How audiobooks changed my life #mgtab @melinda_de_ross

Now a very popular format, ten years ago audiobooks were still making a shy debut – just when I needed them most. Reading has always been my biggest passion, but as I worked in an office all day with my eyes fixed on a computer screen, traditional reading became an increasingly difficult hobby. My eyes got tired easier, my neck became stiff from bending over a book. Not to mention that one can’t multi-task while reading a printed book. That was when my husband suggested I tried audiobooks.

At first I was reluctant. It seemed completely weird listening to someone read a book out loud. It didn’t sound the same when I read it in my head. However, my love of books was stronger than my stubbornness, so one day I took a chance and bought an audiobook. I remember it was Sandra Brown’s “Smoke Screen”, which was lucky because the narrator, Victor Slezak, is simply magic. From the first moments I was drawn in by his voice, fascinated by the way he interpreted each character, thrilled to hear the story brought to life. A love affair had begun!

Fast forward thousands of audiobooks listened and a career change later, and here I am today – a writer myself, who’s just producing her second audiobook. It’s funny how in the short run we never truly realize how much we’ve achieved, but sometimes in the rare moments when we take a good look back, we can be stunned by how far we’ve come from a certain period of our lives. Sandra Brown’s thrillers are still among my favorites, and although I like to think I’ve developed my own storytelling technique, her style will always be an influence on me. I know it shows in THE PLOT, my first suspense romance that was released as an audiobook. I had the privilege of working with an incredibly talented narrator, Austin Walp, who brought my characters to life in a way that still makes me grin in wonder whenever I listen to it.

An unconventional romance…

At 18, Yoko Hirano falls prey to a human trafficking organization and is forced into a lifestyle nightmares are made of. When the young Japanese girl escapes, her only focus is exacting revenge and saving other girls from the same fate by bringing down Michael Chen, the powerful mobster who destroyed her innocence.

Between two misfits…

Four years later she meets antiques dealer Mark Chandler, the only man who ever treated her with respect. Though she is torn by her unfamiliar feelings for him, Yoko’s grand scheme doesn’t involve falling in love, and a man like Mark would never want her if he discovered her past. What she doesn’t know is that he has his own dark secrets…

Brought together by love and revenge.

Mark never thought he could lose his head over a woman, but the haunted eyes of his beautiful new employee fill his soul with desire and tenderness. When he learns about what had happened to her, his vengeance knows no limits. Nor does his resolve to help her heal and discover love.

You can listen to a sample of THE PLOT on YouTube, watch the book trailer, and if you want to hear more, you can find THE PLOT on Amazon as well as on all major audiobook distribution channels. Enjoy!

Fondly,

Melinda

The Joy of Audiobooks by Rachelle Ayala @AyalaRachelle #mgtab

There’s always something relaxing and soothing about being read to. Perhaps it brings us back to the nights when our moms and dads read good night stories to us or circle time in kindergarten when the teacher swung a picture around while wowing us with the antics of a beagle or a little caterpillar. The lyrical voice of a good storyteller transports us into that magical dimension of a story.

Nowadays, it’s rare as a grownup to have anyone read to you. But you can still recapture the joy by listening to audiobooks. And these days, they are more exciting and engaging than ever, with actors and actresses playing the roles of the characters, wowing and enchanting the listener.

Here are some of the joys of audiobooks.

  1. You can rest your eyes. Close them and lay back, whether on a hammock or porch swing, or even in a bathtub [just make sure not to drop your player into the water.] Let romance seep into the suds and dream about that hot hero and lazy nights at the beach.
  2. You can exercise while listening. Get your steps in on a brisk walk around the lake, or a quiet stroll through the park. If you prefer a faster pace, plug in the earbuds and run to the tune of a heartpounding thriller.
  3. You can cut boredom while waiting in line, sitting on the bus, riding the subway, or driving to work. Extra bonus, listen to a engaging mystery while driving can keep you awake.
  4. You can multitask. Get in a romantic comedy while scrubbing the kitchen or cleaning the bathroom. Don’t worry if someone hears you laughing out loud while chopping vegetables or dusting your living room.
  5. You can babysit your pets. Studies have shown that dogs are calmer and more relaxed when in the presence of their pack–in many cases, that’s you. Hearing your voice or a calming, soothing human voice lowers their heartbeat and anxiety. Many people leave the TV on, but the constant interruptions of commercials, as well as gunshots and violent sounds, can leave your pets more anxious than you’d like. Playing back a playlist of audiobooks allows you to control what your pet is hearing and lets them relax at the sound of familiarity. Perhaps your dog might like to snooze to a classic or get his tail wagging to a hot romance.

This year, as an author, I’ve invested in getting my most popular stories produced in audio. I’ve enjoyed casting the “right” narrator for the mood and tone of my story, from Christmas novellas to steamy sports romances.

I bet you have more ideas on how to use audiobooks. Please comment and let me know how you like your audiobooks served.

Please check out my Audiobooks on Audible.com AND if you don’t have a membership, you can get one of my books free if you sign up for a 30-day free trial.

Here are a few of the most popular ones. [Check out my Audiobook List on my website] or for the complete updated list of books and those with audio [heat level, etc], http://rachelleayala.net/books/

Here’s a review for Her Christmas Chance narrated by Kate Marcin
” …every teardrop worth crying ”

For me reading a story is like watching a movie. In my mind there’s an image of how the scene will play out, but it doesn’t always end up that way. Her Christmas Chance is like a wonderful gift. It inspires and entertains while waking up even the blackest of hearts. The words were all there, the beauty was evident, all that Bella and Chance needed was the perfect voice to bring their fairy tale to life. Kate Marcin proved the right person for that tough job. It’s only fitting that since the author put so much of herself on display that the narrator do likewise. Ms. Marcin made every teardrop worth crying and every smile a well earned reward.