Wednesday, May 20, 2015

High Maga Audio Book Tour: Karin Rita Gastreich @eolynchronicles

I'm so excited today to be hosting Karin  Rita Gastreich on the blog tour for the release of the audio book of HIGH MAGA!!

First a little about the book...


HIGH MAGA [audio edition]
Karin Rita Gastreich (author)
Darla Middlebrook (narrator)

Sisters in magic, Eolyn and Adiana seek to revive a craft once forbidden to women. When war strikes at the heart of the kingdom, their fledgling community of magas is destroyed; its members killed, captured or scattered.

In hopes of defending her people, Eolyn tries to escape the occupied province and deliver to King Akmael a weapon that might secure their victory. Trapped by the invading army, Adiana is taken prisoner and placed at the mercy of the ruthless Prince Mechnes.

Even as their world is torn asunder, Eolyn and Adiana cling to a common dream. Courage and perseverance guide them toward a future where the Daughters of Aithne will flourish in a world set free from the violence of men.

“War propels the book forward, and the characters are at their best when the events engulfing them are at their worst.” –Publishers Weekly

And now, the interview!


1. How did you decide which route to take when approaching audiobook production? Working through your publisher, was the production hired out externally or handled internally?

My publisher, Hadley Rille Books, made the decision to release an audio edition of High Maga. The production was coordinated through the Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX). Hadley Rille had already produced several audiobooks with ACX, including the audio edition of my first novel, Eolyn.

2. What all is in involved in finding a narrator, and how did you decide on the right voice?

ACX is designed as a platform in which publishers, authors, and narrators can find each other and then coordinate the production of an audio book. When a publisher or author is ready to contact a narrator, they post an announcement on the exchange. Interested narrators submit auditions by reading an excerpt from the novel.

In the case of High Maga, deciding on the right voice was relatively easy. We listened to a few auditions, but I was very interested in working again with Darla Middlebrook, who had already narrated Eolyn.  Darla is a very talented narrator, and she is reliable when it comes to meeting deadlines and so forth. When Darla expressed interest in narrating my second novel, it was pretty much a done deal.  I loved the way she handled the different voices in Eolyn, and given that foundation I knew she would do a great job with High Maga.

3. Was there a lot of editing and revising to make sure the narrator was reading certain sections the way you wanted them read?

In the case of Darla, not so much. Before recording, there was a fairly involved process of going through all the names of characters and places, to make sure pronunciations were correct. After Darla finished the first recording, I identified a few sections that needed to be reworked, mostly some dialogues where the voices were a little too similar. But in general, Darla really connected with the story and I was very pleased with her narration. Just thinking about it makes me want to listen all over again!

4. From start to finish, about how long did the audiobook process take?

About 8-9 months. That includes the audition process, plus edits and final preparation for release at the end. High Maga is a full-length 120,000 word novel; shorter works might not take as long. Even when the author and narrator are done, there’s no guarantee as to exactly when the book will come out, as ACX has its own quality control process and may not release the audiobook for another month or so.

I guess I should point out that I had a relatively smooth and trouble-free experience, but I know from other authors that it doesn’t always work that way. For a variety of reasons, your first choice in narrator might not be able to finish the work. Or, they might produce a narration with which you, the author, are wholly unsatisfied. Making an audio book is a significant commitment of time and effort, if you want to see it through to the end and ensure a quality product. Be prepared for everything to take up to a year or more in order to get the book done right.

5. What tips do you have for authors interested in producing an audiobook?
When soliciting auditions, choose an excerpt that features a variety of voices young and old, male and female. You want to get a good feel for the flexibility of the narrator when it comes to interpreting different characters.

Do not expect the narrator to read the book just like you would. Narrators are artists in their own right, and they are entitled to their own interpretation of scenes and characters. If you really, truly feel a particular voice is way off (too whiny, too bold, too grumpy, or whatever), then say so. But allow the benefit of the doubt when listening to your narrator’s final product. You just might discover some amazing aspects of your work that you never recognized before.

On the business end of things, independent authors may be put off by the fact that ACX assumes complete control over pricing. Unlike KDP, you cannot go in and change the price at will. ACX does provide free download codes when a book is released for the author to use however he or she pleases. Royalties are also less generous than with KDP. In addition, depending on the type of contract you choose, you may need to split royalties with the narrator. So make sure to consider all this carefully and decide whether the payoff will be enough before you commit.

6. For readers who don't currently listen to audiobooks, what benefits do you find in audiobooks that ebook/paperbacks don't have?

Ironically, I don’t listen to audiobooks that much myself. Most of my reading is in paperback or to a lesser extent, ebooks. I do think audio books are great for anyone who loves stories and has to endure long commutes. In my experience, a lot of audiobook fans fall into this category. Avid readers dealing with significant time constraints like get their stories in by listening on the way to work. Audiobooks also help the hours pass during long road trips.

At home, I enjoy listening to audiobooks in the evening before I go to sleep. It’s like going back in time and having Mom or Dad read you a bedtime story.

7. What was your favorite part of having your books turned into audiobooks?

Something I kind of hinted at earlier: Darla helped me understand my work in a whole new way. In listening to her interpretation, I felt like I was discovering the story all over again. The drama of the characters, their struggles, triumphs, and heartbreak, became fresh and new.

It’s also just fun to know I have an audiobook (in fact, two audiobooks!) out there. Many people don’t have time to read and prefer to listen to books. So there is a large audience that didn’t have access to Eolyn’s world before and can now explore it fully. To all of them I say, “Welcome!”  Enjoy the magic.

Where can you get a copy?


About the author and narrator...

About the Author:

KARIN RITA GASTREICH writes tales of ordinary women and the extraordinary paths they choose. Inspired by a lifetime of exploring lush forests and breathtaking landscapes, Karin’s stories blend elements of epic fantasy, historical fiction, and romance. The worlds she creates are a strange amalgamation of medieval Europe and colonial Central America, with misty forests, vast savannas, and steamy jungles. They are populated by brave heroines, noble heroes, and twisted villains. From ancient woodlands to uncharted seas, readers will experience gripping battle scenes, heart wrenching loss, hard-won triumphs, and the ultimate magic of love. Karin’s fantasy novels Eolyn and High Maga are available from Hadley Rille Books. Her short stories have appeared in Zahir, 69 Flavors of Paranoia, and World Jumping. She runs an on-line discussion forum about women in genre fiction at Heroines of Fantasy. Follow Karin’s adventures into fantastic worlds, both real and imagined, at krgastreich.com. 

Author web links:

Karin’s web site:  http://krgastreich.com 
Twitter:  @EolynChronicles

About the Narrator:

Darla’s voice is a versatile instrument used with skill. It is a voice filled with intelligence and warmth.  Her sound can range from mature to youthful female, and she can also produce convincing male timbres.  Narrative is presented in a conversational, down to earth, matter-of-fact manner and also displays a broad emotional range across a large repertoire of characters (female, male, young, old and "creature").   All of that while still conveying a sense of wonder when telling the story.  

With experience of 34+ years as a Speech-Language Pathologist, more than 20 years as a stage & film actor and over 20 years as a trained singer with knowledge and insight into the mechanics of the voice and speech, Darla Middlebrook brings a wealth of experience to bear to develop character voices (male, female, mature, extremely elderly, creepy, bright exotic, etc) with an impressive emotional range.

Currently, Darla is one of many voice actors who narrate podcasts for AIRS-LA (an audio internet service for individuals with visual challenges) in addition to narrating audio books.

Narrator Web Links:

Twitter: @GypsyCatVoice

And don't miss out on the giveaway!!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Cover Reveal: November Sky by Danielle Wicks @DWicksAuthor

November Sky (Hardest Mistakes #2)
Release Date: 05/19/15
Limitless Publishing

Summary from Goodreads:
A HEARTBREAKING LOSS.


A LOVE THAT TRANSCENDS MORTALITY.

A STRUGGLE BETWEEN HOLDING ON AND LETTING GO…

KRISTIAN REED is only seventeen years old when his girlfriend, JESSICA SCOTT, dies in a tragic accident. Devastated and burdened with guilt, he finds it impossible to move on.

Six years later, he’s not doing any better. He’s accepted a prestigious internship at a big city new station, but he’s still losing himself in alcohol and women to numb his pain.

BAILEY NICHOLS is assertive and annoying, but something draws her and Kristian together. Her brother hates him, but Bailey is used to getting what she wants. She knows the pain of losing people you love, and she's determined to break through Kristian’s emotional wall and prove they belong together.

Jessica is caught between worlds. She can't let go of Kristian, but she's not meant to be here, and her lingering is threatening everyone and everything around her as she begins to lose herself to the darkness.


Book One:
(linked to Goodreads)

Buy Links:

About the Author
Dannielle Wicks currently lives in the town of Kingaroy, Queensland in Australia. She is a TV show nerd and lover of cars. She’s always had a love for writing, even in school. She used to hide her writing notebook inside her textbooks just so the teacher wouldn’t notice what she was up to. She loves reading, especially paranormal romance. When she’s not writing or working, she competes in Speedway Sedan Racing across the state.

All of the books in the HARDEST MISTAKES series are based on a different main character, so you don't really need to read them in order, although all the characters link back to each other in some way...
(P.S. if you ever reference any of my books or myself on a social media site, be sure to use the
#‎HardestMistakes hashtag or @DWicksAuthor)


Author Links:
 photo iconwebsite-32x32_zps1f477f69.png  photo icongoodreads32_zps60f83491.png  photo icontwitter-32x32_zpsae13e2b2.png  photo iconfacebook-32x32_zps64a79d4a.png

Cover Reveal Organized by:

Friday, May 1, 2015

Cover Reveal: The Harvest Saga by Casey L Bond @authorcaseybond

Thanks so much for checking out the blog today! Casey L. Bond is revealing brand new covers for her Harvest Saga trilogy! Check these bad boys out. 


The covers were designed by Cassy Roop of Pink Ink Designs
Cover photography by Mandy Hollis of MHPhotography
Cover models are Mandy Hollis and Amee Thompson. 


If you're interested in reading Reap, here are the links:

REAP




If you're interested in reading Resist, here are the links:

RESIST


Reclaim is currently being edited. A release date will be announced very soon.

 When Reclaim is released, the boxed set will also be released! Isn't it pretty?




Thank you so much for checking out the blog today! If you want to go stalker on Casey, just follow her at the links below!



Casey L. Bond resides in West Virginia with her husband and their two beautiful daughters. When she’s not busy being a domestic goddess and chasing her baby girls, she loves to write young adult and new adult fiction.

You can find more information about Bond’s books via the following links:
Twitter: @authorcaseybond                
Connect on tsu, Instagram, Google+ and LinkedIn!

Available or Soon-To-Be Released Books:
Winter Shadows
Pariah, Book 1 in The New Covenant Series
Paradox, Book 2, The New Covenant Series
Devil Creek
Shady Bay
Reap, Book 1 in The Harvest Saga
Resist, Book 2 in The Harvest Saga
Reclaim, Book 3 in The Harvest Saga
Sin (Serial Series)
Light in the Darkness (YA Anthology)
Fractured Glass (Novel Anthology)
Crazy Love
Dark Bishop (Serial Series)
Prep For Doom (Dystopian Anthology)
Catalyst 
Temptation (Serial Series)
Water Witch

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Spotlight: I Stand Corrected by Patricia Asedegbega @Patricias_Place

I Stand Corrected by Patricia Asedegbega

About the book...

ROSARIO: I am Rosario Domínguez González, heiress to one of the largest and oldest fortunes in Spain. My family is considered in both the most elite economic and social circles as one of the richest and most influential in Europe… 

BALOU: That was until the day when I sensed that someone was watching me; I opened one of my eyes and was just about to close it again when something caught my attention… 

Rosario and Balou need each other for very different reasons… But for one of them, it is a matter of life and death. Balou is taken away from his mother at a very tender age and sold to a pet shop where he waits impatiently for someone to claim him and take home a black and as he considers himself, an attractive British Shorthair cat. Just when he thinks this is going to be impossible and his bags are almost packed to go to the local animal shelter, he meets young and troubled Rosario who is really not looking for a pet. 
It does not take him very long to realize that something is horribly wrong in her household and he takes it upon himself to protect the human he has come to love almost as much as he loves his food, his siestas and of course the time he spends outside chasing everything and anything that moves. A Strange and endearing alliance is forged between them but he soon discovers that something is horribly wrong in Rosario’s household. Will he be able to save her? The first in the mystery series of Rosario and Balou.

Get your copy today on:


About the Author

Author of I stand corrected, Rewind, Balou uncensored, Bienvenidos a gatos anónimos, Pasarse cuatro Pueblos and Sesenta segundos dan para mucho, Patricia Asedegbega Nieto was born to a Spanish mother and a Nigerian father in Madrid. As a child, she relocated with her family to Nigeria and later returned to Spain, where she acquired her BSc and master´s degree. She is currently living near Madrid with her family and her very stubborn cat, Merlin Mojito.

Find out more about Patricia Asedegbega here: 


Website: http://www.patriciascorner.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PatriciasUniverse

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Patricias_Place

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9857496.Patricia_Asedegbega?from_search=true





Thursday, April 23, 2015

Prep For Doom Cover Reveal




Prep For Doom

From the imaginations of twenty authors of dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction comes PREP FOR DOOM - an integrated collection of short stories that tell the tale of a single catastrophe as experienced by many characters, few of whom will ever meet.

What begins with a seemingly innocuous traffic accident soon spirals into a global pandemic. The release of Airborne Viral Hemorrhagic Fever upon New York City’s unsuspecting populace brings bloody suffering within hours, death within a day, and spreads worldwide within a month.

An online community called Prep For Doom has risen to the top of a recent doomsday preparation movement. Some have written them off as crazy while others couldn’t be more serious about the safety the preppers could provide in a global disaster. But when AVHF strikes, their preparation may not be enough to save them.



About Band of Dystopian

Band of Dystopian is a Facebook group, blog, and company dedicated to Dystopian, Apocalyptic, and Post-Apocalyptic books. Our mission is to help fans of dystopian fiction find books they will love and help authors of the genre get the word out about their work. We are branching into the publishing world with our first anthology, Prep For Doom.

Hyperlinks




Authors

Expanded Links

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Interview: Tara Willis

Today I'm please to welcome Tara Willis to the blog to talk about her new book, "Carry Me Home." 

But first, a little about the book...

Following the passing of their invalid father, the poverty-stricken Montoya family is barely surviving, as, together, they wage a daily war against the ravages of extreme poverty, racism and a system bent on separating and destroying them. Nine months after her husband’s death, his widow makes the difficult decision to accept an advantageous marriage proposal from a close friend, for the sake of her nine young children. Her eldest, thirteen year old Celina, is hurt and angry about the remarriage which appears, to her, a betrayal to her dear father’s memory. Just as the young family is growing close, a stranger from the past appears and reveals the shocking secret Celina’s mother has kept for many years; a secret that will test the Gonzalez family’s love for each other and leave them changed forever.

                                           
1. What inspired you to begin writing? Reading about the lives, even fictional lives, of writers, such as Jo from Little Women and Laura Ingalls Wilder. As a child, I thought the life of a writer was glamorous. Although I know different now, I am addicted to the written word and in creating books and stories for others to love and enjoy.

2. Would you classify your writing more as plot driven or character driven? In this book, I would have to say more character driven; however, I do not believe the plot suffers as a result.

3. Can you tell us a little about your main character? Celina is a 13 year old girl of mixed race, growing up in poverty in modern day (give or take a few years) New Mexico. She is the eldest of nine and very devoted to her family, especially her dying father. Due to poverty, Celina has had to grow up a little too quickly, and this shows. She is extremely responsible, fiercely loyal and devoted, loving and caring. She is also very proud, outwardly tough and inwardly resilient.  

Celina is far from perfect. Despite her street smarts and an unusual ability with music, Celina
struggles in school, especially reading, as, in her mind, earning income to help her family takes precedence. Celina is not a fan of change. Her mother’s remarriage, although it makes her family’s life easier, is not something Celina is happy about. Throughout the novel, Celina grows, changes and learns some important lessons about life, love, acceptance and forgiveness and the unbreakable ties that bind a real family. 

4. Without giving away too much, tell us a little about the main conflict in the book.  The main conflict, though by no means the only conflict, in Carry Me Home, is that of Celina coming to love and accept her role in a blended family and a secret hidden for many years that she is fearful of her stepfather discovering. Throughout the book, Celina has to reassess what truly makes a family following the revelation of this terrible secret. Celina, like most teens, has to learn to accept and deal with change, fear of rejection and grief and healing following the death of her beloved father. In the end, she comes to realize that blood doesn’t make a family and she learns to appreciate and lean on the unconditional the love that has always sustained her.

5. 5. What do you hope readers take away from your book? In this day and age, I feel that friendships/peer relations are often sadly emphasized over family. I hope my young adult readers take some time to think about their families, blood or otherwise, and the strength, love and value they have in each other; a bond that should be much deeper than middle school/high school friendships.

6. What song best describes your writing style? Caledonia by Celtic Woman. I’m not sure I can explain why but it’s always inspired me and I often play it while writing.

7. Night owl or Early Bird? Night owl hands down.

8. Skittles or M&Ms? Peanut butter M&Ms! Eaten in same colors and in 3s. Eccentric much? Yup 

9. Who are your favorite authors? Oh, where do I start? Robert Alexander, SJ Bolton, Leo Tolstoy, Louisa May Alcott, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Lori Wick, Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen,  to name just a few.

10. Can you tell us about your future projects? My very next projects, already well on their way, are the prequel to Carry Me Home, titled Wait Until Sunset. This is the story of Celina’s Russian Jewish mother, as a young teen growing up in the 1980s Soviet Union.  After that will be the 3rd and most likely final installment in this trilogy, Celina’s further story (5 years after the conclusion of Carry Me Home), titled Praying for Daylight.

Get Your Copy: 




Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Interview: James Anderson @JAndersonAuthor

Today I'm pleased to welcome James Anderson to the blog to talk about his new release, "The Never-Open Desert Diner"

But first, a little about the book...

Ben Jones is a truck driver on a lonely stretch of desert highway when his life takes a sudden turn into mystery and longing when he discovers a young woman playing a cello in model home in a long-abandoned housing development in the high desert.



1.     What inspired you to begin writing? 
I have always liked my friend Luis Alberto Urrea’s response to that question: “I came from a family of unreliable narrators.” True for both of us.

2.     Would you classify your writing more as plot driven or character driven?  Character driven. Absolutely. My opinion is that readers, at least myself and the people I know, don’t care about the plot until they care about the characters. For me, a plot-driven story, and there are some damn good ones, don’t have the depth I like.


3.     Can you tell us a little about your main character?  Ben Jones is a truck driver in his late 30s whose route takes him on a daily back and forth along a desolate highway in southern Utah. He was an orphan who was adopted by an older couple when he was six. As far as he knows, he was the abandoned child of a female Jewish social worker and a native American.


4.     Without giving away too much, tell us a little about the main conflict in this book. 
There are three primary conflicts, internal and  external. Ben loves his job delivering necessary items to desert rats who have exiled themselves in the desert, but he is fast going bankrupt. Ben wants to be married and have a family, but that just hasn’t happened for him, until he discovers a woman playing a cello in the model home of an abandoned and unfinished housing development in the high desert. She means him no harm, yet their relationship reignites a tragedy that occurred at a nearby diner forty years earlier.

5.     What do you hope readers take away from your book? 
All I can do is repeat what I’ve heard from reviewers and the kind people who have read it. They fall in love with the character of Ben Joes, who is complicated, laconic and sometimes amusing in his observations about himself and the eccentric characters he serves. Readers also love the natural world of the Utah desert in which Ben lives and how that environment intersects and influences the characters. In brief, a strong sense of place.

6.     Now for a few fun questions! What song best describes your writing style? That is a good question! Jazz-blues fusion spiced with grunge. How’s that? I was listening to a lot of Yo Yo Ma and Nirvana, particularly Heart-Shaped Box. My tastes are eclectic in art, literature and music, which partly explains the strangeness, which is why in one hour I can listen to Sage Francis and Miles Davis and Black Flag!


7.     Night Owl or Early Bird? I am usually up between four and five every morning and I write until about nine. It’s as much about time management as anything else. It’s quiet and beautiful in the early morning and it’s best to have that time before the fires of the day begin to scorch my butt.


8.     Skittle or M&Ms? Both. Often together. With popcorn.

9.     Who are your favorite authors? So many! Here’s a sample. Thomas Merton, Colum McCann, Bruce Berger, Terry Tempest Williams, Katherine Dunn, Luis Alberto Urrea. I read everything, from memoir, creative nonfiction, novels and poetry, neuro-physiology, biography.
Presently I am reading The Collected Later Poems of Paul Celan and Luis Urrea’s Tijuana Book of the Dead. Formative and influential books include Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Marguerita and the seminal Pedro Paramo by Juan Rufalo.

 10.  Can you tell us about your future projects?  Gee, I hesitate to do that. What I can say is that I am always surprised at what I write, the stories and characters and settings. It is highly unlikely that anyone will ever accuse me of writing the same thing over and over.

Meet the Author

James Anderson was born in Seattle and raised in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. He is a graduate of Reed College in Portland, Oregon, and received his Master's Degree in Creative Writing from Pine Manor College in Boston. For many years he worked in book publishing. Other jobs have included logging, commercial fishing and, briefly, truck driver. He currently divides his time between Ashland, Oregon, and the Four Corners region of the American Southwest.

Author Links: www.jamesandersonauthor.com
FB Page: The Never-Open Desert Diner
Twitter: @JAndersonAuthor

Buy your copy today: 



Praise for "The Never-Open Desert Diner"

“High, dry and severely beautiful…a wondrously strange novel…Anderson is one fine storyteller.” — Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review

         “Anderson's first novel…is a great one…(with) genius in creating characters that stay with you…They creep into your brain and settle in for a lengthy visit. You have not read a book like The Never-Open Desert Diner in a long time, if ever. Once you open its pages you will know you are in for something surprisingly enjoyable.”
— Jackie K. Cooper, The Huffington Post

“Anderson distills the heat and shimmering haze of the Utah desert into his fine first novel…. Just as important as the mysteries of human entanglement are the desert’s brilliant light, torrential downpours, and vast night sky.” —Publishers Weekly