Monday, June 15, 2015

Audio Book Lovin month

There's some book loving going on by Viviana, Enchantress of books and Books-n-Kisses that you can follow every day for new posts that spotlight audiobooks, authors, narrators, guest posts, and interviews. It's fun stuff, so check it out!

Today's post is with Nicole Poole, the amazingly talented and witty lady who has narrated the Mageri and Seven series. You can visit my audio page to check out the samples of all books, and audio is really something everyone can enjoy. It allows you to not only hear a story in a brand new way that gives it dimension, but can also be convenient for those who have a busy life and reading isn't an option. Whether you're cooking, working out, shopping, running errands, or even at work, Audiobooks immerse you in amazing stories.

So go check out the interview and giveaway, and be sure to look at previous posts on the website as well as check in for new updates each day this month!



This link should also allow you to catch up on posts by author/narrator

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Anatomy of a Cover: Seven

I love giving behind-the-scenes glimpses at the covers, and I know I've posted about the Mageri series covers on this site, but I can't recall if I've done any of the Seven series.

Luckily, the Seven series covers have not required the same painstaking "photoshop" process as the Mageri covers, which are numerous layers upon layers of images and effects.

However, each cover has been tweaked in order to make the model embody the physical traits of a character (and personality) as best I can. These techniques in no way reflect upon the beautiful models in their original form, but is the process a cover designer takes in order to make the right image for the story. I've listed a few examples below.

First we have Austin. I knew when I saw the model that "this is the guy," but he needed some adjustments. I darkened the shading on his face and eyes, zoomed in super close and patched up places on his whiskers (no, the reader can't detect this with the naked eye, but I'm that dedicated), added more hair in front, and put a pendant on his necklace.

Austin's face needed little work. ;-) It was the rest of him that became the bane of my existence. See, I can usually spot a fake tat on a cover a mile away. From a designer's perspective, they're very hard to do and make look real.

First, I had to do work in removing his freckles. I never envisioned Austin as having anything but a glorious tan, but I still left some in there because it seemed natural.

Here are a few of the images I worked with to make Jericho. When I saw the first model, I knew I'd found him. But the image had to be a solo and ideally I wanted him dressed. So model #2 had the right look (and hand!). After that, I added some hair on the right side, a ring, and really didn't do much else to the model except darken his eyes to a non-Vampiric shade. :)

So he was one of the hardest to find. Any pic with a model smiling didn't look right, even though Denny is a fun-loving guy. But from the blurb, you'll guess that we're going to see another side to Denny. My goal isn't to find the perfect model, because that only exists inside my head. But I find someone who has that sparkle - that something extra that really connects me to the character.

I had over 60 mock-ups for Denny. I don't know how many models, but the pressure was on. I narrowed it down to two and ultimately went with my heart. They were all great, and it was more than the actual model but deciding conceptually what kind of portrayal I wanted on the cover.

So as you can see, the first guy is uh...very buff. :) Not a bad thing, but Denny isn't ripped. So that meant actually pulling his chest in through the magic of photo editing, and also erasing veins and extra bulges in his arms and shoulders.

It was important for readers to see Denver, so I needed to work on the model. I lightened the hair and erased lines in the forehead, as well as the deep dimple carved in his cheek. I left a little one because it gives you the flirty impression of the fun side of Denver. His brow was pensive, so I adjusted shadows and pulled it up, erasing some of the frowny-face lines in the middle. I touched up his chin and smoothed out his skin to give him a more youthful appearance as I see Denver. He's the 2nd youngest brother and appearance-wise looks to be in his late 20s. Readers may or may not remember since I never go into detail about it, but Denver does have a scar on his forehead.

Reno and Ivy were fairly straightforward. I did add a scar and sideburns to Reno and did some work on his chest, and the only thing I really did to Ivy was work on shading. Wheeler required a lot of work because of the tats.

At the end of the day, readers see the characters the way they want to see them, and the cover is merely a visual suggestion. Many cover artists work with authors in getting the right hair color and eye color, but I'm fortunate that I'm able to design my own covers. As the author, I'm very close to my characters, and I'll get right in there and fix a rogue whisker if need be. I love every model I choose and hope that readers enjoy the final product.

If you'd like to see a couple other examples of cover design,
click HERE
and HERE (this one contains a spoiler at the bottom if you haven't completed the Mageri series, so stop back in when you're done)

Happy reading. :)

Friday, June 5, 2015

Cover Reveal: Two Minutes

Coming August 18, 2015.

Paranormal Romance, Book 6 by USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR

After years of living abroad, Maizy returns home to the only family she’s ever known—a pack of wolves. When she confronts her childhood watchdog to see where they stand, his resentment leaves her uncertain about where she really belongs.

Behind Denver’s charming smile is a tragic past—one that’s made his wolf savage and unpredictable. Only Maizy has been able to tame that darkness, and when they’re reunited after many years apart, he no longer sees a child he once protected. She’s captivating and intelligent—a woman with the world at her fingertips and two suitors offering more than he ever could.

Torn between two worlds, Maizy must choose how her fairy tale ends. Tragedy, murder, passion, and imprisonment all collide with a heart-stopping twist.

"You must decide how your fairy tale will end, little one. With a love that could be fleeting and hurt you in the end, or with a man who will give you your heart’s desire."

Preorder available only at the retailers below.

This book will be available for purchase on August 18th at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Google Play and Kobo. Preorders are limited to specific retailers. Audiobook release date will be announced soon and listed on the audiobook section of this website.