I woke up this morning thinking about endings. Not just any endings, but my favorite book endings. I perused my book shelf, looking at the books that have stuck with me over the years, and books that left me handing on, dying for the next one to come out. And as I was looking, I started to wonder why. What happened that made me love these endings?

Before I was a writer, I was an avid reader and my favorite part of a book has always been the ending.  As I looked over all my favs, I realized that they all had something in common: HEAs and cliffhangers.

Yes, I’m a sucker for HEAs and love cliffhangers.

Why I love HEAs …

For me, there is nothing more fulfilling than an HEA, especially when I’m reading a series. I love the fluttery heart, and the giggling, and everything that comes with the hero and heroine coming together at the end. They’ve fought. They’ve struggled. They’ve conquered. They deserve happiness. And I want to live that happiness with them. I love being able to grin as I flip that last page, knowing that my fictional friends are moving on … happy.

Why I love chliffhangers …

I know there are many people out there that hate cliffhangers, but I absolutely love them. Not just as an author, but as a reader, too. Why? Well, it’s pretty simple. I read a lot and every book I read takes me further and further from the last one I loved. If it’s part of a series, and the next book isn’t set to release for a year, I need that cliffhanger to keep me invested. I need something big enough to make me remember to buy that next book, and a cliffhanger does exactly that.

What about you? What’s your favorite kind of ending? Are you an HEA person or do you love tragic romance?  How about cliffhangers?

Let me know. 🙂

Your Book Cover is a Powerful Marketing Piece

For those of you who are just starting out on your publishing journey, you should know that your book cover is a powerful marketing piece.  When I wrote The Soul’s Mark: FOUND, I was worried about the story and the editing and writing, and the cover was the furthest thing from my mind, but I soon realized how important the cover of my book really was.  So today I want to share a little bit about the importance of a great book cover.

I know we’ve all heard the saying ‘you can’t judge a book by its cover’, but the truth is, we all do it. Your cover is the first thing that a reader sees when they pick up your book, and in most cases, if your target audience doesn’t like it, they’ll move on to the next one.

Here’s interesting Self-Publishing statistic: “Hiring a professional cover designer earned them on average 18% more.”Published at epublishabook.com (Click here to read the full article)

Your book is one of many, which means your cover needs to stand out. Think about all the times you’ve been in a book store, whether it’s a physical store or online, and you’re browsing through the plethora of options. How many times have you passed up a book, not even bothering to read the blurb, because the cover didn’t do anything for you? Personally, I couldn’t even begin to count the times I’ve done it.

When choosing a cover, you need to remember that you are selling stories—a product—and your cover is its packaging. It’s your chance to put your best foot forward. Intrigue your readers before they even turn to the first page. Really, your cover is, in most cases, what will make them want to read that first page.

Remember, you need to advertise in order to sell your book.  I’m not saying that a good cover is all you need, but it truly is a start in the right direction.  If no one notices your book, no one will buy it.

Here are some awesome sites that I use for my cover needs.

The covers for The Soul’s Mark novels were done by a freelancer from Freelancer.ca. She provided me with unlimited revisions, searched for stock images, and put the covers together in just a few days.

The cool thing about Freelancer.ca is that it can be used for pretty much any job you can think of. You can create a free account and post a job. Once it’s posted you’ll have access to freelancers all over the world who will place bids, competing for the chance to work with you. This is great, because instead of you spending your time scouring the internet for a cover designer, you’ll get the cover designers coming to you. 🙂 Make sure you ask for samples of their work before hiring.

Also, I recently found ebook indie covers.  Melody designed the cover of Waking Dreams, A Soul’s Mark Novella. You will find a bunch of premade covers for $40.00 each here. Melody also does custom covers. Her prices are very reasonable, and she is a pleasure to work with.

There are tones of other sites out there and fabulous designers, these are just my favorites. 

So, to sum up … your cover is a marketing piece. It’s an advertisement for your book. You’ve spent countless hours creating the story, so don’t sell yourself short. Spending a little money now, will help you in the long term.  I wish you all the best of luck in finding that perfect cover designer.  🙂

A Vampire Revelation

Hi Everyone!

For those of you who may have missed it, today I wanted to share a guest post that I did for Jonel @ Pure Jonel Book Reviews.  I hope you all enjoy it. 🙂

Happy reading,

Originally posted on March 31, 2013 at Pure Jonel Book Reviews

Today I’m going to share my vampire revelation. Last week, I was chatting with a friend about my upcoming release of The Soul’s Mark: BROKEN, and he asked me: How do your vampires become vampires?

Of course, I wouldn’t tell him because, well, I didn’t want to spoil it, but the conversation spiraled from there, and it got me thinking …

For those of you who have an author friend, you know that we think a lot. Ideas pop up, and we pick over them. For myself, I’ll spend weeks on one idea until it makes sense. Fiction needs to be more believable than real life, and if I don’t believe it happened my readers won’t either.

Anyway, back to the vampires … during my research for The Soul’s Mark Series, I read a lot of vampire books. One thing I found in a lot of them was that to become a vampire, you need to be bitten by one.

And now for my revelation … this doesn’t make sense.

Most books have vampires being around forever. The older books have vampires only eating human blood. So, if they’ve been around forever, and only eat people, then they would have to change or kill every person they bite. How long would the race actually survive doing this? Surely not thousands, upon thousands, of years.

Vampires are supposed to be crafty—survivors. However, how can they survive if they are changing/killing their food? Sooner or later, they would become extinct, or if not them, their food would. They would drain their resources.

This, to me, does not sound like crafty survivors. It sounds like a one-way ticket to disaster. Once they change all their food into vampires, what would they eat? Let’s say at this point, they adapt and move on to animals … would we then have a bunch of vampire animals? *Shudders* Now that would suck.

But, even if they did adapt, in the end, and at some point it would come to an end, the vampires would again drain their resources. If they are changing/killing everything, there would be no one left to reproduce more food for them, and they would eventually die off, too.

And those are my thoughts on why you cannot become a vampire by being bitten alone.

The middle of the night

Lately, I’ve been getting up in the middle of the night to write. I don’t mean that I’ve been setting an alarm or anything like that. I just wake up. For a few nights, I forced myself to stay in bed with my eyes closed, hoping that sleep would come.

It didn’t.

Instead of sleep, all I could think about was this new idea I’ve been working on (something different than The Soul’s Mark). So finally, I decided to get up. I just had to get the ideas out of my head.

See, the thing is, for the last few years I’ve been a day person. I like having a schedule: get up, go out, work, write, read, sleep … I like organization and plans. That’s why I create 20 + outlines for each book I write. For me, organization is the key.

But … I love what I’ve come up with in the wee hours of the morning, and I’m starting to think that there just might be something to this staying up all night thing.

What about you, guys … do you have a favorite time to read/write? Have you woken up in the middle of the night and couldn’t get back to sleep until you did whatever it was that woke you up? Let me know. 🙂

I’m at Pure Jonel Book Reviews today!

Hey Everyone!

I’m at Pure Jonel Book Reviews today with the lovely Jonel in Peterborough, Ontario. Come on over and check out my guest post: So, you’re ready to self-publish your masterpiece.

I’ll also be with Jonel on March 27th for an interview, and on March 31st with another guest post. And with each of these visits, you’ll be able to enter some giveaways.

The first is for participants in Canada & the US only. You can enter to win 1 papberback copy of The Soul’s Mark: BROKEN, coupled with a ‘book cushion’.

The second contest is open internationally. You can to win 1 of 3 sets of The Soul’s Mark series. That’s right, each of the 3 winners will win a copy of The Soul’s Mark: FOUND, The Soul’s Mark: HUNTED, and The Soul’s Mark: BROKEN.

I hope to see you all there. 🙂

My family is growing!

I’m so excited!  My little brother is getting married.  And it’s about time.  He has been waiting for that perfect moment to pop the question for almost three years!

Here’s the happy couple. 

And check out her ring…

Isn’t it gorgeous?

Of course, my first question was, can I start planning the wedding?  I don’t think they took me seriously though because they just laughed.

Congrats guys!  I’m so happy for you.