Book Cover Checker

Though this is no substitute for human eyes, the book cover checker is kind of a fun tool. In their own words, the book cover checker is looking at contrast and sharpness, not at composition, or whether the cover fits your book, etc. It’s an algorithm. However, as I said, it’s pretty fun. I ran several of mine through (both my books and some I made for others) and got the GOOD rating. The most interesting part, I think, is that it also identifies the most used color in the cover (useful for matching backgrounds etc. for promotions). It’s not always what you think it is!

Easy to use, input an email address, upload your image, then scroll down a little for the result. I see it is now also looking for offensive content that some publishers won’t allow, so that’s interesting.

Anyway, thought I’d share! You can check it out here:

Have a great day!

Interview with Grant Butler

Grant Butler, author of Heroin Heiress has been kind enough to stop in for an interview today!

Jo: Welcome, Grant! Thanks for stopping in. Please tell us a little something about your book?

Grant: The Heroin Heiress is my debut novel and I couldn’t be more happy this is my first novel.

J: That is awesome! What inspired you to write it?

G: The book started out as a story I posted online. Once I posted it, I thought that would be the end of it and didn’t give what came next a second thought. I had no idea it would get anywhere near the attention it did. Seeing the passionate responses and debates people were having over it made me think more in depth about the story. The book is the result of that. 

J: That’s really cool. I love when books have an organic creation story like that. What was your favorite part of writing Heroin Heiress?

G: It was great seeing people discover the story and being so engaged. I also enjoyed getting to know the characters and flushing them out as people. 

J: That always my favorite part, too. What was your least favorite part?

G: By far the hardest part of the book was figuring out what the main character did for work. I had to think about it for quite some time, but when the answer came it made perfect sense. 

J: That was an unexpected answer, but I like how much thought you put into it. Do you have a favorite character? Why are they your favorite?

G: Mrs. Arlington. It was a pleasure spending time with her and getting to know her. She’s someone I would love to spend time with in real life. 

Jo: That’s really cool! What do you have planned next?

G: I’m working on another book that is set in the same universe and shares the setting, but is with a completely new set of characters and a brand new plot. I’m very excited about it. 

Jo: That sounds like fun! Where can people find more of you and/or your work?

G: You can follow me on my Twitter @thegrantbutler 

J: Excellent. We’re almost out of time, but before you go, please tell us one interesting thing about yourself or your book.

G: I have no idea what inspired the story the book grew out of, aside from the fact that it was just an interesting image that popped in my head. 

J: I love it! And now, it’s time for the Flash fun round!

Favorite drink?

iced tea.

Favorite cookie?

chocolate chip

Favorite dinosaur?

the T. rex

Last movie you watched?

Halloween Kills

Thanks again to Grant for stopping by! Check out his book Heroin Heiress, available on Amazon.

Shortly after breaking up with his unfaithful girlfriend Allison, college professor Vince O’Malley gets a call about a break-in at his house, and whoever was there left a disturbing calling card. Police immediately suspect Allison, who has completely lost her mind and is eventually found and committed to a mental hospital. But when Allison turns up dead from a drug overdose, and other strange coincidences begin happening, Vince begins to wonder what he really knows for sure about his ex-girlfriend. Why did she lose her mind? Why was her apartment trashed so badly? And why was she so obsessed with a ratty old stuffed bear? Along with Chloe Vale, an old friend of Allison’s from their school days, the two begin to learn more about Allison’s strange background and twisted family. Eventually, the two set out to find the truth about Allison’s death, her personal history, her mysterious and rich mother, and the strange disappearance of her father.

Shades of Jorick

Yeah, I haven’t done much writing in the last year and a half. I can give you excuses, but no one cares. I did try, but mostly ended up clicking through web pages. While doing that, I found an article with suggested exercises for getting back into writing after the pandemic hiatus. One was to take something you’ve already done and reimagine it with the reasoning that it let you flex your imagination, but gave you a framework, so you weren’t starting from scratch.

Since people have actually ASKED for Shades of Gray in Jorick’s point of view before, I thought I’d try it. Instead of doing whole chapters at a shot, I’m going to use the version that’s broken up for serialization, because the chunks are more web friendly.

Right now they’re free to everyone, but they won’t stay that way. Chapter 1 will revert to patrons only this Saturday. The rest will follow, one a week. Did you miss one? Don’t worry, you can get access to it and other things by becoming a patron. The 1$ a month level gives you Shades of Jorick among other things, while the 5$ level gives you everything, including what I have done of the Micah book so far.
Shades of Jorick – Part 1 – FREE until Saturday.
Shades of Jorick – Part 2
Shades of Jorick – Part 3
Shades of Jorick – Part 4
Shades of Jorick – Part 5 – arrives tomorrow!

Autumn Leaves in Paperback

Autumn Leaves poetry collection is now available in paperback via Amazon. It’s set for the minimum printing cost, so there will be no profits, since we wanted this to be a free collection. If you have Prime, including tax, it should be under $4.

Newly Published: Autumn Leaves Poetry Collection

The memorial poetry collection, Autumn Leaves, put together to honor my late mother, Bonnie Mutchler, is now available from most ebook retailers – except Amazon – for free. Why no Amazon? Because it’s too difficult to get the book price matched, and I WANT the collection to be free.

Get your FREE copy today from:

Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Apple iBooks

A poetry collection in memory of Bonnie Mutchler, featuring poems of both fun and fantasy from some very talented poets. Includes poetry by Bonnie Mutchler, Tricia Drammeh, Brenda Brite, Lisa Conrad, DM Yates, Jonathan Harvey, Colleen Marie Keller Breuning, Penny Shortt, Joleene Naylor, M.E. Keyes, Elizabeth Miginnis, and Dora D’Agostino, with special thanks to Pat Leece for the beautiful obituary.

Credit where it’s due: The idea for the collection came from DM Yates, an extraordinary poet, and our title comes from Tricia Drammeh’s fantastic Autumn Leaves poem – written especially for this collection as my mother left behind the (odd) request that her memorial service is to be held in October, no matter the actual date of her death.

The poems in the collection include:

  • Autumn Leaves by Tricia Drammeh*
  • There is a Time by Bonnie Mutchler*
  • Ode to Bonnie Fair by Brenda Brite*
  • Still by Lisa Conrad
  • I Used to go A’wandering by DM Yate
  • Madam Moonvapor Tells a Fortune by Jonathan Harvey*
  • Angel Heavy by Colleen Keller Breuning
  • Lord of the Lost by Penny Shortt
  • The Song of Life by Bonnie Mutchler*
  • Spring by Joleene Naylor*
  • Quarantine Follies by M.E. Keyes*
  • The Lonely Shore by Tricia Drammeh
  • Trees by Elizabeth Miginnis
  • Gift by Dora D’Agostino
  • Little Girl Lost by Lisa Conrad
  • The Walrus and the Kangaroo by Bonnie Mutchler*
  • The Appointment by Jonathan Harvey
  • A Bonnie Lass Awaits by Colleen Keller Breuning
  • Mated Monsters by Penny Shortt
  • How Strange by DM Yates
  • The Spaces in Between by Joleene Naylor*
  • The Desert Guards Its Secrets Well by Elizabeth Miginnis
  • Gratitude by Dora D’Agostino
  • The Mourning Light by Colleen Keller Breuning
  • A Hippo by Bonnie Mutchler*

* denotes a poem that is (currently) exclusive to this collection.

Get your FREE copy today from:

Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Apple iBooks

Australian Paperbacks!

Not that I have a big following in Australia, but should I get popular with the Aussies, they will soon be able to order paperback of my books for what Amazon promises will be a reasonable price. Their time frame quote is “Later this year”, so take that however you want.

In the meantime, Australian fans can get the ebooks, and it looks like they can pay crazy high prices for paperbacks. My advice: Don’t do that. Just wait until “later”, whenever that is!

Maybe later I’ll have some news about a new book…wouldn’t that be nice?

This is WAY More Organized!

I’ve been piecemeal blogging here and there as my books have been added to different serialized platforms. It’s been a messy way of doing it, though it technically works. Today I found this page, created by the eGlobal Creative people – yeah, talk about fancy! It has my little photo, my bio, and even better the four “books” I have published with them (Amarathine is all nine books plus some extra short stories, like Honeymoon Havoc and I believe Oren’s Valentines day) and not only shows what platforms they’re on but has LINKS to them. How cool is that? It’s what I should have been doing all along, but was too lazy.

Anyway, take a second, check out that cool page, and if you use any of those platforms, please give my books a like/fav/add/whatever.

On a more personal note, I’m starting to feel more like myself, so if I can make the time I’m planning to give writing a go and see if I can get something going. Cross your fingers!

More Serialized Fun

My last blog post was to share some serialized apps and websites where Amaranthine has been published, so today I wanted to share a couple that have the Vampire Morsels extended edition.

Vampire Morsels on Dreame

Vampire Morsels on Ringdom

Because of the serial nature, most of the stories are divided into three plus “chapters” that make for faster reading, perfect for a lunch break or waiting on the kids at school (assuming the kids aren’t “at school” remotely.) Why is it the extended edition? Again, because of the serialized format, I had to add words. Lots of words. Several thousand words total, so several of the stories got some juicy additions, including Bethina, Nirel, Claudius, Herrick, Benjamin, Arowenia, Alexander, Adam, and Ashton. Personally, I like the expanded editions better.

Anyway, even if you’ve already read these, if you use these apps, I’d appreciate it if you’d like them, or favorite them, or add them to your list, or whatever the individual apps have.

Thanks, and have a great week!

Serialized Novels- Yay or Nay?

Amaranthine is now on NovelCat and FoxNovel *- two apps available for both android and apple users. If you already have the app, even if you’ve already read the Amaranthine books, please give it a like or a love, or whatever the sites have (I admit, I haven’t installed them yet!)

The sites I have looked at are AnyStories, where the Amaranthine box set (for lack of a better description, as it is all nine books together) has not gotten much love, and WebNovel where – HOLY CATS! – it has gotten a lot of love! Seriously, check this out! (it’s the only one accessible without an app, too.)

Brothers of Darkness, Vampire Morsels, and Tales of the Executioners may eventually join them, it’s up to E Global what goes where, when. (I signed a distribution contract with them last November to handle this.) It will also probably be on Dreame eventually, as well.

*So what are these apps? They’re subscription services, sometimes, and sometimes they’re free to read a chapter a day, where books are serialized and chapters are added every week or every day. In this case, the Amaranthine books have been put altogether and then broken up into 1,000-2,000 word “episodes”, so depending on the site you might be able to buy all the episodes at once for a fee, or wait and read one episode a day, for instance, for free.

Do you read stories on the subscription style apps? What do you like about them? Which one is your favorite?

Interview with Raymond Parish

Hello! And welcome to another author interview! Today we have Raymond Parish, the author of Overnight Delivery: A Hank Anderson Thriller. Let’s get to it!

Jo: Welcome! Can you tell us a little about yourself and your book?

Raymond: After writing four successful nonfiction books I made the leap into fiction with the first in my psychological mystery series, Overnight Delivery: A Hank Anderson Thriller in my pen name, Raymond Parish. Hank is a gifted psychotherapist and flawed man who carries an insatiable curiosity for the troubles of others, along with a penchant for personal risk-taking. The intersection of Hank’s talent and shadow draws him into a world of meth and violence that hides beneath the surface of the calm and conservatism that is a myth of Midwestern life.

J: That sounds interesting. I always like stories with flawed/realistic protagonists. What inspired you to write this story?

R: Three key aspects of my life came together as the idea for a novel brewed in my thoughts. The Midwest is a perfect setting for the collision of rural and urban experience. I have a love of noir mystery series, set in motion in my youth through the books of Raymond Chandler (yes, that’s a connection to my pen name), Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Dashiell Hammett. Finally, my own career as a mental health professional provided me with an opportunity to envision a larger-than-life story of crime and chaos inserted into a world of compassion and security.

I also wanted to create a work that highlighted contrasts: rural and urban living, the stability and dysfunction of family, characters and relationships that asked for much more than a quick glance by the reader. The physical, professional, and emotional diversity  of this world is most evident in the connection between Hank and Detective Phil Evans.

J: As a Midwesterner myself, I can totally see that. What was your favorite part of writing this?

R: I had the most fun, and was most rewarded, by the development of the characters and relationships over several drafts of OD. Hank changed and learned. The motives of key characters became evident. The multi-cultural aspects of folks who moved through the story deepened. I am most grateful to my editor, Mary, who was instrumental in helping me strengthen the female characters so essential to the book.

J: Character development is always my favorite too. What was your least favorite part?

R: The outcome of Hank’s narrative. The convergence of tragedy and redemption are often a powerful and painful truth of humanity. A friend of mine used to say, “fact is stranger than fiction.” In OD I found that the facts in the arc of Hank’s fiction brought me both hope and sorrow.

J: I have to admit, that makes me even more interested! It sounds like you have some really great characters there. Can you pick a favorite?

R: As a relationship guy, the connections between characters were as fundamental as the characters themselves. Belinda is a mashup of people I have loved alongside people I have met for a moment alongside people I am not even conscious of who have impacted me. She is a true gift to the story. Preacher intrigued me as I let his backstory rise to the surface. I also found great joy in creating characters who commanded fewer pages: J.R., James, Goodman, Ted. And, of course, Phil and Hank…I love those guys.

J: I love that answer! Can you tell us an interesting fact about you or your book?

R: Overnight Delivery is written from an insider’s point of view. I am a psychotherapist. Like other writers, though, I am creating fiction for others to experience from their own perspectives. Those who know me, and my work, assure me that I am not Hank Anderson in disguise. And I’m not tall enough to be Phil.

J: Ha ha! What do you have planned next?

R: I’m focused on balancing work on the second book in Hank’s series with promotion for Overnight Delivery. This is my first experience with drafting a new novel while in-the-midst of promoting an existing book release. It’s exciting, fun, and more than a bit challenging.

Flash Fun Time!

Last vacation?

My wife and I completed ultra-safe pandemic precaution protocols in the fall and did a drive straight through 14-hour road trip to Virginia to visit one of our children, the longest road trip we had taken in years. My first drive through the Blue Ridge Mountains. Amazing! The signs of racial justice demonstrations in various cities. Stunning! The graciousness of people in this trying time. Incredible! The visit with our son and his partner. The best!

Favorite cookie?

I’ve never met a chocolate chip cookie I didn’t love. I love some more than others…chewy, mint chips.

Your spirit animal?

Red-tailed hawk. They often show up when I’m struggling with an issue in my life. The message is to persevere, possibilities for resolution and coping will appear if I pay attention.

And with that our time is up. Thanks so much for stopping in today, Raymond! And thanks so much for reading this! You can find Overnight Delivery on Amazon, and you can also find Raymond on Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter.

  • Eternal Night : Amaranthine Gender Swap

    When Kaden meets the beautiful but strong Johanna, he doesn't know he's entering a world of eternal night; a world of vampires. Is it worth the death, pain, and nightmares to stay by her side? Enjoy all the books in one long saga.

    This is NOT the gender swap previously published on Patreon.

    Start reading today on Kindle Vella!

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  • Shades of…Jorick?

    You asked for it, so here it is! Join me on Patreon to read Shades of Gray from Jorick's point of view! Peer into Jorick's mind and get all the behind the scenes events Katelina couldn't see.

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  • Amaranthine: The Complete Saga

    Find the complete Amaranthine Saga, as well as Brothers of Darkness, the expanded Vampire Morsels, and the expanded Tales of the Executioners on Dreame, WebNovel, AnyStory, and more!

    Start reading today!

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