The Pole that Threads

Today’s book cover reveal is The Pole that Threads by Crispina Kemp. I always find my eyes drawn to this cover, perhaps because I love star gazing. And coincidence of coincidences, whilst working on this cover who should fly past my window and land on the neighbour’s roof? A huge heron! Probably ensuring I’d captured her in right light. Read the book and you’ll understand the pressure that put me under!

This cover was designed to match the style of the previous two novels, The Spinner’s Child and Lake of Dreams, part of The Spinner’s Game quint. There are two more covers to follow.

The Pole that Threads

Kerrid, a shamanic wise-woman, has discovered the Asars are banished divines. Now to gain their divine world, she seeks the Pole that Threads the Worlds, for in that high place resides the demon Neka, which the Spinner has tasked her to eradicate.

No longer with her wed-man in this third book of The Spinner’s Game, Kerrid ventures alone on this quest, a journey that takes her to the western shore of the Boundless Sea and into the frozen wastes of the north. Along the way, she encounters those who want to waylay her,hinder her, and kill her. She has much to learn, including how to be open to love.

The Spinner’s Game

Set in the between-time, when hunter-gatherers turned to settled agriculture, when spirits and demons morphed to gods, the five books of The Spinner’s Game takes Kerrid’s story across continents and weaves through ages fraught with floods and droughts to become the prototype of our most ancient myths.

If you’re after a cover for your own novel, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

The Sarah Project

Welcome to another Friday book cover blog! This week the book in question is The Sarah Project by Tyler Savage.

Tyler had a clear idea of what he wanted for his cover, with concept sketches that immediately caught my imagination. I absolutely loved the idea behind it and couldn’t wait to see where it took us. And I rather like the outcome. No, I love it!

 Taylor Marshal is a 21-year-old genius who had almost completed his dream to get an engineering degree, before developing schizophrenia and dropping out.

Condemning himself to an abandoned, modified power station, with no one but an overly-sarcastic robot for company, he develops the project of a lifetime: to create life.

Taylor must hide his illegally-created subject, Sarah, from the law, criminals, and the general public, at all costs, in order to prevent Sarah from getting killed, experimented on, or worse: missing.

As Sarah learns what it means to be alive, Taylor will have to determine whether Sarah is just a subject of his mad experiment, or something more.

How exciting does this sound? I’m getting modern day Frankenstein vibes. With the complex issues creating life is sure to raise, this sounds like an intriguing book indeed!

And here’s Tyler’s thoughts on the cover making process:

Working with Lauren has been an absolute treat! She asks the right questions to fit the intended cover you’re looking for. She listens well to every concern and suggestion, and she’ll do any necessary tweaking. When she created my cover, it turned out better than I imagined. So yeah, props to Lauren for a job well done!

Don’t forget to check back next week for my next cover blog featuring The Pole That Threads, by Crispina Kemp.

In Search of Enchantments

With everything going on at home, it’s taken me a looong time to get round to blogging about all the book covers I’ve done. I shall be rectifying that, posting a new cover/illustration every Friday in order to play catch up.

In Search of Enchantments was designed for S. Aneel Hotz (Stephanie). I was lucky enough to meet her whilst in search of beta readers for my book Made of Earth. And she was fab. After informing me it could take a while, my questionnaire was returned two weeks later, and was super helpful. I completed work on a book cover for her, and will soon be working on a map to go with it.

During a discussion about what she would want for her cover, Stephanie spoke of the significance of mountains, mist, and a stag within her book. And so I ran wth an idea, and this was the outcome. I’m pretty pleased with it!

Mira is student at Avlans Institute, one of the many schools in Simora that trains mages to fight for their Kingdom. However, after years of failure Mira’s lack of improvement in spell-casting forces her to question how she could possibly help her Kingdom endure the upcoming war.

In an effort to maintain peace and equality within the Kingdom, the Simoran Council has placed regulations on magic education by outlawing the use of unpredictable physical and innate-based magic in favor of spell-casting, a more reliable form of magic known as Enchantments. As a consequence, Mira’s infatuation with strength and combat-based skills soon makes her the Queen’s target, whose regulations permit all forms of untamed violence.

Caught between a desire to contribute to the welfare of the Kingdom, and her increasing distrust of the Council’s rulings, Mira sets out in search of the Queen’s true motives in hopes of understanding why she has issued a warrant for her arrest. Departing from the South to explore the Distant Lands, Mira meets a group of rebel mages hoping to expose the Queen’s oppressive rule to the Kingdom’s citizens. Thrown into a world of political and social unrest, Mira is forced to confront her inability to Enchant while determined to find another way to aid the good citizens of Simora.

Well, I’m a sucker for a bit of political intrigue and magic. Hopefully I’ll get to beta read this one once it’s complete!

And here’s Stephanie’s comments:

Lauren did a fantastic job of listening to my requests for this cover. She took my ideas seriously, and combined it well with her own creativity, allowing for a well-thought out cover. This cover fits perfectly for a YA Fantasy story. As someone who was not quite sure what I wanted for my cover, and with only a vague idea of what I was looking for, her suggestions and artistic vision made the cover-making process very quick and smooth!

Awen Rising

Recently I’ve had the pleasure of working with author O.J. Barré, who shall soon release her debut novel Awen Rising, the first in a series. As I continue to work on more and more book covers, I meet more and more amazing authors, and I’ve loved working with Olivia. Since commissioning me to work on her cover, we’ve exchanged notes on each others blurbs, she’s read the first three chapters of my book, and I’m reading through hers, readying a review for release. And more still, we’ve offered support when the other has needed it. So, without further fuss or sentimental typing, I shall reveal the cover!

In 2042CE, Earth is besieged by storms and geologic events. The fight for the planet is about to begin. Only Emily, the druid heiress, is missing.
In her Venice Beach hideout, everything is going wrong for Emily. She’s lost her fiancé, her nerve, and her job as disaster specialist. Now she’s stalked by an omnisexual shaman sorceress. She needs a new identity and somewhere to run.
When a registered letter arrives from Atlanta, Georgia, dreams of an ancient past begin. Emily is the druid priestess Awen and must save the planet—by snatching a young William the Conqueror from death.
Could this druid identity be the answer to Emily’s current plight? Or will Awen’s destiny spell Emily’s demise?

Guys, I’m a history and science fiction fantasy nerd. How could I not be super excited by this book? Plus I love cats.

Working with Olivia on this cover was fab. She had a clear view of which finer points needed to be conveyed, while also giving me free rein artistically. And I love the outcome!

Here’s what Olivia thought:

I’d like to thank my design artist, Lauren Willmore, for taking my cover idea, creating this beautiful artwork, and making it shine. Without Lauren, my cover would’ve ended up looking like an afterthought. Or like an amateur’s design. And who wants to buy a book with a cover like that?

Not I.

Besides providing a professional finished cover, Lauren was (and is) a delight to work with, providing several revisions, along with expert advice and feedback. Lauren is a prolific reader and author herself, so her suggestions are relevant and timely. I’ve asked her to design the covers for the other books in the trilogy/series and look forward to working with her again in the future.

I’m so excited to begin work on the next books in the series, Awen Storm and Awen Tide (along with reading them!). Keep an eye out for my review of the book 🙂

What We Want

So life and work have all caught up with me recently, and I’ve been a little absent from the blogging world. Off to a good start, eh? But what perfect timing to get back in the game, today, on the release of What We Want by Eliott Griffen!

A cover of bold contrast, it’s one of the more graphic ones I’ve done, and I loved doing it! This simple cover contains so many little nods to the characters, from the connection of the three Ws, to the jigsaw pattern on the tie. Want to know the relation to the characters? That would be telling, wouldn’t it. You’ll just have to read the book!

Here’s what Eliott had to say about the cover:

For months, I was afraid how the whole thing with the cover would go. I met Lauren on Twitter and let me tell you: from the first contact I knew she was the right person for the job. My cover looks exactly as I wanted it to look. Lauren is my own personal magician, she knew what I had in mind, and she made it happen. It goes without saying that she will do covers for my books in the future. I’m one of her greatest fans. Go, Lauren!


What happens when you meet the love of your life in your mother’s kitchen, while helping your aunt to hide from her ex?

Rob’s life finished five years ago. Now he’s just waiting for it to end. Safe in his little cocoon, disconnected from everyone, he’s living out the rest of his days. And he’s content with that. 
Until one February day life decides to smack him over the head. Again. 

Zach’s life is exactly what he thinks he wants it to be. But Mom knows better. Now he just needs to wrap up this funeral business and be on his way. ASAP. 
But you can’t run if a broken leg is involved. And would you really want to? Really? 

Rob has a secret to tell. 
Zach has a kitchen to paint. 
Can they figure out what they want before it’s too late? Or will the baggage they lug around end up burying them both? 

Oh, and there is a cat. A spoiled, opinionated cat. After all, what is a book without a cat?

Reinventing Hannah

There are a collection of writers who were so much help when it came to building up my book cover portfolio. One of those writer’s is Jack A. Ori.

Jack already had a good idea of what he was after in a cover for Reinventing Hannah, having a photographic version already. But as we discussed the book, we felt the best route would be to illustrate the cover. Knowing the subject of the book, I did some research and found that the wristband for sexual assault awareness is teal, so we used it on the cover. It so happened that yellow and teal were also the colours of Jack’s website. And the different fonts painted demonstrate Hannah’s reinvention, her desire for change.

Everyone sees Hannah as a smart, driven girl who doesn’t have time for anything but schoolwork and the community service clubs she leads, but she secretly longs for something more…

The fateful decision to help her best friend Sierra leads to her being roofied and raped at the kind of party no one expects a girl like her to go to, and she awakens the next morning at Sierra’s house with no memory of her assault and a bunch of injuries she can’t explain.

After Sierra’s brother insists on taking her to the hospital, the truth of what happened to her slowly begins to sink in, leaving Hannah humiliated, angry, and extremely aware that playing by the rules didn’t protect her from a brutal attack.

Hannah wants nothing more than to forget she ever went to the party, but her silence brings nothing but trouble, as friends, family, and enemies alike believe she is a hypocrite who got drunk while encouraging others to abstain and the pain she’s keeping secret leaves her afraid to move forward with cute, mischievous Brad even though his support of her makes it obvious he likes her back.

Hannah doesn’t want to let what happened to her change her into someone she doesn’t like and decides to reinvent herself her way. She’s determined to be someone different: someone bold and assertive who isn’t afraid to talk about what happened to her or stand up to the bullies who want to keep her silent — or spend time with Brad, who she is afraid to admit she has stronger than friendship feelings for.  But Hannah’s friends think Brad is all wrong for her and that her new attitude is unhealthy. She wants to be someone who doesn’t care what anyone thinks, but she doesn’t want to lose the friends she’s had since fifth grade either. Can she find the courage to overcome what has happened to her even if it means leaving her old friends behind?

Lake of Dreams

And now to show off the cover of the second part in The Spinner’s Game series, Lake of Dreams, written by Crispina Kemp. Like the cover for the first book, The Spinner’s Child, this cover merges what’s real with what isn’t, subtly capturing so many elements from the tale. While the colours work in contrast with the previous book, it establishes the style that will continue through the series.

Picking the spider for The Spinner’s Child was not even a discussion; for some books there was a perfect fit. For others, like this one, we had options. Here we could have gone for the tiger or the fox (those who’ve read it will know the importance of the choice!). Foxes have always been a favourite of mine ever since I read Fantastic Mr Fox as a child, and they were all I drew at uni (check out my Fox Hunt book where the fox gets his own back). But for the Lake of Dreams the tiger stole my heart. It had to be him. There’s so much more I’d love to say about this design. If you ever read my book you’ll know I can’t help but lather on the foreshadowing and symbolism. But in the words of River Song, “Shhh! Spoilers!”

In Lake of Dreams(Book 2 of The Spinner’s Game) the all-encompassing, oracular Spinner, has charged Kerrid with the eradication of the demon-snake that has stalked her since she was a child. To do so, Kerrid believes she must discover the truth of the Asars.

Thus when “big brother” Olun summons Kerrid’s husband to a family meeting with that express purpose, Kerrid jumps at the chance despite Olun never has liked her. Though her task is to discover exactly whatare the Asars, she knows her success depends upon gaining the approval of Olun and his brothers. This would be easier without her husband’s repeated efforts to undermine her, in part motivated by his jealousy of the second-born brother, Jiar. 

Set in the between-time when Ice Age gave way to warmer days, when nomadic hunter-fisher turned to settled agriculture, when spirits and demons morphed to gods, The Spinner’s Gamecrosses continents and weaves through ages fraught with floods and droughts to become the prototype of our most ancient myths.