Throwback Thursday – eBook Covers

I thought it would be fun to look at some old book covers, and play compare and contrast. We’ll start with my first four ebook covers for my first four indie-published books. I created these covers and was quite pleased with them, way back in 2011. I think I’ve learned a bit about covers since then…The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance II, an anthology of vampire romances including "Coven of Mercy" by Deborah Cooke

original ebook cover for Coven of Mercy, a vampire romance and short story by Deborah CookeFirst up, Coven of Mercy, my vampire romance and short story. This was first published in an anthology, the Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance II (which was called Love Bites in the UK, a title I still love) in print only. The anthology cover is on the right. At left is the cover I created for it in 2011.

Coven of Mercy, a short story and vampire romance by Deborah CookeHmm. I knew I didn’t have it right, so had a new cover designed. Here’s the second cover on the right.

Coven of Mercy, a short story and vampire romance by Deborah CookeAt left is the current cover, which I love. This guy looks just as I envision Micah.

Every time I write about this story, I’m reminded that it was supposed to be the first in a series. Then I try to figure out when I’m going to write that series. I’ll let you know when I do solve that riddle!

In the meantime, Coven of Mercy is available at all e-retailers.
Amazon.com
Apple
Nook
KOBO
GooglePlay
Books2Read Universal Link (Find international stores and other Amazon stores here)

Amor Vincit Omnia is a short story, a medieval romance that was originally published in a digital anthology called the Seven Deadly Sins. This story isn’t available on its own anymore, but is included in my anthology, Beguiled, in both digital and print formats.

The Leaves, a short story by Deborah Cooke, in its original ebook editionI also got some extra mileage out of that image I licensed for Coven of Mercy and used it for the cover of The Leaves, a short story I’d written and never published before this ebook edition in 2011. This story is also available now in the anthology, Beguiled.

The interesting thing here is that, in 2011, we weren’t sure people would read long stories in digital editions. Popular thinking was that short stories would rule the format, which of course, hasn’t proven to be true at all – but that’s why I published short stories first.

Beguiled, a collection of short stories and novellas by Claire Delacroix and Deborah CookeWriting this post made me realize that Beguiled hadn’t been updated for a while and was no longer available at all retailers – I had to take it down when the Ballad of Rosamunde was in Kindle Unlimited – so I’ve fixed that this week. I also am in the process of republishing the print edition, which disappeared in my distribution transition from Createspace to Ingrams.

Buy Beguiled in ebook at:
Amazon.com
Apple
Nook
KOBO
GooglePlay
Books2Read Universal Link (find international stores and other Amazon stores here)

Once Upon a Kiss, a Scottish time travel romance by Claire Delacroix (writing as Claire Cross), out of print mass market edition

Once Upon a Kiss, a Scottish time travel romance by Deborah Cooke, published under the pseudonym Claire Cross and republished as a Claire Delacroix titleOnce Upon a Kiss is a Scottish time travel romance that was published in 1998 by Berkley and was the first book I published under the name Claire Cross. Here’s my first ebook cover for it, at left.

Here’s the Berkley mass market edition at right.

Once Upon a Kiss, a Scottish paranormal romance by Claire DelacroixAnd here’s its current cover at right, created by Kim Killion back in 2011 when I realized that my cover wasn’t getting the job done.

Of course, Once Upon a Kiss is currently available at all ebook retailers, with the pretty cover by Kim.

Buy eBook:
Amazon.com
Apple
Nook

KOBO
GooglePlay
Books2Read Universal Link (Find international stores and other Amazon stores here)

Original ebook cover for Love Potion #9, a paranormal romance by Deborah Cooke, first published under the pseudonym Claire Cross and now a Claire Delacroix title

Love Potion #9, a paranormal romance and romantic comedy by Claire Delacroix (writing as Claire Cross), out of print mass market edition

Love Potion #9 is a paranormal romance and romantic comedy, and was my fourth book published under the pseudonym Claire Cross. My first ebook cover is at left. The original mass market cover is at right. I always liked the cover art, which was painted by Judy York. It depicts a scene in the book, which is a rare and wonderful thing.

Love Potion #9, a paranormal romance by Claire DelacroixLove Potion #9, a paranormal romance and romantic comedy by Claire DelacroixI subsequently licensed the cover art from Judy and she added type to it for me. (You can see with this title that we didn’t have fixed proportions for ebook covers for a while.)

Eventually, I had Kim make the type consistent with my other books, and this edition on the right is the one that’s available now.

Buy eBook
Amazon.com
Apple
Nook
KOBO
GooglePlay
Books2Read Universal Link
(Find international stores and other Amazon stores here)

#XmasAudio 8

The Ballad of Rosamunde by Claire Delacroix, a short story and medieval romance in audio#XmasAudio 8 features The Ballad of Rosamunde, a short story linked to the Jewels of Kinfairlie trilogy. This is Rosamunde’s story, the pirate queen of the family. We’ll give away three copies on Tuesday.

The Ballad of Rosamunde in audio is available at Amazon, Audible and Apple.

All you have to do for your chance to win is comment on this post and tell me why you like audiobooks or why you’d like to try one. If you’ve won an audiobook from me this year, please let other people have a chance. Good luck!

Reader Letter from Harmonia’s Kiss

Harmonia's Kiss by Deborah Cooke, a Dragonfire storyThe Dragonfire short story, Harmonia’s Kiss, is going to be published in a new edition in the next couple of days.

Here’s the reader letter from the new edition—and the new cover. It will be available initially from my online store, and then at the major portals in September 2015. It will be included also in Here Be Dragons: The Dragonfire Companion in both print and digital editions.

If you bought this short story in its previous edition, you don’t need to buy it again. There are no major differences in the text: it just has a new cover.


 

Dear Reader;

Harmonia’s Kiss is a short story that grew from a pair of scenes edited out of the Dragonfire novel Whisper Kiss. This is the tale of Dragon’s Tooth Warriors in their search for their lost past, and also the story in which Drake meets Veronica. I really liked the insight these scenes offered into Drake’s character in particular and developed it into a longer story. My publisher decided to release it in a digital-only edition, an option that I initially found exciting. The experience, however, proved to be a very frustrating one. Some of you could not buy the digital short, even though it should have been available throughout the world in English. I was unhappy that the short story didn’t really have a cover for the longest time—just a picture of me in my publisher’s logo—and also thought it was priced too high for a short story. Additionally, many of you read only in print, and this story was not available in that format.

All’s well that ends well, though. I’m very excited to have the opportunity to bring this Dragonfire short story to you in a new edition and to be able to offer it at a more competitive price. This edition of Harmonia’s Kiss has Drake on the cover, and it will be included in Here Be Dragons: The Dragonfire Companion in both the print and digital editions of that volume.g

You can find all of the Dragonfire books listed in order on my website.

Also, the Dragonfire cycle of paranormal romances is now complete with the publication of Firestorm Forever. This book is enormous, the biggest novel I’ve ever written, and includes three firestorms—you’ll be pleased to see that the spark of the firestorm gives Drake and Veronica the chance to build the future they both desire. You can read an excerpt from Firestorm Forever on my website.

Of course, there are more dragons in my future and in yours. My next series of paranormal romances featuring the Pyr will be called DragonFate: there’s an excerpt from the first book, Hot Blooded, at the end of Firestorm Forever but also on my website.

If you want to keep up to date on my current releases, please subscribe to my monthly newsletter.

Until next time, I hope you have plenty of books to read—and maybe a dragon shifter hero to keep you warm at night!

All my best—
Deborah
Also writing as Claire Delacroix

Harmonia’s Kiss

The rights to my Dragonfire digital-only short story, Harmonia’s Kiss, are reverting to me. This means that the buy links have disappeared from the various online portals. Because the rights are reverting to me, NAL doesn’t have the right to sell copies any longer.

I intend to include the story in Here Be Dragons: The Dragonfire Companion, because I know some of you like to have your Dragonfire stories in print and there aren’t many other options now that the series is completed.

My question to you is this: would you still expect or like a digital-only edition of the story? I would price it more competitively at 99 cents, because it is a short story. Before I commission a cover and all that jazz, I want to check with you.

Tell me what you think!

More Matte Covers

I’ve changed most of my titles over to matte covers now, because I just like how the finish looks. I’ve left the Dragonfire titles with the shiny finish, as well as the Prometheus Project, because those covers are dark (and the matte finish makes the covers a bit darker again.) These are the covers that are matte, now:

The Last Highlander, a Scottish time travel romance by Claire DelacroixThe Time Travels

Third Time Lucky, book #1 of the Coxwell Series of contemporary romances, by Deborah CookeThe Coxwells

The Countess, book #1 of the Bride Quest II trilogy, by Claire DelacroixThe Bride Quest II

The Rogue, book #1 in the Rogues of Ravensmuir trilogy of medieval romances by Claire DelacroixThe Rogues of Ravensmuir

The Beauty Bride by Claire Delacroix, first in the bestselling trilogy of medieval romances The Jewels of Kinfairlie.The Jewels of Kinfairlie

The Renegade's Heart, first in the True Love Brides series of medieval romances by Claire Delacroix The True Love Brides

Beguiled, a collection of short stories and novellas by Claire Delacroix and Deborah Cookeand Beguiled.

Beguiled

Beguiled, a collection of short stories and novellas by Claire Delacroix and Deborah CookeBeguiled, my new collection of novellas and short stories, is available today!

Tales of fantasy, romance and forbidden love…

A collection of my own short stories and novellas, including:

An Elegy for Melusine by Claire Delacroix
Amor Vincit Omnia by Claire Delacroix
The Leaves by Deborah Cooke
The Kiss of the Snow Queen by Claire Delacroix
Coven of Mercy by Deborah Cooke
The Ballad of Rosamunde by Claire Delacroix

Buy at Amazon Buy at All Romance eBooks Buy at Createspace Buy at iBooks Buy at KOBO Buy at B&N

Reader Letter from Beguiled

Beguiled, a collection of short stories and novellas by Claire Delacroix and Deborah Cooke

Dear Reader,

I don’t write a great many short stories, although in assembling this collection, I have to wonder why that is. A shorter work is an opportunity—if not an invitation—to try something different in terms of style or to play with an unusual idea. Short stories are fun to write for that reason, and in addition, offer different structural challenges than books. I love to read short stories: they can be tantalizing in themselves, and also can provide a telling introduction to an author’s work.

The works included here were all written as the result of an invitation for me to participate in an anthology with other authors. In the past, invitations have been the only reason I wrote short—though that might change! I was glad to be invited to participate in all of those volumes, but is often the nature of short stories to remain available to readers for only a limited time. So, I’m very pleased now to have the opportunity to pull these works into a collection of my own and make them available to you again.

In addition, putting the stories together makes their similarities to each other more clear. Most of these works have a medieval setting, and all of them include both romance and fantasy elements. Each of them features a strong heroine who makes a choice, a choice that might end up costing everything she holds dear. Historians called the ability to influence one’s own situation “agency” and it’s an idea that I like to explore in all of my work. In the medieval era, women had more agency than many people believe, and we, too, have agency in our era, although maybe it’s less than many people believe. What we choose and why fascinates me. For the women in these stories, the opportunity to choose is more important than the result: I don’t know that even Melusine would regret her decision, though the end result is not what she had hoped to gain.

I’ve included an introductory note before each story, telling you a bit of how it came to be and its history. I’ve also included an excerpt from my medieval romance, The Rogue, because in reviewing these shorter stories, it’s clear that Alix and Melusine led me directly to Ysabella. Finally, there’s an excerpt from my upcoming medieval romance, The Frost Maiden’s Kiss. This is the third book in my True Love Brides series, and features the return of Malcolm to Ravensmuir from his time as a hired mercenary in Europe. He’s earned a fortune, but believes it has cost him his soul (and possibly his sanity) until he meets Catriona, a woman who shows him how to rediscover goodness. Catriona, however, has dangerous secrets of her own, ones that can threaten everything they build together. Malcolm and Catriona’s book will be published in August 2014.

Until next time, I hope you are well and have plenty of good books to read.

All my best—

Deborah
also writing as Claire

Beguiled Book Interior

Once upon a time, I worked as a typesetter, so I have a great affection for type. I love flourishes in book interiors, that extra touch that perfectly suits the content. So, recently, I began to think about my POD titles and how they could be prettier inside.

Here’s the first page of Beguiled, my first book with illuminated caps. This picture is from the proof – it’s a teensy bit blurred because I wasn’t as steady as would be ideal. The type is perfectly crisp.

First Page of Beguiled, by Claire Delacroix and Deborah CookeThese illuminated caps suit the content very well and they look terrific – in my humble opinion. 🙂 What do you think?

Updating the Schedule

Each time I finish writing a book, then finish all the publishing tasks that are now my responsibility, I refine my understanding of how long everything takes. I know how long it takes me to write a book, but all the other stuff is still a bit squishy. Every time it firms up, something changes so the refinement needs another tweak.

What’s changed this summer is my ability to offer a pre-order at Apple much sooner than I was able to do before. Like a traditional publisher, I can set up an “asset-less” pre-order – that means the book can be listed for sale before the book file is completed and uploaded to the portal. This is extremely cool, and will make ordering much easier for you. The twist with an opportunity like this is that I can’t mess up: if one of my books is ever NOT available on the listed on sale date, then I lose this opportunity forever. I really don’t want that to happen.

So, I’ve calculated all my upcoming publication dates and added some squish for  variables (like subcontractors becoming busy) and then added another chunk of time just to make sure all is good. I”m hoping that this will work smoothly, that I’ll have a little less stress, and even that I’ll have some time in between to work on new projects for 2015 publication. My hope is to publish linked books much more closely together in 2015.

The wonderful thing about this strategy (which maybe makes up for pushing back the dates now) is that from this point on, when the cover is done, I’ll give you a firm publication date. 🙂 And yes, I’m hoping one day to get a pre-order capability at Amazon. That one’s tough, but I’m working on it.

Here’s where we stand:
Beguiled – on sale July 24, with a pre-order available now at iTunes and KOBO.

The Frost Maiden’s Kiss – on sale August 26, with a pre-order available now at KOBO and one processing at iTunes.

The Warrior’s Prize – on sale December 29. The pre-order will be available at KOBO and iTunes in the next week or so.

Firestorm Forever – on sale February 2015. I’ll pick a date when the cover is done, and it’ll be available for pre-order at KOBO and iTunes then.