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!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

New Book Release: The Hidden Hills Saga: Ice Whispers

Please join me in congratulating debut author K. Willow on the publication of Ice Whispers, Book One in the Hidden Hills Saga! I've been waiting a long time to share this dark and twisty tale of the antebellum South with you! As many of you know, bringing a book to publication is a labor of love, and there's no rushing the process. I was privileged to work with Ms. Willow on a copyedit, and I designed the book's cover! Fun fact: the background image of slave cabins is from my own collection of photos taken during my travels in the southeastern US. I'm so excited to share this book with you and even more excited to share that Ice Whispers has already won its first award, a silver medal from Reader's Favorites! Here's the book description:

Slavery of a different kind, beyond physical chains, leads to a different type of escape . . . 

Marissa Kristofferson can taste freedom. Her long years of suffering at the hands of her sadistic husband, Lance, are coming to an end as he lies dying. But she is stunned when he reveals the contents of his will and what she must do to keep Kristofferson Plantation, and how he plans to keep her bound to him even beyond the grave. 

The beautiful slave Lolley has always envied Marissa’s life, and after learning that the master has also ordered her freed after his death, she is determined to reach for the life she wants by becoming the mistress of Marissa’s son, Shane, though she does not realize the lengths Marissa will go to to prevent the match, or the far-reaching consequences that will follow. 

And Shelby, the plain and dutiful slave of free blacks, is unwittingly caught in the shocking drama that unfolds as a family is torn apart. Used as a pawn in a game of rivalry, deception, and betrayal, hers is a fight for survival while attempting to remain true to herself. 

Three women—so very different but each carrying dark secrets that are closely intertwined, caught in a world between slave and free, a world which is becoming more fragile and precarious as war threatens and alliances shift, and each harboring seemingly impossible dreams of a better future. 

In this first book of a dark historical saga, K. Willow paints a lush, emotional portrait of scandal, murder, injustice, and the ties that bind in the antebellum South.

The Hidden Hills Saga: Ice Whispers is on sale now in ebook and print formats on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. Add it to your shelves on Goodreads, and check out K. Willow's website!

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

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

I'm Listed in The Self-Publisher's Ultimate Resource Guide!

I'm very honored to be listed for my cover design services in self-publishing guru Joel Friedlander's new book, The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide, a collection of over 850 links to resources "indie authors need to publish professional looking books."

Smashwords founder Mark Coker calls it “an essential reference to the best publishing resources for every self-published author.”

This came as a total surprise to me, and I couldn't be more pleased to find myself among such esteemed professionals.

Read more about the book on Joel's website, The Book Designer.

The Self-Publisher's Ultimate Resource Guide is on sale now on AmazonBarnes & Noble, Smashwords, and iBooks!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Go Away Home Acquired by Amazon's Lake Union Publishing!

Please join me in congratulating Carol Bodensteiner! Carol recently experienced an indie author's dream come true when an Amazon acquisitions editor reached out to her after discovering and loving Carol's historical fiction debut, Go Away Home. I was privileged to work with Carol on a copyedit of Go Away Home, and I designed the book's cover. Go Away Home will undergo another round of editing and receive a new cover before it is released in June of this year by Amazon's Lake Union Publishing imprint. Click here to read Carol's full announcement. Here's the book description:

Liddie Treadway grew up on a family farm where options for her future were marriage or teaching. Encouraged by suffragette rhetoric and her maiden aunt, Liddie is determined to avoid both and pursue a career. Her goal is within her grasp when her older sister's abrupt departure threatens to keep her on the farm forever. Once she is able to experience the world she dreamed of, Liddie is enthralled with her independence, a new-found passion for photography, and the man who teaches her. Yet, the family, friends, and life of her youth tug at her heart, and she must face the reality that life is not as simple, or the choices as clear-cut, as she once imagined. GO AWAY HOME is a captivating coming-of-age novel that explores the enduring themes of family, friendship, and love, as well as death and grief. This novel will resonate with anyone who has confronted the conflict between dreams and reality and come to recognize that getting what you want can be a two-edged sword.

When I reached out to Carol to congratulate her on this awesome turn of events, she had some lovely words for me:

"You helped make my book professional - in content and cover - and I know that had an impact on the acquisitions editor. Many thanks for your efforts on my behalf . . . I'm proud to call you my partner on this journey."

It was my pleasure!

You can still snap up the original version of Go Away Home in ebook and print format before the Lake Union version is released! Add the book to your Goodreads shelves, and check out Carol's website, where she blogs about writing historical fiction.

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

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

New Book Release: Spirit of Dragons, Second Edition

Please join me in congratulating Kathryn Loch on the rerelease of the first book in her Dragon Wars series, Spirit of Dragons, Second Edition. This is a novel Kath had previously published before she and I started working together, and she wanted to give it a professional makeover before she releases the sequel. Here's what she says about our collaboration: "My editor and I have scrutinized plot, story line, and character development. The story, at its foundation, is unchanged, but we worked together overhauling a few scenes here and there while paying special attention to the development of this world of dragons and magic, clarifying very important details." Here's the book description:

Houston police detective Mirranda Thompson has dedicated her life to helping others while searching for answers in the gruesome, unsolved murder of her parents when she was a child. On her thirtieth birthday, she receives a mysterious gift left behind by her late father and suddenly finds herself transported back in time to 1066, awakening on the very battlefield where William the Conqueror is staging his conquest of England. But there is another, secret battle being waged on the field this day...

Lathan Aro is king of The Kindred, a dwindling race that is all that remains of an ancient clan of dragon brethren. Together with his dragon spirit, he is fighting for his life to return to his people with a lost spell book of ancient dragon magic that could save them from extinction. But he is facing a powerful enemy who will stop at nothing to gain the book for his own race, the Draoi. When a beautiful woman literally falls from the sky into Lathan's lap, she miraculously gives him the power to defeat his enemy and escape the battlefield with his life and his precious prize. But to his horror, she claims to be from a future where magic doesn't exist and where dragons are only myth. Does this mean his quest will fail, his people destined to die out and fade into oblivion?

Despite her shock and disbelief, Mirranda is drawn to the handsome warrior who claims that magic is real and that he communes with dragons. But she is even more shocked to discover that she has magic herself, and that she is able to wield it to ease the pain Lathan suffers from the illness that curses all members of his race. Determined to find answers and a path back to her own world, she accompanies Lathan on his journey to return the spell book to his people. But the Kindred's enemies have not given up, and danger stalks them at every turn.

Mirranda soon finds herself the focus of the oracle that sent Lathan on his quest, but the Kindred are far from accepting of a woman not of their race. There are dark forces at work in this world, forces that target Mirranda. She has a choice: risk her life and her heart for Lathan on behalf of a people who do not trust her, or try to find her way home, where those who murdered her parents now stalk her. Torn between her desire to return to the future and her desire for Lathan, who awakens feelings she thought long dead, Mirranda must determine if she's really in the wrong time and place, or if her time and place is at Lathan's side no matter what danger she faces.

Spirit of Dragons, Second Edition is available for pre-order now on Amazon! Add it to your shelves on Goodreads, and stop by Kath's website if you get a chance and check out all of her books and the goodies she posts for readers and writers.

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

Monday, December 29, 2014

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:

6 Lessons Classic Authors Can Teach us About Being a Writer

How to Write a Killer Plot Twist

Developing a Writing Plan

5 Reasons American Historicals Are Coming Back

5 Writing Tips from Pulitzer Finalist Lydia Millet

15 Writing Tips from Great 20th-Century Authors

4 Approaches for the First Chapter of Your Novel

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Murder by Misrule Named One of the Best Books of the Year by Kirkus Reviews!

Congratulations to my lovely client Anna Castle! Her debut historical mystery, Murder by Misrule, not only received a starred review from Kirkus earlier this year, but it has also been named one of Kirkus Reviews Best Indie Thrillers and Mysteries of 2014!

Woo hoo! Way to go, Anna! (And Francis Bacon and Tom Clarady, of course, who star in this delightful series!) I was privileged to work with Anna on a developmental edit, a copyedit, and in designing the book's cover. Anna has a way with words and a wonderful talent for characterization and historical ambiance.

Here's what Kirkus had to say about Murder by Misrule:

Though the plot keeps the pages turning, the characters, major and minor, and the well-wrought historical details will make readers want to linger in the 16th century.

A laugh-out-loud mystery that will delight fans of the genre.

Click here to read the full review. Here's the book description:

Francis Bacon is charged with investigating the murder of a fellow barrister at Gray’s Inn. He recruits his unwanted protégé Thomas Clarady to do the tiresome legwork. The son of a privateer, Clarady will do anything to climb the Elizabethan social ladder. Bacon’s powerful uncle Lord Burghley suspects Catholic conspirators of the crime, but other motives quickly emerge. Rival barristers contend for the murdered man’s legal honors and wealthy clients. Highly-placed courtiers are implicated as the investigation reaches from Whitehall to the London streets. Bacon does the thinking; Clarady does the fencing. Everyone has something up his pinked and padded sleeve. Even the brilliant Francis Bacon is at a loss — and in danger — until he sees through the disguises of the season of Misrule.

Murder by Misrule is on sale now through Christmas: Get the Kindle book for $2.99 or a print copy for $8.30! Check out Anna's website if you get a chance, where she blogs about her research and writing, and add the book to your shelves on Goodreads!

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

Friday, December 12, 2014

Sebastian's Way Earns a B.R.A.G. Medallion!

Please join me in congratulating George Steger! His debut historical fiction novel, Sebastian's Way: The Pathfinder, Book One of The Sebastian Chronicles, has been awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion!

The B.R.A.G. Medallion is awarded by indieBRAG, an organization that supports and promotes independently published books. After a rigorous selection and screening process, only ten percent of the books they consider are awarded the B.R.A.G. Medallion (Book Readers Appreciation Group).

I had the pleasure of working with George on a copyedit and cover design. Here's what indieBRAG had to say about Sebastian's Way:

"'It is dangerous to be right in matters where the established authorities are wrong,' said Voltaire, aptly reflecting the theme of Sebastian's Way, a powerful tale of two men, the High King Charlemagne, 'the Thunderer,' who fights and reigns like his pagan enemies, and Sebastian, an intrepid young warrior whose vision challenges the king to forge a new path to peace. A provocative plunge into the Dark Ages, here is a saga of vicious religious wars between Christian Franks and pagan Saxons, a tale of the pain of love thwarted by the rigid mores of the times, a rich and colorful medieval stew full of pageantry and filled with the authentic stock of the times: savage warriors, groundbreaking clergy, salty peasants, and plenty of memorable maidens for those who like a good romance—a realistic yet imaginative time travel back to the reign of Europe's greatest medieval monarch."

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

New Cover Design: Marksman

Congrats to David Cook on the publication of the fourth book in his Soldier Chronicles series, Marksman, with a cover designed by yours truly! Here's the book description:

Spain, 1810. 

The victorious French have overrun the country. The Spanish armies are no more, and only the guerrilleros are left to wage war against overwhelming numbers. 

Welshman Arthur Cadoc, stranded in the chaos of war and still wearing the green jacket of the 95th Rifles, now fights for the charismatic Spanish Colonel, Antonio Rai Herrero, who wants nothing more than to unite his countrymen against the ruthless invaders and avenge the death of his wife and children. 

When a British exploring officer reveals that a traitor working for the French plans to eliminate the partisan leaders, Cadoc is plunged pell-mell into the guerrilla - the ‘little war’. With only his training, wits and his trusty Baker rifle, Cadoc proves that as a Rifleman of the legendary 95th Rifles, he is not only a daring and a deadly marksman, but a man born for fighting against the odds. 

Marksman is an authentic historical story set during the Peninsula War, the fourth novella in The Soldier Chronicles series. 

Marksman is available now on Amazon and Amazon UK. Add the book to your shelves on Goodreads and check out David's website.

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