Category Archives: Book Covers

Pleasures, the third Nova Scotia murder mystery

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N4TMA5FWhy is it the smallest books take the longest time to write? I had a lot of fun with the characters and situations in this story. Or as much as a person can when there’s a serial killer on the loose. Want a little taste of the beginning? Sure you do!

Chapter 1

 

“Mandy? I need your help.”

The pain and fear in her brother Marty’s voice scared her. Mandy Hays gripped her cell phone tighter and went over to shut her office door. “What’s wrong?”

“It’s Rachel. She’s gone.”

“Oh no, Marts. I’m so sorry.” She eased down to her chair behind the desk. Resisting the urge to tell him what an idiot his girlfriend was for leaving him, she rested an elbow on her desk. The poor guy needed comfort from her instead of an “I told you so.” She enjoyed teasing her younger sibling, not tormenting him. “You know, meeting the parents is a big step for anyone. It sounds like she just wasn’t ready.”

His voice came through the tiny speaker thick with tears. “No, it’s not that. She’s dead.”

The news stunned her for a moment. People their age, mid to late twenties, didn’t die. Not suddenly unless there was a car wreck involved. She opened and closed her mouth a couple of times, wanting to know what happened without making things worse for him. Mandy heard him sniff before blowing his nose. As soon as he finished, she asked, “What happened, or can you not talk about it yet?”

“I can, but it’s bad. Really bad.” He cleared his throat. “Someone found her on the beach.”

Living in Nova Scotia meant miles of shoreline. She waited for a moment so he’d continue. The silence stretched between them, and she almost ground her teeth in frustration. Their family had barbecues out near the shore. She didn’t want to skip asking him now and risk suggesting a beach where Rachel had died. “Which one?”

“Martinique. We’d gone for a walk last night after she left work. It was cold, but not as much as usual.”

She could imagine the ocean, sunset, Marty and Rachel holding hands and just being together. The romance of their last evening broke her heart. Mandy couldn’t find words to comfort him. “It sounds like it was a really nice evening. Did you arrive separately?”

“No, I drove us there and back.” Marty coughed. “Her car was there the next morning, parked a little way from where mine had been. Before I can tell you more, I need to know if you’ll go to the police headquarters with me.”

Mandy reached for her mouse and clicked open her schedule. “Of course. When?”

“Can you meet me there now?”

 

Want more? Pick from your favorite vendor.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N4TMA5F
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/pleasures/id1135220371…
Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/…/1124115809;jsessionid=1D9A8…
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/pleasures-2

New Book!

Betrayal, A Nova Scotia Murder Mystery

Betrayal, A Nova Scotia Murder Mystery

It’s so pretty! I love this cover and love the story. It’s due everywhere on August 17th, ebook, and print. Now, will it happen then? Fingers crossed because it’s a little like a wedding. No one has fun unless something goes wrong.

I’ve had the best time writing and researching this story. So much so that I’ve fallen in love with Canada and Nova Scotia. It’s a beautiful place and such fun, even in winter.

Readers can pre-order Betrayal, Impatience, and Pleasures ebooks everywhere but Amazon. Don’t worry, Kindle users. Amazon will have these books on the 17, 23, and 30th.

in case anyone is wondering, I still have plans for the American west, one more Man to publish, and a whole world of love planned in Love’s Travels. No one is going to be left out, and I’m adding in science fiction next year. I’m a versatile, multi-faceted author (read: ADD, lol!) I love ALL the genres.

Now, on to finish writing Pleasures. Still not going to panic at its release day of August 30.

Rosemary Rey’s Sexy Novels! Must see for #MondayBlogs.

Today’s Monday Blog Post is brought to you by Rosemary Rey! They sound like fascinating stories and I’m betting they’re steamier than what I write. So if you’re in the mood for something hot, I think Ms. Rey has just the thing!

The Pentagon Group series is a three part series of contemporary romance/erotica novels with suspense. Rebound is the first book and is followed by Unbound, which have been in circulation since April and September of 2014. Both books are being re-released today, March 30, 2015, exclusively on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.

Rebound, The Pentagon Group, Book One, is available for 99 cents: A year after Perla Mercurio divorced her first lover in a contentious divorce, she resigned herself to being single. After a doctor’s visit, she meets Dr. Mathias Keene, and her attraction to him sparks her sexual desires. When Perla and Matt dance at a club, their chemistry is undeniable. Immediately, they undertake a whirlwind romance. Perla falls head over heels in love with the dashing doctor, but is he all that he seems?

 

Unbound, The Pentagon Group, Book Two, is available for $2.99: Perla Mercurio discovers that the man she fell in love with, Dr. Mathias Keene, wooed her under false pretenses. Upon her discovery of the truth, she tries to mend her broken heart, leaving the handsome doctor in her past. However, Matt is not so easy to shake off. In an effort to win back the love of his life, he makes Perla an offer she cannot refuse. To move forward with her life, Perla must make the hardest decision she’s even encountered. Will she be able to move on from Matt and the men of The Pentagon Group?

 

Bound, The Pentagon Group, Book Three will be published in April of 2015. Cover reveal for Bound will be available before publication and will be found exclusively on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.

If you’ve read one or both books in the series and haven’t left a rating or review, please consider helping this Indie Author out and write a review.

#MondayBlog is here! Woo!

I can’t believe I’m actually writing a post on Monday! Usually, my Mondays are jam packed with house cleaning and errands to replace snacks eaten during the weekend. That, and I just forget.

So a couple of posts ago, I went into the dubious joy of changing covers. They’ve not made a bit of difference. While I received some valuable feedback on the text inside and why the story might not be working, that doesn’t explain the lack of sales. No one is buying it to give bad reviews to hamper sales. The covers and those male torsos aren’t leading readers to buy just to lick the covers, either. Alas, I must market and that’s a future post. My business partner and I are throwing all sorts of marketing spaghetti on the wall and I’ll report back what sticks.

Meanwhile, because pretty pictures are fun, here are some before and afters in the manual cover art. This is for Unfortunate, Daggart’s story. A short work for those who’ve read Undeniable and wondered whatever happened to their favorite villain.

It’s pretty, crude, monochromatic, much like the characters and their landscape. There’s even a horse trough where Daggart is found at the beginning of the story. Hooray, right?
IMG_1657Not so much. I kept getting a lot of critique on it, about how one tone, the buildings, just eh in general from those I polled. I liked it, but not a lot of other people did.

 

So what was next?

 

 

 

Unfortunate_A

This!

Unlike the picture above, this one wasn’t painted with precise little strokes. It was done with bold colors and a bold hand. I was afraid of the style being too different from the prior paintings. So, I made sure to use the exact same colors in this painting as I did in every other one. While the colors are carried from one painting to the other, the ratios aren’t and that gives them a familiar but different feel.

I also wanted to highlight the warm arid feel of California. The only tough part? Not painting a covered wagon and who knows? I might go ahead and add one in later.

In the digital age of publishing, everything is fixable.

 

Book Covers Before and After

If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you likely know about my Very Manly series of books. All two of them. There’s four in the entire series, but the last two won’t see the light of day if the sales for the first two don’t pick up. I’m an artist and a business owner. Do I want to spend my time writing and then spend the money on editing and book covers to do so at a loss? No.

Here are the two covers for the series, before. Notice how the photography is professional, the fonts clear? There’s some color and detail but not so much it’s overwhelming or difficult to see as a thumbnail. You can also see them in their natural habitat over at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and everywhere else.

 

In progress!

In stores now!

15d42c46-b227-4d72-b5f8-dba5e11310b3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nice, right? Not huge eye catching best sellers in the contemporary romance department, either. And by ‘not huge’ I mean sad, very very sad.

So what to do? To take my editor’s sage advice and give them a professional makeover. I hired someone to help me ratchet up the sex, which I did by having Carrie at Cheeky Covers help me out. I’d admired her work done for a friend of mine, Ava Branson, and needed her expertise.

This is what she came up with.

TVWM_sm

TVBM_sm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nice, right? It’s way too soon to tell if the covers affect sales. Probably in six weeks, if nothing has seen a bump in downloads, I’ll have my answer. The stories are solid and professionally edited, so I know they’re good. Every time I go over a proof, I love what I read so if nothing else, there’s one person who loves these books. I’m not sure if that’s enough to write The Very Rich Man and The Very Poor Man, but I have those stories and covers planned just in case.

So. What do YOU think? Enticing or meh?

Freebies and Prequels!

I’m still loving this cover. There’s four paintings around here, one for each book so far.  Considering I have something to paint on the Santa Fe trail, the Pony Express, and the Orphan Train subject… I’m going to need more canvas.dfd51ab2-3820-4ce0-98e1-d1a15c2ca851

 

Unavoidable is one of those projects I found irresistible.  I always knew the story of how Samuel Granville convinced his brother Nicholas to come back home. This is a little snippet of a day in the life that begins a huge change in Nick’s life.  I love how the brothers interact and their sniping has a strong undercurrent of love.  The romance is at the very end, but is a doorway to another, longer book.

Where can you find this particular story? Just pick your favorite and it’s there!

Amazon USNookiBookKoboSmashwords

Next Week: The latest information in Self Publishing as gleaned from a plethora of bloggers.  I have a lot of research to share but still need to write it all.

 

 

#MondayBlogs Post on Creating Cover Art

I thought it would be fun for today’s post to feature how I paint the Cover Art for my Oregon Trail series. My free prequel, Unavoidable, needs a cover so here we go!

First is a sketch.  I have my misgivings already.

Scribble

Scribble

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goop

Goop

Next is getting together the paints I might need.  The  season is mid Spring, so there’s not a lot of green.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Umm...

Umm…

 

I’m not feeling the love for this…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yech

Yech

 

Ok, this is a no-go.  The trees are off, I don’t like the cabin.  Just no.  So I tore off the canvas and found…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Voila!

Voila!

 

 

This!  An earlier reject that I can salvage.

 

 

 

 

Much better!

Much better!

I like it so much better!  I’m not totally in love with this.  It’ll either have to grow on me, or I’ll state a do over.

How bad do I think my reject is? This bad.

Out.

Out.