Anatomy of a Front Cover

We take our covers seriously.

Nan Monroe

My second novel, Nightmare Lullaby, is very nearly ready to make its debut before the world — I’m reading the “home stretch” of the proof even now — and it has a front cover, courtesy of Gilded Dragonfly Books‘ artist Gina Dyer.

One of the things I love about working with GDB is their approach to covers. I’ve heard many writers complain about complete lack of input when it comes to the images meant to sell their books to the public. GDB, however, does nothing without checking with me first. The images you see on this cover are an integration of pictures I found on depositphotos.com, so in a sense I collaborated with Gina on this cover.

The vision of a white-skinned woman dominates, the closest I could find to a representation of Meliroc, my lead character. She lacks the blazing, angry green eyes I describe in…

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An Open Letter to Whoopi Goldberg….We most certainly WERE Listening

Rebecca's Ramblings

Since I saw The View’s so-called “apology” clip on social media, I’ve given this post a tremendous amount of thought. My first instinct and knee-jerk reaction was to sit down with my laptop and blast them with full force…unload my anger  and outrage onto the page…err…computer screen…so I could purge it and get all of that negativity out of my system. I’ll admit, I even got about a quarter of the way through that piece, when I stopped to re-read it. It was a scathing, searing diatribe that quite frankly, made me ashamed of myself. It sounded like something that the View Crew would say…it was petty, spiteful, angry and distasteful. That’s not who I am as a person, a writer or more specifically, a nurse. Quite frequently, I end my blog posts with a sentence urging my readers to be kind to each other. I am a tireless advocate for tolerance, peaceful coexistence and doing…

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John Robinson, featured speaker Authors Combat Academy

Mark you calendars, Gilded Dragonfly Books’ editor for mystery, esponiage, military and suspense, John Robinson will present at this year’s Authors Combat Academy. Here is a link for more information.

April 17-19th in Nashville, TN.
John has promised to drop by and share highlights of his event.
Here’s a sneak peek at John’s bio:
John Robinson

Former Air Force Intelligence Officer, working in Analysis, Operations, Training, Deception, and Information Warfare fields.

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Spring Fling Multi-Author Book Giveaway

Pink Fuzzy Slippers Authors

romantic flower bouquetTo celebrate the first day of spring the Pink Fuzzy Slipper Authors are kicking off this loveliest of seasons with a romance giveaway. Each author is contributing one eBook in kindle or nook book to be awarded to the lucky winner, selected from the visitors who leave us a comment. We’ll announce the recipient of all these books on Monday. Comment away, and welcome to our updated blog. We used to be on Blogger, but recently moved to WordPress.

Below are the books we’re offering, an eclectic mix of romance from  a talented bunch of ladies.

From USA Today bestselling author, Mona Risk, a sweet and humorous romance novel,  her new release, WEDDING SURPRISE:

Monas CoverBlurb: Two weeks before their wedding, Claire and David receive an unexpected announcement that can destroy their relationship. Is their love for each other strong enough to turn the worst wedding surprise into the best?

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New Releases

Shaman WomanATTERWALD4-12Amazon102decover-0x4_1870x2500-5Amazon

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Gilded Dragonfly Books New Print Releases

Shaman WomanShaman Woman is now available as a print book !

https://www.createspace.com/5174595

ATTERWALD4-1Atterwald is now available as a print book!

https://www.createspace.com/5165106

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A Christmas Story To Touch Your Heart by C. C. Ansardi

From our new anthology, A Stone Mountain Christmas102decover-0x4_1870x2500-5

CHARLIE’S MIRACLE

 by
C. C. Ansardi

If this keeps up, you’ll be able to build a snow man, Charlie.”

His red curls sparked as he ducked back from the brightness of the window, leaving a smudge from where his face pressed against the glass. Charlie turned and threw me a quick grin. That grin of his could light up a room, and it certainly lit up my heart.

I dreaded the Christmas holidays. Charlie and I were facing them alone. His father was in Afghanistan, his mother on the run from an abusive man, so Charlie and I had only each other. But with the wonderland those tiny flakes promised hope surged from deep within, and I gratefully accepted it.

Snow was rare in the South, but a white Christmas had been predicted by all the weather stations. Folks celebrate snow in Georgia! They even name it—Snow jam! Snow Jam ends all traffic, all work, and all residents are expected to engage exclusively in activities such as sledding, snowball fights, and lumpy snowmen competitions. All of this must be followed by cups of foamy, hot chocolate.

Charlie’s fascination with the falling snow gave me hope. This sad little boy facing the holidays without his parents needed a distraction. Six years old and adorable with his fiery curls and brown eyes that could cut glass or turn a little girl starry-eyed, my grandson had become my Christmas project.

Craig, my son and Charlie’s father, was deployed with the U.S. Army. His letters had arrived from both Afghanistan and Iraq over the past two years. A month before Craig’s letters had stopped coming from anywhere, so in addition to Charlie, I had that to worry about.

But my immediate concern was Charlie’s attitude. Charlie didn’t believe in Santa Claus. Not to mention the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny.

“They’re lies, Grandma!” he had screamed this at me, earlier in the month after I’d asked him what he wanted Santa to bring him for Christmas.

“Why do you say that?” His little tirade had shocked me. Didn’t every child look forward to Santa Claus and gifts? I had to get to the bottom of this. In spite of Charlie’s problems, and he had a lot of them for his tender age, I thought the Christmas season would bring him into a happier place.

“Because Jack said so, and last year he showed me the toys I was supposed to get from Santa Claus!” Charlie plopped down in the middle of the living room and glared at me. “Jack didn’t want to wrap them, said it was a waste of time and he wasn’t my daddy, so he didn’t have to pretend he was an old fat man in a red suit. Then

Mama cried and Jack called her bad names.”

Charlie’s parents divorced two years ago, and until this past September Charlie lived in Memphis with Delia, his mother, and her boyfriend Jack, a thin, wiry type with his eyes set too close, and who never looked clean. That’s a feature I’ve always considered untrustworthy, and Jack certainly couldn’t be trusted.

Trying to still my anger at Charlie’s revelation, I said, “Let’s have grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch, Charlie.” Cheese is a happy food.

While I prepared our lunch I sent all manner of silent curses on a beeline to Memphis and directly targeted to Jack and his weasel eyes. For a long time I’d suspected things were wrong in Charlie’s life, but my visits with him had been few. Because I was a sixty-three year old widow who worked part-time and had a modest income, I’d made very few trips from Stone Mountain, Georgia to Memphis to see him. Then one night in July a scared and tearful Delia knocked on my door. Tiny Charlie stood beside her, a frown on his face and an ugly, dark bruise on his right arm. Delia had a huge suitcase. The pitiful child dragged a bulging duffel bag.

I made a late dinner for them, and while we were having our dessert Charlie fell asleep in his chair. “He’s so tired,” Delia said. “He’s been so scared.” She twisted in her chair and stared directly into my eyes. “You have to take care of Charlie now,” she said. “Jack isn’t safe to be around anymore.” Delia had her own bruises, but she refused to talk about them.

She leaned down and wrapped her arms around her son, gently shaking him awake. “Baby, you have to stay with Grandma until we can live together again,” she told him. A tearful Charlie and I watched her get into a cab.

“I’m going to a shelter,” she told us. “and then wherever I’ll be safe.”

I was thrilled to have Charlie under my care. I’d spent restless nights worrying about that little boy and what he might be going through. Now that I had him I’d make his life so interesting and full of joy he would lose that frown and smile the beautiful smile I knew he owned.

Living with Jack had left its imprint on the little boy. While I looked forward to restoring a normal childhood to him, I had no clue of the obstacles I would face.

C. C. has a short story, ” End of the World Bar”,  in Haunting Tales of Spirit Lake,    http://Amzn.to/1oYOmF8

Shaman Woman, a novel by C. C. Ansardi, is available at Amazon.com  http://amzn.to/1yzk8K4

Shaman Woman

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