Guide to Audible without a membership.

Reading takes a lot of time. Most books take between four to eight hours to complete, and most of us can only scrounge up about one or two hours a day for it. But what if there was a way to steal more reading time?

What if you could read while you did all your boring daily tasks like brushing your teeth and cooking a meal? Reading in the car, on your way to and from work? What if you could read in the shower?

img_20200323_010958

The book is Cry of the Raven by Morgan Busse. I took the photo.

Welcome to the world of audiobooks. The amazing, hands free way to steal over a whole extra hour of reading time per day. Audiobooks are amazing, but it can be a pricey habit. Most audibooks go for around twenty dollars, which makes sense, having to pay the narrator as well as the author.

The most common place to get audiobooks right now is Audible.

Audible is Amazon’s audiobook service. They offer one free audiobook a month if you sign up for a subscription at $14.95 a month. (Note: not free, you paid $14.95 for it.) So you save about five dollars off the cost of a twenty dollar audiobook.

But this not about convincing you to get a membership, this is about how to get audiobooks for cheaper than the cost of an Audible membership.

First Steps

Make sure you have an Amazon account.

Install the Audible App on the device you use most.

Sign in with your Amazon account. Ignore the adds trying to get you to sign up for a membership.

Now let’s find you something to read.

Shop on Amazon not on Audible

On Amazon search for the book you want to read. Make sure you are searching for the ebook format. Do not search for audiobooks!

If the book is also available in audio then you will often see a discount for buying both the ebook and audio version together. Keep in mind that this will not work if you use Kindle Unlimited. You must purchase the Ebook to get the Narration discount.

Underneath the buy now with one click button you will see a check box that says add audible to your purchase, and a price. This price is almost always $7.49. ($8.01 after sales tax) Still almost half what a membership costs.

But once in a while you will find a better deal.

Here is a deal to start you off.

The book Off to Be the Wizard by Scott Meyer is a hilarious fantasy about computer nerds who learn to code reality.

screenshot_20200329-165010

Screenshot is from amazon.com on 3/29/2020.

Right now you can get it for 99 cents and add the audiobook for $1.99. This is an eleven hour narration people. Eleven hours for $3! (Amazon prices can change on a whim, always verify prices before buying.)

And that’s not all. Has your favorite author ever offered their ebooks for free on Amazon? Well go ahead and snag it, because if they have it in audio, that’s a $7.49 audibook, that you don’t have to add the cost of the ebook to.

Follow Authors and leave reviews

Now I don’t mean follow them on Amazon, though that helps too. I mean really follow them. Subscribe to their email list, like their facebook page, and if they have one,  join their fan group.

Why? Because Audible gives authors review copies. If you are following an author when they release an audiobook, they just might ask if you want to review it.

A review copy is a completely free to you audiobook that you just have to listen to, then leave a review on. And the easiest way to get these is to be a fan. Read their other books and leave reviews on Amazon, Goodreads and a blog if you have it. Authors are more likely to give you a review copy if they know you will actually review it. (It doesn’t have to be a favorable review, but if you claim a review copy please always read and review as soon as you can. That’s just good manners.)

Reviewing on Audible is super easy. After you finish a book a screen will pop up to rate and review the book right away. Do it while it’s fresh in your mind. If you must wait. Simply go to the books page on audible.com and click write a review.

img_20200323_004016

I know that’s not how audiobooks work. Still it would be cool if you could do this.

Happy listening!

Was this guide helpful? If you have other tips to share feel free to leave a comment.

End of year wrap up

I hope that you (yes you reading this right now,) had a merry Christmas and I also send my best wishes for the new year. Don’t have a specific book to feature today so I thought I would just go over some of the highlights from my year.

The first highlight is a book that I featured twice on the blog, once as a cover reveal and once as a guest post. But it also has an Easter egg inside that makes it very close to my heart.

HoC CoverIt’s Heart of the Curiosity by H.L. Burke. Every story has those minor characters that might only be mentioned once, these characters still need names. Towards the beginning of chapter thirteen, on page 127 of the print version is a character who is named but never shown. Cathrinia is a ballerina who is seriously hurt in an accident. Do you notice the lack of an e between the h and the r? That’s because she’s named after me. Cathrine, without the e in the middle. I was so excited and to see that, because H.L. didn’t give me a heads up.

The second highlight is a book that I beta read. This means reading the book before it is ready to publish to let the author know about any plot holes or continuity errors. I also featured this book twice as a cover reveal and as a review.

WYWH_JIFinal

 

It’s Wish you Weren’t Here by Janeen Ippolito. The great thing about this book was the author thanking me by name in her acknowledgements, and she used a suggestion I made for expanding a character’s role.

The next highlight is an event. The annual Realm Makers conference was amazing this year. You can read about my experience here.

In personal publications. I was published on the daily fiction blog Havok not once but twice.

Havok Badge

First time was on May, 6th 2019. It was a Mystery Monday story titled “The Cover Was Blue.”

The second was recently on December, 16th 2019. It was also a mystery Monday story, titled “Snow Blind.”

And of course I can’t forget my two anthologies that I was accepted into.

The 2019 Halloween short story challenge, 72389416_2492090504211068_1742301497061801984_oincludes my story, “Seeing Double.” A story about what happened when too many wore the same costume.

Christmas Spirit coverThe 2019 Christmas Spirit challengeincluded my first ever Christmas story, a rhyming experiment titled, “Holiday Cheer.” It features a trigger warning because it involves a suicide attempt.

There were other highlights too, like all the great books I read and featured here on the blog so feel free to click around in the archives and find something to read.

What are my goals for next year? Reading more books and hopefully writing one of my own.

Halloween short story challenge 2019 Anthology

Hello everyone, I wanted to let you know about a new shot story anthology that I have a story in.

 

72389416_2492090504211068_1742301497061801984_oThe 2019 Halloween Short Story Challenge is an anthology of stories that will tantalize you, terrify you and taunt you. With 25 stories and poems written by 15 authors, there’s something for everyone!

 

 

Presented in alphabetical order:
A Moment of Silence, by Annie Littlewolf
A Moonlight Rose, by Rachel Harris
A Mother’s Love-Feeding Eve, by Michelle Francik
A Spiritual Feast, by Annie Littlewolf
A Witch’s Halloween Surprise (A Fae of Calaveras Story), by Kristen S. Walker
Autumn Harvest, by Virginia M. Barilla
But This Only Happens in Movies, by Katrina O’Brien
Connection, by Michelle Francik
Coughing, by Kristen S. Walker
Darker Than Dark, by Carlos F. Gonzalez
Indulgence, by Michelle Francik
Porch Light, by Ichabod Ebenezer
Seeing Double, by C.O. Bonham
Stay Away From the Cemetery, by Brandy Galaznik
The Coming of Halloween, by Virginia M. Barilla
The Halloween Quilt, by M. Quinn Evans
The Haunted Canal Town, by Kristi Asher
The Master Chef Mouse, by Annie Littlewolf
The Musicians and the Werewolves, by Kristen S. Walker
The Pale Child. by Jeff Bacon
The Watching Eyes, by M. Quinn Evans
Thorns and Firelight, by Hannah Schofield
Touched, by M. Quinn Evans
When Love Comes, by Brandy Morrison
Wicked Rotten Apples, by Michelle Francik

Whether it’s shadows, a love story, or a flame burning bright, these stories will make you think twice about turning off the lights. Curl up with a loved one and enjoy this anthology of all things Halloween!

My story is titled “Seeing Double,” It’s about a villainous robot that can’t quite compute when everyone is dressed as his heroic target during Trick or Treat night. It feature’s Captain Galaxy and his daughter Galaxy girl.

Buy the Anthology here: https://amzn.to/32susaY

It’s available in Ebook, paperback and Kindle Unlimited.

73094731_2494059744014144_2202102656908918784_o

Unexpected Exploit, cover reveal and excerpt.

Hello, if you been following my blog for a while you may be familiar with a series of middle grade books I’ve been reviewing.

The Mythcoast Adventures series by Kandi J. Wyatt, follows a group of friends who find mythical creatures turning up in their pacific northwest home.

Myth_Coast_Adventures_Dragon_Eye_Background

The third book is on it’s way and I’m here to show off the cover and give you a sneek peek. I am super excited for this installment because this time the kids follow the mythical creatures home.

About the book:

Protect a mythical realm or his family?

An Unexpected Exploit small.jpg

Cover Designer: Amalia Chitulescu

Sixteen-year-old Franklin follows a Sasquatch through a portal to the realm of Shinwano and discovers a world full of mythical creatures he never expected to actually exist. Upon returning to Myrtle Beach, Oregon, he vows to protect the land, not realizing how difficult it will be to keep his promise, especially when a poacher, a NSA agent, and his friends are interested in the portal—and all for different reasons.

 When the poacher threatens his family, Franklin must reconsider his vow to protect this new world to keep his family safe. The consequences of his decision reach further than just a rift in the space-time continuum.

 Can Franklin live up to the trust placed on him and save this new world from an even greater danger?

Harry and the Hendersons meets The Neverending Story

You can preorder it now for only 99 cents, but hurry up because the release date is September 10th.

Instagram_preorder.jpgPreorder Links: https://books2read.com/mythcoastadventures3

 Other books in the series:

          An Unexpected Adventure: https://books2read.com/u/3yDLX6

          An Unexpected Escapade: https://books2read.com/mythcoastadventures2

 

Author Bio:

Kandi_J_Wyatt_Author Picture 2Even as a young girl, Kandi J Wyatt, had a knack for words. She loved to read them, even if it was on a shampoo bottle! By high school Kandi had learned to put words together on paper to create stories for those she loved. Nowadays, she writes for her kids, whether that’s her own five or the hundreds of students she’s been lucky to teach. When Kandi’s not spinning words to create stories, she’s using them to teach students about Spanish, life, and leadership.

 Where to find her:

Website: http://kandijwyatt.com/
Facebook: http://facebook.com/kandijwyatt/

Instagram: http://instagram.com/kandijwyatt/

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/kandijwyatt

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13817774.Kandi_J_Wyatt

Bookbub: https://bookbub.com/profile/kandi-j-wyatt

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Kandi-J-Wyatt/e/B00ZTC4T10/

 Other books by Kandi J Wyatt:

Dragon Courage series

Dragon’s Future: https://www.books2read.com/u/bzpDq9

Dragon’s Heir: https://www.books2read.com/u/47YQE3

Dragon’s Revenge: https://www.books2read.com/u/b5qvGb

Dragon’s Cure: https://www.books2read.com/u/47kxJa

Dragon’s Posterity: https://www.books2read.com/u/4DA8og

Dragon’s Heritage: https://www.books2read.com/u/3neVN6

 Middle Grade Fantasy:

Journey from Skioria: https://www.books2read.com/u/4AwJee

 Biblical Retellings:

The One Who Sees Me: https://www.books2read.com/u/mdrRlb

To Save a Race: https://www.books2read.com/u/49PG5k

Exploit Teaser.png

An Unexpected Exploit Excerpt:

Franklin felt a calloused hand on his forehead and started to turn toward its owner, but the pain in his neck stopped him short. “Hush, don’t try to move. Let me check the compress.” Sahasi adjusted some kind of damp fabric, and as she did, Franklin caught a glimpse of coarse black hair covering her hand.

He felt his pulse quicken. What had he gotten himself into? What kind of people were these?

“Will he be okay?” Ladaku’s tone carried not a hint of the concern in his words.

The weight of Sahasi’s hand lifted, and Franklin tried to move again. He needed to see where he was; besides, the position he lay in and the tickling of his nose from the fabric beneath him was getting too uncomfortable.

“Ladaku, use your size and help me reposition him.”

Whatever the relationship between the two, Franklin knew the tone of a mother when he heard one. Soon large, hairy hands wrapped around his arms and pulled him to a sitting position. Franklin learned nothing at first, as he was too busy trying to keep his breakfast down. But when the nausea and pounding in his head subsided, Franklin cracked his eyes open a slit.

A large, dark face with a flat nose and beady black eyes met his gaze. Long, stringy hair covered the creature as far as Franklin could see. His eyes came back to the face. Although it was alien, it still bore the recognizable expressions of tenderness and concern.

“My name is Sahasi,” she said. “I am a healer among my people, the sanraksaka. I don’t believe you have properly been introduced to Ladaku.”

Franklin shifted his position and shuddered. Staring at him with hairy arms crossed in front of an ape-like chest was the same creature that had met his gaze across the clearing.

Remember to snag it now before the price goes up on September 10th.

If you do pre-order make sure to screenshot your recipt and fill out this google form from the author: http://bit.ly/preordergiveaway. She is giving a special gift to everyone who pre-orders An Unexpected Exploit.

Realm Makers 2019: Recap

Part of being a Writer means socalizing with other writers. Even though we can do so much of that online, it is still important to go to writing conferences, for learning and fellowship.

img_20190805_125126

My Name tag, note the 7 marking my attendance streak.

Last month I was at Realm Maker’s seventh writers conference for Christian speculative fiction authors. (Curious about year one? Click here.)

Why has it taken me so long to  get a post up about it? Recovery. It is hard for me to be around so many people for so long. It is also hard to put an event like realm Makers into words. (I’ve tried in past years)

For me the highlight this year was meeting bestselling authors Brent Weeks and Terry Brooks.

img_20190720_172831

 

img_20190720_172947_1

 

For bestselling authors they were both very down to earth. Terry Brooks even stopped to chat with a group of us sitting in the lobby on Sunday evening, after the official conference was over.

Once again I did not have a novel to sell or to pitch to an agent or publisher. But this year I resolve to fix that.

img_20190719_102405

WTB teaching about balance. 

I learned from Wayne Thomas Batson on how to balance my life and writing. I think it helped. I have been making slow but steady progress which is better than no progress at all. He mostly just drilled into me that books don’t write themselves and if you want to do it you need to make time for it.

Then of course there was the costume banquet. It’s the best reason to go to Realm Makers over any other writers conference. That and Friends.

img_20190719_191703

Steampunk DC villains!

img_20190719_190633

I found a doctor!

img_20190719_220545

And fought a TARDIS

img_20190719_220231

Steampunk Justice league. I was Batman.

After the conference I went with a group to the City Museum in St. Louis. It is crazy amazing there. It’s like a giant art installation, and it’s never finished they are always adding to it. If you are ever in St. Louis you must go.

img_20190721_135446

img_20190721_152242

The last great thing about Realm Makers are the book hauls. So many great books and so many great authors, ready to sign them. I had to take an empty suit case just to pack all my books in to take home. 

 

 

Giveaway:

I won some books this year that I already owned. So I got them signed and now I’m giving you a chance to win them.

img_20190724_125703

Just tell me how many books I have in my suitcase and if you are the closest then I will send you one of the two books pictured above.

Mark of the Raven by Morgan Busse or Breakwater by Catherine Jones Payne.

The first right answer gets to pick and the second right answer gets the left over.

img_20190724_125730

If it helps the suitcase is 13″ X 21″ X 8″

Email your guess to dolphin18cb@aim.com by August 18. Please put, Realm Makers Suitcase guess, in the subject line so I know it’s an entry.

Legal disclaimer: This giveaway is solely on me and is not sponsored by Realm Makers, WordPress or any of the authors pictured.

 

 

Heart of the Curiosity Blog-tour

I am so excited for this amazing book that’s releasing soon, It’s steampunk goodness with a theater of wonder and magic sisters, snails and so much good stuff. Check out theses early reviews:

62244055_10157896918626002_5136207520766885888_o

The release date for The Heart of the Curiosity is swiftly approaching. So I invited Author H. L. Burke over to tell you a bit about the amazing magic system she created for her novel.

—————————————————————————————-

You’ve Got a Knack for That.

Have you ever known someone who had an unusual small talent? Or who seemed eerily good at their job, however mundane? Maybe they were super snappy at letter opening. Maybe the espresso machine at the coffee shop which was finicky for everyone else operated perfectly for them. Maybe they can always get pickle jars open even when their Marine husband screws them on ridiculously tight to the point where no human ever could get them open, no matter how many tricks she tries like banging on them with a butter knife or running them under warm water or … sorry, flashbacks. Much trauma.

Anyway, pickle jar woes aside, in the world of Heart of the Curiosity, these abilities have 64784056_10157933783166002_8334785011739787264_oreached a point that defies scientific explanation. They’ve crossed that ever so wobbly line between talent and magic. They are “knacks,” little day-to-day magical gifts that help people improve their lives in small ways … for the most part. Not everyone has the knack they would choose.

Knacks tend to fall into two major categories, professional and personal.

The first, professional, help people with their work. As people are born with knacks (though they sometimes don’t manifest until later in childhood), there’s a sense of “fate” as to what profession they end up in, and as knacks tend to run in families, you might have generation after generation of accountants with a knack that makes them able to add up long lines of figures at a glance. Some professional knacks (which you may find within the pages of Heart of the Curiosity) are a librarian who can mend ripped pages at a touch, a dancer with a levitation knack that makes her literally light on her feet, or a mechanic who can see how things are broken at a glance.

Personal knacks can be less obvious in their intended use. They can range from a person who can see if you are keeping secrets to the ability to detect the emotions of others and finally, the knack that Leo, the heroine of Heart of the Curiosity has and despises, the ability to manipulate the emotions of others.

62351511_10157896887816002_7910744780391317504_nMost of the time, knacks are a gift, something that helps a person find their place in the world and aids them in their day-to-day life. Other times knacks can be a source of turmoil as the knack leads a person towards a life they might not want or if a person who feels they should have their family’s knack ends up with a different knack that makes them feel like an outsider.

Finding (and accepting) your place in the world is hard enough without a big flashing neon sign saying, “Go there and do this whether you want to or not!” over your head. At the same time, the idea of having a small, individualized magic that helps me through the day to day really appeals to me as a lover of small wonders.

What sort of knack would you like to have? Someone in my book might actually have it. Find out in Heart of the Curiosity.

Heidi Lyn Burke

———————————————————————————————

heidi-107Born in a small town in north central Oregon, H. L. Burke spent most of her childhood around trees and farm animals and was always accompanied by a book. Growing up with epic heroes from Middle Earth and Narnia keeping her company, she also became an incurable romantic.

An addictive personality, she jumped from one fandom to another, being at times completely obsessed with various books, movies, or television series (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Star Trek all took their turns), but she has grown to be what she considers a well-rounded connoisseur of geek culture.

Married to her high school crush who is now a US Marine, she has moved multiple times in her adult life but believes that home is wherever her husband, two daughters, and pets are.

Social Media Links:

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/hlburkewriter/

Facebook Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/hlburkereaders/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/hlburkewriter

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/burkesdragons/

Website: http://www.hlburkeauthor.com/

———————————————————————————-

The secret lies with the Heart.

HoC CoverBorn with a magical knack for manipulating emotions, Leodora’s only dream is to ensure her talented little sister dances on the biggest, brightest stage in the Republic: The Curiosity, a grand old theater of tradition and innovation. After escaping a cruel carnival, Leo secures her sister a place in the Curiosity’s chorus line, and herself a job as a professional audience member, swaying the crowd’s mood with her magic. The girls have a home for the first time in their lives.

Then a tragic accident darkens the theater. A greedy businessman begins blackmailing Leo, and financial woes threaten to close the show forever. The Curiosity’s sole hope lies in a mythical power source hidden beneath the maze-like passages and trapdoors of the theater—the Heart. And Leo’s only friend Paxton, nephew of the theater’s stagemistress, is the key to finding it.

While Leo and Paxton hunt for the Heart, the blackmailer’s threats loom larger. Mysterious figures, cryptic clues, and deadly traps hinder the search at every turn. If the friends cannot recover the Heart in time, Leo and her sister will be cast out of the only home they’ve ever known, and the final curtain will fall on The Curiosity.

Enter a world reminiscent of The Greatest Showman, with a puzzle worthy of Sherlock Holmes and National Treasure, in this new Steampunk Fantasy from H. L. Burke.

Pre-Order links:

The release date is June 27th so take advantage of the pre-order deals before they’re gone.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Curiosity-H-L-Burke-ebook/dp/B07S58N3P5/

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/heart-of-the-curiosity-h-l-burke/1131668257

Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1464838020

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/heart-of-the-curiosity

Autographed paperback: https://uncommonuniverses.com/product/heart-of-the-curiosity-autographed-paperback-pre-order/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45944020-heart-of-the-curiosity

Here’s one more quote graphic to get you excited:

65384960_10157933677421002_7067276330886234112_n

 

Stars Descend: Dive in Review

 

About the Book

The elves have come down from the sky in their ships, their countenances full of light and their bodies, power. But they rule over us humans with iron fists, and without mercy.

Vampires stalk the streets, lurking in shadows and the cover of darkness. Their lust for blood is never sated, and the nights are filled with the screams of their victims.

I’m just a street rat, a trash picker. I didn’t expect him to choose me. The Prince of Elves could have anyone, so why me?

Even as my heart sings at the elf’s close proximity, I still love the boy who left me, disappearing into the city’s corrupt underworld. I don’t even know if he’s still alive.

Stars reign. Rebellion brews. And with my already uncertain future disintegrating into chaos, I don’t know who to turn to, or who to trust.

Amazon (Available on Kindle Unlimited!)

About the Author

Kara Jaynes is a fantasy and children’s book author. She loves rainy days, long walks, and fairy tales. She’s been writing since she was very young, and has more stories in her head than she could possibly write.

FacebookInstagramTwitterBookBubAmazon Author Page

 

My Dive in Review:

Stars Descend by Kara Jaynes, has a most interesting premise. What if Elves were from space and their mission was to heal polluted planets. *Cough* Vulcans *Cough*

Naturally humans see them as a threat. As Overlords come to concur. The Elves are logical and seemingly emotionless. But I approve of their fashion sense.

I liked the story of Stella, a street savvy girl who winds up getting caught by the Elven prince, who of course realizes he can’t live without her.

The prince of the Elves is the main love interest for Stella, it is hardly love at first sight. Actually Elves are driven by touch. So when Elderan touches Stella, he is grasped by an immediate need to, well you know. Despite this plot point the book is clean and Elderan learns that Earth Girls are not easy. Stella insists on getting to know each other first.

Oh yeah, and then there were vampires. Twilight has nothing on this love triangle. When vampires suddenly start walking the streets of Liberty (formerly Seattle), a rival for Stella’s heart comes back from the dead.

I am not a fan of triangles but this one has interesting implications.

My one and only complaint is that the second book doesn’t seem to be available yet.

My Dive in Review:

Stars Descend by Kara Jaynes, has a most interesting premise. What if Elves were from space and their mission was to heal polluted planets. *Cough* Vulcans *Cough*

Naturally humans see them as a threat. As Overlords come to concur. The Elves are logical and seemingly emotionless. But I approve of their fashion sense.

I loved Stella, a street savvy girl who winds up getting caught by the Elven prince, who of course realizes he can’t live without her.

The prince of the Elves is the main love interest for Stella, it is hardly love at first sight. Actually Elves are driven by touch. So when Elderan touches Stella, he is grasped by an immediate need to, well you know. Despite this plot point the book is very clean and Elderan learns that Earth Girls are not easy. Stella insists on them getting to know each other first.

Oh yeah, and then there were vampires. Twilight has nothing on this love triangle. When vampires suddenly start walking the streets of Liberty (formerly Seattle), a rival for Stella’s heart comes back from the dead.

I am not a fan of triangles but this one has interesting implications.

My one and only complaint is that the second book doesn’t seem to be available yet.

Party Time!

Calling all book readers! Join author Kara Jaynesas we chat about her urban fantasy novel STARS DESCEND on June 12th from 8 PM to 10 PM EST (5 PM PST and 6 PM MDT).

Grab your favorite drink and snack and be prepared for a fun time of chatting with Kara, games, and giveaways.

Special guests Janeen Ippolito and Sarah Ashwood will also be sharing their books and joining in the fun.

RSVP Here

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, June 3rd

Tuesday, June 4th

Wednesday, June 5th

Thursday, June 6th

Friday, June 7th

Saturday, June 8th

Sunday, June 9th

Monday, June 10th

Tuesday, June 11th

Wednesday, June 12th

Thursday, June 13th

Friday, June 14th

Saturday, June 15th

Previous Older Entries