Cover Reveal: Jane.

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So this book has been out for awhile . . . BUT, thanks to my utter lack of patience for computers and formatting, the paperback is only now coming to fruition. Ok it’s still in review but this is the closest I’ve been so far!

The Kindle cover was much, much easier of course. I knew which elements I wanted to include and it was simple enough to fit them all in a rectangle (not like worrying about a spine, and bleed, and ugh I just don’t want to think about it anymore!). I tried a couple of different color schemes:

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Finally, after a suggestion from my wonderful editor, I tired adding blue to the diorama that is featured as the centerpiece of the cover. Much better.

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But as much as I liked the Kindle cover, it left something to be desired. The title failed to POP. It just kind of sat there muted. Which meant the whole cover suffered from the same toned down effect. Still, the main elements were right. The name written through a line in the sand, it’s a allusion to the story and I definitely wanted to keep it. It says a lot about the book.

I tried brightening up the diorama, again with other color schemes.

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I did not want to accept that if I wanted an effective cover, I would have to make the title stand out. No matter what I did to the diorama, it would not be enough to make up for the barely there title etched in the sand.

Fortunately, when I forced myself to sit down and work on the full cover for the paperback, the size and blocking involved forced me to make a change. Since I refused to let go of this picture, and it had to be turned sideways to fit, I had no choice but to put the front cover title in regular font.

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Turning it sideways, with Jane. now scrawled in the sand on the back of the book I ended up with an unintentional improvement: the perfect illustration for the first few lines of the back cover copy. Somewhere out there is a line in the sand between sanity and insanity. JANE searches that line out, toys with it, revels in it, and then takes a running leap right over it. And, I was able to keep the squiggly lines in the sand that reminded me of synapses (seen at the bottom of the picture) next to the front cover copy. She’ll show you a side of crazy you never knew you wanted to see. But, on it’s side those lines looked even more synaptic.

Dare I say success? Well I’m definitely satisfied but we’ll see what review says.

Book cover in progress

Meanwhile, what do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions!

What to Read: Marrow by Tarryn Fisher

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My eyes hurt. Seriously. Once I downloaded Marrow, there was no putting it down. It pulled me in quick with some Donald Ray Pollock-esque prose. The kind that makes you sick to your stomach and angry but powerless to look away (not that I wanted to anyway!). It’s the kind of storytelling that makes feel for a character and forgive their flaws . . . or maybe cheer them on as they murder the people who certainly deserve it. It’s a personal, visceral, reaction of course.

Murder. Such a strong word? Is what Margo the Murderess really does? Murder? The terms Margo uses her activities (poetic justice, eye for an eye), they’re just as accurate. Not going to lie, I love books with a taste for vengeance and I was looking forward to this one . How could I not with a description like this (from Amazon):

“In the Bone there is a house. In the house there is a girl. In the girl there is a darkness. Margo is not like other girls. She lives in a derelict neighborhood called the Bone, in a cursed house, with her cursed mother, who hasn’t spoken to her in over two years. She lives her days feeling invisible. It’s not until she develops a friendship with her wheelchair-bound neighbor, Judah Grant, that things begin to change. When neighborhood girl, seven-year-old Neveah Anthony, goes missing, Judah sets out to help Margo uncover what happened to her. What Margo finds changes her, and with a new perspective on life, she’s determined to find evil and punish it–targeting rapists and child molesters, one by one. But hunting evil is dangerous, and Margo risks losing everything, including her own soul.”

God On You Tube

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The instant messenger chimed just as God was about to solve three down in the Sunday crosswords. It was a hard one too. Thirteen letters. Rain is a type of this.

Ding ding.

Fifth letter was ‘I’. It was just on the tip of His tongue.

Ding ding.

God turned to face the monitor. As the avatar in the messenger box came into focus through His cataracts He sighed and rolled His eyes. Satan. Always goofing around. He was almost afraid to read what His best friend/nemesis had written. Half the time when He clicked on the window a pair of fake boobs would pop onto His screen. The other half Satan needed to borrow a few bucks to keep the lights on down below.

“You’ve got to see this!” Then there was a link. Followed by, “Seriously, check it out.”

Yup, tits, thought God. But He clicked on the link anyway but, instead of surgically implanted silicone and rock hard nipples, the screen was filled with a rainbow colored afro. “What in the hell?”

As if he had read the supreme being’s mind, Satan typed back, “Not hell. Pittsburg.”

God leaned forward in His office chair and rested His elbows on the desk. He watched as the video panned back to reveal a man with his face painted blue and a belly distended by too much beer and red meat. It panned back still more to show a crudely painted sign, also in rainbow letters. A simple sign, it read: John 3:16. That’s it. Nothing more. The Father in Heaven buried His head in His hands.

Below, Satan grabbed his belly, aching with laughter. “Oh man,” he cackled. “They sure make you look stupid!”

It was true. His followers had done some pretty embarrassing things in His name. Except, as He explained to His favorite frenemy, “That’s not even the worst of it.”

Precipitation. God spun around in His chair, back to the crossword puzzle, and wrote the word in the proper spaces. The messenger chimed again.

“Hey you had a good run,” the Devil empathized. “Anyways it’s probably just a fad.”

“Easy for you to say,” God typed back. While His followers were busy making asses of themselves, Satanists everywhere were fighting for inclusive religious policies and embarrassing Christians who refused to recognize that school prayers to Jesus and stone altars featuring the ten commandments on government property as the violations of the separation of church and state that they are. And of course it wasn’t just the Christians. Fundamentalist Islam had become quite the thorn in His side. For once He was glad that the world’s monotheistic religions still had not realized they were all worshipping the same god. Then there were the Mormons, who were blaming  Him for the weird magical underwear they force each other to wear. God, the Mormons. All He needed now was for the Jehovah Witnesses to start acting up.

God sighed and clicked on another video. The screen filled with angry people thumping protest signs as He typed back, “I should have listened to my parents and been a bodhisattva instead.”

With another ding the messenger pops up: “LMFAO! Right. Like you could handle NOT being the center of the universe . . . ”

God stared at the dismembered fetus on His screen and grimaced. He knew for a fact that it was computer generated and not the product of an abortion but it didn’t matter. Sick to His stomach He clicked on another video, this one with His name in the title. Before it began He started typing, “Can’t you get your guys to act out again for awhile? Maybe burn some virgins or something and give me a break?” He shouldn’t have to beg. The Devil definitely owed Him one. Or three. Or a hundred. Another iphone movie took over His screen. God watched as at least ten men beat one of His children to a bloody pulp. The video ended with the caption in red, “God hates fags.” Without waiting for a response, He sent another message, “The things they do in my name makes me sick.”

“Maybe it’s time to reign them in.”

God read the IM fast, too fast, and did a double take. He typed quickly and had to go back and correct more than one typo. “You mean like in Revelations? You can’t be serious!” But the more He thought about it the more convinced He became. It was time. Time to rain down fire and brimstone on all the humans who maimed and murdered and otherwise made assholes out of themselves for His benefit.

“What? No! Chill out dude. I just meant like a few really bad storms or tsunamis or something. Geez you and the . . . ”

But when God shut off His monitor and went back to His crossword puzzle He knew it was time. Five across.  Eleven words. Last letter ‘n’, first letter ‘t’.

Tribulation.

Then seven down. That was an easy one. He wrote His own name in the three spaces.

Eight across. Punishes. He knew it without even looking at the clue.

Then, the clincher. Nine across. A web site or app where users post videos that embarrass their maker.

God knew exactly what He had to do.

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For more short fiction visit my Wattpad page. Or, if you prefer books, check out what I’ve got on Amazon.

What to Read: Spark by Rupert Dreyfus

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If you haven’t read Spark by Rupert Dreyfus yet, well why the fuck not? This self-described “guerrilla fiction for the Digital Age” is definitely a must read. Not only does the author take chances, but he tells it like it is, without fear of reprisal. And without caving to the fluffy demands of the mass market. Check out the synopsis:

“Jake Miller has just been shot by a member of the British Counterterrorism Unit. As he lies on his bedroom floor, wondering if he’s going to bleed out, he attempts to put the last few months of his life into perspective. One minute he’s starting a high-flying job in the corporate banking sector; the next minute he’s commanding a legion of disaffected computer users known as Generation Y-bother. They know Jake only by his hacking name Spark and the videos he uploads to his Youtube account, but they’re hell-bent on helping him bring about the end of the world as we know it. The problem is not everybody’s on board his battleship…”

Spark reads something like a cross between How I Made the Mistakes and The Army of the Republic, with a first person narration that is refreshingly honest and real. Jake Miller is my favorite kind of character. He’s self-deprecating and fully aware of (but not really apologetic about) being a bit of an asshole. Instead of trying to paint his hero as some perfect fantasy revolutionary, Dreyfus gives us a regular guy, a computer nerd, and shows us how now, more than ever, regular people really could effect change in the world.

I enjoyed how this story is told by the main character as he expires. The different threads of the story are well-woven and kept my interest through the end. The psychological aspects were also very interesting and gave the story depth. As Jake stops sleeping and starts morphing into Spark we see the effect on his psyche, how easy it can be to become so involved in something that we lose our grip on reality. Dreyfus also expertly illustrates how power really is corruption. Spark finds power and starts to think of himself as god- no different from the powers that be and the status quo. Still, there is hope present here. Hope for change. Hope that someday we will wake up and get off the hamster wheel and stop making the rich richer.

You can get Spark on Amazon US here. For the UK, click here. For more from Dreyfus, check out his website.

A New Kindle Book, And It’s Free!

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New from R. Anne Polcastro, The Last Magdalene is a fast paced novella that is sure to give even the most jaded reader goose bumps! And it’s free from Amazon today only so hurry over and click that ‘buy’ button.

For those of you who followed Rosario’s Saga on Friday Fictioneers, The Last Magdalene is the long anticipated result! Well at least I hope people were looking forward to it . . . it could totally just be me. Since I am the author and all . . .

Enough rambling! Get your copy on Amazon today while it’s free. Because it won’t be tomorrow. And if you could leave a review on Amazon- well I don’t want to sound like I’m begging but- pretty please!

Free Kindle Book! (and other news)

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Exciting news! Through Wednesday, you can get Left Behind Book One: The Forbidden Voyage for FREE on Amazon. Download this dystopian middle grade sci fi adventure and prepare for a wild adventure with two teenage aliens on the run and determined to find out the truth about their world.
Left Behind smashwords cover

What would you do if everything you were taught about your home planet was a lie?

What would you do if you were Left Behind?

If you’ve enjoyed Rosario’s entries in Friday Fictioneers you’ll be excited to hear that the novella born from that saga will hit Amazon soon! I’m still looking for readers who will be able to post reviews on release date. If you’re interested please comment below or contact me on facebook. I have ARCs available in Kindle, epub, and pdf that I would love to share!

Goodbye Rosario?

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If you’ve been following Rosario’s (inconsistently posted) saga through Friday Fictioneers than beware, what you are about to read jumps ahead in the story. Alas, Rosario’s time on FF is drawing to an end. And this will probably be one of her last entries. But don’t despair! Rosario’s story is being converted into a novella. Finally, you’ll get the whole story behind the goat man, the high priestess, the hamlets! If you want to read it before it comes out just comment below and I’ll get you a beta reader copy! In the meantime enjoy this diddy and check out the novella’s cover below the story. Oh and I almost forgot! My dystopian middle grade sci fi adventure novel is out now! Get Left Behind Book One: The Forbidden Voyage in ebook on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords. If you prefer the paperback version get it on Createspace. And this shameless self promotion ends as soon as I tell you that this is book will make an excellent gift for the young readers in your life (and the young at heart!). Now, without further ado . . .

Copyright Janet Webb

Copyright Janet Webb

Past the edge of the forest it isn’t just dark, it is cold as well. She can see every breath, watch every exhale, until the ground fog grows, swallows it whole. The mist envelops Rosario and everything around her. Instead of crashing waves and farmers hollering across the hills, the only noises here are the hoots of owls and the sounds of critters scurrying through the bushes. Still, she marches on.

Still need a title . . .

Still need a title . . .

As always thank you to the lovely Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers!

Join the Cartel!

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Left Behind smashwords coverStory Cartel, that is, and download Left Behind Book One: The Forbidden Voyage for FREE! For free? Yes for free! So what’s the catch? The catch . . . well maybe you could write an honest review on Amazon, tell everyone what you think of it. If you love it, tell the world! And if you hate it . . . well yeah that too but I don’t think you will!

The campaign for The Forbidden Voyage will be up on Story Cartel until the release date. That’s right, you only have up until December 5th to get your free copy. So what are you waiting for? Join the cartel and download your free copy of the first book in the Left Behind Trilogy today!

If you’re still on the fence here’s a little blurb to entice you.

What would you do if everything you were taught about your home planet was a lie?

What would you do if you wereLeft Behind?

ENDIRION is a thirteen year old boy like any other. Except his skin is green and it glows. And he doesn’t have any hair on his head or anywhere else on his body. Oh and he lives in a cave underground. But so does everyone on the poisoned Mother Planet. There is little to eat and what they do have is as mutated as the people themselves. Fuel is scarce and technology exists only in history books.

Or so they are told.

When Endirion and his classmate Harlo are sentenced to hard labor at the Dump they see things that go against everything they have ever known about their planet. Determined to find out the truth the boys set off on a dangerous journey that pits them against angry marshals, mysterious animals, mutant humanoids, and lands them in the belly of a Monstruwhale. It is a harrowing quest that takes them down remote tunnels, across the Lake of Fire, into the Madlands and a whole new world.

Incinerated

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Better dead than a traitor.

Her words echo through the alcove.

The goat man is still shaking his head, staring at the floor. He insists, “It wasn’t that simple.”

“Wasn’t that simple? Wasn’t that simple!” Rosario’s voice bellows, spreads across the surrounding hillside. “Was it as simple as them cutting us up for spare parts?” She moves toward him, quick and angry. “Was it as simple as girls ripped apart for a single pair of legs or breasts? Or eyes!” Only inches away now, the fury of her words sprays spittle across his face. “Was it as simple as piles of bodies incinerated like they’re no more than spare tires?”

 Copyright – Claire Fuller

Copyright – Claire Fuller

Oh Friday Fictioneers how I’ve missed you! Again . . . Once again trying to get a novel out and all of my other writing activities get neglected. Well, if you would like to read the fruits of that labor you can download my middle grade dystopian Sci Fi (Left Behind Book One: The Forbidden Voyage) for FREE (and before it’s released) on Story Cartel! They just ask that you write an honest review in return. If you live in the US or Canada you can also enter to win a signed copy on Goodreads. As always, a big thanks to the vivacious Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers!

Sneak a Peek: Cover Reveal for Left Behind Book One

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What would you do if everything you were taught about your home planet was a lie?

What would you do if you were

Left Behind

Yesterday was a very exciting day! I opened my inbox to see this:

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It’s the cover for my first soon to be released middle grade novel: Left Behind Book One The Forbidden Voyage. This cover was created by Andrew Jackson (AndrewJacksonGraphicDesign.com coming soon) and I gotta say he did an amazing job! The photo on the back cover was provided courtesy of Boris Smolinski. Check out more of Boris’ photos on freeimages.com.

In case you’re interested (and why wouldn’t you be?!) here’s the synopsis from the back cover:

ENDIRION is a thirteen year old boy like any other. Except his skin is green and it glows. And he doesn’t have any hair on his head or anywhere else on his body. Oh and he lives in a cave underground. But so does everyone on the poisoned Mother Planet. There is little to eat and what they do have is as mutated as the people themselves. Fuel is scarce and technology exists only in history books.

Or so they are told.

When Endirion and his classmate Harlo are sentenced to hard labor at the Dump they see things that go against everything they have ever known about their planet. Determined to find out the truth the boys set off on a dangerous journey that pits them against angry marshals, mysterious animals, mutant humanoids, and lands them in the belly of a Monstruwhale. It is a harrowing quest that takes them down remote tunnels, across the Lake of Fire, into the Madlands and a whole new world.

Stay tuned for release info, contests, and more!