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Ever Darkening

I’m thrilled to announce my newest book, coming the beginning on next year. This book is over two years in the making and a favorite project of mine. Please meet my Young Adult Fantasy, EVER DARKENING.

If you would like an email when it is released, along with my other books, sign up here.

Ever Darkening

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Mine to Tarnish Audiobook: Interview with Narrator

Today, I’m very excited to announce that the audiobook for my young adult fantasy, MINE TO TARNISH is complete and ready to buy. Maria Pendolino, the narrator, has done a marvelous job with it! I love how well she has captured Katherine.

You can listen to a sample here, under the cover.

Or you can buy it here.

 Audio Book Cover MtT

The real treat for today is that I had a chance to interview Maria and discover more about what goes on behind the scenes of narrating a book. I’m so happy to welcome Maria to my site today.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Maria: My name is Maria Pendolino and I’m an actor living in New York City. I’m originally from Buffalo, NY. I’ve done work in theatre, TV and film as well as voiceover, commercials and audiobooks! Some of my most memorable roles were on Lifetime’s hit show ARMY WIVES, Nat Geo’s LOCKED UP ABROAD and the Bollywood hit movie ENGLISH VINGLISH. You can hear my voice on commercials for American Express, Zipcar, Robert Mondavi Wines and Monistat.

Janeal: Wow! Sounds like you’ve had some really interesting experiences in your life. Which I’m super grateful for since it lead to narratoring MINE TO SPELL.

Can you tell us what it’s like to narrate one hour of a finished audio book?

Maria: To get one hour of finished audio, it probably takes me about an hour and 45 minutes of studio time and then another half hour of editing time. I’m usually pretty good about being able to read a large amount of text without stumbling or making a mistake, but every once in awhile I’ll get into a giggle fit and I have to keep going back to correct mistakes.

Janeal: That’s crazy to think it takes almost twice as long to make it as the finished audio is. I’d probably get into giggle fits too and never get anything done.

Can you tell us about the studio where you work?

Maria Pendolino HS2Maria: I have a home studio in my apartment. It’s a closet that I have converted into a booth. It’s big enough for me to sit on a stool, have my microphone and a music stand – and that’s about it. It’s not glamorous, but it shuts out the noise of the sirens and the traffic of New York City – so it does the job!

Janeal: I’m impressed that you turned a closet into a booth! That’s so awesome. It may not be glamorous, but it sounds like a great use of space.

How do you decide what to narrate?

Maria: I tend to work on projects that I would enjoy listening to or I would enjoy reading. It makes it a lot easier to narrate a long title when I love the story and the characters. But, I’m always open to trying new genres and I love when authors reach out to me to ask if I might like to be a part of their project.

Do you have a genre you enjoy narrating most? If so, what is it?

Maria: I love young adult, women’s fiction (or “Chick Lit”) and anything that has a snarky or sarcastic tone to it. I also love doing character voices, so any book that has some eccentric characters is a lot of fun to work on.

What’s your favorite part about narrating?

Maria: Bringing stories to life with just my voice and painting a picture that the listener can imagine.

What are some of your favorite books?

Maria: My favorite novel of all time is JEMIMA J by Jane Green. I also love all of Marian Keyes’ books. Other favorite authors are Jen Lancaster, Jennifer Weiner and David Sedaris.

What’s your favorite hobby?

Maria: I’m a theatre nerd and I love going to Broadway shows. I’m in NYC, so gotta take advantage.

Favorite candy bar?

Maria: I actually hate chocolate, which I know is a crime against humanity – but I love Twizzlers.

Janeal: Not like chocolate? That’s crazy! Twizzlers are good though.

Favorite drink?

Maria: I’m a coffee drinker, through and through. With a shot of caramel and maybe a shot of Bailey’s (if I’m not at work!)

Janeal: Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on narrating with us, Maria! We’re so glad you stopped by today!

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Writing Update

Things have been really quite around here lately. Too quite! So update time.

What I’ve been writing:

Side Projects: I’ve been working on a YA Fantasy for 2 years now and it’s finally, finally, going to the editors the end of this week. Sa-weeeet! Super excited to be getting so close with this one. Can. Not. Wait. To share it with ya’ll.

WritingWhat’s more, it has a companion novel that is coming along and will be going to the editor around Novememberish. Best yet, these two books are the only ones in the series. Well, unless I come up with another idea (which could always happen) but they will stand by themselves as a complete story. Wahoo! This should be coming out the first part of next year.

Mine Series: Yes, I know you’re anxious for book three. My most asked question is when it’s coming out. Answer: I don’t know. Sorry! BUT, I am working on it. It’s about 1/3 written & the rest is already outlined. The writing should go smoothly because of that, editing could be another story. It’s all about how much I miss & how much other people catch that I need to fix.

I’m HOPING it will be published sometime the first half of next year, but no promises.  I’d rather have a good quality book for ya’ll then rush. So while you’re waiting, just remember I’m doing my best and Waverly’s pulling out a lot of sass.

Mine Series Novellas: I also get asked about these A LOT. Things like: Are you going to write from Serena’s mother’s perspective? What about Lukas? Zade? Phyllis? The Grand Chancellor? Answer: Right now, no.

As you can see from the list above, my writing schedule is pretty full. BUT, I would love to explore some of these characters more. They have depth that isn’t explored when someone else is the main character. Hopefully someday I’ll have a chance. And I love to hear opinions on who you’d like a story from, so feel free to chat, comment, email me any time and let me know who you’d like a story from.

Audiobooks: Mine to Tarnish is currently being worked on. The narration is finished, a few chapters need to be edited, and I need to listen to the entire thing. It should be done soon since it’s a shorter narration. And very excited about this narrator. I’m very impressed with her.

Mine to Spell is currently looking for a narrator. I’ve had auditions for it but am still looking for the right voice for Cynthia. Once I find that narrator, it will be in the works.

Where I’ve been:

Fantasy Con in July. Hello awesome! Met  great people, had a hobbit (a.k.a. Billy Boyd) look at my books (seriously wanted to giggle), got to

Fantasy Con Dragon
Fantasy Con Dragon

see the person who said one of my favorite quotes, “I can kill you with my brain” (a.k.a. Summer Glau), and just had an overall good time.

Comic Con in September. Good night there was a ton of people! Never seen so many people in one place. Got to meet some awesome fans and book bloggers (YOU GUYS ROCK MY WORLD!!!) while there. Telling ya, made life awesome! I also got to see Wash (a.k.a. Alan Tudyk) which made me happy to see he’s alive.

If you were at either or both of these, I’d love to hear your experience. Or to say hi again if we met in person!

Upcoming Events:

Pajama-Rama, Oct. 10th @ 8:00 pm: This is a book event for readers (wahoo! PJs & books, can it get any better!?!) I will be there to chat with, to sell books, and to sign stuff. I may even have some swag to give away!

FanX (tenative): This one isn’t announced yet, so I don’t have anything official, but I’m hoping to make it there.

Conduit, May 22nd – 24th: I’ll be at a booth at this Fantasy/Sci-fi convention with Loralie Hall. Should be a fun experience where I’ll have not only the Mine series, but I’ll also be signing my new YA Fantasy series that’s coming out next year.

If you attend any of these, I’d love to see you!

There will be more added to this as time goes on. If you’d like me to come to any of your events (i.e. book clubs, school) email me and we’ll set something up.

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Winners & Questions Answered

Questions answered in part 1:

-If you were Serena’s mother, how would you cope with losing the man who had controlled your whole life?
-I’m really curious as to whose point of view the next book will be coming from?
-So I know Waverly’s story is next, but then can we have Bethany?
-What inspired you to write the Mine series?
-Were you afraid with the Mine series how readers would react to the women being mistreated/kept submissive?
-When can we expect book 3?
-Have you changed them a lot as you write and develop them or did you stick with an original idea as to where the story would lead?
-What makes a great author? What inspired you to write the series? Have you ever doubted choosing a writer’s path? Why? When did you know that you wanted to be an author?


Winners announced. Questions answered in part 2:

-When did you first decide you wanted to take on the monumental task of writing a book, let alone a series?
-How many books will be in the series? When will the 3rd book release?
-How lond did it take you to write mine to spell?
-Have you ever traveled outside of the US? If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
-While creating the world of Chardonia, how did you get the inspiration for the Tarnished?
-How much wood could a woodchuck, chuck- if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
-Where do you get your ideas?
-How did you decide on the covers you have for your books?
-If You Are Mine was made into a movie, who would you want to play Serena?

Missed Question (opps!): Do you identify with any of your characters? If so, which one(s) and in what way?

Also, I have to go through 28 pages today, not 48. Still a lot, but much more doable.

Thank you so much for all the questions!

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Mine Series Signed Paperback Giveaway

Wonderful news! The paperback for MINE TO SPELL is (finally!) available for purchase. Online it is available at most major retailers or you can request it ordered in at most book stores.

If you haven’t entered yet, there’s still a chance to win one of 2 signed paperback package of all three books, MINE TO TARNISH, YOU ARE MINE, and MINE TO SPELL. All you have to do is ask me a questions to be entered to win.

Ends June 10. Open Internationally!

Now Closed

2 pack 3 book giveaway

 

 

Or if you can’t wait to see if you win, you can buy MINE TO SPELL now.

Purchase Links:

Amazon ||  Barnes & Noble || CreateSpace

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First Chapter of Mine to Spell

There’s only two weeks left until MINE TO SPELL is released! Yippee! I’m very anxious for the release and am glad it’s almost here. As a special treat, I’m giving you access to the first chapter in case you’d like to get a head start on Cynthia’s story. I hope you enjoy a taste of her the story. And, later this week I have another surprise waiting for you!

 

Mine to Spell – Chapter One

 

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And the Cover for MINE TO SPELL is…

Feel free to skip to the bottom to see the reveal (I know you want to) otherwise, enjoy thoughts on the cover choices.

Voting on the two cover choices this past week has been so much fun. When I realized there were two different cover choices for the second book the YA Fantasy Mine series, MINE TO SPELL, I was very torn not knowing which way to go with them.

Once I decided to let you guys vote on it, I thought it was going to be fun. I was wrong. It was a blast! I loved seeing what you choose and what thoughts you had behind the choice. If you haven’t read them, definitely go look through them. And while I agreed with most of what you guys had to say, there can only be one win and that winner is the one with the most popular vote.

MtS final covers

When I was looking for images for Cynthia, I found the model in both of these covers (yes, it is the same exact girl). As soon as I saw her I knew she was who I wanted to portray Cynthia on the cover. Finally! (seriously, I looked for the right cover image for about 9 months and at one point even tried hiring a cover artist) Everything about her, especially the curly, everywhere hair is spot on to who Cynthia is.

#1 was the first picture I found of her that I thought, this is the cover. The seriousness of her expression and gaze fit her a lot of what she goes through and I loved her straight on gaze. It really fit with the first book perfectly. But I continued looking for pictures just in case and found…

#2 which I fell in love with the moment I saw it. All the longing, hair, freedom, and energy in it, is Cynthia. And there gets to be a certain point in the book where it’s even more her.

But then there was still #1 that also was her. I asked family, friends, critic partners, and the results? Still pretty split, all for different reasons. So, the vote happened. I’m thrilled to have all of you a part of the process. Thank you so much for all who voted. The final count is about 25% for one and 75% for the other, though many admit to liking both so hopefully your pleased with the outcome.

The winning cover is…

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Mine to Spell Cover

#1 – 67 votes          #2 – 166

Thanks for helping me pick a cover!

Let me know your thoughts on the winner in the comments!

Just a reminder, to any reviewers who haven’t signed up to get an eARC of MINE TO SPELL, you can still do so.

ARCs will be going out in 1 – 2 weeks.

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Cover Reveal Choice: MINE TO SPELL

MtS final covers

Which one do you like better?

Vote in the comments and the most popular choice will be the cover.

Winning cover will be announced right here on March 6th!

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Mine to Spell eARCs

Just over 2 months until MINE TO SPELL is released! I’m getting really excited for everything to come, especially the next thing to happen: finding out which cover you guys pick!

It also means ARCs are almost ready. If you are interested in reviewing MINE TO SPELL, I’d be super grateful! The book should be ready in the next three or so weeks. Doing sign ups a little earlier to help with planning, but I hope to get the eARCs as soon as I can.

If you are a reviewer that hasn’t read YOU ARE MINE or the prequel, MINE TO TARNISH, but would like to I’m also willing to provide review copies of it. Just email me and let me know which ebook format you prefer.

MINE TO SPELL eARC request form

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Mine to Spell Cover Peek #3

MtS Peek #3Full cover reveal and voting begins Thursday!