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An update with no pictures, because that's what this is

What's up? Long time no see.

Lately I have been camping out in the lovely world of Wordpress. Figuring out codes, and all that complicated stuff. Posting has been put on the back burner a bit, but I felt you deserved an update of sorts.

The new website is taking form... kind of? Wordpress makes my brain hurt. It should never be underestimated. But... okay it isn't as bad as I thought it would be. And it has a great personality! (It says Howdy, Hannah on the dashboard!) I think that we shall become best friends, once it get's easier to design.

Speaking of design... I would give you a sneak peak, like colors and fonts and stuff, but i am so indecisive, and nothing can be sure with me. If I showed anything to you right now, it will probably end up changing. so, I think it's best if we just leave it a surprise. :)

I am so happy with all of the support I'm getting from you lovely followers. I really do love every single one of you. And hope you will enjoy the new website as much as I think you will.

At my current pace the website shall be launched around November-ish... but you should never take my word for anything. (Of course the website is out there, but good luck finding it (note to people who do find it: It's a total mess right now.))

And if you have any suggestions for elements to put in my design, please feel free to shout it out, I'm kind of at a loss as to what I want to put on there. :/  

So, there's my update. 

I've got my own door!

There it is. Marvel at it's beauty.

Okay, yes, it looks rather boring at the moment... I mean really, it doesn't even have a doorknob. But to me this door is a long awaited luxury. 

It's been well over two years since I moved out of the room I shared with my sisters, and I finally, finally get a door. 

Here's a boring back story that you probably won't care about; there are three bedrooms in our house. One for my mom and dad, and two large bedrooms for us kids to live in.

We moved into this house several years ago when we only had five kids, three girls and two boys. So this whole three bedroom thing worked out just perfectly for a time... then Emma was born, and before we knew it she needed a place to sleep.

So the plan was to split the boys room in half, since they had plenty of room, and stick me on the opposite side.

Naturally, I was ecstatic to get my own room, and packed up my things, and moved myself over.

The only thing to separate me from my little brothers was a couple shower curtains... for two years.

Flash back to the present, and I finally have that wall and door, making my little space behind a curtain a "bedroom".

If you'll please excuse the out-of-focusness, you'll see that this is the view of my room from the door. Ain't it the cutest thing you ever did see?

It still needs a bit of paint, and swall sturf, but yup, that's the basic room. It's small, but really, I love it. It's cozy. And I'm not claustrophobic, so the smallness doesn't bother me.

I like having my own place, for me to live in and take care of. 

So. Yeah. Ladies and gentlemen (assuming I even have gentlemen readers), my room!

And just for kicks, here's my bookshelf against the shiny new wall. :) I take great pride in my bookshelf. 

Purple Moon Blog Tour & Giveaway || Story Behind the Cover Art

Selena’s life isn’t turning out to be the fairy tale she imagined as a kid. That hope seemed to vanish long ago when her dad kicked her and her mom out of the house. This summer might finally hold the chance of a new beginning for Selena…but having to live with her snobby cousin in Lake Lure, NC while waiting for her mom to get out of rehab wasn’t how Selena was planning on spending her summer. She soon begins to wonder why she committed to give up her “bad habits” for this.

Things don’t seem too bad, though. Especially when Selena gains the attention of the cute neighbor next door. But when her best friend back home in Brooklyn desperately needs her, a secret that’s been hidden from Selena for years is revealed, and when she becomes a target for one of her cousin’s nasty pranks, she finds herself having to face the scars from her past and the memories that come along with them. Will she follow her mom’s example in running away, or trust that God still has a fairy tale life written just for her? (Goodreads)

Story Behind the Cover Art 

(The previous fact or fiction was FALSE.)

I am very grateful to have been published with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas—not only were they patient with me as I kept wanting to go back and change parts of the story, but they give their authors the opportunity to have input in their own cover art. 

At first, I wanted the cover to be of Selena sitting on the edge of a dock and looking out at the lake and the mountains. I wanted it to be a real photograph, so my mom and I went through our friends on Facebook to see if we knew anyone who could be the model for Selena. 

Near the end of my mom’s friends list was the daughter of one of her old friends. Not only was this girl, Marissa, 16-years-old and part Mexican—but she looked almost identical to the girl I had envisioned in my head for Selena. My mom had coincidentally ran into Marissa’s mom a few months back, and when they were talking, she’d told my mom that Marissa was interested in modeling.

It couldn’t have been any more perfect.

Almost right away, we contacted Marissa and set up a time to meet with a photographer that we knew. When I went into Marissa’s bedroom, I couldn’t believe it…the first thing I laid my eyes on was a big window seat. Just like the one Selena has in the book.

So of course, we had to do a photoshoot of Marissa sitting at her window seat. What’s even more crazy is the fact that Marissa also likes to draw, just like Selena in my book. The photographer took several shots of Marissa staring out the window with the sketchbook in her lap. We also went to a lake and took a few pictures of Marissa sitting on the edge of a dock. 

Although I really wanted the cover of “Purple Moon” to have Selena sitting at her window seat, there was a lot of details that we would’ve had to photoshop—and those things weren’t going to be easy (such as keeping Marissa’s reflection in the cover while somehow changing the view out the window and straightening the window railing). 

Here’s the picture that we had planned on using at first: 

Meanwhile, my mom and I kept going back to this one photograph that Marissa actually took of herself and posted on her Facebook. The expression on her face really drew me in, and it even reminded me of a certain scene towards the end of “Purple Moon”. 

So, we decided to try and schedule another photoshoot with Marissa and have her do the same expression as that one. However, I realized that Marissa had actually cut her hair to her ears (she wasn’t aware that we were going to do another photoshoot). 

So, I had no choice but to either try to use the window seat picture, or the one above. 

However, a couple of problems stood in the way. When I asked Marissa if she could send me the original photo without the sepia setting, she told me that it was taken in sepia. And when I asked if she could send me that picture in high quality, she told me that her computer had crashed—wiping out all of her pictures—and that she couldn’t find the memory card that contained the original  one. 

At that point, I wasn’t quite sure what we were going to do. Of course, none of that was Marissa’s fault. In fact, there were several more pictures we took of the photoshoot that I think got erased because my computer crashed also, and I didn’t have the pictures backed up. 

While I was at the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference this past May, I met with my publisher and the cover artist. After telling them the entire story of how we couldn’t schedule another photoshoot or find the original picture of the above photo, we decided to just re-make the photo by making it look as if it were water-colored. I thought that was a perfect idea, especially since the book is sort of “artsy” since Selena is an artist and loves to water-color herself. The way that the cover turned out is, in my opinion, far better than I had originally imagined. 

Oh, and here’s something interesting about the cover: On the lake in the background, if you look very closely, it looks as if someone is sitting on a paddle boat. The cover artist had no idea that a paddle boat is actually very significant in the story, and the fact that it appears to be in the distance relates to the story even. Of course, you’re just going to have to read “Purple Moon” to find out why that’s so significant. =)

“Purple Moon” Blog Tour Stops:

Don’t forget to stop by the blog tour’s next stop to increase your chances of winning the PURPLE MOON prize pack!

Wednesday, September 18: Purple Moon Blog Tour Launch: The Story Behind the Story: Christ is Write

Thursday, September 19: 5 Facts about Purple Moon: Kim Vandel

Friday, September 20: Character Sketches + Character Cast Contest: Who YA Reading?

Monday, September 23: Behind the Scenes: Why I Chose Lake Lure: Words to Dreams

Tuesday, September 24: Release Day! Selena’s Diary Entry + Creative Photo Contest: Writing for Young Adults

Wednesday, September 25: Austin’s Diary Entry: Amy’s Book Blog

Thursday, September 26: Q & A: Notebook Sisters

Friday, September 27: Purple Moon Playlist: Ashley Carr 

Monday, September 30: Purple Moon Excerpt: Wooden Swings: Heather Brice 

Tuesday, October 1: Dealing With Anxiety—The Spiritual IV: The Destiny of One 

Wednesday, October 2: Q & A: Saved by Grace

Thursday, October 3: Behind the Scenes: Name Meanings: Labor Not In Vain

Friday, October 4: Is It Okay To Be An Introvert?: Alex Inks It 

Monday, October 7: Story Behind the Cover Art: Candy Apple Books (You are here :) 

Tuesday, October 8: Purple Moon Excerpt: Cherishing the Sunrise: Author Casey Bond 

Wednesday, October 9: Q & A: Writing While the Rice Boils

Thursday, October 10: Behind the Scenes: Christian Human Videos: Writing in Wonderland 

Friday, October 11: Teenage Substance Abuse: Emily Rachelle 

Monday, October 14: Behind the Scenes: Lake Lure Academy of the Arts: Worthy 2 Read

Tuesday, October 15: My Middle & High School Experience: Hello Highlights 

Wednesday, October 16: Purple Moon Excerpt: Meatless Turkey Sandwich: Diane Estrella

Thursday, October 17: Body Image Laurel’s Leaves

Friday, October 18: Behind the Scenes: Brewer’s Coffee: A Splash of Ink

Monday, October 21: Purple Moon Excerpt: Farkle at the Park: A Slightly Nerdy Bookworm 

Tuesday, October 22: Teenage Dating: Tell The World 

Wednesday, October 23: Q & A: The YA Book Stack

Thursday, October 24: How Much of My Personal Life Did I Put Into “Purple Moon”?: Read 

Friday, October 25: Fairy tales & Happy Endings + Contest Winners!: Inspiring Daring

Tessa Emily Hall is a 19-year-old author of Purple Moon, her YA Christian fiction novel to be published September 2013 by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She is also the editor over the faith department for Temperance Magazine, a column writer for Whole Magazine, a contributing writer for More To Be, as well as the PR for God of Moses Entertainment. Other than writing, Tessa enjoys acting, music, Starbucks, and her Teacup Shih Tzu—who is named Brewer after a character in her book, as well as her love for coffee.