It’s Bernadette Marie’s 15th Release!!!!

Yep, that’s right, Bernadette Marie has published her 15th novel! If you’ve been following The Keller Family Series, then you’ve been waiting in anticipation for Book  Seven, HOME RUN!

HR2

Contemporary Romance

In one moment Christian Keller’s life was changed. Now as he picks up the pieces he wonders if he can possibly recoup what he lost.

Victoria Lincoln had a promising future with Christian until an accident took the life of her sister and left her as guardian to her two small children.

Their lives have gone in different directions, but Christian and Victoria’s paths will cross again. It will take a lot of change to pick up where they left off—if either of them can.

Amazon     5 Prince Publishing 

Excerpt: 

There was a pure energy in the car as they drove away from the arena. Christian Keller had it all, just when he thought he’d lost it.

His career ending injuries were just the start to finding out he could keep going and that’s what he was doing.

He’d just watched his sister perform with her husband, on stage at the Bridgestone Arena right there in Nashville. Hometown kids making it big time.

As his best friend Dave pulled out of the parking lot the number one country song came on the radio, and wouldn’t you know it, it was Clara and Warner Wright, his sister and her husband.

Christian’s fiancée Victoria hugged his arm and slid across the back seat as close as she could to him. “That was the best concert ever. Your sister and Warner were phenomenal. The Broke Tourists are one of my favorite bands. And that Savannah and her hair!”

Ashley, Victoria’s sister, turned in her seat and looked at her. “I know, right? Do you think we could buy hair like that?”

They both laughed, but Christian just took in the ambiance.

His career as a baseball player was over. He had come to grips with that. It had caused him a lot of emotional and physical pain, over the past year, but now he had new things to look forward too.

They were already talking about him coming into the organization as management. The woman of his dreams had accepted his marriage proposal and wore his ring. And tonight he’d take her home, to the home he had built—for them. It was a surprise and he had something very special planned.

“You know,” Victoria continued. “Ali would love a Savannah wig. We should think about marketing them.”

“My kids and their tastes,” Ashley added.

Laughter filled the car and then a scream pierced the air.

A blinding white light forced him to cover his eyes.

Christian sat up in bed. His heart was racing. His face and hair were wet. And he was alone.

He threw his head back against his pillow.

Of course he was alone. He’d been alone for almost a year and the replay of that night wouldn’t give him any peace.

Christian rolled to his side and he looked at his phone on the night stand. It was five-thirty in the morning. He let out a grunt and rolled out of bed.

It took a minute for his knee to be stable under him. His shoulder ached, as it had since the surgery on it after the accident.

He flipped on the light in the bathroom and looked at himself in the mirror. The jagged scar on his forehead was beginning to fade, but it would always remind him that on that night he’d lost everything. His career. His best friend. And even if her life wasn’t taken—he’d lost his fiancée.

Well that was life now. She had a lot to deal with too.

Christian splashed his face with cold water.

Victoria’s life had changed drastically when that drunk driver crossed the median. She’d lost her sister in that moment. Her leg was shattered. And she was the next of kin to her niece and nephew, whom she was now raising.

A single woman trying to advance her career and plan a wedding was now guardian to a two year old and a four year old—and he was no help.

Christian turned on the shower and let it warm.

He’d been so overwhelmed with losing his best friend he’d nearly lost his mind. And it wasn’t losing him it was watching him die and not being able to get free from the accident to help him.

Just the thought of it made his heart kick start again.

He slipped off his boxers and climbed into the shower. But no matter how hot the water was, it would never wash away the pain that day still caused.

By six thirty he was dressed and sitting in his quiet kitchen having a cup of coffee. The dress shirt and tie made him uncomfortable, but it was the way he had to dress for work now. He supposed he owed it to his brother and uncle for stepping in and giving him a job, though he didn’t care much about construction.

His entire family had stepped in when he needed them. There was no way to repay them. His sister Clara and cousin Avery were at his house daily to make sure he ate. His mother stopped and cleaned the house. His future sister-in-law Darcy made him freezer dinners and stocked them for him.

It had been like this for a year.

When would it all ease so he could get on with his life?

Before lunch the door to his office creaked open and Darcy stuck her head in.

“I’m going to lunch with my bridesmaids. Ed is free for Chinese food. He said to send you his way when you’re done.”

Christian nodded. “I’ll be done in a few.”

Darcy shut the door and Christian was alone, again. It was funny, he thought, for being so alone all the time there were always people around him. That was what came with a big family.

A new Chinese restaurant had opened just down the street and Ed had been dying to try it. Christian figured it would be good for leftovers and that would warm up for dinner. It was just one less thing to think about.

“So did you look over that proposal I sent you?” Ed asked as he adjusted the place setting in front of him.

“Yeah. I don’t know if I understand any of it. Could you work in some baseball terms?”

Ed laughed. “It’s a baseball stadium. I thought you’d want to be part of that.”

Christian put down his menu. “You’d think huh?”

He lazily looked around the restaurant and that was when a set of dark eyes caught his.

Victoria waved and was already walking toward them.

It had been nearly eight months since he’d seen her—since he’d told her that he wasn’t someone who could just take on someone else’s children and start from there. That was the day she walked out of his life. God, he was an idiot.

She looked different. Her hair was shorter and there were dark circles under her eyes, as if she hadn’t slept in eight months. He probably looked like that too. He never got a good night’s sleep.

“Hello, Chris.” She smiled down at him and then turned her smile to Ed. “Hi, Ed.”

“Tori!” Ed crawled out of the booth and gave her a hug. “How are you?”

“I’m good.” Christian wondered if she noticed her voice quivered.

“How are the kids?”

Christian watched as her jaw tightened and she kept her eyes on Ed. “Sam just turned three last weekend. He’s into everything. Ali just started kindergarten.”

“Wow.” Ed looked at Christian. “Kids get big fast, eh, Chris?”

Christian narrowed his stare on his brother.

“You’ll be at the wedding right?” Ed was touching her arm. “I thought Darcy said you’d RSVP’d.”

“I wouldn’t miss it for the world. Ali can’t stop talking about it.”

“I look forward to it.” Ed smiled and then both of them looked at Christian still seated in the booth.

“Guess we’ll see you then,” he croaked out.

Victoria nodded and forced a smile. As she walked past him, limping just as he did now too, she put her hand on his shoulder. “It was good to see you, Chris.”

Then she was gone.

Ed sat back down and shook his head. “You’re pathetic.”

“Me? Why?”

“She’s still in love with you.”

“She is not. She dumped me.”

“Because she had to.”

“Had to?” He picked up his hot tea and burned the pads of his fingers and then his throat. But it was worth it.

Ed opened the package of chop sticks by his plate and tore the two wooden pieces apart. “She lost a lot that night. Her sister died. Her brother-in-law died. She got two kids to raise and has no parents to help her. She’s all alone and all you could tell her was you weren’t ready for a fully formed family. I didn’t realize you were an asshole, until that day.”

If Christian was the man he used to be, he’d be up from that table and have pulled his brother out of that side of the booth by his shirt collar. But as if to remind him that he wasn’t an athlete any more, his knee throbbed and the pain shot up through his body.

“She didn’t need me around when she was trying to get things taken care of.”

“You’re right. Six surgeries on your leg and two toddlers at home is a piece of cake. Why have the man you love getting in the way?”

Christian swallowed hard. He didn’t need his brother poking at him. It had been a year and he felt bad enough.

Luckily the food arrived just in time for his brother to shove some in his mouth and shut up. Christian, on the other hand had lost his appetite.

He had become a pathetic loser and he’d lost the only thing that he’d ever cared about—Victoria.

He took another long, scalding sip of his tea. Maybe Ed’s wedding would be the perfect place to apologize for being an ass.

It wasn’t in him to be a father right now, but it didn’t mean he couldn’t be a friend. She looked as though she certainly could use one. And they’d been friends too—hadn’t they?

Christian tore open his chop sticks and broke them apart. As he picked up a pot sticker he thought about his parents.

They’d been divorced when his mother was diagnosed with cancer and her husband had walked out on her to marry another woman and have a baby. She was alone with three kids.

He tugged at his collar because it was getting hot.

His own father, who was at the time engaged to Kathy, still stepped up and took care of his mother. Damn, he’d even shaved his head for her.

That was love. That was commitment.

It was right too. His father’s marriage to Kathy lasted less than a day and he was back with Christian’s mom and had been married, again, ever since.

What had Christian done when the woman he loved needed him? He backed away.

He put down the pot sticker. Again, he wasn’t hungry.

They’d both lost a lot that night when that drunk driver hit that car. Lives changed in a flash—a bright white flash.

Ed was right. He was pathetic.

But he was done being pathetic. It was time Christian Keller took his life back—and the woman.

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5 Prince Publishing Launch Day for Bernadette Marie!About the Author: 

Bestselling Author Bernadette Marie is known for building families readers want to be part of. Her series The Keller Family has graced bestseller charts since its release in 2011, along with her other series and single title books. The married mother of five sons promises Happily Ever After always…and says she can write it, because she lives it.

When not writing, Bernadette Marie is shuffling her sons to their many events—mostly hockey—and enjoying the beautiful views of the Colorado Rocky Mountains from her front step. She is also an accomplished martial artist with a second degree black belt in Tang Soo Do.

A chronic entrepreneur, Bernadette Marie opened her own publishing house in 2011, 5 Prince Publishing, so that she could publish the books she liked to write and help make the dreams of other aspiring authors come true too.

Website     Facebook     Blog     Twitter 

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#GuestPost- LV Lewis: How I Got My Self-Published Book Produced as an Audiobook

***Today I’m happy to welcome a good friend of mine. Maybe you’ve heard of her book….50 Shades of Jungle Fever? If not, check it out, its not exactly what you think. But before that, take a few minutes to learn how she took her self-published novel and had it turned into an audiobook! ***

Since making the momentous decision to self-publish in 2012, my goal has remained creatively homogeneous for the most part. I have always wanted my book(s) to be veritably indistinguishable from the product put out by traditional publishers. Therefore, it has always been my intention to produce the best product I can in its entirety, from the story itself–including plot, structure, grammar, and punctuation–to the packaging of the product, the various forms it would take, and its subsequent production in all those forms. Going in, I was working at a deficit on most of these fronts, particularly when it came to pursuing the avenue of making my story available on audiobook.

I believe without a doubt that things happen to us in life for reasons we’re not always privy to as mere mortals. Our destinies are made or broken by some of the minutest decisions. So, I thought it fortuitous in so many ways when I ran across the link for ACX.com. For those who don’t know, ACX (Audiobook Creation Exchange) is the indie arm of Audible.com, which is a subsidiary of Amazon.com. Oh yeah, they are all in bed together, so I thought, hey, why not join them and make this an orgy! LOL (I couldn’t  resist this pun. I’m an erotic romance writer. Duh!)

After reading what ACX was all about and how I could tap into it online from cover-to-virtual-cover, I went through the process of placing my book on ACX among all the titles open for audition. The site is very user friendly, so this process didn’t take exceedingly long, nor was it terribly labor intensive. Once I was out there, I could’ve just laid back and waited for a narrator, producer, or combination of the two to come to me, but that’s just not in my make-up. I got on there and combed through the narrators for hire myself and narrowed down a short list of about five whose voices I liked.

In the meantime, I began to get narrators that I had not pursued, contacting me to do auditions, then I found out why when one such narrator sent me her audition with an email. She congratulated me on being awarded a stipend to assist in getting my audiobook produced. I had no clue what this meant, so I went back on the site and read everything I could find about stipends.

Apparently, if ACX is impressed with your relative success on Amazon, and the stars align in some other unknown ways in their algorithm, they will award some Titles, and its author, stipends to defray part of the production costs, making it infinitely easier for you to hire an expert narrator. In my case, I was awarded a $100/hour stipend which I could use to sweeten the deal with my producer/narrator. This could be used to shore up whatever project rate the narrator was charging, or to provide the narrator the stipend as a bonus if I chose the royalty share. (I understand now, after the fact that some presenters at RWA were advising authors to pay the project rate rather than choose royalty share because it seriously messes with your ROI, or return on investment, when you give someone half of your future royalties. I want to go on record to say, as poor as I am, the royalty share and stipend were a godsend for me because I didn’t have $200-400 an hour to pay someone to produce my story which rounded out at nine hours. You do the math.)

I was given the task early on to choose an excerpt of my story for the narrators auditioning to read and send me back a sample of what they could do. Let me just interject here and say, you have to think long and hard about who your characters are and how you want them to be presented. What type of voice do you hear in your head when you’re reading their words? When I decided who Keisha was (my character whose POV the story is told in), I was ready to describe what kind of voice I wanted.

Don’t be intimidated by this process. The ACX site virtually holds your hand through it. They help you break down your project by genre, gender, language, accent, voice age, vocal style, and project rate, so narrators are able to sift through what you want and audition accordingly. By the same token, the producers/narrators, are broken down in the same ways and a few others, like age, style, payments accepted, location, and whether they are Audible Approved. You will know in a snap-shot what a producer/narrator you’re interested in charges hourly, and whether they are Audible Approved. You can also listen to samples they provide on the site of work they’ve done in the past. Thus, giving you some idea how they sound. This is where you get the first hint of whether or not a narrator’s voice fits your wish list.

I was so fortunate to get my narrator, Marie Hélène (delectablevoice.com). I listened to so many narrators in order to create my short list of five or so, and had I been driven by price only, I might have passed her up. She is extremely professional and does not come cheap. She has an impressive command of the English language, and a few other languages. If she is unsure of a pronunciation, or if you just prefer another pronunciation she is extremely accommodating to you as the writer and her boss. I know I’m digressing, but I just can’t help but sing her praises.

When I narrowed the field down to three voices that I liked, I got my readers involved in the process. I posted the auditions on my Facebook Group for readers of Fifty Shades of Jungle Fever, and they gave me their opinions of each narrator. In the end I made the choice to hire Marie because she was the best, most professional narrator I could get for ACX’s stipend, plus my royalty share, and she read the hell out of my story. Had I hired her on a project basis, I would have had to pay between $200-400 up front to have my book produced. When she accepted my royalty share, I was over the moon.

Once the narrator was selected, we worked out a schedule for production. She agreed to begin on a set date and to end before the stipend would be lost to us. Yes, ACX requires that a production is complete within 60 days of signing the contract if you plan to collect the stipend (also, the stipend itself had to be claimed and used within a certain timeframe). So, she kept me abreast of deadlines and such. Marie was super easy to work with. When she sent me the MP3s via Dropbox.com, I would listen, make revision notes and get my notes back to her, typically within a day or so once we got everything rolling. I have no process to compare it to, but surprisingly, we got through the 20 chapters fairly quickly in my opinion.

Working with an experienced narrator also paid dividends for me, because I was so new to the process. She walked me through and kept me aware of things I wouldn’t have known otherwise, like break-even figures, when to begin promoting, and how the Whisper Sync feature works on Amazon. For instance, she told me that the beginning and ending of the chapters had to be the same for the recording and the e-book. Early on she even told me the percentage of difference there could be between the written word and the recorded word, so I made sure to give her a final copy that matched in those ways.

All in all, my experience with ACX was an enjoyable one, and depending on how things go with my first audiobook, I’ll be going back to ACX to make the new audiobooks, as well.

Audio Book Cover

FIFTY SHADES OF GREY to the second power meets Keisha and Jada from the Block.

If you’ve wondered how an ethnic girl from the hood might’ve handled an arrangement with an experienced white Dominant, this is your book. If you’d like to see the sexiest TWIN DOMS in a contemporary romance series in interracial relationships, this is most definitely your book.

Aspiring recording studio owners, Keisha Beale and Jada Jameson, score a rare meeting with venture capitalist Tristan White, and are thrust into a world beyond their wildest imaginations.

Street-wise Keisha is startled to realize she wants this rich white man, despite the certainty that he is out of her league. Unable to resist Keisha’s sassy, irreverent, and fiercely independent spirit, Tristan knew from day one he wanted her, too–as his first African American submissive.

Upper Class Jada of the Springfield Jamesons has traveled in almost the same circles as the White brothers, and has had a secret crush on Nathan White, the point guard for the Chicago Bulls, for quite some time.

Both brothers have succumbed to jungle fever, and want a little coffee in their cream.

Lured by Tristan White and his offer of fronting the capital for her business in exchange for kinky sex, Keisha finds herself with no other option. Keisha is also tortured by a demons from her past, and her inability to come to terms with them threatens to undermine the future of her business and her tumultuous, unconventional relationship with Tristan White.

Erotic, amusing, and in places hilarious, the Ghetto Girl Erotica Trilogy is a parody with a unique take on a Fifty Shades-type story that will take you even further into the BDSM world, and promises to make the vanilla original Fifty Shades Blacker.

For the Book:

 Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Smashwords     Kobo

For the Audiobook:

Amazon     Audible.com     iTunes

About the Author:

L.V. Lewis is a married, mother of four who lives in South Georgia and works in the Florida Panhandle. A new author who decided stories like Fifty Shades of Grey needed a bit more diversity and comedy penned Fifty Shades of Jungle Fever as a parodied response to those wildly popular books from a woman of color. A voracious readers since Kindergarten, Lewis loves nothing more than to curl up with a good book and a glass of wine. She and her husband are political junkies, a hobby that is time consuming but free. Now that Lewis has teens who think they don’t need their parents anymore, she has taken up another time-draining career of writing. However she is happy to report, for once, her extra-curricular activity costs far less than her husband’s. Her love for writing is only eclipsed by her love for her family.

Facebook     Twitter     GoodReads     Pinterest     Blog     Email  

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Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online!  If you’ve enjoyed this post, sign up for the monthly newsletter by following this blog!

MJ

About Me     Twitter     Facebook    Pinterest     Google+      Goodreads     Linkedin     Email