Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Honey Bees, Coffee, and an Unexpected Angel... (Cover Reveal of My New Novelette!)

Couple covers are such fun! And I'm so excited to share my second "couple cover" with you today. :) This is for my next release: a novelette titled While You're Awake. (You might have heard of it by its first title, Sting Me to Sleep. Once again, I have been saved from an unromantic title. Gotta appreciate honest feedback!)

While Your'e Awake is about a freelance editor whose rental home is invaded by honey bees. Too afraid to bother her acquaintances and ask for help, but also too afraid to sleep, her panic and insomnia grow exponentially. And then she visits Coffee by Angels, a local coffee shop, and meets someone who sees her fear and can't help but get involved...

A Cover Story

My dear friend and awesome cover designer, Lena Goldfinch, works with me via Pinterest's secret boards to find the right images for my covers. For this design process, I began with pinning some contemporary covers I liked that conveyed a similar mood to this story. I threw in a few bee covers, because honey bees play a large role in the story. (But, as you can see, no bees ended up on the cover. I guess the main characters and the romance play an even larger role than the bees. ;))

Then came the model pictures from the stock image site, Dreamstime. I think the final couple we decided on was actually the first one I posted. There was something about the atmosphere of their shots that resonated. That, and I just love the female model for my heroine! We did look at some other images, though - a lot of really cute outdoor couple scenes.

Lena created two comps with the couple we both liked...and we found pros and cons for each. So I turned to my e-newsletter subscribers for help. :) These are the two cover comps (with watermarks) that they chose between:

While there were a good number of votes for Cover 1, you probably know which one was the winner! (And I confess I was quite pleased. There were some elements in Cover 2 that I wanted to incorporate in the book. I love tying a cover and story together!)

So there you go! This cover came together quickly (because Lena's fab like that!), but this cover story is extra special because my readers joined the process. :)

(If you'd like to subscribe to my author e-newsletter, you can sign up HERE.)

About the Book

Sweet New Adult Contemporary Romance Novelette

There's no rest for the fearful.

Ava always knew the bees would come. Just when she's settled into a place of her own, freelance editing and savoring her independence, her rental house is invaded by a swarm of honey bees. And with their arrival, her lifelong fear morphs into a full-fledged panic that steals her sleep—and her peace of mind.

Keegan knows all about fear. When he meets Ava at the coffee shop where he works, he can't help but come to her rescue. Together with his German shepherds, Sun and Moon, he sets out to break the "curse" that hovers over Tired Girl. But is it possible to conquer nightmares and live a dream while you're awake?

This sweet novelette is a contemporary re-imagining of the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale that sheds light on the worries that bind us and the love that leads to peace.

(Releases October 20th)

How Do You Inspire Others? (A Quiz)

Are you Sleeping Beauty, a barista, or an angel? This fun and quirky personality quiz takes some of the personality types from While You’re Awake and offers you a chance to discover how you inspire others. Hopefully you’ll be encouraged to keep being awesome, wonderful you!

*Disclaimer: This is just a for-fun quiz. The results are designed to encourage but not to diagnose! ;)

Cover Reveal Participants

It wasn't just the cover... This whole campaign came together rather quickly! So I'm so very grateful to my "Gems" for being willing to jump on board and help spread the word through participating in today's cover reveal and some release-day fun on October 20th. :)

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 While You're Awake this month!

Here's a list of the lovely gems participating in the cover reveal:
I know I usually do a giveaway with my cover reveals, but since release-day is only two weeks away, I thought I'd save the giveaway for then. It's going to be sweet, though, IMHO. ;) 

Tell me, do you think we picked the right cover/couple? And are you Sleeping Beauty, a barista, or an angel? :)


Emily Ann Putzke said...

How exciting!! The cover is lovely! I can't wait to read this =)

serena said...

I got Sleeping Beauty, which is actually pretty accurate! :) And although I like the cover on the left more, I'm glad you chose the one that fits better with the story. It sounds like a lovely novelette!

Miranda Atchley said...

Such a beautiful cover and the book sounds like a real charmer. Good job, Amber! You're such a talented author!

Cindy V said...

Got it!!! This looks terrific -- what a creative idea!! Looking forward to reading it!

Cindy V said...

Also -- Ha! -- I turned out to be a Barista in the quiz!! Total shock to me -- I was so sure it would be Angel . . . Guess I'd better dust off the cappuccino machine . . .

Amber Stokes said...


Yay! Thanks so much. :D


Amber Stokes said...


Oh, that's awesome! I have fun coming up with the questions and descriptions for these personality quizzes. ;) Glad your result fit!

And thank you for the sweet words! The cover on the left it definitely romantic! But yes, it's great to be able to match the cover and story well. :)


Amber Stokes said...


Aww, thank you so much for the encouragement! I'm blessed by your sweet words. :) Thank you for stopping by!


Amber Stokes said...

Aunt Cindy,

Thank you very much!! I so hope you enjoy this quirky little story. :)

And LOL! While I could totally see you as an "Angel," too, I think the description for "Barista" suits you. :) You've definitely been a source of encouragement and inspiration in my life, always looking at the bright side and sharing the joy! ((Hugs))

While I don't drink coffee (gasp!), I'll take a tall hot chocolate, Barista! And my heroine, Ava, would like a mochaccino. ;)


Julie said...

Love the cover! And I got Angel. Some true things in there about me ;) but I don't think I am a "ceaseless server" probably more of a "random server" :) I'm currently reading WHILE YOU'RE AWAKE and enjoying it very much!

Jack said...

This cover is so cute! I am excited to read the book

Amber Stokes said...


Thank you! And aw, how perfect! Your result fits with your pic/avatar, too. ;) And we can serve in different ways - I can totally see you as the type of person who's always thinking about your family and those around you!

I'm so happy to hear you're enjoying the story. :) Thank you for reading!


Amber Stokes said...


Thank you so much! Really appreciate the encouragement, and I hope you'll like the story. :)


Rissi said...

Love this post - as usual, Amber. You've put together a comprehensive, well thought-out post on the cover process. It's always fun to get a BTS sneak peek. I really like both covers. :)

Amber Stokes said...


I'm really glad you enjoyed the behind-the-scenes look at the cover process! Both covers really are lovely, aren't they? These models had a lot of great shots together!

Thank you for the sweet comment and all your awesome help in promoting the book!!