Monday, 19 March 2018
I am so delighted to be her first customer for book cover design and can totally recommend her to anyone who might be needing covers designed for them!
Creating book cover designs for historical novels isn't always simple. For some eras there may be loads of images to choose from e.g. the Victorian era, but eras of antiquity do not have plentiful, readily available and affordable images to use. I'm absolutely delighted with what Karen has put together for the series and can't wait any longer to share them with the world!
I'll be revealing the first three covers one at a time, so today's reveal is unsurprisingly that of Book 1.
My previous covers were designed with a very Celtic perspective in mind and I've always loved the iconic Celtic knot images that were chosen.
I'll still always have a sense of pride in my Crooked Cat Books covers but what they did not do was indicate any Roman involvement. At my Craft Fair events I've often had to say to potential customers: "Yes, my stories are about Ancient Celts but as the series progresses the involvement of the Ancient Romans increases. No, I know the cover doesn't show that but you'll know if you read the stories."
Now, I'm hoping that people will see the cover and immediately say: "Ah, it's all about Celts being invaded by the Ancient Romans."
When I knew I'd soon be self- publishing my series I decided that new covers needed to show the Roman elements in a highly dramatic way without losing the Celtic elements. In my non artistic mind, I wanted The Beltane Choice's new cover to have merged images indicating that my story is one where the Iron Age Celts of northern Britain are being invaded and dominated by the Ancient Roman legions.
I really do think that Karen Barrett's design shows exactly that!
But...what do you think?
My thanks go to Karen for a fantastic set of covers. Look out for the next cover reveals coming very soon!
Saturday, 17 March 2018
Today, we get a brief glimpse of Sue Barnard, a fellow Crooked Cat author. We've now been virtual friends for about five years, but I'm delighted to say I've also met Sue in person. Always willing to share her knowledge, Sue is also a brilliant writer, editor and general helper in all things writerly!
Good morning, Sue, and welcome again to my blog. Slip onto that comfy chair and let's get some updates on you and your writing...
Describe yourself in a couple of sentences
Nancy says: That sounds so organised! (* wink, wink- and what every author ought to do! But do I remember?)
Nancy: I've not yet joined Instagram but don't count out any social media options. Twitter and I don't get anything at all!
Nancy: That definitely sounds like one I'll love reading.
Nancy: That's a fabulous reason.
Nancy: That's such a tease but I will!
Nancy: Spoken like a beer aficionado! I'm drinking an occasional beer since my son-in-law set up Fierce Beer Co with a fellow beer enthusiast. They're too busy creating it to be drinking themselves but I'm enjoying their brilliant combinations of Craft beers.
Thank you for popping in today, Sue. I'm definitely looking forward to reading Heathcliff. Best wishes for all of your writing projects.
Friday, 16 March 2018
|Glencoe by Angus Stewart (see below)|
|Courtesy of Yvonne Marjot|
Monday, 12 March 2018
It's time for some more #meandering, this time to Massachusetts, USA. Today, I welcome a new Crooked Cat Books author friend, Joan Livingston, who has kindly popped in to tell us about places she loves to stroll around-physically and in her writing!
Although I have been to some small towns in the US, I've never been to the area that Joan's mentioning today.
Hilltowns of Western Massachusetts
I am a big fan of small towns, I mean really small towns of 2,000 people or fewer, the smaller the better. Yes, I’ve lived in cities, but I want to be in a place where I can easily know who lives there with me — for better or worse.
I tend to read books set in small towns. I write about them as well. Actually, most of my novels are set in a fictional hilltown called Conwell, including my mysteries series featuring Isabel Long. The first mystery, Chasing the Case, will launch May 18 to be followed by Redneck’s Revenge in the fall. Currently, I am working on the third, Checking the Traps.
There is no such town called Conwell in Western Massachusetts although I will admit the name has significance to the town of Worthington, where my family and I lived for over two decades. Russell H. Conwell, who was born there, founded Temple University in Philadelphia. He was a whole lot of things like a minister, orator (his most famous speech is called Acres of Diamonds), philanthropist, and more. The elementary school my kids attended was named for him.
|Corners Grocery, Worthington MA -Wikimedia Commons|
But Conwell is not Worthington although there are similarities. Both have one general store, one church, one school, one stoplight, and one bar. Forests cover most of the town, and it’s a bit of a hilly commute to a city. There’s a constant stream of newcomers seeking the good life in the country. And, as I’ve written, people can be nosy and helpful. Yes, there are feuds. And lots of dirt roads that get muddy in the spring.
As I like to say, I take what I know and have my way with it.
I feel I can get easily drop a mystery in Conwell and the other fictional hilltowns I’ve created for my series. I’ve got to give Isabel Long something to do after she got canned by the newspaper where she was the managing editor. So she decides to solve a 28-year-old mystery of a woman disappearing in her town. Did anything like that ever happen? Nah.
It’s been easy to create such a town as a setting for my novels. I became immersed in the hilltowns when I reported on them for many years for the local daily newspaper. I remained interested after that ended. The hilltowns, its people and landscape were still a part of me when we moved 2,400 miles away to Northern New Mexico. After 11 years, we’ve returned to another town in Massachusetts. Didn’t I say I like small towns?
Nancy says: I love mysteries so I really think I'll be enjoying yours soon!
My mystery, Chasing the Case, published by Crooked Cat Books, is set for a May 18 launch.
Readers can pre-order the Kindle version here:
The paperback version should be out soon.
My website: http://www.joanlivingston.net
Thank you, Nancy, for this opportunity to be a guest on your blog.
You're very welcome, Joan. Come back soon. Best wishes with you launch and happy writing!
Friday, 9 March 2018
|my ideal Teun- www.123rf.com|
I hope you enjoyed the extract. You can get the novel by clicking HERE if you're interested in reading more...It's a real snip at 99p.
Have a good weekend!
Thursday, 8 March 2018
|Elgin Library- in the daylight!|
Tuesday, 6 March 2018
Brrr... it has been cold!
The future isn’t so kind to Penny. The princes in her reality turn out to be evil. Battered and bruised she hits rock bottom.
For 10 years Jim wrote for a number of websites reviewing and interviewing bands in his own unique way, as well as contributing dark poems and comedic features.
Jim likes to write psychological/thrillers that have endings that you won’t see coming. He also favours stories packed with wit.
Zombie Cupcake Press have published his two books 'Lost Connections' and 'The Place That Never Existed', and will release his third 'A Cold Retreat' in January 2018. He also has a short stories in a number of anthologies with Zombie Cupcake Press and Bloodhound Books. Next year will see the release of a haunting novella, another psychological thriller and the start of a comedy/crime series (Caper & Dice).
He has a very strange sense of humour and is often considered a little odd. When not writing he will be found playing the drums, watching football and eating chocolate. He lives with his long-suffering wife and three beautiful children in
Sunday, 4 March 2018
Nobody said self publishing would be easy and I've spent the last couple of days knowing exactly that. For all sorts of reasons, a main one being my contract had expired with Crooked Cat Books for my Celtic Fervour Series, I'm doing full re-edits to each of the three previously published books.
The new versions will be edited by a skilled professional and then I'll be formatting them for self publishing. My fantastic brand new covers for them are wonderful and I can't wait to show them off!!!
The problem with that is they need to be edited first so that I can determine the correct amount of pages in the book. As I may have pointed out before, my graphic artist cover designer can't finalise her work till the spine size is known and that's dependent on page sizes. Though...I'm hoping she'll allow me to show off my fabulous covers very soon - at least the first one.
My new version of The Beltane Choice, Book 1 of my Celtic Fervour Series, is now off to my editor. Look out for details of re-publishing soon. Now I'm off to re-edit Book 2 of the series.
Saturday, 3 March 2018
Today I have my Crooked Cat author friend Kathy Sharp who is about to take my comfy seat and get out of the snow that's presently settled over almost the whole of the UK.
Welcome back to the blog, Kathy! It's been a while since you've visited, so let's hear about what life is like for you...
Nancy: That's a tricky aspect I find in my writing, too. It's the dividing line between an authentic setting and the point at which even a slightly known historical figure becomes fantasy since we can never portray them exactly as they were.
Nancy: I've visited Kent but never been on the marshes. The whole of the south coast is a wonderful place to visit, and I have to confess I mostly spent holiday time driving to the many historical visitor attractions and sites of interest - of which there are loads! The book sounds like a fascinating way to be introduced to the area via the past leading, which could lead on to the present.
Nancy: I've not read Defoe since I was in my teens, but trawling through social history of an era- newspapers etc - is amazing for finding out useful tidbits, and for me is always a very pleasurable digression.
Nancy: Yes, I don't see them often ( re FB's weird sharing policy) but have really enjoyed your photography, and sometimes photos re. your choir info as well. Please continue to share them on Facebook!
Find Kathy at the following places:
Thank you for sharing your days with us, Kathy and my very best wishes for all of your writing, past, present and future!
Friday, 2 March 2018
|Courtesy of Miriam Drori- Mea She'arim, Jerusalem|
Nancy says: That really is a very poignant part of the novel, Miriam, but I recall Esty as being a strong girl who gets on with the choices she has made, difficult though they are for her.
Thank you for coming back and reminding me about the role that Leah plays, Miriam, because I recall her impact being important when it comes to Esty reconciling herself with the choices she's made regarding leaving the community. Before reading Neither Here Nor There I knew very little about the Haredi Community and Jerusalem in general - I can thoroughly recommend it as great read but also if you're interested in learning a bit about that background!