Thursday, August 23, 2012

Twenty-five Random Facts about AnneMarie . . .



 Twenty-five things about me you probably didn't know:

1.   I drive a silver 2001 Honda Accord. Yes, I've had it that long.

2.   Because I'm pretty much a tightwad.

3.   I married my high school sweetheart thirty-five years ago.

4.  I have two grown kids, both out of the nest.

5.  I used to be a cat person; now I love dogs.

6.  Since the kids moved out, I've pretty much become the tech-support gal in the house. I find this amusing, since I'm basically techno-challenged. Thank goodness for Google. Shhh . . .

7.   I enjoy making homemade jams and jellies.

8.  Georgette Heyer is my favorite all-time author. I read my first GH book when I was fifteen and love all things Regency.

9.   I attended Catholic school.

10. I love old movies, especially the romantic comedies of the fifties and sixties.

11. I tend to see the good in people and situations. Just call me Pollyanna-marie.

12. I also tend to see both sides of an argument or discussion. Not always a good thing.

13. I don't drink alcohol except for the occasional frozen daiquiri. Not that I'm against drinking, but it's just not me.

14. I'm a dedicated tea drinker. I'm not particularly fond of coffee, although I love how it smells.

15.  I'm the quiet shy type in social situations. I'd much rather stay home and read a good book than go to a party.

16. This probably explains the fact that I tend to lurk on forums. But I love live chats; go figure.

17.  I love antiques. Almost every piece of furniture in the house has an interesting (or not so interesting) story: the sofa is from Salvation Army; that chair was bought at a garage sale; I got that lamp in the library silent auction, etc.

18. I love vintage Tupperware and Corning Ware.

19.  But I'm not crazy about cooking. I'm a pretty good cook, but only do it because we have to eat.

20.  Which leads to: I really really enjoy eating out.

21.  I'm the oldest of three children. Family is important to me.

22.  I prefer Apple products over the other kind. I have an iMac, iPhone, iPad, iPod, etc.

23. When I get excited, I tend to talk loud.

24. I love humming birds.

25.  My lucky number is 13.


Cheers!

Anne Marie   :)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Writerly Moments



Being a writer certainly has its moments. I think being an Indie Author has even more writerly moments, because when a writer publishes directly to the readers, he/she wears many different hats.

This past weekend was a prime example. I've been an Indie Author for two years now. The second book I published was THE DOCTOR WEARS A STETSON. This book has done extremely well and it's the first book in my Diamondback Ranch Series. Readers love this series. I do, too.

So now I'm venturing out into audiobooks and print books. I want to make my books available across as many different platforms as possible. Choosing narrators for my books has been an adventure in and of itself. I was lucky to find the perfect narrator for my Regencies; finding narrators for my Contemporary Westerns has been a little more difficult.

Yes, they're set in Texas and yes, the people have a Southern accent, but writing a Southern accent and speaking it are two different animals. I didn't like how the accents sounded, so I requested Mainstream American accents, and after many auditions I finally found good matches.

I also didn't want to format for print again, so I found someone to format for me at a very reasonable price. (More on that later.)

Anyway, back to writerly moments. Over this past weekend, I had to proof-listen to the first fifteen minutes of THE DOCTOR WEARS A STETSON. I also had to "proof" the galleys for the new CreateSpace version.

What I think is super cool is this book went live over two years ago. It's sold very well and is still selling. But what a coincidence that I was having to proof the audio version and the print version on the same day.

I love writerly moments. Just wanted to share.

AM   :)

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Now Available in Audio: To His Lady's Rescue


My Indie Adventure Continues 

Another writerly moment to celebrate today. I'm happy to announce my first audiobook is now available for sale. You can find To His Lady's Rescue at Audible.com, Amazon and iTunes.

Arranging and contracting the making of an audiobook has been an exciting learning adventure. Thank goodness, there's ACX where authors, narrators and producers can hook up and work together. Finding the perfect narrator is a difficult undertaking.

With that being said, it never ceases to amaze me how serendipity sometimes plays an intregal part in my life and decision-making process. It certainly played an important part in helping me to find the most awesome narrator for my first audiobook project.

Here's how it happened:

My husband was talking to a coworker, and somehow the conversation turned toward what I did for a living. James told her I was an author and how I published on Kindle and Nook, and that I was wanting to make my books available in audio. Well, this woman said she had a good friend who did voice-over work and narrations for a living. 

And that's how I got in touch with the fabulously talented Pearl Hewitt and VoiceNeeds. We exchanged emails and she auditioned for me on ACX. From the first moment I heard Pearl's voice reading my story, I knew I had found the perfect narrator for my Regency Romances. As I sat listening, I was enthralled in the story and couldn't believe I had actually written the text. Pearl made the story come alive and because she had experience with working through ACX, she helped me through every step in the process.

A cool thing about working with Pearl is that she lives fairly close to where I live. When we finished our book, we met for a celebratory luncheon. And since we'd exchanged emails, texted, talked on the phone and worked on the project together, it didn't take very long at that first meeting to feel like we'd known each other forever.  That really made this first audio venture extra special for me.

Making audiobooks is a team effort. When you find the right narrator for your story, you have to give up a little of the control and trust the professionals to do their job. If you've chosen well, they will make your work sound brilliant.

Happy Listening!!!

Anne Marie  :)

Monday, August 06, 2012

Celebrating My Two Year Anniversary of Indie Publishing: A Retrospective/Looking Back



Today marks my second anniversary as an Indie Author. It's been a wild tempestuous twelve months. The first year I worked on getting my back list published; this year, I'm having to write new stories.

Having to write . . . like that's bad or something. Hah!  I'm finally living my dream; I'm writing stories and sharing them with readers. And making a little dab of money.

Writing/publishing . . . writing/publishing . . . How awesome is that?!?

Publishing directly to readers not only gives me total control of every aspect of the writing/publishing operation, it also allows me to experiment and try new things. For example, I tried my hand at writing short stories and had a lot of fun with them.

So far during this second year (beginning last August), I've published seven stories for a total of seventeen products available to readers across many channels. I've added three short stories, sold individually and in a bundle, two Regency novellas, and the fourth novel in my Diamondback Ranch Series.

And talking about trying new things: I have audio versions in the works, as well as print. I'm very curious about how the audio books will sell. It should be interesting. It certainly has been an interesting experience choosing narrators for the different books and series.

I'm a firm believer in making my books available across as many channels and in as many different formats as possible to the reading and listening public. The more, the better.

It's been a busy year. Publishing directly is a lot of hard work. And like I've said before: It's not for the faint of heart. It's still a roller-coaster ride in regards to sales and emotions.

Last November and December, sales were bleak for me. During this time, I took a look at my covers and decided on revamping them and creating an Anne Marie Novark brand. It seemed to work. With the sexier covers, sales started picking up.

April was a spectacular month. The kind of month authors only dream about. I hit the best seller lists at Amazon, B&N and Apple. I received many fan emails, mostly asking when the next book in the Diamondback Ranch Series would be available. And naturally, I was hard at work on it.

Last week, I released Lone Star Heartbreaker, and it has given my sales a much needed boost. It has certainly reinforced the maxim that the next book is the best promotion. And of course, I was holding my breath wondering if the book would live up to my readers' expectations. From the amount of emails I've received, it has. Thank goodness!

I'm so glad I took the Indie plunge. I've found the joy in writing again, and sharing my stories with readers is my dream come true.

Every sale is golden; every enthusiastic email priceless.

Happy Writing and Reading and Publishing!!!

Anne Marie   :)

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

New Release!!! Lone Star Heartbreaker




I'm very happy to announce the release of Lone Star Heartbreaker. This is the fourth book in my Diamondback Ranch Series. I had a lot of fun writing Tyler's story, and it's always fun to revisit the Diamondback Ranch. Enjoy!!!

LONE STAR HEARTBREAKER
Book Four: The Diamondback Ranch Series
by Anne Marie Novark

To order a digital copy:

Here's the blurb:

Tyler McCade is the youngest McCade brother in Salt Fork, Texas, and the biggest heartbreaker of them all. Or he was--until a plane crash wrecks his body and sends his crop-dusting company into a tailspin. Needing time to heal and form a new business plan, he retreats to the Diamondback Ranch, where he spends too much time alone tormented by the possibility that the accident might have been his fault.

Caitlyn Ross lives to fly planes. Accepting the job as pilot for Lone Star Wings seems like a dream come true. But when she packs up everything she owns and finds herself working for the brooding Tyler McCade, her defenses go on high alert. The sexual tension sizzles, but does she have what it takes to help him heal? And is she even brave enough to try?


Here's the excerpt:

"It's getting late and it's been a long day," Tyler said. "I'll see you in the morning."

He started past her toward the door.  Before Caitlyn could think better of it, she grabbed the sleeve of his shirt to stall his departure. "Wait."

He stared at her hand on his arm, then at her, but didn’t pull away.  “What do you think you’re doing?” he asked in a dangerously soft voice.

Obviously playing with fire, that's what.

Caitlyn quickly dropped her hand.  She didn’t know what had prompted her to touch Tyler, but that brief contact left her fingers scorched and her heart racing. "Ignoring the situation isn't going to make it go away," she said.

"What the hell’s that supposed to mean?" His voice went softer, more dangerous. His hot blue eyes lasered in on her. "What situation?"

She swallowed hard. Anger mixed with the strong sexual vibes pulsated between them. “I’ve been here for almost a month,” she said.  “Except for that first day when we had dinner together, you’ve been avoiding me like the plague."

He stepped toward her, his big body seemingly growing, expanding with his anger. Irritation. Something. “I taught you what you needed to know to be an ag pilot, didn't I?"

Caitlyn stepped back. "Yes."

Tyler took two steps forward. "I didn't avoid you then, did I?" he said between gritted teeth.

"No. Not exactly." God, the man was tense. And now he was invading her personal space. How could she have thought for a moment that she'd imagined those sparks of awareness shooting between them? They were brighter and more intense than fireworks on the Fourth of July. "But you can't deny you've been avoiding me since then, can you?"

Tyler stood directly in front of Caitlyn and stared into her eyes. He was close enough to smell her fragrance, feel the heat from her body. Her windblown hair tumbled around her face in wild disarray.  His fingers itched to run themselves through the silken tangles.  He wanted to feel her body close to his.

Unable to help himself, he reached out one hand and touched her soft cheek. She closed her eyes and her dark lashes made feathery crescents against her creamy skin. He'd been dying to touch her again.

He rubbed his thumb across her bottom lip. Back and forth. Back and forth, until her eyes flew open. Keeping his gaze locked on hers, he leisurely traced his finger down her jaw line and the curve of her neck, only stopping when he reached the top of one rounded breast. "This is why I've been avoiding you . . ."

###

Happy Reading!!!

Anne Marie   :)