Wednesday, November 18, 2015

How a Star Falls...Once Again (New-Cover Reveal and Anniversary Party!)




It's Derrick and Brielle's one-year anniversary! (Well, OK, that might not be the case in the timing of the follow-up novella, but we're talking about non-fiction years vs. fiction years. ;)) And I'm so excited to celebrate the occasion with a fun giveaway (see end of the post) and the reveal of the book's new cover...

Don't they make such a sweet couple??

The Many Faces of Derrick and Brielle

My wonderful designer and friend, Lena Goldfinch, was the one who suggested that the cover for How a Star Falls might need an update, so it could better match my other contemporary covers. While I truly loved the original - a case of the egg before the chicken; that is, the cover coming before the story - I could see how branding my books by design would be a very good idea. Not to mention, I'm all for a cute couple cover!

See how nice they all look together?

The first two are available now; Where Trains Collide is up next!

Brielle and Derrick, Ava and Keegan, and Trisha and Paul. I love these models that represent them! (By the way, each of these stories is a standalone, although the characters in How a Star Falls and Where Trains Collide are connected. Confused yet? You're welcome. ;) *insert a bit of author sass*)

Anyway, the model photo we landed on for How a Star Falls was not the first one we tried on for size. Here's a peek at some of the cover comps Lena put together for me (with watermarks, since these are just examples of what we could do after purchasing the desired image):

(Click image to enlarge.)

Lena and I discovered a lot of really sweet couple photos that seemed like they could fit these characters! Before finding the photo for the cover on the right, I really liked the comp in the middle. It had the right "feel" to me - the scene and the mood and even the general appearance of the characters. But then Lena stumbled upon a cover "twin" that was much too close in appearance, so we bid that couple farewell.

I found that fourth comp quite darling, but it just wasn't quite right for the story. It sure is a pretty picture, though!

The couple on the left came very close to gracing the final cover. The general appearance was right, and the night scene with the added star was the perfect touch. But I felt a little unsure about the guy... I just didn't picture Derrick in an outfit like that, and he looked a little too young for Derrick's 24 years. The couple just felt more YA (young adult) than NA (new adult), getting ready for prom instead of life during/after college. ;)

So I kept looking...and then we found them.

Derrick and Brielle.

I was afraid the lack of a nighttime background would create a disconnect, but Lena reminded me that the sun is a star. ;) And really, it's not about the straightforward imagery in this case. This couple, this scene, created the right mood and portrayed the characters and their personalities brilliantly. 

Brielle looks so sweet and lighthearted and innocent.

Derrick looks so quiet and caring and enchanted by Brielle.

Lena described the atmosphere perfectly with the word "ethereal." 

And hey, Brielle even bears a slight resemblance to her previous counterpart, dontcha think?



About Derrick and Brielle's Story

Sweet New Adult Contemporary Romance Novella 

How does a star fall? 
Quickly. Completely. Unexpectedly. 

Derrick Knolane escapes to Trinidad Head most evenings, avoiding his apartment and planning for the day he'll break free of Humboldt County. Working in a music store might be fine for a while, but it's far from the goal he had in mind when he got his college degree. Not to mention the fact that his roommate is a jerk and his family won't stop trying to run his life. 

Then Brielle falls into his world. 

She claims to be a star. Not from Hollywood, but from heaven. He thinks she's crazy. Certainly delusional. Yet, he can't just leave her alone on the cliffs. So he takes her home. 

And his whole world falls apart. 

A heartfelt and fanciful contemporary romance novella, How a Star Falls explores the uncertain season of new adulthood and shows that sometimes the worst inconveniences make for the best miracles of all.

This novella is available in the following formats: 
Paperback ($6.99)
Kindle ebook ($.99)

Note: As of right now, the audiobook and Kindle formats of the book have been updated with the new cover. The paperback will maintain the previous cover for the time being.


Giveaway Time!

Fill out the form below to enter to win one of three prizes from some of my favorite Etsy shops! The prizes are…

Why these prizes? The earrings include stars, which fit this occasion for obvious reasons. ;) The compass is a reference to a song mentioned in the story: “If My Heart Was a House” by Owl City (you can listen HERE). And the cards are a little teaser for my next contemporary romance, Where Trains Collide. (Let’s just say the hero’s nickname is Paul Bunyan. Can you guess the heroine’s nickname?)

Note: Giveaway is open to US residents only due to shipping costs. 

Cover Reveal Participants

As always, I'm so very grateful to my "Gems" for spreading the word about my bookish news!

If you'd like to join my street team, Amber's Gems, you can sign up HERE. And feel free to send me an email at amberstokes@corban.edu if you'd like to review an e-copy or audiobook copy of How a Star Falls!


Here's a list of the lovely gems participating in the anniversary party:

P.S. My designer is gearing up to release a sweet new historical romance novel next month! You can learn more and pre-order The Bartered Bride HERE. (And if you're a blogger, you can sign up to participate in the blog tour HERE.)

Thank you for helping me celebrate this occasion! I'd love to hear your thoughts on the new cover or anything else about this post/story!

16 comments:

Grace M said...

Love the new cover, Amber! It really is darling. :-)

Carissa Miller said...

inconvenience turned out to be a blessing in disguise was being late for work it was a blessing because if I had been "on time" leaving my house I would have been in a major wreck. So sometimes being later could be a blessing.

Rissi said...

Love how you put these together, Amber. (Behind the scenes sneak peeks are the best. :D) That middle design is really cute! I like the scene and the couple (sitting on the beach). I'm so glad Brielle and Derrick were given a "new face" for this celebration and as always, super grateful to you for thinking of Baubles, Beads and Stuff for this giveaway. I appreciate it. :)

Congrats on this milestone! It's such a fun journey to watch, so I hope you're enjoying the experience. :)

Amber Stokes said...

Grace,

Thank you!! I'm always pleased with the wonderful covers Lena designs. :)

~Amber

Amber Stokes said...

Carissa,

That is a great example - and reminder! It's always amazing to look back and see how God has protected us and provided for us when we didn't even realize it.

~Amber

Amber Stokes said...

Rissi,

Aww, thank you! These posts are always fun to put together - and I'm so happy you like the behind-the-scenes info! :)

I agree about that middle scene. It's very sweet! Based on the cover "twin" Lena found, that scene did indeed make a cute cover for another author. :)

I'm excited that Brielle and Derrick have a new "face," as well! And it's totally my pleasure to feature one of your lovely pieces in my giveaway. :) So fun!!

Thank you for joining me on this journey! It's friends like you that make the adventure so awesome. :) ((Hugs))

~Amber

Laura Pol said...

Happy Book Anniversary, Amber! I have to confess that "How a Star Falls" is one of my favorite novella's and I LOVE the new cover! I definitely think it's perfect for both characters as well as portrays some of the fun banter (if you want to call it that) between them both concerning Brielle being a star. Congrats once again! Also, can't wait for "Where Trains Collide"! :)

Emily Ann Putzke said...

Oh, Amber! The new cover is BEAUTIFUL!! And I love this story so much. =)

Cindy V said...

LOVE the new cover, Amber! It has such an angelic quality, and I especially love the play of light. I think it symbolizes a new beginning!! Congrats on the re-release!!

As for an inconvenience . . . We once lived in a small town in the mountains where the closest big airport was 3 hours away. So I was driving to the airport one morning to catch a flight out to a writer's conference. But I got caught in a surprise Sept. blizzard and barely made it off the Interstate and into a small town. Then the Highway Patrol closed the Interstate altogether, because the snow was so deep and the roads were so slick. So I got stuck in that tiny town for half a day, and needless to say, I missed my flight and the conference. Since the restaurants and shops were all packed with stranded travelers, I chose to head to an old-fashioned beauty shop that was open (much to my surprise!). I was the only customer, and while I was getting my hair done, I got an absolute earful about the shop and its history, and all kinds of other stories. I was there until the Interstate opened up just long enough for me to get back home. At first I was really upset about missing my flight and the conference. But then it dawned on me -- I'd just gotten enough material to write a whole new murder mystery party game (back when I wrote games for my biz). And so I wrote up the game, and it became my best-selling game of all time!! It went into retail markets all around the world. In fact, I made a lot of money thanks to that blizzard. I still keep the unused tickets framed and hanging on my wall, as a reminder that, sometimes the things we think are so bad really aren't!

Anonymous said...

I prefer the old cover,but the read will be good no matter which cover.
Marion

Amber Stokes said...

Laura,

OK, your comment makes my heart so happy!! I'm touched and flattered to hear that How a Star Falls is one of your favorite novellas. ♥ Thank you so much for reading it and supporting my stories!

Thrilled to hear you like the new cover! And yes, you can totally call their interactions "banter." ;) Hehe. I do so love how Brielle is smiling in this cover scene. It's very fitting!

Thanks again - and I hope you won't have to wait too much longer for Where Trains Collide! *tells self to get to work already!*

~Amber

Amber Stokes said...

Emily,

Yay!! So happy you think so. :D And thank you so much for the sweet words!

~Amber

Amber Stokes said...

Cindy,

Thank you!! I'm so glad you like the cover. I agree that the lighting is gorgeous. :)

And wow! I LOVE your story! How awesome that such a "bummer" of an experience turned out to be a blessing in disguise - a blessing that kept on multiplying long after. ♥ And I love that you keep the tickets framed on your wall as a reminder to keep life in perspective.

I've probably already shared with you my "Christmas miracle" story, right? (Here's the link, if not!) I came to a similar conclusion that night about God sometimes using life's inconveniences to touch us or speak to us in unexpected ways.

And I think you can find a bit of my experience in How a Star Falls, in the way Derrick watches out for Brielle. :)

Thanks so much for your wonderful comment!

~Amber

Amber Stokes said...

Marion,

That first cover still holds a special place in my heart, since it helped inspire the story and hearkens back to the time when I was first brainstorming for it. :) I so appreciate your kind words about the book and your vote of confidence about the writing behind the cover. Thank you!

~Amber

Courtney Clark said...

Ooh, I want to weigh in about the other cover options! I agree that the final cover was the perfect on to choose! My second pick would be the 4th one, under the umbrella. It doesn't have the bright feel of the final one, but it IS very sweet.

Amber Stokes said...

Courtney,

Yes! Love to hear everyone's thoughts on different covers. :D

Isn't that one with the umbrella darling? It's definitely a sweet pose, and I like that it's a nighttime scene. I just wasn't sure the setting and everything quite meshed, so I'm glad we looked around a bit more and found the perfect picture. :) (And I'm happy you agree that we chose the right one! Yay!)

~Amber