Watch RWISA Write! #RRBC, Gwen Plano, Author Discovered.

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Join me in welcoming author Gwen Plano to my blog.  Gwen is a fellow member that I have met through Rave Reviews Book Club, a truly supportive community of authors and avid readers!  Today, you’ll get a sample of her writing skills and style, with a link at the end to more information on her writing and published books.

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Love at First Sight

By Gwendolyn M Plano

 

“It doesn’t seem real. It just doesn’t seem real.” Mom muttered as she ran her hand over the curves of dad’s headstone. Sighing deeply, she stared blankly into the horizon.

After a few minutes, she turned and faced me. “I tell myself that it must be real.” She seemed to want my approval. “The stone says we were married 70 years. It must have happened; I must have been married. But, but…why can’t I remember?” She searched my face for answers.

Stooped from the burden of years now elusive and sometimes vacant, mom held my arm while she walked to either side of the monument.

“I saw him in a dream. Did I tell you that?”

“No, mom, I don’t think you did.”

“He was young, like when we first met.”

“Really? Could you tell me about how you met?”

“How?” Mom’s eyes darted to and fro as she struggled to answer. Then, as though the curtains lifted, she responded.

“Yes…yes, I can tell you how we met.”

“Let’s sit here, mom.” I led her to a cement bench under a tall oak tree near dad’s grave. “Now tell me how the two of you met.”

Mom took a deep breath and began. “It was during the war. I remember it now. It was 1944. There were posters in our high school which asked us to sign up to work at the Consolidated Aircraft factory in San Diego. They needed help building B-24 bombers. We called the bombers the Liberators. My sister and I and several of our girlfriends decided we wanted to help our country. Most of the boys in our class were enlisting in the army or navy. We wanted to do our part too.”

“Like Rosie the Riveter?”

“Oh, yes! We all wanted to be Rosie. Your grandparents didn’t much like the idea, but they knew the families of the other girls, and since we’d be living together and would watch out for one another, they finally agreed. After all, it was the patriotic thing to do.”

I couldn’t help but smile at the thought of mom being Rosie and asked where she lived.

“We lived with Aunt Lena on India Street in San Diego. She put in bunk beds for us. At night, we’d wash out our clothes and tie the pieces to the bedsprings so that they could dry overnight.”

“When we arrived at Consolidated, they gave each of us a uniform – blue pants and jacket. And, we had classes for a week or two. Most of us were assigned the job of riveting. It’s hard to believe, but there were about 20,000 women working at the factory. The assembly line was a mile long, and believe it or not, we built about nine bombers a day. Isn’t that amazing?”

“That is amazing, mom.” Pride glowed from mom’s face, and I couldn’t help but feel proud of her as well.

“I was assigned to the wings. I hate heights, but I’d climb on top of those wings and pretend I was sitting on the hood of a car. I didn’t get afraid that way. One day, when I was sitting up there, holding a riveting gun, your dad came by.”

“Hey,” he said. “What’s your name?” I thought I might be in trouble, but he smiled, so I smiled back.

“It’s Lauretta.”

“Well, Lauretta, you’re doing a great job. If you need anything, let me know. My name’s Jim, and I’m the foreman for this area.”

I put my arm around mom’s shoulder. “My goodness, mom, you were on the wing of a bomber when you met dad?”

“Sounds funny, doesn’t it? But, yes, that’s the first time we talked. I didn’t pay much attention to him, but my sister would whisper to me, “There he is again. I think he likes you. He keeps looking this way.”

Mom lowered her eyes and giggled. “Of course, I didn’t believe her.”

After pausing a bit, she continued. “Your dad started walking home with us in the evening. He lived further up the hill from us, so it wasn’t out of his way. Mind you, I was wearing the company uniform and had my hair in a bandana, so I was hardly a beauty.”

“Anyway, one day he asked if I’d like to come up to his place. And, I was stupid and said okay. That’s when I learned about the facts of life. You know, sex.”

“You didn’t know before then, mom?”

“No, but he taught me that night.” Mom giggled and put her hand on her face. “He wanted to get married right then. But, I told him no, he had to talk to my parents. We needed to do it right. Besides, I hardly knew him. There were a lot of shot-gun marriages those days. We all thought the end of the world was coming, and well, young lovers didn’t hold back.”

“So, you and dad became lovers?”

“You know the answer to that, don’t you? When I didn’t have my cycle, I knew I was pregnant. Your dad was elated and didn’t hesitate to talk to your grandparents. Of course, I was ashamed. But, I want you to understand something. You might have been the reason we married, but you were not the reason we stayed together for 70 years.”

“Did you love him, mom?” The question came out before I could filter it.

“I did, I just didn’t know I did. Your dad would tell anyone who would listen, ‘When I saw Lauretta on the wing of a B-24 bomber, I knew that she was the one for me.’ He’d say it all the time, ‘She’s the one for me!’” Mom giggled as she thought about this story. “Your dad always said it was love at first sight. But it wasn’t that way for me.”

“What do you mean by that, mom?”

“Well, love is a strange word, isn’t it? Your dad seemed to know from the first time he saw me that he wanted to marry me. I didn’t feel that way. I think my focus was romance or dreams. And, your dad wasn’t the wooing type.”

“I believe I fell in love with him after you were born. He thought you were the most beautiful baby in the whole world. In fact, I think he was happiest when he was holding you. He’d sing to you and rock you to sleep every night.”

She dropped her head, and tears rolled down her cheeks. My tears fell as well.

“He was a good man, a faithful man. Did I tell you his promise?”

I shook my head, and said, “no.”

“You know that he grew up hungry, right? During the Dust Bowl, his family barely survived. In fact, two of his sisters died.  Well, your dad promised me that his children would never go hungry. He would make sure of it. And, he did. He worked two jobs most of our marriage, and you kids were never hungry.” She paused and looked into my eyes.

“Your dad kept his promises.”

Mom grew silent. Her face turned from animated to expressionless, and I did not know what to think. She whispered something that I had to ask her to repeat. She sighed and looked at me again.

“It just doesn’t seem real.”

**Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH RWISA WRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, to please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.  WE ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

Gwen Plano  Author RWISA page

 

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An Author Discovered: Eva Pasco

An Enlightening Quiche

Allow me to introduce Eva Pasco, a fellow author that I have met in Goodreads and Facebook forums.  Eva’s book, published for just a year now, has been making waves, and I admire her marketing strategies.  She is also a tireless supporter of other indie authors.  Read more about Eva below!

Today’s guest—Acclaimed Contemporary Women’s Fiction author, Eva Pasco

A Jill-of-all-Trades in the progression of life—a factory fatale gluing eyes on pairs of lion slippers at Capitol Heel Lining, collating booklets at Sidney-Higgins Bookbinding, getting downright dirty while screwing at H & H Screw Products, and teaching in the third-grade classroom trenches—Eva Pasco turned a corner after retirement.

AuthorEva P.

Reviving a dormant flair for writing, she braved the arduous journey along the Indie author’s untrammeled path, a route chosen to bypass literary agents and take full control of the publication process from cover to copy through the genre of Contemporary Women’s Fiction.

 

Her recently published novel, ‘An Enlightening Quiche,’ has received much acclaim:

 

Midwest 5-Star Review

2017 ATAI Fiction Finalist (5-Star Badge)

Readers’ Favorite 5-Star Seal

Underground Book Reviews (Perfect Pitch Pick)

1st out of 77 Books Set in Rhode Island (Goodreads)

 

In one sentence, what is ‘An Enlightening Quiche’ about?

 

 An heirloom quiche recipe and baking rivalry turn up the heat during the aftermath of a tragedy in Rhode Island’s mill town of Beauchemins.

 

Who is your specific reading audience and why?

 My book is specifically written for women 40 and older. I write with this age group in mind because having been there and done that, I can infuse my stories with realism that squeezes every ounce from the pulp of life: dreams and disillusionment; darkness and light; emptiness; fading beauty; displacement; love and sacrifice …

By the time women have reached the age of 40, they’ve earned the type of story that pays them respect and exonerates the lives of ordinary women who are often unsung heroines.

 

What would you say is the single most important idea you’re sharing in your book that is really going to add value to the reader’s life?

 

Letting go!

 

We cannot allow our past to hold us hostage any longer than it already has without confronting and coming to terms with it.  Doing so will give us the courage to overcome adversity and empower us to make a change for the better.  Otherwise, we become our own worst enemy!

 

 If you could compare this book with any other book readers might already be familiar with, which would it be and why?

 

I’m going to cite My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout because her book and mine focus on the theme of complicated mother-daughter relationships. Whereas, Strout’s novel exposes a relationship through the portal of a hospital visit, my portal is an heirloom quiche recipe for my protagonist to decipher the past and turn her life around.

 

In addition to having written two novels, Eva has composed over one hundred Memoirs about growing up during the Sixties, as well as numerous essays pertaining to the era, and her native state of Rhode Island.  She also writes a weekly blog related to writing and social marketing.  All of her literary works can be viewed on her web page at Authors Den where she updates her status daily, and you’re welcome to follow her:

 

http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

 

You can also find her on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/EvaPasco

 

‘An Enlightening Quiche’ @ Amazon: https://amzn.com/B01LX9UXWV

 

An Author Discovered: W.T. Fallon

I’ve decided to share, at least once or twice a month, posts about the authors whose books I am reading (or have read).  I found my latest discovery while searching Author/bloggers on Goodreads.  I have begun reading W.T. Fallon’s Fail to the Chief, an interesting novel with a premise that really drew me in.  So far, it is wonderfully absurd political satire and a little like the movie “Idiocracy,”  where the President will be elected via a reality TV show. I am really enjoying it so far and look forward to perusing Fallon’s blog a lot more!  The following is W.T. Fallon’s guest post.

W.T. Fallon: Why I Wrote Fail to the Chief

The day I came up with the idea for my novel, Fail to the Chief, I was running on the treadmill, and watching a 24-hour news channel. I realized election coverage is a lot like a reality show—candidates are followed 24/7, commentators yell questions at them, and just when you think you know who’s going to win, someone throws a wrench into things and everything changes.

So if it’s pretty much just a reality show anyway, why not go all the way and let people vote from their couches like we do for other reality shows? I read years ago that more people voted for American Idol than voted for president in the last election. Wouldn’t voter turnout be better if people didn’t have to drive to the polls and stand in line?

Of course, the idea of online voting isn’t new, and usually, the answer to that is, “But, hackers!” But the idea of making the election an actual reality show where people could vote without leaving the couch? That interested me. (Measures to prevent hacking are addressed in the book.)

What would this reality show look like? I immediately pictured the shows I watched, but with candidates for contestants. You’d have your typical reality show host, the obligatory well-tanned guy in a tuxedo introducing the contestants, giving them a shoulder to cry their totally fake tears on, and basically expressing no opinion whatsoever, because that’s what reality show hosts do, right?

Now, enter the contestants. This was around December of 2015, so the 2016 presidential race was just heating up, and there were tons of real candidates on both sides of the aisle for inspiration. I imagined various characters competing on this reality show to elect a president. What could happen on a reality show that couldn’t happen in real life? What would we learn about the candidates if we really followed them around with cameras 24/7?

I had been writing satire about politicians for my local Gridiron Show since 2012, and in December of 2015 there was no shortage of colorful characters in the presidential race, all ripe for satirizing.

Then there are the challenges you see on reality shows. I remembered things I’d always wanted to see in a presidential debate: A boxing match between candidates, a debate where the contenders were hooked up to polygraph machines, candidates being forced to work at real jobs like us regular people, a debate where the candidates had to play a drinking game instead of the audience choosing to do so. Who wouldn’t want to watch a debate where the candidates had to take a drink every time someone said something trite, overused, or eyeroll-inducing? None of those things are going to happen in real life, but I was able to make them happen in my book.

I had been writing about a chapter a week, and would probably still be writing it if I hadn’t lost my job. I was unceremoniously fired two days before my birthday—because nothing says happy birthday like a pink slip—and replaced with a ten-buck-an-hour intern. My employers promised I had done nothing wrong, they were just, “going in a different direction.” Yet when I went to file for unemployment, they claimed I had been fired for cause. At that point, I said, “Screw it, I’m going to finish my novel.”

So I took all my anger and frustration and put it into my book. There are a lot of scenes where regular people describe their problems with unemployment, the economy, etc. Many of those were inspired by my life as a two-time college graduate, living with my parents and struggling to find a job in a bad economy. Going into debt for a college degree that turns out to be worthless, working multiple minimum-wage jobs as a college graduate, and the unemployment office’s efforts to help people “find jobs” were all things I explored.

In one scene, an unemployed worker tells a candidate how the unemployment office required her to attend a “find a job” type class. She was given instructions on how to get her GED (despite having a college degree), how to go to trucking school (despite the fact that for some people, backing up a large truck is a public safety hazard), and how to learn English as a second language (although she already knew it as a first language). That’s the kind of help I encountered at the unemployment office, and it was of no use to me, or anyone else in the room. But that’s our government for you, and I decided to write about its futility through the lens of a reality show to elect a president.

Book Blurb

After years of emceeing insipid singing competitions, TV personality Bryan Seafoam can’t wait to host “American President,” the world’s first reality show to elect a president of the United States. Finally, an opportunity to be a real journalist, digging up dirt and playing hardball with the top ten candidates.

But it doesn’t take long for the contestants to start slinging mud at Bryan – literally, when billionaire candidate Ronald Chump is challenged to dig his proposed moat along the Mexican-American border himself. Forced to work in a fast food restaurant, an anti-minimum-wage-hike candidate learns his coworkers are struggling to survive with multiple jobs and claims to have solved the unemployment problem in his state-leaving Bryan to duck ketchup bombs from customers. To make matters worse, Bryan’s producer pressures him to be nicer to the candidates, and his former crush, now an experienced political correspondent, shows up-and shows him up at every turn.

When a cheating scandal rocks the show, Bryan begins to suspect it’s just the tip of a very underhanded iceberg. Will trying to expose a plot to wreck the most hysterical, er, historic election in history cost Bryan his career-and his personal life?

T. Fallon’s Bio

T. Fallon believes if you can’t say something nice, you should say something funny and totally true. She has few marketable skills, but is highly talented in the areas of sarcasm, satire, and snark. For the past several years, she has written for the local Gridiron Show, and last year she started a blog called Sharable Sarcasm. The 2016 election provided so many opportunities for humor that she decided to write her first novel, a political satire called Fail to the Chief. She was recently published on The Satirist, and has been writing for Humor Outcasts since September of 2016.

Follow on Social Media:

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/wtfallon/

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/wtfallonauthor

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/58625570-w-t

Blog:

https://sharablesarcasm.wordpress.com/

 

Excerpt:

 

Bryan tapped the tablet again. “Here are the suggestions. Number one comes from Avery L. on Facebook, and it says, and I quote, ‘We spent almost ten million in taxpayer money last year for upkeep on the White House, including half a million on flowers alone, and almost three million on annual holiday decorations. Is all that really necessary? I mean, how many flowers do you really need in a ginormous mansion? Couldn’t you cut that spending down to five million?’”

“That sounds like the fiscally responsible thing to do.” Morganstern straightened his tie and turned to face the nearest camera. “When I was the head of Cheatham Bank, the largest banking group in the country, we didn’t waste money on unimportant things like decorations or paid vacations for employees. I even limited the amount of money we spent on toilet paper each month. If the employees ran out, they just had to find another solution.”

“Actually, according to an exposé into your inhumane HR practices, it just caused them to use more expensive printer paper for, ah, alternative purposes.” Haverty stepped between Morganstern and the camera. “I understand some also used the widely-distributed company newsletter with your picture on every cover.”

“Yes, and I installed security cameras to catch every employee who took that newsletter to the bathroom, and I fired every last one of them.”

“Perhaps now would be a good time to hear your plan for job creation,” Haverty shot back.

Bob Fuller stopped twisting his hemp necklace around his fingers long enough to groan. “I hope you at least printed that newsletter on recycled paper.”

Morganstern made a sound that was somewhere between a grunt and a chuckle. “Hmmph. Of course not, recycled paper costs twice as much, and it’s used.”

 

Book Link:

 https://www.amazon.com/Fail-Chief-W-T-Fallon-ebook/dp/B01LYON1F2

 

FailtotheChief

Authors Promoting Authors, An Interview with Heather King

 

heatherkingdevils-hoof-2-text2
Join me for an interview with the UK author, Heather King. 

 

Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.

Firstly, many thanks to Pam for inviting me to visit. It is a thrill to be here! Do help yourselves to wine and cake and join us in the Drawing Room.

I love history, both as a reader and an author. I’m also – confession time! – an incurable romantic. Even as a small child, I loved writing – and dreaming – and once wrote my ‘news’ in the flower-edged squares of my bedroom wallpaper! I discovered Georgette Heyer’s Regency novels when I was aged about eleven, setting me on a lifelong love of the era. While I fear that august lady’s talents are far above my reach – we can but aspire, as a friend quite rightly once said – I strive always to be the very best I can be and live up to the Queen of Regency’s magnificent legacy. I like my readers to walk beside my characters and experience the world they inhabit.

I currently have seven books in my back list as myself: A Sense of the Ridiculous, An Improper Marriage (novels); Treasure Beyond Words, Copenhagen’s Last Charge (novellas); The Middle of the Day (short story); Beaux, Ballrooms and Battles (Anthology with other authors) and my newest release, Devil’s Hoof, which is a Shape Shifter Romance. Writing as Vandalia Black, I also have an anthology of Vampire Romance short stories, Vampires Don’t Drink Coffee and Other Stories.

I live in a beautiful part of the UK and when I’m not tramping the grounds of English country houses, either figuratively or physically, I can be found looking after my ponies and mobile mousetraps, maintaining the ‘estate’ or taking long walks with my dog. When I have time, which doesn’t seem to be very often these days, I enjoy watching historical dramas and, of course, curling up with a good book

.

What type of books do you prefer to write?

In many ways, my spiritual home is the nineteenth century, if not in a practical sense – I live in jodhpurs, adore hot showers, electric kettles and the microwave, and would hate never to have heard Il Divo! Yet I love the courtesy, the manners, the gentler pace of life, the furnishings, the grand houses and, of course, the horses. Mechanical horsepower is inordinately useful, but there is something about the real thing – the smell of leather; the jingle of bit and harness; the evocative aroma of the horses themselves (yes, I was one of those little girls who thought ‘they’ should bottle l’eau de cheval). I am a big softy too, so it was probably inevitable that I should write romance. My Regency stories are traditional romps – light-hearted and witty (I hope), with bags of emotion and feelings. No doubt GH would not approve, but I trust the reader will. My Welsh stallion Shape Shifters are contemporary and a bit more raunchy, though nothing is graphically described.

 

What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

My latest book is Devil’s Hoof, the first novel in the stand-alone Welsh Boys series about a family of horse Shape Shifters. The series centres on the ‘bachelor herd’ of the Swift family – in other words, the sons, cousins, brothers and half-brothers who are unmarried/unattached. In the wild, the young colts are ‘kicked out’ of the main herd into  a bachelor group.

The story was inspired by a conversation I had at my author group when I was explaining the devastating effects of the equine ailment, Laminitis. The idea of a man stricken with a similar complaint sprang from that discussion. Man and the horse are far more alike in structure than you might think.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?

None I dare admit to! Seriously… no, I don’t think I have. I don’t wear a Regency bonnet when I’m writing historical or a wisp of net for Paranormal. I am methodical (sounds better than slow) and can’t ‘dash the story down’. Sometimes, if the right word doesn’t spring to mind, I have to find it before I can go on. That way I can usually do fewer drafts. If I am stuck for a moment, often something like putting the kettle on will undo the knot. I do a rough plan, but then just sit down and write, seeing the story evolve in my head like a film… at least until my characters start deciding I’ve got it all wrong!
What authors or books have influenced you?

When I was about nine, I read a book called The Gauntlet, a time-slip set in medieval Wales. I have never forgotten it and I suspect it started my interest in historical fiction. I also adored the historical works of Antonia Fraser, especially those about Robin Hood. Then I discovered Georgette Heyer and she has had the most influence on me. Her books are timeless, irrespective of era. No matter your age or mood, there is a novel to suit you. I treasure my collection of Elizabeth Chadwick novels and have enjoyed works by Jane Austen, Barbara Erskine, Dick Francis, Beatrix Potter, Enid Blyton, Jean Auel, Amanda Ashley, J.R. Ward and many more. I particularly love Elizabeth’s descriptive skills. In writing terms, I owe much of what I have achieved to my writing mentor, author Sue Johnson, who is wonderfully supportive and encouraging.
What are you working on now?

I have a to-do list a mile long! I have two novels of my own to proof for print; an editing job for a client; a half-written novella to complete for Christmas; a non-fiction work about horses to polish and, looming on the horizon all-too-fast, a project for a novel which I can’t say much about at the moment! Oh, and I have been asked by readers to hurry up and write the next Welsh Boys novel (can I say that?!)
Do you have any advice for new authors?

Write every day, even if you can only manage a few minutes. It will build into something. Once written, put it away for a bit so you return to it with fresh eyes. Be prepared to rewrite, rewrite and rewrite again.

Read, read, read. If writing historical fiction, immerse yourself in the era. Learn how people behaved and talked in that time; prevailing customs; clothing, furnishing, settings. Get someone versed in the era to read it, particularly if writing about a country you are not born to. Nothing throws a reader out of a story faster than poor research and anachronisms. My personal bugbear (apart from equine errors) is a Regency which is no more than a modern story with barely a gown or a bow thrown in. Do your homework!

N.B. If writing Regency, read Georgette Heyer! She invented the genre (Jane Austen was writing about her own time.)
What are you reading now?

‘Not a lot,’ is the short answer! I am trying to read Elizabeth Chadwick’s The Summer Queen, but haven’t had the time to get into it yet. I always seem to be reading for work these days!
What is your favourite part of the writing and publishing process?  Why?

It might just possibly be the cover. I do my own covers and love being able to use my artistic side without requiring any talent to do so! As far as the writing goes, though, I do love creating characters and watching their journey to love and happiness. I told you I was a softy.

 

If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you, what books would you bring?

Only three or four? Oh, dear. A good choice would be a book of spells, wouldn’t it? I don’t suppose an omnibus edition of Jane Austen’s works would be allowed, either… In no particular order, then: The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick, Venetia by Georgette Heyer, The Valley of Horses by Jean Auel and The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne. Next week it might be a different four.

 

Author Websites and Profiles  heatherkingphotouz-2

 

Blog: http://regencywriter-hking.blogspot.co.uk

Website: https://heatherkingauthoruk.wordpress.com/

 

Social media links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/heather.king.author

https://www.facebook.com/ARegencyRepository

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/goodreadscomheatherkinguk

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00I04PYPE

Amazon Author Page (US): http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00I04PYPE

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/PurpleHeather

Twitter: https://twitter.com/1PurpleHeather

 

Web links to buy her books

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Devils-Hoof-Welsh-Boys-Novel-ebook/dp/B01ES9PF3A?ie=UTF8&ref_=asap_bc

https://www.amazon.com/Devils-Hoof-Welsh-Boys-Novel-ebook/dp/B01ES9PF3A?ie=UTF8&ref_=asap_bc

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/devil-s-hoof

http://origin-wby.barnesandnoble.com/w/devils-hoof-heather-king/1123752551;jsessionid=B6599F8A6F40792368D39D7E40FE26E2.prodny_store02-atgap08?ean=2940153001371

Heather is a lovely person, though I only know her virtually.  I met her in the Facebook group, Marketing for Creatives.  She is always willing to lend her expertise and recently helped me re-work a book cover.  Please find her online, and give one of her books a read!