Saturday, June 30, 2018

My Work In Progress By S.C. Wynne


Hello all!

I'm working on a rewrite right now. It's a story about an older protagonist who is trying to move on after losing his lover of thirty years.

It's interesting writing about a man who is fifty-three, when I usually write about much younger guys. There's a fine line between still showing him as a sexy, romantic hero type, while not ignoring or brushing over the fact that he isn't supposed to be twenty. I know some readers want main characters to be perfect, and since it's fiction, often they are better than life. But if the point of a story is to deal with an older protagonist, then it's really important not to pretend he's the same as someone who is much younger.

I'll be honest, I have to fight myself. I have to reassure myself that it's okay if maybe his skin isn't perfect. Or maybe there is a hint of gray hair? I hate that I struggle with the idea of an older man being as attractive as a younger man. What does that say about me? What does that say about society?

I'm adding a lot more to the story than was originally in it when it was first released with Ellora's Cave. I'm doing that because I feel like I didn't address his age like I'd like to the first time around. This time I want to slow down and let the reader feel his confusion. I want the reader to feel just how weird it is for this older man, who has really only ever been with one lover, accept the idea of moving on. Accept the idea that he isn't a young man. Accept that maybe that's okay.

Here's a taste of what I have so far.

Excerpt:

Chapter One

Rory was in front of me. He was charging in like a bull, with no regard to our safety. He shouldn’t have gone first, but he’d brushed off my concerns as usual. I could never get him to listen to me lately. He’d laughed at me when I said being cocky could get us hurt. But Rory knew best, he always did. So I followed him with my stomach churning, as I tried to make out any movement in the shadows that surrounded us. Something was off. The old dark warehouse smelled like gasoline, and mold and it worried me there were too many rust stained barrels and wooden crates to hide behind. I needed to tell him something wasn’t right, but when I opened my mouth to speak, no sound came from my dry throat. The silence was so thick I could almost hear the trickle of sweat that slid down my forehead right before the bullet hit him. Blood smacked my cheek, and I froze as the scarlet warmth slipped to the corner of my mouth. It was like sand slipping through my fingers as he crumpled to the ground and I flew on top of him. Too late. Always too late.

I jerked awake, smearing the hot tears off my face. My heart was about to explode from my chest, and I was nauseous, drenched in perspiration. Just the sound of my labored breathing and a clock ticking somewhere in the room. So quiet. So fucking silent. That was the worst part of waking up like this. No one to hold me and tell me it was just a dream. But that someone would be Rory. And this wasn’t a dream.

I stumbled into the kitchen, stretching my stiff muscles. Making coffee always calmed me. The heady smell of the beans grinding, pouring the water, flipping the switch. Rory had hated how strong I’d always made it. “Is this sludge or coffee?” he’d have said grinning as he leaned against the counter. I’d have ignored him and poured myself a generous cup. I should have listened to him about the coffee. I should have paid attention to a lot of things better. I wished to God he’d listened to me about my gut feeling that morning.  

I washed while the java brewed and got dressed in the little bedroom we’d shared. Everything looked the same as before he died. I couldn’t bring myself to change anything. On the dresser was the picture of us in Santa Barbara last summer. We looked so happy, sun kissed and relaxed. I talked to that picture sometimes. But then the sound of my hollow, bitter voice would make the house seem even more empty and cold. Maybe I should get a cat or a dog. If only so there would be some noise in the house other than that damn ticking clock. I filled my travel mug and let myself out of the house.

The sun warmed my shoulders through my thin shirt and a blue jay screeched somewhere unseen above my head in the purple Jacarandas. It would be a beautiful day in Los Angeles, too bad I would be sitting in a court room all afternoon. I got in the car and sat for a moment. More silence. Rory would have had a story to tell, or maybe one of his dirty jokes he loved so much. “Did you hear the one about the three legged prostitute?” I flipped on the radio and winced at the perky chatterbox giving the traffic report. How did she do it? How did she muster such enthusiasm for the traffic? I shut it off, disgusted. I don’t know, maybe just people in general irritated me.

I drove the short distance to Fredrick’s office, surprised to see he was already waiting on the patio out front. He threw down his cigarette and crushed it under his designer leather shoe. He strode gracefully to the car and I climbed out to open the back door for him.

“Jesus Christ, Andrew. You’re late.” He lowered his head and slid into the car. “You’re never late, I was worried.”

“You’re never on time. I didn’t think it would matter.”

As I returned to my spot behind the wheel I observed his scowl in the rear-view mirror. He was watching the back of my head intently. “What’s wrong?” he asked.

“Nothing, I didn’t sleep well, that’s all.”

“Did you have that damned dream again?” he asked, running a slender hand over his sleek graying hair.

I ignored him and pulled out into traffic. The roads were unusually quiet as we made our way toward the Los Angeles Superior Court. Maybe the other drivers knew something we didn’t. Maybe the world had ended. Was it a bad sign that I didn’t care either way?

“You need to talk to someone, Andrew.”

“Is talking going to bring him back?” I asked gruffly.

Fredrick’s face looked drawn. “It might be helpful to have professional insight.”

“Professional insight,” I snorted. “Here’s some insight, mind your own business.”

“Well if you’re going to make me late it is my business.” He sniffed. “You’re generally a very punctual little son of a bitch.”

“It won’t happen again.” I bit my tongue. I wasn’t here to argue. He was my employer these days, and my job description was to keep him safe. I would love to tell him to go fuck himself, but that would be impolite wouldn’t it?

Rory and I had met Fredrick right out of college. The ink hadn’t dried on our Criminal Justice degrees when Rory struck up a pseudo friendship with Fredrick at the local sandwich place near the courthouse. Rory had always been good at things like making friends. He’d connected with others effortlessly, while I was more reserved. Rory had loved everybody, and I’d had what I considered a healthy distrust toward most humans. But we’d been a great team. He’d plugged my gaps, and I’d like to think I’d done the same for him.

Eventually over Turkey on rye and dill pickles our desire to become private detectives had been discussed with Fredrick. Fredrick had already been establishing himself as an up and coming criminal defense attorney back in those days. Because of his relationship with Rory he’d set it up so we could get the hours needed on the job to become licensed, and from there a beautiful partnership had been formed.

That was until Rory died last year, and I’d gone off the deep end. I hadn’t had it in me to continue the way it had been, and Fredrick had made a spot for me as his personal guard. I knew I owed him my sanity, but I couldn’t quite let him know that for some reason. Maybe I wasn’t positive my saneness was going to stick.

“I only say something because I care.” Fredrick’s testy voice broke into my thoughts bringing me back to the present. The sides of his mouth were turned down. “I don’t want you starting up that…behavior again. You know I took a chance and I hired you when others said you were too old, burned out and just a drunk. I have my fingers crossed you don’t prove them all right and make a fool of me.”

If he was going to keep talking it was going to be really hard to be polite.

“You know I’m grateful for the job, Fredrick.” Let’s not forget you pay me peanuts, you cheap bastard.

He seemed to buy it. I’d become a pretty good actor the last twelve months. You had to be when you were hiding stuff. There were so many prying eyes and caring questions, it was annoying and touching all at the same time. But I would probably be fine if they would all just leave me alone. My body had healed fairly quickly for a fifty-three year old.

“I really wish you’d talk to someone.” His voice was soft and distracted as he read over his legal briefs.

We entered the courtroom together but I veered off to the side and seated myself behind him near his legal team. I tuned out the voices and scoped the people and the room casually. There were two beefy guards near the door looking bored. A nervous young blonde girl bending the corners of her paperwork sat near me. There were families of victims and the accused huddled in the hard seats waiting for the lawyers and judges to decide the fates of all involved.

The judge eventually breezed in and Fredrick and his team went to work. Fredrick was very good at what he did. He was one of the top defense attorneys in the city and his caseload was staggering. Tough and relentless as a bull terrier, Fredrick rarely lost so that made him popular with the criminal element in town. But when he didn’t prevail that same element was none too happy and that’s why he had me. He’d failed to win an assault case a couple of months back with a kid who had gang ties, and his client had threatened him. Odds were the crook would never follow through on his threats. His clients tried to intimidate him all the time. I suspected Fredrick’s main motivation in hiring me wasn’t his safety so much as wanting to help me financially. And prideful or not I’d needed the assistance, so I’d agreed and he’d retained my services as his protector. So I drove him around and kept an eye on him at the courthouse. It was a mutually beneficial arrangement. He didn’t die and I got to eat.

Five hours later Fredrick finished arguing his last case and I drove him back to his office and sat in the corner quietly as he worked. My cell buzzed shaking me from my drowsy state and I answered, not recognizing the number.

“May I speak with Andrew James?” A husky male voice asked.

“Speaking.”

“This is Michael Lawrence. I was wondering if you wanted to set up a time to get together this week?”

I was mystified as to what he meant. Set up an appointment for what? “I’m sorry. Who’s this?”

“Michael Lawrence, I’m sorry, Dr. Michael Lawrence.”

He was a doctor? That did nothing to clear up the mystery for me. “I think you might have the wrong number.” He had a nice voice though, it was throaty and warm.

There was a pause, and the voice grew sharper. “It isn’t the wrong number if you’re Andrew James.”

“I am, but I don’t have any doctor appointments scheduled,” I said, touching the base of my neck, my tone uncertain. Had I forgotten an appointment? I was positive I didn’t know a Michael Lawrence. It would be hard to forget a voice as sensual as his. “I’m all healed up.”

Silence met me at the other end of the phone. I heard the shuffling of papers and the man returned sounding baffled. “I’m not sure why I have this note to call you.”

“The shoulder’s fine now, I have full mobility.”

There was a muffled laugh from his end. “I’m not that kind of doctor.”

I frowned at my phone. “What kind of doctor are you, exactly?”

“I’m a psychologist.”

Oh fuck no. “I don’t need a psychologist.”

“That’s what all my patients say at first.” His voice was riddled with humor. “So then I am assuming you don’t want to make an appointment?”

“Nope. I would love to know who gave you my cell number though.”

“Like I said, I just had a note from my secretary.” He sounded almost like he was hiding something. His tone was guarded. I found it odd that he knew my name, but didn’t want me to know who’d given him my number. “I’ll throw the note away and no harm done?”

“I guess. I’d prefer it if you’d shred my number,” I said as an afterthought.

“Shred your number?” He gave a gruff laugh. “Seems a little extreme.”

“You won’t need it again.”

Silence and then he said, “You’re sure you don’t want to just come in and chat?”

“Positive. I’m as sane as anyone else,” I said off handedly.

“In that case you should definitely make an appointment.” That humorous tone was back, and once again I found myself admiring his deep, masculine voice.

“No thanks. Nice talking with you, doc.” I hung up and shook myself mentally. Instead of focusing on the guys sexy phone voice the real question was who the hell had told him to call me? I looked up to find Fredrick’s curious gaze on me.

“Who was that?” his voice sounded fake, his curiosity scripted.

“Did you give a psychologist my number?”

He looked down shuffling papers on his desk as if they were the most fascinating documents in the world. “What?”

I frowned at him. “Did you ask some head doctor to call me?”

“I don’t think so.” He was fidgeting with things on his desk and avoiding my gaze at all cost. Oh yeah, that innocent, clueless expression was phony as hell.

“You aren’t sure?” I stared at him. “Did you or didn’t you ask a Doctor Lawrence to call me?”

A pretty pink swept up his cheeks and he continued to avoid my gaze. “I don’t appreciate your accusatory tone.”

“You did, didn’t you?” I shook my head in disbelief. “You are so stubborn and meddlesome. I don’t need a psychologist, Fredrick.”

He pursed his lips and his tough lawyer expression descended. His gaze hardened and his mouth thinned. “You’re not fooling anyone you know.”

I paused taken aback at first by his more aggressive attitude. “You’re losing it Fredrick, I’m fine.”

“You are anything but fine. You’re not the only one who can act. I pretend to accept your bullshit excuses for never going anywhere or doing anything socially. But I am fully aware you are in a very dangerous place.”

“You’re nuts.”

“That’s not the point. You too are nuts, my friend.”

“I’m doing fine. I’m working. I’m not drinking. Not like I was.” I kept my gaze down. He had good instincts, the fucking bastard.

“It’s been a year. What I don’t understand is why you don’t want to get better?”

“I am better.” My voice broke and I bit my tongue to keep from tearing up. He was getting under my skin and it was pissing me off. Didn’t he remember picking me up at a different bar every night, unable to walk or speak I was so wasted? How was it possible he couldn’t see I was better than when I wasn’t answering my phone, and blowing off meetings he set up for me? How fucking dare he not appreciate how far I’d come. It had been a hard and torturous crawl, and he should sure as hell recognize it.

“Prove it.”

“I don’t have to prove anything to you,” I said.

“You do. You need to show the people around you who care that you are at the very least trying to move toward the future.” He was leaning forward, hands pressed flat on the desk.

“You know I’m better than I was. I don’t know where this is coming from. I was late one time and you’re going fucking insane.”

“I’ve been feeling this way for months. It’s not just me who’s worried. Your parents—”

“My parents can go to hell.” I swallowed roughly. “Why are you bringing them into this?”

“They called me. They’re your family, and you haven’t spoken to them in over a year.”

“You can’t pick your family,” I said harshly.

“Perhaps they have regrets, and they want to make amends. You’ll never know if you don’t communicate with them.” He shrugged. “I know they were less than supportive when you came out to them, but people change.”

“Trust me, they haven’t changed. I have no idea why they’re deciding they need to reach out all of a sudden, but I don’t give a shit either. I’ll never forgive them for not coming to Rory’s funeral. If they couldn’t be there for me then, I don’t need them in my life,” my voice sounded cold and dead, even to my ears. “I don’t want to talk about them. If you mention them again I’m walking out that door and you can find yourself another keeper.”

“Fine, we don’t have to talk about them. Let’s talk about you.”

“Yeah, because apparently I’m fascinating.”

“I want you to come to dinner Friday. I’m having some people over and I want you to come as a guest. Not as my bodyguard.”

“No.” My reaction was instant and instinctive. I couldn’t conceive of sitting at a dinner party making small talk when all the while I would be wishing Rory was beside me. There was nothing for me in a situation like that. I had no desire to meet anyone new.

“You need to do this.”

“Fuck no.”

“I’m afraid I must insist.” His face was red as he spoke.

“I have plans Friday.” God he was pushy. Didn’t he understand how awful that would be for me? I couldn’t be healed because he wanted me to be. I was nowhere near dinner party material. Baby steps were all I could handle right now. He needed to back off and let me alone.

“No you don’t, Liar.” He stared at me disapprovingly. “If you don’t come I’ll fire you. I will.”

“No you won’t.”

“Don’t tempt me. Come to dinner on Friday.”

“You honestly think having dinner at your house will make it all better?” I shook my head in disbelief. “I’m fine.” Maybe fine was a stretch. But I could manage so long as I could go home at night and lick my wounds, surrounded by my dead lover’s things. Because that’s when I pretended Rory was still here. I regrouped while huddled on the couch we’d argued about buying. Late at night Rory was real for me again, and I had no desire to meet new people and forget. Moving forward meant leaving him behind and I wasn’t going to do that.

“You, dearest, are the complete opposite of fine.”

Jesus he was a pain in the ass. He pissed me off and then begged me to come to dinner. I had no interest in mingling with his rich, snobby friends. Why would he even want me to?

“What’s your motivation here?” I asked, squinting at him. “I don’t fit in with any of those people.”

“You used to. You used to be able to fake it like the best of them.”

“No, Rory faked it and I was just there.”

“That’s not true. You used to be charming when you wanted to be.”

I frowned. “Yeah, the wanted to be part is missing. How do you not get that?”

“You can do this.”

“I’m not ready for that crowd.” I could see from his scowl he wasn’t buying it, but he was beginning to exhaust me. Would he leave me alone if I gave in? That tenacity is what made him an excellent lawyer. I hated it when he used it on me.

“Seriously, boy what are we talking about here? All you need to do is eat and drink and smile politely.”

“I don’t want to go. Leave me alone,” I grumbled.

“I can’t and I won’t. I want you there.”

“God you’re relentless.” He would probably hound me unless I agreed. As much as it annoyed me to give into him, maybe it would get him off my back for a while. What the hell, one lousy dinner, I needed to eat anyway. “Fine,” I snapped.

“You’ll do it?” he was positively beaming.

“Not willingly. Don’t kid yourself.”

“I don’t really care if you’re willing. But you will be there?”

“Yes. But you have to promise me you’ll butt out and not pull any shitty set ups like that last phone call with that doctor.”

“Scouts honor.” He held up his slender hand as if being sworn in, and he wore a smirk.

I narrowed my eyes suspiciously. “You weren’t a boy scout were you?”

A sly little smile played around his thin lips. “No I was not, my boy. No I was not.”


I hope you enjoyed that! I'm certainly enjoying reworking things! :) S.C.







Thursday, June 28, 2018

Happy Audiobook Month!


Ah, June.  It's the end of school and the start of summer. June days are the longest days of the year, sun-kissed and salt-seasoned to perfection.  Festivals abound, marked by the smell of street food and the sounds of live music. It's Pride month, which is a festival, and perhaps also an entire month of festival.  It's also Audiobook Month, and I hope you've had time in the sun to listen to a good book.  We have completed eleven audiobooks this month, which is a lot of time not seeing daylight at all! To celebrate, here's a few of the new titles already on sale.  Enjoy!



"Protecting His Omega," by Giovanna Reaves, narrated by John Solo. Phoenix Harcourt is a single father and an omega.  After losing his alpha mate, Phoenix turned his focus to his daughter and his successful company. When his liffe is threatened, Phoenix hires a bodyguard who wants to protect more than his body. He also wants Phoenix's heart.





"Alpha Awakened," by Susi Hawke & Piper Scott, narrated by Colin Darcy is the first book in the Waking the Dragons series and features literally rock-hard hunks, a mom who knows way too much, a perilous threat that transcends time, and a HEA just as legendary as the dragons in it.


"A Full Plate," by Kim Fielding, narrated by Kenneth Obi. Tully and Sage each have a full plate, but will they make room for a side of love?

"Beneath This Mask," by Victoria Sue, narrated by Nick J. Russo.  In a world where those with special abilities like Gael’s are regarded as freaks and monsters, it won’t be easy for him to rely on Jake to have his back.Tempers rise, and loyalties are challenged, and when the serial killer targeting the enhanced finally sets his sights on Gael, not only will Gael have to trust Jake with his secrets, he might have to trust him to save his life.




To keep an eye on our progress and find out what other new releases from your favorite narrators came out of Audiobook Month, like us on Facebook.  We like you already!  

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Pride Month Sale!


Happy Sunday all!

Creative Process is on sale for just $0.99 everywhere in celebration of Pride month!

Blurb:

Best-selling thriller author Reese Kelsey knows his career isn’t conducive to romance. He doesn’t work the normal nine-to-five, and sometimes his characters take hold and demand all his attention, causing him to neglect important appointments… and lovers. Rather than go through another heartbreak, Reese contents himself with his small circle of friends—fellow gay New York City artists—and his dedicated publicist, Chad.

Until he sees Owen Mercado lugging his cello toward the subway and impulsively offers him a ride.

Owen 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. They’re both carrying baggage, but they fit, and it’s hard not to hope for a future that once seemed impossible. 

But when Reese’s work inevitably pulls him into its dark world and refuses to let go, Owen draws a hard line, and Reese discovers he can't rely on good intentions alone. He will have to control the obsession that drove his other lovers away or risk losing Owen as well.

Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/478NXL
Dreamspinner Press: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/creative-process-by-jodi-payne-8887-b

Thanks for reading!

Jodi
jodipayne.net


Saturday, June 23, 2018

Can We Talk About Diet Programs? By S.C. Wynne


Morning everyone!

I'm going to GRL this year and I feel pressure to be my very best. I've been looking at diet plans out of curiosity. I've always been someone who kind of did it on my own. I love juicing, it gives me lots of energy and it is effective at losing pounds. But it gets a little monotonous after a while. I've been juicing for a long time now so I'm ready to try something new.

I was looking at Nutrisystem or maybe the South Beach diet meal delivery services. I think what I love about both plans is obviously the convenience. I don't want to think about or be consumed with thoughts of food. I just want to have something to eat that is good for me and low calorie without having to weigh stuff, count calories or cook something. Yes, I'm lazy in that way. lol Mostly because I am always busy. Mostly.

I like the idea that the South Beach diet is lower carb. I feel better when I don't eat carbs, or at least too many carbs. Nutrisystem assures it's customers it uses smart carbs. Not sure if that's true or not, but that's what they say.

I think I lean toward the Nutrisystem program over South Beach because the foods are more regular. The snacks are things like low calorie popcorn or cheese puffs. I think that when your calories are hugely restricted, as they will be on either of these plans, you crave those familiar comfort foods like popcorn and pizzas. So long as the program controls the fat and portions, I figure it's a win, win. I'll get the flavor but not the fat.

One thing I don't like about Nutrisystem is I feel like they try to trick you on pricing. A lot of review sites have affiliate links. The blogs sort of mislead consumers. They show the plans and break out the pricing per day, but then they say "Hey, use my link and save 40%." Sounds awesome, but the truth is the price they already told you WAS with the 40%. I find that shifty. Why not say here is the pricing after the 40% has been applied? That would be more on the up and up. But even with that, I will say there is a LOT of positive stuff about Nutrisystem out there on the net. There's lots of negative too. But they've been around for 40 years, so they must be doing something right. Or... they're the best PR machine in the world?

All that being said, I did try buying one of the plans today and their site was so screwed up it wouldn't go through. Is that a sign? Is the universe trying to tell me not to go with them? I guess I'll see if thing work tomorrow. If not, I will probably consider that an omen and stay away! lol

S.C.
www.scwynne.com




Thursday, June 21, 2018

Talk Show


This week, we hear from narrator John Solo about, of all things, his tendency to talk too much. Ah, well, occupational hazards. Really, he should just shut up and read something. I bet we could come up with a catchier way of saying that though... In any case, have a great day and enjoy!


Please be aware that there are curse words and sexual innuendos in the following blog post.  All those that don’t want to subject themselves to such mindless drivel should probably go read something wholesome, and perhaps not listen to any of my audiobooks… hahahahaha.

Over the course of my illustrious career as an entertainer and itinerant adventurer, I have learned something that I would like to share with you today.  I’m not wearing any pants. I work from home. Sue me. Seriously, though, I would love to take credit for the following wisdom, to pretend it was an original thought or something that struck me in the dead of night (that was my wife), but it isn’t.  I learned it from a mentor who shall remain nameless, and only because I can’t remember who it was (that whole “short term memory is the first thing to go” thing isn’t true, btw… that was my hair, but I’ll save that for another blog).


Here they are, in all their unbridled glory, the three words that changed the way I approach my job.  Drumroll please...


Play, fucker, sing.


I first heard those three words shouted at me from several friends who were enjoying adult beverages with me while I was playing acoustic guitar and singing around a campfire.  Or maybe we were around a table in a basement. Hell, we could have been at a bar… As I said, adult beverages. Anyways, I had the annoying habit of playing a couple of songs and then stopping to chat.  I’d talk about whatever was on my mind, whether it be what happened to me at work that day, my views on politics, the mating rituals of penguins… it didn’t matter. I remember thinking that I was witty, funny, insightful and endlessly intriguing (that hasn’t changed much… just ask me sometime).  I was sure that everyone wanted to know what I had on my mind, and I was enjoying sharing it.


But then one of them shouted it.  Play, fucker, sing.


At first I was offended.  I thought that perhaps they were cutting off my stream of witty repartee (sigh… it sucks when the best word to use is French) because they didn’t agree with my controversial stances.  I mean, what kind of heartless bastard could possibly disagree that alpha penguins get all the luck?!? But I did as requested and played another song. I tried interjecting a bit of my political commentary a few minutes later, only to be met with the same vulgar display of disrespect.  Play, fucker, sing. This time the chant was joined in by the masses. I believe there was even fresh fruit involved. And so I played on.


It wasn’t until later, as I was packing up my guitar and cleaning the remnants of produce from my hair (in case you didn’t know, I had hair back then), that I realized the message behind their verbal and fruit-based assault.


They wanted to be entertained.


They didn’t want to hear about politics, or religion, or what happened at work, or the hot button agenda of the day, or any of the other things that have a tendency to raise ones' blood pressure.  They wanted to be distracted from those things, from real life. They wanted to relax.. They also seemed to want to throw shit at me, but hey, my friends are dicks. Either way, I took it to heart.


All too often I feel the urge to comment on a political post.  I feel my blood boil at someone else's actions and I just want the world to know.  I want to voice my opinion about those fucking penguins. I want that little shot of dopamine that comes from getting another person out in the etherworld to hit “like” on my witty, scathing commentary on the day's events.  But I don’t. Do you know why?


Because I’m an entertainer.


It is my hope that, when someone listens to my work as an audiobook narrator, that I elicit a positive emotional response.  Love, happiness, humor, joy. Those are my favorites, but I’m very fortunate that the majority of the projects I work on have a happy ending.  The LAST thing I want to do is propagate negativity. Why? Because that is the exact opposite of what I’m supposed to do. Whether it be in an audiobook, on crackbook, at a convention, or in a conversation, my job is to help you “forget about life for a while” (thanks, Billy).


As I wrap up this post I just want to encourage every single one of you to be the love that you want to see.  And before you stop me, I know, I know, I’m getting off track again… Play, fucker, sing.


Now, where are my pants...





And, check out his newest narration,
"Rip Cord" by Jeanne St. James.



Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Favorite time wasters with BA, Julia, Kiernan and Sean


Today we talk favorite time wasters with BA, Julia, Kiernan and Sean

Sean Michael

Online timewaster would be Facebook and twitter, though twitter is getting harder and harder to look at Offline timewaster – TV – there are so many shows to watch Favorite game on the phone – at the moment it’s Wordscapes

Kiernan Kelly

Online timewaster is Facebook, Offline timewaster is well, not a timeWASTER, really, more like a timeUSER, and that's the grandbaby. Favorite game on the phone? I'm torn between Words with Friends 2, and Angry Birds 2

B.a. Tortuga

Pinterest,gardening,and Word Crossy (so wordy that BA)

Julia

Online time waster is definitely social media Offline is napping And game is candy crush

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

Facebook:

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, June 17, 2018

New release!



Happy Sunday!

This week, I have a new release to share with you!

BA Tortuga and I have just published our first book together! It's the first in a five-book series about artists not only of different kinds but from different worlds, Texas and New York City, how they come together and how their respect and love for each other as artists and as human beings keeps them together.

Lots of heat, lots of tension, lots of sweet and fun too.

We have so much fun working together. She brings this amazing authenticity to her Texans and I throw my crazy city dwellers at her, and we really do learn right along with the men as we write. It's fantastic and works so well.


Available at:
Dreamspinner Press
Universal Link


Blurb:

Texas artist Tucker Williams arrives in New York City for a gallery showing of his work and finds the city blanketed in snow. He meets free-spirited underwear model Calvin McIntire on the steps of the Midtown library and is captivated by a wild beauty that manages to compete with the demons that occupy his soul and fuel his work with their lust for blood and erotic imagery.

Unable to deny a new inspiration, Tucker sublets a studio and finds the city’s energy almost as addictive as Calvin.

Tucker is obsessive, barely holding on to sanity as his art consumes him, and Calvin is dealing with demons of his own, trying desperately to protect his soul in a business where only his appearance has value. They each prove to be the perfect remedy for the other’s personal brand of crazy until, in the midst of stress and exhaustion, they discover that a promise Calvin needs is the one thing Tucker can’t give him, and their heaven turns to purgatory.

Can both men find a path toward wholeness in Tucker’s beautiful but chaotic Texas home? In order for them—and their passionate relationship—to thrive, they’ll need to adapt, share their psychoses, and find a true balance between New York City and rural Texas.

Thanks for reading!

Jodi
jodipayne.net


Saturday, June 16, 2018

Do You Resent Authors With Opinions? By S.C. Wynne




Morning all!

I wasn't sure what to write about this week, and so I went on Twitter just looking around for something to inspire me. I guess it kind of did, but mostly it made me realize how many political pundits I follow. I usually, USUALLY, try not to be too political on Twitter. I don't always succeed because there are times when things get to be too much, and I just can't hold my tongue any longer. I wonder if subconsciously I follow so many pundits because they can speak up when I can't? lol I'm not sure.

I know that actors, authors, and singers and frankly all artists, are people too. Probably even people first. We all have opinions and emotions that may or may not line up with those who enjoy our work. Sometimes I don't feel comfortable expressing those ideas because I'd hate to offend, and sometimes I feel like a rebel and I figure, hey, I'm a person and I get to have opinions like anyone else.

But having said that, I myself have been turned off by certain creative types who speak up too much politically. Because politics are extremely personal. The laws and rules of this country can affect whether my family has health care or food on the table. Those are the kinds of things that can make someone want to fight. But as an author, it's not really in my best interests to be fighting with potential customers.

What do you guys think? Do you hate it when someone you admire whether actor, singer or author jumps into the political fray? Or maybe just drama in general? Or do you think they have a right to their opinion, whether it's divisive or not?

S.C.
www.scwynne.com

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Wordless not Wednesday from BA, Julia, Kiernan and Sean- A post of pics


XXOO

Julia

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

Facebook:

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

Saturday, June 9, 2018

The Masks We Wear By S.C. Wynn



Image result for depression






Morning all,

I was shocked to hear of Anthony Bourdain's suicide. I didn't know him personally, obviously, but he was a larger than life personality. He seemed so confident and had such a love of life. Or so I thought.

I know often survivors of suicide victims sometimes feel bad because they missed the signs. I don't think there always are signs. I think people are great at fooling those they love. Especially those they love. They know just what to say and do to reassure those who might catch the signs that they might hurt themselves. Plus, sometimes I don't believe there is any huge thing that sends them over the edge. I think people just get tired of living with the pain or the sadness of things they can't control. Suicide might often be an impulse. In that moment, the person just feels they can't take another day of whatever it is they're struggling with.

I know younger people often struggle with thoughts of suicide. I find it almost more shocking when someone of Anthony Bourdain's age kill themselves. I always assumed that by the time a person reached sixty-one years of age or so, they would have conquered most of their demons. But maybe that's a fallacy. Maybe they're never conquered, or maybe the old demons are just replaced by new ones as you age.

And to be honest, I often feel like I'm the same kid inside that I always was. It's just my outside that has changed. Maybe for some people that same depressed kid is still in there, hurting. Perhaps they don't really want to die at all. They just want the pain to stop. They know no other way to accomplish that other than dying. Which I find heartbreaking.

I don't think I'm unique in that I struggled with suicidal thoughts when I was younger. Many, many people have. I remember being distraught enough that if I hadn't had a family that I knew would be devastated if I'd died, I might have made that ultimate mistake. I guess my love for my family is what kept me alive. The inability to hurt them, kept me here.

I wrote a story about suicide called Believing Rory. It's a love story, ultimately, but it deals with the aftermath of those left behind. It also explores the inside chaos of someone struggling with suicidal thoughts. I tried to capture that detached state I sometime found myself in. I was numb. I was exceedingly aware of what I said and how I acted so that I didn't ever let on that I was having dark thoughts. I think that's what is so terrifying about suicide, that cunning way in which suicide victims often fool us into thinking they're awesome and that life is great. They do things like making dentist appointments and talk about their plans for the future. It only adds to the confusion of those left behind.

I certainly have no answers about this subject. It's a complicated thing and a one size fits all solution will never work. Suicide help lines are essential, and there is no telling how many lives have been saved by those organizations. But the sad thing is there are those who will never call a help line, no matter what. How do you reach that person? All know is I'm grateful that my fear of hurting my loved ones kept me here on earth. If I'd given up I'd have missed so many wonderful things that life had in store for me; my husband. My children. The small moments of joy that mean everything to me now.

Life is good and bad. But ultimately, it's worth living. I hope you agree.

S.C.
www.scwynne.com

Believing Rory


Friday, June 8, 2018

Frankie—Unforgettable is here! by Felice Stevens




Happy Friday, everyone!

Frankie—Unforgettable is out and I couldn't be more thrilled with the love this book is receiving. I don't know about you, but I'm a sucker for a second chance at love story. Frankie and Aaron have one heck of a fight on their hands the make that second chance work.

I hope you enjoy their story. Once again, Reese Dante did a fabulous job with the cover.

Here are the purchase links:
Amazon
iBooks
Kobo
Barnes & Noble

Happy Reading everyone!!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Magic Mic - Falcon Sound Company




This week, we're continuing on in our home voiceover studio setup with narrator John Solo.  Here's your mic check.  Is this thing on? 



Today I’m going to write about microphones. Which one should you purchase as your main VO mic? There is no one size fits all answer for that question (I like the big ones). The best choice greatly depends on your voice, your other gear, your budget, and your room. Btw, If you missed the previous article regarding how to get the most out of your room, you can find that here: https://caferisque.blogspot.com/2018/05/get-room.html

Also, I’ll repeat my disclaimer verbatim: I am not, and will likely never be, an expert. I do not claim that anything I say is correct. In fact, I am fully aware that I am a bumbling idiot that has to mess everything up at least 3 times (sometimes many, many more.. sigh) before I blindly stumble on a solution that works. I am simply writing down what I have done and what I have learned from it. It’s free advice, people, and it’s worth what you paid for it. :)

Alright, now that all of that is out of the way, let’s begin. A microphone is… look, if you don’t

know what a microphone is, please consider another line of work; this may not be for you. There are books written on this subject. Books. It is not possible to cover everything in a blog article. That is not my intent. The idea here is to impart some basic knowledge to help a beginning VO artist make a better informed decision. So before you start griping about  multiple polar patterns (those damn icebergs…), diaphragm sizes, impedance and phantom power, go write your own article. Get off my lawn. And would it kill you to make some coffee?

I have recorded using dozens of different microphones in my time. Some big, some small, some shiny, some with dents, some that cost $50, some that cost more than my first car (or many cars after that, if I’m being honest). The selection is nearly infinite.

There are 2 general categories of mics. Dynamic and Condenser. Generally speaking, a dynamic microphone is less sensitive, or less “hot” than a condenser microphone.

 
Dynamic mics are designed to pick up the majority of their input (voice) from up to a few inches directly in front of them. This is advantageous in a noisy environment. For instance, a vocalist on a stage singing in front of a loud rock band would benefit from this design. In a voice over studio, dynamic microphones are sometimes a good choice when your room is not entirely noise free, or when your room is not treated properly to lessen sound bouncing around from reflective surfaces. They can be advantageous for many home studios that have to deal with extraneous noises such as a computer fan, an air conditioner, traffic noises, etc… While no microphone in the world will completely eliminate all of these undesirable sounds, this particular type of mic will certainly help to mitigate their interference in your recording. On the flip side, this is also a disadvantage, as dynamic microphones are typically not as detailed sounding as a condenser microphone.

Condenser microphones are designed to pick up sound from a greater distance, and in some instances from a much larger angle than dynamic microphones. They are incredibly sensitive. To best express why this can be superior to a dynamic mic, consider our end goal here: capturing the sound, performance and emotion of the most complex instrument in the world, the human voice. The more detailed the better. There is no doubt that a condenser microphone shines in voice over work. Many of them are able to pick up every nuance of whatever you put in front of them. But, just as the dynamic microphones greatest strength is also its greatest weakness, the same goes for a condenser microphone. It will amplify a poor recording environment, as well as any extraneous noises (I swear that mine can record the sound of my stomach from last month…). They also amplify poor technique, such as excessive lip sounds, loud breathing, and plosives (popped P or B sounds). 


I explained all of that to say this: if your room sucks you may be better off with a dynamic mic, otherwise I’d try to get into a condenser if at all possible.

For dynamic microphones I recommend looking at the Shure SM7b or EV RE20. At the time of writing this article (2018) either one can be purchased for under $500. I’ve found that the SM7b shines on deeper male voices, and with careful positioning can work with a female voice as well. The RE20 would be my first pick for a female in this category, but it can certainly do well with a higher ranged male voice also.

For budget condenser microphones I’d recommend a Rode NT1a or an Audio Technica 2020.  Either of these can be yours for well under $250, the Audio Technica for much less. But if you can afford it spring for a Neumann TLM102 or a TLM103 ($700 - $1300). The quality is simply astounding, and in the case of the 103 you would be using that microphone till the day you died.

Microphones are like underwear. Well, not completely. I mean, I don’t own any Darth Vader microphones… But I digress. The point is, one microphone may sound amazing on you but sound like poo on someone else’s voice. One mic may really accentuate a deep male voice but make a female sound muddy and unintelligible (I’ve met a few people that do that all on their own…). Ok, now I forget why I compared mics to underwear.

Oh yes, it’s because they’re personal!!!. It’s always best, once you’ve narrowed down your choices, to try out a few if possible before buying. Some music stores (I had a friend call them media stores once… hahahahaha) will allow you to try them out in store. A few of the catalog music stores will send you several with the agreement that you can send back the ones you don’t wish to keep. If at all possible, take advantage of those opportunities. Finding the right fit for your particular voice makes all the difference.

Hopefully this article will at least steer you in the right direction of what questions to ask and where to start looking. As always, please remember that friends don’t let friends narrate naked. Next up, Audio Interfaces and the people that love them.


Find John and Falcon Sound Company on Facebook, or at www.falconsoundcompany.com.






And, check out John's recent release, "The Omega's Secret Baby," by Ann-Katrin Bird.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Recent releases from BA, Julia and Sean


Today we're sharing our latest releases with you!

Refraction
A Collaborations Novel

Texas artist Tucker Williams arrives in New York City for a gallery showing of his work and finds the city blanketed in snow. He meets free-spirited underwear model Calvin McIntire on the steps of the Midtown library and is captivated by a wild beauty that manages to compete with the demons that occupy his soul and fuel his work with their lust for blood and erotic imagery.

Unable to deny a new inspiration, Tucker sublets a studio and finds the city’s energy almost as addictive as Calvin.

Tucker is obsessive, barely holding on to sanity as his art consumes him, and Calvin is dealing with demons of his own, trying desperately to protect his soul in a business where only his appearance has value. They each prove to be the perfect remedy for the other’s personal brand of crazy until, in the midst of stress and exhaustion, they discover that a promise Calvin needs is the one thing Tucker can’t give him, and their heaven turns to purgatory.

Can both men find a path toward wholeness in Tucker’s beautiful but chaotic Texas home? In order for them—and their passionate relationship—to thrive, they’ll need to adapt, share their psychoses, and find a true balance between New York City and rural Texas.

Buy link:
Dreamspinner Press


Night of the Living Manny 

Something besides love is growing….

Manny Brenden Torrance is good at his job. He's dealt with all sorts of children and parents, but he's never met anyone as intriguing as Liam Whitehouse. Liam is a scientist with three kids, whose job is keeping him away from home more and more. That's where Brenden steps in to help.

Liam has secrets, though. He's working on a project for a pharmaceutical lab that could change disease management. Or destroy it. While he and Brenden start a romance they both want to continue, things at Liam's job come to a head, and suddenly the whole family of Dad, manny, three kids, and a big drooly dog is on the run from the one thing that might keep Brenden and Liam apart. And infect the world.

Buy link:



Born of Air

Meet the Beteferoce brothers: five dragon shifters, each with a strong elemental power. And each with a fierce desire to find his soul mate… 

He said he was flying on a silver dragon. He called me “Markus-meine.” Who would know all that? Who? And how?

SWAT cop and dragon shifter Mark Beteferoce had—and lost—a soul mate. He’s finally at the point where he can get through the days without thinking about what used to be…until he tastes Quincy O’Brien’s doughnuts and takes him home to play. 

Quincy O’Brien is a gifted baker, but at night he dreams of soaring through the sky on dragonback and being topped by the perfect Dom. Mark satisfies the kinky urges Quincy has only explored in his subconscious, pushing his limits and caring for him afterward.

From the start, their connection was more than sexual. It’s known; it’s familiar somehow. And it’s slowly driving Mark insane. What shouldn’t be possible most certainly is, and the bond between himself and Quincy runs deeper than either of them could ever have realized.

Buy link: