Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Word Witch Wednesday - finicky fonts


I've spent as much time looking at fonts as I have looking for images for my book covers. Fonts say a lot about a story. This includes the type you use inside a book and on the outside of it. They must fit the mood, tone, and voice.

Maybe I put more pressure on myself than I should when it comes to fonts. I am my own worst boss when it comes to these things. But if you look at your favorite book covers and take note of the title, you will see how much of an impact it has on your opinion of the story and the overall effect of the cover.

Here are five things to remember when choosing fonts for your books:

1) Fonts are like images. You can't use all of them without permission. Some you even have to pay to use. If you're on a tight budget, make certain you are using free fonts from sites like 1001 Free Fonts and DaFont.

2) Study book covers in your genre. You will see the majority of them use similar fonts. If you're unsure what types they are, here is an article with several popular fonts for each genre.

3) Experiment with effects. Not just the simple bold and italics. When I use Photoshop, there's a whole bunch of different font effect I can pick. Each one makes the font look so different.

4) Make certain the font is readable. No one will want to read your book if they can't figure out what the title is or if they get a headache reading the fancy script you chose for the story text itself.

5) Use a different font for the title and your name. Contrasting fonts draw the eye. Check out this article for a more in-depth explanation of contrasting fonts.

How do you choose fonts for your books? What types of fonts draw you as a reader?

Monday, May 23, 2016

Chrys Fey's Seismic Crimes Tour: Character Interview & #Giveaway


Character Interview with Beth Kennedy

1. In the beginning of Seismic Crimes, Donovan is dragged into an interrogation room as a suspected murderer. What went through your head?

A million and one things, but on the top was worry over whether he’d be arrested for murder and if I’d be charged as an accomplice, or worse, for what I did to help him. But I’d do it over again. All of it.

Chrys: Even venturing into hurricane weather to help him after his car crash?

Beth: Absolutely. I’d endure that danger and the injuries I sustained again. For him.

2. You didn’t know Donovan well when you fell in love with him. What was the most surprising thing you learned about him?

That he surfs! I love to be active and on the water. I’m a Florida girl with salt water in my veins, so I hope he’ll teach me to surf one day.

3. You get to spend the holidays with Donovan for the first time, but we don’t get to read about your New Year’s Eve celebration. What did the two of you do?

We had just returned home from Christmas in Michigan, so we didn’t feel up to going out. We stayed in, had shrimp cocktail and beer, watched the ball drop on the television, and shared a kiss at midnight, which . . . um . . . led to more . . . in the bedroom.

*Donovan walks in* And it was truly memorable.

Beth: Get out. This is my interview with Chrys. You already had your turn.

Donovan: Yes, I did. *winks*

Beth: *glares* Did he flirt with you, Chrys?

Chrys: What? NO!

Beth: Mm-hm.

Chrys: *swallows* Moving on.

4. With a bad car and limited funds, you never got to travel, but in Seismic Crimes, you go to California with Donovan. What was your favorite part of visiting San Francisco?

Definitely China Town. All of that culture packed together like that could be a bit jarring, but it was beautiful and fascinating. We went to a temple, ate dim sum, and explored every street.

5. It’s not hard to imagine what your lead favorite part was . . . the earthquake?

*sighs* The quake was frightening, being parted from Donovan was horrible, and what I saw after the quake was . . . *shakes her head* . . . it was all bad but the worst part was watching Donovan and Buck going at it, wanting to kill each other. They almost achieved it too.

6. If you could go back in time to tell Donovan and yourself something, what would it be?

Don’t lose the stun gun!

Chrys: Good tip.

Beth: *chuckles* Don’t I know it?

Title: Seismic Crimes
Author: Chrys Fey
Series: Disaster Crimes Series (Book Two)
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Format: Digital and Print
Page Count: 282


DIGITAL LINKS:

PRINT LINKS:

BLURB:

An Internal Affairs Investigator was murdered and his brother, Donovan Goldwyn, was framed. Now Donovan is desperate to prove his innocence. And the one person who can do that is the woman who saved him from a deadly hurricane—Beth Kennedy. From the moment their fates intertwined, passion consumed him. He wants her in his arms. More, he wants her by his side in his darkest moments.

Beth Kennedy may not know everything about Donovan, but she can’t deny what she feels for him. It’s her love for him that pushes her to do whatever she has to do to help him get justice, including putting herself in a criminal’s crosshairs.

When a tip reveals the killer's location, they travel to California, but then an earthquake of catastrophic proportions separates them. As aftershocks roll the land, Beth and Donovan have to endure dangerous conditions while trying to find their way back to one another. Will they reunite and find the killer, or will they lose everything?


HURRICANE CRIMES 99¢ SALE!


DIGITAL LINKS:
Amazon CA / NOOK / KOBO 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, May 20, 2016

Friday Five for May 20, 2016


1. I managed to get a little more writing done this week, but I got sidetracked by research. A lot. I must learn to be more disciplined when reading about fascinating stuff!

2. Tomorrow is my local critique group meeting. I sent in my newest flash piece for them to rip apart. Next Tuesday, the group will be doing a panel for a class at the local university. My nervousness about it has not eased. Talking in front of people terrifies me, but that's why I do it.

3. I started reading the first Harry Potter book with my son. He's not nearly excited about it as I am! He's much more into his Greek Myth book lately. He's obsessed with minotaurs and mazes and wants a three-headed dog named Cerebus! Hey little guy, there's a three-headed dog in Harry Potter. Hehehe!

4. One week of school left. I must write like a madwoman this coming week!

5. I had a terrific time at the zoo yesterday with my son and his classmates... and forty-eight other busloads of children from various schools. What was the zoo thinking?!

Go forth and have an awesome weekend!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Word Witch Wednesday - tips for image shopping


What do you think of the new name for my Wednesday feature? I decided to change it, because there are a lot of "Wicked Wednesdays" out there. Originally I intended to talk about paranormal romance on Wednesdays, but it has grown past that. I talk about all aspects of being a writer, or rather, a word witch!

Last month I was gifted a subscription to BigStock. (Thanks, Mom!) I checked around, and they have one of the best deals for images.

Shopping for images is glorious and grueling. I spent hours upon hours looking at pictures. In the end, I was happy with what I found, and I learned a lot along the way.

Whether you're shopping images for book covers, ads, or blogs, here are five tips that can help make your job easier.

1) Know exactly what you want. Don't even go in with a vague idea, because it's easy to get click happy and buy several pretty pictures that you won't use. Use specific words and filter your image search.

2) For that image search, be aware that one word might not bring up what you want. Typing in "blonde" will get you many things along with a blonde woman. Be descriptive. "Serious blonde woman standing." You'll still get brunettes and smiling models, but the number of images will be much smaller.

Bonus tip: if you want a great moody image of a person that isn't smiling, try typing in "vogue shot" with your description.

3) Turn the safe search off. What? How naughty of me? So many images get pegged as unsafe for one reason or another, and it doesn't mean they're risque pictures. (Though, yes, some are!) You can double your search results by not having the safe search on.

4) If the site allows it, click on specific photographers and models. You might find the perfect model for your cover, but the poses that come up in the original search aren't what you want. Click on the photographer or model, and you'll usually discover many more images to choose from.

Bonus tip: I found that I was drawn to a few photographers. Take the time to check out the portfolios of ones you like. It's like finding buried treasure!

5) When you type in your search, the most popular images come up first. I have seen so many overused and familiar images. (At one point, I was certain almost every author and publisher got their images from BigStock!) Dig deep into the site. Click past those super popular images and find something you've never seen before.

Have you ever bought pictures from a stock image site? Do you have any tips to share?

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Hey! I'm over there!

I'm over at the Untethered Realms blog today with five tips on creating book ads! Surf on over and chat with me about ads.

Ads like this one:

https://www.amazon.com/Blood-Sorrow-Christine-Rains-ebook/dp/B00U89TEGY

Friday, May 13, 2016

Friday Five for May 13, 2016


1. One short story rejection. One new flash piece written. I sent it in to my local critique group for this month's meeting.

2. Writing is still going slow. I should skip over the first chapter that's giving me trouble, but I keep digging in my heels. I only need one little idea to make it work. It hasn't come to me yet.

3. Two weeks left of school. I'm not ready yet! Next week, I'm a chaperone for my son's school zoo trip. His school does not allow chaperones to ride on the buses, so I'll have to drive to the zoo and meet them there. You would think the teachers would like to have the extra help on the bus during the hour ride there and back!

4. I was asked by one of the authors in my local group to participate in a panel for a class at the university. I agreed... and now I'm super anxious! I love to talk about writing, but I've never been good in front of an audience. As long as I don't faint and/or lose my voice, I think I'll be okay.

5. On the agenda for my weekend: a kid's birthday party and gardening. I need to get those seedlings in the ground before it rains again! Maybe we'll take our little guy to his first drive-in movie too. Everyone needs to experience the drive-in at least once. Have you ever been to a drive-in?

Have a terrific weekend!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Cloaked in Blood Book Blitz


Cloaked in Blood
T.F. Walsh
(The Wulfkin Legacy #3)
Published by: Crimson Romance
Publication date: May 9th 2016
Genres: Adult, Paranormal
The daughter of a sultan alpha, Selena Kurt agrees to an arranged wulfkin mating to protect her sister from a dangerous alpha from the enemy clan. To her surprise, her match is Marcin Ulf, the next in line for the Hungarian throne . . . and the wulfkin who broke her heart years ago.
Marcin is just as shocked to learn he’ll be matched to the enemy’s daughter and the woman he’s never forgotten. Before they can be paired, however, they’re drawn into a tournament where Marcin will compete to free his estranged imprisoned brother, while Selena battles for the life of another wulfkin alpha. Both intend to seize this chance to save those they’re fighting for – even if it means facing off with one another just as their romance rekindles.
Will tribe loyalty triumph, or will they realize they’re better off as a team before it’s too late?
Cloaked in Blood is the book 3 in the Wulfkin Legacy series, but can be read a stand-alone-book.
Wulfkin Legacy Series:
Cloaked (prequel to #1) – Out now
Cloaked in Fur (Book #1) – Out now
Cloaked in Secrecy (Book #2) – Out now
Cloaked in Blood (Book #3) – Out now
Cloaked in Christmas – End of 2016
Sign up here for T.F. Walsh’s newsletter to keep up to date with latest releases, giveaways, and exclusive content.

EXCERPT:
SELENA
Then another wulfkin entered the room behind him. Solid, tall, and all shoulders.
And suddenly my heart hammered so hard the walls seemed to be thumping too.
Marcin.
Windblown hair draped over his shoulders, tawny brown strands reaching halfway down his chest. His shirt was torn across his shoulder. Blood stained the fabric, worn as a badge of honor for whatever heroic deeds he’d accomplished.
Our gazes locked, and he stopped midstride. It was like a sucker punch to the gut. All the air left my lungs, leaving me light-headed.
Sea-spray blue eyes, darker than I remembered them, searched my face. Shock crammed behind his gaze as his cheeks blanched. He’d had no idea I was coming here—it was written all over his frozen expression, the way his mouth fell open, his breath hitched.
My wolf prodded me, stirring inside, well aware of who stood before us. Marcin had grown into even more of a wulfkin god: muscular, strong cheekbones, and a chest broad enough for me to sleep across. All I could think about was touching him to make sure he was real and not in my imagination.
Move closer. Take him.
I shouldn’t, yet every molecule in my body fought against the logic that said stay away.
Sure, I’d planned for this very moment and even practiced my nonchalant response in front of the mirror. Except now, my voice was wedged somewhere between my toes and head. My body shook with the desperate urge to be pressed up against him, feel his hungry kisses, and listen to his wicked whispers. I struggled with the charge in my veins screaming that I should run to him, throw my arms around his neck, and forget the past nine years. Forget that he tore out my soul. Forget that I mistook him as my mate because he’d lied to me. Abandoned me.

CIB Quote


Author Bio:
T.F. Walsh emigrated from Romania to Australia at the age of eight and now lives in a regional city south of Sydney with her husband. Growing up hearing dark fairytales, she's always had a passion for reading and writing horror, paranormal romance, urban fantasy and young adult stories. She balances all the dark with light fluffy stuff like baking and traveling.


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