Premade Book Covers: 2 Things to Keep in Mind

Great info for self-published authors! 😉

The PBS Blog

There’s a quote floating around somewhere that says:

“Don’t go broke trying to prove to other broke people that you ain’t broke.”

Exactly. The reality that many authors are on budgets has created an entirely new source of income for graphic designers, many of whom offer premade book covers as well as custom made. These artists have made our life a little easier by offering professional covers at lower rates than custom covers. While custom covers are preferred, not everyone can afford a new custom cover for every book (the exception are those who make their own covers) so consider this post for those of us “balling on a budget.” I believe in investing in your best and if you can afford to pay for a custom cover and high-priced editing, go for it. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, just know you don’t have to go broke…

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“The Crims (Crime Runs in the Family)” by Kate Davies #BookSpotlight

The Crims cover

“The Crims (Crime Runs in the Family)”

Genre: Family Life/Multi-generational/Detectives/Humor
Release Date: December 12, 2017
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The Addams Family meets Despicable Me in the first book of this new trilogy, perfect for fans of Lemony Snicket and Pseudonymous Bosch!

The Crim family is full of notorious criminals. Notoriously inept, that is. Uncle Knuckles once tried to steal a carnival. Great-Uncle Bernard held himself hostage by accident. Aunt Drusilla died slipping on a banana peel. But Imogen is different. She was born with a skill for scandal. A knack for the nefarious. A mastery of misdemeanors.

Despite her natural talent for all things unlawful, Imogen got out of the family business years ago. But when the rest of the Crims are accused of pulling off a major heist—which seems doubtful, to say the least—Imogen is forced to step in to clear their names. Because only a truly skilled criminal can prove the bumbling family’s innocence….

About the Author

Kate Davies lives in London, where she writes children’s books, performs improv comedy, and spends too much money on cheese. She also edits other people’s children’s books and she once worked at Buckingham Palace, selling tea towels to tourists. She never met the queen, but she did get to stroke a corgi once.

Toasting the Season!


There will be much celebrating as 2017 draws to a close and if you want to choose a good champagne without breaking the bank, this list from is pretty good—except, I wouldn’t include Andre’s. Battery acid might be a better alternative; and I’d switch #1 and #2—and it’s snarky… which I love!

See the complete article at:

The Best Cheap Champagne

12. Stellina di Notte ($14)

My tasting notes for this one say “Bad. No.” But if you need more, this is an artificially bittersweet bubbly with a sour, dirty feet aftertaste. Don’t do this to yourself.

11. Cook’s Extra Dry California Champagne ($8)

With a slight fungi-like undertone, you could describe Cook’s as “funky,” but decidedly not in a good way. Bubble-free and chemically, I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.

10. Cupcake Prosecco ($12)

Cupcake Prosecco has the same kind of tartness as Spree candy. It makes you pucker, and sort of makes your mouth hurt. It’s not unlike a very-off Limoncello. The effervescence is the kind that gets in your nose and makes you sneeze and then totally disappears. You should pass on this one.

9. Andre Extra Dry ($7)

When I popped this bottle, I was immediately hit in the face with canned pineapple: Syrupy sweet with a hint of aluminum. Yum! Going down, it tastes deeply of apple—more like barely-effervescent apple cider than anything close to Champagne. There’s a reason this is the sparkling wine teenagers are most familiar with: It’s Champagne for babies.

Photo by Jamie Grill via Getty Images

8. Celene Brut ($10)

This smells exactly like a loaf of honey-wheat bread from a neighborhood bakery—very yeasty and quite sweet. Fortunately, the sparkling wine tastes more tart than it smells. It wasn’t a showstopper, but if you wanted something to bring to a party, this is a solid option.

7. Santa Julia Blanc de Blancs

Take the best white grape juice you’ve ever had and add bubbles, and you’ve got Santa Julia. It’s nice and crisp, with a pleasant, foamy effervescence. It’s not particularly interesting, but you could do a whole lot worse. This would be good for a mimosa topper as well as a low-key toast.

6. Barefoot Brut Cuvee ($10)

This sparkling wine—from a brand that has a reputation for overly sweet offerings—was surprisingly balanced. With a tart, apple-y taste up front, and a honeyed aftertaste, this popular winemaker made a solid bubbly. Avoid if you like your faux Champagne super dry, but it’s a good option.

5. Blu Prosecco ($13)

An Extra Crispy editor took a swig of Blu Prosecco while I was doing my tasting and proclaimed, “It doesn’t fail because it doesn’t try.” This is correct. Blu is airy and inoffensive, with a pleasant amount of bubbles and no strong flavors. What does come through is a pleasant herbaceousness. It isn’t terribly exciting, but as a result, it’s just the thing to top off a brunch cocktail.

4. Mille Prosecco ($11)

Similar to Blu Prosecco, Mille was inoffensive and not wildly flavorful, but pleasant all the same. It’s light; it’s bubbly. You should drink it in your mimosas.

3. Bravino Prosecco ($10)

With lots of fine, sharp bubbles and a near-perfect balance of sweetness and tartness, this is a very solid sparkling wine to have in your arsenal for any occasion. So many proseccos are heavy on the apple flavors, and this one tasted more like pears to me.

Photo by Andrew Matthews/PA Images via Getty Images

2. Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut ($12)

This earthy, tart bottle boasted some true bubbles—not just that foamy effervescence most Champagnes have. There’s also, to me, a hint of chlorine here—perhaps something to do with the slightly sour note—which I actually kind of liked. Freixenet has very little sweetness at all, so if sugary Champagne gives you bad college flashbacks, this will make you feel all grown up.

1. La Vendemmia Prosecco ($9)

With a ticklish effervescence—that’s a good thing—and a pleasant tartness, this bottle was one of the surprisingly great ones. There’s a good kind of funkiness here—a little bit like kombucha, I’d say—that makes for interesting, fun sipping. At under $10, this is a steal.

Please drink responsibly and NEVER drink and drive!

“It Feels Good to Feel Good” by Cheryl Meyer #Excerpt

Section 5   Toxic Minds

Chapter 2   Toxic Relationships

Dousing the flame of inflammation:


  1. Staying in a toxic relationship makes the stress continual, whether it’s a toxic love relationship, a toxic friendship or a toxic parent.
  2. Try to talk to this loved one to improve the relationship and put a plan together. If it can’t happen, either walk away (friendship or love relationship) or set boundaries (parent.).  It’s literally killing you.
  3. When you are suffering from inflammation, you need to turn your loving attention to yourself, to get well.
  4. Reach out to close friends for loving support if you have ended a toxic love relationship. You need unconditional love right now to improve your health.
  5. Walk away with no regrets.


“You don’t ever have to feel guilty about removing toxic people from your life.  It doesn’t matter whether someone is a relative, romantic interest, employer, a childhood friend, or a new acquaintance- you don’t have to make room for people who cause you pain or make you feel small.  Its one thing if a person owns up to their behavior and makes an effort to change, But is a person disregards your feelings, ignores your boundaries, and ‘continues’ to treat you in a harmful way, they need to go.”  Daniell Koepke

Toxic relationships can make you ill, whether it’s a toxic love relationship, a toxic friendship, a toxic employer, or a toxic relative.

Significant Other Relationships

I was in a relationship for nine years that started out healthy.  He helped me start my jewelry business; he wrote my operating system, and he paid for all of my food and all of my entertainment for years while I was getting started.  I am very grateful to him, and I loved him very much.  In the beginning, and then in many of the years that followed, he was extraordinarily good to me.

He loved to go out to expensive restaurants.  But after

He didn’t want me to cook home cooked meals.  He didn’t want me to dictate what he was going to eat each night.

He was upset that I had gained weight, a lot of weight, and he blamed me for the weight he had gained. (we had eaten our way through Pasadena, and he had gained weight too.)

Furthermore, after time,  this guy didn’t appreciate me for who I was, he only saw me for who I was not.

He had recently lost a lot of money in the stock market and had become sullen and difficult to be around.  He started dating other women, unbeknownst to me.

These were all just symptoms of the underlying toxicity that was growing.

I would have never left him when he was down, but he did me a big favor when he left me.

There is no doubt that he broke my heart, but as I came out the other side of my pain, I realized I could start to deal with the pain my body was experiencing; that the inflammation in my body had begun. I could start to eat the way I was supposed to for my diabetes and sugar control; I could start to take care of me.  In the end, I understand that he did me a big favor, and the break-up set me on the road to health.

In the first eight months, I lost 40 pounds.

I took a class on how to date from Allison Armstrong (an amazing guru with very sensible advice on dating) and nine months later I met an amazing guy by doing a profile on the dating service Our ‘s seminars, I wrote that I was looking for a guy that would intellectually stimulate me, (John is a statistician), that was kind and had high ethics, and he needed to be open to eating home cooked food that was organic and healthy.  He needed to want to live an entirely healthy lifestyle.

The guy that answered lived 10 minutes away from me and two years ago, I married him.

John just wants me to be happy.  He was married for 42 years to a therapist, and she died from cancer after being ill for five years. He loved her very much.  He was ready for a new life experience, and lucky me, he chose to find that experience with me.

He is a true partner and supports me in all that I do.  He is easy going, and he sees me for who I am and doesn’t criticize me for who I am not.

He completely supports me in my quest for health, and he has lost 60 pounds in the time we have been together.  He considers himself my first Health Coaching success.

Read more in It Feels Good to Feel Good, learn to eliminate toxins, reverse inflammation and feel great again.

Cheryl MeyerCheryl Meyer aka Cheryl M Health Muse and her book, “It Feels Good to Feel Good, learn about toxins, reducing inflammation and feel great again.”

Five years ago, Cheryl got sick, really sick.  It was a perfect storm: she was working 24/7; her long-term relationship imploded; economic changes slowed her business; she got Type II diabetes; she was taking care of everyone else; her stress was out of control.

Then one morning … viola, Cheryl woke up in incredible pain that didn’t go away. Her doctor didn’t recognize what it was and thought it was in her head.

Cheryl didn’t want more pills, so she embarked on her own journey to find wellness.  When she started, she didn’t even know what she was looking for.  She was stunned to find toxins in every aspect of her life that were poisoning her.  She discovered the Functional Medicine community.  She was tested for food sensitivities.

This book shares everything that Cheryl learned to reverse her inflammation and put her autoimmune diseases at bay.  This is the get well manual that she wishes had been available when she got sick. The book is about first identifying that toxins that were a significant cause of her leaky gut, then she identified what the toxins were and finally she shares what she replaced them with. She addresses the toxins in our food, in our cosmetics, our cleaning supplies, our kitchen utensils, our water, our over the counter drugs, and even in our heads, stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, lack of movement and finally toxic relationships.  She wants to help others find a path to wellness.

Cheryl is now relatively pain-free, but still considers herself a work in progress.  She avoids the foods and spices on her specific, long list of problem foods.  She has purged toxins.  She has released stress and nagging worry.  She has learned to find joy in movement.  She has found love.  She is grateful.

Cheryl believes that following her journey will help you live a long, happy and pain-free life.
In order to help others, Cheryl has become a Holistic Health Coach, certified by the Institute of Integrative Nutrition©.


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Lyrical Fiction Friday

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Lyrical Fiction Friday is sponsored by author Marquessa Matthews at Simply Marquessa.

Each Thursday, she posts a lyric as prompt with its video and the challenge is to write a fiction piece to post on Fridays or whenever is good for you.

Feel free to use the prompt, another lyric from the song or whatever you are inspired to write!

My post is from the December 7th challenge,

It makes no sense to be falling…you’ve got her, I’ve got him, should not even be calling…”

…only I flipped the script and wrote from the male’s POV. This is part one.

Rick groans, burying his head under the pillow. The phone is ringing for the third time in as many hours. He has a breakfast meeting at six and a final sound check at eight before catching his flight home to Dallas. At this rate, he’d be a zombie.

Rick shifted to see the clock on the nightstand and confirm the time.


Just over three hours since he’d asked her to stop calling him… for good. In her usual it’s-all-about-me desperate state of mind, Lisa ignored the request.

The ringing ceased and saying a silent prayer of thanks, Rick relaxed and closed his eyes.

But sleep wouldn’t come.

Instead, the prickly fingers of guilt sauntered up his cowardly spine and assaulted his brain.

It was easy to get upset and blame Lisa, but it was a lie.

He was culpable too.

Long lunches, frequent phone calls, a stolen dinner… and the kiss. He never said no, never turned her away.

When Lisa accompanied her music producer husband to a business appointment with his company six weeks ago, Rick was struck by the haunted, lost look in her eyes.

She may as well have been part of the office furniture though as far as her husband was concerned. He didn’t acknowledge her presence as he rambled on about the specs of the music studio he wanted them to build in his home.

The few times Rick glanced in her direction, Lisa stared at him like a woman in need of rescue.

It made him uncomfortable.

Relieved when the meeting ending, he shook hands and sought refuge in his own office.

He was speechless seven hours later crossing the parking lot to his Denali, to find Lisa sitting in a pearl colored MKZ waiting… for him.

Exiting her vehicle, she made sure the side split in her black silk wrap skirt fell open, exposing her legs.

Finding his voice, Rick attempted to speak, but she cut him off.

“You look like a man who understands.”


“You have kind eyes.”

“What are you doing here… uh- ”


“I’m sorry for not remembering your name, but what are you doing here?”

He glanced around the parking lot, thankful for the first time to be the last one to leave the office for the day.

“No apologies needed. Billy never introduces me by name, only as ‘my wife.’ He likes to own things.”

“Lisa, why are you here?”

The haunted look returned to her eyes.

“I’m not sure. I-I… you…” She went silent as her head dropped.

Rick shifted his weight from one foot to the other, not sure what to make of this situation.

“Are you okay? Can I call someone, your husband?- ”

“Lisa jerked her head up while holding her arms out in front of her.

“No, please. Don’t call him. I’m fine.”

The tears welling in her eyes said otherwise. “I-I only wanted to talk to someone who heard me… who listened, and like I said you look like that type of man.”

“Thank you, Lisa. That’s kind of you to say, but I have a woman waiting at home for me to listen to her and three children I’d like to see before they fall asleep.”

Something dark passed over her face but it disappeared before Rick could identify it.

“Wow. You’re married.”


“How old are your kids?”

“Little Ricky is two, Mia and Kelli are five and eight.”

“How long have you been married?”

“Thirteen years in November.”

“Oh my god, you don’t look old enough to be married that long.”

He smirked.


Rick took a step towards his truck.

Lisa followed.

“Billy and I have been married six years. No kids. He says they don’t fit our lifestyle.”

“So that’s it? He says no, and you don’t get kids?”

She folded her arms across her chest.

“He plucked me out of the accounting department of a catering company. Wined and dined me. We traveled all over the world. I was living a fairy tale existence. Eleven months later we were married.” She wiped a lone tear off her cheek. “And it’s been downhill ever since.”

“Why do you stay?”

Lisa laughed though it sounded more like choking.

“I signed a prenup. His attorney said it was normal for a man like Billy to protect himself.” She looked away but continued to speak. “I didn’t care, I was in love. When things got bad, I told him maybe we made a mistake. He laughed. He laughed at me.”

Returning her gaze to Rick, anger radiated from her face.

“It seems not only would I be penniless if I divorced him, but Billy would also blacklist me. My degree wouldn’t be worth the paper it’s printed on.”

“I’m sorry, Lisa. He’s got you in a corner.”

“Tell me about it.”

Rick did feel for the trapped young woman, but he wanted to leave.

“Lisa, I- ”

“I know… you need to leave.”

She backed toward her own vehicle.

“Your wife’s a lucky woman. I hope she knows that.”

He smiled.

“Thanks, but I’m the lucky one.”

He opened the driver door but before climbing in, Rick glanced over his shoulder.



“Take care of yourself.”

That won him a full grin, then she turned and almost skipped to her car.


Rick sat up on the edge of the bed and scrubbed his hands down his face.

It should have ended there, but it didn’t.


©2017 Felicia Denise, All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.