2019 releases

Demon's Dance
Truth Unveiled: A New Adult Urban Fantasy
Path Unchosen: A New Adult Urban Fantasy
Nothing to Lose
Unforsaken
Mage
Embodied
Hood and the Highwaymen
fate uncertain

Thursday, 10 October 2019

Magic Thursday: 'What If?"

We often ask the question 'What If?' in our lives.

And while we can imagine what a different choice would have done to our lives, we are never certain what the outcome would have truly been as we can't alway see every single possible outcome of that decision.




In fiction, authors can use the 'what if' as a starting point for a story.

Recently when I was writing author notes for my short story collection, Enchanted Dreams, I noticed how many of my stories started out with asking 'what if' questions, such as:

  • “what would happen if you could walk into the picture’s world?”
  • “what was the bride running from or running to?”
  • “what if Cinderella hadn’t been the only choice?”
  • “what if the Greek gods still existed in modern times?”
  • “what if a dream man was real but you didn’t know it?”

In speculative fiction the 'what ifs' can be grand in scope. Whole new worlds can be created and explored with an assortment of characters that can have basis in legend or mythology, or can be completely made up.


Here's some 'what ifs' that you may recognise?
(I have no idea if the authors thought of these but I can see how these question could have been asked)


  • "What if you followed the white rabbit?" - Alice in Wonderland
  • "What if a blonde teenage girl was The One with special skills to fight off evil?' - Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • "What if the back of your closet took you to another world?" - The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe
  • "What if you were descendant from Jedis?" - Star Wars
  • "What if standing stones could send you back in time?" - Outlander 
  • "What if your adopted planet made you almost invincible?" - Superman



The 'what if' question is a powerful tool that can lead you down the rabbit hole to new and exciting stories. 

It allows a story to flow to all sorts of possibilities. Sometimes wrong turns are taken that really don't go with the story. But that's okay. That road was explored and you can learn about what you don't want in your story. Nothing is wasted. Perhaps that experience can be used in another project.


The 'what if' question may not only help you at the beginning of a story but also during it. "What if a character decided to pick path A instead of path B at point A, or perhaps at point B?" 

Would it move the story forward? Or would it grind it to a halt? 

Would it bring more obstacles to the character? Or will they have a moment's respite?

Is it the right time in the story for that path?

All these questions stem from that initial 'what if'.  Whether you are a potter or an organic writer, asking questions helps you discover your story.  Like Alice following the white rabbit, you never know where the path would lead you and that is an exciting part in writing.


~Eleni
~~~~

Eleni Konstantine writes speculative fiction and has had a number of short stories published.

Her love of reading comes from her avid reader mum. As a child, illustrated fairy tales and Greek mythology opened up a world of wonder for Eleni. She was bitten by the story bug which soon turned into the writing bug. She finds something enchanting about escaping the world she knows and entering another one. Magic, dragons, wizards, fairies, witches, unicorns, vampires and other mythical creatures have always fascinated her. What's not to like when anything can happen? Sprinkle in a romance and a happy ending and she’s on cloud nine.

Eleni has a love of chocolate (of course!), fizzy drinks, coffee and relishes her afternoon naps. She lives in South Australia with her family and is human to a sassy Rottweiler.

You can find Eleni at her website and her blog, Eleni's Taverna.

 


Eleni's recent release is Enchanted Dreams.

Be transported to fantastical worlds in this collection of nineteen speculative fiction shorts of previously published works and new stories.  From wizards to magic mirrors, dragons to ghosts, minions to goddesses, space ships to diamond slippers, there's an enchanting tale right for you.

You can buy it from a number of e-retailers.


Promo price of 99c (regular price: $1.99).
​Ends 31 October 2019









Tuesday, 1 October 2019

DarkSider News for October 2019!


Welcome!

Grab that cuppa, sit back and relax as we bring you our latest news.



NEW RELEASES

It Starts with a Kiss by J.L. Peridot was released by Kyanite Publishing on 13 September.


A steamy, friends-to-lovers office romance on a pre-AI space station.

Celeste is a talented engineer who doesn’t realise her job’s going nowhere fast. She’s a little naïve. She’ll cut code and solder cables forever as long as Owen’s around. Owen, on the other hand, knows exactly how badly things suck—he just doesn’t care. Sure, his skills aren’t what they used to be, but they’re still better than what Halcyon Aries deserves.

Then it happens. The company’s toxic management team finally cross the line. As both techies race to upgrade the station, to free the team from their oppressive contracts, they come to learn that life—and love—can only ever be what you make it.

Strap in for a steamy office romance in space, because sometimes It Starts With a Kiss!


Available from:





Wrath by Lana Pecherczyk (Book 3, Deadly Seven) was released  on 3 September.


Betrayed. Alone. Angry.

After his ex-fiancée savagely slit his throat, the fallen hero Wyatt Lazarus lost his voice, his career and his trust in women. She betrayed him in the vilest of ways, and he failed to see it coming. Now alone and ashamed, the unquenchable influence of his sin fuels his anger. Instead of redeeming sinners—he ends them. Wrath becomes his identity until a brutal mistake throws him into the path of a cheeky yoga instructor in need of a savior.

Misha Minski believes in karma, but after years of suffering blackmail from an old acquaintance, it’s hard to stay strong. Soon her number is up. Rather than spend her last days wallowing in self pity, she’s determined to enjoy one last night of pleasure with her new mysterious protector, but instead, finds something much more—a future.

But when the evil Syndicate join forces with Misha’s psychopathic blackmailer, Wyatt must push through his bitterness and reunite with his heroic family, or the woman who gave him back his voice will be lost to him forever.

Read Excerpt on Lana's blog.


Available from:




Game of Gods Box Set by Lana Pecherczyk was released on 7 April.


What if gods are real? What if they download their souls into human bodies to play a brutal game for evolution... what if you discover you are one of them?

1. Soul Thing
Body snatching witches are real, and there’s one after for Roo and her family.

2. The Devil Inside
A special bonus book from the point of view of the two leading men in Roo’s life. The tortured hunter, and the fun loving god of the in between.

3. Playing God
She ate the soul of an evil witch to save her mentor, but at what cost?

4. Game Over
A supernatural war looms, and she is the key to unlocking it—and stopping it.

A lost temple in the Amazon, a medieval castle in Budapest, and a summer beach in southern Australia. The Game of Gods, will take you around the world on a whirlwind adventure full of kickass heroines, fiery romance, and supernatural thrills. With a perfect dose of sci-fi, fantasy and mythology, this is not for young readers.


Available from: 
Amazon US | Amazon Aus |




Wicked Wings by Keri Arthur (Book 5, Lizzie Grace) was released on 8 October.


In a reservation where magic has been unrestrained for entirely too long, there is no rest from the wicked…

After dealing with the fallout of a shape-shifting, fire-throwing demon, Lizzie, Belle, and Aiden are hoping the reservation will finally catch a break from the constant influx of evil. Those hopes are quickly dashed when Lizzie comes across the scent of evil and tracks it back to the clean-picked bones of a man.

As it quickly becomes obvious that this is not a one-off situation and there’s now a demon with a taste for human flesh on the reservation, another problem arises in the form of a White Lady—a ghost not only seeking bloody revenge, but demanding Belle’s assistance to get it.

And she won’t take no for an answer.

But the greatest threat of all might be the witch who is a magical bloodhound. A witch who’s been sent to the reservation to by one Clayton Marlowe…

Lizzie’s husband.


Available from:




Nightworld Academy: Term Three by LJ Swallow (Book 3, Nightworld Academy) was released on 15 September.



I’m the only witch at the academy who can wield a rare magic. Should I trust the man who can teach me to unlock my powers?

Term Three is the third book in the Nightworld Academy series. Term One and Term Two must be read first.

Nightworld Academy is an upper YA/NA series of magic academy books set in the UK.


Available from:
Amazon US Amazon Aus |






Lucifer's Lockdown by TJ Nichols was released by Dreamspinner Press on 11 October.



To save his soul, he’ll have to fix his one regret—the love that got away.

The summer between the end of school and the start of what came next was full of sun, surf, and sex. For Will McLeod, that meant Tom, his first male lover. He knew the romance had an expiration date and would end when Tom joined the Army, but that didn’t stop Will from falling in love.

Tired of being looked down upon for being poor, Will became a lawyer—but not just any lawyer. He litigates for the gods as they gamble with the lives of those desperate enough to make deals. His job is to make sure they don’t slip free. He has more money than he knows what to do with, but he’s fast running out of soul.

Twenty-five years haven’t dimmed the candle Will holds for Tom, and when they meet again, he has a chance to put things right. Back then, Tom wasn’t ready to fight for them. Now the decorated soldier is willing to get his hands dirty, but will he be a match for the forces trying to keep them apart?


Available at:





Nightworld Academy: Term Two by LJ Swallow (Book 2, Nightworld Academy) is now available in audio format.



I'm the only witch at the academy who can wield a rare magic. But should I trust the man who can teach me to unlock my powers?

The events on Halloween taught me a lesson - I'm not human and the supernatural world lives by different rules. Now I'm back at the academy determined to work hard, develop my magic skills, and save lives.

I met my aunt who showed me that life as a future-sighted witch has greater challenges than I realized. Especially for me, because we've discovered I've more abilities than anybody expected.

The new guys in my life face problems, too. Jamie is using dangerous magic to protect himself. Ash is struggling to control how dangerous he is to others. And Andrei's life is under threat as a result of Halloween. Can Tobias help...or will he report us for breaking rules?

The hunters who survived the attack are looking for revenge, and the Dominion is moving closer to the academy. Add in the pressure of working with Katherine and Amelia on the Winter Ball committee, and I'll be lucky to reach the end of term in one piece.

Nightworld Academy: Term Two is the second in this upper young adult/new adult series of magic academy books. The main characters are 18 or older, and this is a slow burn reverse harem story.


Available from:
Audible




Non spec-fiction

Her Outback Paradise by Annie Seaton (Book 4, Second Chance Bay) was released on 26 September.


Matt McDougal looks after the business: takes the bookings, runs the store and looks after the finances… because he gets seasick on the family boats. Nurse Sara Sweeney comes back to her home town because it’s hard to get a doctor in remote areas like Second Chance Bay. Matt and Sara grew up together, and when a new female doctor arrives in town, Sara thinks Matt would be perfect for her broken-hearted friend. But Matt has other ideas...can he convince Sara she is the right woman for him?


Buy links on Annie's website



Locked Down by Jess Anastasi (Book 2, Texas Heroes) was released by Dreamspinner Press on 15 October.


A charming, confident FBI analyst gets more than the fling he bargained for when his lover lands smack in the middle of his investigation.
Gabe Lopez travels to Everness, Texas, to investigate and profile a dangerous group of white supremacists living on the outskirts of the small town. As far as he’s concerned, the assignment can’t end soon enough. When he stops to help Matt York with a flat tire, he anticipates a sexy distraction—nothing more. But Matt has a knack for getting himself into trouble, and soon Gabe is torn between protecting Matt and doing his job.

Matt left a successful life and business back in San Francisco to fulfill a promise to his aunt: find his runaway cousin and bring him home. But Tommy is on a dangerous path, and someone is trying to scare Matt off—or worse.

When the situation escalates, Matt turns to Gabe, who doesn’t like mixing business and pleasure. But in Everness, the secrets are buried deep, and like it or not, Matt is at risk of being buried right alongside them.

Available from:




Highest Bid by Mel Teshco (Book 1, Bachelor Brothers of Sydney) was released by Tule Publishing on 26 August.



An unapologetic player and a reserved wallflower… one night would never be enough.

Galan Black carries a burden he can’t share with anyone, least of all his two brothers. Not even after the blood, sweat and tears it took for them to open and make the Black Pearl Nightclub a raging success. He’s just glad his secret doesn’t haunt him half as much in the arms of the eager women he takes to bed.

Yet he can’t stop thinking about the plain Jane bartender and waitress, who he impulsively hired against his better judgement. Then she steps half-naked onto the stage for the club’s once-yearly charity auction, and he can’t keep his bidding paddle down, or his eyes off her. He’ll have her for the night, and get her out of his system once and for all.

Layla doesn’t trust men, yet her infatuation with the eldest Black brother is getting beyond a joke. She needs to experience a night in his bedroom, and get over her silly fixation. But then one night becomes two, with the heat between them showing no signs of cooling. Until Layla’s trust is put to the ultimate test and dirty little secrets are exposed.



Available from:






Samhain Secrets by Lilliana Rose (Book 4, Pagan Pleasures) was released on 17 September.




Serilda has a secret, one she’s working hard to keep her new friends from finding out. She’s moved to Warradale along the coast from Melbourne to work as a medium at Crystal Sands, telling people she wanted a change of scenery, a more beach lifestyle. But that wasn’t the reason at all.

Darus never thought that going to see a medium would change his life considerably. Before seeing Serilda, his life was on track, his electrical business was doing well, and he was starting to think about settling down. Then she turned his life upside down.

Serilda finds herself attracted to Darus, but with what she’s told him and her secret, can they really have a long term relationship?

Samhain is a time to know thy self. This is true for Serilda as she tries to find the strength to show her true self to her new friends, and more importantly to Darus, the man she’s falling in love with.

Secrets are revealed. Will they help or hinder the chance of Serilda and Darus falling in love?


Available from:



Yule Yearnings by Lilliana Rose (Book 5, Pagan Pleasures) was released on 8 October.



White witch, Zamara, is a Seer in the Magiks. Working as a psychic at Crystal Sands since it opened, she’s been busy with clients wanting to know their future prospects. What frustrates her is that while she can see other people’s future, she can’t see her own. With Yule approaching, she yearns to have a love in her life and to share this time in a relationship, instead of being single for another year. What’s stopping her from seeing the potential love that unexpectedly comes into her life?

Kaito is the new pharmacist in Warradale, a small town along the coast from Melbourne. He’d opted for a coastal change from city life, to escape from a needy ex who was intent on entrapping him into marriage. Moving to the coastal town was his way of ensuring he kept with his own life plan of career first, then marriage and a family later. He doesn’t believe in destiny or fate, but free will. Life at the coastal town isn’t what he’d expected, but it could be just the right prescription for the future his heart really desires.

Kaito isn’t the only new face in town. There’s a dark storm coming, a past catching up with one of the white witches. Can the white witches face this together? Or will the past close Crystal Sands once and for all?


Available from:





The Anwyn series by Shona Husk has been re-released.



Paranormal romance series set around the fairy court of Annwyn.

The first book in the series, The Outcast Prince is free in ebook format. 


Buy links available from Shona's website. 






Non spec-fiction

Finding Love by Maggie Mundy (Book 1, The Connor Clan) was released on 29 August.



The Connor Clan of Portland Oregon look after their own, so when Evie’s husband is killed, they rallied around her.

Ten years later, she has provided for her daughter, but love has alluded her.

Luke’s on the run in an attempt to protect his sister. The last thing on his mind is to fall for someone. One-night stands are always a better option.

That is until he meets Evie, and her daughter, Matilda. He weaves his way into their hearts as they weave theirs into his. Even the Connor Clan trust him.

When his past finally catches up with him, all could be lost.

Can he save his sister and Evie before it’s too late?

Available from:






Reborn Love by Maggie Mundy (Book 2, The Connor Clan) was released on 29 August.



The Connor Clan of Portland Oregon look after their own, so when Steve gets sick his family support him. He thought he had time for love and a family in the future, now he is not so sure.

Tessa has given up on love after being fooled one too many times. She would still love to have a family. Maybe a solution would be to have a child with a friend.

Steve and Tessa have an arrangement, but nothing is ever that simple. Love can get in the way and the decisions they both made in the past are catching up with them.



Available from:



Free to Love by Maggie Mundy (Book 0, The Connor Clan) was released on 17 August.


Free to Love is a short story of the grandparents of the Connor Clan.

Travel through the generations, and find out how their grandchildren discover new love and rekindle old ones.

When eighteen-year-old Marie and her brothers came to America to live with their aunt, they thought their prayers had been answered. Instead, they found themselves at the hands of an aggressive uncle when their aunt dies. The situation becomes worse by the day, and Marie decides take her brothers and leave. With nowhere to go and in a stolen car they hope their luck will hold out.

Robert Connor is a widow with small child. He had love once and doesn’t believe he will find it again. That is until he stumbles across a young woman with two boys. His life is about to change forever.

Finding Love will be coming soon with the story of Marie and Robert’s granddaughter, Evie, and her love for a diamond in the rough, Luke.


Currently Free!

Available from:





Whisper in the Night by D.K. Hood (Book 6, Detectives Kane & Alton) was released by Bookatoure on 20 June.



She opens her eyes and struggles to make out the dark room around her. One thing she knows instantly – her wrists are bound and she’s tied to a chair, unable to move. As she screams for help, she hears footsteps outside. He’s coming…

Fifteen-year-old Lindy Rosen has been having nightmares for weeks, waking in a panic, screaming that there’s a man in her room watching her sleep. Her parents assumed it was her overactive imagination, but when one morning they find Lindy missing from her bedroom, they’re not so sure. Detective Jenna Alton is called in to investigate.

Within hours of the schoolgirl going missing, the kidnapper reaches out to Jenna with a video of Lindy bound and tied to a chair, crying to be set free. And a simple message – you’ve got 24 hours to find her or I kill her.

Jenna’s team work around the clock to try to find Lindy before the deadline, but time runs out, and Jenna receives a devastating message. The killer has made good on his promise. He’s playing a dangerous game. And no one knows what his next move will be.

But just two days later, one of Lindy’s school friends is taken in the middle of the night and the countdown begins again.


Available from:






PRE-ORDERS


Witch Born by LJ Swallow  (Book 1, Ravenhold Supernatural Reform Academy) is expected for release on 29 November 2019.



I'm a hybrid witch born with the forbidden ability to wield all schools of magic. My family successfully hid me for years, but last week I accidentally raised the dead and revealed my illegal gifts. Now I'm facing time at Ravenhold supernatural reform academy.

Ravenhold detains dangerous juvenile offenders on a remote island until they're rehabilitated. All teens at the paranormal academy either possess forbidden powers from dark bloodlines or have used illegal magic. Ruthless hybrids walk amongst the shifters, witches, and vampires. They hold control over the academy, but they won't control me.

I plan to keep my head down, attend the classes, and hope for an early release from this supernatural prison. Until I meet the infamous Dorian Blackwood, the vampire-witch hybrid born with unparalleled supernatural abilities. Few people dare confront the cruel and charming savage, but Dorian's powers won't work on me--and his charm definitely won't.

Dorian may rule the academy's halls, but others challenge him. There's his main rival, Zeke, a shifter hybrid whose laidback manner hides a vicious streak. Ethan, the dragon shifter with elemental witch powers who's reserved but volatile. I'm the new hybrid at Ravenhold, and I intend to bring the ruthless Dorian to his knees.

Ravenhold places the four of us onto a new rehabilitation program. The academy tells us the program is a fast-track to release, but I'm not so sure. Something sinister is happening, and I no longer believe the hybrids are the most dangerous thing inside Ravenhold.

Will we be forced to unite to survive?


Witch Born is the first book in the Ravenhold series from USA Today bestselling author LJ Swallow. The stories are set in a supernatural reform academy with deliciously dangerous guys, a badass heroine who won't bow to anyone. Ravenhold is a slow burn, enemies to lovers reverse harem romance.

Pre-Order from: 




Nightworld Academy: Term Four by LJ Swallow  (Book 4, Nightworld Academy) is expected for release on 5 February 2020.


I’m back at the Nightworld Academy and this term I have three aims:
To control my powers. To stop the Dominion. To save the academy.


Pre-Order from:
Amazon US | Amazon Aus |




A Summer of Smoke and Sin by TJ Nichols was released by Dreamspinner Press on 11 October.

(No cover available yet)


To stop a serial killer a detective will need to explore his own vices…

Nathanial Bayard wants nothing more than to find the nobleman creating snuff pornography. If he fails, his career in the recently formed nobility taskforce will be over and as the youngest son he’ll be forced to obey his father and join the church. But a life of celibacy doesn’t appeal. Nathanial has never even kissed another man, fearing for his soul and his reputation.

Jericho Fulbright has never lived a wholesome life. After behavior unbecoming he was discharged from the army and sent home in disgrace. His inventor and nouveau riche father refused to have anything to do with him, so Jericho turned to what he knew best: opium, gambling and sex.

As the owner of the Jericho Rose, a club for gentlemen who like men, he enjoys a certain notoriety. Some would say he has a golden tongue, but the truth is a succubus lives within him feeding on souls. Once he needed her help, now she is a burden that keeps him from getting close to anyone.

After the unfortunate death of a young noble man in Jericho’s bed, Nathanial is sent to investigate. He is scandalized and intrigued by Jericho, but soon realizes that Jericho could be exactly who he needs to help break the snuff case. Together they are drawn into a web of lies that will result in Jericho facing prison unless Nathanial can unmask the real creator of the snuff, a man with rank and privileges that reaches almost to the King.


Pre-order from:
Amazon US | Amazon Aus | Apple Books | B&N | Kobo





Greed and Other Dangers by TJ Nichols (Book 2, Mytho) will be released by Dreamspinner Press on 4 December.



Dragon shifter Edra has always lived to serve and protect—in ages past, as a knight, and in the modern world as a mytho liaison to the San Francisco PD. Behind the scenes he safeguards the mythos community from scandal—and further human hatred. When the eggs of a rare greater dragon are stolen, Edra must find and return them before the mother razes the city.

Edra’s partner, Jordan, has just been promoted, and he’s on the trail of several stolen mythos artifacts. Together, they track the eggs to a colony of mermaids living in the bay near Alcatraz Island.

But trying to separate a mermaid from her treasure is asking for trouble.

As Edra and Jordan grow closer, they test the bounds of human-mythos relationships. But Jordan isn’t ready to mate for life, and Edra won’t pretend to be human for Jordan’s friends. With the hills on fire and a storm brewing in the bay—and in their bed—something’s got to give.



Pre-order from: 




Stolen by Shona Husk (Book 4, Coven of the Raven) is due for release on 25 October.



Cosima and her brother, Anthony, have been trading magical objects and making a killing. Right up until their latest treasure kills Anthony. With a curse now on her tail she goes to the one person she knows can help.

Sawyer Jones, is a thief and property acquirer for a price. He can strip the magic from objects and use it himself for a time. He never expected to see Cosima Delaney again. Last time they spoke she broke his nose and stole the sword he’d been casing.

There isn’t enough money in the world to convince Sawyer to take this case…but making Cosima pay for denting his pride and taking his hard-won prize, now that is almost worth the trouble this will bring.


Pre-Order from:
Amazon US | Amazon Aus |






Enchanted Dreams by Eleni Konstantine (speculative fiction short story collection) is due for release on 4 October and is on sale at the promo price of 99c (US) until 31 October.




Be transported to fantastical worlds in this collection of nineteen speculative fiction shorts of previously published works and new stories.  From wizards to magic mirrors, dragons to ghosts, minions to goddesses, space ships to diamond slippers, there's an enchanting tale right for you.


Pre-order links at Books2Read.



Shivers (2019 anthology by the Rockingham Writers Centre) will contain two short stories by D.D. Line will be released 31st October.




Will be available from:
Rockingham Writers Centre







Non spec-fiction




Her Outback Paradise by Annie Seaton (Book 4, Second Chance Bay) is expected for release on 10 February 2020.


From best selling author, Annie Seaton, a beautiful story of female friendships, and the unbreakable bond that sees friends stay together through the ups and downs of life.

When Pippa Carmichael inherits a house on a deserted tropical island, it couldn’t have come at a better time for her. Life’s been tough lately; she’s lost her job, her apartment and her boyfriend and it’s time for Pippa to make a new start. With three friends, she heads off to Pentecost Island to investigate her inheritance and is delighted to find there is only one other resident on the island.
Author, Rafe Renella, is not impressed when a boatload of women turns up on his island, interrupting his peaceful writing existence. He is less impressed when he meets Pippa, the sassy new owner of Ma Carmichael’s sprawling house.

Can these two live in harmony on the same small island or will one of them have to leave?


Pre-Order from:





Close to the Truth by Shona Husk  is expected to be released on 4 January 2020.



Is the truth worth dying for?

TV biologist, Jasmine Heydon, escaped Bitterwood once. She was 16 and run out of town by the cops for the crime of being born on the wrong side of the tracks. Ten years later, she’s changed a lot but Bitterwood hasn’t. The town’s only claim to fame is the legend of the River Man, a murderous creature who first killed a century ago. Back in town to film a show about the River Man, Jasmine plans to put the mystery to rest once and for all.

Bitterwood’s favourite son, Gil Easton, has never forgotten Jasmine, and he’s never forgiven his father, the chief of police, for running her off. But now Jasmine is back, stirring things up. This time, Gil is determined to stand by her even when the locals want her silenced.

As Gil works to unearth the truth, Jasmine tries to understand her own childhood sighting of the monster. As the threats escalate, the search for the truth grows dangerous … because the River Man is killing again.


Pre-Order links available from Shona's website.





A Farmer's Christmas by Lilliana Rose is expected to release on 5 November.



Continue the journey with Raven and Ben, from The Royal Show Affair by Lilliana Rose

City girl, Raven took a chance, the biggest in her life, and moved to Ben’s alpaca farm after the Royal Show. Nearly three months later, she’s trying to adjust to life on a farm, and living with Ben when they hardly know each other. To make the arrangement even more tricky, his mom also lives on the farm, in the same house with them. Above all, she wasn’t prepared for the feeling of isolation that comes with living on the farm.

Ben is enjoying finally being in a relationship, and better still, Raven is living with him on his farm. Life couldn’t be better for him. He’s worried life on the farm might not be agreeing with her. The problem is his commitment to his farm sometimes has to come first. He always thought that once his soul mate lived with him things would be easy. It’s far from that. Will he step up to fight for what he’s always longed for?

Christmas will be different for them both this year. More than they could ever imagine with bush fires threatening their farm. Will it be too easy for Raven to return to the city and her own family? Or will she stand with Ben, and fight for a future with him?

Sometimes you need to fight for what matters in your life. No matter what.


Pre-Order from:





A Country Christmas by Lilliana Rose is expected to release on 19 November.


Continue the journey with Zoe and Max from Best in Show by Lilliana Rose

Zoe is finding life on the farm with Max harder than she’d imagined. Can she make this the country Christmas that will keep them together?


Pre-Order from:
Amazon US | Amazon Aus |





Break The Silence by D.K. Hood (Book 7, Detectives Kane & Alton) is expected to be released by Bookatoure on 4 November.


Her head throbbed as she stumbles up the stairs. Music vibrating and the sound of partygoers fill her head as she walks into one of the dark, empty rooms. As she sits on the bed, she hears the unmistakable sound of the door locking behind her. She is not alone.

The body of college student Chrissie Lowe lies curled into a ball – long red cuts along her arms suggesting how she had met her death. Detective Jenna Alton is called in to investigate.


Purplish bruising on Chrissie’s upper arms and thighs make Jenna believe there is more to Chrissie’s death than others suspected, and she soon finds herself following the trail of the student’s last few moments, leading her to the scene of a party that had ended just hours before Chrissie’s body was found.

When Jenna hears reports that Chrissie was seen going into the bedroom of a college football star, she knows that finding out what went on behind that closed door could be the key to finding out how Chrissie ended up dead. But then another partygoer dies in an apparent accident at the campus gym just hours later, and Jenna is convinced the deaths are connected.

Facing a wall of silence from the student population, Jenna has to act fast to find the killer, but soon another student is found dead on the campus. As Jenna sends in one of her deputies undercover, she prays that she hasn’t just sealed his fate. Can she find the killer before any more lives are taken?



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SALES



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Thursday, 12 September 2019

Magic Thursday: The Nuts & Bolts of Designing a Book Cover! (Part 5: The Final Design)


by Helzkat Designs 

(aka Eleni Konstantine)


This is my sixth blog post on the topic of cover design.

In the post, You can't judge a book by its cover, right? Umm, Wrong, I discussed familiarising oneself with what the market - aka your genre - is doing with covers. While you don’t want to mimic it exactly, it gives you a good idea of reader expectation.

The second post, Magic Thursday: The Nuts & Bolts of Designing a Book Cover! (Part 1: Finding Images), I discussed royalty-free stock images and how to search for images for a short story collection.

The third post, Magic Thursday: The Nuts & Bolts of Designing a Book Cover! (Part 2: Analysing Comprehensive Scene images) looked at selecting and analysing images in the folders that held comprehensive scenes.

The fourth post: Magic Thursday: The Nuts & Bolts of Designing a Book Cover! (Part 3: Analysing Other Images), I looked at analysing images that are not comprehensive but have an aspect that can be used in the cover - this can be either for the background or other elements.

The fifth post: Magic Thursday: The Nuts & Bolts of Designing a Book Cover! (Part 4: The MockUps), I looked at putting together elements into actual covers.


Today we're going to look at working on the final design.

You can change practically anything in a design - the background, the blending, the font text, the font colour, the elements...the list can go on. However I'm happy with the image of the design chosen. It needs some work with the fonts.




Design chosen


This is the final mock up from the previous post and as mentioned, I had earmarked it for something else but it's the perfect image for this cover. 

As much as I like this version, the white font for the author and tagline seems to fade the smaller the image becomes. If you recall, I mentioned that making sure you design is viewable as a thumbnail is important in this day and age as that's how people who buy their ebooks would see it online especially on smaller devices.



Now to play around with this cover... we will look at them as thumbnails but if you click on the image you will see a larger version.


Variations 1


L - The red for author and tagline is better than the white but still seems to fade out.
R - A change to blue for author name. Still not right.




Variation 2

The font for the tagline has been enlarged. It makes it look more legible.



Variations 3

The font for both the tagline and author name have been stretched and the size is more suitable.

L - Blue for both author and tagline. While a lovely colour especially when enlarged, it's not quite as legible when in thumbnail size.
R - A little darker and mostly legible.



Variation 4

The red is better and there isn't as much need for shadowing because of it, especially for the tagline. The author name has some shadowing to make it stand out from the clouds a little more.

The tagline has been moved to be under the title.


Variations 5

As much as I love the orange colour of the title, I wanted to see what other colours would look like.
L- I've made the shadowing to be orange so it's not too heavy.
R - changed to white with a red shadow making the title stand out more.



Variation 6


The tagline has been moved to the original position as it did seem a little cramped. The colour doesn't stand out as much now. The title has variations of colour and style.



Variations 7

 

L -Shadowing the author name doesn't show up as much on the thumbnail.
R - A stroke around the author name makes it stand out more.



Variations 8

  

L - A swap of positions of author and tagline.
R- Author name has the shadowing removed and it is legible because of its position. The tagline has a softer coloured glow around it but it is more legible.




Variation 9
 

Adding filters onto the author and title. Orange palette to suit the image better. The red seems starker.



and drum roll....Final version...



Played around with the layer styles a bit more and am finally happy with the cover. 




Round Up
I am now happy with how the cover looks in both thumbnail and larger formats, and to get that look it took changes to font colours, styles and filters. Also a change in position of fonts occurred.

Tweaks allow the cover to be fine tuned. Each mock should either progress in the direction you want or make you realise something isn't working or not quite right. You may have to give something up you love - like the original font colour for the title - so the the design can balance and look right.

At the end of the day by keeping in mind all that has been covered in this series - genre, audience, contents, exploration, thumbnail size, font placement, image cohesion - you should get the cover you're after even if it's not what you expected when you started out.



Thanks for joining me on this look behind designing book covers.  



~HelzKat~
~~~~



HelzKat Designs (Helen Katsinis) specialises in designing for writers at affordable prices.

She delivers the right look for each project from book covers, banners, business cards, to setting up and customising blogs and websites. She has also given talks to authors on the subject of blogging and navigating in the online world.

She began by designing author banners for her writing persona (Eleni Konstantine) and her writing groups. After winning the 2010 Little Gems Cover Contest (Topaz), she started to specialise in designing for other writers thus combining her two worlds of design and writing.

In 2018, she entered the world of pre-made covers. You can see available covers HERE.