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One Good Eclair

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Executive Dirt

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Ghost Shadow

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Soul of the Desert

Fairy Bite – Print Dilemma

Okay, as you know the Fairy Bite cover has had some contrast and blending issues. Because of that, most retailers now have the alternative cover uploaded. In the interest of getting the print book out SOONER rather than ten years from now, I’m going with this cover as well. Because of the lack of color contrast in the owl/gargoyle cover, I don’t think it will print well. It’s likely to appear muddy with an overly bright title against that background. The back is a match–somewhat muddy with hints of brightness. There’s probably some lofty artist name for this, a technical term that loosely translates to “What the hell is this mess?”

I briefly, in a moment of insanity, considered printing the owl/gargoyle just to see if it could POSSIBLY pass muster…but this sort of thing costs actual money and quite a bit of time. If it turned out that the cover simply didn’t look very good, I’d be stuck with a few copies of an owl/gargoyle that I’d have to sell as “rare, one-time only copies of an artistic disaster.” I’d still have to put time and money into proof copies of the girl and the tower. I did work on yet a third cover. It was…not good.

So if you are wondering why the original choice flew the coop…well, like with most things in life, it comes down to money and time. Or the lack thereof!

Edited to add: I’ve uploaded one with the fairy lights talked about in the comments.
Edited on Sunday: I think I’ve finally gotten the fog right! Y’all have no idea how hard it is to create and move fog and get it to do just what you want!!!

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Posted: April 15, 2017

Sewing Pegboard

We went shopping today for a pegboard and dowels to make a board to hang all my thread on. Well, some of it anyway. Since I started embroidery, I have amassed a rather alarming number of spools. You have to have the four primary colors in light and dark and black and white at a bare minimum. Then there’s gold and silver. Before you know it, you have twenty-five spools of thread and they are wandering across countertops. Leo likes to nudge them in case he can get them to roll–and unspool all over!

The pegboard was fine, but the dowels didn’t really fit. They were either too big or too small. The pegboard only came in boring brown too. The white stuff was an entire sheet and I don’t need leftover board. On the way home I remembered we had some plain board in the garage. Husband said it would be thin enough and we could drill our own holes! That way the holes would be the right size for the dowels.

We found the board in the garage and discussed painting it.

Me: “Should I paint it before or after we drill the holes?”

Husband: “Probably after so that the pencil marks don’t show.”

Me: “What pencil marks?”

Husband: “You’ll want to mark it so you can keep the holes in a nice straight line and measure how far apart they need to be.”

Me: Silently pondering. “What’s wrong with random holes?”

Husband: Silently pondering. Look of confusion on his face. “What?”

The idea of NOT MEASURING was too alien for him to handle.

Me: “I was going to eyeball it.”

Husband: Silent. Confusion. “You can decide whether to paint it before or after and let me know.”

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Posted: April 14, 2017
Filed in Walks in Life

Update on Fairy Bite

For those of you unable to wait for Fairy Bite, good news! It’s now available for instant download at the blog store! Yes, you can get your early bird copy right now. (You must know how to side load the file to your e-reader. The zip file includes both an epub and a mobi so works with all e-readers that I know about!)

In other cover news, Smashwords (really Apple) didn’t like the cover–not enough definition/color. They labeled it “blurry.” Don’t worry. If you buy your books from Apple, I have uploaded an alternative cover so Fairy Bite will be there on time. Meanwhile I will work on something to solve this and print problems. Aren’t book launches exciting? You work for 3 months or more on a cover, do a poll, find out it was the wrong cover, work on the new cover for a month and a half only to have it rejected…RIGHT BEFORE LAUNCH DAY. No, there’s no stress in this writing gig. None at all. We writers are WARRIORS. We laugh, replace the cover and go on to the next challenge (which ranges from rejected files, missing files, random reader emails, failed uploads, store software that suddenly stops working, ads that don’t run on time, ads that fail to run at all, and so on. Such a peaceful life, writing. GAAAAH.)

Let’s see. Ah, yes. There’s a couple of big sales going on over at Kobo. Two of my books are in the sale. In the case of Soul of the Desert, I’m trying out an alternate cover. Just for fun, you can click over to see what it looks like.

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Posted: April 13, 2017

Cover Work

In my trials and tribulations with covers, I’ve made a few. I’ve tried a few concepts for books that I will never write or just done some because I went off on a tangent. I love artwork. It’s inspiring. When I started writing/publishing there was a dearth of the typical cozy cover artwork. It hasn’t improved much because illustrations are time consuming to make and the artists selling them on stock photo sites are not making much money. This is a long way of telling you that I’ve posted some pre-made covers for sale. I can do custom work; email me or comment for my schedule/fees. Although I have done some illustration from scratch (the cover of Executive Sick days is entirely my own work. The original cover for Sage was also) the cover work I do now is from stock photos.

There are a few more that I’ll add at a later date!

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Posted: April 12, 2017
Filed in Art Reviews, Cover Art Discussions

Brilliant Story Telling

Every now and then I find a song or album that I just have to mention. In this case, it’s both, but especially the song: There Goes My Life – on the album: When the Sun Goes Down by Kenny Chesney

(Also on GooglePlay)

The song was written by Neil Thrasher and Wendell Mobley. Very clever story telling. Love it.

The second song on the album, “I Go Back” — there will be a line or two in that song that takes you back. Guaranteed. Even the melody might do it. Beautiful and fun listen. For even more nostalgia “Anything but Mine” is danged good too–bands, endless summer, romance–the line “we both laugh because we know it isn’t true” is just classic.

If I understand Try Amazon Music Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial” target=”_blank”>Amazon’s subscription to music right, you can try the whole album (and anything else for a month during the trial). You don’t have to be a prime member to do the trial or subscription.

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Posted: April 11, 2017
Filed in Music

Out of Print – Cat Detective Now on Kindle!

Caronline Haines has regained the rights to her out-of-print series, Fear Familiar, and it’s on sale for 99 cents. I’ve read some of her work and I’d call it more mystery than cozy, although she always has some cozy elements.

When Eleanor Duncan rescues the unusual black cat from a university parking lot, she suspects he has run through at least eight of his lives. But it’s his ninth, and potentially last, that concerns her most. Alarming events appear to have followed him into her life. Eleanor is assaulted by a stranger and interrogated by the CIA. More terrifying is her husband’s seeming return from the dead.

A trip to veterinarian Peter Curry reveals an even deeper secret. Familiar is an escaped research animal. The secret he carries opens the door to conspiracy, danger, and romance. Peter and Eleanor are determined to save the black cat’s life and prevent his return to the lab. Their decision to help Familiar turns their world upside down—and begins the saga of Familiar, the black cat detective.

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Posted: April 10, 2017
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Fantasy Bargain: Dragons on Sale, 99 cents!

Wyvern Awakening – This is a limited time sale at 99 cents because it recently released. I have font envy over this one! That’s some awesome artwork in and of itself. The story itself is a paranormal fantasy with just a hint of romance (probably to come later in the series?) I particularly liked this line from one of the reviews: “The pixies are the best comic-relief I’ve read in a while.”

Book Description

When her parents were murdered eleven years ago, leaving her physically scarred during the event, dragon shifter Astri never learned the identity of their killer. That is until he appears to her in a nightmare.

The powerful Duke Jorgen not only rules the city of Rivenna where she lives, he is also responsible for her parents’ death and for the disability she’s had to bear most of her life. When the chance arises for her to compete to become Duke’s assistant, she realises this is her opportunity for revenge.
But everything in Astri’s world comes with a price. Can she overcome her disability and make Duke pay?

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Posted: April 10, 2017
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Worm Report

Okay, those of you not interested in gardening…wait! Is that possible? Well, never mind. There is a worm eating one of my tomato plants. I have been after this worm for at least a week. It’s eating all the leaves! Yes, I have organic worm killer, but this early in the season, it’s easier (usually) to just find the culprit and dispatch it. I check every morning. I check during the day. I thought perhaps this worm was small so I was missing it. Then, this morning, I found worm poop large enough to have been left by a giant chicken! And not just ONE frass (the official name for worm poop) but several! This worm must be a nightcrawler. And now that it’s eaten at least a quarter of my tomato plant leaves, it must be a huge worm. Great. I’ll need pliers to drag it off the plant and then I’ll have to step on it and it will squish everywhere. Hmm. I think I’ll use worm killer. My only other option is to resort to inspecting the garden at night with my flashlight. I am not fond of this activity. The cats want to go with me and they start pouncing at bugs that are attracted to the light (by “cats” I mean “Leo.”)

A gardener’s work is never done. I will find that worm. It will be dispatched!!!

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Posted: April 10, 2017

Reader Report

Undercover secret agent (Code named “Angelo”) has reported in on a book that I featured a few days ago–in case you bought it:

The Familiar: A Paranormal Romantic Comedy

Apparently it is not as cozy as the cover implies and said agent found it rather dark. Rather than the main female being a loving…witch, she apparently isn’t all that nice. And the book does not wrap things up. The agent is not done with the investigation, but if you don’t like cliff-hangers this may not be the book for you. If you thought it was cozy (like me) it’s not!

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Posted: April 8, 2017

Bargain: Cozy Mystery

Bed, Breakfast and Bones – a 99 cent bargain. There’s a new book in this series out this month, but I thought I’d better start with book one!

Amanda Graham inherited a rundown bed and breakfast, a starving cat, and some dead guy who’s buried in her garden!

What should’ve been a simple remodeling project and a new business in a small Oregon beach town winds up with her uncle named as the number one murder suspect, a slew of odd neighbors and problematic townspeople, and Amanda wanting to just sit down and eat her weight in chocolate pie.

Sure, she could pack her bags and travel back to LA…or should she dig in, heal from her failed romance, and find a whole new set of friends and adventures in Ravenwood Cove?

And how could a quiet little coastal village have so many secrets?

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Posted: April 6, 2017
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