My Short Story Cover Reveal

Amidst finishing up The Painted Maidens Trilogy, I’ve been busy – and so have the other ladies of Patchwork Press. We have teamed up to create something we really think you’re going to enjoy… our first anthology! Five of our authors, including your truly, plus one of our fantastic interns, have each contributed a story to The Lost Locket of Lahariwhich is being released into the world on September 9th! We can’t wait to share it with all of you! But for now, here is the amazing cover given to you by talented author/artist Erica Crouch:

LLoL cover

 

Add it to your Goodreads TBR list now!

Synopsis:

In a dusty, dilapidated stall tucked away in an alcove of a bustling Bazaar in India, a man with a rickety spine and a spindly beard bends over his work bench, forging a locket with accidental magic. There’s power in a wish, and there’s nothing he wants more than for his children to return home. The locket was intricately crafted, adorned with one dragonfly for each of his children—and the power to find them.

With the guidance of fate, the locket skips through time and journeys across oceans, traveling from person to person in a constant search for the souls whispered into its vessel. Centuries after the magical old man in the Bazaar became near-forgotten myth and whispered legend, the locket has fallen into the hands of those with echoes of the six dragonflies: the seeker, the empath, the dreamer, the confidant, the adventurer, and the dancer.

In the hands of its new owners, the power of the locket adapts, bending and remaking itself to answer need. While the locket never found the children of Lahari, it found the next best thing… Their spirits.

The six novellas of the Lost Locket of Lahari anthology pause a moment in time when the locket finds the ripples of its ancestry. From the Victorian-era to the Roaring Twenties, the 1940s to modern day and beyond, this anthology is a collection of stories as dynamic as the authors themselves.

 

PWP Author Cover Reveal

Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone enjoyed their last weeks of summer and found some awesome summer reads!  If you haven’t, no worries.  I have found one for you! Puppet by new Patchwork Press author Pauline C. Harris is coming out later this month and you don’t want to miss it!  Add it to your Goodreads TBR list now. In the meantime, I give you her awesome cover:

 

Puppet Cover

 

The beautiful cover was designed by another Patchwork Press author, Erica Crouch. I love this team!  Be sure to check out the rest of our reads at: www.patchwork-press.com and stay tuned for two more exciting cover reveals this week!

About the book

Penelope lives in a world of advanced technology but many claim society has yet to catch up. Marionettes have advanced in the form of robots; lifelike creations remote controlled to perform super human tasks.

When Penelope makes a deal with Jed, a marionette-obsessed scientist, she doesn’t fully realize what she’s getting herself into. In order for Jed to take her away from the orphanage she lives in, she must first agree to undergo his experiments and tests, ultimately creating something no one ever dreamed possible; the first living marionette.

As Jed shows off his scientific creation to the world, concerns arise surrounding Penelope’s abilities and what she’s capable of doing. Ordered to somehow lessen her abilities, Jed makes a desperate attempt to change Penelope to make her more human, more vulnerable. After Penelope lies to the officials about her past, Jed makes sure it’s the last one she’ll ever utter. The truth is now the only thing she is capable of telling.

As Penelope struggles with her past, her disturbingly new present, and her uncertain future, she is thrust into a magically twisted world of mayhem in search of the one thing she wants, but knows she can never have. The chance to be just a girl again. To be normal. To be real.

pauline picAbout Pauline

Pauline C. Harris is the author of middle grade and young adult science fiction novels and published her first book at the age of fourteen.  She’s currently working toward a degree in English.  Other than writing, her time is consumed mainly by reading, playing the violin, watching old black and white movies, and trying to survive her college classes.  You can find her on Twitter at: @PaulineCHarris

 

 

Sex in Young Adult Books

THE RISING-final coverI am currently writing my third and final novel for ‘The Painted Maidens Trilogy’. The first book ‘The Rising’ is available now on Amazon, Smashwords, B&N, and iTunes. The second book ‘The Betrayed’ will be available this fall.

Without giving too much away, in the third book (tentatively named ‘The Taking’) the main character, Serena – who is 18 – makes the decision to share herself with her boyfriend. This is not within the confines of marriage because well, they are mermaids and they don’t get married.

I’ve done my fair share of research on sex in young adult books and am admittedly nervous to include it. I want to do it right. The best article I found so far is by ‘Writing Teen Novels‘. Advice in writing sex in young adult novels includes “how important it is to be honest, to be sober and to be in a committed respectful and loving relationship before you take the leap” and “girls should decide that they are in control of their bodies and of their decision-making”.

Another great article I found is by Amber Skye Forbes. Here the author says “Sexual experiences vary widely among teenagers, which is what is so great about YA literature. It encompasses experiences from a myriad of teenagers from all different walks of life” (like mermaids – LOL) and “sex between two teenagers doesn’t always have negative consequences”.

These are exactly the points that I want to portray in my book. My work up to the scene does include a lot of soul-searching for the main character as mermaid 2to why she is choosing to do this.

My next conundrum is how graphic should I get? I have to keep it PG-13 but I don’t want to completely gloss over the event.

One big benefit I have to this is my oldest son just turned 15 – and he reads this series. I can keep myself in check knowing he will be reading the book, but I can also include everything I want him to know about it wrapped into an entertaining fantasy story.

I would love to hear your advice on the subject – especially coming from avid readers, other YA authors, parents, and even teens. What lessons should I preach (without sounding too preachy, of course)? How graphic can I get? What were some of your favorite YA books that touched this subject?

Killing Your Characters

character deathI am a ruthless author, and if you’ve read all four books in the Akasha Series, you’ll know what I mean. I won’t post any detailed spoilers here, but I can tell you that I have literally received hate mail for killing off certain characters.  I’ve received one star reviews because the reader had become so attached to these characters, and they just didn’t want to accept the ending I wrote.

To these readers, I really want to send a big thank you. Thank you for letting me know (in your own way) that you love my characters!  There is no bigger compliment to a writer. I, of course, apologize for throwing you into an emotional whirlwind, but I hope what you take from the series overall is an awesome story, and maybe you will have picked up some ‘eco’ tips along the way. J

I’m not the only author to tread these waters. Having recently finished ‘Allegiant’ by Veronica Roth, I have to wonder what kind of hate mail is in her inbox – and I can definitely sympathize with her. Veronica Roth explains her decision on her official blog here. Don’t read it unless you’ve already read the whole series!

My favorite quote from Roth during the explanation is “I wasn’t thinking about any readers when I wrote this book; I was thinking about the story, because trying to meet the expectations of so many readers would be paralyzing. There’s no way to please everyone, because that mythical book with the ending that every single person wants can’t exist—you want different things, each one of you. The only thing I can do, in light of that fact, is write an honest story as best I can.”

I agree with Roth – as authors we want honest but bold stories. If anything, The Akasha Series is bold, and I wanted an ending that was just as bold. For those of you that have read the series, please be sure to ask about the bonus short story collection. There is one story in there that takes place 20 years into the future, and it may give you some comfort.

Although I have just released ‘The Rising’ and am hard at work on the second book for that series, I have some exciting promotions planned for The Akasha Series in December!  Please stay tuned, and if you haven’t already, be sure to sign up to follow my blog by email!

 

‘The Rising’ Now Available

THE RISING-final cover

Finally available across all channels for purchase! ‘The Rising, Book One of the Painted Maidens Trilogy’ has been described as a wonderfully unique story. I guarantee this young adult series sets apart from any mermaid story you’ve read, or what you might come to expect.

The ebook is $4.99 on Amazon, Smashwords, B&N, and iTunes. For the rest of November, I’m willing to send out a free copy of ‘The Rising’ for anyone who agrees to post a review on either Amazon or Goodreads, or both. Send me an email at terra.harmony11@gmail.com or comment below. And don’t forget to add it to your Goodreads TBR List. I encourage you to take the plunge – you might just love what you discover down in the deep!

THE RISING-final cover“It was a great ride. I devoured every page and loved the whole thing through.” by Ariel Avalon, Book Blogger

“This is a wonderfully unique story.” and “I recommend this if you enjoy mermaids or werewolves with some great action, mystery and a bit of romance.” by Darker Passions Book Blog

The book is fast paced filled with action that keeps you on the edge of your seat till the very end, add in a little romance and mystery for the perfect balance. The author has written a beautiful story that sparks the imagination. I loved everything about the story and can’t wait for the next one to see what happens to both Serena and Liam as their stories unfold.” by The Reading Diaries Book Blog 

Amazon Smashwords  |  B&N  |  iTunes  |  Goodreads

The Painted Maidens Blog Tour

tour banner FINAL

TOUR TIME!!!

With the help of Patchwork Press, and a handful of amazing book review bloggers, we will kick off the Painted Maidens Blog Tour on October 21st. It will run all the way through November 9th with several reviews of the book, a character interview, an author interview, a dream cast reveal and a couple different guest posts by yours truly.

But the best news of the whole thing is that I will be giving away some awesome prizes; 5 lucky winners will receive a free e-copy of ‘The Rising’, one winner will receive a $10 Amazon gift card, and the grand prize is a brand new Kindle Paperwhite!

kindle paperwhite

Enter Now via my Facebook Page

The contest runs from October 21st through November 8th and is open internationally. You can enter as much as one per day by tweeting about the giveaway. Click above to enter and good luck!

THE RISING-final coverThe Rising
Book One of the Painted Maidens Trilogy

Fifteen-year-old Serena is the youngest member of a dying race. The increasing acidity of the ocean is destroying her home, slowly eating away at the once thriving underwater landscape. But since the night of Serena’s birth, it is an outside force that most threatens their dwindling population. Werewolves, who once served as protectors for mermaids in the Kingdom of the Undine, now seek to eliminate all who dwell in the ocean—and Serena is about to find herself right in the middle of the deadly conflict.

Given the title of Werewolf Liaison, Serena is determined to make things right for her people. When she ventures to The Dry, she meets Liam, the werewolf with hazel eyes, and her whole world gets turned upside down.  As Serena discovers the real history between werewolves and mermaids, she is left wondering who her true enemies are.

Add to your Goodreads TBR list now!
Pre-order on iTunes, B&N, or Smashwords.

Official Cover Reveal

I’ve kept this jewel under wraps long enough. You have no idea how much I wanted to just put it out there. Without further ado – the official cover to ‘The Rising, Book One of the Painted Maidens Trilogy’:

THE RISING-final cover

Fifteen-year-old Serena is the youngest member of a dying race. The increasing acidity of the ocean is destroying her home, slowly eating away at the once thriving underwater landscape. But since the night of Serena’s birth, it is an outside force that most threatens their dwindling population. Werewolves, who once served as protectors for mermaids in the Kingdom of the Undine, now seek to eliminate all who dwell in the ocean—and Serena is about to find herself right in the middle of the deadly conflict.

Given the title of Werewolf Liaison, Serena is determined to make things right for her people. When she ventures to The Dry, she meets Liam, the werewolf with hazel eyes, and her whole world gets turned upside down.  As Serena discovers the real history between werewolves and mermaids, she is left wondering who her true enemies are.

Add ‘The Rising’ to your Goodreads TBR list now.

 

My Cover’s Story

Beyond a good story, nothing is more important than the book’s cover (other than maybe the blurb, but that is a post for another time).  Creating the book cover is an exciting, gut-wrenching process for an author.  It is trying to convey the greatness of your masterpiece into one simple but striking visual image. And we usually don’t get it right the first time around. Case in point; the before and after pictures of my first novel, ‘Water, Book One of the Akasha Series’:

BEFORE
BEFORE
AFTER
AFTER

The difference: the first cover is a product of my imagination. The second cover is a product of the artist’s imagination.

In creating the first cover, I just kept thinking of more stuff the cover should have and telling the artist to revise, revise, revise.  She did everything I asked her to do; her mistake.  After seeing the final product I sat back, looked at it, and thought, “What in the hell was I thinking?”  I paid the artist then hired another.  My decision was validated by a friend’s opinion, “It looks like a vagina.”

The second cover is a product of the artist’s imagination.  I gave her all the same instructions I gave the first artist, and she plain out said, “no.”

I tried again, giving her the simple instruction of, “Water.  Fantasy.  Go.”  And….voila.  A vagina-free masterpiece.  She came up with an attractive cover that pops against the black background.  The design was easily mimicked for all books in the series; Air, Fire and Earth, and even the boxed set. Branding at its best.

Air Cover ImageFire V2earth cover hand biggerAkasha Cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She even did my vampire anthology cover:

 The Kindred Curse Cover

Love it!

Now that I am ready to publish a brand new series, I thought I knew enough about the business to take a crack at creating my own cover.  For ‘The Rising’, a mermaid, young adult fantasy trilogy, I came up with several versions:

The RisingThe Rising with tailThe Rising tail only

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I sent it around.  My husband and mom loved it. No shocker there – they are biased.  But a few problems were quickly pointed out by the lovely ladies of Patchwork Press (my new partners in crime).  In the first version, there isn’t a real ‘mermaid’ element, all of them look too similar to my New Adult series (branding across genres isn’t always the best idea), and they are not very typical of young adult covers – which may or may not be a good thing.

I searched the internet for images, and came across this one on Deviant Art (you’ve seen it in my previous blog posts):

mermaid faceSadly, it has already been claimed as a book cover.

Grr! (If you are interested, click on the book cover image to purchase and read and let me know what you think!)

zerrin

Finally, I went back to the same amazing cover artist that did the Akasha Series covers, Keary Taylor. Turns out, she basically lives where the story takes place, and she was super excited to do a mermaid cover.  I turned her loose on my mermaid pinterest page for inspiration, and I am so excited to do the final cover reveal.  It turned out great!  Here is a sneak peak:

terra-cover-reveal-682x1024

Boo!  I know – you don’t get to see the whole thing yet! Stay tuned for a reveal in mid-September. Book Review Bloggers can sign up here to do a cover reveal on their own blog, plus sign up for the book tour and an ARC.  And be sure to add it to your Goodreads TBR list!