Update! Update! Update!

Ah, there I go again, failing to update this ol’ blog. I do have reasons, though. Genuine reasons! (… aside from children, homeschooling said children, taking children to dance lessons, to the playground, errands, sleeping, taking pictures of clouds, the occasional shower or bologna sandwich…) DSCN5372

I have two deadlines looming over my head, one for June 1st and the other for June 2nd (Yes, you read that right). The first requires that I finish a 10k story by then, the second needs a first chapter and a synopsis. Plus I’m trying to revise An Unpracticed Heart in there, as well, because why not throw more stuff on the to-do pile.

I’m also in allergy hell right now. As much as I love this season, this season doesn’t love me. So when I’m taking medicine to stave off the urge to CLAW OUT MY EYES WITH A FORK OH MY LORD IT FEELS LIKE MY FACE IS MADE OF SAND, I also don’t get a great deal of… oh, let’s call it “thinking” done. So there’s that, too.

And I’m just tired. I really need a nap, people.

But! If I keep at this pace, I should make my deadlines. The first story  – “A Handful of Dust” – is at 6k words now and I have the ending worked out in my head. The second is titled “With My Own Eyes” and will act as a 10k-word prequel to The Half Killed (so if you love the Dorothea and Chissick dynamic, I’m sorry to say that the latter character only receives a brief mention) which covers events that pretty much lead up to where we find Dorothea, or rather WHY we find her in said situation, at the beginning of The Half Killed.

So. All of that. It’s a lot, but I’m managing it. I find that setting small word count goals for each story (say 500-700 words) keeps it from overwhelming me, and I’ve been okay jumping from story to story without an issue. Well, so far. Let’s see if I’m a gibbering mess once these deadlines have come and gone.

Oh! And in other news, a huge THANK YOU to everyone who picked up a copy of The Firstborn! This has been my most successful book release to date, and I am tickled that it didn’t sink like a stone right out of the gate. (Hmm, I think I’m mixing up my sayings there. And I rhymed. Hmm, I may need one of those naps. Or some bologna.)

 

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Guest Post: Interview with Eleanor Melville, from Jude Knight’s A Raging Madness

Today, I turn my blog over to historical romance author Jude Knight, who brings us an interview with her heroine. Readers, enjoy!

My heroine is Eleanor Melville, widow of cavalry officer and baronet Captain Sir Gervase Melville. Ella was living at her husband’s country estate, nursing his elderly mother, until the dowager Lady Melville died and Ella was forced to flee the ill intentions of Gervase’s half brother and his wife. Louise de GuÈhÈneuc, duchesse de Montebello (1782-1856)

  • What do you consider your greatest achievement?

I have lost everything I have achieved. I was proud of my successes as physician-surgeon to my husband’s regiment, unacknowledged though they were since I was a woman. But Gervase sent me home to England. I took over his neglected estate and made it thrive. Gervase grumbled, but did not interfere when he found his income increased. But then he died and left the property to his brother, who is slowly ruining it. And children; the wife of a baronet has one important role. I failed, and failed again, before at last I gave birth to my little Richard. But he died while still a baby.

  • What is your idea of perfect happiness?

In my dreams, I live in the country, with friends and family around me. Children, perhaps? The world is full of children who need a home and the love of a mother. If some fairy godmother wishes to bestow on me a small competence, I will buy a house in some country village, and fill it with children.

In my dreams, I have a husband. Not one like Gervase, but a man who supports and respects me. Foolishness, of course. If such a man exists, he would not be interested in a widow well past her first youth. Besides, I lost my heart long long ago, and the man who holds it is gentry-born; the grandson of an earl. No. I do not expect perfect happiness.

I am, however, seizing the happiness I can, travelling with that very same man. That is not as scandalous as it sounds. He has been all that is proper and is, besides, too ill for dalliance. But these past weeks together have been wonderful.

  • What is your current state of mind?

I am content. As I just said, I have the best of company. I am also being useful, keeping things clean and providing meals for the menfolk. I will not think of my uncertain future, or the danger if my in-laws pursue me. I am content.

  • What is your favorite occupation?

I enjoy all the work of running an estate. I love caring for people, helping them to recover their health. If I could find a position doing either kind of work, it would be wonderful. Alex has promised that his sister will help me, and she is a great lady, with many useful contacts. I used to enjoy schooling my colt. I hope he has survived; I fear what Edwin might have done to him.

Oh. You mean a single occupation that I do for pleasure? Reading, then. I read novels, though my sister-in-law Constance assures me it is a low occupation, and one that rots the morals.

  • What is your most treasured possession?

(Ella’s smile turns wistful, and she gazes into the distance.) I possess neither of them. I had to leave them behind when I fled. The colt Falcon’s Storm and the medical kit I had from my father. Storm is all I have left of my mare, Hawk of May, and my only inheritance from Gervase. His horse Lightning was Storm’s sire.

  • What or who is the greatest love of your life?

(In a whisper.) Alex. But he must never know how I feel, for I am sure he would be kind and his kindness would break my heart. He is such a kind man. When I travelled with the regiment, it was always Alex who protected me from danger and saw to my comfort, while Gervase thought only of himself. And when I turned to him for help after escaping Edwin and Constance, he put his own wellbeing at risk to save me.

  • What is your favorite journey?

The one I am on. Travelling the canals from Cheshire to London is both peaceful and fascinating. But the best part has been getting to know Alex again.

  • What is your most marked characteristic?

Once I have given my loyalty, I stay true. At least in my actions, though my thoughts may rebel. But my thoughts are my own.

  • When and where were you the happiest?

Now, this canal journey, is the happiest I have ever been. After Richard was born, I was filled with a joy such as I’ve never known. But I was very ill, and my mother-in-law was confined to bed with her first attack of apoplexy. Edwin and Constance arrived with news of Gervase’s death and every criticism under the sun. My joy in my child was a glorious bright light, but it shone in the darkness. This happiness pales by comparison, but my fears and worries are small and not worth dwelling on.

  • What is it that you most dislike?

Two-faced liars. People who pretend to piety and charity, but who tear other people’s characters to shreds behind their backs and who will do a bad turn if they can without consequence.

  • What is your greatest fear?

I fear being forced to go back to Edwin and Constance. What they have planned for me… (she trails off and shudders).

  • What is your greatest extravagance?

Books. When I was mistress of the income from the estate, I used to have the latest novels sent from London. Even now, when my only money comes from Alex’s pocket, I cannot resist picking over the second-hand book stalls at every market we visit. Alex is worse than I, mind you, loading up young Pat like a pack-mule.

  • Which living person do you most despise?

Beyond a doubt, Constance Braxton. She is married to my husband’s half-brother, Edwin Braxton, and I had the misfortune to live with them both. He is a mean bully, and she is worse. Part of the reason I stayed after my husband died, instead of seeking a position as a companion somewhere, is that I would not leave my mother-in-law to Constance’s nagging, neglect, and nasty remarks. She was a sweet gentle lady, and did not deserve her sons, let alone the witch that Edwin married.

  • What is your greatest regret?

If only I had kept Richard with me. I tell myself it would not have mattered. He was born early, and he was frail. But he had been better. He was feeding well. He was putting on weight. The doctor said I should let him sleep in another room so I could regain my own strength, and Miller and Constance promised they would take turns to sit with him. Miller went to sleep, and when she woke, he was gone. If only he had been with me, I might have heard him. I might have been able to do something.

  • Which talent would you most like to have?

I would love to be able to draw and paint. Alex can, and I watch with awe as the scenery we pass comes to life under his hands.  

  • Where would you like to live?

As I said before, I’d like to live in the country. I have been in London, and in Liverpool. Large, noisy, and smelly. I don’t mind where, but a cottage with a garden where I could grow herbs for the kitchen and for medicines, and flowers to heal the soul.

  • What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Losing someone I love, and feeling that I could have done more to save them. I never want to feel that way again.

A Raging Madness a raging madness new style small

Ella survived an abusive and philandering husband, in-laws who hate her, and public scorn. But she’s not sure she will survive love. It is too late to guard her heart from the man forced to pretend he has married such a disreputable widow, but at least she will not burden him with feelings he can never return.

Alex understands his supposed wife never wishes to remarry. And if she had chosen to wed, it would not have been to him. He should have wooed her when he was whole, when he could have had her love, not her pity. But it is too late now. She looks at him and sees a broken man. Perhaps she will learn to bear him. 

In their masquerade of a marriage, Ella and Alex soon discover they are more well-matched than they expected. But then the couple’s blossoming trust is ripped apart by a malicious enemy. Two lost souls must together face the demons of their past to save their lives and give their love a future.

***

Jude KnightJude Knight’s writing goal is to transport readers to another time, another place, where they can enjoy adventure and romance, thrill to trials and challenges, uncover secrets and solve mysteries, delight in a happy ending, and return from their virtual holiday refreshed and ready for anything.

She writes historical novels, novellas, and short stories, mostly set in the early 19th Century. She writes strong determined heroines, heroes who can appreciate a clever capable woman, villains you’ll love to loathe, and all with a leavening of humour.

Website and blog: http://judeknightauthor.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JudeKnightAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JudeKnightBooks

Pinterest: https://nz.pinterest.com/jknight1033/

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/JudeKnight

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8603586.Jude_Knight

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Jude-Knight/e/B00RG3SG7I

Email: jude@judeknightauthor.com

Buy Links: 

Jude Knight’s book page: http://judeknightauthor.com/books/a-raging-madness/

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/717569

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/nz/book/a-raging-madness/

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-raging-madness-jude-knight/1126227273

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07111TCLR

Read on for an excerpt from A Raging Madness!

The operation would be performed in the outdoors, where the light was better. They were only a few yards from where the Maggie Belle was moored, and all going well, they would return there after the operation. Big Dan had agreed that they could travel on with the narrowboat if Ella was prepared to guarantee Alex was on the mend.

“I don’t wish to disoblige, Mrs Sedgewick, especially when you and himself have been so good to my Pat, but I don’t want a gentleman dying on my boat, and that’s a fact.”

The canal was the gentlest way to transport Alex to London, and Ella trusted Big Dan and didn’t want to start again with another boat. She paid his costs to stable Bess for another day, and a bit over for his trouble. If she was able to save Alex’s leg, they would be ready to travel on tomorrow. Not saving Alex was an intolerable thought, and she would not entertain it for a moment.

It was a cool day in late autumn, but fine and still. Alex was carried from the boat across the bridle path to the field where they had set up trestles on a borrowed door they had pressed into service to act as stretcher and operating table.

Barlow and Whitlock had returned to watch, and Mrs Manning had bullied them into washing so they could help hold Alex during the operation. Mrs Manning’s husband had also been an advocate of Alexander Gordon’s theories that contagion was minimised by cleanliness, something Ella’s father had taught her. She had seen the benefit many times when his patients and hers survived in greater numbers than those of other doctors.

With that in mind, she had boiled the lancets and probes Mrs Manning provided. The cloths they would use, too, had been freshly laundered in boiling water, and the door had been scoured with strong soap and then draped with a clean sheet.

They strapped Alex to the door to stop him moving, gave him a wooden block to bite on, washed his naked thigh and draped cloths around it to catch the fluids that would spill.

“I will be as quick as I can, Alex,” Ella said, and Alex smiled and told her, “I trust you, Ella.”

She could not think of that: could not consider she was about to cut into her nemesis, her saviour, her dear friend; could not remember the consequences if she failed. She said a quick prayer, and then, as her father had taught her, she took a deep breath and let it go, releasing with it all consciousness of the small crowd of watchers, of the still smaller crowd of helpers, of Alex as a person.

Before her was a leg. A thing of meat and bone and blood, and within it the enemy, the death-bringer. Finding the abscess, releasing the poison, that was her entire focus. The muscle of the thigh was simply something to be damaged as little as possible as she sliced into it to reach the poison beneath.

She had chosen the sharpest and most slender of the lancets, and with it she cut quickly and deeply. On another plane, someone gave a smothered, strangled scream and the thigh twitched, but not enough to deflect her blade from its path. There. Pus, a thick yellowy cream springing up the channel she had made mixed with the blood that tried to drown her view.

Of a sudden, her detachment deserted her, and she braced herself against the table, tightening her suddenly weak knees so she didn’t fall. Rotting flesh had an odour all its own; once smelled never forgotten. This was infection, but not rot. She was in time.

And time was of the essence. No indulging in vapours.

This After-Writing Special Brought to You By….

There are so many stages to writing and publishing a book, it’s enough to boggle the mind. Not only do you have to write the thing in the first place, but there is the book’s description, and the cover, and editing, and rewriting, and sending it out to beta readers, and editing again, and tweaking the cover, and formatting, and giving it one last edit, and formatting, and marketing, and… and… 800px-Accueil_scribe

Wait. I think I missed something.

Proofreading.

It’s one of the last steps that needs to be done. Once the story is completely finished, once the characters are all doing the things they’re supposed to do in the manner they’re supposed to do them, there is one final pass that must be made to catch all of those little items. The dotted “i”s. The crossed “t”s. The “teh”s that should have been “the”s.

When you’re in the thick of writing, cackling madly as you pull the strings that give your creation life… LIFE!… you don’t always notice the tiny mistakes. The sentence missing an “a.” That time you wrote a word twice. That scene where you deleted a line, wrote in something else, but left something of that first line behind. And sometimes, even editors will not catch it. So you need to give your story that final “proofing” to make sure that every little mark is exactly where it should be.

I’ve read books that contained small errors. Hardbacks and paperbacks put out by big publishing houses that had a small typo here or a missing word there. Little things. But often only one or two mistakes in an entire 400-page tome. Nothing to pull me out of the story and force me to read the line again.

But I’ve read other books that held more than one or two tiny blotches over the course of their several-hundred-page lifespan. Books that had mistakes on nearly every other page. At first, I try to be forgiving. Oh, it’s just one mistake. That’s fine. Formatting can make things wonky, or perhaps that was the ONE MISTAKE that slipped through everyone’s edits. And then, when they continue, I become irritated. At what, I’m not exactly certain. The author? The editor? Myself for being too picky? The reviewers for not pointing out the multiple mistakes in their comments?

Probably a bit of all of that, if I’m going to be honest. But to continue on with the truth-telling, a book that contains dozens (or more) of errors is a book by an author whose work I will not be picking up again. It is a book I will not recommend to other people. It is a book that, if I review it, will lose points because of those mistakes.

Yes, you could argue that as long as the writing behind those errors is strong, those little things don’t matter. But they do. It’s like going to a restaurant, ordering a steak and potatoes for dinner, and being told not to complain if the potatoes were lousy since the steak was so awesome. No, it doesn’t work like that. It shouldn’t work like that.

When I buy a book, whether it’s traditionally published, indie published, or self published, I want it to be the best thing the author and their team (no matter how big or small a team it may be) are able to give me. I’m not demanding perfection. There is no such thing. But I hope that the author will respect me—their reader, their customer, their potential fan—enough to present their greatest effort. And I also hope they will respect themselves enough to want to produce only the finest work of which they’re capable, that anything less, anything riddled with mistakes that could have been fixed, would be a bruise on their pride.

As an author, I want my finished product to be as finished as possible. Just when I think my manuscript is complete, it gets one more read-through. It doesn’t matter how much time I put into building my world or striving for great dialogue if my work is rendered mediocre by a hundred typos.

So please—PLEASE—as both an avid reader and an author, polish that manuscript. Because it may bring a writer a swift flash of success to produce stories as quickly as possible to gain fans and earn money. But if you want to be respected, if you want to endure, then quadruple-check your spelling and mind your p’s and q’s. In an era when texting and disregard for grammar seems to be shaping the English language into something that more closely resembles Newspeak, the next generation of readers will surely thank you for your trouble.

 

The Firstborn is here! … now I have to tidy up.

.It’s release day! The Firstborn is born, a bouncing new book, ready to be read and enjoyed!

(To help matters along, I’ll just get all the links and such out of the way.)

Want to buy the ebook? (Ignore the fact that I sound like I’m selling knock-off watches from the trunk of my car): http://amzn.to/2puCT2i

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Sophia has sacrificed everything for her younger sister, Lucy. She has removed them from the only home they ever knew, taken on the care of Lucy’s illegitimate son, George, and even assumed the role of a widow and mother in order to erase all hint of scandal from the boy’s birth. But rumor continues to follow them like the darkest of clouds, and Sophia must adapt to her new existence as a false widow with no prospects beyond the doors of her small cottage.

Lord Haughton will stop at nothing to prevent the slightest whiff of disgrace from tainting his family’s name. When he learns of his younger brother’s latest indiscretion-one that leaves a bastard child in his wake-Haughton rushes across the country to offer the boy’s mother a comfortable living in exchange for her silence about the child’s true parentage. But he arrives only to have his generous offer thrown back in his face by Sophia Brixton, a sharp-tongued and sharper-witted woman who proceeds to toss him out of her house. But just because he is banished from her home does not mean he is so easily banished from her life.

Yes, you want to buy this book. Why? So that I can afford to hire someone to come in and clean my house while I’m busy writing, editing, marketing, cooking, homeschooling my kids, changing diapers, and occasionally bathing. (I am an occasional bather. It’s an occupational hazard of being a parent.)

This is my livingroom: 001

The youngest is down for a nap. The older three are watching Wild Kratts (that’s educational, right?) I stood on a chair despite my horrible fear of small heights (Long story short: I can stand on the edge of the Grand Canyon and not be scared. Stick me on a stool to change a lightbulb? I’m going to die) to bring this picture to you. And then I turned around and snapped a picture of my kitchen sink.

002

Equally gorgeous. (At least this is proof that I feed my children.)

Sometimes, people refer to me as some kind of supermom. I make costumes for my kids to wear to the movies (Ola wants to be Wonder Woman for the movie’s release next month), I bake all the time, I crochet things, I sew stuff, I take the family to the park and we learn about nature and commune with unicorns.

But this is the reality. While snatching minutes here and there for writing and teaching my kids about Charles I (yes, they love the stories about the rulers who end up meeting a ghastly end) and eating all the cookies I baked, this is what happens to the house. (And before someone chimes in to tell me that I need to create a chore wheel for my kids: My kids do chores. They clean bathroom sinks and bathroom floors and put away dishes and pick up toys and make their beds. But last week, they were sniffly, and we were all just too almost-sick and exhausted to care.)

So I’ve written a book. My fourth full-length book! I’m happy and proud and ecstatic and many other words from a thesaurus. And I’m also hungry, my hair needs brushed, and I really do need to load the dishwasher.

Happy Tuesday. 🙂

“Romance is Easy to Write”: Hold up, I’m Going to Need Some Coffee

Excerpt #4

I rolled my eyes when I read that. I can’t remember where it was, but it was a throwaway line in someone’s comment about writing fiction. That of all the genres, romance was the easiest. Because mystery has the mystery to write about and fantasy has the politics and the world building and literary fiction is Important (with a big, fat, capital “I”) so romance (whether YA or adult) is the microwave TV dinner of fiction. Just throw two people together, make ’em hate each other for awhile, make ’em kiss, VOILA! You have a book.

*deep breath*

Okay, I’m not even going to start some kind of war about which genre is the easiest to write or research or anything like that. I’m just not. It’s Monday, I haven’t consumed anything caffeinated yet, I already had to trudge everyone down to the doctor’s for my youngest’s regular check-up, and so anything borderline controversial or drama-creating is not going to happen here.

But I’ll give you my experience writing in a few different genres, and you can chime in with your thoughts at the end, if you feel so inclined.

I’ve written historical, romance and mystery and gaslamp fantasy. I’ve written dystopian. I’ve written more straight-up fantasy. I’ve written YA. I’ve written contemporary romance. I’ve written sci-fi. I’ve probably dipped my toe into other genres I can’t even recall right now (no coffee yet, remember?) and do you want to know which was the most difficult, the most taxing mentally?

All of them.

Yeeeaaaah, I said it.

You could look at that as a cop-out answer, but it truly isn’t. They were all difficult. Because here’s the thing: No matter your backdrop, no matter if you’re setting up a whole new world from your imagination or your characters are casting spells or searching for a murderer or pondering the meaning of life or falling in love (or out of it), you still have to write real, believable characters for all of these points to revolve around. Just because I’m writing a story where two people fall in love at the end (or at the beginning, but with a sufficient amount of roadblocks in the way) doesn’t mean that particular tale was the easy one to write.

Romance still means research, even if it’s not historical. What sort of jobs do my characters have? Where do they live? Have they suffered some major loss or abuse before we meet them? Can I make the reader even bother to give a crap whether or not these knuckleheads manage to end up together at the end? Can I keep it from turning into pure maudlin drivel?

These are not easy things to pull off, they’re just not. And yes, you could say that writing these same characters (who may or may not fall in love) and then dropping them into a historical world or a steampunk world or a world where everyone talks in Hemingway dialogue or a world where they have to fight a dragon suddenly raises the level of difficulty ten times over. But I’m not completely certain that it does.

We’ve all read bad books. We’ve all read books with cardboard characters, lifeless dialogue, ones that were riddled with typos and grammatical mistakes, with staccato pacing. (And I’m not talking one single genre here, either.) Making all of those things come together smoothly is no mean feat. It is hard *insert expletive of your choice* work. No matter the genre. So if you look down on certain genres because they’re silly or romantic or “kid’s stuff”, I’m giving you the side eye. I’m also giving you the side-eye if you’re writing a certain genre because you think it’s easier than all the others.

If it is, then you’re probably doing it wrong.

***

The Firstborn – The First Chapter

We’re down to… *looks at calendar*… three days until The Firstborn is released. I’ve teased you with excerpts. I’ve given you a cover. Today? I’m just going to give you the entire first chapter. Now excuse me, I have a quiche in the oven and I don’t want it to burn.

The Firstborn base_illustration_day_final_big

Chapter One

There were too many letters. An inordinate amount of them, spilling out of crevices and sliding out of their well-organized stacks. Most were invitations, a fact that irritated Finnian to no end. Invitations to balls, to routs, to garden parties and afternoon teas, where he would be expected to deal with the attentions of no small number of simpering females. And all of them with their eyelashes fluttering while a mere turn and snap of their fans spoke a language he would never care to decipher.

This morning’s stack of cards sat on his desk, the light shining through the window and sending a solitary beam across the topmost letter. A glance at the direction told him more than he needed to know. The lettering was too fine and flowery—a woman’s hand—and a noticeable aroma emanated from the paper, as if glazed with rose water before being sent round to his townhouse.

He understood their interest in him, and his position in polite society. He was a man. A gentleman. A titled gentleman with a rather large fortune. And, most bothersome of all, a titled gentleman, possessed of a large fortune, who—according to that polite society which insisted on tossing flowery cards and invitations at him as if they were tossing bread crumbs to a duck in a pond—had decided to remain stubbornly ensconced in his current life as a bachelor.

He gave the corner of his newspaper a shake and reached out for his cup of tea. From another part of the house, he heard a knock on the front door, followed by the measured step of Gleeson showing no haste in his effort to answer it. Finnian waited, his eyes gazing at a vague point beyond the edge of the newspaper as the butler’s steps made their way towards his study. Another knock, this one on his own door, and a grey, tonsured head bowed itself into the room.

“Lord Haughton? It’s Mr. Winston. Shall I…?”

He nodded in reply. Gleeson disappeared, the steps receded, and Finnian folded his newspaper into a stiff rectangle that landed with an audible smack on top of the pile of invitations.

“Finn?”

He glanced up at the door as another man, this one dressed in a coat and trousers of a dull, forgettable colour, entered the sunlit room.

“Winston.” Finnian sat up in his own chair and indicated the one opposite him with a wave of his hand. “I didn’t expect to see you again so soon.”

Winston strolled forward, his hands clasped around both hat and gloves, neither of which had managed to be relinquished to the butler upon his arrival. He let out a sigh as he lowered himself into his seat, scratched his chin, and ran a bare hand over his neatly-trimmed brown hair.

“Have you breakfasted?” Finnian asked, his eyes taking in the obvious wear on the man’s suit and the scuffs on his boots.

“Yes, early.” Those two words revealed an accent that held no connection to any town or borough within fifty miles of London. Finnian had never inquired after Winston’s origins, and Winston had never made any move to volunteer the information.

“So.” Finnian cleared his throat. “Since you’re not here to dine with me, I take it you’ve…”

“I’ve found her.”

Continue reading “The Firstborn – The First Chapter”

The Firstborn Cover Reveal

Goodness gracious. Today is my youngest child’s first birthday. The kids are all recovering from a sniffly cold and clamoring to go outside, except that it’s a deluge and I’m waiting for an ark to show up at our doorstep any minute. This weekend we’re moving furniture and buying drywall and having a birthday party (and maaaaaaybeeeee sneaking in a viewing of Guardians of the Galaxy 2?) and then Tuesday will flutter along before I know it and then The Firstborn will be live.

Which means it’s incredibly timely that I now have a cover for it.

*ahem*

*fanfare*

*squee*

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It captures Sophia and Finn brilliantly. It’s soft, it’s dreamy, it’s like a confection. Which fits the story, I have to say. A wonderful job by amazing cover artist (since I can’t draw stick figures that look like they should.)