This New Mountain Gets a Makeover

TNM_NewCover_10Last June I mentioned that a new book cover was in the works for AJ Jackson’s memoir This New Mountain. From the initial planning to completion, it’s taken almost a year, but it’s finally ready for the world.

In redesigning the cover, we wanted to keep the colors of the sunset/sunrise, stick with an image of Shiprock, New Mexico as a focal point, and give the tow truck a more prominent role (since being a repossessor was such a big part of AJ’s life).

We also wanted to bring in elements that weren’t present in the initial cover. We aimed for movement and strength with hints of what a reader would find inside the covers of the book.

Because the memoir follows AJ Jackson as she learns the private detective trade and, in the process, learns to face her fears, I searched for an image of a woman climbing a mountain and reaching out to take the next step.

Rock climber at sunset, Kalymnos Island, GreeceI found hundreds of quality photos of mountain climbers but none so fitting as this rock climber at sunset taken on Kalymnos Island, Greece. (I can’t imagine having the physical strength or the courage to hang upside down from a rock face.) Flip the image from horizontal to vertical, apply a bit of photoshopping, and there you have it — a climber in silhouette.

TNM_NewCover_Icons10The last thing we did to hint at what the book is about was to include a line of icons at the bottom of the cover. I wanted to bring in symbols to represent the private detective profession, such as sunglasses, revolver, camera, magnifying lens, as well as the Southwestern motifs of a Zia sun symbol (from the New Mexico flag) and a desert with cactus.

This New Mountain final cover

2012 Cover

2015 Cover

2015 Cover

So there you go — a new book cover for This New Mountain. Which do you like more? Which one do you think is the more compelling cover?


Very Inspiring Blogger Award

very-inspiring-blogger-awardWe’re honored that Jackie from The Crossover blog nominated us for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Please check out her blog (here) where she reflects on the lessons she’s learned in life, especially from the game of basketball.

The rules for accepting the award are:

  1. Display the award logo on your blog.
  2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
  3. State 7 things about yourself.
  4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them.
  5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.

Here are 7 things about me: 1) I love playing in the rain; 2) my favorite color is blue; 3) houseplants never live more than a few weeks under my care; 4) I could eat cereal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; 5) I enjoy watching war movies; 6) I don’t mind bugs and snakes; and, 7) I do mind spiders and sharks.

Below is my list of 15 blogs that I’d like to nominate for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award (I’ve included blurbs from their websites but that isn’t a requirement of the award). The list is divided into two categories: Writing and Life/Faith. I follow many blogs and it was difficult to whittle down the list.

Inspiring Writing Blogs:

  1. Molly Blaisdell at Seize the Day, – “Explore the art and craft of writing with a healthy dose of inspiration for artists of all kinds.”
  2. Fran Guenette at Disappearing in Plain Sight, – “My philosophy is that writing about writing is writing about everything….”
  3. Robin Kalinich at Ink and Alchemy, – “Writer, artist, chemist. Madly in love. My goal is to encourage, inspire, and transform – one creative endeavor at a time.” Featuring artists and writers.
  4. Marcy Kennedy at – “I write novels that encourage people to keep fighting. I want to let them know that no one is beyond redemption and that, in the end, good always wins.”
  5. Peter Mallett at – “Writing in color because life is more than black and white.”
  6. Janalyn Voigt at Live Write Breathe, – Great writing advice for writers on living with passion, writing well, and remembering to breathe.
  7. – “The StoryWriting Studio wants to come alongside writers, to create a network of aspiring and experienced writers, who desire to share their dreams, their discoveries, and even their failures.”
  8. Telling Herstories: The Broad View at – “We’re a group of women writers sharing our passion for the art and craft of life-writing.”

Inspiring Life/Faith Blogs:

  1. Annie at Eyes Wide Open, – “Looking up and living in God’s truth.”
  2. Lisa-Jo Baker at – “I think motherhood should come with a super hero cape and a cheerleader.” Encouragement for women and mothers.
  3. Cole Bradburn at – “I’m a leader, a writer, and a doctor of chiropractic. My mission is to help people live well through asking better questions, challenging accepted norms, and empowering self-responsibility for their lives.”
  4. Marcus Brotherton at Men Who Lead Well, – “Great leaders inspire action, and by looking at their lives (and inadvertently at our own), we are invited to discover what it means to go forward, live nobly, and lead well.”
  5. Mary Demuth at – “My deepest dream is to see stories – mine and others – change lives as they’ve changed mine. Although I write both non-fiction and fiction, I’m especially fond of the latter because of the power of story.”
  6. Jeff Moore at My Everyday Power Blog – “Imagine a world where people didn’t give up on their dreams, followed their hearts and lived with passion and excitement. How would this impact our life? What enormously positive impact would this have on our families…our world.”
  7. Andrew Toy at Adopting James, – “With this blog, I hope to enlighten you with truths about adoption and a myriad of other topics. I want to entertain you with book and movie recommendations. And I want to stimulate your mind and your heart toward topics on religion and Christianity.”

Thank you again, Jackie, for the nomination.

Book Event for This New Mountain

I’d like to invite you to a book event taking place tomorrow, June 13, at Bookworks in Albuquerque at 7:00 pm.

TNMcoversPrivate investigator AJ Jackson and I will discuss her memoir This New Mountain. I’ll be reading from the book and AJ will answer all those questions you’ve always wanted to ask a private eye. There will be cake and some nifty new bookmarks to take home…so come on by and say hi.

We hope to see you there!

Book Giveaway Winner

TNMcoversCongratulations! The winner of the signed copy of This New Mountain is Julie who left a comment on the SS Bazinet website. I’ve got her contact information and I’ll be mailing out the book to her tomorrow.

It was fun doing our first book giveaway — for me, I’d rather give a gift than receive one. Thank you to all who dropped by and left a comment. I hope you’ll try again later in the year when we have another giveaway.

Again — Congratulations, Julie!

Book Giveaway

TNMcoversIt’s been a few months since I posted news about what’s happening with This New Mountain, the memoir of AJ Jackson, so I thought I’d get you caught up on what’s going on.

AJ and I had several book signings at local bookstores last year. We shared her adventures as a private investigator and repossessor with many who’d never heard of this fearless redhead. And we were so grateful for our family and friends who came out and encouraged us with plenty of hugs and smiles that calmed our nerves and carried us through the hours.

This New Mountain was also honored in 2012 to be chosen as a finalist in the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards in the biography category. For those of you who bought the book but didn’t get a finalist sticker, let me know right away if you’d like one (before they’re all gone) and I’ll send one out to you.

And today, Sandy Bazinet has posted an author interview with me on her website. Sandy has such a great heart for sharing joy and helping others. She says, “the bliss of writing is seeing you smile!” Check out the interview and leave a comment – and comment on this post, too – for a chance to be a part of…

Our First Book Giveaway!

You could be the random commenter who receives a free, signed copy of This New Mountain. Just leave a comment here – for an extra entry, leave one at the bottom of my interview on the S.S. Bazinet website – from now until midnight (EST) on Friday, January 25, 2013 (for US and Canada residents only). I’ll put everyone’s name in a hat and draw one lucky winner.

If you haven’t checked out the book’s back cover blurb yet, here it is:

Like most private investigators, AJ Jackson has more than one foot in the fire to make ends meet – driving a tow truck and serving legal documents for local law firms. But not every PI is a mother of four, a grandmother of ten, an ex-gun dealer and former mental patient, or a descendant of a great Choctaw chief. This is a memoir of Vinnie Ann “AJ” Jackson, a country girl with a go-to-hell attitude who must face her fears in order to keep her sanity and make a future for herself.

Good luck! I hope you have a fear less day.

Book Signing Today

Join AJ today for a book signing for This New Mountain from 5:00-8:00 pm at Hastings Books at the Lomas/San Pedro store (505-266-1363). If you have a chance, come on by. She’d love to see you and chat awhile.

Lots of Breaking News

We just received news that This New Mountain, a memoir of AJ Jackson, was chosen as a finalist in the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards in the biography category. Winners will be announced on November 16, 2012 at the 6th Annual Awards Banquet to be held in Albuquerque. We’ll let you know how it all turns out.

Rhythm of My Heart by Frances Fanning (another book released by our publisher, Casa de Snapdragon Publishing) was also chosen as a finalist – in the first book category.

Thank you Casa de Snapdragon for your hard work, and for all you do, for your authors.

Today, September 28, 2012:

If you get a chance, come on by and say “hey!” to AJ and I at our book signing for This New Mountain. We’ll be at Hastings Books on the southeast corner of Lomas and Juan Tabo from 5:00-8:00 pm.

Next Signing:

October 19, 2012 • 5:00-8:00 pm • Hastings Books, 6001 Lomas Blvd NE (Lomas/San Pedro store, 505-266-1363)

Coming Up in January, 2013:

  • A book signing at Moby Dickens Bookshop in Taos
  • A book event at Bookworks in Albuquerque

Hope to see you soon.

Our First Book Signing

l to r: AJ, Cate, and Janet Brennan (Managing Editor at Casa de Snapdragon Publishing)

We had our first book signing for This New Mountain on Friday, August 24th. It was great to have so many friends and family come by to support us. Some well-wishers bought books for themselves or as gifts for others, some came to have their previously purchased books signed, while others just dropped by to say hi and chat. Thank you to all who came and cheered us on – you helped the hours fly by and chased away our nervousness with your friendly faces.

In case anyone missed this book signing, we’re scheduled for another one on Friday, September 28th from 5:00-8:00 pm at the Hastings on Juan Tabo (southeast corner of Lomas and Juan Tabo). Hope to see you there next month.

Thanks again!

Breaking News: Book Signings

The first book signings for This New Mountain have been scheduled in Albuquerque:

  • August 24, 2012 • 5-8:00 pm • Hastings Books (Wyoming store, 505-299-7750)
  • September 28, 2012 • 5-8:00 pm • Hastings Books (Juan Tabo store, 505-296-6107)

If you’ve already bought the book (thank you!) but haven’t had it signed yet, come on by — AJ and I will take care of it for you. And if you’re in the neighborhood and just want to stop by and say hi, we’d love to chat.

Hope to see you there.

Breaking News: E-book Formats and More

For all those waiting for the Kindle and Nook editions of This New Mountain – they’re here!

Thanks to the hard work of the managing editor of Casa de Snapdragon Publishing, AJ Jackson’s memoir is now available in several e-book formats, with Apple and Kobo books to follow soon.

Books-A-Million has been added to the list of online booksellers in the United States who sell the paperback version of This New Mountain. Internationally, readers in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Norway, Sweden, India, and Italy can now order the book from their online stores as well.

We want to thank all those who already ordered our book. Don’t forget to come back and let us know what you think of AJ Jackson’s adventures.

Thank you!