Audio Spotlight & Author Interview: Rebel Without A Clause, by Abigail Drake

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Title: Rebel Without A Clause

Author: Abigail Drake

Narrator: Elizabeth Scott

Length: 7 hours 33 minutes

Series: The Tink Holly Chronicles, Book 1

Publisher: Abigail Drake

Released: Nov. 22, 2021

Genre: Romance; Holiday

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Christmas elf Tinklebelle Holly is a screw-up. Demoted to a job in the reindeer division after one infraction too many, she hates her job, hates her life, and despises the North Pole.

But when a surprise visitor arrives from Elven High Council and Tink is assigned to show him around, everything changes. Jax Grayson is a dark elf, and unlike anyone she’s ever met. Looking past his obvious hotness, Tink knows he has a secret, and the audit he’s supposedly performing doesn’t feel legit.

After an unexpected tragedy occurs, Tink’s life is thrown into even greater turmoil, and it seems like Jax might be the only one Tink can truly trust. Can she help him figure out what’s happening on the North Pole, or will Jax be her worst mistake of all?

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Q&A with Author Abigail Drake
  • Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
    • After many of my readers asked for audiobook versions of my books, and my writer friends encouraged (aka pushed) me to do it, I finally took the plunge for “Rebel Without a Claus,” my 16th published novel. It was surprisingly fun and not stressful at all to turn this book into an audiobook. The first step, listening to auditions for narrators, took only minutes. As soon as I heard Elizabeth Scott’s voice, I knew she’d be the perfect person to bring my character Tink to life. I wasn’t wrong! She did an amazing job.
  • Do you believe certain types of writing translate better into audiobook format?
    • I’ve enjoyed listening to audiobooks in many genres. The only ones that are difficult for me personally are books with lots of sexual content. I love reading those books (don’t get me wrong!), and writing them, too, but I get oddly uncomfortable listening to them. I guess I need to get over it. I’m working on a sci-fi romance series with a higher heat level than I usually employ, and plan to make those into audiobooks too.
  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
    • With “Rebel Without a Claus” I definitely had plans early on to make it into an audiobook. I heard Tink’s voice loud and clear the whole time I was writing it.
  • How did you select your narrator?
    • Like I said, It was so easy. I went onto ACX, described the requirements, and had a few narrators apply for auditions right away. I listened to two of them, and they were both good. Elizabeth Scott was the third audition I listened to, and immediately decided she was the perfect fit.
  • How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?
    • Elizabeth Scott is a pro, and we had a great collaboration. I gave her character sketches (just a few lines), to help her out. For example, I would tell her that imagined a certain character would have a gruff voice or a soft voice. When any pronunciation issues came up, she took care of them right away. She was a pleasure to work with—and really quick, too!
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
    • Well, since “Rebel Without a Claus” is about a Christmas elf solving a murder mystery involving a drug ring on the North Pole, not really!! But I’m a huge fan of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. And if Stephanie Plum and Buddy the Elf had a love child, I think it would be Tink Holly!
  • How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?
    • I think part of the way I avoid burn-out is by writing in several different genres. All of my books are either romances, or have romantic elements, but I write everything from sweet YA to not-so-sweet sci-fi romance. Others have advised me to find a niche and stick with it, and they are probably right, but if I did that, I think I would get burned-out! As far as enthusiasm is concerned, I just love telling stories. I always have, and hopefully I always will. I also love every element of the process involved in creating a book, from the first whisper of an idea, to the rough draft, to edits, and then (my favorite part), getting it into the hands of my readers! When I hear they enjoyed my work, it’s the best thing in the world.
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you?
    • I am an avid audiobook listener. I love the art of oral storytelling, and it truly is an art. I also like that I can listen to a book on a long car ride, or while I’m cleaning or cooking. It gives an escape even while performing mundane tasks, and it makes them easier to complete.
  • Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
    • Tink Holly has such a strong voice, and she’s a really fun character. What came through when I heard Elizabeth Scott narrate the book was both Tink’s positivity and her honesty. She doesn’t make excuses for herself, and she admits when she’s wrong. I didn’t understand that about her until I listened to Elizabeth narrate. It was so interesting what elements a good narrator will uncover!
  • What’s next for you?
    • I’m finishing up my sci-fi series, and then starting on the second Tink Holly book. I think it’ll be called “Claus and Effect.” I can’t wait to find out what happens next!

Award-winning author Abigail Drake has spent her life traveling the world and collecting stories wherever she visited. She majored in Japanese and Economics in college, and is a book hoarder, a coffee drinker, a linguistics geek, and an eternal optimist. She writes women’s fiction and young adult fiction with smart, sassy, funny heroines, and she also enjoys blogging about the adventures of her mischievous Labrador retriever, Capone.

Abigail is the winner of the prestigious 2017 Prism Award for her book Traveller, and the International Digital Award for her young adult novel, Tiger Lily. In addition, she was named a finalist in the Golden Pen, the Golden Leaf, the Dante Rossetti Book Award, and the Cygnus Award for Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction. Learn more about http://abigaildrake.com.

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Spotlight & Excerpt: Christmas In Silverwood + Giveaway

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Christmas in Silverwood
by Dorothy Dreyer
Published by: Rosewind Books
Publication date: November 9th 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Holly St. Ives is in a rut. Once a celebrated artist making waves in New York City, she finds herself uninspired and unmotivated. Her recent break-up is the last push she needs to spend Christmas alone in the small mountain cabin her father left her in his will—a family getaway she hasn’t visited in years.

After a near accident in Silverwood, she meets Nick, whom she learns is responsible for everything in the small town running like clockwork—including the upcoming Christmas festival and the town’s entry in the state-wide tree decorating contest. Holly doesn’t have time for Nick’s beguiling charm or mouth-watering holiday cupcakes, but after meeting his father, she discovers there’s more to the town’s obsession with the contest than meets the eye.

Touched by the prospect that the whole town is willing to pitch in for a good cause, Holly can feel her Christmas spirit making a comeback as Nick—and his team of Alaskan Malamutes—works his way into her heart to show her the meaning of Christmas again.

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Excerpt:

“You weren’t hurt, were you?” the man asked, inspecting the position of the car.

“Well, your mutt almost got me killed.”

The man narrowed his eyes. “Mutt? Cupid is a pure-bred Alaskan Malamute.”
Cupid rolled over in the snow with its tongue sticking out. When it got back up on its paws, it shook to get the snow off its fur.

Holly flinched as bits of snow sprayed up onto her coat. “Oh, excuse me!

Maybe you should teach your pure-bred not to chase squirrels across the road. What’s he got against squirrels anyway? You’d think a dog named Cupid would have a heart for the poor creatures. What kind of saint is that?”

Cupid proceeded to sit in the snow again, raising its paw. Did the dog want to shake hands or something? She could have sworn it winked at her.

The man let out a small laugh.

“What’s so funny?” Holly asked.

“First of all, I think Cupid’s trying to offer his apologies. Secondly, I think you’re thinking of the mythological god of love and attraction. There is no Saint Cupid. And third, he was actually named after the reindeer. You know, from the Rudolph song?”

Holly scoffed and shrugged.

The man rubbed at his bearded jaw. She’d been too worked up to notice, but now he’d drawn attention to his face. Underneath his wool bomber hat, the man actually had attractive features. Strong cheekbones, square jaw, and blue eyes that made her think of summer—wait, what was she doing?

“Whatever,” was all she could think of to say as she fought off a blush. “Just get your dog out of the road.”

“Look, sorry for the trouble. Do you need any help with your car? I’ve got some tow straps in the truck if you need help getting out of that snowbank.”

Holly pursed her lips. “No, thanks. I can manage.” She turned to head back to her car but then stopped suddenly. Letting out a frustrated breath, she swung back around to face him. “Can you tell me if this road leads to Silverwood?”

“Oh, you’re headed to Silverwood?”

Holly narrowed her eyes at him. “Yeah.”

The man smiled. “Yep, it sure does. Just keep following the road about twenty miles down and you’ll see the sign.”

Holly nodded her head once. “Thank you.”

“The name’s Nick, by the way.” He said when she was almost at her car door.

She lifted her hand but didn’t look back at him. She wasn’t sure why she was being so impolite to this handsome stranger. At the sound of a bark, she flinched, but refused to turn around. Was she crazy to think the dog was barking goodbye to her, wishing her a pleasant journey? Yeah, that was crazy.

Once she was in her car, she closed the door and turned the ignition key. After shifting into reverse, she pushed on the gas, but the car wouldn’t budge. The engine simply revved without the car going anywhere.

“No, no, no.” She didn’t really want to have to ask Nick for help. She’d already felt like she made a fool of herself by being so rude to him. Glancing down, she realized she’d forgotten to disengage the handbrake.

Letting out a sigh of relief, she sheepishly glanced in her rearview mirror at Nick to see if he noticed. Nick stood where he had been, smirking with his hands in his coat pockets.

Cheeks burning, she expelled a huff of exasperation and drove off.

Once she was safely down the road, she let her shoulders sag and her head fall back against the headrest. Checking her rearview mirror, she caught Nick patting Cupid on the head before heading back to his truck. She shook her head, finding the encounter incredulous. Still, the man had been polite and didn’t fight back with her, even though she knew she was the one being inexplicably rude. No, Nick had been a gentleman.

Nick, she thought. That’s a nice name.


Author Bio:

Dorothy Dreyer is an award-winning, USA Today bestselling author. Born in Angeles City, Philippines to a Filipino mother and American Father, Dorothy grew up a military brat, living in Guam, Massachusetts, South Dakota, New Jersey, and New York. She now lives in Frankfurt, Germany with her family and two Siberian huskies. Dorothy is bilingual, and speaks fluent English and German.

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Spotlight: I’ll Be Home For Christmas, by M. W. Arnold

Ill Be Home For Christmas

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I’ll Be Home For Christmas
Broken Wings book 3
by M. W. Arnold

A mysterious key left by her murdered sister, leads Air Transport Auxiliary pilot Betty Palmer on a journey of discovery and danger. Given up to an orphanage upon birth, the parents she’s long thought had no part in her life force themselves back in, purely out of greed and self-preservation.

Penny’s life is unexpectedly turned upside down by a potentially life-changing situation, which causes her wounded husband to question their marriage. No-one seems safe in this year of turmoil in the middle years of the war, as some relationships face breaking point whilst others become stronger.

Kidnap, crashes and dogfights, the girls of the Air Transport Auxiliary Mystery have never faced such dangers. To survive may not be enough as they must find the strength to rise above the most trying times yet of their lives.

Purchase Links:  UK / US

Author Bio:
Mick spent fifteen-odd years roaming around the world, courtesy of HM Queen Elizabeth II – gawd bless her – before becoming a civilian and realizing what working for a living really was.

He loves traveling, and the music of the Beach Boys, Queen, Muse, and Bon Jovi. Books play a large part in his life, not only writing, but also reading and reviewing, as well as supporting his many author friends.

He’s the proud keeper of two Romanian Were-Cats bent on world domination, and enjoys the theatre and humoring his Manchester United-supporting wife. Finally, and most importantly, Mick is a full member of the Romantic Novelists Association. I’ll be Home for Christmas will be his third novel with The Wild Rose Press.

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Other books by M. W. Arnold from The Wild Rose Press, Inc.

A Wing and a Prayer
Wild Blue Yonder

Social media links
Facebook
Twitter & Instagram: @Mick859
YouTube Channel

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