Alene Baron is dealing with frustrated employees, closed schools, and a homeless man who harasses customers outside the door of her café. Then, two dead bodies turn up in the burned remains of buildings owned by the husband of Alene’s best friend and pastry chef, Ruthie. Both bodies are wearing jackets that once belonged to Ruthie and crumbled in the pockets are the café’s distinctive wrappers. At the same time, Alene’s uncle, a convicted felon, has resurfaced after disappearing for 22 years. It’s all too much for the owner of the Whipped and Sipped Café.
Hello everyone! Welcome to The Book’s the Thing. I am very pleased to be hosting a cover reveal from author Jevon Knights – please read on to see what he has to say about his new novel, Guardian of the Cursed Crown.
I love science fiction fantasy art, especially when they describe impossible landscapes – giant ancient stone statues guarding gentle rivers, derelict star ships scraping the sky, silhouettes of unknown technology haunting lonely deserts.
I often watch the credits of favourite Tv shows and anime hoping to see relevant art of the world. Most recently Disney’s the Mandalorian has offered great treats of art at the end of every episode, and I often watch thinking, “which one of these could have been used as a book cover if this was a novel?”
My debut novel presented me with the same question, as I could imagine several scenes that I would have loved even a novice artist to have drawn.
I thought about the amazing book covers of favourites like Chronicles of the Unhewn Thrown and Mistborn and various Warhammer novels, trying to think of a common trend. Usually the main characters are depicted, sometimes a city, sometimes a weapon, representing the overall theme of the book or the ultimate goal.
My first thought was to display the protagonist Larsen carrying his wife Gwen to a ruined city, but the scene seemed too intimate to be attractive to fantasy fans. Maybe I should display a stern-faced ruler sitting in darkness on a throne, something a friend warned me might resemble too much the political twists of Game of Thrones, which my novel definitely is not. Then how about just Gwen, peacefully lying motionless on a stone tablet? After all, she is the sole force that drives Larsen forward. But still, it might apply more to romance fans than fantasy, and I wanted a picture that implied more action.
I thought about having the major characters together that Larsen drags along his journey, all huddled in a cart speeding through a dark forest, hauled by the powerful charger Ruena. While it would have been a good display of the characters, I didn’t think that the forest was enough to represent the book.
So I settled on just Larsen racing across a pitted field on Ruena.
When I contacted my artist with the description this first draft was the result. And while it had the basic features of a horse and rider on a field, it lacked urgency, danger, despair. Larsen needed to be leaning forward to show he was focused, Ruena needed a better sense of speed to show the gallop, and something about the direction didn’t fit with me (maybe it’s the way we read from left to right).
We went through a couple more drafts, and after approving the art we moved on to a coloured electronic version.
I loved Larsen’s posture on the horse, and the gallop was perfect, but there were still several things wrong. Larsen needed to look like he went through a long, arduous journey, with bloodied bandages, ripped and ragged clothes, and unkempt facial hair. The cloth wrapping Ruena’s eyes was supposed to be a stripped bloodied rag, and the field was way too serene.
The location in the book was less like a tame savannah and more like an ancient battlefield, covered in crushed bone and shards of metal, broken ribs exposed in shattered armour, battered shields, rusted swords and axes, the remains of skulls, all scattered between the remnants of carts, large wheels half buried in debris, pieces of rope and huge chains looping in and out of the dirt.
I couldn’t get all the details of the pitted field, but I still love the result, giving a preview of a land named after the demon of insanity, Larsen’s ultimate destination.
King Larsen’s entire world shatters when his beloved queen Gwen becomes infected with an unknown illness and dies. He loses the will to rule, and his city Vivek is overthrown by King Malik of Holt Harbour. A year passes, Larsen never recovers from despair, lives as a vagabond just close enough to Gwen’s grave so he can visit her daily, and all his people suffer under Malik’s oppressive laws. However, Larsen learns that Gwen never actually died from her illness and a cure is possible by taking her into Desanorbis, a land named after the Servant of Insanity.
Larsen tries to ignore it, nothing but the ravings of a crazy Cord Master. His former general Carder certainly thinks so, and wants the fallen king to join the rebellion to take back the city. Meanwhile, the giant Dirk has found a new purpose as a member of the Guls in the remote village of Seaben, keeping it safe from the outlaws that frequently make port. Sounds easy enough. He was a feared warrior during the Battle of Vivek, he could certainly keep any scum from causing trouble, or so he thought. Something stalks the shadows of the village, and the Guls must catch it before it kills them all.
But to Larsen, none of it matters. Haunting dreams of Gwen are too much to bear. So he disregards all warnings, ignores better judgment, digs his love up from her grave and embarks on the quest, setting into motion a series of events that puts not just Vivek or Seaben, but the entire world in danger.
My debut novel Guardian of the Cursed crown releases on the Kindle bookstore March 4th 2023. Get parts I and II right now for free.
Jevon Knights is a fantasy writer and blogger who wants to entertain with amazing stories and enlighten with great content. He posts science fiction fantasy topics on his blog, Knights Writes, and invites you to download part I and II of his debut novel Guardian of the Cursed Crown for free.
Twin sisters Tabby and Sage co-own a candle shop, but will it all go up in flames in Valona Jones’ series debut, perfect for fans of Amanda Flower and Bailey Cates.
30-year-old fraternal twins Tabby and Sage Winslow own The Book and Candle Shop in Savannah. Sage is hot-headed and impulsive while Tabby is calm and collected, making them the perfect partnership. When one of their customers is found murdered, from a blow to the head, that partnership is put to the test.
Blithe McAdam had been seen in a heated argument with shop clerk Gerard, which immediately makes him suspect number one. The twins are convinced of Gerard’s innocence and start digging into Blithe’s past. But no one is cooperating. The neighbor who found the body isn’t talking, medical examiner Quig won’t give any details about the autopsy, and nasty rumors begin surfacing about the drowning of Blithe’s father years earlier—evidence that could seal Gerard’s fate.
Tabby and Sage dig desperately for the truth. But it’s not only their friend who’s in peril. With the clock ticking, the twins find themselves in the grip of an unseen and deadly energy that has seeped into their midst—and in the sights of a ruthless killer.
Journey into the Shadow and the Sunshine continues the theme of Journey into the Dark and the Light, the first book by Annabel Harz. Disarmingly honest words and images reveal more of her personal experiences: the deep shadows of loneliness and depression; the recognition of the value of survival at her lowest point of feeling unworthy; the importance of mental and physical space in creating a safe place for personal exploration and growth; and ultimately the sunshine of wellbeing when—through sheer grit and endurance—her personal demons had been conquered and set free.
Sustained effort is required to rise out of depression once it is established as a daily state of being. The poetry and artwork in this collection exemplify the resilience required to rise above the despair of mental ill-health, and with candour and sincerity depict the internal strength which facilitates reaching a place of well-being.
Andrew and his older brother Nicholas were separated as children.
Nicholas had been snatched away by the Prince of Darkness, and Andrew had all but given up hope, but now their mother is ill, and he’s determined to reunite them before she passes – despite her objections.
With his dog Jenny by his side, Andrew sets out on an epic and perilous crusade well beyond his wildest imagination, facing evil protectors, giant wolves, dark magic, Sorcerers, Goblins, and even the Prince of Darkness himself.
Then there’s The Great Tree.
It’s enormous, with a presence that’s nearly impossible to describe…
And it’s clearly the heart of the kingdom of the wicked Sorcerer.
This is the setting for the adventure story that changed Christmas forever!
Synopsis: A whirlwind of tragic, terrifying events…
A vodoun priest is brutally slain in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
On American soil, a man stands atop his car—naked from the waist down—and suddenly succumbs to a mysterious death.
Within the silence of a state park, an abducted child is found dead; yet another in a series of similar slayings.
In the small city of New Warfield, ODs have skyrocketed from the use of cocaine tainted with an undetermined substance.
Detective Ezekiel Marrs may just have the wealth of strength and skills needed to fight these dark forces, to uncover the facts behind these hideous cases and how they relate to one another. With his team, Ezekiel takes on the immense task of putting the pieces together…making the connections that will hopefully solve this puzzle and stop the seemingly endless death and destruction.
But when Ezekiel and his fellow police officers find themselves facing two of the most vicious adversaries they’ve ever encountered, more lives hang in the balance as they battle to survive a deadly, inevitable confrontation with unimaginable evil.
An attack on the host of a fancy tea party sends Theodosia Browning looking for answers in the latest entry in the New York Times bestselling series.
Tea maven Theodosia Browning and her tea sommelier, Drayton Conneley, are catering a Victorian Christmas party at a swanky mansion in downtown Charleston. Drucilla Heyward, the hostess, is one of the wealthiest women in town.
As the champagne flows and the tea steeps, Drucilla is so pleased with the reception by her partygoers that she reveals her secret plan to Theodosia. The Grande Dame has brought the cream of Charleston society together to reveal that she is planning to give her wealth away to various charitable organizations. However, before she can make the announcement, Theodosia finds her crumpled unconscious in the hallway. It looks like the excitement has gotten to the elderly woman–except that there is a syringe sticking out of her neck.
A summer of fun at a Catskills resort comes to an abrupt end when a guest is found murdered, in this new 1950s set mystery series.
It’s the summer of 1953, and Elizabeth Grady is settling into Haggerman’s Catskills Resort. As a vacation getaway, Haggerman’s is ideal, and although Elizabeth’s ostentatious but well-meaning mother is new to running the resort, Elizabeth is eager to help her organize the guests and the entertainment acts. But Elizabeth will have to resort to untested abilities if she wants to save her mother’s business.
When a reclusive guest is found dead in a lake on the grounds, and a copy of The Communist Manifesto is found in his cabin, the local police chief is convinced that the man was a Russian spy. But Elizabeth isn’t so sure, and with the fate of the resort hanging in the balance, she’ll need to dodge red herrings, withstand the Red Scare, and catch a killer red-handed.
Jane has lost everything: job, mother, relationship, even her home. A friend calls to offer an unusual deal—a cottage above the crashing surf of Big Sur on the estate of his employer, Evan Rochester. In return, Jane will tutor his teenage daughter. She accepts.
But nothing is quite as it seems at the Rochester estate. Though he’s been accused of murdering his glamorous and troubled wife, Evan Rochester insists she drowned herself. Jane is skeptical, but she still finds herself falling for the brilliant and secretive entrepreneur and growing close to his daughter.
And yet her deepening feelings for Evan can’t disguise dark suspicions aroused when a ghostly presence repeatedly appears in the night’s mist and fog. Jane embarks on an intense search for answers and uncovers evidence that soon puts Evan’s innocence into question. She’s determined to discover what really happened that fateful night, but what will the truth cost her?
Written by a thirteen-year-old author, this exciting and captivating page-turner transports you into the fascinating story of sixteen-year-old aspiring singer Fiona Watson who runs away from her family, oblivious to the dangers outside her shielded comfort zone. As she journeys through her new world, leaving her past behind and determined to find a new identity, she uncovers surprising secrets buried deep within her long ago…
How do her new friends link to her past? What secrets are they hiding behind their misleading smiles? How much of herself has she really left behind? And how will she cope when she realises that she has made a huge mistake… one that could ruin her forever?