Book 4 Underway and a Question for Readers

Posted by on November 28th, 2014 in News | 48 Comments

Hello, science fiction romance fans! Thanks to you, The Assassin’s Salvation and Trial & Temptation have been selling well on Amazon since their releases. I appreciate your willingness to check out a new author, and I’m also thankful to all of you who have left reviews and sent me notes, saying you enjoyed the stories.

I’ve decided to continue on with the series, and I’m working on the fourth book now, an adventure that will involve a lady treasure hunter hiring a certain group of mercenaries to help with the project. Val, Gregor, Tick, and Striker will return as side characters, and we’ll have a hero who has had some lines in the previous books, but who I’m having fun developing more now.

Some of you have asked about a little romance for Lauren, the microbiologist who never steps out of her lab (willingly), and I do have a story in mind for her in the future, as well as one for Sergeant Hazel. Stay tuned. πŸ™‚

In the meantime, I am curious to know if any of you enjoy reading, or rather listening to audiobooks. I am debating whether I should create paperback versions of the Mandrake Company novels and also whether it would be worth looking into ACX and Audible.

I know not many people pop by this blog, but if you see this post at some future date and have a second to answer, please let me know if you like audiobooks and ever buy them. Thanks!

48 responses to “Book 4 Underway and a Question for Readers”

  1. Lycia Hall says:

    I don’t buy audiobooks. Before I got a kindle, a bought some hardback and lots of paperbacks. Lots of people still prefer a paperback so you might want to consider this. In my hometown Walmart, paperbacks sell real well.

  2. Daphne says:

    Yay! Very excited to hear there will be a 4th book (and considerations for a fifth and sixth)!! Do you plan to start a Facebook page? I tend to follow authors there to keep up-to-date with new releases. As for audio books, no I’ve never purchased one and probably wouldn’t

  3. Lycia Hall says:

    Agree with Daphne that I follow my favorite authors on their facebook page. Let us know when you get one. Am very excited about getting a 4th book so keep us posted.

  4. Judy says:

    I love audio books, I have over 300 in my audible account. I also really like the new whispersync thing amazon has going on.

    • Ruby says:

      It’s a pretty good deal if you’re a subscriber and get the books for credits instead of $35 a pop or whatever it is. I usually listen to non-fiction that way. I haven’t tried a steamy romance yet, and I’m trying to decide if it would be weird having someone read certain scenes to me while I’m walking the dog. πŸ˜›

      • Maura Klimisch says:

        I listen to a lot of fiction and in my opinion, men do not do women’s voices well. This is fine for general fiction, but for romance a female narrator is really needed, else the romance scenes sound ridiculous. Hope this helps!

  5. Marnie says:

    Just found your books this weekend when browsing free Kindle books. Bought the rest of the books you had available and am impressed with what I have read so far.

    Kindle is my first choice for reading material these days. I don’t bother with paperbacks and have never tried audiobooks.

    It is great that you have this website, but I would encourage you to develop your GoodReads author profile soon. Best of luck and I look forward to future releases of this series!

    • Ruby says:

      Thank you for stopping by, Marnie! πŸ™‚ I have my books listed on Goodreads and stop by the SFR group there, but I’m not much of a reviewer, so I don’t hang out there too much.

  6. Susie says:

    I do like audiobooks for quick action/adventure reads (I plug in headphones while I do housework) but can’t handle romance books that way. Hearing physical descriptions and sex that way is just too cringe worthy for me. The reader is a huge part of that, I know, and maybe some readers would be ok but the last audiobook I tried the male reader’s “sexy” voice just had me laughing. Pretty sure not what the author had in mind.
    Short answer – if you another series that’s straight up sci if, yes! But not with this series.

    • Ruby says:

      Thanks for chiming in, Susie. I had the same thoughts. I’ve never purchased a romance audio book for that reason, but I was curious if others did. πŸ™‚

      • Jeanne says:

        I really enjoy aduio-books. I agree romance needs a female narrator for sure,though she really needs a lower pitched voice. Women with higher voices make me cringe. With the right narrator steamy scenes aren’t too bad unless your listening in the car and the kids are there. Lol, I always hit fastforward as these scenes approach πŸ˜‰ BTW I would love to see more of the older couples as side characters if possible. I miss them after the book is over. Happy Holidays and thanks for book #4! One more question. How does one become a beta reader?

        • Ruby says:

          Oh man, just imagining listening with the kids in the car… Too funny. Why did you fast forward that, Mom? *innocent blinking*

          I’m definitely going to try and keep the couples alive as side characters in the new books — probably can’t have too many in one, but in Book 4, for example, Val and Gregor will be along for the ride. πŸ™‚

          I’ve got a couple of beta readers that have been reading for me for a while, but I have been thinking of trying to recruit a few last-minute-before-publication readers to do typo checks. Even with beta readers and an editor, some always slip through. If that’s something you might be interested in, send me a note at Thanks for the interest!

  7. Zoe says:

    Hi! I loved your first 2 Mandrake Company books – thanks for publishing! πŸ™‚ Since I bought my first gen Kindle I have almost exclusively read e-format (I have maybe 2500+ Kindle books now and devour content in a way I would never have before because its just so accessible). I may have picked up a handful of paperbacks in the last 5 years, but that’s it. I also tried audio books, but it just doesn’t do it for me – I prefer the experience to be in my own head, especially with romance!

    I just downloaded your 3rd book and really looking forward to reading it!

    • Ruby says:

      Thanks for following along, Zoe, and for taking the time to stop by and share your thoughts. I hope you enjoy the third book!

  8. Ava says:

    Just completed your 3rd Mandrake Company book… love the series! I am an avid reader, and find your books among the best I have read. Can hardly wait for book 4!

    • Ruby says:

      Thank you, Ava. Book four is coming along well. I probably won’t get it out before Christmas, but not too long after, I hope!

  9. Ava says:

    As far as audio books, I find my imagination supplies what I think a character should sound like… rather than being disappointed when an “audio” voice doesn’t match what I expect.

  10. Ann says:

    Happy to hear you are continuing the series! These days I mostly read on my device, but I still like paperbacks. I rarely listen to audiobooks, and I’d probably be uncomfortable w/the steamy scenes. I’m glad to hear Lauren will get to have some outside fun in the future!

  11. Lola says:

    I enjoy listening to audiobooks, especially when I’m driving. They are terrific when you have to drive long distances ( like 7 hours). They help keep me awake. I also listen to them when I have a migraine! Helps take my mind off the pain and time passes more quickly. Paperbacks are still very much in demand. Having worked in a library you realize that many people still don’t have computers or iPads or even smartphones. So there is definitely a need for paperbacks. However the $8-9 price tag for a paperback can also be an issue.
    I trice to submit a review for T&T but no matter how many times I hit the submit button it wouldn’t take on Amazon.

  12. Amber says:

    I have really enjoyed all the Mandrake Company books and so glad to hear you are continuing the series. I would love reading Lauren’s story and perhaps her falling in love with a certain intelligence officer.

  13. Aleastra says:

    I love this series and can’t wait for the next book! Um don’t listen to audio books and I read way to many books to buy physical copies! Greatest invention of all time…Ebooks.

  14. Bree says:

    I’m really enjoying this new series, and I look forward to the next books! I’ve actually stopped a few times while reading these and wished they were in paperback form, but as far as audiobook goes, as long as the kindle text-to-speech is enabled, I’m good.

  15. K. Crow says:

    I loved your stories. Please continue writing them. Also I recommend audio books. My brother lost an arm so he only listens to audio books. I also know people who listen to books while driving. And my husband is blind so he would benefit from audio books. Anyway, good job.

  16. Maura Klimisch says:

    I just discovered the series this weekend and I love it! I would listen to these as audiobooks if they were whispersync on kindle, but not on audible. Audible ends up being too expensive for me since I read/listen to about 25 books per month. I don’t personally have a use for paper books, but it might gain you readers especially if you can get into libraries.

    • Ruby says:

      Thank you for checking out the books, Maura! I’ll have to see if there’s a way to participate in whispersync without actually making an audiobook. I’ve never tried it and don’t know too much about the program.

  17. Rory says:

    I just found your books this weekend so immediately I read them all. I love this new series and I thank you for continuing on with it.I personally don’t listen to audiobooks but there is an audio book club at work and almost all the girls at work listen to audiobooks while we work. I know a lot of people listen to audio books when they’re driving. I saw that another woman listens when she has a migraine so I’m gonna try that.

    • Rory says:

      Also, I get my books via ebooks since I got the kindle app. I only buy cookbooks in hardback and a few paperbacks in books that I can’t get in ebook format in the last few years.

    • Ruby says:

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment (or two), Rory! I’m glad you liked the books. πŸ™‚

  18. Vicky says:

    I hope this series grows…it makes me laugh and I love the action!! I hope you do publish in paperback, there are some die hards out there that haven’t gone ebook. Lol
    I used to listen to audio books when I drove a truck but not since. I’ll have to grab one and try it out.

    Thx so much for the great reads!!
    Have a wonderful Holiday season and Happy New Year!!!

    • Ruby says:

      Thank you for stopping by, Vicky! I always listen to audiobooks on road trips. That’s the best time. πŸ™‚ I’m glad you’re enjoying the series. Happy holidays to you as well!

  19. Michelle says:

    Just downloaded book 1 today… loved it so much that I read all 3 back to back! Now I’m eagerly waiting for book 4 lol. Im largely a kindle reader but I know a few people who rely on bookstore browsing to find new authors.

    • Ruby says:

      Thanks for checking out the books, Michelle! I’m glad you’re enjoying the series so far. Ah, yes, I would love to be in those bookstores. The traditional publishers don’t seem to think there’s much of a market for science fiction romance though–almost all of the stuff out there is indie or small press. Oh, well. Maybe someday!

  20. Carol says:

    Love this series! I don’t buy audio books, they make me fall asleep.
    I think it would be fun to have a romance between Hazel and Striker, especially if it turned out that Striker was a virgin. Did I mention I love this series?

  21. Rexy says:

    I am totally loving this series. Please don’t stop writing romances set in space! That’s one of my favorite things about the books! That, and I am charmed by your ability to make me howl with laughter one moment and then blushing tomato-red the next. I don’t listen to audiobooks but I am totally excited at the possibility of books featuring Lauren and Sargeant Hazel. Squee!

  22. Christine says:

    I rather like audiobooks, and have to admit Amazon tempted me into joining Audible with the member-only sales. I do love it when audiobooks are whispersynced to the kindle version so you get a steep discount, even over the cheapest credit price (~$10/book) if you already own the kindle ebook – a whispersync price of $13/book is not nearly as tempting as one of $3 or $4/book. I’m more likely to use my credits on non-fiction, but when they have the ‘buy four books regularly priced at $15+, get a $10 audible gift certificate’ deal (offered every 3-4 months), I usually grab 4 inexpensive whispersync books and yes, that can include steamy romance if I think it is worth re-reading or listening to for the first time. I’ve bought a few romances with steamy scenes, but I have to admit whether I fast forward or not depends on the narrator – whether I’m immersed in the book and don’t notice or whether I get embarrassed by someone reading the scene to me. Narrators make a huge difference. I rather wish that more audiobooks had at least one female narrator and one male narrator to do the female and male voices, particularly for romance books that switch point of view – often the male narrators do better with the male voices and the female narrators do better with the female voices, as probably makes sense – but a second narrator is expensive, I think, and coordinating two people to read together or fitting together two recordings the different portions of the book is probably more complicated/expensive; and it is really, really annoying when there are two narrators who just swap chapters, but not based on who is speaking or thinking in the book. I tend to read reviews to see what other people say about the narrators before buying, and if there aren’t reviews, check my local library for CDs to check out and see if I like/dislike the narrator. I do think male narrators can do a good job with romance novels, though I prefer female narrators when the books is primarily from the female point of view – there are some good male narrators for some of the Georgette Heyer books. Anyway, yes, there’s certainly a chance that with a good narrator I’d opt for an audiobook in addition to or instead of the ebook, depending on the pricing/sales.

    I should probably mention that I happily listened to books via my kindle’s read-to-me text-to-speech function, which just has computer voices which some find very irritating, but I get immersed in the story and don’t notice the voice quality and nor have I gotten disconcerted by hearing steamy scenes. It let me keep ‘reading’ while commuting and I like it enough that I won’t buy *any* ebooks that have text-to-speech disabled. But I think it’s more of a ‘big publisher wishes to encourage audio sales’ to disable text-to-speech; I boycott that by not buying their ebooks or audiobooks.

    I also love paper books and am still a devoted user of my local library. I prefer to buy ebooks that I know are good because I’ve already read a paper copy. Often what happens when there’s a kindle daily deal that interests me is that I check the book out from the library, and if I like it, I keep an eye on it in case there’s another sale later. If you put out paper versions, I’ll put in a request at my local library that they purchase copies, and check them out if I see them show up. They don’t purchase everything requested, as they’ve got a budget, but often it works out.

    I have bought books 1, 2, & 4. I’ve read Mercenary Instinct & Trial and Temptation and liked them a *lot*. I’m reading book The Ruins of Karzelek – 35% through, and wondering if there’s a glitch in the kindle version on my ipod, as there’s been a few times when I’ve turned the page and the sentences don’t continue in a way that makes sense – hmm… going back to check the last one – the top line is black where there was a top line of text at that spot on the previous page, but flipping back and forth doesn’t change the page that appears to be hiding a line; annoying but I’m enjoying the story anyway. It’s good to see Val & Gregor again.

    Having your first book free is why I picked up Mercenary Instinct; I tend to pick up anything I spot for free of a scifi/fantasy nature when I have time to browse the free books. The blurb caught my attention and moved it near the top of my to-read list – I liked Ankari’s business plan! I really liked Mercenary Instinct, so when I saw that 2 & 4 were on sale, I remembered the first book was terrific and so picked up the sale books. I don’t tend to buy books other than during sales as I have a huge back list of books I already own and want to read – my kindle collection is over 30K, and I still do check out books from the library and buy paperbacks, though due to space/storage reasons I’m trying to reduce my paper acquisition in favor of ebooks.

    Anyway, I’m glad to hear you’re planning more books in the series – I look forward to Lauren & Hazel’s books, and maybe more books starring Ankari and the others? Anyway, babbled too long – Good night!

    • Ruby says:

      Hi, Christine! Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. Sorry about any trouble with the file. That’s the first I’ve heard of that, so I’m hoping it was just a glitch in the download process. If you want to send me a note (rubylionsdrake AT gmail DOT com), I’ll send you my copy of the file.

      P.S. Ankari and Viktor are going to be back in the next one. Even though I have at least three more stories ideas for different couples, I felt the need to check in on them. πŸ™‚

  23. tektrainer says:

    Ms. Ruby,
    I love the Mandrake series and have read all of them so far. I have never tried audio books yet but maybe tempted to do so. I have not bought a paperback in years. In the last year I have probably read clos to 80 books or more using digital media though.

    • Ruby says:

      Thanks for stopping by to comment! I’m glad you’re enjoying the books so far. πŸ™‚ I just sent the fifth one off to my beta readers.

  24. Larry says:

    I enjoy reading on my tablet the best but if I’m traveling I would rather listen to an audio book. I have read the first 4 of your books and enjoyed them thoroughly. Keep up the good work.

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