March 15, 2017

Book Spotlight on Proof of Lies by Diana Rodriguez Wallach

Proof of Lies (Anastasia Phoenix, #1)
by Diana Rodriguez Wallach
Published by Entangled Teen
 Published on March 7th, 2017 
Genre: YA Contemporary/Mystery Goodreads:
Entangled Publishing: Amazon:

Some secrets are best kept hidden… Anastasia Phoenix has always been the odd girl out, whether moving from city to international city with her scientist parents or being the black belt who speaks four languages. And most definitely as the orphan whose sister is missing, presumed dead. She’s the only one who believes Keira is still alive, and when new evidence surfaces, Anastasia sets out to follow the trail—and lands in the middle of a massive conspiracy. Now she isn’t sure who she can trust. At her side is Marcus, the bad boy with a sexy accent who’s as secretive as she is. He may have followed her to Rome to help, but something about him seems too good to be true. Nothing is as it appears, and when everything she’s ever known is revealed to be a lie, Anastasia has to believe in one impossibility. She will find her sister.

Diana Rodriguez Wallach is not the child of super spies, as far as she knows. But she is an avid traveler, and every scene in her books comes from a place she has lived or visited—from her senior year apartment in Boston, MA to the hotel where she stayed in Cortona, Italy. In addition to the Anastasia Phoenix series, Diana is also the author of the award-winning Amor and Summer Secrets series; the Mirror, Mirror short story collection; and essays in both Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories and Latina Authors and Their Muses. She is an advisory board member for the Philly Spells Writing Center, and is a Creative Writing Instructor for Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth. She holds a B.S. in Journalism from Boston University, and currently lives in Philadelphia with her husband and two kids. But of course, this all could be a masterly crafted piece of disinformation… Website: Twitter: @dianarwallach Facebook:   Playlist: Check out the Proof of Lies playlist here:

March 8, 2017

Spotlight on the Going Down in Flames Series by Chris Cannon

Going Down in Flames (Going Down in Flames #1)
by Chris Cannon
Published by Entangled Teen
Published on June 30th, 2014
Genre: YA Paranormal/Fantasy

If her love life is going down in flames, she might as well spark a revolution. Finding out on your sixteenth birthday you’re a shape-shifting dragon is tough to swallow. Being hauled off to an elite boarding school is enough to choke on. Since Bryn is the only crossbreed at the Institute for Excellence, all eyes are on her, but it’s a particular black dragon, Zavien, who catches her attention. Zavien is tired of the Council’s rules. Segregated clans, being told who to love, and close-minded leaders make freedom of choice almost impossible. The new girl with the striped hair is a breath of fresh air, and with Bryn’s help, they may be able to change the rules. At the Institute, old grudges, new crushes, and death threats are all part of a normal day for Bryn. She’ll need to learn to control her dragon powers if she wants to make it through her first year at school. But even focusing on staying alive is difficult when you’re falling for someone you can’t have.

Bridges Burned (Going Down in Flames #2)
by Chris Cannon Published
by Entangled Teen
Published on January 19th, 2015 
Genre: YA Paranormal/Fantasy

Don’t just fight the system…burn it. Since discovering she is a shape-shifting, fire-breathing dragon on her sixteenth birthday (surprise!), Bryn McKenna’s world has been thrown into chaos. Being a “crossbreed”—part Red dragon and part Blue—means Bryn will never fit in. Not with dragon society. Not with the archaic and controlling Directorate. And definitely not when she has striped hair and a not-so-popular affection for rule-breaking… But sneaking around with her secret boyfriend, Zavien, gets a whole lot harder when he’s betrothed to someone else. Someone who isn’t a mixed breed and totally forbidden. And for an added complication, it turns out Bryn’s former archnemesis Jaxon Westgate isn’t quite the evil asshat she thought. Now she’s caught between her desire to fit in and a need to set things on fire. Literally. Because if Bryn can’t adapt to the status quo…well, then maybe it’s time for her to change it.

Trial by Fire (Going Down in Flames #3)
Published by Entangled Teen
Published on April 4th, 2016

 Bryn’s hopes for a peaceful new semester at school go up in smoke when someone tries to kill her—again. She’s not sure which is scarier, facing the radicals who want to sacrifice her for their cause, or her impending nightmare of a Directorate-arranged marriage to her nemesis, Jaxon. The one bright spot in her life is Valmont, her smoking-hot knight who is assigned to watch over her twenty-four hours a day. Is what she feels for him real or just a side effect of the dragon-knight bond? At this point, stopping the impending civil war might be easier than figuring out her love life. She may have to live in their world, but she doesn’t have to play by their rules.

Fanning the Flames (Going Down in Flames #4)
by Chris Cannon
Published by Entangled Teen
Published March, 2017
Genre: YA Paranormal/Fantasy

Bryn McKenna has it all. Even though she’s a hybrid dragon, she’s finally fitting in the new shape-shifting dragon world that’s become her own. But her grandparent’s want to ruin everything by making Bryn’s nightmare of an arranged marriage to Jaxon Westgate a reality. It doesn’t help that Jaxon’s father is on a witch hunt for Rebel sympathizers and Bryn finds herself in his line of fire. If she doesn’t say “I do,” she’ll lose everything. Good-bye flying. Good-bye best friends. Good-bye magic. But if she bends to her grandparents’ will and agrees to marry Jaxon she’ll lose the love of her life—her knight.

Award winning author Chris Cannon lives in Southern Illinois with her husband and her three dogs, Pete the shih tzu who sleeps on her desk while she writes, Molly the ever-shedding yellow lab, and Tyson the sandwich-stealing German Shepherd Beagle. She believes coffee is the Elixir of Life. Most evenings after work, you can find her sucking down caffeine and writing fire-breathing paranormal adventures and snarky contemporary romance. Website: Twitter: ccannonauthor Goodreads:

March 6, 2017

March #InkRipples - Tropes

This month #InkRipples is exploring the topic of literary tropes.

For my post I’m going to use the Wikipedia definition of the word trope which has come to be used for describing commonly recurring literary and rhetorical devices, motifs or clichés in creative works.

It’s interesting to me that agents, publishers, other authors, and even readers call out for originality, yet tropes – like a story formula – are popular. Yes, walking that line between originality and familiarity can be very difficult.

I asked a few of my super smart author friends what some of their favorite tropes are for both reading and writing.

Editor and author coach and YA author, Trish Wilkinson likes the trope of the victorious underdog. She uses the trope in both fiction and nonfiction.

Marie Harte – who knows her way around a spicy love story – loves the enemies to lovers trope. I admit, I do too. I discovered it in my late teens/early twenties when I picked up my first Harlequin Romance. To this day my heart starts to beat faster when a girl has a negative reaction to a drop dead gorgeous guy – ‘cause you know where that’s gonna lead.

Mystery and western romance author, Paty Jager, seconded the underdog trope and added the ugly duckling-to-swan theme, which I explored in my middle grade book, The Lumpy Duckling. Paty also mentioned a trope I hadn’t previously heard of, the librarian to lion. You can find an example of it in the movie The Mummy – love that movie! But since reading is your thing, you’ll find it in Paty’s book, Davis: Letters of Fate.

Generally when I’m planning a book, I like to take a trope that appeals to me and then twist it to provide an unexpected viewpoint. In TheLumpy Duckling, the unattractive character does become handsome, but I explore how that impacts the relationship with his best friend. In King of Bad I took the outcast/coming of age theme but applied to it the villain and how he finds his place in the world. I believe readers like the familiarity and comfort of a literary trope, but are also pleased when the story takes an unexpected turn.

What are a couple of your favorite tropes? Or which tropes are you just plain over!?

#Inkripples is a themed meme hosted by Mary Waibel, Katie L. Carroll, and Kai Strand posting on the first Monday of every month. To participate compose your own post regarding the theme of the month, and link back to the three host blogs. Feel free to post whenever you want during the month, but be sure to include #inkripples when you promote so readers can find you. The idea is that we toss a word or idea into the inkwell and each post is a new ripple. There is no wrong interpretation. Themes and images and more information can be found here.

February 15, 2017

Three Times A Charm with Patricia Josephine

Welcome to Three Times A Charm. Where readers get to discover new books and learn a little about the authors who wrote them. Today we welcome Patricia Josephine. I recently 'met' Patricia when she participated in our January #InkRipples meme by sharing her book cover for the book she's here to talk about today! Let me first tell you a little about Patricia.

Patricia Josephine was an art geek in high school, and never gave writing much thought. On a whim, she wrote down a story. It snowballed from there, and she hasn’t regretted a moment. She lives in Michigan with her hubby, likes to dye her hair the colors of the rainbows, and one day hopes to have what resembles a small petting zoo. She writes young adult under the pen name Patricia Lynne.

So glad you could join us today, Patricia. Can you tell us about your newly released book, Abducted Life?

My latest novel is a New Adult Sci-Fi Romance aka Sci-Fi-Rom (I’m so making that a thing if it’s not already. =P) Savannah and Evan were adbucted by aliens and altered. When they’re returned to Earth, they both struggle to resume their lives. But danger is lurking closer to home and it’s not what’s hidden among the stars the only thing they need to fear.

I recommend my book to readers who like:
Yeah, I gotta be honest, I’m utter crap at figuring out what books mine are like. Usually Goodreads tells me. LOL!

I have the same problem! Okay, now let’s move onto the 3’s. Give us your top three responses to the following:

  • Top 3 things you learned about the business after becoming a writer.
1)Editing makes writing harder. I swear once I learned the rules, they started stressing me out because I’d worry about them while writing.
2)Which relates to number 1, learn to turn that inner editor off. Writing goes much faster when you don’t constantly stop to edit (or in my case worry if I’m not breaking a rule I don’t want to intentionally.)
3)It’s perfectly fine for someone to hate your book. Before I even hit publish, I made peace with the fact someone would hate my writing. I reminded myself that even JK Rowling has people who thinks she can’t write her way out of a paper bag. And that’s okay.

  • Top 3 leisure activities.
When I’m not writing, I enjoy knitting, making jewelry, and watching people play video games on YouTube.

  • Top 3 professions you wanted to be when you grew up.
In kintergarden I remember wanting to be a ballerina. In middle school, it changed to art and stayed that way for a long time. Also, I recall wanting to be an adult when I grew up, but now I realize that comes with a lot of work and I’d like to take that one back. ;)

Oh my gosh, I totally feel that last one! I want a giant do-over because I did it all wrong - took it waaayyyyy too seriously. Where can our readers find you on social media?

You can find me on
Twitter @plynne_writes

Thanks for stopping in today Patricia. Readers, her book is only a day old. Show it some love and pick up your copy today!


February 13, 2017

February #InkRipples - Genre To YA or not to YA

This month we are exploring the topic of genre. Last week I shared a varied list of favored go-to genres of many of my Facebook friends and fans (yeah, I hate that that term too!). Today I want to talk about Young Adult.

 It’s NOT a genre.

I know. I know. BUT…?! ß I’m with you on that.

See, young adult is a target audience. When you write young adult (as I do) you are writing for readers between the ages of 12 and 18 or those who like to read books written for that target audience. Middle grade is a target audience. Adult is a target audience.

Fiction is a genre. A genre I write, as a matter of fact.

Wait – did you just fall asleep on me? Yep, bet you did. Fiction is a stupidly big category that tells a potential reader nothing about your work. So instead I respond that I write fantasy and contemporary fiction. But you know what? I usually qualify it by saying YOUNG ADULT fantasy and contemporary fiction. As do many readers, as referenced in the extremely informal survey, which I published last week:

Young Adult Fantasy 2
Young Adult Romance1
YA Paranormal Romance1
Young Adult 4
Coming of Age 1

So in this example,
what exactly does Fiction mean
that Young Adults doesn't?
 I also find it interesting that even publishers ask for submissions in the young adult genre. Do they know it isn’t officially a genre? Absolutely. But as evidenced by the varied responses to my question, “What is your go-to genre?” readers consider young adult an entire category unto itself. They don’t necessarily care if it's an issues book or an urban fantasy as long as it is young adult. They want the young adult interpretation of drug abuse or fairies. They want the YA telling. Because YA has a different feel to it than its adult or middle grade counterparts. Read a paranormal book from those three different target audiences and you’ll find differences beyond the heat level of the relationships within. Middle grade will likely have a single story line. Maybe a sub plot or two, but nothing too complex. Young adult will likely have a faster pace than its adult counter part, which in my personal opinion is where YA shines. Relationships are equally complex, but the stakes are usually higher in YA (and mg, for that matter) The entire world or humanity is often threatened instead of just your family, position, personal world. So –to me, at least - identifying YA as a genre points more to the writing style of the book than the audience the book is targeting.

I’ve already admitted to being a genre dope, so please take my personal interpretations as just that – personal opinions, not official educational materials. Anyway, this is why I feel young adult is often considered a genre by readers and publishers. For those of you who are sticklers for the rules, please try to accept that in this the rules are blurred simply to define the writing style of the book in question.

What say you? Does it make you growl aloud whenever you see young adult listed as a genre or do you get it? Or perhaps you don’t even care? Let’s hear your personal opinions on the blurring of genre definitions.

If you missed them last week, please visit Katie Carroll's post on YA in genre and Kristine Hall's post on exploding genres. Both GREAT posts directly related to my meandering thoughts.

#Inkripples is a themed meme hosted by Mary Waibel, Katie L. Carroll, and Kai Strand posting on the first Monday of every month. To participate compose your own post regarding the theme of the month, and link back to the three host blogs. Feel free to post whenever you want during the month, but be sure to include #inkripples when you promote so readers can find you. The idea is that we toss a word or idea into the inkwell and each post is a new ripple. There is no wrong interpretation. Themes and images and more information can be found here.

February 10, 2017

GHOST TOUCH by LA Dragoni (aka - me)

I'm super excited to share the brand new cover for my new adult paranormal romance, GHOST TOUCH. I published this under the name LA Dragoni - the persona I write new adult and adult under. The book is also now available in PRINT, since my informal survey told me 1/2 of my readers either prefer or only read print. Without further ado:

For fifteen minutes each night a portal opens in Tamara’s barn and a horde of ghosts spills into her yard. She and Dex work together to find a way to help Cal and the thousands of spirits stuck in the void to cross over. When she learns she has the ghost touch—the ability to touch the ghosts as if they were corporeal—and she accidentally helps a little boy cross, she believes it might be possible. But not all the spirits play nice and when they learn they can sip energy from her ghost touch, they become greedy putting her life at risk.

Each time Cal has to pull her from the mass of ghosts, her touch restores him more and more until he is at danger of being stuck on earth—forever, which is very enticing to Tamara the better she knows him. Will she and Dex figure out how to help the spirits cross and if they do, will she be able to let Cal go?

This new adult paranormal romance is available in ebook, and audiobook from Amazon, and now available in print!
Also available on Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iTunes, and other e-tailers.


The newest face in Tamara’s latest nightmare was about to be revealed when a loud SLAM woke her. Still anxious from the events of the night before, Tamara had slept lightly all night. She pulled the shotgun from where she’d tucked it under her bed, slipped into a pair of sneakers and headed out to the barn. The hairs on the back of her neck rose when she found Ruff cowering and whimpering in front of the doors where he’d sat menacingly the night before. She hesitated as she drew up next to him. A faint blue light seeped through the crack between the large doors. There were no windows on the front of the building, so there was no way she could know who was in there or where they were. Even though it would be embarrassing, she decided to call the police again.
As she turned toward the house, the large barn doors swung open. Her heart kicked into high gear. She leveled the shotgun, pointing it straight at the doors as they glided open on their own accord, hoping the sight of the gun would be enough to scare the intruder away.
An unnatural blue-white light spilled outward, making her squint. Blinding bright in the center, it faded to murky shadows in the corners. Tamara’s heart all but stopped when shapes developed within the bright center. A crowd of people surged forward, scattering in all directions across her yard.
There were so many. Panic filled Tamara while she tried to figure out what to do, how to defend herself against so many. Who were all these people? Why had they been in her barn? Why is that man digging?
“Hey, stop!” she yelled.
A woman in a torn red dress stumbled up the hill reminding Tamara of herself in last night’s dream. The woman’s long blond hair streamed behind her in the windless night. She continually glanced over her shoulder, a terrified expression gnarling her beautiful face, though no one pursued her.
Then a single man sauntered forward, his attention intent on Tamara. The bright light behind him made it impossible for her to make out any detail, but his manner seemed equal parts commanding and relaxed. Her heart fluttered madly, and she felt the muzzle of the rifle dip toward the ground as she considered fleeing. A flat, wide-brimmed cowboy hat sat straight on his head. Well-worn leather chaps covered his bowed legs. Strange clicking noises accompanied him across the lawn. As he drew closer his image sharpened. When Tamara saw his face, she lowered the gun barrel. “Sheesh, I am dreaming.”
She looked into the skinless face of her latest nightmare.
“Ma’am, I can assure you, this is no dream.”


LA Dragoni weaves several interesting and unique premises about the afterlife into this story -- and the love triangle is only two parts living! The story has eerie, vivid descriptions of the ghosts, and the emotional turmoil of all three of the main characters is very well defined. Dragoni provides an awesome villain to hate and then masterfully manages to change the reader's opinion of the villain.

There are several twists and surprises in the plot, and the ending is satisfying but absolutely leaves questions that hopefully will be answered in a subsequent novel.

-Hall Ways blog

About the author: LA Dragoni isn’t too particular about who falls in love or where they fall in love. She simply considers it her job to capture the story about their love. Whether it’s paranormal, mythical, or time travel, LA will be there to divine their story for you. She lives in Central Oregon with her husband and children, but haunts ghost towns and cemeteries up and down the west, in search of the next adventure to sift through her storytelling brain. Follow LA on Facebook and Twitter. Subscribe to her mailing list and learn more about LA and her work at

February 6, 2017

February #InkRipples - Genre

The irony of this month’s #InkRipples topic, GENRE, is that I picked it and I don’t know anything about it. Not really. To me, genre is like the math of the literary world. You can explain it to me again and again and I think I understand until I actually try to apply the knowledge and then it all gets mixed up. Because of that, I cannot promise the most educational blog posts this month, but I will endeavor to provide some enlightenment. Or perhaps simply some entertainment.

Each time I set out to compose a post, my mind ended up in a twist. Since I know other bloggers will provide far more reliable information this month than I can, I decided to find out what genres YOU read. So I posted the question on Facebook: “Okay, be honest. Go-to genre when you want to escape.” Holy cow I absolutely LOVE how diverse the responses were! If ever I worry that there isn’t enough room in the writing world for me, I’m going to revisit this post!

Anyway, here is a compilation of the responses - as accurately as I could manage - followed by the number of people who responded with the same answer.

Fiction  (1)
Historical Fiction (3)
Speculative Fiction (1)
Magical Realism (1)
Science Fiction (3)
Humorous Fiction (1)
Dystopian (2)
Fantasy (10)
Urban Fantasy (3)
Young Adult Fantasy (2)
Children’s Fantasy (1)
Paranormal (1)
Ghost Story (1)
Horror (2)
Romance (6)
LGBT Romance (1)
Romantic Suspense (1)
Regency Romance (1)
Young Adult Romance (1)
Historical Romance (3)
Paranormal Romance (2)
YA Paranormal Romance (1)
Contemporary Romance (1)
Mystery (5)
Mystery Set in Britain  (1)
Murder Mystery (4)
Thrillers (1)
Psychological Thriller (1)
Detective (2)
Suspense (1)
Domestic Noir (1)
Classic Novels (1)
Board Books (1)
Picture Books (1)
Children’s Literature (1)
Middle Grade (1)
Humorous Middle Grade (1)
Young Adult (4)
Coming of Age (1)
Literary (1)
Chick Lit (1)
Travel Writing (2)
Biographies (1)
Self Help (2)
Humorous Non Fiction (1)
Gardening Books (1)
Religious (1)
And my all time favorite genre ;)
Harry Potter (1)

I do realize that some of these are not official genre categories, but if a reader considers it a genre…who am I to argue? I will attempt to explore genre categories later this month. Until then, isn’t it absolutely great how many different categories and sub-categories are identified here? You’ll notice that fantasy had the most responders, yet others specified their go-to sub-category; urban, young adult, children’s.

Thank you to those who responded. It really opened my eyes to the enormity of storytelling potential.

What is your go-to genre when you want to escape?

#Inkripples is a themed meme hosted by Mary Waibel, Katie L. Carroll, and Kai Strand posting on the first Monday of every month. To participate compose your own post regarding the theme of the month, and link back to the three host blogs. Feel free to post whenever you want during the month, but be sure to include #inkripples when you promote so readers can find you. The idea is that we toss a word or idea into the inkwell and each post is a new ripple. There is no wrong interpretation. Themes and images and more information can be found here.

February 1, 2017

Nominate The Dragon's Cave on Kindle Scout


Attention middle grade readers! Here is an opportunity to get directly involved in the publication of your next middle grade read. But hurry, voting ends SOON!

The Dragon’s Cave  by ROSE-MARIE LYTTLE

Only one boy can decode the dragon’s magic…

Seamus’s day couldn’t get any worse. His best friend stops speaking to him, his cross-country coach benches him, and lightning strikes him down, right in front of his middle school. But it does get worse.  When he wakes up from the lightning, he finds himself trapped in the body of a young squire in medieval Scotland. At the base of a haunting mountain, a tyrannical king leads Seamus and a group of soldiers to face off with a dragon. When a knight who seems eerily familiar is wounded, Seamus is the only one who can find the cure deep within the dragon’s lair.

As he approaches the cure, the terrifying dragon traps Seamus and has a chance to end his life. But the dragon spares him, saying that the young squire is on a quest that could change the world forever. Seamus learns he must make a dangerous pact with new allies in order to save his friends’ life and secure one last chance to get home.

If you like Eragon and How to Train your Dragon  then you’ll love Rose-Marie Lyttle’s incredible adventure for kids ages 9-14. Nominate The Dragon’s Cave on Kindle Scout today.


Seamus opened his eyes, blinking to make out the picture in front of him. Treetops. Filtered sunlight. The air smelled woodsy.
“Seamus, what are you doing, boy? Taking a nap?” a man’s voice said, his English—or was it Scottish?—accent unfamiliar.
Seamus scrambled to his feet and dusted himself off. And then froze.
What was he wearing? Tights? Leather lace-up boots? And where on earth was he? It appeared to be some sort of meadow, not…his mind grew fuzzy trying to remember where he had just come from. All he remembered was the brightest flash of light he’d ever seen.
“Seamus!” the man snapped.
His head jerked up, and he realized the older man was speaking to him. “Yeah?”
The man frowned. “You mean, yes, sir.
Bewildered, he peered around for some clue to help him understand where he was and what was happening. A flicker of panic bubbled up in his chest. Realizing the man waited for a response, he said, “Yes, sir?”
“Come. Supper is ready.” The man wore strange clothing—a cream-colored tunic with the emblem of a crimson dragon embroidered on the front, like a knight from the Medieval Dinner Theatre where his mom once dragged him. Something about the knight seemed familiar, although he had never seen his face before.
He glanced down and realized he, too, wore a tunic with a crimson dragon. Was this some crazy dream? He touched his face. Who was he? Did he appear different? Had he somehow fallen into another boy’s body? Some kid in medieval Scotland? A tickle on his neck made him bring his hand back to find shoulder-length hair. He pulled it out to see the color—a darker brown than his sandy-blond mop back home.
The knight’s eyebrows drew together. “Come on, boy, what is the matter with you tonight?” He didn’t wait for an answer, just turned and walked away while Seamus trotted to keep up. They entered a clearing where many other knights milled about, some sitting on logs and rocks eating, some standing and talking. A large tent on one side bore the same dragon emblem they wore on their tunics. A fire burned in the middle of the clearing, and a large kettle hung over it, suspended by a chain and a tripod of sticks.
The sight of a boy his age made goose bumps prick his skin. Andy. The memory of their parting scene came back in a rush—Lacey falling in the wash, Andy’s joy that he couldn’t race, the bolt of lightning… Had it struck him? Had he died and come here, to this place? It sure didn’t seem like any version of heaven he’d ever imagined. Nor did it appear to be hell or even purgatory. What was this—medieval times?
Rose-Marie Lyttle is a USA Today bestselling and award-winning author under another penname. As Rose-Marie, she writes middle grade and young adult fantasy novels. She is also a contemporary dance teacher, Feldenkrais Practitioner(R), energy worker and mom to two lights who shine up her world. She splits her time between Tucson, AZ and Taos, NM.

You can connect with her on:

January 30, 2017

January #InkRipples - 5 Star Books & Their Covers

The last Monday in January. It's been a long month! Is it because there were 5 Mondays? Because we got tons of snow, had a gymnasium collapse and missed lots of school while they shoveled rooftops? Perhaps its the vitriolic political climate that threatens to decimate our country. Idk. But I wasn't sure the month was going to end. Ever. But speaking of ending, there's a giveaway of King of Bad on Goodreads that ends on the 31st. Hop on over after you've devoured this post. Link is in my sidebar -->

All month long #InkRipples has been exploring all things book covers. I explored the making of a book cover by sharing different incarnations of my covers during the design process and sharing my collaboration experiences. Other Ripplers have shared new covers, talked about why certain covers attract their attention, etc. It's quite fun. Search #InkRipples on Twitter and find the plethora of book cover goodness. 

Today I'm wrapping up the month by becoming a reader. Well, I'm always a reader, but for the purpose of this post, I'm a Reader Not a Writer (One of my favorite blogs, btw's). I'm examining the covers of my 2016 5 star reads to give my personal opinion on if the cover matches the awesomeness of the story within.

This is a short story cross of Snow White and Sleeping Beauty (sort of). The cover has a great fairy tale feel but the stark colors aren't my fave. I did not read the illustrated version of this book. My opinion of the cover might be different if I luxuriated in illustrations. Hmmm, I might have to check that out now that I think of it. 

I've spent a lot of time with this lovely young adult story by my critique partner, Beverly Stowe McClure. And because of that, I think it bears more weight that I also love the cover. When you spend a lot of time crafting a story, refining the characters, choosing the right words, a first look at the cover can be stressful. What if it just doesn't make the grade? But this cover caught my attention immediately. Made me suck in breath and say, "Oooo." I love purple covers. 

This talking head illustration did get my attention. Enough to read the blurb and decide to read this young adult book. Is it my favorite cover ever? No. But it did it's job. I really, really loved this book, so I'm glad this cover made me think, "Now what's that all about?"

I listened to this middle grade gem on audiobook. I tend to pick my audiobook more from title than cover - not really sure why, maybe because of the audio aspect of the book. So that means the cover didn't get my attention, but I admit that adorable expression doesn't lose my attention either. I do love that the cover sets the mood and mind set of the story. 

This wonderful middle grade orphan train novel (also by my critique partner, Beverly. Hey, what can I say? She's a great author) is well covered. The sunrise gives us a hopeful feeling, which we need throughout Leona's emotional journey. The only criticism I can offer is that Leona is a bit hard to see. Especially in thumbnail. I wish she had a bit of an outline to stand out more. But I really love the color scheme of this cover and the font of the title. 

I love everything about this entire upper middle grade series. This cover is fantastically creepy. Another great color scheme. I'm currently listening to The Creeping Shadow and love, love, love it and it's cover too. Stroud is a favorite author of mine and not because I'd be shelved next to him if Barnes and Noble would stock my middle grade books. (Grumbles in the general direction of B&N)

I can't say that either the cover or the title would have inspired me to read this young adult book. I picked it up after seeing it included on several 'favorites' posts by bloggers. The book is worthy of the favorites, even if the cover isn't. 

For the sake of saving space, let me just say this entire adult series (very adult, btw) was fantastic - all three books got 5 stars from me. Couldn't read fast enough. And I rarely read adult, so that's saying something. I guess. The covers? Yeah. Simple, simple, simple. Definitely not what drew me in (another blogger raved and I trust her opinion. She was right again.) I believe the books were published ages ago, if I remember correctly. With the trend of recovering, I'm surprised to still see these simple covers. These stories could most definitely have oiled, bare chested men on the covers. *fans self*

Oh yeah! I love this creepy middle grade cover so, so much. It has so many elements of the story (except the humor, there's a lot of that) in a simple picture. It really sets the mood, while making us ask, "What the heck is that coming through the door?" Great cover for a great story. 

I put off reading this because I didn't want the series to end. I didn't want to leave Gansey. I didn't want to leave Blue. I didn't want to leave the covers! Isn't this stunning? Stiefvater is one of my all time favorite young adult authors and she gets some of the most beautifully illustrated covers for her fine work. Well deserved.

That's the long list of my 2016 5 star reads. I had a good reading year! I don't usually love so many of the books I read. As you can see sometimes I can judge a book by it's cover and other times, I can't. If there was a sixth Monday in January (thank God there isn't!) I'd share the books with fantastic covers whose contents fall short. We've all read them. 

Do the covers of your 5 star reads stand up to the story inside? Share the titles and authors in the comments so I can check them out - and maybe add them to my tbr list. 

#Inkripples is a themed meme hosted by Mary Waibel, Katie L. Carroll, and Kai Strand posting on the first Monday of every month. To participate compose your own post regarding the theme of the month, and link back to the three host blogs. Feel free to post whenever you want during the month, but be sure to include #inkripples when you promote so readers can find you. The idea is that we toss a word or idea into the inkwell and each post is a new ripple. There is no wrong interpretation. Themes and images and more information can be found here.


January 23, 2017

January #InkRipples - Book Covers, My Favorite Collaboration

January's #InkRipples topic is book covers. Throughout the month I’m exploring the making of a book cover. So far this month I’ve shared the progression of a couple covers as I worked with digital artists, I shared my experiences working with an illustrator, and the challenges of covering a series. Today I'm sharing my favorite cover collaboration to date.

The cover for Finding Thor was such a challenge in so many ways and my publisher and cover artist were SOOOO patient through the process.

Such a gorgeous cover. I want to write a book
I could use this cover for!
Finding Thor is a romantic suspense, which means there are two important aspects to the overall story that should be portrayed on the cover. 1) The reader needs to know that there is suspense and intrigue in the story. 2) They also need to know that the love story is an integral part of the story line. Though real life often twines suspense and drama throughout your love life, it isn't as easy to combine the two in an image as you might think.

The first image I received for the cover I really, really loved. The field and the lighting is beautiful, alluring even, the girl is taking control of her life. And lightning! I love lightning not the mention the color scheme of the title and my name. But unfortunately, it just didn't portray the story at all. First off, Finding Thor is set in my hometown of Bend, Oregon, and there isn't a field like that within a day's drive. Second it's just too serene. There is constant action and suspense and harrowing circumstances throughout the story. Not this peaceful moment of empowerment.

I took that photo! Elk Lake, Oregon.
I think I was in a canoe
So I sent the cover artist a picture I'd taken at one of Oregon's high lakes where I'd imagined the final scene of the book taking place. I said, "Maybe something more like this as the setting." The second mock up I received included my very own image, shot with my very own camera. Yeah, that was hard to decline. Look at how gorgeous that is! With the added beach, the pretty girl, the cover was beautiful - but again, it was too serene. I didn't want someone picking up the book thinking it was a sweet love story and then reading the torture with kitchen implements scene. Talk about misleading!

So, I was like, "IDK, maybe we can keep it simple. A heart shaped rope or something" - thinking she'd never have that kind of image. OH MY GAWD! She did. Plus she found a mountain lake in the most spectacular colors that were eye catching while also setting a more suspenseful mood. Ah!!! I love this cover. Maybe I love it so much because of all the work we all put into it, but of all my books this cover gets the most compliments. And you should see it IRL! It is so, so stunning in print.
Final cover - SO gorgeous
Get your hands on a copy of Finding Thor by visiting my website.

What drives you craziest on a misleading cover? Wrong character hair color? Unrelated setting? Misleading mood?

Be sure to visit again next week when I wrap up the book cover topic by becoming a reader and talk about my favorite book covers.

#Inkripples is a themed meme hosted by Mary Waibel, Katie L. Carroll, and Kai Strand posting on the first Monday of every month. To participate compose your own post regarding the theme of the month, and link back to the three host blogs. Feel free to post whenever you want during the month, but be sure to include #inkripples when you promote so readers can find you. The idea is that we toss a word or idea into the inkwell and each post is a new ripple. There is no wrong interpretation. Themes and images and more information can be found here.