Thursday, March 31, 2016

Saving Jesus by Ralph William Ausman

Inside the Book:

Title: Saving Jesus
Author: Ralph William Ausman
Publisher: iUniverse
Genre: Alternative History
Format: Ebook/Paperback
The canvas of history provides a complex pattern of culture, change, and conflict. Colorful individuals were often the driving forces behind the progression of history. Was there a grander purpose behind these developments, beyond the individual people, locations, and events? History often turns on a simple thought or decision by those in a position to have a significant impact on the ultimate course for humankind. What influence did some of the most significant personages in human history unknowingly contribute on the world stage, even beyond their own individual stories and experiences? Was his story truly the driving force of history, the basic thread that ties the global human experience together? Author Ralph William Ausman’s novel, Saving Jesus: Resurrecting John the Baptist takes us on a journey through history, from the Holy Land, to China, India, Greece, and ancient Persia. It follows the origins of religious thought as world empires play out across the globe in preparation for the defining moment in world history: the birth of Jesus and the subsequent emergence of Christianity that would define world growth and development for the next two thousand years. Ausman looks at such questions as what would have happened had the wise men followed Jesus and his family or if John the Baptist had become Jesus’s first disciple. Saving Jesus: Resurrecting John the Baptist is not intended as a refutation of the Bible. Instead, it invites you to take an interesting-and different-look at the most important events and people of history.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Julie Ann James Talks about her Cover for 'Irish Jewel'

Julie Ann James lives in Sarasota, Florida. Her passion for words came at an early age and has inspired her to literally plant seeds all over the globe. She is the founder of the Peppertree Press book publishing company and The Pepper Tree Literary Magazine, an avid public speaker, a published children’s author and novelist.
Find out more at: 
Tell us about your book! What is it about and what inspired you to write it?
Irish Jewel is about a young executive woman who meets the love of her life on a business trip.  Amy Reid, about to turn 29 falls in love with her soul mate, Michael Cambridge. He is handsome, charming and extremely wealthy and well known by all that live in the heart of the antiquated and historical Dublin, Ireland.  He sits in the power chair as the CEO of a jewelry store chain called Irish Jewel passed down from his father and his father before him.  She says yes to his proposal and then they plan a destination wedding in Dublin. 
It doesn’t take long before her dreams of becoming Mrs. Michael Cambridge take a turn for the worst and the deep dark family secrets that were once buried in the Ireland dirt come to the surface for all to see.  The intrigue, the mystery and the danger Amy will find herself in will captivate the readers and leave them with an unforgettable ending right down to the last word.
I had an opportunity to travel to Dublin Ireland and even though I was writing another novel at the time, I was truly inspired by this beautiful country and the idea simple popped in my head. The antiquated cemeteries, the architecture and the overall history in Ireland was breathtaking.  I ended up putting away the novel I was working on and writing the premise to Irish Jewel while on the plane.  It is interesting as I typically come up with the title first and then the idea and that seems to work for me best.
Tell us about your publishing process. What was it like? Did you go indie or the traditional way?
I have always wanted to be a writer since I was ten years old. I didn’t actually start writing seriously until after my children were in middle school. All I really wanted is to get a byline and not necessarily be paid for it. I submitted many short stories for parenting magazines and then switched gears and started writing children’s books.  I can recall my first published piece which means that was my first byline. I received a check for $25.00 and because I was so excited, never cashed it.  I later submitted many children’s stories to what I refer to as the “Big Houses” most of their offices are in New York, and they filled my mailbox with those dreaded rejection letters.  I later found a self-publishing company online and published two books with them.
I have learned so much over the years, especially after self-publishing.  With that said, during this process I decided to start my own publishing company and offer the personal touch that writers so deserve. I have learned that you don’t have to be traditionally published to become a successful author as long as you love writing, work hard and get the word out, literally.  It is important to keep yourself grounded and keep your expectations in check at all times.
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?
I would have to say that titles are my thing and with every book idea I come up with, the title always comes first.   Irish Jewel made sense to me since the setting takes place in Dublin, Ireland and one of the main characters is the mogul of an extremely well known jewelry company.
Tell us about the cover design process. Did you have a basic idea of what your book cover would be like?
This is such a great question and I am so excited to share the story.  I had a great idea for the cover even before I finished writing the story. I decided to hire an illustrator and gave him the key points of what I wanted to see on my cover and he happily delivered the exact idea I had  floating around in my head.  There was an antiquated building in the background sort of castle like, a wrought iron gate, a green cinched bag lying on the ground at the front gate filled with loose gems that were spilling out onto the ground. He did a remarkable job with the cover portraying exactly what I wanted. I published my book, scheduled a very successful book signing and then I decided to send my book to an online publicist for her review.  She sent my book cover along with the very gritty about the book to a few book reviewers.  The book reviewers came back with great reviews about my book, however not such a great opinion about my cover. They indicated that my cover did not match my description and did not have a danger element incorporated in the design. The sky was blue and it looked juvenile. 
I learn something new every day as a writer and a publisher and I took their comments very seriously and asked my designer to read my book again and come up with a graphic design. She did such a remarkable job that it literally blew me away.  There was no question about the change and I am so grateful that the book reviewers were honest and straight forward.   I sent the new design back to the reviewers and they had two words for me…“Love It.”
Who is your cover designer and how did you find him/her?
Becky Barbier is my designer for my book as well 800 other book titles published by my company, the Peppertree Press.  I have to say when she walked into my office back in 2006, it was one of the luckiest days of my life. She is a gem of a designer the best of the best and we are fortunate to have worked with her all these years. 
How was your experience working with the designer?
What has been the readers’ response to your cover?
I often hear that my book cover is intriguing and draws the reader in so they want to know what the book is about.  It’s gritty, mesmerizing, and has the elements and intrigue of a mystery, romance and suspense novel.  I often hear if you can see your book cover from at least 10 feet away, then it’s a great cover and a great read. 
What tips would you give to authors who are looking for a cover designer?
To make certain that the cover represents the genre and compliments your description of your manuscript and characters you are portraying.  To go with your gut is a good thing, however to listen to others in the business is most definitely suggested.
Anything else you’d like to say about your book?
It is my hope that you purchase a copy of Irish Jewel and perhaps write a review or send me a note to let me know what you thought. I enjoyed writing it and absolutely loved the characters and the setting.  I know you will not be disappointed in the storyline and the ending will shock you, the suspense is riveting. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

The Book of Forbidden Wisdom by Gillian Murray Kendall


Inside the Book:

Title: The Book of Forbidden Wisdom
Author: Gillian Murray Kendall
Release Date: March 8, 2016
Publisher: Harper Voyager Impulse
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Format: Ebook/Paperback

In a world of blood and betrayal, love is the only redemption… But that knowledge can only be reached by means of magic and a journey, by way of a confrontation with feelings that are hard to understand—or bear. On Angel’s sixteenth birthday, her younger sister, Silky, wakes her to prepare her for a marriage to Leth, a man she likes but does not love. Trey, her oldest childhood friend who is secretly in love with her, watches helplessly. But Angel’s brother, Kalo, interrupts the wedding ceremony. He wants her dowry, and he also believes Angel can lead him to The Book of Forbidden Wisdom. In a world where land is everything, this book promises him wealth. In the night, Kalo goes to Angel’s room to threaten her, but Trey has rescued both Angel and Silky, and the three of them—joined by an itinerant singer—themselves seek The Book of Forbidden Wisdom. While Kalo believes the book contains land deeds, they believe it harbors great power. Always just a step ahead of Kalo, Angel, Silky, Trey, and the Bard finally arrive at the place of The Book. But things have changed now: Angel knows her own heart at last. Confronted by evil, at the end of the known world, Angel and her companions turn and fight. Together. And in so doing, they find that love contains a power of its own.

   photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpgB&N

Meet the Author:

When Gillian Murray Kendall was a child, she spent multiple years in England while her father researched his biography of Richard III and her mother wrote children’s books. She thrived. She had stumbled into a wardrobe, and her enchanted world was England. That sense of belonging-in-the-strange shaped both Gillian’s life and her writing. In the 1980s, the months and months she spent in Africa waiting in lines for kerosene and milk and rice or camping while being circled by annoyed lions was a new normal, while Gillian found the once-familiar Harvard, with its well-stocked grocery stores, alien and unknown. She saw things in a way she could not before. Recently Gillian spent two years in Paris, where learning a new culture, a new strangeness, resulted in the writing of her first book, The Garden of Darkness, and the beginning of The Book of Forbidden Wisdom. She heartily recommends being knocked off one’s feet by the world. Gillian teaches English literature, primarily Shakespeare, at Smith College and is married to biologist Robert Dorit. She has two sons, Sasha and Gabriel.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Dawn Brotherton Talks about her Cover for 'Trish's Team'

Dawn Brotherton’s latest book, Trish’s Team, is the first in the youth fiction Lady Tigers’ Series. Dawn started out writing murder mysteries with a female Air Force officer protagonist, Jackie Austin. As a colonel in the United States Air Force, she knows that part well (she assures us the murders are pure fiction). As her daughters started playing travel fastpitch softball, her attention was drawn back to the dirt fields where she had spent much of her youth. Keeping score and coaching for two different teams, Dawn grew frustrated with the standard scorebooks that were intended for baseball with softball as an afterthought and decided to design her own. The Softball Scoresheet is gaining ground as a more detailed book, with more room to recreate the games, and directions on how to keep score. Dawn is contemplating military retirement at this time and hopes to spend more time writing on a fulltime basis. The second in the Lady Tigers’ series, Margie Makes a Difference, is expected out by Christmas.

Tell us about your book! What is it about and what inspired you to write it?
My daughters are my inspiration. I have two (13 and 15) and they both read voraciously. They can’t ride in the car for ten minutes without their nose in a book. Because of this, they are both excellent writers. Better than I am, I suspect. They both played fastpitch for the Williamsburg Starz. Spending practically every weekend at the ball fields gave me plenty of material to take me to my goal of at least 10 books in this series.
Tell us about your publishing process. What was it like? Did you go indie or the traditional way?
I looked around for traditional at first. In the end, I decided that the trade-off of all the money and time I had to contribute versus the amount of money the traditional publisher and agent would take of my profits didn’t seem worth it to me. I established my own publishing company (Blue Dragon Publishing) and now I help other authors realize their dreams at a more realistic price.
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?
I think titles are the hardest part. This is the first in a ten-part series so that adds an extra challenge. I almost feel like there needs to be a connection, but my writers’ group talked me out of that. Trish’s Team came to me pretty easily when I was almost done with the story. I had it narrowed down to a few, then floated the choices past some friends. I even have the second book title ready, Margie Makes a Difference. The third one hasn’t come to me yet, although I’m over halfway into the book.
Tell us about the cover design process. Did you have a basic idea of what your book cover would be like?
I had some idea what I was looking for. I spent a long time at the library looking at various covers trying to decide what appealed to me and what didn’t. Then I asked my daughters to give their opinion. Once I had an idea, I drew it with a word picture and sent off to my cover artist. He got it right on the first try with only minor edits needed!
Who is your cover designer and how did you find him/her?
Vineet SiddharthaBelieve it or not, I found him on The people advertising on the website will do a variety of jobs for $5, hence the name. Actually it ends up costing more than that, but they hook you with the idea of only paying $5. It was very much worth it!
How was your experience working with the designer?
Excellent. I would recommend him highly. He has done two of my covers so far, and I hope will do the whole series. He did a sketch of my original idea and gave me a chance to make adjustments (Trish was originally too curvy for a 12-year old <smile>). Then he added color and tweaked until we got it right.
What has been the readers’ response to your cover?
I was surprised when a mom stopped by my table at a book signing and said Trish would make a cute action figure. I’ve gotten lots of compliments on his work.
What tips would you give to authors who are looking for a cover designer?
Start with fiverr but make sure you read the fine print. You don’t necessarily have to spend a lot of money to get a good product. Trust in new talent. And make sure you own the rights.
Anything else you’d like to say about your book?
I’m really excited about Trish and her friends. I read a lot of sports books growing up but they were all written with male characters. The Lady Tigers have female leads but can be enjoyed by boys or girls because the lessons apply to both. I’ve added a glossary of terms in the back as well as questions to be used with a book club or to start a conversation between parents and their children. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Dark Transmissions by Davila LeBlan


Inside the Book:

Title: Dark Transmissions 
Author: Davila LeBlanc 
Release Date: March 1, 2016 
Publisher: Harper Voyager Impulse 
Genre: Sci-fi/Space Opera 
Format: Ebook/Paperback

It is the late 23rd century. For engineers Jessie Madison and her husband David, a routine maintenance contract on board the orbital mining station Moria 3 has become a nightmare. Upon awakening from cryo-stasis, they learn a horrifying truth: while they were asleep, machines rose up against humanity...and won.

Marooned and at the mercy of the station’s malicious artificial intelligence, OMEX, David and Jessie rig an emergency transmission to broadcast into the darkness, desperately hoping someone is still alive to hear it...

Navigating the fringes of explored space in the Covenant Patrol vessel the Jinxed Thirteenth, Captain Morwyn Soltaine picks up a distress signal from a space station. But it’s broadcasting in Ancient Humanity, a language that has been extinct for several millennia. Even more incredible: there are two survivors on board. Morwyn’s rag-tag crew of reformed criminals mount a rescue op, unaware of the dangerous foe awaiting them. As the past and future collide, a routine mission becomes a deadly game of wits.
 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg

Meet the Author:

Davila LeBlanc spent his college years studying print journalism but quickly found himself working as a writer and performer in the comedy circuits of Montreal. During this time his goal became to break into the world of professional writing. He would get his first opportunity when he co-created and sold the hit animated television series The League of Super Evil. This was his first foray into the world of production and an important first step on his road to becoming a writer. After working on various television shows, in 2013 Davila decided to take a year off from children's animation to focus on writing his first novel, Dark Transmissions. He is an avid reader of science fiction and fantasy and wants to add his own voice to the genre that inspired him. Davila currently resides in Ottawa where he is working on several other writing projects.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Health & Wellness Author Dr. Gabrielle (Gabby) Pelicci Talks About Her Cover 'Blissful Business: A Gorgeous Guide to Creating Your Dream Career in Health & Wellness'

Designer Annette Wood did my book cover.  It’s a collage of many of the images inside the book. Each image was hand-selected to capture the feeling of Blissful Business. Annette and I decided to create a collage after discussing the best way to capture the beauty and spirit of the interior of the book.  Since the book is deigned to help health & wellness practitioners build a purposeful and profitable holistic business, we chose images that reflected that message – yoga, candles, flowers, nature, community.  These are elements that have been part of my work for 15 years.  I came up with the title “Blissful Business” because I am blissful when my business is running smoothly and I believe that everyone should have the same experience with their work – joyful, happy, satisfying pleasure of doing work that you love and having a positive impact on the world.

I spent over a year designing and writing this book so that it would be super easy to understand and super effective in helping others to have more success no matter what stage of business that they are in. I really had to dig into all of my experiences and extract the wisdom that allowed me to travel around the world as a massage therapist, open a wellness center, teach yoga and meditation, become a professor of holistic health and more. I wanted to create a blueprint because I never had one – and I wished that I had! It would have been so helpful to have a guideline instead of trying to figure everything out by trial and error.

I wrote this book because really wanted to share everything that I’ve learned and I wanted the information to be affordable and accessible to new practitioners like yoga teachers, massage therapists, acupuncturists, naturopaths, nurses, homeopaths, energy healers and other light-workers. There is so much information out there and it can be really overwhelming.  This book is a simple, easy guidebook that covers all the critical things that you need to know to be prosperous – and the style of the book which is reflected on the cover – is both creative and practical - a combination of both left and right brain thinking – a truly holistic approach.  

About the Author

Dr. Gabby is a leading expert on Holistic Medicine and TV Host at Miami-based Health & Wellness Channel.  Dr. Gabby has traveled to 40 countries, worked with thousands of clients – including celebrities and high profile people – and has more than a decade of teaching experience under her belt at top universities in Mind-Body Medicine and Holistic Health. Dr. Gabby’s expertise is regularly featured in National and Local Media such as MSNBC, The New York Post, and the Huffington Post. Dr. Gabby is the Founder of Women in Wellness Career Training, a one-of-a-kind course and community designed to empower and inform you about how to build a purposeful and profitable holistic business.
For More Information
About the Book:

Title: Blissful Business: A Gorgeous Guide to Creating Your Dream Career in Health & Wellness
Author: Gabrielle Pelicci, Ph.D.
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 94
Genre: Health/Wellness/Careers

You started your health and wellness practice because you love what you do, have a passion for helping others, and you wanted to make a positive impact in the world.  But as good as all that sounds, passion is not enough to make you truly successful.

The opportunities for Health and Wellness Professionals are better today than ever before but many programs and teacher trainings do not prepare you to start, market, and grow a successful business. 

Does this sound like you?

           You want to attract more clients or customers
           You feel stuck and don’t know how to move to the next level of your business
           You work very hard, but don’t earn what you want
           You see others being successful and wonder how they do it

Blissful Business: A Gorgeous Guide to Creating Your Dream Career in Health and Wellness is a step-by-step manual to help you achieve your career goals.

This book will help you:
·        Get clear about your vision and mission
·        Create purposeful and profitable one-on-one sessions
·        Use teaching, presenting and publishing to attract loyal customers
·        Master Personal Branding, PR, and Social Media

If you're ready to fulfill your destiny by building a purposeful and profitable holistic business, then you’ve found the right book.   You’ll read several real-life examples of Health & Wellness students who completed the exercises in this book and discovered how to define success on their own terms.

This book is perfect for you if you are a massage therapist, health coach, yoga instructor, personal trainer, energy healer or heart-centered entrepreneur.

You have already invested so much time and money to get an education. Now get the expert support that you need to build a successful career in the Health & Wellness industry.

For More Information

  • Blissful Business: A Gorgeous Guide to Creating Your Dream Career in Health & Wellness is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Book Excerpt:

Watch the Interview with Dr. Gabby at Well Adjusted Mama Radio Show:

Monday, March 21, 2016

The Guest House by W. Jacqueline Johnson

Title: The Guest House 
Author: W. Jacqueline Johnson
  Publisher: iUniverse 
Genre: Biography 
Format: Ebook

As a healer, author W. Jacqueline Johnson knew a cancer diagnosis could be a gift in one’s life, bringing valuable life lessons and even transformation. But nothing prepared her for her own diagnosis and the debilitating effects of chemotherapy and radiation. In The Guest House, she narrates the story of her diagnosis, treatments, and the surprising aftermath. Johnson shares how, as a healthy woman who only saw the doctor for checkups, she is thrown into the medical system’s maze, having tests she never heard of and accumulating enough insurance receipts to fill a large notebook. Her progress is as slow and unpredictable as an upstate New York spring. In Guest House, she tells how she lost all faith in the healing process. But one day something happened as she danced beside a flowing stream, and she felt the subtle energy returning to her body. Slowly, bit by bit, the healing process worked within her in ways she never thought possible as she experienced the liberation of vulnerability and doorways opened through pain. She learned lessons during the journey that led her to believe that cancer is, indeed, magical.  

The Guest House is available for order at

Meet the Author:

  W. Jacqueline Johnson is a former educator who has devoted her retirement years to inner work and a deep study of healing. She and her husband David have three adult children and two grandsons. They live in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York with their cat Gia.

SufferStone by Stella Atrium

Title: SufferStone 
Author: Stella Atrium 
Publisher: iUniverse 
Genre: Sci-Fi/Space Opera 
Format: Ebook

On Dolvia the women of the savannah serve under the burka, but Kyle Le was denied that covering by tribal leaders. Only her gift of second sight and the mortgage on her father’s land protects her and her three sisters. Kyle Le meets Brian Miller, a Softcheeks who teaches her about offworld politics and accumulating wealth while she teaches him the words of power from Mekucoo. Working alongside the warrior Cyrus, they labor against the mining enterprise that robs the savannah of it mineral wealth and leaves the tribes with only the scarred and suffering land. … an intriguing tale. The struggle to overcome oppression, to preserve a way of life, to maintain compassion in a cold and hateful conflict, is always interesting and involving … Atrium has a flair for creating and maintaining an atmosphere of mysticism and mystery … she stays true to the situation, never slipping out of the frame she has set. -- Lisa DuMond, online reviewer of science fiction  

SufferStone is available for order at

Meet the Author:

  I was a great science fiction reader as a young person, but I began to wonder why the protagonist in a sci-fi or fantasy story was always a man, even when the writer was female. Where were the stories that presented a woman as the problem solver? I was encouraged to write a story that was unique and built on my own struggles. I thought a sci-fi story with a girl as the protagonist might be fun. A real heroine cannot call on armies to follow her, or pay assassins for special work. She may have children already, so adventure is out of the question, and family must be secure before she can enter the public square where she has no voice. So how does a story shape if the young hero must solve problems that girls experience in ways that females address problems? I could find no books that started with this premise, so I had to write some. And that was my first reason to write. Website at Writer blog at

Fly Away Free by Anne Turner Coppola


Title: Fly Away Free 
Author: Anne Turner Coppola 
Publisher: Xlibris 
Genre: Juvenile Fiction 
Format: Ebook

The story begins when Tessie Farrell, an older woman living in South Florida, is walking her dog and rescues a baby osprey whose parents are killed by three young boys raiding the osprey’s nest to steal the baby ospreys. Taking the rescued baby osprey home, Tessie contacts the police to report what happened. After caring and feeding the baby osprey and building a cage for the bird, Tessie finds herself exhausted. Lying down to rest, Tessie is transported back in time, when she was a ten-year-old girl living with her parents on a dairy farm in northern New York. Devastated to learn that she is adopted, Tessie is taunted by her classmates as she struggles to understand why she was unwanted by her biological parents. In her isolation from children her own age, she creates her own fantasy world with the help of Dolly, a horse that is boarded at the farm and whom Tessie adopts as her pet horse, and two pet geese, raised and nurtured by Tessie as hatchlings. While Tessie roams her fantasy world with Dolly, she meets and befriends an older woman, Maudie, who will play a very important role in helping Tessie find herself as she learns to accept who she is and to find acceptance by those around her. This is a story of courage, self-discovery, and love, and a young girl’s struggle to overcome the pain of being adopted.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Author Marie Bacigalupo Talks about her Cover for 'Ninth-Month Midnight'

Knowing how important a cover is to the commercial success of a book, I researched a number of resources, some of them free. Ultimately, I decided to go with a professional. I chose Ellie Augsburger, an illustrator at Creative Digital Studios, and provided her with the following information:

-target demographic: women 21-55

-emotion the cover should arouse: I want to remind women of the unbreakable bond between mother and child, as elemental as sea and sky, and I want them to feel the excitement of a sexual relationship that satisfies soul hunger as well as sensual appetite.

-theme: Life keeps reasserting and replenishing itself, like the tides of the primordial ocean (this theme finds an echo in the “cradle endlessly rocking” line of the Whitman epigraph).

Ellie did the ebook and paperback versions of my novella and needed specs for both. For the ebook, I asked, as Amazon required, that she produce a .jpg file size of  2820x4500 pixels with a 300 dpi/ppi resolution in portrait orientation. The title had to be instantly readable, so bold fonts were in order, as were simple images. For the paperback, Ellie needed the number of pages (202) and copy for the back cover.

Ellie proved to be a gem to work with. She was open to my ideas and patient with my suggested revisions. Coming down to the wire, I crowd-sourced different versions of the cover among Facebook friends, including a black-and-white version. They chose the cover depicting a pregnant woman in silhouette against a moonlit backdrop of purple-tinged ocean and sky. This cover felt thematically resonant to me, and potential readers seemed to like it, so we went with it.

For the back cover, Ellie requested and I provided the following:

-blurb: Ninth-MonthMidnight is contemporary women’s fiction at its most compelling. Struggling for years to conceive and tortured by secret guilt, 33-year old Dolores Walsh finally gives birth to a daughter only to lose her four years later to cancer, a loss that transforms Dolores, once a willowy brunette, into a zombie-like chain smoker and threatens her sanity.  Against the wishes of her husband, she attends the séances of Salvador Esperanza, a charismatic male psychic who promises to make contact with her dead child and who ignites a desperate passion in her wounded heart. But who is Esperanza? Is he a selfless savior or a self-seeking seducer?

Find out more on Amazon!


A former copywriter and administrator, Marie Bacigalupo studied creative writing under Gordon Lish at the Fiction Center and participated in workshops sponsored by the University of Iowa and Story Magazine. Her work has appeared in The Examined Life Journal; Romance Magazine; New Realm Magazine; Perspective Literary Magazine; Spark: A Creative Anthology; and other publications. One of over 7000 entrants, she won First Place in the 13th Annual Writer's Digest Short-Short Story Competition. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Guest post: "How The Asset’s Cover Came to Be" by Romance Author Anna del Mar

When I signed my contract with Carina Press, I wasn’t sure how they would go about designing the cover for my debut romance, The Asset. I will confess to a little anxiety. I knew nothing about covers. What works? What sells? But still, I wanted to be involved. Much to my delight, I soon learned that
there was a way that ensured that my thoughts and opinions were incorporated into the creative process. It started with the Art Fact Sheet.

The AFS is a tool that collects all kinds of art-pertinent information about the novel, including the tone and mood of the story, location and specific setting details, sensuality level, character descriptions and significant visual elements. As I worked on The Asset’s AFS, I tried to retell the story from a visual point of view.

The AFS went to my editor at Carina Press, the extraordinary Kerri Buckley. She delivered it to the team, which comprised the talented cover design artists plus members from the marketing team. A few weeks later, a cover concept hit my inbox, the sexy cover you see today. I loved it! Relief. The bliss of working with an outfit that knows what they’re doing.

The Asset is the story of a woman desperate to escape her dangerous past and the Navy SEAL who would lay down his life to save her. It takes place in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, which is why the art team placed that gorgeous scenery that you see on the upper right corner. The cover artists drew on my character description to select the warrior’s image and capture the story’s mood. Readers’ reactions? They often describe the cover as “yummy.” I think that’s success. Don’t you?


TitleThe Asset
Genre: Romantic suspense, Contemporary romance, Military romance, SEAL romance.
Author: Anna del Mar
Publisher: Carina Press
Purchase on Amazon

About the Book:

Ash Hunter knows what it is to run. A SEAL gravely injured in Afghanistan, he’s gone AWOL from the military hospital. Physically and mentally scarred, he returns home to his grandmother’s isolated cottage—and finds a beautiful, haunted stranger inside.

Like recognizes like.

Lia Stewart’s in hiding from the cartel she barely escaped alive, holed up in this small Rocky Mountain town. Surviving, but only just. Helping the wounded warrior on her doorstep is the right thing to do…it’s loving him that might get them both killed.

Soon, Ash realizes he’s not the only one tormented by the past. Pushing the limits of his broken body, testing the boundaries of her shattered soul, he’ll protect Lia until his last breath.

About the Author:

Anna del Mar writes hot, smart romances that soothe the soul, challenge the mind, and satisfy the heart. Her stories focus on strong heroines struggling to find their place in the world and the brave, sexy, kickass, military heroes who defy the limits of their broken bodies to protect the women they love. She is the author of The Asset (Carina Press), the first novel of her Wounded Warrior series and three other novels scheduled for release during 2016.

A Georgetown University graduate, Anna enjoys traveling, hiking, skiing, and the sea. Writing is her addiction, her drug of choice, and what she wants to do all the time. The extraordinary men and women she met during her years as a Navy wife inspire the fabulous heroes and heroines at the center of her stories. When she stays put—which doesn’t happen very often—she lives in Florida with her indulgent husband and two very opinionated cats.

Connect with Anna on the Web: 

Monday, March 7, 2016

YA Mystery Author Gin Price Talks About Her Cover for 'On Edge'

 Gin Price has been writing stories since the sixth grade, preferring fantasy to reality, much to the dismay of teachers throughout school. Often finding herself cheering for the underdog, she enjoys writing hard, edgy pieces where characters have to fight their way through tough times and find inner strength they never knew they had in order to succeed. Fascinated by the different paths friendships can take, Gin enjoys delving in to the young adult genre, where relationships can change dramatically from one day to the next. Using knowledge learned from her childhood environment, her writing is often steeped in street life, whether good or bad. 

Hoping to show support for art that is often misunderstood, Gin published her debut novel, On Edge, focusing on graffiti and parkour, two expressions dear to her heart. Currently, she is a resident in the Metro Detroit area, living with her loving biologist man, David, her two children, Shyla and Hayes, many reptiles and a troublesome cat named Wallace.
Tell us about your book! What is it about and what inspired you to write it?
On Edge is a Young Adult Mystery playing on a Shakespearean theme (R&J) using a graffiti crew vs. a parkour crew. (I encourage anyone who doesn’t know what parkour is, to YouTube it. You won’t be disappointed.) LL finds herself being targeted by a serial-killing graffiti artist, and her brother decides to blame an artist who shows interest in his sister. Threatening to start a gang war over it, LL’s brother forces her to hide her blossoming affection for the enemy while struggling to figure out who the true culprit is. Unfortunately, the person who is guilty might be the same person she’s trying to clear. 
Tell us about your publishing process. What was it like? Did you go indie or the traditional way?
This book is traditional. Obviously it is a lot longer road than SP, filled with rock throwing punks in the median. Everyone is telling you everything about your book and you’re not as free to do as you wish—which honestly is better sometimes. LOL However, there is a validation in traditional that self-publishing has a harder time giving you. You really have to learn to be patient with traditional publishing. It is very seductive to have the instant gratification of self-pubbing.
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 original title was the first thing I had. It has since changed.
Tell us about the cover design process. Did you have a basic idea of what your book cover would be like?
I told the artist that I wanted a brick wall with graffiti on it, preferably with the face of a girl on it, with a freerunner silhouette jumping onto the wall. I don’t think he could’ve done any better without being in my brain. It’s awesome.
Who is your cover designer and how did you find him/her?
Rich Siegle. He designs for the Poisoned Pencil Press.
How was your experience working with the designer?
All I had to do was type up what I wanted. I had the easy part of the job.
What has been the readers’ response to your cover?
Everyone has loved it!
What tips would you give to authors who are looking for a cover designer?
Look at the books they’ve done already. Know what you want and know how to explain it in detail. If there is a style you hate, be honest about it. After a cover is done, it is too late to start saying what you don’t like.
Anything else you’d like to say about your book? 
Though On Edge is a mystery that is all about parkour and graffiti, one of the lesser known themes, or the moral of the story, is that when merging schools together to try and save some money for the city, you have to ask yourself if the merge will cost human life. There’s no amount of money you can save that will justify the death of even one student.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Mystery Author Tj O’Connor Talks about the Cover for 'Dying to Tell'

Tj O’Connor is the 2015 Gold Medal Winner of the Independent Publishers Book Awards (IPPY) for mysteries and the author of Dying To Know, Dying For The Past, and Dying To Tell. Tj is an international security consultant specializing in anti-terrorism, investigations, and threat analysis—life experiences that drive his novels. With his former life as a government agent and years as a consultant, he has lived and worked around the world in places like Greece, Turkey, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, and throughout the Americas—among others. He was raised in New York's Hudson Valley and lives with his wife and Labrador companions in Virginia where they raised five children. Dying to Know is also a 2015 Bronze Medal winner for the 2015 Reader’s Favorite Book Review Awards, a Finalist for both the 2015 Silver Falchion Award and the Foreword Review’s 2014 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award.

Connect with Tj on the Web:
·       Website:
·       Blog:
·       Twitter @Tjoconnorauthor
Tell us about your book! What is it about and what inspired you to write it?
Dying to Tell is the third book in my series, the Gumshoe Ghost. Stop here. I hate that moniker but my publisher, Midnight Ink, liked it. The stories follow Oliver “Tuck” Tucker, a dead detective—yes dead detective—as he solves murders and unravels secrets from his own family past. Tuck was killed in the opening of Book I, Dying to Know, and returned to solve his own murder. Unbeknownst him, he’s back for more than his own problems. He has a skill, if you will—he can work with the living and commune with the dead. And the dead have a lot to say—especially those seeking justice for themselves. Dying to Tell finds Tuck investigating the murder of a reclusive banker, William Mendelson, who has his own secrets chasing him from World War II Cairo, Egypt. Mendelson was involved in some Nazi subterfuge and it’s taken decades to catch up to him. Each of the stories has three elements: a traditional murder mystery, a historical subplot, and Tuck’s own family lore. Tuck never knew his family—he was raised in foster care—and he’s learning along the way that being dead and back amongst the living is not coincidental. Nor is it unique. He’s always aided by a dashing and daring relative—a prohibition gangster, World War II OSS Operative, a cold war spy...
And nothing is as it seems in Winchester, the center of the series’ capers. I was inspired for this book, and the entire series, based on my own experiences and adventures. I’m a former government anti-terrorism agent and now a security consultant. I’ve lived and worked around the world in places most only read about in books. So now, I write stories based, in part, on some of these adventures.  The entire series was born from a 20 year nightmare that haunted me—literally—for years following my work in the first Gulf War. I dreamt I was killed during an operation and came back to earth to find my killers and get justice.  After telling my daughter, Jean, about the nightmare, she begged me to write it as a murder mystery. I did, and landed my agent and first book contract as a result.
Tell us about your publishing process. What was it like? Did you go indie or the traditional way?
I am traditionally published right now. I do so because of my agent Kimberley Cameron. We are, however, exploring indie publishing for future work. The process is painful sometimes and rewarding at other times. I lost a lot of control when we went with my publisher and some of that cost me. I do not like my book covers, back cover copy, or some of the summaries they’ve put out on Amazon and others. But, they are great people and I enjoy a good relationship with them, in particular my editor, Terri B. I am thrilled and thankful that they gave me my first contract. In future work, Kimberley and I will always seek traditional publishing first. But, if she believes in my book and can’t find a taker in the traditional presses, then we’ll go indie. Either way, as long as Kimberley is in my corner, my stories will see print!
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?
Titles are important to me. I even fought for them with my publisher. In the case of this series, the titles are very telling. The first book, Dying to Know, literally and figuratively explains Tuck’s—my lead character—entire theme. There’s a murder. There’s a historical reason behind it. And he’s Dying To Know the answers and who killed him. In Dying for the Past, Book II, the murder of a mysterious philanthropist begins a series of murders and other crimes that are all based on the hunt for “The Book,” the journal of a 1939’s gangster who kept notes of all the cooked politicians, spies, and gangsters going into World War II. So everyone in Winchester in 2015 is being killed off because of events in 1930—They’re literally Dying For The Past. And so goes Dying to Tell. William Mendelson is murdered after he decides to tell the secret behind his World War II misadventures in Cairo, Egypt. Unfortunately, those secrets involved more than just him. In doing so, his telling got him—and others—killed. Every was Dying To Tell.
Tell us about the cover design process. Did you have a basic idea of what your book cover would be like?
This is a painful topic. I did have cover ideas but my publisher went with these cartoonish covers often found on cozy mysteries. First, my series is sold as a cozy but it also has a lot of not-coziness to it. I was looking for something more symbolic and less R.L. Stine. I lost. In the many, many reviews I’ve received—both formal and informal—the covers always come up. It’s split about 75% don’t like them, and 25% do. But that’s from those who read the books. I’ve received lots of emails and comments from folks saving that they would not have bought it because of the cover. But after reading reviews, or speaking with me, or for some other reason, did read it and loved it. The cover, however, seems to be my biggest weakness. 
Who is your cover designer and how did you find him/her?
It is done through my publisher. I had no vote in the process. No, no, I’m not upset about it … not much.
What has been the readers’ response to your cover?
See Above. 75% of my readers don’t like the cover. As I said, many told me they wouldn’t have bought it because of the cover and only did after either speaking with me, getting a recommendation, or seeing the reviews and hearing the story line.
What tips would you give to authors who are looking for a cover designer?
Unfortunately, I cannot comment on personal experience. I do know many authors who get their own indie press or self-publishing done and find their own designers. I am a lucky one for future books, though. My brother-in-law is a wiz graphics designer and I’ll lean on his expertise to find good covers. My advice to anyone looking for cover art is to ask other authors and get recommendations. There’s entire industry rising up to support indie and self-publishing.
Anything else you’d like to say about your book?
Mystery, history, and mayhem—all with a paranormal twist. Some laughs, some tears, and lots of dead bodies. What more could you want?