BCR – Callum’s Compass

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The cover for Callum’s Compass by Sara Foust has been finished for a while, but I’m just now getting around to releasing it for you to see. The story is set in East Tennessee at Norris Lake, a beautiful clear lake that I have visited many times. Most of my visits were to a Boy Scout camp located on it’s banks but that didn’t detract from the natural beauty the area exudes. This was a fun cover to create, blending the compass and the beautiful lake setting together. The outdoor settings lended well to a rustic, campy font usage that tells the reader where the story is set.

Sara’s crafted a lovely story and here’s a preview of it’s contents.

KAT WILLIAMS’S brother died in a gruesome accident in the mountains of East Tennessee. She blames herself.

RYAN JENKINS’S fiancée was murdered. He couldn’t protect her.

With the death of her brother, Kat believes she is unworthy of love from anyone—even God. When a good friend elicits a promise that she will stop living in the past, then leaves her clues to a real-life treasure hunt, Kat embarks on an adventure chock-full of danger. To find the treasure, Kat will have to survive wild animals—and even wilder men. Can she rely on Ryan, the handsome wildlife officer assigned to protect her … without falling in love?

Ryan swore off love when his fiancée was murdered, but feelings long buried rise to the surface around Kat. He volunteers to help with her treasure hunt, vowing to keep her safe. Together they venture deep into caves and tunnels … and even deeper into the depths of their unplumbed hearts.

Callum’s Compass is available for pre-order on Amazon. You can learn more about Sara and her writing at her website, www.saralfoust.com.

Tragic News

In between all the news yesterday about Trump and the NFL players standing or not standing you may have seen a blip on the news about a shooting in a Tennessee church. One dead, seven injured. It may be being reported as a possible civil rights attack. At any rate, it has been tragic. And it has hit close to our family.

The minister of Burnette Chapel Church of Christ was Joey Spann. Coach Spann, as we all know him, was Savannah’s eighth grade Bible teacher at Goodpasture. She loved his class and I appreciated the fact that he taught with heart. He was more than just a teacher, he was a mentor and friend. I remember most fondly Savannah sharing with me his cartoons of the Bible lessons they were studying. She would come home saying, “Mom, you’ve got see what Coach Spann gave us today.”

I think the greatest compliment anyone can be given is that they touched the life of a child in the name of Christ. I saw that from Coach Spann over and over again.

Today, I lift his name and his whole family in prayer. Coach Spann was critically injured during the church shooting. Following surgery yesterday he remains in stable but critical condition. His wife was also injured. Prayers for all the other victims as well.

Prayers for peace.

Now and forever.

Bible Journaling Jeremiah 29:11

IMG_1383A few weeks ago, an Etsy customer asked me to create four Bible Journaling bookmarks for her use in her church’s children’s ministry. I was glad to be able to help a fellow kid’s ministry worker. She needed them rather quickly so I created the artwork but have not colored and journaled them all just yet. This is the first one I have completed and has the verse from Jeremiah 29:11. I added it to my Bible using color pencils for a quick and easy process.

Prismacolor pencils in the following colors: Rose 743 1/2, Peacock Green 907, Light Green 738 1/2, Blue Violet 933, Crimson Lake 295, Sienna Brown 746. I also used a light blue and a golden yellow that no longer have their names or numbers visible. Yes, some of these have been in my stash for quite a while.

After printing out my template, I traced the design into my journaling Bible. I didn’t use any “techniques” other than blending some of the lighter and darker colors together. Sometimes, it’s nice to just relax with a few colors and not stress about the latest techniques.

If you are interested in the template, it is available here in my Etsy Store! Many blessings!

BCR – Rescued Hearts

Rescued HeartsThis is a little late, sorry guys! But, I wanted to share this wonderful cover with you while the book is still on pre-sale. Rescued Hearts is a romantic suspense novel set in North Carolina. Here is a snippet of the story.

Children’s clothing designer Mary Wade Kimball’s soft spot for animals leads to a hostage situation when she spots a briar-entangled kitten in front of an abandoned house. Beaten, bound, and gagged by the two thugs inside, Mary Wade loses hope for escape when a third villain returns with supplies.

Discovering the kidnapped woman ratchets the complications for undercover agent Brett Davis. Weighing the difference of ruining his three months’ investigation against the woman’s safety, Brett forsakes his mission and helps her escape, the bent-on-revenge brutes following behind.

When Mary Wade’s safety is threatened once more, Brett rescues her again. This time, her personal safety isn’t the only thing in jeopardy. Her heart is endangered as well.

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Rescued Hearts is the third novel by Hope and the second book I’ve had the privilege of creating a cover for. Irish Encounter was her first novel and one of my all-time favorite cover designs. Visit Hope on Facebook or on her website.

Rescued Hearts ebook is discounted for pre-sale at $2.99 until September 19th, when it will be delivered as an ebook or available for purchase in both print and ebook.

KenTen Writers Retreat

This week I’m attending the KenTen Writers Retreat at Paris Landing State Park. This is a fun loving group of gals that I retreated with last year. I’m glad that they let the non-writing cover designer hang with them. I enjoy learning about their writing process. It gives me a greater appreciation for the effort they put into their books. I can understand better when creating their cover, just how important their “baby” is to them.

This year, the retreated was expanded and opened up to writers outside the KenTen group. We have authors in attendance from Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas. I think all the authors write “clean” fiction, if not Christian. It’s great to be among people creating uplifting and encouraging novels and short stories. I’m proud to call them friends.

Here’s a few photo’s from last night’s meet & greet.

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I also got to meet several of the authors that I have created covers for. I’ll be highlighting them as our week continues. First up, was Jaqueline Wheelock. I have been working on a cover for Jaqueline’s second book, In Search of an Emerald. She is a sweet lady from Mississippi and so easy to work with. I’m honored to be creating her cover. I’ll probably release it next week after we make the last few touch ups on it.IMGP1552

Sorry the photos may be taking a moment or two to load. I didn’t resize them smaller since I’m on the road.

Have a wonderful day. I know I will!

Throw Back Thursday

From time to time I like to feature some book covers that I created previously. Like looking back through a photo album or visiting old friends, it gives me joy to see them. Today I’m going to share two covers that I have shared before.

Irish Encounter - FCFrom 2015, Irish Encounter was one of my first covers without a person on it. The main character in this contemporary romance is a “mature” woman as opposed to the sexy sirens that sometimes grace covers in this genre. Finding a suitable image for this character became impossible – too old, too young, too grey, too bland, too grandmotherly, and the list went on. When I finally gave up the idea of finding the character, I started moving toward what made this romance come together. It centered around a trip to Ireland and a few conversations in a tea shop. So began this wonderful blending of the two images that became one of my favorite covers.

Irish Encounter by Hope Tyler Dougherty is available on Amazon. You can see an earlier blog post here as well. Hope will be release a new book this fall with Mantle Rock Publishing titled Rescued Hearts. Be sure to look for more information concerning that book very soon!

 

Finally Friday!

Do you ever have those weeks where you can’t wait to get the week over with? I’ve had one of those weeks and I’m glad to get to the end of it. Our church family lost a young mother in a car wreck on Monday, there has been news of cancer devastating another friend’s family, and the regular who’s who’s list of sick and hurting family and friends. It’s been a week of prayer and trusting in One greater than me.

So, as I made my to-do list for the weekend, it’s looking pretty busy too! Each year I construct neckercheifs for a special Eagle banquet for all the young men in middle Tennessee who attained that rank in the previous year. This year I’m cranking out 200 said items, and as always, I’m behind. My deadline is looming and my sewing machine is humming. And since all this work transpires in my bonus room, it brings new meaning to the phrase “sweat shop” since our A/C unit barely cools that room and as we learned in school, heat rises.

The book design projects are mounting up too! I’m putting the finishing touches on two covers and formatting 2 books and ebooks. Regina Merrick’s book, Carolina Dream release in a few days from Mantle Rock Publishing. I’m so excited for Regina. She is one of the authors that I have met face to face and she’s a lovely person, inside and out! This is her first published novel, I think, and she has endured the process like a seasoned pro.

March came in like a lamb in Tennessee weather-wise. However, it has been roaring like a lion these last few weeks. Storms have blown through twice this week, luckily without any damage to us. But as this troubling week ends, I’m mindful of those that lost property in the tornadoes and harsh winds. I’m hoping their days are blessed with friends and happiness to help them on their journey. And, I wish the same for you too!

 

Rewind, Reset, Revive!

It’s Friday! Friday is my day off and I look forward to it as my time to rewind, reset and revive. Usually that involves laundry and housecleaning, but not today. Today I have 2 college kiddos lazing around searching for coffee and pancakes while piling up in pjs and doing the last of their spring break homework. It’s a wonderful change of pace that I must admit the empty-nesting mom in me relishes beyond belief. Add to all this wonderfulness, the pitter patter of rain on my skylight and I’m most content today.

Rewinding brings me to a book launch. A couple of months ago I released the book cover for Don’t Ask Me to Leave by Micki Clark. Micki’s book hit Amazon this week and is now officially on the open sales market. Here’s a little snippet about her story. Hope you’ll look into it on Amazon.

dont-ask-3dNewlywed Rachel Miller has everything she could want from life—the perfect husband, her dream job, and a cute little house in the country—but the daydream is shattered when her husband is killed in a tragic accident. Her mother-in-law, Nadine, takes her in as she tries to pick up the pieces, and their handsome neighbor Beau is willing to help…if Rachel will let him. Does she dare open her heart for a second chance at love?

Don’t Ask Me to Leave is a modern-day adaptation of the Biblical story of Ruth and Naomi.

Reset brings me to artwork. I’m working up some new projects to share with my watercolor class which start next week. I’m exploring YouTube videos and testing out techniques. I’ve almost settled on one for the first class but I want to make a sample painting this weekend. I’m looking forward to letting it all come together with a little paint and paper. I’ve also been mulling over a new Bible Journaling project. I’ve had several scriptures on my heart this week and one of them might make it into my journaling Bible.

Revive! Spring and allergies usher in the revival of all growing things. I’m thankful for the rain today because it will wash away some of the pollen that has been plaguing our family. I know that it only makes way for new pollen tomorrow. But today, I will enjoy the rain.

 

 

 

Crossing over to Digital

Inspired by Daily Prompt: Crossing

For some time the publishing world has been caught in between printed books and ebooks. I have a love-hate relationship it seems with both sides of this dilema. I have friends who love the smell of opening a book, whether it’s the musty smell of on old book or the crisp fan of the pages of a new book’s ink. I have other friends who have totally embraced the ebook revolution and stand firm behind their choice. So, where do I fall? Being a self-proclaimed techie, I fall more toward the ebook side, even though I love holding a print book with one of my covers on it. So, what makes an ebook worthy of crossing over to instead of picking up that print book? Here are some points to ponder.

  • Availability. The last time I went into a brick and mortar book store looking for a book was to fulfill my daughters school reading assignment. Her school would work out an agreement with the local bookstore to carry the books they would require for outside reading. So we would make our annual trek to the store and purchase the necessary books. Other than that one time a year, I rarely darkened the door of the bookstore, unless it was to purchase a specific magazine. Normally, I would let my fingers do the shopping online. The joy of online shopping is, as everyone knows, you can do it from the comfort of your home in your pjs at any time of the night or day.
  • Selection. My online bookstore offers the book in many formats including paperback, hard cover, and ebook. I can also get new or used books.
  • Time. With most online stores offering expedited shipping for free, a short wait for a book is worth the trip to the bookstore, especially if it’s a “hard to locate” book. If speed is of the essence, then an ebook offers instant gratification because I can download it immediately.
  • Readability. As the boomer generation ages, so do their eyes. Large print books are more expensive and harder to come by. Ebooks meet this need by allowing readers to select their font size without having to pay additional costs. Readers are only limited by the size of their devices, whether it’s a phone, tablet or desktop computer.
  • Practicality. As the millennial generation grows so does their desire to streamline their lives. A multi-function reading device appeals to them more than shelves of books cluttering their lives. A phone in their pocket affords them a library of books and takes no extra space to obtain them.

As I work with clients, their dream is to walk into a bookstore and see their book sitting on a shelf. And there is nothing wrong with that dream, except, it is slowly fading from our day to day reality. With digital subscriptions to entire libraries on Amazon, even downloaded ebooks may become a less frequented avenue for reading books. It’s an ever evolving world we live in, and thank goodness it is or we’d all be standing in caves reading the latest hieroglyphics on the wall.

Crooning at 90

via Daily Prompt: Enthusiasm

Tuesday night our family gathered around the good ole HD television set to watch the Tony Bennett 90th Birthday Party. Savannah and I watched the Michael Buble opener, but Ron was running a little late and didn’t arrive until the main show started. The music was awesome! I can only hope that at 90 I can walk across a stage since I will never be able to croon like Tony.

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However, during one of the little interview snippets that were sprinkled throughout the show, he said something that caught my eye…I mean, ear. He said that he intentionally chose songs that were timeless, classic and would not go “out of style.” That’s my paraphrase of his words, but it really made me think about his songs for a minute and they really do live up to that benchmark. Wow…what a legacy.

Which also made me think, wow…what if every artist used that standard? Wow, how impressive would music be if everyone sang lyrics that uplifted and radiated the joy of life. How unusual would it be? I’ve told the story several times to friends that when my daughter was around 3, I permanently switched my car radio to the local Christian radio station. It was almost all we listened to in the car until she was in high school and it’s still my favorite place to land when I’m searching for tunes. My reason 17 years ago was she asked me to explain why some of the off color jokes of the radio announcers on a local country station were funny. Since I didn’t want to explain the birds and the bees to my baby girl just yet, it was an easy switch to make. The motto of the Christian station was “music that the whole family can enjoy” and that really resonated with me. The awkward jokes were replaced with “Love on Your Family” call ins. It was a choice that I have never regretted. We started out singing “The Cartoon Song” – yabba dabba luyah – and carried right on through to “Mighty to Save.” Classic, timeless, uplifting music…

What choices do we make and do we make them for classic reasons or because we are in the moment and it’s the popular thing to do? Isn’t that the difference between “Pop” music and classical music? “Ave Maria” has stood the test of time. “The Circle of Life” resonates with our very core being. “The Best is Yet to Come” is what we all hope for.

As I start looking toward 2017, I am going to try to be more intentional in my choices by opting for things that are timeless, wholesome, and will make me proud of my life when I turn 90.

Have a Tony Bennett kinda day today! Be Awesome!