A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments and often have guest bloggers. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

We find our genre delightfully, dangerously, and deliciously exciting - join us here, if you do too!

Julie Moffet . Cathy Perkins . Jean Harrington . Daryl Anderson . Nico Rosso . Maureen A Miller . Sandy Parks . Lisa Q Mathews . Sharon Calvin . Lynne Connolly . Janis Patterson . Vanessa Keir . Tonya Kappes . Julie Rowe . Joni M Fisher . Leslie Langtry

Friday, January 9, 2015

Audiobook Virgin

I confess I never used to listen to audiobooks. The kids were always around and the books I like tend to be unsuitable for young ears so I didn't get into them. Then a few things happened. First we started listening to 39 Clues books on long road trips across country, then my hubs bought me Boise noise-canceling headphones for my last birthday.

My world exploded.  :)

Nowadays I try to find all my research books on audio and (when it isn't too frickin' cold) I listen to the books on dog walks or when I'm doing housework. Win-win.

Recently I decided to take the plunge into getting my self-published titles produced in audio format. I put it off for about a year because I can not stand listening to my own words being spoken out loud. All five of my traditionally published books are out in audio, but I've never got past the first page.

I needed to get over that. :)

After signing up to ACX, the first thing I had to do was choose a narrator. Sounds easy enough, right? :) Pick a voice, any voice. I went online and started listening to various excerpts (you can do that on audible--in fact you can go ahead and listen to a sample of A COLD DARK PLACE right here). And once again my world exploded--only not in a good way. I was overwhelmed by the selection.

I've heard a few people saying they don't like male narrators in general, but I really felt my COLD JUSTICE series needed a guy. A sexy guy. A sexy American guy :) So I went with my gut and I loved the results.

I decided to search for a male reader who'd narrated both Romance novels but also Suspense/Thriller books. There's a big suspense component in my books but more importantly it's hard (ha!) to read a love scene without making it sound weird--and my books are pretty sexy. But I lucked out and found a guy who'd read for both JR Ward and Bob Mayer (amongst others) and knew I'd found the right person. So I emailed him and discovered he was a singer, narrator and an author, and all around good guy. His name is Eric G. Dove

The process itself was painless. The only thing I had to do was listen through and proof the files. There were a couple of funny errors. The one that made us both laugh was when my hero 'flashed his lace-edged stockings' as opposed to 'flashed back to lace-edged stockings' (that the heroine was wearing) :) Glad I caught that one :)

So, I've lost my audio virginity, and it was awesome :) If you aren't an Audible customer yet you can sign up and listen to A COLD DARK PLACE for free. The title is also available on iTunes and Amazon.

I'm going to give away a copy of my new audiobook to one lucky commenter.  I'd love to know how you feel about male narrators--love? Hate? Indifference?

Justice isn’t always black or white. 
Former CIA assassin Alex Parker works for The Gateway Project, a clandestine government organization hell-bent on taking out serial killers and pedophiles before they enter the justice system. Alex doesn’t enjoy killing, but he’s damn good at it. He’s good at dodging the law, too—until a beautiful rookie agent has him wondering what it might be like to get caught. 
FBI Special Agent Mallory Rooney has spent years hunting the lowlife who abducted her identical twin sister eighteen years ago. Now, during an on-going serial killer investigation, Mallory begins to suspect there’s a vigilante operating outside the law. She has no choice but to take him down, because murder isn’t justice. Is it? 
Sometimes it’s cold and dark.
When Mallory starts asking questions, The Gateway Project management starts to sweat, and orders Alex to watch her. As soon as they meet, the two begin to fall in love. But the lies and betrayals that define Alex’s life threaten to destroy them both—especially when the man who stole her sister all those years ago makes Mallory his next target, and Alex must reveal his true identity to save the woman he loves.


Laurie Wood said...

I'd rather listen to a male rather than a female narrator. Men's voices tend to be smoother and easier for you ear to "tune" in to...probably why males dominated radio for eons. Even now I get fed up with female DJ's on FM stations. Their voices just seem forced or irritating after awhile, especially if they're laughing. But that's probably just my own peculiar peev!

Anne Marie Becker said...

Wow, Toni! With the self-publishing learning curve this year, I've been hesitant to look for a narrator and jump into the audiobook world. My first three or four books (with Carina Press) were made into audiobooks, but I haven't had the time or energy to look into doing the self-pub books. Thanks for the encouraging post! :) (And I, for one, love listening to male narrators. So sexy. :) )

Marcelle Dubé said...

Hmm... Let's see... Having a deep male voice murmuring in my ear? Yes, I'm fine with that. :-) Congratulations on taking the leap, Toni!

Toni Anderson said...

Laurie--I hadn't thought about radio, but yes, I generally prefer males voices.

Anne Marie--I think finding the right narrator goes a long way to smoothing the process. You need a professional. It was easier than I expected but I had to put in say, two full days, really listening to the recording word by word and comparing it to the book. Interestingly it makes you see your writing more clearly.

Toni Anderson said...

Ha! Marcelo :)

Toni Anderson said...

LOL--Marcelle --I did NOT call you Marcelo.

Maureen A. Miller said...

Bold steps, but the world will be a happier place with your books in Audible.

As a kid, I can remember a local radio station reading scary stories live on the radio every Wednesday at 10pm. I used to hide under the covers with the radio up against my ear so that my parents didn't hear. That was my first introduction to Audible, and I loved it. :)

ardent.ereader said...

I joined Audible this year and so far I have probably listened to more male narrators than female. In my opinion as long as the narrator is good it doesn't matter male or female. Thanks for the chance at the giveaway,

Rita said...

I began listening because of vision problems. For me audio books are better than reading the book or seeing the movie. Water for Elephants was absolutely brilliant. I had no desire to see the movie. I have no preference as to male or female narrators. I will tell you a guy reading a hot scene is well…hot. There is one male narrator, that no matter how much I want to read the book, if he’s reading, I WILL NOT get it. He makes a thriller sound like an economics textbook. Ugh! Audio books are expensive. If I am disappointed by a narrator I will not pick a book with them again. But thankfully there are only three.
Long books, as in the Outlander series, get me through ugly housework chores. I cannot listen while driving. I pay too much attention to the story and not driving.
Perhaps as Maureen said it was early years listening to radio that makes them so comfortable.

Toni Anderson said...

Maureen--I recognize the rebel in you, even now :)

ardent.ereader--you're welcome :) And glad to hear it.

Rita--my hubby is the same in the car. I have to remind him to watch the road. I'd love to know what you think of this one.

kathryn jane said...

Hey Toni!

I have a friend who adores audio books so I'm glad I can recommend this one to her now :)

I'd love to dip my foot into Audio waters when ACX opens up to Canadian authors, so I'm glad to hear the process isn't crazy complicated :)

jean harrington said...

Toni, If you have to be a virgin, audio is good choice. I've had two wines. Forgive me. Great post, informative and entertaining. The big two.

Toni Anderson said...

Kathryn--it's happening :) And thank you.

Jean--ha :) I live to serve X

Toni Anderson said...

Winners--because I'm feeling happy...
Laurie Wood, ardent.ereader and Kathryn Jane--
contact me and I'll send you a coupon for a copy of the audiobook!

email toniannanderson at

Cathy Perkins said...

Congratulations! Some books sound better with a female narrator (I'm listening to one of Evanovich's now) but in general I like male narrators also.

I'm working my way up the indie learning curve and have eyed ACX... you've inspired me to take another look :)

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