Hello everyone! Please welcome Brantwijn Serrah, erotic paranormal romance author of a new release, His Cemetery Doll. Thank you so much for being here Brantwijn I’m happy to let you take front and center stage sharing your guest post with us…
Authors Don't Work Alone:
5 People Who Made His Cemetery Doll Come to Life
Folks underestimate how much work goes into getting a novel onto the bookshelf. Yes, everyone knows the book has an editor and a cover artist and a support team...but I'm not sure readers understand exactly how much these teams bring to the final product. Authors get a lot of credit, but today I'd like to give credit to the other people who put their stamp on my new release, and the work they put in to helping me bring my baby to life. Without further ado, I give you the Top 5 People Who Deserve Credit for His Cemetery Doll.
No numbers on this list, though...each of these people deserves a #1 spot!
· Jayne Wolfe, my Editor
I see "editing" often listed as a pet peeve in negative reviews. When books get criticism, editors get noticed. Well, I want to share with readers all the work my editor put in to helping me make His Cemetery Doll its best. Jayne puts me through at least three rounds of edits, with every manuscript, and every round she also reads the book from beginning to end again. Her attention to detail catches lots of things I miss, and things that would be incredibly embarrassing to me if they'd made it into the final product! During edits, Jayne gets to listen to me pitch ideas, asks question after question, and debate with her down to the word. She keeps notes for me and she's never been afraid to tell me honestly if I've fallen flat. Fun Fact: the last two paragraphs of His Cemetery Doll went back and forth between me and Jayne at least three times before we could agree on the most effective wording. I'm glad she put me through my paces, though...I know the book shines even brighter because of Jayne's careful eye and her fearlessness in pulling me the extra mile.
· Victoria Miller, my regular Cover Artist
Victoria Miller is the terrific artist behind Lotus Petals, Goblin Fires, and my upcoming novella Angel's Keeping. Now, I have to admit, I'm a difficult author to work with, when it comes to cover art. Poor Victoria must dread receiving my forms because I can write for pages about how the cover ought to look. She's great at honoring the important requests and bringing out the best details. Like Jayne, though, Victoria has no fear when it comes to standing her professional ground with me, and honestly, she's right to do it. Each cover she's made for me is phenomenal, and I'm not ashamed to admit her visions blow mine out of the water. When it came to designing the cover of His Cemetery Doll, I knew it would be more complicated than usual. So when I turned in my cover art form, I told her she didn't have to include the grey ribbons, the figure of a ball-jointed doll, the ceramic skin. I'd searched stock art sites myself for a long time and not been able to find the right kind of images. It was Victoria, however, who looked over the details of the character and decided we had to have a cover that could depict the doll completely. She went to bat for me with the publisher to request a custom illustrated cover, even though it meant handing off the project to another artist. It's thanks to Victoria this book got such a special cover.
· Happi Anarky, the cover artist behind His Cemetery Doll
With Victoria's help, our publisher Breathless Press commissioned Mia of Happi Anarky to create the cover you see now on His Cemetery Doll. Mia was a joy to work with, incredibly attentive and passionate about the work. Not only did she create a terrific piece of art from scratch for me, she took the time to talk with me about all the details. Readers may not realize that weeks go into producing cover art, both digital and illustrated, and as an artist, even the tiniest details need your most focused attention. Mia put serious time, effort, and talent into this cover, and therefore this book.
· Gayl Taylor, the layout artist
Gayl is the gal behind turning our manuscripts into polished, formatted books, and she's dedicated to quality work. When it came to His Cemetery Doll, she rescued me from some serious embarrassment! Two days before the release I happened to be going through my advanced reading file and found a formatting error which was completely and utterly my fault. With the book already uploaded to Amazon and the Breathless Press sites, reviewers already set up, and scant hours to go before the e-books went live, I sent Gayl a panicked message at—I kid you not—12:30 AM on a weeknight, after she'd very clearly told the authors she would be unavoidably away from work for a few days. I thought for sure the entire snafu would bring hell down on me, and if Gayl would be so kind as to reformat the whole book for me, it would push back the release to do so. She was a total champ, though! Then and there, on that half-past-midnight message string, she brought up the formatting files and fixed the error. She didn't even get upset with me (or if she did, she was incredibly polite with me about it!). Gayl really came through for me and saved me some confusion and embarrassment.
· My husband
Most authors have terrific support from their loved ones and especially their significant others, and I'm fortunate to have a wonderful network of my own in that sense. However, when I name my husband here, it's not only because of his emotional support and encouragement. Readers will notice the dedication on His Cemetery Doll mentions the characters in this story go back to our shared efforts from way back when we were kids. He has always helped me out when it comes to writing, especially the research parts. Details about the setting, the time period especially, Conall's background as a soldier, the tools and weapons he uses, are all details he cheerfully helped me with. When it comes to working out the nitty gritty details in anything I write, my husband sits down to work with me in an incredibly useful way.
Ultimately, it's important to remember there are many hands at work when it comes to a good book, and His Cemetery Doll—quite possibly my favorite book—owes its life to many people other than me. Without the hard work and investment of all of them, there might not be a book to speak of. Books don't roll credits after the final scene, so readers rarely see the names of the director, producer, animators, gaffers and stunt crew, but they are there, and they are just as important in the world of storytelling as in the film industry.
His Cemetery Doll
Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance
Publisher: Breathless Press
Number of pages: 173
Word Count: 53,000
Cover Artist: Happi Anarchy
There's a woman in the graveyard.
Conall Mackay never put stock in ghost stories. Not even after thirteen years serving as the cemetery keeper in the village of Whitetail Knoll. But things change. Now, his daughter is dreaming of a figure among the tombstones. The grounds are overrun by dark thorns almost faster than Con can clear them. White fog and gray ribbons creep up on him in the night, and a voiceless beauty beckons him from the darkest corners of the graves.
When the world he knows starts to unravel, Conall might finally be forced to believe
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/cKCkDLFP9KI
He hadn't slept long before he heard sounds from down in the kitchen below.
"Shyla!" he called gruffly. "Weren't you heading into town?"
No answer came from below, but the sounds of pots clanging told him his daughter toyed about down there. Perhaps she'd decided not to leave him after all and taken it into her head to now re-organize the house, since he'd so clearly wanted her to stay out of the cemetery. With a low groan, Conall rolled out of bed and stepped out into the hall.
"Shyla!" he called again, coming to the head of the stairs. If she had stayed home, she could at least do it without making a lot of noise.
He staggered then, as the hallway dimmed. Afternoon light flickered strangely, lightning cracking a dismal sky outside, and in the space of time afterward everything else darkened. Conall darted a glance around him as the house fell into shadow.
From the top of the stairwell, he saw the first whispering tendrils of white fog.
The heat of adrenaline shot through his limbs. Conall stumbled back into his bedroom, even as the fog pursued. His gaze shot to the window as the last gray light of day faded away and eerie darkness replaced it, like an eclipse sliding over the sun.
More cold mists veiled the glass, dancing and floating. Trembling overtook him as he spun to find another escape.
He froze, finding himself face-to-face with the broken mask of the cemetery doll.
"You—" he gasped. His breath came out white as the fog enveloped them both, leaving a space of mere inches between them, so he could still see her expressionless face. Gray ribbons wound and curled through the air around him.
"Who are you?" he asked.
The doll stared up at him. He sensed her searching, looking into his eyes even though hers remained covered. She held him there with her unseen gaze, until her cool, cold hand came up to touch his bare chest.
Conall let out a low breath. He closed his eyes, and a shudder of strange ease rippled through his body. The cool pads of her fingers ran down his sternum, to his navel. The silky ribbons brushed along his side.
Then he noticed her other hand. She lifted it up, to her own chest, and she held something tightly in her fingers: Shyla's stuffed dog.
"I made that...for my daughter," he whispered. The woman with the broken mask tilted her head down toward the small toy, studying it. For a fraction of a second, her fingers appeared to tighten around it. She returned her gaze to him, then, and the toy fell from her grip into the fog, forgotten.
"Wait—" he said, but she brought her other hand up to his chest to join the first, and he recognized eagerness in the way she pressed her icy skin against his. Her face tilted to him, and then came her lips again, ivory and flawless.
"I—" Conall breathed. "I...don't understand..."
Her fingers slid up, around his neck, but he pulled away.
"No, this...this can't real. I'm asleep. I must be."
Gray ribbons danced, pulling him back to her, and she stroked his face. He sucked in a breath at her touch and found his own hand coming up to brush hers.
"You're so cold," he said. "Like stone...but..."
Her cool touch thrilled him; it made his skin tingle and the heat of his own body sing. Her perfect flesh did, in fact, prove soft under his hands, as if the contact with his worn calluses infused cold ivory with yearning. She caressed his cheek, and Conall leaned into it. Before he could stop himself, he bowed his head to her and kissed her frozen lips.
About the Author:
When she isn't visiting the worlds of immortals, demons, dragons and goblins, Brantwijn fills her time with artistic endeavors: sketching, painting, customizing My Little Ponies and sewing plushies for friends. She can't handle coffee unless there's enough cream and sugar to make it a milkshake, but try and sweeten her tea and she will never forgive you. She moonlights as a futon for four lazy cats, loves tabletop role-play games, and can spend hours watching Futurama, Claymore or Buffy the Vampire Slayer while she writes or draws.
In addition to her novels, Brantwijn has had several stories published in anthologies by Breathless Press, including the 2013 Crimson Anthology and 2014 Ravaged Anthology. She's also had a short story published in the Cleiss Press Big Book of Orgasm and the anthology Coming Together Through The Storm. She hopes to have several more tales to tell as time goes on. She has author pages on GoodReads and Amazon, and loves to see reader comments on her work.
Her short stories occasionally pop up at Foreplay and Fangs, her blog at http://brantwijn.blogspot.com
Brantwijn's Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/qf2bzwk
Foreplay and Fangs Supernatural Romance: http://tinyurl.com/q2cmnep
Brantwijn's Foreplay and Fangs blog: http://tinyurl.com/ljvvl6p
Amazon Author Page: http://tinyurl.com/n4rnjqx
Goodreads Author Page: http://tinyurl.com/mxv9bmr
His Cemetery Doll Tour Giveaway
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