March Audiobooks

Boy oh boy do we have audiobooks for you! This is my favorite time of the month, when we can do an audiobook round up for you! Just when you think you’ve reached the end, there’s more! So make sure you keep scrolling!

We have a great assortment, so whatever kinds of genres you’re into I’m sure will be here. Let us know if you’ve read any of these already!

May Publications [2]

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No worries, this will be us for the rest of audiobook month. Hopefully you’ll join us!

This May, we would like to introduce these newest audio additions to our (and your) library:

5/1

  • John Dreese // BLUE HOPE
  • Robert Bidinotto // WINNER TAKES ALL

5/3

  • Amie Knight // 2 TITLES
    • A STEEL HEART
    • SEE THROUGH HEART

5/4

  • Stephie Walls // UNEXPECTED ARRIVALS

5/7

  • Alta Hensley // SCOUNDRELS & SCOTCH
  • Frankie Love // HONORED
  • Kim Karr // HOLLYWOOD PRINCE
  • Kylie Hillman // CONAN
  • Parker Grey // WAKING HIS PRINCESS
  • T.L. Smith & Melissa Jane // COCKY FIANCE

5/8

  • Bobbi Holmes // THE GHOST AND THE MYSTERY WRITER
  • Yumoyori Wilson // TAINTED ROSE

5/9

  • C.C. Masters // FINDING SOMEWHERE TO BELONG
  • Emerson Knight & McKenzie Hunter // DARKNESS UNVEILED
  • Heather M. Orgeron // BOOMERANGERS
  • Meg Anne // MOTHER OF SHADOWS
  • Willow Rose // GIRL DIVIDED

5/10

  • Stella // THIRD BASE
  • Maria Luis // HAT TRICK
  • Mark Stone // FAR FROM SHORE
  • May Dawson // FIERCE ANGELS

5/13

  • BJ Harvey // ONE SHOT
  • Jean Grainger // 2 TITLES
    • SHADOW OF A CENTURY
    • UNDER HEAVEN’S SHINING STARS

5/16

  • LJ Swallow // THE FOUR HORSEMEN: BOUND
  • Violet Duke // BEFORE THAT NIGHT
  • Willow Rose // EDWINA

5/17

  • G. Bailey // 2 TITLES
    • ESCAPE THE SEA
    • LOVE THE SEA

5/18

  • Leddy Harper // THE ROOMMATE ‘DIS’AGREEMENT
  • LK Farlow // 2 TITLES
    • AN UPHILL BATTLE
    • COMING UP ROSES
  • Peter Grainger // LANE
  • Siobhan Davis // INSEPARABLE

5/22

  • Ella Fields // SUDDENLY FORBIDDEN

5/23

  • Kip Terrington // BUT DEATH IS NOT FORBIDDEN
  • Stella // HOME RUN KING

 

HRM’s School Survival Guide

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Old or young, going back to school can always be hard. High school can be vicious and college or graduate school can be intimidating enough to keep you cooped up in your dorm or off-campus apartment/house. But, here at HRM we want to alleviate some of the pain of back-to-school shopping and the hefty price tag of purchasing textbooks from your university store. It’s easier said than done, but sometimes you need to find an outlet for all this stress in order to survive the year. The perfect book could just be your perfect escape when the real world has you down.

For high schoolers, there is a book for everyone in your local or school library or bookstore- whether you’re a wallflower (I’m looking at you, Perks of Being a Wallflower), a heavy gamer (pick up The Feed). If you are dealing with a particular issue at school or have a unique interest that no one else seems to have, there’s likely a book about it. Check out this diverse list of books from Brightly for young readers; there’s a book for everyone on this list!

For the ones going off to college for the first time or returning for another year, there will be many challenges you will face throughout the year: professors being dull during lectures, exams starting just one week into the semester before you even had time to settle down, or having nothing to do during the weekends if the nightlife scene is not your cup of tea. Again, books make the perfect survival tool because there’s a book for everything. Since there were so many options to choose from, I chose to highlight this long list of book essentials for every college student to indulge in.

So hang around by your locker, study hall, university quad, dorm room, or coffee shop with your newest book and let us know how it helps you cope with the school year!

Judging A Book By Its Cover

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If you are travelling down the self-publishing path, then creating a book cover is going to be another part of your publishing journey. After walking through aisles and aisles of books at the local B&N, I started to notice the similarities amongst some of the genres. There’s a cycle a writer should keep in mind when creating the cover to their book. If you were the book, the process would go a little something like this:

  1. Get noticed by the potential reader browsing all your friends on the bookshelf or Amazon page.
  2. Either you’re picked up or clicked on, because you’re just that interesting.
  3. If you’re exactly what the potential reader wants, they’ll buy you.
  4. Of course, they’ll read you.
  5. After they’re done, they’re going to talk about you to other people. They’ll entice their peers with your inspiring and rich content.
  6. Let this process repeat.

But, how can you get to step one? A good cover takes a couple different factors into account. For a fiction novel, you won’t want to include too much text. The title, author name, and maybe an essential quote from the book or a shortened quote from a reviewer is more than enough to do the trick. When you add too much text, it becomes too much for a the reader to consume or it might reveal too much about your novel. This can cause the reader to quickly put your book back on the shelf or scroll onto the next book. Quick catchphrases or quotes can sometimes be a good subheading – but make sure it doesn’t go much beyond a sentence. If images help your novel pop, make sure the image used is significant to the plot of your novel. It becomes visually appealing when a story about a dog, has a dog on it (or whatever the story may be). When you pick the right image, a reader can get just as much information about your novel from just looking at the cover as they can from reading its summary.

Let’s use Caraval by Stephanie Garber as an example. The cover of Caraval is a happy medium between being too boring and too active. The bright white color font of the title pops out at you, so you are immediately drawn to the title. The lettering intertwines elegantly with the star design without being too intrusive, adding a little extra pizzazz without hindering your ability to read the text easily. The glittery stars within the star design, against the space background, flow together in a simple manner. When creating your cover, you want to reflect the story you’re telling. In Garber’s novel, her main character, Scarlett, must find her sister in five nights while being surrounded by magic and performances (therefore, the star design on the cover mirrors the nighttime or bursts of magic within the novel).

If you are a visual artist, as well as a wordsmith, you might want to take it upon yourself to create your own cover because you know the image you wish to convey to your readers better than anyone else. Or recruit someone you may know or a trusted cover designer to work with you to create the perfect cover that will bring your story to life. Regardless of how your cover is made, you want to be able to appeal to your readers and represent your book in an exceptional way that wouldn’t allow it to be looked over by browsers.

History of Mystery

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The genre of mystery has grown since its birth in the nineteenth century.

In 1841, Edgar Allen Poe used his gothic literature to create the mystery genre with the making of his detective, Auguste C. Dupin. Poe was and still is acknowledged as the “father of the mystery story.” The famous Sherlock Holmes and his apprentice, Dr. Watson, appeared on the fictional crime scene in 1887, with the help of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Years later in the 1920s, the Golden Age of Mystery, when murder mystery novels had similar patterns and styles, eventually traveled from Britain to the States. With the evolution of the mystery genre, authors such as Agatha Christie, Ellery Queen, Erle Stanley Gardner, and many more have produced works like no other. Even today, with audiobooks rising in popularity, mystery remains one of the top audiobook genres.

At HRM, we have the pleasure to represent many talented mystery, thriller, and crime authors and their audiobooks have certainly been keeping us on our toes. Here are just a few of our office’s favorites:

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  • Bad Deeds” by Robert Bidinotto

    (Book 2: Dylan Hunter Thrillers) At a cabin the Allegheny National Forest, Dylan Hunter and Annie Woods seek to heal the wounds from their ordeal at the hands of a twisted psychopath. And to build a life together, Dylan promises Annie that he’ll abandon his violent ways. But ideological zealots and Washington’s political elites have conspired to terrorize and plunder the hard-working locals. These victims have no protector against the bad deeds of the powerful and privileged. Except for one man. A man as ruthless and violent as they. A man committed to absolute justice. Because Dylan Hunter cannot walk away – not even if it costs him the woman he loves.

  • Glenmore Park Series” by Mike Omer

    Twenty year old Kendele Byers is savagely killed and buried in a shallow grave. She had a violent past, a bizarre kinky line of work, and the suspect list grows longer every day. But when another woman is murdered, Detective Mitchell Lonnie realizes that there’s something much more sinister afoot, a connection between the two murders. Both victims had received a clue hinting their oncoming demise several minutes before they were attacked. There’s a serial killer in Glenmore Park. Even worse, he seems to be accelerating his murder pace. Not Mitchell and his partner need to locate the killer before more innocent women die. But when his sister gets involved, Mitchell’s focus begins to unravel. Soon his pursuit becomes personal, and the stakes rise very high…

  • Michael Gresham Series” by John Ellsworth

    Michael Gresham is a criminal attorney with a client accused of murdering a judge’s wife. As the story progresses, the judge whose wife was murdered suddenly tries to hire Michael Gresham for himself. New revelations have the judge backed into a corner in this legal and financial thriller. Can an attorney battle the system and win the notorious case other lawyers turned down? Can Michael Gresham turn the tables on those who would see him dead? And who is going to pay for the injury and disfigurement they left him with?

  • DC Smith investigation Series” by Peter Grainger

    The story opens with the apparently accidental drowning of a British sixth form student in the Norfolk countryside. As a matter of routine, or so it seems, the case passes across the desk of Detective Sergeant Smith, recently returned to work after an internal investigation into another case that has led to tensions between officers at Kings Lake police headquarters. As an ex-Detective Chief Inspector, Smith could have retired by now, and it is clear that some of his superiors wish that he would do so. The latest trainee detective to work with him is the son of a member of his former team, and together they begin to unravel the truth about what happened to Wayne Fletcher. As the investigation proceeds, it becomes clear that others are involved – some seem determined to prevent it, some seem to be taking too much interest. In the end Smith operated alone, having stepped too far outside standard procedures to ask for support. He knows that his own life might be at risk but he has not calculated on the life of his young assistant also being put in danger.

Breaking Free of Self-Doubt

Let’s face it, we all have those days when we feel down and something is just off. Sometimes it’s for no apparent reason, while other days it’s because nothing seems to be going your way- whether you got a bad review on your book, a fan posted a nasty comment, or your editor told you that you need to basically re-write your next novel. These days make us start to doubt our ability to succeed. We start to question our talent and wonder if we truly have what it takes to keep going. When you put your work out there to be criticized a lot of good things can happen, but a lot of bad things will probably happen too. We need to find ways to pick ourselves out of that self-doubt and move forward. Every hit of negative criticism makes you a stronger and better writer.

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Today, author Holly Robinson shared four ways that she conquers her self-doubt in a post on The Huffington Post book blog. I thought they were pretty awesome ideas and that many of us could benefit from them- not just in our own writing worlds, but in our every day lives as well.

1. “Work With Your Hands”

Build/do something with you hands- bake something, do an arts project, conquer a landscaping project. Seeing the physical result of your efforts will help you gain some of your confidence back.

2. “Forget About Success”

Stop worrying about what other people think and remember that the main person you create your work for is you. Don’t be afraid to fail. As long as you are happy with the work that you produce, you are already winning.

3. “Stay Flexible”

Try new things- even if it’s just for a few hours. Try writing a different type of genre than usual. Craft up a totally different character than ever before. Create a world that seems completely bizarre to you. It will give you a break from your typical writing and you never know, it might lead you somewhere other than the trash bin.

4. “Keep Your Projects Warm”

Never stop working completely. If you aren’t up for a whole day of writing then just reread a few chapters, edit a few lines, or make outlines for future chapters. The second you stop working, you are letting your self-doubt win.

The only person that can make you succeed or fail is yourself. We all have days of self-doubt, but it’s how we break free that matters. Write On.