Guest Post: The Cover Design Process by MK Reed

Today I’m thrilled to be part of The Cute Girl Network blog tour.  Check out what MK Reed has to say about the cover creation process for this graphic novel by Greg Means, MK Reed, and Joe Flood.  I think the cover is so cute!

The Cover Design Process by MK Reed

Greg, Joe & I are pretty lucky to have an awesome friend in Colleen Venable, who is also our awesome cover designer. Granted, the process can be lengthy, but Colleen’s got a system that pushes way past "This is the first thing I thought of" to "Oh my god Colleen, if this isn’t it I’m going to punch a kitten in front of a baby and we’re all going to cry together." (It has not yet come to that.) And the end results usually end up working out pretty cool, but I didn’t really appreciate our cover until I started looking at some other romance covers.

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Interview with Mary Brady, Author of Better Than Gold and Giveaway!

Please give a warm welcome to Mary Brady, author of Better Than Gold.  After the interview, Mary has one signed copy of Better Than Gold for one of you to win!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Mary Brady] I love happily every after, a friend’s smile and the power of nature, and I write it into reality for my characters.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Better Than Gold?

[Mary Brady] Neither the archeological find in the wall of the old building she is remodeling nor the forensic anthropologist sent to investigate will stop Mia Parker from finishing what she started. When it’s completed Pirate’s Roost restaurant will give her back her livelihood, allow her the small town lifestyle she craves–and give the faltering town of Bailey’s Cove, Maine, a boost in tourist traffic and maybe a chance at survival.

Daniel MacCarey has lost everything except his teaching job at the university. When he is called upon to investigate an archeological find in a tiny coastal town, he knows he’s being sent away to give him a break from the devastation that used to be his happily ever after. When the find turns out to be huge in archeological terms he is torn between Mia Parker’s desperate need to get the remodeling back on schedule and his own need to regain meaning in his life. If he handles the project carefully, he will bring his career back on track. As a tenured professor he can choose the projects that help humanity learn of and hopefully learn from it’s triumphs and failures. However, if he gets what he needs, he might just destroy Mia Parker’s chance as success.

What neither plans is falling in love at a totally impossible time in their lives.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Mary Brady] Great question. I often start with a location and then a reason for the location. For Better than Gold, I started with the ever-gorgeous State of Maine, USA. Then I chose a tiny town where people would know one another. Then the remote town needed to stop shrinking in order to survive. It needed to bring in dollars, and dollar opportunities were going to come mainly (no pun intended) from tourists. Why weren’t there many tourists? Because the town wasn’t set up to attract them. Someone needed to build something tourists would seek out. What do all tourists do? We eat. Enter restaurateur Mia Parker. Mia, an archeological find, Daniel MacCarey, thieves, etc.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Mia?

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Interview with Dana Marton, Author of Spy in the Saddle

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Good morning, Dana! Can you please describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Dana Marton] Addicted to books. Author, businesswoman, dreamer, hopeless romantic. My motto is: CREATE THE LIFE YOU’LL BE EXCITED TO LIVE.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Spy in the Saddle?

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Interview with Kris Fletcher, Author of Now You See Me and Giveaway!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Hi, Kris, and welcome to the Manga Maniac Café!  Can you please describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Kris Fletcher] I’m a doughnut-loving mother/wife/writer who likes to make up happily-ever-afters while bursting into song at random moments.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Now You See Me?

[Kris Fletcher] JT Delaney, the infamous bad boy of Comeback Cove, is back in town after 25 years away. He just wants to help his mother settle her affairs and move south with him. But Lydia Brewster looks beyond his reputation and sees the one person who can help her stave off the "heroic widow" label the town is determined to hang on her before she begins to believe it herself.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Kris Fletcher] In all honesty, I don’t remember! I wrote the first draft of this book a good 8 or 9 years ago, then put it away. I do know I wanted to find the most unbelievable match for a bad boy that I could think of. The next thing I knew, JT and Lyddie were parading through my head.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Lydia?

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[PR] VOTE FOR HARLEQUIN’S MORE THAN WORDS AWARD WINNERS!

 

VOTE FOR HARLEQUIN’S MORE THAN WORDS AWARD WINNERS
GIVE THANKS THIS SEASON BY VOTING FOR THOSE WHO HELPS OTHERS

Harlequin has just opened the voting for their annual More Than Words awards – a charitable program that honors women, real-life heroines, making a difference in their communities.

How often do we get a chance to say thanks to someone who is dedicating their life to helping other people? By voting for your favorite woman and charity, you give one of these impressive women a chance to win $15,000 for her charity of choice and to be paired up with a bestselling Harlequin writer, who will turn her inspiring story into a novella that’s released to the public as a free e-book.

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Interview with Colleen Thompson, Author of The Colton Heir

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Good morning, Colleen, welcome to the Manga Maniac Café! Can you please describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Colleen Thompson] A Texas-dwelling, book-obsessed animal lover thrilled to be writing novels of romantic suspense and intrigue.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Colton Heir?

[Colleen Thompson] When Dead River Ranch’s large animal whisperer Dylan Frick learns he may be the missing Colton heir, he’s thrown into a tailspin. Unable to accept that his murdered mother could have been involved in a kidnapping, he is obsessed with disproving the theory—and blown completely off course by his attraction to the mysterious new maid, a gorgeous showstopper with deadly secrets of her own.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Colleen Thompson] As part of an overarching continuity series, The Coltons of Wyoming, The Colton Heir came to me with a set of characters and plot points I needed to cover. The challenge of it—and the fun—was in embellishing these characters, making them larger-than-life but still relatable, and in twisting the story in surprising and creative ways.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Dylan?

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Review: Siren’s Secret by Debbie Herbert

Siren’s Secret (Harlequin Nocturne)

May Contain Spoilers

Review:

I love mermaid stories, so when I saw Debbie Herbert’s debut, I had to read it.  I really enjoyed Siren’s Secret.  It’s told through protagonist Shelly’s POV, as well as that of her love interest, Tillman, and the serial killer, Melkie.  I didn’t find Melkie a compelling character, and wish his POV hadn’t been as prominent.  While I found Shelly and Tillman engaging, Melkie was too one dimensional for me to find him interesting. 

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Interview with Kimberly Van Meter, Author of That Reckless Night

Please give a warm welcome to special guest Kimberly Van Meter, author of That Reckless Night.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Kimberly Van Meter] On a good day, driven, focused and creative; on all other days, forgetful, easily distracted, and wishing I was curled up with a good book.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about That Reckless Night?

[Kimberly Van Meter] That Reckless Night is the first in my new Alaska series featuring the Sinclair family. Eight years ago, the Sinclair family was fractured when the youngest, Simone, was abducted after work, sexually assaulted and left to die in the harsh Alaskan mountains. The killer was never found and the tragedy tore apart the family in different ways as they individually tried to cope with their grief. The first story is about Miranda, the big sister, who blames herself for Simone being in the parking lot that night. Miranda was supposed to pick her up from work but after a spat, told her to find her own way home. Except Simone never made it home. Miranda punishes herself with bad choices in her personal life but she values her professional life as a Fish and Game tracker. Unfortunately, she inadvertently sleeps with her new boss, Jeremiah Burke, before realizing who the handsome stranger is and thus, sets her life on a whole new track of discovery about who she is and why she does the things she does. Jeremiah knows a thing or two about grief and guilt, having arrived in Alaska after escaping the pain of losing his only son to an ATV accident back in Wyoming. The two clash and spark but together they find how to let go of the grief that is strangling them both.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Kimberly Van Meter] My characters always come to me by stumbling into my brain and kicking around until I figure out their story. I take the core of who they are as people and then ask, "Who would really mess up their life if they were attracted to them?" and go from there. I am character-driven in my writing so once I have the characters figured out, I shape the concept around them. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Miranda?

[Kimberly Van Meter] Brash, ballsy, tough-as-nails. (Okay, that was more than three words. Sorry.)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Jeremiah had a theme song, what would it be?

[Kimberly Van Meter] Oh, that’s a hard one. Hmm…well, even though it’s a female singer, Rhiannon’s "Stay" would be a good one. He’s damaged and Miranda is also damaged…who’s to say who needs emotional protection more?

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Miranda is never without.

[Kimberly Van Meter] Metaphorically, I’d say the ghost of her little sister, Simone. Literally, I’d say her gun and credentials. :-)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Jeremiah’s bedroom?

[Kimberly Van Meter] 1. Clutter

2. Any music by a boy band

3. Dirty sheets

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Miranda’s greatest regret?

[Kimberly Van Meter] Her biggest regret is fighting with her younger sister, Simone, over a blouse. If they hadn’t fought, Simone would still be alive.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Kimberly Van Meter] Gone With The Wind changed my life. I read it eight times before graduating high school. Margaret Mitchell ignited that passion to create. Since then, my greatest influences have been my desire to write bigger and better stories. I am driven by an intense hunger to reach greater heights within my professional life and it is this hunger that propels me. But, as always, I am inspired by good writing and my greatest love is to curl up with a fabulous book and lose myself in the pages.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Kimberly Van Meter] 1. The right music (or quiet, depending on my mood).

2. The characters’ voices in my head.

3. A deadline

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What was your biggest distraction while working on That Reckless Night?

[Kimberly Van Meter] My personal life. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Kimberly Van Meter] Kresley Cole’s Lothaire. Love her style.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Kimberly Van Meter] James and the Giant Peach.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Kimberly Van Meter] Read, create book covers, watch my favorite DVRed shows, watch my kids in their various sporting events, spend time with my husband.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Kimberly Van Meter] I am soooo available to my fans! I’m on Twitter, Facebook, personal blog, and I’m thinking of assembling a street team! I love chatting with fans about stuff that supercede writing and what’s on my agenda. I enjoy connecting on a deep, personal level because unlike most writers, I’m an EXTROVERT. LOL! I love meeting new people, chatting, and being social. So, yeah…there are a million different ways to connect with me. :-)

Thank you for the opportunity to share about my newest Superromance and I loved being a guest!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

Purchase link

About the book:

He’s just a warm body on a cold Alaskan night…

Miranda Sinclair, reeling on the anniversary of her sister’s death, indulges in a passionate night with a stranger. The next day she’s shocked to discover he’s her new boss, Jeremiah Burke! And he got the job she thought was hers.

Still, she’s nothing if not practical. She wants to forget about their night together and focus on tracking the poachers killing black bears on her mountain. Besides, she’s not looking for a relationship, and her instincts tell her Jeremiah is hiding something. Too bad the attraction between them won’t go away, and Miranda starts to wonder if one night will ever be enough….