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Cover edits for Chameleon in a Mirror — and some bad publicity for Yseult

Before I get on to my updates, I need a little hand-holding here. One of the covers that my cover artist proposed for Yseult — and which was never used — has showed up on the site “WTF Bad Fantasy Covers” with the following comment:

Nice to see that peroxide blonde dates back so far!

(I’m guessing this is based on Tristan and Isolde. The best part of the doomed romance poetry about them is that the dying Tristan literally hugs Isolde to death. She did ask him to, though, so it’s romantic, or something, IDK.) *

I have no idea where the person running the site got that cover. I posted it back in the day, just because I was curious how people would react. (I liked the sword, but I didn’t like the mascara, and most of my readers here and on Facebook agreed.) Everyone who reads this blog probably knows that the cover of Yseult looks very different. It actually even got some praise when the book was published from ebook guru Joel Friedlander, who said, “Another strong and evocative cover from Derek Murphy.”

Here’s the real cover:

It’s a drag to get slammed for something you didn’t even do, and I’m feeling kind of down. 😦

While I’m on the topic of covers, I played with the cover for Chameleon in a Mirror yesterday, trying to integrate some of the suggestions I got here and on Facebook. This is the result:

Chameleon in a Mirror cover

What do you guys think?

I’d like to get the book finished in time for Christmas, and I’m looking for some beta readers who would be interested in a 100,000 word time travel based on the life of Aphra Behn. Here’s the blurb:

A time travel based on literary history, CIAM is set in the colorful and turbulent times of the English Restoration. The protagonist, Billie Armstrong, has long wanted to rewrite literary history to give Aphra Behn, the first professional woman writer in England, the prominence she deserves. But when Billie accidentally activates the magical properties of a baroque mirror, she gets more than she bargained for. What develops is an unwilling masquerade in a tale of license, love and literature, a high-spirited Restoration romp, as Billie does her best to survive in a strange era and ensure Aphra’s literary survival in the future.

If you would like to volunteer, either drop me a note or let me know in the comments. I’d be happy to trade critiques too. 🙂

Part of my progress for the week was working on the CIAM cover. I also wrote about 3200 new words of A Wasted Land, the next Pendragon Chronicles book. A big translation job has been keeping me very busy, though, so I haven’t had as much time to write as I would like. I really have to cut back on the “frittering” if I want to get a few more things off my to-do list!

* Update: Lauralynn pointed out to me that they have now posted a disclaimer and another cover for Yseult, which they claim is the one that actually got used. Well, not quite. If you click on the link and look closely at the second cover, you should easily spot a lot of details that are different. It was one of Derek’s early designs for the cover we finally ended up with. Ce la vie!