Tag Archives: horror

Cover Reveal and Review – The Devil’s Third

This is the third and final book cover for Rebekkah Ford’s Beyond the Eyes trilogy, as well as a few of the promo pieces I put together for it. You can see the wrap-around cover here: http://sbibb.deviantart.com/art/The-Devil-s-Third-Book-Cover-423981244?q=gallery%3ASBibb&qo=0

SBibb - The Devil's Third - Book Cover

Facebook Banner:

SBibb - Devil's Third Promo

Bookmarks:

SBibb - Devil's Third Promo SBibb - Devil's Third Promo

A bit about the cover: All images are my own, and I used the camera’s timer to get a few shots of me posing for the main character. We had a couple different ideas to work from, and when the first didn’t work out, it turned out handy that I’d done a few standing poses as well. Side note for photography– it can help to take multiple angles and poses in case one doesn’t have the desired effect. Photoshop CS6 to blend everything and photomanipulate the hand reaching out from the text.

(See the the previous covers for the series: https://sbibb.wordpress.com/2013/03/05/dark-spirits-cover-reveal/ and http://sbibb.deviantart.com/art/Beyond-the-Eyes-Wrap-Around-309769699 )

And now for the review. 😀

Disclaimer: Paranormal romance isn’t my preferred genre, and therefore, my opinions may be skewed compared to that of someone who regularly enjoys paranormal romance.

Overall, an enjoyable read. The characters have a realness about them that I enjoyed, and the description of setting was wonderful. (Seriously, I read one passage that made me think I could smell a rainy autumn day. Descriptions that really engage the senses like that make me a happy camper).

My favorite part of the story was where Paige goes into Carrie’s memories (so-to-speak, trying not to give away spoilers). The visuals were awesome, the pace really picked up (the beginning was just a bit slow, but served well to remind me what happened in the previous book), and the plot revealed a few nice tid-bits of information about the dark spirits.

I also enjoyed the magic system and finding out more about their world and <spoiler>the different doorways Paige can open. I actually would have been interested in seeing more of the different dimensions</spoiler> but we also got to see other new abilities, as well, which I enjoyed reading about.

That being said, there were a few downsides for me. A minor thing, but I did notice more typos in this story than in the previous ones. Also, there were several times I felt like something convenient happened or wasn’t fully explained. In all fairness, I was reading this in ten minute intervals while on break at work, so my attention wasn’t completely focused. Might have been different if I’d been able to read it in longer intervals.

I didn’t really get into the romance between Nathan and Paige, but then, I don’t typically read stories for the romance. And Brayden… I still kind of want to strangle him. I did, however, like seeing more of Ameerah’s character, and I also liked seeing the new characters, like Pip.

For me, I think my favorite book out of this trilogy was actually Dark Spirits. I really liked the interactions between Bael and Paige in that story, but I liked seeing Paige’s new powers in this one. Overall, though, I think this was a good series that paranormal romance readers are likely to enjoy. 🙂

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The Blind Vampire Hunter – Cover Reveal

Another cover for Melange Books. For this one, I got to have a bit of fun with piece-parting images together (we wanted a very specific kind of cane with the older man, and part of it I digitally illustrated), as well as manipulating expression. (If you look at the original image for the vampire, she has a slightly different expression. Eyes, eyebrows, and mouth changed position slightly to get the effect I was wanting for the cover. Goes to show that the liquefy and puppet warp tools can both be extremely helpful when you’re trying to achieve a specific mood. Also helpful when you have a stock image that is almost what you want, but not quite right. 🙂

 

SBibb - The Blind Vampire Hunter - Book Cover

Photoshop CS6

Stock from Dreamstime:

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-fashion-hard-rock-girl-black-cloak-image29546626

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-grandfather-blowhole-boss-man-thinks-portrait-cane-image31520111
http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-family-home-night-image19659116
http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-thoughtful-older-man-image24460795

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Wolfman Owner’s Manual – Book Cover Reveal

Today we have a cover a bit different from the romance covers I’ve been doing. Today we have a cover for the horror genre from Melange Books. 🙂

SBibb - Wolfman Owner's Manual Book Cover

 

Let me tell ya, this was fun to do. One, because it involved the anthropomorphic art I enjoy (yay, werewolf!), and two, because it involved a lot of the photographic manipulation I also enjoy doing. Take a look at the original stock images from Dreamstime:

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-timber-wolf-growling-iii-image8983996
http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-shirtless-young-athletic-man-growling-outdoors-park-beijing-image31106656
http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-young-woman-screaming-image10656977

In order to create the wolf (which, while working with the author, I realized needed to be more werewolf-like and less anthro wolf), I used a human base to get the pose and body structure. Then, using the wolf image, I cut and pasted sections of fur across the body, paying attention to the direction of the fur. I varied the opacity in areas on the face and chest in order to show just a bit more of the body structure underneath. I also cut and pasted section of the wolf’s face along the man’s face so it fit better. Then the puppet warp tool, the perspective and skew tools, and the smudge tool, became very good friends.  They helped to get the wolf-man look I was aiming for. I added in the girl, gave the wolf-man an arm, and played with lighting (opacity layer) to make everything fit together, then finally added the text. The background I did in the early stages.

Of course, one of the factors that gets to come into play with creating an image with a lot of variation due to the puppet warp tool is that the final image doesn’t look quite like the proof image. A section of fur isn’t laid the same, the mouth doesn’t angle quite right. When that happens, I try making the image stronger than it was before, using what I learned in the initial set-up to make the final look more complete. In this case, something wasn’t quite right. The wolf didn’t look as imposing as before. So I made a copy of the image as a whole on a new layer (Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E) and used the perspective tool to make the wolf just a bit bigger, a bit closer, and the girl a bit smaller. The change was subtle, but did a lot to help. 🙂

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Building A Better Monster – Cover Reveal

Today I get to reveal the cover for Building A Better Monster, by Christopher Treagus. 😀 The book is anthology of stories, published by Barking Rain Press.

SBibb - BABM Cover

You can find the book here:

http://www.barkingrainpress.org/products/building-a-better-monster/

To put the cover together, I used multiple photographs I’d taken earlier of various animals, then put them together based on the different descriptions I’d found of a chupacabra. The publisher wanted a gridwork frame behind it, based around the concept of “building” the monster, and I want to thank my husband Isaac for giving me an idea of how to do it. Anyways, this is the cover that I completed. 🙂

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Distant Horizon – When Photomanipulation meets Sketchwork

SBibb - Distant Horizon - Bad Memories

Another Distant Horizon based picture. It’s been a while since I’ve done any sort of coloring of sketched art. So, to explain this, I started out by sketching the image with a pencil, then went and did a basic lining of that with a pen. Afterwards, I did some shading work with the pen, then erased the extraneous pencil marks. Once that was done, I photographed the image flat with a flash on my camera and pulled it into photoshop. Did the threshold adjustment to convert it to black and white.

Then I started layering and using clipping modes combined with blending modes and masking to apply textures and coloration. The textures were mostly pulled from pictures I took on a walk downtown earlier in the day. Once that was complete, added the sections around the tank, and blurred the edge a little to give it that dreamlike quality.

Overall I’m pretty happy with this. Granted, it’s not the best, by any means, but since I was experimenting with the technique, I’m not going to complain. And I’m thrilled with how the hand came out. I think it actually looks semi-realistic and pressed to the glass. Yay!

So… now that you know how it’s made, a quick explanation of the picture itself. It’s a scene… rather a couple scenes, in which the main character of my novel I’m working on is caught in a telepathic attack. And she’s imagining she’s in a beastie tank… which turns people into monsters. Long story short. But that memory attack plays back into the story more than once, so I wanted to have a shot at creating an image of the tank.

Anyways, that’s all for now. Done on my laptop with Photoshop CS4 and bridge. And a mouse.

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Interview with Rebekkah Ford – Author of “Beyond the Eyes”

SBibb - Beyond the Eyes Book Cover

So, this is the completed cover for Rebekkah Ford, my first willing client I did cover art for. She’s just released her book, Beyond the Eyes, online, and to celebrate, I offered to do an interview with her about her new book. I’d like to thank her for being willing to have the time and patience with me as I got a start in cover design, as well as let the world know about her release. 🙂

And now, an interview with Rebekkah Ford:

What was your inspiration for Beyond the Eyes?

The idea for, Beyond the Eyes came to me when my husband had suggested I should write something that would totally freak me out. Well, the movie, The Exorcist, has always scared me. In fact, I’ve had bad dreams for years over that movie. So that’s where my inspiration for this book came from: writing something that could be plausible and creepy.

What was your favorite part about writing Beyond the Eyes?

The characters surprising me and showing up out of nowhere.

Did you run into any hiccups while writing Beyond the Eyes?

Yeah, I did. Writing the first sentence and the beginning of the first chapter was difficult. I struggled with that for a while.

What made you decide to self-publish?

I was burnt out on querying agents, getting wonderful comments and encouragements from them, yet their client list was full, or my story didn’t fit the type of stories they represented. I did have some agents interested, however, it didn’t work out or feel right to me. I then did a lot of research on self-publishing and was pleasantly surprised with all the information I discovered about it. One day, at the beginning of January of this year, my husband looked at me and said, “Just do it and quit screwing around. Your book needs to get out there.” And in that moment, I decided to give into that constant gnawing in the back of my head that’s been going on for months, telling me to self-publish, and I decided right then to do it. Not to mention, I have a fire in me that believes strongly in this series.

Who’s your favorite character and why?

Hmmmm, that’s a hard question . . . I think Nathan is. In my second book to this series, Dark Spirits, starting at chapter fourteen, the book goes into Nathan’s POV, every other chapter. It’s pretty cool, actually. I wasn’t sure if it would work, but it totally did. Nathan is my favorite character because he doesn’t mess around. If he says he’s going to open the gates of hell upon you, watch out because he will. I also like that he has a soft side to him.

What’s your favorite thing about Beyond the Eyes?

Paige and Nathan’s relationship.

When should we expect to see Beyond the Eyes available and where?

The Kindle and ebook is available now at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, and Smashwords. My paperback should be available by the middle of this month.

Want to share a small snippet of your story to give the audience a taste?

Sure. This scene is towards the end of chapter one. Paige is at a dance club called The Lion’s Den, and her best friend Carrie is pulling her onto the dance floor where their friend Matt is already dancing:

            “As we made our way through the crowd of moving bodies, my ears started to ring again. Okay, this was seriously getting on my last nerve, but then I reminded myself I was here to have fun and began swaying my hips when we reached Matt. My body automatically moved inside a bubble of energetic sound waves–free and unencumbered. I was no longer the freak, with a mother who showed up when she wanted to and a father who had died when I was four. None of that stuff mattered, because in that moment I was one with the music and the pulsing lights. And as each song changed into pure techno melodies, I became more entranced, closing my eyes, swaying my body to the beat of the music, entering my own world.

            Then something strange happened. The people around me were now far below me, and I was tethered to a silver cord attached to my dancing body. I wasn’t scared though, and found myself enjoying this sense of release. I had no worries. Even when I thought about the premonition, the fear I’d felt toward it earlier didn’t touch me. Probably since I knew I wasn’t dead. I mean, hey, the silver cord remained attached to my body, so I was good, right?

            As I took in my surroundings, a guy wearing a long black coat caught my attention. He was on the high platform overlooking the floor with his hands gripping the black railing. His hood concealed his face, but he appeared to be watching the people down below.

            My eyes swept over the crowd and rested on Matt standing there staring intently on my swaying body. He took a step closer and leaned forward.

            Was he sniffing me?

            He looked up, searching for something.

            At that exact moment, the hooded guy jumped off the platform, over the black railing, and ran to the dance floor. And then Matt’s eyes locked onto mine. They were pale and glowing.

             I shuddered.

            The silvery cord rippled, and then yanked me toward my body, as if I was a balloon being pulled down by an eager child’s grasp. Everything rushed before me: the tables, the crowd of moving heads, and my own head, moving in a figure eight along with my body. I closed my eyes, and collided into a hard, confining surface, and that was the last thing I could remember.”

Beyond the Eyes Blurb:

“A thrilling, wholly satisfying first book to a new young adult series. It will keep you wanting more.” –Valentina Cano, Carabosse’s Library

“Beyond the Eyes is haunting yet passionate. This breakout novel is quick and hip, a saucy must-read.”–Charles Land, Judas Pistol

Paige knows evil exists in this world, but she never imagined it would want something from her.

After a ghostly voice whispers a haunting message to seventeen-year-old Paige Reed, Paige’s life takes a nightmarish turn. Unwilling to tell her friends about the supernatural occurrences happening in her life, Paige feels more alone than ever–until she meets Nathan Caswell.

Nathan is not only hot, but seems to peer into Paige’s soul, evoking a magnetic energy between them that cannot be denied. But he’s no ordinary guy. He tracks dark spirits, and becomes alarmed when they set their sights on Paige.

And then there are the two power-hungry dark spirits who believe Paige can find King Solomon’s magical ring for them, because when her father was alive, he was close to finding it. If Paige doesn’t comply with their demands, they’ll kill her.

Paige is forced to dig deep into her father’s past and unearths shocking secrets about him and his bloodline. With the past and present colliding, Paige is only sure about two things in her life: she needs to outwit the dark spirits to stay alive, and she’s completely and helplessly in love with Nathan.”

***

Rebekkah Ford grew up in a family that dealt with the paranormal. Her parents’ Charles and Geri Wilhelm were the Directors of the UFO Investigators League in Fairfield, Ohio, back in the 1970s. They also investigated ghost hauntings and Bigfoot sightings in addition to UFO’s. Growing up in this type of environment and having the passion for writing is what drove Rebekkah at an early age to write stories dealing with the paranormal. At one point in her life, she thought she wanted to be a journalist, and although she enjoyed writing articles, she quickly discovered her real passion was writing fiction. Her fascination with the paranormal is what led her to write the ‘Beyond the Eyes’ series. Visit her online and read her blog at http://themusingwriter.blogspot.com

***

And there it is! Hope you enjoy, and don’t forget to take a look at her new book. 😀

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/168857

http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-the-Eyes-ebook/dp/B0088JF7HQ/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1338957308&sr=8-7

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rebekkah-rebekkah-ford/1111386817?ean=2940014746496

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Self-Publishing 1000 Words – Four-Way Stop

Originally titled “Stuck at Twilight,” Four-Way Stop was supposed to be about a guy who comes to a stoplight, then realizes all four lights are red. He waits around, then finally decides to run the lights… only to find himself stuck in the crossway of another dimension.

 

Instead, Four-Way Stop turned into some literary/horror mix, about a man whose choices lead him directly to a four-way stop. Maybe later I’ll write the original idea as a short story, or maybe not. Now that I’ve completed the short stories for 1000 Words (and I have the print book formatted, too!), I’m going to be quite happy to return my focus to my young adult novel I’m working on, Distant Horizon (you’ll probably hear more about that in future posts, when I run out of things to say about 1000 Words).

 

The cover for Four-Way Stop was probably one of the easiest for me to complete, even though it was one of the fastest I had to finish. I knew from the start that I wanted to have a red stoplight play a prominent feature in the image. Better yet, it needed to be gray, and preferably have rows of corn or wheat, as well as a road running through it.

 

So I searched through my personal stock imagery, and found an amalgamation of images to put together. A road, tall grass, a red stop-light (knew I had to have that picture somewhere…) and a weird tire-texture that I motioned blurred for the rain. Put it together, and by itself, it looked horrible. This is where textures came in handy. Since it was supposed to be rainy, I added a bit of cloud texture to give it a foggy look. Blurred the background, since who can see in heavy rain? Added the rain texture and tinkered with the effect. Finally chose the image of the girl, and blurred out the side of the face as part of the story. Made it look ghostly, changed the color to a stormy green.

 

Gotta admit, I was pretty happy with the result.

 

Anyways, I then worked on adding the text. I wanted to play with text placement, and conveying the idea of a stoplight. I also wanted “Stop” to be in red, and play a prominent feature. Thus I placed the texture into the corner, all nice and small. It did show the background, but it didn’t really look like a title. So I made it larger, and while I’m not happy that it obscured the background as much as it did, I am happy about the placement, now.

 

Below is the background image, as well as the final book cover.

SBibb - Four-Way Stop Background Image

 SBibb - Four-Way Stop Cover

You can find Four-Way Stop, a literary/horror short story, for free on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/153784

 

In the meantime, if you’re curious about the statistics for the project as a whole, Dreamkeeper is in the lead with 122 downloads, easily surpassing The Carrier, which has been up a week longer, and stands at 102 downloads. It’s possible that people are downloading in multiple versions, or not reading them, but still, I found it interesting to see. I’ve gotten a couple more reviews on the stories (mostly good, yay!), but Dreamkeeper has none at this point in time.

 

Aside from the short I just did upload, Shafted Dreams has a measly 19 downloads, and no reviews. I do wonder whether this is because of the cover or the blurb, since everything else is between 30-70 downloads.

 

After this, I only have one more 1000 Words short story to upload, Socks, and I’ll have a little bit to talk about its cover, as well. The final short story, dubbed “1000 Words” for the title of the anthology, will only be available in the eBook and print anthology versions. I’m not quite sure what I’ll sell the print version at, but the eBook version will likely cost $2.99. I don’t expect a lot of sells, especially since I don’t have any marketing plans in place for it, however, I think it’s nice to offer something for those who want to “contribute to the author.”

 

Meanwhile, the print version of 1000 Words is in the proofing stage (to be printed as soon as possible, in order to get in turned in on time), but I’m fairly happy with it. Reminds me that I actually enjoy formatting print books. Of course, the next step is the eBook, which means seeing how to implement special text as well as embedding images into the file.

 

Let me know if you have questions, I’d be happy to answer them. 🙂

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