Tuesday, December 31, 2013

End of 2013

I guess this is my official love letter or kiss off to 2013. Maybe a little of both. I have no desire to go out and bring in the New Year with drunken mayhem. I need a little R&R as it's been a stressful past two months.

And what a year it's been This has truly been a transitional period for me - a fork in the road. After eleven years working under the security blanket of a corporate job, I took a huge risk at pursuing happiness. After all, that's in the Constitution, right? It's not guaranteed, but I have a right to it. So I'm pursuing. No one said this is an easy road either, but I have no regrets. This is exactly where I'm meant to be. I'm not sure what lies ahead in 2014 or beyond, but all I can do is take it day by day, and hope that every story I weave together has a piece of something readers will fall in love with. 

So 2013 will be the year of Seven. It might not be the only set of books I publish (we'll see about that), but this is my main project. Side projects will start to come together mid year. Be still my beating heart, because there are some really great characters in this series I'm so excited to share with you.


My New Year's resolutions are quite simple: Get fit, buy a sofa, take a vacation. My New Year's wish has a lot to do with some struggles my family is going through all around, and I hope things work out for the best for everyone.

I wish the same for you, dear reader. You who have sent me words of encouragement and told me all about the butterflies in your stomach when you read a line by one of your favorite characters. Self-publishing is an impossibly difficult and time-consuming job. But had it not been available, I would still be at work, complaining to my coworker about how it's too cold in the office and that my hand was hurting from clicking my mouse so many times. I'd be writing and filling my laptop with stories that no big publisher would touch. Not because the stories aren't good, but because the publishers don't have a clue what it is that you want to read. Sometimes you might not either until you take a chance on an inexpensive book.

Continue that trend in 2014. I hope to see your face for all my future projects, but keep seeking out new and undiscovered authors. It's going to be an even tougher market for indies to break into, so it's up to you to not only find those gems, but to help spread the word. You will help their work flourish. So be vocal, post reviews, recommend books, and keep reading.

Keep discovering. And be excited every time you look at those fantastic two words that make your toes curl just a little bit. You know the ones....

Chapter One.


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Shine blog Tour Questions

I thought it might be fun to answer some reader questions and post them during the blog tour in January for SHINE. So, if there's anything you've been wondering about the characters, story, my writing, future projects, etc. etc., CLICK HERE and send me your list on the Contact Form.

I don't bite.
Usually.

Have you finished SHINE? Well, if you look like this, you probably have. Although I don't think we're quite as traumatized as we were in Gravity.


Post those reviews on Amazon or Barnes & Noble! It's time that we pass this wonderful experience on to new readers, and reviews help them make the decision to invest in a series. It would be most awesome if you posted a review for STERLING, as that is where it all started. No spoilers. Reviews can be short and simply summarize your feelings for the series/book. All you do is scroll down and find the "write a customer review" button on the book page. Much love to those who stepped out of their shell and posted their first review. I get those comments a lot that I'm their first and it gives me warm fuzzies because I know I won't be their last. Kudos! Reviews are the best way to support the authors you love. Plus, I need to see some of that Mageri love! How will I know if you want more of this world?

There is a giveaway on my Facebook page ending tonight, so be sure to check that out. I'll be holding these spontaneously, so you'll want to check my page at least once a day so you don't miss one. Could be Mageri related or Seven Series.

SHINE PAPERBACK
Still working on it. I indicated there would be a delay and I'm still finalizing the proof copies. When I have to make slight modifications, it requires another 24 hours before I can order a proof copy, which is normally sent within 3 days. But they'll be ready in January, and I"m going to say no later than the 20th, at the VERY latest. My guess would be it'll be ready to go by the 10th. We shall see.



Friday, December 27, 2013

The Mageri Series

Well, SHINE has brought a conclusive ending to the Mageri series, with a couple of minor loose ends, as I indicated early on. I've never been a fan of books that write the all-encompassing epilogue that details everyone's ending. I like that the reader can have some of that left to their imagination (most of the things left open are the ones with obvious conclusions), but it also leaves the door slightly ajar for me. Not necessarily for continuing this series, as I don't foresee that, but Mageri world books that are spinoff stand-alones. I am totally open to these down the road and am currently working on one, but will remain tight-lipped about it until I begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

This was a cast of imperfect people living in an imperfect world, trying to make the best of what they were given. Their lives intersect and overlap, leaving one to believe that maybe there is more to coincidences than we realize. Fate only takes us 50% of the way, and it's up to us to make the decisions that lead us down new paths. It's really crazy to think where I started with releasing Sterling, and now with the conclusion of the Mageri series, so much has changed. I have made many personal accomplishments (Bestseller lists) and many new friends (authors and fans alike). I'm grateful for every good thing that has come my way.

I hope those who have read SHINE enjoyed the story itself, as well as the Mageri series as an arc. Thank you for writing those reviews! It means so much because it's going to help other readers down the road determine if they want to take a chance on this series, and thanks to those for even going back on the earlier books in the series to write them up.

The characters are always the foundation for my stories, so Silver's journey from beginning to end was more than just her story. I think those who go back and re-read the series as a whole after having read the final book are going to make a lot of connections and realize how important it was that some characters went the way they did, and why some events had to occur.

What's next? I'm currently working on the SEVEN SERIES books. Six Months will be going to the editor soon, and I'm currently drafting/editing Five Weeks. This year, I hope to review my urban fantasy books to  make a decision on which one to select for the next published series, and when to begin drafting those out. I have also written Christian into another book, so how his story played out in Shine was necessary. Some of his scenes were the moments I loved the most in Shine, right along with Simon. I think every character had their moment to shine.

Please sign up for my mailing list so you'll be notified when there are updates! (the link is not only on my Facebook page, but also my blog and goodreads profile). I really think readers who fell in love with the characters will want to try out my Seven Series, along with future books. I have a deep connection with every character I write, and we all relate to each one differently. But I don't like the cardboard characters, and feel that each one needs to be challenged, as well as have their layers peeled away so we can see a little bit more about who they are and why they are.

All my love and gratitude to you Mageri fans, and also to my new Seven Series fans. I hope to keep bumping into you through new books I'll be publishing for years to come.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Shine is Available for Purchase

This will just be a brief post. SHINE (Mageri Series: Book 5) is now available for purchase. This is the final (and biggest) installment of the series. Kobo and iTunes are set to pre-order and will be live on the 20th.

Enjoy <3





Love is infinite.
Hate is absolute.

In the short span of a year, Silver has gone from becoming a Mage to discovering the truth about her unique genetics. Logan Cross went from her mortal enemy to her immortal lover, but a threat is fast approaching like an inevitable storm. Attacks are underway against the Mageri and one man is behind it—an elusive foe who is an unstoppable force. Nero is not Silver’s only concern as someone close to her is arrested for treason. In the midst of chaos, Silver discovers she cannot protect everyone from the wrath of fate, including her own Ghuardian.

Justus finally opens his heart, but an unexpected turn of events could darken his soul forever. Secrets are revealed that will leave you reeling from one twist after the next. Would you sacrifice everything for love?

Destiny has set sail and once she alters her course, no one’s life will ever be the same in this explosive conclusion to the Mageri Series.

MAGERI SERIES READING ORDER:
Book 1 - Sterling (Mageri Series: Book 1)
Book 2 - Twist (Mageri Series: Book 2)
Book 3 - Impulse (Mageri Series: Book 3)
Book 4 - Gravity (Mageri Series: Book 4)
Book 5 - Shine (Mageri Series: Book 5) 

Attention Bloggers!!


Attention bloggers! Help spread the word. The final book in the Mageri series will be kicking off its tour January 3rd, and I'd LOVE for you to be a part of it! Please complete the signup form below, and share with anyone else you think would like to be a part of this.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1H4U0wzmjdkZcoSp_OiYmLAq7vofOz4bwKW_17DNCBlQ/viewform



News: I've hit publish on Shine this afternoon as the approval process takes a while. It might be up as soon as this evening, but once the links are live, I'll be posting those, as well as sending them in my newsletter (so sign up!).

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Your Saturday Update

Look what's coming in less than two weeks. Shine's publication date is December 20th, so be sure to grab your copy before you head off for Christmas vacation. I will post the links here, there, and everywhere. See countdown on my blog (left menu)

WANT ME TO EMAIL YOU? Sign up for my newsletter HERE.

Logan & Justus are asking that readers post their reviews on Amazon or Barnes & Noble to show all your love and support. Kind of hard to say no to those big strong guys with marshmallow hearts.

I have also updated my Glossary page to add AUDIO. I've been asked how to pronounce certain words or names, so if I receive an inquiry, I'm going to put it up on this page. Check it out! See if you've been saying Mageri correctly. :-)

It's looking like there will be a slight delay with paperbacks, but hang tight. The holidays are coming up and that's a tight crunch for me to run enough proofs to be happy. It'll be worth it. This is honestly one of my favorite covers of the series.


I'm currently working on two projects. I'm doing final pre-editor edits on "Six Months" (Yay for the Seven fans) and also writing a new book. No publication date is set for Six Months, but sign up for that newsletter (above) and you'll be the first to know when it's announced.

I'm feeling a bit cooped up during this ice storm.That's not a good thing. Just look what happened to Jack Torrence.

I probably shouldn't poll readers here because more people probably visit my Facebook page, but do you prefer matte or glossy paperbacks? (for paperback readers only) I now have the option to go matte and I'm so thinking about switching my new series. Feel free to chime in. I'll probably run a proof to see how they look, but I was curious if readers cared. Could just be one of those things considered author porn. Trim size, glossy vs matte, cream vs white.... yes!



But no matter what I give you, I'll make sure it's the best.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Cover Reveal: Shine

Those who are signed up with my newsletter got the first peek last night, so be sure you sign up to be the first to get breaking news!

This is the official cover reveal for Shine. I'll talk about the cover at a later time, so let's just get to the nitty gritty. I'll be showing you the front cover, and you will also be getting an exclusive peek at the full paperback cover as this has not been distributed to anyone. As much as I love my Kindle, I do enjoy owning my favorite books in paperback or hardback.

Add to your Goodreads shelf.

Thanks to Enchantress tours for organizing the reveal. I hope you guys enjoy what you'll be seeing on your Kindle very soon. As in, Dec. 20th soon.


Love is infinite.
Hate is absolute.

In the short span of a year, Silver has gone from becoming a Mage to discovering the truth about her unique genetics. Logan Cross went from her mortal enemy to her immortal lover, but a threat is fast approaching like an inevitable storm. Attacks are underway against the Mageri and one man is behind it—an elusive foe who is an unstoppable force. Nero is not Silver’s only concern as someone close to her is arrested for treason. In the midst of chaos, Silver discovers she cannot protect everyone from the wrath of fate, including her own Ghuardian.

Justus finally opens his heart, but an unexpected turn of events could darken his soul forever. Secrets are revealed that will leave you reeling from one twist after the next. Would you sacrifice everything for love?

Destiny has set sail and once she alters her course, no one’s life will ever be the same in this explosive conclusion to the Mageri Series.




Shine is Book 5 in the Mageri Series and is the last planned installment. Click Here to purchase the series.
See you guys on December 20th.

Shine on.





Monday, December 2, 2013

Cover Countdown: Gravity

Cover countdown to SHINE (Dec 4), and today we will talk about the cover for GRAVITY (Mageri Series: Book 4).

I didn't go through quite as many mock-ups with Gravity as I did for Twist, but I did feel torn between  models - once again. I wanted to use the same model I used on Impulse, but I couldn't get her pose to connect with the story, no matter what background I used.

I really love the final image because of what's represented. While the story follows Silver, her story by no means overshadows the lives of others. The northern lights is not only the name of the bar, but has some old folklore I looked up that was quite interesting, and fitting. The ocean also connects with the story and about the same person, whom I won't mention because it's a spoiler. But those of you who read Gravity know what I'm talking about.


So the emotion on the model I really connected to. But also note her body language in that it appears like she's showing you the scars on her neck. A clue of what was to come in Gravity. You can also see a purple hue in the image, but it's also on the back page of the paperback. See, this is why you need the paperbacks. There is a full story going on.


The image above may appear washed out, but it's what I have to send to the distributor so their printers don't bleed ink all over the books. But I digress. The color fades on the binding so it's not noticeable, and the back page is grey so that the purple scarf pops. And yeah, you guys know the scene with the scarf wrapped around the pole.

Don't hate me.

Here is the original model:



I did some reconstructive surgery on the model. No offense to the model, but my purpose was to make it more similar to the previous models I've used. That meant softening her face and changing her nose, eye, hairline, and mouth. Just about every area on her I tweaked. I also erased the ring, which wasn't easy. From a graphic artist's perspective, I will probably never again select a model with flyaway hair on a textured background.

I still get nightmares about that.


The next post you will be seeing is the cover for Shine. Only I probably won't be talking all about how I came to design it; that'll be a later post. You'll get not only the cover, but the blurb. I'm also going to show the FULL cover exclusively on my page.

Sign up for my newsletter, because subscribers will the very first to see the final book cover in the Mageri series.


Don't weep, Little Bird....

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Cover Countdown: Impulse

Just three more days until the cover for SHINE is revealed on December 4th! I'm doing a countdown of each cover in the Mageri series, talking a little bit about it. Today is IMPULSE (Mageri Series: Book 3)

Impulse almost drove me crazy. I was lucky enough to have stumbled across a few models that would resemble the first two, but I was torn. Yeah, 65-mockups worth of torn. No lie.

Behold...


The one with the profile image and the finger lifting her chin was a strong possibility. One of the versions above I was really struck with, but then it ended up on an erotica cover so I scrapped that model. I liked the model I chose because there were other poses with her that I could use in future books. That didn't quite happen with Gravity because in the end, it wasn't about the look but her body language and expression.



This was the final version. For some reason my website modified the graphic image so some parts are a little washed out. Sorry about that. I had a few speculate who the man in the back was, but it was always meant to be Justus - looking out for his Learner. Yeah it could have been Christian and for you Christian fans, go on and pretend it. I won't say a peep. :-) Creating him was a nightmare. The image was originally a silhouette and looked like a dark, ominous blob behind her. So I had to layer a jacket on him for texture and then I had to give him a face. So basically, I created myself a man for the cover. Silver needed major work done on her hair and I found myself spending unecessary hours giving her bangs and trying to soften things up.

Needless to say, it's the kind of project that left me desiring copious amounts of alcohol to ease the pain.

You will also start to notice by this book I've been incorporating the color purple in every cover.

Here's the original picture of Silver below:


You can see a number of changes I made. I had to tilt her body so it wasn't at a lean (after chopping off her arm), and I also had to draw in a shirt. Yeah. Draw. I used as much shading as possible to make it look real. Let's face it, if Silver dressed like above, Justus would never let her leave the house. ;-)

All in all, I think Impulse took me the longest to design. Probably about a month and most of it had to do with all the different mock-ups and my indecisiveness.