Cover Art and Competence

I’ve always been under the impression that I’ve not got the talent for cover-making.

Hey, for all I know, that impression is the correct one. But I came across a handy-dandy guide on Joanna Penn’s blog, in which a process for making covers through Microsoft Word was explained and shown. So I thought, ‘Well, why not give it a try?’

So I did. My Underland Novelette Thing now has both a cover and a title. Hooray!

Introducing PLAYING HEARTS, its cover, and a small excerpt by the way of a bit of contrast from my MASQUE’s 1st Birthday Posts. Let me know what you think! And if you haven’t yet signed up to my Newsletter, do so now: PLAYING HEARTS will be made available to my subscribers for free, a couple months early.


Playing Hearts Official Take Umptyteenth 3-page-001

Above my head, the Queen’s voice said: “I’d hate to think that you’re sharing your…tea…around Underland. It’s not healthy.”

There was a garbled mumble from the Hare that made me thankfully aware that he was still alive, and Hatter sat down again. I immediately seized his legs again, and though they were as skinny as ever they weren’t as stiff. I had the feeling he was as glad for me as I was for him.

“Not healthy for you, and certainly not healthy for them,” said the Queen. I didn’t think she was really talking about tea, but for the life of me I couldn’t figure out what she was talking about. “The type of tea you’re spreading about has a nasty habit of poisoning the drinkers.”

“Poisoned tea is no use,” said Hatter, his legs quivering. “All our guests would die. Dead guests are so hard to entertain. Perhaps a little sip of Syrup of Poppies instead?”

“Number Six, restrain the Hare,” said the Queen. Her voice was soft and plump, like a pillow. A pillow pressed against my face so that I couldn’t breathe. “I’ve heard that a hare’s foot is good luck.”

Above my head there was a brief, violent struggle, the sound of smashing crockery and what sounded like the Hare’s feet beating against the tabletop.

“CALUMNY!” yelled the Hare, his voice more frenzied than before. “A HARE MAKES HIS OWN LUCK, MADAM!”



I was going to wait and be patient to reveal these two covers, but despite the fact that TWELVE DAYS OF FAERY is still two days away from release, I needed to upload the cover for FIRE IN THE BLOOD to make preorder available on Amazon; and I really wanted to add the cover of THE FIRST CHILL OF AUTUMN to my NaNoWriMo page ‘cos it’s so pretty.

So, since they’re out there already, I thought I’d better hurry up and do a semi-formal cover reveal. FIRE IN THE BLOOD is the 2nd novella in my SHARDS OF A BROKEN SWORD trilogy, and THE FIRST CHILL OF AUTUMN is the 3rd. Let me know what you think of them!

2nd Shards_FireInTheBlood3rd Shards_TheFirstChillOfAutumn

Cover Reveal: Wolfskin

I’m particularly excited about the cover for my next book. I love all the covers that Joleene Naylor has done for me, but I particularly love the colours in this one. (Why, yes: I am a joyless, crabbed little being who loves mossy greens and greys and browns.)

Below you can read a blurb for Wolfskin: an excerpt of the same will make its way to you when I get the chance. Wolfskin is set in the same world as the rest of the Two Monarchies Sequence, but has none of the same characters. Let me know in the comments what you think of the cover. Thusly: behold!

Preorder Available from Amazon and Kobo

Preorder Available from Amazon and Kobo

‘If you want adventure, you have to march right up to it and kick it in the shins . . .’

At fourteen, barefoot and running wild, Rose is delighted to be apprenticed to Akiva, the witch of the forest.  She thinks it will be all enchantment and excitement, and not so much fuss about baths.  The reality is much more sober and practical- that is, until she meets a mysterious wolf in the forest and is tricked into stepping off the path . . .

In young, naive Rose, Bastian sees a way of escape.  Cursed to remain in the shape of a wolf after running afoul of a powerful enchantress, he has lived many decades under a spell, and now he is both desperate and ruthless.  But by breaking part of Bastian’s curse, Rose has caught the attention of Cassandra, the enchantress who cursed him: and Cassandra is by no means ready to forgive and forget.

Meanwhile, wardens have been disappearing from the forest, one by one.  Rose is certain that Cassandra is behind the disappearances, but can she and Bastian get to the bottom of the matter before Akiva disappears as well?  And are Bastian’s motives entirely to be trusted?

Sometimes the little girl in the red hood doesn’t get eaten, and sometimes the wolf isn’t the most frightening thing in the forest.

Behold The Beauteous Cover Art!

I’ve been very busy these last few days, finishing final edits of my MS Masque. Likewise busy has been the very talented Joleene Naylor, finishing up the cover of Masque for me.

Happy mortals, feast your eyes on the beauteous cover art! Then go ahead and preorder Masque from Amazon or Kobo. Publication date is set for 1st February, 2015. Two months, guys!

MASQUE - 2500

And if you’re like me and need a blurb to read, scroll down. Adieu. I’m off to gloat a little more over my cover art.


    Beauty met the Beast, and there was . . . bloody murder?

            It’s the Annual Ambassadorial Ball in Glause, and Lady Isabella Farrah, the daughter of New Civet’s Ambassador, is feeling pleasantly scintillated. 

In the library is Lord Pecus, a charming gentleman whose double mask hides a beastly face, and who has decided that Isabella is the very person to break the Pecus curse. 

In the ball-room is young Lord Topher, who is rapidly falling in love with an older woman. 

And in the card-room, lying in a pool of his own blood, is the body of one of Isabella’s oldest friends: Raoul, Civet’s Head Guardsman.  The papers sewn into his sash seem to suggest espionage gone wrong, but Isabella is not so certain.

Lord Pecus, as Commander of the Watch, is of the opinion that Isabella should keep out of the investigation and out of danger.  Isabella is of the opinion that it is her murder to investigate, and that what a certain Beast-Lord doesn’t know won’t hurt him.  . . .    

Will Isabella find the murderer before Lord Pecus does, or will she end her investigation as a bloody spatter on the parlour floor?


Note: I’m currently sending Masque out for review, so if you’re interested in getting your hot little hands on a free review copy, email me at gingellwrites (AT) I’ll send a digital or physical copy of Masque to you for the purposes of a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads, etc. All honest reviews are welcomed, and I understand that not everyone is going to love me and my books. (Odd, but there it is . . .)