Now to the WHAT of our Journey…

And away we go again on this journey of new covers for my Mind Sweeper series. Over the past few weeks, we’ve talked about the WHY, WHO, and WHEN of recovering my series. Today I’m going to talk about the WHAT.

Sweeper Ebook Final (1)What is it that I am trying to say with my covers? With the new covers, I wanted to convey more of the Urban Fantasy vibe. To give readers a hint of the paranormal or other that my Mind Sweeper world lives in.

And this is when the fun and creativity comes into play.

My cover artist conveyed the sense of other with color. The purples, blues, pinks and turquoise takes us down a path of being a bit different, yet the colors all tie together overall, making the books compliment each other.

Then there’s the smoke or glow around the characters on the covers that give you that paranormal sense.Shifter Final Ebook (1)

Backgrounds also help convey a message. Since this series is Urban Fantasy, the urban (or in this case grunge) backdrop is important. Believe it or not, each background plays a part in that particular book’s story. For example, part of Shifter Wars takes place in a body shop, so it seemed appropriate to showcase Kyle standing in one.

And one of the coolest parts of the Shifter Wars cover is the cat sitting on the car. He plays an important part in the story as well!

Mind Sweeper has several pivotal scenes that take place in empty warehouses which lends itself to that urban feel.

Sentinel Lost’s background of the hallway on one side, and the stairs on the other represents choices. In that book, Kyle has to make a number of choices when it comes to love, her family, her own safety, and finally her life.

Sentinel Ebook Final (1)Even the font type conveys a “feeling” of other for the stories.

And we can’t forget about the pics on the t-shirts. For Mind Sweeper, the little girl with the magic wand is a perfect example of Kyle. Trying to find her way in the world when she doesn’t exactly “fit in” with everyone else.

The wolf on her Shifter Wars t shirt is pretty self-explanatory, (I hope) and finally the key on her t shirt on Sentinel Lost is the crux behind Kyle’s entire story arc.

Am I making your head hurt yet? Needless to say, my cover artist rocked these covers! And I wanted to share with you the WHAT behind the covers to give you an idea of what they represent for the series. And also to let you know about the thought behind them.

Let me know what you think…

 

 

The Journey Continues with Who…

Thanks for joining me on this journey of redesigning my covers for my Mind Sweeper Series. Last week we talking about WHY and this week we’re going to talk about WHO. Who is an important question on several levels.

First – who do I want to partner with to create the covers. I have learned in this business to play to your strengths and while I think I have a good visual eye, that doesn’t mean I can actually create the cover myself. For that I need an expert. I turned to my cover artist that created my cartoon (or vector) covers for my Wedding Planner Series. She was more than happy to help me come up with a new vision for my Mind Sweeper Series as well.

And so I filled out a questionnaire for her about the first book. The questionnaire asked about the important characters in the book, as well as the setting and the plot summary. She asked about important symbols or emotions to convey on the cover. And a host of other questions, and then the process began. It was time to pick out the second WHO – the characters on the covers.

As you can see, my cover artist hit it out of the ballpark on the first swing when it came to Kyle, my heroine of the Mind Sweeper series. This is a hint at cover number one. Hopefully all of the covers will be available on the retailer sites by next week at the latest, but I couldn’t wait anymore to share one of the covers with you.

So what do you think?

 

Even Authors Fall in Love with their Characters

In one week, DEMONS ARE A GIRL’S BEST FRIEND will be out in the world. I’m super excited for Aleksei’s story to release for several reasons.

For one thing, it is a story of seeming opposites. A high-powered, over-thinking, OCD, male paired with a gut-following, fearless female. How could opposites attract??

Because they compliment each other and teach each other to take a risk! Hee, hee, I love it when that happens.

I also love creating powerful female characters and Naya is definitely one of those. What makes it cool, is that Aleskei is also a strong male. Tempers flare and sparks fly. Are you intrigued yet?

And there is something special about Aleksei. I think it’s because when we  first met Aleksei in the Mind Sweeper series he was a bit pompous. And even though Kyle quickly put him in his place (and continues to do so) he evolved into a wonderful character. Which made me want to write his story.

I love when characters surprise us and make us root for them, right?

So I’ll stop here, since I could keep going and going. But I want to save something for the release!

PreOrder:   Amazon   ibooks   Kobo    B&N  

 

Watch Out Big Brother – Here I Come!

It’s been a week since Misha has been out in the world and he is so happy to be spending time with you all! And even though he would like to continue to be the center of attention, in three short weeks, his brother Aleksei will also be joining the celebration as well.

DEMONS ARE A GIRL’S BEST FRIEND will release on October 15th! Which means Aleksei wants to share a bit of his story with you. Not to be outdone by his older brother, he has a video as well. Check out the thirty second sneak peek of Aleksei’s story below, or by clicking HERE.

And the fun part of Aleksei’s story? You may recognize a couple of the scenes from Misha’s story, but this time it’s through Aleksei’s viewpoint. It was a blast to write and I hope it will be a blast to read!

Misha is ready and Aleksei will be here soon. The fun has only JUST begun!

 

Release Day: Demons Will Be Demons

Hallelujah, my friends! The day has come where Misha’s story heads out into the world. Today is the release day for DEMONS WILL BE DEMONS!

Misha and I want to welcome you to our celebration. It includes food (for Misha), tiaras (for me) and bubbly (for both us)!

Those of you who have been along for the new release day celebrations in the past know that I take a tiara pick to celebrate my kickbutt writer princess status. And since I can’t disappoint my readers, I have attached the pic!

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In addition to my tiara pic, I spent this past weekend at a writer’s conference where two of my dearest writer friends – Sonali Dev and Miranda Liasson – agreed to celebrate in true tiara style. Check us out below!

sonali & MJ

Miranda insisted on holding Misha, since he is one of her book boyfriends! But all three of the brothers insisted in being in the picture!

I hope you are as excited as I am about the release. Feel free to crack open a bottle of bubbly and join the celebration with us!!

Order:   Amazon   ibooks    Kobo    B&N 

 

Demon in Need of Dating Advice

On Monday, DEMONS WILL BE DEMONS will release! Which means Misha will be getting his happy-ever-after! He is so excited about finally finding his true love, that he’s working on dating strategies.

Since two of Misha’s favorite things in the world are food and retro TV , it shouldn’t come as a surprise that his first date idea is dinner and a show.

Here are some of his ideas:

  • Pork chops with homemade applesauce along with a marathon of The Brady Bunch (the episodes before Oliver came along).
  • Hamburgers & fries followed up by Fonzie and the Happy Days‘ Gang.
  • Barbecue and cornbread while watching Dukes of Hazard.

Needless to say, I think our friend needs some advice. If anyone is so inclined, please give Misha some ideas….anyone….anyone….Bueller…

Releases September 17th – PreOrder:   Amazon   ibooks    Kobo    B&N 

It’s Almost Showtime!

Monday Misha’s story releases and before then he wants to give you a sneak peek. Below is an excerpt from DEMONS WILL BE DEMONS, book one in The Realm Trilogy. Book one is all about Misha finding love. He’ll tell you that it’s about daggone time!

Without further adieu…

Chapter 1

Misha Sokolov was a demon on a mission.

It was finally time to take the plunge back into the dating game, but unlike the quirky TV show, he didn’t need a cheesy game show host or a trio of bachelorettes to make his choice. He had already found his one and only.

It shouldn’t matter that they came from different worlds, literally. Love should be able to conquer all—even interdimensional portal jumps.

He glanced over at his teammate Jean Luc, who drove the team van like they were in one of The Fast and the Furious movies. Tires squealed as they streaked down Mayfield Road to pick up their other teammate Kyle in Little Italy. With Jean Luc it didn’t matter if they were on their way to a case or simply out for a drive, speed was the vampire’s constant companion, along with his vampire lady-love, Talia.

“Is something wrong, my friend?” Jean Luc asked as he screeched to a stop in front of Kyle’s apartment building, the smell of burned rubber permeating the van.

Misha opened his mouth and then closed it again. How could he explain to Jean Luc…who had only to walk down the street with his long hair and French accent to attract hordes of females…that he, Misha, was nervous about a female? One female—his bachelorette—in particular.

Naya.

His stomach fluttered like a lovesick schoolgirl…or was it the two burritos he’d had for lunch? Either way, Naya was his dream woman. Hell, he’d never seen her human side and he still found her gorgeous. Maybe because her demon side was a purple version of Xena, Warrior Princess.

He thought she might be his soul mate, and in his heart of hearts he did believe that love could conquer all, but there was one small problem.

He couldn’t talk to her.

He became a bumbling, stumbling idiot whenever he was within a fifty-foot radius of her. Misha Sokolov, who, according to his babushka, was born with the gift of gab. And since his grandmother was over a thousand years old, she would know.

He could talk to females. Had he not already been married three times? True, his first marriage was arranged by his father, but the other two weren’t. They didn’t work out, but it wasn’t because he couldn’t talk to them. Natalia, wife number two, would say the opposite, actually. That he was way too fond of talking.

He shook his head. His love life, or gaping lack thereof, might be his mission, but was not the actual priority right now.

After they picked up Kyle, they were on their way to the demon immigration meeting to work out how to bring the next group of demons to earth from the demon realm.

And Naya would be there.

In approximately one month, the next realm demons would arrive. Even after the first group immigrated with few issues, dissenters in the supernatural community who did not want the realm demons to come to earth had become increasingly vocal. Which meant everything must go according to plan with the next group. Supernaturals, like humans, were not immune to having fear and ignorance cause them to do stupid things.

The back door of the van opened and Kyle hopped inside. Misha smiled at his petite teammate, who was decked out in her usual black jeans, T-shirt, and steel-toed black boots. The color of her hair was often a surprise, although recently she had been keeping it jet black. Today she had a festive streak of red down one side.

She pulled out a bag from behind her back, and he reached for it with glee.

“The bakery! What did you bring me today, little one?”

She handed him the bag. “Three apple strudels. I would’ve bought more, but there must’ve been a run on them before I got there.”

He opened it and caught a whiff of the cinnamon and sugar wafting up from the bag. Nirvana. “Thank you. This will tide me over until my midafternoon snack.” He took a bite of the pastry.

Kyle chuckled. “It’s already midafternoon, you know.” She gave Misha the once-over before her eyebrows rose slightly. “Don’t you look fancy. Is that a new shirt?”

He took a long time swallowing before answering her. “No,” he lied before stuffing the rest of the strudel into his mouth and chewing for several moments.

When Kyle opened her mouth to say something else, Misha asked, “Isn’t Joe joining us?” If he brought up Kyle’s FBI boyfriend, maybe he could distract her.

“Dalton’s in Chicago on a case. And don’t lie to me, demon. You dressed up for Naya.”

Before he could lie to her again, his ringing phone saved him. Dolly was calling from the office.

Misha clicked on the speaker. “Well hello, Dolly,” he sang in his bass voice.

“That wasn’t funny the first time you did it, Misha, and hasn’t been the thousand times since then.”

“What can I do for you?” Misha asked, ignoring her scold.

“We’ve got a call.”

“We’re on the way to the demon immigration meeting. Can it wait?”

“It’s the twins.”

Misha sighed. The twins. Dolly didn’t need to bother with any further explanation.

If Misha hadn’t automated the Bureau of Supernatural Relations filing system a couple of years ago, and they still kept paper files, the twins’ folder would be several inches thick, even though they had only been wreaking havoc for a little over a year now.

If Misha had to place bets on who would finally expose supernaturals to humans, he would put his money on those two little demons, Matthew and Luke Roberts.

***

So, there you go. A little snippet of Misha’s story. What do you think??

 

 

When my Characters Decide to Branch out to Video! (aka Book Trailer Teaser!)

One week until DEMONS WILL BE DEMONS releases! I can’t tell you how excited Misha is that his story will finally be told. This week, I’ll post a couple times to share some more about the book (with Misha’s help, of course).

Today, Misha asked me for a book trailer. Since Misha is a TV and movie junkie, that really shouldn’t surprise you. He has been telling everyone that he is now a movie star. A bit of an exaggeration, but Misha will be Misha…

Check out the trailer below or click HERE. It’s thirty seconds…come on…you know you want to. Misha would really appreciate it!

The Realm Cover Reveal!

As promised, my friends! Here are the covers and titles of my new spin-off Mind Sweeper Series. This series is all about Misha and his outrageous family. So much going on today!

First, is the series blurb (individual blurbs will be coming as well in the future – don’t worry). Second are the covers, and third is a question you need to answer…

Preorder Demons Will Be Demons Today   Amazon   ibooks    Kobo    B&N 

 THE REALM BLURB:

Misha is one frustrated demon.
Aleksei is one busy demon.
Sergei is one lost demon.
Three very different brothers…looking for the same thing – love.


 

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Here’s your VERY IMPORTANT question:

The Realm Cover Reveal

Preorder Demons Will Be Demons Today   Amazon   ibooks    Kobo    B&N  

Anticipation

Years ago (actually decades ago) I can remember several commercials showing ketchup pouring oh so slowly out of the bottle as Carly Simon sang Anticipation. And that song has been playing repeatedly in my head today.

Maybe it’s because I am so excited that next Monday is COVER REVEAL day. And here is a little secret for you. I can’t wait to show you the covers to my new trilogy coming this fall. I am so excited about it, that I will be giving you a cover reveal for the entire Realm Series. Which means you will see not one, not two, but THREE covers next week.

Yay! There will also be a Realm cover reveal video and a teaser too. Icing on that awesome cake, right?

I have found over the years that for me the excitement of gift giving is not when I receive something, but when I get to watch my friends and family unwrap something from me. And this same emotion carries over in my writing to my readers. So next week, you get to see the covers for the first time. Misha, Aleksei, and Sergei can’t wait to meet you!