Friday, January 31, 2014

Audiobook Review Offer and 2014 Goals Update

Audiobooks - those awesome products that allow you to "read" a book while driving, cleaning the house, walking around the backyard, working out, etc. One of my editing & publicity clients, Sandra Leesmith, had her latest releases, Love's Miracles and Love's Refuge, made into audiobooks, narrated by Rachel Fulginiti. Since rating/reviewing an audiobook is different than rating an e-book or paperback (because you have to take into account the narrator - voice, volume, pacing, etc.), the reviews from Amazon don't exactly transfer to, even if they show up in their own section there. This is where you come in!

If you'd like the opportunity to listen to one or both of Sandra's audiobooks for free in exchange for an honest review on (and perhaps Amazon, Goodreads, etc., if you'd be willing!), all you have to do is e-mail me with your choice (either book, or both). That's it! As long as I have a valid e-mail address from you, I can pass that along to Sandra so she can send you a promotion code and instructions for using it. You don't have to have a blog to review the book(s).

Here's the lowdown on the two audiobooks:

Love's Miracles was originally released as a secular romance in the '80s, but I assisted Sandra in editing the book, cutting out most of the stronger content, and re-publishing it. There are still a couple of swear words and some violence, which we decided to leave in to show the hardships veterans face. So this is a generally clean romance, but it is a bit darker.

Dr. Margo Devaull came to Dominic Zanelli's mountain retreat confident that she could help this Vietnam veteran overcome the torment that kept him apart from the world. But her training as a psychologist had not prepared her for the tragic, explosive contradictions brewing inside him. For here was a sensitive artist who could be gentle - and a man whose eyes flashed with violence and pain when he told her to leave and never come back. Yet Margo did come back, slowly gain his trust, and awaken the sleeping needs of his heart. Only by reliving her own wounded past and helping Zane confront a terrible memory from the war could she set them both free - and save their last chance for love.

Length: 10 hours and 48 minutes
Narrator: Rachel Fulginiti
Audiobook release date: October 28, 2013 

Love's Refuge is more of an inspirational contemporary romance, with a thread of suspense. It's sweeter than Love's Miracles, with no language. It was never published prior to Sandra and I working together on editing the book (along with the help of Rachelle Rea as proofreader) and self-publishing it under our "Amber Press" line.

Skye Larsen loves her peaceful life on Leeza Island in Puget Sound - the tranquility, the friendly neighbors, and especially the safety from big city dangers. So when cruel pranks start to escalate and changes threaten to overtake the island, Skye is determined to fight for her haven. The presence of a handsome vacationer and the unexpected feelings he awakens can't distract her from her goal.

Danny Fraser doesn't realize how desperately he needs a rest until he meets Skye. By allowing him to glimpse her simple way of life, she helps him reorient his priorities - and steals his heart in the process. But his work and home in Seattle keep Skye at bay.

An isolated island girl with painful memories. A dedicated city boy with a wild past. What will it cost for them both to find a refuge from their storms?

 Length: 9 hours and 10 minutes
Narrator: Rachel Fulginiti
Audiobook release date: January 20, 2014

If either of these sound good to you, and you're willing to provide an honest review(s) on, be sure to send me an e-mail!

2014 Goals Update

You can find my goals post from the beginning of the year HERE.

  • new job yet. I did do some online searching and applied to one place (and I went in to meet the manager, as well). Unfortunately, that place isn't currently hiring. *sigh* I suppose I'll have to be a little more diligent next month in actively contacting and applying to places. However, I do have some client projects coming up, and I've been doing some off and on work for my dad, so that's something, right?
  • On the book front - I started off really well, but did get a little carried away with requesting books toward the latter end of the month. Here's the breakdown:
    • Bought 3 Kindle e-books (So I did not surpass my limit there - yay! I did pick up 4 free Kindle books in addition to those, but I'm not counting them if they were free.)
    • Requested 4 books for review (That was 1 e-ARC from an author, 2 e-ARCs from NetGalley, and 1 paperback from Blogging for Books - not counting client projects. However, three of those books have April release dates, so I might be able to sort of keep my goal if I strictly limit my requesting for the next couple of months...)
  • I've been keeping up with reviewing most every book I read (not counting devotionals and such)! I do have one review to write, but it's for a February blog tour, so I have a little bit of time.
  • The exercise was going pretty well... I failed that first week, but starting the first full week of January, I've kept up with exercising four times a week - except for this week (although it's not over yet, but I don't know if I'll make the full four days). Most of my workouts are only 25 minutes, but I've done a few 55-minute ones. (I'm doing exercise videos.) So, mostly I need to try doing the longer workout more often and keep up better after this week.
  • I've written and sent at least one letter every week this month, although I haven't done so this week. But since this has reminded me, I shall have to do it tomorrow!
  • This has been a busy month on the publishing front! I revealed the cover for Morning Glory; launched and maintained "The Heart's Spring" series blog; proofread, finalized, and published Forget Me Not for Kindle (and sent it to my formatter/cover designer for paperback preparation); planned the Forget Me Not blog tour (which starts tomorrow) - including sending out review copies, responding to interview questions, writing guest posts, marketing, etc.; wrote Bellflower, sent it to my proofreader, revealed the cover, and finalized it for distribution to my newsletter subscribers; and put together my first author newsletter. Whew! I don't think I could keep up that pace every month... Next month is going to be rather busy at the beginning with the blog tour and such, but once that's over, I plan to focus on Morning Glory for the next few months. I'll still be maintaining the series blog, and I'm sure I'll be doing something with another short story I've written, but still - I want/need to take a step back from the hectic marketing and get more writing done! 
January had its ups and downs, for sure. We had some friends over a few evenings, and all of my book projects have been generally fun for me. But there were also some very hard times - like taking my grandpa to a care home last weekend, and hearing about difficult things friends and family have been going through. It's been a hard month in the sense that life keeps marching on... My dad has been incredibly busy, my grandma's birthday has come and gone, and we're all just trying to figure out what our priorities are and how we're supposed to be there for one another. There have been some sweet blessings mixed in, though, and God has been providing for us, faithfully present through it all. I'm looking forward to the start of a new month and seeing where God leads in the days ahead.

How was January for you? What are you looking forward to in February? 


Rissi said...

Sounds like you're off to a great start with those resolutions, Amber. Even if you haven't found the kind of job you want, girl, it sounds like you're WAY busy with work; clients with your editing business, helping your dad and all that! :)

Cannot wait for the FMN blog tour. Eager to visit the fun tour stops. :)

Best of luck with your goals.

Amber Stokes said...


Thank you, dear friend! I'm kind of slacking this week in the exercise department, but I'm feeling pretty good, overall, with how January turned out. :) And yeah, I'm still managing to keep busy! But then, the Internet eats so much time...LOL.

I'm excited about the FMN blog tour, too! Should be fun for everyone, I hope. :) Thank you for your support! Hope things are going well for you. *Hugs*