Thursday, June 21, 2018

I'm visiting the Writing and Wellness site today!



I'm excited to be at the Writing and Wellness site today. Colleen M. Story interviewed me about writing and how it affects my physical and mental health. Come say hi!

This amazing site shares information on all aspects of health from studies, experts, writers, and artists. I love the author interviews and all the wonderfully creative ways we each deal with our unique situations.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Elements of Untethered Realms


Enter our mysterious realms where the stories are as varied and rich as the types of soil on this and other planets. Enchanted forests are knotted with roots and vines. Dreaded paths take us through stranger, unexplored places.

Investigate new worlds and a house frequented by ghosts. Come across witches and wizards and an assassin tasked to kill Death.

Meet hot robots, hungry winds, and the goddess of chaos. Explore alien lands, purgatorial realms, and a shocking place where the people bury the living with the dead.

Encounter paranormal detectives, imprisoned dragons, dark demons, cursed jewels, and handsome prophets. Search shifting worlds trapped in mirrors and a disturbing future where the president seeks to rid the world of Otherkind.

Experience a haunted ride on a riverboat, water sprites borne of pennies, preternatural creatures, ancient serpents, and the lady of the lake who lurks in dark waters.

From USA Today bestselling and popular science-fiction and fantasy authors comes Elements of Untethered Realms, a supernatural compilation of Twisted Earths, Mayhem in the Air, Ghosts of Fire, and Spirits in the Water. These forty thrilling tales feature authors Angela Brown, Jeff Chapman, Cathrina Constantine, Julie Flanders, River Fairchild, Gwen Gardner, Misha/M. Gerrick, Meradeth Houston, Graeme Ing, Simon Kewin, M. Pax, Christine Rains, Cherie Reich, and Catherine Stine.

Coming October 2018.

Love this cover! I'm so excited about this collection. Untethered Realms is an amazing group of authors, and wow, these stories.

We are prepping to take on another big project writing stories in a shared world. (Think Wild Cards created by George R.R. Martin.) It's going to be epic!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Fabulous new release: Write With Fey


NEW RELEASE & GIVEAWAY!


Catch the sparks you need to write, edit, publish, and market your book!

Write with Fey: 10 Sparks to Guide You from Idea to Publication offers an abundance of data in one handy book. From writing your novel to prepping for publication and beyond, you’ll find sparks on every page, including 100 bonus marketing tips. You’ll also discover how to write specific scenes and characters, adding depth to your work.

•        Spark One: Being a Writer
•        Spark Two: Story Essentials
•        Spark Three: A Book’s Stepping Stones
•        Spark Four: How To
•        Spark Five: Character ER
•        Spark Six: Editing
•        Spark Seven: Publishing
•        Spark Eight: Marketing
•        Spark Nine: Writing About
•        Spark Ten: Final Inspiration

With so much information, you’ll take notes, highlight, and flag pages to come back to again and again on your writing journey.


BUY LINKS:




 AUTHOR BIO:

 Chrys Fey is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series, a unique concept blending romance, crimes, and disasters. She’s partnered with the Insecure Writer’s Support Group and runs their Goodreads book club. She’s also an editor for Dancing Lemur Press.

Fey realized she wanted to write by watching her mother pursue publication. At the age of twelve, she started her first novel, which flourished into a series she later rewrote at seventeen. Fey lives in Florida and is always on the lookout for hurricanes.
 
Chrys Fey’s Links:




GIVEAWAY!

Open to all from June 4th 2018 – July 6th 2018
Click here to enter or use the form below.




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

#IWSG for June 2018

The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is the brilliant idea of Alex J. Cavanaugh. The purpose of the group is to share doubts and insecurities and to encourage one another. Please visit the other participants and share your support. A kind word goes a long way.

This month's awesome co-hosts are: Beverly Stowe McClure, Tyrean Martinson, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor!

This month's optional question: What's harder for you to come up with: book titles or character names?

Book titles. By far! I love coming up with character names. I have lists and lists of names. Book titles are incredibly difficult for me. I usually ask my writer friends for title suggestions. I try to keep my titles simple, but even then, I'm banging my head on the desk to find something that encompasses the story.

This month's insecurities: Time. I'm so behind on everything. This is not unusual for me. I know in the summer, I have precious few hours on the computer to work. Family comes first. I try to make to-do lists to reasonably fit that. But I'm looking at my June list and shaking my head. There's so much I want to do. I should be easier on myself. I tell myself to not worry. But my creative juices want to propel me forward at a speed that is hard for me handle. Then I berate myself for not getting enough done. I'm kinder to myself than I once was, but I'm still my own worst boss.

What are your insecurities this month?

Friday, May 25, 2018

Starting off the summer with free geeky romance!


It's the first day of summer break in my household. While I'm excited about getting in some family time, I'll be losing a lot of a writer time.

To help my sanity, once a week, a group of gamer buddies come over to our house and we play for hours. We scheme, roll dice, and laugh like madmen.

 I'm sharing all that fun with you. Plus a little extra bit on the naughty side! Laughs, nerd talk, and steamy scenes.

The Dice & Debauchery series is FREE for five days!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Making of a Cover - Harnessing the Winds


It's tough making your book stand out. There are millions of books out there, and one of the best ways to grab a reader's attention is to have to a fabulous cover. (One day my house will likely have an interior like that!)

I'm not a graphic designer nor do I have any aspirations to be one. Everything I've learned about making covers I've researched on my own and experimented in Photoshop. It's a long and tedious process, but I thoroughly enjoy playing around with images. And since you all seem to really like it I share my process of making a cover, I'm here with one I created for an author friend.

I will always recommend writers hire a cover artist to create their covers or buy a premade one. Yet these things aren't cheap. There are plenty of free images sites, and one I really like to use is Pixabay. Images on there are free to use for commercial ventures. Always be certain you have permission to use an image.

My friend, Morena Silver, is a fantasy romance author. Her debut novel is about pirates. Arrrr! A whole ship of women pirates at that. The book features the captain who can harness the power of storms.

Morena chose the model.

She's wearing a bikini... I'm assuming. And sitting on a rock like that can't be comfortable. Her poor bottom! Anyway, good choice for a model. The background is clear. Easy for me to cut the model out of that image (and off the craggy rock) and insert her into the new background.


Beautiful, isn't it? I love the drama and the color. Both these images are from Pixabay. While I do like the whole image, I cropped it to feature the ships. I didn't think it looked stormy enough, though. So I added in more billowing clouds and played on the oranges.

The actual cutting and pasting of the model onto the background was easy. Who wouldn't want to be there by the sea? The toughest part came when Morena said she wanted lightning. On the woman's arms. Okay, okay. It was time to learn a new skill, and you know what? It was surprisingly simple. I read a short tutorial about how to create lightning in Photoshop and BAM! Or should I say ZAP!


I'm so pleased with the way it turned out and so was Morena. The cover screams romance. It screams fantasy. It screams don't mess with this woman!

I mentioned tons and tons of layers in the post about making the cover for Of Gods and Sorrow. There aren't many layers to this one. The little bolts of lightning I connected to make that effect took the most layering. Simple and elegant.

What do you think? If you're an author, where do you get your covers?

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Word Witch Wednesday - more on marketing


Just when you think you know the general rules of marketing your work, something else comes along. If you're like me and don't have a lot of time to stay on top of every little thing, it helps to have other people give you a head's up. Here are a few new things that have come up this year that authors need to know.

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Some of you might have heard about this. It may be a European law, but it affects all businesses including writers. These regulations will better protect people's information online. It will help it from being used for purposes other than what they have given permission for.

If you have a newsletter, you will need to have readers resubscribe to give you explicit permission to email them. Yes, this is only for Europeans at the moment, but it is good if you have all readers do so.

Update: If you wish only to have your European readers resubscribe, but you don't know which ones are in that region, Mailerlite will be releasing new tools later this month that will allow you to see what country your subscribers are from. I hope other email marketing sites will do the same thing.

Amazon reviews. Oh, Amazon. Always messing around with rules about reviews. The newest one is that a review will be deleted if it states that person received a free copy of the book in exchange for a review. I've recently posted a few reviews which included that, and my reviews have not been taken down. Yet.

More links for you:

Do you have any news on author marketing? Please share with us in the comments below.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

#IWSG for May 2018

The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is the brilliant idea of Alex J. Cavanaugh. The purpose of the group is to share doubts and insecurities and to encourage one another. Please visit the other participants and share your support. A kind word goes a long way.

This month's awesome co-hosts are: E.M.A. Timar, J. Q. Rose, C.Lee McKenzie, and Raimey Gallant!

This month's optional question: It's spring! Does this season inspire you to write more than others, or not?

None of the seasons inspire me more than the others, but I've noticed many of my stories take place in the fall. I do try to push forward fast in the spring, because it isn't long until the summer. I get very little done in the summer, because my son is off school.

My insecurities this month: I've fallen behind where I want to be. Last month was busy with family visiting and birthdays. I had also been sick. Oh the new things you learn when you're ill so you can use that later to torment your characters! Did you know that salivary glands can get infected, swell to the size of baseballs, and they can get stones like kidneys? Thankfully I didn't get stones, but boy, could you imagine passing that? Yikes!


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Have you got your copy of Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime yet?


The clock is ticking...

Can a dead child’s cross-stitch pendant find a missing nun? Is revenge possible in just 48 minutes? Can a killer be stopped before the rescuers are engulfed by a city ablaze? Who killed what the tide brought in? Can a soliloquizing gumshoe stay out of jail?

Exploring the facets of time, eleven authors delve into mysteries and crimes that linger in both dark corners and plain sight. Featuring the talents of Gwen Gardner, Rebecca M. Douglass, Tara Tyler, S. R. Betler, C.D. Gallant-King, Jemi Fraser, J. R. Ferguson, Yolanda Renée, C. Lee McKenzie, Christine Clemetson, and Mary Aalgaard.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these eleven tales will take you on a thrilling ride into jeopardy and secrecy. Trail along, find the clues, and stay out of danger. Time is wasting...

Buy links:

Add it to read on Goodreads.

Check out the Tick Tock Mysteries blog!

And their Facebook page.

Special shout-out to Dancing Lemur Press and the IWSG!

Friday, April 27, 2018

The Spring Fling #Romance Sale & Giveaway


Find yourself a new book boyfriend and have a Spring Fling!

Fantasy Book Giveaways is hosting a fantastic romance sale and giveaway. You can find romance of all sub-genres from over 30 authors. All the books in the promo are available FREE with Kindle Unlimited.

For this event, I have the sexy Paramours trilogy FREE to everyone, not just those with KU!


Monday, April 23, 2018

Upcoming Release: After Dark by Liz Butcher


What's waiting for you in the shadows?

Ghosts, curses, and creatures of the dark, these stories take you on a journey from the secret whisperings of the trees, to the torments of the subconscious mind.

Release date: May 1st, 2018


The price will go up after its release.

Find Liz on her website and at Facebook.

Monday, April 16, 2018

You're never too old

I'm feeling all my years this month. All those doctors visits I've been having speak of my age and my son turns eight this week! Where is time going?

I just need to remember...






Monday, April 9, 2018

Review for The Fall Girl


Blurb:
In the news business, owning the headlines comes with a deadly cost.

JJ Cavendish thought she'd escaped her dark past. After publishing her tell-all memoir, she's ready to settle down with Claire and devote her attention to running a scrappy online news venture. But when her new business partner exploits JJ's notoriety to keep the company afloat, avoiding the limelight becomes impossible.

As JJ keeps hungry movie producers at bay, she fields an intriguing offer from an old enemy that could help her expose a cyber bully, stop a string of suicides, and get her company the scoop it needs. To bring the story to light, JJ and her team must brave the darkest corners of the web and hope her own name doesn't make the headlines in the process.

My review:
It has been a bumpy ride, but JJ Cavendish is right where she wants to be. She's about to marry the love of her life, has a thrilling career, and a family that she adores. But it's all shattered when her new company teeters on the edge and someone from her past comes out of the shadows. JJ's business partner weaves secrets trying to save their business, but JJ is trapped in the worst of it. If they manage to pull it off, they could save not only their company, but people's lives as well. Yet is it all worth it if JJ loses the woman and the family she loves?

Another amazing novel from T.B. Markinson. Fantastic intrigue with a mystery hanging over JJ's head. I loved that I didn't know who to trust. It was wonderfully tangled and could have gone so many ways, but it all came together perfectly at the end. My favorite thing about Markinson's writing is her extraordinary characterization. Each character is complex with many layers. I loved seeing JJ's professional drive and how she is in the quiet family moments. I'm in awe of Claire's dedication to JJ and her family, her immense strength even when everything is coming down around them. Cora, JJ's business partner, can be ruthless in business, but underneath it all, she has a good heart.

I also liked the way Markinson tackled the issue of cyber bullying. It's a serious problem in our modern age. While the cyber bully didn't actually kill anyone with their own hands, they still ruined lives. More than just the lives of the poor teens that committed suicide. There were the friends and families too.

Buy links:

Find T.B. here:

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

#IWSG for April 2018

The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is the brilliant idea of Alex J. Cavanaugh. The purpose of the group is to share doubts and insecurities and to encourage one another. Please visit the other participants and share your support. A kind word goes a long way.

This month's awesome co-hosts are: Olga Godim, Chemist Ken, Renee Scattergood, and Tamara Narayan!

April's optional IWSG question: When your writing life is a bit cloudy or filled with rain, what do you do to dig down and keep on writing?

Years ago, I would have given up when things were bad. Yet I always came back to writing. I couldn't help it. I'm a writer through and through. These days, I'm more easily motivated. I read a good book, watch a great show, take a walk, try something new, or talk with supportive writer friends. I will keep on writing even if no one ever reads what I write because I love it. I'll keep writing until the day when I can plug my mind into a computer and just download my stories that way. Though, I'm not certain I'd really want that sort of implant. But that's a question for another day!

This month's insecurities: Time is being pinched. So much to do away from the computer, and I have two big projects I want to work on. I'm trying to multitask these two manuscripts, but one is dominating the other. I let it have its way because I know I must take advantage of the flow when it's strong. Yet I feel guilty about letting the other sit. Both will get done, but not as soon as I'd hoped. And it's driving me batty.

IWSG news: Unfortunately I had to step away from being part of the IWSG admin team. It was a difficult choice, and I agonized over it. I love what the IWSG offers the writing community. It's such an incredible group. And the admins, holy crow! They are hardworking, organized, and awesome. I learned a lot from being part of the team.

Please welcome Shannon Lawrence as the new IWSG team member. She'll be taking over the newsletter. Be sure to send her all your news to celebrate with the group. Good luck and have fun, Shannon!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Signup for Free Romance Promo


Attention Romance Authors!

Don't miss out on your chance to get involved with this awesome free promo opportunity. Fantasy Book Giveaways is hosting a bit sale and giveaway. When a big group of writers get together to promote an event, we have a huge social reach. All you have to do is shout out about it and make certain your romances are free to read on Kindle Unlimited.

Find a new book boyfriend and have a spring fling!

You can sign up HERE.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Word Witch Wednesday - three marketing myths


It's one of our responsibilities as writers to research things. Not just stuff we'll need for our stories, but marketing, websites, covers, etc. There are a wide range of things we need to keep on top of to remain marketable. And it can be exhausting.

Many articles tell us the things we must do. But as I've cruised around the internet, I am reminded there is nothing we must do. There are things we should do, but every writer's journey is different. What works for one person might not work for others. We each must try out various strategies to see what works for ourselves. It's frustrating there's no magical formula, but if you're determined, you'll find a way.

Here are three marketing myths I've discovered in my research adventures:

1. "Create an author tagline." I've heard again and again this is essential in branding yourself. It does help in letting readers know your genre, but what if you write in more than one genre? It doesn't work for you. Many of the bestsellers' sites I've visited do not have author taglines. The majority of them have "New York Times Bestseller" to accompany their name on site banners. It says nothing about their genres. They use other aspects of their sites to let readers know what they write, and you can too.

2. "The newsletter is the new, big thing. Every writer must have one." Nope. Not essential if you have another way you're connecting with readers. Newsletters are bigger with some genres than others. Romance readers love them. Horror readers, not so much. Most bestsellers have newsletters, but they maybe send them out twice a year. I've signed up for ones that I have never received an email from.

3. "If the story is fantastic, it will sell your books." There are so many amazing stories that get buried under the millions of other books out there. What helps is to have a professional cover. It tells the reader what kind of genre it is at a glance and what to anticipate in the story. While I've seen authors that sell well with simple covers consisting only of text and maybe a symbol or an object, they usually already have an audience. A gorgeous cover can draw readers to you even if they don't know your name.

Don't exhaust yourself trying to figure out your marketing formula. Trust me. I know from experience how maddening it can be. Do what you're comfortable with. Do what you enjoy. Because if you lose your joy, you might lose you drive to write. Marketing has chased many aspiring writers away. Don't let it crush you.

What marketing myths have you discovered?

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


May green be the grass you walk on,
May blue be the skies above you,
May pure be the joys that surround you,
May true be the hearts that love you.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
None of us may see a leprechaun or find his pot of gold, but I hope to give you something just as good. Free books!
For five days only, you can get the first three books of my thrilling urban fantasy series, TOTEM for free!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Blue Sludge Blues & Other Abominations Release!



Blue Sludge Blues & Other Abominations
by Shannon Lawrence

Release Date: March 15, 2018
Horror short story collection


A collection of frights, from the psychological to the monstrous. These tales are a reminder of how much we have to fear: A creature lurking in the blue, sludgy depths of a rest area toilet; a friendly neighbor with a dark secret hidden in his basement; a woman with nothing more to lose hellbent on vengeance; a hike gone terribly wrong for three friends; a man cursed to clean up the bodies left behind by an inhuman force. These and other stories prowl the pages of this short story collection.

Excerpt


From Shifting Sands:

"When the next day went much the same--sand slid out of his phone receiver, his laptop--he left wok early, citing an appointment. But when he opened his car door to leave, his seat was full of sand, two words etched into it: NO ESCAPE."


Buy the Book


Also available from Apple and other countries through Amazon


About the Author


A fan of all things fantastical and frightening, Shannon Lawrence writes mostly fantasy and horror. Her stories can be found in magazines and anthologies, including Space and Time Magazine, Dark Moon Digest, and Ember: A Journal of Luminous Things. When she's not writing, she's hiking the wilds of Colorado and photographing her magnificent surroundings, where, coincidentally, there's always a place to hide a body or birth a monster.


Social Media Links



Wednesday, March 7, 2018

#IWSG for March 2018

The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is the brilliant idea of Alex J. Cavanaugh. The purpose of the group is to share doubts and insecurities and to encourage one another. Please visit the other participants and share your support. A kind word goes a long way.

This month's awesome co-hosts are: Mary Aalgaard, Bish Denham, Jennifer Hawes, Diane Burton, and Gwen Gardner!

This month's optional IWSG question: How do you celebrate when you achieve a writing goal / finish writing a story?

For the longest time, every book I've finished, I've celebrated by making cookies. When I get near the end of a book, I'll buy the dough and let it sit in the fridge. It's great motivation to keep me chugging through to the end.

If I'm having a tough writing day, I will motivate myself with a chocolate or two. 500 words and then I get that candy! Yes, I'm easily trained.

I think celebrating reaching your goals is so important. It doesn't matter how you do it. Writing is hard work, and sometimes there's no one else around that knows how tough it is or to cheer you. This is why we must celebrate ourselves. Bonus: when you're feeling happy, you get all those happy chemicals released in your brain and you feel even more inspired!

My insecurities: My current WIP keeps getting bigger and bigger. While this is thrilling in a way, I do wonder if it will be too big and thus lose all its power with that size. Am I putting too much time into things that won't matter at the end? But it all goes together... somehow. I think! Hopefully when I finish it and send it along to my CPs, they'll let me know if it is too long.

IWSG newsletter news: Have you subscribed to the IWSG newsletter yet? We have helpful articles and links, and a featured industry guest each month. For March, we have Janet Hise who is a writer that helps other writers achieve their goals.

If you're an IWSG member and you have some news you'd like to share with the group, drop me an email at christinerains.writer@gmail.com and I'll put it in the newsletter.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Wings of Flesh and Bone Cover Reveal


Wings of Flesh and Bones
Cathrina Constantine
Publication date: April 13th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
An Angel. A Witch. A Demon. And A Choice.
Creatures from outer realms suck, as any gatekeeper worth their salt will tell you. Welcome to Rogan’s life, an orphaned seventeen-year-old who lives and trains with other misfits under her uncle’s roof, keeping Earth safe from non-human realm jumpers. Rogan’s biggest issue concerns her uncle’s short leash with her freedom—that is of course, until she’s taken by a notorious witch, and her life begins to unravel. Soon, the supernatural beauty discovers there’s a reason her uncle kept such a tight lock on her whereabouts, and that she has more than angel blood running through her veins.
Eighteen-year-old Max is an angel, and Rogan’s mentor and guardian. He’s well aware of her tenacious inability to obey orders, though he also knows she’s a fierce fighter. When he’s involved in a scheme that ultimately gets Rogan kidnapped, he must battle his way back to her in an attempt to save her from the darkness threatening to possess her.


Author Bio:
Cathrina Constantine is the Best Selling author of Don't Forget To Breathe. Her book won Readers' Favorite International Book Award for 2015. New Apple Medalist for 2016. Literary Classics Gold Award. Literary Classics Seal of Approval. Her Paranormal Fantasy, Wickedly They Come has been awarded the 5 Star Seal from Reader's Favorite. Tallas from her dystopian series received Literary Classics Silver Award and Literary Classics Seal of Approval. 
Cathrina resides in Western New York. I am blessed with a loving family and forever friends. My world revolves around them.
I grew up in the small village of Lancaster, NY, where I married my sweetheart. I'm devoted to raising 5 cherished children, and now my grandchildren. 
I love to immerse myself in great books of every kind of genre, which helps me to write purely for entertainment, and hopefully to inspire readers. When not stationed at my computer you can find me in the woods taking long walks with my dog.

XBTBanner1

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Word Witch Wednesday - brewing a book series


Deciding to write a series or a standalone book is tough. It's important to take your story idea and weigh the options. I'm going to assume you've already sat back and figured that out, and you want to write a series.

Book series are popular. Readers love to follow their favorite characters through all sorts of adventures. But there's nothing more disappointing than picking up the new book of one of your favorite series and finding the story fell flat. I've abandoned many series because the story faltered and the characters didn't grow.

Here are five tips to help you build a successful book series:

1) Make certain your story idea has enough juice to last through the whole series. If the plot flops after the second or third book, you're going to lose readers. Each book must have a solid story that can stand on its own and interconnect with the previous books. It helps if you're a plotter to plan the series. As a pantser, even I made certain when I was writing TOTEM, I had a solid story idea for each book before I started. Sure, those ideas were as simple as "they will search for the ____ totem in this book," but each one had a purpose in the overall plot.

2) Keep a story bible. Plotters usually have this started before they begin to write the first chapter. I keep notes as I go along. I mark down the basic plot points in each chapter and record character traits. It is also wise if you go back and read the previous books in the series before starting on the next one.

3) Don't limit your fictional world. You want to have room for growth. There will be rules and borders, of course, but a book series needs space to stretch and expand. Your characters might be trapped in a walled city, but there is a whole unknown world out there for you to continue on in if you want to do so.

4) Characters must grow. Characterization is vital to a series. Readers want the heroes they adore and the villains they loathe, but it wouldn't be realistic if the characters stayed the same throughout each book. Time has passed. A person will not be the same today as they were last year or even last month. Some internal issues we struggle with for years, but there will be little changes in attitude, a bit of wisdom gained, and possibly a fashion makeover.

5) Be able to let go. If the overall story arc comes to an end or if your individual story ideas disappear, know when to call it quits. I hate it when I read a series and it's the same plot over and over. "This love triangle has been going on for twenty books. Have the protagonist choose one already!" Sometimes it's tough to let go of characters and worlds we've come to love, but you'll fall in love again. That's one of the wonderful things about being a writer.

Have you written a book series? Do you plan to? What tips do you have to share?

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentines Day


Like I need an excuse to eat chocolate, right?

What is your favorite Valentines Day treat or tradition? For me, the thrill will be tomorrow when all the candy goes on sale!

I have a treat for you today. A trio of delectable books all free for five days!


The Sasquatch Susies is about three Bigfoot hunters and their adventures with love. Add in some mystery and suspense, and you have a potent mix. Yes, the stories are a little naughty, but that just makes them even sweeter. Just click on the image above.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Talk Dirty To Me #Romance Book Promo


Whether you enjoy a sweet romance or something naughty, there are stories here for every reader. Grab a box of chocolates and fill up your ereader with all these fantastic books!

Talk Dirty To Me is hosted by Fantasy Book Giveaways. Not only did they organize this awesome sale, but you don't want to miss out on the giveaway!

Right now, my Paramours trilogy is free!

More woo than boo.


Yes, all three books are FREE! Just click on the image above.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

#IWSG for February 2018

The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is the brilliant idea of Alex J. Cavanaugh. The purpose of the group is to share doubts and insecurities and to encourage one another. Please visit the other participants and share your support. A kind word goes a long way.

This month's awesome co-hosts are: Stephen Tremp, Pat Garcia,Angela Wooldridge, Victoria Marie Lees, and Madeline Mora-Summonte!


This month's optional IWSG question: What do you love about the genre you write in most often?

I write urban fantasy most often. I love the myths and magic, and then placing those in our modern day world. Finding out how supernatural beings fit in our society, how they work, the secrets, the adventures. Our seemingly cold technological world doesn't need to be without magic.

My insecurities this month: I'm writing the final book of my trilogy. Right now, I'm in love with the second book. It's as fantastic as the first. But this third one, I don't know. Will it be as good as the first two? Will it be a spectacular ending to the trilogy? Or will it flop?

I'm trying not to think about those things as I'm writing, but those doubts creep up on me. It's not an unusual thing. I always wonder if the book I'm writing will be better than the last. It should be if I'm learning and growing as a writer. But what if it isn't? What if it all sucks?

IWSG newsletter news: Have you subscribed to the IWSG newsletter yet? We have helpful articles and links, and a featured industry guest each month. For February, we have Lisa Cron (author of Wired for Story and Story Genius). I'm so excited!

If you're an IWSG member and you have some news you'd like to share with the group, drop me an email at christinerains.writer@gmail.com and I'll put it in the newsletter.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The Making of a Cover - Of Gods and Sorrow


The cover for Of Blood and Sorrow (OBaS) was designed by a professional. Erin Dameron-Hill is tremendously talented. I had no idea what exactly I wanted for a cover, but she knew just what to do. I saw the project go from the simple model image to the cover you see above.

A year ago, I received a month long subscription to BigStock, and I bought two images of the same model on that cover. I was determined to expand my skills and make the next two covers in this trilogy.

Of course, nothing ever goes as planned.

I've been practicing and improving my designing skills. My husband bought me a newer version of Photoshop, and it has so many more tools to play with.

Having finished the first draft of book two called Of Gods and Sorrow (OGaS), I set about making the cover with the image of the same model. It was going to be spectacular. I knew what I wanted. All I had to do was... use a different image.

The model is standing in an odd position. Does anyone naturally stand like that?


So I went through the many images I had collected and found one that worked much better. It's not the same model, but she looks very similar. She's squatting like on the cover of OBaS. Apparently my protagonist, Erin, is super at squats.


The coloring of the image was better for what I wanted too. One of the locations in OGaS is an underground cavern with a lake of fire. I wanted the drama of it. It would be a good contrast to the starkness of the OBaS cover. But it still had to feel like it was part of a series... and not just because Erin is squatting.

The trick to making the cover was layers. Many layers. Twenty-four layers, in fact. Some of the layers are little bits, but other layers are full faded images. If you look at the cover of OBaS, you can see several layers, and they blend together so nicely.

I had to change the coloring to make it look like a cave with a fire. I messed up Erin's hair, gave it some redness from the reflection of the fire. She needed pants too. Erin rarely wears dresses. Then the awesome weapon and some graffiti on the cave wall. Erin doesn't have tattoos, but she has spots. So yes, many layers.

The title font was hard to match, but I made it work. I originally wanted to go with a green surrounding glow, but it didn't look quite right. My plan had been to use blue for the final cover, but blue worked perfectly against this fiery cover.

My tips if you want to try your hand at designing a book cover:
1) Be flexible. What you have in mind might not work out. Always have a Plan B. And C.
2) Layers. It might look daunting when you first start, but if you do it piece by piece, it's easier.
3) Have other eyes on it. I have great critique partners that have seen all the rough trial covers. They'll help point you in the right direction.

And now, what you've been waiting for. The finalized cover of OGaS.


What do you think? Have you ever tried your hand at cover design?

P.S. I'm focusing on writing for the rest of the month. I'll see you on the first Wednesday of February for IWSG!