When a Plan Comes Together

Awakening-ebook600A few weeks ago, I blogged about designing a book cover for a writer friend. It’s out now, and I’m about 2/3 through reading it, and WOW! Winterjacked: Rude Awakening by Athena Grayson about what happens when the Winter King–who doesn’t quite know who he is–is going through a mid-life crisis. There’s romance, mischievous fey folk, seasonal mayhem, and yes, holiday magic. So if you think you might enjoy an urban fantasy that’s definitely different, pick this one up NOW! The ebook is on introductory sale for a limited time for just $2.99. It will be out in print soon too, for those who prefer paper.

I am really pleased with how this cover came out, too–even more so as I read the book, because wow, does it go with it perfectly! I can’t take credit for that–the author gave me excellent direction, and also helped find some of the stock photos. She also listened to me when I explained why some of the photos she found wouldn’t work, and together we came up with a winner IMNSHO!

But enough about me. Here’s what Rude Awakening is all about:

Sometimes you reinvent yourself…Sometimes you redefine reality. 
Jack Winters lost his perfect, upwardly-mobile life (along with the perfect, upwardly-mobile wife) when it intersected with a pack of fantastical creatures. He’s spent three years determined to ignore the Things that want to call him Master, and kept his failures frozen under a thick layer of isolation from even his closest friends. But when a holiday reunion presents him with the woman who Might Have Been, suddenly the impossible doesn’t seem so improbable anymore…

Lin Sanada thought she was long over her college crush and the missed connections that kept her and Jack Winters “just friends” for nearly twenty years. She’s moved on, and left wishful thinking behind. But when a winter night, a full moon, and a little magic lead her into a very real relationship with the man of her dreams, she finds a reality far more fantastical than her wildest imaginings…

To the young, impossible dreams are magic. At forty, they’re a mid-life crisis.

If Jack wants to earn a new chance at a future, he’ll have to confront all the raw wounds failure left on his expectations. And he’ll have to choose: keep clinging to the shreds of his old life…or make a whole new reality.

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble (other retailers coming soon)

ROW80Logo175That was in my ROW80 goals a few weeks ago. As for this past week’s goals:

  • 2,500 words on combined WIPs – Done!
  • Keep up with writing workshop assignments – Done!
  • Test and refine shipping calculations and Paypal integration for website – Done!
  • Fitness 4 times – Partial (3x)
  • Pick out Christmas cards, figure out rest of gift list, complete online shopping – Partial – online shopping complete, but still no cards

For this week, we’re going to keep down the same path:

  • 2,500 words on combined WIPs
  • Keep up with writing workshop assignments
  • Website: figure out custom programming needed on product page
  • Fitness 4 times
  • Get Christmas cards out, complete rest of shopping

What about you–have you had a plan come together lately? If you celebrate Christmas, how are your plans coming together? Please share–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, KoboiTunes, and more.

Do You Judge a Book by its Cover? The Guardian, by Carey Corp

The Guardian by Carey CorpA few weeks ago, writing friend Carey Corp emailed me, with the subject line “Help!”

No, her email hadn’t been hijacked by spammers. She was trying to produce the cover for the print version of her successful YA paranormal romance, The Guardian. She’d done a nice job putting together the cover for the e- version. And isn’t a cover for a print book simply a matter of adding a back and spine to the ebook cover?

Carey found out it wasn’t when she uploaded her print cover to CreateSpace, only to receive a message that it didn’t meet required specifications. After another try, and another reject, she emailed me.

Carey remembered that I worked in graphic design for over ten years before turning to web design, and later programming. And back when I was active in the field, print was still the thing. I was actually one of the first people in the Dayton area to use computer-prepared files for full-blown, four-color printing films, so all of the issues CreateSpace identified in their emails to Carey, were familiar to me.

The modifications I made were minor as far as appearance was concerned, such as adding another set of wings to the spine – I love little details like this! Reworking the rest with higher-resolution photos took a few hours in Photoshop, tweaking color density, printing to a PDF, then emailing to Carey. When I didn’t hear back within a few days, I figured no news was good news – and it was! See her take here.

I am not a big reader of Young Adult fiction, but going by the description, this is something I would have devoured when I was a teen. A lot of Carey’s readers are adults, too, and the more I read this description as I reworked the art, the more intrigued I became – I might just have to pick up a copy! The Halo Chronicles: The Guardian (Kindle version) THE HALO CHRONICLES: The Guardian (Volume 1) (Print version)

Do you enjoy YA fiction? And, do you pass on a book if the cover’s not quite professional? (I’ll admit it – it takes a lot more to get me to buy if the cover’s less than appealing.) If you’re an author, ever try doing your own cover? As a graphic design professional, I’m a big proponent of “don’t try this at home” but for some, it can work out well. What do you think?