Waiting for a tardy beta reader for Anoria put some extra time in my hands. So I dusted off the manuscript of my first novel and put it through some serious rewriting. It had been through a number of readers years and years ago, but I still needed to spruce it up and now it’s about ready for release. I’ll be proofing the copy in the next two weeks and expect an end of June, beginning of July release. Anoria of Valir will be coming out in July.
Hand of Grethia is a space opera in the old tradition. Here is the current blurb:
A nuclear cataclysm pushed Grethia, a remote planet, into a dark age. A religion emerged to suppress technology by calling it sacred, holy and not for the world. A king broke the control of the priesthood in his kingdom and began to bring crude technology back to life.
A young man, his space ship sabotaged, finds himself marooned on Grethia. Through insight, courage and luck, he struggles with the static forces of the status quo and, together with the king, defeats the enemies of progress.
His conflicts don’t end as he finds a way off the planet and confronts those who want to end his very existence and destroy the planet’s hard-won victory over the religion. The Hand of Grethia takes the reader from a Galactic civilization of space ships and high technology to the dark ages and back in an exciting space opera adventure.
Here are the current versions of the covers for both Anoria of Valir – The Vampiric Menace and Hand of Grethia
The final covers for Bloodstone and Darkstone, books 3 and 4 of the Warstone Quartet are finished.
Bloodstone, which is primarily about a princess and a wizard, has a velvet background and crossed swords in the stone. One of the swords is bright and polished that represents youth and the other is worn and dented representing a lot of experience.
Darkstone, a coming of age story for the antagonist and the rousing conclusion has a skull (evil reborn) in the darkstone which lays on top of a Ropponi sword blade. The background is rocky dirt that represents Ayrtan, the dead continent, where the final confrontation takes place.
Following on Bellia’s heels, the first Warstone book will release in December. The proof will arrive after Thanksgiving and then it will go up. Here is the cover. A change from these pages is that I put a tag line on all of the Warstone books. Book 1 is Moonstone | Magic That Binds, Book 2 is Sunstone | Dishonor’s Bane, Book 3 is Blood Stone | Power of Youth and Book 4 is Darkstone | An Evil Reborn.
Each cover will be a derivation of the Moonstone cover, the gem behind some illustration. This one has the Moonstone in the pommel of the sword. It sure is easier to create a cover without people.
My Bellia novel has a new title: Quest of the Wizardess. I also have a new cover.
Quest of the Wizardess Cover
The girl comes from an ad I saw on the web. I totally modifed her face, but her pose was exactly what I wanted. I used the red robes to bring the color out in the otherwise drab cover. I had to draw in much of the robes, the hand and the sword. The building in the background is the Temple of the Blind God. It’s in the book and I used the dome of St. Paul’s cathedral in London along with part of the cathedral at Bourges, France.
I have a few edits to go before this gets published.
This month I have been continuing to work on the Sara Featherwood Adventures. I input the wrong file for the first book and have had to re-edit it. I’ll have trade paperbacks out with the new edits in October.
Warstones is out dipping its collective toes in the water at some agents, then I’ll get to work on those books. I’ve got a chunk of editing done, but there’s more to do on the quartet’s 1200+ pages.
As for new writing, I have a mystery novel in mind for NaNoWriMo. This year’s NaNoWriMo will give me the motivation to get it done in November. I think that will come in around 70,000 words.
I haven’t had much traction with my Sara Featherwood series: Daughter Bereaved, Daughter Disinherited, Daughter Betrayed. It has always been an uneasy kind of a genre bender. So I’ve come up with new titles and a bit of a re-edit, adding in a magical element so I can call it a fantasy and fantasy readers will see some magic. I’ve also changed the series name (there were two – The Shattuk Downs novels and the Sara Featherwood novels) to Sara Featherwood Adventures.
The plot is still the same except in some of the key action sequences, Sara will use a little bit of magic. I’ve gone through all three books and made some edits to typos and filled in a few minor plot holes. The big difference will be the new covers. I tweaked the illustrations for the last two books, but the first book has a totally new cover and more in matching with the genre.
As for genre, it will be Fantasy – YA/College, and Literature – Women’s Adventure
Here is the cover for the first volume: Knife & Flame
The other titles are Sword & Flame and Guns & Flame. They are up on Amazon and Smashwords.
Here is the cover for Warrior Mage. It was my second attempt. I learned quite a bit more about Photoshop painting doing the first one. I’ll have to improve my composition for Bereaved and Panix.
I’ve got three major initiatives that will consume March and beyond.
- Finish the last draft volume of Warstones. I’m at 20K words. that’s 20%
- Publish Warrior Mage. I redid the cover so I’m about ready to design the inside.
- Redo Covers and Blurbs.
Covers & Blurbs
If someone looks at the other two Sara Featherstone novels, something is happening that matches the tone of the books that readers are looking for – spying in Disinherited and a sword and a gun in Betrayed. I’m happy with those, but I need a better cover for the entry book, Bereaved. She’s got to be doing something in the book. Perhaps holding a smoking firearm. Those aren’t really developed until Disinherited, but I will see what I can pull out of the book. More drama.
I like the Panix cover, but again, it doesn’t present the tone I need to show. Panix rowing a boat twelve inches off of the ground is subtle, but I’m afraid it’s lost on potential readers. So he’s got to be doing something. Maybe the explosion at the tractor factory or throwing a light globe in the cave.
Blurbs need more work… every one. There’s not enough sell in them. I’ve got to get more. When Warrior Mage comes out, I should get a few more hits and everything has got to be just right, so more sell in the blurbs at Amazon and everywhere else.