Cover: “Echelon” by KK Jacobs

Check out the cover for author KK Jacob’sEchelon“.

Now available in print and ebook!

Humans have been infertile for centuries. A surprise conception could lead to the end of mankind…

Mirem was born in a government-run lab, much like the rest of humanity during the last 200 years. In a world of infertility, Mirem has always been a little different. She married up into an elite family. She has a secret lover named Garison whose stories and actions don’t always add up. She also has strange symptoms that no one can understand…

When Mirem learns she’s the first pregnant woman in two centuries, she’s immediately quarantined under military lockdown. With Garison’s help, she escapes the quarantine, but there are only so many places she can hide. The government wants nothing more than to keep her pregnancy a secret, and its reason for doing so is more sinister than she ever could have imagined. Mirem thought she was the answer to humanity’s biggest challenge… but instead, will she cause the extinction?

Echelon is a thought-provoking dystopian sci-fi novel. If you like fast-paced technothrillers, page-turning plots, and suspense that makes you think, then you’ll love KKJacobs’ debut novel.

Print Edition

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Cover: “Legion” by Robert J. Crane

Check out the cover for Robert J. Crane’s Southern Watch Book Five, “Legion“.

Now available in print and ebook!

*****

BLURB: Midian, Tennessee is under siege. Demons prowl the streets and the underworld is rising, bent on consuming every living thing in the town. The only thing that keeps them back is the Watch; a group of citizens that are dedicated to holding the line against the darkness. They’ve faced every kind of physical threat imaginable and come out victorious. But when a new demon blows into town with the power to possess, the Watch finds itself facing something they’ve never dealt with before…one that will test them all to their very limits…and one which not all of them will survive…

*****

Print Edition

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Misc Photography Post/Rockford Art in the Park

I realized it’s been a while since I’ve done a photography post. Don’t get me wrong, I HAVE been out taking new pics, just haven’t gotten around to posting about them! So I will try not to overload the page and crash WordPress with all my pics! No promises though 🙂

But before I get to the actual images, I want to plug next week’s Art in the Park in Rockford, Mi

Rockford Art in the Park, hosted by the Rockford Area Arts Counsel will be held in the Garden Club Park between the Rogue River Dam and the White Pines Trail in downtown Rockford.

Saturday, September 7th 2013

9am-5pm

Rockford’s juried ART IN THE PARK exhibition offers a charming setting along the Rogue River in the city’s Garden Club Park. Limited to 34 artists, the event draws exhibitors and patrons from around the state.

Map & Details

So if you are in the area, swing by and say hi! My booth will be located in front of the Rockford Historical Museum on the Bridge Street side of the park.

(Booth shot from the Saugatuck Art Show)

With that being said, why don’t I start with some pics taken in the Rockford area!

My son and I headed out a couple weeks ago, on a hunt for sunflowers but wound up taking some water shots of the Rogue River and Rockford Dam.

This particular shot, long exposure night shot of the Rockford Dam, couldn’t have happened with out an oops by my son! My shutter was open when he started taking pics right next to me, using his camera’s flash. I was afraid it would ruin the shot, but instead it highlighted the dark areas on the right side of the image, including the rocks and statues.

Another shot of the dam, before the sun set.

The Rogue River

Another day trip I took, where I swear, the only thing I could find that inspired me to shoot was this tree!

And if you follow me on facebook, you know I’ve been into a lot of macro photography lately, including insects and flowers.

This lovely little praying mantis found near my husbands shop.

And some Damselflies at a local park

An adorable little jumping spider!

Found this guy hanging out in a small pond fishing.

And a few flower images.

Oh, and we can’t forget about the old vehicles!

That wasn’t too bad now was it?

To keep up on Photography by Karri, visit and like the Facebook Page.

For print purchase info click here.

Don’t forget to visit http://www.karriklawiter.com

or click on the Photography & Digital Art Tab at the top of this page!

Cover: “Save as Murder” by Sharon Rose

Sharon Rose has her fourth Parson’s Cover Cozy Mystery coming out soon, “Save as Murder” brought to you by Cozy Cat Press.

Look for it coming soon to print and ebook!

*****

BLURB: Mabel Wickles has just entered the computer age.  And not a minute too soon.  With strange lights emanating from the empty house next door, her dear friend Charlie Thompson accused of murdering a woman, and a new sheriff in town who seems totally unqualified, will this senior sleuth use her new little laptop to dig up some clues?  After all, she is Parson’s Cove’s most highly decorated amateur detective.  (She’s Parson’s Cove’s only amateur detective.)  But with her best friend Flori Flanders and her computer mentor Nathan Horne to support her, maybe Mabel can solve these seemingly unrelated mysteries and not have to disturb the town’s favorite Sheriff––Reg Smee––who is just starting to enjoy his retirement in Hawaii.  That is, if she can figure out how to crack all the new-fangled computer jargon and SAVE AS MURDER.

*****

The print version:

 

Warning: Another Non-cover Post with Lots of Pics

I wanted to do a post that had nothing to do with book covers.  Remember, this blog was created WAY before I started making book covers and was used for shameless self promotion. Not that I’m posting this to shamelessly self promote, ok, maybe a little, but not much. It’s actually another photography post.

I recently finished my second Critique Your Photography Class with Will Fields Photography Workshops, (who happens to be running a Living Social Deal) and thought I’d share some of the works that came from that time frame. Some were taken for the assignments, some just taken because I was in the groove. Warning! There’s a lot of pics again! The class was 4wks, but spaced over every other week. So I have 8 weeks worth 😛

The first assignment was to take a picture of the same spot/thing using the same camera settings at least two different times of the day trying to hit the magic hours to compare the lighting. Like Morning/Noon, Noon/Evening or throw a cloudy day in there. One thing that was really brought to my attention during this assignment, was the direction you were facing vs time of day. Such a silly thing, but I don’t think I ever gave it thought before.

These are all unedited, with the exception that I took the time to place them side by side and label the time of day. They were also all taken at Maplewood Lake in Jenison, Mi  I think I had more fun trying to find the exact spot again than anything else. LOL

And of course I had to take a couple and edit them just a tiny bit, if not just an auto contrast!!!

This next set wasn’t taken for an assignment. We had a Gale Wind Warning in Grand Haven, so a couple of us ran out to the pier one night.

Some of these I was playing with long exposure.

I’ve decided I really like taking night shots!

The next assignment was colors.  How color makes the picture.  Good thing we were at peak fall colors!

These were taken at Hagar Park, Jenison, Mi.

I like this one (above) because there’s naturally a rainbow. See how it goes from the red leaves to orange, yellow, green, and then finally the shadows on the bench are blue.

This one (above) I shot in HDR.

These next few were also shot for the color assignment, plus it was just before Halloween, and I just wanted to shoot pumpkins! They’re also in HDR.

Do YOU see the skull in the pumpkin? That was just how the smashed in part looked, not added!

And the last assignment was Backgrounds and Pos/Neg Space.

This one really didn’t have to do with the assignment, I just liked it!

And of course I had to do some of my kids.

Whew! That’s a lot of pics! I’m done now!

Don’t forget to check out Will Fields Photography Workshops and if you are in the Grand Rapids, Mi area, he’s running a Living Social Deal on select classes right now!

And, head over to his facebook page for a chance to win a free photography class or photo walk of your choice!

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Cover: “The Music Mage” by Sandra Miller

Author Sandra Miller contacted me about doing her cover for the first book of  The Ravanmark Saga, “The Music Mage”. Check out the sparkly new cover!

Coming soon to ebook and print!

BLURB:

Art is power,
Music is magic,
And no one is what they seem.

When the powerful and charismatic painter Lord Malrec brings newly-unemployed music teacher Alannys Gale to Ravanmark, it seems to be the answer to her prayers.

But Lord Malrec has plans for her…plans that may not be as noble as they appear.  A plot unfolds in darkness against the powerful and secretive royal family, and her newfound power may be the key to its execution.  But can she refuse?  And can she survive the consequences if she does?

In a world with magic whose true power is shrouded in the mists of time, and whose people are not always what they seem, Alannys must find the strength and the courage to harness her power and shape her own destiny as the Music Mage.

Unfortunately the title covers some of the detail work I added to the sword such as the music notes incorporated into the caged hilt. So here’s a close up:

And the print version:

And the matching facebook timeline cover image:

Who Knew? Boredom + Sick = Creativity!

I have been cooped up the past couple days with the flu. I try to lay down, but I’ll either start a coughing fit, or all the pressure will build up in my head, pounding and throbbing till I swear it’s going to blow. Or I start the cold chills and for some reason find myself restless. The rare few times I think I can settle in and rest, the kids get to me. So needless to say, I’ve spent a LOT of time curled up on the couch with the laptop, and haven’t gotten much sleep.

I have gotten a lot of cover work done while I neglected my day to day household duties in fear of the water balloon I call a head finally bursting. (There are a few I’m waiting on the back blurbs before sharing, not to mention the ones mid-progress. They’ll be on here…eventually) But over the past couple weeks I’ve been wanting to create something for me. Create my visions instead of someone else’s. Whether it be photography, photomanipulation, or any kind of digital art. Needless to say I’ve been too busy to take the extra time at the computer to do so. Not to mention ideas flit in one side of my head, and back out the other like an illusive butterfly. So when I do have a chance,  I can’t remember what they were!

Part of my job (can you really call this a job? man am I  lucky!) requires me to constantly learn new things and/or techniques in Photoshop. So I watch a LOT of tutorials. Some things I retain and use, some I don’t. I have had a particular interest in digitally painted hair lately and have watched/read numerous tutorials, trying several techniques over the past month or so.

Yesterday evening I was sitting here, bored, yet didn’t want to “work”. Husband still at work, kids watching a movie, and the dog sitting there staring at me. Creeps me out sometimes when she does that. Just sits there, a foot or so away, staring. I was looking at her, noting the shadows and highlights of her fur. Yes, I look at everything in terms of shadows first, highlights second, gets annoying at times. Sometimes I even imagine painting or “etchy penning” (don’t ask!) over things I’m looking at. Other times it’s camera angles. How would I move to get a better angle? Depends on which frame of mind I am in.  Suddenly the hair tutorials popped into my head. And I wondered….

I know from past trials and errors that I struggle with nose or muzzle proportions when I freehand. And I am WAY out of practice freehand drawing. So I grabbed the camera and took a picture of the dog. Loading the picture onto the computer and opened up photoshop. This is the image:

This was just for me for practice, I wanted to get the feel of the brush strokes using my tablet. I will freely admit I cheated. I cropped the image, cleaned it up and painting a black background around her. Then I used the Mixer Brush tool, set at very wet-heavy mix, with custom brushes I made and started painting directly on the photograph. In layman’s terms:  Imagine having the photograph in front of you. Now imagine all the ink created to print said photo magically turned into wet paint, still retaining the image. Now take a paint brush, going over the whole thing and mix and move that wet paint the way you want it to look. That’s basically what I did. Followed by painting over details such as the eyes and nose.

My husband came home just as I finished it. When I tried to explain what I did, he said “So basically it’s a digital paint by numbers?”

I enjoyed doing it. It was fun and relaxing, and I wanted to do another. I asked a friend to send me a picture of her dog so I could play some more. She sent me a few images to choose from and I chose this one.

Isn’t he cute? He’s just so white and fluffy. I don’t even like small dogs and I went “Aww..” While I was looking at it, I thought, why can’t I paint new instead of making the photograph “wet paint”?

Now some may say I still cheated because I started out basically “tracing” it. This time, I created new layers and did general paint blobs of the colors, using my custom brushes for the occasional stray hair sweep. Each color had it’s own layer, leaving the original as the bottom layer to go back and view for reference. Once I painted each color, I merged the layers and started adding in the details using both the regular paint brush (for added colors and details) and the mixer brush. Finishing touches again were painting the eyes, some highlights, and some extra stray hairs.

By this time, it’s just about bedtime for the kids. Hubby wants to watch some tv with me, and I am coming off of my cold & sinus meds. So I put the computer away. My stuffed uppededness gets awful again, so I wind up taking more meds, which in turn leaves me WIDE awake when it’s time to hit the hay. So instead of tossing and turning and keeping my husband up all night, I stay up and start yet ANOTHER painting.

I started with the background, completely freehand, no reference, no photos (the branches in the corner are a brush though). I decide I’m going to do a wolf next. I searched deviantart.com for stock images of wolves for reference. I came across this one from MoonsongStock , and figured it would work. I cropped the image to what I wanted and blew it up till it was barely recognizable from pixel bloat. Once again, I will admit, I used the photograph to trace the general outline so I didn’t have a misshaped  muzzle. After that I used it purely as eyeball reference (I looked at the original to see where to shade and highlight) and painted away.

So there you have it, what happens when you’re (we’ll for me at least) cooped up in the house sick with nothing better to do…er nothing better that you want to do at least. I might play more with full digital painting, if and when I have time.

[NOTE: This next one was added after this post originated. I just didn’t feel like doing another new post.]

Pretty much the same method as the wolf, but was trying out different brushes. The image I used for reference for the deer came from Stock by Kelesaii on deviantart.com, found here.

Cover: “Dangerous Delusions” by Chris Northern

“Dangerous Delusions,” Book 4 in Chris Northern’s Dancing with Darwin series is on it’s way to the virtual bookshelf. Take a look at the new cover, and watch for it coming soon to eBook!

Cover: “Love Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” Lyndi Alexander

The cover for author Lyndi Alexander’s upcoming paranormal suspense novel, “Love Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me” brought to you from Hydra Publications.

Available now on ebook!

BLURB: Running away isn’t necessarily the answer.

In her mad rush to escape a failed marriage, Sara Woods takes the first job available and lands in the middle of a mystery. Her first assignment as a news reporter for the Ralston Courier is the investigation of a string of deaths, all young women, all her age.

She becomes a patient at the Goldstone Clinic, a local mecca of healing, to deal with chronic pain from her past. But all is not as it seems at the Goldstone, its doctors and nurses are all the picture of perfect beauty and health. Patients at the clinic first seem to get better, then they deteriorate. Sara enlists the help of Dr. Rick Paulsen, who teaches her how to access her internal power, skills she never knew she had, revealing secrets from her past. Police officer Brendon Zale also takes an interest in Sara, but he acts like a stalker, watching her every move, and he won’t leave her alone.

As she digs deeper into the story, and more young women die without explanation, she tries to choose allies wisely, but not till the last confrontation does she discover the identity of her true enemy.

By then, it’s too late.

Cover: “Toad’s Road-Kill Cafe” by Alan Wilkinson

Author Alan Wilkinson contacted me about doing a cover for his upcoming book “Toad’s Road-Kill Cafe,” a travel narrative, about a trip he took up the Hundredth Meridian from the Mexican to the Canadian border, through Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and the Dakotas.

BLURB: Gas costs $1.60 a gallon, a good breakfast $3.00. Nobody can even imagine an event like 9/11.

The year is 2000. British author Alan Wilkinson sets off from Laredo along the Tex-Mex border, turning north when he hits the hundredth meridian, the longitudinal line that separates well-watered croplands to the east from dry lands to the west: corn from cattle, farmer from cowboy.

Many a travel writer will claim to take you to the heartland of America. Most of them head from coast to coast, comparing the lifestyles that define the separate and distinct cultures of New York and California. Toad’s Road-Kill Café offers an entirely different experience, a trip that goes slap-bang through the geographical centre of the nation, northwards from Mexico to the Canadian line, with barely a stop-light in 2,700 miles.

Wilkinson’s journey takes him across vast empty spaces, through farms and settlements established little more than a century ago by pioneers who thought they could wrest a living from the Great Plains. Some succeeded; most failed. And as with individuals, so with their towns, their railroads, their farms, their businesses.

This is a country of big skies, dusty trails, and one-horse towns where the churches sometimes outnumber the houses, where there are more names in the cemetery than in the phone-book, where the past overshadows everything. It’s where the tide of history left its human jetsam to sink or swim.

Wilkinson’s account of his journey is sharply observed and spiced with humor. His observations are those of the outsider, but he clearly relishes the characters he meets along the back-roads of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and the Dakotas. When they offer up their life stories he records them with affection and delight, all the time pondering the question: was the settlement of this area just a piece of foolhardiness in most cases? The fact that he only finds his answer in the final chapter, after he’s driven back to Texas, suggests that it was a question worth asking.