Musings

The Muse… Er, Loving Riley is LIVE !

Yup, Ashe Hunter, er, Loving Riley is finally live on Audible and Amazon.

I’m still waiting for the link to show up on iTunes (which I hear may not last too long – but only because Apple will be splitting it to three (Books, Music, and TV,  which I thought was the way the app was structured).

This is the third audio narration of my books, the other two being Loving Ashe and Everything She Ever Wanted. This was also the one that probably took the longest for me to find the right “voice” to be Ashe mainly because when I wrote the first book, I already had his “voice” inside my head and nothing else would do but something close to that voice. Deep, intense, and smooth as “chocolate drizzled… over a lover’s skin,” if I remember the first book correctly.

Talk about being too close to your muse, right?

If you’d like a promo code (good only for Audible US and UK) for Loving Ashe or Loving Riley (or both since you need to have read Loving Ashe to get Loving Riley), please let me know in the comments.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering if Loving Ashe and Loving Riley are romance, they fall more under the umbrella of Literary Fiction. It has drama, angst, romance, and mystery. So, no, it’s not a genre romance at all.

A Little White Lie and Other Updates

For the past few years, I’ve been wondering how to link Everything She Ever Wanted (Dax and Harlow’s story) with Falling for Jordan (Addison and Jordan’s story), Book 1 and Book 2 respectively in my Different Kind of Love series.

Somehow, I never really linked them together except for the second version of the Prologue that replaced the original version in the last year and a half. Only that wasn’t what I should have done.

Instead, that second version of the Prologue should have been a short story, one that would be available at the end of Book 1 as a bonus story (appearing AFTER 90% of the ebook) and the same one I’ll link here. So if you’ve read Everything She Ever Wanted and want to take a peek at the wedding reception through Addison’s eyes, you can read it here.

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Little White Lie introduces Addison Rowe, Harlow’s best friend, a Filipino-American doctor who just finds out her life is about to change while attending Harlow’s Taos wedding to Dax.

In the writing front, I’m still working on stories I set aside a month ago. Somehow, subconscious me wants to finish the stories I started before tackling the big ones and so that’s what I’m doing. They won’t fit any of my current series but my subconscious mind won’t let them go either so I guess I’ll have to follow that muse for now.

Oh, and two earthquakes happened in my neck of the woods. The house was rocking for over a minute during that second one and the lamps were swinging and so was the front door. It was scary but at the same time part of living in Southern California. My main concern during the second one was that my kid was wearing only his underwear (he has SPD and likes being in his underwear while wrapped in his two favorite fuzzy blankets when he doesn’t need to be outdoors) and I told him that if we had to run outside, he was running out in his undies.

I need to know where to shut things off should the big one hit and it’s just me and the kiddo at home (water, gas, electricity). I need to stock up the emergency backpack, too. Two earthquakes in a week is not a good sign. But then, what else can we do but keep on going, right?

How about you? How’s life treating you so far?

Average… (is) invisible

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The next time you catch yourself being average when you feel like quitting, realize that you have only two good choices: Quit or be exceptional. Average is for losers.

Am I being too harsh? Isn’t your time and your effort and your career and your reputation too valuable to squander on just being average? Average feels safe, but it’s not. It’s invisible. It’s the last choice—the path of least resistance. The temptation to be average is just another kind of quitting…the kind to be avoided. You deserve better than average.

Godin, Seth. The Dip (pp. 44-45). Penguin Publishing Group. 

Seth Godin’s book, The Dip: A Little Book that Teaches You When To Quit (and When to Stick), went on sale a few days ago for $1.99 and not knowing what this “dip” was yet knowing Godin speaks a lot of truths that resonate with me, I bought it.

I started reading it last night and then this morning, I found myself highlighting one thing after another. There’s so much here to unpack (for me) and it’s made me realize this is what I’ve been struggling with the last year and a half as I thought I could write fast and publish a book a month—between two pen names at that—just like some big sellers were doing and thus be “visible” in the Amazon store.

The problem with this is that being visible means I’m being average. I’m not really able to produce my best work when I’m scrambling to write a story a month or do a rapid release without first planning ahead of time. Probably if I had factored in the planning and the writing way ahead of time, it would have been different. But I didn’t and as a result, the stories that emerged from my ambitious “let’s publish a book a month” were below average. Maybe except for Benny and Sarah’s story but even their story is really only half since the first part (how they got together ten years earlier) was only half done.

So… ordinary. Invisible. And after spending two years building my Liz Durano brand, definitely off-brand.

So it’s back to the grindstone for me. All projects are on hold. Nothing is going to come out of the pipeline except my best. My readers deserve the best stories I can write, from the characters who have always told me their stories but through all the changes I was putting myself through in the past year and a half, have been primarily silent—as if in protest. As if they knew I was simply phoning it in.

So I’m going back to the basics… with feeling this time.

Watch this space.

The Reviews Are (Coming) In!

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“…still loving Ashe” 

I am in love with this series and these characters… I loved the narration (his voice melts me like butter). Loved the twists in the storyline, the sweet romance and of course the HEA…

“Great voice brings the story to life” 

This book was the second in the series and the story takes up just where we left off in the first and didn’t disappoint. plus the narrator’s voice captured my mental image of Ashe perfectly and I can’t wait for the next in line in the series. 

“Riley and Ashe…”

Ashe and Riley have overcome so much. The secrets revealed in this book were so worth waiting for. I loved the characters determination. The storyline has heartbreak, perseverance, love, humor, and vengeful ex-lover. Martin John Hopkins is the perfect voice for this book told from Ashe’s point of view. I really enjoyed his sexy accent.

It’s been a few weeks since the audio narration of Loving Riley was released and the reviews are coming in. If you’ve left your review, thank you so much. I hope you enjoyed the story. If you’d like a free copy to review, let me know in the comments and I’ll send you an Audible code which you can redeem.

You can listen to the sample here.

AUDIBLE ITUNES

Writing Again!

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Just like it says on the tin, I’m writing again. More like, rewriting since now that I’ve finally let go of the last ambitious project that was on my plate (the steamy novellas to coincide with 10 holidays in the year are no more—but the reverse harem is still in), the slate is finally clean and I’m starting over.

But instead of writing new stories, I’ve gone back to the ones I set aside last year and trying to fix the things that had me set them aside in the first place, like story arcs that didn’t seem true, or seemed too contrived, etc. Only this time, instead of typing it out on my phone or laptop, or writing on yet another notebook that I keep picking up wherever I am, I’m using a Rocketbook reusable notebook.

The Rocketbook is basically a 32-page reusable notebook that uses only Frixion erasable pens. After you’re done writing, you can take a picture of the page and it will go directly where you want it to go—email, cloud, Google Docs—you name it. You can then erase it with a wet cloth (it comes with the notebook, along with a Pilot Frixion pen) and start over again.

I actually loved the first Rocketbook Everlast (6×9) I tried out last week that I bought the bigger size (8×11) today.

I’ll probably end up creating my Outline template with permanent markers in my letter-size Rocketbook tonight so I can easily outline my stories starting tomorrow. And write, of course.

Winter Has Come… and Gone

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And just like that, Game of Thrones is over, and it was… underwhelming.

One of the greatest series in the world simply dropped the ball and rushed through the ending. Honestly, if D&D were in a rush to direct the Star Wars project and couldn’t give us one more season of GOT, they could have at least given this final season three more episodes to get the character arcs fully realized and at the very least, get the characters acting like themselves, much like they did in the last seven seasons. In character. But they didn’t. Instead, we got some nice speeches to lead us to the finish line, a lot of fan service, and a montage of the major players still in the game that is no more.

The soundtrack, though, was superb as always and the editing was gorgeous. But the story itself… well, they didn’t stick the landing.

But that’s just me. Maybe George R. R. Martin will finish the books but I’m not holding my breath. At this point, why would he bother?

Speaking of writing, I need to go back to writing…

A Loving Riley Preview

Look what’s coming (very) soon!

It needs one more approval but it’s basically ready to go and I’ll have free Audible codes for you to redeem very soon. So if you want a copy of Loving Riley when it goes live and the first book, Loving Ashe, let me know in the comments!