Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Best Valentine's Days From BA, Julia, Kiernan and Sean

Hey y'all!

The question was, so you so V Day, and what was your best and or worst!

Kiernan Kelly

After 36 years, we don't go big on Valentine's Day anymore. Usually, we have a quiet day at home, and the hubs gives me a long stem rose. I still remember our first one, though. I was only 18, and the then-boyfriend-now-husband sent me two dozen yellow roses. It wasn't the number that impressed me, but the fact he remembered I'd once mentioned yellow roses were my favorites. I knew then he was a keeper.

Sean Michael

I had a three course meal at a fancy Italian recipe one year beef tartare seafood linguine with alfredo sauce creme brulee

BA Tortuga

I found out I was pregnant on Valentine's Day. Really the one good thing he gave me.

Julia Talbot

We don't do it too much. My mom got a heart shaped box of Whitman's every year, and I got a stuffed animal. Dad and bro got cards and socks. Luckily, my girl is happy to order in and watch movies.



Visit our websites:

Sean's is http://www.seanmichaelwrites.com

Julia’s is http://www.juliatalbot.com

BA’s is http://www.batortuga.com

Kiernan's is www.KiernanKelly.com


Sean -- https://www.facebook.com/SeanMichaelWrites

Julia -- https://www.facebook.com/juliatalbotauthor

BA -- https://www.facebook.com/batortuga

Kiernan -- https://www.facebook.com/kiernan.kelly

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Top 5 Things I love that aren’t writing.

Happy Sunday all!

I was reading an interview with one of my favorite authors yesterday and I discovered that she likes to cook. And it wasn’t just that she cooks, but what she liked to cook that I found so interesting, because you can learn a lot about someone’s personality by the things they like to cook for themselves and their families, you know? So I started thinking a Top 5 of things I do when I’m not writing could be fun.

Here goes, in no particular order:

1. I love super hero movies. The Avengers universe in particular. It’s not just the badassery, although I do like that too, it’s the way that superheroes mix their “humanity” (literal and figurative) with their abilities. It’s the juxtaposition of super-powerful and super-vulnerable. It’s learning about their Kryptonite and whether they can overcome it. And of course their personalities and how many awesome one-liners they get (Iron Man, anyone?) I’m completely sucked in.

2. I love the snow. I don’t care that I have to shovel it, I do’t care that it’s a pain in the ass to drive in, I don’t care. I love to watch it fall. I love the quiet in the air when it’s snowing. I love snowmen and snowballs, I love to just look at it. I love that life goes on despite it. I don’t know, I just love snow.

3. I love baking. I love the chemistry of it, the measuring and the mixing. Baking is the perfect mix of left-brain satisfying and creative outlet. The magic of all that stuff coming together into something that makes people happy.

4. I love the beach. I LOVE THE BEACH. Did I say these were in no particular order? I lied. Put this one at the top. I don’t get a lot of time there, but I made a point every summer of getting beach-time in. I love the power and the sound of the waves, the sun, the sand, the whole thing. I could go on and on, but I'll keep it concise and just say that I'm inspired by it.

5. I love music. Particularly live music -- I'll see anything, anywhere, any time. Need company for literally anything? I'm your girl. There's rarely a moment there isn't music going in my house, it's always on in the car, I carry headphones on me everywhere I go. My life definitely has a soundtrack, and I love that it's as eclectic and varied as the people I surround myself with and the places I go.

I hope you're having a spectacular weekend.



Buy Creative Process at Dreamspinner Press or at Amazon.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

This Weird Country We Live In by S.C. Wynne

Hi all,

Without getting too specific about my political leanings, I feel like I'm in crazy land lately. I feel like no one is at the helm, and things could go horribly wrong so easily.

We have people in power who say one thing one day and then the exact opposite on another day. There is a horrible disrespect toward the FBI and the intelligence community in general. That is so scary and so dangerous. I don't understand how we got where we are in our country.

I'm not going to pretend that both sides don't play games and that other administrations in the past were perfect. But there was always a respect for the office and the country that comforted me. I don't see that now. I see people who are fine with Russia affecting our elections and so long as their team wins, they don't care. I find that so scary. I find that so unsettling.

I keep waiting for someone to step in and fix everything. But the problem is much of our government is run on the concept of people being honorable. Peopled doing the right thing just because they should. I don't think that is the thought process for most people in Washington right now. Everybody, and I mean everybody, is kowtowing to special interest groups and trying to grab their piece of the pie.

I hope we survive this strange period. I hope that more than half of the country votes in the upcoming elections. I hope they realize that sitting back and hoping for the best won't do. That not voting could be the very thing that destroys our country. Because we are a democracy, whether those in power want to hear our voices or not, we still have voices. And when the mid-terms come, I pray we use that authority and we stand up for what is right and what is good.

Burying out head in the sand is not an option. Not if we still want to have a country left to care about.


Friday, January 26, 2018

Balance by Felice Stevens

Over the past few weeks I've seen a few of my favorite authors talk about pressure—the pressure to produce, the pressure to keep up, to get noticed, to be visible...you get my point. I've felt that way myself. I've always considered myself lucky in that I'm a "fast writer." I've been known to finish a book in 6 weeks and while it is exhilarating, it's draining as well. In 2015 I published six books-or maybe seven. I've lost count. 2016 saw me regaining my rights back from my publisher and re-releasing four books in addition to all my new ones. So...you get the picture.

But along the way, I found myself drifting from my friends, letting my health slide a bit (no one can convince me that sitting in a chair for hours on end is good for you) and let's not even mention what my apartment looks like....you get the point. 

This year I am making a conscious effort to slow down and take stock in myself and what I want. 

Why do I write? I write because I love to. I write because I have stories that mean something to me.  I want to share them with other people and I can only hope they bring enjoyment. I write books that reflect every day struggles of real people and hope they resonate with readers. People can call my books whatever they wish—fluffy, schmoopy, sweet. It doesn't matter. I love each and every character I've created. To me they are all real, unique people.

I write to sell books and to make people happy so that when they finish the story they know that the couple is in love and has their happily ever after. I'm writing about love after all. And if I'm writing about love, I should feel happy. If I'm not happy, something isn't right.

I'm not writing to make number one and get to the top of the charts, because in the publishing world of today, I defy anyone to tell me what that even means anymore. Every day brings a new challenge and it is an industry in flux. I write the best books I can and send them out in the world, hoping they touch someone's heart.

So while I can still "write fast," I'm not. I'm taking my time now, to take care of myself and reconnect with friends and family. I'm taking the time to learn about the career of being an author.  I still have plenty of books to come, but it's going to have to wait for the right time. I'm trying to find that balance. I might need to take a cooking class, brush up on my mediation skills or catch that exhibit I want to see.

Or, God forbid, clean my apartment.

Have a great weekend and Happy Reading!!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Opportunity Knocks

 Today we'll hear from narrator Andrew McFerrin; his thoughts on the
life-changing power of cable movies, the terrifying nature of opportunity,
and the unexpected challenges that keep life... interesting.
Happy Thursday!

We're doing introductions? Cool.

Hi everybody. I'm Andy, and I have no idea what I'm doing here.

Odds are if you're a listener of audiobooks in the MM romance genre you've heard my voice before—and if by this point you haven't slammed shut the lid of your laptop and stalked off to make another cup of coffee instead, I figure it was at least a reasonably enjoyable experience for you. So what do I mean by this opening? In order to answer the question properly I have to take you back in time to the salad days of 1984 (Literally so, actually. For some reason I wouldn't eat red meat as a kid. Parents would take us all to the Ponderosa after church, and while everyone else was getting their steak on or whatever I'd be absolutely demolishing the salad bar, and if you're starting to think this Andy guy's a bit of a weirdo...oh honey, you have no idea).

Anyway. 1984: The Year I Saw Risky Business on cable.

Decent movie. Doesn't hold up very well now though, but if I stop for a digression every time one occurs to me we'll be here all night. Anyway, there's this great exchange early on in which perpetual 80s teen comedy sidekick Curtis Armstrong intones unto Tom Cruise's protagonist Joel—a callow, youthful, sentient loaf of Wonder Bread—this simple, life-changing mantra which I'll sheepishly abbreviate because I'm just a guest here:

Sometimes you just got to say WTF.

WTF brings freedom, the monologue continues. Freedom brings opportunity. Which is to say there are times when all the planning in the world won't get you to your goal. Analysis paralysis, it's called in the board gaming community, and man oh man do I suffer from it.  Often the only way to get past that block is to literally say WTF and make a move. Any move. Jump, land with both feet, hope it's soft. That kind of becomes Joel's mantra for the rest of the film. It gets him into a hell of a lot of trouble, and also gets him back out, with about 90 minutes of hijinks in between of course.   In a lot of ways the most interesting parts of my life have tended to come about when I've taken this to heart myself.

It really is a mantra, a covenant of sorts. It's a deal you make with yourself to pull off whatever sick move you're hoping to bust out of sheer momentum and brute force if nothing else, and oh my god has this ever led to some spectacular failures in my life. But it's also the driving principle behind pretty much everything I've ever done right, and that includes audiobooks.

When I started doing this, I was literally making things up as I went. I had an opportunity to audition for some narration work, and it just so happened that I really needed some money, so...hey, why not? I'd never really listened to audiobooks or had much interest in the format. I had no acting background whatsoever. Didn't even take drama in high school. I had no idea what the hell I was doing. (Now that I think about it, those are all really really good reasons why not. The hell was I thinking?) My first book featured a cast of over 100 characters, most of which were voiced individually on the fly. No, really. I assumed I could just show up and read, and that would be okay. No notes. No planning. No organization. I still occasionally wake up at 7 AM in a cold sweat thinking about that production.

Yes, 7 AM. I keep weird hours. Don't judge.

That this first production was successful owes a lot more to determination and grueling effort on the part of John the Engineer than anything I did. But the point is, it did actually work out. And as it turned out, I really like doing this. When we settled into the next project, I spent a bit of time thinking about how to make our lives easier from the narrator's standpoint. I began recording samples of each character's voice to be referred back to during production, taking notes on location and setting, recurring themes of the story and characters, the power dynamic of scenes...super mega egghead stuff that you, dear listener, aren't really supposed to notice but will nevertheless miss if it's not there. That's 4 or 5 years of incremental gains—screwing something up horribly in one project and fixing it in the next—all so that now when I step into the vocal booth on any given day I can direct all my energy into bringing the most meaningful performance possible.

None of this could have come about if, in the beginning, I hadn't been willing to jump, crash, and burn. Even now, 50-some books later, every time I sit down to begin a new project there's a moment when I stare at the blank screen and wonder what happens if I can't make it go. Fear of failure, for me, is crippling. It completely derailed my career for a solid 18 months, no lie. It's the power of the WTF that gives me momentum to break through. Not sure where to begin? WTF. In over my head? WTF. Roommate wants me to produce a comic horror-movie podcast, which I don't actually know how to do? Sure, WTF. Have to voice a major romantic lead who also happens to be a 200 year-old Croatian vampire with a biting sense of humor, all while babysitting the most destructive kitten in recorded history? (Ante Up by Kim Fielding, now available in audio format, and I had an astonishing amount of fun working on it. Kitten aside.) W, indeed, the F.

WTF has brought me freedom. What to do with the opportunity from here...eh, I'll figure it out.

So anyway, that's my introduction. Coffee and pastries will now be served.

Find Andy McFerrin and Falcon Sound Company on Facebook.

Check out Andy's newest narration, "Ante Up," by Kim Fielding

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Ask Andrew - Childhood Books

Dear Andrew

What was your favorite childhood book?


Dear Dawn

That's a hard one.  When I was a kid I spent a lot of time with my grandma and Aunt Kate.  They lived together and I used to pick out a book and would ask them to read it to me.  I remember Curious George and Clifford The Big Red Dog.  I couldn't read yet myself, but I love story from a young age. They would decide it was time for a nap and would read me a story hoping I'd got to sleep.  That didn't work because all I wanted was another story.  In the end I wore them out.

I knew all the words to all my favorite books, so if they skipped something.  "That's not how it goes,"  were the first things I said.   They must have gotten so tired of reading those same stories to me, but I loved them.  I know I got my love of reading from all the hours they spent with me.  Both my grandma and my aunt passed away before I was twenty.  But the legacy they left has stayed with me forever.

I read to my nieces.  The older one is seventeen and a reader herself.  The younger niece is six and she loves books and will be in first grade next year.  What better legacy to give than the love of reading?

Ask Andrew will return next week and is your chance to ask questions of a gay romance author.  The questions can be about the writing process in general, writing sex scenes, gay men, sex, characters in romance, characters having sex... okay you probably get the picture.    I promise to answer your questions as frankly and with as much humor as I possibly can.

So if you have a question, please send it to andrewgreybooks@comcast.net.  This is different from my usual email so your questions don't get lost.  I will answer one question a week.

Please remember this is meant to be all in fun.  (I was going to say good, clean fun, but who wants that.)    So send me your questions and let's see what mischief we can get into.

Visit Andrew on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/andrewgreybooks  and you can join Andrew's fan group All The Way With Andrew Grey.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Birthday Q&A with BA, Julia, Kiernan and Sean

As it was Sean’s birthday yesterday, we thought we’d do a birthday Q&A

1. What’s your sign?
2. Favorite birthday memory?
3. Favorite birthday gift ever?
4. Do you like surprise parties?
5. What’s your ideal way to spend your birthday?
6. If you could have anything – what would you choose for your birthday meal?
7. What was your favorite birthday meal as a child?
8. Favorite type of cake?
9. Gift bag or wrapping paper?
10. What time of day were you born?
11. Where were you born?
12. Sprinkles or buttercream flowers?
13. Candles or sparklers?

1. Capricorn — all goat, all the time. 
2. My Moma bought me a piccolo for my 16th birthday and I didn’t think she’d be able to afford it. It was the best. 
3. My baby sister, Tiffany. She was born on my 18th birthday. 
4. Nope. 
5. With my wife. 
6. Moma’s meatloaf and mashed potatoes, green beans, and strawberry shortcake. 
7. See #6. 
8. Can I have pie? 
9. Walmart sacks are fine. 
10. 3:30pm 
11. On an army base in Kansas 
12. Flowers. 
13. Candles, please.

1. Gemini 
2. When I got my dollhouse when I was 5 
3. My wedding 
4. no 
5. Hanging with the wife and puppers 
6. usually steak 
7. ditto 
8. German chocolate 
9. I like paper 
10. No idea 
11. New Mexico, 
12. Buttercream anytime, 
13. Candles

1. Leo
2. Going into labor with my son (it was false labor - he was born 2 weeks later).
3.a cruise from the hubs on my 40th
4. Love them!
5. With family - doesn't matter where
6. Steak, asparagus, potatoes
7. See above. I've always been a steak girl.
8. Cheesecake
9. Wrapping paper - unless the gift is shaped funky...or alive.
10. 8 pm on a Saturday night.
11. Passaic, new Jersey.
12. Sprinkles
13. Candles

1. Aquarius
2. I spent my 25th birthday in Australia with my sister. We took a trip along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria and saw the 12 Apostles. It was amazing.
3. It’s so hard to pick a favorite… I got a picture of a bike in my card the year I turned eight, with the promise that we’d go out and buy one as soon as the snow was gone.
4. Not really.
5. Hanging out with friends and family.
6. Scallops with beurre blanc and asparagus and I’ve had it, too
7. We always got to pick what we wanted to eat for our birthday meal and for many years I always choose Kentucky Fried Chicken.
8. There’s this cake from La Rocca called Truffle Royale. It starts with a layer of devil’s food chocolate cake and on top of that is a layer of milk chocolate truffle mousse and then white chocolate truffle mousse. It’s so good. 
9. I prefer wrapping paper, but I’ll take a gift any way you want to give it to me 
10. I was born just after 5 am on January 22
11. Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
12. Buttercream!
13. Sparklers

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Have You Ever Written A Mean Review? By S.C. Wynne

Hello all,

Nobody gets to escape mean reviews. It happens to everyone if you continue to write. No book works for everybody, and some people are only too happy to tell you that!

I never review these days. Especially as S.C. Wynne. That is a sure fire way to make enemies, because as I said, not all books are for everyone. But I do remember, long ago, I used to write reviews. I wrote them mostly for movies, but occasionally books too. I was trying to think about why I used to write reviews. Why did I feel my opinion needed to be shared, especially if it was something I hated? What is it about things we don't like that spur us to write reviews almost more than things we love? Do we assume everyone loved the same thing, so there's no need to write a review? I'm not sure.

But I do find mean reviews odd. I never wrote really mean reviews, but I did write negative reviews. But with the explosion of social media, I've noticed there are so many more cruel reviews. I mean, reviews where people don't just explain why a book didn't work for them, but they absolutely rip the author and their writing skills to shreds. I'm not sure what that means or why they feel that need. But to each their own, of course, but it strikes me as strange. Would they say these things to the authors face? And if the answer is yes... does that seem normal? Would most people just be cool with someone saying horrible things to their face?

I'm interested in what it is that drives us humans to need to share our opinion. I share this need, so I'm not just pointing figures. I don't write personally mean reviews, but I did used to criticize movies and things like that. Why did I need to tell those artists my personal opinion? I'm sincerely curious. Humans are probably the only species that does this. As far as I know. What is it in our DNA that makes us think someone who created something CARES what we think? lol I mean, they created it. They obviously liked it or they wouldn't have put it out there.

What do you think? Do you write mean reviews? What drives you?


Friday, January 19, 2018

New Kindle World Launch and a cover reveal by Felice Stevens

I have officially begun the countdown to my retirement. It is four weeks from today.
Yikes. I'd better get a plan.
While I do that, here is what's happened this past week in my writing world.
Yesterday was the second launch of the Memories with The Breakfast Club Kindle World and once again, the authors who wrote for the world are now occupying the top spots in the LGBT category and are also in the top 25 for overall Romance. I'm so happy and proud for them. I don't have a book out this time myself, but stay tuned for news of a third launch. In the meantime here are the covers and the links:

I also had a cover reveal for my next release, Perfect. I'm very excited for you to read Jeremy and Blake's story. I've brought together two of my favorite books, The Arrangement and One Call Away and these guys will tear at your heart while you're fanning yourself. You can add it to your Goodreads shelf here:

That's all I have for you this week. Have a great weekend and happy reading!!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Audiobook Narration and Production

This week, we hear from narrator Dorian Bane about adventures in audioland,
a slew of cowboys, and the difficulties of voicing a mythical menagerie.
We might need espressos for this!
Hello, Cafe Risque! When I was first asked if I would be interested in writing a blog about my adventures in audioland, my first reaction was to be immediately flattered that anyone might have interest in reading it! This was followed very quickly by my accepting the offer without a second thought. Hell yeah! I thought. Write about a job I love? This will be a blast! Then, rather abruptly, a new and slightly troublesome thought crept into my mind. Oh, man...Where do I start?!

After careful consideration (IE: Stalling for forever, before writing feverishly once I felt I had procrastinated enough.) I decided that since most of you may not know me from Adam, an introduction would indeed be necessary. So, with that being said…

Hi! I’m Dorian Bane. I’m essentially a 23 year old man trapped in the body of a 31 year old. My hobbies and interests include, But are not strictly limited to, reading, writing, miniature modeling, comic books, music, movies, tabletop/board/RPG games, riding motorcycles (When they are running.), and general slacker activities. Like most folks, I enjoy good food, strong drinks and time spent with friends, laughing and otherwise causing mischief.

Thanks to the support of the outstanding people at Dark Night Sound and Falcon Sound Company, I am a voice actor and audio book narrator with (As of the writing of this post) 23 audio books and 1 video game character in my ever growing portfolio.

I get asked all the time what it’s like to be a narrator and to be honest, it is pretty great! Don't get me wrong, there is a ton of work that goes into it that most people never consider and it has its unique challenges. For instance, while narrating, “Two Cowboys and A Baby,” by B.A. Tortuga, I had a whole slew of cowboys to voice, But still had to make their voices unique. (And some needed to be more similar than others...Hey no spoilers here. Read/listen to see what I mean.)

Right now I am recording for “Fangs and Catnip,” by Julia Talbot. Talk about a diverse cast! Vampires, a gorgon, a gargoyle and shifters of all varieties! So fun! There is a particular Gorgon character whose voice Julia describes as sounding like “two stones rubbing together”... Yeah, I read that and recall saying aloud, “Figure that one out, hotshot.” But as they say, that's why I make the big bucks!

Now that you know a bit about me, feel free to stop back to check out the blog, ask questions, propose post topics, talk about audio or just say hello.

Till next time… Dorian Bane

Find Dorian Bane and Falcon Sound Company on Facebook, and at www.falconsoundcompany.com

Check out Dorian's newest narration, Bru Baker's "Camp H.O.W.L." available on Audible, Amazon, and ITunes!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

New Books by BA, Julia, Sean and Kiernan

Hey y'all!

Time for some promo!

From Sean Michael!

Tenor Abriole has just finished his stint as nanny for the Wilsons. He was with the family for twenty-one years, ever since he was eighteen. Now he’s looking for a new family, but finding that at thirty-nine, many people think he’s too old, and those who don’t think that’s a problem are balking at the fact that he’s a man, or that he’s gay, or both. He finally turns to Mannies Inc. for help finding a new position.

Daniel Thorpe is a well-known composer who lives and breathes music. He very much wants to be a father, so he goes the surrogate route, and winds up with triplets on the way. He turns to Mannies Inc. well before his girls are born, but so far has not been happy with any of the men who have applied, until Tenor shows up for an interview. Tenor’s experience being nanny to five children, as well as the fact that he stayed with a single family that long are both pluses in Daniel’s book.

Could it be that Tenor is the last note Daniel needs to compose his greatest work yet – his family?

Evil Plot Bunny Link

Amazon Link

From BA Tortuga

Country hat act Markus Kane is skeptical when he’s asked to do a joint tour. He hasn’t seen Sebastian Longchamps since he gave up drinking—and since their compulsion for each other nearly cost them both their livelihoods. But Markus’s career is on the downhill slope, while the country-fried Cajun rocker’s star is still rising. His label thinks it’ll be a match made in ticket-sales heaven.

Sebastian knows better. One wrong move and Markus will break his heart all over again. This time he has much more to lose.

Time has changed both men, though, and while Markus and Sebastian try to fight their addictions, the big music industry machine has plans for them that don’t include a quiet retirement. Can Markus convince Sebastian that there are things in life more important than adrenaline and control? And can Sebastian make Markus understand that all he really wants is his music and his man?

Second Edition

First Edition published by Torquere Press, September 2012.

Out today at Dreamspinner Press for a special price!

Julia Talbot

Vampire Peyton gets into trouble. A lot. When he offends an entire East Coast clan of vampires up Boston way, he decides he needs a place to hide out for a bit. So he goes back to his Texas roots and calls upon his best friend, Cody Knight, to help him stay safe. Cody runs the Midnight Rodeo, Darque and Knight, and happily agrees to let Peyton come along, even assigning him a bodyguard.

Grizz is a bear shifter, big, strong, and maybe a little… well, bearlike. Who better to watch over Peyton and keep him out of trouble? If Peyton gets out of line, Cody figures, Grizz can just sit on him. Grizz has no idea how much work Peyton will be, or how Peyton will invade his heart. The problem is, Grizz is pretty sure he doesn’t need a beautiful vamp complicating his life. Can he and Peyton find their happy place before it’s too late, or will Peyton’s past catch up with him?

Evil Plot bunny buy link!

Kiernan Kelly

Dakota is a bear shifter who thinks he's the only one of his kind in the whole world, until he meets Jax and the sparks -- and fur -- flies. Dakota and Jax are now convinced they can’t be the only ones who can change their shapes, and are determined to seek out other shapeshifters and give them a safe haven from the humans who’ve mistreated them.  They found the Shifting Sands ranch, a place where all shifters can run free and live in peace.

But what if not all shifters are happy stay hidden away? What if there are apex predators who see everyone else as prey, including the shifters at the ranch?  Dakota and Jax soon find themselves in the fight of -- and for -- their lives.

Shifting Sands includes two bonus stories written in the same universe, The Sound of Home, and Mother Blue's Bar and Grill.

This is a previously published title. The publisher has changed. 

Evil Plot Bunny Link

Amazon link




Julia’s is http://www.juliatalbot.com

BA’s is http://www.batortuga.com

Kiernan's is www.KiernanKelly.com


Sean -- https://www.facebook.com/SeanMichaelWrites

Julia -- https://www.facebook.com/juliatalbotauthor

BA -- https://www.facebook.com/batortuga

Kiernan -- https://www.facebook.com/kiernan.kelly

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Dreamspinner Press is have a sale, and you can now get Creative Process at 25% off! 

So, in honor of that sale I thought I'd post an excerpt and buy links for my Sunday visit.

Reese Kelsey is a bestselling author living in New York City. He's written a series of books that have been wildly popular, gained him respected reviews and rocketed him to the level of stardom with thriller and forensic detective fans. When the story begins, he is in the middle of publicity for book three and is working on book four, the last book in his series.

Owen Mercado has worked long and hard for a career in the symphony, and success comes with a demanding schedule—something Reese understands. Their desires and lifestyles are surprisingly compatible, and Reese and Owen certainly set the bedroom on fire.

In the excerpt below, Reese spotted the captivating Owen lugging his cello around and has impulsively offered the musician a ride. In return he receives an invitation to hear Owen play at a cafe with a small group from his conservatory days.


Reese slid back into the car. "We're going to make a stop," he told the driver. "Fifth and…?" He'd forgotten already and looked at Owen for help.

Owen leaned in. "Juniper."

"Right. Fifth and Juniper," Reese repeated.

"No problem, sir. Will that be the last stop?"

Reese thought about that, and decided that he wasn't easy walking distance from the Grey Moon.
"No, we'll continue on to—"

"Why don't you come listen?" Owen suggested.

"Listen?" Reese blinked at Owen. He was processing slowly, he must really be tired. "Oh, why don't I come listen? To you play. Why don't I? Yes."

Owen laughed. "That'll be the last stop," he said to the driver.

"Yes, sir."

"Really? That's not weird?" Reese asked.

"Not any weirder than offering a complete stranger with a cello a ride," Owen replied playfully.

True enough. "You're not a complete stranger, we just sat in the same theater together for three hours." Hm. He pulled his phone out of his pocket. "Excuse me a moment." He opened up Evernote and started typing. Follows woman home from theater – movies? Opera? Leaves her on stage? When he was done he put his phone back in his pocket. "Had to reply to a text," he lied. "Sorry."

"No problem." Owen smiled at him. "Someone wants to know when you'll be home?"

"Ha ha." Reese shook his head. "No. God, no."

Owen nodded. "Averse to relationships. Noted."

"Wait, what?" Reese got the feeling he'd just completely missed his cue. "No! No, I'm not averse. I'm just… there's no one. I'm single." It had been so long that he'd forgotten what it felt like to flirt. And now he was embarrassed and awkward, too. Fuck.



"Flying solo."

"I guess."


"Yep." Reese's eyes went wide. "Wait. Oh, my God."

Owen started laughing so hard he fell over sideways on the backseat. "Yep," he repeated just as Reese had said it.

Reese felt himself grin, and the grin grew wider the longer Owen laughed at him. This was fun. Maybe he hadn't entirely lost the ability to laugh at himself after all.

"I stepped right into that, didn't I? You're a sneaky one, Owen."

"Yep," Owen said again. He was still giggling but appeared to be attempting to regain composure. He pushed himself upright. "I'm sorry, I couldn't resist. Really. I apologize."

"Don't. I'll just have to pay you back at some point."

Owen's eyes swept up Reese's body from his lap until he was looking into Reese's eyes. "I look forward to it."

Holy Mother of God. Owen just hit on him. Reese mentally congratulated himself on recognizing it this time, even if it wasn't the least bit subtle. "Me, too."

Owen's smile turned shy and he dropped his gaze for a moment. He looked like he was going to say something more but the car came to a stop. "Right on the corner, sir?"

Reese forced himself to tear his eyes away from Owen's beautiful blush to answer the man's question.
"Uh, yeah. Yes. Here's fine, thanks." He glanced back at Owen, but Owen had carefully schooled his expression and was sliding toward the opposite car door.

You can purchase Creative Process for 25% off at Dreamspinner Press!

Thanks for reading. 



Saturday, January 13, 2018

Re-release Falling Into Love by S.C. Wynne

Good morning!

I have a new release, actually a re-release, out today. It's a story about someone who's down on his luck who has nothing to lose by starting over.

I wrote this story because I often write very angsty books, and I wanted to right something uplifting and hopeful. What would you do if you had no job, no relationship and the opportunity to start new in another place was presented to you?

Would you jump for it? Would you be scared and stick to things that are familiar to you? Sometimes doing the same old thing is easier than trying something new. Even if what we're doing isn't working, it's less scary to keep in the grooves.

In my story, Chris decides to take the chance. :) Would you?



Chris Lambrough is having a run of bad luck. He's lost his job and his boyfriend and is feeling depressed. His best friend Jenny tells him about an ad she's noticed where The Muddy Mountain Ski Resort is looking for waiters. Chris has restaurant experience and since his New Years Resolution is to learn to ski it seems like a nice opportunity to jump start his life.

Trevor Brown is a ski instructor at the resort. He befriends Chris right away and the have undeniable chemistry. But Trevor has guilt over the death of his lover, Lane two years earlier. Can the two of them learn to trust each other and move forward and forget the past?

If this sounds fun the buy link is below! It's also in Kindle Unlimited for a short time.


Friday, January 12, 2018

Feeling old by Felice Stevens

Lately I've been feeling like an old grouch. Everything seems to bother me and the news, both political and in the publishing world, hasn't helped.

Many of you might have seen or heard of the mysterious 50% royalty rate that popped up a few nights ago and just as quickly disappeared. Speculation ran like a wildfire but whatever the end result will be, I'm certain it will not benefit authors. Because  Amazon is not here to benefit authors. They are here to satisfy their bottom line. So we wait and wait because we never know when it will pop up but we can be sure it's coming. One other thing for certain is that we need to be prepared, and I'm making plans.

I'm in author groups where people quibble over what makes a "best seller" (the overwhelming consensus is that it is only if you make the NYT, USA Today or WSJ list.) I see authors attacking authors, authors attacking readers over reviews and readers telling authors how fast and what to write. I think it's all terrible. Write what you want, read what you want and leave the rest alone.

Even though I don't make New Year's resolutions, the one thing I promised to myself was I'd spend less time on social media and I've been trying to follow through. I check in with my reader group,  Felice's Fun House which I love because everyone is so positive, look at my friends page and other authors I follow and then get off-line as quickly as possible. I don't want to hear negativity  and anger. I'm here to write books and talk to readers about books, and argue about iced vs. hot coffee, (ICED) NY style pizza vs. Chicago (NY obviously) and kisses. 

There's a lot more I could say, but I'm tired and cranky. I had the release of my audiobook, All or Nothing narrated by the always wonderful Nick J Russo and in the first day I discovered it uploaded to a pirate site. Piracy is another problem that's running rampant, and could be the subject of an entire blog post in and of itself, but I'll just say please don't support these people. If you'd like to own a copy of All or Nothing, you can get it for one credit if you subscribe to Audible or JOIN Audible and you can get the audiobook for free.
Here is the link:

Have a wonderful weekend and happy reading!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

What goes into an Audiobook?

Today, we're one-on-one with narrator, John Solo, who is also Falcon Sound Company's Audio Engineer, Producer, and self-described Itinerant Adventurer. We get a lot of questions about our process for creating the audio version of a book. Hopefully, John's able to answer some of those in today's post. Enjoy!

What goes into an audiobook? Sugar and spice and everything nice?  Well, maybe.  You have no idea about some of the audiobooks I’ve worked on… And before you judge me, you should know that I get paid to do something I love to do!  Even if it does sometimes involve me saying questionable things to myself in a dark soundproof room.  At night.  Alone.  For money.

There seems to be a common misconception that recording an audiobook is as simple as reading the book into a microphone and sending off the audio file to the author.  Easy, cheesy, done.  That should take, like, 6 hours for a 6 hour book, right?  

If it was that easy everyone would be doing it.  Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t rocket science.  It’s certainly not a difficult job.  I don’t have to dig ditches or shovel horse poo.  In fact, there are many days that I don’t change out of my pj’s.  But it is a skilled job, and without the proper knowledge, time, perseverance and the occasional bit of talent sprinkled on top, you may as well be listening to your high school science teacher drone on about pendulums.  And my science teacher had a tendency to spit every time he said the letter “P”...

Every hour of audio that a listener enjoys (I suppose this counts for even the hours the listener doesn’t enjoy) takes, on average, 7 hours to produce.  My job here at Falcon Sound Company, as a narrator and producer is to take a project from receiving the manuscript to delivering the finished audio.  

Let’s take a look at the breakdown of a typical six hour audiobook:

Pre-production: 7 hours
This is typically done by the narrator.  The process varies from person to person (these actor types tend to be a fiercely independent, stubborn lot), but when I work on a book as the narrator I will start by reading through the manuscript once to get a feel for it as a reader.  Then I will skim the manuscript a second time while taking notes pertaining to the character voices I plan to use, the emotional ebb and flow of specific scenes, what kind of coffee I plan to drink during production…  You know, important actor stuff.  I will also record a sample of each character voice, to be used for reference throughout the recording and QC process to help with consistency (maybe I should share some pre-production character voice recordings in another blog post…)

Recording: 10.5 hours
This is where the fun begins!  Sitting in a dark, padded room telling a story to no one… Actually, some of our sessions do involve an audio engineer/producer sitting outside the booth, where they follow along with the manuscript and provide useful input, such as, “That didn’t sound anything like a 72 year old British woman with a hair lip!”, or, “Why can’t I feel my face?!?” (Seriously, it’s really good coffee…).  But the majority of our sessions are done alone.  There is a lot of extra time spent during this step trying to deliver each line perfectly, practice Audie awards acceptance speeches, and generally trying not to get distracted by videos of cute pets on Facebook.

Editing: 7 hours
After the recording of each chapter is done we have to go through and cut out a lot of dead air, coughs, spit takes, laughing, hysterical crying, the occasional sound of cats (real and over mobile devices), and mistakes.  This is considered a first pass of touching up the narrator's timing and delivery.

Quality Control: 14 hours
Abbreviated to QC, this step is by far the most labor intensive.  We listen through the recording once again, this time perfecting the delivery of the spoken word, marking any extraneous noises that may have slipped through (you’d be amazed at the number of involuntary, and lets be honest, sometimes voluntary, noises the human body is capable of making) as well as marking any deviations from the manuscript.  

Punch Out and Pick Up Lines: 7 hours
The narrator records any Pick Up Lines that are required.  Those are then spliced into the original recording, replacing any mistakes that may have been made during the initial recording sessions.  We also go in and fix any of those extraneous noises that were marked from QC, using fancy software and voodoo and stuff.  

Mastering: 3.5 hours
By this point in the game we are almost out of coffee, and you know that’s going to be a problem… Here we prepare the files for consumer formatting, making sure there are consistent pauses used for the beginning and ending of chapters, scene breaks, etc… We also insert a clean room tone sound in between pauses in the narrator’s speech, prep the opening and closing credits, and bring all of the chapters up to a uniform industry standard volume so listeners don’t have to turn down or turn up their players from chapter to chapter.  Finally, we deliver the completed project to our client via US carrier pigeon and make a traditional sacrifice to the gods of the romance universe in the hopes that the people will be entertained...  

Whew!  If you’ve been keeping up with the math, and I know you have, that comes out to 42 hours of fun; all to produce a 6 hour audiobook.  There’s also the day-to-day operations of running the business side of things, and don’t forget the playing with animals! But, from where I sit, this is the most enjoyable and rewarding career an introverted extrovert that likes to make funny noises and pretend he’s other people could ever have…

So, if it takes 42 hours just to make the audiobook, I wonder how long it takes to write the damn thing...

Find John Solo and Falcon Sound Company on Facebook

Also, check out his newest narration "One Man's Trash", by Marie Sexton. Available now!