Cover Reveal: Bloodline (Crossroads Academy #3)

BLOODLINE

Guys… I am so excited to share the cover for Bloodline with you today! *Squee!*

Okay, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, can I just tell you how much I love the cover for Bloodline? As the third and final book in the Crossroads Academy series, I knew it had to be something special. Something that would just jump off the screen and grab you, because, you know, that’s totally Katia’s style.

And you know what? Rachel, the creative genius at Parajunkee Design, nailed it! I am in LOVE with this cover.

In fact, I liked it so much I asked her to give Crossroads a new look too! It’s fresh, bold and so Katia. I hope you guys love it as much as I do!

ORIGINAL                                                                     NEW      

Crossroads

Crossroads

Better Luck Next Time

Well, it was bound to happen eventually. I knew everything couldn’t be sunshine and bunnies forever. After all, I do live in the real world, not some deliciously amazing paranormal otherworld. (I should be so lucky!)
I had a little setback this week that was (truth be told) heartbreaking. I may L-O-V-E to read, but I’ve never had an eye for art. So when I fell for the portfolio of a certain photographer, I fell hard. Head over heels hard. We were this close *holds fingers just a smidge apart* to agreeing on terms for an image to be used on my cover. It would have been divine. Beautiful. Artistic. Moving. I felt connected to the image. In my head it was a done deal.
Alas, certain photographer flaked on me at the last minute and now it’s back to square one. I’m disappointed, but I guess those are the chances you take when you’re brokering a deal via an international web connection. C’est la vie.
When it’s all said and done, I’ll find something new that’s just as dark and lovely because I won’t settle for anything less. Oh, and I’ll still be a fan of certain photographer– a fan with different cover art.

Mademoiselle Français: éditeur extraordinaire

Not too long ago I wrote a blog bemoaning the challenges of find a good (and reasonably priced) copy editor. Several of you came through and messaged me with recommendations for which I am extremely grateful. As a result, I’m happy to say that I not only found a wonderful editor to take on my project, I actually have a finished project! I can’t say enough about the extraordinary Ms. French and would recommend her services to anyone in the market for editing services.
I’ll be honest, I was a little nervous at first. Editors aren’t cheap and testimonials are a dime a dozen. I scoured the web for hours looking for reputable and reasonable services, and the more I saw the more concerned I became about getting a good value for my money. I’m a firm believer that you get what you pay for and if something seems too good to be true, well, you get the idea.
Still, I didn’t want to shell out thousands of dollars because:
1) I don’t have that kind of money for editing services
2) I was concerned that I might be overpaying for the quality of work.
Ultimately, I ended up selecting an editor that came to me through a personal referral and I couldn’t be happier with the results! Ms. French was extremely professional and invested a considerable amount of time explaining both her background and her process to me so that I’d be comfortable with the arrangement before proceeding. She also delivered the project on time and on budget which was almost as important to me as getting quality work.
I’m really excited about the results and can’t wait to share with everyone! I’ve still got one step to go before I can officially call myself a published author: cover art.
Wish me luck!

Snapple Real Fact #741: Plants, like humans, can run a fever if they are sick.
(I wonder if they’re also prone to migraines? And where you take the temperature? And if I can just stick my thermometer in a potted plant the next time I want to call in sick!)
On serious note (or as serious as I get), this is kind of a big week for me. What constitutes a big week? Let’s see:
1.       I am going to get a first look at my cover art tomorrow. (Yikes! However will I sleep tonight? I hope it is AWESOME!)
2.       I received the first round of edits on my manuscript. I’ll be honest, I might’ve been expecting more red. Guess I picked up a thing or two (not about commas) in 10th grade English. I was always a fan of reading, writing, and spelling. I loved spelling.  And writing. And reading. Grammar? Not so much.
3.       I got some positive reinforcement on my manuscript. (Hey, it’s the little things). It was just nice to hear someone (outside my circle of guiding critics) say that they really enjoyed reading my work.
4.       I may be in high gear, no sleep, bags-under-my-eyes mode at my day job, but come 5 o’clock Friday I will officially be on vacation. I’ve got a date with sun, sand, and margaritas!  Viva la Mexico!
5.       Last but not least, I’m volunteering at the food bank tomorrow night. It’s just a couple of hours, but it always leaves me feeling good. Really good. And makes me wish I’d find more time to volunteer. Working at the food bank somehow makes all of the little things seem, well, little. I can’t think of a better way to put life in perspective than to give back to the community and get a gracious reminder of how lucky I truly am.

Impatience Is a Virtue Too

Snapple Real Fact #926: George Washington was the only unanimously elected President.
(I don’t want to brag, but I’m pretty sure I could accomplish this amazing feat too. If only I had the time.)
Okay, so back to patience, or my lack thereof. All my life I’ve been told that patience is a virtue, to be more patient, that good things come to those who wait, blah, blah, blah. Yep. That’s right. It went in one ear and out the other. I meant to listen (I really did!), but it didn’t seem like particularly good advice at the time. Still doesn’t.
I’m more of a ‘take the bull by the horns’ kind of girl. If you want something, go get it. Make it happen. NOW. Because really, what’s the point of waiting? Sometimes you’ve just got to step up and take the initiative.
Take Sean Combs (a.k.a. P. Diddy) for example. (Yes. I realize there are numerous examples of self-starters throughout history who’ve had an amazing impact on our lives and the world at large, but I’m going to cave to the MTV generation for a moment. Not because I’m especially enamored with P. Diddy, but because he makes a great point. Stick with me for a minute.) Maybe you didn’t know this, but Combs is credited with dragging himself out of the Harlem projects with hard work, perseverance, and what my dad calls intestinal fortitude (yes, I mean guts).
When asked about his success, Combs said:

“I’ve never been surprised about what happened to me. I’ve put in hard work to get to this point. It’s like when you become a lawyer – if you’re bustin’ your ass, you’re not surprised when you get your degree. I came in to win, you know. This is why I stay up late while other people are sleeping; this is why I don’t go out to the Hamptons.”

I’m not going to be the next princess of hip hop (ask anyone who’s had the misfortune of hearing me sing), but that doesn’t mean I won’t be a published author. I know what you’re thinking. If it were that easy, everyone would do it. And what happens if I can’t find an agent who believes in my work as much as I do. Will I give up? Will I query myself into a coma? Will I just keep waiting for something to happen?
Unlikely. As I said, I prefer action. Swift and efficient. I may be new to publishing, but I’m not new to hard work, brand management, or marketing.  I’ve got a whole arsenal of tools and talented folks in my back pocket, not to mention a plan. As I sit here today I am fortunate to have a very creative graphic designer working on cover art for my book and a well-trained and experienced editor reviewing my manuscript. Why? Because I haven’t ruled out self-publishing.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not done querying (I didn’t get where I am today without a reasonable amount of patience!). I would L-O-V-E being traditionally published. Not only would my words be available for millions of readers to enjoy, it would free up my time to do what I love most: write. Instead of being a jack of all trades, I would have a team of professionals to ease the burden. But I’m also a realist; a realist who is determined to make my dream a reality.

J.J. Bonds