I was excited this morning to find the narrator of my Roll of the Dice audiobooks, Amy Rubinate, interviewed at the fabulous romance audio site, Audiogals.
Head over there to find out more about Amy and her intriguing new audiobook production company. There are giveaways for free audios, too!
You can hear samples of Amy's narration of Rocket Man and Ready to Roll on those titles' pages here. And buy them at Audible.
PS - Retreat to Love will be available in audio someday, too! I haven't started that process yet.
You, dedicated readers of melaniegreene.com, will have noticed my new Signings page. That's because I'm booking author events now!
I'm diving into the deep end by attending the Houston Authors Bash this Saturday 2/28 - yikes! That's tomorrow! There will be over a hundred area authors and hundreds of awesome readers, and I can't wait.
Because I'm getting organized in what can politely be called "a bit of a rush" I'm not going to have time to get nervous. Or that's the theory anyway. I'm excited to mingle with other authors from my city, especially the ones I already know from West Houston RWA (I'm shy at heart, so it's always a comfort to know there will be familiar faces in the large crowd!) (Also, they're great writers and fun to visit with!)
See you soon!
Somedays, chair dancing isn't dance-y enough.
Today's the day ROCKET MAN is available in audiobook format! I am a huge audiobook fan, especially romance in audio, and getting my work into audio was a major goal in my writerly career.
Here's how audio works for indie authors (well, one way it works - there are so many paths, but this is a popular one.) Audible is, as you know if you've ever listened to pretty much any podcast, the internet's largest provider of audiobooks, and they have an arm called ACX for audiobook production. Authors put their books up on ACX and narrators can look through and pick projects and submit auditions. Authors can also ask narrators to submit auditions. So, that's what I did - I received many different great auditions, as well as some that just didn't suit me, but wasn't quite finding what I wanted. Likely because I have my favorites, and had always envisioned (enlistened?) one of them reading my books.
Fortunately, my problem has a solution: I sought out Amy Rubinate, asked her if she'd be interested, she was, I hired her, and now y'all can spend 12 1/2 hours listening to her reading you my novel. Is that exciting or what?
I'm confident you'll agree, when you hear her reading of ROCKET MAN, that this production is worthy of a full-on dance party celebration. If you need me, I'll be the one flailing around in the middle of the living room! (h/t CleverManka for the gif!)
I have such delightful friends!
There's a group of us who went to middle & high school together & they've been listening to me talk about writing for... let's guess no more than 3 decades? So I'm sure in their eyes the publication of ROCKET MAN has been a really long time coming!
Anyway, we try to get together monthly, and today was brunch. One friend has created a tradition for us of passing around this superb Milestone Trophy. It reads:
And today, in recognition of the milestone of my debut publication, it was awarded to me!
Obviously, I've got it sitting proudly on top of the roll top desk in my study, where it shines on me as I sit to write.
It's particularly apt, as I'm currently finishing up READY TO ROLL, which is the novella featuring Janice and Miguel from ROCKET MAN. Why is a dance trophy particularly apt for that novella, you ask? Well, you'll just have to wait slightly less than a month, then you'll find out.
(Is it unfriendly of me to hope none of my friends have milestones soon, so I get to keep it a while?) (Is it really really unfriendly of me to hope that, considering one of them is planning her wedding?) (...it's okay. I know the answer.)
As I'm sure you can imagine, one of the delightful parts of creating a character like Serena who is obsessed with getting a home of her own that she can decorate just the way she likes, is getting lost online looking at decorating photos and imagining exactly what Serena's dream home will look like. I get to do all the planning and none of the painting! Win-win!
While the photos I pinned for Serena's house aren't exactly what she created as her haven, they definitely hit the mark. And for a little contrast, I included Dillon's only home decor items of note. :) Well, I guess I could add a pic of a bookcase overflowing with second-hand sci-fi novels, but I think his posters convey the gist of his decorating priorities.
He totally loves those posters.
Hmm, I wonder what Serena would do with them in her perfectly decorated home? In the bedroom because at least they match the color scheme? Or would she reframe them in antique gilt frames and hang them in the dining room? Perhaps persuade him they'd look great in his office?
(True confessions time: that 'these would be great at your work' ploy worked for me / my beloved's prized prints!)
This is one of the first scenes I wrote from Dillon's point of view, back when ROCKET MAN was named ... well, it went through a few titles, I'll be honest. Whatever it was called, I've always loved this scene. It's a little too far in the book for the retailer previews, so I thought I'd share it with you here. Enjoy!
Aggrieved, Dillon kicked his townhouse’s front door closed and scooped up the calico kitten making a beeline for the exit. “No, you don’t,” he warned it, before slinging it over his shoulder and heading into the kitchen for a cold beer. “I’m having more than enough trouble with females today; I don’t need you adding to the mix.” Setting Maisy down on the sofa and taking a long pull, he finally sighed. “Okay, okay, so it’s not your fault. And I can hardly blame Anica, she’s right about the tear sheets.” Maisy reached a paw up to bat at his fingers, unfazed by his suddenly morose tone. “But what the hell is going on with Serena?”
It just didn’t make sense. Serena was one of the most straightforward people he knew. Even before he’d started at Lanigan, she’d shown herself to be honest about everything — from work issues to the interpersonal. But lately he couldn’t get a read on her at all. She was her usual vibrant self half the time, backing away from him the other half. It just didn’t add up.
“Is it me?” he asked the kitten, who blinked and looked away. “I just … I kinda thought things were ….” He took another pull on the beer, then had to laugh. He couldn’t even articulate his feelings to his sister’s cat. No wonder Serena was acting strangely. He was probably feeding her all kinds of assbackwards signals himself, and she didn’t know how to react.
How did he feel, though? He shed his jacket, which Maisy promptly started kneading and purring upon, and headed back to the kitchen to throw together some sort of dinner. “Pasta night,” he called to the kitten, which ignored him. “Did I talk to myself before you showed up?” he asked it. “I can’t seem to keep my mouth shut at home anymore. But as long as you’re listening, check it out, ‘kay? Here I’ve known Serena for weeks. And don’t get me wrong, I noticed her right off, you know? Second I walked into the interview, as a matter of fact. But I always thought you’ve got to keep that stuff out of the office.” He bit into a carrot and glanced back at Maisy, who was now asleep. “Fine. Ignore me.”
He had kept it out of the office, and over time had stopped — okay, practically stopped — looking for Serena as soon as he got to work. Stopped cataloguing the many enticing ways she wore her hair, stopped half-memorizing her schedule, stopped asking her out. Almost stopped, anyway. And they worked closely together; he couldn’t go more than a few hours without having to at least shoot an email to Serena, if not engage in some more substantial contact.
Substantial contact. Face it, that was what he wanted.
He liked working with Serena, and valued their friendship, but he just wasn’t satisfied with it. He wanted to be able to touch her. He needed to be able to touch her. To draw his fingers through the length of her hair then trail them down the slope of her breasts. To smooth his palm down her spine then spread it over her ass. To draw her body close to his as he tasted the creamy skin of her throat. To press his thigh between her yielding legs. His cock. To have her touch his throbbing cock. To have her grasp the base of his cock while his mouth closed over the tight peak of her nipple. To ….
“Ow, fuck!” he cried as the fucking pasta boiled over. Maisy jumped up onto the table and mewled at him. “Not funny, cat. Just. Not. Funny.” Trying to adjust himself back into some sort of composure, he drained the penne, stirred in a Bolognese he’d nuked, and scooped some into Maisy’s bowl before throwing himself against the back of the sofa. Cuing up an old-school Star Trek episode off his DVR, he deliberately banished every thought of Serena, and her breasts, from his mind.
I've been talking incessantly about my debut, ROCKET MAN (in stores now!), so I've been looking for new ways to convey what the reading experience will be.
Today I'll let you experience it via word frequency. My writing program (Scrivener, which is pretty darn cool, y'all) has a 'word frequency' function designed, probably, to alert me when I overuse conjunctions and so forth. I've used it to create lists that will give you a little taste of ROCKET MAN. 12 is my favorite number, so here (in the order that Scrivener generated them) are 3 lists of 12 words used often, sometimes, and occasionally:
12 words I use about 120 times in ROCKET MAN:
12 words I use about 60 times in ROCKET MAN:
12 words I use exactly 12 times in ROCKET MAN:
So, if you haven't read it, can you guess what my book's about? If you have, do you think these lists capture the flavor? Let me know in the comments!
Today is Launch Day (in my head; it's been up for a day or two) for ROCKET MAN!
What does that mean? Well, of course it means the book is available everywhere. (Correction: ALMOST everywhere. If you're an iBooks person & just totally want it RIGHT NOW, leave me a comment below. I'll alert you when it's up & also if you're the first person to comment, I'll give you a copy free.) (That free copy thing applies to all formats. Know what? It's launch day, I'm feeling dandy - first three comments get a free ebook.) (I'm feeling dandy, and also like I wish people would comment. I love reader comments.)
What else the launch means:
The first book in the Roll of the Dice series is ROCKET MAN. (You should totally read it! Check the buy links here.)
In Rocket Man, Serena and her friends are a little bummed about their dating lives. To cheer up - and cheer each other on - Serena creates a game board that calls back to their middle school days.
Did you do things like this? When I was a girl, we had folded paper fortune tellers, or we'd hold the stem of an apple while twisting the apple and reciting the alphabet (when the stem breaks, you learn the first letter of your beloved's name).
Serena and her friends update the game for their adult status, but they are still girlishly excited to find out a bit more about their romantic futures.
I, personally (since I'm happily married to my own forever man already), am girlishly excited about the game board! My pal Alice Johnston, a clearly talented graphic artist, took my silly idea and turned it into this beautiful illustration.
Go on, roll the dice! And let me know - who will your forever man be?
I am a giddy goose, as my Irish mother-in-law would say.
After plenty of work and tons of creative fun, the first novel in my Roll of the Dice series is just panting to be available from an e-retailer near you!
One of the many exciting steps towards publication has been getting the book cover. I did a good bit of research and asking around, finally settling on The Killion Group for my cover design, and they were just wonderful to work with. And as you can see, the end product is gorgeous and dynamic.
So with quite a flourish, I present: Book One in the Roll of the Dice series: Rocket Man, by Melanie Greene!