New Release: The Lost Heir

Inside The Torre De Cemare

Knights of Sehaann embody responsibility, honor, and privilege.  But Kyren has loftier goals.  He wants a spot in the Royal Guard.  It’s among those elite warriors that he’ll find purpose, reward for years of sword training, and the only family he has left.  He’s unsure, though, if the story of his past is true.  And if his brazen audacity doesn’t get him killed, his knighthood test just might.

 

As usual, for live vendor links–including paperback–please see the book information page on my website.

 

Also, since I’ve been rather quiet (read: busy) lately, here’s a little insider information…  I’ve already started KoS Book Three.  It was supposed to be the final installment of the series.  It’s not.  I’ve got the basic plot ideas for two more books beyond Book Three.  And for anyone who enjoyed the Legend of the Grimoire series and may want a little more of some of those characters…  *maniacal laugh*  Stay tuned…  This story may have gotten a wee bit away from me.  *cough* sorrynotsorry *cough*

Thank you all for your support!  You’re too awesome for words!

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The Soundtrack of a Lifetime

Piano keyboard and headphones

Anyone who knows me knows how important music is to the soundtrack of my life.  I took years of piano lessons as a child, was in choir from middle school through college (and even for a short time after I graduated), and I keep a pair of earbuds or headphones within reach at all times.  I write to music, blast it when I work out, and rock out when I drive.

Music is my drug of choice, and I’m hopelessly addicted to it.  I’m thrilled when I discover that one of my favorite artists has something new.  I love discovering new music in my favorite genres.  I have playlists for all of my needs and I cultivate them meticulously.

I will even go looking for songs if I hear a snippet that resonates with me.  Just last night, I looked up a song from a car commercial that kept catching my ear.  While I won’t sell my soul for an overpriced automobile, if your song is featured in an ad and I like it, I will look you up.  It was this song, by the way: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fD2aN6HT8E.  I’ll let you figure out the commercial.

Music has such a profound effect on me.  It affects my mood, drives my creativity, and has so much capacity to fill my soul with happiness.  I know that sounds ridiculous, but that’s exactly what it feels like.  When I’m feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, nothing pulls me out of it faster than some loud music banging around in my head.

The right music will fuel my writing like nothing else.  I typically listen to epic instrumentals when I write, artists like Two Steps from Hell, Audiomachine, Hans Zimmer, Lindsey Stirling, and M83.  Sometimes, if a song sets just the right mood when I’m writing a particular scene, I’ll repeat it over and over until I’m done writing the scene.  I must credit my sister Brianna for getting me into that genre.  She’s the one who introduced me to Lindsey Stirling and M83.  Thanks, sis!

I love it when I have friends whose musical tastes jive with my own.  Brianna is one of those.  She’s definitely helped feed my music habit.  Another person who has exceptional taste in music is my friend Jack.  He gave me this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbsBEb1ZxWA.  It’s in my workout/treadmill playlist and I listen to it every day.  It’s the perfect tempo and it always makes me smile.  I’ll take a music recommendation from Jack any day.

Some of my favorite songs and music evoke such wonderful memories for me.  The music from the IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth show at Walt Disney World never, ever, fails to give me goosebumps.  And it always transports me directly to the World Showcase lagoon at Epcot, which is one of my favorite places to be.  If I happen to catch part of a song from my childhood, I’ll always think back to what I was doing at that time in my life.  The song At the Beginning from the movie Anastasia will always remind me of my wedding, because it’s the song that my husband and I chose for our first dance.  The music of E.S. Posthumus will forever bring memories of the day my daughter was born, since I chose that to listen to in the delivery room.  And the first few notes of the opening theme song from the anime with which I’m currently obsessed always make the gorgeous visuals start playing in my head.  Thank you, Dez, for that one.

Music is one of those renewable, evergreen resources for which I am eternally grateful.  There’s always more of it out there to discover than I can possibly listen to in several lifetimes.  My music preferences have evolved over the course of my life, and nothing excites me more than finding something new that lights up all of the receptors in my brain.

I’m always on the hunt for my next obsession, so if you’ve got any recommendations, feel free to leave them in the comments or shoot me a message.  Keep calm, my friends, and rock on.

New Release: Geared-up for Adventure

Back view portrait of a man on black background

History has a way of protecting itself.  Reinventing society can’t erase the past.  There are those seeking the vestiges of antiquity, looking for the enduring legacies of the ancients.  Some search for knowledge, for truth.  But the ones chasing mythical energy sources purported to be more powerful than the Blast itself are the most dangerous.  They’re the ones out to destroy everything.

For more information and live vendor links, please visit the book information page.

The paperback version is also ready, for those who want a hard copy.  I hope everyone enjoys it!

I Need a Holiday

yuletideprophet_cover_sm

With everything going on in life and the world right now, I felt the need for a holiday escape.  Thus, I took a little break from writing Firebend #3 to indulge my inner holiday enthusiast.  This was actually inspired by the direction in which Geared-up for Adventure is heading.  It was something that I couldn’t get out of my head fast enough.

Continue reading “I Need a Holiday”

New Release: The Pirate Prince

Inside The Torre De Cemare

Second born.  The heir’s spare.  It’s been Oron’s position for his entire life.  Suddenly, he’s ripped from his adventurous pirate life, summoned back to Sehaann.  The princess is dead and Oron is next in line for the throne.  Reluctant, resentful, the prince feels obligated in his duty.  The new role doesn’t fit him at all, though, and he finds much more than he expects within the palace walls.

For more information and live vendor links, please visit the book information page.

The paperback version is also ready, for those who might want one.  I hope everyone enjoys it!

I’m off to get back to writing my next release…

(Not Really) Secrets of the Trade: Covers, Part Five – Wrapping Up

Tent and the Milky Way

I honestly can’t think of any other major topics suitable for an in-depth blog post on covers, so I’ll use this one to wrap it up and share some new images.  If anyone wants to know something that I didn’t cover, please feel free to comment.  I’m happy to answer or do another blog post on it.

So, what’s coming up in the world of Leah Ross Books?

Continue reading “(Not Really) Secrets of the Trade: Covers, Part Five – Wrapping Up”

(Not Really) Secrets of the Trade: Covers, Part Four – Typography

vector wooden figure with gears alphabet set

Good, genre-appropriate book covers aren’t just about pretty images.  You can have the best-looking photos, with perfect colors, high resolution, and spot-on genre targeting, and the wrong typography will absolutely shoot it down.  How the letters and words look on a cover are just as critical as the images.

Continue reading “(Not Really) Secrets of the Trade: Covers, Part Four – Typography”

(Not Really) Secrets of the Trade: Covers, Part Three – Manipulation

Inside The Torre De Cemare

Image manipulation–the bane of every graphic artist’s existence.  Of course, it would all be so much simpler if every image was perfect out of the proverbial box, if you could just find exactly what you’re looking for and use it.  No fuss, no hassle, no sweat.

Nothing in life is ever that easy.  The sad fact of the matter is that, when someone asks, “Can you just recolor this head of frizzy hair, change out the background, make this person have wings, and change the lighting from bright daylight to new-moon midnight?” the answer is yes, it can be done.  The question then becomes, how much time do you want to spend doing all of that?

Continue reading “(Not Really) Secrets of the Trade: Covers, Part Three – Manipulation”

(Not Really) Secrets of the Trade: Covers, Part Two – Software

Man portrait gymnastic  leap bend

For a change of pace, here’s one of my favorite book covers.  Three stock photos, some filters, and typography.  I had a hard time implementing this one.  Each iteration just didn’t seem right.  This cover is the reason why I now have about a dozen different photos of bird wings.  And at least three different models for the same character…  Have I mentioned that I’m a perfectionist?

This week’s topic is the software that I use to put together my covers.  Contrary to popular belief, image editing software does not need to be expensive to be good.  I have experience with several different programs from my time spent as a graphic designer and, as with pretty much everything else, each has advantages and disadvantages.

Continue reading “(Not Really) Secrets of the Trade: Covers, Part Two – Software”