ATTN. AUTHORS! Great opportunity for free book cover artwork explained inside!

(The images above were not done for anyone. They were done out of pure boredom. Dirty Hipsters done recently and the other was done earlier this year (maybe Jan.?))

Hi and thanks for stopping by. I have, for a couple years now, been wanting to get some of my creative works onto book covers. Naturally, as a book nerd, I think it’s a very cool idea, but I never knew where to start.

So I am wanting to work with TWO writers to get a feel for the process. With this I hope to understand all the legalities, what I want in my contract, what I can expect from a writer’s contract, money transaction, and most of all how I can please my clients.

I understand that artists can charge more for revisions, but this will be completely free trials. I would also love feedback, of course, on the flow of our communication and my overall work. CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM WILL ALWAYS BE WELCOME!

This will be purely for an educational experience.

*Whether or not you are reading this with the intent to contact me, advice, direction, and constructive criticism is still welcome.*

A little bit about my artistic background: I am fully self-taught. Everything I know about Photoshop I have been pushing myself to learn since around 2012-ish. I started out trying to be a family photographer. Long story short, I did not enjoy it much. There was too much demand and I liked doing things in my own way. The poses were too cheesy, I had to worry about the family’s attire (and sometimes they just won’t get it right), I was often around kids, and a lot of times people would expect me to give them a free session. I liked having model calls for creative portraiture. One day I realized that family photography was not for me. I love the creative stuff. I love great concepts. I have lots of old works practicing that creativity and I also have quite a few sketches of stuff I never got out to do. Some time last year or two years ago I took an interest in digital illustration. I am no artist where drawing is concerned, but since I love great concepts and HAVE TO get them down I go the simplistic route. The way I got into this, actually, was from not being able or having the motivation to go out and set up a shoot for my conceptual ideas. So instead I’ll draw them out. And in doing so I stopped limiting my imagination. I say “limit” because I always had to consider what I CAN/KNOW HOW to do/achieve on PS.

*Fun Fact: The pink-haired character in the above picture was a character I created for a book I was trying to. I sent my transcript to just one publishing company and that never went anywhere. So I guess I’m still figuring out her story 😛 And I just threw her in a picture of an abandoned house I found and photographed.

Whether you want art for a physical book or an ebook, I’m down to try and make something for you. If for whatever reason you decide not to use my art THAT IS TOTALLY FINE. I would thank you for giving me a chance and you may move on. If you are interested please email mandycane2008@hotmail.com with your info: A brief intro about yourself, your book, and (if you have one) a vision of what you would like your cover to look like. I can try to achieve your vision or create my own interpretation.

Thank you for your time! I look forward to future projects!

 

 

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Isabella’s Big Adventure by Thuyen Nguyen

Isabella's-Big-Adventure-by-Thuyen-Nguyen

I want to start off by complimenting the illustrator, Poohpuu. I am absolutely in love with the art style. It is very cute and matches perfectly to the cute story.

On a 5-star rating: 5 stars

I find it important for children to have an awesome and child-like imagination. This character, Isabella, has a great skill of storytelling. I would love to see more children tell outrageous and fun stories like hers. I would totally purchase a couple of copies for a few young girls I know in hopes that they will take that idea and fly with it.

Isabella’s adventures were so random! And it was fantastic. My favorite part, though, was the line at the end. I rather not quote it and spoil anything, so I am just going to suggest you get a copy of Isabella’s Big Adventures if you get curious enough.

And I can’t get over the cover art. I want to blow it up in size and frame it and gift it to somebody! In my overall opinion, the story and art were good. It is a very short book, but I suppose a good length for little kids starting off to read whole books.You’ll come across a few big words, such as “pantomime” and “opportunity”, but hey, then and there they can learn those big words; What they mean and how to read/pronounce them. It is ALWAYS a win when children come out of a book having learned at least 1 new thing.

Audible Review/My Soul To Keep by Rachel Vincent

Audible Review/My Soul To Keep by Rachel Vincent

Narrated by Amanda Ronconi

To be honest, I never cared for e-books and audio books. I like that book store experience when making purchases. I very much appreciate the real thing, but you know what? Tonight I can truly say that I had a nice experience with Audible. It was pretty relaxing and I was able to do more than one thing. “Read” and chores.

I give Audible a solid 4 stars out of 4 stars! This is my first time listening to an audio book and I enjoyed it all the way through! My views of audio books (as well as e-books) have totally turned. I was able to “read” and make dinner for my family and straighten up the house and use the toilet (sorry if that is TMI, lol). I had such freedom! Also, I do feel like I will be using Audible a lot for long car rides.

I do plan on keeping and using Audible. It is an awesome app to have. This being my first time “reading” like this and not having any sort of problem or confusion using it, I don’t see why I need to try out anything else out there. I have friends who also like to read, yet never have the time to sit down and pick up a book, but I think I just solved that problem. I will be suggesting they get Audible.

The narrator, Amanda Ronconi, has an EXCELLENT voice for audio books. It was soothing, smooth, and expressive just enough. That is one thing I was grateful for. Another is the soft music at the beginning and end. I started with a “Ooh, that is nice and gets my mood ready for what might come” and then a “Man, I hope it doesn’t play this all the way through”. And it didn’t. It was prefect for the beginning and end and I hope all of their audio books do that.

So, my overall experience with Audible was fantastic. It has opened my eyes and mind to more than just hard copies. In fact, I have a road trip coming up in the next couple weeks and I will be using it to and back. I plan on keeping it on my phone. I do recommend Audible to my fellow bookworms. And I am glad I was able to “read” the whole thing in about 3 hours!

The Ice Dragon by George R.R. Martin/Illustrated by Luis Royo

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Dust cover and it’s hardcover.

the ice dragon

One of the illustrative pages.

On a 5-star rating: 5 stars!

I found this book in the bargain section at my local Books-A-Million store at the (small) mall and I scored it for only 5 bucks!

This is a children’s/teens illustrative book and my quick read for the weekend. George wrote this very simply and wonderfully. The main character, a young girl who befriends an ice dragon (freaking awesome), is writ pretty strongly. Though, the story is very short and to the point (for an adult), you still get a big sense of the girl’s life and capabilities. Because this is such a short story I don’t want to get much into detail and give anything away, but I really liked this story and I wished it continued. Beautiful story.

I would recommend this to any young person I know who likes to read. Plus, the pictures (by Luis Royo) are VERY nice. I really like this style of illustration for this book. It matched. The story and picture style suited each other, I thought. (I wouldn’t mind a couple of them blown up and hung in my house.)

I’m glad George wrote a less kill-y book for children. Kids should also enjoy his amazing stories 🙂

Ever scavenge through your parents’ old books?

Killing Mr. Griffin

Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan.

I was either a freshman or a sophomore in high school when I found a big black trunk in my mom’s bedroom. I had always known it was full of old books, such as a crap ton of Nora Roberts romance novels, a crap ton of The Babysitter’s Club, and… that’s mostly what I remember. Probably some children’s books, too (from when I was little). I read a few of the Babysitter’s Club and probably not even in order, lol. And I probably never finished one. Back then, I didn’t read the way I do now. I liked reading, but I never really noticed (if that makes any sense). I was never “gotta have more books, gotta get this one and that, gotta keep a book on me always” like I have been for like 5 years now. No, back then, I would just pick up whatever I found and if it interested me, then good. If it didn’t, then it wasn’t a big deal. I’d watch t.v. or something.

But this little treasure, Killing Mr. Griffin, was an interesting one. I’ve only read it once (back then) and never have again, so the plot is a bit fuzzy to me now, but I do remember that I really liked and enjoyed it. And that is why I have it now! Moving out of my parents’ place I guess I just sorta “stole” it, lol. I think this is the only book I took from my mom (originally it’s one of my mom’s sister’s books; it’s got her name in it; and I guess at some point in time my mom “stole” it from her, lol). But that’s what I like. When a book can be passed on over the years and still be enjoyed. I would certainly pass this on to someone I know who would like this story, but now it’s got sentimentality. I would like to re-read this some time. Maybe as a quick weekend read. It will be nice to remember what exactly I liked about this book, lol.

I wonder if that happens often; scoring a good read unexpectedly while bored-ly browsing your parents’ collection of books. If that’s happened to you I’d love to know the title(s) and look it up 🙂

 

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

ready-player-one

On a 5 star rating- 5 STARS

This book was quite a ride. Quite an “adventure”  😉

Takes place in the future. Over population. A sad grey world. Much of the population escape into a video game. Their avatars can do anything you can in the real world and more, of course. To many, the Oasis, a virtual world, IS their real world.

When the creator of the Oasis, a billionaire who spent most of his life playing video games and watching classic nerdy and geeky cinema, passed away, a video was released to the whole world announcing a life changing video game contest. He had hidden “Easter eggs” throughout the game. THE WINNER GETS HIS FORTUNE.

Then there’s this rich company that is willing to do ANYTHING to win the game (win all that dope a$$ money), so they play dirty. Players worry about losing the integrity of the game, so they do something about it (insert cool shades-wearing guy).

After having read just the prologue I was like, “dayuuuuum!”. It got me pumped immediately. Lots of “*cool voice* oh ya/take that” moments. Tons of 80’s references, too. This is a great read for nostalgia. Great for gamers. Great for anyone who loves reading of adventure and heroism. There’s friendship, honor, and a bit of romance. I could read this again.

 

 

 

 

 

New Books and Bookmark

new-things

I LOVE SHOPPING. Who doesn’t? I almost never buy more than one book for myself at once. So… this is rare and exciting, lol.

I love shopping for books and book things. I intended to get just ONE book then I’m out. The third book to a series I am finishing up, but I learned that it doesn’t come out for another couple months. Oh, and the things that were on sale were RIGHT AT THE ENTRANCE. Don’t you just love and hate that? Like, hello! I don’t need these things, but I couldn’t help but look at literally everything in that section. Anyway, I purchased Neverwhere (been on my list for quite some time) and Ready, Player One (recommended to me by a friend). When I saw both I just had to have them.

And Rue21 is right across the bookstore in that mall! It’s like a cruel joke. I walked out of Books-A-Million and stoppped, looked at Rue21, took another couple steps, stopped, and finally said “fuck it and fuck me”. I have been spending quite a bit lately preparing for my husband’s homecoming (he’s coming back from deployment in just a few days!) and so I keep telling myself I won’t spend anymore, but *shrugs shoulders*.

And my bookmark. SO IN LOVE WITH IT. So me.

Anywho, the start of my day was obviously quite lovely. I think i’ll read Ready, Player One first. Today and the next few days to come will be pretty busy, but I am certainly going to make time for it!