Author Archives: Maria Romana

Cover Reveal for The Gifted Ones, Book 3

Still lots of editing to do on this puppy, but we’ve got a nice cover done, so I thought I’d float it out in the world and see what people think. Anyone who’s not sighing over this rugged-yet-thoughtful cowboy is clearly not into guys. But if that’s the case, that’s okay, because, as usual, there are plenty more players where that one came from—my stories are nothing if not packed with colorful characters. And if you’re wondering what they’ll be up to in this one, the blurb is up for The Gifted Ones Book 3, The Animator on the series page.
 
Given that we’ve now got the outside of Book 3 finished, and we’ll have the inside done in another 10-14 days, I’m certain this installment of The Gifted Ones series will go live before Halloween, as promised. The book will be available in all the popular ebook outlets, as I don’t do the whole “exclusive with Amazon” thing. Yes, I wish my books could be available to borrow in Amazon’s all-you-can-read club (“Kindle Unlimited“), but I’m just not willing to help Amazon shut down every other ebook vendor on the planet in exchange, and that’s what they require of small publishers who want to participate.
 

Worse Ways to Spend Your Weekend

Well, how-dee! Yes, there surely are worse ways to spend your weekend, but I have to admit, after staring at about a thousand pictures of handsome cowboys the past few days, my eyes are bugging out. I’ve been searching for just the right model and just right the pose for my next book cover, and as usual, I’m incredibly hard to please. No picture is ever quite right. It took me about a week to find the image I wanted for Book 2 of The Gifted Ones, but that was of a Native American man, and those are hard to come by. The striking cowboy from Amarillo, Texas needed for Book 3, I thought, should be a cinch. Well, the pictures are easy enough to find, it’s settling on just the right one that’s tough. I’ve been to five different photo sites already and found dozens of handsome hunks I’d be happy to marry…or adopt…or pay to just stand around looking pretty all day. But now I have to narrow it down. What do y’all think of this swoon-worthy farm boy from 123RF?
 

Under The Covers


 
Conventional ebook publishing wisdom has it that changing up your covers every so often is a good marketing move. You can revitalize an older book or series and draw in new readers by giving your product a whole new look, or so the recommendation goes. If it works for politicians and fast food restaurants, it ought to work for ebooks, right? Well, I’m not sure I follow the logic, but you’d be surprised—even covers that you once drooled over start to look old and tired when you’ve seen them too much. So, just to relieve my own eye fatigue, and in celebration of almost ten years since I started the first book in the series (Little Miss Straight Lace), I’ve invested in a beautiful new set of covers for my old standy-by, Unbreakable. Remember, if you haven’t read it yet, the first book is free, so grab it now and try out the new skin!

 

Historic Shopping Mall Repurposed as Urban Living Space


Those who know me (or read this blog) know that I have a bizarre obsession with the tiny house trend. Ever since I was a kid, I was fascinated with “little living spaces” like the insides of campers or boats or the homes I carved out inside the massive snowbanks in our Western New York backyard. Well, it appears the Providence Arcade, America’s first indoor shopping mall, has taken the concept a step further. The historic mall, originally constructed in 1828, had fallen on hard times like most of the malls in America, until a recent renovation repurposed the upper two floors in a unique manner. The second- and third-floor shops have been converted into tiny apartments just big enough for the belongings and budgets of recent grads and others whose housing needs don’t require a three-bedroom-with-den and sprawling screened porch.
 
The tiny, utilitarian spaces provide clean, convenient uptown living coupled with easy accessibility to the shops and restaurants on the first floor. Think about it—the residents have their own private spaces yet are surrounded by like-minded neighbors who they can meet downstairs for a drink, dinner, or a little shopping. The residents have everything they need, and the shops have a built-in clientele, even when the Rhode Island weather isn’t cooperating. I would have loved something like this back when I was footloose and fancy-free, and hadn’t yet accumulated years worth of “stuff” and pets and children all needing their own square footage.
 
Our country’s economy needs more innovation and less regulation, and the Providence Arcade is a brilliant example of both. Follow the link to read further and see more pictures.

 
via: America’s First Shopping Mall is Now Stuffed With Micro Homes
 

The Gifted Ones Book 2: A Learner

In case anyone missed it, last week we released the second book in The Gifted Ones series, as promised, on pi Day (3/14/15), though we didn’t quite make the 9:26 AM deadline to really give it the geeky math mojo (3.1415926). The book is available in all the usual outlets—just check the series page for purchase links.
 
And if you haven’t seen it yet, here is the final synopsis of the story to pique your interest:
In the second volume in the series, Daniel Holybear, a Native American Gifted One, finds himself at odds with a development company that is threatening the peaceful seaside town he grew up in. When the company’s construction project unearths a mysterious stone tablet, Daniel calls on his Gifted friends to help secure the stone and uncover its secrets. Their efforts to assist him, however, are complicated by a peculiar kinship Ellie senses between Daniel and the project’s lovely manager. As their relationship deepens, Ellie finds her Gift bringing more pain than pleasure to those around her, and ultimately leading one of them to the brink of tragedy.

 
Since the book is brand new, it’s painfully shy of reviews, so if anyone would like a free copy in exchange for a review, just drop us a line on our contact page, and we’ll send you the file type of your choice, straightaway.
 

The Gifted Ones Book 2 Cover Reveal

Argh! Here I go, once again, madly in love with my own, sadly, fictional creation. Meet Daniel Holybear, another of the Gifted Ones, and a descendant of the Manitoke Indian tribe in eastern North Carolina. When a nearby construction project uncovers an ancient artifact on tribal lands, Daniel calls in some of the Gifted folks that readers met in Book One to help unravel the mystery and protect the property from unscrupulous developers. But you needn’t worry yourselves with all that, just sigh and drink in all the lovely alpha-maleness you can stand. He does make a very fine cover model, doesn’t he? And for those of you who want more than a just a pretty picture, hang in there, the book is in final editing now, and will be released before pi day (3/14/15).

 
Cover Photo Credit: fatalsweets @dreamstime.com
 

Niagara Falls Freezes Over

Well, I’ve never been to Hell, but I’ve been to Niagara Falls, and I’ve never seen it like this! As a matter of fact, I was born in Niagara Falls and still have a few die-hard relatives up there. I hope they’re taking advantage of the opportunity to see it on one of its rare frozen-over days. Okay, it doesn’t actually freeze completely over, but the mist and falling water on top do freeze, creating the so-called ice bridge between the U.S. and Canada. It’s a rather incredible sight, as these pictures from the Daily Mail show.
 
Meanwhile, I’m enjoying the couple inches of pretty snow we got here in the southeast today. Down here, snow is a few times a year treat where the cities shut down, and the kids build snowmen. All this time trapped indoors, however, is helping me get Book 2 of The Gifted Ones series out the door. Be looking for it in the next couple weeks!
 
via: PHOTOS: Niagara Falls has frozen over