Thursday, April 30, 2015

Interview With Audio Book Narrator Simon Pringle-Wallace

I am so excited to introduce the narrator of All Fall Down, Simon Pringle-Wallace.  If you've listened to the book, or the sample, you know he has an amazing voice, but what about the person behind the voice? Well, wonder no more.  I got to interview him, just for you, and get the scoop! (If you want to know more about our journey in finding each other and working together on the audio book, you can click here to see how it all unfolded.)

1. Simon, how did you get started narrating books?

A friend of mine, and a rather prolific narrator, Gail Shalan turned me on to audiobook work. For her, audiobook narration struck a very happy medium between performance experience and a flexible schedule. She recommended that I look into narrating as well, but it wasn't until I finally lived in a quiet enough place to record that I was able to really dive in to auditions.

2. You have a background in theater. Has that helped you as a narrator?
Absolutely and without question. They're actually way more similar than they are different. Narrating for me, just like preparing to play a part on the stage, starts with the character analysis: who are they, what do they want, what's the arc of their story? As an actor, I've always found the physicality of characters to be my biggest window into understanding them as “people” and so my narration takes on a very performative element. For example, I was physically unable to keep the same posture voicing Penny and Bez's guard, they just live in different parts of my body. I end up changing the way I sit or stand, my facial expression and my movements constantly; it's all about trying to give a soul to the voice.

3. Give us a behind-the-scenes glimpse into your day. How do you fit narrating in with your day job? When do you read? Where do you read?

I'm fortunate that I have a very flexible schedule. Right now I have 3-4 smaller day jobs of which narrating is one. Discipline has been key for me in carving out the time to narrate, a hard start and end time. I read when I can and were I can, when I have a quiet moment I'll knock down a few pages or work on some voices. I try to start in the late morning around 11 after my voice has warmed up a bit, I'll read through the first chapter of the day's reading just to get the tone back in my head and make sure I've got all of the characters together, there's nothing worse than coming across a character I haven't prepared in the middle of recording, it really slows things down. I'll record until around 3 or 4 and then, depending on the day, I'll either review and edit the day's recording right after I record or tend to other work that needs doing.

4. What kind of studio do you use to narrate?

Mine is a humble but effective setup. Echo or reverb is not something you want in raw audio for a recording so I've erected a tent of sorts in a quiet room. A frame about 4'x4'x5' is covered with sheets, which prevent the sound from bouncing around, and actually offer a very decent acoustic setup. In this tent I have a desk along with my mic, computer and a lamp...because recording in the dark is depressing.

5. What is the most challenging thing about bringing a book to life with your voice?

The voices. It's something I never thought about before when I'd listen to audiobooks, but it can be taxing just keeping all of the characters straight during a reading. The most fun, but also the most frustrating chapter to record in All Fall Down was Chapter 20, in which there are 7 characters all in a hole talking with each other. At one point, the three characters with Arabic accents are speaking, and a character with a normally mid-level vocal range becomes scared and adapts a higher vocal range (in the writing) meaning that the character with a normally higher vocal tone suddenly has to shift slightly so the listener can differentiate between the two. It's an exercise in vocal gymnastics and specificity. There was, however, more than one time were I ended up recording Claire's lines in Bez's voice or ended up stuck between two voices... I should have made a bloopers reel.

6. What did you like most about narrating All Fall Down? What did you like least?

I definitely enjoyed learning the accents, I'm very excited to get to knock the dust off my Russian accent for “Ashes to Ashes.” What I enjoyed least was probably the technical side of recording, it's very precise work and sometimes time consuming just setting up where you want a recording to begin or end. When I'm really feeling like I'm on a roll and in the story, taking five minutes to splice some audio is the last thing I want to do. I have a whole new respect for people who produce audio full-time for a living.

7. What is one piece of advice you would give to authors who are just starting to look for a narrator?

I feel like you may be better equipped to answer this than I. In my own opinion, look for someone who not only seems to have a feel for the characters you've written, but who also surprises you with their work, who's open to experimentation, adaptable, and is passionate about bringing life and breath to your characters.

8. Tell us one thing about yourself that not many people know.

I bake a mean loaf of french bread- it takes 2 days, but oh is it worth it!

If you haven't heard the sample for All Fall Down (and Simon's fabulous narration) click here!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Writer Goal Wednesday

photo credit: plnaugle via photopin cc 

Well, this was another crazy week for me. Seriously, there were so many things going on I felt like I was hardly home! But some awesome writerly things happened, too.

Like, I got my new cover for Time Will Tell.  

*drum roll*

What do you think?

I really love it! Here's the back cover copy:

Undercover operative Jason Wright and his partner Kamal were left for dead in Iran---casualties of a war on terror. But Jason survived and he’s out for revenge. He’s selling his country’s secrets to the highest bidder and he doesn’t care who gets it---as long as he gets paid and Kamal’s death is avenged.

Andrew Blythe, a Canadian CSIS agent, races against time to stop the information exchange, knowing that a dangerous terrorist organization will use it to gain control of the Baku oil leases in the Caspian Sea. With those leases, they will be able to finance a weapon of mass destruction---and kill thousands of innocent people.

But things don’t go as planned and Andrew finds himself wounded and on the run, unsure of who to trust. Desperate, he takes Ashton Carlson’s car, and pulls her into the web of espionage that is tightening like a noose around him. Forced to keep her with him for safety’s sake, Andrew isn’t prepared for the feelings she stirs in him. But with danger around every turn, Andrew knows time is running out for both of them. Can he stop the terrorists’ plans and keep Ashton from being killed? Or will he have to make the ultimate sacrifice to save them all?

Awesome, right?

I also had the interiors for both print and ebook of All Fall Down and Ashes Ashes redone. They look beautiful!

AND my newsletter went out yesterday! If you didn't get it, you can sign up for it here

And the RONE Awards public voting round has started. Have you gone to the Suspense category and voted for me yet?  Don't forget! Voting ends on May 3rd.  Go here

So, with all of that going on, how did I do on my goals?

First of all, I'm nearly done putting everything in place for the big blogaversary party next week, starting Monday! It's going to be a party you won't want to miss.

I wrote the first scene for my new novella. Not quite ten pages, but a good start.

I didn't do anything on my On the Edge revision. It's still on my goal list, though. Babysteps, right?

So, what are my new goals for the week?

  • Get ten pages done on the new novella.
  • Have a great time at the party next week!
  • Work on my On the Edge revision.

How did you do on your goals this week?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Castle and the Snakes On A Plane Ep

I actually really liked this episode. It did a nice feature of Castle.  We start out with Castle and Alexis on a plane. They're heading to London where Castle is going to be speaking to some other mystery writers in Sherlock Holmes house. (Alexis is all, you know he's fictional, right? And Castle says, yeah, but the address is real. Haha).  Alexis informs him that she's got plans with her own friends and won't be accompanying him to Sherlock's. Castle is disappointed.  During their whole conversation the turbulence is getting really bad and Castle notices that the crew look really upset over something. He goes to see if he can help and the flight attendant who asked for his autograph earlier thinks maybe he can.  The air marshal is missing and since Castle has worked with the NYPD he's the closest thing they have to law enforcement.  Dun, dun, dun.

Castle talks to Beckett who reassures him he can do this and he needs to start creating a timeline for the marshal.  They search the plane again and Castle goes down into the cargo hold with a flight attendant. They notice clothes sticking out of some suitcases (and Castle finds a snake. *shiver*) and when they figure out that someone stuffed clothes into other suitcases to empty one, they look around to find a bigger piece of luggage.  Of course the sky marshal is stuffed in there. Ick.

So, they start to piece together his timeline. Some of the crew remember him at the back of the plane. They find some honeymooners taking selfies that had the marshal in the background.  He was definitely watching a guy, so Beckett and the boys check him out. His name is Haddad and he is traveling on a stolen passport and associated with ISIS. Uh oh. Haddad overhears their plan to isolate him and he runs, but they catch him and zip tie him in the cargo hold. Castle gets more reassurance from Beckett that he can interrogate the guy, so Castle tries his best. Haddad gives him a story that it's his cousin associated with ISIS and he's going home to Syria because his mom is dying of cancer. Haddad seems surprised the air marshal is dead and he says that he saw the guy getting a lot of texts. They didn't find that phone with a lot of texts on the body, but the boys discover that the air marshal had a second phone. They ping it, and for a second it looks like the phone might be in the snake cage, but it isn't. Dangit). The phone has a bunch of threatening texts on it and points the investigation in another direction. And there is a very real fear that the plane might actually be brought down in an attack of some sort.

The team starts pinging the phone they traced from the air marshal's second phone and looking for a left-handed person by handing out customs forms. They narrow it down to an ex-employee of the airlines who is holding a grudge. Castle spills wine on her and when she opens her purse he sees the air marshal's stolen gun. They zip-tie her and she tells them she was in a relationship with the air marshal and thought he was cheating on her. They had plans and he broke them to work this flight. It looks like someone is setting her up, when she denies knowing about the second phone or the gun, but who would do that?

The team looks into the air marshal's financials and find he was paid just less than ten thousand dollars and it came from a guy named Dietrich. They call Dietrich in and he denies knowing anything at first, then admits that he was having the air marshal watch someone wearing a thirteen million dollar watch on the plane. (If they don't declare it, they save on fees and such.)

So, Castle tracks down the guy with the watch, only he's been drugged and the watch switched out for a fake.  With all the seat changes, Castle figures out it was an inside job.  Not shockingly, the flight attendant who's been helping them comes out with a gun, threatening them. Alexis talks her down and the case is solved.

One of the cutest moments was Alexis saying she did want to spend time with Castle after all. But the most touching moment, I think, was a little scene between Beckett and Espo. She's watching the plane on her computer monitor and he comes in and just watches her, lots of support and friendship looks between them. I love their rapport.  Of course I loved how Beckett had such faith in Castle and that they were quick to say their I love yous when they realized that there was danger aboard.

So, a solid episode for me with some great twists and turns and a little different pace with Castle in charge.

Did you watch? What did you think?

Monday, April 27, 2015

The RONE Awards--I Need Your Vote!

The RONE awards are one of the most prestigious awards in the industry and I am so happy to say that my novel All Fall Down, won the RONE for Best Suspense/Thriller in 2012.  Of course, Pocket Full of Posies won Honorable Mention last year in the RONE Awards for Best Suspense and I couldn't be more proud.

This year, Ring Around the Rosie has passed the first stage of the RONE award process, and is now in the public voting round. I need your vote in order to go to the third and final phase of the award process. If I get enough votes, my novel will go to the final round and read by the judges to determine the winner.  So, how do you vote?

Go here, log in (it's free to sign up) and go to the Suspense category. Find your favorite author (which I hope might be me and my novel Ring Around the Rosie) and cast your vote! Easy peasy.

And please know how much I appreciate all your love and support of my writing over the years. I couldn't do it without so many loyal friends and fans!

I'll definitely let you know how it all turns out and if Ring Around the Rosie makes it to the next round! (Voting closes May 3rd).

Friday, April 24, 2015

Nearly Freebie Friday

Today's Nearly Freebie Friday is the Spring Vacation Collection from the Timeless Romance Anthology. It's six novellas all for only .99 cents! (Click here to see my review of it.)

Here's the back copy:

Six Award-Winning Authors have contributed new stories to A Timeless Romance Anthology: Spring Vacation Collection. Readers will love this collection of six sweet contemporary romance novellas, centered on a Spring Vacation, all with one thing in common: Romance.

In Moonlight Kiss, a delightful story by Josi S. Kilpack, Sarah is looking forward to the company retreat, namely because she’ll finally meet Clint—the man she’s been Instant Messaging for a few months. As a single mom, Sarah gets out . . . well, never. So adding vacation days onto the retreat so she can spend time with Clint is daring, yet exciting. She just hopes that the suave on-line Clint will live up to the man she hopes to share her heart with.

In Annette Lyon’s charming novella, Chasing Tess, Tess had been patiently waiting through three years of law school for James to pop the question. The night has finally arrived—at his graduation party. But his big announcement turns out to be completely unexpected . . . and devastating. Tess flees the party, promising herself she’ll never let herself waste time on James again. But as she makes a desperate cross-country drive, James makes his own plans on how to win her back.

Dancing at the Flea Market is a sweet romance by Heather Justesen. Mara, fresh out of the cold North Dakota tundra, spends her spring break in Texas with close friend, Anna. When the two women run into Carter, an impatient man with a painful past, it takes hearing Mara’s stunning voice at the local Karaoke club to thaw his heart. But as Mara gets to know Carter, she has to decide if the distance between their lives and homes is worth trying to bridge.

In Sarah M. Eden’s captivating novella, The Best Laid Plans, Madison gives up a vacation to CancĂșn with her office friends to return home and babysit her mother, who is in another sketchy relationship. The only problem with returning home is running into Derek, her ex-boyfriend who she decided to break up with before he could break up with her—Madison believes in always being one step ahead. When Derek teams up with Madison to investigate whether her mother is dating the right guy, Madison has a hard time ignoring what her heart is telling her about giving Derek another chance.

Picture Perfect, an exciting story by Heather B. Moore, follows Gemma who has never done anything out of the ordinary, until her boyfriend Randy starts to ignore her. But even cutting and dyeing her hair doesn’t get his attention. She decides to join her old high school friends for spring vacation, only to be faced with Drew, her best friend who suddenly seems interested in her as more than a friend. Gemma must determine if her heart is on the rebound or if it’s finally met its true match.

In Aubrey Mace’s enchanting romance, The Science of Sentiment, Rosie will do anything to forget Kevin, his completely perfect kisses, and the fact that he dumped her. When she arrives at her grandfather’s mountain cabin for a spring getaway, she discovers her worst nightmare—Kevin has been invited to stay the weekend too. Since there is only room for one in such a small space, Rosie is determined to kick Kevin out. But Kevin has other plans . . . which might include a reminder of why he’s the perfect kisser.

Click hereto download your copy for only .99 cents!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Ready For School? Or the CIA?

This morning I went to register my son for school (he'll be attending junior high next year) and it's like trying to apply to get into the CIA. Or maybe it was just me. You be the judge. (But don't judge my thought processes! Haha!)

They sat me in a comfy chair, sure, but then a lady, dressed all in black (I kid you not) comes in and says she's the registrar and she has a few questions for me. (I'm surprised they didn't shine a bright light in my eyes!) Where do I live? How long have I lived there? Can I prove that? 

I hand over my ID with my address on it and a utility bill. She stares at it for a moment and I start to get nervous. Have I brought enough proof? How else can I prove I live there? Maybe I should have brought family photos of us standing in front of the house. Do I even have a photo of us standing in front of the house? But then would that really prove we live there and we're not just taking pictures of ourselves standing in front of a random house? Maybe my four-year-old can be a witness that he lives in the house in the (hopefully I have one on my phone) picture and has lived there his whole life. Children are known to be truth-tellers, right?

Apparently my original documents were enough and she didn't need my photo or small witness. But then the next round of questions began. Am I married? Can I prove that this child is mine? Has he been to a doctor? Can I prove that? 

I hand over the birth certificate and immunization records and hope my word is good enough that I'm married. I did provide my husband's email so that has to count for something, right? Maybe I should have brought in a wedding picture. I guess she could call and ask him if he's married to me. He'd claim me, right? 

She looks over the documents I've brought in and gives a little harrumph. I sit quietly, waiting for the verdict, and she finally looks up at me and . . . ladies and gentlemen, WE ARE IN! We made the cut! Whew! That was a close call. And I didn't even have to show any pictures or call my husband. 

Maybe the next stop will be the FBI. CIA. NCS. Black ops. You never know, but hey, I'm definitely mentally prepared now. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Writer Goal Wednesday

photo credit: plnaugle via photopin cc 

Can you believe another week is over? It has been super busy for me.  My audio book of All Fall Down has been out for a week! Have you listened to the sample yet? (Click here and you can hear the sample!)

My audio book of Through Love's Trials is coming along nicely. I'm expecting that one to come out in the next few weeks. 

I got a new cover for Ring Around the Rosie! Did you see it?

It's so gorgeous!

My novella, Falling Slowly, got an awesome review from Cathy Jeppsen over at My Book a Day. She said, "it was a sweet quick read you won't want to put down!" You can read her full review here

My goals for last week were to work more on On the Edge.  I sort of did, but not much. It's a process for sure.

I was also supposed to write ten pages on my new novella.  Well, I researched and outlined a bit, but I didn't write ten pages.  

So, guess what my goals are for next week?

Work on On the Edge
Write ten pages on my new novella
Get all the details ready for the big blogaversary party!

Yay! I'm so excited about everything that's coming up.  How did you do on your goals this week?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Thoughts on Castle's Sleeper Episode

So, I'm a little late with this post because I've been hanging out at Holly Kelly's launch party. They're giving away a goodie basket of chocolate and books and the deadline is tomorrow evening, so you should head over there and enter!  Click here

Last night's Castle was eagerly anticipated by me. I wanted to know where Castle was for those two months and why he wouldn't want to remember that. It was so Alias-like and I hoped they'd have a good explanation and they kinda did. Sorta.

So, we start out the show with Castle having a weird flashing images sort of dream. He wakes up from it and goes to the kitchen where Martha and Beckett are both worried about him. Beckett suggests he see her old counselor and he does. The counselor uses hypnotherapy to get more details out of Castle from the dream, but he cautions Castle against thinking the dream is recalling facts. But, of course that's exactly what Castle thinks. He remembers a license plate and a few other things that has the team looking into it for him. The license plate is from Thailand, so he starts researching Thailand and making a murder board and being obsessed. Everyone is getting worried about him. Beckett tries to get him to focus on something less broad--like the entire country of Thailand--and focus on the trophy.  It turns out that was a debate trophy he was the co-winner of in school, so he tracks down his co-winner to ask him about it, but the guy is a dead end.  Castle looked so disappointed.

Esposito is sort of needling Castle this whole episode, not quite believing him and the story since the license plate number was used in action films and the guy next to him in the truck in the dream looks like Chuck Norris. It makes me a little sad to see Espo's reaction, though. I would think Esposito would at least give him the benefit of the doubt. Castle has done an awful lot for the guy.

Even with his misgivings, though, Esposito does reach out to his contacts and get a file folder of the Special Forces people that would have the tattoo that Castle remembers (and who looks like Chuck Norris). It's a pretty short list. Castle recognizes one and when they go over to his house they find him dead. Lainey does an autopsy and finds out eight of the guy's teeth were removed. Ick.

The boys get the police dogs to do a search and find the bloody rubber gloves and some teeth in a storm drain. The dead guy had a napkin from a strip club in his pocket and they track down a friend of his from the strip club named Amber. She IDs the same guy that Castle remembered from his dream shooting at him behind the truck, but now he's in town trying to track down the dead guy (and Amber gave him the info he wanted.) And later, Amber is found in the apartment, killed the same way the special forces guy was. Double ick.

Back with the counselor, Castle can't remember any new details, so he asks Castle to think about what triggered the dreams. Then Castle remembers sitting in a coffee shop people watching, (I do that all the time! Writers,) when a news report came on and he felt a ringing/buzzing in his ears. They play back the broadcast and Castle sees that same guy that was shooting at him in Thailand in the background of the news report. They ID him as a former Russian special forces guy.

Castle starts looking into the Chuck Norris lookalike dead guy's phone records and financials and sees a charge to a restaurant every Tuesday at 6:00. So, of course Castle heads down there alone and he sees this waiter look at him funny and run away. Wait, it's the guy from his dream that was shot and dying. Castle chases him down and asks him a bunch of questions. Apparently, the guy's name is Balal and he used to be a schoolmate of Castle's before he joined the CIA, then went over and joined al-Qaeda (what the wha?) and got pretty high up and decided to give information on that organization. Only, the transfer didn't go so well and his handler was killed so there was a leak in the CIA. Balal said he'd only go with someone he knew like Richard Castle who was high-profile. He had information on an imminent al-Qaeda attack, but they couldn't get him out of Thailand without Castle and time was of the essence. So the CIA kidnapped him and took him to Thailand to get Balal out and save the world from an al-Qaeda attack.

So, here's my question: if Castle did so much good, why did he specifically want his memories of those two months removed? He's shown that he can keep secrets (with his dad being CIA and all his work with the police). It just seemed like a huge plot hole.

Well, anyway, Balal's cover is blown so he's blowing that pop stand and pretty much just leaves Castle standing in an alley. Of course the Russian hit man confronts him and Castle cowers, but at the last second someone else shoots the hitman. It's Jenkins, the guy who told Castle to forget and move on.  He fills in the blanks that Balal left, saving the world blah blah blah. Castle punches him for making him miss his wedding. It just seemed like a bit of a letdown, really. Why didn't they just explain things to Castle on his wedding day instead of letting Kate think he was dead and look for him for two months? That seemed extra cruel. And we still don't know why Castle was shot or what happened on the mission to cause him to be gone for two months and found floating in the ocean. Hopefully the next couple of episodes address some of that.

But, for now, Kate and Rick are happy with the answers they have and that Rick didn't do anything horrible while he was gone.  Hopefully that stays the case.

In other news, the show hasn't been officially renewed and Stana Katic hasn't re-signed yet, either. I hope both those things happen soon! This fan wants to see another season for sure.

Did you watch last night? What did you think?

Monday, April 20, 2015

Free YA Fantasy Book Today!

I am so excited to show you the new cover for my novel Ring Around the Rosie.  I love it!

What do you think? Isn't it awesome?

Okay, I have a fun free YA Fantasy to tell you about today.

Fields of Elysium

by A.B. Whelan

Best seller in Teen & Young Adult Fantasy

4.3 stars on 86 reviews

Price: $0.00 Save $14.35

Award-Winning Author

Small town girl, Molly Bennett, moves to Los Angeles where she becomes an outsider while attending Beverly Hills High School. It seems life cannot be any more dreadful.
Then one day after school, something magical happens. On a secluded hike in the Hollywood Hills, Molly chases her disobedient mutt and only friend into a hidden cavern. She stumbles upon a strange glimmering gateway that transports her to Arkana, a planet that is the cradle of an advanced human race. There, teenagers navigate amazing flying vehicles, compete in perilous games for glory, and possess supernatural powers.
While Molly tries to wrap her mind around this unbelievable discovery, she meets the alluring and mysterious Victor Sorren. He is a Sentinel Apprentice, whose hatred toward people from Earth is beyond understanding. Yet every time Victor unpredictably saves Molly’s life, his heart draws closer to hers, no matter how much he tries to fight against it. It further complicates things that their growing friendship is strictly forbidden. Earth people are prohibited in Arkana, yet Molly continues to cross through the portal to Arkana to see Victor.
Torn between their double lives, they go down a dangerous path, from where there is no return and multiple endings.
Would you fight to be with the one you truly love? What cost would you be willing to sacrifice for that love?
Fields of Elysium Dream Cast

Fields of Elysium Book Trailer

Fields of Elysium Playlist on YouTube

Special Offer

After reading this story you will find your heart racing whenever you enter a cave.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Freebie Friday

Today's Freebie Friday is a cute little novella called Three Little Words by Melissa Tagg. I haven't read it yet, but it is swiftly moving up my to be read list! I like snappy little stories and from what I hear, this one has it in spades.

Here's the back copy:

Ava Kingsley and Seth Walker might be the most unlikely friends ever. The only thing these two polar opposites have in common is a knack for wordsmithing. Back in college, they were known for their written sparring in the campus newspaper's popular "He Says/She Says" column.

At their ten-year college reunion, they pick up right where they left off. Except this time their squabbling leads to a surprising turn: friendship and a year-long exchange of emails. So when Ava approaches a crossroads in her athletics department career in Minnesota, Seth is quick to offer the open apartment above the restaurant he's been remodeling in Maple Valley, Iowa.

Ava doesn't know where her career will lead her next, but she's starting to suspect she might see Seth as more than a pen pal. Which would be exciting...except for the fact that he only sees her as a friend.

As Maple Valley grows on her, Ava wonders if there might be something here for her even though Seth is unavailable. And maybe, just maybe, after all the words the two of them have exchanged over the years, they'll finally be able to say the three that matter most.

Three Little Words is an e-only novella that gives an exciting introduction to Melissa Tagg's new series about the charismatic Walker family and the endearing town of Maple Valley!

If this looks good to you, you can download your free Kindle copy here

Thursday, April 16, 2015

My Audio Book is LIVE!

I am SO EXCITED! This day is finally here. The audio book for All Fall Down is live! Click here to see it.

This has been such an amazing process. My narrator, Simon Pringle-Wallace is a true professional and I can't wait for you all to hear how wonderful he is at bringing my story to life.

AND if you get a free trial membership to Audible, you can download my audio book for free! Awesome, right? (It's $14.95 a month after that and you get one audio book a month, plus 30% off on other books.  You can get more details by clicking the How It Works button on the link above if you're interested.) (And no, I don't work for Audible or anything, but I'm looking into being a member myself and thought I'd pass along the details to you.)

So, what are you waiting for? You can go listen to the two minute sample for free and tell me what you think. I know you want to!  (Then come back and tell me what you think so we can happy dance together!)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Writer Goal Wednesday

photo credit: plnaugle via photopin cc 

Well, I did not do well on my goals this week. But let's focus on the positive for a moment.

I approved the final version of All Fall Down in audio book. I am super excited about that! It should be for sale any day now.

I played around with Pinterest pins and made stuff like this:

I'm having fun with it anyway.

And I didn't die from being sick with a terrible head cold. 

As for my goals from last week, I did get the new On the Edge out to beta readers, so that's some good progress on that goal.  

I did play around with some keywords, but I have more I can do.

I thought of some awesome prizes for next month's blogaversary party!

So, it was kind of a light week for accomplishing goals because of my illness.  But I did do some babysteps toward accomplishing them, so I'm proud of that.

My goals for next week are:

  • do some more work on my new On the Edge.
  • Write ten pages on my new novella.

Yeah, I'm keeping it simple for myself.

How did you do this week?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I Think I Need Book Suggestions

I have been recovering from a bad head cold and didn't have much energy for anything and since there was no new Castle (is it next week yet? I can't wait!) I read a book.  It was Traci Hunter Abramson's Chances Are.  Definitely a departure from her other work (this one is about a girl undergoing cancer treatments), but it kept me hooked and had a really great twist in it.  I like those kinds of stories that keep me guessing. I even had a tear in my eye at one point.  So, good job on that one, Ms. Abramson!

I'm still not quite up to par, but I'm getting there slowly. I might read another book tonight.  What are you reading? Anything fun and entertaining you could recommend while I convalesce?

Monday, April 13, 2015

Book Review: The Impossible Race

Our family has loved this series and we're so sad to see it end! Chad Morris has written a series that has it all---great characters, a riveting plot, and a really fun setting.

The Impossible Race is the third in the series and is about a race at Cragbridge Hall. The winner of the race gets a prize of a closely guarded school secret. Could it be one of their grandfather's secrets? Abby and Derick get a team together and enter the tournament, but things do not go exactly as planned.  There are so many great obstacles that require them to use their mind as well as their strength. I loved all the history that is intertwined because it never feels like you're "learning" it, the way it's presented is so clever and just part of what happens to the characters.  There's avatars and time travel and tons of action. So good! The ending is unexpected, but a perfect way to end the series.

All three of these books are ones that you'll want to have in your collection for sure! My son carried it around with him for days, wherever he went, until he finished it, it was that good.

Here's the back copy:

 Every year the futuristic school, Cragbridge Hall, holds its most popular tournament--the Hunt: a series of challenges that range throughout the school and require the use of its amazing inventions like its holographic time machine! But this year is different. Rather than a monetary or academic reward, this year's winner will be the recipient of a carefully guarded school secret: a secret that could prove both powerful and dangerous.

Afraid that the secret may be one of their Grandfather's inventions, Abby and Derick gather several friends and enroll. But when Derick gets a mysterious message from the future, the team of friends must figure out how to succeed even when they know they are destined to fail. The stakes have never been higher. A page-turning, time-travel adventure that teaches powerful lessons about choice and consequence, believing you can do hard things, and valuing our history.

You can download your copy here for $10.49

Friday, April 10, 2015

Freebie Friday

Today's Freebie Friday is from an author I don't know, but the description sounds good and a friend recommended her.  It's a novella called On the Run by Taylor Hart.  Reader be warned, however, there is a cliffhanger ending! (The next novella in the series, Going Rogue is only $2.99, though, and it's available for purchase here ).

Here's the back copy:

Alexa Fulbright doesn’t expect the man she’s been trying to forget for the past 7 years to show up on assignment from the FBI…and she really doesn’t expect him to kiss her.

Sam Dubois doesn’t want to be on this assignment, even though he requested it. He doesn’t want to see Alexa and he definitely doesn’t want to put away the thug she calls her boyfriend…but most things in life aren’t fair when it comes to her.

After Sam shows Alexa proof that her boyfriend is a drug dealer with connections to the Columbian cartel, she refuses to believe it. Until a gun is pointed at her head and ‘said boyfriend’ puts a bullet in Sam’s shoulder.

Now Sam has to get her out of dodge and Alexa has to make a choice—face the past or live a lie that could destroy her and everyone she’s ever loved.

You can download your free copy here

Thursday, April 9, 2015

On The Beach And Audio Book News!

This picture was posted on Twitter (Credit Suzanna)

As you can see it is a picture of someone is on a beach, enjoying my novel All Fall Down.  First of all, I wish I was on that beach with them.  Second of all, it made my whole day that they chose my novel to relax with. How fun to see my book "out in the wild" if you will.

In other news, my audio book was finalized and approved and should be ready for sale next week. Woohoo! I'm so excited about that. AND, I got the narrator who did All Fall Down, to agree to do the whole series. You better believe I am thrilled about that because he is so good and really "got" my characters. These are going to be some epic audio books!

Other than that, I'm getting things ready for carpet guys to come tomorrow and lay new carpet in my house. This is also a momentous occasion for our household.

What are you up to today? Anything fun?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Writer Goal Wednesday

photo credit: plnaugle via photopin cc 

Well, if you aren't friends with me on Facebook or following me on Twitter (and really, why aren't you? I do all sorts of fun stuff on there!) then you probably missed the cover reveal for my award-winning novel, Pocket Full of Posies.  I have gotten mixed reviews on this cover, but I love it! I think it really represents the story.  

Here it is:

Isn't it awesome?

So, in addition to sharing my new cover, I've also been revising my novel, On the Edge and getting that out to readers.  Hopefully that will be ready soon.  

And, the best news of all, is that I should be giving the final approval for my audio book of All Fall Down today! Woot!  It is SO GOOD! You will love it.  All in all, it's been a very productive week.

I also came across these free training videos for how authors can get more visibility on Amazon.  I thought they were pretty informative and worth my time.  It's mostly learning about how keywords work and how it can help the authors on Amazon.  Click here if you're interested in watching them yourself.

So, my goals for last week were: finish the revision of On the Edge. I didn't quite make that one. The second one was to finish the details for my blog tour. I have put that one on hold because I'm going to do a big BLOGAVERSARY PARTY instead and I'm gearing up for that. I'll have had this blog for four years next month and that deserves a party!

My goals for next week will be to:
  • Finish the revision for On the Edge. For real this time.
  • Think of awesome prizes for the Blogaversary party.
  • Try some of the new keyword stuff I learned in that video.

How did you do on your goals this week?

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Cover Reveal For Marrying Christopher!

I'm so sad there's no new Castle this week. Things were just getting good!  In its place, however, I'm excited to show you the new cover for the third book in Michele Holmes' Hearthfire series, Marrying Christopher! I really enjoyed the first two in the series (Saving Grace and Loving Helen) and have been looking forward to this one. You can see my review of Saving Grace here (click hereto buy it for $4.99) and my review of Loving Helen here (click hereto buy for $3.99)  

Isn't it a pretty cover? It will be released July 2015!

Here's the back copy:

Having seen both his sisters Grace and Helen happily married, Christopher Thatcher is free to pursue his dream of life in America. With adventure in his heart and mind, he boards one of the first steamships set to cross the Atlantic in the record breaking time of only twenty-five days. Within the first two of those, his resolve—to avoid women and the complications they often bring to a man’s life—falters when he meets Marsali Abbott, a young woman with a past even more troubling than his own. Whether from years of habit protecting his sisters, or simply because he feels drawn to Marsali, Christopher chooses to help her and becomes her friend. As the truth about what awaits Marsali in America becomes evident, he is faced with a more difficult choice, one that will impact their lives far beyond four weeks together at sea.

You can add Marrying Christopher to your Goodreads list here

About the Author:

Michele Paige Holmes spent her childhood and youth in Arizona and northern California, often curled up with a good book instead of out enjoying the sunshine. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Elementary Education, and found it an excellent major in which to indulge her love of children's literature.

Michele is the author of six romance novels, including the 2007 Whitney Award winning COUNTING STARS. In 2014 Michele launched the Hearthfire historical romance line with the publication of SAVING GRACE and LOVING HELEN.

Michele has been a member of the same critique group for over fifteen years and feels that joining a critique group is the single best thing an author can to do help improve his or her writing. She has been a member of RWA and URWA, LDStorymakers, and The League of Utah Writers. Michele enjoys both attending and teaching at conferences.

When not reading or writing romance, Michele is busy with her full time job as a wife and mother. She and her husband live in Utah with their five high maintenance children and a Shitzu that resembles a teddy bear, in a house with a wonderful view of the mountains. You can find Michele on the web at and on Facebook and twitter.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Book Review: A Heart Revealed

Today I am so excited to tell you about Josi Kilpack's new novel, A Heart Revealed.  I have been a big fan of Josi's Sadie Hoffmiller series and was sorry to see it end.  I wasn't sure how I would like her writing in another genre or if it would be as good as her culinary mysteries. I didn't need to worry. A Heart Revealed is incredibly well-done.  (Am I gushing? I probably am, but it deserves every bit of praise.)  This is a regency romance, but it's so unlike anything else I've read in this genre. If any of you know me, you know I am not a morning person, but I woke up EARLY to finish reading this one, it was that good. I couldn't put it down! It's an emotional roller-coaster that lets you experience this time period in a very unique way.

When we first meet our heroine, Amber Sterlington, she's kind of a snot, but boy does she get her come-uppance in a horrible way. I felt so sorry for her! But going through her journey and seeing her growth as a person is what made this book so good. The premise is unique, the people are multi-dimensional and I couldn't help but root for Amber to find true happiness. The setting is superb and the writing hit all the right notes, especially while our heroine tries to figure out her life after "the incident."

Our hero, Thomas Richards, is just as good, trying to find his way among the nobility and find a wife he could at least find a little bit of happiness with. He meets Amber, the Rage of the Season, and she treats him badly. But their story has just begun.  He can't get her out of his mind, even with the set-down she gave him and when their paths cross again, he still does the noble thing.  But why would she look twice at someone who can't offer her wealth or titles?  I don't want to give anything away so you can experience the book like I did, but I was turning pages far into the night and like I mentioned at the beginning, I woke up early to finish it. So amazing. If you love regency romances, you've got to have this one.

You can get your Kindle copy here for $10.49

Here's the back copy:

Amber Marie Sterlington, the Rage of the Season in Regency-era London, has her pick of men, and she knows what she wants most in a husband: a title and a fortune. Why would she ever marry for something as fickle as love? And why would she ever look twice at Thomas Richards, a third son of a country lord?

But when Amber's social standing is threatened, the character of her future husband becomes far more important than his position. After a public humiliation, she finds herself exiled to Yorkshire. Alone except for her maid, Amber is faced with a future she never expected in a circumstance far below what she has known all her life. Humbled and lonely, Amber begins to wonder if isolation is for the best. Who could ever love her now?

Friday, April 3, 2015

Nearly Freebie Friday

Today's nearly freebie Friday is Janette Rallison's Son of War, Daughter of Chaos that is on sale for .99 cents this weekend.  It looks good!

Here's the back copy:

Aislynn is accustomed to watching for the enemy. Her parents instructed her from the time she was young to look for people with the signs: greater than normal strength, eyes that can glow green, and the ability to jump long distances. Over the years, Aislynn has come to view her parents’ fears as quirks—things that get in the way of having a normal high school life.

When Aislynn’s mother dies under suspicious conditions, her father doubles his restrictions. But all his precautions can’t stop the boy with glowing green eyes from finding Aislynn. She realizes too late she’s been drafted into an ancient Egyptian war, whether she’s prepared or not.

You can download your copy here

Thursday, April 2, 2015

My Audio Book Journey Part 5

Well, I'm in the process of approving the final version of the audio book for All Fall Down.  I've been working on it for a couple of days and honestly, when I'm interrupted, I can hardly wait to get back to listening.  It is so exciting to hear all the voices and how it brings my storyline to life.  I haven't really read All Fall Down since it was published and as I was reading along today, I was thinking, hey, this book wasn't half bad. Haha.

I do have a paper handy so I can jot down a few notes of things that aren't quite right or that are standing out to me.  There hasn't been much, but there were a few things.

What am I looking for you ask?

Some of the things I'm looking for are things like pace and tone.  Is it smooth? Are there any gaps or silences where there shouldn't be?  Are the voices done right?  Is the pronunciation correct?

So far, for me, it's been pretty great all the way through. I should be done with the approval process tomorrow, then I'll send it to my narrator for the changes, then it will go to ACX to be uploaded.  I can't wait!

This has been such a wonderful process and I can't wait to share the finished product with all of you!

Want to read about my audio book journey from the beginning?

Click here for Part 1
Click here for Part 2
Click here for Part 3
Click here for Part 4

Meet My Narrator!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Writer Goal Wednesday

photo credit: plnaugle via photopin cc 

This has been a tough week for me. My teenage son was in a car accident with three other cars (thankfully no one was seriously hurt) but that brought a lot of unexpected things like assuring myself for a few days afterward that he wasn't truly hurt, talking to police, insurance companies, impound people, the whole nine yards. My husband's car was totaled so we are down a car which brings another set of challenges.  It's just been an incredibly busy week.

So, what did this do to my weekly writing goals? It decimated them. I was glad I only had two goal this week, though.  Somehow it's just easier to give myself a pass and take care of my family stuff. Instead of doing anything with my audio book, I was hugging my teenager.  Instead of working on my blog tour, I was by my teenager's side while he gave statements to policemen and insurance adjusters.  It has been an emotional time for sure and I was right where I needed to be.

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, when things slow down later this week, I will get back to my audiobook of All Fall Down. From what I've heard so far it is amazing and I can't wait to share it with you. I have the most incredible narrator that brought my words to life in a way I never imagined. You will love it!  And hopefully the blog tour will be shaping up by next week as well with lots of fun prizes.  So my goals for this week are the same ones I had last week.

How did you do on your writing goals this week?