Recent Titles and a Selection of Audiofile Reviews

For a complete list, visit my Audible page. Pseudonym titles on request.

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The inviting performances of Marisa Calin, Shiromi Arserio, Katherine Littrell, Danielle Cohen, and Siobhan Waring add to the immersive pleasure of this engaging historical novel by bestselling author Julia Kelly. Set alternately in 1907, 1944, and the present day, the plot centers on the women of England's Highbury House. Venetia, the estate's 1907 garden designer, struggles to balance social expectations with her career desires. When WWII turns the estate into a convalescent hospital, estate owner Diana, cook Stella, and land girl Beth fight to preserve the gardens while building fulfilling lives. Modern-day garden restorer Emma uncovers the past's hidden secrets while navigating challenges that echo Venetia's. They are all compellingly written characters with affecting lives and interesting personal challenges, making this a listening experience to savor. A.C.S. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2021, Portland, Maine [Published: APRIL 2021]

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Narrator Shiromi Arserio presents Astra, the quintessential "bright young thing." Posh, pampered, and pretty, she relishes the ritual gatherings of high society. But Astra's life changes when her parents die in a car crash, leaving her with debts, dark family secrets, and the need to make desperate decisions. Listeners will enjoy watching a new Astra emerge. She must counter malicious gossip and confront her money problems. Arserio portrays Astra as a clever woman with self-control and drive. The secondary characters also sound authentic, including the almost-too-perfect suitor, the Earl of Dunreaven. The story is set in the 1930s, and listeners will savor the charm of the bygone era. D.L.G. © AudioFile 2021, Portland, Maine [Published: NOVEMBER 2021]

 

Shiromi Arserio's voice conveys sadness and grief as she relates the author's experience with the vigil for a dying humpback whale on an Australian beach. The sadness returns elsewhere in Giggs's meditation on whales, especially when her thoughts turn to the plastic and other human objects found inside the massive sea animals. When Giggs tells of the one time she tasted whale flesh, a note of shock comes into her voice, reflecting her reluctance. Giggs's reflections on how to stay constructively engaged in helping whales survive have a gentle grace, whether she's recounting the joy of seeing a whale swimming at sea or expressing her nostalgia for a childhood museum trip. J.A.S. © AudioFile 2021, Portland, Maine [Published: MAY 2021]

Narrator Shiromi Arserio plunges listeners into an underwater London in this post apocalyptic YA debut. Sixteen-year-old Leyla McQueen is forced to join the London Submersible Marathon in order to free her captured father. But then she discovers that the government is hiding secrets about the world they live in. Soon, she's on a mad dash to leave London onboard a submarine to save her life and uncover a sunken truth. The author's descriptive writing is helped by Arserio's fine pacing and English accent as she vividly brings to life a high-tech underwater civilization. With strong vocal characterizations, Arserio fluidly switches between male and female characters. This is immersive storytelling of an ambitious debut. A.C. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine [Published: DECEMBER 2019]

Narrator Shiromi Arserio delivers an enchanting performance of this unique fantasy with an expansive setting and a large cast of characters. Tsira, the half-troll daughter of her clan's leader, has a gravelly, harsh timbre and a deadpan tone. After striking out on her own, she stumbles upon Jeckran, a human soldier left for dead whom she nurses back to health. The story is peppered with sensuous romantic moments between the two that are made more engrossing by Arserio's soothing and breathy narration. Arserio voices Onna, a mathematical genius who is able to memorize spell parameters and construct complicated illusions, with shy youthfulness and crisp sophistication. As all three characters commit themselves to discovering who is murdering trolls and why, Arserio captivates listeners. A.K.R. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine [Published: DECEMBER 2019]

Narrators Shiromi Arserio and Jason Carpenter are perfectly matched in this modern-day fairy tale in which a forbidden romance blooms between aristocratic teens from rival families. Arserio portrays Princess Jaya in a controlled tone and a posh British accent that is well suited to the reserved and traditional teen. Jaya unexpectedly finds herself drawn to the quiet, brooding Grey Emerson, whose melancholy personality is enhanced by Carpenter's deep, solemn voice--complete with an American accent that is fitting for this British teen, who is living in exile due to a family curse. The budding romance takes place at an international boarding school rife with drama. Listeners will be captivated by how easily the narrators flip between the accents of the diverse student body. Together, Arserio and Carpenter bring this cursed romance to life. J.E.C. © AudioFile 2020, Portland, Maine [Published: MARCH 2020]

Narrator Shiromi Arserio whisks listeners into a world in which ghosts make pleasant companions, gardens hold treacherous secrets, and kingdoms can be found inside wallpaper remains. Elizabeth and Zenobia are inseparable friends who are determined to uncover the secrets of Withering House, their new home. Arserio characterizes Elizabeth, a child dealing with the loss of her mother, with calm tones and quiet inquiries as she seeks her father's love and approval. Zenobia, whose most recent fascination is the study of clairvoyance, commands Elizabeth's attention with her confident air and direct accusations. As more characters are introduced, Arserio skillfully gives each his or her own distinct sound. Her captivating narration brings to life a fantastical tale with an unexpected ending. V.C. © AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine [Published: NOVEMBER 2017]