Book Cover Madness

People ask me at least once a month if it’s hard to write a book. My answer.  It’s not the writing that makes me slide into late-night panic attacks.

Oh no. The MOST stressful part of creating a novel???  The Book Cover Design.

A  cover has a boatload of work to do. It needs to set the mood, draw a reader in, show a story.

When it doesn’t do that….when that picture ain’t  properly tellin’ your thousands of words…. the wrong cover feels like you are stomping all over your awesomeness. All those beautiful sentences you so carefully crafted suddenly seem meaningless.

And then, if you are a tiny bit anxious like me, you start to worry that one or two unusable cover design attempts means you will never get your book cover right. Your entire story is ruined. The whole endeavor has been a gigantic, horrific, waste-of-time catastrophe. CASTASTROPHE!!!!

But THEN, you call your writing bestie and she reminds you we’ve been down this gravely train track before. It will work out. She tells you to breathe into a brown paper bag  – USELESS. She switches tactics and gives you some guidance. You realize you got your vision all backwards  and you conceptualize a clearer, more brilliant cover design.

So you email your talented cover artist with all your magnificent new ideas.  And then you wait. And wait. And wait a little more. And try not to obsess.

But you do obsess. Because, really, how can you not obsess?

In the meantime…you know one thing is for sure –  these are the covers you will most definitely NOT be using.

 

Choosing Hope – Releasing on Halloween

So I’ve decided to do something a lot crazy. I’m releasing my next novel, Choosing Hope, on October 31st.

 

In about 4 months!!!! In-Sanity! The manuscript is written, so no big deal there.

NOW it’s a matter of formatting, designing a book cover, gathering testimonials, and sending out advanced reader copies for reviews as quick as I can. I am literally Choosing Hope in doing this on such a short timeline.

 

Here’s the official book blurb:

A broken marriage.
A love affair.
A lie that changes it all…

Hope Rains Sullivan is living the dream—a successful husband, two beautiful young boys, and a charming home in Northern California. She should be happy. She almost convinced herself she was, until Adrian came along.

Adrian, appears to be everything her husband isn’t. He works with his hands, and is even willing to use them in a fight. He’s sexy, strong and fit, with warm brown skin that alludes to his Spanish background. Best of all, he lives for spending time with his kids. Feeling alone in her marriage, Adrian offers her a way out.

Hope’s affair is just the beginning. Her journey inward will require untangling her complicated past and surviving an astonishing revelation. Her lover is not who he pretends to be.

She’s searching for her happily-ever-after, and no matter how painful the journey, she’ll find what she’s been looking for all along—the chance to choose Hope.

***

I was originally going to release Choosing Hope sometime next year but…. My boys are leaving for the summer and I will have some extra time on my hands, plus my dad’s birthday is on Halloween.

Dad’s not around to read this book, yet I am positive he would get a kick out of me releasing my latest novel on his big day. So this one’s for you Papa! I hope you’re watching over and smiling right now.

Here’s what one of my favorite writers has to say about Choosing Hope:

Choosing Hope is a harrowing story of passion and deceit, the things we do for love and the rabbit holes we tumble into chasing elusive fairy-tale endings. Dark around the edges with a shocking twist I didn’t see coming, this is the kind of book you’ll be passing around to your friends so you can talk about it. Holly Kammier delivers romance, suspense, and a strong, smart heroine who turns out to be nobody’s victim. Don’t miss this one! – Kat Ross, best-selling author of The Midnight Sea 

I am so very excited to share this story with you all!!!

Dating 101

Blogging is much trickier these days. There’s so many things in my private life, I feel the need to keep private.

I will say I have emerged from my self-imposed cave and officially put my heart back out into the dating world.

Opening yourself up to strangers is a vulnerable proposition. Practicing radical self-love while purposely choosing to trust “new friends” is both scary and exhilarating. It’s also incredibly educational. In a short period of time I have hurt others, been hurt, and learned a lot about my own wants, needs, dislikes, and desires.

Desperate pieces of me crave the known, the comfortable.  I’ve been working hard not to fall into old patterns. All too often I catch myself leaning towards men I want to fix and who I think will rescue me in return. I’m a sucker for the fairy tale knight-in-shining-armor with deep wounds that need nursing.

I have to remind myself on the daily, I can’t love away anyone else’s hurts and I don’t need a man to make me valuable. Seems kind of obvious, but believing it and living it, don’t come natural to me.

I’m getting there, but no real-life story is one of overnight redemption. It is very much, two steps forward, one step crashing back. I’m getting up and trying again. Learning, growing, practicing resilience. A lot of days, standing on my own or trying with the wrong person, SUCKS. Some days are ridiculously awesome.  My ultimate goal, with or without a romantic partner, is inner peace and contentment. I’ll let you know when THAT happens .

In the meantime, the boys and I are moving. We are homeowners once again and it feels great to prepare to paint walls, hang pictures, and call a little slice of San Diego – our most favorite place on this earth – home. My company, Acorn Publishing, is flourishing. Jessica Therrien and I  signed a phenomenal new writer, hired two interns, and sold so many of our books, it’s hard to believe it’s all real.

Crazy what can happen when you take risks and believe in yourself.

Choosing Hope!!!

I stopped blogging last summer after I left Las Vegas and moved back to San Diego.

When life rocks your foundation, sometime it is best to go quiet, and allow yourself the empty vacuum of space to reflect and heal.

I have used these past eight months to rebuild. For me, that has meant the power of prayer to the universe, writing myself a note each day to celebrate something positive, yoga, walking, weight lifting, focusing on my business (Acorn Publishing) and my beautiful children, and writing my story.

Our intern posted this quote by P.D. James on twitter recently that I absolutely LOVE!

 

I have used the art of writing to OWN the lessons I’ve learned and transform them into something that makes sense to me.

The rough draft of my next novel is complete!!!

Choosing Hope is the story of a woman, Hope Rains Sullivan, who learns the hard way she needs to choose herself. It is my deepest,  most personal work to date, and I absolutely can not wait to share it with you when it’s fully polished and ready to shine.

In the meantime, a move is in the works. I bought a tiny townhouse in a magnificent location and my boys and I are preparing to make it GORGEOUS. I promise to check in with you a little more often from now on and keep you posted.

Thank you to everyone who has supported us in our journey!!! Sending you all love and light.

Where It All Began – Guest Post

Where It All Began

Guest Post by: Jessica Therrien

Over the weekend, Holly and I had the pleasure of attending the Southern California Writers Conference. We were excited and nervous, not knowing how our hybrid publishing company would be received by so many writers.

What happened was amazing. Not only were we welcomed with open arms and embraced as writers ourselves, but those who attended our workshop were blown away by the concept of our company. For so long, writers have been forced to choose between the long and difficult path of traditional publishing and the struggles of self-publishing. We offer the in between, and I’m happy to say, that idea excited and motivated everyone in the room.

I couldn’t have imagined a more successful conference, and we are so thrilled to be offering a solution to our fellow writers.

Bottom line, it was such a wonderful experience being around so many creative, inspiring, excited authors, and we had so much fun reliving our first conference…Holly and I have come so far since we met there in that exact hotel at the 2011 Southern California Writers Conference.

 

Happy Launch Day to El Awake!

El Awake coverEl Awake.

In the year 2115, Eleutherius (El) is struggling to find meaning in a city where most are strangely submissive and unquestioning towards the absolute rule of the merciless authorities. But after discovering the dark truth behind the white city, El ventures on a fast paced and thrilling journey to fight for the freedom of a people he once resented.  

Guided by his now-deceased grandfather’s poems, El’s body and mind must be broken and reassembled, in order that he become stronger and accomplish the work his Grandfather began, all the while struggling against questions of morality and discerning who is friend and who is foe.
On behalf of our growing company, Acorn Publishing, we are excited to welcome the supremely talented Jordan Sala Tenna’s debut novel.  This 23 year-old blew our socks off when we first edited his gripping manuscript. 
Jordan Sala Tenna Pic
Here’s what the man behind the story has to say about himself and his work:   
I grew up interested in fast, action packed thrills, and never would have imagined writing a full-length novel. I hated school and longed for the day to graduate and join the military, but life is unexpected.
The military thing never happened (probably for the best), but something else did. One strange day I opened a Bible, and for the next week I was in tears after reading it. Since then I have been far more interested in reading and writing than I ever was before.
I live with my family in a state below the mainland of Australia named Tasmania. It’s often cold, but even more often green and beautiful with rolling hills, snow capped mountains, overgrown forests, and relaxed people. I spend my days working around the house, writing, and caring for a young golden retriever.
Check out this awesome young adult fantasy book here!!

Kick Ass Woman

 

Alyssa P picI formed an instant girl crush on Alyssa Petersel the day I began editing her manuscript, Somehow I Am Different.

In a world where revenge and outrage often reign, Alyssa and her true story serve to remind us that the decisions we make transform the people we become as well as the world in which we live.

For that, she is my kick-ass woman of the month.

Born and raised in New York, Alyssa is a firecracker of energy and optimism. Rather than taking a safe, traditional path when she from graduated from Northwestern three years ago, she organized a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to move to Budapest, a country stricken by economic decay, anti-Semitism, and a shameful past. She had planned to interview some of the fascinating men and women she met there nearly one year before during a college volunteer spring break trip.

 

Alyssa with book

 

Somehow I Am Different documents the lives of twenty-one inspiring Jewish Hungarians as well as Alyssa’s eight-month journey of personal growth.

The men and women she met – one of them a famous rapper, another a renowned pastry chef – grew up in an atmosphere of hate and repression. They came from families where relatives had been murdered by their neighbors, and parents feared telling their own children they were Jewish in order to protect them. Over time, they chose to change their focus. They were able to see past the ugliness and find beauty.

Throughout her journey, Alyssa was inspired by the quote, “The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.” — M. Scott Peck

You can find your own copy of Somehow I’m Different today here. Read it. Tell your friends. Make the world a better place.

Congrats Alyssa, you kick ASS!!!!

To My Father

Grateful Dead

 

It is 2:32 am and I can not sleep. My father is dead.

His death, which occurred sometime last Sunday morning in his sleep,  has left me disorientated, distracted, angry, sad, and grateful.

My dad and I had a complicated relationship. Therapists have labeled it troubling, and in my younger years, extremely dysfunctional.

My dad taught me how to grow marijuana in our suburban garage when I was a young child. He would take hard drugs and call me a fat bitch or a whore. One time he threatened to kill me.

Dad also danced with me in our living room, dressed up with me in funny outfits, shared his love of art and music, and scouted out our nature walks. He drove with me to Palm Springs just after I graduated from college, and waited in the car while I marched inside to fight for my first on-air reporting job. When I got the gig, he printed out every news story I covered from the KMIR-TV website and saved them in a 3-ring binder.

After my first son was born, Dad came to my apartment three times a week to hold my baby so I could nap. He took my side when anyone hurt my feelings, and made time for me even if it was last minute in the early morning hours.

I spoke to my dad several times a week by phone, saw him each Wednesday afternoon when he would come with me to pick up my boys from school. He irritated Josh with questions about his day and quizzed Alex on his spelling words. Our dog, Darby, loved to jump on my dad’s lap the moment he sat down in our apartment.

We gossiped. He constantly clipped newspaper articles for me. Dad spilled his ever-present coffee on my countertops and in my car. He dressed in layers of clothing like a homeless hippie Santa Claus.

My dad made inappropriate jokes and sported questionable hairstyles. In his mid-sixties, Dad wore corn rows for several months. He could name the dates and details of every major historical event.  He thrived on watching Jerry Springer.

My dad loved animals, his green mini-Cooper, his girlfriend Linda, and most of all, his children.

I miss him dearly.

I’m not ready to say goodbye to my dad, so I won’t.

I will say, I love you. I miss you.  I will carry you in my memories, my stories, and my heart.  You made my life better. Thank you for being my father.

 

Redemption – The final saga

Jess picRedemption is finally here!!! The last book in Jessica Therrien’s best-selling triliogy, Children of the Gods, has arrived. I’m slightly biased, as I adore Jessica and I helped edit the book. But still … it is soooo good and quite possibly my favorite of the three novels in this YA fantasy series about the decedents of Greek gods.

Jess has been working on Children of the Gods for the past FIVE years, so my first question for today’s interview is …

 

How does it feel to be finished???

Like I just ran a marathon and now I can stop to breathe and drink a gallon of Gatorade 😉 It was fun, but wheew, it feels GOOD to be finished!

 

What surprised you while writing this final installment of Children of the Gods?

How easily it came out once I started writing. I didn’t know how the series would end until about halfway through the third book. You can imagine how nerve-racking that was for me.

 

I know that feeling well. It is terrifying!  Speaking of endings, I LOVE your last chapter. It made me cry happy tears. What have your early reviewers been saying?

I’m so happy! I love it, too. Early reviewers agree. I think it makes everyone feel really satisfied. It’s one of my favorite parts of the whole series.

 

What is your favorite scene in the series and why?

Wow. What a great question. The first thing that popped into my head was the waterfall scene with William in UPRISING.

 

For me, I really struggle writing sex scenes. I feel this huge responsibility to make them authentic as well as enjoyable to read. Were there any scenes you dreaded writing?

I think I dreaded writing the end of book 2 and book 3 the most. Like I said, I didn’t know what was going to happen so that was very intimidating.

 

Now that you are finished, do you still carry your main character, Elyse, around with you? Is she still alive and real in your imagination?

Yes. Because she is me in so many ways.

 

Why should readers buy this book?

The whole reason I set out to write this series was to satisfy my own craving for that next page-turning novel you just can’t put down. I hope I have accomplished that.

 

You definitely have. Thank you for sitting down with me, Jess. Next thing on my to-do list is to order the finished book on Amazon today. My bookshelf has waited long enough!

Thanks Holly! It has been so much fun journeying down this road with you. You have been an amazing writing partner and an even better friend.

I feel the same way!!!

Check out the cover and all the details here:

Redemption First Edition Cover Lead Council member, Christoph, is dead by Elyse’s hand, and Descendants have begun to emerge, exposing their secret to the world. Some see this as the prophecy come to fruition, but the prophecy caries a heavy consequence. It was never meant to be as peaceful as most had hoped. Humans and Descendants struggle to live together in a world that isn’t ready for such a change. America is divided. Those who glorify the supernatural race believe Descendants truly are the gods they claim relation to. Others see them as a threat. When Elyse gives birth to the next generation oracle, she sees one final vision—war. The destruction of the country’s major cities, and the end of America as we know it. After her daughter is born, Elyse finds herself without the ability she needs to predict the future. Desperate to save the world from such conflict, she puts her faith in the hope that Descendants are the key to survival. After all, they have the power to supply a broken society with the means to survive. Only from the ashes can a new world be born.

Learn more at Jessica’s website or go straight to these sights to order your copy:

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE (Links available soon)

 

Thank you for reading! Holly Kammier is a former journalist who has worked everywhere from CNN in Washington, D.C. and KCOP-TV in Los Angeles, to the NBC affiliate in small-town Medford, Oregon. The blogger and UCLA honors graduate is the author of the memoir, Could Have Been Holly Wood. Kingston Court, is her debut novel. A California native and mother of two, Holly currently splits her time between San Diego, California and Henderson, Nevada. Co-creator of Acorn Author Services & Publishing, she is available for speaking engagements and content editing. www.hkammier.com
 

Happy Launch Day to Redemption (Children of the Gods #3)!

Redemption First Edition Cover

Redemption (Children of the Gods #3)

Nobody promised freedom would be peaceful.

AVAILABLE TODAY!

Lead Council member, Christoph, is dead by Elyse’s hand, and Descendants have begun to emerge, exposing their secret to the world. Some see this as the prophecy come to fruition, but the prophecy caries a heavy consequence. It was never meant to be as peaceful as most had hoped.
Humans and Descendants struggle to live together in a world that isn’t ready for such a change. America is divided. Those who glorify the supernatural race believe Descendants truly are the gods they claim relation to. Others see them as a threat.
When Elyse gives birth to the next generation oracle, she sees one final vision of war. The destruction of the country’s major cities, and the end of America as we know it.
After her daughter is born, Elyse finds herself without the ability she needs to predict the future. Desperate to save the world from such conflict, she puts her faith in the hope that Descendants are the key to survival. After all, they have the power to supply a broken society with the means to survive.
Only from the ashes can a new world be born.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

 

OPPRESSION (Book #1) ON SALE $0.99

UPRISING (Book #2) ON SALE $0.99

REDEMPTION (Book #3) AVAILABLE NOW $2.99

The Children of the Gods Series

The Descendants have waited long enough for freedom!

About The Author

Jess picJESSICA THERRIEN spent most of her life in the small town of Chilcoot, California, high up in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. In this town of nearly 100 residents, with no streetlights or grocery stores, there was little to do but find ways to be creative. Her mother, the local English teacher, inspired her to do all things artistic, and ultimately instilled in her a love for language. Jessica currently lives in Southern California with her husband and their two children.

You can visit her online at

www.jessicatherrien.com