Thursday, January 26, 2012

Just Released! The Induction



The Induction, the second book in the Master of Subservience series has been released to ARe! Bethany's adventure into Madam Clariette's world of BSDM continues....


http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-theinductionmasterofsubservience-675870-144.html



Overjoyed that Bethany has been accepted into Madam Clairette's world of doms and subs, Daniel must turn his submissive over to the very man who broke him years before. Keegan is eager to pick up the gauntlet in his capable hands, and take Bethany to the next level of submission. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

New Pre-Made Covers

Dear Reader,


I've been working on various pre-made covers, available for purchase at Otherworlds Publicity, for $45.00 USD (plus $5.00 EFTF): http://www.otherworldspublicity.com/pre-madecovers.php


The majority of the techniques used are photo manipulation, although some display hand drawn aspects and other special effects. Right now, I have some dark and light fantasy, horror and romance. Coming soon is more horror, romance and erotica. Erotica will have it's own page, where you have to confirm that you are 18 years of age, or older. 


So have a look, and feel free to contact me with any questions. I do custom commissions in any genre, as well, so if there is something you've been wanting I don't have, e-mail me at: kayden@otherworldspub.info or kaydenmcleod@gmail.com


Custom covers run $60.00 USD for an e-book cover, and $100.00 for e-book and print. I also do a variety of other custom promotional items, and there are special discounts on bulk orders. 


Cheers,


Kayden McLeod

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Making Of A Cover: Mistress of the Manor

Dear Reader,

With the last post about making a cover being such a hit, I thought I would do another one, since I had so many private inquiries about changing the color of clothing, and/or recreating them.

What I was going for with this project, was to create an ominous atmosphere, to emphasize, specifically, the model’s facial expression. 

Below are the three photos I started with. When looking at the picture of the house, I knew adjustments had to be made to obtain the desired results. I cut out the house, and added the stormy sky behind it. 



After removing the model, I adjusted the positioning of the three pictures, until I was happy with the layout. (Below) 



With so many muted tones, with the exception of the green, I wanted a very bold stroke of color: the dress. I duplicated the layer of the model, cut out her face, neck and arm from that layer. Using the tools hue, saturation and contrast to brought the material to a dusky rose (picture below). From there, I erased all of the lace on her dress, revealing the white/cream layer beneath. In the below picture, you can see the process half completed. 


With the lace completed, I added three layers on top of the material layer, and filled them: one medium red, one deep red and a purple. I used a clipping masque so the solid colors stayed to the outline of the layer beneath it, but not on the rest of the cover. I set three solid color layers to Soft Light (Purple), Overlay (Blood Red) and Screen (Medium Red) to create the finished effect. I wanted the bold color, but I also wanted to keep a little of the satiny gleam. I zoomed in, cleaned up any mistakes that might've been empathized with so many layers set on top of the original model. When making such a dramatic color change you to have double check...  

After that, I added a  bit of shading, and darkening to the ground, by creating a new layer, painting over the gravel, and setting the masque to Soft Light. Then erased and smudging to smooth the effect out. 


Someone asked me the other day, how I make curly hair in some of my fantasy pictures. From experience, I know how difficult it is to cut out a model with curly hair, and make it look natural. When it comes to design, I have a lot of patience--but curly hair is where my patience runs out. After having looked up tutorials online that didn't work for what I wanted or looked right, I decided to try something new. I "hand" painted a spiral curl (below), which look me several hours of trial and error. Now, I can change the color and shape of the curl, which helps. My rule of thumb is to use three shade variations, dark, medium and light of whatever color I change it to, adding depth and realism. And yes--I apply one curl at a time, lol. 
Below is the model with the finished hair. As this is a pre-made book cover, I rarely do much with the text as I normally would for a project a client requests. It will have to be changed anyway, to fit the clients needs. But here is the finished product, ready to add to Otherworlds Publicity's website for sale: http://www.otherworldspublicity.com/pre-madecovers.php



Hope you enjoyed!

Kayden McLeod

Sunday, January 8, 2012

CONTEST: Making of a Cover

Dear Reader,

Cover art and graphic design is one of my many artistic passions, and I thought I would do two things. Explain the process within one of my more labor intensive designs, and turn it into a contest, which I will announce at the end of this post.

Below is the finished Forsaken: Goddess of Pompeii (a WIP of mine…) e-book cover.



Typically, I start with my models, before I play with backgrounds or coloring. Now, unlike the norm, finding an embracing couple in suitable clothing for Pompeii 79AD is near impossible! And, yes, I am VERY picky when I know the visual of what I want. So alas, what better place to start than the fabulous Jimmy Thomas? I love using his photos, because not only are they high resolution (very important), they are artistic in the poses, coloring and expression. But, alas—not even Jimmy has yet touched on togas. But it can be fixed—though not easily.


After very carefully cutting out Jimmy and his lady, I went in search of something I could use.

Below are the two togas I used for what amounts to a jigsaw puzzle. When recreating clothing for a model, you have to get the general feel for the model and their pose you want to transfer the portions to. Perhaps, you’ll luck out and find the exact same pose, but chances are, you won’t.

After cutting out the lady’s togas (below), it was a matter of taking little and big pieces, forming them together, and combining elements of both pictures. Then the intricate process of blending, erasing, clone-stamping and painting. After that, I had to up the contrast on the models, and change the hues a bit, then darken them to better match the clothing.



Now, it’s time for the background! When I envisioned this cover, I really, really wanted pictures of Pompeii, and Mount Vesuvius. The mountain was a no go. I found pictures, but they weren't clear enough. So I settled for one of the Rocky Mountains. Although the ruins and columns in the cover are actually Pompeii—present day. So, WOOHOO!

After cutting out the sky from the mountain picture (below), I dropped the fiery sky behind it, and positioned the defined point of contrast over the mountain peak. 



But what good is a volcano without a really awesome explosion?!

Below are the two pictures I used for this effect, plus some editing and painting over, and Photoshop masques. In this program, specifically for images designed for web, there are four color channels, red, green, blue and RGB. When you pull the red channel away from the rest, you’re left with the way cool lava flows (no pun intended), fire and the smoke. The black, grey and blue pixels are left behind. I placed what remained on the mountain, then reformed these layers to fit the mountain of my choosing. Then it was more blending to make the effect seamless. 



The background is now set—time for the foreground! Below are the two pictures I ended up using of Pompeii. I had several more, but in the last few hours of doing this cover I simplified, and cut several images I had used early on. I cut out the building of the left (in favour of the photo’s angle), then the columns of the one on the right.




With the scene completed, I played with contrasts, lighting and darkening, hues and beyond to tie everything in together. I brought in the models to their new “home.” But I wasn’t done yet! The models didn’t match my characters exactly yet. I am a sucker for long, flowy hair. I took out my Wacom Bamboo drawing tablet and sketched out their hair, added highlights and definition by layer; a slow, methodical process that pays off in the end!

And walla, we have Forsaken: Goddess of Pompeii!

Now, for the contest…leave a comment on this post or e-mail me at: kaydenmcleod@gmail.com

Tell me what you think about this cover and post, to win something very special. The winner will receive a design of their choice: whether a book cover, postcard design, poster design, bookmark design or romance trading card design, or website graphic. This does not include printing of the promotional item you chose, just the design. I will make it to the specs you choose. To give you an idea, the printing company I use for printing is: http://www.overnightprints.com/

I will be announcing the winner this Friday.

You can find more Jimmy Thomas here: http://www.romancenovelcovers.com/


Good Luck!
Kayden McLeod

Sunday, January 1, 2012

News About Master of Subservience

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had an excellent holiday. So many good things are happening for the Master of Subservience Series in this new year. 

First up, book one, The Interview has received a 5/5 from Two Lips Reviews! Fabulous praise. You can read it here:http://www.twolipsreviews.com/content/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=7165&Itemid=36

As well, a few days ago, I completed the Master of Subservience series trailer! An entertaining experiment to say the least. Given that I had to encompass the entire series, when I, myself, am not sure what happens past book three, lol.


And most exciting of all, book two, The Induction is coming soon from New Dawning International Bookfair!


Series: Master of Subservience
Title: The Induction
Genre: Erotica
Keywords: Menage, BDSM, MMMF
Publisher: New Dawning International Bookfair
Summary: 
Daniel, overjoyed Bethany has been accepted into Madam Clairette's world of doms and subs, must turn his submissive over to the very man who broke him years before. Keegan is eager to pick up the gauntlet in his capable hands, and take Bethany to the next level of submission.
Excerpt:
Bethany still lay in bed, just as Daniel left her; a blonde angel in sleep. Granted, a naked one, but angelic nonetheless.
Her vivid blue eyes blinked open, as if sensing she was being watched. Her full, dark pink lips tugged into a smile when she spotted Daniel. But then she saw Keegan, and her eyes widened, sitting up faster than a coiled spring.
The silk sheets fell from her full breasts, crowned with rosy nipples. Side-swept bangs partially obscured her expression. Bethany stilled like a deer caught in headlights.
"Get up, submissive. And greet your master properly," Keegan said in a low, husky voice, which was better than distilled sex.
After a second of hesitation, Bethany slowly moved to the edge of the bed. Daniel winced. He would've allowed this impertinence, so Bethany didn't know she did wrong. When Keegan smirked, Bethany cocked her head, looking him right in the eye.
Daniel looked at the floor, and bit his lip. At that moment, he understood exactly why Madam Clairette chose Keegan to break Bethany. While she acted as a submissive, she still didn't get the extent of what she should be doing, how she would react. But she would. He saw the flash of that knowledge in Keegan's eyes.
"Kneel before me, sub. And be quick about it this time," Keegan barked. The coiled muscles in his shoulders and back were defined through his tank.
Bethany did as ordered, knowing well enough to stare at the floor as she scrambled to her knees in front of him, her thighs parallel with his calves.
"I can already see you lack in areas, but we'll fix that immediately." Keegan crossed his arms, his thick-as-tree-trunk biceps bulging. His long, tapered fingers tapped the elbow of his other arm. "Let's start off with the basics. I speak, you listen. Only my words mean anything to you now. That means when I give an order, you immediately obey without question or complaint. You do not speak unless spoken to, and only if I give you permission first. The answers will be as short as possible. If I am displeased with how you handle yourself or disobey me, there will be a punishment of my choosing."
"Like a spanking?" Bethany said with humor.
My brow cocked, waiting. Another mistake.
"Okay," Bethany replied.
Mistake number two. Daniel knew that had been a test. And her first punishment would be soon to follow.
"Did I ask you to speak?" Keegan said. A test. Would she answer him? Bethany shut her mouth and kept it that way. He reached out, and ran his fingers down her tousled hair. "Daniel, could you please get my backpack I left in the hallway?"
"Of course." Daniel retrieved the package, handling the bag with care when exchanging hands. He had only a vague idea what would be in the bag. With Keegan, one could only be so sure about what tricks were to come.
Keegan pulled out a collar with shiny spikes protruding from the collar at regular intervals, reminiscent of something a Rottweiler would wear. Also, a five-foot leash.
Without saying a word, he lifted Bethany's hair from her neck, coiling the collar around her neck, and then attached the leash. With flashing blue eyes, he straightened.
Bethany stared up at him with this "Now what?" clearly etched on her face. This was as good as actually speaking the words themselves.
Keegan's smile turned absolutely predatory. He reached to yank down his shorts, allowing his already stiff cock to bounce free. His hand clutched in her hair the same moment he said in a husky voice, "Suck it."
He pulled her closer, and she opened her mouth to accept the thick girth. She moaned low in her throat as she took more of him. Daniel's lips parted at the sight, feeling his own shaft twitch while Bethany worked him.
Keegan's hips surged every once in a while. Daniel knew personally Bethany's skill combined with erotic eagerness would bring the best man to his knees—something no master would ever be caught doing. This gave Daniel a spark of self-satisfaction as Keegan struggled not to react overly much.
But even so, the lack of control showed in Keegan's white knuckles bunched at the back of her blonde locks, the subtle shudders going down his spine. He lost himself, allowing Bethany's hands to steal up his thighs, stopping right underneath his ass to pull him in faster, deeper. A proper submissive wouldn't have done so without the master's permission. And Keegan didn't seem to notice.
Daniel knew the moment Keegan orgasmed. His mouth opened, nothing coming out save a strangled moan. When Bethany slowly retreated off his softening cock, she licked her lips, looking up at her master for approval.
The fire in his eyes gave her just that.
"And now, for breakfast," Keegan said in a breathy voice, unable to catch his breath.