Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Teaser Tuesday - The Space Between

I've been talking about The Space Between for months, and now I can finally tell you what it's about. Yippee! Here's the official description, and since you've been so patient, there's an excerpt below.

The Space Between
(Book One in The Book of Phoenix Series)

Release Date: April 5, 2013
Cover Reveal: March 5, 2013
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance

When Life Falls to Pieces, Answers Lie in the Space Between

After a month-long dance tour through Italy, 20-year-old Leni Drago returns to Georgia to care for her great-uncle, only to find him gone, the home they shared empty and any evidence he ever existed wiped out. All that’s left is a journal she can’t open.

Jeric Winters has been searching for a piece of his past for over a year, only to reach a dead-end in Georgia. When an urgent and magnetic pull draws him out of his hotel room, he comes face-to-face with the beautiful dancer who’s been haunting his dreams day and night.

Jeric’s one to stay away from—a bad-boy, hit-it-and-quit-it type—but Leni can’t escape the fervent feelings between them. As their own existences begin to crumble around them and shadowy forms that are more monsters than men attack, they realize there’s more to the connection between them than physical fascination.

To solve the riddle their lives have become, they must embark on a journey that requires them to face their pasts and release their true souls. And they must do it fast—dark ones from another world are closing in, intent on killing them. Permanently.


My heart grew heavier than the humongous suitcase I lugged behind me as I boarded the train and took a seat by the window. I should have known better than to expect anyone to see me off, even Alberto who was probably still snoring away his multiple martinis. Although I hadn’t made any real friends besides him, I’d still miss all the people I’d met while here. I’d also miss the beautiful countryside and the quaint little villages with their cobblestone streets and old stone buildings. I leaned my head against the window and pressed my palm to the pane. The train car jolted as the engine began its pull. 

Goodbye, Italy. I’ll be back.

We were barely moving when I saw Alberto rush out to the platform. His eyes scanned the train, and I swore they stopped at my window. I wiggled my fingers in a wave. His brow furrowed and he cocked his head, looking befuddled, just as he had last night when I’d mentioned Uncle Theo. Was he still drunk? But he’d come out here to see me off, right? Perhaps he didn’t actually see me through the window. That had to be it. Then Bruno and the rest of the company gathered around him, and I realized their train would be coming soon. Maybe he hadn’t come to say goodbye, after all. I waved anyway. Nobody waved back.

But a blond-headed man rushed to one of the cars of my train. Was it him? The guy from last night? I pressed my head harder against the window, as if trying to push through it to see if he made it aboard, but I couldn’t see that far down. The train picked up speed, and I sat back in my seat with a snort. I was probably just imagining things.

I pulled my phone out of my skirt pocket, hoping to find a reply from Uncle Theo to distract me. Still nothing. My brow furrowed as worry again niggled its way into my mind. This wasn’t like Uncle Theo. He’d at least take the time to wish me safe travels, knowing I was on my way home. International phone calls were expensive, so I’d been avoiding calling Mira unless it was an emergency. This was close enough.

I dialed her number but her voicemail picked up. I didn’t know if she ever listened to it—she was sixty-seven, quite a bit younger than Uncle Theo, but still not a big fan of technology. So I called Uncle Theo’s house phone, thinking she was probably there anyway. Dread began to weigh my heart down as the phone rang and rang. What if he’d been hurt? He wasn’t as steady on his feet as he used to be. Oh, God, what if he’s de— No, I wouldn’t finish that thought. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Meet Erin Mallon - The Voice of the Soul Savers

While reading is addictive, sometimes we have to put the book down and do other things like clean, fold clothes, iron (do people still do that???) and drive places. And sometimes our eyes and heads just can't look at the print a moment longer. But that doesn't mean we can't enjoy a great story at the same time. Yay for audiobooks! I personally listen to them while giving myself mani/pedis.

Promise came out on audiobook last fall and now Purpose will be available any day. Any day! Woohoo! The production has been approved and we're just waiting on the retailers to put up the buy pages. (Also, Devotion is currently being recorded and Power is in the queue.) The Soul Savers audiobooks are available on Audible, through Amazon (there are samples on both of those) and on iTunes.

Anyway...what better time than this to introduce you to the fantabulous Erin Mallon, the voice of the Soul Savers, right? Erin was kind enough to let me interview her and I have to say, I love her even more. I'm so glad to have her on the Soul Savers team. You seriously have to listen to her do all the characters' voices. She's amazing.

So let's get to it. Peeps, meet Erin Mallon!

Erin Mallon
KC: How did you get started in narrating audiobooks?

EM: I often hear actors talking about how they “fell into” audiobooks.  That wasn’t the case with me.  It was something I 100% sought out.  I’d been doing a solid amount of theater and voiceover work in NYC and I had this strong feeling I’d have a knack for audiobook narration (which is in many ways a blending of both skills).  It took several years of recording and sending out demos, learning about the industry, and above all… listening to and learning from narrators who are at the top of their game before I really found my foothold.  I’m so glad I kept at it, since I’ve totally fallen in love with the whole process.

KC: If you weren’t a professional narrator, what would you be doing? What are some other jobs you’ve held?

EM: I’ve known since I was fifteen that I wanted to be an actor. While now I happily spend most of my mornings in the recording booth and most nights rehearsing and performing plays, I had to do a lot of waiting tables and teaching yoga classes before things started to shift. I remember a wonderful old theater director sitting me down several years ago and saying “You must find a way to make $100,000 a year in your chosen profession, you hear me?” I stared back at him wide-eyed and silent. Most people I knew in the theater talked about how “hard” things were. Not this guy. He seemed to imply I could make a go of it. I opened my mouth to respond and he interrupted. “Nope. Don’t wanna hear it. Just figure it out.”

Since then I’ve been hard at work “figuring it out” and I’ve discovered that despite the many challenges of the actor’s life, there really are many ways to make a living doing this thing so many of us love.  It may take a hefty amount of digging and persevering, but you can get there, and the reward of living life on your own terms is pretty huge.

KC: How do you prepare for a new project? Do you read the book first or fly by the seat of your pants?

EM: I would never dream of stepping into the booth without reading the book. Twice. Wonderful writers like you spend months, often years creating these amazing worlds, so the way I see it, if I hope to be the listeners’ tour guide of sorts, I'd better be well-acquainted with the terrain.  During my first read I try to approach the book as any other reader would and just enjoy the unfolding of the story (“try” is the operative word here. I can’t really resist getting excited and taking notes as ideas come to me). During the second read I take a lot of character notes and make decisions on “voices.” The more prepared I am ahead of time, the more playful and present I can be while in the booth, which is always my goal in acting no matter what the medium.

KC: I’ve been getting lots of compliments of how you do the different characters’ voices in Promise. How do you choose what voice to use for each character? Is it hard to remember the voice if a lot of pages come between occurrences?

EM: I’m so happy to hear that!  The most important thing I utilize is the abundance of clues great writers like you pepper throughout the book. “Promise” is full of rich voice descriptions! Take Vanessa for example. You describe her voice as “a flutter of wind chimes.” That certainly gives you a ballpark of where to go with her!  Alexis calls Tristan’s voice “deep”,“silky”, “sexy.” My female vocal chords do the best they can with that one! Rina’s voice is described as “smooth and luxurious like velvet.” I keep track of all these clues as I read, and the decisions sort of make themselves!

In some cases, while their voices may not be explicitly described, the way characters behave and speak can be so darn juicy that again, the decisions get made for me. Take Owen. A guy who seems to “belong in California hanging out with the surfers” and says things like “good morning little dudette” can probably carry a casual, fun-loving air to his voice. While exploring Sophia, I discovered a warmth and a groundedness in everything she says and does, hence, I felt that quality should come across in her voice as well.

This is all the kind of work I do beforehand, so that while I’m recording I’m not thinking “Wait - how does he sound again?” but rather, I can speak freely from the character’s point of view and the “voices” naturally flow out.  That’s when things get really fun!If you are diligent about doing your homework, it’s rare you would have trouble remembering a voice, no matter how many pages go by between occurrences.

KC: Is there one character that you've related to more than others? Who and why?

EM: Alexis for sure!  Part of the joy of working in audiobooks – in addition to getting to explore a whole cast of characters in one project- is discovering the narrator’s voice.  This is especially fun for me when books are written in first person (as Promise is) since I essentially get to play the main character twice. Narrating Promise, I was never separated from “Alexis the storyteller” as she is the one weaving the whole tale, and then there was also “Alexis the character” as she operates in the scenes and dialogue (audiobooks are trippy). :) So I ended up feeling really connected to her.

I think Alexis’ experience was particularly potent for me since so many secrets are first kept from her, and then slowly revealed to her throughout the story.  This puts her in constant discovery mode, which is an exciting thing for an actor to play. Oh, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the kick I got out of Ian. I mean, what’s more fun than playing an ogre-like demon with an Irish accent?

KC: Without spoiling anything, what was your favorite part of narrating Promise?

EM: Well, I realized how much I adored your writing during my initial read when I took in the description of Alexis and Tristan’s first kiss on the beach (that doesn’t spoil anything right? Surely people assume they’ll kiss?). That scene is just so beautiful. Time seemed to slow down for me and the writing put me right in that space of being a heart-fluttery teenager again.  Completely gorgeous.

I also remember loving narrating the bathroom scene after the crash at the bookstore. Alexis goes through so many conflicting emotions there - pain, humiliation, panic, fear, shock – it was really fun to take that ride with her.

KC: Have you ever met any of the authors you've worked with?

EM: Yes! I recently went out to lunch with the author of a 4-book romance series I narrated about a family of cowboys. We instantly felt like old friends even though it was the first time we laid eyes on each other. It’s wild how close you feel to someone after spending hours upon hours with their writing, speaking their words aloud as if they were your own.

Actually, I’m in the process of narrating Purpose right now (SO much fun!!!) and – hopefully this doesn’t freak you out-- after a particularly intense or emotional scene I have found myself saying things like “Oh Kristie….” out loud, as if you were there in the booth with me, which in a way, I suppose you are. I’d be psyched if you and I got to meet in person someday too!  Come to NYC, why don’t ya.

KC: In your free time, do you prefer reading, listening to audiobooks or doing something completely different? If books, what’s on your To Be Read and To Listen To lists?

EM: I actually do read a ton (I do my fair share of writing too!), though with all the plays, romance novels and YA fantasy books I read for work, I suppose my imagination is well cared for, because when it comes to straight up pleasure reading I seem to crave non-fiction.  I just finished Danielle LaPorte’s “The Fire Starter Sessions” which really knocked me out (think a bad-ass “The Artist’s Way”) and I’m about to dive into “A Course in Miracles” which has long been on my list.  A few Joseph Campbell books are also making eyes at me from my nightstand.

KC: Can you share what up-coming projects you’ve been working on or will be soon?

EM: Yes! I’m thrilled to be in workshops for a one-person play by the amazing Mac Wellman (I swear I don’t always act by myself!) called “Horrocks (and Toutatis too)” and I’m also in rehearsals for a dark and funny new play by Eric John Meyer called “The Sister” performing with Dutch Kills Theater in NYC  March 20th through April 13th. In audiobook-land, “Purpose” and “Devotion” are underway (woohoo!), as is your friend Brenda Pandos’ wonderful book “The Onyx Talisman.” The amount of fun I am having is probably illegal.

KC: Don't we have the best jobs? :) Anything else you’d like to share?

EM: Just that it was such a treat to work on a book I literally couldn’t put down. When I have material this good in my hands, work feels very much like play, so thank you - for your boundless creativity and for inviting me to be a part of it. It’s clear to me why you have so many enthusiastic, faithful readers. You can consider me a forever fan now too.


Lovelies, if you have a question for Erin, feel free to ask in the comments. And if you haven't listened to her narrate Promise, go do it! (BTW, if you already have Promise for the Kindle, the audiobook is super-cheap - only $1.99!)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Coming to the UK!

It's official! I'm going to the UK for the London International Book Fair and a signing tour. Eek! I cannot wait!

I have a fabulous street team on the ground in the UK taking care of business. We're still working on venues and exact times, but here's the schedule. If you're in the UK, I hope you'll come see me! I want to meet each and every one of you. *grins*

Stay tuned here for more information, or follow my Facebook page and/or any of the Event pages we've set up (links below).

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Go Home, 2013 - You're Drunk!

Somehow, the calendar shows that it's already February. February! But, wasn't New Year's just last week? I wish, for everyone I know, that we could start the year over. Because, so far, 2013 sucks. Big time.

I personally spent most of January in my writing cave, working on The Space Between and starting Soul Savers Book 5, and haven't really left this month either. Days pass while I huddle in my cocoon, living in different worlds. But I'm not totally out of it, because I just can't keep myself away from the sparklies and pretties on Facebook and Twitter. Well, usually they're fun and exciting. Lately, they've been more like a massive group hug.

Since January 1st, I think I've written a "sorry for your loss" comment almost every single day. Seriously. And just as many "sending prayers" and "get well soon" and "glad you and yours made it through safely." I've given hundreds, if not thousands, of virtual {{{hugs}}}. Last week, I myself lost an old friend to breast cancer at the young age of 42. My high school family has been grieving together, wherever we are in the world.

Everybody and their kids, husbands and pets are sick. Bad weather is slamming them, knocking out power, which means heat. There are car accidents, slips and falls, open-heart surgeries for newborns and chronic ailments all over the place.

But although all of this sounds so dark and discouraging and heart-breaking and just makes you want to hide in a hole and not come out until 2014, there is a bright spot. While we're all going through a rough time, we're also all there for each other, holding each other up, cheering each other on. So many people empathizing with others, sending their thoughts and prayers and healing vibes, sharing a note of support and encouragement even when we're all going through something of our own.

Cyber love may be "virtual," but it's very real.

My online friends, readers and fans, whether I've met you in person or not, are part of my amazing family. When one of us falls, we gather together and lift them up, even when we're all falling. So whatever you're going through right now, know that I'm sending you {{{hugs}}} and positive vibes.

I'm trying not to be superstitious about the number of the year bringing us all bad luck that's going to last another 11 months. I'm going to stay positive and say, "Go home, 2013. You're drunk." And I will trust that it will either sober up or at least become a fun drunk. After all, there are so many exciting plans for this year that it can only get better from here.

So let's keep coming together, cheering each other on, and we can all shout, "Eff you, 2013! We got this!"