Thursday, August 27, 2015

New Book Release: Finding Gabriel

Please join me in congratulating Rachel Demeter on the publication of her new historical romance, Finding Gabriel! I had the pleasure of helping Rachel polish her manuscript to perfection before she began the submission process for traditional publication. Rachel received multiple offers to publish and accepted a contract from Momentum Books, a division of Pan Macmillan. I am so happy for Rachel, and if you are a fan of darker historical romance featuring tortured heroes and strong heroines, you're gonna love this one. Here's the book description:

Colonel Gabriel de Laurent departed for the war intending to die.

After a decade of bloodstained battlegrounds while fighting in Napoleon's army, Gabriel returns to the streets of Paris a shattered and haunted soul. Plagued by inner demons, he swallows the barrel of his flintlock pistol and pulls the trigger.

But fate has a different plan.

Ariah Larochelle is a survivor. Orphaned at twelve and victim to a devastating crime, she has learned to keep her back to walls and to trust no one. But when she finds a gravely injured soldier washed up on the River Seine, she's moved by compassion. In spite of her reservations, she rescues him from the icy water and brings him into her home.

Now scarred inside and out, Gabriel discovers a kindred spirit in Ariah - and feelings he imagined lost forever reawaken as he observes her strength in the face of adversity. But when Ariah's own lethal secrets unfold, their new love is threatened by ancient ghosts. Can Gabriel and Ariah find hope in the wreckage of their pasts - or will the cycle of history repeat again?

Perfect for fans of Gaelen Foley's Lord of Ice and Judith James's Broken Wing, Finding Gabriel features all the dark romance, searing passion, and historical intrigue of The Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables.

Finding Gabriel is available now in ebook format on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and the print edition is coming soon! Add it to your shelves on Goodreads, and check out Rachel's website for the scoop on her writing and her popular debut novel, The Frost of Springtime.

Need some help with your WIP?
Email me anytime to chat about your project!

Monday, August 24, 2015

New Cover Design: Grave Doubts

Congratulations to Gigi Vernon on the publication of Grave Doubts, A Mystery & Magic Historical Short Story! I had the pleasure of designing the cover for this spooky story. Here's the book description:

It’s 843 Anno Domini and Francia is being terrorized by Vikings and their heathen magic. Something is killing cows, removing the flesh, and etching the skeletons with runes. Has this evil been unleashed by a pair of Viking corpses and rune stones discovered in fresh graves? An ex-knight newly turned priest is forced to partner with a stubborn Frankish peasant to solve the riddle of the runes and battle Viking magic. Will they be able to save the village and its cows? 

A newly revised and expanded edition of a short story originally published in the now out of print anthology Ghostbreakers: New Horrors.

Grave Doubts is available for Kindle on Amazon for 99-cents! Add it to your shelves on Goodreads, and check out Gigi's website for the scoop on all of her stories!

Need a cover designer?
Email me anytime to chat about your project!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

New Book Release: Love in the Valley of the Kings

Congrats to Nicola Italia on the publication of her newest historical romance, Love in the Valley of the Kings! I had the privilege of working with Nicola on a copyedit of this exciting tale of love and treachery in 1920s Egypt. Here's the book description:

Intelligent and lovely Emma Hayward is the pride and joy of her father, renowned archaeologist Rupert Hayward. Having graduated from college, Emma is intent on following in her father’s footsteps to become an archaeologist in her own right. 

After extensive research from decades of digging in Egypt, Rupert believes there remains an undiscovered intact tomb in the Valley of the Kings. With financial backing secured, Rupert decides to bring his family to Egypt, and Emma is thrilled to begin excavation on her first official dig. 

When the Haywards arrive in Egypt, Emma is introduced to the newest member of the excavation team, exotic and handsome Winston Spencer. Half-Egyptian and half-British, Winston finds himself drawn to the blond beauty, even though she is engaged to another man. Working and living together day in and day out, the two archaeologists find themselves falling in love amid the endless sand and sultry heat of Luxor. 

But as the team closes in on the tomb of the famed King Nebnenbuta, someone among them wants nothing more than to destroy it all. Emma and Winston must stop a killer before he strikes again, and before they lose their one chance at happiness. 

Love in the Valley of the Kings is available now on Amazon for Kindle. Add it to your shelves on Goodreads, and check out Nicola's website for the scoop on all of her historical romances.

Need some help with your WIP?
Email me anytime to chat about your project!

Friday, August 14, 2015

New Cover Design: Midnight Caller

Please join me in congratulating Haley Whitehall on the re-release of Midnight Caller, Book One in the Moonlight Romance Series, with a cover designed by yours truly! Here's the book description:

Life without love is painful, but in the Reconstruction Era South forbidden fruit can be deadly. A fiery romance between a widow and an African-American man has more consequences than either of them imagined. 

Slavery has ended, but racial prejudice remains in Kentucky. Emma Bennett guards a secret that could destroy her life. Until now she never considered the price of her security. Becoming a well-respected member in Louisville had seemed a dream come true, but at what cost? 

Her husband’s death from a carriage accident releases Emma from her loveless, controlling marriage. Now she has a chance to find happiness and raise a family. But before she begins courting again she wants to experience her freedom. At the advice of the leading socialite in town, she takes a black lover to fulfill her sexual needs. His raw masculine power awakens feelings she didn’t know existed. After the first touch, she craves more. 

Frederick works as a roustabout by day and moonlights as a prostitute. He knows better than to fall in love with his white client, but Emma enchants him the first time he calls on her. To keep them both safe, he works hard to put up barriers. Unfortunately, he can’t protect Emma from the slimy Mr. Hawthorne, who wants her as his bride. Frederick vows to keep her safe even if his forbidden love costs him his life.

Midnight Caller is available now on Amazon for Kindle for 99-cents! Add it to your shelves on Goodreads, and check out Haley's website for the scoop on all of her books.

Need a cover designer?
Email me anytime to chat about your project!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

New Book Release: Interpretation of Henry VIII's Love Letters to Anne Boleyn

Please join me in congratulating Barbara Parker Bell on the publication of her newest nonfiction book, Interpretation of Henry VIII's Love Letters to Anne Boleyn! I had the pleasure of working with Barbara on a copyedit of this fascinating glimpse into the private correspondence of this powerful man during the early days of his courtship with Anne. Here's the book description:

In her new book, Interpretation of Henry VIII's Love Letters to Anne Boleyn, Barbara Parker Bell takes the reader back in time to the years of Anne Boleyn’s ascendancy. In retrospect, the seventeen love letters penned by the infatuated Henry VIII to a young woman who refused to become his mistress may seem like a prelude to a great tragedy, but they offer an amazing glimpse into the couple’s thoughts, hopes and fears. 

Although the letters are one-sided because only Henry VIII’s correspondence survives and Anne’s responses were lost during the course of history, they provide invaluable insight into the early years of the relationship between Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. In this book, Barbara Parker Bell places the love letters in chronological order based on years of extensive research of the letters themselves and of the lives of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII.

Interpretation of Henry VIII's Love Letters to Anne Boleyn is available now on Amazon for Kindle for 99-cents! You can add it to your shelves on Goodreads too!

Need some help with your WIP?
Email me anytime to chat about your project!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

New Book Release: The Road Home

Please join me in congratulating Kathleen Shoop on the publication of her newest historical fiction novel, The Road Home, book two in The Letter Series, featuring characters inspired by Kathie's ancestors. I had the privilege of providing some editorial assistance to Kathie as she crafted this emotional tale of a family's struggles in the Midwest at the end of the nineteenth century. Here's the book description:

Find your way home... 

1891—Living separately for three years, fourteen-year-old twins, Katherine and Tommy Arthur, have done their best to make each boarding house feel like home. But unrest grows as they are driven to questionable actions just to survive. Meanwhile their desperate mother is confronted with breaking yet another promise to her children. Then a miracle descends. Hope rises on a cold, rainy night and changes everything. If Jeanie could just get word to Katherine and Tommy, she knows she can set their lives right again. Agitators, angels, and dangerous “saviors” illuminate the Arthurs’ unmatched determination and smarts. 

1905—Though she tries to forget the awful years that hurt so much, the memories still haunt Katherine. Now, tearful mourners at her mother’s funeral force her to revisit a time in her life that both harmed and saved her in the most unexpected ways. Tommy grieves his mother’s passing as well. He too is thrust backward, compelled to rediscover the events in his life that shaped the man he has become. Will he commit to reconstructing his broken life? The Arthurs come to understand that forgiveness is the only way back to hope, the only way to find all that was good in the misfortune that transformed their lives forever.

The Road Home is available now on Amazon and Barnes & Noble! Add it to your shelves on Goodreads, and check out Kathie's website for the scoop on all of her books and blog posts about writing and historical research.

Need some help with your WIP?
Email me anytime to chat about your project!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Art of Book Cover Design for Historical Fiction

I had the pleasure of speaking on The Art of Book Cover Design panel at the Historical Novel Society conference last month with Emily Victorson from Allium Press, Sarah Johnson from Reading the Past, Anna Michels from Sourcebooks, and Kris Waldherr from Art and Words. We each presented on different aspects of designing historical fiction covers, and my task was to discuss my approach and trends in the genre. In case you missed it, or if you attended and would like to have a copy of your own, here is my portion of the presentation!

Anna Michels, Kris Waldherr, myself, and Sarah Johnson
The first thing I do when working on a cover is determine the genre or subgenre and the target audience, and then I spend some time browsing through the bestsellers to see which covers are selling books and what they look like. It’s important that you pay attention to cover trends when creating yours. You may think your cover is going to stand out because it’s so different from others in the genre, but that approach can often backfire. Cover trends exist in the first place because they sell books. Readers of a genre are used to seeing a certain style of cover, and if your cover doesn’t even come close, they may very well skip over it, thinking it’s not the type of book they like to read. So the trick is crafting a cover that falls within the trends in the genre while standing out and catching the eye of your target reader. 

So with that being said, I want to briefly touch on some popular trends in today’s historical fiction covers. A significant portion of the historical fiction market is targeted toward women, so that’s where we’ll begin.

So let’s start with the trend readers either seem to love or hate: The Headless Woman. This trend is popular because the heroine in a reader’s imagination rarely matches a real-life depiction on the cover. So it gives us a chance to envision what her face looks like and also adds an air of mystery. (Check out Sarah's portion of the presentation for the original headless woman cover that started the trend!)

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

(Re)creating the Past: Historical Fiction Without the Famous

Mary Tod, Beatriz Williams, and yours truly presented on the topic of historical fiction without the famous at the Historical Novel Society conference in Denver last month, and Mary has made portions of our presentation available on her blog! In case you missed it, or if you attended and would like to have a copy of your own, here is my portion of the presentation on reader appreciation and historical contribution!

(Re)creating the Past: Historical Fiction
Without the Famous

Why do we love to read about nonfamous people in historical settings?

Market data shows that many readers love to read about the nonfamous people who experienced history firsthand. In my analysis on Goodreads of historical fiction slated for publication in 2015 from mid-sized to large traditional publishers, only 33-percent featured famous protagonists, leaving 67-percent in the nonfamous category. The list of novels compiled by the Historical Novel Society for 2015 puts that figure a little higher: at 75-percent.

Stories of nonfamous characters taking place without the backdrop of a big historical event comprise the majority of these novels, while fictional characters in the middle of big events come in second.

So with all of the titles coming out about queens and duchesses and society gals, what makes historical fiction about nonfamous people just as—if not more—popular?

Keep reading on Mary's blog >>>

Historical Fiction Without the Famous Part I
Historical Fiction Without the Famous Part II

If you'd like to receive copies of Mary's historical fiction survey results and our list of favorite nonfamous historical fiction, send me an email!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Best I've Come Across Round-up

In a perfect world, this blog would be full of writing and editing tips, research assistance, and all other kinds of good stuff you'd expect an editor to come up with. But the truth is, between editing and cover design gigs and maintaining my first love, my book review blog, I'm just too busy to devote as much time as I'd like to this blog. But I am pretty good at finding resources, tips, and fun stuff and passing them along to my followers on Twitter and Facebook. So I thought I'd compile the best of what I come across on the world wide web every once in a while in a recap post for this blog. Here's the latest:

Developing Your Writing Skills: Point of View

How to Create Instantly (& Instinctively) Recognizable Characters

10 Ways To Enrich Your Mind and Become Better at Cultivating Ideas and Putting Them to the Page

Tips on Balancing Your Writing and Personal Lives

How to Find Your Writing Voice and Embrace It

12 Lessons Learned from a Debut Author

Top 10 (Normal) Struggles When Writing a Novel

Writing a Scene with Good Dialogue and Narration