Category Archives: Covers

Risk Taking and the Monomyth in Urban Fantasy

Dear Dark Dreamers,

Day late and a dollar short. I know. I missed yesterday’s post for the very best reasons, hopefully. It is not something I can go into yet, but I can promise you one thing about it, I have taken a chance, put myself out there to the best of my skills, and I hope the reap the rewards. However, if I don’t, that does not mean the end of chances and risks and yes, even heartache. Each semester, this has led me to teaching my students one of the most important lessons in life.

Successful people do not let life happen to them. They set out, work, strive and grow. AND FAIL. Yep, successful people fail, and fail often. If there is one thing that life taught me it’s that everyone needs to make friends with failure. The martial arts Master has to throw 999 crappy kicks to get that muscle memory to do it right. An inventor, like the late Steve Jobs and his army of engineers, had a multitude of failed prototypes before any of the iPhones became the successes they are. Even famous artists have many errors before their works become masterpieces. And I promise we hardworking authors have many drafts of words before it becomes a book, or even a blog post. It is an old adage but a true one, “The difference between a beginner and a master, is that the master has failed more times than the beginner has ever attempted.”

What makes us successful isn’t being perfect and never failing, it is in what we do when we inevitably trip and falter.

And isn’t this true for our characters as well? We want them to struggle. For things to be hard. For them to stare into the void of the impossible and keep going until they succeed. Even the famous monomyth is based upon the several trial failure/success structure. A character needs to strive and do everything they can to fix the problem and fail several times. The act of getting over the failure and becoming the master/mistress of two worlds through those lessons makes a hero/heroine as much if not more than just winning in the end.

hurricane-92968_1920

A little bit of rain, they said. We’ll be back by Monday, they said.

One of the biggest falters in my life was starting over after Hurricane Katrina. Could no longer live in our fist house (which we’d only had for 3 weeks). Had to figure out where we were going to live and make a living all over again from scratch. Moved 6 times in 5 months. Had to fight both FEMA and the insurance company from a distance during all of that. Couldn’t even see what had happened to our house for almost a month. Then lived for a month, alone, with only my cat and an air mattress (and was in a different state from my new husband on our 1st anniversary as we tried to figure out what to do.) But I learned so much more about myself and what I was capable of after all that.

So, this week’s question: What is one time in your life where you faltered, but came back stronger?


Here’s Today’s Daily Double

CR Banner

Celebration time, Dark Dreamers,

Today’s the day for a dual cover reveal: OF SCIONS AND MEN by Courtney Sloan and GYRE by Jessica Gunn! Both books are in the new adult category and published by Curiosity Quills Press.

Here’s a bit about each book:

OF SCIONS AND MEN by Courtney Sloan (February 22nd, 2016)

Dark Urban Fantasy

Geopolitical babysitting while arresting preternatural killers, it’s just the daily grind for Scion Rowan Brady. Brash and sarcastic, Rowan has sold her life, her career and her very blood to the controlling paranormal ruling class of America, all to make sure her kid brother can eat. Now she uses her powers as a scion to kick the ass of any preternatural creature idiotic enough to break the rules and prey upon humanity without a license. All it costs her is her freedom and a pint or two per week to her new Master.

But juggling her job and duties becomes even tougher when she is tasked with keeping a contingency of diplomats from Canada from getting gnawed on. However, negotiations for an International Blood Exchange are interrupted when bodies start showing up.

Now Rowan must rely on her talent and wit to defend the society she despises to save the lives she’s sworn to protect. But as she stumbles into the truth, she chances becoming a target of not only these killers, but of her own government. With shifters, ghosts, vampires and psychics all watching her, can she stop the killings before she is silenced?

ADD OF SCIONS AND MEN TO GOODREADS HERE

You can pre-order either book:

Gyre : https://curiosityquills.com/kindle/gyre/

Of Scions and Men: https://curiosityquills.com/kindle/scions/

***

GYRE by Jessica Gunn (February 1st, 2016)

Trevor couldn’t believe his eyes when Chelsea teleported onto SeaSatellite5. The miracle is Trevor’s absolute worst nightmare. Chelsea is Atlantean, which would be fine if Trevor’s family weren’t Lemurian—enemies of Atlantis.

Then SeaSatellite5 uncovers Atlantean ruins and stumbles into the crosshairs of an ancient war. The Lemurians want the artifacts inside the ruins, and Trevor’s the only one onboard who recognizes the relics for what they really are: Link Pieces, tools used by ancient civilizations to wage their time-travel war.

Chelsea and Trevor must brave the gyre of lies surrounding them. If they can’t, Atlantis will be destroyed forever.

ADD GYRE TO GOODREADS HERE

***

Are you ready to see the covers?

*

Here we go!

*

*

*

*

GYRE & OSAM

***

ABOUT COURTNEY SLOAN

Courtney SloanA New Orleans native, Courtney Sloan relocated to the hills of Central Maryland after Hurricane Katrina. There she lives with her husband and fellow author, J.P. Sloan, their son and their crazy German Shepherd pup. Adding to her writing life, Courtney is also a professor at the local college and enjoys learning a world of new ideas from her students as she teaches them about writing and communicating. Courtney’s New Orleans upbringing has left her with a love for the macabre and a flare for the next to normal. She writes speculative fiction with a variety of horror and sass mixed in for flavor.

She loves taking the world of politics that haunts us now, and adding the supernatural to create a gumbo of thrills to keep you up at night. A self-proclaimed lover of way too many fandoms, Courtney also loves crafting. From blankets to jams to stories, it’s always better homemade.

Author Links: Twitter | Website

ABOUT JESSICA GUNN

1951de5Jessica Gunn is a New Adult author and avid science-fiction and fantasy fan. Her favorite stories are those that transport the reader to other, more exciting worlds. When not working or writing, she can be found binge-watching Firefly and Stargate, or feeding her fascination of the ancient world’s many mysteries. Jessica also holds a degree in Anthropology.

Author Links: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Website

Here they are, one more time

Gyre & OSAM CR


Teased Twice

Hey there, Dark Dreamers,

There is so much happening, I can hardly keep up. We are less than three months away from OF SCIONS AND MEN being unleashed upon the world. With this unleashing comes an amazing cover. The wondrously creative minds over at Curiosity Quills worked hard until they created a cover that not only reflected the distopian grittiness of the book, but also the magical urban fantasy time. Also, Rowan is kicking major butt on it. BUT, I can’t show you all that today. Soon. December 7 will be the huge dual blast reveal.

Until then you can add both Gyre and Of Scions and Men to Goodreads using these links:

But this is Cyber Monday, so you deserve a two-for-one special for your internet money. So today I will tease not only OF SCIONS AND MEN’s cover but also the exciting Atlantean YA novel GYRE by the talented Jessica Gunn.

Before covers get uncovered next week, we have some teasers we’d like to share with you. So, here they are!

Gyre:

2015-10-06 16.46.18-1

Of Scions and Men:

Preview

 

If you’d like to help with this cover reveal by spreading the word through a HTML-ready post, or via Facebook/Twitter/Instagram, please fill out this form below! We are SO excited to share our covers with you!

Sign up to be part of the fun

OF SCIONS AND MEN by Courtney Sloan

Author Links: Twitter | Website

Geopolitical babysitting while arresting preternatural killers, it’s just the daily grind for Scion Rowan Brady. Brash and sarcastic, Rowan has sold her life, her career and her very blood to the controlling paranormal ruling class of America, all to make sure her kid brother can eat. Now she uses her powers as a scion to kick the ass of any preternatural creature idiotic enough to break the rules and prey upon humanity without a license. All it costs her is her freedom and a pint or two per week to her new Master.

But juggling her job and duties becomes even tougher when she is tasked with keeping a contingency of diplomats from Canada from getting gnawed on. However, negotiations for an International Blood Exchange are interrupted when bodies start showing up.
Now Rowan must rely on her talent and wit to defend the society she despises to save the lives she’s sworn to protect. But as she stumbles into the truth, she chances becoming a target of not only these killers, but of her own government. With shifters, ghosts, vampires and psychics all watching her, can she stop the killings before she is silenced?

***

GYRE by Jessica Gunn

Author Links: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Website

Chelsea didn’t try to teleport. All she wanted was to play the Battle of the Bands show. But after accidentally teleporting onto classified Navy vessel SeaSatellite5, all she’s rocking is the boat. Once it’s sorted out that Chelsea’s not a threat, SeaSat5’s top scientist offers Chelsea a position on the crew as an archaeology intern. Dr. Saint studies people with powers, believing them to be descendants of Atlantean refugees, except Chelsea’s powers are beyond anything on previous record.

While great for everyone else onboard, the miracle of Chelsea is Trevor’s worst nightmare. The same girl who’d given him a brief lifeline to sanity three months ago literally fell from the sky, under a mile of ocean, and onto the very station where he’s employed. Making matters worse, Trevor’s family are Lemurians, Atlantis’s enemy, and Chelsea’s presence is unpredicted—a wrench in an already unstable situation. But Trevor wants no part of his family’s war. The only thing he wants is Chelsea, Atlantean or not.

Days into Chelsea’s sudden appearance, SeaSatellite5 uncovers Atlantean ruins and a massive artifact cache, placing its entire, hundred-man crew in the crosshairs of an ancient war. There are those who want the Atlantean relics inside the ruins destroyed, and only Trevor knows the treasures for what they really are: Link Pieces, tools used by the ancient civilizations for their time-travel war.

With lies and shifting alliances abound, Chelsea and Trevor will have to think fast in order to save the station. If they don’t, the Lemurians will seize the artifacts and Atlantis will be destroyed forever.


Cover Time…Almost

It is official, Dark Dreamers.

OF SCIONS AND MEN, my debut new adult dark urban fantasy novel has a cover. It is amazing. Everything I was hoping for and more. Will it have vampires on it? Or a big handsome shifter? Or maybe a scions, what is that anyway? You will have to wait and see, But I will tell you this…the artist truly captured both the urban fantasy and the dystopian feel in a new way. It’s not the same old, same old cover you see all the time. I can’t wait to share it with you.

What does it look like? Is Rowan on it?  These questions and much, much more will be answered soon.

What does it look like? Is Rowan on it? These questions and much, much more will be answered soon.

But not today. Today I will continue writing book TWO and working on marketing. I will warn you, THE SCIONS OF WRATH has taken a much deeper and darker turn than one, and that’s saying something. But there is also love and growth. Balance right. An author’s work is never done.

Also, next week my official author photos will be taken. My least favorite action in the world is being in photos, but my photographer has scouted an amazing location I think you will all love, so there’s hope.

So, yes, there’s lots coming down the pipe. I can tell you on November 30th, I will share a preview of my cover. Then on December 7th, I will be a part of a joint double-trouble cover reveal with Jessica Gunn and her exciting book GYRE. More to come on all that soon.

Image courtesy of clipart


Writing Wednesdays- Part III- Trendy Talks

Hidy-ho, Dark Dreamers,

This week marked a major first. In my #WO2016 group, a group for authors how have books coming out in 2016, I volunteered to lead a twitter chat. Being a new adult author of very dark urban fantasy, in a world of vampires and shifters ruling the underclass of humans, the less than heroic characters are important to me. So, the subject I came up with for the chat was all about villains. What could be better?

The Villainous Advertisement

The Villainous Advertisement

So this past Saturday, instead of writing for an hour, I got to spend it with some really amazing authors and bloggers and others. We got to tackle such important questions as:

  • Who was your favorite villain of all time?
  • What made that villain stand out above the rest?
  • Who would you consider the weakest villain of all time?
  • What made that villain so ineffective?
  • It’s been said villains are the true reflections of the hero, do you agree?
  • What makes a villain a villain instead of a protagonist?
  • How to keep empathy with a villain without surrendering their evil?
  • Wounds: how MCs and Villains treat them differently.
  • A good villain forces the hero to evolve: what do you think?
  • Villains generate the primary conflict in stories: how do you make that happen?
  • What are the worst villain clichés?
  • What is your current villain’s GMC?
  • What inopportune truths does your villain reveal to the hero/world?

It was the fasted hour in my life. I could barely get questions and thoughts out before responses flooded in. I learned a great deal, and I will be a better writer for it. But after only ten minutes something incredible happened, something I didn’t expect. Our discussion was popular enough it was categorized as trending on the main twitter page. I’ve never been a part, let alone leading, a trending twitter chat. So many talented views and thought compounded together to get the notice of such a worldwide program. I am humbled.

Writing also went well. I got through some major hurdle chapters and wrote about 13k words. I also got through about half the interviews.

I will finish the interviews by this weekend and write through the next two attacks by next Wednesday’s check in. Thanks for keeping me working and going, guys.

Now, go check out my fellow writers’ updates as well. The list of those on this Writing Wednesdays Blog Hop are below.

  1. Jessica Gunn
  2. Emma Adams
  3. Suzanne Van Rooyen
  4. Ann Anderson Noser

Cover Reveal – FIND ME IF YOU DARE by Vicki Leigh

Today is an exciting day… it is time to share a cover reveal for one of my book siblings, who also happens to be my editor mama, Vicki Leigh. This cover is amazing and is the twisted work of one of my favorite horror genre cover artists: Conzpiracy Digital Arts. Dean has knocked this one out the park, and Vicki has written a book that is equally amazing.

The second book of Vicki Leigh’s Dreamcatcher series is coming out October 23rd. So without further aggrandizement, here is this masterpiece:

I told you, out of the park and into the next state.

I told you, out of the park and into the next state.

Now that you’ve seen this, I know you want to know more about this book. How does this dark figure fit into the picture. Well, I can’t give away state secrets or Vicki would have to hunt me down but I’ll give you what I can.

They may have won the first battle, but the Apocalypse has just begun.

Five weeks have passed since the battle that left Rome and Columbus in ruins. Sheltered in the hidden city of Caelum, Daniel and Kayla train alongside over one hundred Magus and Protectors, hoping that their unified ranks will be enough to take down their greatest threat yet: Richard, his followers, and his horde of Nightmares. Then a fallen comrade is returned to Caelum with a message carved into his chest and a note referencing the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and Daniel knows their time for training is over.

Finally understanding Richard’s plans for Kayla and the three other Magus born on Halloween, Daniel and the rest of Caelum’s volunteers scout the U.S. in a desperate attempt to stop their enemy before he can unleash his first Horseman. But when massive attacks claim thousands of lives, people all over the world begin to fall ill—including those Daniel and Kayla care about the most.

With the Horseman of Pestilence released, Daniel knows it’s time to step aside and let Kayla take the lead. Only she has the power to rival her father’s. But when Richard’s plot turns out to be darker than they imagined, their fight is met with more death and destruction—and an enemy who might be unbeatable, after all.

And if all that’s not enough for you, Vicki has more for you, because she is that awesome. Go visit her Tumblr page for more info and free stuff. You heard me right, free stuff. (vickileighauthor.tumblr.com). There’s an awesome 22 BOOK giveaway going on over there, too!

The list of items people can win: 
  • 20 copies of CATCH ME WHEN I FALL (Book One of the Dreamcatcher Series)
  • a signed copy of CITY LOVE by Susane Colasanti
  • a The Vampire Diaries wall poster of Damon Salvatore
  • a copy of SHADOW STUDY by Maria V. Snyder
  • 5 handmade dream catchers
  • a poster of the SORCERER HEIR series, signed by Cinda Chima
  • 2 posters of the cover of DOON, signed by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon.
  • a poster of the cover of DAMSEL DISTRESSED, signed by Kelsey Macke
  • a poster of Melissa Lander’s ALIENATED cover

And one last taste of that cover in full.

October 23rd can't get here fast enough!

October 23rd can’t get here fast enough!