I found Google Play easy to set up and use. I still want to have the books professionally narrated by an actor but until I can afford that, this will suffice.
Joanna Penn of Creative Penn Podcast suggests having your books available in different markets and at different prices for our variety of readers. She has her books auto narrated through AI, she has also narrated her own books and hired a professional narrator.
While the artificial intelligence isn’t capable of doing the inflections and the dramatic changes in the story, neither are they monotone. Some of the narrator choices are very realistic. You can adjust their reading speed.
Being able to offer my stories to the sight-impaired was a big part of the reason I wanted to do this. A friend of mine used to record herself reading on cassette tape for her sister.
I tried something new. While listening to a Draft2Digital YouTube video with Google Play’s Ryan Dingler, I learned that Google Play offers to create free audiobooks for authors using AI (artificial intelligence). I have always wanted to get my books on audio but it is so expensive and I did not feel that my sales were to a place that I could leap out and pay a couple thousand dollars to have an audiobook made.
When I heard about Google Play’s offer, I uploaded my books to Google Play and began looking or rather, listening for the right voice. Now it doesn’t sound exactly natural but it’s not bad. I played with it, speeding up the reading until it felt comfortable to my ear. I’m giving away 1000 copies of Chrome Pink audiobook and hope to receive some feedback. Should I upload all my books to Google Play’s AI audio? Free code to try Chrome Pink Audio Q5B0LUDH80TD7 https://play.google.com/redeem?code=Q5B0LUDH80TD7
For anyone who is an indie author, whether you publish with Draft2Digital or not, I suggest you check out their blog and their YouTube videos. They are a great source of information. And if you’re not publishing with D2D, why not? They make life so much easier.
How to Fail at Flirting by Denise Williams Narrated by January LaVoy
By the title I expected “How to Fail at Flirting” to be a lovely rom-com, and while Ms. Williams entertained with a few palm-to-the-forehead moments, it soon became apparent that this was a serious story of one woman’s journey of trust. Dr. Naya Turner should have it all. She is a strong, beautiful professor of education, not only intelligent, she is also kind and funny, but she has a dark secret. Author Denise Williams shows readers how anyone can become a victim of relationship abuse. It doesn’t matter what race, economic status or education, our desire to be part of a couple, to please another person, can be used against us.
When Naya decides to take a chance and learn to live her life again, she meets Jake. He was supposed to be a one-night stand, but his kindness and goofy humor are addictive and soon they become entangled in a relationship that could set her back professionally. Even as Jake reveals his own weaknesses and fears, Naya cannot admit to her own until it’s too late.
I admire Ms. Williams for telling this story, for empowering women to take back control. Every woman has the right to be the heroine in her own story. It’s not easy to fight back whether it’s seeking legal advice, sharing our stories with a counselor or confronting our abuser, but with the help of those who love and care about us, we can find the strength and courage to end the cycle. While this was a difficult subject Ms. Williams told the story with the right blend of levity, grace and reality allowing the reader to see several insights into the effects of abusive relationships.
By David Baldacci, Narrated by Kyf Brewer and Orlagh Cassidy
Amos Decker, aka the memory man has a new job with the FBI. He’s facing a lot of changes in his life. On his way to Quantico to meet with his new team, he turns on the radio and hears the story of convicted murderer, Melvin Mars awaiting execution in Texas for killing his parents. Someone in Alabama has confessed to the crime earing Mars a stay of execution. Seeing similarities with his own life, Amos convinces the team to take the case.
Melvin and Amos share a past on the gridiron, both men’s families were brutally murdered and their lives forever changed, in both cases another suspect came forward to confess to the crime but the confession distorts the truth rather than enlighten it. In Melvin’s situation, the confession could be the difference between life and death, freedom and incarceration.
What looked like a simple case of a black man being sent to prison for a crime he didn’t commit turns into something more intriguing and convoluted. When a member of their team is kidnapped, it rachets up the tension even more.
This is a fantastic series. I love the characters especially Amos Decker.
I cannot believe this is Kevin Kwan’s debut novel, it’s fantastic. It is like Mean Girl meets Clueless with a little My Big Fat Greek Wedding but in Chinese. There were times when I wanted to take a few of the characters out for a long walk on a short pier but the main characters, Rachel Chu and Nicholas Young were awesome.
When Rachel’s boyfriend Nicholas asks her to go to Singapore for summer vacation and his best friend’s wedding, she is expecting a humble family, sight-seeing around the island and spending time with the man she believes she might one day marry. She has no clue that Nicholas Young is one of the most eligible bachelors in Asia or that his best friend’s wedding is the wedding of the century. She should have a target on her back, it would make things easier for the catty witches gunning for her position.
This hilarious insiders’ look at the Asian Jet Set shows the ridiculous clash of old money versus new, and overseas Chinese versus Mainland Chinese. Crazy Rich Asians is a fun, young romantic romp through one of the most exotic places on earth with its blend of future, history and what it means to be in love and deliriously rich.
Citizens of Henry Adams, Kansas are in the midst of a mayoral election. Trent July has been mayor for the past four years since Bernadine Brown purchased the town online and brought about much change for the small, historically black town built by freedmen. They are once again fighting those who would betray their trust and steal their homes and land. In this awesome, Blessings tale, Beverly Jenkins shows us that might does not make right, and often it is the humble and meek who bring about change and who are the true heroes of the day.
I loved this story with it’s mix of older and younger characters. Ms. Jenkins gives us romance, intrigue, suspense, friendship, and inspiration. In Henry Adams we see what a small town could be like if everyone works together for the greater good. She also shows us the mistakes we make as humans, are failings and shortcomings but how we can overcome these to be better and stronger. Her positive female characters with their strength and courage
As I listened to this story, I dreamed of what I could do in my own small town if only I had the money and opportunity. Like Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech, I too have a dream of saving my hometown and making it a place where all children, all people live together in harmony.
Ms. Jenkins gives us a map of what it could be like if we could create our town and give its inhabitants safe places to live, share and seek solace. Henry Adams, Kansas is as close to paradise as we on earth can hope for and I’d love to live there.
Needing romantic comedy more and more in my life right now with everything going on in the world, I turned to Avery Flynn’s Awk-weird. This delightful story of misfits who find their place and create a family is more than a romance, it’s about friendship and teammates, and yes, it’s about finding that one person who completes you. When Tess Gardner ends up a wallflower at her best friend’s wedding rehearsal, she inadvertently draws the attention of one the groom’s Ice Knight teammates. She’s not his usual type, cute, not sexy gorgeous but when they team up against some of the other players in a trivia game, they wipe the floor with the guys until Tess gets concerned about taking the rookies’ money.
After a night of riotous sex, Tess is nearly late for the wedding. She gives Cole an out by telling him they’d been wedding-ed and what happened wasn’t their fault. But when they realize the expiration date on the condoms they’d used turned their one-night stand into something more, they’re forced to take a second look at each other. Could they find their forever person with one another? Busted pipes and a leaking ceiling has Tess in Cole’s guestroom messing up his well-ordered life. Cole likes things to always be one way but with Tess around things never go the way he expects and maybe, just maybe, that’s a good thing.
I loved this story, laughing and crying and swooning right alongside the pair as they navigate romance in reverse.
Penny Reid’s Neanderthal Marries Human is a great sequel to her Neanderthal Seeks Human and I suggest reading them back to back. Narrated by Sebastian York and Jennifer Grace.
Janie Morris and Quinn Sullivan are the Yin and Yang of romance. They compliment each other bringing out the best parts of the other. When Janie’s insecurities threaten their future happiness, Quinn gives her what she needs to prove his love is real and he won’t leave her. With a little help from their friends, an Elvis impersonator, a naked Vegas wedding and a lot of love and laughter, this couple just might make it to the church on time. This is a must read if you love romantic comedies with a lot of heart. Penny Reid tackles some real-life issues using humor and a bit of sexy romance to help it go down easier. Like a spoonful of sugar, Reid helps readers understand those difficult life lessons by making them more palatable.
After reading the two Neanderthal books by Penny Reid, I suggest going straight to Friends Without Benefits narrated by Devra Woodward, this book brings Dr. Elizabeth Finney face to face with the boy who’d tormented her throughout most of her life only to end up being her first sexual conquest. She and Nico’s backstories are interwoven but they both have a different interpretation of events. Can they come to see the truth before it’s too late or will they lose each other yet again because they can’t see eye to eye.
Penny Reid does it again, she uses humor, romance, supreme sexiness and our own foibles to create a story that is both relatable and fantastic. She is one of the leaders in the romantic comedy genre that proves this is not all fluff and stuff, this genre can check all the boxes from deep emotions, real-life issues and still entertain. If you haven’t guessed it, yes, I’m a huge fan.
Lush Money by Angelina Lopez, Narrated by Scarlette Hayes
I didn’t expect to like this book much less love it, but I do. I have never been a fan of billionaire romances but after listening to an interview with Angelina Lopez on Reese Ryan’s YouTube channel “The Story Behind the Story” and attending a presentation at the Romance Writers of America’s virtual conference, Writing Alpha Heroines I had to check it out.
Too often strong women are portrayed as masculine or as evil bitches, but Angelina Lopez created a heroine who is strong, independent and still feminine. Roxanne Medina, a billionaire CEO is not what she seems when Prince Mateo Ferdinand Juan Carlos de Esperanza y Santos is first ordered to her office. The handsome winegrower is stunned by the bargain the woman is offering, a marriage with three-nights a month in her bed, a pregnancy followed by a divorce. After which she will pay off debts and help him save his small kingdom, a Spanish principality on the verge of bankruptcy due to his parents’ outrageous behavior. Although he is attracted to the beautiful, sensuous woman, he is angry that he is being treated as little more than a stud.
Roxanne doesn’t have time for a relationship, but she yearns for a child, one she can give everything she never had as a child. Marrying her prince is part of her fairytale. When Prince Mateo begins making demands of his own the two discover they have more in common than they realized, and their bargain turns into something neither of them expected.
Angelina Lopez did a fabulous job of showing readers a woman who is both strong and fragile, powerful and vulnerable, a woman who has built an enterprise but has no one she trusts that she doesn’t pay. Prince Mateo is her perfect counterpart, he just needs to face losing everything to find out what really matters. This was such a feel-good book with a lot of heat and plenty of twists and turns to keep you holding onto the oh shit strap.
I can only give it 5 stars but I think it deserves at least 7!
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