20 FREE or .99 books PLUS a $25 amazon egift card Rafflecopter
Right in time for the holidays! An awesome group of authors - myself included - have come together to bring you over 20 “free” or “.99” books to fill up your reading tablet this Christmas season! Download all these great titles and you will have a book a day to read until the New Year! With a cheerful collection of contemporary, historical, spicy, erotica, and more, you can take a break after your Christmas shopping and escape into a great read. Happy Holidays!
Click this link to find your FREE & .99 books!
I dipped in the self-publishing pool with a short historical romance, "Jacqueline: Coveted By A King." It's the first in my Romance Reigns series, focusing on fictional ladies in the French court of Louis XIV.
After working on the preparation of the eBook format I decided to try a turn at audiobooks. Research brought me to ACX. The fact that a newbie author could work one-on-one with a narrator/producer felt like the perfect "first time" experience.
I was lucky enough to receive an audition from a talented narrator, Megann Becker. The process has been a very enjoyable one due to Megann's work ethic and her entertaining performance. She met deadlines in a timely and professional manner and I absolutely love the way she brought my words to life.
To coincide with the release of "Jacqueline" as an audiobook, Megann was nice enough to answer a few questions.
How did you get involved in audiobook narration?
As my great grandmother got older she listened to a lot of audiobooks. I thought they did a great job of bringing stories to life— and they brought her so much joy. I’d always been an avid reader and I could clearly hear the characters voices as I read. Audiobook narration seemed like a logical jump! I’m glad I went for it because it is such a fun way to express my creative side.
What previous experience do you bring to the process that you feel enhances your narration style?
When I was studying Spanish, my goal was for people to think I was actually of Hispanic decent. I wanted to play the part and be convincing. My college professor once thought I was a plant— put there by the department to see if she was teaching the class well, ha! She told me this after she was so impressed with a presentation I had memorized and performed. I loved getting in character for that project and the same is true for narrating— you have to have fun, let loose and enjoy the role you’re playing.
I was so excited to listen to your audition for “Jacqueline” and felt you were a perfect fit almost immediately! What drew you to audition for it?
I was drawn to audition for “Jacqueline” because I would need to use a French accent and at the time I was just starting to learn French. I thought— “what a great, new challenge”. When I read the audition excerpt I loved the writing and felt I could convincingly tell the story. As I recorded the story it was such a fun escape to be in Jacqueline’s world.
What is involved in the recording of an audiobook? Can you explain your process?
Communication with the author is the most important part. You are bringing their baby to life— and it is important to me that it sounds the way they imagined it would. I first read through the script, nail down voices, and do an initial narration. Then it is time to edit for quality and then edit for timing, tone, the right speed. When the author is pleased with the final product I do one last listen and then it’s time for that baby to go out into the world!
Are there any lessons learned during your recording of “Jacqueline” that you plan to apply to future projects?
I definitely tweaked my work flow throughout the project. I found the times of day where I liked to get into character and record. There were other times where I felt in the mood to edit and I capitalized on that. I was really passionate throughout this whole project and I hope that shines through!
Do you have a “Holy Grail” novel you’d love to narrate/perform?
Hmmm great question— it really got me thinking. I love Isabel Allende’s novels. “Zorro” or “Island Beneath the Sea" for example. They are period pieces with magical realism, there’s romance, there’s always strong women and there’s Spanglish. I think it would be fun to play a role that uses my language skills and my attitude in that way. (There’s a lot of similarities between that and the “Jacqueline” performance.)
What’s next on your list?
I’m currently working on an audiobook, called “The Fault In Our Pants”, for an old Saturday Night Live writer. It is a parody on the book and movie “The Fault In Our Stars”. It’s hilarious, edgy and requires a totally different voice and persona. It’s fun to stretch my boundaries and try something outside what I know. I believe that’s how you continue to grow as an artist!
Welcome to the Romance Your Autumn Nights Kindle Giveaway!
GRAND PRIZE – Kindle eReader + $25 Amazon gift card
1st PRIZE – $50 Amazon gift card (2 winners)
2nd PRIZE – $25 Amazon gift card (2 winners)
3rd PRIZE – $10 Amazon gift card (2 winners)
4th PRIZE – $5 Amazon gift card (2 winners)
5th Various swag items (5 winners – US only)
Click on the image above (or this link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/080aaeb410/) to enter the giveaway.
Join the Facebook Party on October 27th for more chances to win: https://www.facebook.com/events/314701298907182/
Enter my giveaway for a chance to win one digital book of your choosing from below:
The Sun King (Erotic Historical Romance)
Jacqueline: Coveted By A King (Short Historical Romance)
A Building Passion, DIY 1 (Contemporary Romance)
* Go to my contact page
* Fill out required info
* In the Comment section, type "Romance My Autumn" and the name of one of the above books you'd like a chance to win.
* Don't forget to click Submit!
On November 30th, ten (10) winners will be randomly chosen and sent an Instafreebie link/instructions to claim a digital copy of their chosen book.
Good luck and Happy Romancing!
With A Building Passion ready to release in a week, I thought I'd write a bit about my inspiration for the novel. For those who know me personally, there are some obvious inspirations that can be dealt with at a later posting. But the one main inspiration is my husband, Ted.
Ted: the name does not in and of itself get the heart pitter-pattering does it? My husband and I have actually latched onto a theory when it comes to this name and how it is perceived. The next time you hear the name Ted in a movie or television show, take heed. I can tell you with my ESP that the guy will - 99% of the time - either be a terrible boss, an idiot, or just an all around not that likable of a character (sometimes an amalgam of all of the above). Don't know why, it just always seems to be the case. (If you are a Breaking Bad fan, I reference the episode titled IFT. That is all that needs to be said, I think.)
And now that I've told you that, let me tell you about the exception to the name rule: my wonderful husband. I tease him to death, but I'm allowed since I also love him to death. We started out acquaintances through a mutual friend, eventually started hanging out within a group of friends and about three years after that started dating. In fact, as I type this, I am realizing that we met for the first time ten years ago today - on the Fourth of July. Yes, corny: there were fireworks the day we met. ;-P
We've had a lot thrown at us - he was diagnosed with MS a few years back which really turned our lives upside down. But, through it all, we've hung in there for each other. I've learned to appreciate and be thankful for the little things. A good night's sleep cuddled up to him is one.
My husband is huge into DIY. When I was trying to think of a story line for a book, I realized the inspiration was staring me in the face. Tons of projects starting, in stasis, and being completed all over the house.
I had tried to start a blog a couple years back, but then real life got in the way as it tends to do. (Damn you, chronic illness!) Anyway, I thought I'd share one of the posts I wrote about our DIY project below. Hope it inspires you.
I'll try to write about some other sources of inspiration for A Building Passion soon. Thanks for reading.
Why does someone choose to sit down in front of a computer and type away about fictional characters? I can't speak for everyone, but I have some reasons to share.
Control: The fact I have so little of it in my life, there's satisfaction in crafting characters and a plot. Of course, the one thing I'm noticing the more that I write is my characters tend to have a mind of their own.
Effect: Getting a response back from someone who enjoyed your book, almost as much as you enjoyed writing it? That feeling can't really be put into words. Of course, you take the risk of someone absolutely hating your work and letting you know it just as easily. I feel that the positive vibes overpower the negative, once the initial sting of one who disliked your writing fades.
Legacy: I also like the idea that maybe one day, hundreds of years from now, someone will read one of my stories.
Romance: I have a loving husband, let me state that right off the bat. And, our courtship had many a romantic moment. But, again, real life (household chores, appointments, errands, a growing workload, and the exhaustion that follows) kind of puts a damper on that aspect of wedded bliss after a while. Each person's romantic ideal looks and acts differently depending on preferences. The one characteristic that holds true - in the end, they live and breathe for the person they love. <sigh> Yes, it's probably more fantasy than romance.
Therapeutic: Certain issues I encounter in my daily life seem to find a resolution or new perspective through writing. You always start with writing about what you feel or personal experiences. I've found avenues of peaceful understanding through some of the stories I've written. Kind of like writing a letter to someone you never intend on giving them.
Just a few reasons I write. If you are a fellow author, would love to hear some of your reasons.
Until next time...
Short and sweet tonight. As I'm navigating the promotional arena of likes and retweets and posts, I am reminding myself of the advice I have come across time and time again...
The best type of promotion is your next novel. So, that's what I've been diligently working on the past few months. I hope to have it finished by mid-March (fingers crossed) if my "real" job doesn't bury me in paperwork.
I've also read that writing a series of books is also the best way to gain a following. Romance novels are their own animal entirely. Since the majority of romance readers require a happily every after, it's more about writing stories around a theme or a brand. I think I've got one - hopefully a good one. Time will tell.
I've also been itching to write some prequel-type/different POV stuff around The Sun King, in particular the two main heroes. The Sun King has a lot of factors that didn't fit the romance mold (written in 1st person and told entirely from the heroine's POV) so I may experiment with some shorter stories that expand on the other characters. And, ideas about the other ladies in King Louis's court have begun to pop up in my head. Plus, who wouldn't enjoy reading a tale about a musketeer?
And so, I write. :-)
My book was released yesterday! Yay me! What have I been doing in between all of the other "real-life" duties and responsibilities that wait for no one - not even a newly published author? When I wasn’t taking care of my day job to-do list, running errands with the hubby, appointments, etc., I was checking my Amazon sales rank. (They have a cool little chart for authors that lets you see your book rise – and fall – on an hourly basis; yeah, probably not great for someone who thinks she has obsessive tendencies.)
Oh, and, I found out my book got pirated!
Yep, it happened about 6 hours into the day that my book went on sale. How did I find out? Through a dear friend of mine who has been a cheerleader for my book’s release. She mentioned that she had done a search online for my book and saw that it was listed on a whole bunch of sites for sale. She was super excited for me! This didn’t immediately set off alarm bells, as I knew my publisher was putting my book on various sites. But, my interest piqued, I did my own search later in the day. There I am on Amazon – sweet! All Romance eBooks – alright! Barnes and Noble – awesome! Wait, what’s this one?
I was excited to get the cover art mock-up from my publisher via email and simultaneously terrified to open the attachment to actually view the artwork. There was so much anticipation on my part. I’ve looked at hundreds of romance covers over the past few months and kept wondering how mine would be represented to the reading world.
My main concern was the bare chest thing. Not that I don’t enjoy a cover with beautifully bronzed washboard abs and shiny pecs that need their own zip code… but, I didn’t think my book quite fit that feel. It’s a historical romance about King Louis XIV, a man better known for wearing wigs and stockings – and not because he’s a cross dresser, that’s just what males of royal birth and nobility wore in 17th century France. (I am so happy my editor decided to not stick to historical accuracy with the stockings thing when we were making edits. We went with the term breeches. Honestly, how sexy is a guy wearing stockings? Well, I take that back… that could be hot in certain circumstances, just not for this book.)
In the end, there was no attempt at period costuming or a pair of lovers in a passionate embrace in the image. It’s a very understated cover, in my opinion, with an image representative of the Sun King – the same emblem that graces the palace gates of Versailles to this day.
So, with cover art in hand... a promo-ing I go!
Not Advanced Reader's Copy.
I have to say I was extremely thrilled to see my ARC waiting for me in my inbox last week. It was an awesome day after Christmas present. I may have mentioned in a previous post that I had an ebook published years ago, but it involved none of the same levels of detailed information/communication with the publisher I have received with my latest venture. There was disappointment with that first book. Not that I expected a lot of hand-holding. It would have been great for a first time author to have some explanation of how you should promote and market your work. The experience left me disenchanted with the whole writing business. Now, over a decade later, I'm trying again. And, I hope something more comes of it.
So, I get the ARC sent to me, with the request to review one final time. No content edits on this one, what's done is done and any itch to make it better have to be squashed. Just read it (again?!?) and if I spot a typo, an extra punctuation, etc. send it along. I literally went through the book in two days.
Still no cover art, but I hope to have something to share on my web site soon. I do have a blurb that I will probably post. Once the book is actually listed on Amazon for pre-order, I plan to attack/create my author page.
Excited and nervous as hell! God, I hope people like the story. And, if they don't, I hope they aren't too savage in their comments. We shall see. But, I think I can roll with the punches. Life has thrown me harder jabs than this.
Three rounds of back and forth with my content editor over the past two months.
What I’ve learned:
Don’t ever think that you will be able to edit your own work. There’s just no way to look at your writing from an outside perspective. You love your characters, you can picture them perfectly in your head… the setting, the clothing they are wearing, what the room smells like. But, an editor… an editor will let you know when all of that stuff is still in your head and truly hasn’t made its way to the page to be shared with a reader.
Don’t look at your writing for a while after a major edit. Let me rephrase: you may want to look at your writing after a major edit, but you won’t make heads or tails of it. Nothing good will come from it. You need to step back, let it go (no, I haven’t seen “Frozen” yet—my husband and I may be the only two left on the planet who haven’t). You won’t help yourself any by trying to make more revisions after you’ve hit send and it’s gone into the ether for your editor to “Track Changes” all over it. I’ve taken the opportunity to work on writing another story while I wait. That seems to be the best way to keep my mind off of my editor’s reaction when she reads my comments and retries (and hopefully isn’t cringing).
Understand that constructive criticism is a wonderful thing. My editor has let me know that I use certain words… a lot. She’s offered suggestions or reminded me that the word has popped up numerous times. Here’s the thing: it’s OK to use the same word over and over when you are writing that first draft, or maybe even second or third. It’s when you get down to the meat and potatoes of editing that you need to put on your big girl pants and find the right word for that sentence or scene, so that it truly helps to convey the emotion or set the tone. And, I have to say that my editor is very professional… but, I just can’t help and laugh when I read comments on sex scenes (my favorite was something like “I don’t think tongues can do that”).
Overall, I’m really pleased with the evolution that my story has taken over a few months. It has been altered quite a bit. But, the soul of it is very much the same and it’s now something I am truly proud of. Remember, unless you are Shakespeare, you need a little help to make your work shine. (Did he have an editor???)
My story is due back on 11/20 to the publisher and then (fingers crossed) final edits begin! Will keep you posted.