First, Second and Third Signs of the Apocalypse?

Something major happened yesterday, though most of you aren’t aware of it: a manuscript was completed and two new covers began to take form.

Not a big deal, you say? Happens every day? Sure…but not for me. I can admit it now–I hadn’t finished a book since 2009, and wasn’t sure I ever would again. Though I don’t have grand mal seizures, what I do have has been enough of a headache (literally) to make me wonder if I’d ever publish another book. I could get started, sure–but nothing ever got finished. My brain just wouldn’t cooperate for very long. On the good days, I could write a grocery list if it wasn’t a long one. I might be able to churn out a short letter or write a blog post or do Facebook posts…but nothing that required any serious degree of thought. It just wasn’t there. My muse, like Elvis, had left the building.

I’ve been praying a lot. I knew God could fix me, and if He didn’t, it would be because this wasn’t the route He wanted me to take. I struggled. Then, yesterday, a miracle happened (at least it was a miracle to me). I realized I was really, really close to completing Sam’s Story and at least halfway through Riding Out the Storm. I had outlined three books in the Unicorn’s Daughter series and had a good grip on Superhero in Training. How had this happened without me realizing it?

I was so close, no way was I going to stop now. I put everything else aside and kept writing until I made it to that last page of Sam’s Story. Okay, there was a little bit of cheating involved there–the last scene was written months ago. I write like I’m assembling a patchwork quilt. I do it in pieces, and not always in order. Anyway, I was finished! Sure, there’s a good degree of fine-tuning to be done, but I finished an entire manuscript!

Then I realized I needed covers and I needed them pronto. I want to post the first few chapters of the second Unicorn’s Daughter book and Superhero in Training at Wattpad to (hopefully) generate reader interest. Getting Collin to do that was going to take some major nagging. He once wanted to start a business in creating covers and advertising materials for authors, and he got off to a great start. He was even a semi-finalist in a cover design contest. The problem is that most indie authors can’t afford a professional cover artist, and he couldn’t do it for free. He’d spent a lot of money on the programs and tools he uses to create those covers, and it’s also time consuming. He still does my covers, of course, but his heart’s not in it anymore. He has to be pushed.

I pushed. And the result? They, like my manuscript, still need some tweaking, but here they are!

Back Cover Blurb:

She is her father’s daughter.

Living up to a legend isn’t easy. Sometimes, it’s impossible. Jaime Lynde rejected all attempts to recruit her to fill her late father’s spy shoes–until 9/11. Realizing the world was now at war with an enemy who fought not on the battlefield, but in our own backyards, on our own streets, she joined the fight–even though the personal cost would be the one thing that mattered most to her. Finally, she understands the sacrifice her father had made so many years ago….

As a rookie intelligence operative, she makes a startling discovery in a chance conversation with a longtime colleague. Is it possible someone within our own government is plotting to kill the President of the United States?

Back Cover Blurb:

Charlie’s a talented artist running a comic book store–and running away from her troubled past….

Will is about to get his PhD in psychology but secretly wants to be a comic book writer–if he can find an artist….

And then there’s Tuffy…. 

Tuffy’s a pitbull with a drinking problem. Most weekends, he ends up sleeping it off at the local pound–but when his human is killed by a mugger, he becomes the unlikely sidekick of a mysterious vigilante who’s come to watch over the quirky residents of the small Midwestern college town….

If only AA would accept him, maybe Tuffy could clean up his act….
And then there’s Sam’s Story–the finished manuscript. The book could be available as early as Christmas. We’ll see. That would be nice, but I’m not rushing it. Better to do it right than to do it fast….

Back Cover Blurb:

Hi–my name is Sam. This is my story. Not that the title doesn’t make that obvious.

Actually, there are two of us. The first Sam came to my rescue when, alone and frightened in a pet shop, I didn’t know where I was going or if I’d be happy and cared for when I got there. He’s been my spirit guide through good times and bad in my twenty-one years in this world, after leading me to my human family. Well, some of them are human. One is a potbellied pig with an attitude. Two are dogs, one a bit of a curmudgeon, the other good-hearted but not always the sharpest tool in the shed. There are rabbits–four in all.

I’m telling my story in the hope that it will help you humans out there understand how we–birds, dogs, cats, pigs, and other critters–think feel and love. Mostly, I want to make those of you who think we’re disposable to think twice before abandoning us or leaving us at shelters where we will almost certainly die alone and sad. We feel, we love, just like you do. We want to be part of your family….

So…what do y’all think?

29 responses

  1. I love all three covers. Although, I feel Sam's should be a little more colorful and brighter. Glad you finished your projects. Now its my turn to finish mine. My mantra: 2015 will be great with Windows 8.

    Hugs and chocolate!

  2. Good luck, Shelly! If I made it, you can, too!

    Cover art rule #1: don't make it so busy the title and author's name won't be visible. We ran into that problem with Ides of March. Sam's Story can't be brighter or it would be unreadable in the thumbnails at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, etc.

  3. They're excellent covers, particularly Ides Of March. Collin did good work!

    Congratulations on reaching the end of that line. I know from a different point of view what a block can do to writers.

  4. WooHooooo ! and a YeeHawww tossed in for good measure.
    All three books sound great and I know some of “Sam's Story” But the one I am interested in is “Superhero In Training” even if Tuffy is a Pitbull and not a Scotty. I had to explain why that is to The Square Ones. They were not buying it and did their best flounce and walked away.
    A chkikin' strip mollified them.

    cheers, parsnip

  5. Norma, congratulations! We all knew you had it in you. I can't wait to read all of your books, and really I'm excited for you! I love the covers, too, and Collin did a lovely job on all of them as usual. I agree with William; my favorite is also Ides of March. Keep on pushing forward. You are doing great! 🙂

  6. And you will get past yours, too. Just be patient with yourself.

    Collin has decided he wants to be an accountant–so now he's teaching me how to use all of the tools, etc. to make covers myself. I'm going to have some fun. I was once a pretty good artist–until my hands started shaking too much. This might make it possible to be an artist again.

  7. Awwww! I get that a lot–you wouldn't believe how many friends have given us Minions. I should take a photo of all of them!

    PS I had biscuits and gravy for dinner last night….

  8. Major applause for you and Colin! And what a feast it was to read about what's in the pipeline. Gorgeous writing! Gorgeous covers! Sometimes what we want is right there in front of us . . . just needs a little TLC!

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