Guest Post & Giveaway! Maven by S.A. Huchton


by S.A. Huchton
Series: Endure #1
Publication date: May 29th 2013
Category: New Adult
Genre: Science Fiction, Romance
Cover: Starla Huchton

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How far would you go for love?

Since losing her parents at 14, young prodigy Dr. Lydia Ashley has focused on one thing: an appointment on the Deep Water Research Command Endure. Now 21, she’s about to realize that dream, but nothing is how she imagined it would be. Her transitional sponsor forgets her, her new lab is in complete chaos, and, as if that weren’t enough, she’s about to discover something so horrific it could potentially destroy all life on the planet.

Daniel Brewer, a noted playboy and genius in his own right, may be exactly what she needs… Or he may make everything worse.

Has she finally found a puzzle she can’t solve?


~Guest Post~

The Book Cover: Putting Your Story’s Best Face Forward

Three seconds. Max.

That’s all it takes for a potential reader to discount a book or decide to investigate further. The cover is far and away the best marketing tool an author has at their disposal, and should never be anyone’s last thought when putting out a book.

Independent or self-published authors need to be especially mindful of this. If they want to be considered on the same level as those published traditionally, every aspect of what they do must be at least on par with the behemoths of the establishment. If the first thing your audience knows about you is your cover, you must immediately put them at ease that what they will find in you is a quality story, polished to a high shine. If the packaging isn’t appealing, a book can be discounted before anyone cracks open the sample pages.

Not only am I an author, but a freelance cover designer as well. I consider it my job to suss out the very heart of a story and find a way to translate that to the visual. A cover should hint at the words beneath, provide a taste of the drama, adventure, or characters within. It needs to hook an audience with its potential.

And it only has three seconds or less to accomplish this.

I’ve designed covers in all sorts of genres, and for both publishers and independent authors alike, so when it came time to design the cover for Maven, I already knew I had to bring my A game. The market is inundated with stories of every stripe, and it’s incredibly difficult to stand out from the crowd. Not only did I have to be mindful of current industry trends, but of which were overused, which elements best reflected my genre, and how I could make my story appealing for a reader hesitant to try something maybe outside of their comfort zone. The reaction to the end result has been nothing but positive, so I feel I’ve been successful in this endeavor.

No matter what impression my cover gives, however, my focus will always be on creating an enjoyable story. Because even with the perfect wrapping, if the words inside don’t measure up, nothing can make up for that.

Examples of Other Covers I’ve Created (find them all at




About the Author


Starla Huchton released her first novel, The Dreamer’s Thread, as a full cast podcast production beginning in August 2009. Her first foray went on to become a double-nominee and finalist for the 2010 Parsec Awards. Since her debut, Starla’s voice has appeared in other podcasts including The Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine, The Drabblecast, and Erotica a la Carte. She is also a voice talent for Darkfire Productions, and narrates several of their projects, including The Emperor’s Edge series, This Path We Share, and others. Her writing has appeared in the Erotica a la Carte podcast, a short story for The Gearheart, and an episode of the Tales from the Archives podcast (the companion to Tee Morris and Philippa Balantine’s Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series), which garnered her a second finalist badge from the 2012 Parsec Awards. Her second novel, a Steampunk adventure entitled Master of Myth, was the first place winner in the Fantasy/Science Fiction category of The Sandy Writing Contest held annually by the Crested Butte Writers Conference. Maven is her third completed novel and the first in a planned series of four, being released under the name S. A. Huchton. After completing her degree in Graphic Arts at Monterey Peninsula College, Starla opened up shop as a freelance graphic designer focusing on creating beautiful book covers for independent authors and publishers. She currently lives in Virginia where she trains her three Minions and military husband.

Starla’s Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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Wife, homeschooling mom, YA author of paranormal, dark fantasy, and horror, huge fan of the Oxford comma, book blogger, crafter, baker of sweet things, lover of the culinary arts, self-appointed zombie slayer.