Master Cat Poll And Thank You Gift

August 13th, 2014

I’m so excited. Master Cat is nearly ready to be released (scheduled for October). To celebrate I’d love some help choosing a cover design. As a thank you for your vote, download the first chapter from the upcoming release, Master Cat, FREE! (scroll down to download)

In case you’re unfamiliar with the book’s concept, here is the back cover blurb: Toby, a magical talking cat, has cut ties with the Office of Kingdom Guardianship, intent on finding his long-lost father and avenging his mother’s murder. He thought he left everyone behind, but someone from his past is stalking him. Now he must avoid this strange new menace while he seeks the truth about his family’s dark history, a history that threatens to unravel his sanity and cause the rest of the world to descend into madness. Can Toby reconcile himself with the past or will his inner turmoil allow his enemy to plunge humanity into chaos once and for all?

Here are the three covers to choose from. I need your help because I just can’t decide which one I like better. Here are the choices (scroll down to vote):

Master-Cat-Cover-mockup Cover #1 Master-Cat-Cover-mockup2 Cover #2 Master-Cat-mockup3 Cover #3

The poll is now closed. Sign up for my newsletter to be the first to find out which is the winning cover. Mass audience cover reveal will be Sept. 24, 2014.

***

Catch up on the adventure with other books in the Malkin series.

Apprentice Cat CoverApprentice Cat available in paperback and for KindleNookKoboScribd and iTunes.

Buy the .pdf now 

Also available as an audiobook on AudibleAmazon and iTunes.

 

 

Journeyman-Cat15percentJourneyman Cat available in paperback and KindleNookScribdiTunes and Kobo.

Buy the .pdf now 

Audiobook coming soon.

 

 

Secrets-of-the-Malkin-sidebar-newsletterSecrets of the Malkin ebook version available for KindleNookiTunes and Kobo.

Buy the .pdf now 

 

 

 

Huntress of the MalkinHuntress of the Malkin ebook version available for KindleNookKobo and iTunes.

Buy the .pdf now 

I’m No Artist, But…

October 15th, 2011

Welcome to Toolbox Saturday where you’ll find tools for various things from writing to whatever.

Okay, so I maybe putting the cart before the horse, but I believe in getting a head start when I can. I’m only about half finished with my third book (first draft!) and I’ve been considering cover art. Why? Because you only get about 8 seconds to entice a prospective reader to take the time to read the blurb about what’s inside the cover.

Well, as this post’s title indicates, I’m not an artist. (I can draw a mean stick figure, but that’s about as far as it gets. :D) I did design the cover for my first book, Fear Not!, using a photo from the drive-thru window of the Northwest Missouri Regional Credit Union where I work and Photoshop to create a rainbow. I also designed the text for the cover. However, being as it was a Bible study I felt the artwork was appropriate in its simplicity. With this Apprentice Cat being a fantasy, though, I thought maybe I should see if I could hire a real artist to design the cover.

I went to Lulu.com first because they “supposedly” have professionals who do cover designs. Here’s my problem: each Lulu sponsored designer stated that they would design my cover for a fee, but I would have to submit all the images I wanted to be incorporated in the cover. Huh? I have to give you the images? Isn’t that your job? That’s the whole reason I’m looking for a designer. Sure I could probably merge some pictures together and come up with something nice, but I want a really great professional cover.

I’m still looking for a good artist with reasonable fees, but in the meantime I’m trying to find ways to use my Photoshop and the skills I learned at Rush Printing as a desktop publisher to create a cover I can be proud of.

When buying a book, how important is the cover art to you? If you’re an Indie Author, how have you tackled the cover design?

***Apprentice Cat Cover

Update: I did end up designing the cover for Apprentice Cat myself and, I think, it’s pretty good. Sometime in the future I would like to have all the Malkin series covers re-designed by a professional, but until then, I’m satisfied.

***

Catch up on the adventure with other books in the Malkin series.

Apprentice Cat CoverApprentice Cat available in paperback and for KindleNookKoboScribd and iTunes.

Buy the .pdf now 

Also available as an audiobook on AudibleAmazon and iTunes.

 

 

Journeyman-Cat15percentJourneyman Cat available in paperback and KindleNookScribdiTunes and Kobo.

Buy the .pdf now 

Audiobook coming soon.

 

 

Secrets-of-the-Malkin-sidebar-newsletterSecrets of the Malkin ebook version available for KindleNookiTunes and Kobo.

Buy the .pdf now 

 

 

 

Huntress of the MalkinHuntress of the Malkin ebook version available for KindleNookKobo and iTunes.

Buy the .pdf now 

Am I Qualified? One Author’s Look On Writing A Bible Study

August 12th, 2011

Bible photoIt just occurred to me that some of you may wonder what qualifies me to write a Bible study, since that was my first published book.  I know I wouldn’t trust just anyone to write a Bible study worth journeying through.

To be honest, I asked myself that same question many times as I wrote it.  As I said before, “Fear Not! Discovering God’s Promises For Our Lives was born from a need in my church for an adult VBS class that had no curriculum.” (read my entry “Fear Not! Discovering God’s Promises Available” for more specific info on the book.)

I’ve been in ministry since I was a teenager; however, just because I’ve served in various capacities in different churches, does that automatically mean I know how to put together a Bible study?  Maybe, but there’s more to my story.

I spent 3 1/2 years at Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, Texas, working toward my Master’s of Divinity.  It was during this time that I re-discovered my calling — writing.  Ministry had always been a struggle, as if I was trying to eat with my feet while walking on my hands, yet writing was almost as easy as breathing (so long as I didn’t let my perfectionism get in the way).

So I decided to quit the ministry and devote my time to writing. (Well… okay, so it took two more years, but I did it.)  I’ve still been active in my church, but not as part of the staff.  When the opportunity to write some curriculum came up you would think I would have jumped at the chance.  After all, it would be a blend of a former passion with a life-long passion.

I hesitated.  I wasn’t convinced I was qualified.  I was a ministry dropout.  What could I possibly offer?  Then my husband reminded me that many of the greatest people in the Bible weren’t “qualified.”  In fact, Moses, the man whose story is the main part of the first six lessons in Fear Not, kept giving excuses to God why he shouldn’t be the one to go to Pharaoh.

Keeping that in mind, I dove in and gave it my all for two (long!) months.  Is it the best Bible study ever written?  Probably not.  Is it a Bible study anyone can use to meet God in a new and, perhaps, unexpected way?  Most definitely.  Each lesson begins with an introduction, then moves on to a scripture reading (included), questions to ponder, a meditation picture and lastly a list of possible hands-on projects you can do.

I don’t plan on writing another Bible study, but if the opportunity arises I may just turn that corner and forge ahead.

Photo by Ryk Neethling

Fear Not: Discovering God’s Promises available

August 12th, 2011

I am so excited!  I just discovered my first book, a Bible study, is finally listed on Amazon.com.  Fear Not! Discovering God’s Promises For Our Liveswas born from a need in my church for an adult VBS class that had no curriculum.  I spent two months putting it together and then an anxious seven weeks waiting for it to appear on Amazon.

While I’m very excited, I’m also a bit disappointed by Lulu.  First of all there is no preview available.  I hope to be able to rectify that soon.  Secondly, there is supposed to be a download version available on Lulu for about half the price of the printed version, but darned if I can find it.  I can’t even find my own store front on Lulu.  This does not bode well for my staying with this company.  I’m going to do some more research to find a solution to the problem or decide to use another company for the next book.  (See my blog entry “Research Your Publishing Options” for why this is so important.)

And speaking of the next book, it’s in the works.  I hope to be finished writing it sometime in the spring.  The Misadventures of Apprentice Cat: The Secret of the Wobbly Wizard (working title) is a book based on a short story I wrote awhile back called “Apprentice Cat” that received several good reviews.  I fell in love with the main character, a cat going to school to learn how to be a witch’s companion, and decided he deserved to have his story told in a longer format.

As I’ve worked on this book I’ve discovered new and intriguing things about Toby and the people and cats around him.  I think that’s the wonderment of telling stories.  The reader isn’t the only one who enjoys the twists and turns of a good book. I plan out the general direction I want a story to take, but a lot of time my characters take me down paths I never anticipated.  It’s all part of the joy an author experiences.

UPDATE:

If you’ve purchased Fear Not! Discovering God’s Promises For Our Lives on Amazon.com, please remember to leave an honest review. Thanks!

I finally fixed the URL to my storefront on Lulu.com.  Here it is: Virginia Ripple’s Storefront.  You can download Fear Not! Discovering God’s Promises For Our Lives for $5 in .pdf format in my Lulu.com store.