insecure writers support group, new release

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!

giveaway, new release

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!

insecure writers support group, new release

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

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Newsletter


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New Release: Psycho Hose Beast from Outer Space by C.D. Gallant-King

Newfoundland, Canada, 1992.

Gale Harbour hasn’t seen any excitement since the military abandoned the base there thirty years ago, unless you count the Tuesday night 2-for-1 video rentals at Jerry’s Video Shack. So when a dead body turns up floating in the town water supply, all evidence seems to point to a boring accident.

Niall, Pius and Harper are dealing with pre-teen awkwardness in the last days of summer before the start of high school. The same night the body is found, the three of them witness unusual lights in the sky over the bay.

Is it a coincidence? Are the lights connected to the rapidly-increasing string of mysterious deaths? And what does the creepy old lady at the nursing home have to do with it?

There is an evil older than time hidden deep beneath the waters of the North Atlantic. It is hungry, and vengeful, and it has its sights set on Gale Harbour to begin its path of destruction. All that stands in its way are a group of kids who would rather be playing Street Fighter II…

BUY LINKS:

AMAZON US: https://www.amazon.com/Psycho-Beast-Outer-Space-Harbour-ebook/dp/B08BY2XGBC

AMAZON CANADA:

AMAZON UK:

BIO:

C.D. Gallant-King writes comic horror and fantasy stories in a variety of settings and genres. He is a proud Newfoundlander and Canadian currently living in Ottawa, Ontario. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre. He lived in Toronto for 10 years and tried to be an actor and a rock star, but we don’t talk about that. He is now a happy husband and father of two. 

C.D. has previously published two novels, and a third book, PSYCHO HOSE BEAST FROM OUTER SPACE, is set to be released September 28. His book HELL COMES TO HOGTOWN was a semi-finalist in Mark Lawrence’s 2018 Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off. His work has also appeared four times in Mystery & Horror’s STRANGELY FUNNY anthologies of comic horror stories, an upcoming issue of The Weird and Whatnot magazine, and in two anthologies from Dancing Lemur Press. 

LINKS:

Website: https://galeharbourbooks.wordpress.com/

Blog: http://cdgallantking.ca

Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/book/show/54746956-psycho-hose-beast-from-outer-space

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CDGallantKing

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

insecure writers support group, new release

IWSG: New Releases by Nicki Elson and Chrys Fey

Welcome to the August 2020 edition of the Insecure Writers Support Group, hosted by Alex Cavanaugh.

iwsg2badmin

Congratulations to my critique partner, Nicki Elson, on the launch of her 8th novel yesterday: MOLLY UNPLANNED.

Here’s my 5-star review of Miss Molly.

I’m thrilled to co-host today, along with: Susan Baury Rouchard, Nancy Gideon, Jennifer Hawes, Chemist Ken, and Chrys Fey!

Speaking of the lovely Chrys Fey, I’m part of the blog hop to celebrate her new release, Keep Writing with Fey: Sparks to Defeat Writer’s Block, Depression, and Burnout. Congratulations to Chrys! Scroll down to read my own experience with these issues.

KWWF

Catch the sparks you need to conquer writer’s block, depression, and burnout!

When Chrys Fey shared her story about depression and burnout, it struck a chord with other writers. That put into perspective for her how desperate writers are to hear they aren’t alone. Many creative types experience these challenges, battling to recover. Let Keep Writing with Fey: Sparks to Defeat Writer’s Block, Depression, and Burnout guide you through:

  • Writer’s block
  • Depression
  • Writer’s burnout
  • What a writer doesn’t need to succeed
  • Finding creativity boosts

With these sparks, you can begin your journey of rediscovering your creativity and get back to what you love – writing.

(The table of contents of this book looks fantastic!)

BOOK LINKS:

Amazon / Nook / iTunes / Kobo

Goodreads

Chrys Fey Author Photo

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Chrys Fey is the author of Write with Fey: 10 Sparks to Guide You from Idea to Publication. She is also the author of the Disaster Crimes series. Visit her blog, Write with Fey, for more tips on how to reverse writer’s burnout. https://www.chrysfey.com/

Keep Writing with Fey Blog Hop: Share your story about writer’s block, depression, and/or burnout and how you overcame it or what you are currently doing to heal.

Since writing is secondary to my work as a psychologist, I write only when I feel like it. Therefore, I don’t experience much writer’s block or burnout. But I have turned to writing to deal with feelings of depression from painful events in my psychology career.

For 15 years, I have worked for two different university departments, and I don’t seem to fit well with one of them. Twice, that department has chosen to work with another psychologist instead of me. (I guess I’m a masochist for returning after the first time they let me go.) The process has been all the more agonizing due to their lack of direct communication. It was a gradual ghosting instead of a kind cutoff.

Therapy has taught me that self-talk is important for healing. When hurtful events happen, we can benefit from compassionate narratives. Since I write romance novels, some of my narratives compared getting fired to romantic rejection:

When reality sucked, I turned to fiction.

They don’t know my strength.

I won’t let one person determine my value.

We separated, then reunited, but the bitterness and poor communication continued, leading to a divorce.

A relationship breakup doesn’t mean either person is wrong or bad; it’s just a poor fit. I can find a better fit elsewhere, or I can stay single by going into private practice! 😀

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What is YOUR experience with writer’s block, depression, or burnout? Thanks for stopping by.