Tag Archives: Viola Estrella

Death Before Daylight Cover Reveal

6 Nov

I first want to thank everyone who took my poll on November 1st! For those of you who asked for more YouTube videos, you watched a secret video on my YouTube channel – Coffee & Cats – and you got to see the cover one day early. Check it out below if you want. I plan on sharing more secret videos in the future as well!

Today is all about Death Before Daylight. Both the cover and the synopsis are finally available, and I hope you enjoy them! Get excited for the last installment of The Timely Death Trilogy. In future posts, you can expect excerpts, a cover explanation, the back cover, quotes, and more! But special thanks goes out to the cover artist – Viola Estella – today.

Seconds Before SunriseTwo eternities. One ending.

“Harmony would only come with destruction.”

The moment Eric and Jessica are reunited, they are torn apart. After the appearance of a new breed of shades and lights, the powers shift for the worse, and all three descendants find themselves face-to-face in the Light realm. When Darthon is in control, the last thing everyone expects to hear is the truth.

While Jessica learns the reason of her creation, Darthon’s identity is exposed to Eric – and only Eric – but Eric can no longer defend himself. With the eternities of the Light and the Dark resting on Jessica’s shoulders, she must chose who she will be – a light or a shade – and both have dire consequences.

In the end, someone must die, and the end is near.

We’re still on schedule for a late January release, and I’ll be sure to let everyone know when it’s available on Goodreads or Amazon for pre-order! Until then, keep up-to-date right here, and be sure to catch up on Minutes Before Sunset, book 1, and Seconds Before Sunrise, book 2, in the meantime.

~SAT

Click today!

Click today!

My Anniversary: A Timeline of this Past Year

1 May

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the release of Minutes Before Sunset, book 1 of The Timely Death Trilogy. I’ve been pondering many ideas on how to go about this date – because it feels so surreal – and one idea in particular kept popping back up because I keep hearing one particular question:

How did I gain my followers and readership?

There is no simple answer, but I like to explain it in the only way I can: stats. I like to share my stats because it helps others see how websites and writers shape over time. I even have an Events page so readers can see where I’ve come from in order to get where I am today. So, I am going to do that with Minutes Before Sunset. Below, you can explore a timeline that showcases the moments that grew this novel over the past year. To keep it simple, I am ONLY including events about The Timely Death Trilogy. If you want to know about everything I’ve been up to – like my other publications or how I became C.O.O. of AEC Stellar Publishing – click here or visit my Events page at the top.

When you explore the timeline below, all links will take you to a relevant blog post. Throughout this post, I have added more about my life that I haven’t mentioned before now, so I hope you enjoy it!

May 1, 2013: Release Day

Originally, AEC released ebooks before paperbacks. (Now, we’re the opposite.) So May 1 came around and the ebook of Minutes Before Sunset was released first.

May 10, 2013: Full Paperback Preview

Again, we didn’t have the full layout at first, so the back of the novel changed a few times. This ended up being the final version, and it still looks like this today, and the back description was chosen by readers who voted between three different options. Fun fact: I took the photograph on the back cover. It was really important for me to have it on the novel. Thankfully, AEC Stellar approved it. 😀

The official Minutes Before Sunset cover, back and all, decided from your words!

The official Minutes Before Sunset cover, back and all, decided from your words!

May, 23, 2013: I Received My Paperback in the Mail 

I put three pictures below. The photo on the left was the day I received Minutes Before Sunset in the mail. My father took the picture on his back patio. I love that grill on the left. Bogart loves napping in that orange, lawn chair. And I am wearing one of my late mother’s rings – a sapphire I inherited from her. You might recognize the clothes I am because they were on “Dress Like the Book” photograph (on the right)  I shared last month.

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Is this what we call foreshadowing?

June 4, 2013: Goodreads Nomination 

Minutes Before Sunset was nominated for Goodreads Book of the Month for General Fiction of July, 2013.

June 14, 2013: Paperback Released

June 28, 2013: Minutes Before Sunset awarded “Book of the Month” for General Fiction on Goodreads.

This still means so much to me. To all those who voted back then, thank you. I still hold this moment so close to my writer’s heart.

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July 27, 2013: Book Signing

Originally, I had a book signing at a huge event for novels in Missouri, but I had to cancel last minute due to unfortunate and unavoidable circumstances. I still wanted to share it on this timeline because it is relevant to this past year, and it was probably one of those sadder moments where you feel really let down. A book release isn’t all fun and games, but it ended up being smiles in the end. 😀

August 11, 2013: New Edition Released

Minutes Before Sunset was redone – mainly because the first cover was extremely washed out – but there are some inside edits that were adds. This is still the edition used today. The photo below was of the day I received this new version in the mail.

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September 30, 2013: Soundtrack:

Minutes Before Sunset now has a soundtrack on 8tracks, which you can still listen to by clicking here. The songs include the XX, Florence + the Machine, Jem, and more, but I wanted to say one thing. I rarely write with music. I might brainstorm with music, but it’s difficult for me to write with music playing, so these songs are what I pictured playing in the background of a movie if it were ever made.

October 14, 2013: My Stats Started Spiking

After hitting #407 in Paranormal Romance, I feel like this was the week Minutes Before Sunset began picking up the great traction is still has today. I still haven’t figured it out, but during this week, T. Harv Eker, #1 NY Times Bestselling author of Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, quoted me on his page. Following that, Shawne Duperon, 6-time Emmy winner and founder of Project Forgive also retweeted the quote and tweeted to me. My novel was also put on a bookshelf in a store for the first time. But who knows? This world is mysterious. I simply trust my gut when I say this is where I think it started.

6 Months

 …

November 2, 2013: Seconds Before Sunrise Announcements

Seconds Before Sunrise (book 2) is copyrighted and receives ISBN. This is when I really started advertising my next novel’s release (which just happened March 27) – so I took a number of months to connect with reviewers and interviewers while also pushing out more information about Minutes Before Sunset so new readers had a chance to catch up.

November 15, 2013: Dream and Stats 

I shared an excerpt from my actual diary from when I was having the dreams that turned in The Timely Death Trilogy. The reason I’m sharing it again as an event is because my sales spiked. (Again, I think this is where things started speeding up for the next release. I like to share this information in the hopes that other authors can see correlations and try it out for themselves.)

December 1, 2013: Seconds Before Sunrise cover reveal

As many of you know, the cover reveal for Seconds Before Sunrise was also a scavenger hunt across 50 AMAZING blogs. Special thanks goes out to everyone who helped me with the event, including Viola Estrella for dealing with my very specific vision for this cover.

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December 2, 2013: Under the Dome is reading Minutes Before Sunset 

Andrew Vogel, the actor who plays Carter Thibodeau in Under The Dome On CBS, is reading “Minutes Before Sunset.”

carter December 8, 2013: Country-Singer Quotes Seconds Before Sunrise

Seconds Before Sunrise was quoted by singer, Don Pedigo, with his music video, Sunroom Sessions: Cheap Unleaded. CMT calls Don “The hard-rocking heartthrob from the Heartland.”

Don Pedigo on Twitter

Don Pedigo on Twitter

December 13, 2013: Eric Welborn’s Birthday 

 Okay. Okay. I know it’s fictional, but his birthday in the novel falls on Friday the 13th, and it was a Friday the 13th that VERY year.

February 9, 2014: Book Trailer 

The book trailer for Minutes Before Sunset releases.

February 24, 2014: Copyright Infringement 

Three writers took the insides from Minutes Before Sunset and were selling them off as their own work. I shared my emotions about this event, which is now resolved.

March 4, 2014: Minutes Before Sunset reached top 1,000 in the Kindle Store

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March 16, 2014: Seconds Before Sunrise (book 2) on Amazon for pre-order

Remember, now AEC releases paperbacks before ebooks. (The ebook of Seconds Before Sunrise releases THIS June.)

March 22, 2014: Seconds Before Sunrise Paperback Arrives 

These moments are huge. I never forget them, and I always keep the very first novel I receive on display on my bookshelf. My father took this photo as well. Same back patio – just in the corner this time. I had barely slept the night before because I was out of town, and my dad had texted me to tell me they had arrived. After that, I couldn’t to get back home to hold them!

My latest novels.

My latest novels.

 On the same day, Minutes Before Sunset hit 100 ratings on Goodreads at 4.48 stars. I am so happy that so many people have not only read my novels but have taken the time to rate and review them. As of today, The Timely Death Trilogy has 129 ratings at 4.43 stars.

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March 27, 2014: Seconds Before Sunrise releases! (paperback only) 

We had a lovely time, too! Seconds Before Sunrise made it onto bookshelves, Eric wore a bow, and people won signed paperbacks. We also made it into the top 1,000 in Kindle Store again.

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April 5, 2014: Cute Couples Reading Cute Stories 

Yep. I just called my novels cute. (These two make it look so adorable!)

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April 8, 2014: Press Release for Seconds Before Sunrise:

This was my first press release. Ever. So I was really happy to finally see it: “Award-Winning Paranormal Fiction Author Publishes Second Book In The Timely Death Trilogy.”

ONE YEAR

May 1, 2014

Because I shared so many extras along the way, please check out these pages: Extras and Reviews. They include what cars the characters drive, personality quizzes, photos, floor plans, and more. The Reviews page includes every blogger that I know of that has reviewed The Timely Death Trilogy. (Thank you so much!)

But wait! There’s even more.

I have future publications coming your way: the ebook of Seconds Before Sunrise releases June 12th, and Death Before Daylight is about to be sent into my content editor. I also have my next novel – that I am still referring to as TMT – coming out THIS YEAR. That’s right. This year. And sooner than you think. I’ll have more news about it soon, so be sure to come back.

The Timely Death Trilogy is only beginning.

~SAT

Amazon

Guest Blog: Matter of Resistance – Six Years In The Making

17 Jul

Hey, everyone. For this brief moment, I am Shannon. The rest of this post has been written by the fantastic author, Raymond Vogel. You see, I’m out of town again due to a death in the family, but I’ll be back on Tuesday, and Ray has graciously agreed to help me keep my blog going while I’m gone. That being said, if you’ve sent me an email or message or any kind, I will reply when I return :]

One last thing: I’ve added my book signing event to both Facebook and GoodreadsClick the links to join either one. I hope I get to meet some of you again! It’ll be a lot of fun–a BBQ, music, authors, and other artists to mingle with.

I can’t wait! But I have to get back to my travels–so without further ado:

Matter of Resistance is being re-released next month, at last a product I can say I’m proud to have authored. It’s literally been “in work” for six years now, so it’s also a great relief to call it complete. Here, briefly, are the forces of fate that collapsed on top of me to make it possible. Special thanks to Shannon Thompson, a wonderful writer in her own right, for allowing me her page to share them with you.
Concept:Matter_Of_Resistance_-_COVER_ART
For almost three years, starting in 2007, I worked as a Systems Engineer on the NASA Orion Program. As a dreamer and philosopher, I couldn’t help but work out the future details about actually landing on Mars and colonizing it as we humans finally begin our disbursement out into the universe. With a strong background in material science, and three previous years holed up in a lab working with advanced materials, I also suspected there had to be another reason for us to go.
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With these two things in mind, I invented Mangematter – a material that doesn’t exist on Earth but that I theorized could hold some unique properties. And it’s not as far fetched as you might think (see articles like this one on the uses of magnetic pinning). Incidentally, Magnematter was the working title of the book for quite a long time.
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Also occurring at that time, as you may remember, was a war in Iraq. A war many conspiratorially believed (reference) was really being fought for a healthy supply of oil – a material we’re consuming rather quickly (See sites like oilddecline.com). A war waged over a critical material, plus the idea of Magnematter, gave me the epic-sized conflict I was looking for.
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With a relevant and scientifically feasible setting and a conflict in hand, it was the simple matter of creating the characters and plotline to fill in the details.
Methodology:
Having made several failed attempts to write novels before, I waited to write anything until I had first turned to the magical land where all answers appear in seconds: the internet. In one swift google search, I landed on the Snowflake Method. If you’re a writer, and you haven’t heard of this method, consider looking at it very seriously. As a logic based life form (aka engineer), it jumped out at me as the only way to write. It employs software development processing to writing – an unlikely combination if ever there was one – and it works.
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I followed the Snowflake Method diligently, making the one sentence version of my book, then the paragraph, and so on. I’ve been told, even on the original version, that the result was a “perfect plotline” – coherently linked from beginning to end. And I’ve been recommending the process ever since. In case you’re curious, the one-sentence synopsis I created for Matter of Resistance was:
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An evolved and brilliant youth must save Earth from devastation at the hands of his fellow Martian colonists.” – Aug 6, 2007
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Of course, the details changed CONSIDERABLY since the writing of that sentence, but it gave me the foundation I needed to write my novel. Using the Snowflake Method, it only took me about 6 months to finish the first draft of Matter of Resistance (Magnematter, at the time). I then spent the the next few years polishing my manuscript to get the grammar errors out, began the slow process of looking for a publisher, got bored waiting for rejection letters, and then put it up on Amazon in about 3 hours in October of 2011.
Significant Change:DSC_0256_(412x640)
Although my book was doing well and receiving good reviews, there was a universal comment from my most honest friends that was bothering me. No one was finishing the book. It simply took too much brain power to get through, and most people read that kind of book to escape rather than to learn. Of those that finished, all enjoyed it, but they were too few in number for my ego.
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Myself being rather talkative, I talked often about my book, to any that would listen. The results was a run-in with paranormal thriller and speculative Christian fiction author Marc Schooley. I was beginning to work on a new book, which will remain nameless for now, and he gave me a lot of advice on it that dramatically changed how I saw writing. This included referring me to the book Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King, a book I also often recommend to others (amazon link). After talking with Marc a few times and studying the book, I took another look at Matter of Resistance. And, boy, was I disappointed!
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So, I sat down in the summer of 2012 and wrote it again, from the beginning, keeping the story in tact but changing almost every word.
Updating for re-release:
After Matter of Resistance had been rewritten to take advantage of my new and improved writing ability, I followed a much smarter method of editing – I hired a professional, Heather Hebert to do it. I also hired a professional artist, Viola Estrella, to create a suitable cover. And, finally, after a series of beta readers, rounds of editing, and iterations, I finalized the manuscript this summer (2013).
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And I can’t wait for you all to read it.
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Raymond Vogel
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