Post event update: I’m talking audiobooks with Mystery Writers of America

We had a great time together and I’m updating this post with some resources I shared during the conversion:

Thinking about narrating your own audiobooks?

Here are my 3 Things list:

Watch the Ginger Yoda Master Sean Pratt at work, So You Want to be an Audiobook Narrator

Listen to audiobooks in your genre! But take notes: what do you enjoy about the narrator’s performance? Are you more of a story-time narrator, or are you bold and ready to put on a performance?

Get coached. Take a workshop. Seriously, don’t do what I did unless you want to take a year to produce your first audiobook. How do you find a coach? Start Googling, check out Audiobook Publishers Association and one of my favorites, The Sound and Furry.

Thinking about getting your book into audio? Curious about what narrators do in the audio booth? Fellow author and now audiobook narrator Mary Castillo shares her experiences and the questions every author should ask.

Join the fun with SEMWA, the Southeast Regional Chapter of Mystery Writers of America (MWA) on May 13th. Register

Pre-order Goddess of the Americas

Goddess of the Americas: Writings on the Virgin of Guadalupe

Available for pre-order on Audible

Goddess of the Americas is a brilliant essay collection and an impassioned, unorthodox celebration of the Virgin of Guadalupe: mother goddess, patron saint of Mexico, protector of the downtrodden, who made her first appearance on American soil in 1531. Through a variety of forms—original essays, historical writings, short fiction, drama, and poetry—the illustrious contributors to this literary anthology examine the impact this potent deity, the Lady of Guadalupe, has had on the people and culture of Mexico, and her influence beyond that country, in Latin America, North America, and Europe.


An unprecedented contribution to the literature of the Americas, Goddess of the Americas is an invigorating investigation, an idiosyncratic adoration, and a profound recognition of our need for the sacred, unwavering love of the mother goddess.

Resources from Sisters in Crime Audiobook presentation

6 tips to improve your book event reads

Pick a scene that feels comfortable. These are your words and no one knows them better than you! For a romance, pick the meet cute; mystery, the moment the sleuth finds the body. If dialogue feels weird and you’re not comfortable doing character voices (that’s where us narrators come handy, ya know), action scenes and deep POV moments can work really well.

Leave ’em wanting more. I aim for 3 to 5 minutes max. When you start treading into 10-minute plus reads, it starts to feel like a lecture.

Rehearse. Don’t memorize, I mean, unless you want to. 😏  But get familiar with the text, how you’ll hold the book in your hands, how you’ll sit or stand, and how it will feel to deliver the read. I like to know if I’m holding mic or if I have to project my voice.

Breathe! You need your breath to be heard and connect with your listeners. If you need to, mark the parts where you can naturally pause for a breath.

Stay hydrated. TMI but I’m all about being real with folks: I always take a trip to the ladies’ when I arrive at an event, then hold off from drinking water until right before I have to go up before the audience. If the set up allows, take your water up with you.

Nerves are your friend! There’s an episode of Christina on the Coast and her guest admitted she was really nervous. Christina reached out to her and said, “I love it when I’m nervous because that means good things are about to happen.” I never forgot that and try to maintain that attitude when I’m sitting in the audience wondering what the heck I got myself into. Let’s accept that we’ll be keyed up and we can use that energy for our performance!

Look up every now and then. It’s tempting to stare down at your text and pretend they’re not there. But then you’re not connecting with the audience, they’re not connecting with you.

Listen to the audience. If they laugh, gasp, cry, or visibly react, pause. The pause lets them enjoy the moment and also, hear what you’ll read next. It’s a great feeling to see your words evoke a visceral response. And, take note for your WIP or the next book. 😎

I’m talking about audiobooks at Sisters in Crime OC

How She Become an Audiobook Narrator, and How It Impacted Her Writing

25-FEB-2024 @ 3:00 p.m. @ Book Carnival in Orange, CA


Celebrate the season of love with Sisters in Crime OC Blood Orange Chapter and out why audiobooks are the fastest growing segment of the bookselling market today! February 25, 2024 at 3:00 p.m. at Book Carnival in Orange.

Enjoy delicious snacks, drinks, giveaways, as sought-after audiobook narrator, Mary Castillo, discusses what you need to know about audio books, why and how she became an audiobook narrator and how it changed her own writing!

New release: Restless Heart book 4 in Harper Ranch Series!

Restless Heart: Montana Sky Series (Harper Ranch Series Book 4)

By Louella Nelson, Montana Sky Publishing

Available on Audible and iTunes

A devoted mother to toddler Charlie, widowed Margaret Caroway is known for her warmth and social confidence. She’s a homebody, finding fulfillment in domestic pursuits and being of service, and seeking adventure only through novels.

Taylor Temogen couldn’t be more different. Armed with a six-gun and rifle, the federal land agent roams the prairies and mountains on behalf of the government, braving dangers to help the settlers of the untamed West.
Taylor has dreamed of Margaret for months, ever since he was on a prior investigation involving her best friend. But his handling of the situation turned Margaret against him.

Taylor longs to leave his lonely lifestyle and court Margaret. Somehow, he needs to convince her that he’s not the enemy, but a man who loves her and her son—an uphill battle.

Then Charlie is abducted and only Taylor can help Margaret save him.

New release: Tea is for Tears book 6 in the Haunted Tearoom Cozy Mystery series

Tea Is for Tears: A Haunted Tearoom Cozy Mystery (Haunted Tearoom Cozy Mysteries, Book 6)

Available on Audible and iTunes

Can April May find a killer? If not, she may end up in jail for murder!

April is busy baking tasty treats to serve in her tearoom while stormy weather threatens outside. She ignores the controversy surrounding the sheriff’s recall and the rumors being spread until she learns about a rumor involving her!

When she goes to confront the person she believes is responsible, she finds a dead body instead. Accused of murder, she feels she has no choice but to investigate. There are plenty of suspects, but they all have solid alibis.

Meanwhile, disaster strikes for someone close to April. At least she can count on Chef Emile’s presence in her kitchen… or can she?

The plot thickens in the sixth Haunted Tearoom Cozy Mystery. Curl up with a warm beverage and listen to it today!

Learn All About the Business Side of Audiobooks on WriterSpark

Have you ever wondered what audiobook production and narration entails for an author? If you haven’t, this episode from WriterSpark Academy is for you! Audiobooks can be a huge asset to an author’s bottom line. There is a lot to learn, and that’s what I’m talking about in today with author and audiobook narrator Mary Castillo. She has great tips and resources about the audiobook arm of the publishing industry.  

A QUICK LOOK AT BOOKS and RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:   * Ready, Set, WRITE! (How to write a novel course) (https://writersparkwritingacademy.tea…)

* Mary Castillo’s Books (…)

* Audacity Free Open Source Software (

* RX7 Software (…)

* Canva (

* Listen to Mary’s Voice Samples:…

* Silent Echoes & Silent Obsession  (

* Living the Vida Lola (

* Murder in Devil’s Cove (Book Magic #1-

Suggested reading:   On the Mic by Nic Redman (   Audiobook Recording: A Beginner’s Guide to Producing Audiobooks using Audacity (    

✨ 📝  Get updates on business, creativity, and the craft of writing by following this podcast and subscribe to the WriterSpark newsletter (…)  

Today on SCWA Hump Day Book Tour!

Thank you Southern California Writers Association and Maddie Margarita for having me and Author Kristy Tate on the weekly Facebook Live. We had a great time talking about Kristy’s wonderful time travel rom coms and the privilege I have as the audiobook narrator and producer playing in her world.

You can watch our 15-minute chat and learn more about the great community of SCWA! Watch:

Montana Sky World Harper Ranch Series Continues

Book two in the Harper Ranch Series is now available!

Almost a year from book one’s audio release, I’m so excited to announce the series continues with Rebel Love Song! It is an honor to be the narrator for this series of sisters who risk everything to homestead the Montana territory and give their hearts to worthy (and handsome) men.

Gorgeous twenty-year-old Jessamine Harper faces the retribution of an angry government bent on stopping her suffrage writings. The rugged Bethesda Janes, a metalsmith hiding his Jewish heritage and his heartbreaking past, falls in love with the beauty, intelligence, and caring heart he finds in Jess. From urban St. Louis to the prairie and mountains of 1887 Montana Territory, intrigue, jealousy, and ambition bring Jess, Bethesda, and a determined government agent to a dramatic stand-off.

Ms. Nelson’s writing has an elegance that compelled me to turn the pages long into the night,” writes Linda N. Pines, EreaderNewsToday (4.9 out of 5 stars for Book One in the series, Rye’s Reprieve).

Now the adventure and romance continue with the trials and triumphs of Jessamine, the tomboyish, activist middle Harper sister, in Rebel Love Song.

Listen on Audible