Tag Archives: cover reveal

New cover for Beyond the Waters of the World

My cover artist, Lou Harper, has finished the cover for the second book of Looking Through Lace, Beyond the Waters of the World.

Beyond the Waters of the World

So what do folks think? I haven’t finalized yet, so some tweaking could still be done if anyone has any suggestions. Do let me know in the comments! And thanks in advance. 🙂

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Cover Reveal: Kate Sparkes’ “Sworn” coming out Jan. 29!

The lovely and talented Kate Sparkes has a new book coming out next month, January 29 to be precise, with another swoon-worthy cover:

Kate Sparkes, Sworn

Sworn (Bound Trilogy Book Three)

Not every fairy tale ends with “happily ever after.”

The plan was simple: Find Ulric, the lost king of Tyrea, then return him to Luid to reclaim his throne and depose the tyrant who stole it from him. With the country free, Aren, Rowan, and Nox would finally be able to leave their pasts behind and seek out their futures. But though they accomplished the first part of their task, the rest is proving to be more complicated than any of them imagined.

Severn won’t give up his throne without a fight. Worse, it seems Ulric did not fare as well during his years in captivity as he’s led everyone to believe—and Rowan may not have escaped unscathed, either.

If Nox doesn’t find a cure for the king’s mysterious ailment, Aren will be forced to challenge Severn for the crown. It’s a battle Aren has little hope of winning. And if he does, it will cost him the love and the freedom he’s fought so hard to gain.

To celebrate, she’s offering the first book in the series at a special sale price of only 99c!

About the Author

Kate Sparkes wears many hats—so many, in fact, that she frequently becomes lost under them. She’s a professional author and an amateur wife and mom, a semi-pro dragon watcher (assuming good intentions count for something), and experienced pursuer of random dreams and hobbies.

You can find her at her website, http://www.katesparkes.com (where you can also sign up for her newsletter and get free stories), or the following spots:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/katesparkesauthor

Twitter: @kate_sparkes

Instagram: @kate.sparkes

Blog: http://www.disregardtheprologue.com

Cover reveal: Torn (Bound Trilogy Book Two) by Kate Sparkes

Today I am happy to participate in the cover reveal for an online writing buddy, Kate Sparkes, for the second novel in her Bound Trilogy, Torn. I did an interview with her a while back about all the things she did right when launching her indie career which you can read here.

Torn by Kate Sparkes

Synopsis:

Aren Tiernal knows that safety is an illusion, that his cruel and powerful brother Severn will never forgive his betrayal. Still, returning to Tyrea to challenge Severn for the throne would be suicide. It’s not until Severn himself comes to collect what’s owed to him that Aren decides to risk everything in an attempt to bring down the most powerful Sorcerer Tyrea has ever known. It’s a mission that seems doomed to fail, but it’s Aren’s only chance to save himself, his country, and the woman who thawed his heart.

Rowan Greenwood has troubles of her own. Though she has potential to become a great Sorceress, years of being closed off from her magic have left her unable to control her incredible power. When a pair of ominous letters arrive from her home country, Rowan has to choose between her new life and a chance at saving a family member’s life—and just maybe changing an entire country’s beliefs about the evils of magic.

Torn apart by separate quests, Rowan and Aren will have to discover untapped strengths and confront their darkest fears in order to overthrow a ruler determined to destroy them both.

AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER ON AMAZON.COM

Release date: March 31, 2015

Limited time launch price: $2.99

Cover art by Ravven (www.ravven.com)

And in order to drum up extra interest in the series, Kate is offering the first book in the trilogy, Bound, for only 99c until March 2nd! Grab your copy NOW! 🙂

Kate Sparkes, Bound, 99c sale

How to get in touch with Kate Sparkes:

Blogs: – Disregard the prologue- http://disregardtheprologue.com
– Sparrowcat Press- http://sparrowcatpress.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/katesparkesauthor
Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8282527.Kate_Sparkes
Twitter: https://twitter.com/kate_sparkes
Google+ page: https://plus.google.com/+KateSparkes
Wattpad: http://www.wattpad.com/user/KSparkes
Pinterest board for the Bound trilogy: http://www.pinterest.com/k_sparkes/bound-trilogy/

Cover reveal for Island of Glass

My YA fantasy novella, Island of Glass, is now available for pre-order for only 99c! It will come out on October 28, 2014.

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Chiara Dragoni is a master glassmaker of Venice, a position that is both a privilege — and a trap. For the glassmakers of Murano are forbidden to ever leave the islands of the Venetian lagoon.

When Chiara’s uncle is caught on the mainland and thrown into the dungeon of the Doge’s Palace, she must use all her talents, including magic, to help free him. But the gift she creates for the ruling prince of Venice has unintended consequences, and now Chiara must decide whether to give up everything — and everyone — she knows and loves in order to save her dream.

Set in an alternate historical Venice with alchemists, witches and magic, the story uses familiar motifs from the beloved fairy tale “Cinderella” to tell a tale with a very different message.
Island of Glass is a Young Adult fantasy novella of approximately 25,000 words, or 100 pages. It is the first book in The Glassmakers Trilogy.

Excerpt

The prince chuckled, placing the second slipper next to its mate on the gilded side table. “Most young women scheme for the opportunity to be alone with a prince of La Serenissima. Yet here you are, offered the chance, and you turn it down.”
Chiara didn’t know what to say. She could only hope that beneath his smiles and chuckles he wasn’t offended. Her plan to gain the prince’s favor was backfiring badly.
“Talented, beautiful, and unusual,” the prince continued. “And quite rich as well, I presume?”
She could tell from the heat of her cheeks that they must be flaming by now. She nodded mutely.
He raised one expertly plucked, aristocratic eyebrow. “And you want me to free your uncle.”
She almost heaved a sigh of relief at his change of subject. She hoped that was the end of his attempts to flirt with her; flirtation was not one of Chiara’s strong points. “The Fenice Glassworks cannot be run properly without Gianfranco Dragoni,” she said. “Surely the Council of Ten cannot wish for such a situation. The taxes we pay are an important source of revenue for Venice, after all.”
He didn’t answer, staring instead at the matching glass slippers. “I wonder if they would fit me. They look to be my size.” He glanced at her again with a suggestive smile. “As if you knew me intimately, my dear.”
Oh, no, she hoped he didn’t intend to actually try the slippers on! They were decorative, not meant to be worn. If they broke and cut his princely foot, he would probably throw her into the prison of the Doge’s palace right alongside Uncle Gian.
He sank into the nearest lavishly upholstered chair and snapped his fingers. “Remove my shoes,” he said to the servant who appeared at his side.
Chiara watched the proceedings, trying to remain composed, given her panic at what would most likely happen next.

Cover Reveal: Lower Education by A. M. Leibowitz

One of the great things about the internet is that it makes being a writer a lot less lonely. Over the years, I’ve met many, many other writers, some of whom now are among my best friends. Communities are established, we read, we critique, we help each other out. One of those virtual communities is the WIPpeteers, a group of writers who share snippets from our WIPs every Wednesday. And one of us, A. M. Leibowitz, has a book being published soon, and a cover reveal today!

Lower Education Cover

Here’s the synopsis:

Phin Patterson is an educational consultant dissatisfied with his job and his life. On a mission to complete one last assignment before escaping his unfulfilling career and figure out what he wants, he accepts a commission from Donald Murdock at the New York State Education Department. Suddenly, he finds himself on his way to evaluate a tiny school in New York’s Southern Tier, not far from the town where he grew up. Now his only goal is to get in, do his job, and get out before anyone from his past remembers him.
That turns out to be easier said than done. Dani Sloane, the sharp-witted administrative assistant to the principal, learns the truth about why Phin is really there. With the help of her friends, she sets out to unmask him and force the local board of education to stop the plans that could ruin their school. Discovering that her sometime-lover is an old business associate of Phin’s only complicates both the situation and their relationship.
Meanwhile, Phin, who has committed himself to keeping his emotional distance, can’t resist the charm of the town and its residents—especially the school psychologist, who turns out to be an old friend he hasn’t seen in over twenty years. While Dani works to take him down and save her school, Phin wrestles with learning how to do the right thing, including telling the truth to the man with whom he’s already falling in love.

Lower Education
By A. M. Leibowitz

Publisher: Supposed Crimes, LLC
Publication date: November 1, 2014

If you’re interested in pre-ordering the book, here are the links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lower-Education-M-Leibowitz-ebook/dp/B00NCA48TE/

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/473664

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/lower-education-a-m-leibowitz/1120325979?ean=2940046149760

More about A. M. Leibowitz:

A. M. Leibowitz is a spouse, parent, feminist, and book-lover falling somewhere on the Geek-Nerd Spectrum. She keeps warm through the long, cold western New York winters by writing romantic plot twists and happy-for-now endings. In between noveling and editing, she blogs coffee-fueled, quirky commentary on faith, culture, writing, and her family.

Web site: http://amleibowitz.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amymitchell29 (personal profile); https://www.facebook.com/UnchainedFaith (author page)

Twitter: https://twitter.com/amyunchained (@amyunchained)

Third quarter stock-taking, a Glassmakers excerpt, and a request

It’s that time of year again, time to take a look at the original list of goals and analyze how things went. I’m pretty pleased with this quarter. Here’s the breakdown:

Writing

My original goal was to get 2500 words a week written. At the moment I am regularly producing more than 4000 a week, a definite improvement from my original goal. Another writing goal was to write a detailed outline of Facets of Glass — I am now over 11,000 words into the writing of the actual novella. Of course, I also had a number of goals where I made no progress. For example, I still find it hard to work on any of my collaborations with Jay Lake, so those goals remained untouched this round. Nor did I finish any new short stories. But with the serious progress I’ve made on Facets of Glass and several other longer projects, I’m quite happy with the way things have gone this round, writing-wise. I’m also having so much more FUN than I’ve had in a long time!

I met my blog goals as well. I wrote the blog posts about my research trip to Britain this summer, and I have written several installments of my new series “Starting out as an indie author.”

Writing Business

My batting average on the business side wasn’t quite as good, but I also had quite a few goals. The things I got off of my “writing business” list:

– Started splitting Yseult into episodes and publishing individually
– Got Amazon to price match “The Leaving Sweater” for free
– Edited blog, added ebook as incentive to join mailing list
– Found some reviewers for Chameleon in a Mirror
– Uploaded Island of Glass to Amazon for pre-order and set a publishing date.

This is where I need your help! Island of Glass is now scheduled for publication on Oct. 28, so I’d love some volunteers to help me get the word out. That includes any of the following options:

– Participate in the cover reveal on October 14
– Do an interview with me on your blog
– Have a guest post from me on your blog

Also, if anyone is interested in an advance copy of the novella to review, please let me know! That’s one of the hardest things about new releases, getting the reviews needed to be able to promote it on other sites. (I’m not aggressive enough about this, which was why CIAM was reviewless for months.)

Naturally I’m not asking you to do all these things — I’m grateful for any help at all that I can get. I got some inspiration from Amy here and would like to return the favor too. 🙂 I’d be happy to feature all of you on my blog in upcoming weeks — with the caveat that interviews and guest posts should be about indie publishing, given the slant of my blog. But if you’re not an indie writer, I’ll still be happy to post a plug to your book.

If you can help, please let me know either in the comments below, in email, or on Facebook. Thanks!

On to WIPpet Wednesday. For the first time, I’m going to post an excerpt from the second book in The Glassmakers Trilogy, Facets of Glass. Today’s date, the 24th, gives me 2+4 = 6 short paragraphs, which I hope will pique your interest:

Dowager Princess Zilia of House Foscari gazed at the apple of glass that had come with the invitation from Prague. It had little resemblance to the typical art of Bohemian glass, usually thick goblets decorated with deep cuts that reflected the light like the facets of diamonds, or somewhat finer works enhanced by detailed engravings.
This apple was different. She admired the nonchalant artistry, the combination of realism and artifice, the delicacy of the glass — as thin as the cristallo of Murano. The kind of glass that had not been seen anywhere in the world before, other than from the glassmakers in the service of Venice.
The Bohemian glassworks had never before produced glass as thin and delicate as this. Nor had they ever worked in colored glass in this way, at least not to Zilia’s knowledge.
She held the apple, one half red, one half green, up to the light, examining the way the colors flowed into each other almost as naturally as a real apple. The brown stem and green leaves at the top completed the illusion. She turned the apple in her hands, only to discover a small hole, around which had been placed brown residue like that from a worm.
Zilia stared at the wormhole of glass, and all she could think of were a pair of glass slippers with their carelessly tied ribbons. Shoes of glass so strong and so fine, they had captured the heart of her son, Prince Vittore.
Those slippers had been made by a young maestra from Murano, Chiara Dragoni — who had disappeared over a year ago in the lagoon of Venice.

Glass Apple by Bill Brooks on Flickr
Glass Apple (c) Bill Brooks on Flickr, cc license

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.

#WIPpet Wednesday: An excerpt from Recontact and the first attempt at a cover

In the last week, I’ve switched from editing Island of Glass to Recontact, the SF novella I wrote with Jay Lake that I’ve mentioned before. So today, I would like to share an excerpt from that again. I’ve uploaded the first 9,000+ words to be critiqued at the next Villa Diodati workshop, but just in case anyone is so blown away that they want to read more, I intend to upload the complete novella as well. Not that I think it’s going to happen, but who knows, I might get lucky. *g*

Given some of the feedback I got from beta readers, I did some reorganizing and made part of the second section of the book into a prologue. Rog, the narrator of this section, is a pretty foul-mouthed guy, so if that offends you, you might want to skip it (and forgive the asterisks — I don’t want this site to end up indexed or anything). Since this is going to be the new beginning, I’m hoping it’s self-explanatory. So without further ado, here are 16 sentences for the 16th day of the month:

Rogelio Crandall-Yui

Hesperides loomed from the iron-gray waters of Naxos Bay, the rusting stub of her narrow neck a monument whose meaning had long been lost. Or transubstantiated, I suppose, if the old mission logs and current radio transmissions were to be believed. The people on this planet had hand-wound crystal sets and a lot of passion. Just no Tesla yet to get them firmly on the road.
They’d find their way.
Meanwhile forty billion jo-dollars worth of hardware from the Smith-Ayapurtam expedition had been rotting in saltwater for well over a hundred years. Even if we were interested in salvage, we wouldn’t be getting much more than materials reclamation.
Hesperides had become the door to the heavens, or the gates to a particularly dissonant h*ll, depending whose theology you believed. One side or the other was even now setting fire to something big farther west along the bay. I hadn’t had the opportunity to see a city burn before, but I suspected I was now.
By all the gods and martyrs, had we f***ed this thing up. I’d never seen a Recontact in such a mess. Not even Hy Wyoming, which was literally the textbook case in How Not To Handle Recontact. The broken-backed starship with the flowering vines growing all over her lee side, crewed now by pale yellow monkeys who fished from the blown hatches just above the waterline — she was the literalized metaphor of the state of relations between the world of Bonificium and the rest of humanity. Ruined, filled with monkey sh*t, with no way back to where things belonged.

My daughter and I have also come up with a first attempt at a cover:

Recontact by Jay Lake and Ruth Nestvold

Very happy for any and all feedback on both the excerpt and the cover. 🙂

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.

Quarterly update and a cover reveal for Gawain and Ragnell

It’s that time of year again, taking stock on how well I’ve achieved my goals in the last couple of months for “A Round of Words in 80 Days.” For those who are unfamiliar with ROW80, you can check it out here.

First off, to get it out of the way, here are the goals I didn’t achieve:

– I did NOT manage to get 50,000 words written on A Wasted Land

– I did NOT do much more experimenting with posting to Wattpad and similar sites

– I only managed to do a few experimental fast writing sessions, not enough to significantly increase my average word count

So what did I achieve?

A Wasted Land is now at 19,000 words, which is almost 18,000 more than the beginning of the round.

– I had a wonderful vacation to Iceland and to visit family, during which I got next to no writing done. 🙂

– I got Chameleon in a Mirror off to some more beta readers, and I’m still hopeful I will be able to publish before Christmas.

– I’ve started brainstorming the sequels to Island of Glass, Facets of Glass and Shards of Glass. I’ve also been in touch with the cover artist for the first book and will hopefully soon be able to book slots for the second two.

– I started a new, long-term translation job (one of the reasons the writing progress has been slower than I hoped).

– I did Konrath’s 8 Hour Ebook Challenge, writing and publishing The Destruction of Ys in 8 hours. I got such great feedback on my little short short, that I unpublished this week. And no, that’s not a contradiction. It appears Ys might be worth a bit more work than 8 hours, so I intend to expand it and republish once I’m happy with it. 🙂

– I’m almost done with the stand-alone version of Gawain and Ragnell (taken from an episode in Shadow of Stone). I’ve also been working with my daughter on a cover for it:

Cover for Gawain and Ragnell

So what do you guys think?

Anyway, even if I’m behind on my goals, I’m still happy with what I did manage to get done. Hope everyone else had a successful quarter as well!

Clarion West Write-a-thon, goals for the next quarter, and a sale on Yseult

I’ve taken a rather extended break from blogging, for a number of reasons, the only one that is relevant being that I had enough distractions and I wanted to get some writing done. And I have made progress on a couple of projects, despite very full days. I mentioned a while back that I wanted to make a stand-alone version of an episode from Shadow of Stone, and I finished a first version of “Gawain and Ragnell” with it’s own chapter breaks and appropriate quotes from Arthurian literature. While writing the episode originally, I took my inspiration both from the tradition of the “loathly lady” as well as “Gawain and the Green Knight” and a few other medieval tales of Gawain, conflating them all to what I hope I made into a coherent whole. None of the readers of Shadow of Stone have complained yet, so I think I must have been at least partly successful. 🙂

I’ve also returned to A Wasted Land, trying to make sense of the notes and scenes I wrote in March. I printed everything out, cut pages off at scene breaks, kept the pieces of scenes together with paper clips, and started reorganizing everything, moving scenes around and writing scene descriptions on separate pieces of paper in long hand (purpose, who, when, where, what happens, decision), and adding those guidelines to the cut up pieces of paper from the original scene. Doing all this, I realized I had some major flaws in chronology, which I hope my current pile of paper will correct. I’ve now started writing the new version, but I don’t have much in terms of words: only 1200 so far. And I have signed up for the Clarion West Write-a-thon again this year, with my goal being 30,000 words on A Wasted Land by the end of July. AND we will be going on vacation in a couple of weeks, so I should try to get most of those words done before that …

For the curious, here’s the cover:

I want to try to some new fast writing techniques this round anyway, testing what works for me, so it’s all a part of the plan. *g* I’ve read a lot of blog posts and Kindle Board discussions on increasing your output, and I’m at least ready to give it a shot.

No matter what I manage for the write-a-thon, my main goal for the quarter will be to finish a complete draft of A Wasted Land. I’m trying to learn from my previous publishing mistakes, and this book is planned more modestly, with fewer sub-plots, etc. I’m shooting for a first draft of no more than 50,000 words.

This quarter, I also want to do another pass of Gawain and Ragnell, make a cover, publish it, and try to make it free on Amazon.

I’ve started posting Island of Glass to Wattpad, and I want to continue testing such platforms. (Island of Glass is another priority, but I’m a firm believer in letting a work sit before rewriting.) This round, I really want to try and make the writing a priority, as long as life allows.

I have a bunch of “maybe” publishing and writing goals, but those really depend on how far I can get on A Wasted Land. Given how atrocious sales of short story collections are these days, I’ve given up on collections of my previously published stories for the time being.

I wish everyone a very successful round!

(For those who don’t have it yet, Yseult is presently on sale for only 99c.)

Cover reveal for Island of Glass and progress report

I have my final cover for Island of Glass. Now all I have to do is revise, send it off to beta readers, find an available editor, revise again, format, and publish …

Right. Anyway, here’s the amazing cover by Rachel Cole:

If anyone is inclined to be a beta reader for a fantasy novella set in an alternate seventeenth century Venice and revolving around the glassmakers of Murano, please let me know! Right now, it’s in dormancy, an important step in my creative process, but I think after about another month, I’ll be ready to revise and then send off to my first readers.

Progress on Chameleon in a Mirror: I’ve completed revisions through chapter 13, of 31, which means I’m almost halfway through. Aphra Behn has just experienced the slave rebellion in Surinam that was the basis of her short novel Oroonoko, and is on her way back to England. My critique partner won’t have time to read it until April, but I still want to finish it as soon as possible, so that I have the whole book in mind while I do this pass.

The group promo this week was a lot more successful than the last one, but I’m not seeing much of a post-promo sales bump. At least I finally had some sales on Kobo and B&N. At some point, I will probably have some thoughts on things that could contribute to a successful group promo, but not today. 🙂