Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Wind Chime Wedding is available now!

I'm so excited to announce that Wind Chime Wedding, the follow-up to the USA Today bestselling and multi-award winning novel, Wind Chime Ca, is available now!

To celebrate the release of Wind Chime Wedding, I'm throwing a PARTY! Swing by the Sophie Moss Author Fan Page on Facebook and join in the fun! I'll be giving out prizes every day throughout the rest of the week. Prizes will include gift cards to Amazon, signed paperbacks, ebooks, handmade wind chimes, and a secret grand prize that I'll announce on July 4th!

I would also like to invite you to visit my new online home at sophiemossauthor.com, where you'll find the most up-to-date information on upcoming releases (including audiobooks), the complete collection of Wind Chime Café recipes, and a place to submit your own recipes.

Thank you all so much for your support and for giving me the chance to do what I love. I hope you enjoy Colin and Becca's story as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Wind Chime Wedding is Available Now for Pre-order!

Wind Chime Wedding is available now for pre-order!

Official Release Date: June 30th, 2015

Second-grade teacher, Becca Haddaway, is weeks away from walking down the aisle with her high school sweetheart when she learns that the Heron Island Elementary School is about to be shut down. In the midst of a whirlwind of wedding planning, she launches into a last-ditch effort to save it. But the one man who can help her is determined to make her question every decision she has ever made--including the man she's about to marry.

Former Navy SEAL and son of the current Maryland governor, Colin Foley, is finally starting to feel whole again after losing his leg on a career-ending deployment in Afghanistan. After struggling for months to figure out what to do with his post-military life, he's found a new mission--opening a rehab center for wounded veterans on the peaceful Chesapeake Bay island. All he needs now is a woman to share his new life with...and he knows exactly who he wants. With a little help from the island's magical wind chimes, can Colin convince Becca to change her mind before it's too late?

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Wind Chime Café Audiobook is Available Now!

Happy New Year! I'm super excited to share that Wind Chime Café is now available as an audiobook! Hollis McCarthy did an amazing job narrating this story. I can't wait for you to hear how she brings all the characters of Heron Island to life. :)

I'm still hard at work on Wind Chime Wedding. Becca and Colin's story is coming along great, and I'm tentatively planning to release it this spring. As soon as I have a firm date, I'll post the news everywhere. Thanks so much for your patience while I give this book the time it needs to really shine.  In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the audiobook version of Wind Chime Café. When you get a chance to listen, I'd love to hear what you think!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Wind Chime Café is a Multi-Award Winning Novel!

It's been an exciting year for Wind Chime Café! In addition to hitting the USA Today Bestseller List in May, the first story in my new contemporary romance series is now a multi-award winning novel!

In September, Wind Chime Café won the Gold Medal for Best Contemporary Romance in the 2014 Readers' Favorite International Book Awards.

In October, it won First Place in the 2014 International Digital Awards for Best Contemporary Romance, hosted by the Oklahoma Chapter of Romance Writers of America.

Also in October, it made the Top Five Finalist round for Best Romance in the 2014 Kindle Book Review Awards.

I am SO happy this book is resonating with readers the way I hoped it would. I love every book I've ever written, but this story holds a very special place in my heart. It is set in a small town similar to the one I grew up in on the Chesapeake Bay, and being able to bring this place and this community to life and have so many people receive it so well means the world to me. Thank you.

I have entered Wind Chime Café in a few more contests, so cross your fingers that the scores keep coming our way! In the meantime, I'm still working hard on Wind Chime Wedding. It's coming along really well, and I promise you're going to LOVE Becca and Colin's story as much as you loved Will and Annie's. Right now, I'm aiming to release Wind Chime Wedding in early 2015. As soon as I have a firm date, I'll let you know. :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Selkie Enchantress Audiobook is Available Now!

The Selkie Enchantress is available now in audio!

I love this story so much and I'm so excited to share it with you in a magical new format! New York Actress, Hollis McCarthy, did an amazing job with the narration. A big thanks to Star Cloud Audio for producing the audiobook, to Blue Harvest Creative for designing the beautiful cover, and to everyone at ACX for being so supportive and helpful along the way. :)

The Selkie Enchantress (Seal Island Trilogy, Book Two)

Irish islander Caitlin Conner has been in love with professor of Irish folklore Liam O'Sullivan for as long as she can remember. But just when he is starting to look at her as more than a friend, a mysterious woman arrives on Seal Island and captures his heart. As Caitlin discovers the truth behind the woman's lies, she realizes Liam is trapped in a dangerous enchantment and the only way to break the spell is to uncover a secret Irish fairy tale that has remained hidden for hundreds of years. But when the petals of a white rose grown in winter start to fall, the legend is set in motion, and Caitlin must find a way to change the ending before the last petal falls.

Also available in audio...

The Selkie Spell (Seal Island Trilogy, Book One)

American doctor Tara Moore wants to disappear. On the run from an abusive husband, she seeks shelter on a windswept Irish island and dismisses the villagers' speculation that she is descended from a selkie--a magical creature who is bewitching the island. But when a ghostly woman appears to her with a warning, Tara realizes it was more than chance that brought her to this island. Desperate to escape a dark and dangerous past, she struggles against a passionate attraction to handsome islander, Dominic O'Sullivan. But the enchantment of the island soon overpowers her and she falls helpless under its spell. Caught between magic and reality, Tara must find a way to wield both when a dangerous stranger from her past arrives, threatening to destroy the lives of everyone on the island.

To celebrate the release of The Selkie Enchantress audiobook, I am offering a huge sale on the Kindle versions of the first two books in the Seal Island Trilogy! From Sept 2nd-8th, The Selkie Spell will be on sale for $0.99 and The Selkie Enchantress will be on sale for $1.99! (US and UK only)

I love to hear from readers. Feel free to get in touch after you've read the books to let me know what you think! :)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Meet the Voice Behind the Seal Island Trilogy: An Interview with Hollis McCarthy + A Spotlight on the Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX)

I'm excited to announce that the audiobook version of The Selkie Spell has been selected for inclusion in a huge Summer Romance Sale through Audible! Choose from 50+ Romance books for only $3.95 each. The sale runs through July 12th at 11:59PM EST.

Also, I'm happy to report that The Selkie Enchantress audiobook is officially in production! The second story in the Seal Island Trilogy will be available on Amazon, Audible, and iTunes by late August/early September. As soon as I have a firm release date, I'll let you know.

I had such a wonderful experience working with New York Actress, Hollis McCarthy, on The Selkie Spell and I cannot wait to hear her narrate The Selkie Enchantress. Special thanks to Star Cloud Audio for producing the audiobooks, to Blue Harvest Creative for designing the beautiful covers, and to the whole team at ACX for making the audiobook creation process so seamless.

If you are an author and you have not spent some time poking around the ACX website and considering turning your titles into audiobooks, you should really start thinking about itACX is an online marketplace where authors (who hold the rights to their titles) can connect with professional narrators and recording studios to produce high quality audiobooks and reach a whole new audience of readers.

As I was researching whether or not I wanted to jump into the world of audiobooks, three factors convinced me to go for it:

1) The concept of artists supporting artists. Many of the professional narrators who audition for titles on ACX are also actors and actresses. As someone who understands how hard it can be to make a living off a creative career, it makes me very happy to know that the payment I turn in to my narrator will help her pay her bills so she can continue to do what she loves.

2) I have complete control over who narrates my book. After opening the title to auditions, I get to listen to the samples, evaluate them, and ultimately decide which narrator is the best match for my story.

3) I retain the rights to the completed audiobook. Just like with my self-published paperback and e-book titles, I own the rights to my audiobooks. I pay my narrator/producer team a one-time flat fee in exchange for their services so that I can receive the full royalty payment from each sale once the audiobook is available for purchase. The publishing landscape continues to shift and change at speeds that make it impossible to predict what might happen in a few years, let alone the next six months. I am very grateful for any new opportunity that allows me to reach a new audience of readers while retaining full ownership of my works.

Once I decided to take the plunge, I set up my first title on ACX, uploaded a short scene, and opened the book to auditions. I had about 30-45 auditions in a matter of days. Honestly, I was so impressed with the quality of all the narrators who auditioned. It's the most wonderful feeling to hear your characters brought to life through voice. After enlisting some help from family and friends, I finally narrowed it down to three top choices and asked each narrator to submit a second audition of a different scene. Everyone performed beautifully, but in the end, it was clear that Hollis McCarthy’s smooth, rich, lyrical voice was perfect for the Seal Island Trilogy.

It is my pleasure to introduce you to my narrator, Hollis McCarthy, the voice of the Seal Island Trilogy audiobooks.

Sophie: How did you first learn about ACX and what has your experience been like working with them?

Hollis: I heard about ACX from Mike Charzuk, Producer at Audible Studios, when I was first getting into audiobook narration and took a free SAG-AFTRA Foundation workshop with him. I did some books at Audible, where I met Ian Hackney, a producer/engineer there who also has his own Audible Approved studio, Star Cloud Audio, which is right in my neighborhood. He and I started submitting auditions through ACX. After a surprisingly short time pursuing audiobook work, I'm so grateful and lucky to report that I'll soon be in double digits as an audiobook narrator with 11 titles available on Audible! Thanks ACX!

Sophie: As an actress, what skills do you draw on to narrate an audiobook? What goes into creating the voices for the characters in the books you narrate?

Hollis: It's an interesting genre, and uses all the skills I've acquired through two degrees in acting and working my whole life in theatre, film, TV and voice-over, especially every bit of vocal training and characterization skill. Singing, vocal training and stage work taught me a lot about vocal stamina--important in 4-6 hour recording sessions! From doing film I learned to be subtle which comes in handy in audiobooks, as character voices should be different from each other, but not TOO much so. Anything extreme can be annoying to the listener. Vocal placement is very handy with character work--for instance in a book with four sisters, I'll make one sister a mezzo with forward placement, another sister an alto with more chest resonance, a third sister a breathy alto, and give the fourth, and youngest sister a little bit of teen-aged de-nasal "duh" kind of tone. All the Shakespeare work I've done with its focus on enunciation, rhythms, respecting the text and allowing the passion of the characters to come through the author's words has also been really handy. Last but not least--the dialects I've learned are very useful and I'm learning new ones for books all the time. For example, I narrated a British novel in the first person for which I had to do not only Oxbridge English but German, Iranian, Yorkshire, Cockney, Irish... Again, subtlety in dialects is key--clarity for the listener is more important than the actor sounding like a genuine native. For example, a too-thick Irish dialect in DANCING AT LUGHNASA made an audience member think one of my castmates' lines, "Memories of '36" was "Mammaries of dirty sex." Nuff said.

Additionally, my husband Mark McCarthy, talented actor and narrator, has kindly shared tips and techniques he learned from a great workshop with producer Paul Ruben, and I learned a lot from the resources and links that ACX publishes on their website, and from listening to lots of samples on Audible from great talents like Scott Brick.

Sophie: You won a narration contest through Audible recently. Can you tell us a little about that?

Hollis: Audible, ACX and AudioFile Magazine co-sponsored a big contest recently to cast two narrators, male and female, as the "Newest Voices of Audible Studios," with the prize being a contract to record a book at Audible. I was lucky enough to win, thanks to judges Kat Lambrix of Audible and Robin Whitten of Audiofile, and I just finished recording Lauren Kessler's fascinating book, COUNTERCLOCKWISE, MY YEAR OF HYPNOSIS, HORMONES, DARK CHOCOLATE AND OTHER ADVENTURES IN THE WORLD OF ANTI-AGING. It was my first non-fiction book, and was very challenging as well as inspiring, entertaining and edifying. More info and a playable link to my winning audition at http://blog.acx.com/2014/05/28/the-newest-voices-of-audible-studios/

Sophie: What would be your dream role as an actress? Your dream book to narrate?

Hollis: I just played one of my dream roles, Margie in David Lindsay-Abaire's brilliant play GOOD PEOPLE. Dream roles I've yet to play--Marquise de Merteuil in LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSES and Lady Macbeth. I love playing smart powerful women who challenge life and men on their own terms.

One of my dream books to narrate would be from this really wonderful author I discovered recently, Sophie Moss! Her WIND CHIME CAFE is one of the best books I read this year! Other authors I love whose work I'd love to narrate are Susanna Kearsley, Georgette Heyer, Seanan McGuire, Sara Paretsky, Mary Stewart, Julia Quinn, Gil McNeil, Elizabeth Moon...and my mom, Dee Maltby, who just finished writing the second book in a terrific fantasy trilogy that I really hope to narrate some day soon.

Hollis's website is www.McCactors.com, and you can follow her on Twitter @mccactors or on You Tube at youtube.com/hollismccarthy.


Readers: do you listen to audiobooks? If so, what's the best title you've listened to this year? Authors: have you offered any of your titles as audiobooks yet? What was your experience like working with ACX?

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Wind Chime Café is a USA TODAY BESTSELLER!!!

I'm so excited to announce that Wind Chime Café is a USA TODAY BESTSELLER!!!! Thank you so much to my friends and loyal readers for helping me spread the word about the sale last week!! And thank you to everyone who downloaded a copy of the book! I’m so grateful for your support and I hope you love the story! :)

 This may be my last blog post for a while. I am heading back into the writing cave to finish Wind Chime Wedding, the second story in the Wind Chime series. If you would like to receive an email on release day, please sign up for my newsletter. Also, I have a wonderful new website which I would love for you to visit.

I'm delighted to share my new online home, where you'll find the most up-to-date information on upcoming releases (including audiobooks) and the complete collection of Wind Chime Café recipes. I'd love to hear what you think when you have a chance to look around! :)