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Month – October 2016

Clouds of Ecstasy

The author says:

A young woman’s boozy days at college hit a bump when she discovers a strange parasite in her ovaries. Her quest to secure funding for the surgical removal of her unwanted guest flings her into a world of relentless madness.

clouds-cover-paperback-2-small

clouds-cover-paperback-2-small

Nathan says:

You know what? I’m just gonna leave this one for everybody else to comment on.  Have at it.

A Girl Called Thief

The author says:

A MG/YA Fantasy/Fractured Fairy Tale.

Synopsis: Once upon a time, there was a girl who set out to learn the meaning of fear. Twelve-year-old Saena likes to steal words. She sees them shimmering in the air, beautiful and fragile and perfect; sometimes she plucks a word that she really likes and stores it away in her head so that it belongs to her. One day she plucks the word Mama, and her mother disappears into Saena’s head. This time, something is different. Saena has stolen her mother, and she can’t seem to return her. When a gold-necked nightingale with a strangled voice and red-and-green feathers appears at her window one night and promises to help her get her mother back, Saena is only too ready. Thus begins an adventure fraught with danger, as Saena and the nightingale – which calls itself Jiu – travel the secret moonlit roads that will take them into Fairy Country, guided by Saena’s mother and the words. They travel up hill and down dale, and across sparkling seas and cities made of glittering bone. Along the way Saena collects a strange assortment of companions, none of whom are even remotely what they seem. The words have never failed Saena before. But as they come closer to the place where all the lost things go and where the dark fairies hold sway, Saena is finding it increasingly difficult to see them. Her mother’s voice is fading fast, and at every turn Saena discovers more and more about her mother that puzzles and befuddles her. Who exactly is the Red Fairy? Why does the name Marya Morevna taste so familiar on Saena’s tongue? As a word thief, Saena knows better than anyone that nothing can be hidden away forever. But perhaps some things are better left alone…

cover-version-1

cover-version-1

Nathan says:

At first glance, I like it — the only problem I see is that the colors on the bird clash with the rest of the color.

At second glance, a few other problems emerge. The dragon in the upper right looks like it’s cut-and-pasted out of another source, as evidenced by the fact that it’s standing on nothing; you should find an image of a dragon flying (one which you have appropriate rights to, of course). And what’s with that dotted line through the star?

Other comments?

Gift of the Master [resubmit]

The author says:

Tommy is a 15 year old recluse who’s only friends are the characters in his books. On his birthday he is suddenly pulled into the World of Books and he quickly finds that reading about a battle and trying to survive one couldn’t be more different. Artwork is by Edouard Noisette.

book-1-cover-offficial

book-1-cover-offficial

[original submission and comments here]

Nathan says:

This is custom artwork, yes?  I think it’s terrific.  No complaints there.

I think your type treatment has swung to the other end of the pendulum from your previous version.  It’s very clear, but it’s awfully small, and pretty dull. Trajan is still a workable font, despite its overexposure, but it needs to be spiced up a big, especially as the title itself.

Your artist left plenty of space for the title, as a good cover illustrator will.  Don’t be afraid to fill it more — there are no essential details you have to worry about covering.  Here’s a starting point:

book-1-cover-nathan

I think I’d continue to play with edge shadows, to make the text more distinct where it overlaps on the bright sky at the edge of the sail.  (And I’d similarly make the byline larger.)

But I think you’re almost there!  Other comments?

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