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What the Trees Know 5-Star Review

Congratulations to my pub sister, NANCEE CAIN, on the release of her TENTH novel!

Title: What the Trees Know
Author: Nancee Cain
Genre: Magical Romantic Suspense
Release Date: September 23, 2021
Cover Design: Gina Dickerson of RoseWolf Design



What the Trees Know by Nancee Cain
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

No Need to Tell the Trees, But Do Tell the Bees

Nancee Cain sure knows how to write stories with Southern charm. Instead of an Alabama setting, this book takes place in the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina — lush and enchanting with herbal remedies and magical spells.

The story begins when Queenie, a kind, eccentric woman, takes in Skylar, a homeless young girl who just survived a trauma. Queenie is already caring for another child (Jed, her grandson) whose parents died. Skylar and Jed forge a tight bond, growing up playing and exploring with a neighbor boy, Caleb.

Fast forward years later and Skylar is caring for the aging Queenie. Though Caleb is a good friend to Skylar, she has missed Jed since he absconded to the Army. Skylar summons Jed back to their home to find that their childhood friendship has morphed into adult romance, much to the dismay of Caleb. Too bad Skylar feels unworthy, and Jed is mired in PTSD.

To help them through their turmoil, Skylar and Jed will need Queenie’s bedtime saying:

“Day is over; night has come. Today is gone; what’s done is done. Embrace your dreams, through the night; tomorrow comes with a whole new night.”

The narrative builds to an exciting climax including fire, poison, and sacrifice. Someone will need to tell the bees that one life ends and another begins.

View all my reviews



The trees shiver. They know, too. They always do.






Nancee is a retired addiction counselor & nurse who worked to support her coffee and reading habit. A terrible insomniac, her nights are spent writing paranormal and contemporary romances with a serrated edge. She puts the fun in dysfunctional and is a known book hoarder.


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WHAT THE TREES KNOW Book Tour

Title: What the Trees Know
Author: Nancee Cain
Genre: Magical Romantic Suspense
Release Date: September 23, 2021
Cover Design: Gina Dickerson of RoseWolf Design


Is magic real?

Jed doesn’t think so. Forced to live with his grandmother after the death of his parents, he’s mad at the world. He doesn’t believe in God, much less the folk magic his grandmother practices in the isolated mountains of Appalachia. He doesn’t fit in, and anger simmers within him, ready to explode.

Then Skylar arrives—a girl who’s experienced evil firsthand. Though lost in silence, she forges a connection with Jed, his grandmother, and the neighbors who come for potions and spells. Even without a voice, she embraces her new life.

Eventually Jed flees, but not for the right reasons. And his insides still burn with rage, leaving him hollow and even more unhappy—until the day he feels compelled to return home.

Skylar understands why Jed has returned. It has nothing to do with her summoning spell. He’s come home to heal. She’s known for being a healer and can consume his sins so he can find peace. But the only way she knows how requires death…

The trees shiver. They know, too. They always do.






Nancee is a retired addiction counselor & nurse who worked to support her coffee and reading habit. A terrible insomniac, her nights are spent writing paranormal and contemporary romances with a serrated edge. She puts the fun in dysfunctional and is a known book hoarder.


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Cover Reveal: WHAT THE TREES KNOW by Nancee Cain

Congratulations to my pub sister, Nancee Cain, on her latest release! Can’t wait to read this magical realism story.

Title: What the Trees Know
Author: Nancee Cain
Genre: Magical Romantic Suspense
Release Date: September 23, 2021
Cover Design: Gina Dickerson of RoseWolf Design



Is magic real?

Jed doesn’t think so. Forced to live with his grandmother after the death of his parents, he’s mad at the world. He doesn’t believe in God, much less the folk magic his grandmother practices in the isolated mountains of Appalachia. He doesn’t fit in, and anger simmers within him, ready to explode.

Then Skylar arrives—a girl who’s experienced evil firsthand. Though lost in silence, she forges a connection with Jed, his grandmother, and the neighbors who come for potions and spells. Even without a voice, she embraces her new life.

Eventually Jed flees, but not for the right reasons. And his insides still burn with rage, leaving him hollow and even more unhappy—until the day he feels compelled to return home.

Skylar understands why Jed has returned. It has nothing to do with her summoning spell. He’s come home to heal. She’s known for being a healer and can consume his sins so he can find peace. But the only way she knows how requires death…

The trees shiver. They know, too. They always do.







Nancee is a retired addiction counselor & nurse who worked to support her coffee and reading habit. A terrible insomniac, her nights are spent writing paranormal and contemporary romances with a serrated edge. She puts the fun in dysfunctional and is a known book hoarder.



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Ten Steps to Create an Audiobook #IWSG

Happy May, writers! Time for the Insecure Writers Support Group, the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh.

Join us here.

Thank you to this month’s co-hosts: Erika Beebe, PJ Colando, Tonja Drecker, Sadira Stone, and Cathrina Constantine.

Have you heard about the 7th annual IWSG Anthology Contest? I’m excited it’s a romance theme — specifically, first love. But I’m even more stoked to serve as one of the judges. So dust off your heartfelt, lovesick memories and submit a short story!

While you’re at the IWSG Anthology website, check out the brand new anthology, DARK MATTER. Congratulations to these contest winners:

Artificial – Stephanie Espinoza Villamor
Space Folds and Broomsticks – C.D. Gallant-King
Rift – Kim Mannix
The Utten Mission – Steph Wolmarans
Sentient – Tara Tyler
One to Another – Deniz Bevan
Resident Alien – Charles Kowalski
Nano Pursuit – Olga Godim
Resurgence – Elizabeth Mueller
Vera’s Last Voyage – Mark Alpert

~*~

Instead of answering the suggested question this month, I’ll discuss what I learned in creating my first audiobook, Rivals.

Do you like audiobooks? I’m more of a visual learner, so I didn’t think I’d have the focus required to track a story for hours. But once the pandemic hit, listening to audiobooks from the library while I walked for miles became my JAM. Now, audiobooks are the only way I read.

So when I planned to self-publish my latest sports romance, I just had to create an audio version in addition to ebook and print.

Did you know audiobooks have different-sized covers? Me, neither!

I’m so lucky that I know an audiobook narrator who guided me through the process, including these steps:

  1. Choose a publisher. Despite the problems of the monolithic juggernaut known as Amazon, I decided to go with ACX (Audible) to make things easier my first go-around.
  2. Decide on the narration. Most audiobooks use one narrator. Because I had chapters alternating first-person point of view between a female and male coach, I chose dual narration. (This differs from duet narration, where two voice actors narrate together.)
  3. Identify scenes for auditions that total five minutes or less.
  4. Select payment options. You can choose royalty share where the narrator gets 50% of the royalties, or per finished hour (PFH) rate, or both. For self-published authors, this can get pricey, but even offering $200-400 PFH may total less than $50/hour for the narrator due to all of the editing and technical aspects.
  5. Solicit auditions. I included information about the story and characters, my background as an author, and my marketing plans. I set a deadline for auditions.
  6. Review auditions. I received over 140 auditions (!), and many of them included the female and male narrators together. It’s a trip to hear so many versions of your characters. The talent was stellar! I sought narrators who sounded like the characters in my head, and I was thrilled to hire Laurie Carter Rose and Ryan Lee Dunlap.
  7. Make an offer to a narrator (ACX calls them “producers”.) With two narrators, I hired Laurie as the producer, and she subcontracted wth Ryan.
  8. Select 15 minutes of the novel for the narrator. This is the last chance to listen to the narrators’ takes on various situations and dialects before they produce the audiobook. I made sure to choose emotional scenes with young and old characters.
  9. Sign the contract between the author (“rights holder”) and narrator (“producer”).
  10. Edit and publish. Typically the producer edits as part of the per-finished-hour rate. Because my dual narrators recorded in different studios, I hired a third-party editor to help the novel sound cohesive. Eric West did a fantastic job!

The whole process took only two months or so, and now my baby is available on ACX here!

Audible gave me free download codes for readers in the US & UK, so if you’re interested, hit me up.

Also, please let me know if you have any questions about audiobooks. I still have much to learn, but I’m pleased by the outcome.

Happy writing, reading, and listening!

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Life’s a Beach Giveaway Hop

Thanks to The Kids Did It and The Mommy’s Island for hosting this fun giveaway!

I’m giving away an ebook and audiobook of my latest sports romance, Rivals, which includes a beach volleyball scene. Also up for grabs is a $10 gift card!

He’s a Wolverine. She’s a Buckeye. It’s a forbidden romance with balls.

Enter to win on the Rafflecopter!

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Paddle over to these participating blogs to win more beach gear!

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New Sports Romance RIVALS

I’m thrilled to launch my 9th novel into the world! Many thanks to awesome early reviewers for taking the time to read this sports romance.

Title: Rivals

Author: Jennifer Lane
Genre: Sports Romance
Release Date: March 19, 2021
Cover Design: Dan Irons, Designs by Irons

“I embrace my rival. But only to strangle him.”
~Jean Racine


After landing her dream job as head volleyball coach at Ohio State University, Lauren Chase’s career has become a nightmare. Her only hope of saving her job is to recruit a star player to her team. Too bad the player’s twin has signed a football scholarship for OSU’s chief rival, Michigan. And too bad Michigan coach, Jeremy Trent, sends sparks through Lauren every time they cross paths. But no way will she pursue an attraction to a man who represents the university she hates.

Jeremy detests his boss, and he hopes that signing the nation’s #1 recruit is the ticket he needs to become a head coach himself one day. Lauren Chase is already a head coach, and Jeremy has to admit that she intrigues the hell out of him. He wants to know why her performance has tanked after winning a national championship. He wants to see beneath Lauren’s fast pace and dirty mouth. But he can’t get with a Buckeye, right?

Maybe rivals don’t have to remain enemies. Maybe they can learn to appreciate their opponent’s strengths. And, if they’re lucky—if they excel at the game—maybe rivals can bring out the very best in each other.
 



“Absolutely loved this book. The rivalry was spot on. This book has it all, humor, love and sports.” ~Michelle from Besties & Books

“The uncanny portrayal of recruiting high-profile athletes in Rivals completely transported me into the story. I became so invested in Lauren Chase’s success! When Coach Chase met Coach Trent, the chance of finding love on the recruiting trail turned into such a charming contest–a game more meaningful than they could ever imagine on the court or field.” ~Gwynn Harrison, Head Swim Coach, Bridgewater College

“Fun read that captures the best of the greatest sports rivalry in the midst of a smoldering romance.”~Kevin Kropf


Psychologist/author (psycho author) Jennifer Lane invites you to her world of sports romance and romantic suspense with a psychological twist!

Jen fell in love with sports at a young age and competed in swimming and volleyball in college. She went on to become the Honda Award Winner for Division III Athlete of the Year. She still gets high from the smell of chlorine and the satisfaction of smashing a beautiful volleyball set.

Jen’s latest novel is Rivals, a romance between coaches from rival universities. Her Blocked trilogy also explores the transformation from hate to love. Particularly in this time of division, Jen’s favorite theme is finding common ground.

A romantic suspense trilogy (The Conduct Series) and a psychological thriller (Twin Sacrifice) complete Jen’s collection of stories. She calls Ohio home and shares writing space with her two trusted feline collaborators: Tuxedo and Tessa.

Whether writing or reading, Jen loves stories that make her laugh and cry. In her spare time, she likes to exercise and visit her amazing sisters in Chicago and Hilton Head.

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IWSG Favorite Genres

Join our group to share our insecurities and writing progress. Thank you to Ninja Captain Alex Cavanaugh for creating this wonderful community.

The clever co-hosts for the March 3 posting of the IWSG are Sarah – The Faux Fountain Pen Jacqui Murray, Chemist Ken, Victoria Marie Lees, Natalie Aguirre, and JQ Rose. Thank you for co-hosting!

March 3 question – Everyone has a favorite genre or genres to write. But what about your reading preferences? Do you read widely or only within the genre(s) you create stories for? What motivates your reading choice?

While I still have a soft spot for the genres I write (sports romance and romantic suspense), my book club and Goodreads friends have helped me branch out:

Science Fiction like Dark Matter and Ready Player One.

Historical Fiction The Nightingale and The Dutch House.

Magical realism such as The Snow Child. (I’m not a fantasy fan, mostly because I find real life so damn interesting, but a touch of the fantastical can work for me.)

Reading fascinating psychological thrillers like The Silent Patient even encouraged me to write one myself.

I’ll read anything that has compelling characters who make me laugh and cry. How about you? How closely do your favorite genres match your writing and reading preferences?

I’m gearing up for the release of my new sports romance, RIVALS! If you’d like to spread the word before the launch on 3-19-21, you can sign up HERE.

Thank you to IWSG author Ellen Jacobson for reading an ARC, and for author Darcia Helle hosting me on her blog today.

giveaway, new release

Let’s Get Lucky Giveaway Hop

Thanks to The Kids Did It and The Mommy Island for hosting!

In addition to a $10 gift card, I’m giving away an advance reader copy of my new sports romance, Rivals. It’s only $.99 to preorder HERE.

She’s a Buckeye. He’s a Wolverine. It’s a romance with balls.

Enter on the Rafflecopter.

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And hop over to these lucky blogs!

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IWSG Blogging Buddies and RIVALS

Happy February, writers! Join us for the Insecure Writers Support Group here.

I’m thrilled to co-host this month, along with Louise – Fundy Blue,Mary Aalgaard,Patsy Collins at Womagwriter, and Nancy Gideon!

February 3 question – Blogging is often more than just sharing stories. It’s often the start of special friendships and relationships. Have you made any friends through the blogosphere?  

Blogging has been wonderful for building relationships! The best part of IWSG, for me, is the community of writers I’ve come to know. And blogging offers more freedom and ownership than social media.

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay 

In 2010, authors from my small publisher started a blog hop– the beginning of my friendship with awesome author Nicki Elson. Since then, Nicki and I began a productive and fun critique partnership! She recently helped me select audiobook narrators.

I’ve also befriended quite a few warriors from the IWSG Ninja Army: Alex Cavanaugh, L. Diane Wolf, Natalie Aguirre, Chris Fey, Ellen Jacobson, Anna Simpson, Roland Yeomans, Pat Garcia, Stephen Tremp, and Feather Stone.

(I apologize in advance for my difficulty commenting on Blogger from my MacBook unless there’s a pop-up comment form. Clearing my cache doesn’t seem to work anymore.)

I appreciate all of your support in writing and publishing! If you’d like to spread the word about my new release, sports romance RIVALS launching 3-19-21, please sign up on this form.

In addition to Nicki Elson critiquing my baby, I’m grateful to Diane Wolf for her book design! You can find Rivals on Goodreads and pre-order on Amazon.

I’ll share my adventure creating my first audiobook for Rivals in a future post. It’s been so cool.

new release

New Release: Damned When I Didn’t by Cherie Colyer

Damned When I Didn’t
Cherie Colyer
Published by: The Wild Rose Press
Publication date: November 18th 2020
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult

Death isn’t the end for eighteen-year-old Avery Williams, and her final resting place isn’t beyond the Golden Gates. No, the Queen of the Damned has plans for her and, unbeknownst to Avery, fought hard to gain possession of her soul.

As Hell’s newest succubus, Avery is expected to siphon life from the living. It only takes a long, meaningful kiss, but for a virgin like Avery, kissing guys she barely knows isn’t something she’s comfortable doing. Avery focuses on the upside of her fate—she’ll be returning home, or so she thinks. When the Queen of the Damned cuts her off from her old life, Avery is determined to find a way back to her family and friends, even if it means facing Hell’s fury if she’s caught.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

EXCERPT:

I kicked my sneakers off near the kitchen stools and dropped my purse on the floor.

“What’s your problem?” Cole asked. He stood a few feet from me, eyes narrowed.

“Nothing.” I breathed in deep, trying to calm myself. The stench of cheap perfume invaded my nostrils. I covered my nose with my hand. “You reek of imitation lavender and…and…onions.”

Cole tossed his keys onto the counter. Obvious confusion flittered over his features only to be replaced with the realization that I was referring to the scents of the waitress.

“You’re one to talk!” he spit back. “You stink of Sport Goofy.”

“Sport Goofy, I mean Marcus, barely touched me.” Cole gave off such a strong odor, I was sure the waitress had put her hands all over him.

Cole stepped closer, placing his hands on the counter on either side of me, caging me in.

“And I barely touched her,” he growled. “When a human’s life force flows from them to us, our souls grow brighter and—”

“We smell like them,” I said, finishing his sentence. He’d told me that once.

“And because our senses become sharper, we know when our kind renews.” The blue in his irises was more pronounced than I’d remembered. I bit my lip to keep from asking him if that was because of my heightened vision or because he’d renewed, as he called it. “Now, do you want to tell me what’s really bothering you?”

I felt my face warm, and I had to fight to keep my gaze from traveling to his lips. Did I want to admit that I was irrationally jealous that he’d kissed another girl? Nope. So, instead, I said, “Her smell makes me want to puke.”

“Eau de Jock is doing the same to me.”

“You’re the one who called Sport Goofy,” I reminded him.

He smiled, clearly happy that I’d called Marcus by the nickname.

“You’re the one who pissed off the Queen of the Damned,” he countered.

I twitched a shoulder. “I still can’t stand how you smell right now.”

“Fine!” He grabbed me just under my butt and lifted me over his shoulder. I screamed. He held my legs, keeping me from falling.

“What are you doing?” I grabbed his waist from my upside down position.

“You think I smell?”

“Reek. And you said I do, too! Now put me down!”

“Let’s fix that.”

He marched to the bathroom with me slung over his shoulder. The next thing I knew we were standing in the tub. He continued to hold me like a sack of rice.

“Cole?”

He slid me down his chest so I stood in front of him with his arms keeping me from moving.

“Cole?”

He reached behind me.

I glanced up at the showerhead, then to the knob next to me. “You wouldn’t!”

“Want to bet?”

Author Bio:

Cherie Colyer is the author of Challenging Destiny and the Embrace series. When she’s not getting the fictional people in her life into trouble, she can be found solving network issues at work, spending time with family and friends, reading, or exploring the great outdoors.

Cherie lives in Illinois with her family.

To learn more about Cherie and her novels visit http://www.CherieColyer.com

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