The Judge’s Demon

Author: K.M. Pfeifer

Narrator: Gerard Marquez

Length: 8 hours and 8 minutes

Series: The Demons Inside, Book 1

Publisher: K.M. Pfeifer

Released: Jul. 9, 2019

Genre: Historical Thriller

The Hunchback of Notre Dame meets The Handmaid’s Tale and YOU in this twisted rendition of history. Claude is stricken by tragedy, and all fingers point at the Gypsies as the nation divides, and an empire falls. He is the king’s best man and has been given orders to rid France of all their problems. He promised peace. Amidst his role in a barbaric hunt and corrupt justice system, Claude finds himself drawn to a young girl of this minority race and consumes himself with her and his own ideas of who she should be for him. They gave him power. Paranoia and twisted delusion begin to bind Claude’s double life as a charming official, able to justify his every crime to his followers, but also a criminal narcissist with a blood obsession. Now their new world must be paid for. Will his desires for the girl soften his heart? Or will the Judge’s Demon of hatred add fuel to the fire in his search for the leader of the rebellion rising against him? Warning: graphic violence including torture, abuse, and rape.
Pfeifer once lived on a school bus! Well, she still does, but she had so much fun with that building project that she’s doing it again, only bigger! From buses to quirky bookshelves to words on paper, Khris loves crafting things together with passion and creativity using whatever tools are on hand. Her personal experiences working with the elderly and ill in their final months has also taught her so much about history and the human mindset. She has mixed those timeless narratives with a unique perspective that walks a line between thriller and mystery with a dash of romance to reach the largest audience possible in her writings, and hopes to share that experience with everyone that needs to hear these views and stories.
Narrator Bio Gerard got his start at an early age, performing with various Opera companies and teams throughout Australia. After moving to America as an adult he made the transition into musical theater, and voice-over. Gerard has worked with various Opera and Musical theater companies throughout southern California and LA. Gerard has been working as a narrator and voice actor for the last few years now, and can’t wait to help bring the listeners in to K.M. Pfeifer’s dark Parisian world.
I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by K.M. Pfeifer. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.
Q&A with Author K.M. Pfeifer
  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
    • Not at all. My fear was that I would have to record it myself. I don’t have the kind of range to do multiple character voices, especially male voices. I assumed that audiobooks were always read by either the author or some big shot studio that only worked with traditionally published books. It never once occurred to me that this would be possible when I first wrote the book. It wasn’t until a long while after I published that another self-published author put out a blog post about his process, giving resources and links to show how it’s done, that I even dreamed of the possibility.
  • How did you select your narrator?
    • I had a few friends to help me. We all listened to the auditions, but one of my best friends is an avid audiobook listener, so I trusted his opinion the most. He told me that even though my book is not the type of book he ever really listens to, Gerard’s audition piece made him consider giving a new genre a chance. That’s how impressed he was. Based on his reaction, I knew we were done listening to auditions; the choice was made.
  • How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process?
    • Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters? I had given Gerard a pretty good list of what I wanted before we started, so during the recording phase, I just let go and trusted his work. After he sent me his first round, we emailed frequently and kept in good contact about any adjustments or tweaks that needed to be done, but overall he did a good job and was very responsive to any changes that were made.
  • Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
    • Yes. My book has some very dark scenes in it that I think Gerard managed to make even more emotional when you hear it and experience it through his voice than you do when you simply read it on paper. Hearing the fear in a victim’s voice, or the passion in a fight, I think, is much more resonating to a listener.
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • I fell in love with audiobooks when I realized I could “read” what I wanted without stressing about finding time to actually sit down and open a book. I have had long commutes to work and audiobooks have really helped with the drive time. I can also do my other work while still enjoying a good book.
  • If this title were being made into a TV series or movie, who would you cast to play the primary roles?
    • For Claude I had originally pictured Alan Rickman because my idea of Charles was Timothy Spall. And they worked well together. But I guess I will have to really think hard on a new dream actor for Claude. I pictured Helena Bonham Carter as Rosa from the very beginning (still do), Zachary Quinto as Nikolais Quinn, and for Marie I imagine someone like the lovely Naomi Scott. She is a British-Indian actress, and Marie is a British-Indian cellist. So they fit hand in hand.
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • I’d give them the cliche “don’t judge until you’ve walked a mile in that person’s shoes.” There are a million different reasons why people choose audio over “real reading.” Maybe they struggle with their sight and can’t see the words, or maybe they can’t hold a physical book or e-reader because of a condition. Maybe a person doesn’t have the ability to stop and sit down to read like they used to, but they really want to know what happens, or maybe it’s just an overall preference. Whatever their reason is, iIt still requires a level of imagination to get into the story and picture who is doing what, what a character looks like, and the general scene.
  • How did you celebrate after finishing this novel?
    • I put away my computer for a week, and made myself forget about the actual process of writing. I traveled a bit and just played with stories in my head while hiking a few mountains, and then relaxing on the beach for a few days. I retreated and reset myself to get ready to finish the next book.
  • Do you have any tips for authors going through the process of turning their books into audiobooks?
    • Work WITH your narrator. Be a team. Ultimately the success is on both of you, especially if you choose a royalty share option. So make sure when they send you back their work, listen to every minute of it. Mistakes happen. Just like you had mistakes that an editor caught and corrected for you, they will have little mistakes here and there, so make sure you pay attention. Be kind, they’re your partner in this journey, but make sure the book is the best it can be. Nothing is more annoying as a reader when you’re taken out of the story because of a repeated sentence that could have been caught in editing, or the pronunciation of a word/name keeps changing.
  • What’s next for you?
    • Currently I am finishing up the second novel in this series and getting it to an editor soon. I’ve already shown the narrator bits and pieces of it, and we can’t wait to get started. Then I will really be getting to work on the third, it’s still in a very rough first-draft phase, but I am working diligently on getting it ready as well.
Dream Cast
K.M. Pfeifer’s Casting Picks
  • Claude- I had originally pictured Alan Rickman (Snape) when I wrote this years ago, but a good second would be Paul McGann (Queen of the Damned)
  • Charles- Timothy Spall (Peter Pettigrew)
  • Joseph- Sam Riley (Maleficent)
  • Rosa- Helena Bonham Carter (Everything awesome)
  • Marie- Naomi Scott (Aladdin)
  • Nikolais Quinn- Zachary Quinto (AHS, Star Trek)
Music Playlist

Not very popular songs, but each of these inspired a scene or piece of the novel, but that would involve a few spoilers to tell which 🙂 -K.M. Pfeifer

  • My Enemy- Hans Zimmer
  • The Wolf- Fever Ray
  • To Feel Alive- IAMEVE
  • Stampede- Alexander Jean
  • Mad World- Jasmine Thompson
  • Carol of the Bells- Lindsey Stirling
  • Safe and Sound- Taylor Swift
  • Hysteria- 2Cellos
  • Paint it Black- Ciara
Sep. 26th: Country Road Reviews 4 the Love of Audiobooks Sep. 27th: Dab of Darkness Book Reviews Viviana MacKade Sep. 28th: Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author Nesie’s Place Sep. 29th: Shedevilreads Bookstagram The Book Junkie Reads . . . Sep. 30th: Jazzy Book Reviews The Book Addict’s Reviews Oct. 1st: Eileen Troemel My Creatively Random Life Oct. 2nd: Nyx Blogs Always Love Me Some Books Turning Another Page

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The Tree that Grew Through Iron

Audiobook Tour: The Tree That Grew Through Iron by McKenzie Austin

Author: McKenzie Austin

Narrator: Gerard Marquez

Length: 15 hours and 30 minutes

Series: The Panagea Tales, Book 1

Publisher: McKenzie Austin

Released: Aug. 6, 2019

Genre: Epic Fantasy

The world’s end was his beginning. Whole chunks of earth are withering away from the mainland and falling into the sea. Natural disasters are claiming thousands of lives. Prayers are no longer answered by gods. Prayers are answered by machines and the Time Fathers of Panagea. Nicholai Addihein, one of the eight ruling Time Fathers, struggles to save the lives of his people. After a single moment of misunderstood treason, he must also save his own. While running from the wrath of Panagea’s other Time Fathers, Nicholai lands in peculiar company. Can a fabled immortal, a crew of societal rejects, and a silver-haired woman with a mysterious past breathe life back into a world on the brink of death? With all of existence at stake, Nicholai and the others prepare to fight until their last breath to change the fate of Panagea. Who would ever guess that success might be just as fatal as failure? Buy on Amazon Buy on Audible
Like many authors, McKenzie took to writing early. She crafted numerous tales throughout childhood that served as an escape from the solitude often accompanying the inability to ‘fit in’ with the normal crowd. The award-winning author now resides with her family in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where she draws inspiration for her fantasy novels through copious amounts of craft beer and cheese.
Narrator Bio Gerard got his start at an early age, performing with various Opera companies and teams throughout Australia. After moving to America as an adult he made the transition into musical theater, and voice-over. Gerard has worked with various Opera and Musical theater companies throughout southern California and LA. Gerard has been working as a narrator now for the last couple of years, and was incredibly honored and excited, when McKenzie Austin approached him to work on this great series.
  I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by McKenzie Austin. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it. Guest Post
By McKenzie Austin, Author
Inspiration is a peculiar thing, isn’t it? It’s one of those fluid, intangible effects. Inspiration can be found in something as mundane as the way the leaves leap to their deaths, separating themselves from the trees that they knew and loved all season long. It can be found in the way your loved one’s cheeks embrace the bottoms of their eyes when they break into an uninhibited smile. Inspiration can be a moment. An event. A feeling. A person. While I’m thankful for all of the countless muses that motivate me daily, the biggest literary inspiration in my life has to be Neil Gaiman. I can say with absolute certainty that the man holds that title for limitless existing writers. It’s unlikely that Mr. Gaiman will see this and leap for joy at having inspired one more person in a pool of endless, undying fans, but there remains one single, profound reason why I adore that man. Being inspired is such a critical component to writing. It can often be squashed by the crushing weight of reality. Standing out amongst the almost 50 million books available on Amazon alone, a writer can’t help but feel the pressure to somehow shine brighter than the rest. How does one succeed in such a competitive atmosphere? Inspiration is only a small factor; we need to know the standard rules, as well. You all know what they are. Get a compelling cover. Secure beta readers. Build a newsletter. Lock down those social media sites. Fashion an interactive website. Professionally edit your book. Write to market. And, for the love of the gods, separate your genres by pen names. Don’t be the guy whose ‘also boughts’ on Amazon are tainted because you were too lazy to craft an alias for each one! Suddenly, that colorful inspiration is feeling a little washed out by the black and white side of the trade, isn’t it? Yes, the business side of being an author can be a brutal one to learn. I found myself drowning in the sea of that reality more times than I care to admit. That beacon of brightness, though—that lighthouse in the dark, that keeps me from crashing into the jagged coastal rocks—has, and always will be, Neil Gaiman. Nothing is untouchable to him. Dark fantasy for adults? He nails it. Quirky children’s stories? Flawless. It doesn’t matter if he’s writing horror, or comedy, or science fiction, or novels, or comics, or short stories. The guy does it all, and he does it all with his own name. I understand the importance of the rules. Yes, a good cover matters. Yes, an efficient, talented editor is so, so valuable. But once that initial, gripping moment of inspiration fades away… and is replaced by the business side of writing… things can get admittedly overwhelming. As for me? It’s nice to know that I, too, can fly far out into left field from my last project’s genre, despite the ‘rules’. There exists no greater comfort than knowing that someone else did it before, and instead of falling flat on his face, he ended up soaring. Top 10 List
McKenzie Austin’s Top 10 Songs that Inspired Her Work
  Music is incredibly inspiring. I’ve listened to my fair share of tunes while writing The Tree That Grew Through Iron (actually, the whole of The Panagea Tales series, really) and there are certainly a few that stand out as having been played on ‘repeat’ during several scenes.
  1. Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise by The Avett Brothers – This is/was the very mantra of Nicholai Addihein. Throughout the series, he’s surrounded by this looming ‘darkness’, and it takes many different forms depending on which book you’re on, but he always holds fast to this (often times idealistic) dream that he can make things better for everyone. He wants so badly to do what’s ‘right’, but must come to the realization that what’s right for some will never be what’s right for all. This song is actually what inspired the title for the final book in the series (The Canary That Sang to the World).
  2. The Sound of Silence by Disturbed – This particular song resonated more with book two in the series (The Gods Who Harvested Men) but the message still applies to The Tree That Grew Through Iron. ‘Silence like a cancer grows’ is, perhaps, the strongest line. Things deteriorate as far as they do because we’re often too scared to speak up and change the circumstances. Nicholai is so desperate to help everyone, to ‘reach them’, but the outcome of his efforts often fail to yield the results he hopes for. The most admirable thing is that he keeps trying, regardless of how often he fails.
  3. Pompeii by Bastille – This song encapsulates the entirety of the series, but touches The Tree That Grew Through Iron in a far more literal way. Everything around the primary cast is changing. The physical landscape of Panagea, their mental endurance to continue fighting for a revolution, their emotional reactions to their circumstances… but through everything, through all of the shifts and challenges and obstacles, at the heart of it all, one thing hasn’t changed at all. Camaraderie runs deep, and is a critical component of their interactions with one another.
  4. Leave a Light On by Tom Walker – I know these are supposed to be about The Tree That Grew Through Iron, but I can’t help falling back to songs that remind me of the series in its entirety. In book three (The Serpent That Swallowed Its Tail) this song really resonated with me, as several of our characters let their obsessions consume them in a rather unfortunate way. There’s always that one rock for the individual who is slipping though… the one who will ‘leave a light on’ for he or she who is lost in the dark.
  5. Lost by Coldplay – This one reminds me of Nicholai in particular, but certainly fits the bill of the crew, as well. “Just because I’m losing doesn’t mean I’m lost.” And poor Nicholai, he loses. Quite a bit. His good intentions often blow up in his face, but he gets right back up and tries again.
  6. Radioactive by Imagine Dragons – This song paints a picture of Panagea to me. “Waking up to ash and dust” couldn’t possibly be a better fit to the world our characters are living in. The vibe captures the raw spirit of desire for a change, too. For a revolution. I love it.
  7. broken by lovelytheband – What better lyrical song to highlight the unnatural relationship of Kazuaki and Bermuda? Traditional love songs just wouldn’t do. He adores her dearly, but doesn’t know a damn thing about lovey-dovey sentiment. I like ‘broken’ because the nicest thing that’s able to be said is ‘I like that you’re broken’, which is hardly a compliment at all, but somehow, the way it’s said, you know it’s meant as a term of endearment. It’s Kazuaki and Bermuda, for sure.
  8. Long Time Traveller by The Wailing Jennys – One of the more obscure songs that reminds me of the series, but this one goes through my head each time a character dies. It also reminds me of Kazuaki’s perpetual journey to find a way to terminate his contract with immortality, so that he, too, could join those he bonded with in the afterlife. “I’m a long time traveling here below, I’m a long time traveling away from home” guts me in a way, when I think of the psychological ramifications that would stem from watching lifetimes of loved ones rise and fall.
  9. All of Me by John Legend – I feel a little silly posting so many ‘love’ songs in this list, since the few romantic relationships that exist in the Panagea Tales play a far less poignant role than the camaraderie and the general pursuit of completing the primary goal… but this is another one that reminded me of Kazuaki’s affection toward Bermuda. Maybe I enjoy them so much because he rarely puts his sentimentality on display, so it’s fun for me to think about that (almost) non-existent side of him.
  10. Someone You Loved by Lewis Capaldi – I can’t really dive into why this one represents the book(s) without ruining some pretty big moments in the story. Just know that it’s as applicable as it is heartbreaking, and that’s why it made the list.
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