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It's no secret I design ebook covers.  What started out of necessity quickly turned into a passion, or as I like to call anything outside of writing---procrastination.

Hobby.  Business.  Whatever.

The original cover for One Night in Reno is the one that started it all.  This sweet little story was deserving of a more fitting cover.  Now available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble... 

And coming soon to the Apple iBook Store.  

What do you think, did I hit my mark?  Or should I say market?

Do you judge a book by its cover?  

I know I do.  That's not to say there aren't some amazing books out there with bad covers.  But a good cover tells a story all its own.

ONE NIGHT IN RENO
Rogenna Brewer
May 2013

Life is full of unexpected turns…

Jenny Albright’s gas tank runs as dry as her luck in the Nevada desert. Then Navy SEAL Garrett “Itch” Erickson swoops in to rescue her, her young son and their beagle pup. Although the stranded single mom is reluctant to accept help from a stranger, befriending the Good Samaritan SEAL might be the best decision Jenny’s made in the past seventy-two hours.

Whether Jenny is a victim of circumstance or a woman on the run, Garrett sees his past in her son’s future and it doesn’t look good. But does his offer to marry Jenny—until she lands on her feet—come from a sense of duty or the need to be rescued himself? Read Excerpt

And just in case you're curious and haven't seen the old cover...


The Importance Of Being Ernest...Hemingway and Productivity

Hemingway (right)
Lately I've been beating myself up for being a slow writer.  I have a book due and I'm well past the extended deadline.  In fact I shouldn't even be wasting words on this blog, but I've ignored all other aspects of my life for close to two months now.  Except writing and--well, cover design--because frankly, those couple hours in the evening pay the bills.

I schedule deadlines with the reasonable expectation of producing 1000 words a day, all the while thinking I'll actually produce more.  I used to write 1000 words an hour.  But I haven't been able to get my head out of edit mode since I don't remember when.

For months now I've been clawing my way up from 100 words a day to 500--that's right, I went from 1000 words an hour to 100 words a day.  Simply working through it started to pay off as I reached 100, 250 and then 500 words an hour.  But that took months.

That 500 word an hour peak usually comes in the second hour of my writing session and then it's all down hill again from there.  On a big project it's easy to feel like I'm getting nowhere fast.  Then I read Ernest Hemingway set a daily goal of 500 to 1000 words and generally logged around 500 words a day.  One could argue that's fine for a man who won the Nobel Prize for his literary fiction, but death for a genre fiction writer.

Or is it?  Five hundred words a day is 2-4 romance novels a year.  When I look at it that way it's clear my problem isn't that I'm slow.  What I lack is consistency.  While deep in revision on a manuscript I'm not writing on another, but I could be--maybe I should be.  Not writing is what got me into this mess in the first place.  And then spending 8, 10, 12 hours in the chair trying to double my word count and make up for lost time winds up being counter productive when I spend the next day procrastinating.

Consistency is key for the slow (and not so slow) writer.  Though you may not be able to churn out a 50,000 word draft in a weekend you can write a book in 100 days without spending every waking hour at the keyboard.

Here's a tip from Hemingway himself to make sure you show up everyday and keep going:      

"The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day … you will never be stuck. Always stop while you are going good and don’t think about it or worry about it until you start to write the next day. That way your subconscious will work on it all the time. But if you think about it consciously or worry about it you will kill it and your brain will be tired before you start."

~ Ernest Hemingway

And because I teased you with the blog title...

Contest Winner and More...

First things, first. Congratulations to Bessamy S.. Bessamy is the winner of a $25 amazon.com gift card.

Don't forget to enter my next drawing...

I will get back to a semi-regular blogging schedule shortly.  Meanwhile, here's What's Brewin' since I haven't but out a newsletter in...oh, I don't know how many months.

Looks like A Stranger in the Family will be a May 2014 release from Harlequin Superromance.  

One Night in Reno is still available for only .99 and will be available on all venues later this month.  I'm thinking of changing the cover to reflect the sweeter side of the story.    

What do you think?  Do you want to see Jenny, Josh and Garrett on the cover?

One Star Spangled Night will be out sometime in August if my VA (virtual assistant, moi) can get her act together.  I have an anthology deadline of September 1st for that story.  Spangled will be available separately and as part of a multiple author anthology titled Celebrate coming October 4th.

I'm designing the cover for Celebrate and already thinking of redesigning the cover for One Star Spangled Night--lol--and it's not even out yet.  Yeah, I'm fickle that way. 

Have twelve more custom covers lined up.  Can't wait to show them off and introduce you to the authors.  

The Frogman, Prince is back in the line up--at last!  Continuing revisions are on my schedule for the 11th through the end of the month.  Can I finish them by the 31st...  That's the question.  I will do my best.  I appreciate your patience.  

Rewriting an old manuscript is harder than writing a new one :?  


Cover Reveal: Blind Date Bride & Trouble in Paradise (Custom Covers for Author Arlene Hittle)

You've come a long way baby...

Or so the saying goes.

A month ago I started making premade ebook covers and selling them through my website.  Like many indie authors, I stumbled into cover design out of necessity.  My total budget for One Night In Reno was zero dollars.  But I did have 8 credits for BigStock as I often hunted down stock photos for my website.

I'd been dabbling with the idea of cover design for awhile and had even attempted a couple via web based manipulation tools, but as I'd get good at something the tools would change.  Limited by my software and skills, but not my imagination I made a pretty decent cover for Reno without the benefit of Photoshop.

I simply used the drawing and paint tools that came with my computer.  But I soon fell in love with the process, and after making the first three covers for my One Night shorts, I wanted to keep going, so I did.  Within my first week, I'd put up the Covers by Rogenna website,  sold a couple premade covers and out of sheer tenacity picked up a couple custom orders--all from fellow authors who were strangers to me at the time.  I didn't even have Photoshop, but I do now.

Would I redo the cover for One Night in Reno?  In a heartbeat, but not until the whole series is out and I can find the time.  I'm okay with those covers.  But I'm beyond thrilled and proud to be showing off my first pair of custom covers.  It all started when Arlene wanted to buy pemade cover 004 Bride.  She loved that cover almost as much as I do, except for the hair color.  In talking with Arlene, I soon realized it wasn't just the hair--004 wasn't the right bride for her romantic comedy, period.

In addition, Arlene had a connected story and wanted the covers to have a similar feel.  So I convinced her to let me do custom covers by offering her a BOGO (buy one, get one ;)  In talking to her, I knew I could do a good job, but I needed that first customer to take a chance on me, and she did, thank you Arlene :)  Because that gave me the privilege of creating these two gorgeous covers.

Arlene has since ordered a third custom cover for a holiday story.  I can't wait to see what we come up with next.  Arlene Hittle is a 2011 Romance Writer's of America Golden Heart finalist with her manuscript Beauty and the Ballplayer and a soon to be the self-published author of Blind Date Bride and Trouble in Paradise.  You can find out more about Arlene by visiting her website:  http://arlenehittle.com/    


I'm coming off a book deadline next week and would love to do your custom cover.  In celebration of Arlene's two covers I'm offering a B2G1 (buy two, get one) if you contact me to schedule your covers before the end of July.  (Offer expires midnight MST July 31, 2013) 

Covers don't have to be for a trilogy, but they certainly can be.  You'll only hear about this offer here, so please help spread the word, and mention B2G1 when ordering.

This offer applies to premade covers as well and I'll be posting some some pairs and trilogies later this month.  But again you can mix and match.   Looking forward to hearing from you soon...
  

FREE Today! One Night in Reno



ONE NIGHT IN RENO
Rogenna Brewer
May 2013

Life is full of unexpected turns…

Jenny Albright’s gas tank runs as dry as her luck in the Nevada desert. Then Navy SEAL Garrett “Itch” Erickson swoops in to rescue her, her young son and their beagle pup. Although the stranded single mom is reluctant to accept help from a stranger, befriending the Good Samaritan SEAL might be the best decision Jenny’s made in the past seventy-two hours.

Whether Jenny is a victim of circumstance or a woman on the run, Garrett sees his past in her son’s future and it doesn’t look good. But does his offer to marry Jenny—until she lands on her feet—come from a sense of duty or the need to be rescued himself? Read Excerpt


Because of my fast approaching deadline on another book, One Night in Reno will be exclusive to amazon for the first 90 days.  For those without a Kindle device please try one of these FREE apps...

Free Reading Apps:  Your purchase can be sent automatically to your AndroidiPadiPhonePCMacBlackBerry, or Windows Phone 7 device.  Don't have a free Kindle Reading App? Download one here. 

June 30th - July 6th

Taking a break from blogging this week.  Not because of the holiday, but because of deadlines.  Stay tuned for two exciting announcements July 1st and the 4th.  Back next week, I hope :)  The 15th at the latest.

Happy 4th of July


Have a safe and happy holiday!

Friends on Friday: Author Dee Davis


A-Tac Series

Dark Deceptions
A-Tac Series Book 1
April 1, 2010
9780446542012
Click for more...

Dangerous Desires
A-Tac Series Book 2
July 1, 2010
9780446542043
Click for more...

Desperate Deeds
A-Tac Series Book 3
August 2, 2010
9780446542029
Click for more...

Daring
A-Tac E-novella
July 1, 2011
9781455507115
Click for more...

Deep Disclosure
A-Tac Series Book 4
August 23, 2011
9780446582926
Click for more...

Deadly Dance
A-Tac Series Book 5
April 1, 2012
Click for more...

Double Danger
A-Tac Series Book 6
December 18, 2012
Click for more...

Dire Distraction
A-Tac Series Book 7
Coming July 2013
Click for more...

Getting to Know Dee:

If you could pick any career besides writing, what would you be?
I'd love to be a rock singer, but I think that ship has sailed. I'd also love to be an actress, or maybe own a winery. And I've always wanted to work in the White House. Or maybe write for All My Children.

So what's your favorite place in Manhattan?
You know, that's an impossible question. There are so many. But coming immediately to mind. Bemelman's Bar in the Carlyle Hotel. The walls are decorated with original drawings from the author of the Madeline books. The cocktails are wicked. And there's this fabulous feel of Manhattan at its glamorous best.

Do you have pets?
I do. I have a cat named Sasha – black and white tuxedo. And I have a dog named Max – cardigan welsh corgi. They both are good sounding boards for plotting.

What are your hobbies?
I love to traveling, trying out new restaurants, cooking, hanging out with my family, exploring Manhattan and of course reading!

Visit Dee:  www.deedavis.com 

Indie Authors: Premade eBook Covers only $29 (Cover 007 Monochrome Kiss) #couple #kissing

007 MONOCHROME KISS $29
I'm starting to skip numbers.  Three of my original ten covers have sold.  I've since added another fifteen premade covers and just commissioned my third multiple book custom cover job for July.

I know, I'm cheating--my website says I'm not scheduling until August (I'm going to go change that right now).  I have a hard time saying no when I really do love the work.

July is completely booked.

Can you wait until August, September or October?  Please feel free to drop me an email.  Or stop by www.sweettoheat.blogspot.com.

If I'd been paying closer attention to this particular cover number before now, I would have titled 007 something much more clever than Monochrome Kiss.  I chose to off set the title in minty green freshness, but you can have your color of choice with this image.

     

Weighty Wednesday

It's Weighty Wednesday again.  I'm about three weeks into my walking routine and it's time to add a new challenge.

Water.  No, not Aqua Aerobics or Water Walking, though I'd love to get back to both, my walking is land locked for the time being.

I'm talking hydration.

I don't know about you, but I need to drink more water and less Diet Dr. Pepper.  I can track water intake on my handy walking app MapMyWalk so I'm going to start doing that.

How much water do we really need?  Here's what the Mayo Clinic has to say about that.

Drinking plenty of water while writing will also ensure you get up and out of your seat for a stretch every now and again.  How do you stay hydrated?




Teaser Tuesday: A Stranger in the Family



A STRANGER IN THE FAMILY

PROLOGUE

Coronado, California
“Freeze!”  Her voice shook almost as badly as the Sig Sauer in her hand.  After twenty weeks of G-man U in Quantico, Virginia, twenty-two year old rookie FBI Agent, Mallory Ward, never imagined facing down her first perp in her sister’s kitchen.  “Freeze, Nash.  I mean it, damn it!”
Her false bravado lost all conviction as she tried to comprehend the bizarre scene that played out in front of her.  Her brother-in-law, covered in her sister’s blood, cradled a blue bundle in the palm of his hands.
“Dear Lord, Nash, what have you done?”  She’d just stepped outside for a minute to get the cell phone he said he’d left in his pack.  When she couldn’t find his phone, she’d taken those precious extra seconds to grab hers from the rental car parked at the curb.
Mallory kicked passed an overturned chair and the cordless phone unit that had been ripped from the wall.  Her sister’s still warm body lay lifeless on the cold tile floor where her brother-in-law had been performing CPR.
Had she punched 911 before dropping her cell phone to reach for her gun?  That seemed like a lifetime ago.  She’d been willing to give Nash the benefit of doubt—until the Navy SEAL had sliced the swell of her sister’s belly.
“She’s gone, Mal.”  His voice never wavered.
“You have the right to remain silent…”
“There was nothing more I could do for her, except save our son.”  Nash dropped his K-bar in the puddle of blood.
Mal tried to sidestep the slick pool, but still managed to step where she shouldn’t, leaving the imprint of her soles behind.  Biting back the copper tang of panic, she continued to read him his Miranda Rights, Article 31 in the military.  “Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law…”
Nash covered the teeny nose and mouth with his mouth.  The tiny concave chest expanded and contracted with each puff.
“Do you understand these rights as I have read them to you…?  She couldn’t afford to make any more rookie mistakes now.
Sirens blared in the distance, emergency responders, too late to save her sister.  Mallory felt her world spinning out of control.
The tile floor rushed up to meet her.

© Rogenna Brewer.  All rights reserved.

This is from my WIP (work in progress) and upcoming Harlequin Superromance:  Deadline 7.15.13

Can Ambient Noise Boost Your Creativity?

My first office was a 3ft x 5ft coat closet off the living room of an equally small house.  Prince Charming had to cut the width of a pre-assembled desk down to size in order to make it fit.

I was surrounded by crates of writing supplies and there wasn't even enough room to close the door or twirl around while sitting in the chair.  Not that I would have--closed the door, I mean.

Every night after PC went off to work and the heirs to the kingdom were tucked into bed, I'd sit down to write.  I'd leave the TV on in the living room and always knew when Leno came on.  I'd listen to and laugh along with the monologue, skits and guests--all while writing--and when Leno was over that was my cue for bed.  I couldn't tell you what came before Leno, probably a sit-com with a laugh track.

I have friends who swear by writing to music.  I've tried and can't stand anything in my ears, but even without earbuds find music lyrics distracting and music without lyrics boring.  There are exceptions--the Top Gun soundtrack, for one--probably because I've listened to it so many times it's become background noise.  In fact, I won't even allow myself to break out the CD unless I mean business.  Those first pulse pounding beats of Danger Zone send my fingers flying across the keyboard.

So I found it very interesting when a friend sent me a link to coffitivity.  Based on research that ambient noise boosts creativity, this website brings the sounds of a coffee shop right to your computer.  I haven't tried it yet, but I'm falling behind on upcoming deadlines and up for anything.  I'm going to give it a whirl today along with Top Gun.

Do you need peace and quite in order to get anything done?  Or do you find ambient noise helps boost your creativity?

While you're trying out the online coffee shop experience have a virtual Starbucks Green Tea Frappuccino on me:
    


Friends on Friday: Author Day Leclaire


Contemporary romance author Day Leclaire
Day’s interest in writing started at an early age. “There were four kids in our family, the three girls all close together in age. We were home from school one winter day because we’d had a blizzard and Mom…. Well, she was practically pulling her hair out in an attempt to keep us entertained.
“We’d fought our way through any number of board games, had read all the books in the house and were basically making a total nuisance of ourselves. Out of sheer desperation, Mom told me that if I didn’t have any books to read, I should go write one.
"So, I did.  It was a historical.  A Cinderella story set in the Wild West with a wicked stepmother and two wicked stepsisters.  As I recall those two step sisters bore an uncanny resemblance to my own two sisters.  I guess I was out of charity with them at the time!"

Once Upon a Ghost

Once Upon A Ghost by Day LeclaireBook One in The Wacky Women Series
Zach Kingston, physic’s professor and famous ghost debunker, despises con-artists who profit from ghostly scams. And he isn’t about to change his mind just because this scammer’s drop-dead gorgeous and offers the most seductive kisses. Ever.
Rachel Avery is just trying to save her family home. And no nasty, rotten–surprisingly handsome–cynic can change that. If only he weren’t so damn sexy. And if only he didn’t offer the most seductive kisses. Ever.
But they have a deal, witnessed by the media: If Zach can’t scientifically disprove her ghost by Halloween, Rachel wins.
Then Zach meets Rachel’s grandmother and discovers the real reason the Averys are so desperate to sell their story.
Too bad his reputation is on the line…

Buy for Amazon Kindle


Once Upon a Cowboy

Once Upon A Cowboy by Day LeclaireBook Two in The Wacky Women Series
Cami “Tex” Greenbush is 100% pure Texan, despite having grown up in Virginia. Cowboying is in her blood. All she needs is one chance to prove it.
Holt Winston desperately needs a decent wrangler for his working Colorado dude ranch and Tex Greenbush’s resume seems perfect.
The instant Cami arrives at Holt’s ranch, wearing a pink feathered Stetson and fringe hanging from every seam, he fires her on the spot. Unfortunately, they’ve agreed to a two-week trial and a cowboy–a real cowboy–is always true to his horse, his woman, and his word.
While Cami spends her days roping the ranch dog more often than the cows and dragging Holt through the mud, her sky-blue eyes and itty-bitty freckles have him kissing her as often as he wants to strangle her.
Maybe that’s because he doesn’t need a wrangler… He wants a wife.

Buy for Amazon Kindle 

Once Upon a Time

Once Upon A Time by Day LeclaireBook Three of The Wacky Women Series
Handsome, efficiency-expert Julian Lord loves his rules.
Unfortunately, the mayhem at Willow’s End is breaking every last one of them.
First, there’s his aunt’s young and beautiful caretaker, Callie, Ms. Disorganization herself, who couldn’t say “no” if her life depended on it. Then here’s Brutus, Callie’s 200-pound St. Bernard who thinks he’s human, and his aunt’s two juvenile delinquent fosters bent on tearing apart her house in search of her missing will.
Julian attempts to tame the juvenile delinquents. Callie is dedicated to un-taming him. But no one can tame Brutus. Watching all the craziness come together is simply too fascinating for the humongous beast, especially since he knows exactly where the will is hidden.
Too bad the old boy isn’t talking…

Buy for Amazon Kindle

Indie Authors: Premade eBook Covers only $29 (Cover 005 Cave Dive) #diving #action #adventure

005 CAVE DIVE $29
Most of my covers are designed for the romance genre.  Although I'd really like to cast a wider net, it will take me some time to build  up business.  But here's one that's more action adventure than romance.

I chose this image as inspiration for, The Frogman, Prince cover, which I had designed by fellow Harlequin author Kim Van Meter.  My skills as a designer were little more than a brain bubble back then and no match for what I wanted.    

Kim has designed a couple covers for me and I would use her, and perhaps even another designer, again.  It will depend on how the scales are balanced at the time.  Do I have the time, the money or not enough of either.

These are all things to consider when choosing between a do-it-yourself, premade or custom cover.  Of course, I'm hoping you fall in love with one of my premade covers or like my work enough to commission a custom cover, but above all I want you to have the right cover for your book.  

On my site sweettoheat.blogspot.com I have a growing link list of cover designers.  Why?  Because the world is small and life is short and I believe in good karma.  There are a lot of talented designers out there and that list reminds me I have to earn your business.

What can I do to earn yours?      

You Need An App For That?

There's an app for everything these days.  But walking, seriously?  Call me old school, but I thought all you had to do was lace on, or in may case slip on, a pair of sneakers and put one foot in front of the other.

Until I tried the free versions of MapMyWalk for iphone.  I won't even go into all the bells and whistles because I'm not there yet.  Last year all that rebound weight gain stressed my knee (yes, only the one) and I had to stay off my feet for six weeks.

Needless to say, I gained even more weight and never got back into a walking routine.  Part of that was the pain of trying to do too much, too soon.  This year I was headed down that road again.

After a sluggish spring of sporadic walks that would keep me off my feet for days afterward, I needed to turn things around.  A friend sent me a link to a pedometer app, which I promptly forgot to load onto my cell phone.  By the time I remembered, I'd forgotten the name and was too embarrassed to ask.  So I googled "walking apps" and one kept popping to the top of the search.

It wasn't the app my friend recommended, but I downloaded it just the same.  I push a little button and it tells me to start walking.  Then it uses GPS to track me.  I think I accidently broadcast my whereabouts to facebook that first day.  Kind of stalkerish, but deletable--so okay.

I knew I needed to start slowly and stop way before the pain if I was ever going to build up.  The first day I walked up to the park and back, about 20 minutes.  Mind you, for the 76 year-old grandmothers who walk this route it would take 10 minutes.  I know because they pass me all the time.

The next day I went a little farther and slow didn't seem so bad when I had GPS Gal telling me what a great job I was doing.  I'd always thought my old three laps through the park, sometimes twice a day, amounted to a mile a lap, but soon realized my route was 1.5 miles.  No wonder I couldn't make it there and back with a bum knee.

Anyway, in two weeks I've built up from .5 miles to 1.5 miles pain free.  And every week MapMyWalk sends me an email to tell me how far I've walked and how many calories I've burned.  I can't wait to start exploring the other features and challenges of this app.  So maybe I don't need an app for walking.  But I kind of like having one :)

Are there any apps you need--or don't need--but have fallen in love with?

         

Indie Authors: Premade eBook Covers only $29 (Cover 004 The Bride) #brides

004 BRIDE $29
Last week I mentioned the Lifeguard as one of my favorite covers, topped only by this cover the Bride.  I could have sold her this week.  The author was just as enamored of her as I am.

But after an exchange of emails with the potential client, and changing the Bride's hair color to blonde, I realized we were both trying too hard to make this elegant creature fit into a romantic comedy.

Long story, short.  I have my first commission from that exchange for two custom covers.  They're going to be awesome.  I can't wait to get to work on them.  Meanwhile, the Bride remains a redhead and up for grabs.  My guess is she's not going to be around much longer.  Someone out there has her perfect story.

If a cover image inspires you to write a story that's one thing, but don't fall into the trap of trying to make a premade cover work for your story when it doesn't.

A cover is the first impression the reader sees.  You want to make it the right one.  Luckily, there'll be plenty more brides to come.  To recap...I've sold two covers, commissioned two more.  Created a landing page for Covers by Rogenna at sweettoheat.blogspot.com.  And have three new favorite covers out today.  Not bad for a first week.

Email me if you have any questions.        
  

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