Shards of Glass for #WIPpet Wednesday, and a request for feedback on the cover

Hi again, everyone! Long time, no read. 🙂

While I was off visiting relatives, assisting with deck building, doing garden work in the garden of my daughter’s new house, and eating fresh crab, the nearly final cover of the third Glassmakers book arrived in my inbox.

Shards of Glass cover

I’m pretty happy with how it looks, but my cover designer agreed to allow me to run it past my readers on my blog and Facebook before finalizing it. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a lot of time for blogging in the last few weeks, and am only now getting around to it now that we are back in Germany. So what do you guys think? The basic design will stay the same, but if you have any suggestions for tweaking, I would be happy to hear them!

Since I’m running the cover for the last book in the trilogy by y’all, I thought I would jump forward in fictional time and give you a first excerpt from Shards of Glass for my return to WIPpet Wednesday. Math: 6 short paragraphs for the sixth day of the month:

Dowager Princess Zilia of House Foscari was in a bad mood. Her morning chocolate tasted like dust, even though she was sure the cook had prepared it exactly to her liking, just as he always did.
No, it was not the cook’s fault that nothing could please her this morning — even though the sun shone bright through the tall arched windows and the reports she was reading were full of positive news regarding increases in Venetian exports of glass, silk and spices. All of which would mean sorely needed tax revenues for the ruling families of Venice.
Unfortunately, Zilia couldn’t enjoy it — not the chocolate, not the sun, not the news. All she could think about was her recent defeat. Not only had her plan to bring the traitorous glassmakers back to Venice been foiled, the magic mirror that had found them had been stolen.
Zilia was not used to being crossed. She was used to having her every wish fulfilled.
She put aside the reports and rose. Perhaps she needed to take a day off from her duties as mother of the most powerful prince in Venice. She would go to Lido, spend the day in the Foscari villa there, far from responsibilities and disappointments.
The Dowager Princess threw open the doors to her retiring room — and noticed that her favorite, Gaetano, was not one of the guards standing at attention on either side of her sanctuary. His absence had escaped her when she came down from her bedchamber, enshrouded in her bad mood.

Rough stuff still, very much first draft — any and all comments welcome!

WIPpet Wednesday is the brain child of K. L. Schwengel. If you’d like to participate, post an excerpt from your WIP on your blog, something that relates to the date in some way. Then add your link here — where you can also read the other excerpts.

As to progress, maybe I should offer you this:

Deck underway

And this:

Deck completed
Deck completed

That was our big accomplishment on our vacation. I didn’t actually work that much on the deck for my daughter’s new house, but I did do a lot of gardening, dirt shoveling, ugly shrub extinction, and planting while we were there.

Other than that, I was driving up and down the west coast between Eugene and Seattle and visiting relatives and friends I only rarely see. I did a little bit of translation, a little bit of brainstorming, and even less writing. But over the years, I have come to believe that it is okay to take a vacation from writing. I write 5 days a week on a regular basis, usually more, and I manage consistent word counts that I compensate for on days when the writing doesn’t go as well. Given those circumstances, I think I deserve a vacation now and then. 🙂

I may still blog in more detail about our trip, given time and opportunity, but I’m not promising anything. The incident with the lost camera would definitely deserve a post, if I can manage it! Not to mention my husband’s collision with a chainsaw …

Hope everyone has been doing great while I’ve been mostly absent. 🙂

11 thoughts on “Shards of Glass for #WIPpet Wednesday, and a request for feedback on the cover”

  1. Nice, cozy looking deck there, Ruth.

    You’re right that sometimes it’s okay to take a break from writing. Sometimes, it’s necessary even.

    About the cover… I love pretty much all of it, except her shoulder. It looks as if the cloak was on another person’s body, then the way her head and shoulder show, as if that part of her was photoshopped in. The rest of the image is lovely.

    And… why isn’t Zilia’s favorite there? Seems ominous.

  2. Nice deck. 😀 Looks like the perfect place to relax with a cocktail after a hard day’s work. I’m glad you had a good time visiting, and a safe journey home.

    Nice to know the Dowager Princess and I have the same favorite. 😉 Of course, I think our reasons are quite different.

    As for the cover, I can see what Eden means about the cloak and the left shoulder. What caught my eye, though, was that the background seems too modern to me.

  3. It tickles me to know we were driving between Eugene and Portland, not so far ahead of you, and that someday we might be doing it at the same time….

    I see the thing with the cloak, and I had noticed the modern freshness of the architecture – but then I realized that the buildings WERE modern, in that time. I’m used to seeing relics, aged versions….but they wouldn’t be.

    All in all, another lovely cover. And I miss Gaetano, too! =)

  4. What a compelling image — chocolate that tastes like dust. Something’s just not quite right this morning, and it may be more than her missing favorite! Nice hint of mystery, especially for a morning person.

    I went back to look again at the cover for ISLAND OF GLASS and feel that your fans will love the similarity of the top band (Book 3) and the gorgeous type for the book title. I found the image of the young woman looking directly into the eyes of the reader compelling and wasn’t distracted by modern buildings or that sumptuous cloak. The top header might push me away if I haven’t read books 1 and 2, but you want that continuity. I think it’s a great cover. Happy travels.

  5. I’m a big-picture kind of person, so I didn’t notice any of the details on the cover that others mentioned. I like the overall impression it leaves on me.

    I think now that Zilia has noticed Gaetano’s not there, it doesn’t bode well for him. Uh oh.

    Very nice deck–looks like the perfect place to relax!

  6. A most excellent deck! 🙂 … I love the first pic with the three dudes looking down at, a glove? 🙂

    The cover passes the ‘thumbnail’ test. I really like the overall composition.

    The cloak does look a bit photoshopped in, which could be the effect of it and the rest of the left side of the image being so dark that any detailing is obscured.

    The background buildings look like they’re in sunlight and the figure looks as though she’s talking a moonlit walk.

    I like how the cloak draws the eye up from the title to the woman’s face and the dome in the background. It gives a clear sense of place and time (historically speaking)

  7. Nice deck!

    What’s Gaetano up to now, hmm? Good for him for surviving to this book. 🙂 I feared for him, given his slightly less-than-perfect fealty.

  8. Ah, Zilia and I have the same favorite. I see I’m not alone in that! Heh.Looks like a good start to set the continuing story up. I immediately get a sense of Zilia’s character.

    For the cover, aside from the cloak thing, the background and the model don’t quite match up focus-wise. The model is a little softer/very slightly blurred, and the background isn’t. I really like the overall composition, though, and the typography is fantastic.

  9. Hi,

    Love the design for the books front cover and congratulations on completing the decking. Although I’m not an author myself, I do suffer from writers block when it comes to writing a blog post.

    Decking looks very impressive and that certainly deserves a a glass of wine or 2… 😀

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