Author: Tessonja Odette
Narrator: Emma Faye
Length: 8 hours 44 minutes
Series: Lela Trilogy, Book 1
Publisher: Crystal Moon Press
Released: Oct. 22, 2019
Genre: Fantasy; YA
A forgotten princess. A deadly quest. A threat that hides in shadow….
Sixteen-year-old Cora is a princess with a dark past. Exile has kept her safe. But when she rescues a dying unicorn from a mysterious band of hunters, her identity – and her life – are in danger.
Prince Teryn has the perfect plan – win the quest, marry his betrothed, and become king. But his mission goes awry when he faces a feisty young woman in the woods. Although they meet as foes, she shares a secret that bonds them.
Teryn and Cora’s fates are entwined in a plot far deadlier than they ever imagined. Can they face the threat together? Or will a terrifying enemy destroy the land they love?
Shadows of Lela is book one in the Lela Trilogy. If you like swoon-worthy romance, adventurous quests, breathtaking magic, and surprising twists, then you’ll love Tessonja Odette’s epic fantasy tale.
Tessonja Odette is a fantasy author living in Seattle with her family, her pets, and ample amounts of chocolate. When she isn’t writing, she’s watching cat videos, petting dogs, having dance parties in the kitchen with her daughter, or pursuing her many creative hobbies.
Emma Faye is an actor and audiobook narrator with 20+ years of experience on stage, screen and voice over. Being an LA trained actor, Emma is great at bringing characters to life, very versatile with voices, and draws the listener into the story. She loves doing audiobooks and specializes in Clean/Sweet/Christian books. She is a proud cat mom to 4 fur babies and runs a local community theatre.
Q&A with Author Tessonja Odette
- How did you select your narrator?
- I selected Emma by posting a sample for interested narrators to read. I listened to a few from other narrators that I enjoyed, but when I got to Emma’s, I was like, “That’s Cora! That’s her!” And she did the male voices and other characters so well that I knew I had to work with her. I’m so glad she agreed to work with me on this series because she really brought it to life.
- 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 worked very closely with Emma at the start of the first audiobook. That one was the most important to nail down, since many of the characters appear throughout the entire series. So I sent her a pronunciation guide with little insights into each character so she could channel their personalities into their voices. I also explained how I envisioned certain characters sounding, like Valorre the unicorn. She did an amazing job taking all my notes and expressing them through her own creativity. I loved working with her!
- Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
- I love audiobooks! My favorite things about audiobooks is that I can listen to them while I’m doing other things, like commuting or crafting. I recently had a sewing project I needed to do for my wedding which took so many hours. Having an audiobook to help me pass the time made the tedious job way more fun than if I were just stitching in a silent room.
- Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
- I think listeners really enjoy hearing the specific accents of the Faeran and Forest People that Emma has created. It gives it a magical feel to be able to hear that, and it’s just something that is much harder to achieve in book format.
- What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
- I would say, it’s simply a different format. Audiobooks provide an additional opportunity to process a story, often in cases where reading a physical book wouldn’t be possible, like during a commute, or perhaps when you’re under the weather and can’t do much other than lie in bed and listen to audio (I do this whenever I get headaches!) or when doing something that requires physical attention but not mental attention. Audiobooks have their time and place in the world of reading, and I’m so glad they exist.
- How did you celebrate after finishing this novel?
- It’s been so long, I honestly can’t remember. But I will tell you that for my most recent series that I just finished writing, I celebrated by buying a lot of tea and skincare. Those are my favorite luxuries to splurge on!
- What gets you out of a writing slump? What about a reading slump?
- When I’m in a writing slump, I’ll either take a break to read and edit my progress up to the point where I feel stuck, or I’ll take a full-on break to watch shows, movies, and just fill my creative well. For a reading slump, I’ll change formats (like from ebook to paperback, or paperback to audiobook), just something to switch things up in my brain. If that doesn’t help, I’ll switch genres. Since I read primarily YA fantasy, reading a fast paced adult thriller will almost always get me out of a slump, or even a sizzling rom com.
- Have any of your characters ever appeared in your dreams?
- They have! There’s a scene in Shadows of Lela in a chapter called Interlude, where two of the characters have a romantic meeting and the male character sings his lover a song he wrote for her. The day before I wrote this scene, I had no idea what to write. Then that night, I dreamed about the couple meeting and they sang this super sweet duet. I woke up humming the song to myself, thinking it was brilliant. The song was, however, contemporary and not quite right for the feel of my book. But it did give me the idea for Larylis to sing a song! Other than that, two other books I’ve written were taken directly from actual dreams I’ve had.
- What’s next for you?
- Well, I just finished my most recent series, a romantic fae trilogy called The Fair Isle Trilogy. I’m releasing book 3 at the end of December, then it will be time to move on to my next series! I have two in mind that I’ll be working on next year, so it’s time for me to kick my creative brain into high gear and plan out both of those so I can decide which one to write next. But writing about fae has been my favorite thing, ever since I wrote about the Forest People and Faeran in the Lela Trilogy. I’ve been exploring fae more and more with every book, and will likely continue writing books about fae, romance, and fierce females.
Plugging you into the audio community since 2016.