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

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 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!

My Audiobook is An ABR Finalist!

First up, I have the flu and so this may be just one of those medicine-induced hallucinations… BUT whether it’s a hallucination or not, Everything She Ever Wanted is a 2018 ABR Finalist in the Romance Category!

But it’s a voting thing so my baby needs your vote to win. Please click on this link or the image below and vote. You can vote once per day.

Romance

Edited to add: According to the email I just read, Winners in all categories to be honored at the Hear Now Festival on June 8th running June 7 – 10, 2018 in Kansas City, MO. 

(Wow. Clearly I need to wake up and have some coffee and kick this flu’s butt so I can understand basic English again. But isn’t that cool? Not the flu but the award…)

Want to give Dax and Harlow’s story a full listen? I have 5 UK Audible codes I’d love to give away so just let me know in the comments below. First come first serve.

Here is the full list of finalists:

Looking Back at 2017: the Good, the Bad… And Pirates

I posted my 2018 resolutions before realizing I’d forgotten to post my Looking Back at 2017 post. I didn’t realize it was in my Drafts folder but now that I remembered where it was, here is my rundown of 2017 so far (there are 2 more days!) and an addition from a recent development.

First of all, the good things.

I published a few books this year.

  1. Loving Riley – April (written/completed in 2015)
  2. In His Heart – May (written/completed in 2015)
  3. Need – July
  4. *Naughty Pen book part 1 – July
  5. Falling for Jordan – November
  6. *Naughty Pen book part 2 – November
  7. *Naughty Pen book part 3 – December
  8. Date Night, updated with 2 new stories – December

I met new authors and made new friends (like you if you’re reading this and have followed my blog!).

I had my first successful book launch* yet. I gave over 50K copies of book 1 away to sell book 2 but that’s part of the long game.

I released two audiobooks:

  1. Loving Ashe – September
  2. Everything She Ever Wanted – October

Now the bad.

Stress. Well, that’s a given. After all, we’re talking about me here.

A messy house. Just don’t come to visit. That’s all I’m saying…

Weight gain. Yikes! I’ve slacked off from my walking schedule and haven’t been to the gym because of the stress of meeting deadlines.

Piracy. Piracy is a fact of life for every author, there are no exceptions. My books are pirated everywhere, whether in pdf or in full text on websites. And there’s nothing I can do about them. I can pay a company to “blast” them off the face of the internet but another copy will surface within hours.

Today (or when I first wrote this since this was pre-New Year), I discovered 12 pirated copies of my audiobooks, one of them having 7K views and released ONE day after the audiobook went live. I always check Youtube for pirated copies and never found them because I only typed MY name or my books’ titles. Today I found them by adding “audiobook” to the title and boy, did that suck.

 

Given my investment into those two audiobooks this year, I need to be realistic. I’m not going to see that money for the duration of the Audible contract which is seven years. And maybe that’s why they have that time frame of exclusivity. I need to tell myself to not think of the thousands of dollars I invested and focus on promoting my ebooks instead. If an audiobook sells, it sells. If it doesn’t, well, check Youtube!

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There is one consolation: Apparently, I’m a NEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY BEST SELLING AUTHOR.

So I spent the last two hours finding pirated copies and filing copyright infringement forms on Youtube. The ironic thing is that I have to reveal my personal information, my “full legal name, not a company name” and my address to prove that the audiobooks are mine. So much for anonymity, right?

So while some accounts get this message:

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Some get this one:

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Some notices are even bigger than the other two:

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Copyright of the work belongs to me and while true, I have every right to claim it, the other party knows who filed the claim against them. Meanwhile, do I get any idea who they are? Nope, not beyond their account names on Youtube. They’re protected. I’m not.

Oh well, it’s just another day of being a self-published author.

But now that I’ve managed to have those taken down, I miss that title of New York Times and USA Today Best Selling Author…

 

 

Book Review: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Bakman

Another book review because I’ve only been postponing this for weeks.

A few weeks ago, I discovered Fredrik Bakman’s dramedy, A Man Called Ove. It’s been around since 2013 in Swedish before it was translated in 2014. There’s even a movie about it (in Swedish) but Tom Hanks just bought the rights to it, and so it will be a Hollywood movie very soon.

I don’t know about you but please don’t wait for the movie. Get the book. Borrow it from your library and read it first. I guarantee you that the book will be better. If you like audiobooks, I highly recommend listening to the audio version superbly narrated by George Newbern. For one thing, the audio version taught me that Ove is pronounced “Oo-va.” (I actually dated a Dane whose middle name was Ove and turns out, I’d been pronouncing it wrong all that time and I suspect he may have tried to correct me a few times. But that’s a story for another day.)

Anyway, A Man Called Ove is the story of, well, a curmudgeon who’s all about routine and predictability. He patrols the housing development where he’s lived for over forty years, walking around to inspect the area first thing in the morning, writing down the plate numbers of cars parked in the overnight parking area to make sure they don’t overstay their welcome, and locking bikes in the storage shed because they’re not supposed to be outdoors according to the rules.

His life is pretty much predictable until his new neighbors move in, accidentally mowing down his mailbox with their U-Haul. From then on, his life becomes quite interesting especially since no one leaves him alone. There’s always something going on, detracting poor Ove from what needs to be done time and time again.

There are Saabs, too (yes, the car)… and a cat.

Ove stomped forward. The cat stood up. Ove stopped. They stood there measuring each other up for a few moments, like two potential troublemakers in a small-town bar. Ove considered throwing one of his clogs at it. The cat looked as if it regretted not bringing its own clogs to lob back.

There’s so much to this multi-layered story that I can’t and won’t spoil it for you. You simply have to read/listen to it. I laughed and cried through the whole thing and am now going to hunt down the hardcover for Christmas because, gosh darn it, I’m going to reread it again and again.

So my verdict, of course, five stars all the way.

From the book’s description:

Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.

A feel-good story in the spirit of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Fredrik Backman’s novel about the angry old man next door is a thoughtful exploration of the profound impact one life has on countless others. “If there was an award for ‘Most Charming Book of the Year,’ this first novel by a Swedish blogger-turned-overnight-sensation would win hands down” (Booklist, starred review).

Done and Dusted… and a Heat Wave

Two weeks ago, we put away the portable air conditioner because, you know, fall is here. Or it’s supposed to be. Well, today the temps hit the three digits and tomorrow this is what we have in store for us living in Los Angeles.

Yup, can you say hot?

So today, without an A/C in the house, I finished up the newly proofread version of Falling for Jordan for my ARC readers and then… I crashed. Like, I actually took a nap for an hour because I just didn’t feel well. At least, it was cool in the bedroom still and with the fan blowing, I had my nap which surprised everyone in the house because this girl does NOT take naps at all.

So with Falling for Jordan on their way to ARC readers, I’m taking a deep breath and letting it go. I thought I’d let it go a few days ago but I was wrong. So now it’s done and dusted and I can tackle the next story in the queue.

Speaking of stories, I thought I found the perfect picture for one of my characters last night. Perfect profile, hand against his tattooed chest and scars along his torso. Who knew I love looking at scars but I do. And then I scrolled down his six-pack abs and realized the picture kept going to show not only his prosthetic leg but something else related to the male anatomy. Totally NSFW (not that I’m complaining). Look up Michael Stokes on Twitter and you’ll know what I mean. You can also click on the image but be warned, it’s NSFW. 

Unfortunately, after much consideration, I can’t use the image because it doesn’t fit my branded series at all so for now, it will serve as inspiration. But boy, I love the whole composition of those tats and scars.

So what’s next on my plate? Ideally, Gareth’s story follows Ashe Hunter’s story in Loving Riley, especially since I have about 10K words written already from two years ago. Yes, it’s been that long since I wrote their stories which means I need to get it done. They may not have left me yet but I have a feeling they’re ready to go.

I also have two other stories I need to get done as well. One is a historical romantic suspense novel I wrote more than two years ago (72K words so far) that Carly is familiar with and the other is Swept Away, a romantic suspense novel that clocked 30K words before I shelved it so I could write Everything She Ever Wanted. It also dealt with a dark history of childhood sex abuse and I realized that I couldn’t tackle it then. Not yet. Actually, both of them do and I guess they’re what you call dark romance.

If you’ve noticed, I no longer do the whole, “I’m going to publish six novels in the next six months” thing. I no longer do the whole numbered list to represent my goals. I did at the beginning of this year before reality smacked me in the face and I met only one or two of those goals. The rest of the time, I hated myself for failing all the others which set me up for more failure and doubt – and that’s a terrible way to live your life. So from here on, it’s taking one project as they come. If I publish one more book before the year ends, good. If not, that’s cool, too.

But always, I’ll write my stories. It keeps me sane… which is good for everyone.