Authors: Send Me Your Audiobooks! 

For the love of all that is holy, please! I understand this is a lot to ask, and that audiobooks are expensive, but I’m desperate here. Let me explain.

I have about a 15 minute walk to work every day. Lately, it’s been getting kind of boring. What, am I supposed to look around and appreciate nature or something? No thank you. A few months ago I was in the habit of listening to the 6th Outlander book every morning. Now that I’ve finished listening to book 6, I downloaded book 7 on Audible, but every time I go to listen to it I am filled with an all consuming rage. The last book was so unbelievably boring, and my body seems to be resisting putting myself through that pain again. It also probably wouldn’t be the best way to start my day at work if I arrived in the office with the urge to throw something.


So rather than bore myself to death by listening to the next Outlander book, I am imploring any and all romance authors out there with an audiobook on hand to help me avoid book 7 for just a little longer. Also! It’s almost fall, which means that I will soon be doing an intense amount of travel all throughout the US for work from now until Thanksgiving. I’ll have so much audiobook listening time available, from waiting in airport lines to driving for hours from Montreal to Maine. Listening to a sexy scene using the text-to-speech function on my Kindle just isn’t cutting it anymore. Therefore authors, if you send me an audiobook, I’ll probably finish it pretty damn quickly, and be able to write a review that much faster. Help me pass the time!


Don’t worry though, if you don’t have any audiobooks of your work we can still be friends 🙂 Feel free to send me what you have at romance4thebeach at gmail dot com.

Interview with Author Danny Fisher

While at BookExpo America a few weeks ago, I had the privilege to meet with author Danny Fisher. She was kind enough to participate in an interview about how she started her writing career, the challenges she’s faced, and some features about her various works. Enjoy!

1. You began your writing career after a failed job interview. The interviewing panel was so impressed with your personal statement that they suggested you write a book. Had you done any writing before that time in the manner of short stories or drafts of novels? 

In all honesty, I did not do any significant amount of writing prior to that day. I had penned the occasional bad poem, but nothing more. I went home that day and purchased a mini pink Acer laptop and began writing immediately. I started with my autobiography. Soon, ideas for other stories started developing and I went with it.

dannyAt this point, I was still approaching this as a hobby. It wasn’t until I read an article in an Oprah magazine about finding your calling that I looked at it differently. In the article, Joy Behar told the story of how she had been an English teacher, and miserable. One day, she heard that if she wanted to be happy she should do what made her happy when she was ten. She remembered entertaining her family with jokes so she walked away from teaching and became a stand-up comedian. I took the same advice. I recalled that when I was ten I was an avid reader. I carried around a book by Harold Robbins called, A Stone for Danny Fisher. I kept that book for years, and realized as I pondered what to do next with my life that I liked seeing my name on the cover of a book. It was then that I made the decision to turn my hobby into my profession.

2. What was the biggest challenge you faced when taking those first steps to become a professional author? 

When I began writing the biggest challenge was being taken seriously. I first published back in 2011 when self-publishing was still a dirty word. It was viewed as though anyone can publish a book now so books published that way must all be awful. In reality, while there are a lot of bad books out there (both self and traditionally published), what self-publishing managed to do was to make a lot of good books (that would have spent years in a slush pile or ignored altogether) available to readers. Now that the industry is recognizing self-publishing as the next big thing, the challenge is to set yourself and your work apart from the pack. The way to do that is to focus on branding yourself as a writer instead of promoting just one or two books.

3. Based on the novels you have written so far, it looks like you are comfortable writing in a variety of genres, from young adult to paranormal. However, is there a particular genre which you think is more fun to write?

When I sit down at my computer to begin a new book, I do not focus on writing in any certain genre. Instead, I start with a what if question and go from there. The genre will become apparent when the book is done. I like to think that I could write in any genre with enough research behind me. I found the paranormal genre really fun to write because it stretches the realm of believability even farther than normal. You can make up a lot more stuff, and who can really argue with you? If I want my vampires to be able to exist in the daylight without burning to ash, that is my choice. It’s fiction, and that in itself enables the writer to push the envelope when creating the worlds their characters will inhabit. Add a paranormal element, exotic locales, a little bit of sex, and some great action scenes and you’ve written a book that is downright naughty fun.

4. Do you like to share your work with family and friends before it’s finished, or do you prefer to wait when you have a final product? 

I follow Stephen King’s advice on this one so I’ll paraphrase: Write with the door closed because what you are writing is just for you. Rewrite with the door open. I get the first draft of my book as finished and as good as I think I can, then I turn it over to my niece and/or my mom. They are both avid readers, and they are good critics. They let me know if the story has any major holes in it, or if something didn’t make sense. After that, I do revisions and then I’m good with letting anyone read it. I’ve always said I don’t write for my desk drawer. I decided early on that I wouldn’t be afraid to share my stuff, and even more so, the journey it took to get there. 

5. Your book Lucky seems to revolve around some difficult subject matter, including child kidnapping. Was there a particular reason you chose to focus on such an intense subject, or did it just come to you? Also related to Lucky, the novel features a biker gang. How did you research biker culture? Have you ever ridden a motorcycle?

luckyAs I said, I write from the what if question. I wanted to write a story about a child that was put in a situation that was the exact opposite of an environment a child could thrive in, and explore the question of whether or not one stable adult in her life would be enough to save her from falling through the cracks. I grew up in a home wrought with domestic violence, and I began to think, what if my aunts had not been around to spend time with me? What if I hadn’t had anyone to help me through it? I gave Lucky one very ill-equipped adult to watch over her to make it even more interesting. Is his love for her enough to help her heal from everything she endures?  I researched the biker culture in college while pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice. I became enthralled with the outlaw biker culture, and organized crime in general. I have ridden a motorcycle as a passenger a few times. I am by no means a biker, haha.

6. Your novel Burnt Stones tells the tale of a man suffering from unrequited love, and one night with his dream girl proves disastrous. Have you ever experienced unrequited love for yourself? Did the person ever find out your true feelings?

burntI know I have experienced unrequited love numerous times in the form of crushes, but one time in particular comes to mind. I was in ninth grade. I was extremely unpopular (I moved several times as a kid and was always the dreaded new girl), and he was very popular. I was also very shy. One day, I got the nerve to let him know how I felt. I chose to send him one of those carnations I bought at school for fifty cents that they delivered during homeroom for your sweetheart on the day of the dance (so pathetic, I know). The brilliance of this strategy is that I didn’t have to be present when he got it because we didn’t share a homeroom. Of course, the downfall of this strategy is that if he never responded I’d always have to wonder if he really got it, or if it got lost, and I’m back to square one.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have to wonder long. The bell rang, I exited homeroom and promptly ran into him with his group of friends as he showed them all the flower I had sent him. When I showed up, they laughed hysterically at how funny it was that I thought he would actually want to date me. I know this because they laughed, pointed and said as much loud enough for all to hear. Humiliated, I made a quick retreat. There is a scene in Burnt Stones where Allison humiliates Casey when he asks her out for the first time. Although the details are different, I can certainly relate to the emotions he felt afterwards. That’s the beauty of writing, if you’re brave enough to explore all the things that ever hurt you or challenged you, you can usually channel any residual emotions into a scene or a character.

7. I know this is a fairly common question, but considering my blog revolves around books and you are an author, it would be blasphemous if I didn’t at least ask you what is your favorite book?

To Kill a Mockingbird, no question.

8. Lastly, what would you suggest to all of the readers out there who are considering writing a book of their own? 

Before you so much as type one word, be honest with why you are doing this, what you hope to achieve and most importantly, how far are you willing to put yourself out there for your work? Decide if you are writing for your own pleasure/creative outlet, or if you desire to be recognized as a professional writer. Like me, you may need to write something and receive some validation before you can even imagine that answer, but that’s okay. If you decide to write professionally, be honest as to why. Do you want money and fame? If that’s all you desire, click on your webcam and make a sex tape, it’s easier.

Or, are you writing to share your truth? Are you writing because you can’t NOT write? Are you an artist? If yes, then how much are you willing to share? How vulnerable are you to criticism? Are you open to always learning and perfecting your craft, or do you think you already know it all? Can you stand tall for your voice as a writer when people tell you that you need to change everything about yourself/your book if you want success? Remember, authenticity trumps everything (as told to me by Josh Shipp, motivational speaker guru).  In short, no one will believe in you or your work if you don’t decide now how you feel and how far you’re willing to go to share your story. Then write, write and write some more.

Check out More of Danny’s Work on Amazon


The Exit Strategy

Off the Beating Path

Burnt Stones

City Vamps



Guest Post and Giveaway by Author Evelyn Aster!

One of my newest favorite authors, Evelyn Aster, was gracious enough to write a post for today where she discusses some of her recent projects and the inspiration behind them. She’s also included a link below for a free copy of her novel Masked Hearts. Did you hear me people? This is a no strings attached free book, which also happens to be an awesome read. Get it while you can!

Guestpost by Evelyn Aster

A huge thank you to Lauren for reviewing my book Corporate Fire and allowing me to guest blog here today! Lauren asked me to talk about what inspires my writing. Everything influences me, but I’ll try to narrow it down 🙂

billionaireI love romance. I love sex. Who doesn’t? But when I peruse romance bookshelves, I see droves of billionaires. I get it; billionaires are our modern day Prince Charmings. But I’m never gonna run into a billionaire with my car and have him ask me out for coffee on his jet to Paris. And I’m fine with that.

When I write stories, I like to write about people I might meet at work or in a coffee house. Yes, they might be a little better looking than your average clientele, but their problems are similar to yours and mine—with a twist of love.

My latest book Corporate Fire, available exclusively on Kindle, was inspired during the recent recession when a multitude of people were being laid off. The main character Grace not only has to suffer being let go from a company she’s been loyal to, but the ax man Royce is the only man she’s ever flipped head over heels for at first sight. What is a gal to do?

I admit, I was inspired by George Clooney’s character in the movie Up in the Air. But that dude is broken. Royce is a good guy with a bad job that’s coming between him and Grace, the woman he adores.

In my other book Masked Hearts, also reviewed by Lauren, Sienna is a young teacher and Mark is the hot single dad of one of her students. Navigating an intensely sexual relationship outside of school while maintaining a professional teacher/parent relationship isn’t exactly commonplace, but it could happen. After all, I was a young teacher hit on by a hot single dad with two children 🙂 But I’ll never know if I would’ve bound myself to his tie rack as Sienna did because I was dating someone else at the time.

Romance isn’t just for billionaires. It’s for everyone.

I’d like to invite you to my world of romance for real people by giving you my first novel Masked Hearts Book 1 in the Holiday Cafe series for free! You can get it one of two ways: Visit the Masked Hearts page on Smashwords and use the coupon code HD24G. Or you can email me directly at In the email, let me know what file you need, epub, mobi (Kindle) or pdf. I promise I won’t spam you later.

And please check out Corporate Fire on Amazon!

Evelyn Aster loves coffee, chocolate and romance. If she’s not at a cafe writing, she’s most likely out on a date, enjoying a cocktail with St. Germaine in it.

You can also find her at:
Twitter: @EvelynAster

An ARC What Now?

For those of you who regularly read my blog (thank you much) you have probably noticed that at the bottom of a post or five I include the disclaimer *An ARC has been provided for an honest review*. Now if you have a book review blog of your own, or you have surpassed the intelligence of a 10 year old, you can probably guess what an ARC is. Basically, an author provides me with an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of their book in the hopes that I will post a review of it on my lovely little blog here. AKA, marketing in the modern world. Honestly, when I was first contacted by an author who wanted to give me a free copy of their book to review, my first thought was: what the hell kind of a scam is this! I really thought that the minute I downloaded the book a virus would corrupt my entire computer. So I researched the author, looked up what the heck “ARC” stood for, and held my breath as I hit the download button. Paranoid much? Alas, no technological tomfoolery ensued, and my time as an ARC reviewer began! I really have no idea if it’s politically correct to classify yourself as an ARC reviewer, but what the hell, I’m just going with the flow.

I’ll admit I was so unbelievably excited when that first author contacted me to review their book. Ever since then, I’ve noticed that every time an author sends me an e-mail requesting a review, two thoughts immediately go through my head, 1) holy crap, another author has somehow stumbled across my blog and wants to give me a free book!! 2) shit, now I have homework!! It seems like every time I finish an ARC, I get two more in my inbox. Rest assured all you authors out there, if you have sent me a copy of your work it is now safely stored on my Kindle, and now that the holidays are coming up I should have plenty of free time from work to do nothing but sit and read. Well, and eat a ridiculous amount of food that nobody should consume in one sitting. What else are the holidays for?

One of my favorite things about reviewing books that authors give me is that it sort of forces me to branch out as far as what I read. I always tend to default to the contemporary romance genre, with a focus on friends or co-workers falling in love. But I’ve read ARCs that feature paranormal characters, leads suffering from loss and depression, action-packed chase scenes in the Middle East, and even some with a bit of BDSM erotic qualities. Each one of these is definitely out of my comfort zone, and yet I’ve enjoyed a large number of them. Whenever I tell someone I know that an author wants me to review their book, one of my favorite questions they undoubtedly will ask at some point is, “What happens if you don’t like it?”. Well, ladies and gents, if you ask for an honest review, that’s what you’re gonna get. I must say, I have a lot of respect for all of you authors out there brave enough to provide me with your works. If you have done your necessary research, and read through a few of my reviews you’ll know that I can either praise your book from cover to cover, or I can rip it apart like a sarcasm sundae, covered in dry humor frosting, and top it all off with some inappropriate curse words. However, I do have a little message for all you authors out there: if I happen to dislike certain aspects of your book, or the whole thing entirely, just remember that you are far more talented than I. Sure, I can critique your novel in a short 800 word post, but you have written an entire book! That is something that I have not accomplished, and you can hold it over my head for all time. I hereby give you permission to do so. Enjoy.

I must say I’ve been having a lot of fun reviewing all these ARCs, and I hope to continue getting more in the future. If you’re an author who has written a novel which contains romance in some form, and would like me to feature a review of it on my blog, feel free to e-mail me at romance4thebeach at gmail dot com. A mobi or epub version would be best for my Kindle, which I feel I should really give a name at this point due to my overwhelming feelings of love for the device. What do you think of Kiki the Kindle? Koko? In case you’re wondering, I do this a lot. I can’t help it, I find giving names to inanimate objects amusing. The weirder the better.