Monday, July 25, 2016

Cover Talk: I Have Faith by Davin Whitehurst

Title: I Have Faith
Author: Davin Whitehurst
Publisher: Childlike Faith Publishing
Pages: 26
Genre:  Children

Are you ready to get your child excited about faith? “I Have Faith” puts your child right in the footsteps of Danny as he begins to learn about faith. Danny and his older brother have been wanting a dog, but both know their parents don’t think they are ready for a dog. When Danny’s mom begins teaching him what the bible says about faith, he puts his faith into action. After praying and releasing his faith for a dog, doubt and even his best friend keep telling him that he will never get a dog. Over time Danny never loses his faith in the promises of God and finds that God is faithful and that faith works. Come along on this journey that is a real life event that took place in the author’s life as a child.

This book has great illustrations that support a wonderful story about finding faith in God. As you are teaching your child about principals in the bible; this book will help you teach faith. What a wonderful experience it is when we can see our children begin to develop their faith in God, and grow from a tiny mustard seed to a firmly planted tree. The back of the book has a parent/child discussion which will help children gain understanding in faith and some scriptures that Danny’s mom used to get him excited about faith.

For More Information

Davin Whitehurst Talks About His Book Cover

The story is based from my childhood. I was a small town Kansas boy desiring to have a friend. Not just any friend, a furry friend; that I knew my parents would never let me get. On one of those, seemingly, lonesome days I prayed about getting a dog. My faith was released and I knew God had heard my prayer.

Who knew that praying for a dog as a young boy would turn into something God could use for other children almost thirty years later. Well, I got my dog months and months later. So long after I prayed for a dog; that I almost forgot.  I can still remember walking home from school and as I started down the street I lived on; one of my sisters was waiting on the porch with a tiny little dog that was not old enough to be weaned from her mother. Someone must have thrown her out and as my dad approached what he thought was a crumpled brown bag blowing around in the road; he stopped to realize it was a tiny little dog. No one claimed her and she became a part of the family.
"I Have Faith" puts your child right in the footsteps of Danny as he begins to learn about faith. Danny and his older brother have been wanting a dog, but both know their parents don't think they are ready for a dog. When Danny's mom begins teaching him what the bible says about faith; he puts his faith into action. After praying and releasing his faith for a dog. Doubt and even his best friend keep telling him that he will never get a dog. Over time Danny never loses his faith in the promises of God and finds that God is faithful and that faith works.
 The book is based on the biblical concept of faith. I knew the cover needed to have something to do with how we get faith. Romans 10:17 says that faith comes by hearing, and hearing the word of Christ. I could see a couple different concepts in my mind and sketched them out. I talked with my illustrator Tiffany Brown and she brought the idea to life. Since we build up our faith every time we read the bible, and Danny began to learn about faith from the bible. Once I looked at the finished cover I knew that was the one. One try is all it took. I looked at the canvas and thought is this too simple? Is it just right or does it need to be changed? Once I got the title and right font on there. I knew for sure this was the right cover for the book.

About the Author

Davin Whitehurst lives in the beautiful high desert of Southern Arizona with his wife and son. He is releasing his first book "I have Faith" in May of 2016 but has so many more that are in the making. The motivation behind the books are deeply rooted from in his own past. He is a living testimony of Proverbs 22:6. Growing up in Southwest Kansas and in a Christian household, he was trained up in the way he should go. By the time he became a teenager, Davin turned away from God and left church. Fast forward into his late twenties and God brought him back with a powerful calling. He and his family have been faithfully serving at Seed of Abraham Christian Center International for over seven years now. Proof that when we teach our children the way they should go. When they get older, they know where to turn and will not depart from God. Davin wants each book written to be a resource that parents have to help train their children in the way they should go. He writes stories in a simple way that will be fun and practical for every child. He wants children to get excited about faith and the things of God.

His latest release is the children’s book, I Have Faith.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Book Cover Junkie Interviews Historical Fiction Author Joan Schweighardt

Joan Schweighardt is the author of several books. In addition to her own projects she writes, ghostwrites and edits for private and corporate clients.
Connect with Joan on the web:
Tell us about your book! What is it about and what inspired you to write it?
The Last Wife of Attila the Hun is based on a combination of the history of Attila and some of the legends that grew out of that same time period. I read the legends back in college and fell in love with them and wanted to make them my own. First I tried writing a long poem based on them, but I wasn’t happy with the result. Then I started studying the history of the times of Attila and was inspired to attempt to superimpose the legendary material over the historical material and create a novel.
Tell us about your publishing process. What was it like? Did you go indie or the traditional way?
The Last Wife of Attila the Hun has been published three times. In 2003 Beagle Bay Books, then a small independent traditional publisher, published it in hardcover under the title Gudrun’s Tapestry. It had a great run with them, garnering great reviews, winning ForeWord and Ippy awards, and being translated into Italian and Russian.
A few years ago Beagle Bay transitioned from book publishing to book packaging, and the rights to the book reverted back to me. I had just read a blog about a publisher called Booktrope, and because they were awarded venture capital for their publishing model, and also because they sometimes published reprints of previously published titles, I sent them the book and they accepted it. They gave it a new title, fresh edits, a new cover, etc., published it in October of 2015 and went out of business (so much for their publishing model) in May 2016.
Two lives is a lot for a novel to enjoy in these times. I had no plan to push for a third life for Last Wife. But C.P. Lesley, an author, academic and one of the founders of Five Directions Press, a publishing co-op, had read Last Wife as a prelude to a one-hour interview she did with me for her “New Books in Historical Fiction” podcast segment. When C.P. heard that Booktrope was going down, she contacted me and offered to re-publish Last Wife under the Five Directions banner.
Third time’s the charm, they say. I’ve had several books published over the years. This is the only one that has enjoyed three lifetimes. And this is my first time working with a book co-op. I’m very excited to have this experience.  
How did you choose the title for your book? Did it come to you right away, before you started writing the story, or did it come later?
The first title for the book, as mentioned above, was Gudrun’s Tapestry. The protagonist’s name is Gudrun, and a tapestry she creates near the end of the story figures prominently into the plot. The people at Beagle Bay chose that title, and that was fine with me. When the book got to Booktrope, I decided to change the title to The Last Wife, but my then-book manager felt it should be more specific, hence The Last Wife of Attila the Hun. In order not to lose the Amazon reviews Last Wife had garnered during the Booktrope launch, the people at Five Directions and I determined that it would be best to keep the same title for this third launch. The cover of course is new.
Tell us about the cover design process. Did you have a basic idea of what your book cover would be like?
I love the gold and black logo that is used for the very popular Broadway play Hamilton. I mentioned that to C.P. Lesley and she suggested we use a gold dragon symbol as the artwork for my cover. Even though there are no actual dragons “on stage” in the book, the people of the times believed heartily in dragons, and there are stories of “off stage” dragon encounters throughout. Courtney J. Hall, another Five Directions founder and author, and a fabulous graphic designer, took the dragon symbol C.P. Lesley had found and used it to create the front cover.
How was your experience working with the designer?
C.P. Lesley and Courtney J. Hall understood my vision for the cover and simply made it happen. My experience working with them was, therefore, excellent.
Back in the old days—when traditional publishing was the only kind there was—authors didn’t generally get involved with cover design. I didn’t know what Beagle Bay had planned for the cover until I got my box of books in the mail. I loved the artwork they came up with, which featured a chest, a sword and a tapestry, a rather literal interpretation of key elements of the story. And I loved the cover that Booktrope’s Michelle Fairbanks (of Fresh Design) came up with, which featured an ancient map of Europe. And I love the new cover. All three covers are very different and all are equally appropriate.
What has been the readers’ response to your cover?
So far everyone who has had reason to comment has said they love it.
What tips would you give to authors who are looking for a cover designer?
The options for cover art are endless. Don’t overthink it, or you will make yourself crazy. Unless you yourself know something about cover design, share your vision for the book with your designers and then sit back and see what they come up with.
One of my favorite covers was for a novel I wrote called The Accidental Art Thief. My publisher for that book (Twilight Times Books) asked me to put together a list of key words describing the book and then asked several cover artists to come up with cover concepts. Then I got to pick the one I liked the best, which was so awesome and really fit the whimsical tone of the book. When you are describing the book, be sure to describe its spirit as well as its story.
Anything else you’d like to say about your book?
I loved writing The Last Wife of Attila the Hun. It’s a complete surprise to me—and a great pleasure—to find myself still talking about it all these years after its first incarnation. I’m very grateful to all the people at Beagle Bay, Booktrope and now Five Directions who have had some part in helping to generate the three lives of my book. And I’m happy to have some small part in extending the lives of the wonderful legends on which the book is based.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Cover Talk: Cocktales & Mock-Tales by Julianne McLean & Mark Lynch

Title: Cocktales & Mock-Tales
Authors: Julianne McLean & Mark Lynch
Publisher: ASJ Publishing
Pages: 90
Genre: Humor

Cocktails and Mock- Tales is not just about alcoholic beverages. The book is about sensations that tickle your tastebuds and humour that tickles your fancy. It includes non-alcoholic beverages that the whole family can enjoy and even herbal recipes for the adventurous.

Have one extremely tall high ball glass and a giant cocktail shaker at the ready
Unlimited centilitres of wit and humour
9 cl or 3oz titillating snippets of history and gossip
Add flavours of exotic destinations
A dusting of spice mixed with satire
Several centilitres of high spirits (optional)

Shake with vigour. Garnish with an open mind and your own sense of humour
Now you are ready to truly laugh and savour Cocktails and Mock Tales!
Amaze your friends and family with your knowledge of the origins of international beverages and excite their tastebuds with these exotic sensations.

For More Information

  • Cocktails & Mock-Tales is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Julianne McLean Talks Book Covers
The book cover was the creation of Mark Lynch award winning humorist and cartoonist.
As the book is about international cocktails and Mark was moved to do his cartoon with an Australian theme.

Mark decided, not the publisher, the design of the front cover and the only amendment to be made was an increase in the number of recipes included in the book from 40 to 50.

Mark’s genius is apparent from the cover right through the next 25 cartoons.

His talent has won him many Australian and international awards. And his cartoons can be viewed in Germany both in the rail stations in Munich and Berlin. They are seen by 1.5 million people per day!

Mark was, amongst many roles, lead cartoonist for the Australian newspaper.

Mark is a very spontaneous creator. He nailed our cover in one go!

About the Authors

Julianne has created & organized targeted national launches, press coverage, television appearances, publicity events and community service affiliations for a varied range of entities including: “Masai Barefoot Technology” – therapeutic footwear company; award-winning cartoonist Mark Lynch’s book – “How Green is My Planet” with forewords from Spike Milligan and David Suzuki; best-selling recipe book, “Barbies for Blokes” with recipes from celebrities such as Peter Brock, Jeff Fenech and Guy Leech and the sequel “More Barbies for Blokes” (These later publications were co-authored by Julianne); John Gill, eight times World Martial Arts Champion and Hornsby Council’s sports complexes that won the national award for “Best Swim School Promotion”. Julianne has just produced directed and written a DVD for Holland America Cruise lines based on their exercise programs and is publishing her new book “Cocktails and Mock Tales”.

Visit Julianne McLean on Facebook!

Mark Lynch our Australian cartoonist, describes himself as being born “sometime in the middle of the last century.”

After doing a variety of Jobs, Mark became a QANTAS Flight attendant and he quips that “the next nineteen years of his life resembled an exotic beer commercial set in a variety of world- wide locations”.

Mark was editorial cartoonist for the leading publication, “The Australian” newspaper. His work has been enjoyed in more publications than you could count, ranging from Australian dailies, even ‘Le News Switzerland”. Mark’s cartoons appear in a variety of forms and diversity world-wide including video screens in the Berlin and Munich subway system where they are seen by 1.5 million people a day.

Mark is the recipient of 48 international and Australian cartoon awards!

Mark lives in Sydney with his lovely wife, Jenny, and two sons and to learn more about Mark and see further cartoons, visit


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Guest post by Jonisha Rios, author of 'Curse of the Blue Vagina'

Thanks so much for featuring my book!  Honestly the smoothest part of the book process for me was finding the artist that created my cover.  His name is Tim Pryor of "Pryority Design Studio."  I have met many artists and awesome creative folks out there and in order to be sure I had many designs to choose from to get the perfect cover, I ran a contest on 99 designs.  I have to say there were so many talented artists who do great work to choose from and in the end it boiled down to 5 designs and finally the cover was chosen.
I  think my stories are intimate and simple and that is why I chose this cover.  It was a clean simple design that conveyed the message of the book.  I also wanted a cartoonish vibe because my book is actually not a sex book-- therefore I felt that the cartoon drawing showed certain playfulness.  The theme behind all of my stories is about being emotionally naked - being vulnerable.  

The wedding ring was symbolically placed where I have it because the common thread for the characters in all of the stories throughout the book is about them honoring themselves enough to make a commitment to themselves before any other. Whether its their voice, their passion, their bodies- as a woman I wanted to remind them that when we choose to honor others without forgetting to respect and cherish ourselves, we can end up with the “curse of the blue vagina”.  And that is what this humorous collection is all about.


Jonisha Rios is an accomplished screenwriter, author, director and actress that currently resides in California. She teaches Solo-show workshops to adults and kids. 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Book Cover Junkie Features Author Lynn Steward and 'What Might Have Been'

I enjoy the creative control one has when self-publishing.  I admit, it’s hit and miss because we don’t have years of professional experience, but, so far, I think my covers have captured the tone of the story.

I purchased the photos from major photo companies, and my graphic designer created the cover.  As soon as I saw the girl on the horse, I knew she was perfect, especially her expression. Her sadness is tied to an equestrian plot and she’s actually wearing something that is a tipping point in the story. I also knew that I wanted to her to be in Central Park, as she enjoys the bridle paths and learned to ride at the Claremont Riding Academy nearby. Another easy decision was placing her on the Bow Bridge, which was also on the cover of my debut novel A Very Good Life.  It was a perfect shot with the buildings in the background, so the reader would quickly know that this is a New York story.


NameLynn Steward
Book Title:  What Might Have Been
Genre:  Literary Fiction
Publisher:  Lynn Steward Publishing
As a fashion buyer at one of New York’s most glamorous department stores, Dana McGarry is a tastemaker, her keen instinct for fashion trends and innovative ideas coupled with a razor sharp business sense. But like the elegant and conservative store that employs her, Dana is caught between two eras—between being liked and standing her ground, between playing by the rules and being a maverick. Dana is sensitive and beautiful, but what you see is not what you get.Behind the cool and attractive facade, Dana is both driven by her need to control yet impeded by her expectation of perfectionism. As she competes to replace women at the top of their game, she is challenged by jealous colleagues. And when a wealthy love interest wants to open doors and support her ambition, she embraces Coco Chanel’s mantra of “never wanting to weigh more heavily on a man than a bird.” As the women’s movement paves the way, Dana finds a path to the career she wants at the expense of happiness that was not meant to be.

Steward captures the nuances of 70s life in New York City and provides the perfect backdrop for an independent woman determined to make her mark. What Might Have Been is a story that transcends any period.


Lynn Steward, a veteran of the New York fashion industry and a buyer on the team that started the women’s department at Brooks Brothers, created the Dana McGarry series, set at a transformational time in the 1970s world of fashion and in the lives of multigenerational women. What Might Have Been is the second volume in the series. A Very Good Life,Steward’s debut novel, was published in March 2014.
Twitter: @LynnStewardNY

Cover Talk: SUPPOSE by D.J. Adamson

Author: D.J. Adamson
Publisher: Horatio Press
Pages: 334
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
What did he want to know about me?”

“If you were still alive.”

Connivers, murder, and the international shipment of drugs unites the local PDs and the Federal Government, and drags Lillian into a hailstorm of manipulation and danger, whereby she is given two choices: Join? Or die trying?

For More Information

  • SUPPOSE is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

DJ Adamson Talks Book Covers

Karen Phillips designs my covers.

With the first Lillian Dove Mystery, the cover conveyed the plot.  Yet, for Suppose, the second in the series, a plot-designed cover seemed wrong since the books have defined themes.  I wanted a cover that echoed the title of the book.  I think Karen and I succeeded in that goal. When you see a chair in the dark in a corner, you immediately wonder..Huh?

  I have concept skills but no designing talents.  I choose the photo and then Karen goes to work.  The photo we selected is the one we both like.  It’s always a team effort.

About the Author

Award Winner at the Midwest Book Festival and Nominated for a Clue Award in Suspense, DJ Adamson is the author of the Lillian Dove Mystery series and the mystery/science fiction trilogy Deviation. Author, instructor, she is also Vice President for the Central Coast Sisters in Crime and Membership Director for Sisters in Crime, Los Angeles. She is an active member of Mystery Writers of America.

Her latest book is the mystery/suspense, SUPPOSE.
For More Information

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Book Feature: Until Next Time by Nictoria Robbin


Inside the Book:

Title: Until Next Time 
Author: Nictoria Robbins 
Publisher: Xlibris 
Genre: Fiction 
Format: Ebook/Paperback

Jake and Kirsten met on an online dating site, and their journey began, sometimes difficult; but for some reason, they keep coming back to each other, to lost souls. Kirsten is not sure what Jake wants, and neither does she. This story is about two people who try to hide their feelings. They care about each other, but it will end up tearing them apart. Not all stories have a happy ending.

Meet the Author:

Nictoria Robbins lives in Queensland, Australia. Her children have grown, and she started writing poetry and short stories and, from the enjoyment of writing, wrote her first book. Nictoria also loves to read and her garden, family, and friends who are close to heart. She hopes you enjoy the journey that she has written.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Book Review: ‘Luck Is Just the Beginning’ by Celeste Leon

LuckcoverthumbBased on a true story, Celeste Leon’s beautifully written debut novel is the story of a young man in 1940s Puerto Rico who wins the lottery, only to realize that, as the title states, luck is just the beginning.
Young Ramon is able to see visions, a gift he inherited from his mother. When he sees a number flash across the sky, he decides to buy a complete lottery ticket. At first, he’s thrilled to have won a fortune, for his plan is to go to college, become a dentist, and make the world a better place by helping the people of his village. But, as it turns out, money changes a lot of things—people’s intentions, expectations, desires—even one self’s, and not always for the better. Now, people approach Ramon because they want something from him, and he starts to doubt everyone, even the girl who claims to love him. Likewise, he starts doing things he later regrets.
This is the era of WWII, and in the midst of it all Ramon tries to face the challenges that threaten to destroy his life, especially a man whose envy has made Ramon his target for revenge. Overnight, all facets of Ramon’s life turn upside down—his dwindling family business, his relationship with Elsie, his dream to go to college in the States. At some point, even the police are after him.
The novel is rich with Puerto Rican flavor and historical details, and Leon writes with simplicity yet profound perception about human nature. Ramon is an endearing, utterly likable character—an honest, good-hearted man who makes mistakes yet rises above them.
Luck is Just the Beginning was honored with a Mariposa award for Best First Book in the 2016 International Latino Book Awards, and was also a finalist in the “Fiction: Multicultural” category of the 2016 International Book Awards.
Read my Blogcritics interview with the author.
Find out more about the book on Amazon or from the author’s website.
This review was originally published in Blogcritics Magazine.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Book Cover Junkie Interviews Western/Fantasy Author Thomas Rottinghaus

Thomas Rottinghaus became fascinated with the written word and the power of imagination at a very young age, reading virtually everything he could get his hands on by authors as diverse as Jules Verne, Louis La’Mour, JRR Tolkien and Stephen King. He went on to study literature and writing at Colorado Mesa University, formerly known as Mesa State College, before pursuing a career in agribusiness. His writing blends genres into an entertaining amalgam of fantasy, westerns, science fiction and adventure. He resides in a small town in Colorado with his wife, Lisa, a very energetic blue heeler named Jake and a herd of cats.

Tell us about your book! What is it about and what inspired you to write it? Graywullf follows the exploits of a band of gunslinging lawmen in a fantasy land called Norland.
Tell us about your publishing process. What was it like? Did you go indie or the traditional way? I went Indie and found that there are about a hundred million self published authors all trying to sell their book.
How did you choose the title for your book? Did it come to you right away, before you started writing the story, or did it come later? Graywullf came to me while writing.
Tell us about the cover design process. Did you have a basic idea of what your book cover would be like? I knew I wanted the cover to be bigger than life, like the so called spaghetti Westerns of the 1970’s.
Who is your cover designer and how did you find him/her? I found David Paul while cruising the internet searching for images.
How was your experience working with the designer? It was great. He was very accommodating.
What has been the readers’ response to your cover? Everyone thinks the cover is awesome.
What tips would you give to authors who are looking for a cover designer? Look on the internet first. There are thousands of talented artists who will work for a very reasonable fee.
Anything else you’d like to say about your book?
Everyone who has read Graywullf wants to read book two….