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Replay Audiobook!

I’ve been waiting weeks to tell you my big news! The super talented, super awesome Melissa Strom narrated the audiobook version of Replay, and it launched today on Audible.com! It will soon be on Amazon and iTunes, too!

I am thrilled Melissa accepted this project. She is an incredible television and stage actress. For the audiobook, I wanted someone with both a strong voice and serious acting chops, but I didn’t dare hope for someone as perfect as Melissa. The fact that she grew up in Plano makes it feel like fate, though!

Please take a moment to check out the sample to hear Kelsee’s new voice!

(Isn’t Melissa gorgeous?)

Five Questions with YA Author Shana Norris

After you read this mini-interview with Shana, please enter to win a Kindle Fire during the Kindle INDIEpendence Day giveaway! Contest ends Saturday, July 7!

Book: The Boyfriend Thief

Author: Shana Norris

Avery has her life planned out: this summer she’ll work with a humanitarian program in Costa Rica, next year she’ll graduate at the top of her class. The only problem: getting the rest of the money she needs for the trip before the deadline. Hannah, her biggest competition for valedictorian, makes an offer: If Avery can make Zac break up with Hannah, a check for five hundred dollars is hers. But within Zac’s chaotic world of midnight slushie runs and spontaneous dance parties, Avery’s total order is quickly falling apart while Hannah seems poised to get everything she wants. Just how much is Avery willing to give up for the perfect, planned life?

When did you know you wanted to be an author? I’ve been making up stories ever since I was a little kid, but it wasn’t until I was around age 11 that I realized authors were just normal people who loved to write like I did. So from that point on, I decided that I wanted to become an author one day.

Why do you Indie publish? I love being able to get something new out to readers on my own schedule and connect with new readers online.

What inspired you to write your book? The Boyfriend Thief is one of those “book of my heart” stories. I had worked on it for years, and it started from my need to explore feelings of isolation and having to grow up really fast. I moved away from my parents during my senior year of high school, 700 miles away, and a lot of the feelings of loneliness that Avery has in the book came from my own experiences. I also wanted to write about the complexities of relationships within family and friends, and what draws people to each other or pushes them apart.

What are three things you want people to know about you or your book? #1: I really did work at a locksmith shop for a while, just like Zac does in the book. #2: I have never dressed up as a giant hot dog (thank goodness!). #3: Avery’s best friend Molly was originally a character in my first published book, Something to Blog About, although she was eventually cut out of it. Then she went through a big makeover when she reappeared in this book.

What advice do you have for parents to encourage their kids to read more? Find books on subjects that your kids already enjoy. A lot of times a kid might say they hate to read just because their only experience with reading is the things they have to read for school, which don’t always interest them. If your kid likes aliens, find books about aliens. If they like horses, find series about kids who ride horses. Start with shorter books on things they already like, and then let them gradually move on from there at their own pace.

Thank you, Shana!

Five Questions with YA Author Angela Fristoe

After you read this mini-interview with Angela, please enter to win a Kindle Fire during the Kindle INDIEpendence Day giveaway! Contest ends Saturday, July 7!

Book: Songbird

Author: Angela Fristoe

There are defining moments in life when everything changes. For Dani Mays, it was the day she witnessed her father kill her brother. Now seventeen, she still hasn’t put it behind her.

After Jace’s death, she bounced between her alcoholic mother and foster homes until she found a permanent place. And a reason to want to stay: Reece Tyler. He’s her best friend, yet Dani wants more from him.

Faced with losing Reece, Dani struggles to define his place in her life and escape the influence the memories of her brother’s death have over her choices. Even as she weaves the pieces of her heart back together, the past becomes more than a memory when a former foster brother reappears and Dani begins receiving threatening calls.

When did you know you wanted to be an author? I always loved writing, but never really considered it as a career option until after I finished university. Until then I didn’t even know YA was a genre, but once I started reading YA books I knew I wanted to write my own stories.

Why do you Indie publish? I love the freedom and control I have over my work by Indie publishing. There’s no delay of a year, waiting for someone to take my book to the next step in the process.

What inspired you to write your book? I started writing Songbird as part of Nation Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and basically sat down at my computer the first day and wrote as the story came to me. Dani was a character that really just spoke to me. Some of the events Dani experiences are inspired by real life events that happened to people I know.

What are three things you want people to know about you or your book?

1. The “I’ll love you forever” that comes up throughout Songbird actually comes from my Dad. He would always say that to my sister and me after asking us to do something for him.

2. I considered adding in an epilogue to give the reader a look at Dani and Reece in the future, but decided I wanted the reader to decide on their own where they would be.

3. Without my husband nudging me along and constantly reminding me to get off the internet and back to writing I may never have finished Songbird.

What advice do you have for parents to encourage their kids to read more? Build an appreciation for reading early, and read with your child each day. As they grow up ask them about what they are reading and tell them about what you are reading. Don’t limit their choices by assuming the books they want are low quality. Reading is reading and every word counts. And the best piece of advice I have is to explore your public library. They are a wonderful resource not just for reading, but for building a life long appreciation for literature.

Thank you, Angela!

Five Questions with YA Author Mackenzie Morgan

After you read this mini-interview with Mackenzie, please enter to win a Kindle Fire during the Kindle INDIEpendence Day giveaway! Contest ends Saturday, July 7!

Book: The Master’s Chair

Author: Mackenzie Morgan

One morning Kevin is a 23-year-old accountant living in Omaha, and the next he is in the middle of a field surrounded by strangers. By the end of the day he finds out that not only is he not from Earth, he’s not even Kevin. He’s Myron, son of Badec, and next in line to be the Master Sorcerer. While he’s still reeling from that bit of information, he finds out that due to his father’s illness, he has a little less than one year to learn enough about sorcery to be able to defend his life and chair against sorcerers who have been practicing their craft longer than he’s been alive.

When did you know you wanted to be an author? I’ve enjoyed coming up with plots for stories and inventing characters all of my life, but I never really considered being an author. It was a hobby, an interesting diversion for the rare occasion when I had some free time, like snow days or summer vacation. After I retired from teaching I decided to take a few of my characters and one of the plots and see if I could write a book. I had a really good time doing it, so I decided to write another, and that’s when I decided I wanted to be an author.

Why do you Indie publish? Everything I’d heard or read about publishing companies and agents convinced me that I didn’t want to deal with them. I was perfectly willing to print my books on my printer, put them in a 3-ring notebook, and let anyone who wanted to read them borrow the notebook. I didn’t intend to “publish.” But my sister bought a Kindle, read some books put out by indies, and convinced me that this was the way to go.

What inspired you to write your book? Basically I write the type of story I like to read. When I started writing The Master’s Chair, I had to set up a world that I liked, one where I would be comfortable, one I could live in, and Terah came into focus for me.

What are three things you want people to know about you or your book? First of all, my books are entertainment, first for me, then for the reader. There is no underlying message or agenda. They are meant to be fun. Secondly, I write what I like to read, not to fit a formula. Third, none of my protagonists have something in their past that’s going to haunt them to their dying day. I know it happens in real life, but not in my books.

What advice do you have for parents to encourage their kids to read more? Let them read stories that interest them, even if they’re not the type that interest you. Make sure books or reading materials are readily available throughout the house, and let them see that you enjoy reading.

Thank you, Mackenzie!

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