Thursday, February 27, 2014

Book Cover Design Check

I quietly published the fiction paranormal fantasy book, Keeper of the Lesser Flame, around October 2012. Unfortunately, it was quite flawed, from editing and time jumps. Then, I was much after launching the name Darmie Orem, so that I could start the book blog Authors Curtilage with Darmie Orem. But, the idea of the book is too good to be ignored. Keeper of the Lesser Flame has a good storyline. Many book reviewers who has read this book ended up saying, "I've read many books and none have a feeling like this one. You can never predict how it would end; a good book should have this twist." I want to begin building subsequent draft for the book, polish it, republish it and, be known as its author. And the following are the working book cover designs by Madi Preda and son Alin-Cristian Oprea, a Tattoo Artist. 

A professionally designed book cover makes a difference in publishing, and according to Amazon it makes a big difference. So a professional designer’s expertise can mean the difference between selling lots of books and not selling very many when you are launched into any area of book publishing. So whenever you are in the market for a book cover design, hire Alin or Preda. Please, visit their websites by simply clicking on their names mentioned here in this post, to contact them at any time. Because of their expertise, I’m going to redesign the cover design for The Tales of Deborah, although still with my face on it. And this cover is going to be retouched by this skilled family. Only that I'll be paying this time around. #Smiles......
I must say before I'm out of here. The book cover designs were presented to me free of charge, as my birthday gift coming up on the 6th of Match? Madi and Alin are loving people. I say a big thank you to them for these precious gifts. Aunt Paulette Mahurin author of Persecution of Mildred Dunlap, once said to me, Darmie, continue to be this down-to-earth Darmie, and good will never seize to come your way. This is one of it. Entertainment is a business of friendship, please, let's learn to lend help to one another without expecting anything in return. But if your favor at any point is ever returned, be grateful and talk about it....

Back to the book cover designs. I like the blue cover design with the black woman. It depicts the mystery and mystic of the story Keeper of the Lesser Flame, with the moon watching patiently. It simply captures the essence of the story Keeper of the Lesser Flame… But, which of the book cover design do you think will be good for online and print publication? And how do you think your chosen design should be enhanced or become better.

Please, leave your opinion for me as a comment. Thank you.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Music Audio Stories

Are your little ones, having problems being inventive or your children with vision disabilities, struggling with great amusement, because they lack the right tool?

Recent research into human development has proven that parents truly are their children's first teachers. What parents do, or don't do, has a lasting impact on their child's reading skill and literacy. But many parents haven't yet known their ways round the most vital opportunities to motivating their children's imaginative skills as they grow and experience the world.

Music Audio Stories can help your children stimulate their productive senses and give the ones with impaired vision the fun that is crucial to their growth at a lower cost. That is what we guarantee.

Our stories are a great way to allow children to use their own imagination, acting out the stories, drawing how they imagine the characters to be, singing, dancing and joining in, stimulating their creative senses. They can be enjoyed by children aged 3 to 7 and are of great enjoyment to the blind. They can also be a useful learning tool for children with impaired vision or vision disabilities. One of the things that makes our audio stories special from others you may have heard, is the strong themed, original classical music behind the narration. Unlike other audio books, the music continues throughout and is an essential part of the stories. We combine cartoon style voices with Sound Effects to create movement in the sound and instill positive messages in each story.

During our years in the publishing field, so far, we have worked with actors and musicians including the Olivier nominated actor Paul Kaye - The original Mr Wormwood in the award winning West End hit musical Matilda as well as appearing in many TV and film roles such as Franky Wilde in the award winning 'It's all gone Pete Tong' and is currently in the new series of Game of Thrones and Tom Meadows - who can be found touring the world drumming for some of today's biggest artists such as Kylie Minogue.

We have a very unique website with behind the scenes video footage which no other audio book makers have done before and have just released two new stories, available on Amazon and iTunes. We also have a Free Download of March of The Ants, our first story, available on our website here: musicaudiostories
What's more, our Music Audio Stories are affordable. We only price them at 79p on iTunes and £1.09 on Amazon each.

Make your purchase today. We look forward to making learning easy and fun for your children.

Stories Available
March of The Ants (FREE download) 

Chris the Caterpillar

Johnny No Cash

Jimi & his friend Joe

The Big Apple

Music Audio Stories
By Busy Bees Publishing

Stories Narrated by Anna-Christina
Author Anna-Christina
Composed by Anna-Christina/Adie Hardy
Produced by Anna-Christina/Adie Hardy


Friday, February 14, 2014

Top 10 Books for Valentine's Day

Each book for Valentine's Day is worth buying because it can be enjoyed again and again. These Valentine's books are good reads. They will transport you to a new world and provide you positive memories that you can never forget. Some of the books, that I've read like six years ago are still planted on my heart like a tattoo.Their events keep coming back to me like they took place in real life. Here's a quick look at each of them.

1. Cat's Patient Heart
 Cat’s Patient Heart is by Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy. She dreamed of marrying Connor Donavan as a little girl but as a teenager, he broke her heart.  Ten years later and far from their hometown, Catherine has become a nurse. One snowy evening she finds a new patient – Connor.  As he recovers from an accident, their old feelings return as the sparks fly.  Catherine, Connor’s ‘Cat’, realizes she still loves him and believes he loves her too.  But when he recuperates at her home, his real life intrudes into their idyll and changes everything.  Connor leaves again, Cat stays behind….until a message sends her speeding to Kansas City and Connor’s nightclub on Valentine’s Day!
Buy link:  Amazon UK Amazon DOT COM

2. La Cucina: A Novel of Rapture
La Cucina: A Novel of Rapture is by Lily Proir.
Since childhood, Rosa Fiore -- daughter of a sultry Sicilian matriarch and her hapless husband -- found solace in her family's kitchen. La Cucina, the heart of the family's lush estate, was a place where generations of Fiore women prepared sumptuous feasts and where the drama of extended family life was played out around the age-old table.
When Rosa was a teenager, her own cooking became the stuff of legend in this small community that takes pride in the bounty of its landscape and the eccentricity of its inhabitants. Rosa's infatuation with culinary arts was rivaled only by her passion for a young man, Bartolomeo, who, unfortunately, belonged to another. After their love affair ended in tragedy, Rosa retreated first into her kitchen and then into solitude, as a librarian in Palermo. There she stayed for decades, growing corpulent on her succulent dishes, resigned to a loveless life.
Then, one day, she meets the mysterious chef, known only is I'Inglese, whose research on the heritage of Sicilian cuisine leads him to Rosa's library, and into her heart. They share one sublime summer of discovery, during which I'lnglese awakens the power of Rosa's sensuality, and together they reach new heights of culinary passion. When I'Inglese suddenly vanishes, Rosa returns home to the farm to grieve for the loss of her second love. In the comfort of familiar surroundings, among her, growing family, she discovers the truth about her loved ones and finds her life transformed once more by the magic of her cherished Cucina.
Exuberant and touching, La Cucina is a magical evocation of lifes mysterious seasons and the treasures found in each one. It celebrates family, food, passion, and the eternal rapture of romance.
Buy link: Amazon

3. It Ain't Easy Being Jazzy
 It Ain't Easy Being Jazzy is by Quanie Miller.

Jazzy secretly wants to get back together with her ex-boyfriend, Curtis, so when he calls and reveals that he’s got something important to tell her, she’s got no idea that he’s about to propose—to her first cousin and bitter rival, Mercedes.
The annual family dinner is coming up, and fearing that she will spend the evening seething while Mercedes flaunts her four carat engagement ring in her face, Jazzy asks Reggie, an Adonis she met at the mall, to accompany her. As fate would have it, not only did Reggie and Mercedes used to date; that backstabbing, leopard print wearing cow is still carrying a torch for him! Revenge. It’s never been so sweet.
But falling for Reggie? Holy crap! That wasn’t part of the plan! She’s got enough on her plate as it is; restaurant shootouts, a neurotic boss, a mother who spies on the neighbors, and a sister and best friend with man problems that could land them on Jerry Springer. Who has time to fall in love? So when Curtis comes sniffing around again—this time, with an accusation that sends her blood pressure shooting through the roof—the one good nerve that Jazzy’s got left has just about run its course.
Buy link: Amazon  
4. Way Out of Line                              
Way Out of Line by Trish Jackson.
Two Kids from Texas--a sizzling romance--one stupid mistake. Intrigue, terror and undying love culminate in the vast African wilderness.
Trent lied about her age. Hal was convicted of statutory rape. Two lives, ruined. Despite a brutal existence in prison, a desperate escape and a chance for a new life in Africa, Hal never forgets his first love. If only there were some way he could return home and find Trent but he is an escaped felon, and to be caught is to go back to prison. Trent can't forget Hal, nor can she forgive herself for his fate and she seeks solace and expiation in a dangerous cult until she is kidnapped by a ruthless quasi-military group who hold her in their remote African headquarters until her ransom is paid. Hal and Demetrio mount a rescue mission and head into the wilderness. At the end of their quest is violence, death, and--just perhaps--another chance for Hal and Trent, whose love has never died.

5. The Way Up
The Way Up is by Ward Jones. Emotional, painful and often sensual, The Way Up follows the trials and tribulations of John Howard, a 26-year-old law school graduate who works through family tragedy, and turbulent relationships, one the stormiest is during a series of career changes. The Way Up, a journey for many in life and love.

  6. Solomon's Ring

Solomon's Ring is by Raymond Hamilton. At the highest levels of government, very mysteriously, certain members of the presidential chain of succession are found murdered. However, these murders are not your ordinary murders; the presidential cabinet members’ bodies are found in a mummified condition—like they have been ceremonially prepared and entombed, by ancient Egyptians, for a thousand years. For this to have occurred overnight is a complete mystery and complicates the investigation for FBI Agent Robert Cole.

Government leaders fearful that this may be the work of foreign terrorists dispatch CIA Agent Amir Bloomberg to assist Agent Cole with the mysterious case.

Agents Cole and Bloomberg soon find themselves in a race against a powerful supernatural entity stalking government leaders, sophisticated terrorists on the verge of creating a powerful weapon, and time to uncover the truth before the unspeakable happens and changes the world forever.

Buy link: Amazon  

7. This Morning I Woke Up Dead

 This Morning I Woke Up Dead is by Mindy Larson.

What would you do? What rules would you break to be with your soul mate? This morning Hadley Christensen and Dominic Morris woke up living their dream lives. They are engaged and each has promising careers in the  medical field. They are happier and more fulfilled than they have ever been, and they are ready to begin their happily ever after.

Sadly, on her way to work, Hadley is in an accident. Before taking her last breath, she realizes she is already dead - and everyone on Earth is too. Now Hadley and Dominic must each find a way to live without one another. How do they continue when they are two parts of one flame?

Hadley is given permission by the Masters to contact Dominic in the hopes he will also realize he is already dead. If Dominic can open his mind to hear Hadley they can be together forever. Is Dominic ready to give up life the way he knows it?
8. Before I Fall
Before I Fall is by Lauren Oliver. With this stunning debut novel, New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver emerged as one of today's foremost authors of young adult fiction. Like Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why and Gayle Forman's If I Stay, Before I Fall raises thought-provoking questions about love, death, and how one person's life can affect so many others.For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—"Cupid Day"—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night.
However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined. Amazon buy link

9. Pride and Prejudice
Pride and Prejudice is by Jane Austen. This is a 19th century England romantic story of the rebellious Elizabeth Bennet, a strong-willed young woman and Mr. Darcy, a mysterious and arrogant wealthy man. Her unwillingness to marry him threatens the future of her family. The book was first published in 1813.
Read this book online





10.  Why We Broke Up

Why Broke up is by Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman. I'm telling you why we broke up, Ed. I'm writing it in this letter, the whole truth of why it happened.

Min Green and Ed Slaterton are breaking up, so Min is writing Ed a letter and giving him a box. Inside the box is why they broke up. Two bottle caps, a movie ticket, a folded note, a box of matches, a protractor, books, a toy truck, a pair of ugly earrings, a comb from a motel room, and every other item collected over the course of a giddy, intimate, heartbreaking relationship. Item after item is illustrated and accounted for, and then the box, like a girlfriend, will be dumped.

Amazon buy link 




Monday, February 10, 2014

Novel Profile-Raising: Graffiti Grandma | Jo Barney

As a writer, I will say, don't be afraid of the blank page. Just write. You can edit your mistakes later. Don't make creative process mechanical, but organically.I urge you to learn the craft of writing and suggests networking with writer groups as a powerful tool. Attend workshops and conferences whenever possible and read books suggested by the group. It is another Novel Profile-Raising on the blog. Enjoy reading!!

D.O: Welcome Jo Barney.

JO: Hello!  Thanks for having me!

D.O: Don't mention, please.

D.O: What type of books do you write?

JO: My books are novels, several are what I call “Women’s Contemporary” and this last one is a thriller.  All have feminine protagonists in the midst of change:  job, marriage, aging, loss.  Each in her own way discovers that she it capable of dealing with change and in fact, she herself is changing in the process.

D.O: Is Graffiti Grandma your first book?

JO: No, I have written three others and am finishing a fifth this month.  The last three books, The Solarium, Graffiti Grandma, and the untitled one are or will be self-published as ebooks and paperbacks. The first two are “practice” novels and may remain in a folder on my computer. But I do like them and may some day rescue them from my private slush pile.

D.O: What is it about, tell us shortly?

JO:Ellie, a cranky  old woman who cleans graffiti off her neighborhood’s mail boxes meets Sarah, a street kid in punk garb, on a street corner.  They have nothing in common except that they each have lost a family. Neither imagines that she will soon be making her way through the town’s forest, looking for the serial killer whose victims are homeless teenagers spending time in the park nearby.  Each nearly dies in the effort.  Seems strange but the theme of this novel centers on our universal need, no matter who we are, even serial killlers, for family, either the one we have or the one we create.

D.O: What inspired you to write it?

JO:I  disliked the tagging and graffiti on my neighborhood’s mailboxes so much that I went out with remover and scrapers every couple of weeks and removed it from the eight or so boxes in in the area.  Scrubbing away, I had time to imagine what would happen if one of the kids who probably did the tagging came up and tried to talk to me. Ellie fleshed out from that thought, as did Sarah, Jeffrey, a five-year-old who grows up to become a psychopath, and Matt, a policeman with a autistic child. I did quite a bit of research for the book:  the drugs, homelessness runaway youth, crime.  As a former school counselor, I knew a few kids like the ones I wrote about in Graffiti Grandma. I guess I can say that the inspiration came out of my own experiences with graffiti and with teenagers.  I have never experienced a serial killer, though.

D.O: How does it feel to be published author on a right foot?

JO: The “right foot” became evident when Graffiti Grandma received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus, two well-known review publications.  Then Kirkus named Graffiti Grandma to its 100 Best Books of 2013 and this recognition has been very gratifying. It is difficult for an author to know how others will respond to what she has created, and I am pleased with the positive response the book has received.

D.O: Are you a mainstream author, an independent author or a self-published author?

JO: I have had shorter pieces published in journals and magazines and when it became evident that finding an agent was going to be difficult, I decided to self-publish. The process is exciting and creative and I enjoyed it, especially opening that first box and holding Graffiti Grandma in my hand, For me, the most difficult part of self-publishing is the marketing and I work hard at it.

D.O: I wish you all the best you need to succeed in the Literary Markets.

JO:  Thank you for this opportunity to spread the word. I do appreciate it.



October  2009

           We both were shivering a little in the gray morning air as we headed towards the first mailbox, me, in my black skirt and boots, Ellie in her old lady sweatshirt and red sneakers. I carried her supplies and towels stuffed in an old garbage bag like usual, and I could tell she was still mad at me, at my knowing how the graffiti got on the mailboxes. I was thinking about that, too, but she didn’t know the whole story, not then.

           “Spray!” Ellie ordered and I stopped remembering and pointed the bottle at the box in front of me. We scrubbed, Ellie not talking to me yet. After a couple of minutes, the black polish on my nails began to melt like the paint scrawls we were working on. Ellie muttered “Good,” when she saw me rubbing at them.

           As soon as the blue metal was as clean as Graffiti-X could get it, we headed towards the next mailbox. By the time we got to the street with the big trees, I was getting hot and glad for what little shade was left, the limbs above me almost bare. Orange and brown leaves crunched under my feet.

            Rich people lived in these apartments. I could tell by the doors, polished brass knobs, and the pots of flowers beside them. They probably sat on their upstairs terraces and felt like they were living in the arms of the trees. I was imagining eating breakfast four stories up and feeding a squirrel a piece of pancake when I stumbled and heard the heel of my boot snap. Shit, my only shoes was my first thought. I picked up the broken piece and had to walk like a cripple, one leg short, one long.

           “Take ‘em off!” Ellie said, shaking her gray head at me. “Stupid to wear boots like that; you look like a baby hooker.” She took the bag of supplies from me and I leaned against a tree and bent down and yanked. The cold from the sidewalk seeped through the leaves and into my toes. Ellie’s disgusted frown told me not to complain, so I shoved the boots into the bag. Maybe I could get the heel fixed somewhere.

           She marched ahead, not waiting up for me, calling over her shoulder, “We’ll finish up with the next box. When we get back you can borrow a pair of my old sneakers.”

           I watched where I was going, hoping I wouldn’t step on dog poop or something yucky hidden under the leaves. That’s when I saw the white basketball shoe sticking up from a pile of leaves at the curb. Someone must have lost it. Except that the shoe also had a sock in it. And in the sock, a leg.

           I grabbed Ellie’s arm and pointed. She looked back, made a sound like she was choking, whispered ”Oh no,” and shut her eyes.

           Without thinking, I made my way to the gutter and pushed sticks and leaves away from the rest of the leg. Familiar, worn denim jeans appeared. Then I recognized a plaid patch on a thigh and a hand with a small ink tattoo of a smiley face at the wrist. I was bawling by the time I uncovered his head, brushed bits of dirt from his eyes, understood that he was dead. Peter.

           Ellie came close and leaned over me, her words sharp as broken glass. “Leave him! Not our business.” She pulled me upright and, sobbing, I shoved at her against the trunk of a tree. “It’s trouble!” She reached for me again. “Nothing good ever comes from a dead body.”

           She dragged me away from Peter through a tear-blurred trail of leaves. “I’ll call 911,” she said. “When we get home. Anonymous.”

           And she did and now I’m lying here half alive in this hospital bed, wires and tubes beeping and bubbling, hoping she’s not dead somewhere....  


Kirkus Reviews:  Ostensibly about a serial killer, Barney’s (The Solarium, 2011, etc.) novel is about much more than that. It’s also the story of people who are down but not out and a rumination on family, courage and responsibility—a book that reverberates long after the last page.    (3/11/2013)

Publishers Weekly review:  Barney weaves a multifaceted narrative with quick shifts in time and focus to show how flawed individuals overcome, or are destroyed by, failed relationships. The destructive impact of alcohol, drugs, and sexual abuse on children is abundantly displayed—and made stronger by the absence of graphic or exploitative portrayals. . .The grim, understated scenes of young people coping with the seamy side of life ensure that this is no lighthearted read, and Barney's convincing portrayal of ambivalent teen psychology. . .  provides a powerful glimpse of an underground world unknown to many, whose inhabitants are capable of transformation through love and acceptance. (3/1/2013)




Happy Mother's Day

A mother's worth is incalculable and cannot be overstated. She gives up her wants and needs to ensure your happiness. Her presence in yo...