"" Read more : http://www.ehow.com/how_8339780_put-emoticons-blogger.html WillowRaven Illustration & Design Plus: 2015

Friday, December 25, 2015

The Secrets of Slade Sanders ~ cover at for SD Smith's (@SDSmith22) novel. Book One of the Slade Sanders Series

S.D. Smith, another tweep on Twitter, commissioned me to create cover art for the first novel in the Slade Sanders Series, The Secrets of Slade Sanders. Unlike most of my projects, where I create both the cover art and the design, S.D. is a designer, herself, so all she needed was for me to do the cover art. So without further ado, here is the combined efforts cover and design for The Secrets of Slade Sanders.

Blurb:
It’s 1910 London, England and Slade Sanders is nervous. She's attempting to embark on a new life for herself by starting a new business in a society that sees her as a novelty and a second class citizen. She has three chief problems working against her; she’s a woman, she’s American and she’s black. 

Slade, along with her British, business partner George invest everything they have to start a business. That is the easy part. Maintaining her patience and keeping her growing anxiety in check is turning out to be much more complicated. Slade begins to feel better when she meets Albert Mitchell. Upper-class, handsome and with a great pedigree, Albert is the breath of fresh air she didn’t know that she really needed. The two bond and become inseparable, which results in a new type of attention being drawn to her. Slade begins to realize that she cannot remember her life before coming to England, a fact that does not go unnoticed by the people around her. They want details; about her past and her family, none of which she can recall. Slade is compelled to get to the bottom it and find out whom she can really trust.


The Secrets of Slade Sanders is a twisty, historical, novel that unfolds slowly to reveal a greater mystery.

Be sure to connect with S.D. Smith online:










Onto wrapping up the next book :-D
Until next time ...
Aidana WillowRaven

http://WillowRaven.weebly.com

This post edited by Grammarly* ~ NOW FREE FOR CHROME USERS!
*Blurbs and quotes provided are not edited by WillowRaven but posted as provided by author/publisher. 

DAZ Studio FREE 3D MODELS AND SOFTWARE

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Awesome! I can now #Yodify my Grammar more easily.

Don't you ever just get the urge to talk and write like the coolest of all Jedi masters, Yoda? I do. And now Grammarly has a fun tutorial on how it's done. 











*Taken from Grammarly blog.





Onto wrapping up the next book :-D
Until next time ...

This post edited by Grammarly* ~ NOW FREE FOR CHROME USERS!
*Blurbs and quotes provided are not edited by WillowRaven but posted as provided by author/publisher. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Nikki Magee ~ Cover art and design for Peter Wendt's (@PeterWendtWhere) novel.

Today's project was sort of a surprise. Originally, I was only hired to redesign the cover using existing artwork; mainly because the original design misportrayed the genre. But after playing with the original artist's work a bit, Peter decided to go the whole way and commission me to create new art, too. And here is the result. Oh; and the blurb ...

Nikki is an orphan, age 11. She's a musical prodigy, with a voice. Her story begins when she is thrown from an uncaring dark world into the morning light of her life, soon finding herself protected by a guardian in the form of Johnny Mazzarisi, a mob boss, and his family. 

Over the next four years, Nikki goes from the gutter to the stage; aided by those who come to love her. There's Lesya Popov, a once world-renowned harpist, and Drek Mason, whose six-man rock band isn't what his senses, or desires, tell him it should be. Also Jimmy Clarke, a Jamaican keyboardist whose instincts aid Drek's search. 

Nikki's story is one of music, and through her music, she finds hope. From Chopin to Joe Cocker, Nikki's wish is to play, and play she does. She has a dream, and at age 15 Nikki goes to her first rock concert where Fate is going to intervene, on a massive scale.

Get to know Peter through social media and his blog, too:







Onto wrapping up the next book :-D
Until next time ...
Aidana WillowRaven

http://WillowRaven.weebly.com

This post edited by Grammarly* ~ NOW FREE FOR CHROME USERS!
*Blurbs and quotes provided are not edited by WillowRaven but posted as provided by author/publisher. 

Saturday, December 5, 2015

THE TEL ~ cover art and design for book 3 of The Witches of Aba Nam series by Ross Homer (@RossGHomer)

I bet poor Ross Homer is glad to be done with me and my pushy ways for a bit, lol. Ellen (his wife) and I, are going to have to team up and figure out a new project so we can keep shaping him to our will.

I have been sharing the re-dressed covers for The Witches of Aba Nam series, lately, and have just finished the cover for the third book, The Tel.

Because of the baren environment, I changed the compositional layout a bit, which is not something I typically do within a sereis. Deserts have a tendancy to lose visual depth because there are few to no scale markers like trees or people or animals. If I had followed the same formula used on The Orb and The Lure, I would have lost a lot of perspective. Even with the shifted composition, it was still a challenge to show distance and scale over the miles and miles of nothing but sand and a single, mysterious stucture between the figure and the old city.

Now for the blurb...

They left Aba Nam in the distant past to destroy the enemy. In the process, they disappeared seemingly forever.

She is the Librarian, reborn to rebuild the ancient city of Tel Ahnk'Mur, destroyed by those enemies. And someone is needed to fly a damaged spaceship. A woman from Earth?

These elements come together in the strangest ways as Lisande Coer Kilarra, Librarian, and Elise Davis, astronaut, meet and discover they are facing the same obstacles.

Lives are reunited. Other lives are ripped apart in this, the third adventure in the continuing Witches of Aba Nam series.


The covers are done and possibly one more. Ross tells me a fourth book may be ready for a cover in 2016 if all goes well.







Also from Ross Homer:


Get to know Ross Homer and his work better by visiting his website, Twitter, and Facebook pages:









Onto wrapping up the next book :-D
Until next time ...
Aidana WillowRaven

http://WillowRaven.weebly.com

This post edited by Grammarly* ~ NOW FREE FOR CHROME USERS!
*Blurbs and quotes provided are not edited by WillowRaven but posted as provided by author/publisher. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

"Blue Satin Sashes" writing challenge - submission by Simon Brown (@mysteryweaver)

A wonderful new visual writing prompt submission for Blue Satin Sashes, by Simon Brown.

Blue Satin Sashes 


I wait 
Amongst your memories 
Of days past 
And wet nights 
And I hear 
The horses
And smell fear 
As I am in the box
Holding broken
Moonlight 


I had waited a long time. The days had gathered outside in the darkness and walked off. I knew you would come. I thought of the days when we had laughed and watched the world go by. I remembered that smile which would spill from your eyes and lap against your lips. The nights when we would dare the stars to sweep the clouds away.

I heard the sound of horses. The moon shivered. I emptied my glass. Going to the window I tried to see into the night past the trees that threatened to fall upon the house in an alpine rage. I could hear the horses but not see you. My breath rattled nervously against my lips. 
Moonlight fell upon the house. I saw the horses. The carriage. A blur of blue and gold woodwork. Then a silence descended. Sounds fell away from the carriage. I looked for you amongst the silence. The carriage stopped. 

I called your name. The one you had promised was yours.  I could not see you. I called your name again. A bell rang. I felt your voice in the sound of the bell. I opened the door and stepped out. Into blackness. The moon was gone. I was on my knees. I felt around me. Nothing but hardness.   I lurched forward. 

I heard your laughter 

" You were always mine, you were always here". 

We were moving. 

"You were always in my box" 

S J B 

(c) mysteryweaver 

Get to know Simon and his writing better by following him on social media:

                     Twitter: @mysteryweaver

Visual writing prompt: http://willowraven.weebly.com/blue-satin-sashes.html Write a short for this & I'll post it w/ link to you :D






Onto wrapping up the next book :-D
Until next time ...
Aidana WillowRaven

http://WillowRaven.weebly.com

This post edited by Grammarly* ~ NOW FREE FOR CHROME USERS!
*Blurbs and quotes provided are not edited by WillowRaven, but posted as provided by author/publisher. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

THE LURE ~ cover art and design for book 2 of The Witches of Aba Nam series by Ross Homer (@RossGHomer)

Poor Ross Homer. I'm such a troublesome cover artist, and I fear he's stuck with me, lol. 

A few posts back I shared the first re-dressed cover for The Witches of Aba Nam series, The Orb. Today I show off the new cover for the second book in the series, The Lure

What's funny is, I not only passionately persuaded Ross to let me create a different scene than he originally envisioned, I also helped convince him to change the title and chose this title in particular. I liked the play on the meaning of lure. So for those familiar with the series, The Lure was originally known as Arena. In my defense, his wife Ellen is the one who told him the original title wasn't going to cut the mustard anymore. I was just being supportive of my fellow planetary sister. Female solidarity and all that. That's all. Honest. I am not a bully. ;P

Now for the blurb...

Hunting for a serial killer, Casta Rodriguez notices a young woman, apparently lost. The woman is walking the streets wearing nothing but a thin silk shirt and cargo shorts...on a cold October evening in San Francisco. Who is this young woman, Casta Rodriguez, a detective for the police department, wonders when she stumbles across Kai Seven Travelers.

On a whim, Casta offers her shelter for the night. This decision will change her life forever in ways and places she can’t possibly imagine. She will be kidnapped, her throat slit. And magic, which she certainly didn’t believe in before, saves her life.

Before Casta can fully accept what’s happened to her, she abruptly finds herself with Taagen Davis, fighting for their lives in an unsurvivable bog.


Will she survive? Is Taagen Davis the warrior she’s been told he his?


Two covers down, one more to go before Christmas (or so I thought). Ross tells me all of this working on his old series is inspiring a fourth book to come out in 2016 if all goes well. So looks like two more book covers to go.


To top it all off ... I'm not known for rushing a project before it's the best I can make it, which is a nice way of saying my deadlines tend to be somewhat fluid. I mean well but I blame it on my OCD tendencies and for my love of what I do. It's not just my reputation on the line if I put out a cover before it's ready, it's also the book's reputation and the author's and/or publisher's.

Poor, poor Ross Homer...



Also from Ross Homer:


Get to know Ross Homer and his work better by visiting his website, Twitter, and Facebook pages:









Onto wrapping up the next book :-D
Until next time ...
Aidana WillowRaven

http://WillowRaven.weebly.com

This post edited by Grammarly* ~ NOW FREE FOR CHROME USERS!
*Blurbs and quotes provided are not edited by WillowRaven but posted as provided by author/publisher. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

'Terra Rising: BY RIGHT OF ARMS' by JT Buckley (@AuthorJTBuckley), gets positive scores from the 23rd Annual Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards judge.





Last post, I shared some awesome scores and review JT Buckley (@AuthorJTBuckley on Twitter) received when he entered Blood & Steel: A Love Story, in the prestigous 23rd Annual Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards. What I didn't share was he had entered 2 of his books in the competion. Terra Rising: By Right of Arms also received positive scores (again, all 3's & 4's).

To recap: scores are accumilated: Books are evaluated on a scale from 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “needs improvement” and 5 meaning “outstanding”. 

As mentioned before, I always brag up my authors when they receive positive evaluations, and such, but this particular award includes a cover score, too, so I'll doubly excited.

Entry Title By Right of Arms
Author: J.T. Buckley
Judge Number: 26
Entry Category: Genre Fiction

Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 4

Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 3

Production Quality and Cover Design:  4

Plot and Story Appeal: 3

Character Appeal and Development: 4

Voice and Writing Style: 3

My cover got a 4 out of 5!!! Same score I got on JT's other book. Isn't that groovy?  :D

How I look at it, even the 3's are worthy of bragging rights. If 5 is equivalent to an A, then 4 is a B and 3 is a C. So all average or above average scores. To me, average doesn't been dull, it means you're not only passing but at the level most of the other competors are in that category. Another great thing about this competition is, even if authors don't win an award, they receive a review along with their scores. So you have something to refer to, here's the book's blurb:

The Confederated Nations of Terra receive a shocking distress signal from out of system. Captain Aaron Richardson and the crew of the TNS Intrepid are horrified at what they find after responding to the distress call from Earth’s closest celestial neighbor, Alpha Centauri. What they discover launches them into a new universe of political and military intrigue. Using ancient legends, they forge Earth’s position in the Principean Empire and discover the secrets of Earth’s distant past. Thwarted at every turn by pirates, they must fight a race of aliens who are intent on killing all humans and destroying the Earth. Unable to do it alone, they must seek assistance of new allies to save their home.

Abridged Judge’s Commentary*:
"I kinda like the cover. It’s creepy in a good way. I especially like the title typography. An intriguing synopsis, too. Good job!"
"I enjoy the fact that your scenes involve new tech but don’t make such a point of showing them off. So many sci-fi authors seem to forget how quickly new technologies become the norm. "
"You’ve done a fine job of including diplomacy and politics in the course of your narrative ... Excellent work."
"Queen Almathia is quite the vision!" 

As before, I left out some of the more specific notes since they are more for the author than the public and would give away a few surprises I want to leave for the readers. 

JT tells me plans for the sequel, Manifest Destiny, are in the works for 2016. We haven't made plans as to what what he wants me to do for that cover because he's busy with end-of-school stuff, but I'm sure it will be just as fun and challenging as By Right of Arms was.






Onto wrapping up the next book :-D
Until next time ...
Aidana WillowRaven

http://WillowRaven.weebly.com

This post edited by Grammarly* ~ NOW FREE FOR CHROME USERS!
*Blurbs and quotes provided are not edited by WillowRaven, but posted as provided by author/publisher. 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

BLOOD & STEEL, by JT Buckley (@AuthorJTBuckley), gets positive scores from the 23rd Annual Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards judge.





One of my favorite clients, JT Buckley (@AuthorJTBuckley on Twitter) entered Blood & Steel: A Love Story, in the 23rd Annual Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards and received some really positive scores (all 3's and 4's); especially considering how huge and tough the competition is. 

Books are evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “needs improvement” and 5 meaning “outstanding”. 

Although I'm always proud to brag up my authors when they receive positive evaluations, awards, or reviews, this particular award includes a cover score alongside the other scores.


Entry Title Blood and Steel:  A Love Story
Author: J.T. Buckley
Judge Number: 26
Entry Category: Genre Fiction

Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 4

Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 4

Production Quality and Cover Design:  4

Plot and Story Appeal: 3

Character Appeal and Development: 3

Voice and Writing Style: 4

My cover got a 4 out of 5!!! Isn't that awesome? :D

In my opinion, even the 3's are good. If 5 is equivalent to an A, then 4 is a B and 3 is a C. So all average or above average scores. Another great thing about this competition is, even if authors don't win an award, they receive a review along with their scores. So you have something to refer to, here's the book's blurb:

The plague of murders across every major city in the world has drawn Vampire Hunter, Rick Smythe, back to LA in search of his parents’ murderer. The orphaned Rick grew up in the streets, learning skills that he would need to track and destroy his nemesis. In LA he meets Saria, a social worker with a dark, dangerous secret. Nickolea, Saria’s vicious ex-lover, plans Rick’s demise to incapacitate her. When Rick is mortally wounded, Saria’s secret is revealed. To survive, they must hunt down the people they hate the most and bring them to justice. They soon find themselves on the edge of a war that could destroy the world as they know it.

Abridged Judge’s Commentary*:
"A very polished cover image! And a promising synopsis."
"You have a well-constructed story, with plentiful personal touches. "
"... the action scenes are quite good. Excellent job! And best of luck."

I left out some of the more specific notes since they are more for the author than the public and would give away a few surprises I want to leave for the readers. 

JT tells me plans for the sequel to Blood & Steel: A Love Story, Blood and Steel: Awakenings, are in the works for 2016. I wonder what he wants me to do for that cover?






Onto wrapping up the next book :-D
Until next time ...
Aidana WillowRaven

http://WillowRaven.weebly.com

This post edited by Grammarly* ~ NOW FREE FOR CHROME USERS!
*Blurbs and quotes provided are not edited by WillowRaven, but posted as provided by author/publisher.