Olivia Rivers - YA Author

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

"Frost Fire" is FREE in September!

Well, the title of this post pretty much sums it up! This month, "Frost Fire" is completely FREE via Smashwords. Smashwords is a safe, reliable website to download books from, and you don't need an account to download "Frost Fire".

Here is the link to the free version of "Frost Fire":


"Frost Fire" is available free in all formats, including those for Kindles, Nooks, and computer-viewing. Already own your copy of "Frost Fire"? Then please share the above link with your friends, and help spread the word about this free book!

Thank you to all my readers for your support. You're all incredible!

--Olivia Rivers
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Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Quick Update on My Book Releases

I’ve been getting quite a few questions about when my next novel will be released, so I thought I’d give a quick update on my current release schedule:

YA Paranormal Romance

Fire Soul (Tortured Elements #2): August 28th 2013 
Untitled (Tortured Elements #3): December 2013

YA Epic Fantasy

Counting Shadows (Duplicity #1): July 10th 2013 
Eluding Light (Duplicity #2): September 2013 

Thank you to all my readers for waiting so patiently for my next book. I appreciate you all, and it’s truly an honor to have my work read by so many fantastic readers!

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Monday, May 20, 2013

Designing a Book Cover-- "Finding Love's Wings"

Creating the Cover for "Finding Love's Wings" by Zoey Derrick

Tools used: PS CS5, Wacom Intuos 4 Tablet and Pen, stock photos, and a few gallons of caffeine
Stock Photos used: Seven
Fonts Used: Two + painted elements
Layers: 52 active layers
Approximate time to completion: Sixteen hours 

A few months ago, I was contacted by an indie author--the wonderful Zoey Derrick--about creating a cover for her novel "Finding Love's Wings". I immediately jumped on the opportunity, not only because Zoey seemed like a wonderful author, but because her book synopsis intrigued me. In this short tutorial, I'd like to give a glimpse of what went into creating the cover for this amazing author.

Step One

    1. This is my workstation in PS CS5. All those little buttons do different things, and it’s an absolute pain to memorize them all (plus the 100+ options in the dropdown menus). 

Step Two

2. This is the original stock photo. As soon as Zoey told me what she wanted for the cover, I immediately thought of this photo. I’d been anxious to use it, but I hadn’t quite found the perfect project for it. Zoey fixed that dilemma for me, and this pic became the base for the cover. 
In this step, I smoothed the skin of the model, cropped it to the right size, and took out a few blemishes. 

Step Three
3. The next step was to add some makeup to her face. Eyeliner, lipstick, blush, and mascara. All this is painted on using my handy-dandy tablet. I used “Color”, “Hue”, “Saturation”, “Overlay”, and “Soft Light” blend modes for this part. 

Step Four

4. In this step, I started to add the wings, using a “Screen” blend mode. As you can see, right now they just look stuck on. I’ll fix that in the next few steps. 

Step Five

5. This is the second layer of the wings, also using a “Screen” blending mode. That little dark splotch on her shoulder is the beginning of the dimension I’ll paint onto the model, to make the wings look realistically placed. 
Step Six

6. In Zoey’s book, her MC has a tattoo that transforms into wings. Awesome, right? Naturally, I had to add some sort of tattoo to the model. I chose this one, which reminded me
of wings, and melded it into the actual wings.

Step Seven

7. In this step, I added some more dimension to the wings, added a new layer of wings, and also placed a “Hue” layer over the tattoo. It looks too blue at this point, but that will be fixed in later steps. Also, as you can see, the bottom wing looks waaay too bright. There’s actually a reason for this…
Step Eight
8. And now for some more dimension to the wing. The wings are the part that took the longest. 
Step Nine
9. Zoey’s MC has brown hair with purple streaks. In this step, I used multiple “Color”, “Hue”, and “Soft Light” blend modes to create this effect on the model. 

Step Ten
10. Remember how I said there’s a reason the bottom wing is so bright? This is why. In this step, I did a white “Overlay” blend mode on the top half of the picture; this brightens the cover. For the bottom half, I used several different blend modes to achieve a darkening effect. This is where the text will go. 
Step Eleven

11. In this step, I added a blurred “Soft Light” layer at a low opacity. This gives the cover a softer, yet more colorful, appearance.  
Step Twelve

12. Now that everything is in place, I added the text. Some of the text is actually painted, which I like to do, to make sure the chosen font stands out from other covers.

Step Thirteen 
13. This is the last step: I added some finishing touches, and really worked on the shoulder-blade, to make the wing look natural.

And this is the final product… 
You can find Zoey's debut novel, "Finding Love's Wings" at the Amazon store. Please note it is an adult novel, intended for ages 18+. 
Zoey's Website
Zoey's Facebook
Zoey's Goodreads
Zoey's Twitter

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Designing a Demonic Book Cover

Okay, so the book cover isn’t exactly demonic. But the guy on the cover? That’s Drake, and he’s a demon. Drake enjoys reading Alexandre Dumas, making sarcastic comments, and being an absolute PAIN to photoshop.

I should probably explain: The cover for FROST FIRE was the first thing I designed using a professional version of Adobe Photoshop (CS5). Before, I’d only used GIMP and Adobe Elements, which isn’t even made for digital art. So when I started designing FROST FIRE’s cover, I was in way over my head.

Basically, I designed the cover using very little knowledge, lots of guessing, and a ton of luck. Also, I used the stock photos and brushes graciously provided (with permission, of course) by the wonderful members of deviantART. All the stock credits for the cover can be found here: http://olivia212.deviantart.com/art/Cover-330678214

Anyway, I thought I’d give a little glimpse of what it took to design the final version of my cover. Here is a step-by-step guide to creating the cover, with corresponding pics.

Before Starting:  Prepare all stock photos. Crop them, resize, remove blemishes, ect. (Believe it or not, Drake’s original stock pic had a beard. Yes, a beard. I had to completely repaint his face to get rid of it.)

1. Start with background.

2. A couple blend modes later, and the mood darkens…

3. Add in model (who, in this lighting, now appears to have a horrific sunburn).

4. Remove sunburn, make his hair black.

5. WINGS! (The wings were originally facing forward. I had to warp them to get them to look sideways-ish.)

6. Add another smaller set of transparent wings and smoke. Because smoke just makes everything cooler.

7. Final touches, fonts, and…


This tutorial is, quite obviously, on "Easy Mode". It actually took me about 30 hours to complete this project. In the end, I had used dozens of filters and blend modes, about 35 layers, and a lot of digital "painting" using my Wacom tablet.

What are your thoughts on the cover for FROST FIRE? Have you ever tried designing a book cover?

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Frost Fire is Now Available

My novel "Frost Fire" has been published, and is now available on Amazon. I'm honestly still in complete shock. And I have this tiny, nagging feeling that I'm stuck in "Inception", and I'm going to wake up pretty soon and realize this is all a dream.  

Here is the purchase link: http://amzn.com/B00A6RBHU4


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Wednesday, July 18, 2012


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