cropped-Banner_Final_1280x426.jpg

It’s finished!

The rough draft for Blood for Blood, Keira Blackwater #2, is finished! I am officially doing my happy dance. I started edits yesterday, plan to finish them up in the next week, then let my husband read it looking for errors I missed. Then on October 4th, my wonderful editor Kristen Hamilton takes over, and will do her magic. If everything goes smoothly, I hope to release it either in December (just in time for Christmas!), or early January. I can’t wait for everyone to read it and give me their thoughts.

In celebration of my new book getting ready to release, I will also be updating my website, Twitter, and Facebook banners. I am really excited about the new designs I have received from the designers at 99designs. I should have them up within the next few days, so check back and take a look at them, then drop me a line to let me know what you think.

Well, that’s it for now, I’m off to edit some more 🙂

cropped-Banner_Final_1280x426.jpg

Book cover for Blood Cure!

I just chose my book cover for Blood Cure!

As everyone knows, I launched my book cover contest several days ago on 99designs. After a lot of back and forth, requests and revisions, I picked a winner that I feel best represents my vision for Keira, even though it wasn’t the vision I originally started with. I had an idea in my head that I thought would work and look really good, but after several attempts and fails, I decided to let the designers have creative leeway, and boy am I glad I did.

The winning design by B & J took my breath away, and made my heart skip a beat – which is what I had really hoped would happen. I don’t know if I can explain the emotions of seeing Keira and Blood Cure brought to life for the first time, or explain why I cried when I saw the final version of the cover. It has to do with working so hard on something for 4.5 years, pouring my heart and soul into it, working tirelessly to make sure I do everything right, and then seeing it culminate into a beautiful book cover that will forever be tied to this book…like I said, lots of emotions, and a little bit of crying.

As soon as I get the finalized files from the designer, I will post the cover on my home page, Facebook, and Twitter pages. I hope you like it as much as I do. Feel free to leave comments on what you think about it. 🙂

cropped-Banner_Final_1280x426.jpg

Looking for a great book cover or website banner?

Over the past six months as my novel got closer and closer to completion, I started looking for someone to design my book cover. I checked out sights that offer premade book covers, designers that offer one-on-one services, high prices, low prices, prices that made me need oxygen…but nothing seemed to fit the bill for me. I wanted quality work, I wanted to be in control, but also allow creativity from the designer, and I wanted it to be something I could afford without taking out a second mortgage on my house.

Enter 99designs. I decided to host a contest through them to find my banner for my website for a nominal fee, before deciding if they would be the ones I shelled out a good bit more money (but still very reasonable compared with other sights I looked at) with the hopes of creating the perfect book cover for the novel I’ve poured my heart and soul into for four years. I created my account, filled out all the required information (the biggest tip I can give anyone wanting to have a design done through 99designs, is have an idea of what you want or don’t want, and really spell it out so the designers can hit it pretty close right out of the gate, and let them know where they can use their creativity), and launched my contest.

The initial round lasted four days where designers could submit their designs, and I ranked them based on how much I liked or disliked them. The designers and I worked back and forth making changes until I was pretty satisfied with what I had, then I chose my finalists (you can pick up to 6 designers). In the final round, which lasted three days, I requested any final tweaks I wanted, and then I picked my winners. You can award more than one winner if you pay another (slightly discounted) fee.

I loved them so much, I ended up picking three designs! I put one on my Facebook page, the one you see here on my website home page, and one for my Twitter page as soon as I can build it. I couldn’t have been more pleased. The price was just right, the designers (Noxal, Infinity Design, and Engelf) were awesome, polite, and professional. I even contacted customer service twice to ask questions, and the two people I online chatted with were great. The contest was easy to understand, it walked me through each step, and I never felt lost or didn’t know what I was supposed to do.

I would highly recommend 99designs to anyone. Go check it out, it’s pretty cool.