Oasis Audio converted the Raleigh Harmon books into CD-format. I'm a huge fan of listening to books being read out loud -- either in person or recorded.
But it took me several months to listen to my own audio books. Call me chicken (although, like Raleigh, I prefer beef), I didn't want to be disappointed.
"Give it ten minutes," my husband said, dangling his keys. He kept the Raleigh CDs in his car on rotation. He loved them. "Ten minutes," he repeated, like someone trying to encourage a coward to jump off a diving board. "If you don't like it after ten minutes, shut it off."
I grabbed his keys, stomped out the door and ten minutes later realized my exit had just whipped past. Twenty minutes later I was circling my destination instead of parking because I didn't want to get out of the car.
An hour later my cell phone rang. I was parked in front of Starbucks, not getting out.
"Did you listen?" my husband asked.
"Sorry, I can't talk right now."
I hung up and continued my vigil, wondering whether I'd have the strength to leave this vehicle within the next six hours. Actress and veteran audio book reader Cassandra Campbell was bringing all sorts of imaginary friends to life in "The Clouds Roll Away"-- and nailing every accent, from white-southern-plantation to black-southern-urban.
I could've cried.
But I was too busy trying to figure out what's gonna happen next! Yes, I'd forgotten my own story but more significantly, Ms. Campbell was reading it with those just-right touches of suspense and drama and humor. I didn't like this reading because I wrote it -- I loved it because it was done so well, from production quality to vocal intonations.
"The Rivers Run Dry" and the most recent Raleigh Harmon installment,"The Stars Shine Bright". Treat yourself to a listen -- Cassandra Campbell reads the first chapter of "Rivers" on YouTube.
The woman obviously loves words; you can hear it in her voice.
But don't blame me if you miss an appointment.
And don't call me.
I'm heading out the door -- CDs in hand -- for a really long road trip.
P.S. Oasis Audio maintains a large catalog of great books told from a redeemed viewpoint, including such luminaries as Max Lucado and Colleen Coble. Find out more and sign up for promotional giveaways on their Facebook page.