THE ADVENTURE OF DOING AUDIO BOOKS
I’ve just completed the process of creating an audio book through ACX and have to say it was a joy. I stumbled upon just the right actor/singer/musician who had what can only be described as The Voice. But he also turned out to be a great guy to work with. He was patient with me, and clearly “got” my book and the characters.
Accidental SEAL is Book 1 in the SEAL Brotherhood series, so naturally I decided to record that one first. I listened to all the talent in the ACX catalog and found several I liked, and asked to audition. But when I heard them read my excerpt, I didn’t like the outcome. Then when I played JD Hart’s audition, I got chills. I mean, here was my hero speaking back just like I had imagined he’d do.
It was a little daunting hearing a man I had never met read over my sex scenes. I played his recordings softly and then listened to them in bed with headphones, hoping no one else in the house would hear them. Okay, I was a virgin at this. It’s a very personal thing to open up your creative energies to someone you don’t know.
We went back and forth, and I highly recommend when selecting a narrator, you get someone who is not only talented and professional, but with whom you have an easy communication with. We got into a rhythm and in sync so that we were working on the book sort of at the same time, and could work by email.
One thing I learned from this was that I had a lot of characters. Each character had to have a distinctive voice, and I know this was a challenge for him, but he did it exceptionally well. So, another thing to consider when hiring an ACX Narrator, listen to them read a chapter where there are lots of characters – more than 2 at least. Again, I got lucky. Hired someone who was actually an actor. I could have gotten stuck with someone who couldn’t do this and might have had half the book recorded by the time I figured it out.
One other thing he can do is music. I bought a licensing agreement to play a cut from one of my favorite artists: Two Steps From Hell. I listen to them while I write my SEAL stories. With names like Strength of a 1000, Everlasting, United We Stand, Dark Harbor, Dragon Rider, Ironwing, and my favorite, Everlasting Love how can you not get inspired to write about great heroes who put it all on the line? I mean, my muse wants to get nekkid with all of them.
As I’ve said so many times today, there is absolutely nothing I’d rather be doing than writing military romances. Hope you’ll join me in this thrilling journey.
Book 3 of the series, SEAL Under Covers, is out now.
That left Armando holding the door open to the old beater truck. Damn, but the guy was cool. The happenings in the strip joint hadn’t seemed to ruffle him one bit. He’d have been just as comfortable getting black, blue, and bloody. Gina wondered where he would draw the line.
Do I know where to draw the line? Well, his was personal. Hers was her job. But it was definitely fucked that her ex-boyfriend had to land himself in the middle of her professional world too.
But that’s what kind of a choice you made, Gina. Always making the wrong choices when it came to men. In a way, very much like Mia.
She watched Armando standing there, waiting for her. The other car was waiting for her as well.
Never waste an opportunity to make another bad decision. Her roommate in college used to say that every day, while at the same time managing to bed most of the football team and as many of the soccer players as she could get. Gina always waited up for her, just in case she needed a ride or got too drunk. Just like she was now trying to do for Mia. It was the reason she became a cop. Another bad decision? Well, it certainly was something that had been locked and loaded way down inside her soul after she got the call from the police that fateful night. That night when her roommate became someone’s victim and Gina had sat waiting for a call that would never come.
She wondered what would ruffle this man of steel, amazed that he could make choices so quickly as he had just now. Was he ever afraid in his job like she was in hers?
What threshold am I walking through tonight?
She leaned over to look around the SEAL, checking on Mia in the passenger seat of her own car. Of course she would be safe with the little warrior, a guy who would probably die trying to protect her, from what Mia had said. But this one standing in front of her, balancing on one hip, leaning against the door, his muscular arms worthy of any Popeye character, was dangerous.
To her heart.
“Do I have a choice?” she said to him, watching that smirky little smile and sexy eyes making fun of her while her heart did flip-flops. She’d been close to peeing on herself while she sat and watched her ex-boyfriend nearly call out the brother—the SEAL brother of the woman they were working. It had been wrong on so many levels, even the Pope couldn’t dish out enough forgiveness.
“Get in.” It was a command that made her tense, but the smile he flashed afterwards made her panties wet. Suddenly her ankles wobbled and she nearly fell, which would have been totally uncool. And damn, if he didn’t reach out and put a strong, muscled arm around to steady her. He let her go after he gave her one hurried squeeze, just tight enough for her to learn he was aroused.
Another footnote to a perfectly fucked evening. Her mission was nearly blown. Why did she feel guilty for that? They were supposed to be hanging out with the gang by the stage. Well, she couldn’t help it if Sam and the rest of the crew had decided to pull a game change on her. As she slid onto the torn leather seat of the old truck, she smiled at the recollection. It had been damned satisfying, slapping Sam and tossing the drink into his face. She’d stared right back at him when he showed his anger. And she didn’t flinch or cower this time. She was filled with pride. She’d stood up to him, finally!
But now what? On any other evening, getting into a truck with a SEAL would be a no-brainer. Nothing wrong with a night of sex with a hot guy, if that was where he was headed. She wasn’t completely sure, but she wasn’t that rusty that she couldn’t recognize a good, clean come-on. The fact that he was the brother of their party of interest and it was totally forbidden only heightened her anticipation. But decisions like that were never good ones. She had to put a stop to this somehow.
Tell that to my body. She watched him walk around the front of the vehicle and, yes, she squeezed her eyes shut and imagined him naked.
Get a grip, Gina. As much as she hated to admit it, something about the man set her insides on fire. He was all the right kinds of dangerous for her. A hero. Breathtakingly good-looking in that Latin Lover way she loved in men. Shiny black hair worn a little too long. Tanned complexion with just a hint of stubble. Body well-honed and disciplined. He knew what he wanted and wasn’t afraid to go after it. And he loved his sister, which was the biggest heart-snag of all.
He got in the driver seat, slammed the rickety door closed and sighed.
Did all the air just get sucked out of the truck? It seemed like minutes as she watched him blankly stare through the windshield, his face illuminated by the red taillights of Mia’s vehicle, now pulling away in front of them. Those dark eyes with long lashes and succulent, full lips. She shouldn’t have stared so long, but she couldn’t help it.
He tilted his head and turned in her direction. The eyes didn’t lie. He had the fire inside that his sister had, but in all the right places, not the wrong ones, like Mia. She let him appreciate the red fuzzy dress with the scoop neckline. She didn’t care if her chest got blotchy with nerves or if her cheeks flushed. And, of course, her nipples perked right up
“So how is this going to work?” he asked. The words slid out like satin sheets.
“I’m not quite sure I know what you mean,” she heard herself say in response. She made a point to beat the waver from her voice.
“I take you to your place, or to Mia’s?”
“Your car there?”
“No, I took a cab.”
“And so how would you get home?”
“You assume I want to go home. Maybe I’m going to stay over.”
“I don’t see a pajama bag.”
The crease at the side of his mouth dimpled and she watched the tip of his tongue running across his bottom lip. The words “pajama bag” had never sounded so sexy.
She stuck her chin out, looking back at him with heavy-lidded eyes, and whispered, “I don’t wear pajamas.”