Category Archives: Cover Reveal

Daniel and the Sun Sword

I had the privilege of reading and reviewing this great book before its official release. You’ll find my review below, but first I’d like to show you some other fun stuff . . . such as the awesome cover art and the spectacular book trailer!

Note: Barnes and Noble and Amazon both say that the official release date for Daniel and the Sun Sword is November 3. But don’t let that fool you. The book will be available as of July, and if you pre-order the paperback now you’ll get your copy by the end of July or early August.

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daniel and the sun sword

Thirteen-year-old Daniel is about to be adopted. But when he learns his new family wants him as a slave, he runs away with the help of his new neighbors, the naïve and cowardly Ben, and Raylin, a mysterious girl with a shady past.

He begins to second-guess his decision when the cave they hide in transports them to the ruins of Machu Picchu, where they find themselves embroiled in a battle between ancient gods of Life and Death. To top things off, the God of Life draws Daniel into the fray by adopting him as his son and setting him on a quest to complete a broken, mystical sword, a task that will pit him against the god of the underworld.

Now, Daniel and his friends have just one weekend to find the shards before a hoard of supernatural enemies catch up. But that’s not all they face. A trap has been set that even Daniel wouldn’t expect, and he just took the bait.

Will the power of his Heavenly Father be enough to save them?

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MY REVIEW

Looking for a brave, spunky hero and a refreshing, meaningful adventure? Look no further. Formidable enemies, engaging characters, and a heartfelt and powerful message. Daniel and the Sun Sword has it all.

At first glance this story put me in mind of the Percy Jackson series (which, by the way, is a very good thing!). It has a rapid pace, loads of action and adventure, and a young male protagonist who has to take on a world of dangerous and deadly gods and demons. But this book does something Percy Jackson never did. It goes deeper. It has lasting meaning. It gives hope. And that makes all the difference.

Daniel is a relatable and realistic protagonist. I felt connected to him from the start. He is an orphan who feels that he controls nothing in his own life. He has no sense of his own importance or purpose. But when danger literally comes creeping to his doorstep, he has to start making decisions fast. He has to choose between remaining the same and growing, between cowardice and bravery. Daniel begins a journey that forces him to not only be brave in body, but courageous of heart.

The secondary characters were all extremely fun to read, too, with personalities that set each of them apart. From quirky Ben, to doubtful Raylin, to the disgusting Gurges, to quietly strong Gabriela – I enjoyed watching them all play their parts in the greater scheme of the story, and I hope to see more of them in future books (well, perhaps not the Gurges…*shudder*). The gods, monsters and other creatures were written with descriptions that truly brought them to life. Even when reading about the most evil of creatures, I had to smile in admiration at lines like this one: “The voice was deep and horrible, like the very foundations of the earth were grinding together to make speech.” The author has a great way with imagery and metaphors.

In short, this book is full of all the things tween boys love: action, adventure, danger, and monsters. Yet at its core, this story is an allegory. Its meaning is deep and true. We are all born orphans, just like Daniel, but we have the awesome choice to become a part of the greatest family that ever was, with the greatest Father who ever lived. I was blown away by the smooth combination of both the physical and spiritual elements woven together in this story.

Daniel and the Sun Sword is the type of book I’ve hoped to see for a long time, for all the boys out there like my own son who long to read about adventures and heroes, but need to understand that their hope does not come from themselves, but from Someone higher. This book is a powerful testimony to that truth. I recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone between the ages of 10 and 110! I loved it from start to finish.

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Fairy Tale Novella Contest and Cover Reveal

Rooglewood Press is delighted to introduce their third fairy tale novella contest—

Five Magic Spindles

a collection of “Sleeping Beauty” stories

Five Magic Spindles

The challenge is to write a retelling of the beloved fairy tale in any genre or setting you like. Make certain your story is recognizably “Sleeping Beauty,” but have fun with it as well. Make it yours!

Rooglewood Press will be selecting five winners to be published in the Five Magic Spindles collection, which will be packaged up with the phenomenal cover you see here. Maybe your name will be one of the five listed?

All the contest rules and information (how to enter, story details, deadline etc.) may be found on the Rooglewood Press website. Just click HERE and you will go right to the page.

Rooglewood Press’s first collection, Five Glass Slippers is available for purchase, and our second collection, Five Enchanted Roses is scheduled to launch on July 27, and is currently available for pre-order. Be certain to get a copy of each and see what previous winners did with their wonderful retellings.

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*This cover illustration was rendered by Julia Popova, “ForestGirl.” You can find out more about this gifted artist on her website: www.forestgirl.ru

Interview With Anne Elisabeth Stengl: Cover Designer for A Wish Made of Glass

Many of you are familiar already with Anne Elisabeth Stengl. She is the talented and lovely authoress behind the award-winning series, Tales of Goldstone Wood. As I have gotten to know her over the past couple of years I’ve been continually impressed with her talent, sweetness, boundless energy, and grace as both an artist and an individual. God has most certainly blessed her with multiple gifts!

When I decided to begin approaching designers about the cover for A Wish Made of Glass, I had a few artists in mindAWishMadeofGlassFinal – none of which was Anne Elisabeth, since I really had no idea she designed covers at all. But one day I stumbled upon a blog post with a brand new book cover which had been designed by…you guessed it…Anne Elisabeth.

Hmm, I thought. Now there’s a thought. After all, Anne Elisabeth had already read my novella. She knew the mood, she knew the characters and setting. And what’s more, I trusted her taste completely.

As fate would have it, she had a very small window of time which was open in her busy schedule (just the window of time that I happened to need!) to do a cover for me. Within mere hours of having contacted her, she had some mockups for me to look over. After a few back-and-forth email discussions, she had the finished cover ready for me within a handful of days.

Super impressed? Yeah, I was too. I’m fully aware how blessed I am to have had her design my cover! It’s truly gorgeous.

I thought it would be fun (not to mention insightful!) to ask her a few questions about the designing side of the book world. FYI: All the book cover images I’ve got below are Anne Elisabeth’s designs as well…as if you needed another reason to admire her 🙂

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Tell me how you got into cover design? Is it something you do on the side, or do you have “official” training in art?

Cover design is a relatively new pursuit of mine. I studied illustration for several years in college with the idea in mind that I would someday illustrate picture books. Although that particular form of art is different from cover design, many of the elements carry over. When I began creating book covers, I had all sorts of great training in color, composition, lighting, etc. to draw from.

I design only a precious few covers every year, starting two years ago now when I took my first commission. While I would love to get into more regular design work, carving out the time for it is a struggle these days. I find designing a new cover to be a fun break from regular work, however, challenging a whole different side of my brain. So someday I might accept more regular clients!

How different is it to design a cover for a book you’ve read versus one you haven’t read?BoardwalkCover

Designing a cover for a book I have not read is a different sort of challenge from designing for a book I have read. But as long as the author I’m working with makes clear what he/she hopes to see in the final image, I can usually make do without much difficulty. The first cover commission I took was for a book I had not read (still haven’t!), which was an interesting process. The client had a very specific vision in mind for the cover of Boardwalk. Once he had described his vision, however, I had a different idea which I thought might better illustrate the mood he wanted. I submitted my idea, and he loved it, so we went that direction instead.

All covers are unique. But if there’s any one thing/concept/quality that every book cover should have, what, in your opinion, should it be?

Oh, that’s an easy one: clear, readable text. Which is actually much harder to achieve than you might think! It’s too easy for a designer to get so caught up in the image—the characters, the backgrounds, and so forth—that she foCorrodedThornsFinalrgets the text until late in development. It’s much smarter to develop the text at the same rate as everything else in the design so that it fits seamlessly into the whole.

Whether an image is static or dramatic, dull colors or vibrant, active or passive, whether it features landscapes or models or simply an interesting texture . . . the text HAS to stand out.

What are your thoughts on the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”?

I think it’s a lovely theory but very hard to put into practice. Particularly these days with the Indie market booming, a great cover can set an author apart as someone who is serious about her business as opposed to someone who is just tossing work out there. Unless you’re an already-established, very popular name in the market, a dynamic cover is often the one thing that will make a reader take a moment to glance over your book, read the description, and BattleofCastleNebulaCover1consider making a purchase. If a cover doesn’t have that “Wow!” factor, the author is losing sales.

Of course, a fantastic book may be housed in a lousy cover. No one is denying that. All stories should be judged on the merit of their writing. However, they won’t be judged at all if readers don’t bother to pick them up.

Being a capable artist yourself, what are the benefits of hiring another designer to work on the covers for the books you’ve written?

For me personally I feel much too close to my own stories to dare design covers for them. I would struggle to get out of my own head and think in terms of dynamic imagery rather than specific scenes or character looks, etc. These days, I am often very much involved with the talented artists who create my cover images . . . but ultimately I try to let the creative invention and imagination be theirs. I’m usually much happier with the covers I end up with as a result.

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Professional Photo - Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Visit Anne Elisabeth here:

Tales of Goldstone Wood (blog)

Facebook Author Page

COVER REVEAL: A Wish Made of Glass

I am absolutely delighted to present the gorgeous cover for my fairy tale novella which will be releasing this summer. I’m not even going to waste any time introducing it….I’ll let its beauty speak for itself 🙂

Ready?

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Deep in a forest glade, the fey folk dance with Isidore, a young human child. Their kinship is the very fabric of her childhood. When her mother dies and her world darkens with sorrow, Isidore finds her belief in the fey folk wavering.

The love of her new step-sister, Blessing, proves an unexpected gift in her time of need. Yet even as their friendship blooms, Isidore begins to see that Blessing is everything she herself has always wanted to be, but is not. Jealousy grips Isidore as she watches this beautiful new sister steal away all she holds dear.

Driven to desperation, Isidore turns to the fey folk once more. She has only one wish to claim from them, one chance to make things right. But she must tread carefully. For wishes, like hearts, are easily broken. And obtaining the one thing she desires could mean destroying the one thing she truly needs.

RELEASING SUMMER 2015

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The mysteriously snowy forest…the cape billowing in the wind…Isidore’s brooding expression…the beautiful color scheme. Ok, I love it all, can you tell? It’s just so perfectly what I saw in my imagination as I wrote this story!!

A Wish Made of Glass has had a strange journey from beginning to end. I first wrote it almost two years ago as simply an entertaining fairy tale retelling of Cinderella. But when I decided a few months ago to Indie publish it, and began revisions on it, it began to take a different form, with a much deeper meaning than I had ever planned. The revision process became more of a complete re-write. I can only think God had different plans for this story than I originally did, and I was more than happy to follow His will 🙂

The cover design creation itself was a whirlwind of brainstorming and inspiration between myself and the lovely designer herself (A.E. Stengl). I’ll be interviewing her here on my blog on Friday, so be sure to stop by and listen as she shares some insight into her creative process!

As of now there is no official release date for A Wish Made of Glass, but if all goes as planned it will be available sometime this summer. That’s sooo close!! I’m pretty thrilled.

So what do you think? Do you love my new cover as much as I do?! Do you plan to read it when it releases this summer?

COVER REVEAL: Where Shadows Lie by Tialla Rising

Check out the book cover and trailer reveal for Tialla Rising’s upcoming release, Where Shadows Lie, and continue below to enter the giveaway! 
 
Release date: June 2015Synopsis via Goodreads:

His dark past haunts him. His new life taunts him.
 
After twenty years in the gangs and a hefty prison sentence, an early release gives Shawn the opportunity to turn his life around.
 
But that isn’t so easy when gangs are involved.
 
Only a year into his fresh start, the gang catches on and makes Shawn’s life miserable. After all, once a gang member, always a gang member. His very blood belongs to them.
 
Threats become promises. Whispers become actions. Words become bullets. He must fight – not only for his life, but to save his honor, prove his integrity, and protect the woman he loves.
 
An ember of hope glows in the darkness, strengthening his resolve. Will her support and his determination be enough to dispel the shadows of his past?
 
A story of discovery and faith, love and perseverance.

BOOK TRAILER
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tialla Rising is a Christian young woman living with her family in the mountains of Arizona. She loves to write and will passionately spend hours long into the night developing her stories. Like most writers, Tialla fills her spare time with reading from her favorite fantasy and mystery genres. A good book, a stormy day, and an iced coffee comprise her favorite moments.


www.therubyvial.com 

facebook.com/authortiallarising

Gillian Bronte Adams’ New Novella: Out of Darkness Rising

This post is full of some amazing things – so don’t leave until you’ve had a chance to see them all! First of all, I’m proud to announce that the beautiful and talented Gillian Bronte Adams will soon be releasing a novella: Out of Darkness Rising. Just look at that gorgeous cover!!

Now keep scrolling to hear more about the book, to watch the awesome book trailer, and to enter a great giveaway that Gillian is hosting.

OODR Front Cover

Darkness reigns unchallenged.

For the villagers on the accursed Island, life has only one meaning – death.  Bound to the Island by the curse, the villagers suffer beneath the iron claw of the serpent, daily breathing the poison of his breath and dying to appease his insatiable appetite.

When Marya’s parents are slain by the serpent for their belief in a legendary king, she becomes an Outcast.  Struggling to survive and avoid the vengeance of the Tribunal, Marya is torn between legend and the harsh reality of the Island.  Yet when a forgotten promise springs to life, she cannot help wondering if the old stories might in fact be true.  And if they are, will the promise prove stronger than the curse?

Coming March 15, 2015

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ENTER YOUR NAME TO WIN AN ARC COPY OF OUT OF DARKNESS RISING

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Gillian Bronte AdamsGillian Bronte Adams is a sword-wielding, horse-riding, coffee-loving speculative fiction author from the great state of Texas and the dreamer behind the Songkeeper Chronicles. During the day, she manages the equestrian program at a youth camp. But at night, she kicks off her boots and spurs, pulls out her trusty laptop, and transforms into a novelist.

To find out more about Gillian Bronte Adams’s books, visit www.OfBattlesDragonsandSwordsofAdamant.blogspot.com.

Cover Reveal, Excerpt, and Giveaway for DRAVEN’S LIGHT by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

I’m thrilled today to have the privilege of being a part of the cover reveal for authoress Anne Elisabeth Stengl’s book, Draven’s Light. If you’re a fan of The Tales of Goldstone Wood, I’m sure you’re already pretty hyped about this brand new addition! If you haven’t discovered this great series yet … well, just make sure you do!

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First, here’s a bit about the book itself:

In the Darkness of the Pit The Light Shines Brightest

Drums summon the chieftain’s powerful son to slay a man in cold blood and thereby earn his place among the warriors. But instead of glory, he earns the name Draven, “Coward.” When the men of his tribe march off to war, Draven remains behind with the women and his shame. Only fearless but crippled Ita values her brother’s honor.

The warriors return from battle victorious yet trailing a curse in their wake. One by one the strong and the weak of the tribe fall prey to an illness of supernatural power. The secret source of this evil can be found and destroyed by only the bravest heart.

But when the curse attacks the one Draven loves most, can this coward find the courage he needs to face the darkness?

Coming May 25, 2015

Are you ready to see the cover?!  Here it is!

Draven'sLightCover

Isn’t it stunning?

Anne Elisabeth will be giving away 3 ARCs (advanced reader copies) of the book, so be sure to visit her site and enter your name for a chance to win!

Draven’s Light is also available for pre-order as of today! It will officially release May 2015.

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To top off the excitement, here’s an exciting excerpt from Draven’s Light.

He heard the drums in his dreams, distant but drawing ever nearer. He had heard them before and wondered if the time of his manhood had come. But with the approach of dawn, the drums always faded away and he woke to the world still a child. Still a boy.

But this night, the distant drums were louder, stronger. Somehow he knew they were not concocted of his sleeping fancy. No, even as he slept he knew these were real drums, and he recognized the beat: The beat of death. The beat of blood.

The beat of a man’s heart.

He woke with a start, his leg throbbing where it had just been kicked. It was not the sort of awakening he had longed for these last two years and more. He glared from his bed up into the face of his sister, who stood above him, balancing her weight on a stout forked branch tucked under her left shoulder.

“Ita,” the boy growled, “what are you doing here? Go back to the women’s hut!”

His sister made a face at him, but he saw, even by the moonlight streaming through cracks in the thatch above, that her eyes were very round and solemn. Only then did he notice that the drumbeats of his dream were indeed still booming deep in the woods beyond the village fires. He sat up then, his heart thudding its own thunderous pace.

“A prisoner,” Ita said, shifting her branch so that she might turn toward the door. “The drums speak of a prisoner. They’re bringing him even now.” She flashed a smile down at him, though it was so tense with anxiety it could hardly be counted a smile at all. “Gaho, your name!”

The boy was up and out of his bed in a moment, reaching for a tunic and belt. His sister hobbled back along the wall but did not leave, though he wished she would. He wished she would allow him these few moments before the drums arrived in the village. The drums that beat of one man’s death . . . and one man’s birth.

His name was Gaho. But by the coming of dawn, if the drums’ promise was true, he would be born again in blood and bear a new name.

Hands shaking with what he desperately hoped wasn’t fear, he tightened his belt and searched the room for his sickle blade. He saw the bone handle, white in the moonlight, protruding from beneath his bed pile, and swiftly took it up. The bronze gleamed dully, like the carnivorous tooth of an ancient beast.

A shudder ran through his sister’s body. Gaho, sensing her distress, turned to her. She grasped her supporting branch hard, and the smile was gone from her face. “Gaho,” she said, “will you do it?”

“I will,” said Gaho, his voice strong with mounting excitement.

But Ita reached out to him suddenly, catching his weapon hand just above the wrist. “I will lose you,” she said. “My brother . . . I will lose you!”

“You will not. You will lose only Gaho,” said the boy, shaking her off, gently, for she was not strong. Without another word, he ducked through the door of his small hut—one he had built for himself but a year before in anticipation of his coming manhood—and stood in the darkness of Rannul Village, eyes instinctively turning to the few campfires burning. The drums were very near now, and he could see the shadows of waking villagers moving about the fires, building up the flames in preparation for what must surely follow. He felt eyes he could not see turning to his hut, turning to him. He felt the question each pair of eyes asked in silent curiosity: Will it be tonight?

Tonight or no night.

Grasping the hilt of his weapon with both hands, Gaho strode to the dusty village center, which was beaten down into hard, packed earth from years of meetings and matches of strength held in this same spot. Tall pillars of aged wood ringed this circle, and women hastened to these, bearing torches which they fit into hollowed-out slots in each pillar. Soon the village center was bright as noonday, but with harsh red light appropriate for coming events.

Gaho stood in the center of that light, his heart ramming in his throat though his face was a stoic mask. All the waking village was gathered now, men, women, and children, standing just beyond the circle, watching him.

The drums came up from the river, pounding in time to the tramp of warriors’ feet. Then the warriors themselves were illuminated by the ringing torches, their faces anointed in blood, their heads helmed with bone and bronze, their shoulders covered in hides of bear, wolf, and boar. Ten men carried tight skin drums, beating them with their fists. They entered the center first, standing each beneath one of the ringing pillars. Other warriors followed them, filling in the gaps between.

Then the chieftain, mighty Gaher, appeared. He carried his heavy crescent ax in one hand, and Gaho saw that blood stained its edge—indeed, blood spattered the blade from tip to hilt and covered the whole of the chieftain’s fist. Gaher strode into the circle, and the boy saw more blood in his beard. But he also saw the bright, wolfish smile and knew for certain that his sister had been correct. The night of naming had come.

“My son,” said the chief, saluting Gaho with upraised weapon.

“My father,” said Gaho, raising his sickle blade in return.

“Are you ready this night to die and live again?” asked the chief. His voice carried through the shadows, and every one of the tribe heard it, and any and all listening beasts of forests and fields surrounding. “Are you ready this night for the spilling of blood that must flow before life may begin?”

Gaho drew a deep breath, putting all the strength of his spirit into his answer. “I am ready, Father.”

Gaher’s smile grew, the torchlight flashing red upon his sharpened canines. He turned then and motioned to the darkness beyond the torchlight.

The sacrifice was brought forward.

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Anne Elisabeth StenglANNE ELISABETH STENGL makes her home in North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, Rohan, a kindle of kitties, and one long-suffering dog. When she’s not writing, she enjoys Shakespeare, opera, and tea, and practices piano, painting, and pastry baking. She is the author of the critically-acclaimed Tales of Goldstone Wood. Her novel Starflower was awarded the 2013 Clive Staples Award, and her novels Heartless, Veiled Rose, and Dragonwitch have each been honored with a Christy Award.

To learn more about Anne Elisabeth Stengl and her books visit: www.AnneElisabethStengl.blogspot.com

The Word Changers Has a NEW COVER!!

Oh, yes … but you can’t see it on my site! At least, not today.

The cover reveal is being hosted by the talented and lovely authoress, Anne Elisabeth Stengl. Head over to her blog to see the new cover for The Word Changers, and to enter your name into the giveaway for a signed paperback of the book … one sporting its new cover, of course!

The entire process was a new and thrilling and somewhat daunting one, truth be told. Working so closely with the artist who designed it was an eye-opening experience. What a wonderful thing to watch the concept in my head brought to life by someone else in a way even more lovely than I imagined!

You can leave comments over on Anne Elisabeth’s blog, or you can head back over here to let me know what you think of it. To be honest, I’m pretty giddy about it, myself 🙂

My Cover Art and Future Giveaways

For any of you who didn’t get a chance to check out the official Cover Reveal over at Anne Elisabeth Stengl’s blog, here’s the cover for my book, THE WORD CHANGERS, which releases in June.

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The giveaway at Anne Elisabeth’s is over, but don’t worry! I will be doing another giveaway when the book releases. I also plan on doing drawings for prizes when I get a certain amount of reviews for the book on Goodreads or Amazon. So if you want to be part of it, swing by Goodreads and add it to your to-be-read list (and send a friend request my way, too, if you’d like!), or you can follow me on Facebook for updates.

As I am learning, there are many things that don’t go exactly as you wish for your book, and though I originally had other ideas for my cover, I am pleased all the same with how it turned out! Hope you are, too!

 

 

 

 

The Word Changers: Cover Reveal & Giveaway

And … today’s the day!

Don’t forget to stop by Anne Elisabeth’s blog and take a look at my book cover, and sign up to win a free copy of The Word Changers.

Happy Wednesday, everyone!