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Chameleon Eyes. Really??

The Girl with Chameleon Eyes, a YA paranormal romance. Yes, this is shameless promotion for my new book, available NOW for preorder on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Kobo, and iTunes. It will be released on March 5, 2019. But how did this story hit my brain? Is it all fantasy? Is it too hot to handle?

The real girl with chameleon eyes came into my life many years ago. Her eyes were blue at birth, as with most babies. They stayed blue--more stormy sky than cerulean--until she hit her teens. At an age when eye color is set, hers began to change again. Sometimes they were green. Or gray, blue, even gold-flecked. Weird but totally awesome. Like a chameleon.

And in the flick of an eyelash, the story hit me. Of course in the book you enter the supernatural realm. Good versus evil. Romance vs revenge. Love vs lust. Right vs wrong. And color after color in those incredible eyes. Yes, paranormal. Yes, fiction. But the principals are very much grounded in the world we all live in and the battles we all fight.

Once written and sold, the time came for a cover to be designed. The talented cover artist, Najla Qamber, asked me a question. Did I own the rights to any pictures I might want considered for the cover? brain went into hyper mode. No, I had no images. Yet. But what if I could take my concept one step further?

I engaged the help of the uber-talented photographer, Sky Williams, of Schuytography. I could tell he totally got my vision for a cover that would tell the story even before the story was told. And we had the perfect model. The real girl and her chameleon eyes, the impetus for the entire project, agreed to a photo shoot. With ethereal blue lighting and smoke, Sky captured the essence of my protagonist. A little magic highlighted her already unique eyes. And Najla put it all together into the cover.

A related note. Sky also took author pictures for the book. My only suggestion, "Make me look bad ---," gave him a big job, but he carried it off well! I hope to keep him onboard for my upcoming release in 2020.

The romance in the book is, well, a different kind of romantic. The main characters, Summer and Kota, face temptations. There is some steam rising from the pages, but tastefully. And in the end the most significant question of all will be answered: Will love be enough to save her? You may think you know the answer. But as in all of life, it's much more complicated than a simple yes or no.

Writing this book has taken me in new directions, as I explored concepts, styles, and actions that are not my norm. In doing so, it has become my debut novel. To writers I say experiment. You may have a favorite genre--most of us do--but try something different and see where it takes you!

If life is an adventure, and it is, writing and publishing take things to a whole new level. My chameleon girl has not read the manuscript. Her green gray gold-flecked blue eyes will be set on the pages as the story unfolds. And embrace the magic!

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