“Ah, yes! Come I will show you. We keep those for special customers, those with better than tourist tastes. Who is your mother?”
“Rosaline Cross,” she replied automatically, hardly expecting Auria to know her by name.
The woman turned happily, gasping as she took Mara’s hands in hers. “You’re Rosie’s daughter? You must be Mara. You have your mother’s eyes and her full lips. How’s your mother and when is she coming to see Auria again?”
“Mom’s doing great,” Mara was surprised at the warmth of the greeting. “She’s planning to come down in February, I think. Right now she’s house sitting for me. I’ve got a couple of grumpy, old cats who don’t do well in a kennel.”
“Who can blame them? Cats are independent natured. You can’t trap the wind and water, so why try to cage a cat?” Her smile was warm and welcoming. “I have just the thing,” she grinned, taking a dress off the rack. “I was saving this for your mother. She loves to buy pretty things for you and your sister. But now you’ve come yourself.”
“And you ran into me, because you weren’t looking.”
“Oh, aye. Entirely my fault. As I’ve the testicles in this equation,” he snapped, his tone chilly.
“Don’t try and make it about your testicles,” Evie said, more loudly than she intended.
Several heads turned in their direction.
Tim fought a smile, but lost. “You should see yourself. Righteous indignation has nothing on you. I’m not stalking you, Miss Winthrop. I needed groceries, as we ascertained at breakfast. We fell for the same marketing ploys, regardless of our intellect and knowledge. I apologize for the collision, but I’d my eye on this.” He bent over and plucked an item off the bottom shelf. “Upper shelf stuff, this,” he said as he dropped it in his cart. “Phasing it out, apparently.”
“What is it?”
“Chocolate covered dried cherries. Ambrosia straight from the gods. Best with either hot coffee or this!” He held up a bottle of chocolate wine.
“Mr. O’Brian, are you a secret chocoholic?”
“My dirty little secret,” he replied with a sly wink.
“Well, at least you’re not secretly into BDSM.”
Tim nearly choked on his tongue. His face went shades of red she had no name for. “Holy God, woman!” he gasped, laughing loudly. “No promises there. I’d have to know your definition of the aforementioned proclivity.”
Stan hesitated at the door. “Forgive the blunt question, but you aren’t vegan or anything, are you?”
“Ugh, no! I decidedly eat meat.”
Stan’s ears reddened and he tried not to laugh. It took Ostia a second to realize what she’d said. Blushing, she walked out the door. Stan followed, holding it for her.
“Sounded different in my head,” she said, pointing to her forehead.
“No explanation necessary. I was just enjoying the implications of that remark.” He dodged when she took a playful swing at him. “I’m a guy! Sue me. Maybe I shouldn’t say that too loudly around here.” He winked. “I’ll pick you up at six thirty.”
“You don’t know where I live.”
“Which is why you’re going to give me your address and phone number before I go.”
“No! No, nothing like that. I promise. He’s in town for awhile. You’re new. I thought maybe you’d hit it off. I really wasn’t trying my ninja tactics. Yes, I’ve done that before. I admit. But not this time. Ralan obviously thought that or he’d be here by now.”
“I’ll be here for awhile,” Daphne assured her friend. “Plenty of time to set us—introduce us. Meanwhile, I need to pee.” She got up rather unsteadily and walked to the restroom on the other side of the bar.
She didn’t notice the tall, lean muscled man at the end of the bar. He hunched over, nursing a long neck pretending she didn’t exist as she wobbled past. He merely raised an eyebrow, turning his head slightly as she walked into the bathroom, hunkering lower, trying to hide himself in the shorter crowd.
“They’re not looking,” Stan murmured as he wiped the bar near the dark haired man.
“Shh, don’t talk to me or they’ll see me.”
“Never met a man so damn scared of his little sister.” Shrugging, Stan walked away to get him another beer.
“It won’t slow you down that much. A little at first until you get used to it. The pain meds will make you groggy though.”
“Have you had a broken leg, Doctor?” Jane asked abruptly.
“Yes. As a matter of fact, I’ve broken both legs at different times. Both arms within six months of each other, three ribs, my nose, one wrist and an odd assortment of toes. It’s why I became an orthopedic man. After all my fractures, I had a pretty good working knowledge and thought I’d put it to use.”
“Were you in car accidents or something?” Jane was amazed at the doctor’s list of breaks.
“Mostly clumsy, but also I like extreme sports. I’ve been sky diving, wind surfing, bungee jumping, snow boarding from helicopters and I like to race dirt bikes.”
“Is that how you broke your leg?” I asked, figuring dirt bikes were pretty dangerous.
He glanced away, rubbing his nose distractedly before answering. “Actually, I broke my leg once playing golf and the other time falling out of bed.” He blushed, looking more than a little embarrassed. “What? It was a high bed!”
In the last year I’ve been suffering from writers block and I couldn’t understand why? I mean I could see the story clearly but I had trouble coming up with the right words. Every scene was a struggle, which led to me abandoning the story (Miss Mary Mack) several times. Then one day I was having a discussion with a friend who was having trouble dealing with her teenage daughter when she came to the realization that their problems were rooted in the fact that they were both so similar. Now if that isn’t the ultimate form of irony then I don’t know what is? However as my writer’s block continued, I read several articles on why authors write themselves into their work and reached a shocking conclusion: I was Miss Mary!!!
No, I don’t go around murdering people, (although those thoughts do pop up in my head from time to time) I took pieces of my life and sprinkled them throughout the story. Miss Mary was in fact physically modeled after my first grade principal Miss Murray, who wore dark clothing that covered her body from head to toe. She also was a disciplinarian which made her a terrifying figure in the first grade. However she wasn’t evil, just tough.
I also had a fourth grade bus driver by the name of Miss Johnson who was sometimes called, Miss Mary. She didn’t really like driving a bus and insisted we all ride in silence. Weird, huh?
Then there’s me, I’m not too fond of children, I mean don’t hate them, I just prefer not to be around them. P.S. I come from a long line of women who were reluctant mothers. So I was able to draw on that when it came time to summon the callousness required for a villain. It was also then I realized that I was trying to make sense of my past. And guess what? Miss Mary is the perfect vehicle for that, I can run loose and do as much damage without really affecting anyone in the real world. The big plus is that I can kill and not wind up in prison. I guess this is what George R.R. Martin feels like every time he sits down at his computer. LOL!
Okay, I’m Getting To The Point!
When your work hits too close to home, it can be difficult to navigate through the story. If you have a real unresolved conflict in your own life, it may be near impossible to resolve the one in your story because you can’t imagine your characters finding peace. You know, the apology that never came, the relationship that failed, or the never ending dysfunction of a family, can really damage your perception and almost make you blind to the obvious. I know, I had this problem and the only way to get through it was to think my way logically through it. I had to know what readers or in this case society expected from this book. I had to dole out punishment and correct injustices. That doesn’t always happen in real life. I also had to step back and let my characters go their own way. Once I did that, their world unfolded and things began making sense again.
A Final Thought
As with most things in life, writing isn’t about you. Sure you can create worlds and characters but once you do so, they start to develop their own reality. Try as you may, you are not of their world and vice versa. Only a piece of you will live on in your work, but the rest of you gets to move on and make peace with the reality that is meant to be.
Bio: Rachel Rueben is author of YA, supernatural as well as romance books. Her work can be found her on the Cereal Authors blog as well as Wattpad. She is also a blogger at Writing By The Seat Of My Pants where she discusses self-publishing and rarely refers to herself in the third person.
To put a book cover together you need to make a template or get one from your
print company. This is a mock-up of the one I got from my printer. The cover must extend to the
outer lines of the template in order for the book to have the trim line which gives the book its
nice neat final look. In other words, the whole area of the template must have the book’s cover color in it, back and front. The area right inside the outer line is called the Bleed area which is cut off at the second line in on the template all the way around the bookcover. That will be the actual book size when it is done.
The front of the book is on your right hand side and the back cover is on the left side.
The spine is the middle area between the back and front covers. The spine size is based on the number of pages and the paper size of the book and that is calulated by the printer.
The red lines (a 1/2 inch from the trim line) on both the covers is the area you must keep all text and graphics in.
Next I painted the front cover and top part of the back cover in Corel Painter Essentials
Then I brought the cover into Indesign CS 3 to work.
I used Indesign CS 3 to create my book and cover, though I do most of the artwork in art/graphic software.
This is a example of a text frame which using the Text Tool you put in the template and do your typing.
You use the Selection Tool to resize the Text frame when needed by grabbing any of the small squares around the frame and dragging it. You can also copy and paste your text from your word processor into the text frames.
For graphics you would go to File> Place find your picture on your computer (tif) and click Open.
The Selection Tool in Indesign will become loaded and you just click the place in your template or frame that you want the picture or graphic to go.
I rotated the cover to the left and typed in the spine text.
Adding all the items needed I created the book’s cover!