Heat All Around

Thursday, June 20, 2013


Recently One of the CA at Muse it Up Publishing directed us all to a posting from a professional CA concerning what MAKES a GREAT cover and these were the CORE ELEMENTS...


Keep it simple. Always. Remember that a potential reader is looking at that cover for only two seconds before deciding to click on it or not. Whater the cover has to say needs to be conveyed in less time than that. A sign of an amateur cover (and by association, an amateur author) is a cover that is too busy.


Far more important than any image on the cover is legibility of the title. If you can't read what it says at the smalles thumbnail size, it won't get clicked on. In short if the image interfered with the title, change the image.


The genre of the book needs to be conveyed in those same two seconds that the potential reader is viewing the image and reading the title. Certain genres are automatically represented by certain images, colors, fonts or styles. Stick with what works. A good cover designer will already know this.


This is the key ingredient for a great cover design that sells. This is what will convince a potential reader to click for more. The cover needs to convey an emoiton quickly and simply, whether than emotion is love, lust, suspense, fear, etc.

We have some incredible covers coming out so I want to showcase them and hold them up to the scrutiny of these guidelines and see where we are on the money and where we need to work a little bit harder to step up and make the publishing world take notice of our ZING!

Let's begin with...

So how do we rate this cover by Marion Sipe JUST added to our Muse List of upcoming Releases?

Simplicity? Well there's nothing elabortae or jarring to my eye, and the coloration is not extreme. Red, black, and white. The lines are not jarring, and the textures are not intricate either...so I think

Simplicity gets



My eyesight usually requires I get out my magnifying glass and still I must squint. (I royally HATE captcha because of that...don't you? And yet here I have no problems whatsoever reading EVERYTHING!) The title THE MASSACRE OF CHINLAC does not play hide 'n' seek nor does the smaller text telling me it's a novel or that it's written by DAN BRIGGS. I LOVE it when I don't have to squint. Makes me eager to further investigate this book.

GENRE...does the coloring and images tell me what the book will be about...Massacre sort of gives away it might have somethign to do with MURDER as does crossed BLACK spears and some kind of a carrion bird in striking white against a RED background...so YEAH we got GENRE covered.


Got this one covered too.

So did Marion Sipe and Dan Briggs do thie jobs in chosing an appropriate cover that reveals exactly what we'll be getting in one quick thumbnail glance of this book? OH YES!



Tuesday, June 18, 2013


 I arrived at Muse it Up Publishing back on March 28, 2010 when I sent my first Manuscript, (MS) to Lea Schizas, the delightful publisher embarking on putting together the Publishing House that would become Muse It Up Publishing House with its Debut on Sept. 10th.

My manuscript, SANTA IS A LADY, contracted less than three hours later on March 29th got me my very first ever book cover and OMG what a book cover it was...Take a look while I explain what makes it a SPECTACULAR COVER.

When I wrote SANTA IS A LADY I had no idea I was writing the first of a three part series. I actually wrote it as a stand-a-lone.

Being new and green and having a long standing love of books I practically fell all over myself when I got the mock-up for my cover. Seeing MY title, MY name, MY publisher, together was like a dream come true...one I'd been holding, locked inside a secret place in my heart for a lot longer than I care to admit.

Okay, I have to admit, there was A bit of disappointment. Angie Brightwell, my heroine has reddish brown hair, and the figure my CA gave me had darker brown hair. Still...maybe...could I ask her to change it? I'd put in the CA form the actual color of my heroine's hair, but maybe it doesn't matter. What do I know? And yet, Angie ISN'T Angie, to me, with dark brown hair.

With my heart in my throat I e-mailed the CA and voiced my concern. Within a short time Angie as she now appears came back...and VOILA...MY Angie appeared.

Now I should explain...Angie on the cover ISN'T really the Angie in my story...how COULD she be? My Angie is disabled. My Angie dresses up as Santa in a traditional Santa suit not in a suit geared towards letting the world know a very lovely lady with lady's curves fills out the red suit beneath those curves. My Santa tucks her silky mane up into the oversized Santa cap so no one will know a woman's head, not the jolly old elf's fills out the furry hat.

My story takes place in Northeringale, a place celebrating the wintry traditions of Christmas. Water droplets aren't usually a part of the Christmas scenery during the rush towards Santa's visit, but the cover artistry with a water droplet falling from the poinsettia leaf works magnificently...although I never mention such a plant in the story overtly.

This cover is not a blatant depiction from my book and yet it is PERFECT for my story...SOOOO perfect in fact it released to the public on December 1, 2010. it only had the month of December to make it's mark in order to earn fifth place in its category to win the

2010 Preditors and Editors Readers Poll.

OMG...WOW Have I hit the JACKPOT or what?

Will all my future covers prove to be this dynamic?

I guess we'll have to keep looking forward to see won't we.

You will come back, won't you?

Monday, June 10, 2013


Doctors! Sometimes don't you just want to smack some sense into them?

How much credence should I, a woman who has climbed and slid down more than two hills during the time my lifeline has been elongating, to one who looks all of about sixteen when she begins her diatribe with...

"I KNOW psychiatry is NOT my area of expertise BUT...you are SO deep in depression you can't know if what your feeling really IS pain!

Hey, say WHAT! The pain caused by the

herniated disks that show up along with which NERVES are effected to CREATE the pain, quite spectaculary on my spinal

MRIs is really masked DEPRESION? 

OKAY! I WILL admit I do not have more than a BA in Psychology so I am far from so well versed in the dynamics of depression I would feel comfortable looking into your eyes and saying,

"Gee, I see a tear squeezing its way out from your tear duct...therefore you are clincally depressed!"

Odds are, though, I have more schooling in the topic than a doctor who may spend one rotation in psychiatry before moving on to rotations in

gastroenterology, podiatry or brain surgery.

So what brought on this SAGE declaration of my advancing state of wallowing in waters so mucky and viscuous with depression pain can't be distinguished?

I have scars in places most people never have the kinds of scars I have. When new doctors see them, their eyes go all wide and they ask the one question I must answer if I'm to get PROPER treatment! WHAT HAPPENED THERE?

I tell them...and their eyes glaze over in disbelief. OKAY now I have to convince them I'm not lying...the only way to do that is to explain how such a device came into such close proximity to my person.

That requires a side trip into a past event...and me going to a place inside me that allows me to become ALMOST robotic so I can get through it...but no matter how deep into the

ice I go, an errant tear escapes...BRANDING me with the stench of unremittent depression.

Let me share and you decide...

I had to be somewhat rebuilt after my marriage ended in 1983 because my ex really LIKED hurting me. He came up with many clever ways to do so...not all of them physical...but I digress.


lacerated flesh...I am left with them so cannot stick my head in the sand and pretend yesterday never happened.

My ex LIKED causing me pain...physically...but he also liked destroying any good memories I had from before him...and one had to do with Nonnie.

I have never made it a secret how much I adore my grandmother. She died when I was eleven, so I cherish every memory of the years I DID have her with her...and one of those memories deals with a Trading Post like store on the main street in one of the towns in the Poconos Mountains.

Nonnie and I had such a wonderful time together shopping in that store when I was about nine.

Fast forward to 1981. My ex knowing of that special memory made certain when HE took us to the Poconos that summer to go back to that store, take me down to the basement floor and choose from a rack the bull whip he was going to use on me.

The tear  in my eye is not for the pain, or the remnants of the pain HE wielded with such glee...NO...the tear is for the precious memory from my short years with my grandmother he tarnished.

Since the end of my marriage I have earned twin AA's, AS's BA's, an MA AND a PhD. I currently have 15 books published in just the past almost three years, I single handed raised my children from their ages of 9 and 7, and I was a teacher of the handicapped.

So let me ask you...if as this doctor suggests I am wallowing too deeply in my DEPRESSION to recognize real pain when it hits me..HOW did I accomplish so much ANYWAY?

I'd really be interested in your responses?

I KNOW what I , Lin, think...but I must admit I don't suffer fools well...I think that doctor got her MD inside a Cracker Jack Box...and after what the RA doctor told me just this past Friday I'm even MORE certain the first doctor has

QUACK tattooed on her medical bill.