Thursday, April 23, 2020

Blood Lies by Andrew Cunningham

I’m delighted today to be participating in the Audiobook Tour for BLOOD LIES by Andrew Cunningham, the fifth installment in his Lies Mystery Series.

As part of the tour, sponsored by Audiobookworm Promotions, I’m sharing my thoughts on the audio and have a Q & A with the narrator, Greg Hernandez.

First, let’s hear from narrator Greg Hernandez. Please join me in giving Greg a warm welcome. Welcome, Greg.

When did you know you wanted to be an audiobook narrator?

In 2014 I was looking down the road toward retirement from my federal government job.  I knew I wanted to do something with voice over, but I didn’t want to go to an office.  I read the book, “More Than Just A Voice: The REAL Secret to Voiceover Success” by Dave Courvoisier.  The chapter on audiobooks was very intriguing.  I did some research and auditioned in late 2014.  I was ecstatic that I was selected quickly.  It’s been a great adventure and learning experience ever since that fateful day.

Did you find it difficult to “break into” audiobook narration? What skill/tool helped you the most when getting started?

I was a radio news reporter in my first career.  Being in front of a microphone was my comfort zone.  I was very glad that I got my first audiobook a few days after my audition.  It helped a lot that I worked with digital audio in 1987 when it was first introduced at ABC Radio News.  Those skills have worked in my favor as an independent narrator not working with a publisher.  Plus, I was an audio engineer when I was a student at Syracuse University working with analog audio.

A lot of narrators seem to have a background in theatre. Is that something you think is essential to a successful narration career?

I believe it’s necessary to know a little about acting because that’s what narrating mysteries and thrillers is all about.  Through my first reviews, I learned that listeners want distinct character voices so that they know who’s speaking.  They don’t want to keep rewinding to keep up with character dialogue.  I’ve studied acting and taken acting classes in order to make the dialogue sound like a movie soundtrack.

How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for narrating?

Audiobook narration is like running a marathon.  You have to keep your voice in shape, and you have to maintain your energy level high throughout the whole book.  In my early narrations I’d sometimes have to re-record sections because the energy was flagging.  Now, I make it a point to maintain a constant energy just like a runner trying to keep up a steady pace.

Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?

I listen to hundreds of hours of audiobooks each year.  My favorites are biographies narrated by the author.  There’s nothing like hearing someone’s story as told by them.  I also love mysteries and thrillers.  I also am very picky about narrators.

What are your favorite and least favorite parts of narrating an audiobook?

I enjoy the whole process from narrating, editing and processing the audio for final production. Since I edit my own narrations, it’s my goal to make certain the audio is the best quality to give the listener a terrific experience. The only frustrating part of narrating is when I get a cold. That shuts down the whole process behind the microphone. That’s when I go into editing mode.

What would you say are your strongest narration abilities?

Over the past five years, I’ve made it a point to come up with distinct character voices. I don’t want them to sound over the top. I want them to sound like everyday people and believable. Some voices come naturally from the author’s words, and others take a little time to get the right cadence and inflection.

What about this title compelled you to audition as narrator?

I have narrated six books by Andrew Cunningham. I haven’t auditioned for a book since 2015. Andrew and I have a great collaboration. I call him my director because he’ll let me know if I’ve gotten a character’s voice the way he envisioned it when he wrote the story. There are about four more books that Andrew wants me to narrate. This latest series allows me continue voicing the two main characters, Del and Sabrina, that I now consider my alter egos.

How closely do you prefer to work with authors?

I enjoy authors that listen closely to my narration and provide feedback. I’ve been fortunate to work with Andrew Cunningham on several books because he provides valuable input that makes my narration all the more real sounding. I get great satisfaction when an author says I’ve brought their book to life.

What types of things are harmful to your voice?

I try to narrate for no more than four hours at a stretch. Doing character voices can put a strain on the voice, too. Warm-up exercises are key to making sure my voice is ready for the session.

Greg, thank you for joining us today and sharing this insight as a narrator.

By Andrew Cunningham
* Narrator: Greg Hernandez
* Length: 6 hours 12 minutes
* Publisher: Andrew Cunningham2020
* Genre: Mystery/Thriller
* Series: Lies Mystery Thriller Series, Book 5
* Release date: March 17, 2020

          Gunned down on a busy Boston street, bestselling mystery author Sabrina Spencer is left clinging to life. Media speculation suggests a deranged fan as the shooter. But was Sabrina really the intended target?
          For Del Honeycutt, a chilling link emerges between Sabrina’s shooting and that of his father’s murder three years earlier. Discovering that his father was leading a secret life, he digs deeper, and the clues lead Del down a dangerous and deadly path.

BLOOD LIES is available on Audible.

Now for my thoughts on this audio.

This is a captivating murder mystery that moves at a steady pace with a few twists and turns along the way.

Narrator Greg Hernandez does a great job of bringing the characters to life, enhancing the story with unique voices for each. His tone and pace will hold your attention and adds depth to this tantalizing story.

This is the fifth installment in the series but can be read/listened to as a stand-alone. If you are new to the series, the author weaves enough background along the way so that it’s easy to keep up and you’re not lost wondering who is who or what they are talking about.

The flow of the story pulls you in as the author intertwines a tale of spies, murder, and intrigue blended with touches of love and humor. The characters are well developed with qualities readers/listeners can relate to.

This is an entertaining mystery that is perfect for an afternoon of getting lost in a world of secrets and mayhem.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Greg Hernandez. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Now for those of you who aren’t familiar with the author here is a bit of background on him in his own words.

Author Andrew Cunningham
I'm the author of novels in several genres, including, mystery, thriller, and post-apocalyptic science fiction. Under the name A.R. Cunningham, I've also written the Arthur MacArthur series of mysteries for children.

I was born in England but have spent most of my life living in the U.S.—including 25 years on Cape Cod before moving to Florida. A former interpreter for the deaf and long-time independent bookseller, I've been a full-time freelance writer and copy editor for many years. A 4th-degree Master Black belt in Tang Soo Do, I finally retired from active training when my body said, "Enough already! Why are you doing this to yourself?" I'm married, with two grown children and two awesome grandsons. My wife and I spend as much time traveling as we can and are especially fond of cruising the Caribbean.

I have been gratified by the response to my books. When I published Eden Rising back in the spring of 2013, I had no idea what to expect. When I sold my first few copies, I was excited beyond belief that someone was willing to take a chance on it. Numerous books and thousands of copies later, I am still humbled by the emails I get from readers telling me that my books kept them up late into the night.

In October of 2014, Wisdom Spring made me an official Amazon Bestselling author, a thrill I never thought would happen. But it still comes down to being able to bring a few hours of escape to a reader. That's what it's all about for me.

I hope you will try my books. Please feel free to email me with your comments.

For more on Andrew and his writing, connect with him on the following sites:

Now for those of you who aren’t familiar with the narrator, the author-preferred narrator of mysteries and thrillers, here’s a bit of background on him in his own words.

Narrator Greg Hernandez
Narrating audiobooks is highly gratifying. I immerse myself into an author’s story in order to bring it to life for the listener. I’ve enjoyed working with Andrew Cunningham for several years. is books are filled with rich characters, and the stories keep me turning the pages.

I also work as a background actor in movies and TV shows.

For more than 20 years, I worked as a radio news reporter and news writer. I spent half of my broadcasting career at ABC News Radio in the Washington, D.C., bureau. I covered all the federal agencies as well as Congress and the White House. I reported on a wide range of stories during my career, including financial and entertainment industry news.

For nearly 24 years, I worked as a federal government spokesman at three separate agencies—National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Mint and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

You can connect with Greg on Twitter.

Check out an audio sample of BLOOD LIES below. You can also follow the full tour by clicking on the link HERE.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Have you read or listened to the previous books in this series?

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Sign up as a tour host here.


  1. What a fascinating interview of a career I had never thought about. Thank you both.

  2. This is such an interesting interview! I don't know enough about the business of audio narration, but it's such an important part of creating audio versions of books. Thanks for these insights!

  3. Distinct character voices is a must. We've been fortunate with most of our narrators in that department. Plus a few excel at sound effects, too. That really helps a story come alive.


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