Hello, Diverse Reader! It’s me again! I feel like I am ALL OVER your blog this spring/summer and you’re always so generous and kind to have me. Thank you so much! I’m excited to tell you about my first ever audiobook release, Training Season, narrated by the amazing Michael Ferraiuolo.
Training Season, a romance about an effeminate figure skater and a Montanan rancher, came out in December of 2013 and quickly developed a fan based. I didn’t intend to produce it as my first audiobook, though, due to the length and, thus, the expense. But when I was auditioning narrators for Episode One of the Will & Patrick Wake Up Married serial, Michael’s audition stood out to me. While I knew he was absolutely wrong for Will & Patrick, I knew he was absolutely right for Matty & Rob from Training Season. As it turns out, I was right! He did a phenomenal job! You can listen to the clip below to see if you agree.
One of the questions I often get about Training Season is what inspired the story and while there were layers of inspiration involved, I always come back to the moment I first viewed the following fanvideo produced by Sony Dale. It shows a montage of moments from Johnny Weir’s skating career set to a song by Mika. The lyrics of the song and the visuals imprinted on my mind and Matty was born, along with a burning need to answer the question of what success looked like to a figure skater, and what happens when the odds are stacked against you, and your own worst enemy is yourself?
Figure skating as a sport has changed a lot since I wrote Training Season (and a hell of a lot since Johnny Weir, the initial but not final inspiration for the book, retired) but I chose not to update the figure skating particulars for the audiobook. I decided to let the book reside in the world it was born in and for it to stand on the strength of the story as it was originally written.
I hope that audiobook listeners connect with Matty and Rob through Michael’s amazing performance. I’m grateful to every reader out there who fell in love with Training Season and I’m especially grateful to my Patreon members who have made the audiobook financially possible.
Thank you again for having me here today! I appreciate the time and effort you put into helping authors and readers promote and locate books!
Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Audible US | Audible UK | iTunes
Cover: Wicked Smart Design
Narrator: Michael Ferraiuolo
Unquestionably talented figure skater Matty Marcus is willing to sacrifice everything for his Olympic dream, but his lack of discipline cost him the gold once before. Now the pressure’s on. He needs a coach who can keep him in line, but top coaches don't come cheap, and Matty can't afford to stay in the game no matter how badly he wants to win.
When a lucrative house-sitting gig brings him to rural Montana, Matty does his best to maintain his training regimen. Local residents turn out to be surprisingly tolerant of his flamboyant style, especially handsome young rancher Rob Lovely, who proves to be much more than a cowboy stereotype. Just as Matty requires a firm hand to perform his best on the ice, Rob shows him how strong he can be when he relinquishes control in the bedroom. With new-found self-assurance, he drives himself harder to go straight to the top.
But competition has a timetable, and to achieve his Olympic dream, Matty will have to join his new coach in New York City, leaving Rob behind. Now he must face the ultimate test. Has he truly learned how to win—on and off the ice—during his training season?
Leta Blake's Training Season has long been a fan favorite. And for good reason. The story of Olympic figure skater Matty Marcus and rancher Rob Lovely is one that many have read over and over again. A superb romance, fabulous characters, and so much emotion are just a few of the reasons why this book is so popular. Hearing it made revisiting Matty and Rob just as fantastic as I thought it would be, especially because of Michael Ferraiulo's narration. I don't know that anyone could have brought this story to life quite like he did.
From Rob's husky, sexy drawl to Matty's sassiness, Michael definitely captured their personalities. Neither man is easy or straightforward and Ferraiulo did a wonderful job with each, making them stand out and stay true to their characters. There are a number of secondary characters sprinkled throughout the book that play pivotal roles, many of them female, and unlike most other male narrators, Ferraiulo does a remarkable job of giving each of them--Margaret, Donna, and others--their own distinct voice. Really, the whole thing is just brilliantly done. The cadence, the emotions portrayed, especially the intimate moments that are fraught with intensity and feelings, are so memorable. I give the narrator all the kudos especially for the voice for Ben. He deftly handles him when he's younger and then changes the voice as Ben matures. Truly wonderful work there!
I'm so glad that Leta Blake had Michael Ferraiulo bring this book to life and gave it the justice it deserves. I can only hope he's already on board to do book 2!
Author of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and the fan favorite Training Season, Leta Blake’s educational and professional background is in psychology and finance, respectively. However, her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.
Locally, nationally and internationally, Michael Ferraiuolo is dedicated to helping artists realize their projects. Through audio recording, production, voice acting, narration, singing and composition it is his goal to provide honest, professional, and practical services to writers, producers, and artists.
With top tier recording capabilities and years of practical experience it is his hope to help writers enhance their project through collaboration and creative exploration.