Thursday, June 30, 2016

Book Cover Junkie Interviews Horror Author Patrick Greene

Some dark serendipity plopped a young Patrick Greene in front of a series of ever stranger films-and experiences-in his formative years, leading to a unique viewpoint. His odd interests have led to pursuits in film acting, paranormal investigation, martial arts, quantum physics, bizarre folklore and eastern philosophy. These elements flavor his fiction works, leading to strange and unexpected detours designed to keep readers on their toes. 


Tell us about your book! What is it about and what inspired you to write it?
Olivia Irons was a child of privilege. But a teen pregnancy led to family upheaval, which led to a stint in Special Forces. Mourning the loss of her lover -a fellow operative- Liv seeks sanctuary in a random town, unaware that a small troupe of vampires seeks to recruit her to lead them in saving the world from a renegade faction.

My wife has a thing for vampires and I really wanted to write something for her to, you know, get some snuggles, and it seems to have worked.

Tell us about your publishing process. What was it like? Did you go indie or the traditional way?
Traditional publishing through Hobbes End was a foregone conclusion for this one because I was fortunate enough to have my first novel Progeny published with them, as well as having stories included in their well-received The Endlands anthologies. The beautiful cover and interior design by Jordan Benoit is sort of a trademark of theirs. There was a bit of back-and-forth with that, then we were off and running. I tend to self-edit with a fair amount of meticulous brutality, which I recommend to all writers, as it really is the best way to maintain control of your work and have it reach the masses as close to the form you want it to as possible.

How did you choose the title for your book? Did it come to you right away, before you started writing the story, or did it come later?
It took a while. I believe it came somewhere during the second draft or so, when the story’s essence coalesced into its true self, like when you realize your child is going to be an extrovert, or genius, or athlete or what have you. That title leaped out as the perfect succinct description of what this point in protagonist Olivia’s life means.

Tell us about the cover design process. Did you have a basic idea of what your book cover would be like?
I did, and I described it, referencing one of the posters from the Resident Evil film series. Jordan Benoit did a reasonable job of realizing that, but I don’t think any of us were really happy with it at that stage. Luckily, he had a concept in mind that was far superior to mine, and went with it. When I saw it, I was elated. It seems to come right out of the narrative, and an author can’t ask for better than that.

Who is your cover designer and how did you find him/her?
Jordan works with Hobbes End on most of their releases.

How was your experience working with the designer?
Really, it has been a matter of me sending my ideas to Jairus Reddy, who is Hobbes End’s CEO, then having him add his thoughts and forwarding it on to Jordan, who also did the cover for my first novel Progeny. In the case of that novel, it was exactly as I envisioned it, to the T.

What has been the readers’ response to your cover?
I’ve heard so many compliments on it that I wish I could take credit for it! As we know, the cover is a vital element of any book, despite that old adage. Unfortunately, there are a lot of terrible covers out there, some that have you wondering how an author could put their work out with that as its first impression. This cover is beautiful and atmospheric, with a great feel for the novel.

What tips would you give to authors who are looking for a cover designer?
I would say to first take a good long look at covers that you find striking. Ask yourself why it attracted you, what are the colors and shapes and poses, if any, that draw your eye when you glance at it? Then search covers, and see which ones have those attributes. Contact that artist. Even of you wind up with someone fairly inexperienced, you can give them an idea of what you want to see – but leave room for them to interpret as well. The story is yours so let the cover be more of a collaborative experience. Sketch your concept if you can, or have someone else do it. Your concept may not turn out as well aesthetically as you imagined so leave room for the artist’s interpretation.

Anything else you’d like to say about your book?
I didn’t try to make The Crimson Calling everything for everyone, but I did find in the beta and outside editing process that it appeals to a good cross section of readers. Vampire stories lend themselves well to action and horror, but there is also an element of tragic romance in the best of them, and the consensus seems to be that Crimson is a decent mix of those. I want to hear from readers, as always, and my sincere hope is that it serves as a fun and emotionally satisfying diversion.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

What Am I Waiting For? by Terri Hite


Inside the Book:

Title: What Am I Waiting For 
Author: Terry Hite 
Publisher: iUniverse 
Genre: Self-Help 
Format: Ebook

You’ve probably sought out advice from someone to help you solve a problem, achieve a goal or just to help you get moti vated on a certain project. Or perhaps you’ve found yourself giving out lots of advice—and wondering if you were telling others the right things. There is nothing worse than sending someone you care about in the wrong direction. In this guidebook to getti ng what you want and helping others do the same, life coach Terry Hite explains the benefits of having a life coach.

You can learn how to
 • appreciate the benefits that a life coach provides;
• ask questions that can help you find the right coach;
• develop the confidence you need to pursue your goals; and
• improve your relationships with others.

Hite also shares ways to avoid five common practices that stifle the growth of the human spirit.

Often, we engage in these practices without realizing how detrimental they are, unaware that they’ve been instilled in us gradually over a long period of time. Take steps to find the right life coach, define your objectives, and start achieving results. What are you waiting for? Get a life coach now, and change your life!

Meet the Author:

Terry Hite grew up in the suburbs of New York City. He is a life coach and speaker living in the Queen City—otherwise known as Charlotte, North Carolina.


Terry is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins June 27 and ends on July 8.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on July 9.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!


Monday, June 27, 2016

Book Cover Junkie Interviews Children's Author Michelle Nott

Michelle Nott started her career as a French teacher (pre-K to university levels) in the U.S. , but also worked for a French company in Paris and an art gallery in NYC. She has edited and written articles for numerous on-line and print magazines in the American and European markets.

Before moving to Texas, where Michelle currently resides with her husband and two daughters, she lived over a decade in Belgium. During which time she began her blog Good Night, Sleep Tight. On this blog, readers can find her earliest stories (where Freddy, Hoppie and the Eyeglasses originally appeared) as well as her reflections on raising Third Culture Kids.

Freddy, Hoppie and the Eyeglasses is Michelle's first book for children. Her future children's books are represented by Essie White at Storm Literary Agency. She is a member of SCBWI, Children's Book Insider and Houston Writer's Guild.

Twitter: @MimiLRN


Tell us about your book! What is it about and what inspired you to write it?
Freddy, Hoppie and the Eyeglasses is about a young boy who is having trouble with everyday tasks like being on time for the school bus, reading aloud, completing his math homework. Luckily, his imaginary frog, Hoppie, helps him feel better. But at the end of the day, Hoppie is very tired and has headaches. Finally, Freddy tells his mom that Hoppie's not well. She drives them both to the doctor's office to see what is the matter.

What inspired Freddy, Hoppie and the Eyeglasses was my daughter's experience with having to wear glasses at a very young age. Freddy's story is completely different from her story. But going to the ophthalmologist for the first time and experiencing the difference eyeglasses can make seemed like a great premise for a children's book.

At the same time, the book is not just about a child getting glasses. More importantly, I wanted to write a story that could show a child how to tell a trusted adult about a problem he or she may not fully understand.

Tell us about your publishing process. What was it like? Did you go indie or the traditional way?
I went for traditional publishing as I do not think I have the know-how nor the time to invest in the self-publishing route.

For this particular book, the publishing process went quite easily. One of my critique partners, who had already read a couple revisions of the manuscript, suggested I submit it to Guardian Angel Publishing. After sending a query and revising to the editor's remarks regarding POV and general tightening, I resubmitted and was offered a contract.

I recently signed with Essie White at Storm Literary Agency for my future picture books and am quite happy with that decision. It's a relief to know she is taking care of submitting my manuscripts to the best editors for each manuscript. Her connections in the publishing world are extremely valuable and would take me a lifetime to achieve on my own.

How did you choose the title for your book? Did it come to you right away, before you started writing the story, or did it come later?
The initial title for the the book, My Frog and the Eyeglasses, came as I was writing the story once I saw how the plot was developing. But since the editor requested 3rd person (versus 1st person) POV for early readers, I had to change the title to what it is now.

Tell us about the cover design process. Did you have a basic idea of what your book cover would be like?
I had no real say in what the cover design would look like. However, since my editor did ask my opinion as to which style of illustrator on her list I preferred, I knew it would be all right. I had seen the portfolio of Robert Lee Beers and was confident that he would do a good job on the cover and with all the illustrations.

Who is your cover designer and how did you find him/her?
My editor arranged for Robert Lee Beers to do the artwork.

How was your experience working with the illustrator?
Great. Whenever I need an illustration for promotional materials or for author visits, he is always very accommodating.

What has been the readers’ response to your cover?
Many people have commented on how attractive and colorful the cover is.

What tips would you give to authors who are looking for a cover designer?
In my experience, the publisher arranges for the artwork. So I have no tips otherwise.

Anything else you’d like to say about your book?
About a year and a half after signing my contract, I looked into the “new illustrator” working with Guardian Angel Publishing. This was, of course, Robert Lee Beers. I liked his work so much that I asked my editor, Lynda Burch, if she would consider assigning him to my book. She very kindly agreed. But understandably, he already had a list of other books to do first.

Although this elongated the publication of my book, I feel it was worth the wait. The cover is a reader's first impression and it's essential to get it right. In the end, I am thrilled with the cover and illustrations throughout my book.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Girls' Weekend by Cara Sue Achterberg


Inside the Book:

Girls' Weekend

Title: Girls' Weekend 
Author: Cara Sue Achterberg 
Release Date: May 3, 2016 
Publisher: The Story Plant 
Genre: Women's Fiction 
Format: Ebook/Paperback

Dani, Meg, and Charlotte have bonded over babies, barbeques, and backyards, but when they escape for a girls' weekend away, they can't bring themselves to return to lives that don't seem to fit anymore.

Harried Dani can't explain why she feels so discontented until she meets a young gallery owner who inspires her to rediscover the art that once made her happy.

Dependable Meg faces up to a grief that threatens to swallow her whole and confronts a marriage built on expectations.

Flamboyant Charlotte, frustrated with her stagnated life and marriage, pursues a playboy Irish singer and beachside business opportunities.

All three of these women thought they would be different. None of them thought they'd be facing down forty and still wondering when life starts. What they do when they realize where they're headed is both inspiring and wildly entertaining.

GIRLS' WEEKEND is a fun, yet poignant romp through the universal search of who we are, why we love, and what makes us happy by an author who is quickly emerging as one of our most incisive storytellers.

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Meet the Author:

Cara Sue
  Cara Sue Achterberg is a writer and blogger who lives in New Freedom, PA with her family and an embarrassing number of animals. Her first novel, I’m Not Her, was a national bestseller. Cara’s nonfiction book, Live Intentionally, is a guide to the organic life filled with ideas, recipes, and inspiration for living a more intentional life. Cara is a prolific blogger, occasional cowgirl, and busy mom whose essays and articles have been published in numerous anthologies, magazines, and websites. Links to her blogs, news about upcoming publications, and pictures of her foster dogs can be found at  

Book Cover of the Day: Floor 21 by Jason Luthor

Title: Floor 21
Author: Jason Luthor
Publisher: Scout Press
Pages: 355
Genre: Sci-fi/Dystopian

The last of humanity is trapped at the top of an isolated apartment tower with no memory of how they got there or why. All travel beneath Floor 21 is forbidden, and nobody can ever recall seeing the ground floor. Beneath Floor 21, a sickness known as the Creep infests that halls of the Tower. A biological mass that grows stronger in reaction to people’s fear and anger, the Creep prey’s on people by causing them to hallucinate until they’re in a state of panicking, before finally growing strong enough to lash out and consume them. Only a small team known as Scavengers are allowed to go beneath Floor 21 to pillage the lower levels in search of food and supplies.

Jackie is a brilliant young girl that lives far above the infection and who rarely has to worry about facing any harm. However, her intense curiosity drives her to investigate the bottom floors and the Creep. To deal with her own anxiety and insecurities, she documents her experiences on a personal recorder as she explores the secrets of the Tower. During the course of her investigation, Jackie will find herself at odds with Tower Authority, which safeguards what remains of humanity, as she attempts to determine what created the Creep, how humanity became trapped at the top of the Tower, and whether anyone knows if escape is even possible.

For More Information

  • Floor 21 is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Jason Luthor Talks Covers

The book cover was actually made by me when I was entering Amazon’s Scout competition. I needed an image that conveyed fear and tension. So, the font is Demon Skier, and it has a simple drop shadow effect going with a blur on the red shadow to make the font stand out. The lower half of the cover is a rust and blood pattern I passed through a filter to darken it. All it took was an eraser tool to get it to bleed nicely into the above sky. The sky overhead was a simple cloudy sky image that underwent a red tinting. Probably the most prominent element of the book is the skyscraper.

The book is about the last of humanity living on the upper floors of a tower, so the tower itself had to be visually interesting. This is actually an image of the Shanghai Jin Mao Tower in China. I picked it because it wasn’t a simple skyscraper. The architecture is interesting and it makes the silhouette stand out against the sky. The image was run through a simple greyscale filter. The upper part of the tower was already dark from the original image, so adjusting the darkness got it to black out nicely and gave it an ominous feeling. There’s a window set that’s got a red hue about a third of the way up. That was to offset the greyscale of the tower with an interesting visual cue, and the use of red again alludes to the terror of those living inside.

Work on the cover wasn’t terribly difficult, but finding the right images and color balance was. A few hours at most was spent pondering how I wanted to construct it. In the end, I believe it conveyed a feeling of fear and tension that mirrors what the survivors of humanity are experiencing inside the tower as well.

Jason Luthor has spent a long life writing for sports outlets, media companies and universities. His earliest writing years came during his coverage of the San Antonio Spurs as an affiliate with the Spurs Report and its media partner, WOAI Radio. He would later enjoy a moderate relationship with Blizzard Entertainment, writing lore and stories for potential use in future games. At the academic level he has spent several years pursuing a PhD in American History at the University of Houston, with a special emphasis on Native American history.

His inspirations include some of the obvious; The Lord of the Rings and Chronciles of Narnia are some of the most cited fantasy series in history. However, his favorite reads include the Earthsea Cycle, the Chronicles of Prydain, as well as science fiction hits such as Starship Troopers and Do Androids dream of Electric Sheep?

For More Information

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Cable Car Mystery by Greg Messel

Title: Cable Car Mystery
Author: Greg Messel
Publisher: Sunbreaks Publishing
Pages: 180
Genre: Mystery/Romance

On the hottest day of the year in San Francisco in 1959, Private Detectives Sam and Amelia Slater are contemplating fleeing the city for their Stinson Beach house. However, when Sam decides to take a cable car ride to run some errands on the lazy summer day, he’s suddenly thrust into the spotlight when he rescues a woman who fell onto the busy street. Sam pulls the mysterious red haired woman out of the path of an oncoming cable car in the nick of time. The entire incident is captured by a newspaper photographer who splashes Sam’s heroics all over the front page. Sam is troubled not only by his new status as a city hero, but by the rescued woman’s plea for help. She whispers to Sam that she didn’t fall from the cable car but was pushed. She is frightened and disappears into the crowd before Sam can get more details. A San Francisco newspaper launches a campaign to find the mystery woman and Sam hopes to cross paths with her again. 

Meanwhile, Amelia is troubled by the sudden disappearance of her elderly neighbor. Two thuggish younger men who now occupy the house next door say he took a sudden trip. One night when she’s alone Amelia grabs a flashlight and finds some disturbing clues in her neighbor’s garage. What really happened to her neighbor? Amelia is determined to find out.

Award winning author Greg Messel spins a new tale of intrigue in Cable Car Mystery, the sixth book in the Sam Slater Mystery series set in at the 1950s in San Francisco. 

For More Information

  • Cable Car Mystery is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Greg Messel Talks Book Covers

“Cable Car Mystery” is the sixth book in a series about a private detective and his wife set in the late 1950s in San Francisco.  I conceived the idea for the series on a trip to San Francisco. I was walking around the city and remembering how things had changed since my childhood and the late 1950s and early 1960s.  I did more research and discovered so many interesting historical events occurring in that time period. I also think the culture was very different. Many of the men, including the main protagonist, Sam Slater were just back from World War II.  The last years of the 1950s were the final gasp of an era which was about to end.  San Francisco and the world was about to change forever with the assassination of the president, the Vietnam War and the city itself would become ground zero for major societal changes. The series has been very popular so far and readers seem to enjoy my characters. 

I do a lot of rewriting and revisions in my books. I think it the nature of mystery writing. You need to carefully craft the mystery and the suspense. Sometimes that can take a lot of tweaking.  
I’m often asked how many books there will be in the series. I plan to keep writing them as long as I can come up with good storylines. At some point I will run out of things for Sam and Amelia to do but that day is not today. After each book in the series I usually answer that they’ll be one or two more. That’s my answer now. I’ve written about 100 pages in the next book in the series “San Francisco Nights.”  I’m also well into a new book that is set in the late 1960s and is about the newspaper business. I’m excited about it and that book may be the launch of a new series. The story is set against the backdrop of the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy and the 1968 Presidential campaign. 

As far as the book cover, I’m extremely proud of my book covers. I get a lot of compliments on the design. My publisher has a design team which does a great job and usually gives me a couple of options to consider. I think covers are so important. I see a lot of covers that are really bad and look amateurish. The book covers in the series have some common elements to them. There are often photos of San Francisco. This cover has my private detective on it and a montage of photos that include the Golden Gate Bridge and of course, a cable car climbing the hills in San Francisco. 

We are in a “sweet spot” on our covers for the series. 

About the Author:

Greg Messel has spent most of his adult life interested in writing, including a career in the newspaper business. He won a Wyoming Press Association Award as a columnist and has contributed articles to various magazines. Greg lives in Edmonds, Washington on Puget Sound with his wife Jean DeFond.

Greg has written nine novels. His latest is “Cable Car Mystery" which is the sixth in a series of mysteries set in 1959 San Francisco. “Shadows In The Fog,” ”Fog City Strangler," "San Francisco Secrets," "Deadly Plunge" are sequels to the first book in the series "Last of the Seals." His other three novels are "Sunbreaks," "Expiation" and "The Illusion of Certainty."

For More Information

· Visit Greg Messel’s website.
· Connect with Greg on Facebook and Twitter.
· Find out more about Greg at Goodreads.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Book Cover Junkie Interviews Horror Author Brian W. Matthews

Brian W. Matthews grew up in a small town in southeastern Michigan, the son of a policeman father and a factory worker mother. After graduating from high school, he worked his way through college, earned three degrees, and then spent over a decade as a child therapist. That changed in 2000, when he switched careers. He currently works as a financial planner and writes novels in his free time. The Conveyance is his third book.

Links to website and social media:


Tell us about your book! What is it about and what inspired you to write it?
The Conveyance is about a psychologist, Dr. Brad Jordan, a man accustomed to keeping secrets. When he stumbles upon the strange happenings in a small town called Emersville, he uncovers a series of threats, each darker and more dangerous than the previous. Together with his friend, Frank Swinicki, he is forced to confront these secrets if he is to save himself, his friends, and ultimately the human race from a sinister device called the Conveyance.

After two books with complicated plots, multiple points-of-view, and extensive use of flashbacks and other literary tricks, I wanted to write a straight-forward horror/science fiction thriller. There is only one point-of-view, no jumping around in time. I had a great time writing it.

Tell us about your publishing process. What was it like? Did you go indie or the traditional way?
Conveyance is the second book in a three book contract I have with specialty publisher JournalStone. That contract followed JournalStone’s purchase of my debut novel, Forever Man. The process was daunting: sending in a sample chapter of that first book to publishers, having JournalStone ask for the full manuscript, signing a contract to publish it. But the experience was also exciting: working with an editor, hearing from the graphic artist and having him ask my opinion on a cover, and of course, seeing the book in its final form.

How did you choose the title for your book? Did it come to you right away, before you started writing the story, or did it come later?
There were three different titles for this book. At first, I called it Starfall. Over time, I didn’t feel the title properly reflected the book’s subject matter. I did keep Starfall, though: it’s the name of a hotel where a couple scenes take place. The next title was Emersville. That’s the city where a majority of the story takes place, and the title held until the very end. But town names had been used in horror books (Salem’s Lot, Imajica), so I ultimately decided on The Conveyance. The word has multiple connotations that might entice a reader, and it ties together various plot points once the reader has finished the book.

Tell us about the cover design process. Did you have a basic idea of what your book cover would be like?
JournalStone asked what I would like to see as a cover, which isn’t all that common. Book contracts give control of the cover and the title to the publisher. But JournalStone has always been considerate of me. So I wrote out my idea for a cover: a nighttime pastoral scene with a lake, a sky filled with stars, and a Raggedy Ann doll laying forgotten on the shore of the lake. Unfortunately, my idea couldn’t be worked out. The publisher sent me several ideas the graphic artist had devised, and together, we worked out the cover you see today.

Who is your cover designer and how did you find him/her?
A gentleman named Chuck Killorin designed the cover. JournalStone hired him, and then put him in touch with me. We emailed back and forth, originally regarding my idea. When that fell through, Chuck came up with the idea of a man’s head with images of mountains and a lake and outer space locked inside the head. It was such a perfect concept that we worked through several iterations until we had a cover we both liked.

How was your experience working with the designer?
Chuck is a wonderful, generous man. We worked quite well together. He listened to what I hoped to covey with the cover, and he responded with a great idea. As I mentioned, this doesn’t always happen. Publishers can consult with the author, but they are not required to. If you get a chance to work with an artist on your cover, go for it.

What has been the readers’ response to your cover?
So far, it’s been well received. Most get the outer space theme, and they seem to enjoy how the story is encapsulated in the mind of the man on the cover. That is such an integral plot point. To see it on the cover thrilled me to no end.

What tips would you give to authors who are looking for a cover designer?
Try to conceptualize your story into an image. It’s difficult, but well worth the result. And listen to the artist. Writing is an author’s specialty; artwork belongs to the graphic artists. Be sympathetic to their efforts, and respect what they are trying to do for you.

Anything else you’d like to say about your book?
Of all my books, I think this cover best conceptualizes what goes on in the story. That’s not to say the other covers were poor; I loved them. But there’s something special about this cover, a symbolism I understand. I hope everyone enjoys the cover and the book as much as I do.

In the Shadow of the Gods by Rachel Dunne


Inside the Book:

Title: In the Shadows 
Author: Rachel Dunne 
Release Date: June 21, 2016 
Publisher: Harper Voyager 
Genre: Fantasy/Action Adventure 
Format: Paperback/Ebook

A breathtaking talent makes her debut with this first book in a dark epic fantasy trilogy, in which a mismatched band of mortals led by a violent, secretive man must stand against a pair of resentful gods to save their world.

Eons ago, a pair of gods known as the Twins grew powerful in the world of Fiatera, until the Divine Mother and Almighty Father exiled them, binding them deep in the earth. But the price of keeping the fire lands safe is steep. To prevent these young gods from rising again, all twins in the land must be killed at birth, a safeguard that has worked until now.

Trapped for centuries, the Twins are gathering their latent powers to break free and destroy the Parents for their tyranny—to set off a fight between two generations of gods for control of the world and the mortals who dwell in it.

When the gods make war, only one side can be victorious. Joros, a mysterious and cunning priest, has devised a dangerous plan to win. Over eight years, he gathers a team of disparate fighters—Scal, a lost and damaged swordsman from the North; Vatri, a scarred priestess who claims to see the future in her fires; Anddyr, a drug-addled mage wandering between sanity and madness; and Rora and Aro, a pair of twins who have secretly survived beyond the reach of the law.

These warriors must learn to stand together against the unfathomable power of vengeful gods, to stop them from tearing down the sun . . . and plunging their world into darkness.

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Meet the Author:

Rachel Dunne
Living in the cold reaches of the upper Midwest with her great beast of a dog, Rachel Dunne has developed a great fondness for indoor activities. For as long as snow continues falling in Wisconsin, she promises to stay inside and keep writing. 

Her first novel, In the Shadow of the Gods, was a semi-finalist for the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, and will be published by Harper Voyager in June of 2016. Its two sequels will follow.  
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Monday, June 13, 2016

Cover Talk: The Jungle Within by Charles M.

Title: The Jungle Within
Author: Charles M.
Publisher: Createspace
Pages: 308
Genre: Drama/Suspense

When Evan and Katie said “I do”, they expected to navigate life together side-by-side. But when a car accident and a tawdry affair disrupt life as they know it, Evan and Katie are forced to venture on alternate paths, alone. In the darkest depths of an unforgiving coma, Evan fights to survive the treacherous jungle of his mind. He embarks on a spiritual journey to understand the meaning of life and the beauty of death…forcing him to face his deepest fear. Meanwhile, Katie ventures through her own guilt. On a strenuous moral journey, she juggles the consequences of infidelity and the strain of caring for her unresponsive husband. But are their paths truly separate? Or are they simply on parallel journeys that are destined to converge?

For More Information

  • The Jungle Within is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Charles M. Talks Book Covers

My cover was painted on canvas by an artist named Mindy Gray. She is an amazing painter. I had the idea for The Jungle Within inside my head, but I cannot paint, nor am I any good with graphic design. So after a few iterations of painting, she nailed it. Afterwards, she took a high quality photo of it and went to work on Photoshop, adding the title and other information. I have the original artwork hanging up on my wall next to a shadowbox containing the final book. It’s there to remind myself what I’m really capable of.

The cover is basically an abstract depiction of a jungle with a tunnel. At the end of the tunnel is a small light. We all know what that means. Above the jungle are a pair of yellow eyes. I don’t want to give away too much information, but those eyes play a big part in the book. Right around chapter 4 is where the reader has the “Ah-ha” moment regarding the cover. It’s awesome to hear readers say that the cover was perfectly described.

The saying goes, never judge a book by its cover, but in today’s book market I think that it’s incredibly crucial to have a good cover. The writing may be the best in the world, but nobody would ever know if they don’t read it. With all the books out there, you only have a fraction of second to get that reader to open it or read the back cover. During my research I found that the number one thing against self-publishers was non-edited books and bad covers. To me, the cover must intrigue the reader and give away some clues. It needs to look the part.

About the Author

Despite growing up in a small town, I always knew I was destined for bigger things. At age eighteen, I enlisted in the US Navy, a move that allowed me to see the world and explore my passion for life. After 6 years and an honorable discharge, I settled into civilian life, earning my Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and an MBA in Technology Management.

Always eager to challenge myself with new and different roles, I took on the role of “Author,” writing my debut novel among the roles of full-time engineer, local business owner, and family man. But, I have no plans to stop there!

I am an avid outdoorsman, enjoy camping, hiking, snowboarding, shooting, and fishing, making the Land of Enchantment an ideal place to call home.

I look forward to sharing my novel and experiences with all of you!

Charles’ latest book is the drama/suspense, The Jungle Within.

For More Information

Friday, June 10, 2016

Book Cover Junkie Interviews Author G.A. Minton

From his early childhood, G.A. Minton has always been a diehard fan of science fiction and horror. Whenever a scary movie was playing down at the local theatre, he was there in attendance with his friends, loudly screaming in terror alongside them. G.A. enjoys many hobbies, but the game of golf is one of his favorites, having lettered on his high school golf team. Besides writing, he also enjoys reading, traveling, fishing, swimming, snorkeling, working out, listening to hard rock music, and watching great movies—especially those genres that encompass horror, science fiction, mystery, and comedy. G.A. is married, and lives in Texas with his wife, a son and daughter, and two Bengal cats.
Strangely enough, it was only after G.A. was rear-ended by a drunk driver and suffered a closed-head injury, that he developed a newfound passion for writing (even though this story has the makings for a cheesy Stephen King horror novel, it is nonetheless true—he is now called “the savant horror writer” by his friends).
G.A. penned his first novel, Trisomy XXI, which oddly enough also has 21 chapters, in only three months. He begins with chapter one and writes in a freestyle manner—almost in a stream of consciousness—using no outlines, formats, or templates to assist him. The narrative flows freely from his vivid imagination, creating a thrilling tale of terror that is formed from an ordered sequence of events.
After his devastating car accident, G.A. suffered from both memory loss and problems communicating with others, which frustrated him to no end. After numerous visits with the neurologist and weeks of taking medication used by patients afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease, G.A.’s brain slowly began to mend itself. But now, after completion of the healing process, something was very different. G.A. noticed that he had developed this overwhelming urge, this compulsive drive to put on paper a story that had formed de novo in his mind. That’s how Trisomy XXI was born. One could surmise that the damaged neurons in G.A.’s frontal cortex had rearranged themselves into a different pattern, thereby enhancing the creative elements in his brain. God only knows. . .stranger things have happened!
G.A. has recently completed his second novel, a dark, supernatural tale of horror that takes Good vs. Evil to a whole new level. Currently, his brain is busy at work, meticulously processing the text for another story of the macabre—one that will both entertain and horrify its unsuspecting reader! 
Tell us about your book! What is it about and what inspired you to write it?
Trisomy XXI is a story about the thrilling adventures of Joshua Allen, a sixteen-year-old boy who was born with an extra chromosome—a genetic aberration known as Trisomy XXI, or Down Syndrome. When a serious accident leaves him in a coma at the hospital, Joshua receives a mysterious injection that endows him with supernatural powers. The transformed teen is linked to a string of bizarre, unexplained deaths that have both the town’s sheriff and the coroner completely baffled. But when a ghastly creature from another planet lands on Earth and begins its hunt for Joshua—viciously slaughtering anyone in its path in order to complete its deadly mission—Joshua and his friends are thrown into a world of horror that is totally out of control. What follows is a horrific life-and-death struggle with the seemingly-indestructible extraterrestrial being. The salvation of an entire race of aliens hangs in the balance!        
I was inspired to write creatively after sustaining a closed-head injury when rear-ended in my car by a drunk driver traveling at 80 to 90 mph. Immediately after the accident, I suffered from memory loss and aphasia, a problem with expressing my speech and communicating with others. When the damage to my brain finally healed, I was left with an overwhelming desire to write a story, hence, the birth of Trisomy XXI. From my earliest recollections as a young child, I have always loved the genres of horror and science fiction. 
Tell us about your publishing process. What was it like? Did you go indie or the traditional way?
Nowadays, it is very difficult to get your novel accepted for publication by a traditional publisher, especially considering the fierce competition involved. All authors have experienced their fair share of rejections by publishers, a reason why many choose to self-publish their own books. I was extremely fortunate in that Trisomy XXI was accepted for publication by three different reputable, royalty-paying publishers, thereby affording me a choice. I’ve read horror stories (no pun intended) about authors dealing with their publishing companies, so I am very fortunate to have selected World Castle Publishing as my publisher. So far, my journey into the world of book publication is going smoothly and has been very enjoyable. All things considered, I couldn’t have asked for a nicer experience!
Trisomy XXI is published by World Castle Publishing, a traditional publishing press. I chose to traditionally publish my novel because I believe that a royalty-paying publisher is willing to invest their money in a book that is not only well-written, but also has a storyline that will catch the attention of those readers willing to purchase a particular book. A traditional publisher is in business to make a profit, so I felt that my book had the best chance of attaining success through their professional editing, financial backing, and marketing support. 
How did you choose the title for your book? Did it come to you right away, before you started writing the story, or did it come later?
After my brain had healed from the car accident, a little voice in my head came up with this great idea for a horrific tale involving a boy with Down Syndrome, and. strongly encouraged me to write it. Since Trisomy XXI is the genetic aberration responsible for Down Syndrome, and the science behind it plays a major role in the storyline, I immediately decided to use Trisomy XXI as the title for my new novel.. I also penned this story as a way to deter people from judging or belittling others, especially those individuals suffering from any type of a physical or mental handicap. 
Tell us about the cover design process. Did you have a basic idea of what your book cover would be like?
After conceptualizing the storyline for Trisomy XXI in my head, I knew that what I wanted on the front cover of the book would need to reflect the startling horror contained on its pages. The drawing of the green alien monstrosity found on the cover of Trisomy XXI is an ideal fit for my tale of terror. It took me a long time, but when I discovered this particular illustration, I knew that it would be perfect for my book cover. 
Who is your cover designer and how did you find him/her?
Karen Fuller, award-winning author, book publisher, and owner of World Castle Publishing (publisher of Trisomy XXI), combined her special artistic skills along with some magic to create the amazing cover for my book. 
How was your experience working with the designer?
Through a team effort and some back-and-forth emails, it couldn’t have worked out any better. As talented as she is, Karen was able to complete the front and back covers for me in only a matter of a few days’ work! 
What has been the readers’ response to your cover?
I can’t even begin to tell you how many compliments I have received in regards to this eye-catching book jacket. Upon finishing the story, the reader will appreciate the significance of the grotesque alien strategically placed on the front cover of Trisomy XXI.
What tips would you give to authors who are looking for a cover designer?
It’s important to take the necessary time and effort to find a talented designer (take a look at the other book covers they have made), and make sure that the finished product is the book cover that you want. Nowadays, with the vast quantity of books to choose from, it’s very important to have an eye-catching cover, especially since that is usually the first thing seen by a potential reader. In many instances, a book is indeed judged by its cover! 
Anything else you’d like to say about your book?
Trisomy XXI is a unique horror/sci-fi/mystery novel that is unlike any other book you have ever read. If the likes of Stephen King, Clive Barker, and Michael Crichton were ever to have collectively penned a spine-tingling tale of horror, this would be it!
Delivering a roller-coaster ride full of thrills for its unsuspecting audience, Trisomy XXI will intrigue every intelligent reader with its alluring array of unforeseen twists and turns. Packed with tension and excitement, this chimeric version of Alien meets The Thing is a powerful story that is guaranteed to capture your immediate attention. You won’t be able to put this book down!
Gracie Bradford, a book reviewer from READERS’ FAVORITE, gave Trisomy XXI a 5-STAR review and said, “Trisomy XXI by GA Minton has 266 pages of adventure, with twists and turns the reader would not expect.  The chapters are well developed and flow well, and the writer tells his story, adding excitement and anticipation from chapter to chapter. The story of the boy’s transformation and ordeals in life takes the reader to another dimension throughout the rest of the story. This book is filled with humor, sadness, mystery, and interesting twists in every chapter. . .prepare to be thoroughly entertained.”
Chris Fischer, another book reviewer from READERS’ FAVORITE, also gave Trisomy XXI a 5-STAR rating. “Author G.A. Minton's Trisomy XXI is a book with an exciting and unique premise that will keep readers turning the pages from the very beginning all the way through to the very end. I definitely enjoyed Trisomy XXI. Author G.A. Minton has made a bold choice in choosing a young man with Down Syndrome as the protagonist of this book, and has done a great job at making him so much more than just a stereotype of someone with a disability. This read had action almost from the very beginning and will definitely be able to keep readers on the edge of their seats, even gasping with surprise at times. Any reader who enjoys a great work of horror should definitely grab Trisomy XXI. I am pleased to recommend this book, and will look for more from author G.A. Minton in the very near future!” 
Links to book: for TRISOMY XXI paperback on Amazon for TRISOMY XXI eBook on Amazon for TRISOMY XXI paperback and eBook on Barnes & Noble for TRISOMY XXI eBook on Smashwords for TRISOMY XXI paperback and eBook on G.A. Minton’s author webpage at World Castle Publishing website 
Links to your website and social media: for G.A. Minton author webpage at World Castle Publishing for 5-Star reviews of TRISOMY XXI at book review page on Readers’ Favorite website for G.A. Minton author webpage at Goodreads for G.A. Minton Twitter URL page for G.A. Minton Google+ URL page for G.A. Minton URL page for TRISOMY XXI YouTube book trailer