Tag Archives: paranormal romance

Behind The Scenes – The Devil’s Third Book Cover Remake

Lately, I’ve been working on remaking the book covers for Rebekkah Ford’s Beyond the Eyes trilogy, and I just finished remaking the cover for the final book, The Devil’s Third. (You can see the other two book covers remade: Beyond the Eyes and Dark Spirits).

For the updated version, we settled on using an angel as the character on the cover. The author found a couple images she liked (we cycled through a few before choosing these two), and got the advice of her fans before settling on the current model. Then I found an older image I’d taken of a bird with outstretched wings, did some inversions to the colors (this was actually the inner portion of the wings, rather than the outside shot), and put together the composite image. Of course, we also tried to stick with the same placement and feel of the other two covers.

Needless to say, I think I’ve improved a lot since I first started making book covers. Now, here’s the remake of Rebekkah Ford’s The Devil’s Third, a paranormal romance.

Before:

SBibb - The Devil's Third - Book Cover

SBibb - The Devil's Third - Wrap-Around Book Cover

After:

SBibb - The Devil's Third - Book Cover Remake

SBibb - The Devil's Third - Wrap-around Book Cover Remake

Stock images from Shutterstock:

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=95544481 – man

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=309884051 – graveyard

All other images are my own.

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Behind the Scenes – Dark Spirits – Book Cover Remake

This is a cover for Rebekkah Ford. For this cover, we were revamping an older series of covers I did for her a few years ago. The goal was to more clearly give the books the paranormal romance aspect (rather than horror), and possibly center the books toward an older audience. (You can see the new cover for Beyond the Eyes here, and you can check out Rebekkah Ford’s website here).

Before:

 SBibb - Dark Spirits

SBibb - Dark Spirits

After:

SBiibb - Dark Spirits - Book Cover Remake

SBiibb - Dark Spirits - Wrap-Around Book Cover Remake

For the new covers, we chose models with visible faces, and we’ve been placing them in approximately the same position for each cover. We’ve also changed the text to be more straight-forward. The back covers are easier to read and now include an author bio and photograph. I also made the testimonials easier to spot. Overall, this should have a more professional look. (Not that the originals were bad, but my skills have improved, and book cover trends have changed).

Stock images from Shutterstock:

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=133833233 – man
http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=237688516 – spooky entrance

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Behind the Scenes – Beyond the Eyes – Cover Remake

This is a cover for Rebekkah Ford. For this cover, we redid a cover I created for her three years ago, back when I was trying to find willing authors to take a chance on me so I could build my portfolio (thank you!).

At the time, we came up with this:

SBibb - Beyond the Eyes Book Cover

SBibb - Beyond the Eyes - Wraparound Cover

The goal was to create something mysterious, with a bit of a taste of horror for her first YA paranormal. At the time, I took inspiration from the cover of Clockwork Angel, the cover art of which I adore.

However, this was an earlier cover of mine, so the font effects are a tad amateurish (and I hadn’t even justified the original back cover copy… which I later updated once I discovered that trick). Not only that, but the cover felt too much like a horror novel, and wasn’t attracting as many romance readers as it should (since this is definitely a paranormal romance).

So Rebekkah contacted me again a couple months ago to see about updating the covers for this series. She had a few stock images in mind, and after working through a few proofs and font placement, we came up with this remake for the first book:

SBibb - Beyond the Eyes Remake Cover

SBibb - Beyond the Eyes Remake Cover

(See how much better the back cover formatting looks after three more years of experience?)

The woman on the cover clearly resembles the main character, Paige, the shadow in the distance could easily be a sinister dark spirit (or a mysterious immortal), and the eerie forest distinctly fits a prominent setting of the story. I blurred the background to help make the model stand out, then flipped it for the back cover, and darkened the spine to make sure the words were readable. This cover should now attract paranormal romance readers. In addition, the straightforward text should attract a bit of an older audience (this series fits the upper YA/NA categories).

Personally, I like both covers, but having read the book, I suspect the new cover will attract more of the target audience.

You can find Beyond the Eyes on Goodreads.

Stock images from Shutterstock:

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=281147264

http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=107037647

Read more from the author’s point of view:

http://rebekkahford.com/2015/09/25/two-mistakes-i-made-with-my-first-book-cover/

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Behind the Scenes – Tangled Roots

This is a cover for Rebekkah Ford. I’ve created the cover for her Beyond the Eyes trilogy, and this is a New Adult companion novel. Unlike the previous covers, this one uses primarily stock images. We tinkered a lot with finding the right font for the book. I also played a lot with creating the right mood for the cover. I ended up finding a decent tutorial on how to turn a day shot into night (see the end of the post for a link).  I also used a bit of digital illustration to get everything blended right and to add the roots around the girl on the cover.

Tangled Roots - Book Cover

 

SBibb - Tangled Roots - Wrap-Around Cover

And this is a promo piece (a rack card) I did for this book:

SBibb - Tangled Roots - Rack CardSBibb - Tangled Roots - Rack Card

 

You can buy the book here: http://www.amazon.com/Tangled-Roots-Rebekkah-Ford-ebook/dp/B00NH84NNW/ref=la_B00896OMB0_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414362849&sr=1-1

 

Stock images from iStock:

http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-3484986-sad.php?st=bf175e0
http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-24247276-south-carolina-lowcountry-angel-oak-tree-charleston-sc-nature-scenic.php?st=3795837
http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-36846782-full-moon.php?st=4df0d5b

Useful tutorial for making a day image look like night: http://www.ephotozine.com/article/how-to-turn-your-day-shot-into-night-with-photoshop-14852

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Cover Reveal and Review – The Devil’s Third

This is the third and final book cover for Rebekkah Ford’s Beyond the Eyes trilogy, as well as a few of the promo pieces I put together for it. You can see the wrap-around cover here: http://sbibb.deviantart.com/art/The-Devil-s-Third-Book-Cover-423981244?q=gallery%3ASBibb&qo=0

SBibb - The Devil's Third - Book Cover

Facebook Banner:

SBibb - Devil's Third Promo

Bookmarks:

SBibb - Devil's Third Promo SBibb - Devil's Third Promo

A bit about the cover: All images are my own, and I used the camera’s timer to get a few shots of me posing for the main character. We had a couple different ideas to work from, and when the first didn’t work out, it turned out handy that I’d done a few standing poses as well. Side note for photography– it can help to take multiple angles and poses in case one doesn’t have the desired effect. Photoshop CS6 to blend everything and photomanipulate the hand reaching out from the text.

(See the the previous covers for the series: https://sbibb.wordpress.com/2013/03/05/dark-spirits-cover-reveal/ and http://sbibb.deviantart.com/art/Beyond-the-Eyes-Wrap-Around-309769699 )

And now for the review. 😀

Disclaimer: Paranormal romance isn’t my preferred genre, and therefore, my opinions may be skewed compared to that of someone who regularly enjoys paranormal romance.

Overall, an enjoyable read. The characters have a realness about them that I enjoyed, and the description of setting was wonderful. (Seriously, I read one passage that made me think I could smell a rainy autumn day. Descriptions that really engage the senses like that make me a happy camper).

My favorite part of the story was where Paige goes into Carrie’s memories (so-to-speak, trying not to give away spoilers). The visuals were awesome, the pace really picked up (the beginning was just a bit slow, but served well to remind me what happened in the previous book), and the plot revealed a few nice tid-bits of information about the dark spirits.

I also enjoyed the magic system and finding out more about their world and <spoiler>the different doorways Paige can open. I actually would have been interested in seeing more of the different dimensions</spoiler> but we also got to see other new abilities, as well, which I enjoyed reading about.

That being said, there were a few downsides for me. A minor thing, but I did notice more typos in this story than in the previous ones. Also, there were several times I felt like something convenient happened or wasn’t fully explained. In all fairness, I was reading this in ten minute intervals while on break at work, so my attention wasn’t completely focused. Might have been different if I’d been able to read it in longer intervals.

I didn’t really get into the romance between Nathan and Paige, but then, I don’t typically read stories for the romance. And Brayden… I still kind of want to strangle him. I did, however, like seeing more of Ameerah’s character, and I also liked seeing the new characters, like Pip.

For me, I think my favorite book out of this trilogy was actually Dark Spirits. I really liked the interactions between Bael and Paige in that story, but I liked seeing Paige’s new powers in this one. Overall, though, I think this was a good series that paranormal romance readers are likely to enjoy. 🙂

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Interview with Rebekkah Ford – Dark Spirits

Hello, everybody. Today we have an interview with Rebekkah Ford, the author of Beyond the Eyes, and most recently, Dark Spirits.  For today’s interview, we’ll look at both Dark Spirits and the self-publishing process. So, without further ado, please welcome Rebekkah Ford to the blog! 😀

SBibb - Dark Spirits Cover

***

What was the inspiration for Dark Spirits?

Well, the whole series was created from an idea I came up with from the beginning. The movie that scares me the most—The Exorcist, my love for history, my experience with the paranormal world, and the out-of-box ideas I have about it.

Was it easier or more challenging to write Dark Spirits than Beyond the Eyes?

I think it was harder because I had to recount some of the things I wrote in Beyond the Eyes to keep the continuity of it all and to remind readers of events that happened in that first book. It’s more time consuming I think.

Who is your favorite character to write?

Nathan. He’s fun to write, and I enjoy writing in the male POV.

Anything we should look forward to in book three, The Devil’s Third?

Yes, the reader will finally get to discover what Paige is, there will be magic, and shocking revelations.

Why did you decide to write the Beyond the Eyes trilogy?

Because I grew up in a family that dealt with the paranormal and the unknown fascinates me.

What was your process for writing Dark Spirits?

I wrote every chance I got. I have a f/t day job, so I would get up extra early in the morning just so I could write before I had to go to work, and then in the evening I would write as well. I also spent most of my whole weekend writing. I still keep to that routine.

What made you decide to self-publish?

It felt like the right thing for me to do. Beforehand, I did a lot of research on it and the pros outweighed  the cons. I did have some agents interested in Beyond the Eyes, but unfortunately it didn’t work out. So I decided to take the plunge and self-publish.

Have you been satisfied with the experience?

Pretty much. It’s hard, hard, work though. I don’t care for the marketing aspect, but then again, even if I were to have taken the traditional route, I’d still have to market my books. So there’s really no way around it at this point in my life. I honestly would much rather write than try to sell my work.

How did you go about choosing an editor?

I was on Absolute Write, which is a wonderful writing forum. I saw an ad an editor posted for his services, so I emailed him, and the rest is history.

What kind of editing did you have done to your novel, and how was the process?

My editor and I have a process—I send him a chapter at a time. He line edits, checks for errors, and leaves comments. Once I receive my chapter back, I make the corrections, maybe do some rewrites, and send it back to him. He double checks it and sends it back to me. Afterwards, I send him the next chapter.

Did you do your own formatting, or hire someone to format the book for you?

No. I’m horrible when it comes to technology. I wish I knew how to format my book, but I don’t. I hired somebody else to do it for me. Tugboat Designs formatted Dark Spirits for me and did a wonderful job.

How have you gone about promoting your book?

I did a launch party on Facebook and next month I’m doing a couple blog tours. I’ve been using social media like Twitter and Facebook. I’ve been doing giveaways as well and getting reviews from readers who are already a fan of this series which is wonderful.

You mentioned enjoying writing Nathan’s POV. I personally enjoyed reading it. What was the best part about writing his POV, and what was the most challenging?

Thanks! The best part was stepping inside Nathan’s head, discovering what thoughts he had, and getting to know him on a much personal level. The most challenging was restraining myself from writing erotic thoughts about Paige. Nathan had them, but since this is a young adult series, I had to refrain from writing such naughty things. 🙂

Any idea when we can look forward to reading The Devil’s Third?

I’m not sure yet. I’m hoping before the end of this year.

You introduced the concept of parallel dimensions in Dark Spirits. Will we be seeing more of that?

Oh, yeah! 😀

What’s your favorite part of the magic system in the Beyond the Eyes trilogy?

I like that Paige is slowly discovering what she can do and Carrie has dabbled in elementary magic. It’s not like their characters woke up one day and BAM, they have all these powers. I like to keep it realistic, so my favorite part about the magic system is it’s not ostentatious.

Do you have any favorite books that helped inspire you to write the trilogy?

Believe it or not, Anne Rice’s vampire books. There are no vampires in my trilogy, but one of the many things I love about Anne Rice’s stories is how she spins realism into a fictional tale that’s dark, but yet alluring. If that makes sense? The cool thing about my Beyond the Eyes trilogy is, after The Devil’s Third, I still have the option to continue writing this trilogy if I wanted too. There are still endless avenues to explore without it being tiresome.

Anything you’d like to add (either about the books or self-publishing) before the interview concludes?

I just want to thank the fans of this series and future readers. Your support means the world to me. I could have went the traditional way and published this series through a publishing house. However, I had to find out if I could do this on my own. I also wanted complete creative control and to know that my books would never get pulled from the shelves. So I carved out my own path, and although it’s a lot of hard work, I have no regrets. I did this and nobody can ever take it away from me. That’s a feeling that money can’t buy, along with bringing enjoyment to the readers who fall in love with this trilogy and them telling me about it. So if you’re an author reading this, do what makes you happy and follow your heart. If you do those things, there will be no regrets. 😀

***

Great, thanks for the interview! You can find Dark Spirits at the links below. As a side note, Beyond the Eyes is currently available for 99 cents on Amazon, so get it while you can. 🙂

Beyond the Eyes: http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-the-Eyes-ebook/dp/B0088JF7HQ/

Rebekkah’s Blog: http://themusingwriter.blogspot.com

Rebekkah’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RebekkahFord2012

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Spirits-Beyond-Eyes-ebook/dp/B00BEKJ9VG/

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dark-spirits-rebekkah-ford/1114506937?ean=2940016397214

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/286383

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Dark Spirits – Book Review

Alright, so Rebekkah Ford gave me a copy of Dark Spirits as part of the payment for the book cover design, and now I’ve finally had the chance to read it. Yay! So, this is my review. In the meantime, look forward to an interview coming soon from Rebekkah Ford. 🙂

SBibb - Dark Spirits Cover

 

Blurb:

Now immortal, Paige is emotionally and physically stronger than ever. She must find the location of the ancient incantations to prevent mass genocide. But the war against good and evil is spawning another war–a battle between the dark spirits themselves. Paige is saddled in the center of both growing revolutions and is ready to take on the dark forces. But Nathan’s overprotectiveness prevents her from taking action, and he’s hiding things. Paige’s personal life gets more complicated when Brayden arrives back in town and offers the equal partnership she desperately craves from Nathan. Then there’s Carrie and Tree, her two best friends and only family she has left. Unfortunate circumstances thrust them into Paige’s dark world, giving her no choice but to allow Nathan to arm them with combat techniques in hope they’ll be able to protect themselves. Meanwhile, Paige is having visions and discovering abilities she was unaware of. When Anwar comes to visit, his weird behavior alarms her. Could he be turning to the dark side? Time is running out. Paige not only needs to find the incantations but also to untangle the bands around her heart and make a decision that could leave her with a life worse than death–a life of betrayal from the ones she trusted most.”

***

My Review:

Quick Disclaimer: I don’t typically read paranormal romance, so what I may say might not be the same as someone else who reads a lot of paranormal romances. That being said, on to the review!

The characterizations were definitely enjoyable. My favorite characters were Tree, Max, and Ameerah. Even though Max had very little screentime, he stood out as a nice guy. I’d like to see more of him, though I’m hoping he doesn’t cause complications to the already iffy relationship between Paige and Nathan. Tree has the awesome “I’m a protective friend” aura, but he isn’t quite as overprotective as Nathan, so that’s a plus. Ameerah was a really neat character, and I hope to see more of her in Devil’s Third. I want to know more about her.

Again, I enjoyed the “Old One’s” character, and how his personality showed in Dark Spirits. I expect we’ll see more of him, and I do hope to see more about the magic and the different dimensions and such. Some of my favorite parts in Dark Spirits was in dealing with Carrie and Nathan’s witchcraft, as well as the mention of the different dimensions and types of dark spirits.

A large part of the story focused on Paige and Nathan’s relationship, and I was fine that they were having to work out a few issues… such as Nathan’s over-protectiveness (I’ll give Paige that one; he could’ve avoided a few problems by simply taking her with him), and Paige’s conflict between Nathan and Brayden. I did like Brayden’s character in this book better, but I kinda wish Paige wouldn’t be so quick to forgive and trust him. Needless to say, he doesn’t have my trust yet, and both Nathan and Brayden are a bit too obsessed with “protecting” Paige.

One downside I found for this story is that Paige’s emotions are all over the place. Granted, she does have the new-immortality-heightened-emotions thing going for her right now, but when she seems to have the hots for Nathan at almost any random moment, it felt like she should have spent a little more time learning to control them. On that note, there were times the descriptions felt a bit wordy, especially in regards to the characters emotions. It felt like we got a lot more information than necessary, or information we could have guessed on our own. But I also don’t read much in the way of paranormal romance, so it might just be a personal preference.

I did really enjoy getting to see both Paige and Nathan’s point of view. It threw me off at first, because I didn’t expect it, but I think it added to the story, especially during some of the scenes Paige doesn’t witness. It also gave a good deal more insight into Nathan’s character (and his brutality), and it makes me leery of him. So I think it adds an extra bit of intrigue.

The greatest thing about Dark Spirits is that the plot kept pulling me back to it. I wanted to know what happened next. Since I read it during break times at work, I was often having to sit it down right in the middle of a “But… what happens next?” moment. Though it felt a bit heavy on the description, it painted a clear picture of what was going on, and I didn’t get lost. I could easily remember what was going on. A very nice thing to have if you can’t read it in one sitting.

Formatting was good; it was easy to read, and I only noticed a couple typos. The beginning (first two chapters) was a bit slow, but it did well to remind us what happened in the previous book and what was going on in the meantime.

Dark Spirits was an enjoyable read, I really enjoyed the ending, and I look forward to reading The Devil’s Third. 🙂

***

You can find Dark Spirits on Amazon. 🙂

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