Extinction Point: apocalyptic dystopia book cover

Extinction Point is a new novel by author Paul Jones: The central character (Emily) needs to ride her bike out of New York during a strange red rain:

A very brief synopsis of Extinction Point

Emily Baxter is a 30 something reporter living in Manhattan New York. Across the globe there are reports of a strange red rain seemingly falling from nowhere. At exactly midday the rain falls on New York from a clear blue sky. Eight hours later everything in New York (and across the globe) except for Emily is dead.

Within 24-hours Emily witnesses the dead within her apartment building transform into something totally alien. They turn into a strange eight-legged spider like creature that rushes about a lot and chews through walls in an effort to escape and join the millions of other transformed creatures that are running about New York.

Emily makes contact with a research outpost in a remote island off the northern most shore of Alaska. The scientists there tell her they believe the weirdness she is witnessing is affected by the cold and recommend she leaves New York and head to their location.

Emily, who does not know how to drive a car, must find supplies and escape the city on a bike while avoiding the ever changing planet around her as it transforms into something very alien.





This cover came together beautifully, we’re all very happy with the result.


What is Paleo? Lose Weight and Get Healthy: Book Cover

I’ve been working on the very interesting “What is Paleo” – an introduction to the Paleo diet (basically, don’t eat anything that wasn’t around in prehistoric times: meat and vegetables, but no grains, etc.) Makes a lot of sense. We played with several options,



We went with the “caveman” with petroglyphs on his body. Altogether pretty good:

As an alternative, I would have added a bold red gradient and a more interesting title font, along with a more ‘cut’ model:

Fantasy paranormal book cover: the making of a mermaid

I’m excited about my first mermaid cover! It’s a remake for Sheri Swift’s “Legend of Mer”. She had two original covers: I like the shell/marble one better (in terms of style) except you can’t see the others name and you can’t tell what the book is about.

This is a book that should appeal to the vast numbers of paranormal/urban fantasy readers, so it needed a fresh, young cover. The protagonist is a mal-adjusted girl who hides her webbed hands with a goth style and fingerless gloves, not knowing she’s a mermaid, so we found this striking picture.

With that I made this: Adding in a lighthouse and fish skills, and turning the eyes silver.


Sheri likes it, except for the scales (those are easy to remove) and the lip ring (not so easy to fix). I had to duplicate the mouth twice, stretch one layer in one direction and the other in the other direction to overlap the ring. I’m proud that it looks pretty natural. Then I enhanced the colors and added some lacy gloves.

What do you think?








Simmer: A steampunk paranormal romance book cover

I’ve been excited about “Simmer: A Miss Hyde Novel” for several weeks – a mysterious twin, a genetic trait shared by Mr. Hyde – these are some exciting themes to play with. But first we were just looking for a nice gown (to fit the genre) and a background of Vienna. I played with the idea of showing the twins, but it may work better without.

I may use some Steampunk Jewelry in the design but it will depend on the picture.

Mostly I like the first one, but the others show a large variety of fonts (oh how I love fonts!).
The text will be especially important to set the style of the series. The ‘mechanical rose’ is a prominent feature of the book so I tried to add one.

After we pick a design and clean it up more, we can add the fancy scrolly decorative patterns to the edges… These are still really messy! Just samples…

What do you think?

My favorite! Though maybe with different text.



I you want to learn more about Steampunk (what it means, what it implies) check out this amazing post: http://socialismandorbarbarism.blogspot.com/2009/02/salvagepunk-apocalyptic-notes-1.html

77 Days in September: Post-apocalyptic EMP Novel

I’ve had the pleasure of remaking Ray Gorham post-apocalyptic thriller 77 Days in September, which is burning up the Kindle bestseller’s list. Ray started with a homemade cover featuring a blacked-out North America (to emphasize the fallout after an EMP detonation).

Now that sales are picking up he wanted to invest in something cleaner, but without making too big of changes, so I started out with these:


But I also suggested we try something stronger – I boosted up the city, changed the blacked out North America to a starry sky, added a dark country road (signifying the journey) and made the text orange and yellow. Then I threw in some nice fonts and text effects.


If you haven’t read it yet, go check it out! Here’s the overview:

On a Friday afternoon before Labor Day, Americans are getting ready for the holiday weekend, completely unaware of a long-planned terrorist plot about to be launched against the country. Kyle Tait is settling in for his flight home to Montana when a single nuclear bomb is detonated 300 miles above the heart of America. The blast, an Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP), destroys every electrical device in the country, and results in the crippling of the power grid, the shutting down of modern communications, and bringing to a halt most forms of transportation.

Kyle narrowly escapes when his airplane crashes on take-off, only to find himself stranded 2,000 miles from home in a country that has been forced, from a technological standpoint, back to the 19th Century. Confused, hurt, scared, and alone, Kyle must make his way across a hostile continent to a family he’s not even sure has survived the effects of the attack. As Kyle forges his way home, his frightened family faces their own struggles for survival in a community trying to halt its slow spiral into chaos and anarchy. 

77 Days in September follows Kyle and his wife, Jennifer, as they are stretched past their breaking point, but find in their devotion to each other the strength to persevere. 



and the final cover is…

Went with very simple, clean text – a smart choice I think.

Romanov Stone: An International Thriller Book Cover

Another recent book cover I’ve been working on is “The Romanov Stone”. We needed a color-changing glowing alexandrite gem with a Romanov Seal on it; plus  Cyrillic text. These are a few of the options I came up with:


But simplicity may work better, so I also suggested something more like this:


Whichever design ends up on the book’s cover, be sure to check it out, sounds like an intriguing thriller.


The evolution of an urban fantasy novel book cover

I’ve been working on a cover for “The Watchers” for awhile now – based on the plot outline, I tried to include the three main characters: Eli is an angel (watcher) who self-medicates with spider poison for powers,  Meridith is half-watcher and Alchemist, and Ava is a half demon violinist. (At least I think so – I haven’t read the book yet but look forward to doing so). But the first covers I did, focusing on the main characters and the school, are a little too shiny.

So then we tried to darken them and make them more bad-ass – but that was hard because the pictures are so light. We also wanted to add a city scene.

That wasn’t working too well either. So I ditched all that and started over, focusing on one strong central character. These turned out pretty good:

So we tightened it up a bit, went for a less scrolly-font, and voilà! The final cover works pretty well. The moral of the story: creating a book cover is not a static process. Sometimes the first idea isn’t the best idea. If you get stuck, change everything! If it’s pretty good but you don’t love it, take some time off, search through picture sites until something grabs you.


Dead Drunk: Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse…One Beer at a Time

I’ve been working with Rich Johnson on a cover for “Dead Drunk”. Yeah – my first Zombie Apocalypse book cover design! “Dead Drunk” centers around a group of slacker college friends that wake after a bachelor party to find themselves in the midst of a zombie invasion. It’s more of a realistic zombie story (as realistic as one could get I suppose) with a lot of humor thrown in. Rich focuses “more on the characters and the dialogue than the zombies. I envision the cover could look like a classic zombie hand coming from the grave, but holding a beer or whiskey bottle etc… I am open to other ideas (tipped bottles spilling over a skull etc… a zombie drinking a beer like on a vintage drinking poster etc…)”

We played with several ideas and are now working with two finalists… both could be strong in their own way (these are very rough samples! I’ll add the final to my portfolio soon).