Disney’s ‘Tangled’ Audiobook Brought To Life By Renee Raudman’s Narration


Tangled, Disney’s 2010 blockbuster based on the Rapunzel story, is finally available in audiobook form recorded by award winning narrator, Renée Raudman.

Disney released Tangled: The Junior Novelization, in 2010 in conjunction with the premiere of their feature film of the same name. The original film earned over $600 million and an Oscar for Best Original Song in 2010. Now children of all ages, with the help of Raudman’s classic and enthralling voice, can re-live the exciting and enchanting story of a young, vibrant girl who discovers her own magic and path.

la mag renee

Renee Raudman – August 2014 Best of LA issue of Los Angeles Magazine

Renée Raudman has made a career out of captivating people with her voice and bringing them into a world she has created that extends beyond the authors word’s and was recently featured as an L.A. Archetype in Los Angeles Magazine’s Best of LA issue.

She has recorded over 300 titles with Tangled being one of her most cherished. Her welcoming and lyrical voice enchants listeners with stories by successful authors from Ilona Andrews to Danielle Steele–and now Disney fans get to enjoy her readings.  She has also recorded many bestselling titles for Blackstone over the years too.

Publishers and authors of modern fiction, non-fiction, and YA (young adult) trust in Renée’s honed skills for conveying their story to avid listeners. She has recorded for some of the best known authors in the world, including Catherine Coulter and Suzanne Brockmann.

Renée is lauded by critics for her commitment to story, her differentiation of characters, and her ability to convey emotion and the writer’s intent on every page – whether it be fiction, non-fiction, memoir or young adult. She is known for her strong voicing of both her female and male characters.

Prior to her career in book narration, she was a successful television actress with credits that included the recurring role of Jordon, on ABC’s “One Life To Live,” Phyllis on NBC’s “Passions,” in addition to guest-starring in roles on “3rd Rock from the Sun,” “The Drew Carey Show,” “Hercules: The Legendary Journey” and more. She has voiced characters on Fox’s “The Simpsons,” can be heard on Cartoon Network as Miss Butterbean on “The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy” and is the voice of the narrator on the E! Entertainment’s series “Starmaps.”  Gamers still adore her sultry Ukrainian Weapons Analyst character Nastasha Romanenko from the original Metal Gear Solid.

For the past seven years, however, she has been laser focused on audiobooks, with her own career expanding exponentially as audiobooks became a $1.2 billion-a-year industry. Her rich narrative audio style helped established the trend widely used now, creating a more fully theatrical audio experience.


Renée Raudman

“When I was asked to record Disney’s Tangled audiobook, I was over the moon!” said Raudman. “I have a 3-yr old precious niece who LOVED the movie, and I’ve watched it with her several times. For me, recording Tangled was a very personal and meaningful opportunity. It was also nerve-wracking in a way! I mean, giving voice to something so iconic both personally and universally is pretty scary!”

Disney’s Tangled is timeless, a fun adventure where the swashbuckling thief Flynn Rider meets Rapunzel–the girl with seventy feet of magical hair.

Together they go on wild, hilarious, and heartfelt adventures when Rapunzel leaves her isolated tower for the first time.

Forget Selfies, the hottest new trend is Belfies… and you can thank Kim Kardashian for that

Kim showed off her famous booty this week

Kim showed off her famous booty this week

On Thursday, July 17, Kim Kardashian showed off her famous asset — again!

The 33-year-old reality star posted a photo of herself on Instagram, showing her tanning her famous derriere in Mexico with the caption: “#OurLovelyLadyLumps”

Naturally the pic garnered the attention Mrs. West was hoping for.

And thanks to Kim, the hottest new trend in pop culture is the “Belfie”, also known as the butt-selfie.

Rihanna is getting in on the belfie trend

Rihanna is getting in on the belfie trend

According to, “Plenty of celebs have jumped on the belfie train- obviously Kim Kardashian, Rihanna- with her more subtle belfies…And Heidi Klum, just to name a few. And we’d be crazy not to reference the glutes queen, Jen Selter! She basically became famous for her derriere. It even landed her a spread in Vogue.”

But to celebrity plastic surgeon and butt specialist, Dr. Constantino Mendieta, getting a good belfie is nothing new, having worked on some of the most photographed derrieres around the world to make them the most photographed derrieres around the world

“I have patients who have increased their Instagram following by posting belfies.,” he tells CelebZter. “Everyone wants more followers these days and it seems the way to do it is by posting these backside selfies.

“It used to be about looking good in a bikini or for your man, but now everyone wants a great backside so they can take a great belfie for their Instagram or Facebook.  Having a great butt is the new status symbol and there is nothing wrong with that at all.  I’m here to help them get it safely if they can’t (or won’t) do it naturally. ”

And with 25 years experience, he might know a thing or two how to achieve that perfect Belfie.

There's Kim's famous asset

There’s Kim’s famous asset

Dr. Constantino Mendieta

Ever Wonder How Audiobooks are Produced? Renee Raudman Takes us Behind the Curtain


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Audiobooks are the fastest growing segment of the publishing business right now, with 2013 sales of over $2 billion dollars.  It’s easier now than ever before for authors to have audiobooks produced, and those audiobooks can create significant revenue streams.

But how are audiobooks made?  What’s the process?

Renee Raudman

Renee Raudman

I’m pleased to have one of the top audiobook narrators in the business as my guest today to explain the business to us. Renee Raudman, who has narrated over 300 audiobooks and won numerous awards for her work, will walk us through the entire process.  From initial contact to post production work, she’ll take us inside the studio, and teach us the process. Note: The times listed in parentheses are the spots in the interview where that section begins.)

  • She’ll offer her opinion on why audiobooks have exploded over the past several years. (16:45)
  • She’ll explain the changes in the business of creating audiobooks since she got started eight years ago. (26:49)
  • She’ll explain why home studios are so important, as well as exactly what a home studio is. (31:02)
  • She’ll walk us through the changes in technology over the past several years. (33:20)
  • She’ll take us, step-by-step, through the entire process of producing an audiobook.  From initial contact, to cleaning up errors after the production has been completed. (36:20)
  • She shares a great story about losing out, on the most prestigious award in the audiobook business, to one of the world’s top movie stars. (1:01:40)
  • Then she provides some specific advice for authors, on selecting a narrator for their project, estimating costs for audiobook production based on word count, and explains the different options available through Amazon’s ACX program. (1:10:30)
  • We finish the interview with Renee offering some advice for anyone interested in getting into the audiobook narration business.  (Hint:  Be prepared to work your tail off.) (1:17:08)

Links from News for Authors:

New York Times article on the release of Kindle Unlimited.

Links from the interview with Renee Raudman:


Did you enjoy the podcast?

Thank you so much for listening to the show. If it has helped you in any way, shape or form, please share it using the social media buttons you see on the page.  Additionally, reviews for the podcast on iTunes are extremely helpful, and VERY MUCH appreciated! Reviews for podcasts matter, in much the same way reviews for books do. (Instructions for leaving an iTunes review can be found here.) And lastly, if you have any questions please let them in the comments, or on our Facebook Page. If you’d prefer to email me, you can do that as well. My email address is on the contact page. If you’re an iTunes user, please subscribe to the show to get it automatic updates. If you’re a Stitcher user, you can now get the show through their app as well.

Renee Raudman

Seattle Seahawks Running Back Derrick Coleman, Jr. Supports Children Born With Microtia

derrick use

Seattle Seahawks Running Back Derrick Coleman, Jr. Supports Children Born With Microtia

Seattle Seahawks running back, Derrick Coleman, Jr. enjoyed a fun afternoon tossing the football and signing T-shirts with children having Microtia (born without one or both ears) and their families at Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes, California on Saturday, July 12th.


The gridiron hero was there to support the kids and bring awareness to the charity Earicles(Miracles for Ears), a non-profit that helps children born with Microtia, by speaking at their annual fundraiser and silent auction.

He took time out to visit with all the families, take pictures and give the children and their families great inspiration and a feeling they have someone special and important in their corner who understands what they are going through.

Derrick Coleman, Jr. has been deaf since the age of three. Coleman receives letters occasionally from kids who are walking in his shoes too.

This particular letter, which found its way to him via Twitter, really got to him:


Courtesy of Jake Kovalcik’s Twitter account.

Told by coaches that he’d never make it, and teased mercilessly as a child by his peers, Derrick’s sheer will and determination allowed him to overcome tremendous obstacles in his young life. Hard work, tenacity and sheer will got him to the NFL and the Championship.

“He is such an inspiration to these children, and he truly understands their plight,” says Dr. Sheryl Lewin, a Craniofacial Pediatric Plastic Surgeon, and the founder of Earicles. “We were thrilled to have Derrick join us!”


Dr. Lewin consulting a patient

Dr. Lewin founded Earicles in 2012 to give children with Microtia an opportunity to excel through education, advocacy, research, and ear reconstruction surgery for those whose families might not otherwise be able to afford the cost.

And as for Derrick, he also took time to write that little girl back, courtesy of FOX Sports:

wrote back


Original Article

Learn More about the Khalili Center for Bariatric Care

Aging Into Addiction After 50

Aging Into Addiction After 50


It had always been “just beer” for Danny Smith*, who began imbibing at age 13. He never graduated to hard liquor or other drugs, nor considered his drinking a problem. Then, two years ago, while tinkering with an old jeep for fun, Danny moved a fender and felt sudden searing pain in his shoulder. Complications with surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff left the heavy equipment mechanic unable to return to work, and forced his wife to take a job in another state. “I was alone, depressed and basically felt worthless,” Danny, 57, recalls. “That’s when drinking took over.” As Danny describes it, he’d wake up, feed his dogs and crack his first beer–ultimately finishing forty a day at his lowest point.

Sadly, Danny’s story isn’t unique. According to the University of Pennsylvania Health System, older adults are hospitalized for alcohol-related problems as much as for heart attacks. And while alcohol remains the leading substance abuse cause of hospital admissions for people 50-plus, boomers are increasingly turning to illicit drugs. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s most recent national survey found illicit drug use among adults aged 50 to 64 rose from a rate of 3.4 percent to 7.2 percent over the last ten years.

Our Addiction Is Different

“Baby boomers struggles with addiction are different than those of younger people because their problems are very different,” explains Akikur Mohammad, M.D., associate professor of addiction medicine at USC’s Keck School of Medicine and director of LA-based treatment center Inspire Malibu. “Some are battling physical pain due to aging-related illness and diminished abilities. Others have emotional pain from a range of traumatic experiences, are burdened by caring for elderly parents, or face financial challenges due to life on a fixed, limited income.”

What’s more, we boomers came of age when recreational drug use was widespread–indeed, we coined the use of “party” as a verb. Plus, unlike our youngers, our generation is fiercely independent, so we can be more prone to the practice of self-medication. So even those not facing the physical, emotional or economic hardships of aging–folks who simply have too much time and disposable income on their hands–can descend into addiction. If you wonder if your partying may be a problem, take the self-test devised by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence here:

Our Treatment Is Tailored

If your self-test results concern you, know that help is available–and will be tailored to more than your age. “Treatment must be individualized to each person’s unique problems and needs,” says Dr. Mohammad. “No two people are alike in their struggles, so it’s important to perform a proper assessment to isolate the root cause and determine the best therapies, which may include medication along with proven evidence-based therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapies.” Recovery is a lifelong process–one day at a time, as they say–but Dr. Mohammad points out that the first step gets you halfway there: “Seeking help if you really want to change is 50 percent of the treatment.”

Danny, four weeks sober when he spoke to Fifty Is the New Fifty, is thankful that he took that step–and so are his wife, kids and grandchildren. “It requires a bigger person to admit you have a problem than to hide it and deny it,” he says. “Look yourself in the mirror, consider all the medical issues you’re creating for yourself and get the help you need.”

* Name has been changed.

An all-around wordsmith, Nina Malkin is a journalist, novelist, copywriter and memoirist. She’s also an avid collector of lovely things from eras past–read her musings at

Original Article

Dr. A R Mohammad


Booty Pioneer Paves Way For Social Media Belfie Queen

The hottest new trend in pop culture is the “Belfie,” also known as the butt-selfie.

According to, “Plenty of celebs have jumped on the belfie train- obviously Kim Kardashian, Rihanna- with her more subtle belfies…And Heidi Klum, just to name a few. And we’d be crazy not to reference the glutes queen, Jen Selter! She basically became famous for her derriere. It even landed her a spread in Vogue.”

jen 4

Jen Selter Instagram

But to celebrity plastic surgeon and butt specialist, Dr. Constantino Mendieta, getting a good belfie is nothing new.

He has worked on some of the most photographed derrieres around the world to make them the most coveted bottoms for decades now, and he has appeared on CNN, the TODAY show, EXTRA, Good Morning America, The Doctors and many other shows to discuss his groundbreaking technique of fat transfer to balance the natural shape.

photo with Anderson Cooper

Dr. Mendieta (R) with Anderson Cooper

For the past 25 years, Dr. Mendieta has made a name for himself as the go-to doctor for women and men who want a little more backside contouring done correctly, without health risks or grotesque outcomes. His talented work, combined with the fashion influences of actresses and artists like Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz and even the Kardashians has taken the focus away from the chest and put it squarely on the rear end.

He literally wrote the book on this procedure that is used by plastic surgeons around the world (The Art of Gluteal Sculpting) and he is completely without equal when it comes to talking about the trends of style, shape, size and options of implants versus fat grafting, which is his preference.

Dr. Mendieta spoke to Monsters and Critics and said, “I have noticed a recent trend, with more patients coming in with Belfies from their friends, pictures from the internet of celebrities instead of the retouched magazine photos they used to bring in. People want healthy and sexy and attainable curves, not ridiculous side-show Jerry Springer bottoms!”

VICE interviewed Dr. Mendieta for their online magazine and for the HBO series about the tragic outcomes and dangerous lengths some women will go through to get a bigger butt and how he has saved lives and restores the bodies of men and women from botched back-alley procedures. Dr. Mendieta’s restorative work has given people back their lives and their health.

Dr. Mendieta even referenced Internet Belfie queen and fitness model Jen Selter as an ideal example of proportions many patients are seeking when they come to him. Selter was interviewed by Huffington Post on how she gets her “selter butt.”

Anyone can acquire anything they set their hearts and minds to! It takes dedication, perseverance, hard work and consistency. There is no secret pill, no special diet. What it comes down to is how hard you push yourself and how you overcome the mental challenge of getting yourself to the gym even when you really don’t want to. Consistency leads to results. Diet is also important. I eat every few hours to keep my metabolism running and I try to stay away from overly processed foods. Lots of lean meat, vegetables and fresh fruit. Fitness is a lifestyle. You must be mentally prepared to commit to it and be consistent with your health and fitness lifestyle in order to see results and as we know results don’t happen overnight.

Original Article

Dr. Constantino Mendieta

Hospitals Acquire Medical Practices and Hike Prices Study Shows

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — When Doug Pitman, M.D., sold his private practice to a hospital group 16 years ago, he had to see more patients, which meant less time with them. Eventually, he moved on and became a concierge doctor.

“There is no substitute for time spent with patients,” Pitman says. But this time squeeze is all part of a larger trend.

“Hospitals continue to acquire primary care practices at an increasing rate,” says Chip Harvey, a sales and service consultantat Corporate Benefits Service, a third-party administrator of employer sponsored health benefit plans.

The number of hospital-owned physician practices in the U.S. more than doubled from 2002 to 2008. While in theory hospital-owned physician practices may enhance communication, reduce repetitive tests, ease coordination of care and contain costs, a recent study shows prices for patients in these practices, and their private insurers, have actually increased.

Acquiring practices increases the clout of hospital-owned physician practices “and their negotiating power withinsurance companies,” Harvey says. However, as a consequence, these primary care doctors “lose their independence because they are required to refer patients who need specialist treatment or diagnostic services … only to specialists and diagnostic centers that are also owned by the hospital,” he says.

That close tie appears to affect how much patients are billed.

Researchers at Stanford University examined about 2.1 million claims from non-elderly privately insured individuals from 2001 through 2007. They found that hospitals that owned physician practices had higher prices. The study was published in the journal Health Affairs.

The researchers note that “hospitals may still be sharing profits with physicians who opt to treat patients at more costly facilities or with more costly procedures than is medically appropriate.”

The study didn’t look at the effect of hospital-owned physician practices on patient health outcomes.

The researchers noted that Affordable Care Act creates incentives that will likely increase the number of medical practices legally tied to hospitals, whether by ownership or contract. The ACA “rewards doctors and hospitals that join together in an accountable care organization (ACO) by making them eligible for cash bonuses from Medicare,” the researchers wrote.

–Written by S.Z. Berg for MainStreet

Robert Downey Jr’s Son’s Arrest Underscores The Genetics Of Addiction VIDEO


Actor Robert Downey Jr. has enjoyed a four-decades-plus career with two Academy Award nominations, three Golden Globe wins, numerous other award nominations and wins, notably starring as Tony Stark in Iron Man, Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock Holmes, and he is currently married to Susan Downey and has two sons (one from a previous marriage).

Downey Jr. has had a troubled history of his own with addiction issues. Early on in 1982, he dropped out of Santa Monica High School to pursue acting full time. His father, Robert Downey Sr., himself a drug addict, exposed his son to drugs at a very early age, and Downey Jr. would go on to struggle with drug abuse for decades.  The actor’s drug-related problems escalated from 1996 to 2001, leading to numerous arrests, rehab visits and incarcerations, and he was eventually fired from the TV series “Ally McBeal.”

From the 2013 Daily Mail article:

” To a large extent, his [Robert Downey Jr.] myriad problems were the legacy of a recklessly liberal upbringing by his parents, underground film-maker Robert Downey[Sr.]  and Elsie, his actress mother, in bohemian Greenwich Village, New York…His father cast his son in his first film, the avant-garde comedy Pound, at the age of five…But Downey Sr was a notorious drug addict and one day, as he watched the eight-year-old Robert drinking the white wine he had given him, he offered to let him try a cannabis joint.”

Emerging clean and sober in 2003, Downey Jr. climbed out of that big hole and built up his career with Gothika, Good Night, and Good Luck. A Scanner Darkly, Tropic Thunder and the films of the Iron Man, Avengers and Sherlock Holmes franchises.

In 2005, Downey Jr. married Susan Downey, who gave birth to their son, Exton Elias Downey, on February 7, 2012. Downey also has another son, Indio Falconer Downey, born September 7, 1993, from his first marriage to Deborah Falconer, from whom he was officially divorced in 2004.

Sadly, TMZ reports that the oldest child of Robert Downey Jr., Indio, has been arrested. Downey Jr. released the following statement to TMZ:

“Unfortunately there’s a genetic component to addiction and Indio has likely inherited it. Also, there is a lot of family support and understanding, and we’re all determined to rally behind him and help him become the man he’s capable of being.  We’re grateful to the Sheriff’s department for their intervention, and believe Indio can be another recovery success story instead of a cautionary tale.”

Robert Downey Jr.’s son was arrested for cocaine possession in West Hollywood Sunday afternoon, law enforcement sources tell TMZ.  Indio was observed smoking something out of a pipe according to the website.

An L.A. County Sheriff’s deputy pulled the car over, did a search and allegedly found cocaine in Indio’s possession. He was arrested and taken to jail for possession of cocaine.

Indio, 20, posted the $10K bail and was released just after midnight Sunday.

Frequent contributor to Monsters and Critics in the area of addiction is expert Akikur Mohammad, M.D., the CEO and founder of Inspire Malibu Treatment Center.  Dr. Mohammad is a board-certified psychiatrist with a second board certification in addiction medicine. In addition to his role as Inspire Malibu’s CEO, Dr. Mohammad is Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor at Keck School of Medicine at USC where he is active in teaching medical students and residents the subject of addiction medicine and psychiatry.

Dr. Mohammad tells Monsters and Critics: “Robert Downey’s Jr.’s son drug possession arrest underscores that drug addiction is a chronic disease. Numerous scientific research studies support the fact that drug, and alcohol, addiction is a chronic disease with a strong genetic component, just like every other chronic disease including asthma, diabetes and heart disease.

“It’s disheartening that the young man’s disease is being sensationally publicized. After all, would we be throwing him into the limelight if it were discovered he had diabetes?

“The bottom line is that alcohol and drug addiction are chronic diseases. The debate on whether they or not is over. All the leading health and medical organization in the U.S. and worldwide support this contention, including the American Medical Association and the World Health Organization. But like every chronic disease, substance abuse addiction can be successfully managed with evidence-based treatment that includes medication, counseling and lifestyle modification. Robert Downey, Jr., is the greatest testament that a sufferer of alcohol-drug addiction can lead a successful, productive life.”

Original Article

Dr. A R Mohammad

The Stem Cell Era: Science Fiction Becomes Medical Fact


Imagine a world with a medical landscape unlike anything we recognize now – where today’s medicines could be obsolete and surgical intervention a rarity. Where breakthroughs mean people will be living into their 100′s in good health and in sound mind.

If that sounds like fantasy, it’s safe to say that science fiction is rapidly evolving into medical fact, and the shift is going to be dramatic. A key component in this evolving future are viable, regenerative adult cell replacement therapies  — applied to treating a span of diseases and ailments, including heart disease, cancer, Crohn’s disease, spine degeneration, diabetes, Parkinson’s, macular degeneration, multiple sclerosis, damaged bones and many other issues.

Silviu Portrait 1

Dr. Silviu Itescu, the CEO and founder of Mesoblast, Ltd., now

Leading this charge is modern day medical pioneer Dr. Silviu Itescu, the CEO and founder of Mesoblast, Ltd., now the largest regenerative medicine company worldwide.  Think American pioneer Dr. Jonas Salk in the early days of his research in fighting the dread polio.  Dr. Salk became a revered medical figure upon the announcement in 1955 that his polio vaccine was safe and effective. It was a turning point in the fight against a disease that condemned some victims to live the rest of their lives in tank-like breathing machines called iron lungs and made playing outside off-limits to children as parents feared contagion. The Salk Polio vaccine changed medical history and saved countless lives, ending the yearly toll of epidemics,  paralysis and death.

The extraordinary story of  Dr. Itescu is not far off from Dr. Jonas Salk.  In the 21st century, Dr. Itescu’s work through Mesoblast is on the brink of revolutionizing medicine as we know it.  His pioneering efforts showing that certain adult stem cells, extracted from healthy adults’ bone marrow, could be used to repair damaged hearts has formed the basis of many clinical trials in patients with ischemic heart disease.

Dr. Itescu has focused Mesoblast’s stem cell therapies in four major and distinct areas – systemic diseases with an underlying inflammatory and immunologic etiology; cardiac and vascular diseases; orthopedic diseases of the spine; and improving outcomes of bone marrow transplantation associated with oncology or genetic conditions.  Mesoblast currently has multiple products in various stages of clinical trials in anticipation of making them available to the public.

Mesoblast’s researchers take healthy donor adult stem cells and refine the targeted cells needed, multiplying the specific MPCs (rare cells found around blood vessels in various tissues), and multiplies them, and injects them directly in the diseased areas.

With a successful career highlighted by medicine and academia, Dr. Itescu is both a medical doctor and a professor of immunology, as well as a former Columbia University faculty member. He has advised both the United States President’s Council on Bioethics and the United States Food & Drug Administration’s Biological Response Modifiers Advisory Committee on cell therapy. Professor Itescu was named BioSpectrum Asia Person of the Year in 2011.

Silviu with Vatican Official

Dr. Silviu Itescu with Vatican Official

The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture honored Dr. Itescu in 2013 with the inaugural Key Innovator Award for his leadership and ingenuity in translational science and clinical medicine in relation to adult stem cell therapy. His continued work is part of a group of forward thinking scientists and researchers who have bet on adult stem cell therapy and refined this science to create real efficacy in repairing damaged tissue.

Dr. Itescu tells Monsters and Critics that his company Mesoblast “…is significantly ahead of everyone else in the space,”  and that the Company’s pioneering strategies have many top American doctors working with them in clinical trials “extremely excited about the early results as we move through these phases.”

According to Dr. Itescu, “Highly purified, immunoselected MPCs and the cultured MSCs they give rise to share very important technical characteristics – both populations can be expanded in large numbers in culture, are well tolerated when used allogeneically in unrelated recipients, and can differentiate to greater or lesser degrees into bone, fat and cartilage.”

What this means is these little packages of healthy targeted cells go immediately to the diseased spots of the back, heart, pancreas or wherever and repair the bad cells, regenerating and rebuilding you from the inside out!

Original Article