the finest - and only - real diner in town, and her life is a balance between magic and the mundane, just as she likes it.

When a blond stranger sits at the diner counter and calls her by name, that balance is gone. Major Pickford asks Carlie to lead him into the deepest shadows of the forest to find a mythical circle of chestnut trees, thought lost to forever to mankind. There are ghosts in the forest, and one of them cries out to Carlie across the years. Come find me.

Danger, like the shadowed pools of the forest, can run deep. The danger is real, but Carlie's magic is born of a pure spirit. With the help of Gus, and Gran, and a rugged cop who really does want to save the world, she'll fight to bring a ghost home, and deliver justice to a murderer who hides in the cool, mysterious green of a forest gone mad with magic.

Genres: Cosy Horror, Ghost Story, Sci-Fantasy, YA Fantasy, YA Paranormal Suspense, Young Adult Fiction

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing


Also by this author: Halfway Bitten, Heartborn, , Halfway Hunted

Also in this series: Halfway Bitten, Halfway Hunted

Published by Terry Maggert

on 7th August, 2015

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 7 hours and 15 minutes (unabridged)

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the halfway witchy series:

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A photo posted by Terry Maggert (@terrymaggert) on

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About Terry Maggert

Terry Maggert

Left-handed. Father of an apparent nudist. Husband to a half-Norwegian. Herder of cats and dogs. Lover of pie. I write books. I've had an unhealthy fascination with dragons since the age of-- well, for a while. Native Floridian. Current Tennessean. Location subject to change based on insurrection, upheaval, or availability of coffee. Nine books and counting, with no end in sight. You've been warned.

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A witch called carlie:

Carlie has a spontaneous method of twisting the details of her life through a thread of humourous wit which takes you on this beautiful ride through her everyday hours with such a tenacious focus on the smaller details, you can honestly feel you’ve breathed in every ounce of experience Carlie has experienced herself on a molecular level! She’s fiercely independent but maintains she still has quite a bit to learn (especially when it comes to White Magic) but part of her ease with talking aloud her thoughts and her innermost pensive curiosities made me think back rather fondly on Willow (from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, tv series) before she met Anna. This is the impressionable Willow who at her heart, dearly cared for people in her fold and wanted to understand everything she could about where she lived and how things that did not belong in that environ could be dealt with a strong hand. Although Willow had to go through a period of growth to gain her bold self-confidence and self-advocacy; this is something Carlie has tenfold already in her soul. Carlie just takes a firm step into her days with the frame of mind nothing can happen to her or around her that she will not be able to deal with – therefore, come what may, she’ll be well armed (and ready!) Except to say, she does have a vulnerable side to her – one that she doesn’t not easily vocalise or want to be observed.

My favourite personal disclosure of Carlie’s life is how she talks about her ‘familiar’ – the ever-present Coon (Maine Coon) cat (Gus) whose girth (all 25 pounds of him!) doesn’t quite yield to his personality but does hint towards how his presence can never be ignored (nor should it!). Her cat, like most of us who have companions of fur in our lives, find we are never quite the ‘residents’ of our abodes but rather the roommates of the cats who happily allow us to reside ‘with them’ rather than the reverse which you might originally feel should be the logical truth! As Carlie happily discloses, when it comes to cats, nothing is what is appears nor can a cat honestly explain it’s habitual habits which might appear contrary to their orderly lives.

Carlie also has the voice of a girl whose at that intersection of girlhood and womanhood; where each day she’s alive is a day spent learning to grow more comfortable in her own skin. I think this is why she has such an openness about her – of letting in others – if only in this auditory journal to count the moments and relive her memories of what was experienced. This is the best way I can describe it –  you feel like you’ve suddenly become privy to the private journals of a girl you haven’t yet met but of whom, you have become quite addicted to ‘listening too’ as you gleam more about how her slightly charmed life is not without it’s heartaches and adverse circumstances.

Her parents are quite eccentric if you consider they paint with oil and mail their daughter their artwork which is only painted when they are against their wits end. They paint to resolve their rows and arguments; to use the therapy art provides and to unnecessary subject their daughter Carlie to the product of these curious painting sessions whose quite literally curating the most unravelled art collection of mismatched art yet has it’s own quirky cohesive style about it. They were older parents who had to resolve their only daughter felt naturally akin to being a cook who wanted to follow her grandmother into the white arts of magical intervention.

Carlie has a keen observational instinct about her – her eyes are constantly attune to the goings-on others might disassociate from if they realised what they were observing, but when it comes to death or peculiarly difficult things to explain – Carlie was in her element. This was first observed when she took care of the small matter in the woods about that creature and his girlfriend who simply could not stay as they were but secondly was brought to fuller scope when she saw a man who had dropped dead quite out of the blue a stone’s throw from the windows of the diner; here we see the maturity of Carlie’s years.

my review of halfway dead:

You immediately warm to Carlie – her charm is her forthright attitude where conjectured insight into her hometown and the area in which she calls home is slightly more ‘quirky’ than she is herself! For instance, your senses overtake the setting on sight – this is a cold (by temperature) environ which could be seen as ‘off-putting’ to others but to Carlie, it’s more than just the place she’s chosen to lay her hat, it’s her ‘home’. Home to Carlie isn’t just where you feel comfortable or where you can score a wicked awesome job at the local diner a stone’s throw from your residence (not only saving on petrol but medically speaking, her digits are never in danger of frost bite!) wherein you never quite feel as if the stark contrast of the natural world is inhibiting your prospects. Not that Carlie is shy when it comes to nature; if anything, she finds solace inside the hidden realms of where forest and stream meet the sky and cast untold amounts of wisdom into the whispering quiet hum of the natural order bubbling to life all round her whilst crossing her path with a lightness not found amongst urbanites.

Her open honesty about her unconventional life is refreshingly brilliant to see captured in a Young Adult story with a heroine who embraces her moxie and chooses to find a stitching of nonchalant monologue where she encourages you to listen to her tale(s) with an open mind and an imagination to knit out the rounding of the fantastical which just happen to be her mainstay of peculiar ‘happenings’.

You have to love a character who loves her career path – being a chef at a diner in a towne called Halfway is actually quite the quintessential hob of activity to be centred! Carlie has a way of putting you at ease – she presents her history as a witch with a flipbook of historical facts about her family; stemming out of her memories of her grandmother’s teachings and insightful takeaways of experience which still even at this junction in her life are incredibly useful to her everyday escapades.

Carlie lives in the kind of towne whose open to new foodie delights – where if you can pull together a recipe full of exotic and otherwise ‘outside’ sourced ingredients, wherein the clientele who frequent such a diner would pull together for the ride of intergastronic adventures! This is of course if you could handle the fact that the menu isn’t ever quite as prepared as traditional establishments; after all it takes Carlie a bit of time to find the creative muse which alights the ingredients inside her mind and then, after a bit more time, she pulls the recipe together to where it could be considered edible. Although, the way in which she laments over her baker’s concoctions is easily relatable – as how dearly delish is a baked surprise to someone who appreciates the sweetness of life and the curiously portable vessel of comfort? Listening to Ms Spencer describe Carlie’s passions – from food to magic to her community is a beautiful expose of Carlie’s soul streaming straight out of the imaginative mind of her author, Mr Maggert!

Carlie has a deep wisdom inside her bones; it expands past her youthful age and it hones in on the path of maturity all parents and grandparents would hope their children would one day embrace. She has such a depth of capacity to understand the harder lessons of life past where others would like to admit, she’s on a stronger path than they are as not everyone can give mercy in the presence of evil. Carlie is closely attuned to her walk of faith as well – she never hesitates to pray or to pause over quiet reflection on behalf of a life suddenly lost. Either in her line of work or randomly, as sometimes the dead cross her path as easily as the waffles she stacks to give one of her regulars a sugary smile of joy.

Her calm manner of processing the fuller picture of what is effecting her immediate danger and of what she needs to do to crossect the evil that has descended into her mountainous forest is what gives her a heroine’s edge. Her schooling was directed by her grandmother and the friendship of Gus (her constant companion in fur) is what first safeguarded her heart and her spirit to endure what was to yet come; events that would reshape how she thought about the world and about life in general. You cannot effectively change the course of the imbalance between good and evil and not have remnants of it’s ripples not affect you on a personal level.

Carlie remains true to herself, even when there are magical elements attempting to dig their nails into her barrier of protection; as all witches have their own unique way of making sure they are protected against unseen forces attempting to sway them off their path. There are happy diversions knitted into the background and just ahead of the suspenseful adventure where Carlie has to trust her instincts and take on obstacles that may or may not feel survivable.

There’s the package delivery lady (Tammy) who delivers her parcels with a perkily joyful mannerism which sparks a willing likeability and a cheerfulness of how mail can truly bring a burst of happiness into your life. Pat – the waitress whose lingo was diner-coded, was just as spunky as Carlie and an equal match of living an unconventional life. For a small towne, the diner was quickly becoming the place creative souls ended up finding each other and finding a symmetrical harmony in which to co-exist and co-run a place that can easily be sold out of anything placed on a plate! And, there is this questionable identity about a foodie whom is only known as Anna – which makes you notice how recognisable the cross-cultural way in which food can relate to us all can unite us moreso than it can divide.

And, yet this is only the top layers of the story’s heart and the spirit of the Halfway Witchy series; the underscored meditative repose on conservation and preservation of natural resources is just as important as the mandates of large corporate entities who seek to expand their bottom-line whilst forsaking more of the natural world. The natural environments are so very fragile in our high technologic society that for each person willing to risk it’s harmonic balance is placing their own life at risk or their descendants as everything is interconnected. At the forefront of this soliloquy is the case for trees and the preservation of forests – a key issue for today’s world – you can look to many Earth watch groups and organisations attempting to save the natural forests and cut back on deforestation, natural gas harvesting and other components of destruction that are directly impacting our forests which in effect are compromising our oxygen and other imperative resources.

The way in which Mr Maggert approaches all of this is with sensitivity and compassion; he presents both sides and let’s the reader make up their own mind about what they want to takeaway from the novel. Like most Young Adult novelists I have come to appreciate finding (and he is now amongst them!) – they stitch into the fabric of their stories life lessons, cautionary insight and a global conscience of time-sensitive realities to help ensure that all future and current generations are armed with knowledge and insight into what could theoretically impact their daily lives. Either on a quasi personal level or on an intuitively observational level – however which the reader chooses to consume the information provided, it will be a stepping stone towards unveiling the larger picture.

In many ways, this is why Children’s Lit across the spectrum (i.e. Picture Books, Chapter Books, Juvenile Fiction and YA) play such an important role in endeavouring to give children and teens a measure of a breath of what is currently affecting our world. It leads to empathy but also to understanding; if the conversations are not broached at home or in school, there are stories that can encourage a mind to open to a concept not yet introduced. In this, Maggert excells and it was a true pleasure to watch how he enticed young readers who are mature enough to embrace a slightly Upper YA Paranormal Suspense novel to broaden their horizons whilst everything is cast into a fantasy world where the supernatural and current events collide.

Carlie’s grandmother and witchy sage wisdom:

Carlie’s grandmother has a formidable countenance yet approachable; her kind attention on her grand-daughter proves how precious these years are to her to pass down the knowledge and the advice young Carlie will need to become a better witch but also, a more humbled woman. They share this interesting bantering game involving tea – the ingredients are a mystery and must be smelt or tasted to draw out the mixture of what is in your cuppa; this proves several things: Carlie’s attentiveness to her witchy studies (especially regarding herbs!) but also, how to cross-apply the knowledge she’s gaining as apothecarist practices are just as important to her as her recipes for savoury delights.

Her grandmother has such an intuitive manner about her – rather than speak the truth she can see written on her grand-daughters spirit, she tries to draw her out in conversation. To get Carlie to think about her feelings and in turn to see how those feelings are affecting her health. Even her emotional health as most already know, a witch whose emotionally unhinged is not going to bode well as a guardian of innocents. Her gentle guidance and her encouraging manner is a calming balm to Carlie who works well under this kind of tutelage.

When Carlie and her grandmother start to talk about the charm bracelet being more than a rite of passage to collect charms (i.e. trinkets of jewelry) which represent something quite personal to the wearer, in this realm, a charm bracelet is a witch’s book of spells; durable, portable and easily accessible in the height of need. I loved this new twist on the old standard of a spell book passed down through generations from one witch to the next. It proves that spells are as tied into a witch’s individual DNA as it is cast through their mind, body and spirit all working together quite cohesively as one unit.

I loved how their was an introduction piece about the Golden Hour – the curious bending of time between afternoon and dusk, where there is this beautiful twilight cast against the world. I was first introduced to this magical hour in another novel entitled simply: The Golden Hour which went on to be a YA series of it’s own.

I had this foreboding sense that the lessons Carlie’s grandmother was trying to imprint on her grand-daughter might be harbingers of things yet to come; a way of foretelling a bit of Carlie’s future path. Including but not limited to her work as a White Witch after her grandmother is gone from this world; a prospect of reality, Carlie is not yet ready to consider plausible. I sympathised with her – grand-daughters are never quite prepared to ‘let go’.

on the paranormal story-telling style of Mr maggert:

I give full credit to Mr Maggert to walk the fine line between the first season of Charmed and the first several seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer with a dash of the first season of Angel – as this is my creative way of stating that if you felt you could survive these tv series with wicked sweet enjoyment for spending time in those worlds and realms, you can sit back with a relaxed smirk and know, all you need to do to enjoy the Halfway Witchy series is your favourite cuppa tea!

This isn’t to say this isn’t a full-on Cosy Horror inclusive series – there is this scene in the woods involving a creature I can only imagine how is spelt but was quite happy had a swift ‘end’ and had not become a prolonged nuisance to Carlie! It was one of those vanquished scenes involving magic and a solid heart towards  protecting her territory where you see Carlie as the young witch and not quite the innocent chef! Even when she’s needing to be quite serious – her wicked slice of humour (perhaps to some overtly sarcastic) cuts through the ‘icky bits’ and gives you such a resolve of ‘ooh, this isn’t so bad!’ if your sensitive heart for the Paranormal is on the cosier side of the ledger, take heart! This series will leave you in stitches of incredibly layered monologues, introspective narrative and turns of phrase that seriously will leave you thankful to have found Mr Maggert’s style of the craft!

On the paranormal attributes (i.e. charms, White Magic, supernatural creatures & beings, etc) I can only say Mr Maggert held my attention but also reaffirmed what I love about reading the paranormal! There are so many different tangents one can become lost inside as a writer, and Maggert does well on honing in on what organically works for Carlie and her crew whilst etching out a well-rounded back-story at the same time! I liked how he chooses to build his world in such a way that it doesn’t readily appear fantastical because it’s hugged so dearly close to our own modern century; in some regards, I suppose this would be considered Urban Fantasy for that particular designation! Irregardless, I appreciate his instincts and of how he endeavours to deepen the purpose of his story to both educate, encourage and highlight the harder issues that are necessary to accept during your growing years as key stages of moving out of childhood and into adulthood with a greater depth of maturity.

On bringing to life the antics and personality quirks of a cat especially a Maine Coon is absolutely brilliant! You can tell Mr Maggert has cats – only a cat lover could pull together such a brilliantly voiced companion for Carlie! Trust me, if you love cats, you’re going to LOVE Gus!

On keeping the narrative and context brilliantly YA and not moving into Upper YA – except for a few times where I had to admit, depending on the maturity of the reader, this might still be considered Upper YA rather than traditional YA. For me personally, I *loved!* how he keep the stronger language to a bare minimum and only used words that were not only fitting to the ‘moment’ they were spoken but well timed. He did not say anything stronger than the alternative word for a ‘donkey’ at least not that I remember!? Again, it was so lightly peppered here or there, you’d blink and miss it altogether!

There are moments where the action sequences and even the death scenes are (ahem!) a bit more intensive than glossed over, I will admit that. However, as I’ve spoken about on this review, if your used to Buffy and Charmed, you can handle Mr Maggert’s story-telling! I did and that’s saying a heap more than you know if you read my Review Policy! Laughs.

For adults though – this is the kind of story you can sink your mind into when you need something to distract you from extreme stress situations (such as your father’s sudden medical crisis due to stroke; see also this Post, followed by this post by reading the top anchour) to where the diversion it creates is such a brilliant blessing you’re overjoyed tenfold for ‘meeting’ a #newtomeauthor who knows how to write convicting drama and a stirringly awesome paranormal world! Even if he pushes your envelope a bit, stay connected to the story, because I was surely thankful I did!

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specifically in regards to the audiobook:

As I am relatively new to reviewing audiobooks and listening to them with a greater frequency than of the past, I am appreciative of Ms Jess providing a cursory outline of how best to articulate my listening hours on behalf of this audiobook and the others I shall be blogging about or reviewing in future. I’ve modified the suggestions to what I felt were pertinent to respond too on my own behalf as well as keeping to the questions I felt were relevant to share.

About Erin Spencer

Erin Spencer

Erin loves audiobooks! As an actress, they have allowed her to creatively stretch by playing all kinds of characters, all kinds of ages and all kinds of accents! She voiced roles in the Audie award winning title, Illuminae and was also nominated for a Voice Arts Award in the romance category. She has narrated over 100 titles and as an audiobook director has worked on at least 100 more. She has worked for most of the major publishers and also enjoys working with indie writers who are some of the most talented writers out there!

Listening Habit:

As disclosed on my first audiobook review of The Cryptic Lines (narrated by Jake Urry), I find colouring whilst I am listening to audiobooks to be a great benefit for being able to find the right catalyst of focus to soak inside the narrations.

For this particular reading, I first started to colour inside A Very Blessed Christmas (as befitting the season) and finished by colouring inside Heroines of the New Testament; as right now, the colouring books I have on hand to colour are ones for review consideration. I am amassing a short list of colouring books I would like to gather myself and use as go-betweens for each future reading I undertake but for now, I am enjoying the randomness of opening a page of these INSPY colouring books and finding my mind happily caught inside the patterns or designs whilst my imagination is taken elsewhere by the narrators.

Number of Times I’ve heard the Narrator(s):

So far I have only listened to this audiobook by Ms Spencer, however, I did sample the next two audiobooks in the Halfway Witchy series. I wanted to see how the tone and the undescoring drama was either going to carry forward or shift to an alternative sound as the series continues; what I found was a confluence of continuity that made me wicked happy to continue reading the series through her narrative characterisations of the stories. She truly makes you feel like your listening to a radio play (similar to how I felt with Mr Urry!) and therein, is the joy for me as a listener.

After I conclude this series, I do want to see if there are other titles or even other authors she’s narrated; to see how she approaches other characters and perhaps other genres outside of the paranormal realms. I am always fascinated how narrators approach narrating their stories and how each character they take on becomes a part of who they are for that short period of time they lived their lives. I would imagine voice acting is as readily enjoyable as being on stage or in front of cameras for the screen; to divest yourself of your own skin and re-mould yourself through the character a writer has penned for you to personify?

Regards to the Narrator’s Individual Character performances:

There are multiple characters spread throughout the novel – some are only making random appearances, a nod towards the larger community of Halfway and others, quite vile are not meant long for this world. Carlie by default is written with such a strong voice and centre of character – it was a true joy to see how Ms Spencer embraced who Carlie is against the conflicting personalities of the others who reside in Halfway.

She would sometimes change her voice to denote a difference in age – such as between Carlie and her grandmother; but left just a hint of familial pride in how their voices react to each other so you can tell they are of the same family. When it came time to voice the men in the story, she altered her voice ‘just so’ and the illusion was well placed, as you could almost here the differences in gender per each switch-off from male to female (this includes main cast and supporting cast).

I was going to take a short list of notes in regards to which characters made me smirk into a laugh and which ones gave me goosebumps of fright, however, as my mind and heart haven’t quite been in sync lately as I’m coming back into reviewing and blogging after my Dad’s medical emergency, just to lay thought and heart on this story was the truer blessing right now for me. I’d like to expand my notes as I move into the second and third book in the series but for now, just know as your drinking in the narration each character leaves an impressionable mark on your ears.

This is something I noticed from Mr Urry’s approach to narrating and now continued with Ms Spencer’s – they each inhabit the characters to such a degree of realisation, you’d almost forsake thinking they were reading a script set against a fictional background!

How the Novel sounded to me as it was being Read: (theatrical or narrative)

Definitely theatrical – as per stated – it is as enjoyable as radio play – as Ms Spencer has set such an engaging tone to her presentation! You immediately love Carlie – even before you know a whit about her, you love her ever the more! Even when she’s been a bit silly or is emotionally vexed or even questions the merits of what she’s doing as a witch; she has something special inside her and Ms Spencer was able to embrace her so fully she brought her to life as if she could walk through the speakers and sit with you over a cuppa with waffles! How you want to eat waffles or drive to your nearest dive and have a nosh whilst your listening to this novel is wicked brilliant! I love the foodie aspect of the story-line and even on this layer of interest, Ms Spencer brings out the charm of Carlie and the wholesomeness of Halfway.

Regards to Articulation & Performance of different sections of the novel:

Notes on the Quality of Sound & the Background Ambiance:

I cannot complain one iota about the sound quality as the dictation and the delivery of the lines is what truly stirred my interest initially. When I first heard the sampler for this audiobook, I was most impressed; not only for the professional grade of the narration but of how it was being delivered through the vocalisation of the character of whom a sampler is never quite enough to produce the fullness of her being! Carlie is very much larger than life and she expounds on the simplicity of her role as a White Witch meant to guard, protect and guide those of whom she considers her ‘charges’. She’s very defensive about her lifestyle and Halfway, the towne everyone would have blinked through if it hadn’t been set in a renown tourist spot; a bit like a towne time forgot but those who live there love it dearly to where they wish the tourist did not always clog up the atmosphere!?

The ambiance for me was simply how Ms Spencer narrated this piece – she drew such a wide palette of interest into her performance; the little nuances she included and the bits of someone’s personality you cannot quite write against a page but you can articulate vocally (or act directly if a screen or stage were present). It is such a winning combination and approach, similar to Mr Urry, Ms Spencer has found a listener in me and I look forward to following both their careers – finding stories I can appreciate and tuck inside whilst in full joy of knowing I found voices of actors who truly know how to give a bookish soul a lot of happiness in listening to stories vs reading them!

Preference after listening to re-Listen or pick up the book in Print?

I am so wicked attached to this audiobook and how it was narrated – rather than seeking out the print editions, I might be so inclined to see if there are posters (even mini-posters) of the cover-art or if there will be editions of these audios on CD; as I’d rather have a tangible connection to the audiobooks rather than to collect the books in print. I know that sometimes strange – as I spoke about how much I love to listen to audios and read books in print in tandem recently; however, in this particular case, I am simply in awe and joy of Ms Spencer’s performance, I do not want to nettle out my own interpretation that might stray away from hers to the point I would lose the experience of what the narration gave me.

A bit like how sometimes you see a motion picture adaptation of a novel!? For me, this happens one of two ways: either I am aware of the book before it goes to screen OR I have the disadvantage of not recognising it’s a novel (either a new title or one I never knew of previously) – I either watch the film first or I read the book first. Rarely though it does happen, do I see the film first and not want to read the book. This is one of those times where I have fully embraced the adaptation that I do not want to concede to meet the original it’s based upon as to me, I feel like the adaptation has heightened the original and is the best interpretation of it’s story’s soul.

In closing, would I seek out another Erin Spencer audiobook?

Hmm. Does Jorie have two more books she’s listening too in the Halfway Witchy series,… hmm…. is she trying to sort out if she should listen to them straight-through or break them into individual listening sessions… is she re-listening to Halfway Dead through her bookmarks on Audible? Hmm… choices, choices, choices… is she dearly curious about what else Ms Spencer has narrated!? Of course I am!

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 This blog tour is courtesy of Audiobookworm Promotions:

Audiobookworm Promotions Event Host badge provided by Audiobookworm Promotions

NOTE: I apologise for the confusion and disruption on the blog tour – I had fully intended to pull an all-nighter on Tuesday to make sure this review went live in the AM on Wednesday — however, my dearly beloved Maine Coon Tabby became dearly ill overnight and I had to cut my re-listening hours short and leave my ruminations where they were whilst re-aligning back into the audiobook and my blog during the afternoon hours of my tour stop. Therefore, I blogged and listened as fast as I could but these things do take a bit of time – I hope my thoughts on this story reflect the joy I have in meeting the author’s work for the first time! Save the few bits of Heartborn I’ve heard!

Whilst participating on:

Halfway Dead audiobook blog tour via Audiobookworm PromotionsThis is the second of many reviews I’ll be showcasing on behalf of audiobooks – not just through the lovely tours via Audiobookworm Promotions, but through selecting audiobooks through my local library as well as the ones I hope to purchase in the future, too! If your an avid audiobook listener, I welcome your commentary and recommendations especially for YA Paranormal stories such as this one or Paranormal Suspense or Cosy Horror you think I might enjoy seeking out next!

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{SOURCES: Cover art of “Halfway Dead”, book synopsis, narrator biography, narrator photo,  author biography, author photo, badge with excerpt from “Halfway Dead”, Audiobookworm Promotions badge and the audiobook tour badge were all provided by Audiobookworm Promotions and used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Audiobook Review Banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2017.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Wednesday, 11 January, 2017 by jorielov in #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Apothecary, ArchDemons or Demonic Entities, Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Author Found me On Twitter, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Cats and Kittens, Charmed, Classic Motion Pictures, Clever Turns of Phrase, Coming-Of Age, Conservation, Cosy Horror, Cosy Horror Suspense, Dreams & Dreamscapes, Earthen Magic, Earthen Spirituality, Environmental Activism, Environmental Advocacy, Environmental Conscience, Environmental Science, Equality In Literature, Faeries & the Fey, Fantasy Fiction, Folklore and Mythology, Ghost Story, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Good vs. Evil, Gothic Literature, Gothic Mystery, Horror-Lite, Humour & Satire in Fiction / Non Fiction, Immortals, Indie Author, Light vs Dark, Methodology of Writing Science Fiction & Fantasy, Modern Day, Nature & Wildlife, Parapsychological Gifts, Parapsychological Suspense, Philosophical Intuitiveness, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Premonition-Precognitive Visions, Preservation, Realistic Fiction, Seclusion in the Natural World, Shapeshifters, Small Towne USA, Sociology, Speculative Fiction, Spirituality & Metaphysics, Supernatural Creatures & Beings, Suspense, Sustainability & Ecological Preservation, The Natural World, Upper YA Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Vampires, Vulgarity in Literature, Walking & Hiking Trails, Werewolves, Witches and Warlocks, Writing Style & Voice, YA Fantasy, YA Paranormal &/or Paranormal Romance, Young Adult Fiction

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