Writing Life

Dee J. Adams & Dangerously Close Release Day!!

Super excited to wish my buddy and fellow romantic suspense author, Dee J. Adams, an UBER HAPPY RELEASE DAY!! The third book in her Adrenaline High series (what a cool name!), DANGEROUSLY CLOSE is out today.

DANGEROUSLY CLOSE has received a coveted 4 star review from RT Magazine and Dee J. is here today to talk about a fascinating aspect of creating the whole package — the creation of the audiobook.

Now, many of you may know I’m an audiobook junkie. I drive quite a distance to my day job and my only real “reading” time in on the road. So I covet my Audible account. Dee J. and I got to talking about audiobooks and I learned that Dee J. actually narrated two books in the Adrenaline High series.

Like…professionally…in a studio…with takes and producers and sound people and…yeah!

Today, Dee J. is going to tell us a little about that very cool process! She’s also giving away an EBOOK (sorry, not an audiobook) of DANGEROUSLY CLOSE, so be sure to enter via the Rafflecopter form below!

First….DANGEROUSLY CLOSE

What you can’t see can kill you.

Bad-boy rock star Seger Hughes hit rock bottom after a near-fatal tragedy at his concert. He hates how his life has spun out of control. After changing his appearance and his name, he transforms into a different man: Mel Summers. Now he just needs a place to hide out from rabid fans and paparazzi.

An isolated cliffside mansion is perfect. Ashley Bristol, his only neighbor, is blind—and her assistant is a classical music fan. They have no clue who he really is, but someone else does and she’s waited her whole life to be with him.

Struggling to find her way after an accident that took her sight, Ashley is determined not to feel anything. Yet she gets to know Mel and can’t help falling for him. When her assistant mysteriously disappears, Ashley must rely on Mel more than ever. But then his past comes back to haunt them both, and just when they must pull together to avoid danger, betrayal and lies threaten to tear them apart…

Pick up your copy today!! (I’m getting mine on Audible!!) Amazon | Audible

Now…here’s Dee J!


First I have to thank Joan for having me here on Dangerously Close release day! Yay! Thank you, Joan!

Every book has been a different experience and this one is no exception. I loved writing Ashley’s story, but most of all I loved telling it! Dangerously Close was the second book I’ve narrated. (The first being book #2 in the Adrenaline Highs Series, Danger Zone.) Narrating a book is never easy. Sometimes it’s hard, sometimes it’s frustrating and sometimes it’s absolutely a blast. It took me three days to narrate Dangerously Close, which was a day shorter than it took to narrate Danger Zone. (Keep in mind Danger Zone is about eight thousand words longer so it makes sense.)

Dee J in audio control room

Before I get ahead of myself I should tell you a little about the process. A narrator has to “mark” their voices. You have to know without question what a character sounds like, even (sometimes) what they look like. If you’ve got four characters on a page, you need to be able to jump from one voice to the next without hesitation. Sometimes it’s easier than others. It all depends on how similar (or different) the voices are.

I faced one tremendous surprise when I began working on my hero, Seger Hughes AKA: Mel Summers. Turned out this particular rock star has a touch of country in him. Not in his music, but in his heart. When I found his voice, I was shocked to discover a little bit of a twang. Want to hear something even crazier? I never thought about it while I was writing the man, but as I began to “talk” the man, I realized I’d written several phrases that a mid-west or southern boy might use. This led me to believe that my inner writer knew from the beginning that my hard-core rock star really had southern roots somewhere. (Personally, I think he got his twang from his mama.)

Now it’s your turn. Can you come up with five voices off the top of your head? Try it. Three women and two men. How difficult is it? Is it something you think you can sustain for an entire book?

All three Adrenaline Highs books are available on Audible.com, but if you want to hear me narrating one of my books, you can listen to Danger Zone and Dangerously Close. (Drop me a line if you do and let me know what you think!)

LISTEN TO A SAMPLE OF DANGEROUSLY CLOSE HERE: SAMPLE ON AUDIBLE (NO ACCOUNT NECESSARY!)

One commenter (+ other ways to enter) will win an EBOOK (sorry, not an audiobook)copy of DANGEROUSLY CLOSE! Thanks for dropping by and Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Misty Evans Interview + Giveaway!

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Welcome to my guest blogger today, author Misty Evans, here talking about writing and the writing life. Her book, Soul Suvivor, released June 21st.

One lucky commentor will win a copy of Soul Survivor and five others will win one handmade custom bookmark for Soul Survivor.

Misty, tell us about Soul Survivor.

Joan, thank you so much for having me on your blog today! Soul Suvivor is a dark paranormal romantic suspense published by Carina Press. Here’s the blurb:

Haunted by tragedy, FBI profiler Rife St. Cloud is driven to find the person who brutally attacked six women. Unfortunately the only survivor, Keva Moon Water, has no memory of what happened, and the evidence makes her the prime suspect.

Keva cannot die. She has waited a thousand years to be reunited with the man she loves, whose soul sleeps within Rife. Though he refuses to believe her claims of immortality, there’s no denying the passion that burns between them. Keva desperately hopes their sexual connection will be enough to awaken Rife’s memories of the love affair that started a war and bound their souls together for all eternity.

But when Keva’s own memories come trickling back, she realizes that a future with Rife depends upon confronting the mistakes of the distant past…

Soul Survivor is the first of your Lost Worlds Series. Can you tell us what inspired the series and what is in store in the sequels to Soul Survivor?

My twin sons have long been fascinated with lost civilizations, both real and mythical. Their interest sparked a similar interest in me, especially about North American civilizations such as the Anazazi and Hopewell groups. For my fictional series, I created a lost tribe of Native Americans of which my hero and heroine were members of a thousand years ago and was destroyed because of their love for each other. In the second book, Soul Protector, my archeologist hero discovers the bones of the lost tribe and releases a bunch of angry ghosts.

The story’s heroine is a shaman and ghost whisperer, so she’s against him digging them up in the first place and then must get the ghosts to cross over before they destroy her, him and many other innocent people in their quest for revenge. Even though there’s a new hero and heroine for this book, Keva and Rife from Soul Survivor will make an appearance. The third book in the series, Soul Walker, is still rattling around in my head.

Can you tell us a little about your Witches Anonymous series and what inspired it?

Witches Anonymous is one of my most loved series by fans. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s light paranormal or because the heroine’s torn between Lucifer (definite bad boy) and Adam (the original Adam who’s on Earth for a redo), but my readers love this series. Which is great for me, because I love writing it. There are three novellas published so far in the series and a fourth coming out late summer. The series was inspired by my Baptist upbringing and my God complex. I’ve always wanted to rewrite a few biblical stories, and in this series, I get to do that.

What is your writing routine?

I write for several hours in the morning M-F, and then promote, edit, do interviews, etc., in the afternoon. Weekends I try to save for family and fun and recharging my muse.

How does your family view your writing career?

Most of my immediate family supported it from the beginning. A few outliers are starting to warm up to it. There are always moments when it feels like my writing and my family life are at odds, but only because of time constraints and the fact I can completely immerse myself in writing and forget to come up for air. That’s when the kids, my husband and my friends do an intervention and return to me to the real world for awhile. I find it difficult to maintain a healthy balance!

How do you keep in touch with your readers?

Readers are absolutely the best part of being an author. I love writing stories, but if I didn’t have fans who enjoy reading them, I’d question my abilities as a storyteller. They send me emails, post nice messages on my Facebook author wall, and chat with me on Twitter. Some are even gracious enough to join my Yahoo Group and sign up for my newsletter. I try to make it as easy as I can for them to contact me and I love hearing from new fans as well as tried and true ones. Knowing I have readers makes me show up to the keyboard every day.

What authors do you like to read?

Currently, I’m on a Meg Cabot kick, so I’m reading both her adult and YA books. I love so many authors, it would take weeks to name them all. Consistently I enjoy Jodi Picoult, Edie Ramer, PJ Alderman, CE Murphy, Rachel Hawkins, Jennifer Estep, Cassandra Claire and Stacia Kane.

What are you reading now?

Fiction: Insatiable by Meg Cabot and Ghost Ship by PJ Alderman; and nonfiction: A Writer’s Journey by Christopher Volger.

What is in your TBR pile?

My TBR is always a mile long, both in physical books and ebooks on my Kindle. Galaxy Girls by Edie Ramer and On Any Given Sunday by Marilyn Brandt are up next.

Do you have a second career? If not, what did you do before you became a full-time writer?

Does motherhood count as my second career?  Before I decided to become a full-time writer, I was in the business world as a marketing manager. My last job was working in the public health field and I did everything from edit newsletters to manage a breast and cervical cancer program. During my writing career, I’ve also taught creative writing and been a substitute teacher.

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

Strong voice and stronger characters.

How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?

Characters come first, plot second. I don’t have a set formula for writing per se, but since I write series that are in different genres from each other, I do follow a loose formula for each series that works for me. For the Super Agent series, I do a lot more research and plotting. For the Witches Anonymous series, I let my muse direct the story. The Lost Worlds series is a sort of in between…some plotting and some pantsing.

What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?

Coffee, thesaurus, creative imagination and an undefeatable attitude.

What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?

I hold writers in the utmost regard, so becoming an author and being allowed to tell my stories is an honor. To have the kind of fabulous readers I do, and to know my stories lighten their day, is the best dream come true I could ask for.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I write in bed. I have a bad back, so it’s the only way for me to type.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Read, grow herbs, hang out with my family and friends. I also make silver jewelry, homemade cards and I love to bake. I’ve been decorating cakes since high school. All those things are great stress relievers and provide me with creative outlets different from writing.

Where can we find you online?

Website
Facebook
Twitter
Blog
Goodreads
Yahoo! Group

Thanks for being with us, Misty!
Remember to comment to enter the drawing for a copy of Misty’s Soul Survior or one of five bookmarks! (International)
*MUST* leave contact email to WIN!

>Misty Evans Interview + Giveaway!

>

Welcome to my guest blogger today, author Misty Evans, here talking about writing and the writing life. Her book, Soul Suvivor, released June 21st.

One lucky commentor will win a copy of Soul Survivor and five others will win one handmade custom bookmark for Soul Survivor.

Misty, tell us about Soul Survivor.

Joan, thank you so much for having me on your blog today! Soul Suvivor is a dark paranormal romantic suspense published by Carina Press. Here’s the blurb:

Haunted by tragedy, FBI profiler Rife St. Cloud is driven to find the person who brutally attacked six women. Unfortunately the only survivor, Keva Moon Water, has no memory of what happened, and the evidence makes her the prime suspect.

Keva cannot die. She has waited a thousand years to be reunited with the man she loves, whose soul sleeps within Rife. Though he refuses to believe her claims of immortality, there’s no denying the passion that burns between them. Keva desperately hopes their sexual connection will be enough to awaken Rife’s memories of the love affair that started a war and bound their souls together for all eternity.

But when Keva’s own memories come trickling back, she realizes that a future with Rife depends upon confronting the mistakes of the distant past…

Soul Survivor is the first of your Lost Worlds Series. Can you tell us what inspired the series and what is in store in the sequels to Soul Survivor?

My twin sons have long been fascinated with lost civilizations, both real and mythical. Their interest sparked a similar interest in me, especially about North American civilizations such as the Anazazi and Hopewell groups. For my fictional series, I created a lost tribe of Native Americans of which my hero and heroine were members of a thousand years ago and was destroyed because of their love for each other. In the second book, Soul Protector, my archeologist hero discovers the bones of the lost tribe and releases a bunch of angry ghosts.

The story’s heroine is a shaman and ghost whisperer, so she’s against him digging them up in the first place and then must get the ghosts to cross over before they destroy her, him and many other innocent people in their quest for revenge. Even though there’s a new hero and heroine for this book, Keva and Rife from Soul Survivor will make an appearance. The third book in the series, Soul Walker, is still rattling around in my head.

Can you tell us a little about your Witches Anonymous series and what inspired it?

Witches Anonymous is one of my most loved series by fans. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s light paranormal or because the heroine’s torn between Lucifer (definite bad boy) and Adam (the original Adam who’s on Earth for a redo), but my readers love this series. Which is great for me, because I love writing it. There are three novellas published so far in the series and a fourth coming out late summer. The series was inspired by my Baptist upbringing and my God complex. I’ve always wanted to rewrite a few biblical stories, and in this series, I get to do that.

What is your writing routine?

I write for several hours in the morning M-F, and then promote, edit, do interviews, etc., in the afternoon. Weekends I try to save for family and fun and recharging my muse.

How does your family view your writing career?

Most of my immediate family supported it from the beginning. A few outliers are starting to warm up to it. There are always moments when it feels like my writing and my family life are at odds, but only because of time constraints and the fact I can completely immerse myself in writing and forget to come up for air. That’s when the kids, my husband and my friends do an intervention and return to me to the real world for awhile. I find it difficult to maintain a healthy balance!

How do you keep in touch with your readers?

Readers are absolutely the best part of being an author. I love writing stories, but if I didn’t have fans who enjoy reading them, I’d question my abilities as a storyteller. They send me emails, post nice messages on my Facebook author wall, and chat with me on Twitter. Some are even gracious enough to join my Yahoo Group and sign up for my newsletter. I try to make it as easy as I can for them to contact me and I love hearing from new fans as well as tried and true ones. Knowing I have readers makes me show up to the keyboard every day.

What authors do you like to read?

Currently, I’m on a Meg Cabot kick, so I’m reading both her adult and YA books. I love so many authors, it would take weeks to name them all. Consistently I enjoy Jodi Picoult, Edie Ramer, PJ Alderman, CE Murphy, Rachel Hawkins, Jennifer Estep, Cassandra Claire and Stacia Kane.

What are you reading now?

Fiction: Insatiable by Meg Cabot and Ghost Ship by PJ Alderman; and nonfiction: A Writer’s Journey by Christopher Volger.

What is in your TBR pile?

My TBR is always a mile long, both in physical books and ebooks on my Kindle. Galaxy Girls by Edie Ramer and On Any Given Sunday by Marilyn Brandt are up next.

Do you have a second career? If not, what did you do before you became a full-time writer?

Does motherhood count as my second career?  Before I decided to become a full-time writer, I was in the business world as a marketing manager. My last job was working in the public health field and I did everything from edit newsletters to manage a breast and cervical cancer program. During my writing career, I’ve also taught creative writing and been a substitute teacher.

What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

Strong voice and stronger characters.

How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?

Characters come first, plot second. I don’t have a set formula for writing per se, but since I write series that are in different genres from each other, I do follow a loose formula for each series that works for me. For the Super Agent series, I do a lot more research and plotting. For the Witches Anonymous series, I let my muse direct the story. The Lost Worlds series is a sort of in between…some plotting and some pantsing.

What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?

Coffee, thesaurus, creative imagination and an undefeatable attitude.

What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?

I hold writers in the utmost regard, so becoming an author and being allowed to tell my stories is an honor. To have the kind of fabulous readers I do, and to know my stories lighten their day, is the best dream come true I could ask for.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I write in bed. I have a bad back, so it’s the only way for me to type.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Read, grow herbs, hang out with my family and friends. I also make silver jewelry, homemade cards and I love to bake. I’ve been decorating cakes since high school. All those things are great stress relievers and provide me with creative outlets different from writing.

Where can we find you online?

Website
Facebook
Twitter
Blog
Goodreads
Yahoo! Group

Thanks for being with us, Misty!
Remember to comment to enter the drawing for a copy of Misty’s Soul Survior or one of five bookmarks! (International)
*MUST* leave contact email to WIN!

Official Winners List

>Thanks to everyone who participated in my Twitter giveaway to celebrate my first sale!

The official winners:
  • Cynthia from Washington: $25 Barnes & Noble GC
  • Samantha from Pennsylvania: $25 Amazon GC
  • Rhoda from Alabama: $25 Barnes & Noble GC
  • Jaimee from Montana: $25 Amazon GC
  • Jennifer from Minnesota: $25 Starbucks GC
  • Jenn from Virginia: $25 iTunes GC
  • Dee from Dublin, Ireland: $25 Starbucks GC

Again, a big thank you to all the writers and readers who have walked this path with me over the last seven years. I hope to meet many more of you in the years to come.

And…I’ve got lots of great ideas for more giveaways swirling in my head…so stay close. You never know when the mood to gift will strike!!

>Official Winners List

>Thanks to everyone who participated in my Twitter giveaway to celebrate my first sale!

The official winners:
  • Cynthia from Washington: $25 Barnes & Noble GC
  • Samantha from Pennsylvania: $25 Amazon GC
  • Rhoda from Alabama: $25 Barnes & Noble GC
  • Jaimee from Montana: $25 Amazon GC
  • Jennifer from Minnesota: $25 Starbucks GC
  • Jenn from Virginia: $25 iTunes GC
  • Dee from Dublin, Ireland: $25 Starbucks GC

Again, a big thank you to all the writers and readers who have walked this path with me over the last seven years. I hope to meet many more of you in the years to come.

And…I’ve got lots of great ideas for more giveaways swirling in my head…so stay close. You never know when the mood to gift will strike!!

Word Count & Keeping Up

> As you can see, my word count has been somewhat sketchy lately. Either fatigue from work or craziness from the family has been interfering.

But I’ve taken some steps to address those issues and hoping this coming week will be better.

And although not perfect, I’m still happy with the totals. Always seeking improvement. But sometimes keeping up with work, travel, family and health feels like running up the down escalator.

>Word Count & Keeping Up

> As you can see, my word count has been somewhat sketchy lately. Either fatigue from work or craziness from the family has been interfering.

But I’ve taken some steps to address those issues and hoping this coming week will be better.

And although not perfect, I’m still happy with the totals. Always seeking improvement. But sometimes keeping up with work, travel, family and health feels like running up the down escalator.

Momentum Lost

>Maybe it’s becasue I’ve been working a lot. Maybe because I’m fighting a chest cold. Or maybe there is something going wrong in the story. I don’t know. At least not yet. I’m still waiting for my subconscious to speak to me on that point.

But I wouldn’t call myself blocked. I don’t believe in writer’s block. I have had many times when I’ve hit a wall with my writing, but I’ve always viewed it as a temporary pause where insight is gained…never as a block.

Do you believe in writer’s block?

While I’m waiting for my psyche to speak or the momentum to rev up, I suppose I could work on my website…or future blogs…or…

>Momentum Lost

>Maybe it’s becasue I’ve been working a lot. Maybe because I’m fighting a chest cold. Or maybe there is something going wrong in the story. I don’t know. At least not yet. I’m still waiting for my subconscious to speak to me on that point.

But I wouldn’t call myself blocked. I don’t believe in writer’s block. I have had many times when I’ve hit a wall with my writing, but I’ve always viewed it as a temporary pause where insight is gained…never as a block.

Do you believe in writer’s block?

While I’m waiting for my psyche to speak or the momentum to rev up, I suppose I could work on my website…or future blogs…or…

Epiphany

>I’m minding my own business, soaking my sore muscles in a hot bath and–boom–Luke and Keira pop into my head.

Keira: “I’m tired of getting blown off rooftops.”

Luke, snaring me with accusing blue eyes: “And if I have to see her,” he tilts his head toward his heroine, “kiss another guy again, you’d better give me a fucking gun so I can blow his head off.”

I’m not the one having the problem with these rewrites. My characters are the ones digging in their heels.

Sorry, guys…I can’t get those chapters back. Thank your local thugs with nothing better to do, probably living off food stamps provided by my taxes. (Not yours, of course, because you’re both fictitious. Neither of you make real money…)

Fictitious?” Luke swoops a look at Keira. “Did she just call us fictitious?”

Oh. My. God. Now do you see why the rewrites are causing me hell?