Progress Report, Covers, and Complaints

June 3rd, 2016

Progress Report!

I’m doing a paper read-through of Surrender to Ruin, which is going about as expected. It’s a little unusual that I’m at 82K words without a final chapter and with all but chapter 1 to read and revise. That’s because, per usual, I have heavily revised chapter 1 three times and then got all the way to chapter three when I realized I needed a whole new chapter before the then current chapter 3, which I then wrote and then I started over and revised chapter 1 twice more and now I’m moving on to chapter 2… Which is more or less how it usually goes with the paper revisions.

At this rate, I’ll end up at well over 100K, but I expect to find chapters that require deletion. I’m almost ready to post a first chapter to read, so look for that!

For those who care, I am currently revising my paper version with a Kaweco Sport fine point fountain pen with “lilac summer” ink. It’s very pretty! The Kaweco Sport fountain pen is a great pen. I enjoy writing revising with it.

Covers

As my blog readers know, I have the final cover for Surrender to Ruin which I love love love. I asked my cover artist to match the look and feel of Lord Ruin, which is why I went with a custom shoot for the image. There was nothing out there that was perfect and I didn’t want to compromise. Then I realized that A Notorious Ruin, which is Book 2 in the series, was going to look very out of place. I didn’t even bother looking for stock images. If there was anything out there that would work, I’d have used it for Surrender to Ruin. And so….

I did A/B testing for the  cover. In the first round, my preferred image (Looking Straight Ahead pose) lost by a statistically significant amount — though not overwhelmingly. So then I A/B tested Sideways Pose with the green background and the purple background, and that was more or less a tie. There was an insignificant edge for purple. On social media, the green vs. purple choice had a slight edge for green.

!

I SO SO appreciate everyone who weighed in. By the way, purple was my favorite. As was the Straight Ahead pose. But I could see why the sideways pose had the edge.

Now what!? Well, I put the three covers up in order across my 27″ monitor screen and swapped between purple and green for Book 2. I asked my sister to look. My preference was for the green, and so was hers and so … the green background it is. It goes better with Books 1 and 3. When it’s final, I’ll post all three so you can see for yourselves.

Complaint Department

Is anyone else having trouble finding books to read at Amazon? I used to be able to browse and find books and authors I wanted to read or try out. And now? It’s awful. Apparently, there are only 5 books they intend to show me, and if I don’t want any of those, too bad. The books they show me aren’t even remotely close to something I think I’d enjoy.

My last 10 book purchases were all at iBooks.

How about you?

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Which Cover Do you Prefer? Poll!

June 2nd, 2016

I am redoing the cover for A Notorious Ruin because it needs to fit with the style of Book 1 (Lord Ruin) and Book 2 (Surrender to Ruin) and it currently does not. I would LOVE to know which you prefer.

Image quality is not final. Neither is background color.

Which Cover Pose do you Prefer?

View Results

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Regency man sitting on a chair a little sideways leaning slightly to one side, looking like he's thinking damn you're hot.

Sideways Pose

 

A Regency Man sitting on a chair looking straight forward like he's thinking you're not naked enough.

Straight on Pose

 

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And Then THIS Happened

May 28th, 2016

Some of you may have seen my post about gaming hells over at the Risky Regencies or seen me tweeting about some of the research. One of the things I came across was a reference to maggot racing and how to cheat at it, and Meljean Brook and I had a hilarious twitter exchange about the story I said I was going to write: Miss Fiona Harper’s Night of Passion, in which Miss Fiona Harper’s brother accidentally kills his racing maggot and loses his sister to the notorious Lord Hawke.

I’m totally going to write that story as soon as I finish Surrender to Ruin. And so…

An embracing couple in Regency clothing. Tots romantic

The Cover

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Cover for Surrender to Ruin

May 26th, 2016
An unbelievably hot Regency man sitting on the arm of a chaise looking very smug

Cover, Photography by Jenn LeBlanc. Cover Design by Damonza

I really love this cover. So so much. I knew Mickael would be the perfect model and he is!

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A Seduction in Winter is a National Reader’s Choice Finalist!

May 21st, 2016

My historical romance novella A Seduction in Winter is a finalist in the 2015 NCRA (National Reader’s Choice Award):

2015 NRCA Finalists

Pretty Regency Lady against a dark blue wintery background

A Seduction in Winter – 2015 NCRA Finalist!

That’s pretty exciting. Congratulations to all the finalists!

Do you have your copy?

Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | Nook | Google Play | All Romance

 

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Shoot!

May 12th, 2016

After looking around and not finding the right images for the cover of Surrender To Ruin, I decided to go the custom route, using photographer Jenn LeBlanc. I knew the kind of image I wanted and which model I thought would be perfect. A couple of hours after I contacted her everything was set up with the model I hoped to use.

The photo shoot was today. Here’s three  of my favorites of the during-the-shoot pictures of the pictures of the pictures… These are pictures of the digital camera viewer. I can assure you the photos uploaded are crystal clear. All images by Jenn LeBlanc.

A Regency era gentleman looking very raking indeed. Smokin' hot.

Liking the look! credit: Jenn LeBlanc

 

Regency gentleman leaning against a chaise, looking smokin' hot and rakish

Rake? credit: Jenn LeBlanc

 

Regency era gentleman perched on edge of chaise. Super hot.

Yes. Please. credit: Jenn LeBlanc

 

I’ve narrowed the pictures down to several choices and am mulling them over ….  Covers matter a lot, and I knew I wanted a cover that was both eye-catching and conveyed the character in the book, and I wasn’t finding what I wanted among the stock art.

So many of the images are so good it’s going to be hard to decide. Which is a better place to be than wondering which image I’ll settle for.

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Here. Pretty Flowers

May 1st, 2016

While I’m working on finishing up a completed first draft of Surrender to Ruin, Sinclair Sisters Series Book 3, here are some flower pictures I took.

picture of jasmine. If there were smells this would smell awesome

Jasmine

Yellow Freesia close up. Also would smell great if there were smellorama.

Yellow Freesia

A closed new pink tulip with bits of orange.

Pink tulip

Pink Pearl Apple Blossom from the side. It's pink and very delicate.

Pink Pearl Apple Blossom

This is a purple flower, possibly clematis only mostly i have no idea. Kind of Passion Vine ish. It's light purple.

Clematis thingee? I don’t know. Flower names are not my job.

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Books From Yours Truly

April 23rd, 2016

It’s been mad busy here at Jewel HQ and it occurred to me that I have neglected to mention books that are available to buy or pre-order. I have more coming your way so stay tuned for more exciting news.

A Seduction in Winter – On Sale Now

A Seduction in Winter, my novella from Christmas in Duke Street, is available as a standalone purchase.

Pretty Regency Lady against a dark blue wintery background

A Seduction in Winter – Pretty!

 

Amazon | iBooks | Nook | Kobo | Google Play | All Romance| Print

He’s an artist and a duke’s heir. She’s sheltered and scarred. Can he show her by Christmas that love can be theirs to share?

As the holidays approach, Lieutenant Leoline Marrable, now Lord Wrathell, travels to London where he’s expected to fulfill longstanding expectations and propose to his former commander’s daughter. Wrathell longs to ease the strained relationship with his ducal father. The key may be an unfinished portrait of his late brother.

Honora Baynard has a terrible facial scar as a result of a childhood injury. She has never forgotten Leoline, who came to her defense when other children tormented her. Now, her over-protective artist father keeps her indoors, creating the beautiful detail work that makes his paintings so sought after.

As Wrathell and Honora spend more time together, mutual interest becomes mutual attraction. Can Wrathell convince Honora that for Christmas, he’d like to give her not only passion and pleasure, but his heart to keep for her own?

If you like sensual romance, complex characters, and witty dialogue, you’ll love Carolyn Jewel’s latest refreshing Regency tale.

Buy A Seduction in Winter to experience the passion today!

My Immortals Series Box Set

I’ve put together a box set of four of the books from the My Immortals Series. It’s on pre-order now and will release May 10, 2016. The pre-order price increases May 17th, so a pre-order locks in the lower price of $7.99 US.

The first three remain with my traditional publisher so I’m unable to include them. But with this box set you’ll get four books in the series: Free Fall (a novella), My Dangerous Pleasure (a novel), My Darkest Passion (a novel), and Dead Drop (a shorter-ish novel).

I’m not able to get a pre-order at Nook, alas. In addition, I have no plans for a print version. The cost would be prohibitive since the total word count would be well over 250,000 words which would push 1000 pages.

 

Box set cover with hot shirtless demon and the covers of the 4 included books

More Demons! Who Doesn’t Want More Demons?

 

Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play | All Romance

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Miscellaneous Updates

April 14th, 2016

I guess first I’ll mention that Emily and Devon’s story is going well. Last year’s decision to rent offsite office space has made a huge difference in my ability to get words written. There is nothing I can do about the situation that made this necessary, but now I’m able to meet word count and stay on track.

Another bit of news is that despite my poor production in 2015 (see paragraph above) my writing income was up significantly. This was about 50% due to the anthologies I was in.  They did very well.

At the end of last year and through now, I was concentrating on covers for the individual novellas from the anthologies, the covers for My Demon Warlord, covers for three special projects, managing the coding work for a data-management project, and getting ready to outsource all my formatting.

Yes, I can do the formatting myself. I absolutely have the technical skills, but I need to concentrate of maximizing my writing time, and that was one of the things that I decided needed to be outsourced. I’m in the process of sending all my books to be reformatted so they’re all the same visually. Several are done and ready to upload.

Why yes, I DID say there are three special projects that needed covers. I guess stay tuned!

 

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I Survived the Ides of March

March 27th, 2016

Life has been busy here at Jewel Central. I attended the RWA board meeting this month. We got a lot of important work done plus I got to spend time with some really smart women and men. The RWA staff is just amazing. The Board meeting was the weekend of the time change, so Sunday was super fun, getting up extra early. I don’t know what I’d do without espresso in my veins.

Then I came home from that and was tired the entire following week.

On Saturday the 19th, I was on a panel on behalf of the EFF with some of the authors from the anthology the EFF put together.

side shot of Dave Maas of EFF at a podium

Dave Maas of EFF getting ready for the panel

name tags at the EFF panelist table. Carolyn Jewel, Annalise Newitz names are readable. EFF banner too.

Yes! I was there! Next to Annalise Newitz omg

My adventure with arriving at the location of the panel at the Internet Archive in San Francisco began with me locking my keys in the car while I was getting gas. Fortunately, the gas station owner let me use his phone, and CSAA came really really fast and got my car unlocked. This used up all my time allotted for being lost so I was worried I’d be late. But I DID NOT GET LOST! It was a miracle. (No worries! I took two wrong turns on the way back.)

The panel was really fun and interesting. What a great group of authors. I got to shake Cory Doctorow’s hand and he was so, so gracious. As were all the panelists. They were so fabulous that I was just hoping to hold my own as we answered questions etc.

There was Romance in their midsts and everyone was fine with it, which as Romance authors and readers know, is often not the case in the mainstream. We talked about speculative fiction and civil liberties, and answered questions from the audience and everything everyone said was fascinating and thought provoking.

I did feel I had to apologize for my boring hair. I’ve decided to go purple-tinted platinum and in preparation for that, my hair was not dark purple, but a dark, dark, brown because that will be easier to bleach than the purple. So much colorful hair among the attendees!

By Sunday I was sick but needed to pick up my son who was home for Spring Break. Naturally, traffic was terrible and I got lost. Again.

I was sick most of the following week but it was great having my son home. Friday was a holiday from the EDJ. I got to make calls to the RITA/Golden Heart finalists which is pretty much the best thing ever.

My son went back to school today. I did get a little behind on my word count for Sinclair Sisters Book 3 because I was sick, but I’m coming up on the halfway point which is pretty exciting.

In writing-related news, I’m having all my books reformatted because I need not to spend time doing things that aren’t writing books. Ironically, this requires some work that is not writing, but as soon as everything is ready for Formatting Version 2.0, I’ll spend much less time obsessing over it.

And this means I can hint about some upcoming Exciting Things for Readers that are dependent on certain books being reformatted first. All that work went out Saturday and it’s in progress.

And so, March has been very busy, including writing.

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