(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.

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(Not Really) Secrets of the Trade: Covers, Part One – Stock Imagery


I love that image…  In fact, I love it so much that I decided to make it a part of every KoS cover and even made my KoS series cover with it:

Spain Granada Alhambra Generalife Court of the Lions (3)

I have a serious problem with collecting pretty pictures.

And that leads me right into the subject of this post – stock images.

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(Not Really) Secrets of the Trade: Covers, Introduction

Inside The Torre De Cemare

Anyone who’s been following me for a while knows that I’m a one-woman show.  And a control freak.  Those factors of my self-publishing career are always conspiring against me and making me feel like I’m constantly operating under a severe time deficit.  Though my deadlines are all self-imposed (a fact that my husband likes to regularly remind me of), I get irritable when I can’t seem to find the time to get everything done.  I’m learning to just deal with it.

It occurred to me, as I thought recently about all of the things that I have to prepare to get a book out the door, that the ways in which I accomplish this task might be helpful to anyone who might want to try them too.  Or at least it might be entertaining to watch me muck everything up.  There are a lot of variables at play, and nothing ever seems to work out the same way twice, but with a good foundation, things are much easier to navigate.

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New Short and Summer Sale on All Titles

It’s summer!  Well, at least it’s summer in the northern hemisphere.  It’s Independence Day weekend!  For Americans…  Okay, so it’s really only a big deal in the US.  But it’s a long weekend, damn it!  And besides the traditional patriotism, junk food, and fiery explosions, I have something to celebrate.

I have a new short story!  It’s a little over 20K words and my first foray into paranormal romance.  Pretty cover in 3…2…1…


You can read it for free.  All you have to do is sign up for my mailing list.  Come on.  I need to have some exclusive content.  I only send out messages when I have new releases, sneak peeks, and stuff like this to share.  Very low-key, I promise.

If that doesn’t float your boat, then perhaps you’re interested in a sale for my other titles.  For the month of July, all of my published works are 50% off at Smashwords.  The discount brings a few titles all the way to free, so here’s your chance to try out something new for little to no risk.  Check out the whole site-wide Smashwords July sale for the rest of the discounted titles being offered.

Happy reading, and Happy 4th to my American compatriots!

How NOT to be a Self-published Author: Wanted – One Muse and Some Motivation

Episode 6: You Threw Off My Groove!


First order of business…  The above meme comes from one of the funniest, most underrated Disney movies of all time: The Emperor’s New Groove.  For all intents and purposes, Disney must have considered it a flop and had a total ‘oops, our bad’ moment, but I don’t care.  I love it, and it always makes me laugh.

It also has great relevance to my life at the moment.  As I indicated a few posts ago, my family and I are reestablishing our home after moving from Colorado (*sniff, sniff*).  So, hello from the great humid north.  There’s nary a mountain in sight, but man, is everything green here!

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Fate, Luck, and Compromise


I admit it.  I’ve been pretty lucky.  How else can you explain why I’m here today, celebrating my fifteenth wedding anniversary with the man I was destined to meet so many years ago?  It was luck.  Fate definitely had a hand in it too.  And the compromise?  Any married couple will tell you that compromise is the key to a long-term relationship.  Marriage and adulthood is not always easy, or fun, but I’m still just as happy to wake up next to the same wonderful man today as I have been for more than fifteen years.

In many ways, I can’t believe that we’re already celebrating fifteen years of marriage.  But when I look back on those years, we really have come a long way.  So, what are some of the metrics of fifteen years of marriage?  Here are some of mine (definitely in no particular order)…

  • Had one amazing kid
  • About to move for the fourth time
  • Just bought our third house together
  • Adopted four cats and kept two of them (the other two were for my mom)
  • Went to Japan
  • Went to Yellowstone
  • Hiked and camped all over Colorado
  • Three job changes
  • One Bachelor’s degree
  • One Disney Cruise
  • Five trips to Disneyland (CA)
  • At least a dozen trips to Walt Disney World (FL)
  • Two DVC contracts
  • Five cars
  • One monstrous deck project
  • Countless shared adventures

I know that I’m forgetting things.  But one thing that I’ll never forget is looking out over the Rocky Mountains from the front lawn of the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park with my new husband.  It was a spring day given to us in true Colorado fashion–with snow, rain, sunshine, and rainbows.  It was perfect.



Happy Anniversary, babe!


New Release: Wishes on Airship Wings

Back view portrait of a man on black background

It’s been seven years since a depraved act of maniacal egotism altered a family, a whole town, and a young man’s life forever.  It shouldn’t even have been possible, and the implications of such a brazen crime rocked the very foundations of life in the Fringe.  A sheltered, privileged boy abducted right from his bed in the dead of night.  He was never found.  And the criminal responsible disappeared along with him.  Though the trail is long cold, the ones left behind to grieve still hope for closure.

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

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Adventures Await

*sigh*  I’ve been remiss.  My last blog post was almost a whole month ago (yikes, has it really been that long?!).  Things are still moving along in the background.  I’m conducting my final read-through of Airship Wings, with the plan to release it this month.  Pirate Prince is outlined and writing is happening (albeit a bit slower than I’d like).  I have basic plans set out for books 3 & 4 of the Firebend series, as well as books 2 & 3 of Knights of Sehaann.

I feel like a slacker on the blog front, but there’s a good reason for it…  We’re moving.  As I type this, my home office sits in disarray around me as I take a break from packing.  This is old hat to me.  I’m a former military brat.  I’ve moved more times than I care to count.  But this is the first time that I’ve had to be one of the responsible adults/parents planning all of the facets of an out-of-state move.  I’m an OCD detail-freak, but it’s overwhelming nevertheless.

This isn’t the time to be sad or regretful, though.  This is my next big adventure.  And while it may not be as exciting as the ones that I write about, this is my time for opportunity.  A new place, a new home, a new chance.

I’ll still be around.  There’s just a lot going on right now.  Wish me luck…

How NOT to be a Self-published Author: Cover Your …

Episode 5:  Covers are ART, I tell ya!

Now that we’ve faced the Visibility Boss, I’m going to backtrack a wee bit and talk about covers.

First, I’m just gonna (*coughcough*) leave this here…

Inside The Torre De Cemare

I have two chapters of that book done.  Two.  It likely won’t see publication until about June/July or so.  But the cover’s done!  Hehheh…  Yeah…

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New Release: The Forgotten Squire

Inside The Torre De Cemare

In a land where status defines a person’s entire life, a young man struggles to find his place among those who reject his differences.  Too royal for piracy but too savage for palace halls, he doesn’t fit anywhere.  It’s practically impossible to meet everyone’s lofty expectations when they all want nothing more than for him to fail.  If only someone would give him a chance to prove his worth.

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

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