Audiobook Review: THE COLOR OF THE SEASON by Julianne MacLean

A wondrous Christmas story to be read anytime when one dares to believe that miracles do happen.

23171221Title: The Color of the Season, The Color of Heaven Series, Book 7
Author: Julianne MacLean
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Young Adult, Holiday
Story Setting: Christmas Time
Sold By: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Pages: 280

Listening Length: 6 hours, 25 minutes
Narrated By: Graham Halstead, Jennifer O’Donnell
Publisher: Julianne MacLean
Release Date: December 4, 2014




About the Story and Series:

From USA Today bestselling author Julianne MacLean comes the next instalment in her popular Color of Heaven series – a gripping, emotional tale about real life magic that touches us all during the holiday season… Boston cop, Josh Wallace, is having the worst day of his life. First, he’s dumped by the woman he was about to propose to, then everything goes downhill from there when he is shot in the line of duty. While recovering in the hospital, he can’t seem to forget the woman he wanted to marry, nor can he make sense of the vivid images that flashed before his eyes when he was wounded on the job. Soon, everything he once believed about his life begins to shift when he meets Leah James, an enigmatic resident doctor who somehow holds the key to both his past and his future…

Praise for The Color of Heaven Series:  “A box of tissues should be included in the purchase price of this book…. I finished THE COLOR OF HEAVEN in a matter of hours, but I’ve no doubt the read and the lessons imparted through Sophie’s story will stay with me… probably forever. THE COLOR OF HEAVEN is an incredibly poignant and unbelievably gripping novel, deserving Romance Junkies’ highest rating.”  FIVE BLUE RIBBONS – Chris at Romance Junkies

Other books in this series:
Book Three: THE COLOR OF HOPE (my review

My Thoughts: This story held many secrets which slowly the reader discovers as the story unfolds. But frankly, Julianne MacLean hooked me with the prologue, a mere couple of paragraphs. I knew things were going to be eerie by those few paragraphs and I took the bait. Hook, line and sinker!

The story was told in first person, first by the cop named Josh Wallace and later by Hollie James. Beginning with chapter 33 the narrator shifts from Graham Halstead to Jennifer O’Donnell and then back again with Graham Halstead at chapter 50. This was unusual but quite understandable since it made better sense to use two entirely different voices, both again being in first person.

Josh Wallace was one likeable, sensitive and open cop and one very unlucky one. He talks of not believing anything about spirits, the afterlife, or ghosts to eventually accepting these things are possible.   He was a guy able to discuss his insecurities. I liked that about him. I also loved the way Josh Wallace changed throughout the telling.

Narrator Graham Halstead did an excellent job telling his part of the story, using a voice that was just like the boy next door. I heard the sincerity in his voice, talking of his childhood, and his feelings about the James family whom he spent a lot of time with when young.

When speaking dialog for Josh’s mother and Leah James, his tone became feminine, however, not jarringly so, but enough that the listener knew who was speaking. When the story took off in a cop chase, I could feel the tension in the narrator’s voice. Mr. Halstead paced the read matching the intensity of the story. While in coma, Josh tells of his experience, reliving his life past and an out-of-body experience. But as it turned out, it was much more than that.   A delightful story. I don’t want to say more – don’t want to spoil the great read/listen for you.

The story gains greater depth and meaning when Josh shares his experience with the James family. He tells us how Riley and Leah had to toe the line in their family, how Dr. James ran his home controlling just about everything and everyone within it until those within tried to save themselves.

Jennifer O’Donnell narrated the portion of the story where Hollie James told her side of the experience. I enjoyed Jennifer’s voice very much. She personifies Hollie, her emotion and intellect.

The story was unusual and powerful. We all make mistakes. We all can ask for forgiveness. Everything happens for a reason and everything can turn on a dime. The question still stands. Does fate arrange our lives?

Publicity%20photo%20300dpi%20(2)About the Author: USA Today Bestselling author, Julianne MacLean came to the romance genre after completing a degree in English literature from the University of King’s College in Nova Scotia. She fell in love with some of the classic romances – Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice – and after a brief stint as a federal government auditor, decided to try her hand at becoming a modern day romance writer. She is a three time Rita Finalist and winner of numerous awards, including the Romantic Times Magazine Reviewers Choice Award, the Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence, and the Greater Detroit Romance Writers Booksellers’ Best Award, and has sold over 1.2 million books in North America alone. She is a devoted wife and mother, and loves to travel. She has lived in New Zealand and Ottawa, and is now settled happily in Nova Scotia, while working on her latest book. Please visit her website for more information and be sure to sign up for her mailing list to stay informed about new releases, and to be included in her monthly giveaway of an autographed book.


graham_0017About Narrator Graham Halstead: Graham Halstead grew up in Virginia. He acted in school plays, attended drama camps, and in high school had the opportunity to work with Debbie Allen at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. What began as a childhood passion was growing into a thrilling adventure. Accepted into New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, he moved to New York City to study and train at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting. After two years living in the city, he auditioned and was chosen for a four month study abroad program at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, England. Between semesters at school, Graham spent his time working and acting regionally including the Williamstown Theater Festival in Massachusetts and the Peterborough Players in New Hampshire. Graduation arrived and Graham crossed the Atlantic again to perform in a new play as a part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Returning to NYC, he originated roles in the New York and World Premiere of two new plays by up and coming playwrights at the Cherry Lane’s Cherry Pit Theater and the award winning Off-Off Broadway Flea Theater. He currently lives in Brooklyn in New York City.


jenniferodonnellAbout Narrator Jennifer O’Donnell: Armed with a Highlights Magazine and a dream, Jennifer produced, directed and (of course) starred in her first play at the ripe old age of 8.  Since then she has worked as an actor and director Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway and nowhere near Broadway. She has narrated over 35 audiobooks including the Molly Fyde series for acclaimed science fiction writer Hugh Howey and the Trystan Scott and The Arrangement series for New York Times best-selling romance author H.M. Ward.  Jennifer knows her way around a Pro Tools session as she has directed and produced audiobooks for Brick Shop Audio and Recorded Books. She has done voice imaging work with Maverick Media and radio commercials.  Jennifer has trained with Paul Ruben, Andy Cohen, Joan Baker, Bruce Kronenberg, Jonathan Silverstein, SITI Company and Michael Howard Studios. She lives in Brooklyn and likes all the usual things; coffee, puppies, rainbows and beef jerkey.

Julianne MacLean interviews narrator Jennifer O’Donnell

About eileendandashi

I am a lover of books, both reading and writing. 2018 marks the beginning of my own journey from writer to published author. This blog will showcase various authors' thoughts on the elements of novel crafting, and my attempts to find my voice in writing. While journaling this journey, I hope to encourage others to follow their dreams. Book reviews continue as I have the last four years, only making time for my new pursuits.
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