An ancient prophecy set forth her ultimate destiny:
About the Author
Cookies (women’s fiction)
(Tala Prophecy, Book 4)
I’m super excited to showcase the newest Donovan Circus cover today. Designed by Kelly Walker of Indie-Spired Design, and I gotta say, the girl’s a genius. I had two requests on the cover: 1) that Lucy be standing with both arms up (yes, sort of in a “come at me bro” position) and 2) that the colors be red and orange, both indicative of the book title as well as fitting into our color themes in the series. Here’s what she came up with!
Gorgeous, right?! We’ve used the same model on all the covers, but this one has such a different feel to it, I think due to the coloring (Kelly went in and did all those colors and smoke herself). If you read the back cover blurb, you know Lucy is venturing outside the Donovan Circus grounds, this time to a fancy plantation with gourmet chef, poster bed, extra perks, and of course, the mafia boss attempting to win her over. Will he succeed?
And in case you’d like to see the full paperback wrap, complete with cover blurb, here it is in all its glory and splendor:
I hope you love it as much as I do! IGNITED will release on Amazon for Kindle and paperback on October 29th. (To get started on the series, check out GIFTED for only 99 cents on Kindle here!)
They killed my sister and infected me.
Now I have to pick up the pieces before I die.
I’ve spent the last five months trying to find the bastard who did this. Yet, even with the help of a hot amnesiac vampire named Jude, I’ve had zero luck.
Until now. And it could change everything. Even though I grew up in a family that hunted the supernatural, there were still things I didn’t believe in.
Now I have to hurry for the slim chance that I could save us all. Because when you fight against immortal vampires, you’re the one who’s running out of time.
My vampy sense tingles again, alerting me to the presence of a familiar vampire behind me. I groan on the inside and flick my cigarette into the fire.
“Really?” I ask, half playfully, half in a bad mood.
I’m still wired from my fight with the other vampires and seeing Meghan, so I can use the excuse to pummel him a few times.
I spin on him, throwing punches in a halfhearted warning. My right shoulder aches with the movement.
As usual, whenever I do this, he matches each of my movements with the same intensity.
We spar for a bit, Harker against vampire, before he pins me against the wall, pressing his strong body against mine.
“You’re chipper tonight, Harker,” he tells me, a cheeky grin pulling at his lips. He raises an amused, pierced eyebrow.
I roll my eyes at him and push him off me, trying to hide the blush from my cheeks. He was so close to me, I feel a bit too intimate with him at the moment. I turn my attention back to the mini-bonfire. Yes, he’s a vampire, but I’ve known him for five months now and I know he won’t hurt me.
“Pissed off doesn’t look good on you,” he tells me.
“I’m always kind of pissed off these days, Jude.”
“What, my lead wasn’t good?” he asks.
“That’s what remains of them. In there.” I nod to the dumpster, then I gesture to the college student still passed out against the wall. “They were having hemoglobin a la carte. And, no, I didn’t get any information from either of them. They would rather die or do something stupid before they would ever want to help me.”
Jude curses under his breath. “Next time, Harker. You’ll get something next time.”
I let out a shuddering breath. “You’ve been saying that for the past five months, Jude. It’s not going to fucking happen. Anthony is like Bigfoot, except he hides better. I won’t ever get to him in time.”
Because I’m dying and my expiration date is coming up.
“You’ll figure something out, Harker.”
“Not soon enough.”
Jude grabs my shoulder and I look back at him in surprise. “Yes. You. Will,” he says, punctuating each word. His blue-eyed gaze keeps me rooted to my spot, even though I try to shrug off his empty promises.
It’s hard though. Jude isn’t someone you can “shrug off,” no matter how hard you try. I’m not one to go for bloodsuckers, but Jude is possibly the best specimen of vampire or human to ever walk the Earth. When they warn girls about bad boys, they have someone like Jude in mind.
Sci-fi junkie, video game nerd, and wannabe manga artist Erin Hayes writes a lot of things. Sometimes she writes books, like the fantasy mystery novel Death is but a Dream, the sci-fi middle grade book Jacob Smith is Incredibly Average, and the Her Wolf paranormal series.
She works as an advertising copywriter during the day, and she moonlights as an author. She has lived in New Zealand, Texas, and now in Birmingham, Alabama with her husband, cat, and a growing collection of geek paraphernalia.
You can reach her at email@example.com and she’ll be happy to chat. Especially if you want to debate Star Wars.
What’s worse is that what I’m mad about is truly something out of my control. There’s not a thing I can do about it except keep pushing barriers. To hold my head high and keep on keepin’ on with the rest of the crowd.
You can probably guess why I’m angry thanks to the headline. Wait – no, I’m NOT mad about self-publishing. But rather the thoughts behind self-publishing and the ideas that we’re not as good or “real” as traditionally published authors.
The publishing system isn’t broken by any means, but the stigma behind “traditional” and “indie” publishing has really gotten my goat lately.
I’m independently published, or self-published. What does that mean? It means I do not have an agent or traditional publisher backing me. It means that I’m in control of my stories, my edits, my covers, my marketing, and everything else that goes along with it. It means that I bust my ass working towards a dream.
Does it make me better than traditional authors? Nope. We all work hard to earn our keep; they just have a little extra help.
Does it make me worse than traditional authors? Still no. I’m not just chucking up the first draft and waiting for rave reviews to come in.
Things are changing and it’s time for folks to get on board before they’re left behind. I work in magazines, but it’s no secret that the indie waves are crashing down and changing the book publishing landscape. You know the stories – how Amanda Hocking self-published and rocked the publishing world to its knees when she became a bestseller without the help of the Big Six. How hundreds of authors are hitting NY Times and USA Today bestseller lists thanks to their fans and friends, to the straight up hustle it takes to earn such a title.
No, I don’t have tons of research or numbers to back up my facts. There are plenty of other posts out there with that info if you wish to look it up. This, my friends, is a flat out rant to those who judge our books based on the publisher – especially if it’s by “self.”
My local media (newspaper, TV, radio) won’t review my books because they don’t have a Big 5 publisher name attached. My own alma mater told me they won’t feature my successes in their alumni magazine because I don’t have a traditional publisher. (I found this out AFTER they agreed to feature me, then retracted the offer once they realized I was self-published). Never mind that I’ve put out 5 books since graduation, touting my pride and knowledge that their English department put me on my current course. A REAPER MADE takes place on the campus, for heaven’s sake! But they won’t even think about hosting me in their bookstore or inviting me up to speak to their students – because while they won’t say it, I’m not a “real author” as I don’t have some fancy publisher to back me.
I’m not looking for your sympathy, but that freakin’ hurts. It’s hard enough getting strangers to take a chance on us, but for the college I put my heart and soul into for four years, I thought surely they’d want to spotlight the students who work to better themselves (no matter what it is). But they’re not the first to behave that way, nor will they be the last.
If you’re indie, you know the looks. The ones where people get super excited to hear you’re a writer, then when they ask who published you, and you say, “I’m self-published”, you get “the look.” You know the one. “Oh,” they say, their shoulders deflating with disappointment. “I thought you were like, famous or something.”
It irks me because they make me feel like I’m not good enough. That I’ll always be “not good enough.” That we aren’t “real writers.” It’s why it took me years to finally tell people about my books and still get shy about it even today – because I don’t want them to roll their eyes and think because I’m doing it all myself, that must mean I’m no good. And dammit, we already have enough of that to go around from critics and trolls and Negative Nancys.
Self-published authors are not desperate losers (nor were they ever, but I like to think we’re more marketable now). Those of us in it to win it are not hoping to publish one book and get rich quick. I’m not quitting my job in the hopes of writing the “Next Great Novel” (because that plan doesn’t work for me).
I don’t need to be a traditionally published author to understand what goes into my books. I put on my pants like everyone else, going through the correct steps just like traditional authors do with their work: I have an editor to check my spelling and grammar, brilliant cover designers to catch readers’ attention, and a marketing team behind me so that I’m not in it alone and completely overwhelmed.
I’m not looking to be famous, either. I’m not saving lives like my EMT sister or building kids’ foundations like my teacher husband. They’re the ones who should be in the limelight, for making a difference in people’s lives. I simply want to be allowed to follow a dream without feeling like I’m being judged for it. I want people to be able to take a chance on my writing and not worry about who published it. Why should that matter? It’s about the story, how much you fall in love with it. No matter what I write, I want to provide an escape from reality for readers.
And when a reader tells me I did just that for them, there’s not a grump in the world who can bring me down.
Indie or traditional, you gotta do what’s best for you. And in the end, that’s what truly matters. Not some raised eyebrow from stranger Jack or a rejection email from your alma mater.
So how about we indies celebrate the fact that we’re taking charge of our lives by going after our dreams? That there are just as many of us out there who will succeed (or already have) because we don’t let the jerks get us down? That even if a publisher comes along to scoop us up, we know we were already successful?
Because you’re already a winner in my book, kid. How do I know? You’re going after a dream and refuse to let anyone stand in your way.