Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Review!

Due to the holiday Monday, I forgot that Michelle Pickett was posting up her review for Quest of the Hart. What did Michelle have to say about it? Head on over here to see!

Thanks, Michelle, for reading and writing such a wonderful review.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Visiting at Muse Today

Today I'm guest posting over at the Muse blog. Come on over and learn most difficult part of writing Quest  and read a new excerpt!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Thursday, May 23, 2013

How Authors Write- Jane Richardson

Today I welcome fellow MuseItUp author Jane Richardson. She's sharing her writing process and an excerpt of her novel, A Different Kind of Honesty. Welcome, Jane!

What do you write?
I write contemporary fiction with a strong romantic element. I hesitate to say ‘romantic fiction,’ because I don’t always use all the things romance editors seem to want in a story! For example, I think you can say all you need to say without adding a bedroom scene (behind closed doors or not!) and yet still have a sensual element to your story, and I’m perfectly okay with a ‘happy for now’ as opposed to a ‘happy ever after.’

Do you use 1st person, 3rd person, multiple POVs (points of view)?
The things I’ve had published up till now have all been in 3rd person, but I’ve written in 1st too and really like it, to read as well as write. Multiple POVS are great too, as long as there are clear divisions between each POV – a new chapter, a clean break from one part of the story to another. My novel ‘A Different Kind of Honesty’ is in 3rd person, but also tells the story from both the hero and the heroine’s POV.

How do you get started with a book- is it an idea, a character, vary from story to story?
It’s usually an idea. I’ll hear a piece of interesting news, or something that happened to someone, maybe something that happened in recent history. Then the ‘what if...’ kicks in! You know, what if things didn’t turn out the way they did, but something else happened that changed to course of that story? After that, the characters usually come along quite quickly.

Do you draft quickly?
No, I’m really, really slow at a first draft, and it’s a terrible failing of mine! The book I’m writing at the moment has taken me two years so far – that’s partly because other things have got in the way and I’ve had to pause, and partly a dreadful lack of discipline on my part. I wish I could do better, but I don’t seem to be able to, and there it is! Having said that, my first draft is usually pretty darn close to the final version, probably because I like working with my CP as I go along, so a lot of what wants fixing has been fixed as we go.

Do you do research before your first draft, during?
A bit of both. I write about things that really interest me, so I’ll already have done some research in that area, anyway. For example, I’m working now on something set where I live, in Sussex in the UK, during the time of WWII. I’ve always been fascinated by the effect of the wartime on ordinary people and civilian lives – what historians call the Home Front - so I’ve already got a lot of research under my belt for that. I’ll keep researching as things come up while I’m writing, too. For me, that’s a big part of the fun.

Do you outline? How?
I can knock out an outline for a story quite quickly, a lot like a synopsis. It’s the flesh on the bones of the story that takes me so long! But I’m also happy to veer away from the outline if the story shows it really wants to go in a different direction than the one I’d planned.

Do you name everything up front when you are drafting or do you leave comments for yourself to go back and fill in later so you don't lose the flow of what you are working on?
I leave spaces then go back and fill them in, so you’ll see things like, ‘She leaned against the door and said FILL THIS BIT IN LATER!’ or ‘He yelled ‘look out!’ just as SOMETHING REALLY SCARY HAPPENS HERE!’ all over my drafts! I’d rather go back when I‘ve had time to think the detail through, instead of losing the flow as I’m writing the conclusion of part of the book. It all seems to work out fine in the end!

Do you work with CP's or Beta's? How soon into your draft do you let them see your work?
I love to work with a CP. For a short story, say up to 10,000 words, they’d get the whole story at once, or perhaps in two parts, if that suits them better. For a longer work, maybe something like the first three chapters, to be certain it’s going along the right way – after that, maybe a couple of chapters at a time, as they’re done. That way, It’s not just the overall critique, but the whole flow of the story that they can comment on. A good CP is worth more than double her weight in gold. [I totally agree with this!]

What books/websites have you found most helpful to helping you write your best?
I often go back to a book called ‘The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes,’ by Jack M. Bickham. It’s in short, punchy sections, and as well as being a good book for novice writers it’s a great self-check for experienced writers, too. The Writer’s Digest ‘Elements of Fiction’ series has some good stuff, too.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started writing?
That you really need a good CP who will tell you what’s wrong as well as what’s right. That every time you write Chapter One, it’s like you’ve never written a word in your life before. That just because your friends say it’s wonderful doesn’t mean it IS wonderful! And that it can be the most frustrating, infuriating, maddening and saddening things you’ll ever do, and yet one of the best things, too.

Anything else you want to share?
Keep your eye on the Muse It Up bookshop this week, as both my publications will be discounted for a few days! With them I have a short story called Edinburgh Fog,  and a novel called A Different Kind of Honesty . You can find me at my own blog, Home Is Where The Heart Is 

I’ll leave you with an excerpt from A Different kind of Honesty. Thanks for having me to visit, Mary! All the best,

Jane x

Leaning her chin on her hand, Maggie looked at him for a moment before she decided to take the plunge.

Okay. Danny, when I was in New York, I, um…had a fling. A brief thing, a one-nighter.”

What?” Danny looked incredulous. “You told me you were only actually in New York for one night! Bloody hell, you didn’t hang about, did you?” He started to laugh. “I thought you gave up one night stands after the college days.”

I did,” Maggie squirmed. “But this was sort of…different.”

Oh, I see. Different.” Danny nodded in an annoyingly superior, knowing way. “A head over heels, caution to the wind, never to be repeated, special offer kind of different, right?”

Maggie gave a short, embarrassed laugh. “Something like that. Actually, a lot like that.”

Aw, so sweet, my little chicky!” Danny reached out a hand and patted hers. “But it’s not as if it was your first time, or your last, let’s hope. So why all the panting ingĂ©nue stuff?”

Maggie sighed, a mix of wistfulness and longing that surprised her. “Because here’s the thing,” she said, her thumbnail between her teeth. “And you are not going to believe this.”

Ha! Try me, girlfriend.” Danny took a swig of Bud. “There’s something hot about this one, I can tell.”

It was him.”

Danny creased his brow as he pretended to think hard. “Nope. I’m going to need a little more than ‘him’, I’m afraid.”

Maggie cleared her throat, suddenly feeling nervous. “Okay. It was the guy we met today. Valentino. Tony Valentino.”

Danny’s lips wiggled around an ooo. “You are kidding me! Absolutely no way!”

Yes, way,” Maggie said miserably.

I don’t believe it. Are you sure?”

Of course I’m sure, it’s not like I do it every day!”

Danny was opening and closing his mouth like a demented goldfish. “Why the hell didn’t you tell me? You spend one night in New York, you sleep with the FBI, and you keep that to yourself? You selfish cowbag! I may never speak to you again.”

Maggie shook her head and kept her voice low. “No, Danny, listen,” she said urgently. “I didn’t tell you because I shouldn’t have done it.”

Danny’s elbows slipped off the table in mock astonishment. “What are you talking about, you shouldn’t have done it? What, with that hunk? Good God, I’d shag him, and I’m straight.”

Picking up her water, Maggie paused with the bottle at her lips. “Somehow, I suspect you’re not his type. What with you not being a girlie and all.”

For a guy like that, I’d change. And I’ll pump you for the sordid details in a minute, Lawless, but what the hell do you mean you shouldn’t have done it?” He pulled a face. “C’mon, he’s gorgeous, even more gorgeous than me, if that’s possible. I’m not seeing the problem.”

Maggie flopped back on her seat and heaved a sigh that came right up from her boots.

Danny, just think about it. I meet this guy called Joey Pescolloni. He won’t tell me what he does for a living, says he has bits of business here and there. The guys he knows all have shiny suits and signet rings.” She peered at him to see if any of this was sinking in. It wasn’t. “Look. He takes me to a place called, oh, I don’t remember, La Speranza or La Gondola or something. Everybody in the place is flashing big bundles of cash.” She tipped her head to one side. “Is this waving any flags at you yet?”

Danny did his worst Robert de Niro impression, lifting his shoulders right up to his ears, hands open in supplication. “So whaddya know, he’s Italian, he likes pasta? Badda boom, badda bing!”

Exactly! Badda...whatever. That thing you said.”

Danny’s jaw dropped halfway to the table. “Oh, my giddy aunt,” he said, leaning on each word as realization began to dawn. “You thought he was Mafia! Some wiseassed wiseguy.”

Maggie covered her face with her hands. “Yes, I did, I did…”

So why the hell didn’t you just walk?” Danny couldn’t contain his laughter now. “You know, ‘excuse me while I powder my nose’ and just leg it through the bathroom window?”

Maggie squeaked. She opened her hands a tiny gap and peeked out. “Danny, you know why, you said it yourself. He’s gorgeous!”

Ah.” Danny folded his arms and looked at Maggie in smug satisfaction. “Oh, now it makes sense. You were already too far gone in lust and Lambrusco. Lawless, you total trollop!”

Maggie slumped onto the table, her head on her arms. “I’m not,” she said in a small voice. “I’m female and breathing. Any woman would have done the same.” She looked up, trying to retain what little dignity she had left. “And it was a rather nice Pinot Grigio, thank you, not Lambrusco.”

Whatever. He plied you with booze and had his wicked way. Or you plied him. Stop kicking me under the table.”

You deserve it. Anyway, it wasn’t like that. I just fancied him like mad, and when I realized he felt the same, well, you know…”

There was no stopping you.”

There was no stopping either of us.” A sudden pang of sweet memory made her gasp. “Oh, Danny, it was quite a night.”

The waitress arrived with their order and the sort of enthusiasm that would have her telling them to be sure and eat up all their vegetables because it would make them nice and strong. Maggie fired a look at Danny, telling him in no uncertain terms to shut up until they were done. She smiled her thanks at the waitress, who beamed beatifically at them one more time and went off to bestow her blessings on some other lucky customers.

Danny attempted to lift a burger as big as the plate it sat on without losing any of it. “So, when are you going to spill the gory details? Coz I want to be sitting somewhere cosy with another beer in one hand and a ciggie in the other when you do.”

I’m not telling you anything else, you dirty sod.” Maggie pushed her salad around the plate with her fork, stabbed a chunk of tuna and peered at it before she dropped it, appetite gone.

Are you going to eat that or just torture it?” Danny asked, chewing happily. “Anyway, there is one thing you absolutely do have to tell me.”

Maggie looked at him, eyebrows raised. ”And that would be?”

That would be…what are you going to do about it now?”

What do you mean, now?” Maggie stared at him in horror. “Nothing!”

Aw, do me a favour.” Danny paused in his chewing to lick mayonnaise from the side of his hand. “I twigged the way he was looking at you when the lights came on in that room. I thought it was coz he was looking forward to an introduction. I didn’t know he’d already had the pleasure.”

Maggie dropped her fork. “You’re making that up.”

I bloody am not. You think I don’t know how a bloke looks when he’s thinking about rampant sex? I see it every time I look in a mirror. Trust me, he’s got the same fond memories of your sordid little adventure as you.” He dipped a French fry the size of a house brick in some ketchup and munched, speaking with his mouth full. “Possibly even fonder.”

Monday, May 20, 2013

Fantasy and Sci-Fi Submission Call

Have a fantasy or sci-fi short story you want to share? Check out this submission call:

Isn't that a gorgeous cover? And can you imagine the places that navigation device can take you? I've got an idea I'm working on for it. How about you?

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

And the Winner Is.....

Christine Zipps. Congratulations, Christine!  Please contact me by Monday, May 20, to claim your prize!

Also, I'm visiting with Lorrie Struiff today. Would love for you to stop by Flowers and Thorns to say hi!

Monday, May 13, 2013

How Author's Write- Heather Greenis

Today I welcome MuseItUp author Heather Greenis, as she shares her writing process and an excerpt from her new release.

What do you write?
My novel, series is classified as a Mainstream Saga.
Natasha's Dream
Natasha's Diary
Natasha's Hope
and concluding with Natasha's Legacy

Do you use 1st person, 3rd person, multiple POVs?
I've used third person, but with 1st person inner thoughts. The inner thoughts came as a suggestion from my editor. Great idea!

How do you get started with a book- is it an idea, a character, vary from story to story?
This series came to me through a dream. For some reason I couldn't get the characters from my head. I was inspired enough to begin writing. The dream became the ending of the first book in the series

Do you draft quickly?
I wrote, allowed people read it, and did major rewrites. I kept a pad of paper and pen in the car and wrote notes as my husband and I talked. Throughout my manuscript I had notes. I would get an idea in the book and go back to a previous book in the series in order for the sequence to make sense. I spent over ten years writing the Natasha Series. During this time I worked full time outside our home and took breaks while family read the entire series. [Wow! That doesn't seem too bad for a four book series, though.]

Do you do research before your first draft, during?
I do research throughout. The series is set back in time so I'm continually researching, 'Has this piece of technology been invented yet?' The novel is fiction, but I want it realistic.

Do you outline? How?
I do outline. I make bullet points within my manuscript with a different colour and larger font. When I reach these points, I write, and eventually rewrite the scene. I'm hoping in time I get better at this.

Do you name everything up front when you are drafting or do you leave comments for yourself to go back and fill in later so you don't lose the flow of what you are working on?
I name things as I go along but I'm not afraid to change names later. I love the "find' option of the computer. Find 'X' change to 'Y'. Done. [Yes, that is a great feature to use. I use it to find those extra spaces I don't want, too!]

Do you work with CP's or Beta's? How soon into your draft do you let them see your work?
This is embarrassing. I'm not certain what those are. {No embarrassment. My fault for not being clear!] I allowed people (family) to read this series far too early. That is actually a regret, (how many times do they want to read it) but I know being my first attempt at writing, it was a necessary evil. My series went through a lot of edits before the first book in the series was emailed to publishers for consideration.

What books/websites have you found most helpful to helping you write your best?
I began reading different authors looking for a writing style. No one in particular and no one truly well known. I admit I read some amazing books.

While looking for potential publishers, I scanned websites and I found some Q&A pages regarding writing. Why manuscripts are rejected was a huge help for me. What not to do. I was definitely guilty of some of the faux-pas and did more editing before sending the attachment.

The version of the manuscript that was originally sent to MuseitUp did not have current editing from my family

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started writing?
The wait time. Publishers state the wait time before you will hear from them but I found this to be underestimated. This is not a quick process and I'm not as patient as I'd like to be. I want to know yesterday. Patience is a virtue. [Yes, yes it is. And not one of my strong ones!]

I'm sure the list of 'I wasn't aware of that' will grow.

What do you have out now, or coming out? Any upcoming events? A website we can find you and your books at? An author photo? A booktrailer? Anything else you want to share?
The second book in my saga, "Natasha's Diary has been submitted and I'm waiting for that much anticipated response.

Natasha's Hope will be submitted within the next two weeks.

I am doing the final edits to the last book in the series and hope to submit Natasha's Legacy within the next month.

I have another book in progress but it doesn't have a title. Knowing what I have learned from my MuseitUp editors, this book needs some major editing before my family of readers will have the opportunity to read and make suggestions and comments.

Natasha's Dream will launch June 21, 2013 from MuseitUp Publishing:

Heather would love to share with us her cover art, but she hasn't received the final cover at the time of this post. She'll let me know when she gets it, so I can share it here.

An excerpt:
Natasha reached for the towel and stood as Goldie followed Vicki toward them. The dog stopped within a foot of Vicki and Natasha and shook her body. The spray of water flew. Stewart, Natasha, and Vicki received a dog-induced shower.

“Goldie. That’s a bad dog,” Stewart scolded. He turned toward Natasha. “My humble apologies. That was a natural reaction for the dog, but she was standing a bit too close to you.”

“I shall pay more attention to my surroundings. I’m not accustomed to the behaviour of domestic animals.”

Picking up the towel she had dropped, Natasha wiped her face and then wrapped it around Vicki, rubbing her shoulders in attempt to warm her.

“Natasha? You share the same name as the princess,” Vicki remarked.

Natasha froze, horrified the truth would be revealed. Her eyes shifted to the ground, avoiding eye contact with either Stewart or Vicki. As her mind raced for an acceptable explanation, she wanted to cry. She must respond with haste.

“Mother was with child when the castle announced the birth of the princess,” she lied as she dried Vicki with the towel. “Adoring the name, she christened me with it. It is not a pleasing name to my ear, especially being so close in age to the princess.”

Stewart rested his hands by his side and leaned back and relaxed. “I’m ashamed to admit, although I’m aware there are royal heirs, I didn’t recall their names. I never felt the need to commit such knowledge to memory since we do not attend court. It’s not as if the royal family would ever lower itself and converse with us mere commoners,” Stewart remarked with indignation.

Hurt by the truth of his words, Natasha felt as if a dagger were thrust into her heart. It was impossible to defend her family. Her father would indeed be livid to discover his daughter was consorting with a commoner. She would be chastised.

“I must depart for home,” Vicki informed them. “Momma is baking.”

“You must not say a word to anyone about Natasha, Vicki,” Stewart warned. “I will introduce them in due course. You must keep our secret.”

“Why?” Vicki asked.

“Vicki. I do not speak of events that happen to you.”

“I promise.”

Stewart stood and walked up the slope, watching his young sister run toward home. With her mind drifting to the conversation with his sister, Natasha didn’t notice him return. She didn’t hear him speak until he touched her hand.

“What is the matter? You must tell me the cause of your grief.”

“I’m not grieved, but I have lost track of the hour. I must leave in haste.”

“Allow me to escort you home.”

“You are most kind, but that isn’t necessary.”

He took her hand and brought it toward his face.

“Thank you for being so kind to my sister.” Keeping his eyes locked on hers, he leaned forward. “May I?” he asked.
Natasha was ecstatic. She could never allow herself the experience of his kiss on her mouth, but would feel his lips upon her hand. She nodded her head ever so slightly in agreement, her emotions locked inside. His lips touched her fingers. As the feeling of euphoria filled her entire being, she was unable to stop the slight smile from appearing on her face.

“Until tomorrow,” she whispered.

She turned and walked in the direction of her home. Certain Stewart was out of sight, Natasha jumped into the air, thrilled by the kiss. She wished to scream in delight and to tell the entire world how excited she was. Exhilarated, she brought her hand to her face and kissed the area Stewart’s lips touched. She ran all the way home.

Thanks so much for hosting me! 

Anytime, Heather!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Last Chance to Enter

I've had a blast on this blog tour, and hope you have too!

To give all of you one last chance, I am leaving the final rafflecopter open through Monday 5/13. Enter below to win. I'll announce the winner on Tuesday.

Good luck! Have a great weekend, and Happy Mother's Day to all you moms!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, May 10, 2013

Cover Reveal and Last Day of Blog Tour

Today is the last day of the blog tour, and I am thrilled to be with Brandi Schmidt at Brandi's Blog. Come check it out, enter to win. And if you haven't seen Brandi's book, The Kindling, you should check it out. 
It's a great read!

Now, I am thrilled to be a part of Nazarea Andrews' cover reveal!

This Love
Nazarea Andrews

Mel Stevens of The Illustrated Author created the cover art.

She wants a summer job and a ride to a wedding.
He wants an assistant and a distraction from the mess his life has become.
They didn't know they needed each other.

Avery Emili needs two grand. Two grand and a plane ticket--her sister is counting on her to get to Jamaica for the wedding. But the semester is over, and tutoring college freshman and high school students has dried up until the fall.
Atticus Grimes needs help--the messy split with his wife left the twenty-eight year old professor scrambling to keep things together as the semester winds down. Now he's got a research grant he has to actually do research for and all he wants to do is drown himself in a tall bottle of bourbon.
When Avery sees his ad for an assistant, all she's thinking is a summer job. But as they spend time together, in the office and out, both of them begin to realize something is there. Something that can't happen--he's a professor and she's a student. And both of them have histories, pasts that won’t let go. Can two broken people pulled apart by expectations find a way to be whole?

Coming JUNE 2013

Add it to your to-read list on Goodreads!

About the Author:
Nazarea Andrews is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. She loves chocolate and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, and overgrown dog.
You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Enter to win an ARC of This Love

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Double Duty Day!

Today I am interviewed by Dianne Salerni at In High Spirits and over at Kim Cresswell's blog, I'm  interviewing Maeryn and Deirdre, two characters in Quest of the Hart. I'd love you to stop by and enjoy their sites.  Oh, and be sure to enter for a chance to win!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Interview at Maine Words

Today I'm at Maine Words with Marcy Hatch. Stop by for an interview and a chance to win a copy of Quest of the Hart.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Ageless Druids

Today I'm over at Ageless Druids with my friend and CP Fiona. Stop by and enjoy her beautiful site and enter to win a copy of Quest!

If you're having problems with the rafflecopter link, you can enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, May 6, 2013

Another Winner, and an Excerpt

Congratulations to Erin Albert, second winner of Quest of the Hart. Erin, be sure to contact me at mewaibel(at)gmail(dot)com within 5 days to claim your prize!

Today I'm over at Kay LaLone's blog sharing a long excerpt. Stop by and enter for a chance to win a copy of Quest of the Hart.

Friday, May 3, 2013

An interview!!!

Today, Tammy Lowe interviews me today on her blog. Swing by to see what she thought of Quest of the Hart, and learn some behind the scenes info!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Behind the Making of the Cover for Quest of the Hart

Today I am at These Words Tell a Story with the fabulous Michelle Pickett sharing a long excerpt and also at The Mind's Eye with my fantastically talented cover artist, Charlie Volnek, where she interviews me. (Ironically, I am interviewing her here today. Or was that planned? Only I know for sure!) Be sure to check them out and enter to win a copy of Quest.

And, now, I'd like you to meet Charlie and learn what went into the making of the cover for Quest of the Hart.

Mary, thanks for sharing your questions about the cover for Quest of the Hart. It has such a great story line and was my pleasure to design the cover for it.

Thanks, Charlie! I love what you did with it, and always wondered just how it all came to be.

So, How did you come up with the artwork for the cover? I know I sent an excerpt describing the necklace, but how did you make it come to life? (And for the record, you captured it better than I pictured it!)
I was fascinated by the premise of your story. I took all your descriptions and mulled them around as I searched images I thought would work. There were no images of necklaces to fit your exact description, so I began to add layer upon layer to an image, adding and enhancing the details that would describe your necklace. It was a great and fun challenge and I’m glad I was able to capture it.

How did you get started doing covers?
I have always had a passion for art. I earned my degree in Commercial Art many years ago. Most of my career has been designing brochures and advertisements. After joining MuseItUp Publishing with my three titles, I dabbled in book covers and hoped for an opportunity to design for MuseItUp. I jumped at the chance when the call opened up.

What software do you use?
I mostly use Photoshop to create the covers for MuseItUp. I dabble a little bit with Illustrator, but the majority of the work is done in Photoshop.

Did you go to school for art or did you learn elsewhere?

I went to a small community college to get my degree in Commercial Art, but I have taken classes and taught myself how to use the software necessary to build the covers. I have always enjoyed working with computers and am not one to quickly turn away from a challenge such as this.

How do you decide what color palette to use for a cover?
That’s an interesting question. I first look for images that I think will satisfy the author’s desire for their cover. The mood of the book is an important feature to me and plays a big role in the images I select. It depends upon the story whether I look for dark, mysterious images or bright, happy ones. I feel the reader needs to have the mood framed in his or her mind before picking up the book. Once I have the images, I then let them and the mood of the book dictate the direction I take in the color palette.

Do you look at it full size and thumbnail and in black & white and color before sending to the author? If so, can you explain why and what you are looking for by doing this?
Yes, I review the cover in as many possible sizes and angles as I can before sending it to the author. The cover will be viewed in an array of sizes on the internet and I want to make sure the mood and title are readily viewed and understood. Many readers are image driven and I don’t want a reader to skip clicking on the cover because they couldn’t read the title or get a feel for what the book is about.

Do you find it easier to work with objects or people for the cover art?
That’s a tricky question. I don’t think it is easier with either objects or people…it’s a matter of finding the perfect image that speaks about the book itself. Some authors prefer people while others prefer images. That is a personal touch. I just try to take their personal feelings and find (or create) the perfect image to tell their story in one picture.

You're also an author. Do you design your own covers or have someone else do them?
I have designed most of my own covers. When I first joined MuseItUp, I was not on the Cover Artist staff, so my first two titles were created by other artists. I thought they did a great job.

When I sent you my description, I was picturing a crystal prism, yet you made it into a heart (which was an awesome change that played off the title- one I incorporated into my final round of edits). What caused you to make that slight change? 

I did take a little liberty when I created your image and changed it into a heart. I wanted the reader to know it was a necklace, first and foremost. And, playing off the hart, a heart just seemed to come naturally. I took into account all the decorative elements you’d described and changed the color to match as well. I was thrilled you let me take this liberty with the shape.

How long does a project like this usually take?
It really depends upon the title and the images as to how long it will take. I am very critical to finding just the right image and will search for days some time before I find the one I feel gives off the mood I am after. I do not want to create a cover in a single day. I will work on it, and then let it set for a day or two before I send it off to the author, tweaking it over and over before I am happy.

Just to give you all an idea of what it was like for me, I filled out a form with questions on my novel and what I'd like to see in my cover. I was also asked to give samples of covers I liked, so I sent these links to Cinda Williams' books and

Charlie then sen this first cover:

(I never realized until we were putting this post together, that the covers I linked to had the text vertically like this.) While I loved the uniqueness of the placement of the titles, I wasn't quite sure, so I asked Charlie if I could see what it would look like with my name and the top and the title and subtitle at the bottom. And this is what she sent.

In the end, I went with this second choice, as I felt it was easier to read in large, small, color, and black and white, and the placement of the necklace and the title seemed to just draw your eye to the center of the cover, right where all the important information was.

So, what do you think? Do you have any questions for Charlie about cover design? Ask away!

You can find Charlie at The Mind's Eye and her books at MuseItUp Publishing