Blurbs – Who Knew How Tough They Are to Write?

I still look at the blurbs for The Vista and want to tear my hair out.  They aren’t at all what I’d like them to be – in a word, perfect.  I’ve seen blurbs that are.  Sharp and flashy, that hook that draws readers in.

Mine seem like monotone tan boring prison walls.

The Vista has been out five months now, and I’ll probably redo the tag line and blurb soon.  Hopefully I can find that color, that ~pop~ I want.  Hell, writing the 108,000 words was easier than this.  (Not really, but the blurb and promo stuff is far more aggravating!)

So, Renegades; Book 2 of The Wildblood is finally back in progress.  I’m looking at a Feb., 2016 release date, barring any more Real Life train wrecks.  I’ve come up with the first tag line.  No idea how long it will last, but here it is.

Forfeiting everything they’ve established in The Vista, Team Three scatters across the Front Range in an attempt to determine where their enemies are hidden and if they have any true allies.

I think it sets the tone, and even if the reader hasn’t seen previous books in the series, they should be able to start here and understand the progression of the storyline.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

If you’d like a quick read, the prequel is approx. 75 pages.


The Vista; Book 1 of The Wildblood is a bit more ambitious, a full-on novel at approx. 350 pages.


(And, of course, the blurb.  This is the umpteenth one, I hope it’s improved from the first.)

Part of the first generation post-World War 3, Shannon Allen, Alex MacKenzie, and Geoffrey Wade are Team Three, Vista Security’s top officers. They know they are different, far beyond their elite training. It’s a secret the struggle to contain in the microcosm that is The Vista.

Problem is, there’s something out there, just beyond The Vista, watching them.

As Vista Security, they are sworn to protect; as Security Command, Team Three may be forced to break those oaths to save everything they’ve ever known.

The Vista: Book 1 of The Wildblood series takes place in the near-future where the Earth has been mostly emptied of humans by a short and devastating world war. Venturing beyond the safety of their valley may be the best move Security has ever made; it’s absolutely the most dangerous

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Lastly, my website, S. A. Hoag, Sci-Fi with a streak of rebellion.   You can find links to all the formats the books are in there.  It’s easy to navigate, too.

Evolution of a Book Cover – Final

I found it fascinating how a book cover evolved from ideas in my head into a custom, hand-drawn bit of art. Joe Kawano talked me through the process (he must have a lot of patience!). Graphics ahead. Oh, Amazon link first, then pictures.

{{{[[‘The Vista’ Amazon Page]]}}} – Buy it here!

First draft –


Joe made it clear this was not how the finished cover would look. I must have sounded freaked out by the entire process. I was.

Second draft –

VistaSketch-01 (2)

Things were taking shape. Naturally, I was also buried in the complicated mess that happens the first time you try to get a book online. Then this happened.

Third draft –


Needless to say, this was pretty exciting. I’d read may things about online book selling, and a custom cover seems to be a big plus for marketing. Holidays rolled around and things slowed down for both of us. I got this gem in my email one morning.


If Joe didn’t live 2000 miles away, I’m certain he could have heard me wailing like a banshee. Or something.

Xample02-partDone-Upper-R-Quarter-C Xample03-partDone-Lower-R-Quarter-C

I’m pretty sure I squee’d like a fangirl. No, that’s not a real word. Than more slow torture showed up in my email, almost daily.

Xample04-PartDone-UpperLeft-Corner-A-raw Xample04-PartDone-UpperLeft-Corner-b&w

And then this.


More tweaking.

Yes-EndingComposite01 Yes-EndingComposite02 Yes-EndingComposite03 Yes-EndingComposite04 Yes-EndingComposite05

Finally, we worked around to this.


And now for some PR.

Blurb – ‘The Vista’ by S. A. Hoag

Team Three has a secret, one they think they’ve kept from all but a select few colleagues. They couldn’t be more wrong.

Allen, MacKenzie and Wade are Vista Security’s top officers, part of the first generation post-World War 3. They’ve trained all their lives to survive and thrive in a cold, hostile world. Their secret – they believe they are genetically enhanced and are unquestionably connected psychically. Hidden away in an enclave in the Rocky Mountains, they’re also at the forefront of the movement to see what’s left of the outside world. Not everyone in The Vista is as eager to venture forth.

As they attempt to learn the truth, their mere presence makes them targets of a vicious renegade with the means to destroy everything they know. Facing exile or worse, Team Three has short time to figure out who is enemy, who is friend and how to save their home and themselves.

The Vista: Book 1 of The Wildblood series takes place in the near-future where the Earth has been nearly emptied of human beings by a short and devastating world war. Venturing beyond the safety of their valley may be the best move Security has ever made; it’s absolutely the most dangerous.


S. A. Hoag is an author, lapidary artist, very amateur astronomer (“I just look at the stars, I can’t name ’em.”), and accidental desert-dweller. Born in the middle of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, more specifically Salida, she has lived in a number of cities in a number of states before crash-landing in the New Mexico desert. Not Roswell, however. Science Fiction has always been her first interest in reading and writing; many other genres sneak into the novels and that’s alright with her.

Where to find her –

‘The Vista’ Amazon Page – Buy it here!
S. A. Hoag, Author Website
Blogging It All
Sheila’s Facebook
And her Twitter

Technical Difficulties

I mentioned previously about my word program (Apache Open Office) being just wanky sometimes. It did it again when I saved last night. This is about a third of a page from the novella and it’s a first draft, so consider it a teaser. And a puzzle. The program removes quotation marks and replaces them with oriental letters.

Maybe my computer is haunted?? I’ve updated the program, but it doesn’t seem to care. I am baffled.