February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day To Channie From Josh!

If you're reading this blog, I assume you already know who Channie and Josh are. But just in case you came here looking for my review of the Brookstone iPad case and stumbled across this post, let me fill you in.

Channie is a sixteen-year-old witch that falls in love with Josh, a BMX champion with washboard abs, a killer smile and the bluest eyes she's ever seen. (The fact that she's a witch is your first clue that these two kids are fictional ;-) They're the main characters in my novels, Enchantment and Taken, the first two books of The Channie Series.


When I got the mail yesterday, hidden amongst the bills and junk mail I found a Valentine's gift addressed to Channie from Josh! I giggled and hopped around like a school girl with her first crush then ran inside to open it. The neighbors already suspected I was crazy. They know for sure I am, now.

Nothing pleases me more than a reader that loves my characters as much as I do. This little gift made my entire Valentine's Day!

Sorry about the grainy photo, but I took it with my iPad. The note says, "Hey Babe, I hope you have a great Valentine's Day. Love always, Josh."

I'm saving that cookie forever!


February 13, 2012

99Designs 2 New Book Covers

I had so much fun working with the artists at 99Designs -- a really cool crowd-based website where you set up a “contest” and describe what you’re looking for. You also post how much you’re willing to pay. The more you offer, the more designs you’ll end up with. I chose the “middle” package and immediately had people respond. Here’s what I posted for my contest:
I need cover art for the second book in my series. I'd like to maintain a level of consistency with the first book, but if I like the new design better, I'll consider replacing the first cover. (More about that later)
“Taken: A Magical YA Paranormal Romance Book Two”
by Charlotte Abel
Bound by love and magic. Betrayed by those they trust. Not everyone survives.
Gasp-out-loud action; heart-pounding romance and an OMG ending that leaves you hungry for the next book.
Young Adult Paranormal Romance (more towards the adult end of the spectrum)
Character descriptions:
Channie: 16 year old female witch. Sweet, vulnerable face; intense, expressive, green eyes; wild, curly, white-blond, waist length, hair; youthful figure
Josh: athletic 17-18 year old male (BMX bicycle racer); intense, impossibly bright, sapphire blue eyes; black wavy hair. Youthful but strong masculine face.
Themes: Love really can conquer all, but not without extreme sacrifice. Love is more powerful than magic.
At first, I thought meh … my own cover art is just as good as these. But by the third day there were so many high quality designs splashed across my monitor, I was embarrassed I’d ever used my own cover. (I’m so tempted to yank that thing off my blog right now, but I want you to see the difference in quality.)
These folks listened to what I said and posted revisions faster than I could look at ‘em. I wound up with over 120 designs by 13 different artists.
The competition was fierce. I fell in love with two different designs and didn’t know how I could possibly make a choice. I posted two different polls on 99Designs (an optional feature they provide) but the results were still inconclusive ... until Anna posted the “new” Channie. It took my breath away. I knew immediately that “this is it” but I still had a couple of marketing people I had to convince. 
After a couple of tweaks to make it readable at thumbnail size (super-important since I sell 99% of my books on Amazon) I finally got the green light to go for it … with one condition.
Enchantment needed a new cover to match Taken I worked with the winning designer, Anna and she created an equally beautiful cover for Enchantment.
I enjoyed working with these artist so much that I decided to feature them here on my blog. Click on their samples to see more of their work.

Dirty Diana (aka “Mo”)

And just in case you didn't notice the scrolling books to the right, here's the winner… Nekozuki (AKA “Anna”)

February 01, 2012

The Closest I'll Ever Get to Tim Tebow

Screenshot from Amazon: Best Sellers in Children's Sports Books
I showed this screenshot to my soulmate, my husband, my one true love. This is the conversation that followed... 
Pete: "Tim Tebow wrote a book? Cool. How much is it?"
Me: "Ten times as much as my book."
Pete: "Huh. Do you think it's worth ten bucks?"
Me: "I'm sure it is. Look a little closer."
Pete: "Aw, man. He didn't write it."
Me: "He was probably too busy practicing football to write a dang book. Now look reeeeeally close."
Pete: "Hey, is that your book?"
Me: "About freakin time."
Pete: "What's Enchantment got to do with football?"
Me: <Grinding teeth> "Nothing. But Josh is a BMX champion preparing for the 2012 London Olympics when he meets Channie."
Pete: "BMX is an Olympic sport?"
Me: "Can you PLEASE tell me how impressed you are that Enchantment is an Amazon bestseller?"
Pete: <Gives big hug lots of pats on the back> Sure, babe. I'm really proud of you. Can you start supper? I'm starved.
Through My Eyes: A Quarterback's Journey does indeed look like a very good book. Guess What Pete's getting for Valentine's Day. A signed copy of Enchantment.