A big welcome today to SJ Himes as part of her blog tour with Embrace the Rainbow Book Promotions for her audiobook release for The Necromancer’s Dance. I loved reading this series so excited it’s now in audiobook.
Listening to a finished audio of a book I wrote was…I don’t even think there’s a word in English to describe it. Let me try! I use words for a living, I might be able to work something adequate.
Hearing someone speak aloud lines I wrote was an odd and oft-times disconcerting experience. I had to remain calm and pay close attention to make sure the scenes were portrayed as I meant in the text; I had to overcome my extreme urge to hide when the sex scenes were performed; and I had to find the courage to say to a veritable voice expert, “Maybe you could change this.”
(Though I will be honest, I only asked Joel Leslie to really change one character performance, and I was so torn, as the first rendition was marvelous. He took it with professional aplomb and knocked the second try out of the stratosphere.)
When I first decided to get my full-length novels out on audio, I had not a single clue as to what I was doing. I followed the directions for self-published authors on ACX’s website (audiobook publishing platform run by Audible and owned by Amazon) and the advice of several trustworthy peers. For certain, I was worried. How could I not be? I love my books like children–and I don’t know about anyone else, but I have favorites.
Holding the top spot in my affections is my series set in Boston, The Beacon Hill Sorcerer. I am a native Bay Stater ( I prefer that residential nickname over the hard to wrangle Massachusettsesan or the highly snerk worthy and sarcastic Masshole) and there’s one thing in my beloved series that makes a few mentions on page but has a huge impact–accents. Boston is home to a collection of highly recognizable and hard to pull off accents that will either turn people off if performed incorrectly or will showcase the charm and wit of some of New England’s finest when done with authenticity.
When I finally got to Joel’s audition, I wondered how he would do. I’d had experience with Joel’s work as a reader–he did the ultimate Australian series Red Dirt Heart for the inestimable NR Walker. I loved his performance in those books, and I jumped at the chance to a have him narrate my work. But one question remained, even as I hit “Play Audition”–how would he do with Bostonian accents?
My concerns died a swift and very final death not even forty-five seconds into the five minute audition. The scene I had offered to narrators to audition with was a pivotal and important moment in the book–it’s where Angel Salvatore, my protagonist, meets the man who will eventually own his heart. It had to be fraught with tension, danger, snark, all with sexual undertones that would last the entire narrative. So important of a moment to the whole series, not just that first book.
I wasn’t disappointed.
Joel Leslie took my book about a necromancer who was scarred by his past and loss, who was leery of trusting and never knew what it was like to fall in love–and brought Angel Salvatore and Co to life. I was summarily bumped from my creator role and dropped into audience mode, and I could see, feel, and hear the story unfold around me. I was back on the streets of Boston, chasing vampires and monsters, falling in love for the first time.
My novel is about taking the less-traveled route through the typical whodunit urban fantasy. I wanted to give it the best care I could and see it bloom in a new format. There’s a saying among writers–A great editor can make any author shine. The same goes for audiobooks and narrators.
Title: The Necromancer’s Dance
Author: S J Himes
Series: The Beacon Hill Sorcerer #1
Narrated by: Joel Leslie
Length: 8 Hours 8 minutes
Release Date: 21st March 2017
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, MM Romance
In a world where magic is real and evil walks amongst humanity, a young sorcerer is beset by enemies, both old and new.
Angelus Salvatore is the only necromancer in all of Boston, and his name is whispered warily by the undead and fellow sorcerers alike. He and his brother Isaac are the lone survivors of an attack by an army of the undead, in which Angel used a spell so powerful it forever marked his place in history. Now, years later, Angel struggles to balance his career as a teacher of the higher magical arts, his role as big brother, and a tenuous relationship with an Elder vampire from the local clan. When his brother’s boyfriend is used as a pawn in a mysterious plot to draw Angel out, Angel is once again drawn back into the old hostilities that fueled the Blood Wars and led to his family’s death.
Leaning on others for help is something Angel cannot do, and while he searches for clues as to who may be targeting him and his brother, Angel finds his heart steadily growing occupied with Simeon, Elder and vampire. Dealing with death magic and vampires on a daily basis may leave Angel jaded when it comes to life and staying that way, but the more time he spends fending off the ancient vampire’s attention and affections, the more he realizes he wants to give in.
Can Angel find out who wants him dead, and keep his heart safe in the process? How can he fall for a vampire, when his whole family was torn apart by an army of the undead? Death stalks the streets of Boston’s historic Beacon Hill…and there is no one more suited to battle against death than a necromancer.
Listen to an audio teaser from The Necromancer’s Dance at Soundcloud.
S J Himes and Joel Leslie will BOTH be at GRL in October 2017! Find out more information on the website.
“Simeon. Care to share? Wanna tell me why I was dragged outta bed and driven across town to find my brother’s boyfriend locked in your storage room?” Angel growled at the old vamp, and Simeon’s lip twitched again.
Angel had something of a temper problem. Just a bit. And Simeon loved to poke at it, like a fool hunter nagging at a bear with a stick after a long cold winter. “And if anyone says Isaac was involved with this stupid endeavor I’m about to hear, I am gonna start handing out hexes indiscriminately.”
“Mr. Doyle,” Simeon said, tilting his head at the man cowering at the table, “decided he was going to take a job to burglarize the place of business of our Master. He was caught,” Simeon continued, a calm veneer over a well of tension. Simeon’s voice was accented faintly, and had a lilt to it that could seduce the clothes off a nun— which Angel was certain Simeon had done at some point in his long life. Simeon was one slick bastard. “He refuses to tell us who hired him. As per the arrangement you have with our master, we did not get the information from him as we usually would. That is why you are here, Sorcerer Salvatore.”
GIVEAWAY: Win The Necromancer’s Dance Audiobook
About the Author
I’m a self-employed writer who stresses out about the silliest things, like whether or not I got my dog the best kind of snack and the fact my kindle battery tends to die when I’m at the best part in a book. I write mainly gay romance, erotica, and urban fantasy, with ocasional forays into contemporary and paranormal. I love a book heavy on plot and character evolution, and throw in some magic, and that’s perfection. My current series are: The Beacon Hill Sorcerer, Bred For Love (as Revella Hawthorne), and The Wolfkin Saga. My last two novels in the Beacon Hill Sorcerer won 3rd Place in the Gay Fantasy category for the 2016 Rainbow Awards.
I live in New Orleans, where the personalities are big and loud and so are the bugs! New Orleans is rich in cultural history, and the flavor and music of the City is impossible to hide. Before that, I lived all over the United States: Tampa, Western Massachusetts, Indianapolis, and on and on…. I’m a nomad, and I’ve yet to find a place that calls to me strongly enough to become home. My faithful travel companions are my dog Micah, the numerous voices in my head who insist they all get put on paper, and the wind at my back.
About the Narrator
Joel Leslie is a UK transplant, growing up with American parents in a British commonwealth. A classically trained actor with an MFA in theatre from USC, he is often cast for his unique ability to deliver native, authentic combinations of American and British sounds. His great range and ability to bring characters to life with honesty, wit and versatility delights producers and listeners alike.
He is proud to have a strong following with m/m listeners and an ongoing relationship with some of the finest writers in the genre. He loves that every day he gets to share these beautiful, inspirational and empowering GLBT characters with the world. When not in the booth he spends his time chasing after two loquacious wiener dogs.
Find a list of Joel’s books on Audible