Monthly Archives: May 2015

Winning Cover Design – before, during and after

Update! The Kaleidoscope was just named the winner of InD’Tale Magazine’s  Creme de la Creme cover contest!

 

Many of you have asked about the design of The Kaleidoscope‘s cover, which is getting a lot of attention because it’s so pretty. It actually came out better than I’d ever imagined. Here’s a fun step-by-step look at how award winning cover artist Diana Carlile of Wild Rose Press and I approached it. Here are some before and after pictures.

First, let’s look at the after and then I’ll break it down.

The Kaleidoscope cover

Cover by Diana Carlile

Description: The elements on the cover evoke the storylines that weave throughout this suspense thriller full of intrigue and mystery. The graphic of the Los Angeles skyline including Hollywood, downtown, and iconic palms reflect the setting. The tree of life represents a crucial spot where many of the story’s pivotal moments take place, including the turnover of the kaleidoscope to the hero who must discover what gives it power. The jewel-toned backdrop are the colors seen by anyone brave enough to look into the ‘scope. The title’s whimsical font hints at the light-hearted tone despite dark moments, and the teaser line entices the reader to step inside for a page turning suspenseful romance full of old fashioned good vs evil adventure.

The Tree of Life

We searched through tons of pictures of trees, and once you read the book you’ll know why the tree is SO important. Here’s the one we chose.

tree of lifeSkyline

I wanted to suggest Los Angeles because most of the story takes place there. This graphic is not too overpowering and you have to really look, but once you do, you realize why it’s also important to the story…hint hint!

Jewel-toned backdrop

Finally, the background. This probably gave me more trouble than the other elements. Sometimes pictures are too “on the nose” and as the colors were important and the suggestion of what you’d see inside a ‘scope change, it wasn’t as important what shape they were in, because your mind can arrange them in your imagination. But it was important to suggest the colors and changeability. Is that a word?

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We played around with putting the purple at the bottom, but the yellow gave the illusion of a sun rising behind the skyline so we settled on this orientation.

One more element completed the look. When you don’t have people on the cover, I believe it’s important it’s not dull, so we added a star burst effect using this graphic to draw the eye and add some energy.


And then Diana brought the yellow “bleed” from the stained glass image into the text. It’s subtle, but draws the eye down to the title. She chose the whimsical font, which at first seemed a little steampunk to me, but really grew on me. Since the tone of the story is a bit lighthearted, it really works and now I love it.

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I hope you liked this look at how the sausage is made and I really hope you’ll take a look into The Kaleidoscope for yourself!

 

Click here to read a Sample of The Kaleidoscope

The Kaleidoscope - paperback 3D

Bev out!

UPDATE: July, 2015 The Kaleidoscope‘s cover won the InD’Tale Magazine Creme de la Creme Cover contest!

“The Kaleidoscope” Reader’s Favorite Review – Five Stars!

5star-shiny-web

Here’s a sneak peek at a 5 Star Review soon to be made public over at Reader’s Favorite!

Reviewed By K.C. Finn for Readers’ Favorite (link will be provided when the review is made public)

The Kaleidoscope is a work of suspense and intrigue by author BK Nault. Mixing genres between speculative and science fiction, the plot centers on the kaleidoscope of the book’s title, a powerful device which is able to produce life-altering visions of the future when any human being looks through it. Whilst the device itself seems to be an exciting new form of enlightenment, it is inevitable that there will be certain parties in the world who’d like to use it to achieve their own sinister ends. This is where our anti-hero, the hermit-like Harold Donaldson, realises that in order to save the human race, he might actually have to truly become part of it for the first time in his life.

Multi-genre fiction has always been a favourite of mine to review, and BK Nault did not disappoint me with this excellent feat of storytelling. Social ineptness, wariness about the future, and the most basic of human fears underlie every delicately crafted element of The Kaleidoscope’s plot, turning what could have been a rather interesting sci-fi story into a richly human and character-driven novel. Nault’s prose is full of vivid description and delightful wordplay, and her formation of an unlikely hero in Harold Donaldson is witty, bittersweet, and thoroughly endearing. I feel that even readers who dislike speculative fiction will be hard-pressed not to enjoy the realism and credibility of this tale. Overall, I’d highly recommend The Kaleidoscope to readers who are looking for a unique and highly accomplished new read.

 

Meet The Kaleidoscope Cast- Pepper

TK cast Pepper

Pepper’s a spunky survivor still a bit wobbly from her recent chemo treatments, a disappointing past love life, and unsure about the future until the ‘scope shows her something that changes everything. Her kick-butt philosophies and skittish mutt called Glenda send Harold reaching for the pause button, but neither of them can stop events that send them on an adventure they never imagined facing together.

Here’s a scene featuring Pepper:

Ruddy complexions were like skywriting, a girl in high school had told him (Harold) once. The message may appear slowly, but everyone can see it for miles around and remember it for days. “I have to get back to work.” He gathered up his trash and headed for the can. When he turned around, Pepper was standing close, nose to his chin. “Tell Glenda hello.” Before he could go, she grabbed his arm.

“Harry, I really mean it. I am glad I saw…what I saw. Where did you get it again? Could I get one like it, or is that a one-of-a-kind thing?”

He told her about the encounter in the park with the homeless man. “It’s a mystery why he picked me.” He pictured the day of the handoff, the police hurrying the old guy away before he could explain himself. The police responding to his own complaint about the vagrants camping out. She was the first person he shared this with.

“You have been given much responsibility in many areas.” With that, she stood on tiptoe and pecked him on the cheek. “You have been given a gift. Thank you for sharing your magical looking-piece with me.”

“Um. You’re welcome. And thanks.” He demurred, dropping his hand from her grip. “But I don’t believe in magic.”

“A man of science and numbers, I get it.” She tipped her head sideways, considering him. “The mysteries of the universe reveal more than we see with our eyes or hear with our ears. If we slow down and really absorb what it’s trying to teach us, we might be surprised and delighted.” She poked a slender finger at his chest. “I choose to keep my mind open to the possibilities. What about you?”

She yanked off the scarf and dropped it into his lap, climbed up on the bench and began leaping from one bench to the next, her sandals slapping the concrete.

Harold was afraid she would slip and fall, and wondered whether he should first call someone, or check her for ABC’s if she did. But she jumped lightly, a sprite among the forest of potted birds of paradise. Airway, breathing, c…what was the C for?

“I’ve always wanted to do this! Haven’t you?” Where the benches were too far apart, Pepper scissor-kicked to the ground and danced. Harold could breathe as long as she was safely on the ground, her arms aloft, her body swaying. Then she would leap up again, the sun reflecting off bald spots between shags of spirally hair. And she laughed. Not a scary, maniacal sound, but a child-like whiffle that whisked Harold back to the elementary school when Edna Velasquez had tried to jump around the lunchroom but fell and broke her arm when she slipped in pudding. Harold was the only one Edna didn’t pester to sign her cast. Circulation. That was what C stood for.

Pepper collapsed next to him, panting, her caramel skin aglow. She was a china doll with kewpie lips and taffy-pulled earlobes. “That felt good, Harry.” She dabbed at her upper lip with the scarf, a tiny rattle in her breath. “You should dance more. We should all dance more.”

The warmth from her body awoke something in him that had long been dormant. Confused emotions tangled somewhere in his soul, and he met her gaze.

“What makes you dance, Harry? What stirs your soul?”

She’d dared to pull at the thread he’d buried underneath years of proving himself worthy, smart. Sane. “I find satisfaction in my work.”

“And what is that? No, wait. Let me guess. You’re a Pez-head designer. No, a sign spinner for discount plastic surgeons. I could use one of those by the way.”

He knew better than to acknowledge her cosmetic surgery remark. Honest answers to conversations beginning with “Am I pretty enough?” and “I’m thinking of getting work done” had never gone well with Georgia. “I’m a fraud investigator.”

The Kaleidoscope – paperback and e-reader.

Bev out!

Meet “The Kaleidoscope Cast” – Walter

TK cast Walter

 

Here’s a scene featuring Walter:

One more piece of the puzzle, and the technology anticipated, even feared, would be born. If he’d calculated correctly, and Walter was meticulous about calculations, the day’s mail should contain the gem he’d saved and scraped for. Every tip, handout, or penny literally scraped from the gutter had gone into a jar, and last week he’d exchanged the sum for a cashier’s check and placed the order. If this final trial didn’t work, he’d lose everything he’d slaved over. His ideas were running out, his home was about to be razed, and what made the urgency even more crucial, he sensed “they” were about to discover his hiding place.

Flipping the wall calendar over his workbench, Walter circled a date two weeks hence. That would give him sufficient time to install the final part, to test, and make note of his achievement. Perhaps even enjoy it himself before he turned it over to the one who would carry it to the world, who could safely deliver the technology where it would do the most good. It was time to plan the handoff.

The sun’s rays pouring from a high window warmed and loosened Walter’s back muscles. The glint on the shaft of metal, as thick as a Cuban cigar, the length of a number two pencil, gave him more than a few moments of pride he’d not felt since the birth of his long-lost son.

He held the eyepiece up and sighted, spinning the dial. It caught and stuck in place. He wrapped it once again in the cloth, gently rested the device between the jaws of the vise and slowly cranked it shut, stopping at precisely the point where the Kaleidoscope would be held firmly in place, but not harmed by the firm grip. He filed and sprayed, working over the delicate prize until the dial spun like butter and the magnificent colors fell into place.

And…scene. What is he up to? Is he crazy? Genius? Dangerous?

 

The Kaleidoscope releases!

perf5.000x8.000.indd “I love how the novel hits different chords; being at times inspirational, metaphysical and scientifically speculative even while following a thriller-like narrative.” EA, Reader’s Favorite reviewer

Wild Rose Press/Crimson is pleased to announce the release of

The Kaleidoscope

Here’s a sneak peek:

Harold turned over the Kaleidoscope, inspecting the precision detailing and excellent workmanship. Whoever had crafted it had an eye for beauty, a talent for working with metal and glass. He sighted down the shaft, admiring the tessellations of hues that fell into place. Then when he turned a dial, new images appeared. Green, gold, blue, teal and purple. It was stunning.

Could an object have magical powers? Harold had to believe otherwise. Every bone and sinew fought against any other possibility. But already the mysterious device he turned over, that now warmed in his palm, had begun to change his life. Where did this mysterious object come from, and what made it tick? What did it want from him?

Los Angeles city skyline silhouette background

Buy your copy in paperback or e-reader now from Wild Rose Press/Crimson or Amazon  and remember to tell your friends, and leave a kind remark on your favorite review sites Word of mouth helps an author tremendously.

Bev out!