Connecting the Dots Published in Audiobook Format!

Connecting the Dots

Now out in Audiobook format!

Have you ever wondered whether you or a loved one might have ADHD? My little self-help ebook/memoir, Connecting the Dots: My Midlife Journey with Adult AD/HD, published in 2013, is now available in audiobook format, at a suggested list price of $5.99! It’s geared to younger and middle-aged women, as women tend to be undiagnosed sufferers with inattentive-type ADD since we don’t typically present with the same hyperactive symptoms that boys and men do. (Though some women do have the hyperactive form of ADHD; I just don’t happen to be one of them!)

Confession: I’m not an audiobook fan myself, despite loving listening to stories on the radio, but I know many people are and that some folks find it easier to absorb information in this format. I chose Findaway Voices as my distributor and the versatile Daniela Acitelli as my narrator. Take a listen to the sample on Google Play and see what you think!

Here are links to the first online stores who’ve listed the book:

Google Play:

Apple iTunes:

Rakuten Kobo:

Soon you should also be able to find the audiobook at multiple other venues, including and Storytel. You can also request it at your local library through Overdrive.

Bottom line: It has given me a real thrill to hear Daniela voice my words. I can see why putting one’s work into audiobook form can become quite addictive!

From a recent 5-star Amazon review by Oregon author Paula Butterfield:

In Connecting the Dots, author Gabriella West balances information from AD/HD authorities like Dr. Patricia Quinn, Sari Solden, Gina Pera, and Russell Barkley with her personal story: a family background that overlooked, if not exacerbated her symptoms, adult relationship issues, and career problems. This was a brave and apt choice, since women tend to connect through stories.

One of the biggest gifts from the author is her tip-off about how difficult the diagnostic process can be. That may not sound very positive, but when she writes that “you have to have a lot of initiative to make it through these early stages”, she’s pointing out the irony for people who suspect they might have AD/HD, that “their very disorder won’t let them act on what they know.” The same person who has trouble focusing is expected to storm the walls of the medical/insurance fortress. A woman who seeks help for this disorder will have to locate a psychiatrist or therapist to diagnose her, often waiting weeks or months for an appointment, only to find that a medical professional doesn’t take insurance or works only with children. Be warned, cautions the author: this will take longer and probably cost more than you’d like.

But persevere! With diagnosis and medication (not the caffeine and alcohol often used to self-medicate), you can achieve mental clarity for most hours of the day. Your doctor can also help you with the anxiety, depression, or SCT (Sluggish Cognitive Tempo) that can accompany AD/HD. You can fundamentally change your life.

UPDATE: You can now find Connecting the Dots on Audible! And I have a limited amount of promo codes which allow listeners to access the audiobook for free at Authors Direct. Contact me for a promo code!


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December Deals and Holiday Wishes

December is usually a slow month in the freelance world and in the book world, too. This year, I seem to have a lot going on with freelance editorial work (not complaining, this is nice!). Turns out I have some great indie book bargains to offer as well.


‘A Knight’s Tale’ has been called ‘captivating’ and ‘bittersweet’ and is set in Medieval England, mainly at Kenilworth Castle.

My contemporary gay romance novel Elsie Street is still free on Amazon, Apple Books, etc. Then on Dec. 24, Christmas Eve, I have a BookBub featured deal for A Knight’s Tale: Kenilworth! Pick up a copy of this captivating 13th-century-based MM historical romance for 99 cents, starting around December 20 on all ebook platforms, and running for about a week. Book Two, which follows Will and Stephen’s story in France, is available in all e-bookstores.

Other News

I will also be participating in the Smashwords End of Year Sale as well, which starts on December 25 and runs for a week.

And, on right now, use the new “Buy with coupon” button to pick up a copy of Connecting the Dots: My Midlife Journey with AD/HD for 30 percent off through the end of the year. This short, practical memoir/self-help book about women’s specific issues with ADHD has been well-received, and should be widely available in audiobook format within the next month or two (on platforms like Kobo, Apple, Scribd, Downpour, Hibooks, many others), narrated by the brilliant Daniela Acitelli. It would make a good Christmas purchase for any woman who feels like either she or a loved one might have the disorder and wants to learn more about symptoms and/or getting diagnosed!

lit candleFinally, Happy Holidays to everyone. The season soon gets quite hectic, though I am enjoying the peace that follows Thanksgiving. Having dealt with the loss of an old family friend from cancer earlier this month, I am just trying to take everything day by day. For me, both happiness and sadness seem more intense in winter. At least there is a mix, I remind myself often…

Since darkness comes early, I like having a pillar candle at hand around this time to light when I feel the need. Whatever makes your heart lighter around this time, I encourage you to do it.

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Review: Becoming Mrs. Lewis

cover136553-mediumPatti Callahan’s just-published novel (Thomas Nelson; $25.99) is a fictional take on the story of Joy Davidman (1915-1960) and CS Lewis. I had previously seen and adored the film Shadowlands, so I came to the character of Joy Davidman informed by Debra Winger’s strong performance. Winger was actually very good, with not a lot of background information to go on, but Joy Davidman comes fully to life in this novel. Patti Callahan gets inside the head, heart, and psyche of a brilliant, unfulfilled woman poet who had already transitioned in her life from young artist/Communist in the 1930s to unhappy Christian wife married to an alcoholic fellow writer in upstate New York, and mother of two boys.

The literal and emotional journey Joy takes is quite remarkable, since it involves years of increasingly warm and intimate friendship in England in the 1950s with CS Lewis, an Oxford don and author of the Narnia books, as well as books on Christianity. But Joy wants much, much more from “Jack.” The tragedy of the story is that just as she gets what she wants, Lewis’s commitment and declaration of love, she is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Her ultimate fate is to be erased, albeit in a loving way. His protective shadow blurred her brilliance. Callahan sees some of the irony here, I believe, but also traces a beautiful and shatteringly real love story that changed both of these figures irrevocably. She restores something to Joy Davidman that had been lost to time.

The novel was published by a Christian press, but Joy’s edges and relatable struggles have thankfully not been softened. The snippets of her love sonnets that start the chapters (which, amazingly, were only rediscovered a few years ago!) are harrowing and beautiful windows to her soul. Callahan takes on the role of a literary daughter here, illuminating Joy Davidman Lewis as only a daughter could.

(I received an ARC from the publisher in return for an honest review.)

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Return to Carlsbad Out Now on Amazon!

And now, back to book news!

Return to Carlsbad will be published October 9.

Preorder now!

The third book in my Elsie Street contemporary gay romance trilogy, Return to Carlsbad, is done! It was released today on Amazon. On Smashwords, and the other stores like Apple and BN, it comes out by the end of the month.

This is the first trilogy I have ever completed. It’s been satisfying to put the characters through important transitions and growth opportunities, and give Aaron’s story, in particular, a happy ending. For once, a HEA 🙂

Update: Return to Carlsbad is now available for sale on Google Play!

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A Laugh on Brett

After this highly emotional week, let’s all have a laugh, courtesy of Matt Damon and Saturday Night Live:


(Needless to say, I believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.)

And on a personal note, it still freaks me out that these are contemporaries of mine!!


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Girding Up for Fall (With a Free Book!)

Fall promises to be hectic: We have less than sixty days left before the midterms. Looking at my wall calendar, election day is November 6. I expect to be working in a Bay Area Vote by Mail unit around election time, a seasonal job that I would actually enjoy and find worthwhile. Our American democracy is pretty fragile at this point, and we need to be super-vigilant about our voting systems. I hope that if there was any voting irregularity this time in an important race, it would be discovered pretty quickly… but who can be sure? I am also looking forward to Bob Woodward’s new book, Fear, though because so many excerpts have been released, I feel I’ve read it already…

Two writing/publishing projects are in the works for me. I have never turned any of my books into audiobooks, but Findaway Voices makes this easy now. The book is one of my shortest, my self-help memoir Connecting the Dots. I’ve narrowed down my choice of a narrator to one very talented person and just want to hear her read a section of the book to be sure it’s a good fit. If all goes well, it’s likely that the audiobook will be out by Christmas! Since this is my first go-round, I’m going to make it available on as many outlets as possible (and there are many!), and charge $5.99. Keep an eye out for it.

Return to Carlsbad will be published October 9.

Pre-order now!

My other news is of a pre-order. Return to Carlsbad, book 3 in my MM contemporary romance Elsie Street series, is available to purchase now for $3.99 and will be released October 9! Look for it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, and Kobo. (I might release it on Google Play a little early, just for fun.)

Haven’t read Book 1 yet? Just to make it a little easier for folks to try the series, the first book, Elsie Street, is now free at virtually all stores in ebook format!

In this final book, dramatic changes come to Aaron’s and his older sister Tessa’s lives as they both finally move on from the past, though in Aaron’s case healing comes from confronting the past and returning to his childhood home in coastal Southern California, where so many of his early experiences with loss and trauma took place. But it’s not entirely a sad book: there’s a passionate love story in there too. Marc, Aaron’s former therapist who has issues of his own, is an understanding lover who offers Aaron both sex and friendship. Aaron’s challenge, though, is to feel worthy of it.

It’s the first evening of the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival here and I am going to go eat a moon cake.

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July Summer/Winter Sale Starts Tomorrow!

Phew, it’s hot! Smashwords holds its monthlong Summer/Winter ebook sale starting tomorrow and running through July 31. It’s a great opportunity to pick up new reads.

Visit my book page to see my bargains. A Knight’s Tale: Kenilworth is free, and its sequel, A Knight’s Tale: Montargis, is 50 percent off. My ADHD memoir, Connecting the Dots, is a whopping 75 percent off, as is the Elsie Street follow-up, The Pull of Yesterday.

These discounts are only available on the Smashwords site. They’ve been in business for ten years, and I think that’s something to be celebrated.

Fellow writers, you can add your books to the promotion by visiting the home page at any time.

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A Pride Month Update

It’s Pride Month, and I have been fairly busy on the writing and self-publishing front. First, I just put A Knight’s Tale, Books 1 & 2, my LGBT medieval historical romances, on Smashwords; they can be found here. I’ll update links for the other vendors when I have them. For readers who prefer epub files, I’m sorry it’s been such a long wait!

Update: Here is the link to A Knight’s Tale: Kenilworth on Google Play.

Find the ebooks on Barnes & Noble!

And one more: a nice, pretty link to ALL my books on Apple!

GW-ReturntoCarlsbad-bk3-200x300I started thinking about and mentally drafting Book 3 of my contemporary gay romance Elsie Street series; to help me along, I got a premade cover from Fantasia Frog Designs, my go-to cover designer. I expect Return to Carlsbad will be out sometime in the fall. It’s Aaron’s story, from his POV, and probably in third person (because it’s easier to do Aaron that way, for some reason!).

Although I am continuing to work as a freelance copy editor/proofreader at, and I welcome author queries, I’ve found that the self-publishing landscape has changed so much over the past five years. Perhaps many of my former clients have thrown in the towel and returned to work, or stopped writing. I have been looking for work, too, but trying to think of it as a search for something I would like to do and can commit to doing long-term. This is difficult, but hopefully not impossible.



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Memorial Day Sale

Foggy weather has started early and even the opening of the Salesforce Tower, a big deal in San Francisco, was spoiled by it! The month was made a little more fun by the Royal Wedding, which I enjoyed thoroughly. And my birthday followed shortly after, so I can always hope to be a little wiser!


A Knight’s Tale is set in 13th-century England.

I wanted to let readers know that my gay historical novel A Knight’s Tale: Kenilworth will be free on Monday, May 28 on Amazon (regularly $1.99). A recent 5-star reviewer wrote, “Laced with intrigue, love, and battles for supremacy, this book measures up.”

And for Kindle Unlimited subscribers, both Kenilworth and its sequel are free… though I am planning to take both books “wide” sometime next month. It is always a dilemma, how soon to do this, but it seems unfair to leave readers on the other platforms (Apple, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Kobo) out.

Hope everyone is having a good start to the summer.

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A May Anniversary, or Two

Hard to believe, but May 30, 2011, was when I published my first ebook, a literary novel called The Leaving. I did the cover myself and chose Smashwords as the first ebook platform to upload it to. Back then there was no KDP Select, and I felt no hurry to put the book up on Amazon KDP, though I recall I did this sometime in June 2011. Since I didn’t make the Amazon payment threshold the first month, it took three months for me to be paid!

But I was just delighted to get in the game, and in the next couple of years things improved rapidly. 2013-2015 was the golden era, where those of us who were writing erotica did quite nicely, since Amazon paid a flat payment no matter how short the story was. I published all of my backlist over the years. On Smashwords, my erotica shorts took off on Barnes & Noble under a pen name, so I experienced a surprising upswell there too.

In these seven years since I started, the self-publishing landscape has completely changed, but I’m always one for looking back, so I was interested to read CEO Mark Coker’s take on Smashwords’ 10-year-anniversary, presented in one of his characteristically long blog posts!

Here is an excerpt. I like Coker’s sentiments here:

Against the backdrop of publishing’s culture of NO, I imagined it would be really cool if an enlightened publisher or publishing service could say yes to every writer in the world, and do it at no cost to the writer.  And then I wondered, “What if that someone could be me?  What if I could take a chance on every writer in the world?”

This was the genesis of Smashwords.

Throughout my career, I’ve always been drawn to “change the world” ventures that carry a higher purpose.  I’ve long believed that a life without higher purpose is a life squandered.   Every person with a pulse has an opportunity to take small but significant steps today that will leave the world better than we found it.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a  writer, entrepreneur, home maker, school teacher, garbage collector, artist, doctor, mechanic, baker or retired.  Pick your passion and make a difference.

Writers are some of the most passionate, inspiring world-changers I’ve met.

In late 2004 I set to work on the Smashwords business plan.

I wanted to turn the conventional publishing model upside down.  I wanted to give authors full control over their rights, pricing and publishing decisions, and I wanted to flip the compensation model so that 85% of the net proceeds went directly to the author.

It was also important to me that Smashwords’ interests be aligned with the interests of writers.  Rather than sell publishing packages or charge upfront for our services, we’d offer our service for free and we’d earn our income on commission.  If the author made money, we made money.

cbd3b17ef855312da27f11db4f0e16ba85c87a6d-thumbThere is one short, health-related nonfiction ebook title remaining that I sell at Smashwords which still has my original Photoshopped home-made cover on it. Here it is, in all of its glory!

It’s been a strange ride, but I have to hand it to Mark Coker for continuing to evolve in what must be an incredibly tough business landscape. The financial terms he offers writers have never changed for the worse, and although some of my peers complain about the visuals of the Smashwords site, I personally think there’s a lot to say for something that *doesn’t* change radically over time. Which isn’t to say that Smashwords hasn’t made improvements. I love being able to check my daily sales onsite and I enjoyed doing their interview feature, where I was able to rattle on about my own writing process and history. Has Smashwords made me a ton of money? Nope, but over time I’ve made about 20 percent of what I’ve made on the Amazon US platform, and with a lot less hassle!


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