Quartz Cover Reveal

I’m thrilled to finally reveal the cover for Quartz, created by Yocla Designs. Things are on track for an early-to-mid September release!

Quartz book coverBlurb

Rafe Grenfeld, diplomat and spy, has problems. He’s just learned of the discovery of a legendary quartz pillar: his sunless world’s most precious resource. But his informer died before revealing its location and Rafe’s on the run in the hostile state of Blackstone.

Once, quartz powered magical devices, but the mages who created them are long gone. Now, veins of quartz provide light and heat to a dying world, and Rafe has competition.

Karzov, chief of Blackstone’s secret police, is also hunting for the pillar. Determined to claim the quartz for his own country, Rafe forms an uneasy alliance with the mysterious and maddening Isabella. As dangerous magical artifacts resurface and dark forces close in, Rafe must tap into the lost powers of the mages in order to find and secure the quartz—before his world is torn apart by famine and war.

ps:

I don’t know if any of you have noticed, but I finally changed my header picture. It’s a lot brighter around here and the pink and red fit with Valentine’s Day a whole lot better.

Yes, it doesn’t take much to make me happy.

Sunday linkfest

The Broaden Your Horizons Edition

Three Things Writers Can Learn from Photographers: I love how different creative pursuits shape and inform each other.

Creative Experiments: February: daisy yellow posts monthly experiments to jumpstart those of us with creativity block. The experiments that specially intrigue me: art inspired by circles; drawing (as opposed to writing) letters and numbers; finding an ingenious solution to a problem (once I decide which of my myriad issues to focus on, heh); art based on a list (I love lists!). Are you tempted to rack up some creativity points?

Just Try (via Megs): Natalie Whipple on how fear keeps us from failure by taking us out of the game. I am a cautious, risk-averse person so this is something I need to overcome all the time. A must-read if you’re like me!

The Gap Year: Susan Wise Bauer advocates for a gap year between high school and college, based on her experience as both a college student and a college professor. What does this have to do with writing or even creativity, you wonder? It’s because most of us are locked into the belief that there is one conventional path to our goals. You go to school, you go to college, you get a job. You write a book, rewrite a book, query an agent, wow an editor, get a publishing contract, go back to square one if you don’t succeed. This is a challenge to think outside of the box, to step back, to ask “why?” in response to “this is the way things are done”. To consider alternative paths for reaching *your* unique goals.

Sunday linkfest

I love how writer Megan Payne turns failed short stories into a learning experience. I wish I were that analytical–maybe my short story success rate would be higher. *grin*

Debut Analysis for Aspiring Writers: After two and a half years of reviewing debuts, Tia Nevitt shares her thoughts on writing to fit trends, complete with marine metaphors. What I have found (as a reader and follower of agent blogs) is that high-concept, original twists and fresh ideas really work. The standard fantasy fare, however well-written, is just too same ol’ same ol’ to jaded readers (of which I am one, I’m afraid).

JA Konrath always has such an interesting take on ebooks, especially in light of lessons learned watching the movie and music industries deal with piracy. Will books go the Google way, with free content and paid advertising? And here’s his followup, Selling Paper, on why the publishing industry is approaching e-books from the wrong angle.