Friday, August 28, 2015

Blog Tour: Gaia by Karen Ann Hopkins

B&T: Welcome Karen to Books and Things! I'm attracted to a great cover. I love yours and I know Jenny (Supernatural Snark/ Seedlings Design) collaborate on the cover. How do you collaborate with her? What was essential for this book? 


Karen: I’m the same way! It’s the book’s cover that catches my eye, making me pluck it from a bookstore shelf or in the e-book format, clicking on the picture. The color theme is probably the most important element to me, followed by the scene itself. I’m drawn to covers that don’t show a person’s face, but have a vivid landscape and other details that give an instant impression about the book’s content. I love clouds—fluffy, happy ones and brooding, dark, ominous ones. There’s so much do with the sky.

Jenny Zemanek of Seedlings Design Studio has designed all my Indie covers and I can’t praise her creativity and professionalism enough. She amazes me with every single cover she creates.

When I first contact Jenny for a new cover, I have a pretty good idea about what I’m looking for. She’s a master of taking my visual wish list and turning it into reality. Embers was a difficult cover. I knew I wanted wings of some kind, but was afraid they’d look out of place or cheesy. Jenny came up with the idea of flaming wings to define Ember’s fire element in the first book. She designed the wings from scratch and I love the way the orange pops out from the creepy, dark forest scene. When it came time to design Gaia’s cover, we decided to focus on Ember’s growing earth power. It’s important to have a theme to the covers, so the reader identifies it immediately as part of a series. Jenny is brilliant at doing this, while at the same time giving each cover its own personality.

You can see the creepy, countryside elements in all of my Amish mystery books. The shading and stormy sky in Lamb to the Slaughter makes the corn look dangerous and imposing. The stark, lonely barn on the cover of Whispers from the Dead, combined with the bright blue of the winter sky and snowy landscape, convince you that something very terrible has happened there. And the old, leaning tombstones in Secrets in the Grave are eerie and pretty at the same time. The bold font Jenny used for this series immediately signals to the reader that it’s a mystery and the horse and buggy logo at the top informs you that there’s an Amish element within the story.

When I went to Jenny with a fourth book in the Temptation series, I asked her to blend the new book in with the previous three to keep continuity in the series. She did a marvelous job capturing the feel of a Temptation novel, while still making Rachel’s Deception special. The clash of the vibrant blue sky with the warm, golden grass is eye-catching, as is the troubled-looking girl. The font matched the previous books perfectly.

Developing the covers is my favorite part of publishing. I’m especially excited to begin work on TEMPEST (coming in 2016), the third book in the Wings of War series and HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT (2016), the fourth book in Serenity’s Plain Secrets. I haven’t told Jenny yet, but I’m hoping to get a horse onto one of these covers.

Thank you for being a part of Gaia’s blog tour! I love to connect with readers on my Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram or at www.karenannhopkins.com. Please be on the lookout for the release of SECRETS IN THE GRAVE, the third installment in my mystery series, Serenity’s Plain Secrets, in early September! Thanks for reading!

Karen Ann Hopkins

B&T: Sweet! I cannot wait to see those upcoming covers. Jenny, get busy! LOL 

About Karen Ann Hopkins:

Karen Ann Hopkins resides in northern Kentucky with her family on a farm that boasts a menagerie of horses, goats, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs and cats. Karen's main job is home schooling the kids, but she finds time to give riding lessons, coach a youth equestrian drill team, and of course, write. She was inspired to create her first book, Temptation, by the Amish community she lived in. The experiential knowledge she gained through her interactions with her neighbors drove her to create the story of the star-crossed lovers, Rose and Noah.

Karen grew up about a mile from Lake Ontario in Upstate New York. She was bitten by the horse bug at the age of five, and after diligently taking riding lessons for several years, was rewarded with her first horse when she turned eleven. The feisty horse's name was Lady, a Quarter Horse-Thoroughbred cross, who became Karen's steadfast companion. Through the years, the constant force in her life was horses. Eventually, she found her place as a riding instructor herself. Before accepting her fate in the barnyard, she worked a short stint as a paralegal, traveled abroad, and guided tourists on horseback riding tours in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.

Karen is currently working on her Amish mystery series, Serenity's Plain Secrets, along with the YA paranormal/fantasy series, The Wings of War. Karen is also excited to announce the Temptation series has been optioned for TV by Pilgrim Studios and is available on Audible. More books in the Temptation series are in the works.

Gaia
by Karen Ann Hopkins
Series: Wings of War #2
Published: 7/26/15
As the Demons grow bolder and the walls between the planes of existence weaken, Ember is forced to develop her powers as quickly as possible, and she seeks out a powerful earth Watcher to continue her supernatural lessons. Her glimpse of the future demands she fight the dark forces spreading across the earth.

But her new mentor has his own agenda, making her question everyone and everything she ever trusted.
When Ember is thrust into the world of the Watchers, she learns of their plans—ones that defy the scripture and make them enemies of the Celestial Host. Ridding the world of evil gets complicated when it becomes impossible to take sides.

As Ember struggles with morality, she soon discovers that there’s something more frightening than anything she’s faced before.

Book 1:
 
Giveaway!
One lucky winner will receive a $50 gift card (Amazon, B&N, iTunes), as well as a complete set of Karen’s YA books, including Embers, Gaia, Temptation, Belonging, Forever, and Rachel’s Deception! Please enter via the Rafflecopter form. Giveaway is open internationally. Giveaway is sponsored by Kismet.


Tour Stops: (for full tour dates please goto: Gaia Tour Page)

Monday, August 24th
a Bookish Escape (Review)

Tuesday, August 25th
Behind The Pages (Guest Post)

Wednesday, August 26th

Thursday, August 27th

Friday, August 28th
Avid Reader Musings (Review/Guest Post)
Books and Things (Guest Post)

Monday, August 31st
Bewitched Bookworms (Guest Post)
Pause Time Reviews (Review/Guest Post)

34 comments:

  1. It is a little embarrassing how much of a cover lover I am

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    1. I understand, Brandi! I'm a complete sucker for covers with artsy dragons :D

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  2. I so love working with you Karen! And I couldn't be more excited for TEMPEST and HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT. I'll start thinking about horses... :)

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    1. Aww, thanks, Jenny! I love working with you too! And I can't wait to begin work on Tempest and Hidden in Plain Sight. I know they'll be perfect :D

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  3. I'm new to this series so I'm super excited to win the giveaway, thanks so much.

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    1. You're welcome, jc! Hope you'll give the series a try (:

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  4. I really need to try this author! I have one of her books, I just need to read it now. And I love the covers! Jenny did such an amazing job on the newest one!

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    1. Hi, Kindlemom! I have a book for just about everyone: paranormal, YA, romance, mystery, Amish. Thanks for reading :D

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  5. This sounds like a great series.. and I absolutely love the covers! Thanks for sharing, I'm looking forward to reading both books :)

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    1. Hi, Victoria! Jenny really captured my vision for the covers. Thanks for reading!

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  6. Totally love the covers of both books. I agree, Jenny is fantastic!

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    1. Heidi, glad you love the covers! Yay! Hope you give the series a try :D

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  7. All of the covers of Karen's books are pretty. I'm looking forward to reading this series.

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    1. Hi, Christy! Thanks for your interest in the Wings of War series :D

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  8. Jenny is fantastic! I'm reading the first book right now.

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    1. Hey, Bibliophile Babe! Thanks for reading Embers! Hope you love the series :D

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  9. I'm a total tart when it comes to covers. They're pretty much what gets me to buy. I never read the blurbs. lol

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    1. Anna, covers are my thing too! And I love creating them with Jenny (:

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  10. I agree, Jenny is doing an amazing job with the covers and these ones are really beautiful!

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    1. Melliane, Jenny is AMAZING! She takes my visions and make them an even better reality (:

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  11. Sounds like a great series. The covers are stunning.

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    1. Hi, Rita! Hope you check Embers and Gaia out :D and I agree about the covers.

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  12. I love the covers, and the excerpts sound interesting, too. I would love to read them.

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    1. Hi, Stacey! It's an epic series. Good luck :D

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  13. I love her mysteries, and this series does sound good.

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    1. Kim, SECRETS IN THE GRAVE is now available! Hope you'll be reading it soon and maybe we can talk you into my paranormal Wings of War series. there's an Amish scene in Gaia ;-)

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