Making the Cut

A couple quick words from our sponsor (…so, basically me):

1) Now through Monday, July 6th, I’m running a Goodreads giveaway for “The Sky-Child and Other Stories (A Wilderhark Tales Collection)”! Enter here for a chance to win one of three prize paperbacks of the sixth-and-a-half volume of The Wilderhark Tales! (U.S. only, this time around; shipping costs be like whuuut.)

Stone Kingdom 99 Cents

2) For a limited time, the Kindle e-book for “The Stone Kingdom” is on sale for $0.99!

That’s right, because I want to make it easier on everyone to get all caught up on their Wilderhark Tales before Book 6.5 launches on July 7th, Book Two can be on your e-reader for just 99 cents. Run, don’t walk! The deal only carries through Monday, June 8th.

And now onto our regularly scheduled blog post.


Once upon a time, there was a girl who loved her hair. Hanging loose, it surrounded her face like a sculpted cloud. Pulled back in a hairband, it formed a fun, puffy tail. And requiring only the occasional wash and blow-dry, it was the perfect low-maintenance crowning glory for someone who couldn’t be bothered to fuss over her appearance every day.

That is, so long as the girl’s mother was around to do the blow-drying.

Which she wouldn’t be, once the girl moved to Europe.

In preparation for when she’d have to get along with some adult-ish semi-independence, then, the girl tried to learn how to take care of her hair on her own.

Long, frustrating, arm-exhausting story short, the results were less than satisfactory.

With every failed attempt, the girl began to realize she was loving her hair less and less. More than that, she was actually beginning to resent it for causing her this much inconvenience and nigh-perpetual stress.

So at last, the girl came to a decision: Her hair would have to go.

And that girl… *solemn nods* …was me.

Haircut, Before and After

Increasingly necessary as it felt, it was still a scary move to make.

I’d never had my hair cut like this before. It hasn’t been this short since I was a happy little baby. The boldest change I’d ever made was to quit getting it relaxed (or “permed”, as it’s known by some) and just let it do its natural thing from my early teens onward. When it comes to haircuts, everyone’s assumption is, “Pfft, it’ll grow back.” But where’s the guarantee that it’ll come back just the way it was?

If I said goodbye to my hair, I might not get another hello.

I came to conclusion that I’m okay with that.

Haircut 001

Now I can go out in the rain / humidity / general Austeryn-type weather without fear of my hair shrinking into a pathetic parody of itself. I don’t have to obsessive-compulsively fiddle with my hairband to make sure my ponytail hasn’t gone awry. Washing my hair will take less time, and as far as my head is concerned, the blow-dryer is out of a job.

Haircut 06

Of course, I’m gonna need a new author photo eventually, now that my old one looks like a lie. And I anticipate there will be plenty of wistful moments, missing my old hair at its best, before its worst drove me away. I rocked that look. But I rock this one, too. And with a bit more time to get used to it and the writing of this blog post now behind me, I’ll probably give my hair a second thought less and less.

Which is just the way I’ve always wanted it.


Haircut 02.2


“Re-Cover” or “New Looks, Same Books!”

Eyes wide, everyone: You’re arrived at a stop on author Emerald Barnes’ blog tour! Her novellas “Read Me Dead” and “Piercing Through the Darkness” have received cover makeovers, and she’s eager to tell us why and show them off. The floor’s all yours, Emerald!

* * * * *

Thanks for hosting me on your blog, Danielle!

People have been asking me why I decided to change my covers. It’s really a simple answer. It’s for the genre of the book.

I loved the old covers for both of my books. Honestly, I still love them, but they didn’t fit the covers of their genre well.

Read Me Dead -- "before".
Read Me Dead — “before”.

Read Me Dead’s old cover has a sad, young girl on it, and really, that’s what she is, but you couldn’t see her face. I like that we get to “see” what Alex looks like in the new cover, but it still holds that sad, young girl image. My cover artist, Najla Quamber, added in script in the back. That is important to the story, and I liked that subtle text added. She also added raindrops which is also important and in some important scenes. The story is dark, and I won’t lie about that. Alexia is a sad girl, and we wanted that to come across in the cover. It came across in the old cover as well, but I think the brown coloring of the old cover wasn’t “young adult” enough. Take a gander at the most popular young adult covers. It didn’t really “fit,” and I wanted it to fit and be eye-catching for that genre. I think we’ve succeeded for that.

Piercing Through the Darkness -- "before".
Piercing Through the Darkness — “before”.

Piercing Through the Darkness’ old cover focused more on the “antagonist” of the story. Which isn’t a bad thing necessarily, but I wanted the focus on Kandi, the girl whose life was torn apart when the accident happened. (Then again, if you’ve read the novel, you’ll know that even the antagonist isn’t really a usual antagonist.) But still, if you notice the young adult/new adult genre covers focus more on the females. I’m not sure why that is, but that is the case. The girl is bloody, and I think that’s what draws the eyes in. Why is she bloody? The old cover didn’t really draw us in with “whys” in my opinion. It could’ve be better, so we made it better.

I think this is another thing about being an Indie author that I love. If it turns out that our covers aren’t right, they can be changed, and this instance, although I loved the old covers and think they captured attention well, I eventually thought it could be better. 

Covers are the first thing that is seen. A book is judged by its cover, and it has to be appealing and eye-catching yet still capture the essence of your book. I think these new covers are just that for mine.

* * * * *

Read Me Dead -- "after"!
Read Me Dead — “after”!

Alexia Wheaton’s problems go far beyond picking a dress and a date for the homecoming dance.

For seven years, Alex has lived with a painful memory – the memory of her parents’ horrific murder. As the sole witness, she has kept quiet about the identity of the murderer to protect herself and her family and friends, but when a journalist over hears her secret and writes about it in the local newspaper, Alex is plagued with fear that her parents’ murderer will soon find her – and silence her forever.

Alex is catapulted into a race against time to save her own life and bring her parents’ murderer to justice. She will face many secrets, lies, and betrayals before the truth about their murder is revealed.

“Read Me Dead” by Emerald Barnes on Ganxy

Piercing Through the Darkness -- "after"!
Piercing Through the Darkness — “after”!

It’s on the edge of her memory like a word on the tip of her tongue, but Kandi can’t remember what it is to save her life.

Despite being a cop, Jimmy can’t protect Kandi from the one thing that haunts her. She’s in danger and doesn’t even know it. After it happened, her brain repressed her memories of the accident, and now, she’s taking a Biology class under a man who wants to see her dead. The memories have started coming back, and it feels like she’s miles away from him. How can he protect her when she doesn’t even know she needs protecting?

Can these characters pierce their way through the darkness?

“Piercing Through the Darkness” by Emerald Barnes on Ganxy

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About Emerald Barnes:

Emerald Barnes 3

Emerald Barnes graduated with a B.A. in English with an emphasis on Creative Writing at Mississippi University for Women. She resides in a small town in Mississippi and has the accent to prove it.

She mainly writes suspense/thrillers in the YA genre, but she dabbles in other genres and her books are enjoyed by all ages! She’s constantly working on new novels and has more ideas than she knows what to do with. She blogs at and which takes up more of her time than she anticipates but loves it so very much! She’s also a volunteer at the World Literary Cafe which is so amazing!

She’s an auntie to two beautiful nieces and two handsome nephews (and another unknown gender coming by the end of 2013) who take up the other half of her time, but she couldn’t imagine spending her time in any other way!

She’s a Whovian, a little bit of a nerd, a reader, a writer, and a family-oriented person. God is number one in her life, and she thanks Him continuously for His love and favor.

Stay up to date with her at her Website, Twitter, and Facebook. You can also find her on Goodreads , Google+, and stay up to date with her releases on her Amazon Author Page


For more stops on the tour visit: