Author: Terry Maggert
Narrator: Erin Spencer
Length: 7h 12m
Publisher: Terry Maggert⎮2015
Release date: Aug. 07, 2015
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.
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.
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! Follow her on Twitter @ErinSpencerLA or find her on Facebook, Erin Spencer Actress.
I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Terry Maggert. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.
Halfway Dead is an awesome start to what is looking to be a promising series. Our main character Carlie is a witch, a tiny but very powerful girl. She has a huge cat, which makes her awesome in my book (my parents have a huge Maine Coon too, hmm). She is loyal and supportive to those who need her, and those who care for her. I love her relationship with her Grandma and her independence as well.
I also liked how this plot was complicated and twisty. Nothing was as it seemed, and things kept getting more and more bizarre as Carlie got involved and started unraveling threads. Of course, when long-term family history secrets start getting involved and things becomes personal, that’s when the real fun begins. What can I say, I also liked our half Viking half Vampire friend. I am super curious about him, and looking forward to seeing him more in the future books (hopefully).
As for the audio, it was great! I loved the voice and the pacing was just right. The voices, tones, and attitude fit each character well and I was pulled into the story. I love when an audio narrator just makes it effortless to listen. I’ve listened to quite a few where the narrator is distracting – not the case here.
Overall, definitely an enjoyable read and I’m looking forward to continuing the series.
At what point did you decide to be an author and what was your path to publication?
So, I was writing in high school and college, and it wasn’t very good. I wasn’t interesting. Then, fast forward after twenty years of raising hell, and I’m a father with an actual life– and the desire to write came rushing back like a tide. I wrote my first novel (The Forest Bull) while feeding my kid chocolate milk from 1-3AM, usually while we watched tv in the darkened living room. The book came to me, and once I started writing, it was like a dam broke. I’ve never looked back, and I love everything about writing.
What do you do when a new idea jumps out at you while you’re still working on a book? Do you chase the squirrel (aka “UP syndrome”) or do you finish your current project first?
This is the easiest part of writing. I have a green notebook. I write a sentence as a keyword, and the book can unfold on its own time, when I’m ready to make it happen. Sure, I could go the modern route and use notes on a laptop, but the act of scratching a pen makes the ideas real. They tend to stick.
Tell us what you enjoy most about writing Urban Fantasy.
Take something normal, like a donut shop, but have the night shift run by a mummy who always wanted to be a chef. Boom. Urban Fantasy! I love having worlds clash in a funny, sometimes frightful way. I’ll never run out of beasties– if I need a creature to fit my narrative, I can invent one. If I’ve just read an old book that tells of a mythical creature from Western Africa, I can use that (and I have– it was terrifying). It’s a big world, full of people. Let’s put something unusual right in the middle of it all and see what happens.
Have you been able to incorporate your previous experience in your writing?
Well, I owned a pub, cooked and served in restaurants, owned a pizza place, and teach history. I like fishing, pie, beer, redheads, cats and dogs– Great Danes, too– and if you think I’ve included those things in my books, you’d be right. My life is my library, a sort of hard drive that I draw on to make sure my stories feel like they could happen to you. Although, my fascination with dragons is probably the least likely event to come true. But I can hope, right?
Do you identify with your main character or did you create a character that is your opposite?
A friend read my first book and said, “This character is part of our aspirations as a human, and part of who you were growing up.” I think that’s pretty accurate. My childhood was fantastic, so the background of being a kid in Florida naturally filters into my stories. I identify with parts of my main characters, and strongly. I hate bullies. I love family. I personally see wonder in the world. Carlie loves the moon, just as I do, and yet I have friends who never look up. To me, that’s a little bit sad.
Describe the Halfway series in 10 words or less for people who are just learning about it.
“Come for the waffles. Stay for the magic.”
Is there anything you would like people to take away from your book?
I would love for readers to find a scene– any scene– that may have come from their life. If you read a page and it feels real, then somewhere, I’m smiling.
What has been the toughest criticism you have received as an author? What has been the best compliment?
I debated about answering this, because authors are trained not to engage with bad reviews, but the most difficult criticism I’ve ever had was from a reader who said I’d written the worst book in history. Then, they went a step further and said my second book was equally as bad. Now, books are a matter of taste, so you’d think this review would be completely bad. But it wasn’t. It turns out, the reader didn’t even get my titles correct, so the chances are excellent they didn’t read them or merely had an axe to grind. That taught me a lot– trolls are real, but they can provide laughter or motivation. In the case of that review, it was both, and here I am nine books later, with no end in sight. I’d like to thank them for the terrible review, but I can’t. I’m too busy writing.
Jan. 2: Dab of Darkness (Review)
Jan. 3: The Desert Bibliophile (Review, Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)
Jan. 4: Que Sara Sera (Review & Spotlight)
Jan. 5: Terri Loves Books (Review & Author Interview)
Jan. 6: Guilty Indulgence Book Club (Review)
Jan. 7: The Owlery (Review)
Jan. 8: Ribbon Reviews (Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)
Jan. 10: Chapter Break (Review & Author Interview)
Jan. 11: Jorie Loves A Story (Review)
Jan. 12: Smada’s Book Blog (Review & Audio Excerpt)
Jan. 13: Mama Reads (Review & Author Interview)
Jan. 14: Bound 4 Escape (Review & Audio Excerpt)
Jan. 15: Avid Book Collector (Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)
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