Are you going to HNS 2015?

I am so excited to attend my first Historical Novel Society Conference in Denver this June! I'll be presenting on three panels: (Re)creating the Past: Historical Fiction Without the Famous; The Art of Book Cover Design for Historical Fiction; and The Red Pen and Historical Fiction: An Editor’s Perspective. Will you be attending? I'd love to meet you there!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

New Cover Design: The Proposal

Congrats to bestselling historical romance author Margaret Evans Porter on the re-release of The Proposal with a brand new cover designed by yours truly! Though really, Margaret did most of the work in finding the perfect cover art and providing me with a shot of the castle from her personal collection. I simply had to put it together. But she's a beauty, isn't she? Here's the book description:

When a lonely young widow and a mysterious earl clash over a neglected castle garden, suspicion and secrets threaten a blossoming love.

Sophie Pinnock, a talented and determined landscape designer, arrives at Bevington Castle seeking redemption for past deceits—only to become entangled in a fresh one. She can’t reveal to her enigmatic employer her yearning to preserve rather than replace his decayed formal gardens. And she firmly declares her reluctance to be his mistress. But should she become his wife?

Cassian Carysfort, the new Earl of Bevington, returned to England to claim his title and inheritance. Lovely Sophie, as elusive as she is rebellious, repeatedly defies his expectations. When confronted with tragedy and loss, Cass discovers that the lady’s heart is the most valuable treasure of all—the one he knows he doesn't deserve.

The Proposal is available now on Amazon in ebook and print formats, and the ebook is also available on Barnes & Noble and Kobo. Add it to your shelves on Goodreads, and check out Margaret's website for the scoop on all of her books!

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

Monday, March 16, 2015

New Book Release: Mist of Midnight

Please join me in congratulating award-winning author Sandra Byrd on the release of her newest historical fiction novel, Mist of Midnight, the first novel in her Daughters of Hampshire trilogy. I was honored to offer Sandra some developmental assistance in crafting this addictive Gothic-style tale of deception, danger, and romance in the English countryside. Here's the book description:

In the first of a brand new series set in Victorian England, a young woman returns home from India after the death of her family to discover her identity and inheritance are challenged by the man who holds her future in his hands. 

Rebecca Ravenshaw, daughter of missionaries, spent most of her life in India. Following the death of her family in the Indian Mutiny, Rebecca returns to claim her family estate in Hampshire, England. Upon her return, people are surprised to see her… and highly suspicious. Less than a year earlier, an imposter had arrived with an Indian servant and assumed not only Rebecca’s name, but her home and incomes.

That pretender died within months of her arrival; the servant fled to London as the young woman was hastily buried at midnight. The locals believe that perhaps she, Rebecca, is the real imposter. Her home and her father’s investments reverted to a distant relative, the darkly charming Captain Luke Whitfield, who quickly took over. Against her best intentions, Rebecca begins to fall in love with Luke, but she is forced to question his motives–does he love her or does he just want Headbourne House? If Luke is simply after the property, as everyone suspects, would she suffer a similar fate as the first “Rebecca”?

A captivating Gothic love story set against a backdrop of intrigue and danger, Mist of Midnight will leave you breathless.

Mist of Midnight is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold, and it is also touring the blogosphere with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours. Check out the tour schedule and visit the blogs that are hosting reviews, interviews, and giveaways! Sandra will be on my blog, Let Them Read Books, on March 20. And check out Sandra's website for the scoop on all of her books.

Need an editor?
Email me anytime to chat about your WIP!

Friday, March 13, 2015

New Book Release: Haunted Heart

Congratulations to Kathryn Loch on the release of her contemporary romantic thriller, Haunted Heart! I was privileged to work with Kath on a copyedit. Here's the book description:

Haunted . . . hunted . . . and now a vicious serial killer targets the woman he loves. 

NYPD homicide detective Tyee Crow is forced to stand by as the main suspect in a string of gruesome serial murders is released on a technicality. Infuriated at having his hands tied by the system, he argues with his captain and is removed from the case. Ty resigns and leaves the state—and his past—behind him, his only goal to find a new life well away from New York. 

But the ghosts of the murdered victims won’t let him walk away, and neither will the killer. Ty calls the killer Skinwalker, even though the crimes have little to do with the Navajo legend, which describes a shaman of great power who has turned to evil. But Ty is about to learn that every legend starts with a grain of truth. When Ty suffers terrifying hallucinations of the murdered victims and strange occurrences start happening in his apartment, he questions his disbelief in the supernatural. Fearing for his own sanity, he seeks the help of a respected paranormal researcher, Dr. Beth Givens. 

College professor Beth Givens does not fear ghosts or the supernatural, but she knows firsthand the damage a living person can do. She’s sworn off investigating—and relationships—preferring the safety and comfort of the classroom. When the handsome detective pushes her to investigate his haunting, she wants nothing to do with the case, no matter how attractive he is. But as she learns the details of the murders and realizes how desperately Ty needs her help, she finally agrees to investigate the haunting and discovers far more than she is prepared for. 

Drawn to each other despite their better judgment, Ty and Beth’s relationship soon crosses the line from professional to personal. But neither realizes the danger they are in until it’s too late. 

When the murderer strikes again, Ty and Beth must fight to stay one step ahead of a madman who now hunts those Ty holds most dear while the ghosts who haunt his waking nightmares won't rest until Ty gives them justice. But how can he protect the one who means the most to him against a killer who will stop at nothing to see him destroyed? 

Haunted Heart is available now for Kindle on Amazon, and a print edition is forthcoming. Check out all of Kath's books on her Amazon author page, and stop by her website, where she blogs about writing and romance!

Need an editor?
Email me anytime to chat about your WIP!

Thursday, March 5, 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:

7 Tips for Writing Dystopian Fiction

The 7 Tools of Dialogue

5 Things to Stop Doing If You Really Want to Finish Writing Your Novel

21 Easy Ideas to Fuel Your Story with Suspense

Answers to 14 Questions You're Too Afraid to Ask Literary Agents

How to Shut Up Your Inner Editor

The Utility of the Novel Outline

Literary Agencies: Is Bigger Always Better?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

New Cover Design: Reconstructing Jackson

Reconstructing Jackson by Holly Bush has a brand new cover designed by yours truly! Holly has been very successful with her Prairie Romance series with sepia-toned covers, but she felt it was time to offer them in print and bring them to life in full color. We previously revamped the covers of Romancing Olive and Train Station Bride, and Reconstructing Jackson completes the sepia-to-color conversion.

Before & After:

What do you think? Here's the book description:

1867 . . . Southern lawyer and Civil War veteran Reed Jackson returns to his family’s plantation in a wheelchair. His father deems him unfit and deeds the Jackson holdings, including his intended bride, to a younger brother. Angry and bitter, Reed moves west to Fenton, Missouri, home to a cousin with a successful business, intending to start over.

Belle Richards, a dirt poor farm girl aching to learn how to read, cleans, cooks, and holds together her family’s meager property. A violent brother and a drunken father plot to marry her off and gain a new horse in the bargain. But Belle’s got other plans and risks her life to reach them.

Reed is captivated by Belle from their first meeting, but wheelchair bound, is unable to protect her from violence. Bleak times will challenge Reed and Belle's courage and dreams as they forge a new beginning from the ashes of war and ignorance.

Reconstructing Jackson is available in ebook and paperback on AmazonBarnes & Noble, and Smashwords! Check out Holly'swebsite for the scoop on all of her books.

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

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

New Book Release: Death by Disputation

Please join me in congratulating Anna Castle on the publication of the second book in her Francis Bacon Mystery series, Death by Disputation! I was honored to work with Anna on a developmental edit and a copyedit, and I designed the cover. Anna's first book in this series, Murder by Misrule, was named one of Kirkus Reviews' Best Indie Books of 2014! This second installment picks up right where the first book left off, and it's another zinger full of wit and wisdom, dastardly villains, pretty ladies, and dashing heroes. Here's the book description:

Thomas Clarady is recruited to spy on a group of radical Puritans at Cambridge University. Francis Bacon is his spymaster; his tutor in both tradecraft and religious politics. Their commission gets off to a deadly start when Tom finds his chief informant hanging from the roof beams. Now he must catch a murderer as well as a seditioner. His first suspect is volatile poet Christopher Marlowe, who keeps turning up in the wrong places. 

Dogged by unreliable assistants, chased by three lusty women, and harangued daily by the exacting Bacon, Tom risks his very soul to catch the villains and win his reward.

Death by Disputation is available now in ebook and print format on Amazon, and it's on sale through March 6th! Add it to your shelves on Goodreads, and check out Anna's website, where she blogs about Francis Bacon and writing historical fiction set in Tudor England.

Need an editor or cover designer?
Email me anytime to chat about your project!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

New Book Release: Demuth

Please join me in congratulating Edward Bristol on the publication of his first historical fiction novel, Demuth. I had the pleasure of working with Ed on a developmental edit and a copyedit. If you're a fan of unique heroines (and really, who isn't?) you're going to love this story about a smart young woman's fight for survival in the dark forests of fifteenth-century Germany. Here's the book description:

Germany, 1499

Orphaned as a child and solitary by nature, the young and beautiful Demuth has nevertheless managed to carve out a successful living for herself as a village healer. But as the Renaissance dawns over Europe, shaking the foundations of medieval society with radical new ideas about freedom and science, Demuth’s position grows tenuous. The protection of the master of the castle overshadowing her village is the only thing standing between her and the superstitious fear of the villagers who condemn her even as they avail themselves of her services. But when she is falsely accused of a heinous crime and branded as a witch, even the master can no longer keep her safe. Demuth is forced to flee for her life with her only friend, her loyal Viking dog, Hal, and her only solace—and addiction—opium.

Disguised as a mute shepherd boy, Demuth seeks safety with her only living relative in the big city of Cologne, but she arrives to discover soldiers are already there looking for her. With no choice other than to keep moving, she is aided by the kindness of strangers and embarks on a harrowing journey to seek shelter in a far-off abbey. Pursued by the grand duke’s soldiers, beset by mishaps and tragedy, saved in her darkest hour by a mysterious hermit, Demuth’s fight for survival forces her to examine her own choices, and to determine if she has the strength and the courage to embrace a future she never imagined possible.

Edward Bristol’s historical fiction debut, Demuth, is the timeless story of a young woman’s struggle to find her place in a shifting world filled with prejudice, fear, and persecution, yet also capable of acceptance and understanding, and ultimately, love.

Demuth is available now for Kindle on Amazon. Check out Ed's website, and add the book to your shelves on Goodreads.

Need an editor?
Email me anytime to chat about your WIP!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

New Book Release: The Forgotten Tudor Women

Please join me in congratulating Sylvia Barbara Soberton on the release of her newest nonfiction book, The Forgotten Tudor Women: Margaret Douglas, Mary Howard & Mary Shelton! I was privileged to work on a copyedit with Sylvia on this book about some of the lesser known, though just as significant, women of the Tudor court. Here's the book description:

Everyone knows that Henry VIII had six wives, two sisters and two daughters. All of these women received attention in academic circles and are the subjects of countless biographies. Not many people, however, realize that Henry VIII also had a niece, a daughter-in-law and a mistress, who were close friends, but who today remain on the fringes of history. 

Margaret Douglas was the daughter of Henry VIII’s elder sister Margaret, Queen of Scotland. She was imprisoned thrice, and each time, as she admitted, “not for matters of treason, but for love matters”. Her legacy includes marrying her son to Mary, Queen of Scots, and playing the doting grandmother to King James VI and I. 

Mary Howard was the daughter of Thomas Howard, third Duke of Norfolk, leading peer of the Tudor court. She served as maid of honour to her first cousin, Anne Boleyn, and married Henry VIII’s illegitimate but acknowledged son, Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond. Widowed at the age of seventeen, Mary fought for her rightful jointure and was, by her father’s admission, “too wise for a woman”. 

Mary Shelton, like Mary Howard, was related to Anne Boleyn and became her servant at court. Beautiful and skilled in poetry, Mary attracted Henry VIII’s attention and became his mistress in 1535, but many don’t realize how important her contributions were to the literary scene of the time. 

This book moves Margaret Douglas, Mary Howard and Mary Shelton from the footnotes of history into the spotlight, where they deserve to shine along with their more famous contemporaries.

The Forgotten Tudor Women is available now for Kindle on Amazon for 99-cents!

Need an editor?
Email me anytime to chat about your WIP!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Best I've Come Across Round-up: The Character Edition

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. It just so happens that many of the good articles I've come across in the past couple of weeks are centered around one of my favorite subjects: Characters!

10 Questions You need to Ask Your Characters

Writing the Unlikable Character (and Why You Should)

3 Ways to Introduce Your Main Character

3 Key Tips for Plausible Characters

11 Secrets to Writing Effective Character Description

Why Characters Should Be at the Heart of Your Story