Tag Archives: cover

Same theme–different takes on it

17 Nov

When you put together creative minds something spectacular comes out: an anthology of wonderful stories meant to make you fall in love with fictional heroes and heroines. From as far as Henry the VIII’s regal court to modern day, from angels and demons to urban fantasy to alpha males and sassy women these short stories have as a common theme A great Big World’s song Say Something.


Some songs really touch my heart and Say Something is one of them. When I first heard it, it made me pause. The lyrics gave me goosebumps, almost like a cry of desperation and pain. Watching the video totally sealed the deal for me: I will one day write a story about it. 

That day came sooner than I expected when I was invited to participate in the romance anthology called . . . Say Something, along with six other amazing authors. Its release day is fast approaching on December 1st, 2014 and I encourage you all to get a copy at only .99cents, for a limited time only. Find it on Amazon and B&N.


The cover that stole my heart

13 Nov

How do you know when you found the perfect photo for your cover? For me it’s simple: the photo speaks to me. It’s instinct, it’s finally a face to a name.  It’s that amazing hero(ine) you’ve been writing about, but never seen his/her face. All of sudden you see an image and there he/she is, staring at you and telling you, “Hello. Is it me you’re looking for?” That very moment your heartbeat turns into a drumroll, butterflies dance in your belly… it’s love at first sight. Nothing more.

Each one of my covers has a story worth telling, but this post is about my latest novel titled Me Tarzan—You Jane and its journey to finding the right cover. A bunch of my author friends recommended Regina Wamba at Mae I Design. She’s an artist and photographer with a ton of covers under her belt for New Your Times Bestseller authors to less famous authors. A look at her covers and I was hooked.

Sometime over the summer I contacted Regina and she agreed to design my cover. I admit that the entire time between us signing the contract and the deadline Regina and I agreed upon cover delivery I was so darn curious I’m surprised impatience didn’t kill me. My fingers itched each day to ask about how does the cover come along, but some part of my brain (the one that has the common sense center in it) kept me from doing that.

At one point Regina sent me a few drafts. I liked them, but I didn’t love any. That gut instinct, those butterflies I mentioned earlier didn’t bother to flap their wings.

October 15th couldn’t come any slower. I remember checking my email a thousand+ times the day before, and each time disappointment hit me like a cold shower. Then with each bit of disappointment came a bit of scolding at myself for wanting something to happen before the deadline. That what’s deadlines are for, right?

Bright and early on October 15th, the first thing I did even before I got out of bed was to check my email. No email from Regina. As the day progressed I became more and more antsy. I had posts aligned on my blog about the cover. I had a cover reveal booked on ATOMR site. I had an order of paperback books I was supposed to place.  Around 2pm I was a mess.

About to go into a meeting I sent Regina a message saying that I’ll be in a meeting for an hour but able to check emails. She replied and said she’s ready to talk. And I was like, “Uhmmm, ready to talk???? I thought today was the day to receive the cover, not start talking.” Half an hour after our phone call she sent me a few drafts. So spot on! One of them especially stood out for me. From that draft until the final product a few days passed by. I eventually received the promised cover.

I give Regina props for nailing it. She blew me away with how well she captured the novel’s vibe—corky, funny, with a dash of heartache and happily-ever-after. How well she envisioned Lucas and Jane, my main characters. How her attention to detail for the font, color and size brought this cover to perfection.

As for the butterflies I’m happy to report they still dance to the tunes of my happiness. Can you see them?

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00002]


Virtual Book Tour Marissa Carmel. Guest Post & Giveaway

3 Aug


Lust. Anger. Hate. Desire. Love. Happiness. Joy. iFeel.

Liv Christianni is isolated, alone, tortured and withdrawn, saddled with the torrential downpour of the world’s emotions. Accepting of her providence Liv has lost all hope, until one day fate steps in and spins the course of her life like a spiraling top. Hunted by a Spirit Stalker, Liv is forced to gain control of herself and her surroundings, threatened by the touch of her immortal love; she must find a way to survive both physically and emotionally as her reality is shaken up like dice on a Craps table. Can she find the courage to accept her true self? Can she love unconditionally cognizant of the condemning consequences? Can she rise from the ashes to become the person she was always meant to be?
Funny, witty, real, and poignant, iFeel rips into your soul, and sets your emotions on fire.
If you are a fan of Charmed or Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries or The Secret Circle this series is for you! 

As part of the virtual book tour for author Marissa Carmel’s newest release iFeel, I invited Marissa to stop by with a guest post and a giveaway. When I received the invitation from Kitty Bullard @ Great Minds Think Aloud Literary Community & Independent Publishing to be part of this tour I was intrigued by the cover and the blurb. I then went to Amazon and read excerpts from the novel and I was hooked. I’m actually reading the book and hope soon to post a review for it (and who knows me well enough they know I don’t post reviews unless the book is really incredible). Until then see below Marissa’s guest post. For a chance to win one of the 5 e-copies of iFeel leave your answer to the following question:

What hunts Liv Christianni?


You plan, God laughs.  This is the story of my life.

There are ideals and expectations I assume everyone has; whom you will marry, what your career will be like, where you will raise your kids. And yes, I had all those ideologies in my head, except mine were more like, have a career, don’t get married and absolutely no kids. Boy, was I wrong. Today I am married with two kids, and living in a state I only passed through on occasion. And my career? Well let’s just say, I have more than one, and I never saw that coming. Who needs more than one career? Apparently me. To make a long story short, I started my first career as a logistician, yawn, I won’t bore you with the details. The second career came shortly after.
I’ve always loved to write. Always. My imagination constantly runs away with itself, and I am without doubt following it. My best subject was creative writing. So when I would write, it was primarily for me (or a good grade). As time went on though, I found myself imagining more and more and wanting to create, but my life was so busy, and what would it get me anyway? Until one day my mother- in- law dropped a bomb that would change my life. She was talking to one of my husband’s cousins who was complaining about getting her college degree (she was already married with 4 kids. Yikes. I’d be complaining too.) And my MIL, the wise woman that she is simply said, honey, time is going to go by anyway, so you might as well do it. Well, it felt like the sky fell on me. The advice wasn’t even directed at me, but it resonated. I started writing that night. And never stopped.

My husband once asked where my creativity comes from, and in return I asked him if he ever heard voices in his head.  His reply, I needed to see a shrink. I told him a keyboard and a curser is the best therapy. I have always loved the supernatural, thanks in part to my mom; Charmed was one of our favorite shows to watch together and still is. So when I started writing, it only felt natural that it took on a paranormal feel. But I didn’t want to write about vampires or werewolves or really anything that had been done. I’m like that; I always tend to steer towards the opposite of popular and then proceed to make fun of it. So I started researching, and brainstorming, and concocting my mix of love, humor and emotion. Liv was already an entity in my head, festering. I’d often imagine a dark haired girl with amethyst eyes, suffering and alone. When I finally established who she really was, and what kind of supernatural elements she would possess, (an Empath-someone who can feel the emotions of others- with active abilities) I asked myself, what would it be like for someone like that to carry the world’s emotions? Torrential I thought. What would it be like for her to fall in love? Even worse than torrential. The story evolved rather quickly after that, but I didn’t rush it. It took me a little over a year to write, over two years to edit. I learned a lot about my writing style during that time, developed my voice and really tried to give it a life-like feel.

So here I am almost four years later, a husband, 2 kids, and a home in what feels like a foreign country; a daytime career and a nighttime career, all jumbling together, fighting for a piece of my time. Go hard or go home, my husband and I always joke, if we have a story, it needs a theme and that is it. I wouldn’t change it though, not for anything. Life is nothing, if not a venture – (I have no idea who said that).


Marissa Carmel has been writing since a young age and although it has always been for personal enjoyment, she finally decided to breakout and share her imagination with the world. She hopes that her universe is as fun and intriguing to her readers as it is to her. Marissa Carmel is originally from NJ but moved to Maryland several years ago, she enjoys reading, writing, and catching up on her DVR library. She is currently working on the sequel to iFeel, Gravitational Pull, which she hopes to release sometime in 2012.

Contact Info-


Twitter- @MarissaCarmel

Facebook- Marissa Carmel



Purchase Links-

Amazon.com- http://www.amazon.com/iFeel-ebook/dp/B008AM5KBY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1340055387&sr=8-2&keywords=iFeel


I no longer hate…

18 Mar

Today I’m @ Deborah’s website Love To Read Romance and let me tell you she’s one of the nicest people I met during my book tour. There are two (major) things Deborah and I have in common: books and a soft heart for all men and women in uniform. I have a feeling her and I will become really good friends in the years to come and I certainly look forward to it.

Today’s post is about growing up hating, surrounded by despair and poorness. In my miserable attempt to survive Communism I failed to recognize that Romanians weren’t the only nation suffering from the plagued disease. You’ll get a glimpse into Konrad Bak’s childhood, my dear friend from Poland. Konrad is the photographer I had the blessed chance to work with on the cover for my first novel HIDDEN HEART. His lovely wife Iwona is the model on it. To see what Romanians and Polish people have in common please visit Love To Read Romance.

I’m not cloned, yet I’m in two different places: @ Guilty Indulgence Book Club and @ House of Millar

12 Feb

I was getting ready to post my next blog when my husband said, “Whitney Houston has died.” I thought he’s joking, but turned the TV on and… yes, Whitney Houston, the one and only had passed away. I’m at a loss for words and in denial. I want this to be a bad dream I’m going to wake up and shrug it off. Whitney once said, “I’m either my best friend or my worst enemy.” So sad, so true.

As hard as it is to take my mind off of this sad news, life must go on and so does my book tour. Today’s post is about the right photo for the right cover and how I fell in love with the photos I chose for A World Apart. I’m over at Guilty Indulgence Book Club who so graciously posted a review for A World Apart yesterday. To quote the book club they are a, “ROMANCE REVIEW SITE. Everyone needs a little indulgence in their life.” I completely agree with that. They have hundreds and hundreds of reviews on their site, check it out if you are looking for a new book or to compare notes.

I’m also interviewed at House of Millar, the official website of author Aine P Massie. She’s an incredible talented writer with a knack for paranormal romance.

I’m warning you this is not a usual interview, but something special where I’m joined by my favorite hero, Maj. David Hunt. Curious to find out how he came to become my hero? Hop over and see it for yourself.

… And the Winner is …

21 Nov

First of all thank you all who voted. I was really nervous about this poll since for the first few days two of the covers where voted really tight. Then this one received more votes until it ended with 42%.

Without further ado, here it is the cover for my upcoming contemporary war romance “A WORLD APART.”

Love it, love it, love it!!!

Interview with Dave Cleinman

15 Oct

My third guest featuring indie writers from the IWU group is no one else but David Cleinman. Aside from being a successful businessman, husband and father, David is a wonderful author, with three books to his name and still counting.

CMS: Dave, you seem the kind of guy who knows how to be positive at all times, searching for ways to figure things out. How do you do it?

DC: Hmmm.  Positive at all times?  I don’t know about that one.  But I do try to make sense of as much of my world as possible.  An endeavor fraught with failure, as you might guess, but still worth doing.  My novels have a “seek the best even in the worst” kind of quality.   My characters are constantly struggling to make sense of their situations, even when that is painfully difficult.  I think that trait, so strong in me, is just naturally extended to them.

CMS: “Principle Destiny” a fantasy novel came out in November of 2009. How did the story of Princess Alyssa come about and what inspired you?

DC: “Principle Destiny” is now out of print, and will soon be Indie published under a different title.  I couldn’t bear the thought of this novel, as lovely a print job as it was, be so expensive.  My publisher, who shall remain nameless (unless someone searches for the book), did nothing to help me promote it, and it just kind of stagnated. Princess Alyssa is an amalgam of the best qualities of a potential leader, who puts her foot down and refuses to accept the situation in which she finds herself.  While not exactly flawless, she represents the best of humanity in simple ways that I would like to see all politicians and leaders embrace.  She puts her citizens first, has no interest in political agendas, and believes that self-sacrifice is as important for her as for any of her citizens.  The race to gain the kingship, a bit of a throwback to ancient legend, is not only physically exhausting, but mentally draining, and her victory, while coming at quite a price, establishes her firmly as the powerful individual and leader she was meant to be.

CMS: I absolutely love the cover on your second book “Toys in the Attic” which is a psychological thriller out May 2011. What can you tell us about Sara, your main character?

DC: Thank you.  The cover is as emotionally descriptive as I could have hoped.  Desolate and eerie, with just a hint of potential sunshine, and a beautiful woman whose eyes reflect desire for normalcy… I never could have managed that quite as well as Christine DeMaio Rice did. The book asks a simple question, and slowly answers it.  If we found ourselves in a situation where, each and every waking moment, we were haunted by a personal horror so devastating that it has led some individuals to suicide, insanity, or murder, how would we cope?  Sara lives with this very situation and spends over a decade trying to build a life and overcome it.  Sara is both an icon of strength and personal courage, as well as a teenager who never really grows up, emotionally, until she is forced to do so.  I’ll say here that her child, born out of her personal tragedy, begins as a burden, but ends up being a savior.  His faith in his mother never dies, even when her own has.

CMS: As a male author how hard is to write from the heroine’s point of view?

DC: Hard is not really the word I would choose. It is challenging, for sure, but the way I would describe it is this:  it is a balancing act that really is unsurpassed in how unique it is.  I draw on both my feminine side, really based in my being a feeler more than a thinker, as well as deep observation and a background in psychology and counseling. Getting the emotions just right, expressing sexuality delicately, while allowing our main character the freedom to explore, and showing strength while breeding sympathy was all very challenging.  I pretty much just go for it, rely on my instincts, and take as much feedback as I can from women readers.

CMS: What’s next for you? Are you currently working on another novel and when should we expect its release?

DC: First is the reissue of “Principle Destiny” as “The Woman Who Would Be King”.  A cover update is in the works, and a very slight rewrite.  30 to 45 days, max. I am also working on two fantasy series, a sci fi rewrite, and a video game story.

CMS: Do you have a routine when you write and if yes, please describe it.

DC: Just write.  I sit down, listen to music that matches the emotional tone of what I am writing, and type.  Not much else to it.  I do more writing in my head than on “paper” and a lot gets hashed out before seeing life on my computer screen.

CMS: How long did it take you to complete each novel from concept to publish?

DC: “Principle Destiny” took me 10 years. I tend to be slow, anyway, but I never really made my writing the priority I should have. I began this journey at thirteen, and just now am really getting going. “Toys In The Attic” (TITA) took me about a year to develop.  It was put aside for a couple of years, then finished in about nine months. My efforts are improving, somewhat, but I still can’t seem to get that daily writing groove going.

CMS: Why did you choose to go with self-publishing? What was the hardest thing on this journey?

DC: “Principle Destiny” was really not meant to be self-published.  The publisher seemed fairly traditional.  Now I know better. Indie publishing appealed to me because it is instant.  It gives birth to stories without an overseer, who may or may NOT know better and, after reading some exceptional Indie works, I don’t really believe traditional publishing produces superior stories. The hardest thing was getting the formatting right for each epublisher.  And, as always, promotion is challenging.

CMS: How do you promote your novels?

DC: Still working on that one.  My Facebook page is live:  http://www.facebook.com/AuthorDavidACleinman

I am a member of several blogs and books sites:  Goodreads, AW Water Cooler, Kindleboards, Library Thing.

I write reviews and interview authors, both of which can be seen on my blog: http://www.davidcleinman.com/writings

I’m still working out more ways.  Any suggestions by readers of this interview are welcome!  Just leave comment on my blog!  Thanks in advance!

Close-up and personal, who is David Cleinman:

Night owl or morning person?

Night owl.  To a fault.

Coffee or tea?

Depends on my mood.  Either or neither.  I prefer cool drinks, usually.

Music or silence?

Music, most of the time.  My mind allows me no silence!

Sea or mountains?

Mountains. I grew up in the hills of upstate New York, and they are in my blood forever.

Cat or dog?

I like both evenly.  A dog is more fun.  A cat is more, um … interesting.  I prefer affectionate pets, rather than aggressive.

Thanks Cami for taking the time to interview me!  I really enjoyed your questions!