Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Welcome Amber Daulton

The Creation of Lyrical Embrace, Audiobook

When my publisher, The Wild Rose Press, returned my audio rights to me last year, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. I was hoping to go with them to get my latest release, Lyrical Embrace, into audio, but now that was a no-go. I procrastinated for months until I read a few posts on the TWRP forum about my fellow authors’ experiences in getting their books narrated. Everyone was using ACX, which is a subdivision of Amazon. After a bunch of research and chatting with those authors, I finally strapped on my big-girl panties and took the plunge.
After getting an account through ACX, I posted a script and listed the audio project as Royalty Shares, which means my narrator and I will split the royalties 50/50. I didn’t have to pay anything upfront or later. A few weeks passed and I hadn’t received any auditions. Turns out, I made a classic newbie mistake. Narrators don’t typically browse for scripts to audition for; the author needs to research the thousands (yes, there’s that many) of narrators available, listen to their audio samples, and email them, requesting they audition. That sounds like a daunting task, but I was able to narrow the search parameters with key words. I ended up listening to about 30 narrators and contacted half that many. Of those, only six narrators auditioned.
When I first heard Georgeann Haynes’s audition (she’s credited as Georgia Allens), I couldn’t stop smiling. She jumped right to the top of my list. I’m so glad she accepted my contract. It’s been wonderful working with her. For anyone who is interested in working with Georgeann, here’s her link:
Anyway, the whole process of getting this story published into audio took about three months (from uploading my script to release day). ACX has given Georgeann and me 50 codes each, so we can give them out to listeners and reviewers.
I also had to get an audiobook cover made since I couldn’t use the ebook cover. Thankfully, my publisher assured me that I could create a cover similar but not exact to the ebook version. Purchasing book covers can be expensive, so I bought the pictures I needed from Deposit Photos and plunged into graphic design research. I downloaded a free software called GIMP, which is similar to Photoshop, and created the cover myself (with the help of author friend CeeRee Fields, and various websites and YouTube videos). Once I figured out how to use GIMP, manipulating photos and creating my cover was a blast.
Getting this book narrated and published wasn’t as stressful as I thought it would be. I’m proud to say Lyrical Embrace is now available in the big bad world of audio listeners.
Thanks so much for reading. If you want to hear a sample, scroll on down.

Lyrical Embrace 

Series: Deerbourne Inn (book 4)
Narrator: Georgia Allens
Audiobook Release Date: January 23, 2020 
Ebook Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Ebook Release Date: February 11, 2019
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Length: 40k
Heat Rating: 3 Flames


Out-of-work violinist Erica Timberly decides enough is enough. She leaves her abusive boyfriend and flees the big city, but then her car breaks down in the middle of the night. Though wary of men, she accepts help from Dylan Haynes, a stranger driving by on the road, and soon recognizes him as the sexy former drummer of her favorite indie rock band. Maybe, just maybe, her run of bad luck is finally turning around.
Music teacher Dylan Haynes knows Erica is in trouble, and her black eye is only the first clue. The stubborn yet vulnerable woman needs a friend, but he’s determined to give her everything she deserves. 
Will Erica listen to the music in her heart and trust Dylan, or will her past always threaten her future?



Dylan deepened the kiss and lightly tugged on her bottom lip. Tears streaked his flushed cheeks as he smiled at her. “I’m so grateful I found you, baby. I heard you screaming. When I saw that bastard press a gun to your head, my heart nearly exploded. I thought I might lose you. I promise you, Erica, I will never control you as Phil did. You will always have the ability to choose. I just want to make you happy.”
She gripped his hand and brushed her lips across his calloused knuckles. “I know. You do make me happy. You took a bullet for me.” A sob constricted her throat, but she pushed it down.
A blast of noise rent the air. Fireworks filled the sky, visible in the alley from the narrow stretch of space between the buildings.
Erica loved the bright colors and designs, but hardly cared about watching the spectacle. She dropped her gaze back to Dylan.
A grin spread across his face. “It’s been one wild Fourth of July. Why don’t we do something more low-key next year? How about no guns and crazy exes? Just us, the creek, and a bottle of wine. Clothing optional.”
She laughed softly, amazed he could make light of the situation. “That sounds perfect. Absolutely perfect.”

Want to hear a sample?

Audio Buy Links (US)

Audio Buy Link (UK)

Interested in the ebook instead? You can grab a copy here:

About the Author

Amber Daulton is the author of the romantic-suspense series Arresting Onyx and several standalone novellas. Her books are published through The Wild Rose Press and Books to Go Now, and are available in ebook, print on demand, audio, and foreign language formats. 
Amber lives in North Carolina with her husband and four demanding cats. Feel free to visit her at

Social Media Links

Amazon Author Page –

Monday, February 17, 2020

Keep On Keeping On

I’m pitching this week. That means I’m putting together query letters and synopses and sending them out in the hopes that someone likes something I’ve written.

I love my current publisher and definitely want to continue publishing with them. The Wild Rose Press is a phenomenal publisher, and they are extremely supportive of their writers. I’ve loved working with them. But in these times, it’s safest to make sure your writing career is diverse enough to withstand any changes. That means expanding your career and constantly looking for additional opportunities. So while I have every intention of continuing to publish with The Wild Rose Press for as long as they’ll have me, I need to make sure I also look out for my future and diversify. Kind of like financial planning, but on a smaller scale.

So I’m pitching. Think of it as dating. Getting all dressed up, putting your best foot forward, and hoping someone will like you enough to take a chance on you for a second date. And maybe a third. And then maybe, if you’re really lucky, they’ll ask you to marry them. Eventually. I mean, who wants to get married after three dates? Hmm, plot bunny...

In the publishing world, that means I send out a query letter with a brief summary of what I’ve written, along with a synopsis that has a longer summary of what I’ve written. And then I wait. If I’m lucky, they respond—yes, sometimes you don’t even get a negative response, and you’re left to wonder if anyone saw your letter or if it got lost in the email ether. But that’s the game, and if you want to publish, you play. 

Like I said, if I’m lucky, I’ll get a response that asks for a few sample chapters. If I’m really lucky, I’ll get a response that asks for the entire manuscript. And if I’m lottery-winner lucky, I’ll get an offer of publication/representation. 

So, I submit and check my email obsessively, knowing that it will be at least a month, if not three, before I hear anything. And in the meantime, I keep writing. Because I have a wonderful publisher who likes my writing and I want to submit things to them. And I have a deadline for a book I’m self-publishing. And if I sit around doing nothing, not only will I go crazy, but I’m stalling my career.

Until next time!

Monday, February 10, 2020

Valentine's Promo!!

Calling all romance readers! It’s more than candy hearts, chocolates and flowers at N. N. Light’s Book Heaven Love and Romance Book Festival. 47 romance books featured plus a chance to win one of the following:

Enter to win a $50 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $50 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $25 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $15 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Enter to win a $10 Amazon (US) or Barnes and Noble Gift Card

I’m thrilled to be a part of this event. My book, [name of your book], will be featured on [date]. Wait until you read my romantic tip to enhance your love life. You won’t want to miss it.

Bookmark this festival and tell your friends:

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Welcome Ann Everett

Double Pen Names/Double Trouble
By Ann Everett
Have you considered writing under more than one pen name? If so, what I have to say may help you.
First, let’s talk about why you want to write under a penname, much less multiple pen names. 
It’s common practice to use different pennames for different genres as in Agatha Christie/Mary Westmacott, Anne Rice/Anne Rampling, J.K. Rowling/Robert Galbraith, and many more. Some well-known authors, like Dean Koontz, have written under numerous pennames. 
There are other reasons. Maybe you don’t want your family and friends to know you’re writing…in case you fail. Maybe your real name is too hard to spell or pronounce…or it’s too common. Or, perhaps, someone already has your name and you don’t want to be confused with them. Although, if my legal name was Nora Roberts, I think I’d use it. Reaping a few sales off her sway wouldn’t be a bad thing, and hey, since I write romance, some of her readers might like my work!
Or, you might use my reason. I don’t have a pretty name. Pattie Ball sounds like something you’d order at a concession stand. “Give me a corn dog, a Frito pie, and a couple of Pattie balls.”
Ann, (my middle name) and Everett, (my husband’s middle name) is a much prettier…IMO. I had no trouble choosing it. But once I decided to add an additional pen name, it was a much harder decision. I wanted to reverse the initials. Instead of AE, go with EA. So, I made a list of all the combinations I liked, then researched Amazon to make sure the names weren’t already in use. I decided on Emma Ames. That also reversed the syllables which I liked.
Second, why did I want another name? Well, for many years, a couple of Christian fiction members from my local critique group, suggested I clean up my steamy romances and release them under a different pen name. They thought I could tap into a different market. The s-e-x scenes were the only thing keeping them from recommending my books to their readers.
I started with a small-town humorous romantic mystery series I’d written back in 2006, but didn’t publish until 2011. Editing the books into a milder story wouldn’t be as difficult as some of my contemporary romances. The hardest part, which I’d not thought about, wasn’t re-writing the stories, but everything that came later.
 I’d been so focused on editing the books, deciding on new titles, and covers, rebranding never crossed my mind! Holy Moly!! What was I thinking?
Emma needed social media accounts, an email address, a website or at least a page added to Ann Everett’s site. When you say all of that really fast it doesn’t sound like much, but it is!
Because of the time I was putting in trying to ‘clean up’ Ann’s books so Emma could get them out into the world, I was already neglecting Ann’s social accounts along with her website. Up until 2019, I’d been consistent in blogging each week, but that fell by the wayside once Emma came on board.
I’d vowed to have all of Emma’s 4 planned books in place by the time 2020 rolled around. I almost met that goal.  In 2019, I published 3 books for Emma and 1 for Ann. I’m currently working on the last of Emma’s books and should have it completed by March…fingers, eyes, legs crossed!
I feel like I went about this in reverse. I really should have had Emma’s social media accounts, email, and website in advance of the books. If you’re planning to add an additional pen name to re-release some of your published books, my advice is:
Set up social media (I’m still working on this) 
Get a website in place or at least add a page to one already in existence. If you have plans to add a site later, go ahead and purchase the URL, that way, you’ll have it in place.
Add an email 
Order bookmarks, business cards, etc. If you only have two author names, you can order two-sided…one for each name. 
If you do book shows/fairs, consider your table set-up to separate the two genres. 
If you’re re-doing a series, you’ll need to change the series names. The steamy contemporary romance series I’m currently ‘scrubbing’ is Bluebird, Texas Romances, the clean versions are Sparrow, Texas Romances.
Naturally, if you’re re-releasing a book, you’ll want to find a new cover. In my case, something that depicted the ‘sweetness’ of the story…no naked bodies!
Start looking for blog opportunities early and have some in place by the time the book is ready for release.
You’ll also need a new tag line, logo, bio, and headshot to brand your new name. 
If you already have an account set up with KDP, you’ll need to link your new name so that you just have one account. Both of my accounts are set up under my ‘real’ name. Easier for tax and royalty payments!
When choosing a pen name, you might also consider where your book will be shelved. I didn’t think of that when choosing mine, but it so happens, Evanovich and Everett will be shelved close together. Emma Ames didn’t work out that well. No romance bestsellers near her…maybe she’ll be the first! Hey, I can dream.
And, if you’re re-publishing a different version of a previously published book, be sure and add that as a disclaimer in the front of the book so readers know you’re not trying to pull a fast one…. because publishing the same story in two versions is anything but fast!

Ann’s Bio

Ten things about award-winning and Amazon bestselling author, Ann Everett.
She’s married to her high school sweetheart.
She loves shopping at thrift stores.
She doesn’t remember her first kiss. 
She hates talking on the telephone.
A really sharp pencil makes her happy.
She secretly wants to get a tattoo. 
She’s thankful wrinkles aren’t painful.
She thinks everyone should own a pair of cowboy boots.
She sucks at math. 

Ann’s social media:

Swan, A Bluebird, Texas Romance

A small-town girl rising to fame.
Swan Malone never imagined leaving Bluebird, Texas, but when her college cheerleading gig leads to fame, and her first film becomes the top-grossing movie of the year, she realizes dreams really do come true. However, not everything in her life is as good as a fairytale.
A soldier barely hanging on.
Nothing could have prepared Army Sergeant Teague Shanahan for what he endured while held hostage in enemy hands. Battered and scarred, he returns home hoping to put his life back together but finds he’s still a prisoner of his past—too broken to be fixed, even by the woman he loves.
Welcome to Bluebird, Texas
Where a girl with stars in her eyes fights to save a man with demons in his soul.

Book links:

Monday, February 3, 2020

It's Fine, We're Fine

My husband and I spent the weekend together, sick. In our almost twenty-five years of marriage, I don’t think it’s ever happened before. We might get sick one at a time, or he and the girls would be sick, but the two of us? Never.

I had a cold. Not a big deal, other than feeling and sounding yucky. I went to the Minute Clinic, to make sure it wasn’t something more. Despite the nice lady examining my ears and not noticing the hole in my eardrum (I’ve had it since I was four, but it’s a good/fun way to determine what a doctor is like when I let them discover it themselves), she said it was just a cold. Then my husband started getting symptoms, and of course, blamed me for giving it to him. There wasn’t much I could say, until he developed a fever and I sent him to the doctor. She diagnosed him with the flu—ha! Not my fault. And yes, I got a little bit of satisfaction from that. Did I mention twenty-five years of marriage?

Anyway, we spent the weekend taking care of each other. It was kind of nice. I force-fed him chicken soup (with curry—a new recipe—it’s really good!) and Echinacea tea. He checked on me to make sure I was okay and let me nap. And the Princess entertained us with her New Zealand exploits.

Did I say entertained? More like terrified us. I’m pretty sure she has a death wish. She went bungee jumping, flew in a helicopter, and went on this swing hundreds of feet in the air (it involved some sort of drop, like a bungee). We knew she was doing it. We didn’t like the idea, but we weren’t about to stop her. We just asked her not to tell us about it, or when she was going to do it, until afterwards.

We should have thought of technology. She sent photos. They weren’t bad, and her smiles are amazing. But the videos? Those I could have done without. There’s a reason I don’t do those things, and why I didn’t like the idea of her doing those things. Thanks to the videos, they’re no longer “ideas.” 

But she’s fine. We’re fine. It’s all fine.

And we’ve all recovered.

While I’ve got your attention, A Heart of Little Faith is free this week. Really. If you haven’t read it, I’d love you to grab it, read it and leave a review (you don’t even have to leave your name). If you have read it, well, I continue to leave my plea for reviews. But seriously, it’s absolutely free. So what are you waiting for? You can get it here: Amazon.