January 23, 2018

Complete Firstborn Trilogy + I DO Only 99 Cents Thru 10-28!

To celebrate Halloween (my favorite holiday!), I’m responding to reader requests to put the Firstborn Trilogy bundle on sale. This bundle is the only way you can get “I Do,” an exclusive Estilorian short story about Tate and Zachariah’s wedding. Between now and 10/28, you can get the bundle and short story for the sweet price of only 99 cents!

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Grab the Firstborn Trilogy + I Do for 99 Cents Today:

Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ Amazon CAN

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Excerpt from I Do

During their travels, Tate had met other Mercesti like Zachariah and his chosen class leaders. But then there were Mercesti like these, she thought sourly, bringing up her nunchucks to block a slicing sword. Mercesti who refused to fall in line with Zachariah’s leadership. Mercesti who thought they should have the right to take anything they wanted, including the lives of any Estilorians who got in their way.

Mercesti who stood between her and her wedding day.

This group was larger than most of the others had been, Tate observed as she used Tiege’s bent knee to launch herself at another opponent. They were also more trained and organized.

Their leader was a tall, dark-skinned male named Cain. Zachariah had barely approached Cain and introduced himself before the aggressive male and his followers raised their weapons to fight. It seemed they had already heard of Zachariah’s ascension to elder and had been seeking him out to challenge him. Now, Cain and Zachariah were battling across the forest clearing where the combat had initiated.

Fighting this group was the last thing Tate had wanted, though. She had even asked Zachariah to pass them by. After all, she, Zachariah, Tiege, Ariana, and the Mercesti who had been invited to the wedding were on their way to the protected area surrounding her family’s home. Her mother and aunts were all waiting for them to arrive to begin the celebration.

Her stubborn avowed could not be swayed, however. Tate wasn’t actually that upset about the delay. She was proud of Sparky’s determination to clean up his class and integrate them with the nine other Estilorian classes. But lord, she was tired.

She had lost count of the number of small battles they had waged since Eirik’s defeat. It felt as though they finished one battle, got a few hours of sleep, and headed on to the next. Yes, there were days when they met up with friendly Mercesti and took some time to introduce themselves and get to know them, but those moments hardly made up for the time they were fighting.

We’ll wrap this up soon enough, Beautiful.

Tate heard her avowed’s thought as she spun out of the way of an axe’s downward swing. Her gaze lifted to Zachariah’s across clearing. She realized she had unintentionally broadcasted her thoughts to him.

I know, Sparky, she returned.

If she could keep herself focused, she privately added.

~     ~     ~

Visit my Facebook Page to learn about my GIVEAWAY, too!

Firstborn Trilogy + BRAND NEW #Estilorian Short Story only $0.99 Thru 7/5!

Estilorian fans, I have some exciting news: I’ve just released the Firstborn Trilogy as a bundled box set!

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(Psst…that’s not even the best part.)

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I’ve also written a BRAND NEW Estilorian short story called I Do! This short story will ONLY be published in this box set, so if you want to read it, you need to grab the box set today!

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To make this fair to my loyal Estilorian readers who have already read the trilogy, I’m releasing the box set at only 99 cents until July 5th.

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Don’t miss your chance to find out what happens after Elder and before Deceive!

Synopsis

This complete set includes all three books in Raine Thomas’ Firstborn Trilogy (Defy, Shift, and Elder). The award-winning Estilorian series continues with the electrifying next generation. Follow the descendants of the daughters of Saraqael as they embark upon their own thrilling adventures and race against time to save the Estilorian plane…battling for love along the way.

DEFY 

Seventeen-year-old Tate is about to make her parents’ dreams come true. Unfortunately for her, their dreams foretell her death. With the help of a shadowy male named Zachariah, can she defy her fate?

SHIFT

Having the ability to shapeshift, Sophia is familiar with change, but even she struggles with the changes bombarding her life. When she’s thrown into the hunt for the Elder Scroll, she’ll have to overcome her insecurities…or two of the beings she loves most will die.

ELDER 

On the journey for the Elder Scroll, Clara Kate has endured heartbreak, terror, pain and loss. She’s even been brought to the brink of death. She thinks things can’t get any worse. She’s wrong.

~     ~     ~

And now read on for an excerpt from I Do (an Estilorian Short Story)

and find out how to buy it today!

During their travels, Tate had met other Mercesti like Zachariah and his chosen class leaders. But then there were Mercesti like these, she thought sourly, bringing up her nunchucks to block a slicing sword. Mercesti who refused to fall in line with Zachariah’s leadership. Mercesti who thought they should have the right to take anything they wanted, including the lives of any Estilorians who got in their way.

Mercesti who stood between her and her wedding day.

This group was larger than most of the others had been, Tate observed as she used Tiege’s bent knee to launch herself at another opponent. They were also more trained and organized.

Their leader was a tall, dark-skinned male named Cain. Zachariah had barely approached Cain and introduced himself before the aggressive male and his followers raised their weapons to fight. It seemed they had already heard of Zachariah’s ascension to elder and had been seeking him out to challenge him. Now, Cain and Zachariah were battling across the forest clearing where the combat had initiated.

Fighting this group was the last thing Tate had wanted, though. She had even asked Zachariah to pass them by. After all, she, Zachariah, Tiege, Ariana, and the Mercesti who had been invited to the wedding were on their way to the protected area surrounding her family’s home. Her mother and aunts were all waiting for them to arrive to begin the celebration.

Her stubborn avowed could not be swayed, however. Tate wasn’t actually that upset about the delay. She was proud of Sparky’s determination to clean up his class and integrate them with the nine other Estilorian classes. But lord, she was tired.

She had lost count of the number of small battles they had waged since Eirik’s defeat. It felt as though they finished one battle, got a few hours of sleep, and headed on to the next. Yes, there were days when they met up with friendly Mercesti and took some time to introduce themselves and get to know them, but those moments hardly made up for the time they were fighting.

We’ll wrap this up soon enough, Beautiful.

Tate heard her avowed’s thought as she spun out of the way of an axe’s downward swing. Her gaze lifted to Zachariah’s across clearing. She realized she had unintentionally broadcasted her thoughts to him.

I know, Sparky, she returned.

If she could keep herself focused, she privately added.


Buy Links

About the Author


Raine Thomas is the award-winning author of bestselling Young Adult and New Adult fiction. Known for character-driven stories that inspire the imagination, Raine recently signed with multiple award-winning producer Chase Chenowith of Back Fence Productions to bring her popular Daughters of Saraqael trilogy to the big screen. She’s a proud indie author who is living the dream. When she isn’t writing or glued to e-mail or social networking sites, Raine can usually be found vacationing with her husband and daughter on one of Florida’s beautiful beaches or crossing the border to visit with her Canadian friends and relatives.
Author Links 


 

UtopYACon2012: the Authors, the Awards, the Awesomeness

For those of you who don’t know, the first annual UtopYA Conference took place from July 6-8th this year in Nashville, TN. The conference was designed to honor the female writers of YA paranormal/fantasy fiction, and included informative panels, book signings and an awards ceremony. I had the pleasure of attending as an author and panel participant.

So, how did it all go?

In a word? Awesome.

Being the first of its kind, the conference was on the small and “personal” side rather than having thousands of attendees. As a result, I got to actually meet many of the authors I’d only interacted with online. Authors like Chelsea Fine, Angeline Kace, Heather Hildebrand, K.C. Neal, Quinn Loftis, Amy Bartol, Amanda Havard, L.M. Preston  and many others. Sitting on a panel beside Myra McEntire just about had me going fan-girl. I also got to spend more time with Tiffany King and C.A. Kunz, awesome authors who live here in the Orlando area. Much love, y’all!

Adding to the awesomeness were the readers, bloggers and PR reps who attended. I loved meeting every one of them! Heather with Supa Gurl Books, KP Simmon with Ink Slinger PR and Delphina from Delphina Reads Too Much are simply amazing individuals. Go meet them. Now.

I also won a couple of awards. In fact, I won the first ever UtopYA Award! It was for Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy Novel (Becoming). I cried during my acceptance speech and was a hot mess for photos afterwards. It was one of the best experiences of my life. Here’s a pic of the award:

I also won an award for best trailer for Defy. The trailer was produced by Matt Landis of Flat-line Films. I made sure to mention Matt and his company several times in my acceptance speech (but I didn’t cry like an infant this time!). Here’s the pic of award #2:

Truly, I can’t say enough about the conference and the people who put it all together. Janet Wallace pioneered and developed the concept for the event, and she had the help of Jamie Anderson (whose book I hope is available soon!), April Robbins, and Susan Burdorf. This team of individuals helped make the conference feel like a family gathering of sorts. I’m sure there will be great things to come for UtopYACon 2013!

If you’d like to buy tickets for next year’s conference, you can do so here for just $30. They’re only selling 100 tickets at that price, so don’t miss out!

The best thing I’ve taken away from this event is a bevy of friendships. The writers and readers who attended generated such warmth and support, and I drove away feeling renewed and energized. Aside from that, I learned a few tips that I’d like to share:

1.  You don’t have to be on every social media site, but be sure you have a strong presence on those sites you do use.

2.  At any event where you might meet readers, PR reps and other authors, always come armed with swag and business cards.

3.  Amanda Havard is an amazing musician and singer. Also, authors should create playlists for their books and use them to creatively market their books.

4.  Blog tours are practically a must when releasing a book, but you don’t only have to do one on launch day. Consider tours for back-lists, too.

5.  I tend to snort when I cry and then try to talk. This is not attractive.

Okay, so that last one wasn’t very helpful to any of you. I’ll probably do a follow-up post that shares more of the tidbits I learned at this conference once I’ve had a chance to process it all. For now, happy reading and writing…I hope to see you at UtopYA 2013!

Teaser Tuesday: SHIFT (Book Two of the Firstborn Trilogy)

In the aftermath of my two-week blog tour for the release of Defy, I’m thrilled to say that I’ve finished the first draft of Shift. It was remarkably challenging trying to write this book while getting Defy ready for publication and then promoting it, but somehow I managed! Next on the agenda will be the first round of edits, followed by an outline for Elder.

All in a day’s work, right?

Oh…one other item of note is that my Estilorian short story, The Prophecy, is now free on Amazon. If you haven’t already read it and would like to do so, you can download it here. If you’ve already read it, thank you so much! I hope that you’ll leave a review on Amazon (for this story and any other books you’ve read, for that matter!). :) It’s the best promotion an author can get. Thanks so much to everyone who has already done so.

For now, I wanted to give my Estilorian fans a little hint of what’s to come in the next Firstborn installment. I hope you enjoy it, and I welcome your comments!

Excerpt from Chapter One of Shift (Book Two of the Firstborn Trilogy)

In the form of the panther, Sophia stalked her target. The forest provided many shaded and grassy nooks, and Domino was an admirable opponent. The three-year-old panther could remain still for hours. His spotted fur also gave him excellent camouflage. Thus, Sophia used her heightened sense of smell to find him.

When she got within springing distance, she lowered into a crouch, her back legs digging into the ground for better purchase. Then she pounced.

Domino sensed her the moment she left the ground. He shifted to accept her weight as she tackled him. Her paws wrapped around his torso. Then she opened her powerful jaw and went for the soft part of his neck.

He quickly flipped their positions, using his greater strength to dump her onto her back. Her feline instincts had her wrenching herself to right her center of gravity. This resulted in them taking a long, tangled tumble down the side of a grassy hill.

At the base of the hill rested several of Domino’s siblings. They watched for only a moment before leaping into the fray.

“Sophia!”

She froze, her ear caught between Domino’s teeth. Rolling her eyes in the direction of her mother’s voice, she tried to ignore the heavy weight of Domino’s haunches where they rested on her right side. The panthers around her also grew still, hearing the maternal censuring tone and paying it heed.

Busted, Sophia thought.

It’s DEFY’s Launch Day!

Happy book birthday to Defy, Book One of the Firstborn trilogy!

While Defy is my fourth book and fifth published work in the Estilorian series, this is the first real “book birthday” celebration I’ve ever had. It’s exciting beyond words!

Nine months ago, the Daughters of Saraqael trilogy was released in its entirety. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I had less than a hundred Twitter followers, about ten Facebook friends, and no other social media platform. My only blog posts related directly to my books because I didn’t know what else to write. In short, I published the books with optimism and hope that somehow readers would discover them.

Knowing what I do now, I cringe over my naivete. Seriously…what was I thinking?? All I can say is that ignorance is bliss. Because I had no real knowledge of the statistics regarding the success and failure rates of indie-pubbed books, I had no huge expectations. As I tend to do, I held the belief that I was taking the right path and that everything would work itself out.

Boy, am I glad that it did!

Once I learned more about how book sales and marketing works, I buckled down and did what I could to expand my social media presence. My Twitter following is now more than 5,000 and I’m nearing 400 Facebook friends. I’ve joined three truly awesome writing tribes on Triberr (much love to the RAWR Kitties, Writer Warriors, and Power Writers!).  My Pinterest and Google+ accounts are growing, as well. And in the end, I surpassed my goal of 10,000 book sales by the end of last year, which made for a very happy new year.

Today, I’m delighted to usher in the next Estilorian trilogy, anticipated for months by my fans. Helping me welcome Tate and Zachariah to the “family” are a number of amazing book bloggers. Some bloggers joined on through the amazing blog tour coordinators, YA Bound, and some are bloggers I contacted directly. Across the board, each of them earns my most heartfelt thanks:

A Book-a-licious Story (4/30), A Diary of a Book Addict (4/30), A Pocket Full of Books (5/1), Always YA at Heart (5/9), Artsy Musings of a Bibliophile (5/6), Beesley Buzz (4/30), Behind a Million and One Pages (5/2), Bethany Lopez (5/10), Book Briefs (5/12), Bookmarks & Bookshelves (4/30), Bundle of Books 101 (5/5), Chapter by Chapter (5/9), Dream Reads (4/30), Ed and Em Reviews (5/4), Epilogue Review (5/3), Every Free Chance Book Reviews (5/3), Hey It’s Fishy (4/30), I Heart YA Books (5/5), Indie Writers Review (5/12), Jess’s Book Blog (5/7), Jessy’s Bookends (5/11), JJ iReads (5/12), Journey with Books (5/4), Kate’s Tales of Books and Bands (5/2), Love of Books 409 (4/30), Lover of Paranormal and Indies (5/8), Magnet 4 Books (5/10), Making the Grade (5/10), Margay Leah Justice (4/30), Melody with Words (4/30), Mr. Book Wonder (5/12), Open Book Society (5/3), Proserpine Craving Books (5/12), Rachel’s Book Reviews (5/3), Rai29 Book Read and Review (5/8), Read Between the Lines Book Club (5/10), Reading in Winter (5/11), Sarah’s Books and Life (5/1), Shadow Kisses Book Reviews (5/5), Storybook Escape (5/1), The Bibliophile’s Corner (4/30), The Book Galaxy (5/4), The Book Goddess (5/7), The Book Hookup (5/2), The Reader’s Antidote (5/11), Twimom101 Book Blog (5/8), Unreality (5/1), Winter Haven Books (5/4), YA-Aholic (5/4), and Zoey’s Uncreatively Titled Blog (5/8).

Running from April 30th through May 12th, the Defy blog tour will be filled with insights about the book and fantastic giveaways, including copies of the book, some Estilorian swag, and this gorgeous hair decoration created by Devan Edwards of Nimbi Design, inspired by Defy‘s heroine, Tate:

Please check out the above tour stops and enter for your chance to win. Once again, huge thanks to all of my Estilorian fans…you are awesome!!!

I’ll leave you with the pertinent details: Defy is now available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords, and will be coming soon to other eBookstores everywhere. I hope you’ll check it out!

Don’t Miss the DEFY Trailer and a Chance for Great Swag!

Ahh, swag. Just the word has my imagination leaping! Bringing to mind strapping, swashbuckling pirates stowing their ill-gotten loot in mysterious lairs, swag was simply a must-have once I became a published author.

Of course, swag costs money. Most authors just starting out don’t have hundreds (or more) dollars to dole out on promotional items, and I was no exception. Fortunately, with a few book sales now under my sword-bearing belt (okay, not really–but it could be), I can now present some lovely swag to my Estilorian fans!

With Defy‘s release just days away, I wanted to do something to capture the interest of my existing fans, and hopefully entice a few new ones. What I’d like to do is offer a giveaway. This giveaway will include some swag, some of which includes the following items:

(Did you notice the “I Want My Own Gloresti” buttons)?? I’ve also got some super-cool magnets. The other part of the giveaway is the winner’s choice of a signed paperback of Becoming or the entire Daughters of Saraqael trilogy in eBook format. If you already happen to have the entire trilogy in eBook format AND a signed copy of Becoming, I’ll offer you a signed copy of Defy instead. Read on to find out how to enter!

Starting this Monday, April 30th (Defy‘s release date) and running until May 12th, there’s going to be a big Defy blog tour hosted by YA Bound that will involve lots of other great prizes and giveaways. Tune back into my blog on Monday for more details on that.

If you haven’t already seen the amazing Defy book trailer created by FLATLINE FILMS, I hope you’ll check it out now:

Isn’t it awesome? And now…how to enter the swag-and-free-book giveaway! The only thing you have to do to qualify is comment on this blog post with the reason you want to win. Do you love the Estilorians? What do you love about them? Have you never read my books but find yourself interested in doing so? What captured your interest?

For extra entries in the giveaway, you can review Becoming, Central and/or Foretold on Amazon and/or Barnes and Noble (assuming you’ve read them, of course) and let me know that you did so. Each (hopefully positive!) review will count as a separate entry in the giveaway. I’ll select the winner on Monday the 30th.

Thanks so much to everyone for the unbelievable support! I’m so excited about Defy‘s launch, and I can’t tell my fans often enough how much your encouragement means to me. Good luck to everyone who enters!

Turn Your Speakers Up: the FORETOLD #Trailer is Here!

The usefulness of book trailers for promotional purposes is a subject of great debate in the writing community. Personally, I’m of the mindset that as long as they’re done at least marginally well, they certainly don’t hurt!

My book trailers were created by a friend of mine, Erin, who dabbles in video and has a remarkably creative mind. Especially considering the price (read: free), she’s done such a spectacular job! Truly, so much better than anything I could have done. I’ll be forever grateful to her for her time and effort.

Adding to the success of the trailers is the custom music done by Erin’s brother, Austin, owner of NME Studios. Every time I see a trailer for the first time and I hear the music he created, it gives me goosebumps. He’s a cinematic genius!

In particular, Erin and Austin outdid themselves on the trailer for Foretold: Book Three of the Daughters of Saraqael Trilogy. I was so excited when they were able to get the trailer done before Defy releases! Although Defy was written with the intent that new readers could pick up the story and read it without having read the Daughters of Saraqael trilogy first, I think that reading the stories in order does add to the experience.

If you haven’t yet read the first trilogy, here is the blurb about Foretold to pique your interest:

Centuries before she was born, Skye Tomaganuk was a subject of the most important prophecy in Estilorian history. As one of three half-human daughters born of the Corgloresti, Saraqael, she is part of the fulfillment of Knorbis’ Great Foretelling. What she doesn’t know is just what the Foretelling entails for her and her sisters.

As Skye and her sisters continue their training and visit each of the Estilorian class homelands, they soon learn how much impact their human emotions have on their father’s kind. Skye is particularly interested in the effect of emotions on her Gloresti, Caleb. Although she wants their relationship to progress beyond just that of protector and assignment, he proves particularly resistant to the idea.

She’ll soon have much more to worry about than a lack of romance, however. With the help of a traitor, Grolkinei infiltrates the Estilorian stronghold, imprisoning Skye’s mind and putting all Estilorians at risk. It leads them all toward the greatest battle of their kind, and puts Skye’s faith to the ultimate test.

If you haven’t yet read Becoming, Central and Foretold, perhaps watching this amazing trailer will convince you. Be sure to turn your speakers up…and please let me know what you think!

Defying the Odds: One #Indie Author’s Perspective

Today I’d like to share with you the dedication from my upcoming book, Defy. For those of you who don’t know, Defy was a book that just about made me give up writing.  It seems silly to say that now, but there you have it.

I’ve never revised a book as much as I did this one, and I spend a lot of time editing my books. At one point, I chopped 20,000 words and rewrote them. Then I chopped and rewrote some more. It felt like every time I was “done,” yet another change had to be made. My husband eventually took pity on me and shipped me off to a local hotel for a long weekend just so I could sit in peace and revise.

And still, I wasn’t done.

But whenever my frustration took hold and I wanted to throw the proverbial pen across the room, I’d receive some kind of positive feedback…a great review of one of my books, an unbelievably appreciated shoutout by a fellow author to an interested literary agent, or (most especially) contact from a new fan. It was messages like the one saying, “Thank you so much for your hard work and talent, and for putting forth such an intelligent story and beautiful imagery!” that got me through the rough spots.

Someone I don’t even know thanked me for all of my pain and suffering? How could I not go on?

What I’ve also learned in the process of finishing Defy is that I’m not alone. Many authors feel this way at some point. I’m contacted periodically by writers who express frustration, depression, feelings of inferiority, and/or the sentiment that they don’t feel like continuing on with their writing. And the advice I give them is the same advice I followed: never, ever give up.

Before I share the Defy dedication, I’ll offer a few tips for writers that I’ve recently picked up in hopes they’ll help someone out there. If you missed my first post featuring tips for writers, you can check it out here. As for my latest tips:

1. Don’t give up. Okay, I just said that…but it can’t be said enough!

2. Socialize like you’ve never socialized before. On a surprising number of occasions, I’ve observed other writers saying things like, “Pinterest is just a passing fad,” “I’m not going to waste time beefing up my Facebook presence,” or “I don’t get Twitter, so I just use it occasionally.” Um…seriously? I won’t even touch the Facebook and Twitter comments because, quite frankly, if you don’t see the value in those hundreds of millions of followers by now, I probably won’t be able to reason with you.

But, people–have we learned nothing from the past? There was a time when Facebook and Twitter were thought to be “passing fads.” There’s a quote by Steve Jobs (you might’ve heard of him) that says, “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” Pinterest is the most visual site there is. On top of that, it can link to your Facebook and Twitter feeds. Get on there and start pinning your books, your blogs, pictures that resemble your characters, images that inspire your settings, amazing wardrobe photos, and anything else that you think might draw interested readers into your world. This is the hottest social media site out there right now. Don’t miss out because you think it has no bearing on the writing world!

And, yes…I’ve made book sales via Pinterest.

3. Support other writers. I believe in the power of karma. There has been some negativity in different segments of the writing community, and a lot of it stems from whether or not an author is traditionally published. In my mind, we should look beyond that. We should acknowledge that we’re all working exceedingly hard at our craft. We should support each other. We should read each other’s books, tweet about them, like them, pin them, blog about them and refer them to all of our friends and relatives. This is a hard enough industry to succeed in without having unnecessary obstacles caused by narrow viewpoints.

If you work hard on your writing, keep your mind open to creative ways to sell and market your books, and never stop developing your social media platform, you can defy the odds and have a successful writing career. Believe it.

And with that, I leave you with the dedication to Defy, which releases on April 30th. I hope you all enjoy Tate and Zachariah’s story as much as I enjoyed completing it!

This book is dedicated with sincerest gratitude to all indie authors and everyone who supports us.

It never ceases to amaze me what an inspiring and supportive community this is. Here’s to defying the odds, pursuing our dreams and reaching for the stars!

Cover Reveal: #Defy (Firstborn Trilogy Book One)

I’ve never considered myself challenged when it comes to keeping surprises, but having to wait over a month before releasing the cover of Defy has definitely tested my willpower! It has helped to have the involvement of wonderful book bloggers and fellow writers participating in the release. They’ve all seen the cover and gushed appropriately, which has curbed my desire to share it with the world…a little.

I’d love to give a huge thank you to Trisha Wolfe over at YA Bound for helping me with not only the cover reveal tour, but the upcoming book launch tour for Defy (4/30-5/12).  And another round of thanks goes out to all of these wonderful cover reveal participants. Thank you for helping me generate all the Defy fanfare we can muster!

A Book-a-licious Story, A Diary of a Book Addict, A Pocket Full of Books, Always YA at Heart, Artsy Musings of a Bibliophile, Behind a Million and One Pages, Bethany Lopez, Book Briefs, Bookmarks & Bookshelves, BookSpark, Bundle of Books 101, Chapter by Chapter, Dream Reads, Ed and Em Reviews, Epilogue Review, Every Free Chance Book Reviews, Fiktshun, Hackaroos Reviews, Hey It’s Fishy, I Heart YA Books, Ivy Reads, Jess’s Book Blog, Jessy’s Bookends, JJ iReads, Journey with Books, Kate’s Tales of Books and Bands, Love of Books 409, Lover of Paranormal and Indies, Making the Grade, Melody with Words, Mr. Book Wonder, Open Book Society, Paranormal Book Fan, Proserpine Craving Books, Rai29 Book Read and Review, Sarah’s Books and Life, Shadow Kisses Book Reviews, Storybook Escape, Stuck in Books, The Bibliophile’s Corner, The Book Galaxy, The Book Hookup, The Reader’s Antidote, Twimom101 Book Blog, Unreality, We Fancy Books, Winter Haven Books, Writing on the Sunny Side of the Street, YA-Aholic, and Zoey’s Uncreatively Titled Blog.

And now the big day is here! What better way to honor the cover reveal of Defy than with an interview with my remarkably talented cover designer, Devan Edwards of Nimbi Design? Here are more juicy details about this person you absolutely have to get to know:

Bio: I’m Devan Edwards. I started up Nimbi Design a few years ago, as a way to have a fun creative outlet for all the different things I enjoy. Nimbi is plural for Nimbus Cloud. The name felt appropriate for living in the NW, where it rains about 7-8 months out of the year–plus, clouds are so cute. I graduated from PNCA in Portland, OR in 2008, and have worked as a Graphic Designer for Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL, and am currently a UX/UI Designer for eBay Mobile in Portland.

Nimbi is a fun way for me to be more “crafty” and less technical with the skills I’ve learned through the years, and a way for me to explore other creative outlets using my hands and tools and not just a computer. I do an array of different things and sell them on my online Etsy shop. I make custom letterpress stationery, invitations (digital and layered), glass and metal jewelry, feather and flower hairpieces, greeting cards, needle felt, plushies and more. I do some sewing and just love to mess around with different things that I have in my “Tiffany” colored craft room. My latest and busiest freelance work has become book cover design. I have to say, I absolutely love it and am so grateful for falling upon it!

Now tell us something about you that your bio doesn’t include. Feel free to make us laugh!

I love the outdoors and fly-fishing. It’s my happy place, being on the river with my fly rod, something I’ve done since I was little. Other than that, I am completely obsessed with my Boston Terrier, Mac. I named him after two things I’m obsessed with: Apple and Mac makeup. I thought it might be a good idea to get a girl French Bulldog one day too, to be his friend. I discussed names with my Mom, and thought Tosh would be funny, so that I had Mac ‘n Tosh. (Get it?). Then my mom suggested I name her Fromage. Which is French for “Cheese.” My mom is witty. :)

How did you get into book cover design?

A friend of mine that worked with me at Walt Disney World contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in taking on a freelance job designing a book cover for an author. I said “Yes!” Met Raine, and created her first trilogy, The Daughters of Saraqael. I enjoyed it so much, and felt like the design just came together like clockwork. From that and Raine’s fabulous networking skills and my blog, I quickly started getting contacted by other authors wanting to get me to do their next books. Since the first trilogy, I’ve finished eight book covers, and have five currently in progress with talk of more in the next couple of months.

Tell us about some of the challenges you face in designing book covers. What can your clients do to make it a little easier on you?

The hardest part is that typically my only interaction with the author is via e-mail. Most of my clients are in another city or state. I think the fact that I’m able to produce what they want says a lot about my communication, but sometimes it gets difficult to really know what someone is wanting or envisioning when they aren’t there to physically describe something to you. I enjoy working with authors on Skype, sending them files through Skype while I’m working, and being in constant communication. It’s also hard if someone doesn’t realize that book design isn’t my first and only job (hasn’t been too much of a problem yet, thankfully). I work full time 40+ hours a week, and am running my own business at home that also requires my time, not to mention my furbabies and family time. I think as long as authors give me plenty of time to work with them, and don’t expect a cover in just a couple weeks, they’ll be happy and I’ll be stress free. I really enjoy doing this work, and it’s extremely gratifying to me to give an author their vision as an image, and something they and I can both be proud to share.

Which has been your favorite book cover to design and why?

All of them (obviously). I think they all have had unique things brought to the table that challenged me in one way or another. The trickiest and most gratifying so far probably has to be Defy. That hair and model were tricky to work with, and I honestly didn’t know how I was going to pull off the look of her hair, and then…it just worked, and it was pretty awesome! I really enjoy doing scenery too, and I really enjoyed designing the cover for Blood Oath by T.L. Clarke. Creating the mist and having all the details of the girl and the background were really fun to create.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received regarding your cover design work?

I love seeing the feedback on sites like Amazon, or reading tweets to authors tagging me. One of the best compliments I had was when someone commented on Raine’s first book, Becoming, and said that the cover is what drew her in, to want to look into the book and read, then once they read they were hooked. That let me know that I did my job for Raine. I was able to draw someone in by first glance, to make her think “Ooh what’s this?”, letting Raine’s words take it from there. I also absolutely love the “Eeek!” and “OH MY GOODNESS!” and “This is PERFECT!” that I get from my authors…it makes me happy that they are so happy.

Some authors design their own book covers for monetary reasons.  Can you offer them a word of advice to help them achieve the best cover possible outside of hiring a (totally amazing) professional like you?

Keep it simple. The worst thing you can do is use too much imagery on a cover, especially if you aren’t as savvy with programs like Photoshop to manipulate images in a good, crisp way. So, doing things like finding a great photo on a website like iStockphoto.com or something similar can make a huge difference. Also, pay attention to colors and lighting. Reference other books you like and take cues from them. Sometimes black and white imagery can instantly create drama, where a lot of bright colors can show fun and adventure.

Where can we stalk find you?

I am everywhere. On Twitter you can find me @devanescence, Facebook at Nimbi Design, and my blog, which has links to a lot of what I do, including book covers. I try to keep it fun and interesting! I’d also love more followers and comments on my blog/posts, to make it a bigger and more interactive blog. You can also shop on my Etsy shop. I have all kinds of fun things on there and LOVE taking on custom orders. There isn’t a whole lot I can’t try to create and work with, so always feel free to contact me or message me for advice or questions, etc.

Thanks so much, Devan! You know how much I <3 you, gal. You’ve made the self-publishing journey wonderfully fun!

And now, I’d love to present the cover that proved to be such a challenge for my brilliant cover designer…Defy!

Seventeen-year-old Tate is about to make her parents’ dreams come true. Unfortunately for her, their dreams foretell her death.

Eager to explore more of the Estilorian plane and prove her abilities, Tate goes against her parents’ wishes and leaves the area of protection surrounding her home. Her choice puts her on a deadly path…one that leaves her alone, severely injured and battling for her life.

Her possible savior arrives in the form of Zachariah, a male who has removed himself from Estilorian society for more than fifty years. Fighting an unexpected connection to Tate, he must decide whether saving her life is worth destroying his.

As Tate struggles to find a way home, she ends up drawn into a dark Mercesti plot involving multiple murders and a powerful ancient artifact. With the unpredictable Zachariah as her only source for aid, she’ll soon find out if her abilities are strong enough to help her defy her Fate.

Don’t forget to add Defy to your Goodreads To-Read list!