My Chat with Adam…. yum yum

Hello and welcome!

Today my guest is the King of the underwater realm.

Adam from favimages.net
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He walks in, very imposing and regal … I am thinking I should bow or curtsy … or faint … sigh

Good morning your highness! Thank you for being here today.
Greetings to you!

He bows his head slightly and hands me a small white box…

pearl

GASP…
A pearl!!! How did you know they are my favourite?
I didn’t! I think every woman should have at least one.
I agree!!!

My heart is ready to climb out my throat is beating so erratically and I am sure my blush is showing too… fanning my face

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Lets sit here in these funky chairs …
before I fall and embarrass myself

Thank you! he looks amused but sits down

What is your full name?
Adam.  There is only one who bears that name where I come from. In the underwater kingdom I am king but we do not lean heavily on formality, ours is not a large population.  Everyone knows who I am and that I am there for them.

Do you have a nickname?
I am sure my mate will eventually give me one, but for now everyone just calls me Adam…
he smiles and winks

What is one word best describes you?
Powerful
I’ll say…

Describe what you are wearing now to our readers.
I am on dry land at the moment, so I am wearing a dark grey suit I had made for me in Italy.  The shirt is white with a hint of blue.  The cuffs of the shirt is held together with a set of 25 ct. blue diamond cufflinks. The loafers are black.  Underwear? clears throat and smiles  I like being comfortable and presentable.

Well then…. What do you wear in the  water?
In the water I wear enough to be discrete… he winks Love the feel of water against my skin.

Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?
Maybe even too close for comfort, I don’t often get carried away like I did in the story.  That is bad for a ruler.

What makes you laugh out loud?
Many things.  I have a good sense of humour, when I am not watching over a brat who can’t make up her mind what she wants.

What is your favourite dessert?
When I am on the surface I like cherry torte.  When I am at home I like Franape, which is a kind of custard made from ocean plants, served with a light wine sauce.

What is your greatest fear?
That my world will be discovered by those above the sea and is will cause a war between our cultures.  The Earth would suffer greatly.

What is your favourite colour?
I like bright colours.  The gardens of the ocean are filled with brilliant hues of blues and reds.  I think I like them the most.

What do you wear when you go to sleep?
Depends on the circumstances.
He grins!

What is the perfect romantic date?
I like to take my partner out for a meal, we would then swim for a while to settle things while we enjoy the peace and colours of my realm. After we would go back to my home for some relaxation and enjoy the pleasure of each other’s company.

How ticklish are you? Where are you ticklish?
Unfortunately I am a little sensitive in several spots… no, no checking things out… Let’s just say some things are best left for times of exploration.
he smiles that devilish smile of his

What’s your favourite smell? What does it remind you of?
I love the smell of sea flowers.  You wouldn’t know about that because your nose isn’t attuned to them like ours are.

When you look at a woman what catches your interest?
Every woman has a different sense of movement about her.  I love to watch a woman in motion, watch her glide and flow through the air.  It is even more attractive in the water.  Each move is like poetry, and none more so than those of a woman.

Do you have somebody in your life now?
Yes, finally.  Her name is Mystery.

What is one word best describes her?
Elusive

Can you tell us a bit about what the future holds for you?
This is a stand alone book.  There are a few who wanted to know more about what my underwater world is like but I am leery of taking others into the Capital Domain.  Those who came into my city would not want to return to their world and their metabolism would never adjust to the pressures exerted on them by the ocean.  In my world we live in peace and harmony and we are content to leave it that way.
I am one of those who wanted to know more 😀 but I do understand and respect your desire for secrecy

Thank you again for the chat! And for the beautiful pearl!
You are most welcome!
Standing up, he bows and kisses my hand. I sit there speechless, not many men do that anymore, I feel my face is flushed. I lean over and I watch him going out the door. He is so tall…. and that yummy tush! mmmm
You are one lucky woman, Mystery!

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Thank you for coming by and reading my chat with Adam. He is the main hunk 😀 in Theory in Depth by M. A. Abraham.

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Isn’t this cover gorgeous? Created by Cora Graphics. I had a chat with sweet Cora not long ago.

To read more about Adam and Mystery click on the links below:

GoodreadsSmashwordsAmazoniTunesB&N

To read the first chapter of Theory in Depth follow this link.

And a great review at The Reading Café

To keep up with news from Ms. Abraham or check out all her books, check the links below:

• websiteFacebook Author PageAmazon • Barnes & Noble • Goodreadsblog

3D Character and Question Mark

What is your favourite natural element? Air? Water? Earth? Wind? Fire?
Mine is FIRE !
no surprises there eh? 😉

One lucky commenter, chosen by Sexy Mr. Random, will win an ebook copy of Theory In Depth. The contest is open until 3 pm EST, Monday, June 1, 2015. GOOD LUCK!!!

Until next time read a book, listen to a book and don’t forget to show your love by leaving a review!

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My Chat with Paul Woodson

Hello and welcome!

Today my guest is one who gave life to many books I loved thru his narrations, so far all were in the Highlander Romance genre and his deep voice, full of passion and the Scottish brogue makes my heart melt.

Please welcome Paul Woodson!

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Do you have a nickname?
I do, but only between me and my wife! I also have a pseudonym in the narration world, but I won’t spill it here, although it’s easy enough to find with a little searching. And my alter ego is nearly overtaking the REAL me in the narration world!

What is one word best describes you?
Curious. In both senses. 😉

What makes you laugh out loud?
Something really unexpected. I’ve seen so much, hopefully I’m not jaded, but it takes a lot these days to surprise me.

What is your favourite smell? What does it remind you of?
A tin of dark coffee. It makes me think of a brisk morning, ready to tackle the day.

Favourite place to spend time in.
In my free time, I enjoy backpacking. I’ve section-hiked over 700 miles of the Appalachian Trail, and every year I try to put in another 100+ miles, usually in the warm months. I’ve done Northern Virginia all the way up to New Hampshire, with a couple gaps here and there.

Is there a genre that you refuse to read?
I’ve done just about all of them. And I’m not averse to sexual content whatsoever (though sometimes I’ll record it under a pseudonym). The only thing to which I really take exception is anything that a) is too stupid to merit an audiobook, and by that I mean non-intellectual, unenlightening, perhaps even insultingly bad; or b) promotes a violent or malicious agenda in real life.

Audiobooks! What started them?
It was a natural progression, especially as standard acting work had been slow for me and I needed to make some money. I’d been primarily a stage actor in musicals in my 20s and early 30s, doing some great projects both in and outside of New York, but I never cracked that Broadway nut. I toured with Robert Goulet, played opposite Debby Boone & Robert Cuccioli, but only got so far. Then as I needed to make more money, I gravitated more and more toward Union Film & TV work, which pays a decent rate if you can get the work.

But because I’ve never really meshed well with agents, (and I have had several over the years), I never got past doing Background and Stand-In work on most professional Film/TV projects. Some days were good; Standing in for Philip Seymour Hoffman for a couple months, making Jane Krakowski laugh on the set of 30 Rock– you remember those standout great moments. But usually, I’d be standing on set among other extras who had NO acting experience, thinking, “I have a BFA in theater. I’ve done Shakespeare, Opera, performed with Broadway stars. What in the hell am I doing here?”

So, since I’d always been an avid reader, fond of language, with a good command of character voices and dialects, I dipped my toe into audiobooks and immediately started booking paid jobs. I’d say it was sudden, except that really, I’d been training for it my whole life.

Is there a genre that you would not narrate?
That’s the same as Question #6, no? 😉
No! That question was about books you would not READ, but I guess we could joined them. Logically, if you would not read them, you would not narrate them either 😉

If you could choose another career what would it be?
Well, ideally I would be getting paid for both my face AND my voice, traveling to Europe, Asia, around North America and getting paid to sing musical theater. And maybe I will again. I love to travel, and so does my wife. But right now, it’s kind of nice to set my own hours, frequently work in my pajamas, and have direct access to clients.

I would also be happy working as a screenwriter in LA, of TV or films. I feel that was always the road not taken, which may have proven the better choice had I picked it.

Does your work convey a specific emotion or message?
I just try to convey the character and mood of the piece as the author envisioned it. That may be romantic, idealistic, fantastical, brooding, etc. My voice must serve the story. In a sense, I hope I can convey ALL emotions at different points in the narrative.

Who is your intended audience and why should they listen to your audiobooks?
I wouldn’t say I have a target audience; I hope my YA novels entertain and educate and get young folks into reading or listening to stories; I hope my Highland Romances deliver a nice ripping yarn with plenty of manly men and sassy lassies; and that my more “Adult” work (wink) can make the ladies a bit weak in the knees.

I’ve actually done a fair bit of erotica under a pseudonym, but although it’s sexual, the titles I’ve picked have always felt very classy – more sensual, always by female authors. I’m on my fifth for the same bestselling author in that genre and it’s great that we connect, that she finds me the ideal voice for her work. I’ve gotten great reviews like “The gentleman that reads it for you will make you melt!” and “Breathtaking! A sexy Scottish accent… Swoon…. “. It’s pretty gratifying knowing my voice may be alluring to some stranger thousands of miles away.

I’ve worked on darkening my timbre a bit since the beginning of my audiobook career, so I’m pretty sure it’s sexier now than when I started. And this comes in handy for the standard Romance novels as well, which get pretty steamy in their own right.

And I’ve gotten some great compliments that I do female characters equally as well as the male ones– I don’t get cartoony, but women and men have different tones to their voices, different words they stress, and different subtexts they play in speech. It’s not necessarily a higher pitch for women’s voices– in fact, in some scenes the woman may be speaking at a technically lower pitch than the man– but the tone quality and the intention create the characters. I truly enjoy playing those subtle differences between the sexes.

However, I also want to emphasize that everything I do vocally is in service of each particular story, so if the book is a light children’s adventure, the throaty, husky Scotsman’s brogue disappears for awhile.

What is next in your narrating work?
Well, a wide variety of things. Under the pseudonym, I have another erotica for my bestselling friend. I’ve just released 2 wonderful adventure stories under my own name. And I’m hoping to book some more Highland and Regency romances, to be honest. They have really become my staple this last year, and I have been told I do them quite well. They also have a humongous fan base, and I would love to reach as many listeners as possible that way, and perhaps entice them to listen to some of my other genres as well.

Also, I’ve just released a Nathaniel Hawthorne short story, THE BIRTHMARK, which was a bit of an in-between project for me, entirely for my own gratification, because it made an impression on me when I read it in school. I feel that too many readings of Hawthorne are a bit dry and crusty, but his language and characters are really very soaring and romantic, so I wanted to deliver that kind of Shakespearean lift to the language. I think I did quite well!

I’ve also just applied to some major publishers, as I’m hoping to do some larger-scale narration work. 2015 will be my first APAC, the big Narrator/Publisher conference in New York City, so I’m hoping to meet a lot of great people and figure out how to take my narration to the next level.

Thank you Paul for taking the time for a chat in my little space of the blogging world. Looking forward to listening to more of your narrations. Wishing you much success in the future. Next I will hunt down your alter ego 😉

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Hope you enjoyed today’s chat and you will give a chance to Paul Woodson’s audiobooks. I agree with the reviewers he mentioned… ” The gentleman that reads it for you will make you melt!” and “Breathtaking! A sexy Scottish accent… “.

The one I am listening to at the moment is CAPTURED BY THE PIRATE LAIRD by Amy Jarecki and love what I heard so far.

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Here is my review of one of my fave books by Ceci CiltenanHighland Courage: Duncurra, Book 2, narrated by Mr. Woodson :

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“another great listen”

Overall all 5 stars – Performance 5 stars – Story 5 stars

“This story so wonderfully written. I fell in love with Tadhg in the first book and Mairead is a wonderful choice to be his wife. Their story is a true love story, the way it should be. Despite many obstacles, they stayed true and believed in each other and the end was a welcome surprise, it left me smiling. I highly recommend to buy and read the books by Ceci Giltenan, she is a great storyteller. Congrats on your choice of narrators, Ms. Giltenan!
Listening to Tadhg come alive thru Paul Woodson’s voice made me fall in love with him even more. Thank you Mr. Woodson for another great audio experience. Looking forward to more.”

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Here are links to find out more and keep up to date with Mr. Woodson and his work:

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To start you on your listening journey, Mr. Woodson is giving away 5 copies of HIS NOT SO SENSIBLE MISS by Jane Charles (a Regency Romance with a bit of sexy stuff).

HisNotSoSensibleMiss-cover

Emily Frasier has lived as the ward of Duke Ellings since her father died when she was 15. She also knows that soon it will be time to leave his household and make her way on her own. When she discovers a cottage while visiting her aunt and uncle, she knows this is where she wants to live and become a teacher, as her father once was.

Dillon Chambers must find a wife this season in order to please his mother. If she didn’t have control over something more precious than his freedom and life, he would not have made the promise to marry a lady with high connections at the end of the season. When he comes across Emily at his cottage and learns she is the ward of a duke, he feels his luck has finally changed. He could please his mother and settle with a lady he would actually want to have as his wife.

When the truth becomes known in London that Emily is only a professor’s daughter, Dillon knows his parents will never approve. Will he risk everything to have her? Will Emily do the sensible thing or risk her reputation and heart so that Dillon doesn’t destroy all he holds dear?

Winners will be chosen by Sexy Mr. Random and posted after 3pm EST on Monday, May 25, 2015. GOOD LUCK!

Until next time read a book, listen to a book and don’t forget to show your love by leaving a review!

My Chat with Cora!

Hello and welcome!

Today I have a very talented artist who does some amazing digital designs. I first heard of her when M. A. Abraham told me that she hired a new cover artist for her books and I think this was a great decision!

Please welcome Cora from Cora Graphics!

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Cora! I love this cartoon portrait of you!

Do you have a nickname?
Cora is my middle name and nickname.

What is one word best describes you?
Curious.

What makes you laugh out loud?
Hubby’s ironic humor 😀

What is your favourite smell? What does it remind you of?
The smell of  laundry. Reminds me of childhood and afternoons spent in the laundry room with my mother and my grandmother.
This made me think of my own grandmother’s farm. The rugs were done at the river along with the neighbours and I loved the banter and teasing, the whole country side was echoing with laughter. Happy memories! I love hanging my laundry to dry in the sun, the smell is heavenly.

Favourite place to spend time in.
In the countryside, walking with my dogs.

Is there a genre that you refuse to read?
Horror.
I agree on that.

Designing book covers! What started it?
In 2011, while I worked as a web designer at a graphic design studio, I felt it wasn’t what I wanted to do. Book covers caught my attention and then I realized that is what I wanted to be… a cover artist! So I started to create images, I designed a small website, uploaded the images I created and waited. It paid off!

What do you like most about your work?
I like everything, but above all, the possibility to be creative.

I know what it takes, being a designer myself, but many readers do not know, I think it would be great if you could give a short description of what are the steps in creating a book cover.
I start with a contract. The author needs to know my work rules and I need the graphic details, essential for starting the project and quote.

Then comes the image search. After I find the images I think are suited based on the story’s outline provided by the author, I send them to the author which in turn chooses the best one and I create a first draft. The author and I work together on the changes.

Unlike many artist I offer “unlimited changes.” Sometimes it is counterproductive, but I am of the view that the customer must be completely satisfied with the result. If not born a relationship of trust is almost impossible to create a beautiful cover.
I so agree on this! Without trust and communication, the results are not quite satisfactory.

What was the most challenging cover to create?
There have been many difficult covers, but I love challenges.

Who is your favourite artist?
I love two artists: Jon Paul Ferrara and Gene Mollica.
I checked them out and they have awesome designs.

Do you remember one of the first things you drew/sculpted/painted/photographed? What makes it memorable?
I remember the drawing that I did the first day of school. I designed a Barbie, and since then I have not stopped. I won several school competitions with my Barbies.

Do you have any other interesting hobbies or maybe a fun story about an experience involving your artwork?
I love to read.

If you could choose another career what would it be?
I would love to work in the library.
I would love to work surrounded by books, a library or a bookstore!

Thank you Cora for the chat and wishing you much success in your future.

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Hope you enjoyed today’s chat and you will check out Cora’s designs, I think she is amazing.

CoraGraphics-logo
websiteRomance Novel CenterFacebookPinterest

Here are a few of “before & after” images to give you an idea of the process and work that goes in the covers that grace the books you purchase.

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And here are the covers she designed for M. A. Abraham‘s various stories, and because I know the stories inside out being the author’s ‘Alpha reader’, I can tell you that the covers represent the stories beautifully, especially that Cora doesn’t read the books beforehand.

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Question of the day

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Is the cover part of your decision to buy a book?

To me, the cover is a start, it is what grabs my attention. Being a graphic designer, my eye is trained to appraise it differently.

Cora is graciously offering 1 lucky commenter, who will be chosen by Sexy Mr. Random, an image created by her. In case the winner is an author, one “pre-made book cover” complete of texts and changes, the link will be provided. If the winner is a reader, a couple of choices will be provided to choose from Cora’s designs. Winner will be posted after 3pm EST on Tuesday, May 19, 2015. GOOD LUCK!

Take the time to really check out the cover of the book you are reading, the colours, the fonts used, what makes it a pleasing sight. Until next time!

Live the Hype Signing in Toronto

Live the Hype Signing. Deborah Cook will be at the event YAY

My Chat with Erik !

Hello and welcome!

Those who know me, know that my fave shifters are the dragons, I’ll take them in any shape and form. My little man is aware of this, he gave me all his dragon toys because he knows how much I love them.

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Today I have with me one who stole my heart and every time I think of him I sigh.

Please welcome The Leader of the Pyr!

SIGH I wish I could take a picture, but is not allowed, will leave it to your imagination…

What is your full name?
Erik Sorensson.

Do you have a nickname?
Nicknames are for children – although, come to think of it, my daughter doesn’t have one either. Hmm. Maybe they’re for human children.

What is one word best describes you?
One word? I’ll give you four: principled, stubborn, loyal and sometimes psychic.
I’ll say

Describe what you are wearing now to our readers.
I’m wearing jeans and Blundstone boots, both black, a black leather jacket and a t-shirt. The shirt is purple because my mate, Eileen, believes that it suits me to wear colours. I don’t agree particularly, but even a dragon shifter must make some concessions to ensure tranquility in the lair. Erik drums his fingers for a moment before continuing The fact is that it pleases Eileen when I wear colour shirt, and her reaction pleases me. I couldn’t care less about clothing, especially when we Pyr are fighting for our survival, but I do care that Eileen is happy. We have overcome a great deal to be together again, and this time, it will be for the duration.
Isn’t that just adorable?

Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?
I suppose so, but I wish Deborah Cooke hadn’t revealed so many of my thoughts. I prefer to keep my secrets, while she chose to share them with the entire world. At some point, perhaps when the Pyr war against the Slayers is over and won, Ms. Cooke and I will have a… discussion about her lack of discretion. he leans over and whispers It can’t happen before the end of the Dragon’s Tail Wars, because I need her to finish our story. If you know anything about dragon shifters, I’m sure you realize just how much it irks me to need a human, other than my mate, and that this confession will go no further.
Please don’t be mad at her, her readers and your fans, including me, want to know everything about you and we would never betray your secrets to the Slayers.

What makes you laugh out loud?
My daughter, Zoë. his face lights up and he smiles She’s my pride and joy, and will remain so, even if she isn’t the next Wyvern.

What is your favourite dessert?
I don’t eat sweets. Dessert is a state of mind, an indulgence in pleasure that doesn’t have to be served on a plate. his smile gets a little bit sultry and I am looking around for my ice water I savour the sweetness of life and love, without consuming many calories.

What is your favourite drink?
My tastes are simple. Water, coffee, single malt Scotch or a good bourbon. Neat. Always neat.

What is your greatest fear?
he frowns That the Pyr will lose this battle against the Slayers and our kind will be eliminated for all time. It is terrifying to even express this possibility aloud—a world without dragons!—but the battle will be finished by the time the moon changes its node in October 2015. My fear is less for myself than for our children: I’ve lived for centuries, but Zoë is only six. She hasn’t even come into her powers as a dragon shifter yet, and I want that for her. Actually, I want everything for her.

What is your favourite colour?
Black. he leans forward, green eyes glittering Here is a little-known detail for you: many of the Pyr discover, at puberty, when they develop their shifting abilities, that their dragon scales are the same colour they have favoured all their lives. My scales are ebony and pewter.
I wish I could see him in full shifted glory.

What do you wear when you go to sleep?
Please refer to my answer about dessert. that sultry smile is back I have had my second firestorm and secured the goodwill of my mate and the mother of my child. She is my heart and my blood, as well as the richest treasure in my hoard. I sleep little, but I still spend each night in bed with Eileen. Sometimes I just watch her sleep. the smile turns wicked Sometimes I wake her up.

What is the perfect romantic date?
My business involves the creation of large pyrotechnic displays timed to music. There is little more satisfying to me than watching one of those synchronized fireworks shows unfurl perfectly with Eileen by my side, then celebrating that success with her. We Pyr celebrate by indulging in earthly pleasures of every kind, and we do have remarkable stamina. Indeed you do!

How ticklish are you? Where are you ticklish?
Erik inhales sharply and glares at me This is the kind of secret I would never reveal by choice. The Pyr have few weaknesses, and any we possess are best kept hidden.
I understand.

What’s your favourite smell? What does it remind you of?
I like the smell of the ocean, and the feel of its spray on my face. It reminds me of sailing forth with the Vikings as the Drakkir, a role I first fulfilled with my father, Soren, the first leader of the Pyr. I miss his company and his advice more keenly when I taste the salt of the sea.

In Chicago, though, I’m more likely to smell Eileen’s perfume, which is an old-fashioned mix of roses and lavender. It has also been known to evoke a response in me, but the specifics of that will remain outside this discussion.
Those who read your book, know… I wink

Dessert?
Indeed.

When you look at a woman what catches your interest?
Eileen caught my attention with the spark of the firestorm—which is a remarkable sensation—and the fact that she had appeared to me in a dream in advance of our meeting. I recognized her as a woman I was destined to meet. That drew us together, but what convinced me that she truly could be my mate was her intelligence and spirit. She was being attacked by Slayers when we first me, cornered and in possession of a mysterious treasure, but she never stopped seeking a way out of the predicament. I admired that about her, and even though I’d intervened to save her, once I saw her true nature, I gave my all to ensure her survival.

Do you have somebody in your life now?
My mate, Eileen. We’ve been together since our firestorm in 2008. Lucky woman!

What is one word best describes her?
One word is not enough. She’s creative. Audacious. Clever. he smiles again My equal and my complement.

Is your book part of a series? What does the future hold for the readers of the series?
My book, Kiss of Fate, is the third book in Deborah Cooke‘s Dragonfire series of paranormal romances featuring the Pyr.

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The 11th and final book in the series, Firestorm Forever, will be published in May 2015. It’s the end of the Dragon’s Tail Wars and you’ll be able to guess who wins when I tell you that Deborah is writing another trilogy featuring the Pyr. So, the Dragonfire series will come to its resolution, but the Pyr will continue and so will Deborah’s stories about them.

Thank you so much Erik for joining me today. I am looking forward to reading “Firestorm Forever” and I am certain you will prevail! I can’t imagine a world without dragons!

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Thank you for joining me today and I hope you enjoyed this chat.

Kiss of Fate-cover

As Erik mentioned, his book is “Kiss of Fate”, book 3 in the Dragonfire series by one of my fave authors, Deborah Cooke.

One foretold love deserves a second chance…

Haunted by dreams of a lover who takes the form of a mythical dragon, Eileen Grosvenor searches for the truth. She never expects to find a real dragon shape shifter, let alone one who awakens her passion and ignites memories of her own forgotten past.

Erik Sorensson is focused on leading the Pyr to triumph over the Slayers, even if it costs him his life. When an ancient relic that can turn the tide of the battle reveals itself, Erik knows he has to retrieve it from Eileen’s possession. But when he tries to do so, he’s shocked by an incredible firestorm that compels him to confront the truth about Eileen’s identity. Her presence reminds him of mistakes he’s determined not to repeat, and Erik is forced to make a choice: duty or love.

Only by unlocking the secrets of the past can Erik and Eileen fulfill the final prophecy of the Pyr. Can they face their deepest fears and claim their destined love in time to defeat the Slayers?

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Read an excerpt by following this link, where you will find all the ‘buy’ links also.

The Dragon Diaries

There is also The Dragon Diaries series, a paranormal YA trilogy, following the adventures of Zoë’s coming of age as the new Wyvern of the Pyr. It’s a spin-off series from Dragonfire. I have not read them yet, but they are on my list!

I had the privilege to meet Ms. Cooke in person at RTC in Ottawa last month, one of the highlights for me, she is a classy lady and fun to be around.

To keep in touch with Ms. Deborah Cooke and check out all her yummy books, follow the links below and if you chat with her, tell her I said hi 😀

websiteFacebookTwitterGoodreadsAmazonB&NKoboiBooks

She also writes medieval romance as Claire Delacroix, check them out:

websiteFacebook • GoodreadsAmazonB&NKoboiBooksAudible

questions-webinar

QUESTION
What do you collect? Beside books, that is 😉
As you saw, I have dragons, I also collect angels and teddy bears … and I LOOOOVE scarfs 😀

One lucky commenter, chosen by Sexy Mr. Random, will win Erik’s book, KISS OF FATE, a signed paperback courtesy of Ms. Cooke. Comments will stay open until 3pm, EST, Monday, May 11, 2015. GOOD LUCK!

Until next time read a book, listen to a book and don’t forget to show your love by leaving a review!

My Chat with Braden Wright!

Hello and welcome!

Today I have the owner of an incredible voice I discovered recently and I believe you will agree with me once you hear him.

Please welcome Braden Wright!

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Do you have a nickname?
Not even when I was a kid.  I’ve always been called by my full name.

What is one word best describes you?
Tenacious.

What makes you laugh out loud?
Chipmunks.

What is your favourite smell? What does it remind you of?
Orange blossoms.

orange__blossoms

On a family road trip to Florida when I was eleven, we drove through acres and acres of orchards.  It was sunny and warm — after escaping the colder north this was an amazing thing to step suddenly into a new season — and the car was filled with that sweet high-note scent.  Transformative and heavenly.

Favourite place to spend time in.
At our family cabin on the lake; the best place to unplug, feel the rhythm of nature, write and read and just “be.”  We’ve had it for over forty years. I grew up climbing on the granite and quartz upon which it sits as well as swimming and water skiing, when I was younger.  To me, that’s sanctuary… it’s part of me.  The place answers my soul.

Is there a genre that you refuse to read?
As actors we’re trained to lift the text to life and one has to set aside judgment about characters and actions; easier said than done at times.  Still, if I felt something could do harm to others I wouldn’t want to add my voice or energy to amplifying that message.

Audiobooks! What started them?
Ha!  It seemed a part of my destiny… and it’s my wife having the best laugh about it.  She loved audiobooks and over the years (decades) we’ve amassed an impressive library; some cassettes being worn out from her multiple listens. 

I’d been very practical, listening to lectures by Joseph Campbell or instructional tapes while driving or doing stained glass work, but I hadn’t thought of doing the performance of them even though I did other voice-over work (TV narration, commercials, animation).  I was daunted by the differentiation of voices and length of the recordings for audiobooks but finally decided to study the specifics in 2001.  I took classes from the late Frank Muller, from Laurel van der Lynde and a workshop by Pat Fraley.  I was cutting a demo, including a piece from F. Scott Fitzgerald, when my agent asked me why the heck I was spinning my wheels.  I abandoned it only to be asked five years later by the same agent if I had an audiobook demo at a time when I couldn’t pursue it.  Argh!

Jump forward to an Audible.com contest three years ago for members of my actor’s union, asking potential narrators to try their hand at “Tender Is The Night,” the very piece I had worked on more than ten years earlier for my demo.  I picked up where I’d left off and from over two thousand entries I was one of 20 chosen for a special workshop. I’ve been doing it ever since.  So, happily, I view at it as Fate!

Is there a genre that you would not narrate?
Tough to say definitively.  I respect that people have choice in what they listen to, even if it’s not what I’d personally choose.  For instance, I have some Mark Twain titles on my iPhone because I think he’s brilliant but my voice and style is perceived to enhance other types of writing, so that’s where I work. 

Narrators have the option to use a pseudonym and in this day of digital searches your name is your brand, thus it behooves anyone and everyone to represent themselves with a relatively cohesive impression.  I’m proud of my work because I’ve always given it my best, and part of that pride is because I’ve worked in varied genres. 

I’ve stayed busy narrating Romance titles (several with the wonderful Tanya Anne Crosby) and Action/Thriller books (most notably Russell Blake‘s JET series), as well as a Young Adult novel, “The Great Awakening.”  I think more about the genres I’d like to explore, including Bios and Inspirational/Motivational works.

If you could choose another career what would it be?
Weather man.  I find that fascinating and it looks fun. 

People are often surprised and intrigued by the variety of jobs I’ve done in my life, professional skater, photo editor at the Walt Disney Studios, movie publicist, actor, tour guide, mascot creator, to name some… so I’ve been faced with where to focus my attention and where to pursue training and practice.

Being an actor and writer working in the arts, one has to have diverse projects going always in order to pull together a living wage; that’s just where our society is at. Sidenote: Please don’t ever support pirated work because it’s tough enough as it is to survive in order to narrate more work.  I’m happiest doing what I do as a Voiceover and on-camera actor and as a writer, and I look forward to narrating audiobooks for as long as my voice and teeth hold out.

Does your work convey a specific emotion or message?
One of the best tips I ever heard about narrating is, “It’s always an adventure,” no matter what the genre.  Perfect to remember when stepping into the booth day after day.  That said, I believe the author’s text drives everything, or at least indicates the drive from which a narrator may take a cue. 

Some chapters are written from the POV of a character’s inner thoughts, so I try to adopt the tone of the inner discourse even if the character’s outer voice isn’t being used in quotation marks.  I’ve found there is a fine line between dramatizing that emotion and staying out of the way of the experience so the listener can perceive what’s happening for herself/himself.  But I definitely try to put myself into the emotional struggle of every character in every moment to convey their truth and what they’re striving to achieve.  That’s what life is, right?

Who is your intended audience and why should they listen to your audiobooks?
I’m thrilled that audio performance is being discovered by more and more people — there are so many ways and times to enjoy audiobooks.  I believe that surge in popularity also helps to up the standards for how they’re done.  Feedback and comments from the listener community are frequently effective in helping to subtly confirm and define those styles and standards. 

Like writing, narrating can be pretty singular work (sitting for hours and hours in an audio booth working it out), so it’s gratifying to hear when a performance is appreciated. 

I was surprised to learn how many men (and truck drivers in particular) listen to romance titles.  From that, I have to say I have no idea who the audience is for any book.  Young adult titles need to be accessible to that age group but a lot of adults enjoy them too so I think it’s a mistake to try too hard to pitch a performance to one audience; just be respectful to the text.

And ‘Why my books?’  I take great care and pride in my work.  I research pronunciations of words, of place names and languages very carefully.  Sometimes obsessively, checking them during the edit and then redoing the sentence to get that one word.  I’m not perfect and I don’t strive to be, but I do strive for excellence and to deliver to the fullest extent of my abilities.  Just one example: for Tanya Anne Crosby’s “Sagebrush Bride,” I spent hours (days) learning 30 words in Cheyenne, a language that only 3000 people on the planet still comprehend.  And I called a hotel in Colorado to find out how to pronounce the name of their town because there was no online resource to tell me.  That’s the kind of thing I do.  I care!

It really shows when the person telling the story puts everything in it and those are my fave to listen to. I want to hear passion, feelings, to not have to think who is actually talking because the voice is modulated to provide me with that info.

I always want to know that I’ve done justice to a culture because I feel it adds authenticity and impact to the listen and it’s how I’d want my world to be represented.  Some people like the sound of one voice and not another – a tough lesson to learn when a few people off-handedly dismiss you – but seeing that even the “greats” have dissenters helps put it into perspective.

In the end, it’s about the relationship of trust between the narrator and the listener.  It’s a very intimate medium and it’s all about trust.  I know I’ve done well when I listen to the edited work and I stop being conscious that it’s my own voice.  The story grabs me and I’m transported into that world the author has created even though I’ve read it and know the outcome. 

In performance, I invest in shaping the way I narrate a sentence to honor the author’s intent, and I differentiate the characters’ voices to make it easier for the listener to live in the world and stay there without having to work so hard to discern what is happening.

I’ve always loved the crafting of language and I’ve read books at a speed that’s close to verbal storytelling so how I speak is truly the way I hear it in my head.  It becomes a process of intently tuning in and sharing that with others.  Since it’s not about me, when I “disappear” then I’ve succeeded.  I’m thrilled when others sense that trust and it allows them to enjoy the journey.

What is next in your narrating work?
I’m finishing the prequel to Russell Blake‘s JET series with “JET:  Ops Files” (my 8th book with him and Jet) as well as the narration for one of my own children’s short stories titled “The Secret of Why Bumblebees Buzz.”  Plus, I’m excited to have just teamed with another romance author to narrate her Norse-themed historical romance that you can look for by early June 2015 through Audible.

Thanks for listening, and Cheers!

Thank you for coming to my little corner of the blogging world and taking the time from your busy schedule. I am looking forward to listen to more of your audiobooks, especially if you sing in them 😉

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hope you enjoyed today’s chat and you will give a chance to Braden Wright’s audiobooks. I reallyreallyreally like his voice.

Braden-audioCovers

Here is my review of one of the audiobooks narrated by Mr. Wright, The MacKinnon’s Bride, book 1 in the Highland Brides series by Tanya Anne Crosby :

“Excellent”

Overall 5 stars – Performance 5 stars – Story 5 stars
“I loved this book when I read it a few years ago, but listening to it read by Braden Wright blew me away. Just the right amount of raspy with a healthy does of warmth, Mr. Wright’s voice is the perfect choice for this story, it made me feel warm and tingly… and the singing he does… *sigh* I played those parts back a few times. The voices of the characters were well differentiated, I especially loved Iain’s voice, also old Angus’ voice. The emotions came thru clearly which for me is important. I find nothing worse when I hear the word but not the emotion behind it. This story of Iain and Page is a a good mix of romance, mystery, betrayal, redemption, revenge and a dash of hilarity ending with a HEA. Thank you for a great listening experience.”

To find out more and keep up to date or check out the audiobooks:

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Ladys Man cover image

To start you on your listening journey, Mr. Wright is giving away 2 copies of “Lady’s Man” written by Tanya Anne Crosby.

New York Times best-selling author Tanya Anne Crosby makes her contemporary fiction debut with a novella about life and love in the Lowcountry.

Hoping that saying goodbye will be easier if she can connect with her gram’s beloved childhood home, Annie Franklin chose July 4th weekend to bring her Gram’s ashes to Folly Beach, South Carolina. Thanks to one very intuitive dog and a handsome stranger, Annie discovers that ‘letting go’ has as much to do with embracing the present as it does with shedding the past.

My review here.

2 lucky commenters will be chosen by Sexy Mr. Random after 3pm EST on Thursday, May 7, 2015. GOOD LUCK!

Until next time read a book, listen to a book and don’t forget to show your love by leaving a review!

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